Guest Post Featuring Twinzer Dad

If you are a part of Parent Twitter than I assume you have seen the hilarious Dad Tweets from @TwinzerDad. A dad of twins, he’s got double the relateable content in all that is parenting. He eases our insanity with humor and truth. Don’t forget the Dad Jokes though, because he has plenty of them. What’s even better, he’s a writer! You can find his work on DaddysDigest.com. Today, however, he writes for Messy Mama, in his piece about the infamous “Mom Break” and how fathers of today’s generation don’t truly get the credit, and break, that they deserve. Enjoy the read, and then go and give him a follow. 


 

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Gimmie A Break

One thing that you realize early on with raising twins is that the schedule is everything. You live and die by the schedule. It is important to build that routine early and find what works for you.

My guys didn’t take to nursing. Despite my wife’s best efforts, they just had little interest in the idea of it. After our little guy continued to lose weight, we decided that making sure that feeding our child was more important than appeasing the “Breast is Best” advocates and switched to formula pretty early on.

While this did take an emotional toll on my wife, there were some advantages to going the formula route. The biggest perk being that since my infants were not dependent on a trip to the dairy every three hours, I would be able to take a greater hand in the feeding process.

We developed a pretty solid schedule. My wife and I would do the 9 pm feeding together, after which she would go up to bed. I would keep the boys downstairs and do the one o’clock feeding solo. This meant that she could have quiet, infant-free sleep until I brought the boys up after the 1 am feeding and she wouldn’t have to get up and feed them until 4am. At 7, I would get up and feed the boys with her before getting ready to head off to work. It wasn’t a perfect system, but it did guarantee that we would both get as much sleep as could be expected given our circumstances.

Despite all of this, every time I would talk to someone toward the end of my work day, I would get the same question. “Are you going to go home and give your wife a break?”

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Fast forward three years. We still do our best to evenly distribute the workload (I mean 60/40, but I’m doing my best over here.)

My wife is a teacher, and my work schedule varies, but on an ideal week, it means that we have one day together with the four of us as a family and one day where we each have to shift into zone coverage and do a solo day with the boys.

Because she leaves earlier for work, every morning I get the boys dressed, fed and out the door to school or Grandma’s house. When I am off with them, we generally do the grocery shopping for the week. Almost every night that I’m home, I make dinner for the four of us.

Yet despite all this, I still constantly get asked “When are you going to give Mom a break?” or “Are you going to let Mom sleep in this weekend?”

I’m not attempting to pat myself on the back. I’m not asking for a parade including floats and a musical appearance by The Rock belting out “You’re Welcome” while being showered with praise. What I am asking for is just a little bit of respect.

Throughout the years, the bar has been set pretty low for dadding, yet this generation of dads seek to be more involved in the upbringing of their children than any generation before them. Many dads today strive to set aside traditional gender roles and take an equal share of the parenting responsibilities.

Yet there is an assumption out there that dads are standing by watching our wives do all the work. That while Moms are elbow deep in diapers and tantrums, Dads are kicking back with a beer and watching the game. There is little as demeaning for a Dad than to be congratulated for completing the most basic of parenting tasks without their wife there to give them explicit directions. It’s the same type of assumptions that inspire people to ask dads if they’re “babysitting” their children every time Mom isn’t present.

That’s not to say that Mom doesn’t deserve a break. It’s not to say that Mom doesn’t deserve an opportunity to sleep in on a Sunday morning or take a child free trip to Target, she does. It just means that it is time to assume that Dad may be equally as tired and that the good Dads out there are working just as hard to make their children a priority in their lives and are worthy of the same level of respect and consideration.

 


 

Guest Writer Information

Dale was born in Pittsburgh, PA but currently lives outside of Reading, PA. He graduated with a BA in photojournalism from Point Park University in Pittsburgh, PA in 2007. He has worked as a Marketing Brand Representative in the optical industry for five years. Dale lives in a quiet suburb with his beautiful wife and twin three-year-old boys. He enjoys Pittsburgh sports, comic books and bad action movies from the 80’s and 90’s. Dale also runs a comedic twitter account under the handle @TwinzerDad.

