#mentalhealthawareness day

Today check in on your friends who have just had baby. Just because they don’t talk about yet doesn’t mean they are not struggling.
#mentalhealthawareness day
Postpartum depression affects about 15% of women around childbirth. It is also estimated to affect 1% to 26% of new fathers
Support each other.

Inspired by Cheryl Hickey

xxxx,

Janice

The case for putting my wife before my children

IMAGE SOURCE: THINKSTOCK

It’s usually 8:30 PM when I give the first warning shot to my two teenage daughters.

At 9 PM, I say, “It’s time for you two to head upstairs.” I repeat this nearly every night.

And nearly every night they argue. “But why do we have to go to bed at 9?” they lament. “We’re not children anymore.”

“You don’t have to go to bed, but you can’t stay down here in the living room past 9. That’s our time. We haven’t seen each other all day, and most of the day we’ve been focused on you and work. We need our time, too.”

They roll their eyes and huff at us.

The other night, I went as far as to sing the Semisonic song “Closing Time” until they threw pillows at me. I kept repeating, “Closing time, you don’t have to go home but you can’t … stay … here!”

They didn’t laugh. At all. We, however, thought it was hilarious.

To be honest, we’ve had this rule for as long as I can remember. We’ve been parents for nearly 15 years now, and there has never been a time where our children were allowed to dominate ALL of our time in the course of the day. They dominate a lot of it, mind you, but not all of it. We love our children and we consider our role in their life to be a huge investment. We committed a long time ago to be there for them and to always be hands-on and involved in their lives.

But, there’s still us. There’s still our relationship. There’s still the health of our marriage to consider and pay attention to.

We have some big reasons why this is so important to us. Here are a few …

A healthy marriage is the cornerstone of the home.

The cornerstone of your family is not your children. They are a part of the foundation and make up a major part of the structure, but they’re not the main thing that holds this whole beautiful mess together. That’s you — you and your wife, you and your husband, you and your partner. It’s your responsibility to lead your family, and your home. Your children are looking to the two of you for direction and example (more on this in a minute).

Before them, it was us.

Before they existed it was the two of us. We fell in love, skipped class to be together, stayed up too late talking on the phone (that was tied to the wall by a cord), and eventually committed to forever with one another. We were the beginning. We kicked this whole party off. Then these beautiful children came along. And we’re sure thankful they did because they fill our life with so much joy. But, our union is sacred. Our union is holy. With all of our power we must protect that sacredness.

After them, it will be us.

Nothing lasts forever. Our darlings are going to grow up and move out of our nest at some point. I don’t know about you, but there’s no room for a 30-year-old kid in my basement. After they’re out in the world, living on their own, raising their own family, being the human beings they were meant to be, it will be just the two of us once again. And we want us to be healthy, strong, and still as committed as we were when we first began this journey. In order to make sure the future us is protected, we must put us first today. This is not easy. We’ll get to that in a second…

We need to set a future example.

As I mentioned earlier, your children and mine are looking to us for life-cues, direction, and example. As children, they’re watching our every move to determine how they should live their lives. We often say, “We are raising adults, not children.” I don’t know about you, but I want my children to grow up with a healthy view of relationships — dating, engaged, or married. I want the health of my marriage to give them a healthy view of what marriage is, and what it should be. That’s why I put my wife first, and them second. Close second, but still second.

At the end of the day, this is a tension you must manage. Your children do need you, and they are important. After your spouse, they come next. Not friendships, not careers, not hobbies. Them. And you must take care of them. But take care of your marriage first and foremost. If that crumbles, the confidence that your children have now will begin to erode. When they see you loving their mother, or their father, they will love them too. But most importantly, they will have a confidence in themselves, and a confidence in the world around them.

Our schedule is busy all the time. I mean all … the … time! It seems to never stop. We are on with our children all the time. That’s why we guard 9 PM on each night. That’s why we intentionally schedule date night a couple times a month. It must be a value. It must be consistent. Mike Berry via babble.

We must come first.

xxxx,

Janice

Being a mum is the equivalent of 2.5 FULL-TIME jobs, according to new research

We’ve often heard the saying “being a mum is a full-time job”; but, according to research, it’s actually closer to being two-and-a-half full-time jobs!

A new American study has found that the average mum works an astonishing 98 hours per week – over twice the average working week of 39 hours.

Researchers examined the schedules of 2000 working mums, with children aged five to 12. They found that the average work day of a mum starts at 6.23am and ends at 8.31pm.

They found that even on their “free time”, mums tended to fill their time with tasks; and, of course, the weekends were just as busy as the week days!

Most mums reported having just one hour and seven minutes of “me time” daily. We spend most of our “me time” in the bathroom trying to get a quick shower unaccompanied…

40 percent of mums surveyed said their lives felt like a series of never-ending tasks, while 70 percent reported feeling pressure to provide a healthy diet for their children.

