A Mother Far from Home

on becoming supermom


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How to prepare your child for another baby (reader Q + A)

A Mother Far from Home

I recently received an email from a dear friend in a similar situation to myself, having babies very close together. My first two are 13 months apart and, as I type, my third bun in the oven will be only 16 months younger than my second. Here’s what she writes.

“I was wondering how did you “prepare” Ella Kate for Judah’s arrival since she was still very young? My daughter will be 15 months when baby No.2 is born and I wonder how she will deal with the fact that another baby will take up a lot of Mama’s time which she previously had all to herself. Especially since at 15 months they are still very dependent on Mama Bear.

 Any thoughts and tips, fire them my way !! -H”

Excellent question, H. I grappled with this topic myself since I knew that my firstborn would be too young to have a conversation about the whole thing. It was more about preparing her as a tiny person to cope with change as opposed to preparing her mind for change, as you would an older child. Here are some thoughts.

1) Get her a baby doll and role play. An aunt suggested I get my oldest a baby doll and roll play changing a diaper, burping and feeding. We would both hold a baby and do this together (as approximate as it was) in hopes that when a real baby came home she would have a frame of reference to put it in. We didn’t do it every day but we did it frequently enough. I tried to hone in the concepts of baby and cry so the noise didn’t bother her, and we just hoped for the best. Then when the baby arrived, I made sure to give my daughter the baby doll and so she could feed, change and burp with me. She didn’t really turn into a copy cat baby mommy, but I think it helped her realize, even at her young age, what I was trying to communicate. Continue reading


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Creating a memory book of quotes (+ a Typo giveaway!)

A few years ago…okay….almost ten years ago now, I lived a grand adventure with 4 best friends in Italy. We lived and taught English in Rome. One of them had a genius idea to keep a quotes book where we’d write down funny stuff that was said. To this day when I read it I laugh so hard I almost cry. It’s the type of stuff that would be weird, gross and completely unfunny if you weren’t actually there. Even when I read it, though, sometimes I find the memory of it fuzzy. As in, I know we said it and I see it written down – some in my own handwriting – but the memory is not clear as day. I know that if it was’t written down it would be filed away somewhere in the recesses of our big brains never to be laughed over again.

With my babies now becoming toddlers then becoming kids then becoming preteens (tranquilize me, please) and so on and so on, we decided we wanted to keep a journal of sorts, to write down all the funny and sweet quotes and memories that were sure to happen. Like the other day, when we gave my daughter her first lollipop, she called it a “poppilop.” It was so cute we thought we would die. We talked about it days later…. I know….we are in love.

Some pros for journal keeping. Continue reading


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How to teach your children what you don’t know

Every mother wants to teach their children wise, wonderful and winning things. But, because we’re human, we will find there are things we desperately want our children to take hold of that we simply cannot teach them ourselves. Why? Because we aren’t perfect and we don’t know everything. I want my sons to be handy and, while I can figure things out, I am not naturally handy. I want my daughter to be able to play a musical instrument well. I play the piano but probably not well enough to teach her properly. I want to teach them hospitality but I’m still learning the art myself. My husband wants our children to understand car engines, but he was never taught so doesn’t know where to start.

First, let’s admit we don’t know everything. Second, let’s admit we want our children to know more than we know. Third, let’s think of some ways we can do just that.

1) Get outside help. Piano lessons, art lessons, sewing lessons, and on and on. If you can think of it, there is probably someone else who can teach it. If you are not musical yet want your child exposed to some training, find someone nearby who can help. If money is an issue, find a friend and trade a service. If you can sew and they can sing, do a lesson swap. Get creative to think of ways that you expose your child to things you don’t do at home. Church groups and community groups are often ways to do so at reasonable (to free) prices.  Continue reading


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What I Learned when my 1 year-old let herself out of the house

A Mother Far from Home

Our house is located – hopefully not forever but definitely for now – in the burbs. Which means that, although the traffic isn’t super fast, it is right outside our front door. And there are curves on both sides so, needless to say, it ain’t a safe place for a one year old who doesn’t understand the mechanics of impact.

A while ago after I’d brought groceries in and was putting them away in the kitchen, the house sounded strangely silent. I called her name, heard nothing and instantly remembered I had forgotten to lock the front door. You guessed it. She was out the front door.

Here’s what I learned.

1) I am a dang fast sprinter. I had a two month old and, as I was sprinting down our hallway, felt my insides move up and down and all over. Really fast but in slow motion. That’s weird, I thought, perhaps, my womb had dislodged itself from any other part of my body and was is floating around. Perhaps I am so fast that my insides got whiplash. After I found her playing by the car, nearly crushed her with hugs, and brought her back inside, I thought that was perhaps the fastest I’d ever run in my whole life. Never for track and field. Never in sports. Never while trying to get in shape. Only when my baby was (or at least could have been) in grave danger. Continue reading


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What to do when your children act like they don’t like you

A Mother Far from Home

Because, let’s face it, they will. They’ll give you a dirty look like you aren’t the one who incubated them, delivered them, fed them and changed their dirty diapers. They will act like this one thing – this one little thing that is not even good for them but that they are too young to understand – is enough to wipe out all those acts of love and service.

What do we do when our maternal heart crumbles {or gets angry} because our children act like they don’t like us. Whether for a few minutes, a few hours, or a day or more, the methods are much the same.

1) Be sure that you are paying them enough positive loving attention. In order to effectively weather the storm of “my child hates me…what is the point of it all?” one must be sure their children are not acting out in anger because they feel left out, neglected or not special. Are you spending alone time with them, even as little as 15 minutes a day? Are you speaking to them with positive smiles, positive words and affection? If you are, and regularly, then carry on to the next step.  Continue reading