Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Sexual Recovery for Mothers

There are three basic factors that affect your sexuality as you transit into motherhood. First is pregnancy itself. As you may know, pregnancy wreaks havoc not just with your shape but also with the internal hormonal soup. As the body prepares itself for the nourishment of a developing foetus and for the ensuing delivery through the birth canal, hormonal changes occur. They usually leave a woman in a perfectly natural, nonsexual state. That transition from having your body be a place for pleasure with your partner (the grown-up guy you married or live with), to a temple for procreation may be a rocky road. Don't pressure yourself - but do keep in touch with your (and your partner's) sexual self through plenty of cuddling and loving touch. (Some women, however, do feel surges of sexual desire, and unless your obstetrician tells you to avoid sexual engagement, have all the sex you want.)
The second thing that affects our perceptions of ourselves as sexual beings is the birth process itself. When that baby passes down the vaginal canal, what once was a pleasure center is now a baby chute, and you may never think about it the same way again. On top of that, many women find that birth has altered the way they feel in the vagina -- the common complaint is that they feel "looser." Here's what you can do. Exercise the inner muscles, called the PC (pubococcyceal) muscles. These are the under-girdle of the pelvis in both men and women, also affectionately known as the "love muscles" -- even if you have not just had a baby, you need to keep these tightened up for good sex. I suggest that you do them once a day, three rounds each, at the same time each day. Use a method that will get you to focus on this act, such as when you floss your teeth at night, when you put the key in the ignition, when you watch the Today Show before your baby's morning feeding or when you head off to the tennis courts.
To find your PCs, stop the flow of urine when you are urinating. That's your locator device. Then squeeze those muscles tightly for about two seconds and then release. Repeat this process 20 times. Take a five-second rest. Then do the whole thing twice again. That will give you three hefty rounds of internal exercising. By doing the PC workout daily, you will build back your strength, stamina and vigor for your vagina. And sex will be more enjoyable. You will also begin to feel those sexual urges again while you do your home assignment. Now, start squeezing!
Third is the postpartum phase. Here you are focusing on a crying mass of cuddly flesh, not whether your grown-up honey in the other room lusts after you anymore. And you are facing the fruits of that labour, literally. If you're troubled by this phase, take a deep breath and remember: Things take time. Yes, there will come a time, perhaps rather quickly, when you will shift from being a baby-feeding and baby-caring machine back to your husband's or boyfriend's lover. But it will take some time -- and you should allow yourself that time. In fact, most OB/GYNs recommend waiting several weeks after birth before engaging in intercourse, so listen to your doctor, and your own body.
Additionally, breastfeeding can have both physical and mental effects on your sexuality. Often I read about women on our boards who are disturbed that they are feeling turned on during nursing. That's a natural response to having an infant suckle on your breasts. In fact, from a sexologist's point of view, I would say "Hallelujah!" to you. Your erotic zone is intact. Most women do report that nipple stimulation is a key ingredient in their sexual arousal. To lose that stimulus-response function during breastfeeding would be a tragedy. Just ride it out. Know that this is a human function and that it's perfectly normal to feel those feelings. On the flip side, breastfeeding can make you feel less sexual -- the hormones tied into lactation can interfere with the natural lubrication of the vagina and make sexual intercourse dry and painful. A lubricating jelly can help you if that's the case. Either way, be sure to not make yourself feel as if there's something wrong with you when this journey is taking place.
Take time to readjust to being a mum. And let your partner assist you. It's difficult to be a nurturer and caregiver to an infant while putting on your thigh-highs and teddy. But the time will come when you must focus on your own sexual bond with your partner, the big guy, standing there patiently waiting for his wife to return from Mummy-land. And remember: Give yourself permission to have the pleasure of sexual play anytime your body says ‘Yes’.

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Friday, June 5, 2009

Spending quality time with your kids

Spending quality time with your child is very important to your child's development. The nurturing and caring needed during the child's growing years through puberty and all the way through early adulthood is very crucial in laying down the foundation for your child's future and well-being. Learning how to accomplish this will make it easier for both parents and children to spend and enjoy these quality times together.

