Sharing is hard! From the earliest years, my children have struggled with the concept, and lately I’ve learned that I’m asking the wrong questions when I do try to resolve some of the arguments. (Occasionally I try to let them sort it out, but we are still in early years yet).
I’ve learned not to ask, “Now, who had it first?” And give it to the child who claimed this title of “first.” Why? Let me explain.
A single instance that it clicked, I was asking the wrong question. No, I don’t want my children taking toys and not being told it’s wrong. No, I wasn’t going to let them battle it out. I was going to start asking the right questions.
At the table one day, after I had given the kids their snacks, I hear the familiar sound of bickering over a chair. They both want it. (Never mind that there are 7 others exactly like it.) Neither are willing to give it up. The older yells a claim of being there “first” and the second follows it up with “no, you weren’t!”
Now, I would have sided with the first, as she tends to be a bit more truthful, would she have not followed up her claim with, “when I sat down this morning with my breakfast, I was sitting in this chair!”
(And thank goodness she did, because in it came a valuable lesson. For me.)
Wait a minute. Breakfast was hours ago. She is laying claim to the chair she had sat in for a few minutes, from a totally different part of today. Technically she was there, “first” that day, but this was not what I was asking.
Or was I?
I followed up my question, which now seemed to miss a certain perspective, with, “when I gave you your snacks just now, who sat down first? Just now. Not earlier.” The older child admitted that the second was seated first at this instance, but she had sat there for breakfast. And afterwards, “did you take the seat from her just now then?” She nodded.
It’s all about perspective.
This goes the same for toys, or anything really. Asking who had it “first” is all a matter of what the child’s reference point is compared to yours. You are asking about one instance in time. They may be thinking about it as “I was first this day to touch this toy” even if they’ve put it down in between. Maybe “this is the toy I was given for a present, so of course I touched it first when I received it.” It’s all in the perspective.
Now, what questions would be better to ask, to gauge whether one child is right (assuming the children are telling the truth). I’ve figured that, “Did you take it from…?” Is probably a wiser question. (Or being more specific and referring to the instance in question.) And a follow up of asking the other child if the same question, because of course, they could have snatched it before, and then there is a whole new lesson in how we treat others.
Of course, this is simplified a lot, and assuming that the truth is being told by all parties involved. You do need to use discernment in these situations, but I’ve definitely learned that my perspective is possibly completely different to my children when I ask about who was “first.”
What have you found you need to explain more when you’re asking your children questions?
Mummy Review: I neglect to practise self-care a whole lot of the time. Mom’s Night In Boxes are a good way to help me practise self-care.
Disclosure: I was sent the Mom’s Night In Box in exchange for a review, however all opinions and suggestions are my own. The “Date Night In Box” is an affiliate link, which means I may get credit for qualifying referrals. See my disclosure policy for more details.
Time to myself is scarce lately. Especially since my littlest refuses to sleep through the night no matter the strategies or products we try. I know that it is important to take care of yourself as a mother, but it is HARD to find the time. Often, I am drained and exhausted by the end of the day, and the baby still won’t be officially “asleep for the night” until around 2 or 3 in the morning. (With that, he still wakes hourly or every other hour, so getting anything apart from sleep done is nearly impossible.)
The Mom’s Night In Box offers even a little pampering for those few minutes you find (or you lucky ladies can turn it into a night)! I was gifted this gorgeous little box and wanted to tell you all about it, because who doesn’t like a nice treat or pampering every now and then?
“Every month, MOMS NIGHT IN sends you a box filled with fun, unique, and relaxing moms night in items, ideas, and activities, all aimed to help you take a moment every month that is just for you! Each month will be a new theme and will focus on helping you renew and recharge.” — -~MomsNightInBox.com
The Mom’s Night In Box is a subscription service box full of pampering goodies (or you can choose just a once off). For a few minutes, or a whole night, you can get yourself started off with some of the great selections inside!
