Showing posts with label Parenting. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Parenting. Show all posts

Financial Must Do's for New Parents Having a Baby


That bundle of love is going to cost you plenty over a lifetime, so start planning now.


Preparing for parenthood isn’t just tiny clothes and heartwarming ultrasound photos; it involves a lot of financial preparation. This guide will lay out the most important financial tasks on your plate from pregnancy to baby’s first years, including:

Estimating your medical costs
Planning leave from your job
Budgeting for the new arrival

Some parenting preparations are best learned on the fly — how to effortlessly and painlessly change the messiest diapers, for instance. But the list of things to do before baby arrives and within his or her first several weeks is lengthy, so tackling certain tasks now is a smart idea.

Pre-Delivery Planning

1. Understand your health insurance and anticipate costs. Having a baby is expensive, even when you have health insurance. You should forecast your expected costs fairly early in the pregnancy. NerdWallet’s guide to making sense of your medical bills can help as you navigate prenatal care, labor and delivery, and the bills that will ultimately follow.

2. Plan for maternity/paternity leave. How much time you and your partner (if you have one) get off work and whether you’re paid during that period can significantly impact your household finances in the coming year. Understand your company’s policies and your state’s laws to get an accurate picture of how your maternity leave will affect your bottom line.

3. Draft your pre-baby budget. Once you know what you’ll be spending on out-of-pocket medical costs, understand how your income will be impacted in the coming months and have prepared a shopping list for your new addition, adjust your budget accordingly. Babies come with plenty of expenses, so set a limit on both necessary and optional buys (like that designer diaper bag or high-end stroller with the LCD control panel), and consider buying used to keep spending under control.


4. Plan your post-delivery budget. Recurring costs such as diapers, child care and extra food will change your household expenses for years to come. Plan for them now so you aren’t caught off guard.

5. Choose a pediatrician within your insurance network. Your baby’s first doctor appointment will come within her first week of life, so you’ll want to have a physician picked out. Talk to friends and family to get recommendations, call around to local clinics and ask to interview a pediatrician before you make your choice. In searching for the right doctor, don’t forget to double-check that he or she is within your insurance network. Ask the clinic, but verify by calling your insurance company so you’re not hit with unexpected out-of-network charges.

6. Start or check your emergency fund. If you don’t already have a “rainy day fund,” now’s the time to anticipate some emergencies. Kids are accident prone, and with the cost of raising a child there’s no telling if you’ll have the disposable income to pay for any unexpected expenses. Having at least three to six months’ worth of living expenses covered is a great place to start.

While in the Hospital

The main focus while you’re in the hospital is having a healthy baby. But there are a few loose ends that will need to be taken care of.

7. Order a birth certificate and Social Security card. Hospital staffers should provide you with the necessary paperwork to get your new child’s Social Security number and birth certificate. If they don’t or if you are having a home birth, contact your state’s office of vital records for the birth certificate and your local Social Security office to get a Social Security card.


Within Baby’s First 30 Days

8. Add your child to your health insurance. In most cases, you have 30 days from your child’s birth date to add him to an existing health insurance policy. In some employer-based plans, you have 60 days. Regardless, do it sooner rather than later, as you don’t want to be caught with a sick baby and no coverage.

9. Consider a life insurance policy on your child. No one expects the tragedy of losing a child, so many parents don’t plan for it. The rates are generally low because a child’s life insurance policy is used to cover funeral costs and little else. When it comes to covering children, a “term” policy that lasts until they are self-sufficient is the most popular choice.

10. Begin planning for child care. Finding the right day care or nanny can take weeks. Get started long before your maternity leave is over. You’ll need time to visit day care centers or interview nannies, as well as complete an application and approval process if required.

Beyond the First Month

You’ll be in this parenting role for years to come, so planning for the future is crucial. Estate planning is a big part of providing for your children, but it isn’t the only important forward-focused task to check off your list.

11. Adjust your beneficiaries. Assuming you already have life insurance for yourself or the main breadwinner in your household — and if you don’t, you should — you may want to add your child as a beneficiary. The same goes for your 401(k) and IRAs. However, keep in mind that you’ll need to make adjustments elsewhere to ensure when and how your child will have access to the money. A will and/or trust can accomplish this.

545865273

12. Disability insurance. You’re far more likely to need disability insurance than life insurance. Make sure you have the right amount of coverage — enough to meet your expenses if you’re out of work for several months. Remember, your monthly living expenses have gone up since the new addition.

13. Write or adjust your will. Tragic things happen and you want to ensure your child is taken care of in the event that one or both parents die. Designate a guardian so the courts don’t have to. Your will is only one part of estate planning, but it’s a good place to begin.

14. Keep funding your retirement. When a child arrives, it’s easy to forget your personal goals and long-term plans in light of this huge responsibility. Stay on top of your retirement plans so your child doesn’t have to support you in old age.

15. Save for his or her education. College is costly, but you can make it more manageable by starting to save early.

Adding a new member to your family comes with a lengthy list of responsibilities, so don’t try to do them all at once. Prioritize and tackle the most important items on your financial to-do list first. Because medical bills and insurance claims will be some of the first financial obligations you’ll encounter while expecting, start there. Move on to budgeting for pregnancy and the first several months of your baby’s life.

With 18 or more years until your little one leaves home, time would seem to be on your side. But — as the saying goes — blink and he’s grown. Now is the time to start taking the steps that will set your family up for financial success.


