Taking your pants off at the pool….

The other day at the pool, after playing in the sun for an hour, I look over at my 4 year old and his swim shorts were at his ankles. Literally bare butt out to everyone. I of course panicked, ran over to him and quickly pulled his pants up. I asked him why his pants were down. He said he was done wearing them. So we had to have the discussion, if you want dry clothes on, ask don’t just take off your clothes.

Honestly, I was super glad that his pants were down for a reason like he wanted to change and not that he took them down to pee in public. Because that was the first thing that came to mind. I really feared he dropped pants to pee in the pool. 😳

Part of me sort of always assumes kids are born with an inkling of knowing what’s appropriate and what’s not. Then something like this happens and I remember it has to be taught. Kids are literally little balls of clay that need to be molded.

4 Surrogacy Facts That Everyone Should Know

Written by guest writer Janice Russell of Parentingdisasters.com

When you think about surrogate pregnancies, you may only think of this as an option for the wealthy. In reality, however, surrogacy is more commonplace than you think. This once rare method of assisted reproduction is rising in popularity, especially in the U.S. where more than 77,000 surrogate pregnancies were recorded in 2019 according to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine.

Even though surrogacy is indeed becoming more common, the mystery surrounding the process can be just as confusing as ever. If you’re curious about surrogacy and what to know more, Fit Dallas Mom outlines a few things to help. 

Working With an Agency Makes Surrogacy Simpler 

Before you get into the details of surrogacy, you need to know that actually being involved in the process can be complicated. For that reason, you should consider working with an agency to get a better understanding of surrogacy steps and surrogacy costs. 

Any reputable agency will be transparent and upfront about what is involved, for the intended parents or surrogate mother, and will be more than willing to provide this information in full. Working out details around cost can be especially helpful, since the expenses for average services are substantially different from those incurred by celebrities.

Finding a Surrogate Can Take Time for Intended Parents 

Surrogacy can be a wonderful option for hopeful parents who are experiencing fertility issues. One of the first steps in this lengthy process is finding a surrogate mother. For many, a friend or family member may be the best option and may lessen expenses as well as potential emotional complications. 

But even if a friend offers to be a surrogate, What To Expect suggests it’s still wise for both parties to work with an agency so that everyone involved is properly screened for health issues and emotional concerns that could lead to complications. Emotional assessments can be especially important since carrying someone else’s child can be a challenging experience for some surrogate mothers.

Figuring Out Which Form of Surrogacy to Use is Important 

There are two forms of surrogacy: gestational and traditional. Gestational surrogacy, the more common of the two, is when a surrogate is implanted (via in vitro fertilization) with a fertilized egg from the intended mother or an egg donor, meaning the surrogate has no biological link to the embryo. 

Traditional surrogacy is when a woman donates one of her own eggs as a surrogate; this is more complicated and less common due to the challenging legal nature of this scenario. Regardless of which option you choose, it’s important to enter this process with a clear understanding of the surrogacy laws in your state, and involving an attorney in this process will be beneficial for everyone.

Becoming a Surrogate Involves So Much More Than Payment 

For women who wish to become surrogates, financial considerations may come into play. It’s common for surrogate mothers to be paid a fee for their services, in addition to having all medical costs covered by the intended parents. But finances should not be your sole reason for wanting to be a surrogate. Having a deep desire to help other parents enjoy the beauty of parenthood should be a part of this decision.

There are also risks to consider. Pregnancy can carry complications for even healthy women. Aside from temporary effects, like morning sickness and weight gain, pregnancy can also have additional long-term consequences for the health of surrogates.

One way to ease the physical discomfort of pregnancy for the surrogate — before the baby is delivered and after — is by wearing comfortable clothes with fabrics that stretch throughout the pregnancy. Kindred Bravely’s lounge dress, for example, also serves as a nightgown and has a nursing panel, making feeding the newborn easy and convenient. But perhaps more than the physical effects, you also need to be fully prepared for the emotions that are involved with carrying and caring for someone else’s child for so many months.

