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Friendship Changes with Motherhood

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Mom friends

Friendship looks a little different now that I’m a mom. What used to be impromptu late nights out discussing everything under the sun has evolved into abbreviated daytime meet-ups: Unfinished conversations at the park. A super quick coffee and a hug. The most strategically scheduled (around nap time) beer. Either way, conversations are now mostly about our kids and how we’re surviving. 

Not only have conversations evolved, but my friend group has also. Some friendships have been lost while others have become stronger. 

Before I had my little ones, I expected to be able to maintain all of my friendships. I remember being worried about how I didn’t want having kids to change me. I thought I’d be the mom that still got the invitations to brunch or drinks and that I’d be able to maintain that part of my life – especially since I had a promise from my hubby that he would stay home when I wanted to spend time with friends. 

After my first was born, I noticed those friends of mine without kids fading from my life. My attempts to make plans were unsuccessful and the invitations I still expected were not extended. I know I’m not alone when I admit that maintaining friendships is difficult as a mom.

I soon realized that I was not going to be the ‘cool mom’ that I thought all my friends would embrace. This could have made me upset or depressed, but I was too busy caring for my sweet little one to dwell on it. I also didn’t miss these invitations like I worried I would. 

Then I noticed growing support and communication from my mama friends. The random texts to say hi and check in were a huge virtual hug and support in a time when, as a stay at home mama, I could have easily felt isolated and alone. There were texts that make me laugh out loud that could brighten up a somewhat stressful day. Our messages turned into longer chats some days and others turned into actual plans made and our friendships grew. 

In the end, having kids did change me and my friendships, but I’m ok with that now. 

I realize that some friendships exist for a certain period of our lives and others endure the big changes and the hard stuff. Some friendships can endure long moments of silence and others cannot. And some friendships can last when you add kids to the equation and others cannot.

I think about all of my friends past and present and smile. But when I think of my mama friends, my heart truly warms. My mom squad can give advice or just give me the ear I need because they get it and have been there. Sometimes just hearing the “Girl, I know” is enough to keep me going. My friendships with my mom squad are life.

So for my mama friends who welcome my company unshowered and in comfy pants, who make sure to text once a week even if just to say hey, who love me as a mom as much as a woman, and who never judge, I want you to know you are equally as loved and needed and I’m so lucky to have you in my life. 

So make sure you send your mom squad a message of love and support today. Tell them you love them and appreciate their friendship. Thank them for being there for you. And then make sure to plan a night out with drinks, dancing, games, karaoke, or all of the above, together soon.

When It All Seems Too Much, There Are Ways to See Through

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seems too muchBreaking news – It’s a heavy time to be alive. Sometimes it all seems too much.

Fingers crossed that you are in the same great place I am as I write this. My family is healthy. My business is successful. My home is warm and stocked with food and my husband is the best.

That’s all well and good, but it sure doesn’t keep me from worrying. I worry about my body, my family, and my job. The work at home is never done. And then, of course, there’s the news. Doesn’t matter your opinion on the topic, I think we can all agree the news is heavy. This has been true forever, but you can’t hide from it anymore. And who wants to? I mean, we’re supposed to be aware of our surroundings and “woke” and speaking out for injustice and raising money for cancer and…and…and….Sometimes it all seems too much.

Bad things can happen every day. In the grand scheme of things, what does it really matter if you eat a candy bar tonight or let the toddlers watch one extra Sesame Street? Who cares??

That’s where I am right now. How can I care about these minor things while the rest of the world is on fire? Well, we’ll get to the “how” here in a second, but first know that you have to. Wasting a good life worrying about the next shoe to drop is not a life well-lived. Live life with gusto and if/when a bad day comes, so be it. At the very least you’ll have those good old days to look back on.

But if my fluffy “just do it” attitude isn’t enough, here are some thoughts from the Milwaukee Mom contributor team as to how to keep on keeping on when it all seems too much.

