Mothering the Mama

The other day I got asked by a friend in my mama tribe if I have ever written a blog post on co-sleeping.  My reply was no.  When asked why I didn’t really have a good answer.

Maybe because I wasn’t sure if anybody cared.
Maybe because I’m a nurse and “you’re not supposed to co-sleep”, what message does that send?
Or maybe it’s because it’s something that happens so natural to me that I don’t even think twice about it.

It’s no secret:

I co-sleep.

If you have been following me on Instagram since Tater Tot was born then you know that sleep was our biggest struggle.  Heck who am I kidding, it still totally is.  Constant wake periods throughout the night, inability to lay down with any independence, and the worse was absolutely zero long stretch periods if he was alone. It was definitely a struggle. 

I have co slept with Tate since he was the age of: birth. And I mean first day in the hospital birth.  I mean honestly, it was easiest for me.

What originally started off due to my c-section and our bed set up being too high to keep getting up and down, later turned into a means of survival for anyone in the household to get any sleep and function like a human being, to now being a means of comfort and self care. 

Let me stop before I get ahead of myself and insert my totally real medical experience here.

According to the latest 2018 research about 3700 babies die each year in the US as a result of accidents where parents share their bed with their infant. Since working in the emergency room for the past year, the vast majority of code/ emergent cases we get that require life saving interference is due to parents waking in the middle of the night in the bed with their child and finding them unresponsive in the early hours of the morning.

The honest truth for me, is if I would have been working in the emergency room at the beginning of Tate’s first year of life, it probably would have deterred me from co sleeping.  The facts are brutal and scary.

But, I wasn’t working there.  And at the time, I did what was best for me and my family just as you have to do whatever is best for you, your family and your beliefs. 

Co sleeping wasn’t something I planned to do.

In fact, it was the one piece of advice that sticks out during my pregnancy that was harped on.

“Whatever you do don’t let you baby sleep with you”.
“Trust me, when you get them in your bed you won’t be able to get them out”.
“When you get married your husband isn’t going to want to sleep with all them kids”.

And the list could go on.

I’m not sure if this piece of advice stood out to me as a way to foreshadow my life or what.  All I know is it did. 

But, you have baby.  You’re exhausted.  Your partners exhausted.  The baby’s exhausted (which trust me is much worse then anyone else being exhausted).  And one thing just takes after another and it’s a snowball effect.

You’re in the bed with your baby.

To this day Tate will ask whoever is putting him to sleep to lay down next to him.  Luckily everyone else gets to walk out later.  But not mama.

Once I lay him down I find him having rare moments throughout the night reaching out for me and drawing himself closer.

And if I'm being honest, these moments have come to mean everything to me.
It’s become a part of my self care.

Yes, I may not get as much space in the bed as I need.
Yes, sometimes theres a foot in my face, or back, or stomach.
And yes, sometimes it’s so hot it feels like the Sahara desert under the covers.

But the cuddle moments truly trump all that for me.
To me it symbolizes I am my son's sense of security.
No amount of bed space  can take away from that. 

You know what they say,

The days are long but the years are short.

Make the most of them in whatever way you want.

And as always…

Take care of you too mama,

Aysia B. 

Happy 2020! This is officially the first post of the decade. 

I can’t believe we’re in a new year let alone a new decade! Doesn’t that sound crazy to say? 

The 2010 decade has been amazing but if I can say now the 2020 decade already feels different. And I think the reason is because it feels like the year of the parent. What I mean by that, is that this is the decade that I truly focus on motherhood and parenting.

Prior to this decade, Tater was a baby.  Now, we have officially hit age 2 and I have to say, up until now motherhood has felt pretty straight forward. But these terrific/ terrible/ out of control/ world wind of two’s is a whole different ball game. There are so many moments out of the day where I feel my motherhood card attacked. 

Temper tantrum. Well mom can you calm me down?

Not eating. Well mom how creative can you get with mealtime?

Bedtime fight. Well mom, who falls asleep first? 

Honestly it’s a bit tiring. But it’s the start of a new decade and that means the start of new things. 

Up until now I haven’t had to include anyone else in my goal planning. If you’ve followed me on social media. That meaning Instagram, Facebook or Twitter, then you know I have plenty of business and professional goals. But what I haven’t shared yet was my parenting goals. 