The June box included:
Stash Lavender-Tulsi Herbal Tea (in a teabag)
Carol’s Daughter Black Vanilla Leave-in Conditioner
The Earthy Child Fresh Mint Sugar Lip Scrub LemonCrate Handcrafted Cleansing Grain Scrub
Sinful Colors Professional Nail Polish in Rose Dust
Salon Board, Bath Scrubber, Face Cloth, 3 candles, small disposable cup and a sprig of lavender.
Since my husband was on baby watch, I make sure to use this opportunity for a nice bath. Yes, it may have been midnight, but I was going to use this opportunity to the fullest! I lit the candles and put in some of my favourite bath soak (Milk Bath) from The Body Shop along with my Christmas present, a never-opened bath pillow.
Next step was the face mask, which was definitely a refreshing feeling (and a resealable bag, since I only used a small amount), and let that set while the bath filled. The Sugar Lip Scrub was a cute little container and great for the winter months, since my lips are often dry and in need of exfoliation.
After I boiled some water in a kettle, I poured myself the tea, which was a nice change to my typical English Breakfast. I like that it came in a tea bag rather than loose leaf. It had a nice relaxing bit of lavender in it, great for a Saturday night!
After that, just soaking and enjoying the quiet, and use the scrubber which was handy. Yes, I know The Mom’s Night In Box website does have some music to play along, but I like the quiet. It’s not a common occurrence, so I cherish every silent moment.
The Black Vanilla Hair Conditioner smells absolutely amazing! I love that it can be used in wet or dry hair, or as a detangler and just left in! (I may have used it in-between showers, too, just so I smelled a bit nicer!) My girls insisted on their having some as well, as they like nice-smelling things.
I’m actually saving the nail polish for some time with my girls, so I haven’t utilised that as of now, but they’re in love with the colour! Maybe we can use some of the leftover scrubs and pampering bits for a little bit of a girly-night-in!
If you were interested in getting a Mom’s Night In Box, I do recommend it for either you or the person in your life who needs some pampering, even just for a few minutes!
The Mom’s Night In Boxes come in various price ranges, from a monthly subscription (non-renewing) to a full year’s subscription of Mom’s Night In Boxes delivered to your door each month!
Do you want something a little different? Maybe something for time with the husband? How about getting another one of the their “Night In Boxes“?! They also offer a Date Night In Box, Faith Night In Box, and Daddy Daughter Night In Box along with the Mom’s Night In Box! They seem to have some great ideas for all sorts of night’s in, so if you are looking for something different to other subscription boxes, this is one to try! They do ship to the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and a few other countries!
What do you do to practise self-care? Do you remember to set time aside, or do you neglect to remember too often?
Mummy Confession: I don’t mind hours in the car on the road. However, a road trip with kids is a bit more complicated and may prove a bit challenging!
As I mentioned before, we are taking our first family trip to the snow soon! I have compiled another list of things to bring on the road! Not only for the drive, but what to have close at hand, and just in the car, when traveling with kids!
Plus, better still, some great suggestions for games, recipes that travel well, and other advice from fellow-travelers! I’ve included a quick click here, or scroll to see! To check out what to bring to the snow (for kids), check out my post here.
Road Trip! What to Bring in the Car/Specifically for the Drive:
We’re talking a 4+ hour drive with kids in tow. Two of which are toilet trained, so that should be interesting! I want to be sure that on the trip down, we are taking minimal breaks (I mean, as minimal as you can with kids). In order to insure this, I have a list of what we will be taking in the car, strategically placed so as to have necessities accessible while driving. You know how it is when little Munchkin wants that’s toy that’s in the boot? Yeah, we will try to avoid that.
Easily accessible or in the front:
1. Eskie (Cooler) with drinks/snacks– Nothing says “pull over!” Like a thirsty child. Be sure to have plenty water bottles and other beverages for you and the kids as well as some ice packs if desired. We bring a water bottle for each child in addition to drinks, so there is less mess going! Sippy cups are my favourite.
