Sex After Kids

Having a baby is one of the most amazing experiences in the world. Being able to give life is something I think that every mother should experience if they are capable. But what happens when you’re now a mom who has a little person on your tail with a husband or a boyfriend who’s starting to feel neglected? Or a vagina that starts to crave attention?

Having sex is a joyous act- at least, it used to be. Once I started having little people it became like a game of chess. When, where, for how long, how loud can I be- these are all questions that now have to be answered just to get a little dick action. And for a lot of women, their sex drive decreases and they can’t get wet. I can’t count how many times a mom has told me that she just doesn’t want to have sex anymore because it hurts or she’s too tired. Ladies: WE NEED TO GET OUR SEX ON! I am a huge advocator of sex, especially as a parent. Because if you can’t find any peace in your house, you gotta grab some. And sex is the perfect way to grab even just a small portion of peace. And dick. Let’s talk about it!

  1. Play with yourself! Get to know your vagina and your clitoris. Start off small- buy water-based lubrication. Go right to Walmart and get the KY Water-Based Gel lube (or the Walmart brand version for a couple of bucks cheaper). Pop the protective shield off, squirt some on a CLEAN finger! (because I’ve made the mistake of eating spicy hot wings, wiping my hands with the cleaning wipes, then deciding that I was horney and not actually washing my hands and almost ended up in the emergency room) and get to exploring. Or use a detachable shower head and spend a little extra time washing off your vagina area. You know, just to make sure she’s clean. Or you can buy a “bullet” vibrator from Amazon. You won’t need the lube, just a battery, and place it ever so gently against your clitoris until you’ve reached your satisfaction. Trust me- you’ll be happy that you did!
  2. Go on dates with your partner! One of the issues why sex and intimacy start to fade after a child is because the time spent being intimate with your partner decreases (sometimes even fading!). Bring back that oneness, that togetherness, make each other feel valued and important again. Alone time with other adults is important but alone time with your partner is crucial. Laugh, talk, cry, and learn each other again. It will make sex that much more special.
  3. Get some ME time (or in this case, YOU time)! Yes- you are an awesome mom but you need a break. Pack some clothes, diapers, wipes, bottles, toys, food- whatever. Pack it up for ALL of your kids and send them off somewhere. You need a break. You won’t feel sexy if you’re always tired and chasing after a kid. You need to sleep because no man wants a woman who’s going to lazily throw that ass back. Rest, take a long hot bath, light some candles, and relax. Get back your energy. Then throw something sexy on, do your hair and makeup, drink some wine, and fall in love with yourself again. You’ll be way more comfortable and way more open to sex once you are rested. You’ll have the energy too.
  4. If all else fails, watch some porn! I myself don’t particularly like porn but I have plenty of videos between myself and my ex-lover that we used to pass back and forth. Those always get me in the mood to be frisky. Mostly because I love watching myself have sex. Hey- kids didn’t stop my sex drive, what can I say? Record yourself! Even if you’re just dancing in the mirror- do something sexy and record it so that you can watch it later. Or record some porn. Something that definitely turns you on and will definitely get you in the mood.

The whole goal of this is to have sex! Release your body from the everyday stress of being a mom, and let go of pent up tension, aggression, and whatever else you are holding in your body. Sure, you could go to the gym and just work out but it won’t feel as good and it won’t bring you closer to your partner. Sex not only helps YOU out, but it brings you closer to your significant other, allows you to have a healthier relationship with the people around you (because if you are clear-headed, you can approach situations differently), it will help you burn calories, and it’ll at the very least give you a break from the kids. Whether it’s for 2 minutes or 45, that’s time spent in pure pleasure.

Oh- and have sex when you’re angry. I know that almost every woman that I know says the complete opposite, but that’s when I have sex the most. I can be in the middle of an argument with my partner and I’ll just blurt out “come fuck me right now!” Why? Because 1- the argument probably is something that can easily be solved if we both take our emotions out of it (which sex will help with), 2- now I am frustrated and angry and need to release all of my anger (which sex will help with), and 3- that allows me to gain back power and control over the situation and the argument because me down on my knees with my man’s penis in my mouth, his balls in one hand, and his nipple in between my fingers will get me whatever I want.

I could go a lot further into detail, but we’ll leave this post as PG-18 as possible. Have sex, I know I will. Matter of fact, let me call my boy toy now. I’ll catch up with you moms (and dads) later.

