Parenting During Stressful Times: Tips from Parents of Special Needs Kids

Mom and son laugh together while playing in living room.

Parenting During Stressful Times: Tips from Parents of Special Needs Kids

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, parenting has changed dramatically. For parents of kids with disabilities, interruptions in school, therapy appointments, and daily life are presenting major challenges. However, these parents may actually know more about navigating pandemic life than parents who are used to readily available support networks. In families with kids with disabilities, there are certain stark realities, as well as potent joys. And during this pandemic, the wisdom of families with extra needs may provide useful insights into parenting during stressful times such as these.

Tips for Parenting During Stressful Times

Challenge: Isolation

Right now, many kids are feeling isolated from their friends, teammates, classmates, teachers, and their entire extended network of family and other support communities. They feel lonely, disconnected, and sad without the human exchange that comes with growing up in a strong community. And parents are feeling the isolation too.

For many families with kids who are medically fragile, chronically ill, or who have physical, developmental, intellectual, or emotional disabilities, isolation is an ever-present reality. Most parents may take for granted that they can be out and about with their kids in the pre-pandemic world of movies, parks, swimming pools, srestaurants, and grocery stores. But some parents of kids with extra needs are highly restricted in what they are able to do. Isolation can be the norm. And some parents are pros at figuring out ways to help their kids stay as connected to the world as possible.

Tip: Encourage kids to regularly connect with the outside world in age appropriate ways. This may be through online gaming, weekly video conferencing with friends and family, or taking enrichment classes with live teachers and peers on topics that interest them.

Challenge: Anxiety

Every person on the planet now understands anxiety— how it feels, how it takes hold, how it changes us. It’s a daily feeling that’s hard to shake. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to unfold, a whole new range of anxieties are beginning to surface in families. Kids may experience regressive behaviors, emotional outbursts, sudden fears, depression, or a lack of focus. And that’s okay. They are out of their routines. And their identities are being challenged now that most of their time is at home and away from peers and organizations.

Anxiety also comes from not knowing a definitive timeline for when things may go back to normal. And, of course, there is the anxiety of not knowing if it’s safe to do normal things. But for the parents of special needs kids, the anxiety of making sure that a child is safe and healthy 24/7 reality—not just during a pandemic. Like before, vigilance and advocacy become a way of life. These are muscles that have been toned for years. 

Tip: Parents of kids with disabilities have learned the power of radical self-care, asking for help, finding a support system, and always prioritizing the mental and emotional health of their children and themselves above all else. Actively schedule consistent times to slow down and engage in rejuvenating activities like meditation, yoga, walking, reading, or resting and listening to music—even if only for a few minutes.

Challenge: Lack of Choices

The ending of the traditional school year has, to put it mildly, put a huge wrench in families’ schedules. And as summer approaches, many parents are asking what will happen to their kids if stay-at-home orders continue and camps are closed. Will families have to restructure their work and financial lives to care for the kids? Often times, parents of kids with disabilities can’t get help from grandparents, family, or friends because the needs of the child are so specialized. So, how will parents handle it all?

Parents of kids with disabilities know this drill inside and out. Their choices can be limited, if not completely unavailable, when it comes to securing childcare services, summer camp opportunities, or other experiences that come easily to the majority of kids. During the pandemic, more families are now experiencing what it’s like not to have childcare options. And what it takes to create family systems that work. Parents of kids with disabilities want the rest of world to reconsider what choices look like for everyone. What does accommodation really look like? And what does support look like? What does community really look like when so many kids aren’t included? How can we all be there for each other when times are difficult? 

Tip: The solution? Tag team parenting allows one parent to watch the kids, while the other completes work, chores, and self-care activities. Create a family schedule that works for everyone in the household and affords parents the opportunity to get things done independently.

Challenge: Flying Solo

Parenting in stressful times requires friends! Parents are gathering online in record numbers to get information and advice on how to cope with being a full-time stay-at-home caregiver. They are trying to work out how to stay employed, provide an education, and be a good parent. It seems impossible.

But for many parents of kids with disabilities, this is just another day. Some of these parents change their careers in order to have flexible schedules. Some downsize their lives, and even homeschool their children if public school is not able to meet their child’s needs. They spend hours in occupational, speech, physical, or other therapy every week. During the pandemic, these therapies are either greatly reduced or not happening at all which means potentially losing critical progress from previous weeks and months. Their kids may rarely, if ever, be invited to sleepovers, playdates, or parties. The parents have virtually no respite and spend a good chunk of time researching best parenting practices to help address their kids’ disabilities.