2. Snacks/Food– The road trips in my childhood bring back memories of my beloved Barbeque chips and savouring them as we drove along. Snacks can help pass the time and hold the kids over until the next rest stop. Opt for healthy, or whatever suits your family! There are some great road-worthy recipes for snacks and ideas below courtesy of some amazing Bloggers! (Click here to skip to the recipes)
3. Activities/Games/Toys– I often pick a few cheap toys the kids haven’t seen yet and hide them for a bit and give them out at random times. Nothing too loud, of course! You do need to be in a car together for hours! If you enjoy playing games in the car or need other suggestions, there are some ideas below (or click here).
4. Toy Organiser/IPad Holder– Unless you wish to hold everything on your lap, it’s probably best to invest in something to store all the bits and pieces from your kids’ toy box. We opted for something to hold a tablet so we can play a movie some of the time, or a couple toys or tissues that are easier to grab. Skip Hop looks like they make good organisers.
5. Chargers for phones with car adapter &Phones– You don’t want your phone to run out of batteries while you are on the way to your destination. Especially if you use it for a GPS or to stay in touch with other cars on the way there!
6. Any music desired– When “99 bottles of” your chosen beverage are no longer on the wall, or your refuse to entertain the idea of signing that, opt for some alternative tunes. Go “Retro” as the kids call it nowadays and blast some of your old favourites, or if you’re game, let the kids pick the music. See some ideas below (or click to skip there now).
7. GPS or other Directions– We do need to arrive somewhere close to our holiday spot, eh? I think this one is self-explanitory.
8. Access to internet or written down numbers/addresses for hospitals, medical centres, etc (just in case!)– You can never be too prepared! Either have information on your phone, in a notebook, or however your prefer. Google is great for searching, too, if your GPS is questionable (I know mine is…), so be sure whatever you are using is reliable! And when in doubt, follow the signs!
9. Car Pass for Toll Roads or Money for Tolls– If you plan on travelling the way of Tolls. Try to stay away from trolls and bridges though.
1. Tissues and/or Wipes– Messes happen, and so do boogers. I often have a few travel packs on hand throughout the car. Baby wipes aren’t just for babies!
2. First Aid Kit– So long as you have access to the first aid kit in the car than its location isn’t necessarily needed in the glove box (it’s jut the easiest place to store it.) I will say, make sure you have a vomit bag in there because, well, you never know. If you would like to purchase a first aid kit, Mumma Morrison has a great place to find one with a great cause here (first aid kit proceeds going to families in need to provide first aid training).
3. Spare Change– You never know when shops may not take cards or have minimum EFTPOS limits. Take some cash just in case!
In a Container or Bag in the Car (I call this my Go Bag):
1. 1 Change of clothing for each child, full set with two pairs of understuff
2. Wipes – Always an essential. Even without babies.
3. Nappies (if you have one in them)- I always have three per child who needs them.
4. Plastic bag or wet bag– For dirty or wet clothing, or rubbish you need to bring from the car.
5. Towel, blanket, burp cloth or muslin wrap– For the messes, spills, and comfort of your child. Especially in winter, I always carry a blanket.
6. Nappy rash cream– Sudocreme is always good one to bring, because it is not only a nappy rash cream, but is also good for cuts, grazes, and burns. Be sure to use a cotton bud if you intend to use it on more than your baby.
7. Potty seat (just in case!)– With a couple who are toilet trained, you can never be too certain where the bathrooms are on the road. Or, if you child will decide they need to go as soon as you hit the longest stretch of road without toilets.
“I love the app “Elmo loves you” for my 2 year old. It doesn’t require data so it’s great in the car and there’s a heap of activities within it. Get the free demo version first to see what your child thinks.
Worried about relinquishing your phone? Put it into airplane mode so your toddler can’t make calls or post your selfies on Facebook!” from Mel- Anyday Adventures
“Portioned bags of air popped popcorn, ‘scroggin mix’ of nuts and dried fruit, portioned bags of chopped carrot, celery, cheese sticks and rice crackers all make good snacks for the road” from How She Does It
“We need our portable DVD players. They keep everyone quiet for a good hour. You also need scheduled breaks. So find the best parks or kid friendly cafes or towns with lolly shops. Map those out before you go.” from Entertain My Tribe
Mummy Confession: This is my Laundry Room. The never ending vortex of doom.
