Dear Daughter

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You are now a big ole' five year old. You're on the brinks of Kindergarten and entering into "big kid" school and you have a lifetime ahead of you. You don't know it yet, but these years you are experiencing in your childhood and the years ahead in young adulthood, are going to be some of the best years ever. 

I watched you swinging outside tonight and it took me back to my days of swinging in my parent's backyard on the long summer days too. I remembered how it felt to swing while watching the sky turn all shades of pink and orange. I remembered how simple life was. I remembered how beautiful my childhood was. I instantly thought of you, and hoped that in 10 or 20 years you'll look back onto these long summer days with the same sweet emotions. 

I look at how big you're getting and realize how quickly all of this big kid stuff is happening. Soon you'll be starting school, something that I know you will succeed at. However I can't help but feel all sorts of emotions when I picture you, my baby girl, out there in that big world. A world that while beautiful and enchanting, can also be dark. 

I think of how things in our modern lifestyle are always changing. Technology provides portals for things that scare me. Bullying. Comparison. Luring. And so on. I realize that I want nothing more than to shield you from it all. But along with being an overprotective parent, I hope most of all that I can be a teacher for you. I hope that I can pass down things to you that you can walk with daily in life to get you through the hard and scary days out there. 

Love yourself. You're stunningly beautiful and you always will be. Love yourself no matter what any idiot out there says. Never compare yourself to others, because chances are, they are already comparing themselves to you or they may not have it all "together" like you think. Love yourself no matter what size you are, no matter your test score and no matter if you get picked last for dodgeball. Dodgeball kinda sucks anyway. 

Be kind. Be kind to everyone you meet. Be the kid the who talks to all the kids. Be the kid who makes everyone feel important and special. Be the kid that the other kids are never afraid to talk to. 

But be cautious. Always remember to protect yourself. Be cautious of this great big world and some of the people in it. There are people in this world that are not so kind and that are harmful and ugly. Stand up for yourself and always walk your paths with caution. Walk with your head up, not in your cell phone. Always be mindful of your surroundings. And when you're a teenager, a phone call to pick you up from some party if needed is okay. 

Be righteous. Always try and walk with Jesus. He may come and go in your life here and there, and you may rely on him more at different times. But always keep him at the core of it. Live your life with him in mind, I want your little butt in Heaven one day. And don't be afraid to speak about him. 

Be simple and humble. Labels don't mean much. You'll think they do here and there and you'll beg me for whatever designer purse is in style and you may want some outrageously priced tennis shoes, but take it from someone who "thought" she heard angels singing when she purchased her first Coach bag. A few years and a few kids later, and you realize how silly all of that really is. Buy quality for it to last, not for it to be showy. Be simple, be humble and be proud of that. 

Be YOU. Stand up for what you believe in, but only because it's what you believe in and not because you think it is expected of you. Don't be a follower, be a leader. Be the person walking her own path and paving the way for YOU. 

Be wise. Learn what you can, enjoy life and laugh a lot. Find joy in the simple things, because those are what truly matters. 

Be a child for as long as you can. You'll be in a rush to grow up, I can promise you that. You'll be in a rush to have boyfriends and go to prom, to graduate and get your first car. But enjoy being a kid. Your life is carefree, innocent and beautiful. Run through the sunshine and dance through the sprinklers and enjoy this time. Don't rush it. 

Lastly, always come to me. I will be here to hold your hand through it all. The breakups, the makeups, the proms and the trips to the mall. We will laugh, we may cry and we even may yell. But at the end of the day, you'll always be my little girl. And I hope to always be the one you need and the hug you crave. 

Daughter, I could say a million more things. But this is just the basics. I hope you rock this beautiful life ahead of you and I can't wait to watch you do so. 

As you would say, "I love you to the moon and back 180,000 times." 