As more people look to become parents, there’s no doubt that surrogacy will increase in popularity. That’s why it’s helpful for people to educate themselves around the steps involved, whether they are interested in using the services, providing services or simply want to know more. Surrogacy can be a wonderful way to experience the miracle of life, just be sure to enter it with a clear understanding. 

Photo credit: Pexels

The Fit Dallas Mom blog shares Stefanie Lopez’s ups and downs and things she’s learned along her new path of motherhood. Read more interesting posts today!

Two month shot struggle

Yesterday was a rough day for this little munchkin. He got his two month shots. The post shot soreness was hard on him. You couldn’t touch his little legs without him crying in pain. The only comfortable way for him to lay was across my lap.

Those little cries are the hardest to hear. It literally broke my heart that I couldn’t make the aching stop for him.

He isn’t aching as much today. The shot spots are a little sore but it’s not causing him to cry (thank heavens).

I think not being able to take away their aches and pains is one of the hardest parts of motherhood💙

Starting a Business as a Stay-at-Home Mom is Not Impossible: Here’s What to Keep in Mind

[Image Source: Unsplash]

Staying at home with your kids is a luxury that many mothers don’t have. However, when you can’t exactly afford to be a stay-at-home mom but you don’t want to return to your old job, there is a compromise. Setting up your own business even when you’re busy taking care of your children at home is a possibility, and you could end up very successful if you do it right with these tips from the Fit Dallas Mom Blog.

Starting a Business as a Stay-at-Home Mom

While it’s no easy task, starting your own business could be vital to reaching your personal and work dreams. To help get you started, here are a few business ideas that might work for you, as well as ​hacks on how to achieve a work-life balance while taking care of your children.

Best Business Models for Mompreneurs

Although starting a business is no easy feat, especially if you have one or more kids to look after, choosing the right business model can save you from lost energy, time, and ideas. A great business model to consider if you’re into sales is launching an online shop. Selling online is all about picking up bulk items for a low price and selling them for a higher price. This is a great way to make a substantial profit. Starting a blog is another excellent business source and a go-to work-at-home idea for many moms. It is easy to get started, plus it’s exceptionally self-fulfilling to work on — all while allowing you to focus on something you love.

It isn’t always easy for people to figure out what they want, and that’s where a career or life coach comes into play. Offering advice — from the comfort of your home — can help people get to that better place more easily and quickly than they would on their own. This business idea is excellent if you have a background in teaching or love people and want to help them. Other business models can include direct sales, affiliate marketing, virtual assistant, childcare, copywriting, dog sitting, graphics or web designer, and more.

How to Get Started

There are no limits to who can become an entrepreneur. Being a self-employed, stay-at-home mom allows you to create your own schedule and be flexible while caring for your children. If you’ve decided that you’re cut to run a startup, start by refining your business idea by researching the market. Make a solid plan, as this is the roadmap that will keep you going when things seem to go astray, and make your business legal.

Small businesses benefit from establishing an LLC (limited liability company) as their structure because of the lower taxes, flexibility, and confined liability it offers. You may also want to create a DBA (“doing business as”) name for your company which can help you sell and market different products under a new name.

Find Work-Life Balance to Succeed

Achieving a good balance between life and work can be challenging — however, not impossible. All it takes is careful planning, especially when you also need to take care of your children. It is also essential that you let go of perfection — strive for excellence instead. Giving yourself a chance to shut off or take a break can be another real game-changer — it can be as simple as not checking your email in the evening. Furthermore, take advantage of your kids’ nap time and map out the daily activities to make everything look less intimidating.

You Can Be Successful

Running a business as a stay-at-home mom is no easy feat, so make sure you have good life-work balance. Implement a schedule, take time off when you need to, and remember that you can start a new career as a stay-at-home mom and be successful.

End of pregnancy struggles

I”m in month 8 of my pregnancy and the sleepless nights have kicked in. I have forgotten how hard the last few months can be. I’m so exhausted every day. The weight of the baby, chasing around 2 little ones and not sleeping at night is getting to me.

With my first baby I had only minor pregnancy insomnia, plus nightly leg pains. I had a few nights where I didn’t sleep well but it was never a full night. Maybe just a few hours where I couldn’t get to sleep. Second baby I had just nightly leg pains. With this third baby it’s major insomnia and leg pains at night.