NerdWallet  June 23, 2015                                                      Time Money


How to Be a Better Spouse

Being nice, paying attention and praising a partner’s strengths all pay off in a long-term relationship


Before you get married, everyone tells you that marriage takes work. I never really believed it until my husband and I landed in therapy after four years, two kids and one seismically stressful cross-country move.





Turns out you really can't just flip the switch to autopilot and trust love to take care of itself; you have to devote actual time and effort to understanding and appreciating your spouse. Anyone who is married knows that's not always a simple feat. Here's what relationship research (and a touch of game theory) tells us about how to become a better spouse.


#1 Be nice as often as you can.


A lot of modern relationship therapy is based on the research of John Gottman, a prolific psychologist famous for videotaping thousands of couples and dissecting their interactions into quantifiable data. One of his most concrete findings was that happier couples had a ratio of five positive interactions to every negative interaction. “That just leapt off the pages of the data analysis,” he says. It was true in very different types of relationships, including those in which the people were very independent and even distant or argumentative. These positive interactions don't have to be grand gestures: “A smile, a head nod, even just grunting to show you're listening to your partner—those are all positive,” Gottman says.


#2 Think about what your partner needs, even when fighting.


To resolve conflicts, Gottman says we can learn from game theory—the study of conflict and decision making used in political science, sociology and economics. It used to be widely accepted that negotiations were mostly zero-sum situations, meaning one party's gain was the other party's loss. In 1950 mathematician John Nash proved there was another, better outcome: a solution in which the parties may have to compromise, but in the end all of them come out satisfied. (This now famous “Nash equilibrium” won him a Nobel Prize in 1994.) I'm reminded of a recent situation in my own marriage—my husband hated the house we bought a couple of years ago and wanted to move to a different neighborhood; I liked the house just fine and didn't want to go anywhere. After much discussion, we realized that what we both really want is to settle in somewhere for the long haul. If the current house is not a place my husband feels he can settle in, then I can't truly settle in either. So we're moving next month, for both our sakes! Find the Nash equilibrium in your conflict, and you'll both get your needs met.


#3 Just notice them.


“People are always making attempts to get their partners' attention and interest,” Gottman says. In his research, he has found that couples who stay happy (at least during the first seven years) pick up on these cues for attention and give it 86 percent of the time.




Pairs who ended up divorced did so 33 percent of the time. “It's the moment we choose to listen to our partner vent about a bad day instead of returning to our television show,” explains Dana R. Baerger, assistant professor of clinical psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. “In any interaction, we have the opportunity to connect with our partner or to turn away. If we consistently turn away, then over time the foundation of the marriage can slowly erode, even in the absence of overt conflict.”


#4 Ignore the bad, praise the good.


Observations of couples at home reveal that people who focus on the negative miss many of the positive things that their partners are doing. Happy spouses, however, ignore the annoyances and focus on the good. “If your wife is irritable one morning, it's not a big deal. It's not going to become a confrontation,” Gottman says. “Then when she does something nice, you notice and comment on that.” Guess what that breeds? More of the good stuff.


It's this lesson that I'm going to try to implement right away. The guy I'm married to leaves dirty shirts balled up on the floor, never loads the dishwasher correctly and can be prickly when he hasn't had enough sleep—but he is an amazing husband. He's honest, shares his feelings, hugs and kisses me, and basically acts like I matter. I want to show him how much he matters, too, and that all the other stupid little stuff doesn't.


This article was originally published with the title "How to Be a Better Spouse."


Feb 12, 2015 |By Sunny Sea Gold                                        Scientific American





5 Bad Habits That Can Ruin Your Relationship

Trending Gists !!!: 5 Bad Habits That Can Ruin Your Relationship:




There are a few habits that we sub-consciously indulge in that could badly harm our relationships. Here's a rundown...












Nagging: Nobody likes a nagger. In fact it could potentially be toxic for a lot of your relationships. It's important to let your partner be and not interfere as much. There's a thin line between being cute and being annoying, know when to draw that line or it can be destructive for your relationship.

Comparing: Learn to appreciate your partner and love him or her for what they are instead of constantly comparing them to every Tom, Dick and Harry. Even if you're doing it subconsciously in your head- stop. And mentioning it to them is an absolute no-no. Your partner deserves better than that.

Talking about your ex: Nobody would like to feel like they're constantly being held up for comparison with your previous lovers. A sure way of ruining your own relationship is by continually bringing up your past liaisons. Till your both reach a stage of security, steer clear of this topic.

Bad communication: Only half-listening to your partner and nodding your head for everything without really paying much attention can be detrimental for your relationship in the long run. Work on your communication and try to really listen and grasp what your partner is talking about to you.

Bringing up the past: Avoid discussing the past. Its important to realize that no matter how much you discuss it or bring it up, it cannot be erased. If you truly want to be with your partner, then make a concerted effort to forget his/her past and move on to newer beginnings. Remember that you are his/her present.



Chivalrous Habits of a True Gentleman

In a world filled with late-night booty calls, infidelity and a general “hit it and split it” mentality, it’s easy to become jaded by today’s dating scene.


As women, we brace ourselves for the worst, proceeding with extreme caution during the first few months, for fear of falling victim to the aforementioned debauchery in which so many men partake.
It’s a welcome relief, then, when we stumble upon those few true gentlemen. They exude chivalry with even their smallest actions, and remind us that there are still good ones out there.


chivalry


It doesn’t take a grand gesture or costly display of affection to win a girl over. Often, it just takes a little sincerity and display of genuine romantic interest.


