When and How Do We Stop

When and How Do We Stop

When and How Do We Stop Jax FL

When and How Do We Stop

As postpartum doulas, families ask us all the time, “When and how do we stop __________”? You can fill in the blank with rocking them to sleep, nursing them to sleep, singing them to sleep, giving them a bottle, letting them sleep in our room, etc.

As parents we all want the change to be painless for our children and ourselves.

For some families that means taking as much time as needed to transition, for others it means they draw their line hard and fast.

So the answer to when and how starts with who and what.

Who you, your partner, and your children are and of course what you want for your family; what are your goals. Once we know this we can help you find solutions!

Here are some questions to help you find an approach that works for you and your family!

Find which of these sounds most like you and go with it, but keep in mind your baby/toddler/child may be the opposite of you. You’ll need to find a balance, after all it needs to be what is best for the family unit, but making it best for baby may mean smoother for all!

Do you normally try things expecting quick results and move on to something new fairly quickly if what you tried didn’t work the first time? Are you direct or blunt? Do you normally trust your gut or intuition?

Yes! Then my suggestions would be to trust your gut, try several things and see what seems to get better results than others. Once you’ve narrowed your options down the real work begins. It will require patience, sensitivity, and consistency for a set time. If after a set time no progress is being made move on to the next thing your gut tells you may work.

Do you find yourself asking friends or people within your social circle what works for them? When you succeed do you love to shout it from the roof tops and want recognition?

Yes! Then my suggestions are to do some research by way of socializing with friends about what worked for them and just get started. Stay focused on the results you want to see. Keep with one way for a given time and seek support of your closest friends to hold you accountable.

Do you look to your significant other for their acceptance or for new ideas? Do you prefer your partner make most of decisions regarding places to go eat or a paint color for the house? Do you value friendships and stability?

Yes! Then I would suggest making a list of the ways this transition will benefit your family. Then with your partner’s suggestions follow their lead and follow through. Be the kind, compassionate person you are, but remain steady. If what you’re doing isn’t working after a given time seek guidance from your partner again.

Do you value systems? Are you analytical and seek out facts and evidence? Do you find you are skeptical of things more times than not?

Yes! Then you’ve probably already sought out your options and compiled a detailed list to help you reach your goals.  If you haven’t already, list them in order of which you would like to try each one. The list could include the idea or concept, the number of times each week/day you want to try said idea, and the duration for which you will try each. Step out of your comfort zone and be prepared to change plans quickly when plan A and B aren’t getting it. Your plan C is to think quickly. You may need to delegate. Make your lists easy for others to understand so they can help you implement the ideas. You will need to let go of some responsibility and allow others to step up.

Ultimately my suggestion to a wider audience would be to stop when your heart or gut tells you it’s time! Re-direction, positive reinforcement, and consistency are usually the key to change.

That can mean stopping when your child makes it clear they are ready or you are sure you are ready. There are several approaches. You could do it all at once and go cold turkey or take it nice and slow through the transition.

I think the best way to go about it is to trust yourself as a parent and do what feels right for your family. There will, without a doubt, come a time when your baby just won’t “need” you to _____________ anymore.

They’re only little once!

Mommy Mocktails or Cocktails

Mommy Mocktails or Cocktails

 

mommy mocktails or cocktails best doulas in jax

Who doesn’t love a good drink?! With Memorial Day come and gone and warmer days upon us a mommy mocktail or cocktail is sure to hit the spot. Some drinks, like music from days past, take me back to a place in time where life was… less complex and nights were warm and a little crazy! Several of our overnight doula clients have enjoyed a mommy mocktail. I have shared these two drink recipes more times than I can count. So, here are those drink recipes along with a free printable of those recipes found at the end of this blog!

We’d love to know how you and even your kiddos like these! Leave us a comment.