The point is this: it can be done. Millions of American families find creative ways to make their lives work as they prioritize the needs of their children. It may be a different life than imagined. But a skills-based tiered approach is possible if love is at the center of the plan.

Tip: Become an expert in flexibility. You may have had strict rules about screen time or time chatting with friends. Now is the time to revisit some of those hard and fast rules and come up with a plan that’s flexible enough to meet the emotional psychological needs of the entire family unit. This is an extraordinary time that calls for a new way of doing things.

Challenge: Falling Behind Academically

As student life drastically changes, parents are also deeply concerned about kids falling behind academically. They want to make sure that children are receiving the appropriate educational supports they need in order to thrive and excel. They are worried that they may not be getting what they need to master subjects and fulfill their potential, particularly when in-person tutoring support is largely unavailable.

This is a common story for parents of kids with special needs. Parents around the country not only serve as teachers, therapists, and caregivers—they are also their children’s fiercest educational advocates. In a world that often misunderstands and judges a child, the parent fights for her while dealing with mountains of plans, paperwork, documents, appointments, and assignments. Parents painstakingly work with school districts to create individualized education plans (IEP) in order for students to have the best possible chance at achieving the same or similar milestones as their peers. Parents of special needs kids are experts in working with school administration to help structure plans that work.

Tip: Adjust your expectations. It’s not possible to replicate the traditional school experience at home—especially during uncertain times. Social/emotional learning will most likely take center stage as schools adapt to new protocols and academic benchmarks. Schooling through trauma makes it necessary to adjust expectations not only of your child, but of his school. As you can probably tell from the number of emails and instructions you’re getting from teachers and administrators, you are essentially your child’s case manager now. Be patient.

Remember to Celebrate These Important Things

Parenting during stressful times can be overwhelming. You may feel like you’re in survival mode. But for parents of kids with extra needs, there are periods in which the entire family is simply in survival mode even when there isn’t a pandemic. Persistent worries about school, work, childcare, education, and health are just part of everyday life. But, in the end, life with a child with extra needs provides profoundly beautiful life experiences. These are positive lessons that can serve as reminders to other parents who may be struggling:

Gratitude

With every new milestone or success, a deep feeling of appreciation surfaces which rivals any blue ribbon, gold medal, or towering trophy. Celebrate the many victories in your child’s life—big and small.

Mindfulness

When a child is struggling, being in the present moment is a powerful and intimate connection that is deeply bonding. Just cultivating the ability to breathe through it and disconnect from negative mind chatter is a life skill that is life changing.

Joy

Prioritizing simple pleasures with your child like being in nature, listening to music, sharing a book, or playing in water, can strengthen your relationship and creates a stream of positivity and trust.

Resilience

There is satisfaction in overcoming challenges. What might seem impossible today, will become clear tomorrow. Don’t worry about small setbacks. Make a “ta da” list instead of a “to do” list and remind yourself that you have the ability to bounce back and move forward. Tomorrow is a new day!

Flexibility

When unexpected things happen, roll with it. Adjust your expectations and be ready to be okay with a just a few successes in the day: eating one healthy meal or wearing clean clothes. You may not know how today will unfold, so remember the motto: the only constant is change.

Creativity

What works today, may not work for tomorrow. There’s always something new to create that makes life easier or more fun—a game, a story, or a song. You are in control of creating new experiences.

Acceptance

Every person is unique. Their brains are unique, and so are their bodies and souls. Having the opportunity to learn deep and unconditional acceptance of others is one of the most beautiful and lasting gifts of parenting a child with disabilities. And during scary times, it’s important that we can lean on each other and discover new levels of empathy.

Patience

This is what life with kids is all about—helping them learn to be their best selves. You may be seeing sides of your kids that are new and unexpected. Parents of kids with disabilities learn early that behavior is communication. There are always reasons for struggles and for joy. This is one of the great gifts of parenting—to be able to slow down and really connect with who your kids are. Kids are not blank slates, after all. They are younger beings waiting to be discovered, and they need support and kindness above all else.

These are just some of the countless benefits and gifts of having a unique child!