Despite popular opinion, chivalry is not dead — here are 10 everyday gestures of men that prove it:


1. Opening doors



A guy who takes the time to come around and open the car door for you is a keeper, not to mention a commodity this winter.
With certain states getting up to five inches of snow an hour, do you want to be left standing outside in a blizzard while your date gets nice and toasty in the driver’s seat?
Recognize and appreciate a guy who puts your comfort and well-being first, even if it’s just for a few extra seconds.

2. Saving the last bite of food



They say the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. So, when he saves the last bite for you, it’s basically him saying he likes you more than whatever meal is in front of him. Which, for the record, is a lot.



3. Spending time with your family



A guy who shows an interest in your baby photos, coaches your little brother on how to throw a football and compliments your mother’s cooking is a guy who’s in it for the long haul. These are small gestures, but they speak volumes about his intentions.



4. Suffering through a girly movie



When a man volunteers to endure a girly show or movie because he knows you’ll enjoy it, he earns major bonus points. (Even more if he does so without complaining or expecting something in return.)



5. Sending flowers



I’m not talking about the R100 bouquet you get on Valentine’s Day. I’m talking about the grocery store assortment he picked up on a random Tuesday while thinking of you. There’s just something about unexpected flowers that makes a girl smile.



6. Walking on the outside of the sidewalk



The first time someone does this, you will probably be confused. But then you’ll start to question how come other men in your life have never been concerned about positioning themselves in such a way that you’d be protected should curbside tragedy strike.
It’s not a must, but it’s certainly nice to have.



7. Kissing your forehead



Sure, if you’re hoping to date someone and he does this, it can be a dreaded sign of sibling-like affection.
But, if you’re in a long-term relationship and your guy does this, it’s a small gesture that can make you feel adored.



8. Filling up your gas tank



Much like walking on the outside of a sidewalk, this gesture will probably surprise you the first time it’s performed.
It’s indicative of a man who was raised right and is generally courteous, which is always a welcome surprise.



9. Putting your jacket on



Women are fully capable of putting their own jackets on, but it’s not a question of ability. It’s gentlemanly and kind for someone to hold out your jacket for you or offer you theirs when it’s cold.
These are little ways men show they care, the same way women have instincts to nurture and protect loved ones.


Chivalry is not dead; men can be everyday knights in shining armor. You just have to learn to spot the subtle, more meaningful gestures.






Elite Daily                        Jen Ruiz




Create A Nautical Nursery for your Little One

With its stripes and sails, this fresh nursery is perfect for sweet boy dreams.


Nautical nursery 

 
 
 Stripe Away
  • Combine striped fabrics and wallpaper in a fun way.
  • Stick to white, light blue, navy and red to create a look that is uniform and traditionally nautical.

Tip:

  • Layer the look by hanging decorative items including stars, fish and boats from hooks.

Ever so Tidy

  • Beware of clutter in a nursery
  • You may not have the luxury of time to keep things neat and tidy
  • Make your life easy by having specific compartments for every item
  • Store nappies, bum cream, powders and ear buds in a neat container on top of the changing area
  • Use a piece of furniture with drawers or a traditional compactum as a changing station to have all the necessities on hand

Match & Match

  • Don't underestimate the power of colour co-ordination.
  • Try to do it throughout, with the toys you display, the bedding and the wall art and general decorations.
  • You will be amazed at the results!
  •  The room will automatically feel like a whole
  • Using white furniture as a base means you can easily update or change the look in the future.

Extend the Theme

  • Using a little boat in different ways- like painted on canvas and cut out of wood- extends the look and theme of the nursery.
  • Wanting to brighten up the bathroom too, buy a packet of stickers and stick it onto the wall, transforming it into a cartoon heaven for any small child. 

It's in

 the detail...

  • Use interesting handles for your cupboards. These handles let the ligh


Moving Homes with Children

Moving city or country is not easy for anyone, but moving with children brings a whole host of considerations into play. Like your fragile glassware, children too need to be handled with care.



 
Tips to make a move smoother
 
 
     
Struggling socially in the beginning after a move is very common, but few children will have lasting effects. Children from families who have relocated revealed feelings of being conspicuous, feeling like the odd-one-out, literally or figuratively not speaking the language, having no idea of how to go about being accepted, and not being able to catch references or understand in-jokes. As a parent, knowing that these are common emotions that your child will experience can allow you to be more empathetic to his moods.


Talking the good and bad emotions through really assists with the settling process. Don’t be surprised by changes in your child’s behaviour while he is settling in. You can expect some regression, some acting out and some grieving. Children who become very withdrawn or aggressive for more than a few weeks should sound alarm bells. Try to talk through his feelings with him, but seek expert advice if you do not see his mood lifting.


The passage of time usually smoothes down the rough patches in a move, but what can you do to lessen the impact of a move on a child’s emotions and behaviour?


Here are some tips for making the move smoother :


Before the move:


1. Tell your child about the move as soon as possible. It gives him time to get used to the idea.
2. Sell him the benefits of the move in a way that he can relate to.
3. Reassure him by telling him what won’t change about the family life.
4. Make the move more concrete by showing pictures of where you are moving to. Older kids can go online and do the research themselves.
5. Say a positive goodbye to all the people and places your child loves. This will assist in achieving closure. It might also help to create a book for each child with photos and contact details of all the important people in their lives.