As always, be legendary KINGS; be extraordinary QUEENS!

-tootles!

xoxo

Surviving My 6-Year-Old Daughter

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Six years ago when I found out that I was having a daughter, I was the happiest mother-to-be in the world. I thought “this is going to be so much fun! I can dress her up in tutu’s, braid her hair, making her look so cute all the time!” While that has been true for the most part, no one prepared me for the monster that is clothed as a young girl.

My daughter is amazing! She’s extremely smart, very friendly, can hold a conversation, loves to try new things, dances and sings like she’s a rockstar (even though she can’t hold a tune or twirl to save her life) and she loves to help me cook and clean around the house. This very same amazing daughter of mine rolls her eyes at me, talks back, disobeys my orders, talks with her hands, and defies my orders. Blatantly. Then lies about it to my face. I don’t remember signing up for this part of parenting. To make matters worse, she is a big sister. Well, more like she’s a big terror to him. And nothing that I try works in getting ger to be nicer to him.

So, you’re probably saying “it can’t be that bad!” Well, let me tell you a few stories about this beautiful little monster of mine. Story 1: both of the kids were laying on my king-sized pillow top mattress bed (because the fact that I bought them their OWN pillow-top beds to lay on and their own 65″ PROJECTOR tv to watch means absolutely nothing) watching a movie. The boy was jumping up and down and irritated the princess. His toy fell, so he asked her to move her leg so that he can get it. She moved her leg alright- when he tried to go over her, she lifted her leg and tripped him. He went tumbling down off the bed and busted his lip. There was blood everywhere. When I asked her why she did it, she replied “he was bothering me. He should’ve gone another way down.” Story 2: just a few days ago, I sat her down to braid her hair. I had to take out her old braids to do new braids because she had school the next day. As I am taking the ballies out of her hair, small chunks of hair are coming out with it. I paused, thought for a second (because just the night before we had an incident with scissors) and asked her “did you cut your hair?!” She replies “yea, I felt like I needed a trim.” Very plainly and matter-of-factly. Then she turns around and continues to watch tv. Meanwhile, I’m sitting behind her wondering how long it would take for someone to notice that her body is missing.

I love being a mom! But my daughter can be an asshole. LMAO! I was always told that if a child is well behaved while they are young, they’ll be hell when they get into their teen years and if a child is hell when they are young, they’ll be amazing as a teenager. I have absolutely no clue if that is true or not, but I do know that I cannot take this sassy little thing growing into her teen years like this. I’ve already been prepping my mom to know that she will have a live-in teenager if she grows with this mini ‘tude that she has. Even my mom sees it now- the other day she told her nana “what do you want to talk to me about so badly?” When she told me what my daughter said, I instantly burst into laughter. I’ve been telling her about my daughter for a while now, so now she gets to see live and in person what a little brat this kid can be. What makes matters even worse is the fact that she’s me! She is a miniature version of me! And I cannot stand it! One time I asked her to do something and she gave me the smartest rudest answer ever! But it was an intelligent response that was filled with logic and rationality! And she’s only 6! I was stuck- I couldn’t even answer her back and in my mind, I’m thinking “this little heffer really just got over on me!” LMAO!

She makes it really hard to deal with her sometimes, then she does small things like come up to me and tell me how much of a great mother I am, or she’ll snuggle up next to me while we’re watching a movie. Or she’ll come home with a homemade card and I’ll be this superhero mom that always saves her day. I have no idea if I should be sleeping with one eye open or if she’s doing a pre-puberty-lets-see-how-much-estrogen-I-can-pump-out-before-I-turn-10 thing. I don’t have this issue with my son. My biggest issue with him is that he keeps eating everything out of my damn house and he is the most active little person that I have ever encountered in my life. Make that strong-willed and active. There’s nothing worse than a 5-year-old who’s determined to try to find a way to slide down the steps on his tiny toy race car track while watching his iPad on his way to go rob my snack cabinet. The number of toys that I have tripped over and the numerous wrappers that I’ve found around the house are enough to warn me that we’re going to have at least 2 hospital visits before he turns 18 and that I need to make my budget for groceries a lot higher. I can handle those issues. My daughter on the other, sometimes I have to double-check her birth certificate to make sure that she really is only 6 years old.

