Thursday, August 25, 2016

Solo Parent Sucks.

I try hard to keep a positive mindset, about all things in life. I know that God has blessed me beyond measure. I have two beautiful, perfect children who consume my heart and soul. I adore them more than words can express.

Just over a month ago, the kids and I made the transition to civilian life. Upon the news that my husband would be medically discharged from the army in the coming months, he decided that it was the best move for our family for the kids and I to move back to the mitten state to get settled, find a house, and find stable sources of income to support us during this process of adjusting to a non-military lifestyle.

During this time, we've been able to stay with my parents. I'm incredibly grateful to have a support system as strong as I do to make this transition a little easier. Knowing we'll have a roof over our heads while we find a house of our own is so very comforting.

All that being said, solo parenting sucks.

I'm exhausted. All the time. The kids haven't grasped the boundaries set for them in my parents' home, so there's no such thing as productivity while they're awake. One of them is constantly getting into something they're not supposed to. The baby swimming in the dog water. The preschooler digging through the fridge. The baby pulling vents out of the floor. The preschooler going outside without telling me. The baby throwing things into the toilet. the preschooler playing in the bathroom. It's endless.

At our own home, we have good places for baby gates so I can contain them in safe places while I work. Here, that's not an option. I bought a book two weeks ago, and have read 35 pages. And feel accomplished I've read that much. I'm taking a semester off school because I know it will be practically impossible to keep up with it, while looking for a house, launching two businesses, adjusting to having a child in school, and learning to solo parent for an unknown amount of time.

Maybe I'm being a Debbie Downer tonight, but I'm just over it. When I tell our oldest "no," she screams for daddy, or grandma, or papa, or anyone who she think will coddle her and go against what I say. If I tell her no, and someone else comes home shortly after, she'll ask them and get what she wants anyway. My parenting styles are constantly under scrutiny, between still nursing our one year old (the WHO recommendation is to nurse until at least two years of age), "extended" rear facing (even though the law is now to rear face until two in MI), time outs, discipline, taking away screen time... I feel like everything I do is under a microscope and it's exhausting.

I didn't feel like this when we were in our own home, and maybe that's only because no one was there constantly, watching my every move. But now I can't help but feel like I'm doing everything wrong. I'm most definitely in survival mode now, and it's only been a month. I'm terrified for what the next year and a half (or more) holds for my sanity and self worth. Single moms, I tip my hat to you. I don't know how you do it.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Favorite Cloth Diaper Things

We've been cloth diapering Baby James for eight months now, exclusively except during our move (that was a long week and a half!). We've got a great system down and I'd love to share my favorites things with you (with links to Amazon! Yay!).

Our Favorite Diapers:

Rumparooz One Size Pocket Diapers: There are a few reasons we love them. They are double gusseted so leaks are rare. I also love the insert system. They fit great and have a bunch of cute colors and prints too. We used these from newborn on up.

BumGenius One Size Pocket Diapers: We used these with Miss A too, and I really liked them. They fit very similarly to the Rumparooz, but don't have the double gussets. We still rarely have leaks though.

BabyKicks Premium Pocket Diapers: I only have two of these, but I love them. They're very trim fitting. They also fit from newborn on up.

We also have a selection of BumGenius Freetimes and Thirsties All-in-Ones that we really like too. The all-in-one style is super convenient for laundry and travel, but I do appreciate the ability to change up inserts when needed.

Our Favorite Inserts:

Rumparooz Bamboo 6r Soakers are my absolute favorite. These are the only ones we've found that aren't crazy bulky, that get us through the night without leaks. They come with two inserts, the large, and the "newborn"/doubler. We use both for overnight and it works great. 

Our Favorite Diaper Rash Creams:

Coconut Oil: I love this stuff for every day use. It's cloth diaper safe, and good for everything. Diaper rashes, skin moisturizer, cracked/dry nipples from nursing, stretch mark itching, and a million other things. Spectrum is my favorite brand. 

Earth Mama Angle Baby Bottom Balm: This was the first "cloth safe cream" we actually tried. It works amazing. This past week, Baby J had a terrible teething caused diaper rash, and this stuff has knocked it out so fast. It's also on the lower end of the cost scale too. 

Motherlove Diaper Rash and Thrush Relief: This is another amazing cream too. Super versatile and pretty inexpensive. I love it! 

Our Favorite Accessories:

Grovia Cloth Wipes: I've tried a handful of different cloth wipes, but these are my favorite. They're a good size, but not bulky. And they're pretty cheap compared to others I've tried too. 

Lusa Wipe Juice: I love this stuff. It smells amazing, and leave lil man's butt super soft. I bought the 4oz bottle when Baby J was just a few weeks old, and just placed an order for another bottle this past week. It lasts forever. We actually use it in my peri-bottle, just a little in each bottle. 

Planet Wise Pail Liners: With Miss A, I used a different pail liner, and it was constantly falling in the pail. These stay in place super well, and come in a ton of colors. We got a brown one and an orange one to match our hunting themed nursery. 

Bumkins Diaper Sprayer: The diaper sprayer is a new thing for us. But it is a life saver. One thing we definitely needed with this is the Spray Pal. It saves a LOT of mess. I highly recommend both once baby starts solids. 

If you have any questions, please feel free to comment and I'll let you know what we use!