 

Mommy Mocktail Summer Night

4 ice cubes

4 frozen strawberries

2 tsp. honey

2 cups of watermelon cubed

1 cup of sprite

4 mint leaves

2 tiny watermelon wedges as garnish

Blend the ice cubes, frozen berries, and sprite together until a slush is made. Then add in the watermelon and pulse a few times and drizzle honey as you pulse. Pour, stir 2 mints leaves in, garnish with watermelon wedges, and enjoy! Makes 2 mocktails.

Optional: Tequila can be added for those who wish to make this a cocktail. You can salt or sugar the rim for eye appeal!

 

Mommy Mocktail Island Time

1 cup cream of coconut

1 cup pineapple juice frozen into cubes

1/2 cup orange juice frozen into cubes

10 ice cubes

1/2 cup frozen pineapple chucks

2 Tbsp. honey

pineapple and coconut flakes as garnish if you wish

Blend cream of coconut, frozen pineapple and orange juice cubes, ice, and pineapple chunks in a blender until almost smooth. Then drizzle honey as you pulse. Pour, garnish, and enjoy! Makes 2-3 mocktails!

Optional: You can add a 1/2 cup of spiced, coconut, or pineapple rum if you wish to make this a cocktail.

Get you free printables of Mommy Mocktails here!

The Professional Doula

The Professional Doula

Authored by Elizabeth Luke, Owner

professional doula jax fl

 

Doula:

pronounced [doo-luh] is a Greek word meaning a woman who serves. Any Google search will reveal that, but the real question remains. Who is the doula really serving, herself or the women who are hiring her?

Defining professional doula in my own words:

A professional doula has received training and is either certified or working towards certification. Without judgement or their own agenda they support families . One who works cohesively with other members of the family’s team including doctors and other family members. A professional doula works to elevate the profession and does not conduct oneself as a hobbyist.

First Coast Doulas philosophy?

We support you and your choices! You call the shots and make all the decisions along the way, always. Support will look different from one family to the next. We attune to you and your family so we can understand your unique needs and customize support to help you with your goals! Your way is supported! .

We support!

We support single moms and dads, married couples, assault survivors, and teenage mothers. We support mothers who identify with happiness and mothers who feel burdened with pregnancy and newborns. We support all races, political parties, religion, or lack thereof. We support those who breast or bottle feed their babies. We support those who have a plan and those who don’t want one.

I’m a professional doula because it’s my passion to support women and families, including my own!

It’s nice to see colleagues I work with empowered. This is our profession. We’re able to provide for our families while supporting yours through hard work and dedication!

Professional doulas all over the world have experienced backlash from those who do this work as a hobby.

They say we’re lousy doulas because we don’t push our own beliefs, education, and choices. Yep, really! We are told we’re wrong for simply providing access to resources and education when requested.

We’ve been called ill informed if we don’t educate on the best way to birth or parent.

We’ve been wildly accused of not caring for families because we support our clients choices for their own families. Wowzers!

They call us greedy doulas for charging a fee for services we provide to families choosing to hire us. Yes, working in exchange for money. A familiar concept to most people.

These “doulas” are grasping at straws and throwing stones where they shouldn’t be.

When I hear doulas say things like, “you have a responsibility to make sure they are making the right choice,” “it’s a shame you call yourselves doulas,” and “I attend births because these women are less fortunate and need my help to feel empowered and make sure they stick to the plan”, I vomit a little in my mouth.

It’s sick and it needs to stop!

It’s like they are saying without me you are nothing, your birth will not be meaningful. You know what’s empowering? It sure as hell isn’t pity or handouts.

Women birth every day without doula support and have amazing births!! That’s right, I said it and it’s no secret except to those who are self-serving.

In fact, the majority of women giving birth do not hire doulas, the number is close to 95%!

The lack of doula support does not mean your birth is not empowering. It simply means you are one of the 95%. As professional doulas we work hard to elevate our role, earn the respect of providers, and the trust of families with whom we work so that the number of families choosing to hire professional doulas will rise! So they can be supported no matter how they birth or parent because that is empowering!

Professional doulas are not greedy or heartless! We are not and will not be “ashamed”. You know what would be a shame?

