Beating those baby blues: Survival tips for new moms

Beating those baby blues: Survival tips for new moms

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Motherhood is a joy. The moment your baby is born, you bundle the little cherub up into your arms and relish this new life that you have brought into the world. Your life will never be the same again, and that is a good thing. Baby is here, and your excitement will be bubbling over. And then the baby blues hit! You are fretful and anxious one moment and crying the next. Surely you shouldn’t be feeling this way; not when you have a bouncing baby to cheer you up! However, the baby blues are normal and affect most new moms. With chemical and hormonal changes in your body after pregnancy, these changes in your mood can be expected. Generally, they only last a few days until your mind and body restore to somewhere near normality, and life will go on as usual – well, with the addition of diapers, feeding schedules, and topsy-turvy sleep patterns.

While you shouldn’t worry unnecessarily about the baby blues, you can still do something to alleviate the problem. In this article, we will give you some survival tips, getting you out of that postpartum slump and reducing the fears and sad thoughts that are common to many new mothers.

Remember you are not perfect – and that is okay!

A large part of the anxiety you will be feeling is from the stress that you don’t know what you are doing. Still, you need to remember that there is no such thing as a perfect mother, no matter how much of an act other mom’s put on around you. Every new mom goes through the same worries, but it’s all part of a learning curve. Know that you aren’t perfect and you will feel better about yourself. Take as much advice as you can by all means, but don’t panic if you don’t bond with your baby straight away or you struggle to stop them from crying. This is motherhood, and it will get easier, eventually!

Surround yourself with helpful people

Remember those so-called ‘perfect’ moms who act as if they know all there is to know about child rearing? Ditch them, especially if they are making you feel inadequate with their pesky advice and eye-rolling facial expressions. In these sensitive first few days of motherhood, you need people who are going to lift you up, not bring you down. Only invite the people who love and care about you to your bedside or home, and instruct your partner to keep at bay anybody who is going to overwhelm you with their negativity.

Be realistic about your bodily changes

You have just been through pregnancy, so your body is going to change, no matter how you looked beforehand. Your breasts will grow, you will put on weight, and you will be tormented by stretch marks. These physical changes are perfectly normal, and your body will get back to its normal state eventually. Still, it is panic about the body that can fuel those difficult emotions after baby is born. You can do something about it, of course. You can apply stretch mark prevention cream during your pregnancy, as well as some healthy doses of exercise. Then after the baby has arrived, you can focus on a healthy diet under the guidance of a nutritionist, and take a mother and baby fitness class. It may take a while to restore your body to its original state, but you don’t need to worry unduly.

Take time out to pamper yourself

Guess what – you are not Wonder Woman, so you don’t have to be on call 24/7. There are times when you will need to rest and focus on yourself, so it’s perfectly okay to ask your partner or trusted friends or relatives to watch the baby for a while. You deserve to feel good – you have been through the ordeal of giving birth after all! So, pamper yourself doing the things you enjoy, be that taking a nice long soak in the bath or spending a chill-out evening with your friends, and don’t feel guilty about it. Provided your baby is in safe hands, you can relax and enjoy time alone or with others, turning your baby blue frown upside down!

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Spend time out of the house occasionally

Particularly if your partner is at work during the day, you can become very isolated and lonely at home, despite the company of your baby. Those four walls will creep in on you, and your low mood will only be exacerbated. So, do yourself a favor (and your baby) and get out of the house. A stroll around your local area will keep your fitness levels up, and that, combined with the fresh air, will start to increase the feel-good chemicals in your brain. Spend time visiting friends too, and if you know any other new moms, visit them and cheer up their day as well.

Talk about how you are feeling

You’re a new mom, and you are supposed to be upbeat, excited, and full of gushing love for your little one. Aren’t you? Maybe, but you don’t have to be. Don’t put on an act (like those other moms) if you aren’t feeling great. Let people know how you feel, and vent your anxieties and sad thoughts to them. There are support groups available where you will meet other moms in a similar position to yourself. Your partner should also be available to offer you an encouraging arm, and there may be family members you can offload your thoughts to. In short, you don’t need to be alone, and as the saying goes, a worry shared is a worry halved!

Speak to your doctor for advice

The baby blues should only last for a few weeks. However, if you are still feeling low after a couple of months, you should see your doctor. You may have postnatal depression, and this can have negative effects on your life if it goes untreated. Your doctor will probably offer you some form of medication or suggest a self-help treatment to you, so you won’t have to suffer from the condition for long if this is the case.

Finally

If you have been suffering from the baby blues, we hope this article has been of use. Share it with other new moms, and if you have any tips that we haven’t covered, please let us know.

