Keeping Order With Young Children at Home

This is a guest post from Kathleen, thank you Kathleen for contributing to Mustard Seed Mommy!

Maintaining clean and organized home is not an easy task, especially when your kids are playing around. Parents find it difficult to explain their most precious creatures why they need to keep an order and how to provide the basic cleaning tasks in a suitable way. On the other hand, kids are often reluctant to give the adults a hand with the household chores which is the cause for a lot of conflicts between them and their parents.

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Of course, you cannot expect from your 5-year-old kid to maintain the home perfectly clean and organized, but still, there are some issues to consider when you want to teach the kid some basic rules at home.  Children will inevitably try to avoid all the tasks related to home cleaning and organizing but your role as a parent is to know exactly how to involve them in these activities and demonstrate them how to manage with the tasks in the best possible way.

We offer you some basic tips that will help you to keep your home organized and comfortable, even when you take care of your kids. Parents need to remember they are capable of managing with multitasking, as long as they are motivated enough and know how to stay flexible.

Involve The Kids In Some Tasks

Even young kids can deal with some simple procedures that concern cleaning and organizing of your home. It is true that you cannot expect from them to manage with the cleaning of all rooms, but when it comes to arranging their clothes and toys, dust removal and vacuuming, young kids can help you a lot.

This way you will save up a lot of time and efforts and you will be able to take up with the organization of the other rooms while the kids are cleaning their own space are saying from NW1 Cleaners.

Establish Some Simple Organization Rules

In case you want to teach the kids that they should keep your home in order, you need to discuss that issue with them.

Kids may not understand  the importance of such procedures at the beginning and that is why it is better to set some rules and ask the kids to follow them. You can start with the arranging the toys, books or clothes, dish-washing and preparing the table. When kids get used to the idea that such tasks are done on a regular basis, they will easily learn how to help you with other procedures, too.

Try To Be a Good Role Model

Being a good role model when you clean and organize your home is definitely an advantage, especially considering the fact that younger children normally observe what their parents do and then copy their actions.

It is true that children may be reluctant to take part in home cleaning and organization chores, but when you show them that such tasks are not that difficuly, this will definitely attract their attention.

On the other hand, if you ask them to manage with some cleaning tasks but you are reluctant to do them yourself, your kids will immediately fell this. Being a good role model when it comes to cleaning and organizing is essential, especially when you want to teach your kids how to help you with the simpler tasks.

These are some of the major moments to consider when you want to keep an order with younger kids. Remember that home cleaning and organization is not that difficult, as long as you devote some of your free time and you manage to involve the kids in an effective way.

Praise the children for their efforts and do not miss the chance of giving them new tasks on a regular basis. Keeping your home ideally cleaned and more comfortable is possible even with younger kids – the question is to find the right approach and stay supportive.

 

Disclaimer: This post was not written by  Mustard Seed Mommy, this is a guest post that was not compensated for. All opinions and statements are that of the guest blogger. MSM will always post entries that align with the integrity and beliefs you will see throughout this blog. 

Guest Post: Caboose Stroller Reviews

This guest post was submitted by Stella from Double Stroller HQ, I thought this was a great review for my readers… because HELLO… multiple small children here. We have a Graco Duoglider double stroller, but I’m digging some of the benefits of this Caboose stroller! Enjoy!

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When we look at conventional double or multiple strollers, they are usually designed to meet the needs of carrying infants who are around the same age. However, most parents would be aware that having more than 1 child of the same age is almost unlikely, unless of course we are fathers or mothers of twins. However, in this article we will try and find out what parents would do if they have two child one around 2 years old and other around 3 to 5 years old. It is here that going in for a special stroller could be very helpful. Going through a few good caboose stroller reviewswould be helpful to sort out problems related to children of different ages and different sizes. One option would be make the elder child walk while the younger one could be pushed around in the strollers. However, the elder child is well and truly immature and suddenly he or she might refuse to walk.