I’ve made it this far people! We’ve made it to 6 glorious years in which I haven’t given her up for adoption. Or at least, sent her to go live with my mom. I was on the phone with my mom the other day and I said “mom, please tell me that she’ll get better as she gets older”, and she said, “I can’t make any promises”. Great. Just freaking great. And I’m not one of those parents that kick their child out at 18, so if she decides to stay home while going to college… Lord, please let this just be a phase that she’ll grow out of; PLEASE!! I am absolutely in love with the little person that I created. But sometimes, she’s a little shit. A smart, pretty, helpful little shit, but a little shit nonetheless. I guess that means that I’m a big shit huh, since she literally acts just like me. Oh God- now I need to re-evaluate my lifestyle choices and somehow be less of a shit so that she can follow that example. LMAO. Please provide me with tips because I can’t take very much more of this!

*Disclaimer* This blog post was made in FUN and HUMOR!! Yes, dealing with a daughter that has a mini ‘tude is frustrating, but I wanted to bring humor to it. Please- no radical comments about how I shouldn’t be a mother if I feel this way because you’re a mother that struggles with your kids as well. Parenting isn’t perfect nor is it always pretty flowers and sunshine so if you don’t deal with THIS particular issue, just laugh and keep it moving. Thanks love!

As always, be legendary KINGS; be extraordinary MOMS!

-tootles!

xoxo

For The Love Of My Belly

I am a mom of 2 amazing children. They aren’t amazing every day, but overall they do a good job maintaining that title. What wasn’t amazing was the state in which they left my stomach. It’s been 5 years since I gave birth to my last child, but it has been a struggle to get my stomach to go back to a size that I am comfortable with.

Now, if I am being honest, my work schedule doesn’t always allow me the opportunity to work out and stay active the way that I would like. And my stress and eating habits aren’t always the best. I could probably do a lot better with eating healthier and working out more. With that being said, I am not big. I still maintain a slim-ish figure and I am in a healthy shape. But pregnancy destroyed my stomach. I’m talking stretch marks, stretched skin, stretched everything!

I often had people ask me if I was carrying twins in my stomach because it was so big. Now, I am very self-conscious about it. I wear loose-fitting clothes to try to hide it, I wear high-waisted jeans, and wearing 2-piece bikinis in the summer is out of the question. Realistically my stomach probably isn’t that bad, but in my head, I look pregnant again. And I hate it. I have been to the gym (until I found out that I had arthritis in BOTH of my knees and had to stop) but I didn’t see any change in my stomach. Everywhere else toned up nicely, but the baby belly still stayed. This fupa-pouch is a determined little sucker.

This issue played on my self-esteem. I’m not fit enough to wear certain outfits, my stomach is too big to be attractive, people are going to think that I’m pregnant. These are all thoughts that constantly swam around in my head. Then, I met someone who completely changed that. After 2 years of giving birth to my last child and dealing with this belly issue, someone walked into my life and changed the way I looked at myself. He knew I wasn’t too thrilled with the way it looked and always went out of his way to kiss my belly, hold my belly, and tell me how beautiful I looked without any clothes on. He took me out of my own head and showed me how beautiful I was despite what I thought about myself. His favorite line was “but you gave birth to 2 kids and you still look sexy as shit”. He would get mad at me for calling myself fat, would hate when I wore a waist trainer, and always snuck me snacks and foods. He didn’t see anything wrong with how I looked, so why did I? Let’s not mention the fact that my kids think that my “squishy” belly is the best toy in the house. I told my daughter that I was going to cut my belly off and she became visibly sad. I asked her why and she responded, “now I won’t have anything to lay on when we’re having movie night”. I had to quickly run out of the room and burst into laughter.

I say all of this to say 2 things. 1- we put way too much pressure on how we are supposed to look. We pluck, tweeze, squeeze, pinch, prod, and cover up a body that literally brings life into the world. We are amazing people and we need to accept and love our bodies. And 2- get out of your head! We tend to think the worst of ourselves, and if something is wrong and you really don’t like it, make a change. You are worth it, and then some. So stop limiting yourself, and go out and get it done! No one will ever love you more than you love yourself, so make you sure you fall in love with YOU over and over again!

As always, be legendary KINGS; be extraordinary QUEENS!