 


 

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Guest Post Featuring Housewife Hustle

I came across Jenni’s blog at the ripe stage of my blogging journey. Immediately, I was hooked. Jenni sets herself way a part from other parenting bloggers, yet is completely and totally relatable.

In today’s Guest Post, Jenni gives you a sneak peak inside of her world, and introduces you to her blog, Housewife Hustle. Take a moment, have a cup of coffee, or tea, and get to know her. Then, go check out her blog.

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Hustling as a Housewife

I started my blog last spring. I had the domain for a few months before, but I was in a rut. It wasn’t until I found out I needed a hysterectomy that I really started to blog. I’ve had a few other blogs in the past, but none of them stuck the way this one has. I wasn’t as passionate before, because I was writing to please other people.

I’ve always loved writing and even got my Bachelors degree in English, but no one ever read the things I wrote. I thought the few professors who told me I was “just an average writer” were write. So, I constantly gave up on myself. I wrote for a music magazine as a reviewer for awhile, but I wanted a blog I loved. So, here I am, finally doing what I love!

Average Mom, Not So Average Circumstances

I’m the run of the mill toddler mom. I like Pinterest and Target, and my kids eat chicken nuggets at least twice a week. I try my hardest to keep my kids happy and healthy, but I’m not a typical SAHM, I guess. I’m legally blind. My visual field is maybe the size of a fat straw or a little smaller than a dime. I have Retinitis Pigmentosa, which is a hereditary eye disease. At first, I didn’t want to just be “that blind mom blogger.” That has changed though. I have spoken at disability panels and done awareness campaigns in the past, but I wanted to be more than my eyes. So, I slowly let my readers into my unsighted world. I’m actually extremely happy that I can write posts about it now. It’s a bit freeing.

Ups and Downs

Housewife Hustle is about what I do everyday. It’s about the ups and downs of parenthood and life in general. I talk candidly about a big range of topics. I have a rocky health history with eating disorders, anxiety, endometriosis, and a decent amount of surgeries. I want people to see me from a realistic perspective. I blog to not only get readers but to relate to my readers. It’s important to me to be honest and show that everyone has ups and downs. Too many people use the internet to paint a beautiful, false reality, and I’m not one of them. My life is a beautiful mess, and I embrace every moment.

Not Everyone’s Cup of Tea

I’m not a saint. I swear. I rant. I’m just not a very good liar, so I tend to be blunt with how I feel. I’ve been called a number of names, but I am never judgmental. I believe everyone has a story, and we all come from different backgrounds. There’s no point in judging something you haven’t experienced. Having said that, people don’t always agree with me, and I’m okay with that. I love being honest and having discussions in my comments of my posts. I might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but I like to try different teas, so maybe others should too.

Mom First

My parenting is different compared to other members of my family, so I do catch a lot of flack. I’ve been called a helicopter mom. I just like to be very present with my kids. I also enjoy sharing my parenting experiences. I put my mommy duties above all. I’m still learning to embrace self care, and I’m on a health journey too. I just genuinely believe that my kids come first. I’m working on staying happy and healthy so I can be the best mom to them, and that’s part of the reason I blog.

Blogging keeps me sane. I’ve found a world of amazing people. The support is immense, and it’s slowly turning into a career. I really hope to grow Housewife Hustle into a brand of sorts. I love everything about being a SAHM, and I’m very fortunate that this can be my job. I’m going to keep hustling as a housewife.

-Jenni

 


 

Guest Writer Information:

Jennifer Dunlap
Housewife Hustle
www.housewifehustle.blog
www.instagram.com/myhousewifehustle
www.twitter.com/housewifehustle
www.pinterest.com/myhousewifehustle 

 


 

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Unique Love; A Guest Post

Kiersty came into my blogging journey right at the beginning. From the start, she was supportive and kind. Although miles apart, I found a friend in Kiersty. We were both navigating through this blogging world and discovering our individual paths, together. Her words have inspired me and her encouragement keeps me motivated. She is an amazing mother of three adorable little girls and she is a talented writer. In her blog, Caffeine, Chaos, and Grace , Kiersty takes on the chaos of motherhood with coffee in hand. In her guest post, she gets personal with a letter to her children.