During the move:



1. Don’t treat the move as a time to discard all your child’s old toys as it will compound the feelings of loss. Take everything he wants even if it stays in the box once you arrive.
2. Let younger children get used to the process by packing their own belongings.
3. Pack a “must have” suitcase for each member of the family containing favourite possessions.

After the move:



1. Re-establish your family routines as quickly as possible.
2. Create a symbolic settling-in ritual like hanging up your wind chimes, or planting a familiar plant from home.
3. Make a game of getting to know the new neighbourhood (and establishing the boundaries of where children can and can’t go).
4. Put a huge effort into helping your kids form friendships by inviting other kids over to play.
5. Allow your child to experience the benefits of the new environment by doing things that he couldn’t do in the old one. Arrange outings and treats.
6. Help your child keep contact with the friends and family left behind by emailing lots of photos.
7. Focus on your relationship with your partner. A strong family nucleus is the source from which your children can draw strength.
Before, during and after the move, you will find yourself wanting to cover your child in bubble wrap to prevent him from experiencing the hard knocks of relocation. But what you might discover is the inner resilience that a move’s juxtaposition of gains and losses unearths in your child and yourself. “Here is the surprise,” admits Debi Hawkins of her move with her two children, “Without Jasmine and Monty I would have dissolved into a self-pity party very often. But having to think about the day-to-day things for them swung my attention from me to them, and they saved me from myself.”





Essential Pregnancy Apps

These apps help you to connect with baby in the womb and stay on top of its development with great health tips too.

SHARE

 
 
 
 
  

What to Expect: Pregnancy Tracker

The popular American pregnancy book's mobile app features a due-date calculator, weekly updates on your baby's development and your changing body, daily tips, photo album, due-date countdown and size estimates.
Read more about it here.
Cost: free. Get it on Android and iTunes.
  

BabyCenter: My Pregnancy Today

Track your baby's development with daily updates and health tips, illustrations and videos.
Read more about it here.
Cost: free. Get it on Google Play and iTunes.

Mediclinic baby: Pregnancy App

This app takes you through your pregnancy week by week, features a weight gain tracker, contraction timer, calendar for you to mark special dates, photo album for your bump pics and list of what to pack for hospital. It also offers more information about the Mediclinic baby programme.
Read more about it here.
Cost: free. Get it on iTunes
Moving city or country is not easy for anyone, but moving with children brings a whole host of considerations into play. Like your fragile glassware, children too need to be handled with care.



 
Tips to make a move smoother
 
 
     
Struggling socially in the beginning after a move is very common, but few children will have lasting effects. Children from families who have relocated revealed feelings of being conspicuous, feeling like the odd-one-out, literally or figuratively not speaking the language, having no idea of how to go about being accepted, and not being able to catch references or understand in-jokes. As a parent, knowing that these are common emotions that your child will experience can allow you to be more empathetic to his moods.


Talking the good and bad emotions through really assists with the settling process. Don’t be surprised by changes in your child’s behaviour while he is settling in. You can expect some regression, some acting out and some grieving. Children who become very withdrawn or aggressive for more than a few weeks should sound alarm bells. Try to talk through his feelings with him, but seek expert advice if you do not see his mood lifting.


The passage of time usually smoothes down the rough patches in a move, but what can you do to lessen the impact of a move on a child’s emotions and behaviour?


Here are some tips for making the move smoother :


Before the move:


1. Tell your child about the move as soon as possible. It gives him time to get used to the idea.
2. Sell him the benefits of the move in a way that he can relate to.
3. Reassure him by telling him what won’t change about the family life.
4. Make the move more concrete by showing pictures of where you are moving to. Older kids can go online and do the research themselves.
5. Say a positive goodbye to all the people and places your child loves. This will assist in achieving closure. It might also help to create a book for each child with photos and contact details of all the important people in their lives.

During the move:



1. Don’t treat the move as a time to discard all your child’s old toys as it will compound the feelings of loss. Take everything he wants even if it stays in the box once you arrive.
2. Let younger children get used to the process by packing their own belongings.
3. Pack a “must have” suitcase for each member of the family containing favourite possessions.

After the move:



1. Re-establish your family routines as quickly as possible.
2. Create a symbolic settling-in ritual like hanging up your wind chimes, or planting a familiar plant from home.
3. Make a game of getting to know the new neighbourhood (and establishing the boundaries of where children can and can’t go).
4. Put a huge effort into helping your kids form friendships by inviting other kids over to play.
5. Allow your child to experience the benefits of the new environment by doing things that he couldn’t do in the old one. Arrange outings and treats.
6. Help your child keep contact with the friends and family left behind by emailing lots of photos.
7. Focus on your relationship with your partner. A strong family nucleus is the source from which your children can draw strength.
Before, during and after the move, you will find yourself wanting to cover your child in bubble wrap to prevent him from experiencing the hard knocks of relocation. But what you might discover is the inner resilience that a move’s juxtaposition of gains and losses unearths in your child and yourself. “Here is the surprise,” admits Debi Hawkins of her move with her two children, “Without Jasmine and Monty I would have dissolved into a self-pity party very often. But having to think about the day-to-day things for them swung my attention from me to them, and they saved me from myself.”