Seeing an amazing doula dissolve her business and close the doors to helping improve birth and postpartum because she didn’t know her own value and require an appropriate fee for services. Fees that allow her to continue to provide support and grow her knowledge base.

Charging a fee for our work does not make us greedy doulas. It simply means we’re being paid a fee while those not charging are paying in energy and emotion. There is always an exchange.

Which exchange do you prefer?

Paying a fee for a professional doula who will attune to your needs and support you and your family? Knowing that the doula will take this important work seriously.

Or

Selecting a free or cheap doula who, on the off chance may or may not value her own skill set and commitment to you? Risk having her miss your birth or skip out on your post-birth, or go against supporting your wishes in favor of what she deems best?

Think on that!

A professional doula is paid so that the important work that we do can continue. We are not greedy I have found that it’s the complete opposite.

I work hard supporting women and their families. I’d be lying if I said supporting and providing for my own family wasn’t empowering to me.

If you hear the term “greedy doulas” I caution you to beware. Doulas who aren’t charging a fee may be taking from their clients in other ways, ways more precious than any amount of money. A doula who isn’t charging may not able to support you because they’re likely emotionally supporting themselves. Another great point to think on!

Greedy doula ≠ professional doula. You can’t have both!

Here’s a great thread on our IG showing how many do not understand the non-judgemental support we provide.

Leading the way in training and mentoring professional doulas all over the world, ProDoula is our only choice when selecting doulas to work with First Coast Doulas

The Walking Dead; Don’t Be A Zombie

The Walking Dead; Don’t Be A Zombie

the walking dead; being a zombie sucks

What’s one of the biggest challenges that new parents face in the first year postpartum?

You guessed it, having enough energy to power through!

Ask just about any new parent you know how they’re feeling and I bet you’ll get a variety of responses, anything from, “Doing great! A little drained, but I shouldn’t complain, at least I get a few solid hours of sleep here and there,” to “I don’t know how I will keep going like this. I feel like The Walking Dead!”

In the third trimester it’s very common to have a difficult time finding a comfortable position to get to sleep. For some, this starts early in pregnancy and only grows harder in the third trimester.

Staying asleep is even more of a challenge when you have to pee every hour on the hour! A baby pushing down on your squished bladder is no joke. Add that to the long list of crap pregnant and new moms deal with day in and day out and it’s becomes apparent, yet again, how strong we all are! These challenges in the third trimester are like a warm up for long nights and challenges that lie ahead.

You don’t have to feel like The Walking Dead, because being a zombie sucks!

There’s no substitute for sleep and healthy eating postpartum, in fact those are two of the best way to feel mentally, emotionally, and physically well after birth. I have good news! First Coast Doulas has two ways to help you have more energy and heal faster, two ways to fight feeling like The Walking Dead! Exciting right?! Our clients agree!

Placenta Capsules

A great way to feel more balanced, heal faster, and have more energy after delivering your baby is to have your placenta put into capsule form. Placenta encapsulation has become popular in recent years, but women have been ingesting their placenta for many, many years! Our Certified Independent Encapsulation Specialist come to you to professionally prepare your placenta in a socially acceptable form, capsules! No ick, more energy, all-natural healing!

It’s not uncommon for people hear about placenta encapsulation and think and even say, “Wow, why would someone eat their placenta?” I picture people who love the show The Walking Dead envisioning a zombie eating a placenta! Sorry for that vision, but that’s not what really happens with placenta encapsulation, not at all.

First Coast Doulas provides you with a great experience so you can have the energy to power through those long days and nights that are inevitable!

Postpartum Doula

Hiring our postpartum doulas to take over night shifts a few nights a week is a great way to get in those hours you need to parent your children through those long days ahead. Our doulas are a huge asset to new parents and the entire family!

Hiring a postpartum doula doesn’t mean you’re hiring a nanny, or someone else is raising your baby. It means you have someone to look after baby while you get the sleep you need!