Move Your Body

Run, do yoga, wrestle with your kids, wrestle with your spouse (wink, wink). Whatever gets your heart pumping, do that. I’ve tried to fight this old adage as long as I could, but it’s true. You really do feel better about everything after a good sweat session.

When It Seems Too Much, Turn It Off

One of the reasons we can’t escape the angst is because it is literally following us everywhere! Thanks to our phones, we can get breaking news, work emails, and unhappy social media announcements no matter where we are. Ah!

So, turn it off from time to time. Try putting your phone on airplane mode for a couple hours a day. Delete all the notification options. Definitely don’t bring your phone into the bedroom. (Old school alarm clock and paper books FTW!) If you’re feeling adventurous, try leaving your phone at home when you go out in the world. I know, I know. This is bonkers talk, but just a short fifteen-years-ago, you did it all the time. You’ll be fine.

Find the Fluff

Speaking of paper books – read a book, grab a magazine, or turn on Netflix. Whatever allows you to check out of life for a few minutes a day is what we are looking for here. So again, if you can NOT do it on your phone (because you are going to check Instagram or Facebook, too, I just know it!), try that option.

Don’t think you have time? You’ll be amazed at how much free time you have once you stop looking at your phone.

Do the Work

One of the reasons I spend so much time in a free fall of worry is because I feel like I can’t do anything about it. Or I can, but it’s such an overwhelming mountain to climb.

Well, take a deep breath and just do the thing. You could have called the politician by now (no matter what you think about the person, the staff is usually perfectly polite!). You just need five minutes to hop on a charity’s website and give a donation. Next time you’re making dinner, double it and give the extra to your friend. Just do the thing and put it behind you. Worrying about it takes a lot more energy than actually getting it done.

Self-Care Does NOT Mean Self-Sabotage

Look, if there were Olympics for stress eating, obviously I would win. Do as I say and not as I do and have a cookie, but not the whole box. Drink a glass of wine vs. the bottle. Buy a new nail polish vs. a full new outfit from the fancy boutique. I want you to take care of yourself and yes, sometimes that means indulging, but doing the bad thing over and over again is only going to make you feel worse.

If It Seems Too Much, Go to Therapy

Speaking of feelings, many folks suggested therapy. I agree! If you feel like you could benefit from talking out your issues to an impartial ear, then make an appointment now.

On the other hand, if you feel like you don’t have anything to talk about (or the $75 a pop is out of reach), try other forms of therapy. Write in a journal. Take a walk in a quiet place outside. Pop on a yoga video or meditation app and just breathe.

Let the Music Move You

When NPR gets to be too hard or the Dax Shepard podcast too repetitive, turn to good old-fashioned music. My friends suggested everything from heavy death metal to NSFW rap to spa-like raindrop noise to gospel to classical. Something is bound to speak to your soul and move you through this wave of emotion. Let it crest and move on, friend. There’s a good life out here waiting for you.


So that’s us. What do you do when you’re feeling like the ride is just too much?

Holiday Bonus Episode : Where We Drink Wine and Watch Netflix Christmas Movies

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"If the Night King from Game of Thrones came out of the bushes at me at night on my college campus, I'd be pooping my pants."

Holiday Bonus Episode – Where We Drink Wine and Watch Netflix Christmas Movies

In this fun little holiday frolic, Sarah and Melania plan out a movie marathon of three holiday movies on Netflix with running commentary along the way, along with a decked out charcuterie board and a couple bottles of wine.

On the viewing list are the following Netflix movies: 

  • Santa Girl – Santa’s daughter is determined to live her own life by going to college, though she remains committed to her family duty of marrying the son of Jack Frost, her betrothed husband from the time she was an infant. Also includes the Tooth Fairy’s son playing matchmaker, a leprechaun minister, and The Night King from Game of Thrones.
  • The Spirit of Christmas – A career-minded professional falls in love with a 90-year old ghost who knows how to use ADT security systems and play the piano, who also enjoys long snowshoeing hikes through the woods that don’t end in a fatal head injury.
  • The Knight Before Christmas – A 14th-century knight who was just minding his own business is suddenly transported to modern day Ohio where he meets a high school science teacher with a tricked out guest house and about fifteen winter coats. He loves to bake bread and fight lawn decorations with his sword. We also discuss what a “codpiece” is.