Single Parent Dating

Dating can be stressful for many people, add being a single parent to the equation, and it can be that much harder. After a divorce single parents need time to get used to their new routine, such as child-custody arrangements and spending quality time with their children, while juggling many other things.


Moreover, while the courts may dictate a custody arrangement, all too often one parent may choose to consistently deviate from the plan, making it challenging for the other to plan their time. Still, when enough time has passed and you are ready to embark on your dating journey, it’s important to gather your resources of family, friends and babysitters in order to carve out the time and energy for this process.


Parent_Child_0












First, there are many ways to meet new potential dates. You may want to try online dating, meet ups, single parent groups or new activities, such as dance lessons. It’s at events like these that you can meet someone with common interests. However, before you go on that first date, you need to do a few things. I suggest a makeover—from the inside out!


This means, if you need professional help to move past your divorce, your ex or any other issue that would spill into a new relationship, don’t be afraid to get it. Next, work with a dating coach who can bring you up to date on the new dating landscape while reviewing with you the dos and don’ts of dating.




An image consultant will help you assess and recommend changes to your wardrobe, hairstyle, make-up, etc. They may even recommend having your teeth whitened. This may all sound superficial, but the fact is, looking your best has a direct correlation to feeling good about yourself, which makes for great first impressions.


When it comes to your kids, if they’re of an age where they can understand, let them know what you’re doing. Tell them you’re looking for a friend to have fun with. Reassure them of your love for them and that even when you’re out, they’re always in your heart and your thoughts.
Then, be sure to make appropriate childcare arrangements for peace of mind, so that you don’t feel guilty about going out and having a good time.


Children of any age can get attached to any partner you choose, so it’s important to avoid having a revolving door of men or women around your children. Only introduce someone to your kids when you feel there is potential for a long-term relationship, and after you’ve vetted them enough to know it’s safe to have them around your kids.


Dating is about getting to know each other, keeping things light and having fun. The key to balance when dating as a single parent is to always be present. When you’re with your children, be with your children. And, when you’re on a date, be with your date.


Share your time saving tips, blogs, recipes, and ideas for better living with Getting Balance’s community of women seeking happiness and wellbeing today.












Project Eve Moms



12 Things Marriage Is and 12 Things It Isn't

24 years of marriage.
That's what September 15th meant for me.
We had celebrated earlier so I didn't remember until I was driving to work. I called him. Told him I loved him. I got grocery store flowers when I got home. Beautifully arranged by the way.
What ever did we do without grocery store flowers?
Between being a marital therapist and my own experience, I have learned a few things. Since I am on year #24, I've divided them into 12's. Just to be cute.


12 Things That Marriage Is Not:


1. Marriage is not for sissies. It's hard work.
2. Marriage is not about getting what you want all the time. It's not a dictatorship. It's not wanting to win all the time because that would mean the other person would lose all the time. May be OK for you. Not good for the marriage.
3. Marriage is not rocket science. The principles it's based on are really pretty simple. Kindness. Respect. Loyalty. That kind of thing.
4. Marriage is not unfashionable. It stays vital. Even Brangelina must think so.
5. Marriage is not in and of itself stimulating. Since you are with the same person over a long time, the two of you can get in a rut. You have to keep things fresh.
6. Marriage is not about collecting things. The joys of marriage aren't tangible. You live them. That's what makes them so very special.
7. Marriage is not for the impatient. Some of the best stuff takes a while to develop. You have to stick around to find that out.
8. Marriage is not the place for criticism. For abuse. If it is found there, it will ruin any chance of true intimacy or trust and dissolve the hope that once might have existed.
9. Marriage is not a 24-hour repair shop. Your marital partner is not supposed to meet your every need. Some of those needs you may have to take care of yourself. Through your friendships or other activities.
10. Marriage is not self-sustaining. It does not thrive on its own. If all you focus on is the kids, you are making a mistake.
11. Marriage is not boring. Two lives woven together can be quite exciting! There's just something about watching someone very different from you, living their life in an extremely different way. Up close and personal. You learn from that.
12. Marriage is not without conflict. Knowing how to disagree and work through anger and disappointment is probably the key to lots of stuff going well. Getting to that cooperating, mentioned in #2.












2014-09-26-Marriageisgettingirritatedbythethingsthatalwaysirritateyou.Andtoleratingitbecauseitiswayoverbalancedbythegoodstuff1.jpg


12 Things That Marriage Is:


1. Marriage is the potential for an intense, deep and diverse intimacy. Sexual. Emotional. Relational.
2. Marriage is knowing someone has your back. Always. You have theirs. It's about interdependence.
3. Marriage is realizing that you have been seen in your worst times, and that you are still loved. There's an overriding sense of gratitude and security.
4. Marriage is sharing old jokes. Or some story that may be told over and over but it still makes you laugh 'til you are left gasping for breath.
5. Marriage is getting teary-eyed together.
6. Marriage is thinking about the other one not being there anymore. And not being able to think about it.
7. Marriage is getting irritated by the things that always irritate you. Have irritated you for 24 years. Will irritate you for 24 more. And tolerating it because it is way overbalanced by the good stuff.
8. Marriage is not being able to wait to get home to share some little something.
9. Marriage is wishing you were the one having the operation. Or the illness. Not him.
10. Marriage is sometimes fighting. Trying to slowly learn to fight more fairly. To apologize. To listen. To learn. To find resolution.
11. Marriage is about vulnerability. Giving someone the right to hurt or disappoint you. While simultaneously giving that someone the opportunity to bring you tremendous joy and laughter.
12. Marriage is a promise. A vow. To try the hardest you have ever tried in your life. Marriage is a place for the achievement of a personal integrity like no other.
I'm now living year #25.