This last week I had a run of about 48 hours without sleep. And yes I tried. It’s not like I’m up doing things. I’m literally laying in bed, tossing and turning, staring at the wall (I can only lay on my side). It makes the daytime brutal because I drag so much. I feel bad for the boys because I’m not at my best for them. I feel like I’m in a non functioning state. Basically a walking zombie. I’m sure I look just as terrible as I feel.

Last night my insomnia and leg pain was at its worst. I was up till 4am just trying to get the dull ache in my legs to go away long enough for me to try to sleep. It felt like I was checking the clock every 15 minutes. Time was moving so slowly. I literally paced the house to get my legs moving. I tried stretching and massage. I took Tylenol and drank a ton of water. Nothing worked. The water actually just made me need to pee more so I was getting up every 30 minutes to go. 🤦🏼‍♀️

Needless to say, I’m ready for Brody to be here. I know more sleepless nights will lie ahead when he is here, but at least the leg cramps, hip pain and heart burn will be gone!

Great Apps That’ll Help You Become the Best Parent

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Great Apps That’ll Help You Become the Best Parent

Ready to get prepared for your jolly little baby and get excited? With technology in hand, it’s easier to navigate this new chapter. You can use the following apps to help you figure out the whole becoming a parent thing, as well as understand what your newborn needs.

Redfin App

This may not seem super important at first glance, but it’s a godsend when you’re trying to balance raising a child and finding a new home. The Redfin app provides you with the ability to search the local market for homes that strike your fancy, and the app’s search filters allow you to find precisely what you need. Once you’ve got a few homes in mind, use the app’s virtual tour feature to take a remote stroll through the property. This simplifies the home-buying process immensely, and prevents you from spending unneeded time away from your baby.

Cloud Baby Monitor

As Cool Baby Kid points out, being able to check on your precious angel at any given moment is a must. Enter Cloud Baby Monitor. You’ll receive motion and noise alerts to help you keep up with all of your baby’s activities. Download the app to multiple devices so that your significant other can help monitor the baby, or so a family member can check in if you’re busy in a meeting. You can even talk with your tiny one and generate a live video call, enabling you to coo and coddle your newborn from afar.

If those features don’t get you excited, then check out the lullabies and white noise features as well as the nightlight options. You will truly have the most efficient baby monitor available. Plus, it’s only $4.99, making it efficiently cheap and saving you money for other items your little one might need.

Day One

Creating those memories you never want to forget is now incredibly easy. When you download the Day One app, you enter the gates of the top journaling app out there. With an easy to use design, you can format your post and revisit those memories without the hassle of searching for the photo album on your shelves. You can add writing, photos, audio and more to each entry, providing yourself with genuine reminders that tell your little one’s stories. You can even save them to embarrass your youngster when those teenage years come along!

WebMD Baby

Perfect for keeping up with all your child’s health needs, WebMD Baby provides you answers to some of your top questions. Best Apps for Kids notes you can use this app to research medically approved content so your child is healthy and happy, and you can even get tips from experts.

Use WebMD Baby to track things like feeding times, sleep, nursing and more. Then share those special moments with loved ones or other caregivers. It’s an opportunity to let go of those new parent worries that pop up when you wonder if a cough is just a cough or a sniffle is just a sniffle.

Cozi Family Organizer

Keeping up with all the plans in the family no longer has to be a mess. Cozi Family Organizer gives you a simple way to make plans and keep track of them for everyone. You can maintain events and activities as well as things like grocery shopping, all in one place. Store recipes or plan out weekly meals, and share everything in real-time.

Cozi makes planning easy and restores your ability to make sure you don’t forget something important. You can plug in doctor visits for your baby and add family gatherings on the planner so that everyone can enjoy time with your mini-you. As if it couldn’t get better, the app is free to use. For moms and dads, organizing schedules has never been easier!