-tootles!

xoxo

Pregnancy And Nausea

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Being pregnant was something that I never thought that I would experience. I was overjoyed when I found out that I was pregnant. I didn’t care if I was having a girl or boy or alien- I was just excited to be bringing in life. Then, the symptoms hit me and I wasn’t so overjoyed anymore.

Both of my pregnancies caught me by surprise, but the pregnancy with my daughter gave me a run for my money. I was pregnant for almost 8 weeks before I found out, but the minute the pregnancy was confirmed my body started acting up. And I mean something MAJOR! At the time, I was living with my ex. I couldn’t stand the smell of him, of his cooking, of his cologne- nothing. I could not be anywhere where someone was cooking because it would make me throw up. I couldn’t eat or drink anything because it would make me throw up. If you looked at me for too long I would throw up! *Ok, that was an exaggeration, but you get the point.* This was my first ever pregnancy so I didn’t know if it was normal or not so I didn’t say anything to my doctor. But I couldn’t keep anything down. And I could only eat 1 thing- fried chicken wings PLAIN! No sauce, no salt, no seasoning. And I could NOT be in the house while it was being cooked. (I specifically remember the one time the kids’ father was cooking it for me and I had to go into the bedroom, open up all the windows, and put towels under the door just so I wouldn’t smell it. I think I even lit a candle to mask the smell. It was BAD!) And if it wasn’t fried hard- if the skin was any type of soft or mushy- I was throwing up. This means that I couldn’t eat any wings from the Chinese store, the corner store, the restaurant- none of them. Why- because the oil had flavor on it and guess what? I would throw up. You could imagine that this made it very difficult for me, my ex, and anyone else who was around me at the time. It got to a point where my doctor became concerned because I lost a total of 30 pounds within the first 4-5 months of my pregnancy.

Finally, my OB stepped in and was like “I think you’re having a problem keeping foods down, so let’s try something”. Or something like that, I don’t remember exactly but come on this should’ve been a red flag the minute I didn’t gain ANY weight within the first few months. (Ok, in his defense I also had other medical issues that we were dealing with like panic attacks, heart murmurs, fainting and dizzy spells…. Yeah- my daughter was a little pain in my side since the womb. Let’s not even mention how she made my hair fall out…) Where was I? Oh- the cure. This tiny little minty pill called Zofran that saved my life! One pill on my tongue, let it dissolve, and I could eat again. Pizza, mozzarella sticks, legume with red rice and beans, lemon pepper chicken wings- you name it, I now could eat it. I think I might have kissed my doctor at the next appointment. Lol. I started holding food down and gaining weight. I lost 30 pounds but I only gained back 20. I didn’t care though- I could eat! And my favorite things to eat were vanilla milkshakes from Crown Fried Chicken and a Haitian meal called lalo. I could eat it with white rice, red rice and beans, bread, by its self, with avocado- you name it, I was eating the lalo with it.

If you are feeling nauseous during your pregnancy, ASK YOUR DOCTOR FOR ZOFRAN! It will save your life and your eating habits. Thank me later. (They really need to add emoji’s into this thing!)

As always, be legendary KINGS; be extraordinary QUEENS!

-tootles!

xoxo

Snackin in Peace!

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As a mom of 2 younger children, my house stays stocked up with snacks. The rule is as long as you eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner you can snack as much as you want. I just never thought that meant that I wouldn’t be allowed to have my own snacks anymore…

I have recently found myself eating my snacks while hiding. Or when the kids are asleep. Because otherwise, I won’t be able to eat my stuff in peace. You would think that them having their own stash of stuff would allow mine to be off-limits right? Wrong! Apparently, my stuff is an aphrodisiac and must be consumed by little stubby fingered people because “it tastes better than ours!” Even though it’s the same thing. I made shrimp for everyone as a snack, mine was done first. I bought ice cream for them and ice cream for me. Which one was finished first? I now buy my food and snacks while I am driving home, park in the driveway, and eat it all before I walk into the house. I even have gum to chew on so they can’t smell it on my breathe. Yes- it’s really that serious.