Parenting during stressful times is hard. But it is doable! What works for kids with disabilities—support, patience, individualized attention, kindness— really works for all children. Perhaps parents of children without disabilities will have a much deeper understanding of what it’s like to parent in a world that’s not always accommodating. To strive for a new post-pandemic society that is good for all children may usher in a new way of life that leverages everyone’s strengths, abilities, perspectives, and contributions for the greater good.

About the Author /

Jennifer Hill Robenalt is the editor of Austin Family Magazine. She is also a freelance writer, editor, content developer, and communications consultant. You can find her at www.jhrcommunications.com and on Instagram at @ideamakerupper.

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SAY IT LOUDER FOR THE PEOPLE IN THE BACK!! 🗣️ SAY IT LOUDER FOR THE PEOPLE IN THE BACK!! 🗣️📢👏👏👏⁠
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Words & 📷: @mrs.caitlin_fought⁠
"You want to help a mom? Support her.⁠
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I breastfed my daughter and plan to do the same with this next baby.⁠
I have friends that formula-fed.⁠
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I decided to stay home with my kids.⁠
I have friends who decided to go back to work.⁠
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Never once has my parenting choices gotten in the way of our friendship.⁠
Never once have I felt the need to lecture another mom about how she decides to raise her child.⁠
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You want to help a mom?⁠
Support her.⁠
Let her know you're there for her.⁠
Tell her she's doing a good job.⁠
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Your opinion doesn't help anyone but maybe your own ego.⁠
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Mama, I support you. I support the sacrifices you've made. Just because we parent different doesn't mean I won't be your biggest cheerleader. ❤️"⁠
I know a lot of mamas can relate to this picture. I know a lot of mamas can relate to this picture. If only there was such a thing as a coffee IV-drip. 🤣☕☕☕ You're doing great, mamas! Hoping that this week brings you a extra rest and a whole new found energy! 😘
🖌: @spiritysol
When I think back to when I gave birth to my son, When I think back to when I gave birth to my son, I do remember the surges of the contractions, the release of being in the water in the tub, and the pushing. So much pushing. 😓⁠
But I also remember the relief I felt when I first saw Mary Alice, one of my midwives, walk into my master bathroom while I was laboring in the tub. I remember my doula holding my hand in between pushes giving me encouragement, and my husband gently stroking my hair as I came down from the height of contractions.⁠
After giving birth, I remember how my midwives made my bed with fresh linens and with me in it feeling comfortable as I nestled with my newborn son. I remember how a meal was brought to me in bed and how everything was cleaned up and looked as if nothing happened -- not like I had just given birth to a baby. (I had a home birth, by the way.) And I remember how they were all with me by my side every step of the way.⁠
I felt the love, the patience, and the respect that I needed. Those are the memories that I hold with me when I think about the day my son was born. It's how I was cared for and how my birth team made me feel that stays with me.⁠
For expecting women out there, be intentional with the people that you invite into your birthing room. That includes your doctor, your midwife, and your support people. I know that things look very different right now with hospitals only allowing one support person, but you can still receive good support. Take an online birthing class with your partner and practice how they can help you in labor. Speak up to your nurse and ask for what you need and what you want for your experience. Be your own advocate! And if you feel like you can't speak up, hire a doula and receive virtual support during your pregnancy, birth, and immediate postpartum. Feeling supported, respected, and truly cared for is just as important as having a successful birth with a healthy mom and baby. 💗
I've been searching for an image that captures how I've been searching for an image that captures how I've been feeling. And it's this. Parenthood. Love. Protection. ❤️ Standing up for those who can't or they get struck down. 
For my friends with children who are at risk, just from doing normal things that shouldn't include risk of death. For the women who are more at risk of dying or having their babies die. I don't have the right words but I do have a heart that is breaking for the families who don't get to see their loved ones come home.
Thank you, @JadeBeallePhotography, @the.shine.cloth & @mswrightsway for this beautiful image. #blacklivesmatter
O.M.G. Cutest thing ever! This is exactly how I wa O.M.G. Cutest thing ever! This is exactly how I want to spend my weekend. Don't mind me 😎💗⁠
📷: @__.asuu
Ain't this the truth?! 🤣⁠ 📷: @themessymomm Ain't this the truth?! 🤣⁠
