What to do Before Your Baby Arrives

When you’re expecting a baby anytime soon, it’s important to be ready for what’s coming next. Sure, resting is definitely important, but there are many other things that need to be done with the help of your partner and your family and friends. Some of this stuff is relatively basic and obvious, but it’s still so easy to forget the important things when you’ve got so much else to focus your attention on.

To help you make sure you don’t fall into the trap of ignoring some of the things that matter most, we’ve put together a list of things that you will need to do before your baby finally gets here. It’s in your best interests to read the details and take note. If you miss out on any of this stuff, it might make life harder for your family and the new arrival later on.

So read on now and be sure to implement any of the things that get you thinking and that you hadn’t considered up to now.

Remain Focused on Your Health and Wellbeing

When you’re healthy, your baby will be too. You’ll only cause problems for yourself and the baby you’re carrying if you’re always stressed and pressured. It should be one of your top priorities to stay calm and relaxed as much as possible as you progress through your pregnancy. You should also try to look after yourself generally by doing some walking, getting fresh air and eating a balanced and healthy diet. It’s the little things like this that tend to make the biggest difference, so this is something to work on.

Choose Your Baby’s Future Paediatrician

You want your child to always have your best, so it’s worth thinking about which paediatrician is going to be best for them before they’re even born. You want to have this decided and set in stone in time for the arrival. It gives parents peace of mind when they know they have a reliable and talented paediatrician to take their child to when there’s a problem of whatever sort. So look at all the options, talk to different doctors and do your best to make sure you’re making the right decision.

Hold a Baby Shower

Baby showers can be a lot of fun and they allow you to celebrate the imminent arrival of your baby with the people that matter most to you in life. So have a look at these 10 Unique Baby Shower Ideas and then start to plan yours. With the help of your friends and family, it’ll be a warm and welcoming occasion where everyone can come together to celebrate something truly special with you. It’s not something you should skip over because it could be a highlight of your pregnancy.

Pack Your Bag for the Due Date

When you know when your due date is, you can start planning that day. Of course, the due date probably won’t be completely accurate, but it gives you a rough idea, and you can then start getting things ready. For example, you can do the practical things like packing your bag so that you’re ready to leave and head to the hospital as soon as you enter labour. Even if the due date seems a pretty long way off right now, it’ll get here in no time at all so you need to be ready.

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Get a Baby Book

It’s always worth having a baby book that you can fill and flick through in the future, and it’s best to get prepared for this right now. The moment your baby is born, you’re going to be taking pictures and saving mementoes that can go straight into the baby book, so why wait around? Find the ideal baby book today. That way, you can have fun filling it as soon as your baby arrives. You’ll want it to be the kind of document that really means something to you and your family.

Finalize Your Birth Plan

Every mother has their own unique birth plan, so if you haven’t yet finalized yours, now is about time that you did this. You need to know how you want all this to pan out because if you don’t know for sure by the time the big day comes around, the decisions will end up being made by someone else, and that’s clearly not what you want. Most mothers want to be the ones in charge of the process.

Make Car Arrangements

When your son or daughter has been born, you need to have a way of having them use your car. So you’ll need to research baby seats for the car and find one which is best for your car, as well as which is safest. When you’ve found the one that you think is best, you’ll need to purchase it and have it put in place in your car. It’s a pretty simple thing but it’ll matter every time you go anywhere in the car with your baby.

Prepare the Baby’s Room

The baby’s room is certainly going to be important because this is where he or she will be sleeping each night. It should be a child-friendly, serene and generally relaxing environment. If you haven’t yet got the baby’s room finalised, it’s time for you to do that. It should be one of your highest priorities because the stress of finishing the room off when the baby has already moved in there will be too much for you and the baby alike.

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Have Your Carpets and Floors Cleaned

Your baby is probably going to be crawling around a lot, so you’re going to need to make sure your carpets and floors are as clean as they can be. This is probably not something you ever paid as much attention to before you had a baby because previously, the floor was just something you walked but that’s not the case anymore. Just have them professionally cleaned and you won’t have worry about getting down there and doing it yourself.