One thing that is important to me is patience. 

Trust me mama I know, that sounds like a curse to some of us. 

Between constant “mommy” calls, requests for toy help and demands for food it’s hard to be patient and always stay calm. 

That’s why one of the biggest things I found to help me during motherhood was my “mommy time”. During these mom craze moments I use calming moments, self massages or any type of other relaxation techniques to regather myself and the situation. 

Continuing to use these techniques and further expanding my knowledge is a critical part to my 2020 motherhood goal.

What’s your goal for the year mama? How do you plan on achieving it? 

Regardless of what the goal may be, remember to always...

Take care of you too mama,

Aysia B. 

p.s I have announced the first Q1 event for The Mama Program and I am so excited to have you there! Grab your tickets now!

One of my favorite things about social media is that they show you little flash backs from time to time of where you were at a certain time in that year. It is my absolute favorite. For me, it serves as a little progress track. Are you where you want to be? Are you in the same place? Have you improved? It truly is amazing. 

Last week what scrolled across as my memory was a blog post I wrote that served as a letter to my old self. 

What strikes funny to me was here I am 3 years later at events for moms, that I created, having them do the same exact thing. Whew, talk about tracking progress.  

When my friend Alexus gave me the prompt she wanted to give to the ladies as part of her speaking portion I knew it would be a hit. Sometimes in life we don’t look back often enough and commend ourselves for where we’ve came from. Or even use the past as a guide to the future.  I couldn’t do the writing prompt at the event (#entrepreneurlife) but I wanted to make sure it got done for me too.   

“Dear baby Aysia,

Don’t worry everyone does not still call you that. We are 26 and hunty we are living the life. Maybe not the life you always imagined we would but I promise you it’s a damn good one. I know you thought at 26 going on 27 we’d be married, kids, successful job, big 'ol house and a nice car to complement it. Would you believe me if I told you we have 3.5 of those things? 

See where you are right now in life, you think that success is measured by these things. But baby girl life is so much more than the things you possess. You had a crazy past 2 years and nobody but God could have brought you out of it. You do in fact have a bomb job, actually your dream job. You have the luxury to work part time which allows you to be home with your baby boy more. Yes I said baby boy. You have a baby by a man you’ve loved for years. And though things didn’t work out how you thought they would, you’ve got the greatest gift from it. I know you’ve always saw marriage then baby, but don’t beat yourself up about it. Somehow God has a funny way of giving us what we need instead of what we want. That little man fills your heart in a way no man could. And that little “slip up” helped you find your entire life’s purpose. That nice car, yup girl you got that too. It does sit outside a house, but it’s not the one you imagined. Don’t worry I’m still working for that. But girl none of those THINGS matter. Besides the baby boy trust me he is about the only THING that does. What matters more is that you have grown into this woman we couldn’t have even pictured in our heads back then. There are people who pay to hear us talk. Lives you are touching in ways you couldn’t even dream of. I am beyond proud of us. Girl, it’s only up from here. 
-Your 26yo self”

That is probably one of the heaviest journal posts I’ve ever written but it helped me progress check. It’s not about the things I own, the people I posses or the titles I call myself. 

This mama program is bigger than me, and that’s how I always want it to stay. When these moms had to do their own “progress check” I saw them come into touch with their younger selves and truly realize how far they’ve come. Each one of these women had grown. Not a single one had stayed the same. Many of these women realized how writing is a self care activity they actually could do and vowed to use it in the days to come. 

I never visioned this life for myself. Running a company and helping women. Nursing is my passion and helping little kids was my goal. But now I’m helping both them and their parents and all feels right. THIS is my purpose. Progress check complete. 

Take care of you too mama,

Aysia B. 

Photos by: Psalms Photography 
As a mom it’s hard to take care of yourself in general, but it is especially hard when you’re in a house full of sick little ones who are just wiping their little boogies everywhere.  Trust me, you know I mean that both literally and figuratively.  But in being the manager of the household it is so very important that you keep yourself well amongst all the cold, cough and boogies. I just mentioned “boogies” twice in one paragraph, I’m definitely a mom. Let’s head right into part two of my wellness tips for the common cold.  This time it’s all about you mama. 

