What is Love? Baby, Don’t Hurt Me- giveaways and more

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Dear Leakies,

As #TLBloves comes to a close, we are focusing on the relationship we have with our partner, including what we would like to have with our current or future partner.

Believing that settling is tantamount to giving up, we look for 8 ways to better our romantic relationship in all kinds of places, and it can be helpful to do so, so long as we don’t forget who we and our partner actually are. It’s impossible to fit someone else’s mould.

This week we offer you a smattering of articles and links to inspire you to draw closer to your loved one, to remember the love that you have, and cultivate your relationship so that it can bloom into something beautiful and life-giving. Including this one that sums up a core aspect of our own marriage.

Join us on Instagram, Facebook, and twitter as we share our connection stories with #TLBloves. So grateful for the sponsors we have who believe such connections are important; MilkMakersEarth Mama Angel Baby, fair trade Pebble ToysChompy Chic chewable jewelryBamboobies, and Baby K’Tan baby carriers.

Find love, Grow love, Be love.

Jeremy Martin-Weber
Co-owner, TheLeakyBoob.com
Owner, writer, Beyondmoi.com

This is an excerpt from our TLB email, to continue reading, click here.

 

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Fed With Love- Giveaways and the Drama of Feeding Our Babies

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Dear Leakies,

It has been said that the way our babies come to us shapes who we are as parents, that we birth ourselves as mothers just as our children are born into our hearts and arms. I’ve seen that to be true with both adoption and childbirth.

And so I would say, our journey in feeding our children as infants feeds our mothering soul and confidence. The obstacles we encounter and how close we are to meeting our goals can directly impact how we view our own parenting competency.

This is a big part of why we still need infant feeding and parenting advocacy and why will continue doing so. It matters, not just for that moment, but for the long haul too. Sharing our feeding stories in all their diversity, from rainbows and butterflies to steep mountain and lakes of lava, matters. We can normalize just how varied it can be. And down with shame surrounding infant feeding.

It was with this in mind that the idea for a children’s book that celebrates feeding babies and toddlers was born. In conversation with my own children about the different ways babies are fed when they saw a baby with a stomach tube, they observed that the baby’s mom loved him very much. We began looking for images of babies and toddlers being fed with love. Together we wove a story of love in the various ways parents feed their children. Breast, bottle, cup, tube, spoon, syringe… What Love Tastes Like.

We’re looking forward to making our book available with stunning illustrations done by Joni Rae Latham through self-publishing. We’re going to need your help and we’ll be sharing even more about that soon. For now, join us on the What Love Tastes Like Facebook pageand Instagram for a sneak peak at the book and a place to share our fed with love experiences plus recipes and tips.

Every day on TLB’s social media we celebrate fed with love and honor the varied paths parents find themselves on in their infant feeding journeys. This month with #TLBloves, we are taking a look at how it extends beyond feeding and into our relationships.

Join us on Instagram, Facebook, and twitter as we share our connection stories with #TLBloves. So grateful for the sponsors we have who believe such connections are important; MilkMakersEarth Mama Angel Baby, fair trade Pebble ToysChompy Chic chewable jewelryBamboobies, and Baby K’Tan baby carriers.

Feed with love,

Jessica Martin-Weber
Founder, TheLeakyBoob.com

This is an excerpt from our TLB email, to continue reading, click here.

 

View More: http://yourstreetphotography.pass.us/leakyboobwraps

For the Mom That Needs To Be Cared For: How About VIP MommyCon Tickets and Earth Mama Angel Baby Swag?

by Jessica Martin-Weber

When we’re lonely, exhausted, and confused, parenting gets harder. When we’re sore, conflicted, and struggling, despair can creep in. So can resentment and anger and doubt. Burn out.

 

And when feeding our baby isn’t as natural as we thought it would be, our confidence can erode. Not just in the short term, it can leave a quiet burning question in our core than leads to us feeling unworthy every step of our parenting journey.

 

You guys, parenting is a long road.

 

Our children deserve to have parents that are supported, parents that are connected, parents that are healing, parents that are growing.

 

Some of us get to have trying to conceive stories that are easy and fun. Some of us get to have pregnancy experiences that are glowing and radiant. Some of us get to have birthing ways that are moving and empowering. Some of us get to enjoy infant feeding journeys that are simple and sweet.

 

Some of us don’t.

 

All of our stories matter. Hearing and sharing all of them help not only us in sharing them but others in hearing them. And seeing them. And sharing them again.

 

Normalizing parenting, normalizing motherhood.

 

Earth Mama Angel Baby, The Leaky Boob, and MommyCon are teaming up to help us do just that. Together. Because we don’t have to go this parenting road alone.