Your postpartum doula can bring your baby to you to nurse so you can stay in bed. She can give a bottle or two if that is your goal! She’ll burp, change baby’s diapers, sooth him or her back to sleep, and keep a watchful eye so you can get the sleep you need when you need it most! She can even help fold a load of laundry left in the dryer! Support without judging your decisions for your family!

Getting the rest you need and taking your placenta capsules will help you get your energy back and stop feeling like The Walking Dead! After all being a zombie sucks!

the walking dead best doulas in jax the walking dead best doulas in jax

What’s Left After They’re Gone?

What’s Left After They’re Gone?

What's Left After They're Gones

I hope that my readers find solidarity, peace, hope, and excitement in what is to come when your kids have moved out. Whether you are nearing these days or you are many years away still!

I have birthed three kids of my own, okay they were babies when I gave birth, but you get my point! I’ve also cared for my baby brother through his life, until recently.

Occasionally, over the years I thought about the day each of my kids would grow up and move out. I wondered what it would be like. I wondered if they’d stay home a while after high school and attend college. What if they don’t attend college? What if they just go out into the workforce? What if they want to leave home at eighteen and travel the world or move across country straight away? What if they had a baby before they were “ready”?

The thoughts could be worse, right?

Like, what if they ended up on drugs and in jail? Worse still, what if they overdosed and didn’t recover from their addiction? What if they didn’t live to even get the chance to decide to have kids or not? What if they ended up on the streets? What if they didn’t want to be independent and they enjoyed being at home, forever?!

Oh my! Enabling others is one thing I will never do. Personal back story here, but let’s say there are good examples, and examples of who I never want to become!

My heart ached at the thoughts. I would get teary-eyed and at times, admittedly I cried. Then I would laugh and think you’re silly, they’re just ___________ (fill in the blank with babies, kids, teens), you have plenty of time left.

The thoughts would pass almost as quickly as they came.

Honestly, some of those tears were from frustration. My mantra during the teenage years was, “Remember, you will miss these days!” Raising kids, four of them at that, is not for the faint of heart. I assure you as parents we all have melt-downs, I’ve had many. As the kids grew older the challenges grew harder too.

I won’t “warn” you or say the very cliché thing most people say, “You think it’s rough now, just you wait till they’re teenagers!” I’ll just say this, they’re sweet and adorable as babies for a reason; to ensure that cuteness and love is enough to carry us through the teenage years!

Every family presents with its own unique set of challenges. For us I think having three boys with only a two year age difference was a challenge in and of itself.

I believe that there is comfort in not knowing all the things to come, at least for me it was. To tell you the truth if I’d knew what we’d face between the ages of 12 and 16 I probably would’ve ran away, forever! Kidding, I would have come back once the future revealed to me that not one, but all three of my boys would move out in 2015. YEAH! I imagined their stories would be their own, unique as each of them, but NEVER did I imagine they’d all be moving out in the same year.

Imagine for a second the shock I experienced when one of them not only moved out at a very young age, but also got married and moved three states away all within 30 days! Yeah, serious shock to this mama’s heart!

So what’s left after they’re gone?

Well, they’re not really gone; they’re just living their lives. This is the natural progression of things. The life that I gave them was always their own. I taught them important lessons and have learned even more!

Oh boy, tears are flowing heavily from my eyes now, again…

After their hand prints have faded from the walls, the loud, crazy music has silenced and their rooms have emptied I am left with a full heart and memories of three funny, inspiring, rambunctious boys who I hope get to enjoy their health life they have been blessed with.

After running out of hot water in the shower at least twice a week for the last 6 years we now have an extra bathroom that rarely gets used and hot water to spare.

The dryer that use to run nonstop with football and basketball uniforms and dark clothes mixed with lights is now working part-time.

After the airsoft pellets have faded from the yard the indentions in the wooden posts remain for a little while longer.

The largest tree limbs of my only shade tree were hacked, but I look back and laugh at how crazy and determined those boys were!