📷: @themessymommy
"I'm a sucker for birth stories! I've had a variet "I'm a sucker for birth stories! I've had a variety of lengths of labor and birth situations, no C-section or breech experience so far though, but I hope we can find encouragement and hope in each of our stories. While I love sharing about all these boys' births, I don't have the space here for all of them so let's chat about my fav and most unique one. Boy number 4's says an accidental unassisted home birth, but the true reality is that I was assisted by my husband, Michael. My midwife just didn't make it until he was 15 minutes old. I have prodromal labor for weeks before the real thing so when I first went into labor with him, I thought it was the same as it had been almost every night for weeks. When I finally got into the shower, Michael knew I was in transition (7-8cm) because it's what I always do at that point and called the midwife. She could hear me and knew she wouldn't make it, but she had only made it for 30 mins with the one before so that man of mine was prepared. The comical part of this story is that we had a 4-month-old puppy at the time and he was trying to get into the bathroom so Michael went to put him outside, realized the dog had pooped and cleaned it up, only to come back to the bathroom and tell me 'His head is almost out!' I told him, 'no duh!' And within a few more seconds, he was born in the sac still 😳 so I freaked a bit that he wasn't breathing before I realized. Michael calmly broke the sac, go the suction bulb, and then I held him wrapped in a towel in the shower until my midwife arrived. It's my husband's favorite story to tell because of his calm demeanor in the crazy 😝 and I'm all "yeah, I had NOTHING to do with it!" So what's your #birthstory, friends?" 📷 & story: @arielctyson
One day a pregnant client of mine started having a One day a pregnant client of mine started having abdominal pain. She called her OBGYN's office and they had her come in to check on the baby to make sure everything was okay. Everything looked fine and well with the baby so they sent her home saying that it was probably something that she ate and that it must be gas or indigestion pain.
Days went by and the pain not only continued but it got WORSE. I encouraged her to continue reaching out to her doctor, which she did. She would call the office and the nurse and doctor would tell her that everything was fine. They told her what meds she could take that could help, and that if she wanted to come in again the next day, she could.
The next day she went in and they looked at the baby and the baby was still perfect. They told her to go home and said to her, "You must have a very low pain tolerance because everything is appearing normal." Little did they know that she had labored for days and delivered her first baby withOUT any pain medication. (She had a different OBGYN with her first baby.) This client of mine is a strong woman and definitely does NOT have a low pain tolerance. I would know because I was her doula for both of her babies.
The pain she experienced only got worse the next day. She was in agony. She did her own research and thought it might be appendicitis. She decided to drive herself to the hospital this time without calling and told the nurse that she was in severe pain and that she thinks she has appendicitis. The nurse said, "there is no way that you could have appendicitis. You wouldn't be able to stand or drive yourself here or even talk if you had appendicitis." My client demanded that she see a doctor to get evaluated. Once a doctor was available to see her and examine her safely (since she was 34 weeks pregnant) they realized that, in fact, she DID have appendicitis & that it was so bad she needed immediate emergency surgery since it could be life-threatening. The surgery then caused her body to go into labor. Just hours after her surgery she pushed & delivered her second child.
I tell this story because I have seen & been told countless stories like this. (Continue reading in the comments.)
😐😐😐😐😐😂⁠ 📷: @thedad 😐😐😐😐😐😂⁠
📷: @thedad
The Ultimate List of Grandpa Names⁠ 👴⁠ .⁠ The Ultimate List of Grandpa Names⁠ 👴⁠
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We recently posted our ultimate list of Grandma names, but you might be looking for the perfect match for a Grandpa name. 💙 Many fathers that turn into Grandpas usually go with what their dads were called as grandparents or something traditional, but we encourage you to take a look at all of the options! There just might be a better fit that suits you. 😊 Here is our ultimate list of over 100 Grandpa names to choose from!⁠
{Click 🔗 in bio to continue reading!}⁠
📷: @royalty_europe
Tag your squad 😎⁠ 😂😂😂⁠ 📷: @then Tag your squad 😎⁠
😂😂😂⁠
📷: @thenewsclan
As soon as a woman becomes pregnant she will hear As soon as a woman becomes pregnant she will hear ALL kinds of unsolicited advice from everyone around her. 🤰 Friends, family members, even strangers will tell her what they went through and what they think she should do with her body and her baby. 😑 And this unsolicited advice continues long into parenthood. ⁠