It just keeps piling up. The job that’s never done. And it’s funny. All of the kids are sick now, plus one teething (ie “don’t you dare put me down or leave me alone, and you can forget about an easy sleep.”) and one toilet training (ie. “I’m big and I won’t thoroughly soak my bed linens every night…”). This means the laundry is constantly piling up and never-ending.
As a matter of fact, just after waking this morning, my baby coughed quite a bit and then threw up all over my face and chest. He did the same yesterday. What does that mean? More laundry.
Rather than look at this insane pile and be completely overwhelmed (which I am every time I open that door), I’ve decided to try to think positively about what this room means.
Here are three reasons why when my laundry room is overflowing, it’s a good thing:
1. It means I can take care of my family. My kids. My husband. I am so thankful for them all. And doing their laundry means they are (other than the minor cold) healthy and home. Safe and secure.
2. We have. We have clothes. We have towels. We have blankets. We have a roof over our head. We have a sanitary place with clean water to wash clothes. We have what we need.
3. My kids are learning, reaching milestones, and growing. Yes, there will be some set backs and wet bets, but soon enough she will be accomplishing far more than I can imagine.
So regardless of the laundry that just keeps growing, I can be thankful, grateful for the things we have. And hopefully this thankfulness will stay with me until the sickness passes, and I conquer the vortex of doom.
How can you look at seemingly negative events or things in your life right now and be thankful?
Mummy Confession: When I was a new mum especially, I was always curious to keep up with what skills my baby was developing. I often felt the need to see their progress and keep track of their milestones.
Disclosure: This post is not sponsored by any of the following companies or apps and is purely my honest opinion. This post contains affiliate links.
Now, hear me out, not every baby develops the same skills at the same time. Just like every child isn’t the same height, weight, or build, development varies from baby to baby. But, I like the reassurance of seeing how my child was coming along with milestones, as any mum would. I also like seeing what sort of activities help in their age group as well.
There are three great Apps that help mum to keep up with skills and developmental milestones that coincide with the age of their baby, toddler, and child. Below, I have outlined a few that have come in handy for me as a mother.
Many baby websites offer newsletters as well to help keep track of baby’s development and various things to expect as they grow. Some of these are listed here with my Pregnancy and Parenting Communities post.
The Wonder Weeks
Each baby has times where they seem to be more sleepless, fussy, and all around grouchy, and I have found a lot of the time, it is because they are going through developmental leaps. The Wonder Weeks app is based on a book written about this. It allows you to enter your baby’s due date and it predicts when these “leaps” occur. So much is happening in their little world that you can’t see, and this helps me to be aware of what my baby could possibly be working on, or trying to figure out. As stated in the app, though, every baby isn’t doing everything listed by those time frames, but it is a great guide as you look out for things they are achieving!
You can also set up an alert to let you know when baby is entering a fussy stage, so maybe you will be that one step ahead, being prepared.
Do you like writing down what your bubs is up to? Keep track of medications, immunisations, feedings, diaper changes, sleep, teeth, and more. Digitally store tons of developmental and growth information as well as photos and videos. Keep track of one child or more, and a daily bit of information on their age group.
If you want to have is information saved for a hard copy scrapbook later, get this app. It is so helpful when you feel like there is no time to write anything down. Plus, there are great communities online to ask your parenting and baby questions (and Baby Bump, their sister app, has one as well).
I just got this one, but I’m already impressed! This one offers an evaluation of baby’s skills and development and helps with some activities to develop their skills.
It has videos that show how to do certain activities with your baby to aid development, and has in-app purchases for further things. It also offers articles on baby’s development. You can opt in for various categories to receive information and activities for children through the age of two. There is so much I haven’t seen yet, so I will need to check it out more before I can write about it, but I was impressed already in the short time I’ve had it!