Welcome to Kira's Blog

Welcome to My Blog

Life with young children can be challenging, but with the support and advice of friends, we can feel empowered and thankful for the blessing of being a Mom.

My musings are those of a self-proclaimed attachment-parenting Tiger mom, who juggles full-time mommying with a small (but growing!) baby-related business. I hope some of my thoughts help you
Enjoy your day, Enjoy your night, and Enjoy your kids!!!

Thursday, November 27, 2014

New Baby Must-Haves

We live in a consumer society where buying for baby is the #1 consumer splurge, nation-wide. Any baby store will list between 60-100 items that are "must-haves" for when the little guy or gal joins your family. Truth be told, many items truly are necessary - diapers, wipes, a stroller, and baby shampoo, to name a few. But many items can either be purchased on sale or second-hand... or skipped entirely.

Here's MommyingIdeas' official Newborn baby list of items to buy in a store, as well as suggestions of "ok for hand-me-downs".

Buy new:
Disposable products (diapers, wipes, baby shampoo)

Ok for hand-me downs or to buy used:
Everything else, as long as within safe parameters (used car seats, for example).

From experience, my advice is to buy *as little as possible* before baby arrives. Because, I have found, you truly won't know what you will want until baby is safe and sound in your arms. For example: think you'll need baby bottles? Think again! Some babies refuse many different brands and some won't take the bottle at all if you're a breastfeeding mom. What to do? Borrow a few different models from friends and family or buy used. Boil and clean thoroughly and know that you didn't waste money on a new one just to toss aside.

Crib? Get a pack n play with a bassinet top instead. Or better yet: ask to borrow one or buy used.

How about swaddlers? Some babies are quite the mini-houdinis and what looks nice before baby arrives may fall short of his actual needs once he's all folded in.

A stroller, you might ask? Even a stroller is going to be humongous for the infant AND it's best to see what kind of stroller you want once you see how mobile you are after baby arrives. Again: borrow and try out friends' models before you go buy.

SO - what do you do with the money you've saved? Hire help.
Cleaning help.
Cooking help.
Laundry help.
Grocery-shopping help.
Baby-nurse help
Coffee-delivery help.
...you get the gist.

No joke: paying someone to take care of you and your baby is infinitely more valuable than any newfangled contraption you think you "must-have" for the new guy or gal.

Think ahead - you will need fewer items and more help than you expect. Make sure your budget is planned accordingly.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

The Stranger Irony

We set our kids up to be lured into traps with strangers. And we don't even know it.

We do it All. The. Time.

Here's the scenario:
A young child is sitting in the cart seat at the grocery store. An elderly man approaches. "Hello, pretty girl! You are adorable. What's your name?"

Child looks to Mommy for a moment, puzzled with how to proceed. Most of us will nudge our child to answer. "Go ahead, tell him your name!"

"And how old are you, sweetie?"

Child cowers and avoids looking at the stranger. Most of us will answer for our child. "Oh, she's 3. Her birthday was just last week."


We've just taught our child to openly speak with strangers, and if they ask for personal information, the polite and correct response is to reply directly and honestly.

...and then we tell them at home "never talk to strangers, right?"

This is a classic case of *saying* one thing, but *doing* another.

In public places: grocery stores, shopping malls, even playgrounds, strangers approach vulnerable, young children constantly with a barrage of smiles, winks, and invitations to play or joke with them. And we adults typically entertain these gestures as if it's normal and ok to smile back, give a high-five, and yes - even take that cookie and enjoy it.

But we don't realize that we are sending our children entirely mixed messages that can potentially lead to the worst-case-scenario.

"Hey little guy, what's your name?"

"Awww that's so cute! Did your mommy get you that adorable hat?"

"Hi pal, is that your baby sister in the car seat?"

At the risk of coming across as rude (and consider, dear reader, why you *care* if the cashier or elderly grandmama thinks you're rude?) the wiser choice is to firmly inform, "I'm sorry but we don't talk to strangers" and show your kid that you live by your word.

Teach by example. Don't talk to strangers.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

You are NOT my friend

Most of us want to be known as nice people. Caring friends. Neighborly neighbors. Good Christians. We throw dinner parties that exhaust us. We volunteer with the PTA. We donate to charitable causes. We chit-chat with friends and family, often entertaining conversations that lead nowhere about mundane topics of little interest. We do it to be liked, to be accepted.

We also live in a world which values smiles above-all-else. "Don't Worry, Be Happy" seems to be not a goal but a dictate. As if, God-Forbid someone actually NOT smile and be happy.

Unfortunately, in the modern world, our desire to share smiles and joy *at all times* often goes too far, especially vis a vis our children.

See – our children need us to care for them, raise them, and teach them. They need to learn how to be respectable members of society in their own right. We are their primary source of sustenance and protection, until they leave home and explore the world-beyond.

But modern parents have gotten confused. They are grossly conflict-averse (since conflict may actually challenge that ever-present smile), and so rather than demanding reverence from their children, in today’s world of blurred boundaries, they seek friendship and acceptance. Rather than be their children’s firm coaches, feared teachers, and respected elders, they are chums and pals. They share intimate secrets, inappropriate conversations, and enjoy pop-culture together.

Our children are learning that they need to respect no one, seek acceptance from nobody, and therefore suffer from a catastrophic lack of ambition that has never been seen in history. Why be motivated to do anything when your parents will dote on you, even if you sit on the couch all day? Why strive to excel when parents are equally impressed with mediocrity? When parents slap on a smile to every-single-report-card, children eventually lose interest.

Parents: your children are not your friends. They need to be taught. They need to learn discipline and responsibility. They need to experience your disappointment and frustration when they don't live up to who they can and should be. By coddling your child with friendship, you do him and all future generations a great disservice.

Step up to the plate and find your friends elsewhere - your child will be the stronger for it.