I am trying to figure out how I even came to the point of hiding my stuff in MY house! Lol. I hide chips, chocolate, ice cream, popcorn- all stuff I probably shouldn’t be eating anyway since I am trying to lose this 5-year-old baby belly. That’s beside the point though- I should be able to eat in peace in my own house gosh darn it! I just bought chocolate-filled marshmallows to make smores. For myself. I wonder how long those will last. Which is how I came up with my rules- if you don’t eat all of your regular food, you can’t have snacks. At all. Don’t even look at the snack cabinet! Has it worked? Of course not because kids are sneaky little people who lie about eating snacks when I go to looking for some to eat. I need to find new hiding spots.

Want some good hiding spots to eat snacks in? At this point, I’ve mastered it. Here are my 4 favorite spots:

  1. in my car in the driveway. They can’t come outside without an adult so there’s absolutely no way for me to get caught. I just need to make sure my breath doesn’t give me away so I have to chew gum or candy to hide the scent
  2. in the bathroom with the door locked. Maybe even inside the tub for that matter. And make sure you clean all the crumbs because their eyes are trained to see the slightest bit of evidence!
  3. in the closet! This one only gives me a few minutes of hiding (because my kids are dependant little things who can’t go 5 minutes without seeing my face) so they start looking for me really quickly. This is only for small quick snacks.
  4. in my room AFTER they’ve gone to sleep. But I have to wait until they are asleep for at least 30 minutes to make sure they won’t hear me opening up the bag of snack

These spots have helped me consume many a snack in peace without detection. But you need to be careful- the kids that are trained know how to smell it on your breath. Those kids are tricky- they even count the number of snacks that are in the closet to know how many are missing (if any). That’s my daughter. She’s a hard one to deal with. So now I just buy extra and don’t put my snacks in the snack cabinet. She just can’t be in the kitchen when I’m putting everything away so she won’t catch me. Lol. The life of a mom, huh?

If you have any tips and tricks, please share! Because at this point I’m running out of ideas! Kids, huh? Lol!

As always, be legendary KINGS; be extraordinary QUEENS!

-tootles!

xoxo

Mastering Carrides With Kids

As a mother who is always on the go with her kids, trying to get them not to fight in the back of the car has been the hardest thing to master. Even with the 2 car seats on opposite sides of the car, they still manage to find a way to kick and punch one another. So how did I become a super mom and calm the storm that is my backseat?

1. Music! I love to sing and dance and make up silly songs with the kids in the house, so naturally, my children love music. I purchased an FM radio transmitter from Amazon for under $20 and plugged it in, dialed my radio to the selected channel and BOOM- we have kids songs. I wanted to see just how effective it was, so one day I didn’t turn on the music and within 3 minutes they were arguing and fighting. I waited for another 5 to see if they would calm down (and they didn’t) so I turned the radio on and BINGO! We have happy singing kids. Works wonders!

2. Storytelling. I have been reading to mu children since before they were born, so we love stories and books. When I want to try something fun, we take turns making up stories and characters and tell silly stories to each other. They love this because the come up with the silliest stories.

3. I spy with my little eye. I just started playing this game in the car with my kids, and it has turned into the most outrageously fun game that we have ever played! Mostly because kids do NOT follow rules and make up their own as we go. But it’s ok because we are having fun.

4. Talking! It sounds crazy, but I actually talk to my kids while we are driving. I turn the radio low and we pick a topic and we talk. We even created a mantra that we say every morning now- “I am smart; I am talented; I can do anything I want to do; I can be anything I want to be; I am amazing!” Then we talk about what the kids want to be, how we treat others, how we want others to treat us, and how we can all be superheroes. When I told my kids that we all have superpowers, they told me that I was crazy, until I explained to them that our superpowers were being kind to people, and how that can have a positive effect on them. Now they are walking bodies of kindness.

5. Snacks! I saved the best for last. Lol. If I pack snacks with me (even if it’s just a short 30-minute car ride) and let them munch on something they tend to calm down and not fight (unless one finishes their snack before the other and now they want the other to share and they’ve said no). I’m not sure if your kid(s) is/are like mine, but they can literally JUST finish eating dinner and still ask me for a snack (eye roll). My car has suffered because of it, but the kids are happy and I don’t have World War 3 in my backseat so hey- it works.

These methods have work wonders for me! Try them if you haven’t. I know that I could easily just toss them an iPad and let them play (and I have a time or two) but I don’t like my kids having too much screen time. They become little zombies and I can’t talk to them. I am old school- I like talking to my kids and having constant contact with them. I want them to be comfortable with talking to me about anything now so that we can try to maintain that as they grow older. And I want to be the fun parent. Dads and step-dads always hold that title. I’m taking it back, a small step at a time.