Something that I think ALL mothers should know and learn is that you do NOT have to own or accept any information or stories someone tells you if it does not serve you. If it's unhelpful and not inline with your choices, hopes, and desires as a mother, then as soon as it was received immediately discard it. Don't harbor any information that does a disservice to you. The mind is a powerful thing. When we are told war stories and how terrible, awful, or painful things were for them (pregnancy, childbirth, or parenthood), that can live and stay with you. You do not have to own someone else's story. It may have been told with good intentions, but if you do not find value in it let it go. Release it and surround yourself with positive talk, uplifting stories, and happy, respectful, and supportive people.⁠ Be bold enough to go against the grain if you must and do what is right for you and your family.⁠
Ultimately, listen to your intuition. And if you're unsure of what your intuition is telling you, seek counsel from people who you admire and trust.⁠
You're doing great and if you didn't know this, you're already are a great mother. 💕 #thebabychick
Transition to Motherhood in Uncertain Times⁠ 🤱⁠
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When a first baby is born, so is a new mother. 💗 The transition to motherhood can be a very difficult one that is impossible to be fully prepared for. As you become a mother you take on a completely new identity. It is a new phase of life that comes with new challenges, emotions, and growth.⁠ 🌱⁠
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As a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit occupational therapist, I find that I take care of the mothers just as much as I take care of the babies. ❤️ Many, if not most mothers, are prepared with the tangibles: a place for the new baby to sleep, clothes for the new baby to wear, bottles, and diapers. But it is impossible to fully prepare for the emotional transition that takes place. New moms are met with not only a little baby who is completely dependent but also a barrage of new and different emotions that you may not fully understand.⁠ {Click 🔗 in bio to continue reading!}⁠
Author by: Aimee Ketchum⁠ @aimeeketchum⁠
📷: @trinitysierra
Let me just stop you right there! *pew pew* 🔫🤱
Surprising Body Changes During Pregnancy – Podca Surprising Body Changes During Pregnancy – Podcast Ep 33⁠ 😮⁠
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Pregnancy is such a beautiful time in a woman's life. 💕 But don't get me wrong, not every day of pregnancy is glamorous. 😬 We've all heard of the luxurious hair, the glowing skin, the stretchmarks with the growing belly, but there are also things that happen to a woman's body during pregnancy that aren't really discussed. That's why we are covering all of the surprising body changes a woman can experience during pregnancy on today's podcast episode. So if you're currently expecting and are noticing some odd changes happening to your body, you can feel relieved knowing that you are not alone. 🤰 {Click 🔗 in bio to listen to the episode!}⁠
Now that "homeschool" is over, we can now enjoy ou Now that "homeschool" is over, we can now enjoy our summer! 😎 Oh, wait . . . #looksalotlikerightnow 🤔⁠
📷: @hallmark
When you become a mother you realize how much your When you become a mother you realize how much your mother did (or didn't do) for you. 💗 Sending love to all of the mothers, step-mothers, mother figures out there.
Happy Monday, mamas!⁠ 👋⁠ ⁠ Lately, with e Happy Monday, mamas!⁠ 👋⁠
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Lately, with everything going on, I've been thinking a lot about mothers with newborns. 🤱 As a postpartum doula, I get the pleasure of supporting new families in their homes and helping them navigate the winding roads and highs and lows of early parenthood. But right now I know that families are bringing home their precious babies and are feeling alone more than ever. They have less physical support, which can feel like they have less emotional and informational support as well. This breaks my heart. 💔 I wish this wasn't happening to families or to our world and I wish that I could be there for these moms.⁠
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That's why today, I am hopping on our stories and answering YOUR questions. Since I can't be there PHYSICALLY to help you with your pregnancy and newborns, I want you to know that I am here virtually for you. How can I help?⁠
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{I've left a question box in our stories. Have a question about your postpartum recovery? About your newborn? About breastfeeding? Bottle-feeding? You name it! I've been helping mothers as a birth doula and postpartum doula for 10 years and I am here for you.💕}⁠
📷: @creativeclicksphotography
Okay, grandma. 🙄⁠ 📷: unknown Okay, grandma. 🙄⁠
📷: unknown
To the mamas, papas, dreamers, visionaries, SAHMs, To the mamas, papas, dreamers, visionaries, SAHMs, etc. out there, kudos to you! For going so hard, for not quitting even on the worst days, even on the tired days, even on the days you don't know how you're going to do it, or don't feel like you can. You know it's okay to have some patience, grace, and forgiveness with yourself, right?⁠
