YouTube & Toddlers

I’ve been sitting on this topic for a while as I’ve been hearing and reading a lot of opinions regarding it, from the title you could guess that I would be talking about YouTube.

Before having children, I was telling myself what kind of a parent I wanted to be whether I can achieve it or not, I still wanted to try. I wanted to be there for my children, I would quit my job and stay with them if I had to, and honestly, I’m planning to. One of the things I noticed that parents do is introducing tablets to children at an early age as some sort of distraction or entertainment which for the most part works in keeping them occupied for a while but it sometimes stretch out to extended hours and the child would just stay sitting watching for hours.

I watch YouTube pretty much daily, I’m aware of the community, space, the changes that keep happening and of course I’m aware of the creepy videos that kept popping up on YouTube that targetted children with its supposedly innocent nature and loveable characters. Sadly, not a lot of parents know this and it ends up badly when their children would stumble upon those said videos. Now I partially would blame the parents for leaving their children unattended to be watching YouTube to the point that they would reach those creepy videos, same goes with video games when they blame games that affect children whether it’s a violent game or scary which can traumatize the child yet as a parent I’m pretty sure it’s our mission or job to raise our children well which means keeping our attention on our children.

YouTube educational videos can help children in preschool age to learn the ABCs, numbers or even colors and those are very helpful and a great aid. But I also think that parents should monitor what children are ingesting from those videos. Which is why I decided to include one of my favorite websites that I mentioned before in a post that offers worksheets for children from an early age till 5th grade.

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For more educational resources, visit Education.com. There’re plenty of printable worksheets to choose from for free, my son enjoys tracing letters and the coloring ones. It helps me bond with him more while I teach him. You can check them out @education_com on Pinterest and Twitter.

 

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Comfort Is The Enemy of Progress

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It gets easier

or so I tell myself everyday …

Remember how hectic your life was when you had one child? I’ve always wondered how can moms manage themselves with multiple kids, I’m not sure how I have adapted to this life but my time management skills have greatly increased. While I was on my maternity leave, I still wanted to be productive in some way to my own benefit.

I’ve set a new motto for myself for the year 2019 which is “Comfort is the enemy of progress” I want to better myself instead of staying in my comfort zone, I’ve been in a positive mental state lately and it’s probably one of the reasons that made me think about improving myself. I’ve followed the technique of creating a habit for myself by utilizing my phone notifications on certain times to remind me to do that habit I’m planning to catch on if that makes sense, according to most of the self-help books and articles I read, you need about 21 days to form a habit. Did it work? Yes absolutely.

I can happily say that I started reading every day and from that, I thought of challenging myself to finish 20 books this year, hopefully, more if I could. Along with reading, I started to learn Japanese. It doesn’t come as a surprise to those who know me, I’ve been into the Japanese culture as long as I can remember and I don’t mean just from Anime. It’s always been a goal for me and I think it’s time that I get serious about it so I could at least say that I know how to read, write and speak three different languages.

I’ve been in a negative state of mind after my first pregnancy which I spoke about quite frequently in my older posts so learning from my mistakes before, I’m trying to get myself out of the “Isolated Parent” label. I started taking care of myself more without completely drowning myself in guilt that I’m leaving my children, for example, it’s ok to have my own time in the salon. It’s ok leaving my children with my in-laws even if I don’t always agree with them, it’s ok going out with my friends without overthinking about how my children are going to be without me during those couple of hours I’m away.

In terms of my anti-social side, I’ve been trying to get out of my shell. I became friends with a fellow blogger whom I enjoy reading her content Karalee, she’s the sweetest and I enjoy seeing the pictures she sends me of her daughter’s everyday life. It’s kind of refreshing to see how a person on the other side of the world would live their day-to-day life and how different it is from my everyday life. Speaking of the blogging community, I’m very happy to announce that one of my posts got approved to be in Positive Wellbeing Zine for Mums the third issue which I’m very excited about. It feels like a huge step for me to branch out my blogging activities somewhere and I hope it opens new opportunities for my blog to thrive.

 

Surviving an Unpaid Maternity Leave

Stress is everywhere in today’s hectic society. From finding and keeping a job to paying bills on time to providing for a family, there are a million reasons to be stressed about money. And now, studies are showing increasing evidence that mental and physical health are linked — meaning our worries are wearing down our bodies.