Wash the Baby’s Clothes

You’ll probably already have lots of new clothes for the baby to wear, but you’ll also need to make sure that these baby clothes are all washed before they’re worn. This is important because if the clothes are not washed in advance, they can irritate the baby’s skin and that’s obviously not what you want to happen. Luckily, it can all be prevented by simply making sure that the clothes are washed before the baby arrives.

Prepare Some Meals for the Immediate Aftermath of the Birth

When you’re a new parent, your baby takes up pretty much all of your free time. There’s no room to do anything much at all. That’s why it’s such a good idea to think ahead and plan some meals for when you’re busy with the baby after having given birth. You can cook some stuff and put it in the freezer because this will allow you access to easy meals when you quite simply don’t have the time nor the energy to cook. By doing this now, you’ll save yourself time later.

As you can see, there’s so much that needs to be done before your baby finally arrives. It really does pay off to have all of these things sorted out and in place before you have a new baby taking up pretty much all of your time and attention. If you don’t act now, you’ll probably regret it later, so get to it!

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Secret Projects To Impress Your Spouse

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Impressing your spouse is not always something that you may find time for. After many years of marriage, it might be that the spontaneity is dried up. This is completely understandable. Or is it?

It’s likely you read that opening sentence with a low mood. This is because deep down, you realize that spontaneity is something that can keep relationships alive, that can help you continue to fall in love with someone each day. No matter how long you’re married for, you should never limit your love for someone or allowing theirs to be tempered by pure neglect for one another. No, the core of love is the desire to be there for someone, to give instead of taking. After all, your greatness is not what you have, but what you give. Thankfully, there are methods you can take to ensure this continual surprising love is shown when it matters most.

For that reason, we are offering advice in the form of secret projects to impress your spouse. This is sure to help you express your love for them, and is best done with a surprise for maximum efficiency:

Redecorate

Redecorating your home space can be a wonderful surprise for your spouse when arriving home. You might not renovate an entire room, but you can make wonderful additions to help your spouse feel that sense of care and thought you’d put into it. It might not be that an item from IKEA is the best way to do this. There is very little romance in uniform flat pack furniture. Finding something wonderful and touching may be a good idea.

For example, finding specific elegant wooden furniture with character could help propel a room into the stratosphere in the interest of good taste. It’s not uncommon to impress using these tactics. You may also decide to have an artist craft a beautiful painting of a photo you both cherish, allowing you to hang it with pride of place in your hallway or living room. These long-term mementoes can serve as family heirlooms, and it’s these belongings we’re more likely to cherish in the long-term.

Desires

It could be that fulfilling one of your partner’s desires can be a great step in showing how much you care. They might have expressed interest in heading to a local theatre show, or to make the trip to the big city to see something on Broadway. You may arrange a meeting with one of their idols, or perhaps book an impromptu vacation because deep down who doesn’t love travel? All of this can have a wonderful impact on your relationship, because it shows you’re willing to go far to acquire something they have expressed interest in, giving you serious brownie points for the long term. Who knows, with a little care, this goodwill could be transmitted right back to you when you least expect it.

These secret projects, if pulled off well, could surely impress your spouse, and show your good taste. What are you waiting for?

This is a collaborative post.

Boobs, Breasts and Bras…

Yes, you read the topic ‘boobs, breasts and bras,’ correctly. This is a little chit-chat about your bosom buddies and they are nothing to fear or dread. Being a woman, you can’t disassociate from parts of you that accentuate your femininity and if you’re like most women, you know your breasts intimately – their ups and downs, how they fit into your bras, the way they look in certain dresses, what they feel like at different times of the month and perhaps if you are getting on in age, the changes they go through as the law of gravity helps them head downhill.

Interestingly, it took me getting to the ripe old age of my 30’s to get comfortable with my gals, and I attribute our delay in getting to know each other well to two main things: frustrating bra shopping escapades and lack of better insight on how to find the right kind of bras for me.