Holiday Bonus Episode - Show Notes

MOVIE NOTES:

Holiday Bonus Episode - About Us

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SARAH KOOIMAN + MELANIA KLEMOWITS

We are best friends and we like to eat cheese plates and watch silly movies. This time, we figured it would be fun to record it.

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

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I Got PMDD After My Second Child

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pmdd

For as long as I can remember, I have had a less than ideal menstrual cycle.

One of the strongest memories of my teen years is falling into a ball in the shower because the cramps in my lower abdomen felt like knives were repeatedly being shoved into me. My poor dad was the only one home. I couldn’t move. I screamed in agony for help but also screamed that he not look at me; because what teenage girl wants their father to see them naked? My dad successfully got me dressed (without looking at me) and took me to the emergency room.  The message I received was that I would probably experience very painful menstrual cycles my whole life due to a problem with how my eggs traveled through my fallopian tube. Awesome. With the help of birth control, the pain was minimized and I didn’t have any more experiences where I was banished to the fetal position.

Then I had children.

My cycle was unchanged after my first child. After my second child, things changed in ways that I did not know were possible. While the physical properties of my cycle changed, they were manageable with over the counter options. My cycle is pretty regular and I track it to keep me prepared. I use an app on my phone called MyDaysX. I started to notice a pattern emerging with my moods the closer I got to my period. Of course, I questioned Dr. Google and found something called PMDD (Premenstral Dysphoric Disorder). I have a history of mental illness and see a therapist regularly. When I explained to my therapist the pattern I observed, she was pretty confident that it was indeed PMDD. She instructed me to start tracking my moods in my cycle tracker for 2-3 months and then bring it to the attention of my gynecologist.

What is PMDD

PMDD is similar to what you think of when you think of PMS. Most people associate moodiness with PMS and PMDD is like a very severe case of PMS. It happens 1-2 weeks before your period starts. It is different for everyone but is described as intense depression and anxiety. There is not a clear cause for PMDD but it is thought to be linked to hormone and/or serotonin level changes during the menstrual cycle. In my experience, I would feel myself starting to get depressed about a week before my period would start. I would use the coping skills learned over the years in therapy that usually get me through a “bad” day but they would have little to no effect on my mood. Then 24 hours before my period would start, the suicidal ideations would begin. I would get to the point where I would start making plans to end my life, then I would start my period and all of those feelings would disappear. It was as if someone turned a switch from “suicidal” to “non-suicidal”. This is one of the clearest symptoms of PMDD, although not all women with it will experience suicidal ideations.

Treatment for PMDD

If my experience sounds familiar, please talk to your doctor. They will have the best plan of action for you. My therapist and doctor recommended that I take an SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor) during the week I normally experience the severe depression. Once my period starts, I can stop the meds. I was unaware that SSRIs could make an impact in such a short period of time but PMDD is its own breed and in my first month of taking them, I saw a huge improvement. I still experienced irritability but there were no (as in zero, zilch) suicidal thoughts.

Along with exercise and a healthy diet, my new medication regime should free me from the mental fetal position that PMDD put me in.

There is major stigma around mental illness and although PMDD is not considered a mental illness, it involves treating your mind. It’s easy to think that everyone feels how you’re feeling. Maybe it isn’t PMDD, maybe you need something else. Whatever it may be, feeling depressed on any consistent basis is worth bringing up to your doctor. You deserve peace of mind.

 

If you are feeling suicidal and need immediate help, 1-800-273-8255 is the National Suicide Prevention Hotline and is available 24/7 with immediate counseling.