So far. So good. Thanks for reading! You can find more from Dr. Margaret at


http://drmargaretrutherford.com!


Dr. Margaret Rutherford Headshot










Parenting and #SocialMedia: A Five-Point Manifesto

Avoid oversharing, mommyjacking, and privacy fails with our handy guide.


By


We're in a moment of raging debate about parenting and social media. On the one hand, some parents like Slate's Amy Webb, in an extreme bid for privacy, post nothing about their child online, ever. On the other hand, some media figures like Nightline anchor Dan Abrams tweet as their babies and kids as a natural brand extension. Some of these accounts have tens of thousands of followers. Of course, baby videos are right up there with cats as a YouTube mainstay.













http://dotcomplicated.co


And Instagram, Pinterest, and Tumblr are all crowded with parents who've turned cute baby pictures into a kind of cottage industry.
I post to social media for a living, more or less, so I'm hyperconscious of the need to respect both my child and my networks. Yet my kid is freakin' adorable! What's a parent to do? Try this:

1) Be Safe

A baby can't give consent, so don't make full name, location, or other personally identifiable information easily searchable on the web. This applies not only to any posts or public profiles made on their behalf on social media, but to the devices that will be in their sticky little fingers before too many months have passed. The FTC reported last year on data collection by mobile phone apps marketed to children. Sixty percent of the apps surveyed were transmitting information to a third party like an advertiser network, while only 20% disclosed anything about such transmissions to users.

2) Pick the Right Channels

Respect your own and others' time and use the diversity of platforms out there to maintain professional as well as parenting personas. My Twitter followers sign up to hear about educational technology and cronuts, not about the cute thing my kid did. I use Google Plus for the ease of sharing photos to specific circles. A friend of mine just split his Instagram accounts into a "papa" one--password protected--and an "illustrator" one to avoid privacy fails.

3) Be Funny

If you want to talk about your kid, be totally hilarious. Read The Honest Toddler if you want to know what I'm talking about. As a bonus, you can use creativity to vent tough feelings without exposing your vulnerable child.


If you want to know how not to talk about your kid on social media, read the STFU Parents Blog, which categorizes such offenses as "mommyjacking" (making every single conversation about the baby).
What's really not funny? Using your child as a sock puppet to say cutesy stuff. Don't subject the Interwebs to that.

4) Apply the "Rock Star or Senator" Test

When we were choosing a name for our child we gave a thought to what would be easily Googleable, as well as what would sound right as the name of a future senator and/or rock star.
The ultimate point of shielding our children on social media is so that their lives can become what they make of them, and not be overshadowed by any statements or images we put out on their behalf. Greg Pembroke learned this lesson the hard way when he started the Tumblr Reasons My Son Is Crying, featuring photos of his sobbing toddler with captions like “because the milk isn’t juice." Ironically, Pembroke started the standalone Tumblr to avoid spamming his friends on Facebook, but the idea then went viral. While hilarious, it provoked quite a lot of discomfort, judgment, unsolicited advice, and second-guessing. It also landed him on television, which may discourage as many parents as it encourages.










5) Be Personal

More and more I feel like the best approach for dealing with parenting and social media is to have more private, password-protected venues for sharing, whether that be over Flickr, Twitter, Instagram, or even the age-old listserv. Rather than posting parenting dilemmas to Facebook, I get a lot of support from parents' email lists. Many of us know each other in real life, which makes the exchange even more valuable. Because in the long, hard journey that is parenting, I'd really rather get support from my friends than my followers.
[Image: Flickr user Travis Swan]



Anya Kamenetz is a contributing writer at Fast Company. She maintains the Edupunks' Atlas of Lifelong Learning and a monthly newsletter full of good things.











Q&A: Coping with the loss of a baby...

I am 31 years old and ten weeks into my pregnancy I lost my baby. I feel so lost and blame myself for not taking care of the baby. My partner and I were looking forward to having this child. We didn’t have a name yet as we didn’t know the sex. I feel as if a part of me has been taken away and I can never get it back. My boyfriend was so excited about the pregnancy as it would have been his first child. He is so hurt and I don’t know how to comfort him. He says it is too early and he has nothing to say – but I know he is hurting as much as I am. What can I do for him?
 
 
Q&A: Coping with the loss of a baby...
 
 
 

Karin Steyn (counselling psychologist & hypnobirthing practitioner) answers:

I am so sorry for your loss. I am relieved to see that both you and your partner are actively mourning this loss, as this is a healthy and necessary step to healing and moving on with your lives in the future. Give your boyfriend some time and space to process this loss in his own way, but also
try to keep the lines of communication and interaction open between you.
Many people don’t even acknowledge their losses when it happens in the first trimester, or allow the miscarriage to ruin their relationship, and I do not think this is healthy. Perhaps the two of you could think about the expectations you had started to create when you learnt about the positive pregnancy, because that is where the loss lies. You could also choose a name for the baby and write a farewell letter to this child where you say goodbye in your own way. Children do not have
to be born alive or have been in our lives forever to have touched our lives in a meaningful way. It would be good to review how this baby, although only consciously present in your lives for such
a short time, has influenced your lives and your relationship and give thanks for this experience and opportunity and all that you have gained (not only lost).