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Our children are the future. I had to learn to give myself some grace. Sometimes when I evaluate where I am in life and see that I'm not exactly where I want to be or could've been frustrates me, or gets me down. I'm so hard on myself. But then I realized if the ONLY good thing I've done or successfully done is raise great children, I am in fact doing well!! *Parents, it's so important how we raise our children, and many of you KNOW that is not an easy task.⁠
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There are so many different aspects on this one topic. First, their confidence, self-love, etc. is so important. They need to know who they are, so when they encounter times and people that aren't so kind they are not completely crushed.⁠
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Secondly, think about who you're putting into the world. Do you remember your heartbreak(s), or some of the sh*%$y people you've come across and thought who raised them? Or even when you encountered a child that needed a hug or just some TLC. It's important!⁠
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Thirdly, but not least, for the dreamer or the visionary . . . Yes, we are working so hard for our dreams and goals. And one day we may achieve them, but our building and growing may also be in the building for our children. As we are building a future for them. Show yourself a little love. ❤️"⁠
Words & 📷: @tanishasnell_
"On my headstone, I hope they write, 'Here lies a "On my headstone, I hope they write, 'Here lies a devoted mother who suffocated under her enormous laundry pile.' #kiddingnotkidding⁠
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I'm trying to be more mindful about laundry and use it as a meditation practice (my main squeeze Thich Nhat Hanh talks about washing your dishes like you're bathing baby Buddha. 😊) Sometimes I can do it and feel grateful and grounded (I find cloth diapers particularly soothing for some reason. 🤷‍♀️) And sometimes I consider just turning our living room into one huge laundry pile and letting everyone forage for their clothes each morning. #wildstyle⁠
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So tell me, wise women of the world--how do you do laundry? Are you a load-a-day type or do you wait until it piles up and tackle it all at once?"⁠
Words & 📷: @spiritysol
It's called balance. And motherhood. And it's the It's called balance. And motherhood. And it's the weekend. 💁‍♀️🤪 Cheers!
Want to jazz up breakfast or lunch for the kids (o Want to jazz up breakfast or lunch for the kids (or yourself 😉) in an easy way? Animal Face Toast! 😍⁠
Pop an emoji for your favorite animal!🐱🦉🦊🐻🐷🐵⁠
📷: @weelicious
Staying safe for mom and baby has never been tough Staying safe for mom and baby has never been tougher than it is now. 😷 Shout out to all the pregnant moms and moms with newborns!! You are amazing. 🙇‍♀️ You are strong. 💪 And our hearts are with you. ❤️⁠
📷: @themommaprentice
The Ultimate List of Grandma Names 👵⁠ ⁠.⁠ The Ultimate List of Grandma Names 👵⁠
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When I found out I was pregnant, one of the many things I began to wonder was, "What are my parents and in-laws going to go by as their grandparent names?" Grandparents are not just going with the classic "Grandma and Grandpa" names anymore. Some are now getting creative and are coming up with new ideas. If your mother or mother-in-law are unsure of what they want their special Grandma names to be, we're sharing our ultimate list of over 100 Grandma names to choose from!⁠ ❤️ ⁠{Click 🔗 in bio to continue reading!}⁠
📷: @newmommy_in_city
FOR REAL. 🤦‍♀️😑⁠ 📷: @alyceoneword FOR REAL. 🤦‍♀️😑⁠
📷: @alyceoneword
Mommas . . . have you stopped to take a moment for Mommas . . . have you stopped to take a moment for yourself, take a breath, or take a sip of water yet? This is your friendly reminder. ❤️ Whether you are pregnant, a new mom or a mom with little (or big) ones running around the house, take a minute for yourself right now and drink a big sip of water. If you have a headache from your toddler screaming, feeling sluggish from the lack of sleep, cloudy from your neverending to-do list, or hungry because of pregnancy or just because, this will help. So take a sip. Your body and mind will thank you for it! 🙏
Do you agree?? 😳😂⁠ 📷: @surrounded.by.bo Do you agree?? 😳😂⁠
📷: @surrounded.by.boys
😯😯🤣🤣🤣🤣 *sip sip*⁠ 📷: unknow 😯😯🤣🤣🤣🤣 *sip sip*⁠
📷: unknown
Episiotomies: Are They Still a Thing?⁠ 😳😬⁠
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"My birth plan was all typed out and edited. 📃 I'd read everything I could about the pros and cons of typical birth procedures. I wanted skin-to-skin contact as soon as possible, I wanted my partner to clip the cord after it stopped pulsing, and I did not want a routine episiotomy.⁠ 🙅‍♀️