Bi-cultural and Bilingual Parenting Means Giving My Child Both Worlds

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Bi-cultural and Bilingual Parenting

I am a product of bi-cultural and bilingual parenting. Both of my parents are first generation immigrants in the United States. I was born and raised in Wisconsin but spent most of my summers and holiday vacations in Mexico City. I spent time with family, but mostly was being taken care of because mamá had to work. I remember coming home to Wisconsin with CDs (and cassettes before that) by Jeans or Banda Recodo (hottest pop and banda in the ’90s) and playing them non-stop. It was my mission to learn the lyrics by the next trip back to Mexico so I could be just like my cousins, only to realize that I didn’t know the dance moves to the songs, which made me stand out. I didn’t feel Mexican enough.

I started pre-school in the US around age four. I have a vivid memory of sitting and playing with other kids and hearing them speak, but having no idea what they were saying. I don’t remember struggling to actually learn English, but I struggled learning to write and comprehend at the same level as my peers. When Thanksgiving time rolled around, in school we would do activities and talk about the traditional food. I sometimes said my family would be eating turkey, just like everyone else although I knew we would probably be eating arroz, frijoles, and carnitas. But that didn’t feel American enough.

Eduard James Olmos in the movie Selena says, “We got to prove to the Mexicans how Mexican we are. We got to prove to the Americans how American we are. We gotta be more Mexican than the Mexicans and more American than the Americans, both at the same time. It’s exhausting!”

It is so exhausting! When Mexico played the United States in soccer, people would ask me who I was going to cheer for; the pressure was real! As a young adult it didn’t get easier. It wasn’t until I was about twenty-five years-old that I realized I didn’t have to pick a side, I could just be me. 

Becoming a Bi-cultural and Bilingual Parent

After realizing and accepting that I didn’t have to be one or the other, I thought it would get easier…until I became a parent. Questions like: “Are you going to speak English or Spanish to her?” “When are you taking her to Mexico?” were asked almost immediately after my daughter was born. My initial thought was, Spanish of course! But then, my college English class came to mind and the time when the professor asked me, “How do you not know the difference between in and on?” In a drawer, on a desk is something I still think of when writing. To be completely honest, we decided to speak only Spanish at home but I still struggle with that decision. Just because I know it will be best in the long run, doesn’t mean I don’t have my concerns about it. 

How do I help my daughter navigate the in-between? Will she even feel that way I did, will she gravitate to one culture or language more than the other? These are questions I don’t have answers to and may never will. I am learning to take it day by day and feel reassured that we are doing the best we can. 

 

 

Ep. 5 : When Parents Open their Hearts and Homes

"Foster Care is meant to get families back together and help them become whole and healthy."

Episode 5 – When Parents Open Their Hearts and Homes

Foster Care is one of those BIG topics that is so multi-dimensional and complicated, but we sit down to chat with Charonne Ganiere, local mom and founder of OneHope27 about some of the misconceptions she has encountered since entering the world of foster parenthood, the misaligned motivations she had at the beginning of their journey, and the passion she has for reuniting families and helping them heal.

This is truly a can’t miss episode for every parent out there. 

Episode #5 - Show Notes

FEATURED BLOG CONTENT: 

FEATURED RESOURCES: 

MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE: 

Episode #5 - About Our Guest

Podcast Guest Headshot (4)

CHARONNE GANIERE

Director of OneHope27, Charonne is a central city dweller and mom of 5 children permanently plus many more for a time through foster care. She is passionate about the city, learning to love others well, good coffee and good food!

About OneHope27

The number of children in foster care in the U.S. has grown from an average of 200,000 to currently over 437,000. To help battle this crisis, OneHope27 has worked to connect local churches and communities to provide hope and support to those involved in foster care. Our organization has focused on providing basic material items that children in foster care often lack, including pajamas, clothes and a proper bag to transport their belongings.  We also connect and mentor individuals wanting to get involved with foster care, have hosted career fairs for youth in care and created a resource to help individuals engaging in foster care as well as those who are supporting them.