I know that many women feel such disappointment in their bodies and themselves for not being able to carry the pregnancy successfully to the end, but I also know that taking this personally will
not help. We do not always understand why a miscarriage takes place, especially when we have been able to have babies with relative ease prior to this pregnancy. Frequently, a miscarriage is nature’s way of ensuring that the babies that are born will be more healthy and able to live a quality life. Perhaps the two of you could use this opportunity to reflect on your desire to be parents together and bring another child into this world, and then plan it proactively. Planned pregnancies are easier to monitor as you are able to take the steps even before the pregnancy to ensure that you are in good health, and create the conditions for optimum fertility










Smoking and pregnancy

You want to quit. But you’re still craving it and you just can’t help it. Here’s how to stop smoking once and for all.

Smoking and pregnancy
 
    
The risk of causing permanent harm to my baby was the trigger that finally helped me kick a 15-year addiction to cigarettes. It was sheer relief when, taking a puff of a cigarette around my ninth week of pregnancy, I knew it would be my last.
Many women smokers don’t realise they are pregnant, at least for some weeks, and expose their developing babies to tobacco toxins at an important development stage.










According to science

Patrick Holford and Susannah Lawson, authors of “Optimum Nutrition Before During and After Pregnancy”, say that smoking in the first few weeks after conception affects the way cells replicate and interferes with protein synthesis.
This is believed to be why babies born to smokers are more likely to suffer malformations, in particular cleft palates, hare lips, deafness and squints. They point out that the risk of birth defects increases by two and a half times, even if the woman doesn’t smoke while her partner does. This is because the mutagenic compounds of tobacco damage the chromosomes of sperm.

Motivation to quit

There is strong incentive to quit during the early stages of pregnancy. If women stop by the fourth month of pregnancy, they can reduce some of the risks associated with smoking, such as delivering low birth weight babies. Conversely, the more women smoke during pregnancy, the greater the reduction in birth weight.
Birth weight is a key indicator of health in later life. Lower weights have greater correlations with heart disease, strokes, diabetes and overall susceptibility to illness. Higher weights are associated with intellectual development.

Step-by-step

For me, the motivation was simple: if the health of my baby couldn’t convince me to quit, what would? Even then, it took a little time.










The first step to encouraging a pregnant woman to quit is to arm her with a detailed understanding of the risks associated with smoking, in a factual and non-judgmental manner.
The next is to help her (and possibly her partner) through a cessation programme, and to maintain this after birth to prevent a relapse.

The risks

Before pregnancy

Smoking damages the quality of women’s eggs, and thus lowers the number that can make a healthy baby. It also reduces sperm concentration by about 24 percent.

During pregnancy

Women who smoke have a 27 percent higher risk of miscarriage, and a greater risk of still birth. They are also more prone to complications such as bleeding, pre-term delivery, premature rupture of membranes and placental problems. Some women experience higher levels of nausea associated with smoking.

At birth

Babies born to smokers have lower average birth-weights (between 150 and 300 grams, although good maternal nutrition can reduce the differential). This is because nicotine and carbon monoxide from cigarettes depletes oxygen and reduces blood flow from the placenta to the womb, leading fewer nutrients to reach the baby.

After birth

Babies born to maternal smokers suffer twice the risk of sudden infant death syndrome. They are prone to complications such as respiratory infections, bladder and kidney problems, and disorders of the nervous system, senses, blood and skin. Some studies show a correlation between smoking during pregnancy and attention deficit disorder.

Tips on how to quit

Stopping

  • You can follow a similar programme to non-pregnant smokers. The starting point is to select the date on which you will stop and, instead of deciding to try, simply decide to stop.
  • You may opt for the cold turkey approach, or you may prefer a gradual cut-back.
  • Plan what you will do when a craving comes. They tend to last just a short time, so something simple might work, such as visualising your baby growing strong as you inhale clean air.
  • Enlist the support of family, friends and colleagues. Ask them not to smoke around you.

Smoking other stuff

It’s not just tobacco that’s bad for babies. Although there is inconsistent data on the effects of marijuana, mostly because it is often used with other drugs such as alcohol or tobacco, marijuana usage in pregnancy is associated with hyperactivity and cognitive impairment in children.
Regular marijuana use in men is associated with reduced sperm count.
Women who are dependent on heavy narcotics such as tik and heroin need to seek help. Their babies are often born dependent themselves and suffer withdrawal symptoms such as irritability and vomiting. Other problems include premature birth, low birthweight, breathing problems and low blood sugar.

Best kick-the-habit tips from CANSA:

  • Decide on a date to quit smoking and do it
  • Throw away your smoker’s paraphernalia: ciggie packets, ashtrays, lighters
  • Drink lots of water - it will help flush the nicotine from your body
  • Become more active - exercise ie walk, jog
  • Change your routine. Avoid smokers and things that make you want to smoke for the first couple of days
  • Tell your family and friends that you are trying to quit so that they can offer you support
  • You may experience some dizziness, headaches or coughing once you have stopped smoking. This is normal and should improve after a day or two and disappear within 14 days
  • The first two to three days are the most difficult, after that it gets easier. Your cravings will reduce and eventually disappear.
  • If you are worried about gaining weight, eat at regular times during the day. Snack on fruit between meals. Take time for exercise. Not all ex-smokers gain weight.
  • Do not use a crisis or special occasion as an excuse for "just one" cigarette. One cigarette leads to another and another, and another.
  • Don’t be too hard on yourself if you can’t cope with going cold turkey. You’re addicted to a serious drug, and you might need to get professional help to quit the addiction for once and for all.