 

 





 

 

Bringing your kids up overseas

Bringing your kids up overseas

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The moment that we decide to have children, we start showing concern for their happiness, their well-being, and their futures. We just want them to have the best that we can provide them with at all times! Now, generally, people will bring their children up wherever they happen to be when they have them. This means minimal change and minimal stress at the given time. However, have you ever considered that your homeland might not be the best place to nurture them and meet their needs and requirements? While it may be a bold and brave step to move overseas, and you are likely to feel a little out of your comfort zone as you settle into a new home, there are huge benefits that can be found in other locations. While it would be impossible to detail every potential benefit from every other country, it is worth taking a look at some alternative options that exist beyond your doorstep. Here are a few different places that could greatly benefit your child and justify a step into the unknown!

Multiculturalism in Malaysia

A major worry in today’s political climate is that many of us feel that we are raising our children in a political climate contaminated with prejudice and segregation. With Trump’s calls for walls, we want to break down barriers and ensure that our little ones are exposed to as many cultures and different ways of life as possible! We want accepting little ones who have their eyes and hearts open to people from all over the world! The perfect place to foster this understanding attitude is Malaysia. Malaysia is extremely multicultural and is often referred to as Asia’s cultural meeting spot! This Southeast Asian region is bordered by Thailand, Brunei, and Indonesia. It has a diverse heritage, with a history of British Colonial rule and significant influence from a powerful Chinese economy. Malays constitute 50% of the area’s current population, the Malaysian Chinese account for a further 25% of the population, Malaysian Indians account for 10% and the remaining 15% is comprised of minority groups such as Iban, Melanau, Kelabit, and other individuals. This means that if you were to bring your child up in Malaysia, they would be exposed to a whole host of different cultures and traditions. They will be surrounded by Islam, Christianity, Buddhism, and Hinduism. They will hear Malay (or Bahasa Melayu), Mandarin, Hokkien, Cantonese, and Tamil. That’s before we even get started on the vast array of different cultures, cuisines, and practices. Purchasing on the property market in Malaysia has become significantly more simple in recent years too thanks to a reduction in essential interactions with the FIC (otherwise known as the “Foreign Investment Committee”). So securing a property in this region isn’t going to be the rigmarole that it may have been in the past. While settlement may be a little rocky to start with, as your child settles into this entirely alternative lifestyle, the benefits will soon begin to show.

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Education in the U.K

The quality of education around the world seems to constantly be on the rise. However, one country where education seems to have always excelled is the United Kingdom. From a young age upwards, education is a huge focus in Britain. While official and compulsory education starts from the age of four, there are various options for little ones who are even younger, with various nurseries and playgroups. Standard schooling will see your child learning a vast array of subjects from around 9 in the morning until 3 or 4 in the afternoon every weekday during term times. Most institutions offer after-school clubs and extra tuition if needs must too. Recent changes to the law now also mean that any individual over the age of 16 must remain in higher education or undertake an apprenticeship until at least the age of 18. This means that if they don’t want to continue in school, they can learn a craft for two years while being paid to do so. Where the U.K really shines in terms of education, however, is its universities. In the world university rankings, the U.K has a firm hold on the two top spots with the University of Oxford and the University of Cambridge. Other highly ranking places are held by Imperial College London, University College London, the University of Warwick, University of Exeter, and London School of Economics. The Russell Group is a governing body of a self-selected association of twenty-four leading research institutions that will shine on any CV. Now, not every child will want to undertake a degree; it’s always good for them to have the option available to them. Raising your child in the UK will ensure that they receive the necessary qualifications to easily apply to any of these institutions without worry. If your child becomes a national of the U.K or a permanent resident of the U.K, they will also be eligible to apply for home fees, which are significantly less costly than the fees charged to international students.

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Gender Equality in Iceland

When you have a child, you want the world to be their oyster, with opportunities around every corner. But unfortunately, many countries across the world still do not value girls and boys or men and women equally. This is evident from institutionalized and societally normalized misogyny that exists even the most seemingly developed nations. Now, today, most countries allow women to vote and differences between the sexes may appear non-existent. But in reality, obstacles such as the glass ceiling still exist. Many women are still being paid significantly less than their male colleagues for the exact same work! So, if you want your children to truly grow up in an environment that allows women to flourish as well as men, you might want to consider raising them in Iceland. Iceland is purported to be the most advanced country in the world when it comes to gender equality. The country has recently legally enforced equal pay for men and women and for the past nine years in a row it has topped the World Economic Forum’s gender equality index. The benefits fall both ways too! Unlike many countries, men are permitted at least three months’ paternity leave, allowing them to settle in with their children and raise them just as women are generally allowed to. So, if you value equality of the sexes, this really could be the perfect place to take your family!

Safety in Japan

Often referred to as the world’s safest country, Japan has obvious appeal to any parent. Even the biggest risk takers out there often come to re-evaluate their behavior the moment that they know they will be having a child. Not only do their own safety and wellbeing take on more significant importance (after all, if you’re not around to look after your child, who knows what will become of them), but their safety takes on a priority role. So what makes Japan so safe? Well, it has extremely low homicide rates and extremely low assault rates so you can feel particularly comfortable in regards to those major concerns. Crime rates in general dip well below most other countries!

