Thursday, October 29, 2015

dear soon to be single mom

Dear soon to be single mom, I'm sorry for what you're going through. The tears. The uncertainties. The "what ifs" and "if only" thoughts that run through your brain. Endlessly. At 3 a.m.

Divorce sucks. No matter who wants it. No matter if he started it or you started it. No matter who's at fault. Even if nobody is to blame.

You made plans. You had dreams. Your little family was happy -- or maybe not so happy. You married for better or worse. This is worse than worse. 

Fun times with kiddos...not so much when you're going through a divorce. It feels like your whole life is ending...and it is. The life you knew and embraced is no more.

Divorce is hard. Harder than you think it will be. Hard times a million. Saying good-bye to your littles every weekend, every other weekend or every day hurts. A lot. Deep in your heart.

Watching the love of your life go forward without you is no easier. 

Just when you thought you were so over him -- you will realize that you still love him. It hurts.

You tried your hardest to keep it all together. But it broke anyway, shattered into a zillion unfixable pieces.

You see the pieces when you look into the mirror. And when you look into the eyes of your little ones.

Your heart is broken. Even if he treated you terribly. Even if he cheated on you. Even if you hated him at the end.

Because there's still that little piece of you that loves him. You see him in your littles. In their smiles. In their tears. In their faces that scrunch up just like his.

You meant it when you said "for better or worse." Maybe you still mean it. 

It's okay to grieve. Divorce is a kind of death. It's a death of your dreams. A death of your goals.

A death of your future. The future you thought you'd share. The future that now seems so uncertain.

It's okay to cry. To scream. To feel sad. And lonely. And maybe a little hopeless.

It's okay to be angry. To feel hurt. These are all normal emotions that serve you well during this abnormal time in your life.

You didn't think it would end this way. You didn't think you'd be one of "them" -- those single moms you see alone at the park with their little ones. 

Those moms without partners that order their food to go at restaurants. Who don't want to sit and eat alone in a world that's sorted by pairs.

Those moms who celebrate their kids' big moments alone instead of sharing with the other parent. Who sit alone at PTA meetings and soccer games. Who don't get a break. Ever.

You wanted a love that would last forever. You thought you had it. But it's gone. And it hurts. You thought you'd grow old together. But you won't. And it's not fair.

The big D. You never thought it would happen to you. You thought your marriage was strong enough. Why? Who knows. 

But better days are coming. Not today. Not tomorrow. Maybe not even soon. But they are coming. You can't get around the fire without walking through it.

It's a hard journey. But you can do it. You're strong enough. You love your kids. Nothing will change that. No matter what. Through sleepless nights and moneyless days. You'll make it.

Trust yourself. Trust God -- whether or not you believe. Trust your friends. The true ones. Who don't talk about you behind your back. Trust your family. They love you. Always and forever.

And trust your kids. You'll get through this. Together. Hand in hand. Side by side. Hold them tight and wipe their tears. Tell them you love them. 

Tell them their dad loves them too. They need both of you. They need your permission to love both of you. They are a part of both of you. 

Sometimes when you're doing it all, it seems like you deserve all the credit. Maybe you do. But let him have some of the credit too. He loves them too. Even if it doesn't always seem that way.

I'm sorry for your journey, dear soon to be single mom. I've walked it too. It gets better. And sometimes it gets worse. But you can do it. 

Your kids are counting on you. To give them strength. To show them how to get through it. To help them say good-bye to someone they love. Over and over. Trust yourself. You've got this mama.

Friday, October 23, 2015

October is Sudden Infant Death Syndrome Awareness Month: Safe Sleeping Suggestions for Babies

