10 Ways to Survive as a Sleep Deprived Mom

As a mom cradles her baby, she wonders how she is even functioning as a sleep deprived mom.

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“Better get your sleep while you can!”

That phrase has to be one of the most overly used bits of unsolicited advice known to man. If I had a nickel for every time I heard it when I was pregnant with my first I’d have collected enough to knock out a large chunk of our hospital bill. Pregnant women hate this phrase because not only is it flat out annoying, especially when given with a “you don’t even know what you’re in for” smirk, but we also know it’s true. We know we will become a sleep deprived mom. We know that life will greatly shift when baby arrives. We know that we’re in for a wild and crazy pee, poop, and puke-covered ride. But it isn’t until we are going on three straight weeks of multiple feedings a night and restless fuss-filled days that we think back to those friends and family members who blessed us with that small slice of know-it-all advice and hate them even more for being so right!

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How to Deal with Whining Kids

As these two pretty girls stand together, they look harmless but they are one fit away from being whining kids.

I want a cookie.

I don’t want to take a nap.

I don’t like my dinner. I want jellybeans instead.

No, I don’t want to go home. I want to stay at the park!

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Relieving Engorgement: What to Do When It’s Been Too Long Between Pumping

relieving engorgement

When my daughter was 11 months old I took a four-day trip to New York City with a few of my girlfriends. It was the first time I’d been away from her for more than a few hours and the first time outside of the day my milk came in that I had to deal with excessive engorgement. We were touring the city, seeing shows, and doing everything else tourists do, so access to an electrical outlet for my double breast pump was quite limited. I did manage to sneak into a public restroom to pump on the way there, (talk about awkward… ‘Excuse me, could you please move your udders so I can reach the paper towels?’) but I didn’t think my fellow patrons would have been all too pleased if the musical brilliance of Newsies was overpowered by the chug-a-da-chug of my lady milking machine so I had to go hours upon hours without relief. Ergo, major engorgement. My full-to-the-max breasts make me look a little like Pamela Anderson. My girls were sore, hard, and lump. OH OUCH! Relieving engorgement was something I needed to know, as do most new moms.

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9 Early Potty Training Tips For New Moms

Early Potty Training Tips for New Moms - SmartMom

Photo by Lucy Rae

You’re the new parent of a beautiful baby girl and during one of many sleepless nights, as you stare at her perfect face, you start to think of all that’s to come in her future. You imagine her first solid foods, first trip to the beach, visiting grandma, play dates, potty training… gasp, potty training. You shutter at the thought, as most parents do. Not only does its arrival mean your sweet baby is growing up but you’ve heard horror stories from friends who are neck-deep in soiled undies and potty seats. Have no fear; it’s really not that bad. But before you dive in here are a few early potty training tips for new moms.

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How to Love Being Pregnant (And Your Pregnant Self)

benefits of skin to skin contact

It breaks my heart whenever I see blogs, Facebook statuses, and Instagram photos of pregnant friends talking about how horrible pregnancy is, especially by calling themselves whales, cows, and worst of all, FAT. Many people have issues with profanity but that’s one ‘F’ word I truly can’t stand. Pregnancy, one of the most beautiful and miraculous times in a woman’s life, definitely has it’s ups and downs and there’s no telling how off the charts your hormones may send you on any given day. But if there was ever a time to feel special, joyful, and beautiful, it’s when you’re pregnant! Believe it or not, it’s definitely possible to love being pregnant. Even if you aren’t one of those people who simply adores every aspect of pregnancy you can still find things to love about the process; most importantly, yourself.

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Baby Birthing: How To Plan Your Birth

Baby Birthing - SmartMom

Having a baby, whether it’s your first or fifth, is an exciting and anxious time. Baby birthing confuses many parents, as the information out there can be very conflicting. Most expectant parents focus on details pertaining to once the baby is here, like what outfit to bring them home from the hospital in, whether or not to co-sleep, and how your daily schedule will change.  But there’s a middle step people often don’t put enough thought into, the actual birth of your child. Childbirth is truly a transformative event and, despite the way movies and television often portray it, a natural process is not to be feared. Unfortunately many women enter the labor and delivery room with little knowledge of what to expect from their hospital and their own bodies. That’s why putting a great deal of care into planning your birth is important!

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Parenting Without Yelling

Hand washing for Children - SmartMom

It was the end of a long and stressful week. Jen finally got home from what felt like the world’s worst workday and wanted nothing more than to unwind with a glass of wine and a hot bath. She walked into the bathroom and discovered that in the time it took her to pour her favorite Merlot, her 3-year old daughter decided to go all Picasso on the floor with her brand new lipstick. Jen felt her heart rate rise, her face get hot, and her jaw clench as she balled up her fist, opened her mouth, and let out a huge…sigh. She calmly called her daughter into the room, resisted the urge to chug her Merlot, and instead placed it on the counter. As a sweet little girl walks into the room with her head and one pigtail hanging low, Jen bends down to eye-level, and clasps her daughter’s tiny hands. Sometimes parenting without yelling was a little harder than expected.

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Hand Washing for Children

Hand washing for Children - SmartMom

Good personal hygiene is one of the most important basic skills you can teach your child, especially during cold and flu season. It might seem like an impossible task when your kids are famous for sticking their hands in every dirty, messy, dusty, slimy, and yucky thing they see but there are a number of ways to make hand washing for children something fun that they’ll not only love doing but look forward to and start doing instinctually.

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How to Handle Baby Bathtime

How to Handle Baby Bathtime - SmartMom

Photo by Ashley Thalman

There are certain parts of the day that moms really look forward to. For many it’s nap time and a few blissful moments of silence. For others it’s the moment right before bed as baby falls asleep in your arms. For me it’s baby bathtime.  Perhaps it helps that both of my children LOVE baths, splish-splashing in a warm and sudsy wonderland, but there’s also something strangely therapeutic for me about washing away all the spit-up and tears of a long day. Although bath time is a favorite in our home, the same can’t be said for everyone. So if baths are something you dread rather than look forward to, consider implementing some of these bath time helps to make it sudsy smooth!

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Fostering the Bond Between Father and Daughter

Fostering the Bond Between Father and Daughter - SmartMom

Daddy’s little girl. He’s wrapped around her finger. Daddy’s princess.

We’ve heard these classic phrases time and time again and they all perfectly describe the cherished bond between father and daughter. As mothers we often feel obligated to do it all and be the main caregiver for our children. It’s our maternal instinct to provide everything from kisses on boo boos to snuggles after nightmares but no matter what we do, we may never have the same type of connection like the one our husbands and daughters have. And that’s okay! After all, a father is one of the most influential people in a little girl’s life, helping to shape her self-esteem and expectations of how she should be treated. Plus, how wonderful would it be if, years from now, your little girl came to you with love in her eyes saying she’s finally found a man who is just like her daddy. Better brace yourself for some heart swelling. 

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