Archive for July, 2009

The Calm Mom’s Prescription for Being A Healthy New Mom – Tip #3: Eat Well.

Wednesday, July 29th, 2009

Eating is a tricky issue for new moms. Everyone wants to take that baby weight off ASAP. But, being a new mom burns up a lot of energy, particularly if you are nursing. This is no time to go on a strict, extremely low calorie diet. It will make you grumpy and irritable, something that does not go along with being a Calm Mom. The weight will come off; just give it some time. The best way to eat well is to eat all foods in moderation. Being home, without much structure, can make people nibble on junk throughout the day. Try to eat healthy meals instead. Eating healthy meals will cut down on the urge to snack. Buy foods that will be easy for you to prepare, like pre-made salads, frozen entrees, etc. Allow yourself moderate amounts of treats (it is a stressful time, after all!). And, be sure to drink plenty of water especially if you are nursing.

The Calm Mom’s Prescription for Being A Healthy New Mom – Tip #2: Look Nice.

Sunday, July 26th, 2009

Nothing can make you feel worse than walking around believing you look like, well, you know! Time is very limited for the new mom, but trust us, it is worth spending a few minutes on looking nice. This means having a shower, every day. It is okay to put the baby in her crib for ten minutes, even if she’s crying. Or, better yet, bring her into the bathroom in her bouncy seat. The sound of the water and the warm air is often very soothing for babies. Don’t live in your pajamas. Put on some nice clothes, THAT FIT. This might mean buying a couple of things that work between the time when maternity clothes are too big and your pre-baby clothes are too snug. Also, take a few minutes to brush your hair and put on a bit of make-up if you are so inclined. If you feel attractive, you will feel better able to face the day!

The Calm Mom’s Prescription for Being A Healthy New Mom – Tip #1: Get some Sleep.

Friday, July 17th, 2009

Everyone says to nap when the baby naps, and most new moms don’t do this. They spend naptime doing the laundry. Now, it might be unreasonable to nap every time the baby naps, but try to rest during at least one nap. Some people don’t like to nap, so for at least half an hour a day, do something totally relaxing like watching Oprah or reading a book. If you are more well-rested (relatively-speaking!) and relaxed, you will be a Calmer Mom.

The Calm Mom’s Favorite Tips for Traveling with Kids – Tip #8: Put a humorous or positive spin on things.

Wednesday, July 8th, 2009

One guarantee about travel with babies is that challenging things will happen. You’ll feel calmer if you are able to re-frame these “disasters” into something funny or positive. Here are a couple of examples. Recently, we were delayed at an airport for several hours. It was one of those beautiful, shiny….very hollow new airport terminals and our three year old had just had enough. She had a huge melt-down. It was embarrassing to say the least. Parents can choose to do two things in such a situation – join in on the melt-down or have a good laugh! I know…finding humor in a moment like that is next to impossible. But, try this! Try to look at a particular scenario as if you were watching a movie. Instead of looking with your subjective eyes that want everything to be perfect, take a step back and look at the situation without any bias. What would the scene look like if it were happening to another family in a movie? Just imagine a tiny little girl with bright red hair having a huge tantrum in the airport. Shrieks and yells are reverberating from every shiny new silvery surface. People are staring, whispering, looking aghast. And then, get creative. Add to the scene a Royal Canadian Mounted Police (we were in Canada, after all) galloping through the terminal on his horse to make sure everything was okay. Suddenly, you have a very funny scene in a movie.

Similarly, we recently got our car stuck in a ditch while on vacation. It took quite a lot of maneuvering to get it out. But, we did. Our three year could not stop talking about it and how scary it was. We re-framed it. We told her we were like “Dora” on an adventure, getting out of tough spot. We worked really hard and solved a problem…and if the car had remained stuck, we could have got a tow truck. Essentially, we did a bit of cognitive therapy with our little one. We re-trained her brain to see a slightly scary situation as one that was both solvable and even a bit exciting. Travel presents all sorts of opportunities to teach our kids resilience and flexibility – terribly important life lessons!