With new apps coming out daily and ensuring easy to use formats, your phone is literally your best friend. You’ll discover just how easy it makes taking care of your newborn as it introduces you to ins and outs of being a parent. You’ll be a parenting pro in no time, thanks to your well-chosen apps!

For more expert parenting and health tips and info, visit the Fit Dallas Mom Blog!

Written by guest writer Janice Russell of Parentingdisasters.com

How to Exercise With the Family in the Pandemic and Beyond

With the coronavirus still a serious threat, it’s more important than ever to exercise regularly and stay fit. Not only that, but exercise has also proven to be a godsend during the pandemic as it certainly helped ease the monotony of isolation. There’s no question that working out remains a worthy pursuit for the entire family, including yours. Fit Dallas Mom explores how you can make movement an indelible part of your family’s routine, now and always.

Prioritize Safety

When working out with the family, at home or otherwise, you want to take certain measures for safety’s sake—not only to reduce the risk of injury, but to keep your workouts a pleasurable family activity.

● Prevention is better than cure, especially in a pandemic, so make sure to observe safe workout practices to prevent injuries when exercising at home.

● When you exercise outside continue to take safety precautions against the coronavirus.

● Wearing a mask is a real necessity as you venture outdoors, but learn how to use masks when exercising safely.

Stay Motivated

When it comes to working out, getting off the couch and on your feet can be the most difficult part. But with sufficient motivation, you can get everyone moving and, in turn, keep everyone healthy.

● There are some great ways to motivate yourself and your family to start working out.

● Streamline your day, starting in the morning, so you’re not forced to squeeze in a workout when you’re tired.

● It can be a great idea to start a family fitness challenge to get everyone moving.

● investing in workout gear and clothing can also be amazing motivators.● Make sure to reward yourselves to keep you going.

Activities to Love

Working out with the family is a lot more pleasant with fun physical activities that everyone will enjoy.

● Observing a solid morning routine will give you and the family more room and energy to exercise.

● Make use of online fitness programs that the whole family can partake in and love.

● Yoga is a particularly wonderful exercise for the entire family as it not only serves the body, but it helps reduce stress, too.

● Choose activities that allow social distancing as you take your workouts outdoors.

● The whole family can even stay fit by playing video games that gets everyone moving

Indeed, there are plenty of reasons why you must make exercise a part of your family’s daily routine—and zero reasons not to. It’s a healthy habit that will truly serve your family—not just in the pandemic, but for life.

Written by guest writer Janice Russel of Parenting Disasters

Image Credit: Pexels

Survival Tips for Work-from-Home Parents With Young Kids

Written by my guest writer, Janice Russel of Parentingdisasters.com

Working from home has many benefits. You can eliminate commuting, saving valuable minutes, and leaving more time to spend with family. If you have a toddler or baby at home, however, managing child care alongside a busy workday under one roof can be a challenge.

Rest assured, this juggling act is a test of patience for anymom or dad. You are not alone. The great news is that there is a supportive community out there offering plenty of tools to help you manage a home office plus parenting. Fit Dallas Mom Blog is one, with a blog full of tips. A couple of other blogs run by parents who work from home that are worth checking out are Single Moms Income (which has great advice for dads and married folks, too!) and Catherine Alford’s site.

Read on for some additional tricks and tools you can rely on to help make working from home as a parent with young kids easier.

Set aside a dedicated workspace.

Creating a dedicated work zone increases productivity. It also lets you keep your computer and papers in one place, away from baby bottles or your toddler’s sticky hands. Having this separate space will also make it easier for young children or spouses to recognize when you’re working. You can even use colorful tape to mark off mommy’s or daddy’s workspace. This kind of visual indicator is easier for toddlers to recognize.

Follow these tips from SHAPE magazine for creating an ergonomic workspace that is comfortable and healthy. Invest in a proper desk chair and desk, and set it up correctly. In addition to configuring your office furniture, make sure your workplace electronics are configured for home office use.

Consider a career change.

If you’re at home with young kids, you may want to start thinking about a new career once your kids are old enough to attend school. Fortunately, there are many online degrees you can earn which allow you the opportunity to learn from home at your own pace so you can still meet your children’s needs. For example, if you’re interested in becoming a teacher, you could work to earn a bachelor’s degree in education.