Step 1
Make time to spend time with your child. No matter how busy your daily schedule is or how tired you maybe after a long day. Schedule a time that you can spend with your child uninterrupted. Whether reading a story just before bedtime for a toddler or simply talking and doing things both parents and child can enjoy, like a game of scrabble or chess. When you make time everyday, it becomes natural and less of a struggle. Make your time with your child a priority. The time you spend together will strengthen your bond as your child grows older.

Step 2
Turn off the interruptions. When you are spending time with your child you have to give your child your full attention. Turn off the television if it is on, unless your time together is about watching your child’s favourite show. Then show how interested you are with it too so that you both can enjoy this time together. Turn off your cell phones…ok that might be going over board! Lol!... but you can ignore calls for that minute or place it on vibrate.. There is nothing worse than an excitement of a child coming to greet you and showing how they did well in school and be interrupted by a phone call. Whatever it is it can wait for five minutes. If you miss the call and let it go through voice mail then return the call once your child is done speaking.

Step 3
Be sincere. When spending quality time with your child, listen intently and be sincere. A child knows too well when you are not paying attention to what he or she has to say. Do not make promises you cannot keep. Set realistic expectations so that your child will not feel hurt. This is a practice all parents must take to heart, especially the divorced ones where visitations may be limited or restricted.

Step 4
Think of fun activities you can do together. Quality time together does not only mean having a conversation with your child. It can include certain activities that you and your child can enjoy together for a period in a day, like baking goodies together or shooting hoops in your backyard.

Step 5
Keep the schedule routinely but be open to changes. Make your child equally accountable in keeping that schedule for your quality time together. Your child should understand the importance of having that time together regularly so neither of you would lose touch with each other. As your child grows older and starts to have friends, be open and be flexible if you need to adjust the times based on your child’s new schedule. Do not bind them too tight or too strictly with your schedule, instead work something out so that your child can still have a normal social life and still be part of yours. A compromise can go a long way in this case.

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Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Building self esteem in young children

Oh, how delicate self esteem can be! As adults, most of us have noticed that if we are told something often enough, we might end up believing it. If those things happen to be negative, it can be so destructive!
It is very damaging for a child to hear negative things about him or herself. Unfortunately, these things often come from avenues other than their peers or the school bully. Haven’t we overheard parents saying things like “take that outfit off, you look awful!” Or saying within hearing range of a child “Bayo will never make anything of himself. He won’t even sit down to do his homework.”

Too many people simply don’t stop to think of the impact their words might have on an impressionable child. If a young teen experiments with makeup, as an example, words to the effect of “wipe it off, you look like a tramp!” will damage her esteem for a very long time while saying “I think a lighter shade of that colour would look even prettier” builds self esteem because their efforts have been noticed.
It is hard to determine at exactly what age a child starts “taking it all in” and building what is to be their own self image in their mind. Certainly by the time they’re old enough to understand what “if you keep being too lazy to understand that math work, you’ll never make anything of yourself in life” means. If they start believing that life will be a waste, it will be an uphill battle to build self esteem and the desire to succeed in life. It could make much difference to hear instead “I know you’re having trouble with that math work, Chichi. Why don’t we sit down together and figure it out? You’re very smart and I know that between us, we can conquer it.”
How a child views himself relies greatly on those he trusts. The parents. There will be enough peer pressure and bullies over the years; and what the child hears from a parent needs to counteract negative things others will say. It only takes a few short breaths to say “I’m so proud of you!” or “You look great today!”
I recently had an interview with a delightful girl of 15. She had been having some problems in many areas of life. She finally mentioned that she was dating and had been for a while. I took the plunge and asked what led to that decision. She thought for a moment and answered, “Oh, that’s easy. My mother told me that no boy would ever want to go out with me.”
Make your children feel good about themselves. It takes little effort to voice the things you admire about a child. Something like “that shirt really brings out the colour of your eyes beautifully” just might make the difference between a terrific day or lousy day for them. If there is a decision they can help with, it’s a perfect opportunity to voice something you admire. “Will you help me choose curtains for your room? You have great taste in things like that.”
In hearing stories of domestic abuse, we often hear statements like “he told me constantly that I’m ugly and no one else would ever love me, so I started believing it.” It is no different for children. If the adults they trust in their life say things like “you’re lazy,” “you look chubby in that dress,” or “why can’t you do anything right?” their fragile self esteem is being damaged and it just might last for most of a lifetime.

