This blog is about life with a baby. It's not always what you expect and there is definitely no job description. Every baby is different and unique which is why motherhood can be so scary, fun, terrifying, exciting, and rewarding all at the same time.

We encourage you to share your experiences - by sharing your experiences and commenting on other posts, you may be helping other moms.
  • Tuesday, May 11, 2010 1:35 PM | Joanna
    Claire Kerr-Zlobin, Joanna Vernik, Kimberly O'Mally were on Rogers Daytime TV to promote Life with a Baby. Watch it here.



  • Tuesday, May 04, 2010 4:15 PM | claire (Administrator)
    Did you that York Region Public Health offer parenting workshops?  Well they do!
    Exciting news for new parents in York Region.

    The workshops include: Adjusting to the 1st year, Attachment parenting, Growth & development, Infant sleep, and Positive discipline.

    These workshops are for parents with infants 0-12 months and are across the Region. Currently, the programs are being offered in Markham, Aurora, Newmarket, Keswick, Woodbridge, Schomberg & Sutton.  The region plans to offer program in more location in upcoming months.  To see the flyer for these workshop and contact information click here

    Are you feeling anxious, depressed, or just need additional support? The York Region Community and Health Services department facilitates an educational support
    group to help families with the transition during pregnancy or after the birth of a baby.
    The Transition to Parenting program is a 12 week program. To see the flyer and contact information click here.

    Do you have a child between the ages or 1 and 5?  Nobody's perfect program may be for you.  NOBODY'S PERFECT is offered as a series of six to eight weekly group sessions. The program is built around five colourful, easy-to-read books which are given to the parents free of charge. During the meetings, trained facilitators support participants as they work together to discover positive ways of parenting.
    To see the flyer and contact info click here

    LWAB is working with Public Health to enhance programs and services for parents in York Region.

  • Friday, April 30, 2010 7:28 AM | Maria

    On Tuesday, April 20th, our guest speaker was John MacMillan, an experienced family life educator. John has been doing workshops with new parents for our 25 years. 

    He spoke about the importance of dad and how a male presence is important in a child's development.  He offered tips on how dad can bond with baby.  Dads' parenting style is different from moms' but babies learn different yet important skills from both.

    Some studies have shown that even a three month old baby can already distinguish between the different kind of stimulations that mom and dad give.

    How can dad be more involved?  Diapering, bathing and soothing baby are good opportunities to bond.  For the nursing baby, mom can pump milk and dad can feed. This will benefit baby but also dad. Being an involved father can be a source of pride and satisfaction too.

  • Friday, April 23, 2010 10:11 PM | claire (Administrator)
    For some of us, our little munchkins are now toddlers. Adorable they are, with their little personalities but they are also at a developmental stage where we may be asking ourselves more and more why is s/he doing that?

    Our parenting your toddler workshop is underway and the most common questions were around sleep, tantrums, discipline, crying, potty training, power struggles, TV time and work life balance.

    Today our session was about active listening, expectations we place on our toddlers and emotional fitness in children.  We had Holly Kretschmer, Psychotherapist & Parent educator as our guest speaker.

    Guess what! I'm a huge fan of active listening. This technique really gives us a chance to communicate with our children and hear how they are feeling.  To demonstrate I've added a few pictures from yesterday.  

    You may think those are decorations in my bamboo plant, but no those are cheerios and cantaloupe.  I'm making dinner and Katelyn asks me for water, so I gave her water. I looked over and she is watering the plant... "awww so cute" I thought to myself.  I'm busy preparing dinner and she is at the table supposedly snacking.  about half an hour later I notice there are cheerios and other food in the water.  So I asked her, Katelyn, why you do that?  "I'm feeding the plant mommy, it's hungry" was her reply. I can only assume that since she gives the plant water b/c it's thirsty then giving it food when it's hungry would make sense. I said, "that was nice of you to feed the plant babe, but that is not the type of food it eats".  I saw her mouth making an O then she showed me the other plants she had fed :-)   I asked her to help me clean up the plants to reinforce the idea that we do not leave this type of food in the plant.