 

 

 

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Sasha Savoy

Sasha is the owner and founder of The Mushy Mommy, a natural mother and baby boutique and The Mushy Mommy Village. She is a SAHM who works hard at living as minimal and unprocessed as possible, but never claims perfection. Her mission is to inspire, encourage, enlighten and empower mothers all over to feel good about their choices, to make healthy choices and to enjoy motherhood and all of its beauty and chaos. 

Handling the Internet and Young Children

Internet Safety

Raising kids comes with lots of fears and that main fear is almost always in regard to their safety. We want nothing more than for our children to be safe in this big and sometimes scary world. We want to give them the reins to take the ride of life on their own but we first want to make sure they know just how to safely ride. 

In our home, social media (for me) is obviously a big thing. I run my businesses off of social media and like others, I love scrolling through Instagram and Pinterest to find inspiration for everything from messy hair buns to keto recipes. 

But what about my children and the Internet?

What about social media? Granted they are too young for social media now, but it doesn't help to think about what you "think" you'll do when the time comes and how you'll handle it. 

I know many, many young children have their own smart phones and iPads, but that is simply not the case here. My children play educational games on MY iPad and honestly they usually just scroll through our family photos and videos. Giving them each their own iPad is something that I have no intentions of doing - not even close. Maybe teenage years I'll consider it, but even then there will be some heavy monitoring. There's just simply no need for it for our own personal reasons. 

Internet safety for kids

What about social media for young teens? 

My daughter still has several years until she enters the world of the teens (thank gosh), but I can't help but think of all the young girls I know who already have access to social media. Do I think that chatting with their friends is a bad thing? Of course not. But just like the internet does, social media opens up a portal to things that children may not be ready to see and shouldn't see. Not to mention that social media has become the modern day hallways of school bullying, something that I want to steer my children clear from. 

But you can't protect them from everything? 

No you can't. I can't protect my children from everything. They may not have iPhones and social media and still may see images online from peers' phones. They may not have access to the internet at my house but can easily access it at a friend's home. I know these things, I was a kid once. But as a parent I feel it is my duty and obligation to protect my child as best as I can, and to me that is not just handing off electronics to allow free range. 

But one day they'll need a phone. And the internet for school. 

Absolutely! One day my children will need a phone and when that time comes, I will decide on if we go with a smart phone (probably not) or a regular phone just for calls and text. And of course my children will always have monitored access to the internet at home for school purposes or even if their curiosity strikes and they need to Google something. 

I recently came across the cutest book about internet safety for children that covers the basics: not giving out personal info, not falling for phishing scams, social media safety and more. This adorably illustrated book is easy and catchy to read and straight to the point. 

After speaking to the brains behind Internet Kids Road Trip, I realized that a lot of thought went into this project. From surveying mommy friends and discovering that they didn't totally know what their kids were doing on the internet, to designing and illustrating the book themselves, this book was a labor of love to help protect the innocence of our children out there. 

Internet Kids Road Trip
Internet Kids Road Trip

I hope you take a peek at this book and share it with those that need it. You can grab a free digital download here and pass it along to your young children. This book is excellent for children around the ages of 6-13 who are just beginning to understand the internet and social media. Or you can be like me, and try to shield as much as possible! 

Deciding what is right for your family's internet usage is truly a "to each their own." Do what works for you and decide where your priorities lie in keeping your children safe on the internet. And please give this adorable book a read! 

Also, can we remember to always respect and not judge others when it comes to their own personal rules. Don't think someone is being ridiculous because their young child doesn't have a phone and vice versa. Respect without ridicule is huge here. Coming from someone who had her identity used for disgusting purposes on Facebook, I have every right to shield what feels right for me. 

Mamas, do what works for you and what is right for your kids. And please, give this book a read to your children so they can understand the dangers of the internet a little more. 

This is a sponsored post. All reviews and opinions are my own. 