In such situations it would better to have a look at the famous Caboose Stand On Tandem Stroller. This stroller has been built specifically for such situations and purposes. The stroller comes with a standing platform. This is built in the rear part of the stroller. This is essentially o cater to the needs of standing toddlers. The standing platform comes with a padded seat which helps the toddler the sit which the parents push it around. The front seat is good enough to accommodate two infants in sitting position, either lightly inclined or upright. However, full reclining is not possible because of space constraints and therefore it may not be suitable for very young infants.

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Further the handlebars of these strollers are quite high. Hence they will not disturb the standing toddler in any manner. However, it does not come with height adjustable handles and may again be unsuitable for mothers who are not very tall. But the quality of stroller material is very good. It is made from light-weight aluminum and is very sturdy, durable and extremely safe. Though the weight may slightly be on the higher side, it is worth it because of the weight it lugs around. Further the stroller can easily be folded within a few minutes and can be stowed in cars.

Lastly the stroller has all the required fixtures and fittings including storage compartments, wheel lock,, 360 degrees wheel turn, 3 point harness, foot rest, racheting canopy just to name a few. All in all a good buy that offers excellent value for money

Thoughts on Breastfeeding Requirement Law – Guest Post

I told you I had more guest posts coming! Jane is a good friend of mine, we met in a Facebook group that several mommas from the November 2012 Birth Club created while we were pregnant with our November babies! Jane’s daughter is just a few days younger than Bubby and she is ADORABLE! I’ve really enjoyed learning about her life in Japan and have learned much from her breastfeeding struggles and journey early in her daughter’s life. Read on! 

Hello Sarah’s family, friends, and fans! My name is Jane and I am an American married to a Japanese man living in Japan.  I used to be quite the blogger but since becoming a mom that has fallen a bit to the wayside.  However I am hoping this will help me get back into it.

When volunteering to do a guest blog I knew that I wanted to talk about raising a child in a foreign country, but also knew that what I wanted to write would take up a whole book.  There are so many things that are so different here, so many things that are so much better here, and so many things that are so much weirder here when it comes to raising a child.  I can definitely relate to the author of Bringing Up Bebe.

However, the night before I was going to send this to Sarah an article appeared on my Baby Center Birth Board and I totally switched gears.  There is a good chance that by the time this gets blogged that you, the readers, will have already read about this and might be tired of it, but I can’t help but weigh in on the subject.  It is a subject that strikes quite a nerve for me as it is something I struggled with immensely.  The subject is breastfeeding and the article is about the new law in The United Arab Emirates that makes it a requirement for woman to breastfeed for two years.  HERE is the article. It basically states that women will be required to breastfeed and that those who cannot will be provided with wet nurses.  Husbands will be allowed to sue their own wives for failure to breastfeed.

Now on one hand, I get it.  I think that there needs to be a bigger push for breastfeeding.  I myself ended up a FF mom to my baby but not for lack of support from the Japanese government.  In Japan health care is socialized and you are pretty much fully covered for the birth of your child.  Not only are you covered for delivery, but it is also a rule that women stay in the hospital for a week after the baby is born.  During that week you are constantly aided by nurses in BABY 101.  For second time mothers, the time is seen as a week of relaxation before returning to homes and other children.  Every time I attempted nursing a nurse or LC was with me, helping me to latch, showing me how to self-express my milk, and basically informing me of things to look for.  After I returned home I had house visits from city hall by nurses who were basically there to offer with whatever assistance I needed as a new mother.  The push and support for breastfeeding was quite strong.