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Tuesday, June 2, 2009

My daughter takes a Spiderman bag to school…

So I got a Spiderman school bag for my 4 year-old daughter, she looks at it and smiles, ‘mum, I like it!’
I’m happy she does because the whole Barbie-thingy isn’t really working for me – the pinky brights get easily dirty and I find myself scrubbing bags every other day, so I conveniently opt for the black and red colours of Spiderman. I like its aesthetics better, its lovely silver webs embellishes the face of the bag, and the mysterious red mask jumps off the black backdrop. Nice!

So I was a tad bit disappointed when she returns from school the next day and starts crying for a ‘Cinderella bag’.
‘I thought you liked your new Spiderman bag,’ I queried, curious as to what must have transpired in between 24 hours.

‘No, I want a Cinderella one, like the one I had before.’

After a packet of cheese-ball and a cup of Ribena, she confesses that the boys in her class think it is silly for her to carry a bag like theirs.

‘They said I should get a Cinderella bag like Bukky and Chidera.’

Ok, I know peer pressure is a common thing, but for a 4 year-old?!!! Lol!

I try, really hard, not to live a life of stereotype. I do not want to be placed in a box, so I stubbornly refused for her father to replace the Spiderman bag.

It is only a bag, it should not define who she is….it should not matter!

Personally, the whole Barbie-girlie thingy gets on my nerves! You walk into a shop with two girls and the shop attendants start thrusting pinky-barbie stuff at you, when all you want is a pair of brown sneakers that are comfortable for the girls to run in.

My girls have lots of pinky stuff, but graves aren’t going to roll on my side of town if I decide to balance their wardrobe with more, well, sensible stuff.

It may be a little selfish on my part – you see, Spiderman school bags come in black, so I get to wash only twice a month. Spiderman bags are bigger, so her food flask sits well in it, and those extra-long class books have enough space…

The next school day, I told her it was cool to carry whatever bag she fancies, and if she wants a barney bag next time in purple; or a winnie ‘d’ pooh, it’ll be fine, BUT the Spiderman bag MUST serve its course.

Children should be allowed to be children.

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10 Tips for Balancing Work and Motherhood

Although there's no secret recipe to balancing work and motherhood, there are thousands of women out there who have learned to do it successfully, women who've taken on this challenge before us and have come out on top.
I've been fortunate to have the opportunity to interview many, many entrepreneurial moms. And without fail, at some point during our conversation, they all say the same thing: "When I'm working, I feel like I should be with my kids. But when I'm with my kids, I feel like I should be working." But that guilt doesn't stop us from striving for success in both work and as a mother--we want to be able to do them both and do them both well. And if you ask any mum-entrepreneur, they'll probably tell you what they're doing now is the most rewarding thing they've ever done. It's certainly not easy, but it's worth it.
I know for a fact that any one solution won't work for everyone. But I've found some common themes among the successful working mums that I know, and here are their 10 tips for being both a terrific mom and business owner.