Create a kid-soothing zone.

Create a kid zone with your little one’s amusement in mind. If your baby has that one rocking crib that always seems to soothe them, place it here. If your toddler has a favorite stuffed animal that stops the crying, make sure it’s there. Set your kid-soothing zone up near your workspace. As a work-from-home parent, it’s impossible to avoid interruptions during the day. By setting up this space close to your office, however, you can hopefully minimize the amount of time every disruption takes.

Take advantage of nap time.

As a work-from-home parent, nap time is your best friend. Take advantage of these quiet moments. For example, if you know that your child usually goes down for a snooze after lunch, this is the perfect time to schedule conference calls. Of course, nap time isn’t a guarantee. It can seem like the moments when you really need your little one to sleep, they simply won’t. The website Parents.com has great tips on helping your toddler nap, for example, by laying them down with some gentle music.

Call for reinforcements.

Remember, you don’t have to do it all on your own. If you have a partner to help, enlist their assistance. Sit down at the start of the week and compare schedules. What days do you each have critical deadlines or meetings? See if the other one can step up and take over child care during these times. Alternatively, you may have friends or family who can help. Another option is to hire a professional via an online platform like Care.

Be kind to yourself.

Working from home with kids clamoring around you isn’t easy. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Find time for self-care. Taking a hot bath after the kids are in bed is a great way to unwind. Also, take time to nurture your mental health by practicing mindfulness through activities like meditation and showing gratitude. These small acts will enhance your mental wellbeing and make you more resilient to everyday challenges.

Being a working parent isn’t easy. There’s scientific evidence to prove it, as surveys show that working mothers are more stressed. The above survival tips will help you get through the workday while alleviating worry.

I’d also offer the advice to recognize when you need to pause. For me, this is when I start snapping at my kids. If I notice myself doing that I try hard to set boundaries and realistic expectations with myself and my family. For example, “Mommy needs five more minutes, let’s set a timer and when it goes off let’s snuggle!”

Photo Credit: Pexels

Pregnancy leg day

I’m a little over 6 months pregnant now. My belly is getting bigger which means movements while working out are getting more difficult. However this isn’t stopping me from working out! Workouts are the one thing keeping up my strength and energy for the boys!

Today was a leg workout. 4 sets of 12! 💪🏻

Introducing your kids to a new baby

It’s hard to believe this was just 3 years ago! My little guy has gotten so big so fast. In a few short months we will be a family of 5! Fingers crossed Ryder handles baby #3 a little better than he did with Camden.😳

When I first brought Camden home from the hospital, if you were holding him, Ryder would just sit there and give you dirty looks. He would refuse to come near anyone that was holding Camden. He would actually tell me to put Camden down. He was not a fan. That first month was definitely one of the hardest I’d ever experienced. It broke my heart that Ryder had such a hard time.

Hopefully now that he’s been around Camden so long he understands that a new baby isn’t a “threat.” He’s so good with Camden now and even tries to share with him (sometimes).

I did screw up with Ryder in the beginning when I had Camden. I thought after Camden was born I needed to give Ryder a ton of attention to make up for the shared attention that was about to happen. People kept telling me Ryder was going to get jealous and would need a lot of individual attention. I shouldn’t have listened to them.

I had my mom spend a lot of time with Ryder as well thinking that individual attention was needed because of everyone’s comments. That actually made Ryders jealousy worse. When he actually did spend time around Camden and I, it was really bad. He just couldn’t handle it and would have melt downs and be extremely upset. What I should have done is let Ryder spend time around just me and Camden the minute I brought him home. I should have gotten him used to being around Camden right away so he could see he and baby will both get my attention. I think if I’d done that, it may have not taken so long for Ryder to adjust to Camden. By giving him too much individual attention, it’s what he expected all the time and wasn’t getting used to having to share.

Obviously now things are ok. We have our days where one kid needs more attention than the other. But for the most part they both understand they have to share moms attention and that they will both get the attention they need. I definitely learned a lot that first time around. I think I have the hang of it this second time. Fingers crossed!