    My first reaction could have been to think she is destroying the plant or she did this to be bad, but it's really important to try and find out "what" your toddler's behaviour means. Maybe your toddler isn't able to express clearly with their words why they did it, which makes it harder to understand - but chances are they didn't do it to be bad. They may even believe they are doing it to help you and then don't understand why you are upset. 

    We also talked about Emotional Fitness and trauma and clarified some information with the group that Trauma is caused by long-term neglect over the life of a person and a single small event will not create long-term trauma. 

    Overall a great session, not every technique and philosophy will work for you and your child. We hope to give you information and best practices to use going forward so you can make informed parenting decisions.


    Do you have any active listening stories to share?

    -Claire
  • Wednesday, April 21, 2010 9:36 PM | Joanna
    It was an amazing 21 degrees today, and bright and sunny. What a perfect day for a walk! And walk we did. Eight moms with babies in strollers came out and enjoyed a good walk through a route that took us to three parks in the Red Maple and Bantry area-- James Langstaff Park, Russel Farm Park, and Springbrook Park.

    The "Park Hop" stroller walk has always been popular and although we visit the same parks, I will occasionally vary the route. If you missed this event, please join us next time.

    Next week, we won't be park-hopping but we will be walking in beautiful Mill Pond Park. Check our calendar for details. Come on out. It's a great way to meet new friends, and get to know the parks in your neighbourhood.

    See you soon!

    Joanna
  • Tuesday, March 16, 2010 10:36 PM | Joanna
    The following is a really funny blog post from one of my favourite blogs "Organic Motherhood with Cool Whip". Naomi de la Torre shares her version of "Not Me Mondays".  "Not me what--?"  Read on and you'll see :-)

    I Can Do Bad All By Myself

    This is my version of “Not Me Mondays” from a wonderful blog that everyone should visit, MckMama. I know it's not Monday. And I don't have the cool linky thing, cuz I'm lame like that. But I want to participate even in all my low-tech glory. So here goes…

    I did not serve my children frozen corn dogs this morning for breakfast, followed by a large helping of chocolate cake. Nor did I tell them that it would be all right to eat said gourmet breakfast directly on the living room carpet because I couldn't stand the whining and wanted to blog. Not me. Not me at all.

    I would never let my bathroom go months without a cleaning because I am a fabulous housekeeper. I have never seen hairballs the size of small goats roaming free beneath my toilet and munching small cockroaches as snacks. I would never let the toothpaste scum in my sink get so bad that I could no longer determine the color of the sink itself.

    I do not let my children deposit half-chewed foods and boogers into my open hand. This is disgusting and completely unacceptable.

    I did not find sixteen mummified cheese sticks under my couch when I was looking for a lost bouncy ball the other afternoon. But if I did, I would have put them immediately in the trash before my two-year-old managed to snatch and gobble one of them whole. I did not call Poison Control because cheese sticks, even when mummified, are still food.

    I did not leave a carved pumpkin in front of my house for weeks after Halloween was over until the pumpkin was devoured by green mold, caved in upon itself, became a small furry ball, grew legs, and walked away.

    I was hallucinating when I thought I saw the pumpkin mold creature lurking in the shadows of my sparkling clean bathroom last night. I did not run. I did not hide. And I did not spray the imaginary monster with Hot Shot Ultra Ant + Roach Killer because of course we do not need this in our house as I am such a fastidious homemaker. I am not afraid of the movie Monsters Inc. thanks to my imaginary run-in with the pumpkin mold creature and did not get hysterical the other night when watching this movie with my children and spray Hot Shot Ultra Ant + Roach Killer at the TV.

    I am not crazy and do not hallucinate on a regular basis. I do not need to be put in a straight jacket. I just need a short vacation from the madness and maybe … a housekeeper.

    Can you relate? Oh, come on. We all have our days. And if you're a Martha Stewart clone, I apologize if this makes you cringe. You can stop reading if you haven't already :-) Here's a tiny bit from me. Now share yours!