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Photo: Property of Kiersty Lucero, writer and owner of Caffeine, Chaos, and Grace.

Unique Love: An Open Letter to My Children

When I had my first daughter all I could think about was how much love filled my heart because of this one little human. I was sure no other love would ever compare to what I felt the moment I held her for the first time, and for the most part I still believe this.

After having two more children since then, I have learned about how different a parent’s love is for each of their children.

The love builds around each child, from the day you have them to the day you die. You build a bond, a relationship and a world completely unique to this little person. It’s only natural to know that the love that comes with this bond is just as particular as all these other factors.

I pray that my kids understand that when I direct one of them towards a goal, and the other towards a different goal, it is not a gesture that can be used to measure my love for one child versus the other. I hope that I can raise them to know that their father and I being so active in their lives has given us the ability to mold our concerns, dreams and ambitions for each them in a way that fits them personally. It won’t always look like this is the case, and that is understandable.

For my oldest I know that she didn’t ask to be born as the leader, but she takes so naturally to nurturing her sisters that I can’t help but think it was just meant to be. I pray that she grows up appreciating, accepting and loving the role God has given her as the oldest sibling. I pray that she knows any mistakes her siblings make are not her burdens to bare, even though she may have tried her hardest to lead them. I hope she understands that by simply being there for her siblings and having their back she will have made me proud. Further more, I want her to know that any time she needs to separate herself from her sisters, to work on own dreams for instance, I want her to know that I would never hold that against her. I want what is best for my children, all of them, individually as well as a unit and a family.

To my second baby girl, my most sensitive and ever so loving little, I pray for strength. I work hard to build her to be stronger while never losing that amazing sense of passion and understanding of emotional connection. I pray she learns to be strong on her own, so as not to feel alone when I cannot be there for her as I age and someday pass away. I wish with all my heart that she learns how to balance listening to her heart and her gut instincts.

Even though she has yet to have her first birthday, my youngest little still shines bright with her own personality. I see a happiness in her that works well with her natural, lovable sass and independence. I hope she never loses that happiness. I pray that even with all that life throws at her, that she can carry that strong attitude with her always. I pray she and her sister’s stay close, to look after each other and carry each other with all three of their complimenting personalities.

Most of all I pray that I can teach them to love each other unconditionally. If I can guide them to understand that regardless of any drama, struggle or heartache they may face, nothing should separate them from the fact that they are family, they are tied together with childhood memories and what ever the future holds for them, then I believe I have accomplished the most important goal of my life.

 

*This work is written by Kiersty Lucero and is protected by copyright laws. 

What in the World is a Marabou; A Guest Post

In this Guest post, I introduce Carrie Gaynor. She is a mom, a wife, and the CEO / founder of Marabou Services, a postpartum recovery service.  Marabou Services was established after Carries own postpartum experience. 

A Marabou is a type of stork.

Did I give you the answer too soon?

Well, because it is a type of stork and because I have a degree in Zoology I found it to be an apt animal to name the unique gift registry after that my husband and I created. Our gift registry is designed with newborn mothers in mind and meant to bring the much-needed support women need in the 30 days following childbirth (aka: the postpartum phase).

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As our culture modernized over the past seventy years, we lost much of the cultural support new mothers were lavished with after giving birth. Like many traditions around the world, America used to have a special period of care and support for new mothers called the “lying in” period. This is exactly what it sounds like: newborn mothers get to rest, and everyone else takes care of everything else: the housecleaning, the care of older children, cooking. Sounds heavenly.

But think about how our society has changed since 1950. Urban sprawl has made visiting newborn mothers difficult for close family and friends. Often, young women are becoming new mothers in a city or state far from their support network. Even if we do live within driving distance, we as Americans are busier than ever before. The grandmas, sisters and best friends who used to be the ones surrounding newborn mothers often have demanding jobs that are hard to get away from. It’s not that this way of living is wrong, it just hasn’t adjusted to the needs of new motherhood yet. The village support hasn’t been replaced, and newborn mothers are often left to fend for themselves with unmet needs.