The good news is that once people pay down debt and become more financially stable, they report feeling generally happier and healthier. Symptoms like muscle tension and digestive problems seem to lessen when people don’t have to worry about money. So start paying down debt and saving as much as you can — your mind and body will thank you. Not sure where to start? This infographic from Self Lender gives some ideas in the form of self care tips to help combat money stress.

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My motherhood duties required me to take two months of unpaid leave, and of course that dragged the inconvenience of staying without an income for awhile. I’ll be starting work in a week and I have mixed feelings about it, I’m glad because I love working and staying busy yet I’m anxious about leaving my daughter. I’ve actually considered quitting my job and being a stay-at-home-mom but part of me doesn’t want to accept that. Being on an unpaid leave came with stress which I mentioned earlier, here are some of the ways that helped me survive those months:

  • Saving Money

I mean it’s an obvious thing to say. I managed to save enough money to pay for my car installments for those two months.

  • Consider using paid off days

During my pregnancy days, I’ve been saving up my off days so I can make my maternity leave longer and get paid each month.

  • Ask Family Members for Help

I’ve depended on my husband for probably most of the things I needed, obviously financially. Don’t be afraid to ask family members for help whether you needed someone to help you babysit or lightly used baby supplies.

  • Take a Temporary Part-time Job

I like making friendship bracelets, they keep me busy. I decided to sell them on Instagram and it’s been helping me through the weeks thankfully.


What are your strategies in surviving unpaid leaves ? I would love to know what do you think.

 

 

5 Things To Do While Breastfeeding

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It’s 3 a.m. and I’m sitting as straight as possible so I wouldn’t have any backache after I’m done feeding my child, I’ll still doze off few times. I try to reach my phone sometimes just to keep my eyes open while she’s done but that doesn’t always work, I always find myself dozing off all the sudden. Since feeding time is getting longer, I thought of ways I can keep myself occupied while breastfeeding and maybe keep me awake at night.

  • Watching YouTube and Netflix

Probably the easiest thing to do, open the apps from your phone and just watch a random video on YouTube or catch up with your favorite TV show on Netflix. I started watching Chilling Adventures of Sabrina recently and I’ve been enjoying it during feeding time, since the episodes are an hour long, I continue watching the episode throughout the day.

  • Reading a Book

I thought of setting for myself a goal to read at least 15 minutes every day because I stopped reading ever since I cancelled my subscription to OwlCrate, so I downloaded the Amazon Kindle app on my phone and got few free books since I have prime. I’m currently reading Suicide Forest by Jeremy Bates and I’ve been enjoying it so far, I highly recommend it if you’re into horror novels.

  • Talking to Friends

In my first pregnancy,  I went through postpartum depression and I’ve gave myself the label “Isolated Parent” because I’ve kept myself isolated under heaps and heaps of house chores, neglecting myself and my well-being. This time I’m keeping my social life, chatting with friends online or giving them a call. It helps releasing some stress, also venting and complaining with other moms.

  • Gaming

This one is tricky as I found gaming using a laptop would be hard when you play a game using keyboard and mouse because one hand would be free for gaming but the other one would be supporting the baby, so I’m suggesting a controller for this and using a nursing pillow to help support the baby and also help you keep your back straight.

  • Feed Yourself

Being a mom can be hectic, taking care of babies, cooking, cleaning and doing laundry, and like me you might forget to eat. While feeding the baby, how about feeding yourself as well and of course drinking plenty of water to stay hydrated throughout the day.

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Types of Visitors … That I Don’t Like

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In the past three weeks, I’ve been quite hectic trying to balance my life with two kids. With a new family addition, comes greetings, gifts and visitors. It’s something I can’t really control, a lot of people came to visit me and of course we are talking about family members, friends even neighbors. I’m grateful don’t get me wrong but there are certain types of visitors that I cannot tolerate.