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The contractions started so close together that there was no waiting time. The nurses did not believe they were as close as I was reporting. 😖 My partner and I were trying to play cards on the bed, but I was worried. Every two minutes, like clockwork, another contraction waved over me. 'Go for a walk, dear. It will be a while yet,' a nurse told me without any physical check. I got up and tried to go for a walk but was stopped by a single very sharp contraction. 😧 Then I went to the washroom and got sick. 🤢 I knew I was in transition.⁠
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On the bed, ready to push, an elderly doctor entered the room. 👨‍⚕️ He walked up to me, picked up a scalpel, and immediately sliced a small incision in my perineum. ✂️ At the time, it didn't seem relevant. I was about to become a mother! In only two pushes and a total of two hours of labor from the first contraction, I was holding my baby. 🤱 Nothing else mattered; not even my well-crafted birth plan or the raw pain I felt meant a thing. He was here, and he was perfect.⁠ 💙
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Luckily for me, my healing process was minimal and did not result in any further complications, however, many other women are not so fortunate." Learn more about the history of episiotomies, why they are performed, and how to avoid having one. {Click 🔗 in bio to continue reading!}⁠
Article by: ⁠Rachel MacPherson⁠
ALL. THE. TIME.⁠ That and, "I can’t believe I ALL. THE. TIME.⁠
That and, "I can’t believe I grew that." ❤️⁠
Still my greatest accomplishment. 🥰
A note from @olesiastefanko to our Baby Chick audi A note from @olesiastefanko to our Baby Chick audience: How have my nutrition & workouts changed during pregnancy? 🤰💪⁠
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Each woman knows that pregnancy is one of the most important events in her life. ❤️ This wonderful process makes a lot of changes in a woman’s organism and, as it follows, in her lifestyle. And I am not an exception.⁠
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The first things that have changed are my workouts. Right now I'm at the end of my second trimester and I still workout 3 times a week, like I did before, but the intensity is much lower (about 10-20% of what it used to be).⁠
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As for my exercises, I am focused on glutes, legs, arms, and a little bit of side abs. What do my workouts usually include?⁠
- 15 reps per each exercise, all in a row for 3 rounds⁠
- rest between exercises for 10-30 sec⁠
- then rest between rounds is about 2-3 mins⁠
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Currently, I do avoid jumping & abs exercises because they feel uncomfortable and too exhausting. But if anyone still wants to do abs exercises, do not do them on a flat surface - it’s better to use a fit ball or bosu ball.⁠
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Remember that it’s safe to work out during pregnancy if you have been consistently working out before pregnancy and have clearance from your doctor. Pregnancy is very individual & depending on your and baby's health, your doctor may decide that you should avoid physical activity for some time. For example, I was unable to work out during my first trimester for about a month, but I did some light stretching and walking instead. It's important for us to all remember that we are carrying a little human inside of us and, obviously, we should think about him/her first. Do not work out if your doctor has not given you medical clearance. If you feel that you can’t do some exercises, it’s better to skip them altogether - listening to your body is very important right now.⁠
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The second main thing during pregnancy is nutrition. 🍎 First of all, I have always been against strict diets 🙅‍♀️ and my daily routine included 5 meals--eating small portions regularly throughout the day. My diet before pregnancy excluded ❌ red meat, milk, and animal fats. I followed these rules 5 days a week. (Continue reading in the comments!)
Postpartum Expectations Versus Reality⁠ ⁠ "Eve Postpartum Expectations Versus Reality⁠
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"Every new mom probably envisions herself swathed in a soft robe, snuggled up with her freshly-born baby. 🤱 Beautiful and glowing, she smiles as she blissfully nurses or feeds a bottle to her beautiful pink-faced baby. 🥰 These moments are precious, and they do exist, but it's more the expectation than the reality of what the postpartum experience looks like. I spoke to pediatrician Harvey Karp, baby sleep wizard, and the author of the popular book 'The Happiest Baby on the Block', about how to manage postpartum expectations versus reality, including bonding, a lack of sleep, and handling all the new responsibilities of having a newborn." {Click 🔗 in bio to continue reading!}⁠
Article by: ⁠Rachel MacPherson⁠
📷: @the_pettylife
Boobies leaking and fires blazing! 😵🤣⁠
📷: @mommymemest
The Day I Realized My Kid Is Not Like Me⁠ ⁠
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"On the day I realized my kid is not like me, I could tell by the look in my daughter’s eyes that I’d breached a moral line.⁠