Unfortunately for me, my daughter would not latch.  I now believe it is due to a strong lip-tie but at the time we assumed it was due to flat nipples ( I had visited an LC while 7 months pregnant and she had made a big issue of it- something I had never noticed before).  In the hospital they finally were able to get her to latch with a certain nipple shield but unfortunately this particular nipple shield could not adequately “pump” my breasts.  The result was a SLOW release of milk which created nursing sessions of about three hours (you could see the milk pooling in the shield so LO was not comfort nursing, she was nursing).  It also meant that my supply came in but then slowly started dwindling.  Despite all of the help I personally gave up.  When we would get the home visits I would lie about my nursing progress and then would go back to formula when the nurse was gone.  As with so many things in life, you can’t cheat at breastfeeding and expect it to work.  My supply dwindled, baby preferred the faster flow of the bottles, and despite feeling an immense guilt, I was relieved to be able to feed her in a shorter time frame.  We both became happier and in the end it turned out to be the best thing for us.

Despite not succeeding in the end, I am extremely thankful for the “push” Japan gave me and I wish that American mothers could have the same.  That is where I can relate to the article and see some of the logic behind it.  In America hospital stays are extremely short.  While I know a lot of moms enjoy being able to go home and recover in a familiar environment, I feel that the support I got by being at a Japanese hospital was helpful and could be extremely beneficial to new mothers.  So often moms are sent home the day after birth with little to no support on taking care of a baby in general, let alone breastfeeding.  Also in America we have a ridiculous system in place for maternity leave.  A lot of parents just can’t afford life on one income, so mothers that are champion nursers are sent back to work where they must pump or wean.

However, where I find myself at complete odds with the idea of making breastfeeding “the law” is that it 100% takes away the choice of the mother.  In my situation, I already f

Now I have talked enough.  I would love to have everyone read the article and post their thoughts.  And please feel free to challenge my view/dispute my opinions.  Who knows, maybe if this law had been in place my daughter would still be bf?  And if you are curious about parenting in Japan (and other random thoughts) my blog is http://blondefujiwara.blogspot.jp/ .

 

To Co-Sleeping, With Love – Guest Post

It’s that time again! I’m still really behind and have two more guest posts coming after this, I promise! Erin contacted me wanting to write a post about co-sleeping. Her story hits SO close to home, as I’m sure my readers remember! We co-slept with Boogie for a long time, and now at 3, she sleeps independently and actually prefers NOT to have any cuddles at night (how crazy is that?!). Our son is a CRAZY sleeper, so we have not continued co-sleeping with him, but even still, sleep has been a battle in our house. And as always, please remember that if you DO choose to co-sleep, do so in a safe manner! There ARE safety concerns when co-sleeping! The main causes of death while co-sleeping are from parents drinking alcohol, doing drugs, or taking prescription pain meds that place you in a lethargic state. You HAVE to be alert! Like Erin states in her post, mom’s have an inner alarm when it comes to our children, but if you inebriate that alarm… accidents can happen! Thank you Erin for submitting such an open and honest post… and as a sidenote…. sex doesn’t have to be out the window while co-sleeping, you just have to get CREATIVE! 😉

 

Nearly two and a half years ago, the hubby and I were changed forever by the birth of our son, Joshua Noah. Our little miracle instantaneously became the light of our lives, the holder of our hearts and the ruler of our roost. We knew the second we heard his first cry that we would do anything — literally, anything — for him.Little did I know that “anything” would include co-sleeping.

Joshua slept like a dream (no pun intended) in the hospital, and this beautiful stretch of consistent sleep continued for about a week after we brought him home. And then, one night, he woke up and started screaming. He screamed and screamed, for hours on end; milk, clean diapers, swaddling, burping, cuddling, rocking, singing and reading didn’t calm him down. Gas drops and gripe water were useless. Placing him in his swing didn’t help. Even the pacifier — which he would much later come to call “Beya” — may as well have evaporated into thin air. The longer he cried, the more I wanted to cry.

Eventually, I couldn’t take anymore and broke down, weeping and rocking and holding my baby close. Telling him that everything would be alright, and that I would figure out what he needed and fix it. The hubby took him from my arms shortly thereafter, sensing that I needed a little break and feeling that he might be able to solve Joshua’s problem. Gradually, Joshua did relax and return to dreamland, and I climbed back into bed; the hubby simply held me as I laid there, tears streaming down my face and leaving little wet spots on my pillowcase. It took a while, but I eventually fell back asleep too.