  • The ones that shows up without a warning
    I absolutely hate it when someone just shows up like that without letting me know, and it happened plenty of times while I was sleeping in my first week after giving birth. I’m really tired and barely sleeping from the baby crying along with the aches that comes after birth from stitches and back aches. I’m supposed to wake up and smile for them when I’m supposed to spend my time resting and healing ?
  • The ones that come at wrong times
    I hate when guests texts you that they are coming at a certain time because that’s convenient for them only not for me, for example couple of guests came early in the morning. I’m supposed to bathe my baby and then feed her so she won’t cry while I go to take a shower and be ready for those guests. Sometimes I can’t be ready on time if my baby wants to feed longer or randomly cries because she needs cuddles and hugs, and that stresses me out.
  • The ones that stay for too long
    I’m already trying to manage my time in dealing with two kids, some guests don’t understand that I cant sit with them for long and it gets awkward when I leave to feed my daughter and they just sit there in the living room apparently waiting for me. Keep your visit short and understand that I can’t be with you for long when I’m needed by my child more.
  • The ones that like to comment about your choice of the baby name
    Mostly older people would do this, they’ll comment about the name you chose for your baby like their opinion is very important. I feel names are more of a personal choice between the parents and others should understand that.
  • The ones that keeps commenting about the baby

    “oh the baby is crying, it must be because she’s hungry”
    Thanks for telling me, I didn’t know that

    Those know it all just irritates me, clearly stating the obvious. I know my child has colic, I know she’s crying because she’s either hungry or her diaper is dirty, or her tummy hurts. It may sound silly to others but it does irritates me for some reason.

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Between Blogging, Motherhood and Gaming

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I love blogging, it helps me express my thoughts through words and maybe someone out there would love to read. I felt pretty empty in the past week when I didn’t schedule any post for the blog, it really became part of my life at this point. I’m currently in my 37th week and I’m just exhausted, I’m on the verge on trying any way to induce labor. It’s been quite hectic to find time to blog and this is why I thought of writing this post. I’ve been asked about it a lot to be honest, how do I have the time to balance between blogging, being a mother and gaming.

  • Force a “Me Time”
    It’s a ritual I live by, I have to have my Me Time. Being a mother can be exhausting and naturally you feel all your time and energy is poured into taking care of your children. I plan my Me Time ahead, it usually includes candle lit baths and a resting face mask obviously. If it wasn’t too late, I usually start gaming and try to limit the time so I wouldn’t go to work with my zombie sleep deprived face.
  • List blog topic ideas in notes
    When It comes to blogging, trying to find content that fits the niche of my blog can be a struggle sometimes. I try to mix up posts between motherhood related ones and videogames when I schedule two posts a week. I usually write down the ideas in an app in my phone or open a blank post and save the title in drafts till I get the time to write the content.
  • Plan your gaming time when kids are sleeping or not around
    So when it comes to gaming, I usually start gaming when my son sleeps or he’s out with my husband or in laws. It gives me that window to game without any interruption specially that my son is old enough to sleep through the night. My problem with this though, I sometimes lose track of time when I game at night so I end up sleeping late.
  • Blogging is a venting outlet not a chore
    When it comes to blogging, some bloggers post twice or thrice a week and sometimes the content on these posts sound like they are forced and doesn’t capture the reader’s attention which is why I’m saying I don’t want to make blogging as a chore. I really enjoy it and I feel happy that I was consistent in posting twice a week before. Take it from me, blog when you feel like it and don’t force yourself to do it just because traffic and numbers look attractive to you.
  • Use motherhood moments as an inspiration for future posts
    I’ve been getting emails from ladies saying they appreciate my honesty when it comes to motherhood related posts and it really made me happy. I love using my own experiences and my own mistakes as an inspiration in posts, it gives my entries more of a realistic view about motherhood. No one is perfect, we all learn and grow from those moments we have in life and I enjoy sharing them in my posts to whoever feels or experienced the same.
  • Use your personal view on a game rather than trying to make it sound and look professional
    When I want to post a game related entry, I try to include my own personal feelings because I really don’t want to sound like I’m trying to be a professional IGN reviewer, it also shows how passionate you are. It’s easy to fall in that trap when you start researching about the game and then try to imitate how they wrote the review, this is why I enjoy it more and even if I don’t hit 400 words mark at least I wrote what I thought about the game.

I hope these points help any blogger or mother who’s struggling with balancing life, it’s all about time management. It’s alright to make mistakes, being a mother is overwhelming and I won’t deny it.