Cultural norms change and for postpartum women, they have changed for the worse. With Marabou Services, we hope to swing that pendulum back to a new norm that gets the community surrounding and supporting new mothers again, even if they can’t be there in person.

With a Marabou gift registry, an expectant mother or her close friend or family member can start a gift registry by choosing a service that would benefit her the most after birth. This could be a postpartum doula (our preferred help for all new mothers), house cleanings, in-home chef, or older sibling child care. A registry can be started for ANY service you can find, like a postpartum doula you know and love but can’t afford on your own.

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How is this different from other gift registries? Unlike Babylist or a store registry, a single  person does not pay for a whole gift. Services like doulas or house cleanings can easily cost between $500-$1,000 for a thirty-day period. That is too much for most people, even if they want to be generous. However, with a Marabou registry, the whole community comes together to contribute $20-$30 each and collectively gift the new mother a service that will help her postpartum. In essence, it’s crowdfunded!

We envisioned the stork bringing the baby and the Marabou bringing the support for mom.There are actually many parallels between Marabou ecology and the focus of our business.

The name Marabou is a derivative of the Arabic word murābit, meaning “quiet” or “hermit-like.” That is exactly what every woman needs the month after childbirth.

The Marabou stork thrives when surrounded other Marabous, just like women. Perinatal mood disorders are far less common when new mothers have other women to lean on for physical and emotional support.

Finally, Marabou incubation is 30 days, which is how long we strive to care for women postpartum!

So, we have chosen the name “Marabou,through which we hope to be the deliverance of peace and rest to every new mother in America. Visit our website for more information and click here to start a registry for yourself or an expectant mother in your life.

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Raising Kids in the Seventies and Eighties; A Guest Post

In this edition of Guest Post, I introduce Val. Val is the mother of six kids who she raised in the seventies and eighties, which she discusses in today’s guest post. Val enjoys crocheting blankets and scarves. If you are interested in her blankets, you can email her a blanketsbyval.vjc@gmail.com

 I married for the first time at the age of 20 in April of 1975.  I had my first son in April of 1976 when I was 21.  I had my second son in August of 1978 and I had my third son in November of 1979.  We divorced in October 1981.

  I married for the second time in November of 1982.  A week later our first son was born December of 1982, (my fourth child).  I had our second son in March of 1985, (my fifth child).  I had our only daughter in April of 1986, (my sixth child).  We divorced in June of 2000, (but separated in October of 1998).

  Raising my children during the seventies and eighties was totally different than raising children now.  We had computers but nothing like now.  Computers then were mainly used by businesses and the military.  We certainly had no access to apps or any kind of browser search, (Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc.}

  I personally had no support from my family and I didnt have a lot of friends.  If I asked for any kind of help or support, I always got the same answer from my Mother. ‘’Deal With It,’’ or ‘’After you move out to be on your own, youre no longer our responsibility.’’

  Husbands, friends and family behaved very differently back in the seventies & eighties.  Husbands believed it was their job to feed, clothe, and put a roof over his familys heads, not to help take care of the children; especially when it came time to change babys diaper, give baby their bottle, or bath.  According to society back then, it was the mothers job to do all those things.  That also included taking  baby out for a walk in their stroller or carriage, or taking baby to the lake, the Park, or to the beach.   

  I struggled everyday. I also struggled with my self-confidence and low self-esteem. My dad was verbally abusive when I was a teenager. After he retired in 1970 from the Air Force, he began drinking heavily. Eventually he became an alcoholic.  So after putting me down and telling me Id never amount to anything, I’d never be a good mother and my kids would all hate me, I believed it.

  After marrying and divorcing twice, losing my kids in both divorces, my father still has to have ‘’the last word”; even from his Grave!

  My Mom never told me what to expect if I got married or had kids.  I guess you could call it on the job training.

  In spite of all my mistakes, knowing I had or might have ‘’failed’’ my children, I know they are doing well.

  I guess in conclusion you can say that it was tough raising kids in the seventies and eighties was not easy! 

