Home and Family Life · Pregnancy and Motherhood

How I plan to create a happy, healthy home for my daughter

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When I think back on my childhood I feel melancholy. The overarching thoughts in my head being about how I wished things were different. I appreciate that I was able to go to swim lessons, dance classes, I had lots of clothes, shoes, and material items, but if I had to be 100% honest, they did nothing for me. I spent a large chunk of my years with my grandparents and they were great but I do not recall ever being hugged, told I love you or receiving any sort of real affection from them.

Internally I was a sad and nervous child that really always second guessed herself all the time. I always tell my husband stories of going on field trips and seeing moms chaperoning, or about the birthday that my mom wasn’t there for but she paid for me to have a really nice party. Or about how I really had no one to talk to about my feelings or play with being an only child. I lived in my head a lot, thinking and overthinking.

Despite how I felt, my feelings were never actually communicated to anyone because nobody ever asked me how I felt. Yes, I had stuff, but when I think back on my childhood I don’t remember any of it. I remember feeling sad, anxious and lonely. I remember my feelings not my stuff. I remember that my mom was not there at the party but not one detail otherwise, I remember feeling sad about never having a parent involved in the mundane school activities but not the activities themselves. So when I had a daughter, I felt compelled to not recreate history, and to do what it takes to not be a perfect mom, but a mom who does her best to create a stable, happy and healthy space for my baby to grow up in. Some of the things I plan to do are:

Communicate, because kids have feelings too

One day on his way to work, my husband overheard a conversation between a mom and her son on the sidewalk. She asked him why he seemed so deep in thought and he said “because I have a lot on my mind”. His mom’s response was “you can’t have a lot on your mind, you’re fiveeeeee”. It was a cute little story but I definitely don’t share the same feelings as this mama. Ever since I was pregnant I was aware of Eden’s feelings, because she is a person. So I was always thinking about how she felt and what was best. So when she is able to actually talk to us, we will begin talking to her about feelings, to ensure that we establish healthy lines of communication. I want her to be able to come to us with anything, because things that may seem small to us are actually big in the world of kids. Plus, if she is ever in a position of needing to talk about a bad experience, whether bullying or some other type of hurt, I want to be her safe place.

Show her lots of affection

I love my baby, and I let her know exactly how much every single day. So much so, that she might think that my lips are a permanent part of her face. Both my husband and I are beyond affectionate with her and she loves it. We have so many pictures of her squealing with excitement as we kiss and cuddle her. I plan to continue to hold her hand, kiss her, hug her and tell her I love her 37464833 times a day. I hope that it will be the foundation for her future relationships and a daily reminder that I do care about her. I will also show her affection when she does something wrong, so that she knows my love is unconditional, regardless of the circumstance.

Be a model mommy

Not like Naomi Campbell or anything like that. But the role model type of model. Children are super perceptive and pick up on everything. So I plan to constantly work on myself to be the best person I can be. I plan to speak to her father with respect, treat people with kindness, and to watch my words and how I speak to others. I also plan to love myself because I want her to view herself in a favorable light, from her hair, to her skin, and everything in between. I feel strongly that this all begins with me. I want her to be kind, respectful and confident so that when she faces the world she can hold her head up and be proud of who she is.

Give her lots of quality time

Literally 4 months before the birth of my daughter I got a promotion. The promotion I always wanted! I work at a prominent medical center and moved to America in 2015 so this was an achievement for me! I was so excited at all the possibilities and thought of all the things I could do with the extra cash we would have. But now I see things totally differently. The thing is, if I keep my career momentum going I will be able to give my daughter so much, but I will also miss out on a lot. So my husband and I had to discuss what was truly best for our family. We ultimately decided that best was for me to give her more time as she grows up. By no means do I plan to stop working altogether, but in the coming years I will no longer be in charge of a department. My primary job will be chaperoning field trips, planning birthdays, holidays and making sure I’m healthy mentally and physically so that I can be there for my family. It was not the easiest decision for me, because I wanted my daughter to see her mom as a boss (lol), a leader in this amazing organization. But, ultimately when she looks back on her childhood, I want her to remember her fun childhood experiences, and I do not want those memories to be tarnished by the fact that her mother was not there.

Create meaningful experiences

Speaking of experiences. I plan to travel with my little family. We have so many places we want to see. Right here in New York, the US and around the world. I want Eden to see, learn and respect other cultures. I want her to see how other people live so that she can have a greater appreciation for her life. I want us to travel and get on each other’s nerves and just be outside of our comfort zone together. These are the types of memories that will last a lifetime and I hope to God her father and I can make it all happen.

Cultivate a safe and comfortable environment

When I was pregnant I was obsessed with the idea of finding a nice home to bring our daughter to. It was SO important and we definitely cut it close. So close that we closed on a purchase just two weeks before her birth. It’s in a nice quiet neighborhood with huge trees, good schools and parks nearby. She has her own room that we plan to make into whatever she wants it to be, so that it can be her sanctuary, a place to chill alone or with friends. We won’t be fake perfect parents but we also plan to not expose her to animosity, yelling or fighting because it makes kids feel awkward and crappy, so that just won’t be a thing in my house.