    I did not send my  two year old to daycare in stripes and polkadots wearing all the colours of the rainbow just because she threw a tantrum. Her fashion sense would reflect on me and I can't have that. Besides, I absolutely have control over my children and never give in to their hysterical fits. Never.
     - Joanna

    p.s. If you enjoyed the above post, visit Naomi de la Torre's blog and drop her a line.
  • Monday, March 08, 2010 12:41 PM | Joanna

    Newborn's Ten Commandments to Parents

    Another one from my midwives. I do not know its original author but I love this one!

    I come to you as a small, immature being with my own style and personality. I am yours for only a short time; enjoy me.
    1. Please take time to find out who I am, how I differ from you and how much I can bring to you.
    2. Please feed me when I am hungry. I never knew hunger when I was inside you and clocks and time mean little to me.
    3. Please hold, cuddle, kiss, touch, stroke and sing to me. I was always held closely inside of you and was never alone before.
    4. Please don’t be disappointed when I am not the perfect baby that you expected, nor disappointed with yourselves that you are not the perfect parents.
    5. Please try not to expect too much from me as your newborn baby, or too much from yourselves as parents. Give us both six weeks as a birthday present – six weeks for me to grow, develop, mature and become more stable and predictable, and six weeks for you to rest and relax and allow your body to get back to normal.
    6. Please forgive me if I cry a lot. Bear with me and in a short time, as I mature I will spend less and less time crying – and more time socializing.
    7. Please watch me carefully and I can tell you those things which soothe, console and please me. I am not a tyrant who was sent to make your life miserable, but the only way I can tell you that I am not happy is with my crying.
    8. Please remember that I am resilient and can withstand the many natural mistakes you will make with me. As long as you make them with love, you cannot ruin me.
    9. Please take care of yourself and eat a balanced diet, rest and exercise so that when we are together, you have the health and strength to take care of me.
    10. Please take care of your relationship with each other, for what good is family bonding if there is not a family to bond?
    Although I may have turned your life upside down, please realize that things will be back to normal before you know it.
    Thank you,
    Your Loving Child

    (First posted on: The Working Mama, February 8, 2010)
  • Monday, March 08, 2010 12:32 PM | Joanna

    Rules for Postpartum Guests

    I got the following list from my midwives during my pregnancy. I find these quite humorous, probably because I have heard stories from friends (new parents) of appalling behaviour by their postpartum guests. One new dad told me that his in-laws insisted on waking up their newborn every time they came to visit so that they could hold him! 

    Below, I  include the introductory note by the midwives that accompanies the list. Enjoy, and pass these on to your expecting mommy friends or better yet, to their friends and relatives (or yours if YOU are expecting)! :-)

    A NOTE TO POSTPARTUM GUESTS FROM THE MIDWIVES
    Since  this mother and newborn are spending their first few precious days at home together instead of in the hospital, there are no hospital rules to prevent excessive or inappropriate visits. We outline here, some fairly common sense "rules" for postpartum guests. Though we present them with good humour, please take them seriously. Help to make this postpartum recovery as smooth as possible.

    DOs
    DO call before you come by, and arrange to visit at a time convenient for the parents. Evenings,  which may be more convenient for you, are usually the worst time for parents.

    DO keep our visits short. 15-20 minutes is good.

    DO bring food offerings. Suppers particularly come in handy. You may bring frozen dishes or plan in advance to serve an entire supper.
    DO praise the new parents about their growing parenting skills.
    DO offer your opinion when it is asked for.

    DO offer to wash some dishes, to take home some laundry, to run the vacuum.

    DO offer to look after older siblings.

    DO respect the parent's need to do their own things their own way in their own time.

    DO listen raptly to the birth story.

    DON'Ts
    DON'T bring the whole family and settle in for the afternoon.
    DON'T accept offers of tea unless you make it and clean up afterward.

    DON'T tell the parents that you hate the baby's name.

    DON'T smoke.
    DON'T give unsolicited advice.

    DON'T expect the new mother to leave the room to nurse her baby.

    DON'T ask to hold the baby. Wait for an offer.

    DON'T visit if you are feeling even a tiny bit under the weather.