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My loving and kind-hearted daughter had been dealing with teasing and bullying all year. We’d been struggling to get the school and specific teachers to react in any sort of fashion that could make us feel like they cared. I’d become even more jaded as the months rolled by, and the teasing continued.⁠
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'I made Miss Rebecca a birthday card, it’s her birthday today!' my daughter told me after school one day. My reply? 'I really don’t care about her or her birthday.' My daughter gave me that look. How could I be so cold? Her eyes searched my face for any amount of empathy or even a hint that I was sorry. I knew my face was drawn and pinched in that disapproving grimace only mothers can make.⁠
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As I looked down at her while we were walking home, my face softened. Here was this lovely empathetic little soul who only ever wanted to make sure everyone was happy and included. She didn’t deserve to be picked on because she played with the 'different' child in her classroom. She didn’t deserve to be poked and laughed at because of how easily they could make her cry. But somehow she remained this soft, sweet girl she’d always been, making a birthday card for the teacher who’d repeatedly made her feel like she was to blame for her own bullying.⁠
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My response was to get angry, get my back up, retaliate. My full mama bear mode was unleashed. But I also knew that this was my personality. I am guarded, I’m careful, and I don’t trust people. I had a lot to learn from my little girl." {Click 🔗 in bio to continue reading!}⁠
Article by: ⁠Rachel MacPherson⁠
📷: @jlo
It’s going to be okay. ❤️ We will get throug It’s going to be okay. ❤️
We will get through this. 💪
No matter how many toddler tantrums happen or work emails come our way, breathe and take one thing at a time. 🧘‍♀️
Because our work will never be finished. 🤹‍♀️
Our inboxes will never be empty. 💻
We will always be striving for happy, healthy children, clean houses, good work done and that will never cease. 🏠
But WE make each day what it is.💕
Only we can determine our own happiness. 😊
Even though our days look far from what we expected, we need to welcome each day with a smile. Be appreciative for what we have and for our health. 🙏
So let go of how you think today or this week is supposed to go. This time is only temporary. This stage is only temporary. ⏱Look for the good, and roll with the punches. We’re in this together, apart. ❤️
Mothers are superheroes, I am convinced. 🙌⁠ T Mothers are superheroes, I am convinced. 🙌⁠
This great image taken by @bubbapage, @jordanpage's husband, shows that taking care of kids & babies (multiples at that!) is no joke. 💪😴⁠
We salute you, mamas! You're doing better than you know. Keep loving, keep mothering, keep going. We are with you. 💗
Now this is the cutest thing I've ever seen in a b Now this is the cutest thing I've ever seen in a bedroom for three girls. 😍⁠
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💤 Sleep Tips for Kids!⁠ 💤⁠
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1️⃣ Have a bedtime routine.⁠
A regular bedtime routine starting around the same time every night encourages good sleep patterns for kids.⁠
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2️⃣ Have some relaxation-time before bedtime⁠.⁠
Have your children wind down by reading a book, listening to gentle music, or practicing breathing for relaxation.⁠ This will help their minds and their bodies to go to sleep.⁠
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3️⃣ Be consistent with your child's awake and sleep times.⁠
Keep your child’s bedtimes and wake-up times within 1-2 hours of each other each day. This helps to keep your child’s body clock in a regular pattern.⁠
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4️⃣ Eat the right amount at the right time⁠.⁠
Make sure your child has a satisfying evening meal at a reasonable time. Feeling hungry or too full before bed can make your child more alert or uncomfortable since their body is either hungry or trying to digest. Either can make it harder for her to get to sleep.⁠
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5️⃣ Keep older children’s naps early and short⁠.⁠
Most children stop napping at 3-5 years of age. If your child is over five-years-old and is still napping during the day, try to keep the nap to no longer than 20 minutes and no later than early afternoon. Longer and later naps can make it harder for children to get to sleep at night.⁠
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6️⃣ Check noise and light in your child’s bedroom⁠.⁠
A quiet, dimly lit space is important for good sleep. Check whether your child’s bedroom is too light or noisy for sleep.⁠
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7️⃣ Make sure your child feels safe at night⁠.⁠
If your child feels scared about going to bed or being in the dark, you can praise and reward her whenever she is brave. Some children with bedtime fears feel better when they have a night light or sound machine.⁠
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Hope you guys are having a great weekend and are getting plenty of sleep! 🙏❤️⁠
📷: @tyson_moore