Call in the heavy artillery

There are numerous natural therapies recommended by practitioners. Some people have managed to quit using hypnotherapy, acupuncture and reflexology. 
 
Resources:
For more information on qualified hypnotherapy practitioners in your area, contact the South African Institute of Hypnotherapy at 0861 102 318 or visit www.hypnotherapy.co.za
To find a registered homeopath, reflexologist or acupuncturist in your area, contact The Allied Health Professions Council of South Africa at www.ahpcsa.co.za
To find out where you can attend a "Smokenders" course in your city or town, log onto their website at www.smokenders.co.za

All about vaccination and immunisation

Vaccinations are important. Before they were available, many children died or became very sick. Although babies and children can still contract diseases and die, vaccination programs have been effective in controlling this.
 
All about vaccination and immunisation
 
 
    
The human body has a natural immune system, which is acquired by the unborn child from its mother. Further immunity from various diseases is acquired either from exposure to, and recovery from these infections, or through immunisation.
The body produces antibodies to that infection, which remain in the tissues as part of the body’s immune system, which is able to “remember” these infectious organisms. These anti-bodies combat subsequent invasions of the same disease.
Immunisation by vaccine is produced by the introduction of a dead or weakened form of this organism into the body. The immune system is simulated to respond by producing antibodies to thwart any future infections of the same disease.

In the past

Before vaccinations were available many children died or developed severe complications after suffering from infectious diseases. Even with modern medical care, a child contracting any of these diseases would suffer dangerous complications or die.

The benefits of vaccination

Vaccination programmes have been extremely effective in controlling some dangerous diseases and it is hoped by health authorities that once certain diseases are completely killed off there will be no need for vaccination.










The downside of immunisation

The downside of immunisation is that adverse events or problems have been reported after their administration.
For example, vaccines cause a change to the immune-response system, which may result in an alteration to the body’s natural immunity, particularly in those families that have a history of autoimmune disorders. However, these cases appear to be unusual in the vast majority of children and occur in about one child for about 2 million doses of vaccines administered.

About the additives in vaccines

Many parents are concerned about the safety of vaccinations. Some claim that it’s the additives in the vaccines, for example, gelatine or formaldehyde, rather than the vaccine itself that causes the problems.
Thimerosal (a mercury-based preservative found in certain vaccines) has also caused some concern that its use can result in developmental problems such as autism. Despite exhaustive studies this has been found not to be the case.
A dramatic increase in diagnosed cases of the autism-spectrum disorders have been noted by researchers globally, but this has not been linked to any vaccination.

In support of vaccinations

The majority of medical professionals worldwide seem to be of the opinion that the benefits of vaccination to the whole community and the prevention of the appalling consequences of the outbreak of infectious disease far outweigh any risks, which are minimal and affect only a few.
In deciding whether to have your child immunised you need to weigh up the risks of the vaccine against those from the disease.
Most vaccines have no side effects or only mild side effects, such as swelling and redness at the site of the injection or a mild fever. Some crying and irritability is fairly common. A dose of paracetemol 30 minutes before the vaccination and 4-6 hourly thereafter for a day should alleviate these effects, which should disappear within 24 hours. No child should receive any vaccine when ill.

Allergies

Any child who is known to be allergic to the antibiotics streptomycin, neomycin or polymyxin B should not receive the oral polio vaccine.
Certain vaccines, such as the influenza (flu) vaccine, contain egg proteins and gelatine. These may provoke a reaction in children allergic to these substances
The pertussis vaccine is never given to children who suffer from convulsions (fits) or any active (ongoing) central nervous system disorder, other than febrile convulsions (those suffered as a result of a high fever.)

About the MMR vaccine

The MMR vaccine has received a lot of bad press as it is rumoured to be linked to autism. No sound evidence has been found to substantiate this claim. Children who have experienced a life-threatening allergic reaction to gelatine, the antibiotic neomycin or to a previous dose of the MMR vaccine should not have it.
South Africa’s recommended Childhood Vaccination Schedule is adopted from the World Health Organisation. These vaccines are available free of charge at local clinics and community health centres.

Vaccinations

  • Birth: OPV 0 and BCG
  • 6 weeks: OPV 1 and DPT 1 and HepB 1 and Hib 1
  • 10 weeks: OPV 2 and DPT 2 and HepB 2 and Hib 2
  • 14 weeks: OPV 3 and DPT 3 and HepB 3 and Hib 3
  • 9 months: Measles 1
  • 18 months: OPV 4 and DPT 4 and Measles 2
  • 5 years: OPV 5 and DT

Abbreviations

  • BCG: Bacillus Calmette Guerin vaccine
  • OPV Oral polio vaccine
  • DPT: Diphtheria, pertussis and tetanus vaccine
  • HepB: Hepatitis B vaccine
  • Hib: haemophilus influenzae B vaccine
Additional vaccines that you can opt to buy at your own cost include Measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) and Varicella (chicken pox).










Advertisement

Popular Posts