Let me know if these tricks work for you moms!

As always, be legendary KINGS; be extraordinary KINGS!

-tootles!

xoxo

Words Sweeter Than Honey

black-and-white-photo-of-people-1905179I’ve been around long enough to know that how we talk to our spouse makes a huge impact on how the relationship goes. The more we speak life into our partner, the better the communication. The more we talk down to our partner, the harder it is to talk to one another about stuff. I’ve learned this the extremely hard way and made the promise that I wouldn’t fall into that pattern again.

My last partner used to call me fat, ugly, stupid, worthless, and a bad mother; this made it extremely hard to see a beautiful young lady when I looked in the mirror. It killed my self-esteem, and it killed our relationship. The amount of therapy that I needed afterward proved to me that how we talk to one another is extremely important. I made the decision to never allow anyone else to talk to me like that. And in return, I do not talk to others this way, including my children. Simple phrases like “you are your father’s child!” or “you remind me of your dad” hold more weight to a child than we know. Even in anger, I never talk negatively to my children. And neither do I to my partner.

In a relationship, your partner becomes your best friend. They learn you inside and out and know what buttons to push. This should NOT be the weapons they use during an argument. I can proudly say that in my most current situation, I do not argue with my partner. Well, he doesn’t argue back. Lol. He simply lets me get my anger and frustrations out, then we figure out a solution to the problem. When he does get angry with me to the point that he can’t talk, he calms down, then we address the problem. We do not say mean and hurtful things to one another- things that we cannot take back once the dust has settled. But it’s so much more than how we talk to our partners and children.

Have you ever walked down the street and simply said “good morning” to someone? The look of bewilderment that they give you is shocking. People don’t remember what being kind to one another is anymore. My neighbor shovels my snow every time it snows. He puts away my trashcan after trash has passed by. He speaks every single time he sees me. And all he asks in return is a simple conversation and a “thank you”. That is kindness. And it is so rare to come by. I tell him how much I appreciate him regularly. But he does the same for our other neighbors and they don’t even look in his direction, let alone say hello. When I call 800 numbers, I ask the customer support agent “how are you today?” and wait for an answer. One time, the agent told me “I’ve never had someone genuinely ask me how my day was when they called in; thank you”. We’ve lost our ability to be kind to one another and say kind things to each other.

Words have always had a major impact on people. When I was younger, I remember singing “sticks and stones may break my bones but words can never hurt me”. This is so far from the truth and I wish that I could warn my younger self about that. Too often, we hurl out hurtful and insulting words to one another, then try to cover it up with an “I’m sorry” or “I was just angry and didn’t mean it” all the while the person on the receiving end of the insults has to pick up the pieces of their hurt. I am constantly redirecting everyone around me with how we speak to each other. I like to think that I can make a difference, even if only in my small circle. Because whether we like to admit it or not, words hold more weight than sticks and stones. Those wounds last a lot longer and can cause a ripple effect. If we make more of an effort to use words filled with honey rather than vinegar, how much happier and closer would we be to the people around us?

As always, be legendary KINGS; be extraordinary QUEENS!

-tootles!

xoxo

 

Are You Procrastinating on Life Insurance?

By: Tiana Cuevas from Consumers Advocate

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If you’re a parent, and you haven’t purchased life insurance yet, the thought might have been hovering in the back of your mind for a while. So…what’s stopping you?

Maybe death is a subject that’s too scary to think about. Or you think your health history might prevent you from getting a policy at an affordable price. Or, like many, you’re confused about which policy to choose and for how much.

However, as this guide to the best life insurance for families shows, it’s just not as complicated or scary as many tend to think.

Simply put: while there is a wide variety of policies available, most parents would do best with term life insurance, which is inexpensive and covers the years when your children would most need your financial support. For example, for parents of very young children, a 20-year term life policy—one of the most affordable options—would be active all those years from childhood into college.

On the other hand, parents of kids who will need financial support for their entire life, like special needs children, will find that a whole life policy would keep them covered regardless of age. Although more expensive, that policy will remain active as long as the premium is being paid, without an expiration date.