In 2020 we will open a support home for young moms with children removed from their care for the first time to build community and connection. We believe this will lead to quicker and more successful reunifications, resulting in stronger families and a stronger city. We are for families and we are for Milwaukee.

LEARN MORE AND SUPPORT ONEHOPE27

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School Shooting: When My Son Heard A Threat

I had to do something no parent should have to do: Call the police about a rumored school shooting.

On the drive home from school, my son nonchalantly mentioned he heard about a plan to “shoot up the school” on a specific date. It was mentioned at the lunch table by one of his friends who heard it on the school bus.

Generally, this “game of telephone,” he-said-she-said, lunchroom gossip would not even register with me, and I’d let it pass. But this was different. I told my son we needed to call the police.

My 14-year-old son freaked out because he didn’t want to get his friend in trouble and didn’t think it was a credible threat. Ignoring what I heard or not calling the police was not an option. I told my son we’d continue our discussion when his dad came home.

The discussion with my husband went as anticipated: yes, we would call the police, but we also wanted to hear what was said directly from the friend who heard the conversation on the school bus. My son gave us her phone number, and I put the phone on speaker.

“I just wanted to know what you heard on the bus,” I said to my son’s friend.

“Oh, about the school shooting on (date)?” she asked.

She confirmed what my son said, including the date. “Have you told your parents?” I asked the friend. She hadn’t mentioned it to her parents, and I told her that if she didn’t tell her mom, I would.

Then we called the police.

There’s no “what to do when your kid tells you there’s a school shooting rumor” so I didn’t know what to say or do. Is this worthy of 911 or should I call a local number? I opted to call our town police department. I was immediately referred to the county sheriff’s office.

I started to explain the reason for my call. The sheriff’s office transferred me to the police department in the town in which my son attends high school. Three police departments later, I recounted the conversation with my son and the confirmation from the friend from whom he heard the rumor.

The police were aware of the threat and had been investigating the rumor for weeks. I was told the investigation wielded no credible information and the school would have an increased police presence on the day noted in the rumor. The dispatcher offered to connect me with the school resource officer for more information, and she assured me we did the right thing by calling police to report the rumor.

My son was mortified — mortified I called his friend and mortified I talked to the police. He was afraid his classmates would know he told us, and he thought we overreacted when we called the police. My son’s anxiety over our response lasted for about 24 hours until he realized we did what we had to do.

Making my son uncomfortable is never anything I like to do, but in this case, I wouldn’t change anything.

Our kids should be comfortable enough to come to us when they hear threats like these. And it’s our responsibility to report this kind of thing to the authorities. It’s unfortunate we live at a time when school shootings are something we have to discuss at the dinner table and that kids have to practice active shooter drills “just in case.”

Update: On the day of the rumored shooting, I drove my son to school. Many parents opted to keep their kids home, but I felt comfortable sending him after my conversation with the police department. Police had a strong presence outside the school that morning, with three police cars in the parking lot. And while my son’s school day was uneventful, there WAS an incident involving a gun and a student at another local school.

Being a Mom is Hard, Even For a Psychologist

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being a mom is hard

I felt pretty confident that mothering would come naturally to me before I had my first child.

For starters, I have always loved kids. Growing up, I spent a lot of time babysitting, teaching kids at our local rec department, and being a summer camp counselor.

As an adult, I spent years in graduate school studying child psychology, later becoming a psychologist specializing in supporting children, adolescents, and families.

Then, I became a mama.

Like all new parents, my world shifted when I became a mother. In many ways, I literally transformed into a new version of myself as I began caring for this little being. Most moms describe becoming a mother as one of the most impactful experiences in their lives, creating major shifts in their identities.