October is Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) Awareness Month, created to help prevent the nearly 4,000 unexpected and unexplained infant deaths that occur in the United States each year. Hindi Zeidman, creator of The Ollie Swaddle, wants to help parents keep baby safe and comfortable while sleeping:
  • When room sharing, it is best for your infant to sleep in a separate sleeping area to avoid the risks of rolling over or suffocation, which can occur with bed sharing.
  • The supine (or laying on the back) is the safest sleep position for your infant, unless otherwise directed by your infant’s pediatrician. Unaccustomed tummy sleeping increases the risk of SIDS by 18 times over babies under 12 months old who are used to sleeping on their backs.
  • Your infants sleeping area should be clutter free (free of blankets, pillows, or plush toys) and sheets should fit tightly around the mattress. Steer clear of using a pillow top mattress or mattress pads, as it could lead to suffocation if the baby rolls to his tummy. 
  • Your infant should sleep in a safety approved crib with a firm mattress. Do not use items like wedges or special sleep surfaces that claim to reduce the risk of SIDS. 
  • To protect your infant, only use bedding and clothing made of non-toxic flame-resistant materials free from drawstrings and ribbons that might catch.  Buttons and snaps should be securely attacked to prevent choking hazards.
  • Avoid overheating baby. Insure the room has good air flow.  If the room seems stuffy, use a small fan or open a window to provide fresh air. Keep the room temperature around 70 degrees.
  • If you use a pacifier at nap or bedtime, make sure it doesn’t have a cord or clip that might cause choking or strangulation.
  • Avoid using blankets at nap or bed time, babies should sleep in a wearable blanket or similar.  Swaddling is a safe way for your baby to sleep and has been shown to reduce the risk of SIDS.
  • Babies should sleep in a smoke free environment.  This includes not sharing a bed with an adult smoker.  Smoking increases the risk of SIDS.
  • Educate people who care for your baby about safe sleep practices.  You have every right to insist family members and care givers follow your instructions.
The Ollie Swaddle was named after and invented for a baby boy named Oliver, a foster baby that wasn’t thriving until Ollie Swaddle founder (and his foster mom) Hindi developed The Ollie Swaddle. It improves quality and duration of sleep for all babies (including preemies and high risk), reduces fussiness and helps babies self-calm. Its elasticity allows for freedom of movement, while the opening at the bottom makes it easy to change diapers. The custom developed moisture wicking material reduces overheating promoting physiological regulation. Perfect for ages 0-4 months.

These safe sleeping suggestions from Hindi Zeidman are reprinted with permission, in the interest of teaching parents the importance of safe sleeping habits for their babies and in loving memory of all babies lost to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Get Ready for Halloween with Walmart

Whether your Halloween includes spooky and ghoulish teens, cute and cuddly tots or a group of fun-loving friends, you'll find everything that you need for a spook-tacular Halloween at Walmart. 

Halloween falls on a Saturday this year, so it’s all about the party. Most of us will attend or host at least one party this Halloween. Some busy parents will host or attend a family Halloween gathering, school party, community trunk-or-treat event and an adults-only Halloween bash.

Instead of running from store to store to find Halloween costumes, accessories, food and party needs, head to Walmart and pick up everything in one place -- at prices that won't break the bank.
Knowing what families need for Halloween, Walmart has stocked the shelves with exclusive candies like the new Pecan Pie M&Ms and Pumpkin Spice Ghirardelli Caramels, as well as tried-and-true favorites. 

Walmart also carries a large selection of costumes for kids of all ages, as well as costumes for mom and dad. For the first time ever, will have 200 costumes available through the Pick Up Today service – including the top licensed costumes for kids such as Avengers, Star Wars and Ant Man.

Top Halloween Costumes for 2015

Kids -- Girls Costumes

Kids -- Boys Costumes


Looking for just the right touches for your teen's Halloween party? You'll find creepy makeup kits, frighfully realistic Halloween decor items and everything your teen needs to create the spookiest haunted yard in the neighborhood.

Be sure to grab Halloween plates, napkins and a few extra trick-or-treat pumpkin buckets to hang from shepherd's hooks in front of your house.

Class mamas coordinating school Halloween parties can fill a basket with trick-or-treat bags, bagged candy, prizes and even a cute wreath for the classroom door.

You'll find all the fixings to create your family's favorite Halloween snacks. Let the kiddos help make Mummy Dogs, Witches Fingers, Eyeball Cupcakes and other frightful treats or keep it simple with Halloween themed bowls filled with crackers, chips and candy. Add a frozen pizza or two and you're all set.

No Halloween is complete without pumpkins. Big or small, real or plastic, Walmart's got you covered. Pick up a pumpkin carving kit or two and watch the kids create the best jack-'o-lantern ever.

Halloween memories remain long after the candy's all gone. The big day will be here before you know it, so make your Halloween plans and leave the rest to Walmart.

Disclosure: This blog post was sponsored by Walmart; however, all opinions expressed are my own.