One thing I’ve learned from the popular From the Mouths of Moms parenting tips series is that every mom, child, and family is different. And each mom assesses their own unique experiences, values, and circumstances to make the best parenting decisions possible for their own child and family. Each mother knows best and tries to do her best for her child.
So why not share and learn from one another; moms helping moms. Every Tuesday, I spotlight one mama and her “best” tips for mothers on parenting advice, resources, and products. This week I’m thrilled to introduce a long-time blogging friends, Adrienne of The Iowa Farmer’s Wife…
Mama Knows Best:
Best Pregnancy or Birth Advice
Hire a doula! Really. Do it. I didn’t have one with Sweet P, and we decided to hire one when I had Sprout. She was awesome and my birth experience was much better the 2nd time around.
I love Kelly Mom for pregnancy, breastfeeding and beginning foods. If I have a question about nursing or solids I can usually find it there or find a link that takes me to where I can find it. I like Dr. Sears for health related information, sleep issues and all around child rearing.
Just one?! Finding Joy or Hands Free Mama. Both have wonderful information and just make me feel better as a mom. Finding Joy’s letters to moms are one of my favorites and I always love reading anything Hands Free Mama has to say!
Sophie the Giraffe! That might seem silly, but she has seriously been one of the best baby items we received! And as of right now, she is lost! And very much needed for my teething toddler!
Give your child as many choices as possible to help them feel in control, and hug your child as much as possible. Do I always do the former? No, but the day goes a heck of a lot smoother if I do! But I do hug them as much as I possibly can throughout the day. Teach your child to love God, love others and love themselves – all other positive characteristics will follow.
Love & Logic (any of them). I can’t say enough about Love & Logic. From birth to teenagers, they have great info for disciplining your children. I really struggled with what to do for discipline until I found this book. I recommend it to everyone I know. If you do it, it works.
Goodnight Moon. It’s a classic that all ages enjoy. I love the pictures and how quickly a child catches on to the story. I also loved explaining to Sweet P what a bowl full of mush was!
A box! Seriously, I don’t even know why we own toys! If you have an imagination and a box, you can do anything. It’s a favorite around our house and I love to see what Sweet P comes up with.
Candy Land or Sorry. These are generic, but such classics! My favorite part of Candy Land that is is so simple and easy enough for a 2 year old or any child who knows their colors.
Coffee filter projects are a huge hit at our house right now! Although, I also love crafts using paper plates or other items we have on hand.
Anything involving chalk and a walk! Or both! We recently did a nature scavenger hunt inspired by Nurturestore and it was a huge hit and so much fun. Chalk has endless possibilities for pretend play outdoors and walks can turn into an adventure!
Best Way to Stay Organized
Use a wall calendar your entire family can see and make sure to update it! Then don’t forget to update a pocketbook calendar, phone or computer calendar as well!
Best Way to Keep a Happy Relationship or Marriage
Communication, communication, communication AND date night! I once had a friend say “Go out to dinner after you have the baby, ALONE. Taking the baby along, even if he/she is asleep is NOT date night.” You and your spouse really do need that alone time and if possible, talk about something other than the kids.
Best Family Outing or Vacation
Taking a family walk or going to an outdoor fair, market or parade. We also love pumpkin patches and apple orchards in the fall. Really any time we have the opportunity to spend quality time together classifies as a BEST for us. It’s hard because of my husband’s schedule to have time at night or on the weekends so we really cherish the family time we do get together. And vacations, well, we haven’t really done one that doesn’t involve going to visit relatives!
Best Kid-Friendly Restaurant
Red Robin – from the balloons to the bright colors, it’s a great place for kids, especially if Red Robin is there in costume! The kids can be loud, there’s games at the front and they make birthdays fun!
Best Family Meal or Recipe
Green chile enchiladas. My mom has made them for as long as I can remember and they are so simple. I’m making them for dinner tonight, actually! Just 18 corn tortillas, 2 cans of green chile sauce, cheese, spinach and mushrooms. I heat the sauce in a pot on the stove, add the spinach and mushrooms and let it simmer for a few minutes. Layer 6 tortillas in a 9×13 pan, pour 1/3 of the mixture over the top, sprinkle with cheese and repeat 3 layers worth. Bake at 350 for 30 mins. Quick and easy!
Best Behavior Management or Discipline Tip
Empathy, not anger (this is hard, but SO true). Again, I turn to Love & Logic and offering choices. Giving your child a chance to cool off also helps. And while it may not work for Sprout, explaining why we shouldn’t do something or why I’m doing something really helps Sweet P when it becomes to behavior issues.
Best Way to Spend a Mommy Moment
Reading a book, soaking in a bath, a glass of red wine, going out with friends or a movie with the Farmer really helps me unwind. And when I have lots of time, I’ll work out for stress relief!
Adrienne, aka The Iowa Farmer’s Wife, is a mommy blogger and mother of two who enjoys sharing simple ideas about educational activities for kids, frugal living and healthy eating. She lives in the Midwest, where she and her husband own a small farm. In addition to being a stay-at-home-mom, Adrienne teaches a speech course at a local university and serves as a co-coordinator of her local MOPS group. The Iowa Farmer’s Wife can be found on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and Google+.
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