The dirty shoe marks left on the carpet have all been ripped up now. There has been wood flooring put in. I remember the fun they had skateboarding, riding bikes, playing in the dirt, and running in and out of the house in a hurry to get to the neighbor’s pond to swim!

Our large grocery bill has now shrunk, but  I have a hard time cooking for just three of us. We hope to one day feed some little ones from our kitchen and table again!

So what’s left after they’re gone?

Cheers! Toast a glass of wine, a beer, or mocktail, you did it, you survived parenting your kids through their childhood. That is a huge accomplishment in itself.

Hope! There’s hope in knowing we taught them to love with their hearts, to be compassionate of others, but to think clearly with their minds.

Time for ourselves! We have made it all these years, through all kinds of challenges. We have been blessed to come out on the other side of parenting still sane (or with our own new definition of the word)! So there’s time now to do more of the things we sacrificed for the kids!

Trust! Trust that you did the very best you could with the resources you had available to raise your kids. They will make mistakes, they will, but trust that they will be okay, and believe they will do amazing things!

Excitement! I am excited for this new chapter in my life, and equally excited to see what is next for them! Oh the things they will learn and experience next!!

When the nest starts to empty don’t be scared! I hope you take comfort in knowing that many mothers and fathers have walked this path before you and that this is the natural progression of things. Our children will still need us, but in different ways. By grace we have made it this far, we are of the lucky ones!

 

Going to Work Just for the Fun of It, Part 2

Going to Work Just for the Fun of It, Part 2

If you missed Part 1 you will want to catch up quickly!

Going to Work

 

The 12 hour language used in many contracts simply states that included in the birth doula package, for X amount of money you get 12 hours of face to face support, and beyond that the client pays X amount per hour!

Clients read and understand the terms of the contract, the doula understands her obligations, the client knows what’s expected of them, what they will receive, and that is that. Two or three adults enter into a legally binding contract.

No one knows how long labor will last. Even if you’ve had fast labors before, that is no guarantee the next will be the same. With the 12 hour language in the contract clients will receive amazing support and the doula(s) will be compensated fairly in the event the labor is long. If the labor is short the clients still receive the support outlined in the contract and the doula is compensated fairly!

It’s black and white, it’s plain and simple. Clients get this concept!

They like knowing they’re paying for amazing support, they like knowing their life experience wasn’t a burden on someone else, and when they have their next baby First Coast Doulas will still be around! They like that we provide continuity of care right into the postpartum year! They love that there was an even exchange of support and energy for payment!

It’s empowering!

It’s empowering for the doulas, it’s empowering for the clients!

Imagine this; you live life on call never knowing when you’ll have to leave at a moment’s notice to support a laboring woman for six to forty-eight hours.  You may be in the middle of your daughter’s dance recital, your friend’s husband funeral, or just falling asleep after two days of virtually no sleep thanks to an ear infection in your infant and soothing a fussy, teething toddler of your own. Imagine not knowing if you’d earn $400 or $0?

Imagine you’re supporting a client at a birth, it’s reaching hour 18 and you are dead tired. You can’t keep going, but your client needs you there. It’s a horrible feeling. She goes on to need about 9 more hours of support. Now imagine paying out of your own pocket to pay a back-up doula to come in and provide the remaining hours of support. Yes, I mean your own pocket, or better yet, how about your spouse’s pocket!

Imagine how your spouse or partner would feel about that? Would your children or fur baby be o.k. with this lifestyle choice? Certainly not!

On a global level we need doulas to keep at creating sustainable businesses!

On a global level we need doulas to keep at it!

Globally, if doulas are to help improve pregnancy, birth, and postpartum we must create longevity within the doula profession.

Profession: a type of job that requires special education, training, or skill.

Job: the work that a person does regularly in order to earn money.

The 12 hour language is being used by doulas more and more since ProDoula, a certification agency for the modern doula was started. This language is helping to revolutionize the way  doulas everywhere view the work that they do.

The 12 hour language is only one part of creating stability for the doula so she can make her heart’s work into a long career. The business side of doula work is necessary to create stability, longevity and ultimately to leave behind a legacy! People aren’t working just for the fun of it; they want to leave something behind when they leave this Earth!