If you’re anything like me, when your little one gets sick, it’s almost a guarantee you’re going to catch the bug too, then the whole household gets it and now we’re recycling germs like the trash man.  But your little one getting sick is not just about keeping yourself healthy, it’s about keeping yourself sane too!
Though the common cold is the least troubling illness one can get, it still hits our babies pretty hard and makes them down right miserable.  Then what’d ya know...mamas miserable and up all hours of the night too. This list is the all inclusive list on ways to keep yourself healthy as well as tap into your self-care something hard to do during those cough and cold months.  So here we go.

Emergen-C Chewables.  If any of my co workers could tell you, they’d happily let you know I’m always sick.  But it is entirely true.  When I first started at work I would take these little chewables at the beginning of every shift. During this time period I felt I got sick a lot less frequently if at all.  But since I’ve stopped these, it’s like every tiny germ carrier that walks into our office and coughs on me, I immediately catch the sniffles.  I swear this is not an exaggeration.  So restarting this yummy item is definitely on my healthy list. 
Peppermint.  If you don’t start the chewables and you feel the sniffles coming on, a few nights with a peppermint essential oil rub and that cold will go right away!  The best advice I could have is to hop on any type of “treatment” regimens early.  It is very true what they say, staying ahead of an illness is the best way to beat it. 
Fluids.  Preferably water or orange juice.  Water just helps your body stay hydrated and continuing to perform the process of creating new and healthy cells.  Orange juice works very similar to the emergen-c tablets.  Fills your body with vitamins necessary for great immune health.  
Rest. Now this toggles into both lists and I might as well just start the self care portion here, but rest is one of the best ways to combat, prevent or quickly rid of illnesses. Be sure to batch work any items that need to be done in the day or when you have small moments to do so because you want to be sure that you are getting plenty of rest at night.  I believe this is also one of the big reasons I’ve been getting sick a lot more lately.  

Now as I said before, having sick kiddos not only requires you to be healthy, but it requires you to be sane too. So here’s a few self care tips that help me take care of me while my little one is sick.
Bubble bath.  At the end of the day after all the germs that cover your body, all you want to do is wash it all away.  The perfect way to kill two birds with one stone is a bubble bath!  Not only will the bath help you soak away any germs but it will also relax you and soak away any negative thoughts.  My motto is, the more bubbles the more relaxation. After those little ones go to bed run yourself a nice warm bath and take that time for you. 
Walk.  Whenever I’m feeling congested being outdoors seems to help.  I can’t remember exactly which “fun facts page” I read it on, but it was said that just 30 minutes in the environment (i.e. standing barefoot in the grass) was supposed to help boost the immune system. Something about the earth and our connection.  Whether or not that is completely true is beyond me, but I can tell you from experience getting outside definitely helps clear my congestion and my mind. 
Take a trip!  Now after every cold you can’t just run and take a vacation but after some it’s truly necessary.  A vacation doesn’t have to be out in Aruba somewhere, though trust me that’s always appreciated.  A vacation could be a weekend at home with the kiddos at their grandparents, or even a mama weekend away at a local hotel.  

As moms it’s so difficult to take care of yourselves on a day to day basis.  But add a little illness into the mix and it’s nearly impossible.  In times like this, it's important to have teams and processes in place.  Trust me, you’re family depends on it.

Take care of you too mama,
Aysia B.

This post is written by a nurse and mom.  All tips are given as suggestions and from health care experience.  Please always consult your doctor before using any new medications or remedies on your child.

Fall has officially begun, and if your household is anything like ours, so have the illnesses.  Once you have a toddler it’s like preventing colds is a foreign language.  And for us, between my job and the sick kiddos there, it’s even harder to keep germs at bay. In conclusion, both Tate and I have had continuous colds since the beginning of the month. 

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. 

One of the hardest things is having him sick.  It not only changes the trajectory of any plans we had that week but it also causes added stress to me and him during the already rough time. Many times we’re unsure of what to do or even where to start when our child is sick. Well look no further mama.  Below I have given you a comprehensive list of 5 of the best general tips you can do when your sweet baby is sick. 