Thinking about your family’s debt

Making the decision to buy life insurance accomplishes a lot more than just having X amount of money set aside in case the unthinkable happens. While nothing can replace the loss of a parent, having financial support can at least help children have a sense of stability by letting them stay in the same home and school that they’re used to, surrounded by friends and teachers who know them and can support them. Having a strong financial net also prevents a surviving spouse from having to seek additional income (which sometimes means a second job) all the while they’re still trying to grieve.

But there are other benefits to buying life insurance. Among them: modeling great financial behavior for your kids.

As it turns out, both money and debt are inheritable in more ways than one. Studies show that children will tend to model their parents’ financial habits—whether that’s the tendency to save for the future or the tendency to fall into debt. While some of this has to do with children’s personalities, much of it is learned from what they see their parents do, and how they see them approach money.

First, in practical terms—if you are in debt now and you’re ready to buy life insurance, it’s essential to keep that in mind when choosing coverage. You want to choose enough coverage to help your children pay for any debts and bills that they will be responsible for, including mortgages and household-related expenses.

But, just as importantly, purchasing life insurance can be a big part of a smart financial strategy, and in teaching your kids that, when it comes to finances, it’s best to think ahead rather than just reacting to emergencies as they happen.

The Truth About Being The “Strong Friend”

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I am known as the “strong” friend. The one who everyone goes to for advice, money, a sitter for their kids, a place to crash. You name it, I’m the person for it. But that becomes a very hard title to carry when you have your own issues beating down your door and you have no one to turn to for comfort…

I started to feel the pressure in early 2018. I was growing increasingly tired of the house that I was living in. There were people being shot on the next block over, there was always trash in front of my house, my neighbors argued at 3,4,5, and 6 in the morning, my children’s father was passing out defaming flyers about me to everyone in the neighborhood. I needed a change, so I fought to get one. I wanted to buy a house, but I needed to fix my credit. Then I needed a co-signer. Fast forward to 2019, now I needed a new mortgage person to help me because the person I was working with took 3+ months to let me know if I was approved or not. *Come to think of it, I still never received an approval OR denial from her!* I finally got my approval and for way more than what I was expecting. Thank you co-signer! Now I’m searching for a house. Did I mention that I decided to start a new business? And they cost money- lots of it. On top of the fact that I am still going back and forth to child support and custody court with my ex (and every court date means I have to pay my lawyer). I’m at a point now where I am literally spending over $3,000 almost every month; I have no idea where the money was coming from. House hunting is stressful. Down payment money is stressful. Closing cost money is stressful. Then I find out that I have a stalker that was actually coming INTO my house = stressful. I am severely understaffed at work = stressful. My kids are being abused at their other parent’s house which I am learning about from therapy = stressful. It got to a point where I would run my fingers through my hair and come out with a handful of hair. I dismissed it and figured that I just needed to take more vitamins and lay off of flat ironing my hair. So, I braided it up and threw some weave into it and kept it pushing. Never once managing my stress, just covering up the effects of it.

I started having extremely painful menstrual cramps- I usually never get menstrual cramps. I started having panic attacks. I started getting major migraines, and my face started breaking out again. Yet I still never stopped and paid attention to my body and what it was telling me. Until I got a period that was so bad that I thought I was having a miscarriage. I went to my doctor convinced that I was pregnant and didn’t know and I lost the baby. Me believing that was a wake-up call for me. I told myself that I needed to stop. Stop working, stop stressing, stop overdoing it with my body. Then, I took my hair out and this happened.

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I don’t think I’ve ever seen that much of my hair at once in my hands, even when I was pregnant and my hair was falling out. I cried when I saw this. Then I cried again after I washed my hair and saw how much hair was in the sink. The reality of how much stress I was carrying on me hit me like a ton of bricks. This moment was it for me- this was the moment that I made up my mind to do everything that I needed to do to take care of myself. No matter who feels slighted, neglected, who’s angry at me saying NO, I have to put myself first. Because losing that much hair is absolutely a sign that I need to stop. My schedule is changing. My day ends earlier. I’m home more. And I am spending more time with my kids. I cannot change everything, but the things that I can change are changing. If I lose business, friends, and money over it, well… I can always get it back. Cuz if I die, they won’t matter anyway, right?