The 12 hour language is a SINGLE line in our contract, but it speaks volumes about the work we are doing as professionals!

Being paid a thriving wage allows a doula to be present for her own family when she’s with them, not worrying about how she’ll put food on the table or how she’ll be able to pay a  great nanny to care for her kids when she is called away at a moment’s notice to support her clients in labor.

It allows her to buy herself clothes she would otherwise not be able to afford. It allows her to leave a relationship that’s no longer healthy. It allows her to send a cleaning lady into her elderly father’s home who lives five states away when she can’t get there to help the person who raised her alone!

It allows her to send her child to a school where he/she can receive a fantastic education! It allows her to give her children the very best while she is away!

It allows her self-care when she needs it!

She can get a chiropractic adjustment after a long birth, or pay a therapist regularly to process the stillbirths she supports her clients through! Whether it’s bubble baths, a glass of wine and alone time, monthly massages, or having her hair and nails done on the regular, self-care is important! It’s beneficial, and it’s necessary for longevity!

It allows her to arrive to her clients knowing her kids are taken care of, her car is in good working order, and her house is functioning like a well-oiled machine while she’s away supporting other families.

I say all of that to say this; the 12 hour language allows the doula to come to her clients free from baggage, worry, and frustration. It allows her heart, her hands, and her mind to be solely for the purpose of supporting her clients while she is with them!

Smart people know if you want to make the biggest impact possible in the world it will likely take funds to do so, most things cost! Being business savvy is not greedy, it’s smart!

It allows me and many other doulas, who otherwise would not be able to, to focus on creating stability, longevity, and leaving behind a legacy!

The 12 hour language is a win-win for all! Oh wait, and then there are the ones who have a problem with it!

You know who has a problem with this concept? People who women don’t feel women deserve to be paid appropriately for the work they do. People who are for oppression!

Sorry not sorry!

There are actual people in this world who feel it’s o.k. for women to go to work just for the fun of it. That their actual work is not work at all, it’s all fun and games! They believe it’s o.k. for women to be stuck in abusive relationships, and feel it’s o.k. for women to be away from their families for an unknown amount of time with the possibility she come back empty-handed in terms of earnings. Even worse there are people who think it’s o.k. for the doula to pay out of her own pocket to witness the miracle and extremely hard work of birth!

Bottom line, doulas deserve to be paid for the valuable work that they do, every time, no ifs, ands, or buts about it.

The 12 hour language supports the doula while they support their clients! Going to work just for the fun of it creates burn out, not sustainability!

Going to Work Just for the Fun of It, Part 1

Going to Work Just for the Fun of It, Part 1

Going to Work Just For The Fun of It

Doesn’t the thought of going to work just for the fun of it sound amazing!?!

Do you love gambling with your house, car, family, or your future? Think about it, the possibility of getting paid well or receiving no paycheck at all since you love your job, everyday is a new gamble! You win some you lose some!

Sound like a great business model right? How do you think it will help you create sustainability?

How cool would it be if you could call the electric company and say, “I love my job so much that I couldn’t set a wage for myself to ensure I’d be able to pay my bills this month, maybe next week I’ll have it, I’m sorry”, and all was right in the world!

Yeah, not happening!

This blog may seem…weird or out of place! It’s not, I promise. It’s important we blog, talk, and discuss this issue because it’s a real problem and we need to keep it at the forefront if we want to see change happen in our lifetime. If we want to leave birth work better than we found it we have to talk about the awkward right along with the comforting matters!

Please, stay with me, read Part 2.

It offer perspective and tell you exactly what that 12 hour language is all about in our contract!

Have you had a job that you were excited about going today, everyday?!? Remember the saying, “Do something you love and you’ll never work a day in your life”? Well that’s a load of garbage. Work is work, whether you love it or not, it’s still challenging at some point and majority of people want to be paid for the time they are working!

