Thursday, October 28, 2010

Solo Parenting Tips

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Solo parenting is hard. Whether a single mum or a pseudo-solo parent this is not any easy life. Here are my tops tips for getting through those tough days. The days when you do not think you could possibly take any more..

:-When you want to scream take a look at your baby.

There will be times when you are ready to break. When bubby is needing so much of you and you feel yourself losing it. Fight these negative emotions by holding and looking at your baby. Holding, looking, touching, kissing and breastfeeding your baby trigger the release of Oxytocin, this hormone helps to calm you and produce a strong love reaction toward your baby.

:-When bubby is asleep down all tools

When bubby drops of for a nap this is time for you to recharge. Don't be tempted to hang out washing, pay bills or tidy the house. This is 100% your time. Use it wisely. Read a book. Watch some tv. Work on a relaxing hobby. Have a sleep yourself.

:- Wear your baby.

There is a whole community of mums out there who wear their baby as a way of life. They wear their baby when they are out shopping, when they are doing the housework and when they feel that baby needs that sort of closeness.
For a long time I considered baby carriers to be the anti-thesis of prams. They are not. Prams are for transport, and the occasional rocking of the baby to sleep. Carriers are for closeness and comfort.
Note: If you are a first time babywearer I whole-heartedly recommend joining a baby-wearing group (whether online or in person) in order to learn how to babywear correctly. A type of carrier known as a bag sling is incredibly unsafe and the cause of multiple deaths. Sadly due to the pretty design bag slings are one of the most common baby carrier found in stores. Ring slings, Wraps, Mei Tais and Soft-Structured carriers present much safer alternatives.

:- Keep yourself busy.

This might sound ridiculous, you probably will feel looking after bubby keeps you busy enough. It is really easy as a mum to spend an entire day on the lounge room floor entertaining your baby. Every time you try to leave your baby becomes unsettled or fussy and you sit back down again feeling trapped in the lounge room. You will find that both you and your baby are happier when you busy yourself, bake a cake, go do the grocery shopping, weed

:-Phone a friend

Ask for help whenever you need it. Find a friend or family member that has been through it. Call them and have a chat, invite them around for coffee. This is a time when you will notice that some family members will not understand what the fuss is about. Other mums who have never experienced any form of solo parenting might not be the most sympathetic. Find a mum or two that has been through it and do not be afraid to ask them around for a coffee.

:-Permission to take a shortcut

Give yourself permission to not be a perfect parent all of the time. It really does take a village to raise a child. If you are doing it solo then you are going to be physically unable to achieve all of the wonderful parenting ideals that you have set. This might mean you do give your child a dummy, let them watch TV while you fold the washing, or put them in a rocking bouncinette. These parenting shortcuts are there to help you, make use of them when you need.

:-Build your community

This blog is all about building a community of mums. This is possibly the most important, and hardest, of all the tips. Make use of online communities as well as real life friends. Find other mums who are committed to creating a community.

References:
http://www.babiesonline.com/articles/baby/scienceofmotherslove.asp
http://www.baby-carriers-downunder.com/
http://singlefamilyvoices.com

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