As you can see, every country will have its particular benefits and every country could prove a brilliant home for any flourishing family. But if you have particular concerns or areas that you place emphasis on, do your research and find out which would best suit you and what you expect from your home!

 

5 simple ways to make sure your kids stay active

5 simple ways to make sure your kids stay active

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When you’re a parent, it’s safe to say that you’re always going to want to make sure that your children are healthy. There’s nothing more frightening to a parent than having a sick child. So you often want to do anything and everything within your power to make sure that you can keep them healthy. Not only will this involve feeding them well and protecting them from getting common illnesses and sicknesses, but it also means that you have to keep them active and prioritize exercise too. But a lot of the time, you’ll see your children running around and just assume they’re active enough, even though they might not be. So let’s take a look at five really simple ways that you can make sure your kids stay active.

  1. Have Fun With Them

We’re going to kick off with a really simple idea that can be really effective, and that’s for you to have fun with them. If you want them to be active, then you need them to get active. Sitting inside and playing on games isn’t going to do that. Instead, you need to have fun. Run with them, jump, skate, ride bikes, or just go to active play places that allow the to do all of the above for an hour or so. That way, you know that they’ve got a wealth of exercise in for the day.

  1. Encourage Them To Get Outside

Next, you’re going to want to make sure that they spend enough time outside. Because when they’re in their bedroom, you know that they’re not getting active. But when they’re outside, they are. So look into toys and games that will encourage them to get outside. Look at kids’ dirt bike advice and reviews on other active products. Then you can choose something that will get them outside every day.

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  1. Encourage Their Active Hobbies

Does your child have a hobby? If not, maybe it’s time to encourage one. Even if they love to read or draw, you may find that looking into hobbies for kids that are a bit more active is what you need here. Because if they’re doing something like dance or martial arts, you know that they’re getting active when they practice.

  1. Enroll Them In Extracurriculars

At the same time, you could also look to enroll them in different school extracurriculars, namely sports. Whether it’s soccer or hockey, you may find that if they can take up a sport, then they’ve also go something else in their life that is going to keep them fit, active, and healthy.

  1. Make The Most Of Your Weekends

Finally, you should also look to make sure that you can make the most of your weekends. Because you really do need to lead by example, and this means that you should be getting active with them. So instead of sitting in at the weekend, go for a hike or a bicycle ride as a family, just to make sure that you’re as active as possible even when you have time off.

Does Your Child Need a Shrink, or Maybe Just You?

People from the younger generation can and do indeed suffer from mental illnesses such as anxiety and depression. Since they have neither the coping skills nor the knowledge to manage these problems by themselves, every parent should know what signs to look out for.

Of course, there’s a little hypochondriac in all of us and most parents are just a little unreasonable when it comes to their child’s welfare. If you suspect that your child may have a mental illness, there’s no reason to immediately launch into full-fledged sirens-and-screaming paranoia. Instead, take a deep breath, take stock of the entire situation, and take into account that you might well be overreacting due to your own state of mind.

Only Real Therapists can Diagnose Mental Illness

You may know your little bundle of squealy joy better than anyone and will, therefore, be the first person to notice any change in their behavior. This doesn’t mean that you can infallibly know what’s behind such changes, though: they may be a natural response to changing circumstances, your kid just having a bad day or two, or the normal speed bumps involved in growing up.

Plenty of aunts, friends, teachers and supposed “experts” will be happy to share their opinions, but how much stock should you put in these? Very often, their judgments will be backed by only a very limited amount of experience and whatever happens to be the last blog they read. Even medical doctors, who occasionally go as far as prescribing medicine for mental conditions, simply don’t have the training or outlook necessary to determine anyone’s psychological health, much less a child’s.

So, until and unless a licensed child therapist has diagnosed your offspring with a mental disease, treat them as if they’re perfectly fine. Talk to them about what may be bothering them, of course, but try to probe without prying. Most often, their worries and yours will be a thing of the past in a week’s time.

Taking a Step Back

Just in case this even needs to be said: all of our perceptions are filtered through the prism of our own mindset. Something a toddler gets up to can be cute and adorable when we’re having a good day, yet seem like one step short of pure villainy while we’re stressed out.

This tendency is perfectly natural, but also something every parent needs to be aware of and hopefully keep under control. If nothing else, there are few things more likely to make a child neurotic than dispensing praise and punishment at random, at least as seen from their perspective.

We should all keep in mind that, just possibly, the unwanted behavior we’re seeing in our child may be mostly in our heads, or even the result of our own actions. If you’re going through a rough time yourself, you have to take care of your own state of mind before you start worrying about that of your children.

Hire a babysitter once a week and go out for a date night, find a hobby you can do in short spurts while they don’t need your attention, or, if necessary, consult a therapist yourself. When other people are dependent on you, sometimes the best thing you can do for them is to help yourself first.