As my first child began to grow, I began to understand parenting on a very different level than ever before. I experienced the profound love as well as the many challenges of raising children.

No matter how much I knew about child development, I still had so many questions and insecurities as I navigated the joys and challenges of motherhood.

Finding New Ways to Support Parents

For years before becoming a mom, I advised parents on things like being proactive and consistent in their parenting, spending more time with their children, and staying calm in the presence of toddler tantrums or teenage angst. While I still recommend these strategies, becoming a mother helped me understand how difficult some of my recommendations can be for parents.

My empathy for other parents grew as I fully experienced things like a lack of sleep, juggling full-time work with school schedules, and the enormous pressure facing parents – especially moms- in our culture to “do it all” without enough supportive systems in place.

While I still make recommendations based on leading research in psychology, I am much more intentional to lead with empathy, connection, and validation with parents.

I ask how they’re doing. I encourage them to talk about how their overwhelm impacts their parenting, and we brainstorm ways to address it. I strongly emphasize to parents the importance of talking to themselves kindly, finding ways to take breaks when things get tough, and taking care of themselves.

I also have extended more compassion towards myself over the years as a mother. It can be difficult to accept that I don’t always know how to respond to my children’s behavior.  Like other mother-therapists, I tend to over-analyze my parenting choices and weigh out a lengthy list of strategies when trying to problem-solve behavioral or emotional challenges experienced by my children. There have been times when I’ve thought to myself “How can you not figure this out? You’re a child psychologist!?”

What I have realized over the years is that it doesn’t matter what your background and training is; being a mom is hard.

Whether you’re a teacher, counselor, or nurse, being a mom to your own children comes with a set of challenges that are very different than caring for children and families in your profession.

This is actually the beauty of parenting: we are all more similar in our struggles than we are different. And we can all benefit from more empathy, compassion and kindness for one another, and for ourselves.

Puppies and Kittens Are Forever, Not Just For Christmas

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puppies and kittens for Christmas

Christmas and the holidays are coming and what better gift than a puppy or a kitten.

Nothing matches the reaction of a child who longed for a puppy or a kitten and is given one. There are many videos of the joy, tears, and excitement available on the internet. But…

Let’s talk about when to give a child a pet. I’d  be lying if I didn’t admit to giving my own daughters a Christmas of pets. My kids were twelve, eleven, and almost four. Our Great Dane and seventeen-year-old kitty had died shortly before the holidays. Heartbroken  and inundated with requests for replacements, we agreed to give pets for Christmas.

Our oldest received puppy chow under the Christmas tree. The other two, cat toys. Their excitement on Christmas morning was worth it and we scheduled a visit to the Wisconsin Humane Society.

It was an exciting day and each girl got her wish. The youngest chose the oldest cat in the shelter. Maggie was 14 years old and had been surrendered when her owner went into hospice. The second chose Leah, a year old gray and white kitty. And the oldest named her terrier mix puppy Tinkerbell. To a child, they all learned about their own limits as pet owners.

From changing kitty litter to taking the puppy out at all hours of the day and night, they learned that pets are easier when they were “mom and dad’s.” If the girls had a school event, they learned to arrange for their pet care with someone else in the family.

So, what is my point? Am I saying get a puppy for Christmas or don’t get a puppy for Christmas? I am saying both.

My husband and I have always had pets: dogs, cats, reptiles, rabbits, birds. Our children didn’t know a time without pets. We know how to acclimate pets into a rowdy family. We know the expense of veterinary bills, food, and accessories. We know the importance of training. We know that a pet is forever and on their last day, confused, old, and in pain, that we will hold them and tell them what a good boy or girl they had been. We will tell them we love them and it is okay to go. We will be their forever home. If we could not commit to this, we would have chosen other gifts.

