6 Guidelines for Raising Emotionally Healthy Kids

There are so many things I am passionate about when it comes to the field of Early Childhood Mental Health. So, when Nicole Starr Photography asked me to pick a theme close to my heart to write about as a guest blogger for her website, it was really hard to choose just one thing. I decided to write an article that would give a little bit of information on several different topics that are the most frequently asked about when it comes to raising babies and young children. If you want to learn more about my 6 Guidelines for Raising Emotionally Healthy Kids, head over to Nicole’s blog and read all about it! I hope you enjoy it and come back to my website and leave your thoughts and comments below! Read...

15 Thoughts I Had During My 1st Trimester

A second pregnancy is definitely a whole different experience form the first one! Even though this pregnancy was very well thought out and planned, it happened way quicker than we expected, specially given the fact that the first time around we had the exact opposite experience. So here are some of the thoughts that ran through my 1st-trimester-pregnant-and-hormonal-brain this second time around:  Holy s***, I am pregnant!  Holy s***, I am really pregnant! – after testing for the 2nd time around  How is it even possible to love another human being this much?!  – while looking at my sleeping 2 year-old Oh, great! And this started already! – while suffering from bad all-day sickness What is it with me, pregnancy, and pickles? How the hell am I going to take care of a newborn AND a toddler?! How am I going to run errands with a running toddler and crying newborn? Ohhhhh, she’s going to be such a sweet big sister! – when visiting newborn cousin  What if I am pregnant with twins??!! Well, at least this time I won’t be pregnant during the summer! Although the snow doesn’t seem that much more appealing… Sorry, L! Mom is going to be a drag for the next 10 weeks! – while suffering from extreme fatigue and just wanting to lay on the couch all day long Oh, our sweet baby! – while holding back tears and feeling emotional at our first ultrasound I feel bad for you kid! – feeling bad for L every time I though that she would no longer get my full and exclusive attention anymore Now that this was getting so much easier… – thought that ran through my head after each successful outing, nap, bedtime, etc. ...

Breastfeeding: the good, the bad, and the ugly

When I found out I was pregnant I knew immediately I wanted to breastfeed my child. I am product of the 80’s, when it was said to mother’s that bottle feeding was much more hygienic and safe for babies, when family act leave was a long stretch away (I mean, maternity leave in this country is still a far stretch away, but that’s a subject for another post), and pumping wasn’t really a thing. Therefore, my mother chose to bottle feed, knowing she would return to work 6 short weeks from my birth. I like to think that both my brother and I turned out ok, independently of having been breastfed or not. However, this was something I wanted to do. Working in the pediatric field, I knew beforehand not to expect breastfeeding to be an easy breeze. “You have to try for at least two weeks”, everyone would say. “Breastfeeding is hard, but once you are past the hump, you can do it with one hand”, others would say. Much like my plans for labor and delivery (read here), I knew to expect the worst. And still, once again it was even harder than I imagined! After a “failed” birth plan, I was even more determined to make breastfeeding work. After all, I had to do something right to give my baby a healthy start, right? These were just some of the mommy guilt thoughts that would haunt my already crazy hormonal brain. Despite having ended up with a c-section, my postpartum experience at Newton-Wellesley hospital was impeccable. I was still in the recovery room right outside the OR when a loving nurse...

Birth Plan: the dream, the reality, and everything in between

(Post originally from Two Tiny Feet, One Big Heart)   I realize now the impact of birth and your birth story. It’s been almost a year and I still have not written the post I planned on writing about Birth Plans and Labor. I think in a way, it’s just been more comfortable to not go back and think about it again. After I finally felt like it was done and dealt with, going back to thinking about it and writing about it, was more than I wanted to handle. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not traumatized, nor do I regret anything. And above all, the most important thing, was a healthy baby and healthy mommy, which fortunately we were blessed with. However, being in labor, having a baby, and becoming a mother is one of the most powerful things that will ever happen in your life. And rightfully so, you have expectations about how it will happen. And the reality of what DID happen, are the memories that will stay. In between, is where the difficult emotions lie. In between are the dreams that you did not see come true. In between are the feelings of frustration, sadness, and grief. In between are thoughts, doubts, feelings of incompetence, and what ifs. In between, lies the difficult reality that is hard to accept: you can not control everything in your life; you can not do everything the way you would like for your child and for yourself, from the get-go. Like I mentioned in my last couple of posts, throughout my pregnancy I gave a lot of thought to what my...

Being Pregnant: 1st trimester overview

(Post originally from Two Tiny Feet, One Big Heart)   Wether planned, unplanned, long waited for or recent news… finding out you’re pregnant brings up a rush of a million emotions. The day I find out I was pregnant, I could not believe it. After our share of negative tests, I had no hope whatsoever that month and was taking the test just to get it over with. So, when I look over and see one strong line and one faint line, I was hopeful but not hesitant. I nervously read the instructions and saw “even if one line is faint, it is a positive test”. I sobbed. I could not believe that moment had finally come. I finally saw the lines we were waiting for. I couldn’t believe it. And of all days, today, the day of daddy’s birthday. I had imagined that possibility at the beginning of the month (yes, when you are trying to get pregnant you do too much math), but never thought it would actually happen. However, I was still not convinced. So, I quickly got ready and left the house before daddy was even up. On my way to work I bought another test, the digital kind, so there would be no doubts. At work, in a secluded bathroom I decide to take the 2nd test… and bam! There it was: “PREGNANT“. No doubts about it! I was beaming! I can’t even remember being that purely and genuinely happy in a long, long time. How to work and disguise such happiness all day? It was really hard! I kept looking at the pictures I had taken of...
infant parent mental health

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