The sudden switch to spending half the night awake in a zombie-like state with a bottle in Joshua’s mouth was a rude awakening (pun intended). World News Now became my frequent overnight company; most nights I never even bothered turning the TV off just so my eyes would have an easier time adjusting when the inevitable wake-up call came. I learned to function on very little sleep, as most moms do, but I grew increasingly jealous of my hubby as I watched him sleep through every wake-up call, night after night. I wished he’d be the one to wake up to feed Joshua, but simply tapping him on the shoulder or shaking his arm was never enough to rouse him. (Sometimes I think he’d be a perfect addition to The Walking Dead.) After having a conversation with the hubby about this, he agreed to make a stronger effort to get up during the night to give me a hand or, at the very least, to keep me company while I fed and changed Joshua.

He got so much better at helping me that he started taking over some of the overnight feedings and changings. I could literally hear angels singing when he told me one night the he had it and that I should go back to sleep. (HALLELUJAH!) I fell back asleep in no time and slept wonderfully for the first time in months.

And when I woke up, I opened my eyes and rolled over to thank my husband and discovered Joshua, fast asleep, on the bed between us.

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How long had he been there? Why wasn’t he sleeping in his bassinet, or his bouncer, or his sleeping chair? Was my husband completely insane? What if one of us had rolled over onto him and smothered him during the night?

I selfishly couldn’t fathom the idea of Joshua sleeping in our bed. Our bed. Hubby’s and my bed… not hubby’s and Joshua’s and my bed. Hubby already took up a lot of space in the bed as it was — he loves sleeping spread out — and Joshua may be small now, but he’s only going to get bigger. What if this continues? What if Joshua develops a preference for sleeping in our bed instead of his own? What was I going to do? All the parenting books I’d read said that babies should be sleeping independently in their own spaces… this went against everything I’d read and thought I’d believed. I immediately confronted the hubby and asked him not to let this happen again.

But it happened again. And again. And became more and more frequent until it was the new normal. No matter how hard I tried, Joshua would not sleep in his own space. When he outgrew the bouncer and the sleeping chair, I resolved to get him to sleep through the night in his crib. When he inevitably started crying, I would drag myself out of bed and hang over the side of the crib, placing my hand on his back and holding still until he returned to sleep. the minute I’d exit his bedroom and close the door, he’d be on his feet and screaming again. Let him cry, I told myself.

And cry he did, until he threw up. That was when I knew I was doing something wrong.Tough love was one thing, but allowing my child to scream until he gagged and vomited all over his sheets was not okay with me. This was a step beyond tough love; I knew that my six-month-old was incapable of purposely throwing up just to manipulate me. That was the night I caved in and consciously decided to bring him to bed with me. I knew that I’d rather have Joshua sleeping in my bed than throwing up every time I left him in his crib. Shortly thereafter, he started climbing on his crib rail and nearly hit the floor head-first (and he would have, had I not caught him just before his skull collided with the laminate).

With the help of my mom, we upgraded Joshua to a twin-size bed and dismantled the crib. Initially, he slept wonderfully in his new bed alone but after a week or so, he started to miss us. Even now, one of two things will happen; either Joshua will cry for Daddy until the hubby climbs into bed with him (and stays for the night), or he’ll just get out of bed, come into our room, and get under the covers between us. I know that one day he’ll outgrow this and want a whole bed to himself; while I look forward to the day that my bed becomes mine again, I know I’ll miss not having a little boy to cuddle with.