I am really hopeful that creating this positive environment would help to develop a confident, emotionally intelligent and happy little human, who is not bogged down by shitty memories, and above all I think that’s my biggest goal as a mother.

 

xo

-Nic

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The Essential Guide To a Tidy Space

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15 tips to keep your home organized that can be done in 15 minutes or less!

If you’re like me, you don’t have an endless bank of time to spend cleaning and organizing. But I also cannot stand clutter or things being out of place. I’m not sure what triggered the transition from messy 20 something to overly tidy 32 year old but here I am. I work in infection control and I have an allergy ridden infant also, so i’m kinda (a lot actually) obsessed with making sure everything remains as spotless as possible. Despite this, I don’t ever want cleaning to take away from spending time with my baby and family so there’s a few small things I do everyday to ensure my space remains clear and clutter free. Before I begin, I should say though that I love minimalist decor. I don’t have a lot of standing items in my home beyond those deemed absolutely necessary. There’s lots of floating shelves, over the door hangers, wall hooks and lots a nice free space all around, so it definitely makes my job easier.

Tip #1: Wash dishes after use

This may seem pretty obvious to some but honestly, after a nice meal, most people do not want to deal with dishes, whether it’s hand washing or loading the dishwasher. I promise you however, it’s worth it. A few minutes of cleaning beats dealing with a ton of dirty dishes at the end of the day or days if you really push it.

Tip #2: Do laundry regularly

Throwing in one or two loads as they come beats the overwhelming mountain of clothes needed to be washed, dried, folded and hung if you wait. If you like to do laundry kudos to you, but for me, sitting and folding a ton of laundry in one sitting is the stuff my nightmares are made of so regular washing is key.

Tip #3: Make your bed as soon as possible after waking up

Making your bed doesn’t have to even take more than 5 minutes. Just ensure that you have proper fitting sheets and not too much unnecessary fluff and you’re set! A few good tugs of your sheets in the right directions and all should be sorted out rather quickly.

Tip #4:  Edit your closets ruthlessly and frequently 

Throw stuff away! You’re probably not gonna fit in those jeans again (kudos to you if you do though), that tie dye tank top will not come back in style, and I know you love *NSYNC but it might be time to let go of that old concert tee.

Tip #5: Rehang clothing items not being used

This one is simple, take the time to hang your stuff up, your chair handles, and floor will thank you.

Tip #6: Wipe spills as they happen

This is pretty easy, just keep paper towels at key points around the house. I buy them in bulk and always have them close by since my daughter feels most comfortable when she pukes on me specifically.

I get thisbrand, they’re cheap, soft, and last a very long time.

Tip #7: Clean kitchen counters while cooking

I’ll be the first to admit that I hate cooking. So if you ever see me post a recipe here, my body has been overtaken by someone else. But I have to feed myself so I do use the stove and while I do, it takes only a few minutes to wipe down the counter tops while i’m already in the kitchen.

Tip #8: Keep a mail sorter in the entryway

I really like this one that I found on Amazon. We drop all our mail in there before properly entering the house. At the end of the week we sort and discard what’s unnecessary.

Tip #9: Remove trash each time you leave the house 

My dad always accused me of “making garbage” whatever that means, because i’m always throwing crap out every single day. Now with a baby, I make even more garbage because there’s way more crap and lots of it, so every time we step outside, we through stuff out.

Tip #10: Make baskets and bins your best friend 

I have cute baskets and bins from top to bottom in our closets, there’s sock bins, hair product bins, hat baskets, and so much more. They look nice and they keep shelves clutter free.

Tip #11: Return items to where they belong after use

This tip is key. We all get tired, but unless you live in a massive space, it’s so easy to return items to their rightful place once you’re done with them. It will also make them easier to find once you need them again.

Tip #12: Spray bathroom and toilet with cleaner once per day

I do this while i’m already in the bathroom preparing for a bath. I spray and rinse, it prevents mold, mildew and whatever causes toilet rings from forming. No scrubbing or wiping required if done frequently. I would not recommend using harsh bleach cleaners if you plan to do this regularly, be sure to try an all-purpose (great smelling) cleaner like Mrs. Meyer to get the job done.

Tip #13: Keep racks in bathroom to hang robes and towels 

This makes it easy to keep your stuff out of the way and at your disposal before and after baths. If you don’t have a lot of wall space, over the door organizers are super convenient, easy to assemble and a great space saving option.

Tip #14: Put clothes in laundry hamper immediately after use

I’m a huge fan of attractive laundry hampers and if that statement isn’t a sign of my aging I dunno what is. Anyway, I like them because they make me want to use them. It’s weird but true. The ones I use for my family are here and here, and I don’t know about anyone else but I really like putting my stuff in them instead of just leaving them laying around

Tip #15: Wipe surfaces regularly to prevent dust accumulation 

I actually buy these bootleg Swiffer dusters at the dollar tree and go over my very few hard surfaces regularly. If you do it often enough it will only take a couple of minutes because dust will never actually have a chance to accumulate.

What are some of the ways you keep things organized in your home? Shoot me a comment and let me know!

 

xo

-Nic

Editor’s Note: This post is not sponsored and all items are ones that I actually use and love! However if you do purchase an item directly through the links I will receive a small commission at no cost to you.

Thank you, I appreciate your support.