Mother’s Intuition; A Guest Post

I can’t quite pinpoint the details on whether I found her, or she found me, but Janna from Manic Mama has been along for the ride pretty much since the beginning of my mom blogging journey. Right away, we clicked. I have found a friend in Janna and I am happy to have her as my first Guest Blogger. In her blog, Manic Mama, Janna discusses what it’s like being a mom with anxiety, how it affects her family, the importance of having mom friends, and life as a mom. Janna has been my greatest influence as I dip into my own journey as a mom with anxiety. She is caring, she’s funny, and a great mom to an adorable little boy. I hope she inspires you the way she has inspired me.

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Janna’s little boy and inspiration (Photo by Manic Mama)

Trusting my gut, or my ‘mother’s intuition’ if you will, since now I get to call it that, is something I’ve had to really learn to do since becoming a mother. There is SO MUCH conflicting information out there, and I’m not just talking about the shit you can google – I’m talking about certified and educated doctor’s opinions.

When my son was born 2 years ago, we had an entire influx of babies being born in our group of friends. That meant that I had a great support system (go #momsquad) of like-minded individuals who happened to be in the exact same stage in their lives as I was. This was great in terms of having good people around who could commiserate with me, but it was insanely confusing when it came to making choices with regards to parenting. As a new mom you really have no idea what you’re doing – or at least I had no idea what I was doing – so I tended to rely on three different groups of people for advice… my mother, my friends, and my pediatrician (I very quickly learned that using mommy groups on Facebook for advice was something that would just augment my stress and make me more confused… if you think your family members have a lot of opinions, ask a parenting question on Facebook and get ready, get set, and go straight to the land of panic and confusion because that’s just another 5,000,000 people Caps Lock screaming at you that you’re doing something wrong).

Now my mom and my friends’ opinions were never just their own opinions, because every single one of these individuals either had someone else to ask (like her best friend who also just became a grandmother, or their own mother’s opinion, respectively), or had read something somewhere that insisted that things should be done this way and not that way. So, something as simple as which diapers and diaper cream to use would become a 3-day debate with flow charts, pro and con lists, and at least one breakdown (I’m told that this is very much a first-time parent thing, and that with the second baby you just kind of wrap them in newspaper and hope for the best). Not to mention the fact that not a single one of my friends had their baby attending the same pediatrician – so that’s another 5 different doctor-based opinions.

Do I give my kid a pacifier? He’s been screaming for three days nonstop and I think my nipples are about to fall off because he’s cluster feeding, and my mom says the latch looks good, but my friend says that if my nipples are still bleeding like that then I have to go see a lactation consultant, and my other friend says that giving a pacifier will disrupt his breastfeeding learning curve and give him nipple confusion, but the third friend said that her pediatrician insists that there is nothing wrong with giving a pacifier from day one, and, and, and, because, because, because. It’s an overwhelming stream of consciousness, especially with all those hormones thrown in. (For those of you who are wondering, I shoved that pacifier in his mouth like my life depended on it, and once he finally took it, it was like the clouds parted and the heavens sang down in freaking hallelujah).

Now all these opinions are not to say that any of my friends judged my choices (my mom probably did, but she’s a grandma now, she’s out for the count and thinks she knows best and that’s why I love her so much), they were all very supportive regardless of what I chose – but that wasn’t the issue at hand. The issue is that all these conflicting opinions make it that much harder to make a decision as a new mom. A new mom who has no idea what she’s doing! So, I had to learn to go with my gut. I had to learn to watch my baby, and listen to him (no he couldn’t’ talk, I mean this figuratively). A lot of it was trial and error, and A LOT of it was guess work, but I learned that the best way for me to sift through all the advice, was to listen to what my mother’s intuition was telling me was right, and if it was wrong the first time? Listen harder, listen again.

So, do your research, ask your friends, hell even go on that Facebook mommy group and ask them by the thousands – but remember, this is your kid, you’re the mom, and ultimately YOU know best. Oh yeah, and maybe ask your partner to weigh in on some of this stuff… I guess he is kind of co-parenting with you, but chances are he’s just as clueless as you are, so I guess yay for unity in complete ignorance?

To read more by Janna, please visit Manic Mama