Without stability you can’t have longevity!  The 12 hour language that’s being used more and more in doula business contracts helps a person create stability for their business. Without stability this profession would suffer, great doulas burn out. Do we really want something as intimate and as life changing as birth to suffer? I know I surely don’t!

Women who are working deserve not only to be paid a wage that helps them survive, but also helps their families survive, and families all over the world thrive, their own family included!

Why should doulas be excluded from this? They shouldn’t!

 

 

Stay tuned for Part 2 of Going to Work Just for the Fun of It

Home for the Holidays

Home for the Holidays

 

home for the holidays jacksonville doula

Home for the holidays can take on a different meaning after you have kids! Holidays with kids are so different than celebrating as a single person or as a married couple without children. The things we use to doing during the holidays change a bit after we have kids of our own. At least in some way they do.

Many people go home for the holidays, whether it’s next door or cross country. Year after year you do this because it’s what you’ve always done, and you’ve come to look forward to it; it’s what the holidays are to you. Perhaps it’s become a tradition and you want to continue to feel the sense of family.

After you have a baby though you start to look at life through a new lens, it’s true!

Once your baby is here in your arms, your house begins to feel even more like your home, you and your baby are a family. There are times that the longing to “go home” for the holidays sometimes doesn’t seem as urgent. Many parents tend to feel like doing things at their own home a little more, whether it be because they dread traveling with kids, the of ease and convenience of being home, wanting to sleep in or play it by ear, or because they just want to start their own traditions at home with their children.

It’s common to feel torn about this new chapter in life. You want to go “home” to be with your family or perhaps your in laws, but you also really want to do things at your home and not have to deal with the back and forth! It’s common to feel this way and o.k. to express your feelings and be supported in your decisions this holiday season.

Do what feels right for your family. Don’t force yourself into a situation that will leave you stressed out and uncomfortable. Doing something for others should be an act from the heart, not a burden or source of frustration. Make the most where ever you are, whoever you are with! There will never be another holiday exactly like this one, love, share, and just enjoy being together.

One of the greatest gifts anyone can give a new parent (first time or fifth) is to let them know they are doing a great job, and that their decision to come or stay is accepted by you.

Ways to ease the mind and fill the heart of a loved one who is traveling with kids this holiday season;

If they agree to join you at your home support them in their parenting decisions, do not judge or undermine them. These are their children, not yours.

Ask for their permission before you feed their baby, anything liquid or solids.

Offer to help them with making travel arrangements, meet them at the airport if that would be of help to them.

If someone in your own home is sick, be it a minor cold or full on stomach bug, please disclose that information before they come and let them make the call on whether or not they want to expose their family.

If they have a food allergy, be mindful of that. If you’re not sure, just ask.

If they are breastfeeding their baby, let it be on their own terms, not yours, make them feel comfortable, not alienated.

 

Ways that you might ease the mind and fill the heart of a loved one who has decided to stay at home with their kids this holiday season;

Offer to bring the gathering to them, but be mindful if they do not want company.

Ask if there is a time you can come visit them at their home instead.

Mail a card and let them know you love them, are thinking of them, and hope you all can get together soon!

Send or hand deliver a gift the family can enjoy together. This could be a craft, a board game, or movie.

Gift the family a home cooked meal; be mindful of any food allergies.

Make and send a video to the family. Let each person at the holiday gathering say something meaningful or funny (in character) to the family!

 

With the holidays quickly approaching, a new little one in tow, or a bun in the oven you are likely counting your blessings and reflecting on years past. You may also be feeling a little anxious or overwhelmed, you don’t have to!

First Coast Doulas is here to help ease your nerves this holiday.

Through pregnancy and birth and into your first year postpartum, let us serve you while you enjoy your family!

You Are Enough, Stop Comparing Yourself To Others!

You Are Enough, Stop Comparing Yourself To Others!

You Are Enough, Stop Comparing Yourself To Others

As humans it can be easy to get into the destructive habit of comparing ourselves to others.