Situational depression IS REAL! I would have never known this had this period in my life not happened. And the effects of it can be detrimental. Just ask my hair. If you feel anxiety about a situation, it’s time to rethink and reevaluate it. If you’re having panic attacks, something is wrong. If you have unexplained migraines, something needs to be looked into. And LISTEN TO YOUR BODY! Weight gain, weight loss, loss of appetite or wanting to eat all the time; lack of sleep, or always wanting to go to sleep- these are all signs of depression. Wanting to be alone all the time, having a short temper, not being able to manage your thoughts, or having trouble finding a positive side of a situation are all signs that something is wrong. And these are all signs that I had and I overlooked because I thought that I was “just tired and needed some more sleep”. Allowing depression to go unnoticed and unmanaged (either through therapy, meditation, or medication) can cause serious physical, emotional, and social damage- to you and others around you.

Please- seek help if you think this is you!

As always, be legendary KINGS; be extraordinary QUEENS!

-tootles!

xoxo

4 of the Top Apps for New Parents Right Now

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Post By: Emily Graham

Welcoming a new baby is a huge milestone, and it’s the event that most changes couples’ lives. As Very Well Mind admits, having children adds another level of stress to a marriage. Fortunately, working together with your partner—and taking advantage of technological support—can help reduce stress and make you a more engaged parent.

Why Choose Apps for Parenting Tips?

Utilizing the power of smartphone apps can give you access to expert advice and information. When you second-guess every decision as a new parent, trustworthy sources get you through. Having an app at your fingertips is like having a good friend helping you through difficult times.

If you need a new device to help you manage the next few years (and thousands of photos) with baby, consider grabbing the latest iPhone. iPhone 11 gives you full creative control thanks to two cameras—perfect for snapping selfies, curating boutique baby snaps, and zooming in for quick shots. It also has upgraded security features, which makes it one less thing you have to worry about.

Water-resistance is a must, of course, and exceptional battery life will keep your device going for much longer than you, sans coffee. Not an Apple fan? Consider an upgrade to a newer Android device, such as a Samsung Galaxy S10 or the Google Pixel 3. Excellent photo quality and Google Drive compatibility make connecting and sharing simple. You’ll also find a long list of compatible apps for Android.

WebMD Baby

Every piece of advice from WebMD Baby is confirmed by a physician, making this a trustworthy source for parenting tips. Between videos starring WebMD’s pediatrician to over 400 articles on parenting and infant health, there’s an answer to every question you might have.

Plus, a built-in baby book section ensures that even busy and sleepless parents document their children’s milestones. Trackers let you note and review feeding and nursing times, sleep sessions, diaper changes, and even height and weight measurements.

Cozi Family Organizer

For new parents who struggle to manage their busy lives, Cozi Family Organizer can help get you and your partner on the same page. You can list events and activities in the app, then share with your family. Make grocery lists, note recipes, and even connect from the computer if it’s more convenient.

As Stanford Children’s Health explains, family meals are crucial for children’s development and family relationships. Starting when your child is an infant, sharing time enjoying food is an excellent habit to establish. Cozi Family Organizer can help you plan meals and get everyone to the table to enjoy them, too.

Cloud Baby Monitor

If leaving the room when the baby sleeps is nerve-wracking for you, Cloud Baby Monitor has the solution. You can transform your Apple or Android device into a Wi-Fi-enabled baby monitor. Leave one device with your baby while you take the other with you. Then, check in wirelessly from any room in the house.

Noise and motion alerts add another layer of security, and two-way audio and video lets you monitor your little one from afar. The range is unlimited (use 3G, LTE, or Wi-Fi), and you can use built-in white noise and lullaby functions to soothe from the next room or the backyard.

Baby Sign and Learn Lite

According to Psych Central, teaching sign language to babies is beneficial for both infants and their caregivers. Whether you use ASL or modified signs with your baby, you will enjoy bonding and better communication with your child.

For older infants who are ready to communicate, Baby Sign and Learn Lite is a helpful to-go instructor. You can review signs—with the help of a digital baby—and learn how to teach them to your child. Interacting with the app together helps you learn new signs and share them in conversation.

As a new parent, you have a lot going on. Fortunately, today’s technology can help in many ways. From long-distance baby monitors to white noise machines, there are many tips and tricks for moms and dads to survive the early years. And thanks to modern apps accessible from your smartphone, you can do so much more as a first-time parent than you thought possible.