Inspiration

9 Parenting Secrets I Learned in My First Year of Being a Mom

9 parenting secrets from my first year of motherhood

It seems insane to me that my son is a year old. Look at him! So sweet! So big! So full of wonder!

ThriverBabe with his giant birthday balloons

I wrote on Facebook that this year has simultaneously felt like the longest and shortest of my life. There’s a lot I’ve learned about myself and about parenting and motherhood so far, and I thought I’d share some of those secrets today:

 

9 parenting secrets I learned in my first year of motherhood.

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Fab Friday: Father’s Day Gift Ideas

We have a very special post today, as today’s post marks ThriverDad’s first guest post here on the blog! YAY! I asked him if he’d be willing to come up with some awesome Father’s Day gift ideas since he’s a new dad and is also a cool person who finds cool things on the internet all the time. And he found some awesome stuff! Without further ado:

7 Unconventional Father's Day Gift Ideas. These would be great gift ideas from an adult.

7 Top Father’s Day Gift Ideas That Are Way Better Than a Tie, Novelty Mug, or Grilling Gear

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Secrets to the Best Teacher Gift Ideas, Straight from a Teacher!

I was browsing Pinterest the other day and came across several pins claiming to offer the best teacher gift ideas. It’s nearing the end of the school year after all, so ’tis the season! A few caught my eye, especially one claiming to have the inside scoop on gifts “teachers really want,” so I clicked over. My eyes widened as I read over the list of suggested gifts—they were the exact items I would put on a “gifts teachers don’t want” list, and I would know, since I’ve been a high school humanities teacher for over a decade! So that’s what we’re going to talk about today: The Secrets to the Best Teacher Gifts for Any Teacher. And we’ll tackle it “Do”s and “Don’t”s style! (General suggestions in the “Do”s and “Don’t”s section, specific more of this and less of this below that if you want to scroll further down.)

The Secrets to the Very Best Teacher Gifts, a Dos and Don'ts guide! Great teacher gift ideas for male and female teachers.

Caveat: Teacher gifts are by no means a requirement. No teacher will think less of you or your student if don’t give them a gift, and hopefully they’d be happy to receive any gift you have a mind to give them. But if you’re thinking of getting a gift for your kid’s teacher and aren’t sure what to do, I hope this helps!

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This Post Is Full of Vomit. Also: Love Makes Us Brave

This post is full of vomit, and I don’t mean word-vomit. Vomit and love. Consider yourselves warned.

 

This Post Is Full of Vomit. Consider yourselves warned! A mom life tale from the trenches about vomit how love makes us brave. Thriverguide.com

By Tuesday of this week I was ready to be done. ThriverBabe had kept us up for a good chunk of the night, restlessly tossing and turning and sitting up and crying for no reason we could discern. I got us both ready for the day, dropped him off at daycare, and went to teach my classes. By the time I finished teaching, pumping, picking my son up from daycare, and driving home, I was personally past the point of running on empty. There weren’t even any fumes left in my tank. Here’s the text message I sent to my husband:

This Post Is Full of Vomit. Consider yourselves warned! A mom life tale from the trenches about vomit how love makes us brave. Thriverguide.com

 

My sweet husband came through for us as promised, but he even went above and beyond. He staggered through the door an hour later, laden with heavy bags of cat food and our Chipotle supper. But hooked over one finger was another white bag with a familiar black and white checkerboard logo…

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Holding Fast: Fairy Tales and Wrestling My Baby to Sleep

What Fairy Tales taught me about loving my son and helping him sleep.

There’s a very old Scottish fairy tale called “Tam Lin” about a man who gets captured by faeries, much to the dismay of his beloved, Janet. Janet learns that the faeries intend to make a sacrifice of him and that the only way to save him is to stand at the crossroad at midnight on Halloween and take hold of him as the faerie court passes by on their way to make the sacrifice. “You must spring upon me suddenly,” Tam Lin tells her, “Then seize me quick, and whatever change befall me, for they will exercise all their magic on me, cling hold to me till they turn me into red-hot iron. Then cast me into this pool and I will be turned back into a man. Cast then your green mantle over me, and I shall be yours, and be of the world again.” Janet does as he tells her. The faeries turn Tam Lin to ice, then fire, then an adder, a dove, a swan, and finally, a hot iron sword. Janet steadfastly holds Tam Lin through all his changes, waits for the moment of iron, and then plunges him into the water and covers him with her mantle. And so, the story tells us, “Tam Lin was Janet’s forever.”

I’ve been keenly reminded of this story lately at nighttime when putting my son down to sleep. He arrived late to the rolling-over party just a few weeks ago at ten months old, but in the span of two weeks this has led to crawling, standing, and now cruising, so life has become suddenly much more exciting for our little boy. Much more exciting than bedtime and sleep.

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Fab Friday: How to Make Your House Feel Like Spring

It’s Fab Friday, and Tuesday was the first day of spring! Hooray! We’re only just finally starting to get some more wintery-feeling (read: wet) weather here in Southern California, so I’m going to embrace that while it lasts, but I’ve also seen the mustard plants starting to bloom in the foothills near us, which means spring is definitely here. Do you have signs like that where you live?

I love when the seasons change, and there’s something about winter to spring especially that inspires me. It makes me want to do more, see more, be more! One thing is always the same, though: I always get the urge to make my house feel more like spring. But how exactly do you do that? How do you bring that springtime feeling inside? This week’s Fab Friday has got you covered!

How to Make Your House Feel Like Spring - thriverguide.com

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Why I Clean My House During Lent

Why I Clean My House During Lent

I’m going to come right out and say it: I’m going to talk about God and Christianity from time to time here. It’s a huge part of my life, and by that I mean in part that I live my life according to the church calendar, fasting and feasting in due season. So a lot of my experiences and thoughts are directly shaped by these seasons and will likely come out in what I write.

It’s Lent right now in the church year—the great fast that precedes the great feast. In some traditions people give up meat (and dairy and oil and sweets and alcohol and sex), but joining in that practice presupposes a dietary and cooking flexibility that I am not able to accommodate. So Lent in my house for the last few years has meant a sacrifice of time and effort to a worthy cause: cleaning time. For the 40 days of Lent, I concertedly spend extra time cleaning my house as a spiritual discipline. That’s not to say that I don’t clean my house in other seasons—I just do it more attentively in Lent.

Why? I don’t know. Because disciplines are good, and they help form good habits, maybe. I have never in my life been a clean and organized person, so there’s always something that needs more attention. I live in the perpetual hope that one day I might become a clean and organized person. I recognize that order is objectively better than chaos, and especially now that I’m a mom, I don’t want my son to grow up in a house full of chaos. But I think there’s something about cleaning house that’s metaphorically resonant with the practice of the Lenten fast.

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Life with Limits: Spoon Theory and Family Life

Today we’re going to talk a little about spoon theory. Credit for this theory belongs to Christine Miserandino over at butyoudontlooksick.com. If you haven’t heard of spoon theory before, I highly recommend clicking over there and reading her essay explaining the metaphor and its origin. It isn’t very long. I’ll wait.

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Okay! Spoons! [Continue Reading…]