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Nursery Rhymes Lyrics Are Weird and Creepy

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I remember my mother singing for me when I was a baby “Baa baa black sheep” and “Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary”, those songs resided in me and I found myself as a mother now singing it to my own child. Slowly I started singing those nursery rhymes all the time by myself without no reason and of course it’s contagious so my husband was doing it as well.

The more I listened to those songs, the more I got confused on what the words actually mean, some don’t really make sense such as:

Three blind mice, three blind mice,
See how they run, see how they run,
They all ran after the farmer’s wife,
Who cut off their tails with a carving knife,
Did you ever see such a thing in your life,
As three blind mice?

I decided to research this song and I found out it’s based in English history. The ‘farmer’s wife’ refers to the daughter of King Henry VIII, Queen Mary I whose also known as Bloody Mary. Mary was a very committed Catholic and she forced her beliefs across the country. The ‘three blind mice’ were three noblemen who didn’t agree on her ways so they were convicted of plotting against the Queen but she did not have them dismembered and blinded as inferred in Three blind mice, instead they were burned at the stake. That was an interesting backstory to a children song ? Same as “Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary”, it also speaks about her and her violent rulings. You could read more about those two nursery rhymes here.

One of my son’s favorite songs is Skip to My Lou and reading about this song was a journey by itself. The song is a popular American partner-stealing dance from the 1840s.

“Skip to My Lou” is a simple game of stealing partners (or swapping partners as in square dancing). It begins with any number of couples skipping hand in hand around in a ring. A lone boy in the center of the moving circle of couples sings, “Lost my partner, what’ll I do?” as the girls whirl past him. The young man in the center hesitates while he decides which girl to choose, singing, “I’ll get another one just like you.” When he grasps the hand of his chosen one, the latter’s partner moves to the center of the ring the game. It is an ice-breaker, providing an opportunity for the participants to get acquainted with one another and to get into a good mood.

The “lou” in the title comes from the word “loo”, a Scottish word for “love”.

I’m confused, how is this a children’s song ?

Fly in the buttermilk, Shoo, fly, shoo

Is it a farming related song ?

There’s a little red wagon, Paint it blue

Uh why ?

Can’t get a red bird, Jay bird’ll do

…. okay ?

Cat’s in the cream jar, Ooh, ooh, ooh

Also animal abuse ?

It doesn’t really make sense to me how’s the lyrics correlate with each other basically. Maybe I’m reading too much in this but I’m sure some parents thought about this while singing to their children those songs.

I asked a fellow blogger Karalee (Tales of Belle) to chime in with her opinion since she’s a mom as well and here’s her opinion about this:

A lot of nursery rhymes seem to have a darker meaning, so I researched two my daughter likes: Brother John and London Bridge Is Falling Down. I grew up hearing Frère Jacques in French from my mother, and my daughter knows the English version Brother John. She likes singing “are you sleeping”, which made me wonder if there was a deeper meaning. The nursery rhyme is about a friar who overslept and he needs to ring the bells for the morning pray. The origin is believed to be about Frère Jacques Beaulie who was a Dominican friar in France. Other theories believe the nursery rhyme is about taunting Jews, Protestants, and Martin Luther and also mocking Dominican monks in France for their sloth and comfortable lifestyles. Even though the origin theories are not the brightest, the nursery rhyme itself does not have a dark meaning, which is a nice relief. Now for London Bridge Is Falling Down. I played the game while singing London Bridge as a kid and now I play the game with my daughter. The nursery rhyme is about rebuilding the London Bridge and how difficult it was bridging the River Thames. However, the theories about the origin are disturbing. One theory believes the nursery rhyme is about the destruction of the bridge by Olaf II of Norway while another theory believes children were sacrificed and buried in the foundation of the bridge to prevent it from collapsing. Luckily there is no evidence of children being sacrificed, but the thought is terrifying. A more plausible theory is that the nursery rhyme came about when the London Bridge was damaged by fire then eventually rebuilt and replaced. Even though the child sacrifice theory is disturbing, I am glad it is not proven and the nursery rhyme does not have a darker meaning. The lyrics for these two nursery rhymes are straightforward and do not have a dark meaning, but some of the origin theories are rather dark.

I’d love to know your thoughts about this, have you ever questioned the songs you sing for your children while the seemed innocent and pure ?

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