The moral of this story? Co-sleeping wasn’t as terrible as so many parenting books made it out to be. I accepted that this would be our best bet for everyone to get a good night’s sleep. We’d all be so much happier in the morning, I realized. We started allowing Joshua to sleep in our bed whenever he needed to, and now it’s our normal. Yes, you have to share your bed and no, your child isn’t sleeping independently. Yes, you have to be careful with a child in your bed. And sex, which may or may not have been happening before we started actively co-sleeping, went completely out the window. But has it been worth it? Absolutely! Everyone gets a full night’s sleep and much-needed family time (even though we’re all subconscious or unconscious, we’re still together, and much of the time we have skin contact, so it counts)!

I thought I’d hate co-sleeping; I thought it was the wrong way to get a child to sleep; I thought it was dangerous, frankly. But I’ve learned that parents, especially moms, have something like a built-in red flag that wakes them if they’re potentially endangering their children. I’ve never covered Joshua’s face with a pillow or blanket, or with my bod, and neither has the hubby. Everyone’s been fine, we’ve all slept fine, and we’re all happier for it.

Co-sleeping, I’ve come to realize, has saved our family a lot of stress and heartache, and for that reason I’m now a believer. I love co-sleeping!

Hi! I’m Erin, otherwise known as the Read-At-Home MamaIt’s nice to meet you! Books, dancing and sweets are my greatest weaknesses. After struggling with reading comprehension as a little girl, I mastered that skill and subsequently fell into a love affair with books that still carries on today. I have a friendly relationship with credit cards and chocolate — if you send me shopping, or give me a Hershey’s Special Dark Bar or a Reece’s peanut butter cup, I will love you FOREVER. As a child, I dreamed of becoming a ballerina AND (not or!) an author; when I didn’t find myself on Broadway or on the New York Times Bestseller List, I got a Master’s degree in Early Childhood Education. After a brief teaching stint, I discovered I was pregnant and Zofran became my best friend (and I will always know that whoever came up with the name “morning sickness” never actually experienced it in all it’s 24/7 glory). Two-and-a-half years ago our little miracle, Joshua Noah, was born, and this became my motto: “My heart resides in the library, my soul can be found in the kitchen, and my spirit is always stretching at the barre… but my happiness lives in my two-year-old.”

Connect with Erin on her blog, via Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and Google+. And don’t forget to follow her HERE!

Mama Cloth, Part 2 – Guest Post

This is Part 2 of the Guest Posts submitted by Jen from Wandering Missionaries! You can find the first post HERE. In this part, she explains how to make a simple mama cloth pad out of a simple handkerchief! 

1. Start with a clean dry regular sized (pretty!) handkerchief, arrange it in so one corner is facing you.  Work on a flat surface the first few times.  I fold mine on my dryer.

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2.  Now we are going to form the length of the pad.  I like mine on the longer side.  Fold the bottom half up about 1″ from the top.

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3.  Fold the top down so that the top point meets the bottom edge.

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4.  Fold the right to almost meet up with the left, leaving about 1″ space.

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5.  Turn the pad so the points are facing toward you.
6.  Now we are working on the width.  I like mine about the size of my panties crotch, about 1 small hand width.  Fold once.
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7. Fold again.
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8. You should now be able to see the width and length of the pad you have created, but with a little tail sticking out.
9.  Fold the tail under.
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10. Enjoy your $1 cloth pad!

Hi there! I’m Jen. I’m a God-loving, happily married, to Christ, 32-year-old, full-time mom to one handsome little boy! I work part-time in childcare, five days a week, at the YMCA and six days a week, for Wycliffe, a faith-based bible translation organization.

In my spare time, I blog about our journey to become full-time missionaries at Wandering Missionaries and have my fiber art business. I love God and cannot survive without daily support, nourishment, and encouragement in Him. I love my husband and rely on him to keep me sane as we walk our faith walk together in our daily lives. And I love my little boy, who keeps from sitting on the side lines and always encourages me to jump into life!

My dream is to teach French on an island in the South Pacific, Papua New Guinea in Ukarumpa and be a full-time missionary in a supportive role for Bible translation! I really enjoy meeting new people! Drop me a line at jenrstrickland@gmail.com and don’t forget to check out my blog, Wandering Missions!