1. Get--and stay--organized. Your work time is precious and not as dependable as it would be if you worked in a traditional workplace. You can't afford to waste time looking for files, sorting through junk mail or even finding a pen. Keep everything clean and organized from the start. Have supplies available and in a place where you know you can immediately put your hands on them.
2. Have a plan. Some ‘mumpreneurs’ use paper organizers and some use tech gadgets, but all of them use some sort of planner to balance their work life with their family life. Get a a complete mum-inspired day planner. Ideally, you should keep both personal and work appointments on the same calendar so you don't overbook or double up. And while it doesn't always work, you need to set aside hours for when you're going to get your work done. If you just wait for it to happen, it never will. Of course, you'll have to be flexible as your child-care provider will inevitably cancel, your kids will get sick and your spouse may occasionally need to work late.
3. Work with your family, not against them. When your children are little, make sure your office is kid-proof. Get covers for your computer and child-safe drawers on your filing cabinet, and keep your paperwork out of reach if you don't want your reports and invoices covered in crayon. Some women I've spoken with set up a child's office space within their office so that crayons, paper and activities are available to keep their kids busy. As your children get older, find ways to get them involved in your work. When they're old enough, let them stamp envelopes, fold fliers or shred paper. Just never let them answer the phone!
4. Think nap to nap, not 9 to 5. Break out of the 9-to-5 office hours' tradition. Your hours as a ‘mumpreneur’ might start before your family wakes up, continue during nap times and go on into the wee hours of the night. Prioritize appointments that need to be accomplished in person during the traditional day time hours. But understand that e-mail, filing, reading, and a lot of your other office tasks can be done at any hour of the day or night.
5. Stay ahead of the game. By the time evening hits, yes, you're exhausted. But take a few minutes to set out school clothes, set up the coffeepot, prepare lunches and clear your desk. You'll be so grateful to have a less chaotic morning if you do all this the night before. You might also want to consider getting up a little before your family does so you can exercise, take a shower or get some work done.
6. Choose your priorities. Your priorities are your family and then your work. Let go of the need to be supre-mum. You don't have to be the mum that bakes the school brownies from scratch or hand-makes the costume for the school play. Choose your priorities--your kids will care more that you're there!
7. Schedule a mummy day. Every Tuesday used to be so stressful for me because I didn't have a nanny or my husband to help out at all. I prayed for long naps and few interruptions. Needless to say, most of the time, it didn't happen. So I finally decided to make Tuesdays a "mummy day." I worked more on Monday night and Wednesday to make sure I could have Tuesdays to myself. Now when I get work done on that day, it's an extra perk and not a source of distress.
8. Stay focused, and don't get sidetracked. One of the hardest things for work-at-home mums is getting sidetracked by children, laundry, dishes…well, you name it. Make a list each month of what you intend to get done. Then break the list down week by week, then day by day. If you stay focused, you can stay committed to getting things done.
9. Get help from your partner, then thank him for it. It's very difficult to succeed without help, so communicate with your partner about how he can help you--you both need to remember you're juggling two full-time jobs. Figure out how to parent and chore-share so you're both on the same page. Then tell your spouse how grateful you are for all his help.
10. Take care of you. How can you work out when you don't have enough time with your kids? How can you take a bubble bath when you're behind on a report? Realize now that there will never be enough time in the day to get everything done. Your in-box will still be full when you die, so learn to accept that fact now. It may seem like a cliché, but in this case, it's the truth: You have to take care of yourself in order to take care of your family, your business and your home. Just mark it in your calendar!
Working mums are amazing jugglers who fulfil many roles. There is a never-ending quest to find balance. Balance--it's a feeling we all hope to achieve yet which always seems to escape us. At the end of the day, however, you have to acknowledge all you've done and all you've accomplished. The fact that you did it and will do it again tomorrow means to me that you've mastered it as well as anyone else.
By Lisa Druxman

Monday, June 1, 2009

Hey mothers! Life is just about to get easier!

Every mother needs time to play and nestle with her baby. Jolly Kids SERVICE EXPRESS is here to help you enjoy those special moments, while we do all the hard work.
We shop for all your baby needs, and provide special hours to help new mothers.

Amid all the stress of motherhood, there are loads of fun and laughter… call on us today.

We are your baby’s best friend!

Shopping is just a call away!
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Lagos, Nigeria