So, before getting a Christmas puppy or kitten, ask yourself:

  • does everyone want a pet
  • do we have space for a pet
  • what are our limitations in renting or owning
  • how many hours a day will our pet be alone
  • can we train a pet or have the money to pay for it
  • do we know the costs of a pet
  • will we spay or neuter
  • can we afford medical care
  • can we tolerate potty training accidents
  • are we patient with mistakes
  • does anyone have allergies
  • can we make a 10-20 year commitment

Research a pet before buying or rescuing. Different breeds have specific traits. The husky population in shelters skyrocketed after Game of Thrones. Huskies are beautiful but high energy dogs. It was such a problem that the actors began doing PSAs against getting huskies because so many ended up abandoned.

When considering all these factors, maybe the answer is not no, but the answer is not now.

We had no unrealistic expectations that a pet would suddenly teach our children to be more responsible. We knew we would do the majority of the pet care. We knew how to do the pet care. And we knew we would be a forever home.

Maggie lived eighteen years and died happy, loved, and in the arms of my youngest. Our oldest came home from college to be with Tinkerbell when she passed in 2012. Sixteen-year-old Leah is sitting next to me as I write, still here because moving across country with our middle would be too traumatic now and because forever means forever.

A Floor Bed Works for Us to Give Our Baby More Independence

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floor bed

As a Montessori educator, I have always been very intrigued by the Montessori philosophy for infants. Upon arrival of my daughter about a year ago, I was eager to begin to incorporate some of these ideologies, especially a floor bed. I slept on a floor bed as an infant, along with all my siblings, so there was no convincing the grandparents on this one. In fact, my husband and dad had a little bonding session where they built the bed frame together!

If you’re not keen on wood crafts with the in-laws, you could also simply put a crib mattress right on the floor, or purchase a floor bed frame. The idea behind a floor bed stems from allowing your child freedom of movement and independence right from the start. The early granted freedom is also intended to help smooth the eventual transition to a bigger bed (fingers crossed!). When children have the ability to get in and out of their bed all by themselves, there is less dependency on an adult, and transitions to and from sleep can potentially be more easeful.

Potentially…

I was the classic new parent that read ALL the books and decorated the nursery to perfection. I was so prepared and so utterly unprepared for the earth-shattering changes of a newborn.

For the first few months, I was desperate to try anything that might afford a three hour window of sleep for baby… and me! I was nursing around the clock and Amazon Priming anything and everything at 3AM. Talk about sleep deprivation! Meanwhile, the floor bed was collecting dust in the adorable nursery that no one was sleeping in.

It was right around five months that I started to observe some consistent sleep routines in my daughter and I transitioned to “practicing” naps in the floor bed in her own room, and pretty soon after, nights followed.

Intrigued so far? Here are few things to consider:

Safety

The most important factor to consider when using a floor bed is baby proofing the entire room, because they will obviously get out of their bed sometimes- but thats the point! Fine tooth comb the room for any hazards. I highly recommend a video monitor with this set up to make sure everything is safe and help ease any anxieties.

Clutter

I keep her play space in a separate room, so the bedroom is pretty sparse (also a bonus!). Her nursery consists of safely secured furniture, a basket of stuffed animals and board books, and the floor bed.

Aesthetics

Instead of viewing her room through the bars of a crib, she’s provided a more pleasing view. I have a low mounted mirror, a handful of artwork hung at her eye level near the bed, and a curtain and mobile overhead.

A floor bed is not going to magically make your child sleep through the night. Trust me, she continues to give me a run for my money nightly.  It can however offer babies independence and an opportunity to self-soothe upon going to bed and waking up.

It’s important to do what is best for your baby and your family in the sleep department. This is our floor bed journey, and while it’s far from flawless, I’d definitely do it again.

A floor bed worked for us

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Guide To Milwaukee

ShopMKE19: A Milwaukee Holiday Gift Guide

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Welcome to the Shop Milwaukee 2019 Holiday Gift Guide! Back by popular demand, this mom-approved Milwaukee gift guide will simplify your busy life and provide you...