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Sasha Savoy

Sasha is the owner and founder of The Mushy Mommy, a natural mother and baby boutique and The Mushy Mommy Village. She is a SAHM who works hard at living as minimal and unprocessed as possible, but never claims perfection. Her mission is to inspire, encourage, enlighten and empower mothers all over to feel good about their choices, to make healthy choices and to enjoy motherhood and all of its beauty and chaos. 

How to Get Your Home and Life Ready for Parenthood While Living with a Disability

This is a featured guest post written by Ashley Taylor from disabledparents.org. Thank you to Ashley for sharing this with our readers and those who may benefit from this information. 

Disabled Parents Getting Ready for Parenthood

Parents come in all shapes and sizes. They also come with a variety of skills and abilities, and some live with disabilities. Anyone with enough love in their heart is capable of being a tremendous parent, and you’ll be surprised by just how much love you feel when your child arrives. You just need to prepare your life and home ahead of time to make parenting more manageable.

1. Start Saving

One of the best ways to prepare your life for parenthood is increasing your savings. Becoming a parent will increase your stress level, but it does not need to increase your anxiety about finances with some careful preparation. According to Listen Money Matters, a new child costs an average of $11,000 the first year, not including childcare. By the time your child reaches 18, he will cost you approximately $250,000.

Diapers, baby food, baby gear, and clothing adds up quickly, and you need to make sure that you are prepared by starting to save as soon as possible. Similarly, you should increase your life insurance and start a college savings account for your child. Now is the time to make some life planning decisions and make sure you have saved as much as possible to secure everyone’ future.

2. Make Home Modifications

All parents make some modifications to their homes when a baby is due to arrive. Some remodel to make room for a nursery, some hire an electrician to add lighting in hallways and stairways, and some simply add baby gates. If you are living with a disability, you may have a few more home modifications to make to help with childcare skills.

For example, you should install grab bars in a few areas of your bathroom to assist in bathing your children and prevent falls. As a parent, you need to know that Nationwide Children’s Hospital reports that more than 43,000 children receive emergency treatment for injuries relating to the bathtub and shower each year.

To prevent injury, you should install grab bars inside the bathtub or shower and outside the tub or shower to assist in getting in and out. The goal is to create a handrail surrounding your tub or shower area. It’s also a good idea to install grab bars on the toilet wall to assist in lowering and raising yourself from the toilet seat or to hold on to while you help your child use the toilet.

3. Prevent Falls

It’s also important to prevent falls and eliminate tripping hazards in your home before you start carrying your bundle of joy, especially if you have mobility challenges. Begin by removing worn carpet that is peeling or bunching. If you have throw rugs or bathroom mats, make sure they are backed with non-slip materials. You also should check for loose floorboards and high transitions from one type of flooring to another and repair them.

Keep in mind that falls are among the leading cause of injuries at home, and anyone of any age or ability can fall. As your child gets older, he will be at greater risk of falling when he learns to walk. This means that you need to protect him by keeping electrical cords along the baseboard and removing clutter, especially on stairs and in walking paths. Teach your child to pick up his toys and designate areas for toys to make it easier for him to do so.

You also can prevent falls with some simple home modifications. Install night lights in your hallways and stairs. You don’t necessarily need to hire an electrician to do this; consider using battery-powered LED night lights that mount easily to your walls. You may opt for motion-activated lights to save battery power, too. If your stairs do not have carpet on them, hire a contractor to carpet them or install adhesive grips on their edges to make them less slippery.

You will never be completely prepared to become a parent, but you can take some steps to make the arrival of your new little one more manageable. Start by increasing your savings. Then, modify your home to assist in caring for your child and to prevent falls and accidents.

Image via Pixabay by RitaE

 

 

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Sasha Savoy

Sasha is the owner and founder of The Mushy Mommy, a natural mother and baby boutique and The Mushy Mommy Village. She is a SAHM who works hard at living as minimal and unprocessed as possible, but never claims perfection. Her mission is to inspire, encourage, enlighten and empower mothers all over to feel good about their choices, to make healthy choices and to enjoy motherhood and all of its beauty and chaos.