As odd as it might sound, choosing the right bra for your shape and size isn’t always that easy, and sadly, most women find the experience to be such an ordeal that sometimes after scouring through dozens of bras, sweating, huffing and puffing in the changing room, you end up leaving the store with nothing at all, or sometimes you leave with a bra that’s entirely wrong for you, which I presume is worse.

For those of us who have been well endowed in the upper chambers of boobs department, finding comfortable, yet beautiful and efficient bras that help to support our buddies and boost their confidence is truly a path to wellness and peace of mind. I vividly recall my last months’ foray into a well-known top brand store that I shall keep a secret, every bra – even though they were meant to be my attributed size – left me thinking that I had supplementary breasts and by the end of the frustrating escapade I’m not sure who felt more pained between the attendant and me. The whole experience left me feeling like an elephant trying to wear fripperies and negligees and I couldn’t help venting a little on my Facebook update.

Following my little update, a friend sent me the image below which not only made me chuckle, but made me realize that the journey of the bras is a common denominator among women and with my tongue in my cheek, I dare ask, which illustration matches your predicament?

I have reached an age where I am no longer going to part with my money for flimsies that don’t uphold me no matter how pretty they look. In search of great, high quality bras with good support, I have abandoned those infernal underwire cups that most times leave you feeling pinched, caged in and out of breath. Let the truth be told, at a certain age, the law of gravity brings the perkiness of your boobs down by several notches and though you don’t want to look ridiculous trying to push your boobs up to the high heavens, you equally don’t want them dangling to your knees. What you want is the right upliftment of comfy, beautiful and supportive bras that will treat your bosom buddies right.

Quick Tips on How to Make Bra Shopping Less of a Pain

  • It pays to know your size. To find your bust size, measure around your ribs just under your breasts and measure around the fullest part of your breasts. Subtract the band measurement (ribs) from the bust measurement to get your cup size.
  • Make sure that your entire breasts are in the cup, not spilling over or to the sides.
  • Check that the straps are not digging into or sliding off your shoulders.
  • The centerpiece between the two cups should lay flat on your sternum.
  • The thicker the band, the more support you will get.
  • Be patient and have fun with it.

Unreachable…

I searched his eyes
but he was long gone

wandering a private,
and distant place

a landscape with no zipcodes
and no maps.

I tried to call him back
all in futility

he was stuck
in the corridors of silence

unreachable…

© 2018 Jacqueline

This poem came to my mind when I heard of Senator John McCain’s passing. I don’t know him personally except for what was made public, but I developed a healthy amount of respect for him as I read a bit more about him. May His Soul Find Rest.

Caring For A Loved One: How To Take The Pressure Off

As relatives age, naturally, you want to look after them. After all, when you were a child they looked after you, and now that they are older and require more help, you want to do the same for them, you want to repay the love and kindness that they showed you. Whether it’s your grandparents, parents or another friend or relative, it’s important to understand how much work caring for someone can be.

The truth is that while caring for a loved one can be a wonderful thing to do, and a great way to make their later years as comfortable and enjoyable as possible, it can be extremely time-consuming and tiring to care for a loved one on 24/7. There’s a lot of pressure that comes with providing care for a family member, which is why you need to put yourself first and learn how to take the pressure off.

Photo source: Pixabay

If you want to provide care to a family member, you need to understand what steps you can take to reduce the stress that is on you. Wondering what these steps are? Have a read of this and implement them in how you care for your loved ones.

Take time out

You can’t care for someone 24/7 on your own. If you have a job and a family or even one of these things, you can’t physically put all of your time into caring for someone or your life will begin to unravel. You need to take some time out for yourself and your needs; you can’t care for your loved one at the exclusion of everything else, as otherwise, your life will begin to fall apart. Spend at least half of your free time each week doing things that you love doing – don’t let your family life suffer as a result of caring for a loved one.