“The results of the survey highlight just how demanding the role of mum can be and the non-stop barrage of tasks it consists of,” said Casey Lewis, Health and Nutrition Lead at Welch’s, the juice company that commissioned the survey, told Yahoo.

The survey also examined what “life-savers” mums relied upon when trying to do it all became too tough.

The extensive list includes wine (us too), grandparents or a reliable babysitter to step in from time to time, Netflix (for the kids or the parents), wet wipes, drive-through meals, healthy snacks and juices, toys and iPads.

Coffee, napping when possible, and the ability to put on an “angry” voice as required were also on the list of top 20 mum-approved lifesavers.

We can definitely testify to the power of all of the above in a stressful situation – particularly coffee in the mornings, or a glass of wine after a very long day.

What do you think, mums? Does this sound like a typical week in your life?

We would love to know what you use as a life-saver when things get difficult. Via Mummypage life as a mom. Leave us a comment and let us know.

xxxxx,

Janice

Why you could be a victim of digital kidnapping

As a parent, it is your priority to look out for and protect your children. It’s a natural instinct. What if I told you that in some ways you are putting them in more danger than you can imagine?Have you ever heard of digital kidnapping? Prepare to have your world turned upside down.

Social media platforms are easily accessible nowadays. Almost everyone has an online profile. It’s a place to share your inner thoughts, opinions, personal and even intimate moments — a new engagement, new home, new pet, a new vacation, and especially a new baby.

New mothers love sharing pictures of their children online, but some vow to post minimal or no pictures of their children. I’m not a mother myself, but understand the need or desire to share every moment of your precious baby with your friends and family. Their height, their weight, their likes or dislikes. Your child is your biggest accomplishment and you should be proud that child is all your own — but are they?

Look up hashtags like #proudmommy or #momspam ( I mean even I am guilty of using the #proudaunt tag) you will find thousands of happy kids or babies, sharing happy moments with the world. This is where the story get dark, now look up hashtags like #babyrp #childrp or #orphanrp. The ‘rp’ stands for role play. Your child’s picture has been taken by a complete stranger. Your child had a new name, a new life story, and a new mommy or daddy. Your child has been digitally kidnapped.

Before last night I never even heard of the term or trend, until I saw a Facebook article shared by an old university classmate. Her caption was simple, ‘this is why I never post pictures of my child online.’ The article led me to a news story of a young mom named April. In 2012, she gave birth to twins, Sophia and Vivienne. She was a mom that loved to post pictures of her children online. April even joined a special Facebook group where she would upload pictures of her babies, which were often met with adoring comments and support. Then, one day she got a message from a total stranger alerting her that her kids pictures were found on another woman’s page.

The twins were now named Adaya and Kamberlin. These babies had a new mom. Her name was listed as Ashley and she spoke about the love she had for her children and even shared false medical issues the girls were suffering from. April was a victim of a digital kidnapper. The police were not able to do anything as there was ‘no crime’ or actual harm to the children. Despite threats of legal action and reports of a false profile, Ashley kept posting pictures of her ‘children’. Flash forward to 2016, and April was still fighting this digital kidnapper and even appeared on an episode of Dr Phil where she revealed just how far the story escalated.

April and her husband hired a private investigator to investigate Ashley- this fake mom came with a criminal profile and a longstanding “history” of her twins being taken away from her by her mother. Worst of all, there were pictures of her fake daughters all over her house — on her bedstand, on the living room walls, and in the entry way.

While this story is extreme, it speaks volumes to the society we are living in. People share every moment and detail online for temporary hits of pleasure and satisfaction from virtual strangers and distant friends. This trend goes hand in hand with artists having their material stolen and passed off as someone else, or even online fraud and identity theft. People catfish everyday, pretending to be someone else in order to get a date.  Cases like this did not exist 10  to 15 years ago because your personal treasures and moments were kept in a photo album inside a drawer and pulled out only when close friends or family come to visit. Now, nothing is private and nothing is sacred. Our culture has evolved so dramatically that this is the new normal.

The babyrp hashtag has been hidden on Instagram due to reported content that doesn’t meet the website’s ‘conditions,’ but from the few posts that remain, strangers role play the lives of babies and kids, giving them an entirely different life and creepy fantasies. This is truly the dark side of Instagram and, as I said before, the trend is small but growing thanks to our obsession with social media. So, what can you do?

• The obvious, would be to limit the amount of posts with your young kids on social media or use platforms that only temporarily share the pictures like snapchat or Instagram Story.

• Don’t include any identity details in the pictures

• Download an app that helps you watermark pictures, similar to professional photographers.

• Tighten up your privacy settings: you have the option to make your profile private on sites like Instagram

• Review your friends lists and make sure you’re actually willing to share these photos with your online friends and consider e-mail for larges sets of pictures

Digital kidnapping is not illegal and it is hard to control, just be aware of what you post online and make it difficult for people to identify your child as their own. Womenspost Leanne Benn.

xxxxx,

Janice