Here are 5 cold tips to help with your child’s cold symptoms:

  1. Suction.  With most colds the major problem is congestion.  Many parents enter the emergency room stating their child isn’t eating and has had decreased output.  When asked if they have congestion almost always the answer is yes.  Think about it like this if you treat your child’s congestion they can breathe while they are nursing or drinking and in turn are more likely to eat more consequently having more output. My favorite tool as both a mom and a nurse is suction.  My personal favorite is the nose- frida.  So many moms complain about the thought of “sucking” your baby’s boogies but I promise the filter inside catches everything and in my 2 years of using it no snot has ever gotten I my mouth. However, a regular ol' bulb suction would work just as fine.
  2. Cool-mist humidifier.  This device has many uses.  Whether congestion, nose bleeds, coughing or sore/ dry throat is the issue this can help.  Cool mist humidifiers add moisture into the dry air which can help with nose bleeds and sore throat by keeping air taken in from being so dry and causing irritation to the nasal and throat passage.  It also helps with cough for the same reasons.  With congestion it makes it so the air taken in is easier to breathe since it’s not as thick and muggy.  At my emergency department we almost always recommend cool mist humidifiers to hot ones due to the high occurrence of spills and burns to children. However, if you are in cooler temperatures the air could also have the opposite affect and a warm humidifier might be necessary. 
  3. Increase liquids.  This tip is also useful for many things but the biggest is it helps thin the extra secretions that are created when you are sick and makes them easier for your body to get rid of.  Stagnant phlegm makes one prone to pneumonia.  Also, if you have a fever your body has lost lots of fluid and this helps replace it. Dehydration is one of the main things us as health care providers worry about when your child is sick and not taking in many fluids.  Dehydration can be noticed by signs of decreased urine outputs (less than 8-10 wet diapers in 24 hrs), no tears when crying, dryness in the mouth, etc). One of the best liquids we recommend is Pedialyte in children who are younger and Gatorade in those a bit older.  These two liquids help replenish the electrolytes lost during a fever or diarrhea/ vomiting episode. 
  4. Rest.  Similar to when you are sick, when your child is ill they feel more tired than usual.  It might be helpful to allow them ample rest time which may include keeping them home from school or daycare.  If they indeed do have a fever they must stay home for at least until they are 24hours without fever, as they are considered contagious. When given time to rest the body can fight the infection or illness properly and thus may shorten the length of illness.
  5. Medications/ additives:
      • Honey. If your child is older than 2 then honey is the best “cough syrup” you can use. It is a natural ingredient that helps loosen up phlegm and prevent coughing spells.  Typically we recommend no more than 6tsp of honey a day. If this is your child’s first time having honey, just like I discussed before about introducing new foods, introduce the ingredient and then do not introduce any other new foods for about a week to be able to watch and isolate a reaction if there was to be one.
      • Tylenol. This is a fever reducing medication that can be used on babies over 12 weeks of age.  If your child is under 12 weeks and you think they have a fever (100.4+) take them in to see a doctor immediately.  The best way to take a temperature is rectally in any child under 2, under the arm in children who do not understand the concept of closing their mouth and keeping the probe under their tongue, and orally in any child who does understand the concept.  However if your child is over 12 weeks Tylenol is safe to use. Tylenol can be administered every FOUR HOURS and is one of my go to medications for cold time symptoms.  For example if you give it to your child at 12pm the next dose would be 4pm.  Below you can find a dosing chart.  
      • Ibuprofen.  Another fever reducing medication however, this one can only be used on babies over 6 MONTHS and is to be administered every SIX HOURS. Using the example above, if you give this to your child at 12pm it cannot be given again until 6pm. Dosing chart is also below. 

As a parent seeing your child sick is one of the worst feelings.  You worry about their well being and if you are in fact doing everything you could be doing for them.  One of the best things you could do for your child in addition to all of the tips is to remain calm and be their comfort.  I’m not sure about you but when I am sick I still want my mom sometimes.  And no matter what she suggests it’s gold and I’m running with it.  You have the power to be that same person with your child.  You got this mama don’t worry! Next week tune in to see how you can care for yourself physically and emotionally during your child’s cold spell. Because as we know, taking care of your child is so very important but…

Take care of you too mama,

Aysia B.

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