    (First posted on: The Working Mama, February 8, 2010)
  • Friday, January 29, 2010 1:59 PM | claire (Administrator)

    I am a breastfeeding mom -- and proud of it! I know the benefits of breastfeeding and was lucky enough to have been given all of the support and resources that I needed to help me breastfeed successfully. I was lucky, and I hope that other moms will be just as lucky in having all of the support and resources that they need as well. I support breastfeeding and believe that there is nothing better for our babies.

    Are you a breastfeeding mom?  Have you ever stopped to wonder why the "formula feeding mom" next you isn't breastfeeding?

    Was it by choice, or could it be due to a lack of knowledge about breastfeeding? Could it be that she didn't have the resources or the support that she needed? Does she have an underlying health problem that makes it unsafe for her to breastfeed?
    Maybe she tried various methods, but was unsuccessful. Maybe her doctor told her that she couldn't breastfeed due to health reasons. Maybe she has a condition that makes it impossible to breastfeed.

    These are all very real reasons why some moms, unfortunately, are not able to breastfeed successfully.


    The story that hurt my heart is of one mom who tried everything to nurse: she saw the lactation consultants, she tried pumping, and she went to clinics. Nothing worked. This mom was also suffering from Postpartum Isolation, loneliness and depression. One day, she walked into a room and started feeding her baby and was called a "MONSTER!"

    Why? Because she was formula feeding.  
    Was that fair?  Should we do this to our fellow mothers just because they are not as lucky as we are? 

    When we see another mom bottle feeding, would it not be more helpful to give that mom some support? To tell her about the benefits of nursing, and try to find out her reasons for why she was not successful? Shouldn't we give her more resources, and point her in the direction of what worked for those of us who are successful?   Maybe she was not aware of the breastfeeding clinics available, or maybe she didn't know about some of the breastfeeding myths out there.

    Would it not be more effective to encourage this mom to try harder next time, if she has a second child, by being supportive instead of resorting to name calling, judgment and criticism?  

    If you are not sure how to broach the topic, you can use these Three Easy Steps to Discussing Breastfeeding, an adaptation of Best Start’s Three-Step Counseling Program©:
    Step 1: Ask open-ended questions about breastfeeding.
    Step 2: Affirm the mother’s feelings.
    Step 3: Share appropriate information and refer mother to a breastfeeding expert.
    For more information on the steps, visit www.beststart.org/courses
     
    It’s sometimes easy for us to feel that we are better than other mothers just because we breastfeed. But motherhood is not a competition – it’s a sisterhood!

    So let’s stop the judging. Yes, breastfeeding is superior, by far, to formula – there is no comparison. But a breastfeeding mom is not better than a formula feeding mom.
    We should all make a conscious decision to be more empathetic towards our fellow mothers. Remember, most of the time, we do not know why a mother isn't breastfeeding, and she may have a very good reason. So let’s not make assumptions anymore.
    Parenting is challenging enough without feeling like we have to compete with each other. 

    -Claire

  • Saturday, January 23, 2010 9:13 AM | claire (Administrator)


    We've all heard the term a mother's love is the strongest love of all and a mother loves her child unconditionally. 

    I would agree that I love my daughter unconditionally and as mom and daughter we have the strongest bond (especially since I'm her primary caregiver). but does that mean that dads do not love their kids unconditionally? 

    I sometimes wonder if sometimes we are not being a little unfair to dads when we assume that just because we are the mom, we automatically get the right to say we love our child more.

    In my case, I'm more patient, more affectionate, more touchy feely toward Katelyn than my husband - that's my personality. I feel I have a stronger bond with her because of the amount of time we spend together and because she is really apart of me.  But I cannot say with certainty that I love her more than he does.  We just display our love in different ways. 

    I think sometimes as first time moms we get caught up in little statements we've been hearing over the years and other stereotypes in the media.  It does not diminish our love and our bond for our child even if we admit that other caregivers whether it's dad or grandparents love our child just as much as we do.

    I would love to hear your thoughts on this posts, even if you disagree

    Happy Bonding!
    -Claire





 

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