Our looks, our intelligence, and even the houses we live in and vehicles we drive.

Granted some amount of healthy competition is great, but comparing yourself to others can be overwhelming and unhealthy.

You are enough, stop comparing yourself to others! There is noone who compares to you!

Why not strive to be the best you that you can be instead of comparing yourself to others? Wouldn’t it drive you in a positive direction versus a negative one?

I learned this lesson, like many others the hard way!

I learned this lesson as a mom.

I found myself, after years of comparing myself to others as a teen and young adult feeling insufficient as a new mom. Now, I didn’t have a terrible habit or obsession of comparing myself to others before having kids, but I did compare at times and that led me to more comparison after I gave birth.

I compared my parenting to other people’s parenting and I put unrealistic expectations on myself. My comparisons led to judgement. I was judging myself and sadly I was judging others. Without even realizing it I was being judgmental, I had become that person.

Noone is born with all the knowledge of the world, noone will ever know it all.

Babies aren’t born with an instruction manual because they are as unique as you and I. Noone can tell you without a doubt what is best for your baby, noone! Only you can decide what is best for your baby, your children, and your family!

Some days that looks like whatever your idea of a perfect mom looks like and other days it looks like dry cereal, not leaving your p.j.’s till 3 p.m., Legos everywhere, a mountain of laundry, and ordering pizza for dinner.

A good mom is well polished, her hair, nails, and appearance kept up!

A good mom puts her kids needs first and never gets to the salon. She’s heard about a pedicure, but hasn’t experienced one for herself.

A good mom breastfeeds and a good mom supplements!

A good mom has motherly instincts and a good mom has to learn this behavior!

A good mom does what needs to be done to raise her kid single, and a good mom knows it’s best for another couple to adopt her baby!

A good mom gets donor milk!

A good mom knows she wants to give formula from the start!

A good mom takes medicine that isn’t safe for breastfeeding, but it helps with her with P.T.S.D. and depression so she can be the best she can be for her family as a whole!

Good parents co-sleep and good parents do not!

Good parents stay home with their kids and they go back to work at 6 weeks postpartum to provide!

Good parents argue and good parents make up!

Good parents live under the same roof and good parents live in separate homes.

Good parents get married before having kids, and good parents choose to never get married!

Good parents vaccinate, and good parents choose not to vaccinate!

Good parents choose circumcision and good parents leave their babies intact!

Good parents babywear and good parents use strollers.

A good parent does the best they can and when they know better they do better! That is all we can do!

YOU were given this opportunity to parent your child!

YOU are enough!

Some days you are swimming upstream, other days you are on auto pilot!

I share this lesson with you because the sooner you stop living for other people’s expectations, the sooner you realize that you are enough, the sooner you can truly start enjoying the journey that was meant for you!

I challenge you today to toss out your expectations and live for today!

This doesn’t mean you don’t set goals and work towards them, it just means that you will make the best of it, allow yourself grace, you are a human, we all fall short of our own expectations!

If you are pregnant don’t expect that you should feel a certain way today! Embrace the way you feel today.

If you have a newborn in your arms, you feel weary, and your toddler is running around like a wild animal, if noone gets injured and everyone is happy you win today!

If you have a fewer little kids and their toys are everywhere and they have dirty clothes stuffed under their beds, if they are playing and not killing each other, today is a win!

If you are parenting teenagers and they did just enough to pass to be promoted to the next grade level, celebrate! If they mowed the grass without being asked, but broke the pull start rope on the mower, celebrate that win! If your teenager babysits your toddler so you can get your errands done alone and he makes snow cones and plays video games with your toddler who is now bouncing off the walls from a sugar high and your dish towel is stained with red dye, celebrate that your teen gave you a break and spent some quality time with your toddler!

Celebrate those wins!

The big wins, the small wins, any personal win!

You will be a lot happier when you realize that you can only control so much in life. Change what you can, except what you can’t, move forward enjoying your wins!

You are enough, stop comparing yourself to others!

 

#youareenough #iamenough #weareenough