Get support

You don’t need to deal with this alone – there is plenty of support available, it’s just a case of choosing to take it. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, because if you don’t, you may end up sinking from the stress of dealing with everything on your own. If you don’t want to put your loved one into a specialist care facility, another option could be to use private duty home care services to help care for your loved one at home. You can’t do it alone, you need help and support, which is where this kind of service becomes invaluable.

Take self-care seriously

When life gets busy, it’s far too easy to put your own needs on the back-burner and fail to take care of yourself. This isn’t something that you want to do though, as stress can manifest itself in many ways and have a huge impact on your own health and happiness, which is why it’s so essential that you take self-care seriously and really look after yourself. You need to take time out to de-stress yourself and focus on self-care – do this, and you will find that your mental health is in a far better state than it would be otherwise.

Caring for a loved one is no easy task, it’s hard work looking after someone who you care about. There’s a lot of pressure to do things perfectly and a lot of stress to manage too, which is why you need to know how to take the pressure off.

Uninvited…

I saw it coming.

I grudgingly said hello.

I allowed it to simmer and linger.

Depression.

That uninvited guest.

Comes to spend the night on your couch,

and ends up

staying for weeks on end

in your room and bathrobe.

I have my episodes, like I did this past week and a lot of times they are triggered by very innocuous, mundane things. such as a break in my rituals.

Sometimes, I can’t even put a finger on the precise point of trigger, or even encapsulate my emotions properly in words. What I do know, however, is that as hard as it may be to get out of that bed and bathrobe and face your day, for those of us who go through these down times, it’s very important to focus on daily pick-me-up rituals. They have a way of keeping you grounded.

 

Looking After Little Ones: 5 Potential Sources Of Stress For Your Children

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As parents, we like to think that our children have nothing to worry about. Sure, they get into the odd argument with their friends now and then, but those always resolve quickly, leaving your little one the happy-go-lucky and carefree kid you know and love. Unfortunately, something we all hate to admit is that our children deal with stress just like we do. Of course, their’s comes from different sources, but it’s hurtful and painful all the same. If you want to look after your little ones, then here are five potential sources of stress you need to watch out for.

Moving House And School

Kids thrive best when they have a regular and consistent routine, which is why they often don’t cope well when things start to change. One of the biggest changes a little one can face is moving house, especially when it means they also need to change schools. To make this process easier for your children, you should let them know what’s happening as soon as possible. You should also emphasize the positives of moving and help them say goodbye.

Fighting Among The Parents

No one likes the thought of their parents fighting, but, for children, this prospect can be absolutely terrifying. This is why you need to do what you can to keep your kids out of arguments and resolve them alone. If the tension continues after a fight, you should consider couples counseling retreats to deal with your issues. Never complain to your child about your partner, or try to make them pick sides, as they’ll be left feeling guilty either way, and this guilt can be incredibly harmful.

Losing A Loved One

Whether it be the death of a family member, close friend, or beloved pet, losing someone you love is confusing and heartbreaking to children. They can be left feeling abandoned and lonely, and might even convince themselves that they’re somehow to blame, causing a crushing sense of guilt. Explaining death to a child can be difficult for parents, especially when the loss affects them too, but it’s important that you use your words carefully, so as to not create further upset.

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Following A Tight Schedule

More often than not, your child’s schedule will be even more packed than yours, containing school homework, music lessons, sports games, and more. Of course, you don’t want your child to be bored throughout the day, but running from activity to activity can leave your kids feeling overwhelmed and incredibly anxious. To give them room to breathe, you should sit down with your children and cut a few things out of their day that they don’t want or need to do.

Peer Pressure And Bullying

From a very young age, your children are going to face peer pressure and bullying. The things your children have to face may not be as serious or scary and the cases you see in the news, but they can cause just as much upset. To help protect your kids, you should let them know that you’re always there to listen if they ever have anything they want to get off their chest. You can’t force them to talk, but, hopefully, with this prompt, they’ll feel comfortable when they need to.

Whether we like it or not, our children have to deal with stress just like we do. To avoid this stress becoming harmful, make sure you look out for the potential sources listed above.