 

For 2016 I’m headed to Seattle, Austin, DC, Costa Mesa, Orlando, and San Jose with MommyCon thanks to the support of Earth Mama Angel Baby. Earth Mama Angel Baby founder, Melinda Olsen and I sat down over lunch and shared our stories with each other and our shared belief that supporting parents and nurturing mothers is caring for babies and the future generations. My dear friend poured her wisdom into me , impressing on me even more the importance of meeting mom’s where they are and celebrating the love they give. MommyCon is all about that and building community around the country that facilitates those very same goals.

 

So we’re working together to help make it happen.

 

Inspired by the thousands of women who have shared their feeding stories with me, I’ll be talking at MommyCon about What Love Tastes Like- Feeding with love and the impact of infant feeding on long term parenting with a look at the importance of telling our stories and how we do so.

 

It would be wonderful to see you there.

 

Which is why we’re having a giveaway! A little bit of Earth Mama Angel Baby care and 6 pair of tickets. Five lucky winners will get to take themselves and a friend or a partner to MommyCon in the city of their choice and receive a Little Something For Baby from Earth Mama Angel Baby and one lucky winner with receive the grand prize bundle of Jessica’s Favorite Things from Earth Mama Angel Baby and a pair of tickets to the MommyCon event of winner’s choice with a VIP upgrade to the Earth Mama Angel Baby VIP event with me (retail value: $284.89).

 

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Giveaway

1 lucky grand-prize winner will receive:

Jessica’s Favorite Things from Earth Mama Angel Baby. ($184.89 retail value.)

2 tickets to the 2016 MommyCon City of your choice with Earth Mama Angel Baby VIP upgrade with The Leaky Boob. ($100 value.)

5 lucky winners will receive:

1 Earth Mama Angel Baby A Little Something For Baby with tiny tote bag. ($19.95 retail value.)

2 tickets to the 2016 MommyCon City of your choice. ($90 value.)

 

 

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When Your Kids are A$$holes…

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Dear Leakies,

This month we’re talking about relationships, connecting, and bonds with #TLBloves. We all need it but sometimes we take it for granted, particularly with our children.

It seems to be a given that parents will love their children and certainly, that’s usually what happens but without intentionality, we may miss out on connecting with our children. Time and effort are involved and it doesn’t just happen by being around them, being in the same room or home doesn’t mean we’re really present.

There came a point in my parenting when I realized I was always available to my children and I was taking care of them but what I wasn’t doing was being truly present… being withthem. For me, being a stay-at-home-mom was when it was the most difficult for me to be with my children, there was always something demanding my attention and in my mind I had endless amounts of time to connect with them, I could always do it later. It wasn’t until I returned to work that I realized that I may have been there for my children when I was staying at home but I rarely was with them. That had to change.

My daughter helped me work on that when she was 2.5 years old, that story here.

Building intentional connections are important in the best of times, even more so in the worst of times.

Like when we don’t really even like our own kids.

I know, what a horrible thing to admit.

But what a reality of parenting.

And it’s ok to feel like that, even ok to admit it (but maybe not to your child, just to friends) so you can take a deep breath and remember your child isn’t trying to be an a**hole, they’re just being… a child.

So what can you do? How do you avoid damaging your relationship with your child? I’m not sure I have the answers but I appreciate what Jeremy, dad of 6 girls, had to say about this over on BeyondMoi.com, here. We also loved this post on why you should hug your kids when they’re being horrible.

Join us on Instagram, Facebook, and twitter as we share our connection stories with #TLBloves. So grateful for the sponsors we have who believe such connections are important; MilkMakersEarth Mama Angel Baby, fair trade Pebble ToysChompy Chic chewable jewelryBamboobies, and Baby K’Tan baby carriers.

May you find the deep connections with your children in a way that lasts.

Jessica Martin-Weber
Founder, TheLeakyBoob.com

This is an excerpt from our TLB email, to continue reading, click here.

 

View More: http://yourstreetphotography.pass.us/leakyboobwraps

How to Help Your Kids Love and Connect with Their Father After Divorce (Even When You HATE HIM)

by Shannon Streger

I will be the first to tell you, I HATE divorce!  I never thought I would find myself divorced, single at 35, whilst raising 3 kids under 8; but life is unpredictable.  There is a LOT of judgement out there when it comes to divorce. I know I’ve dealt with my fair share of critics, especially having walked through this as not only a Christian, but also, a pastor’s wife.

People told me I was “ruining my life”, that I was likely, now “damned to hell”, and the real zinger, “I had selfishly ruined my kids FOREVER”.  And, all this to scare me into staying in a physically and emotionally abusive relationship I had worked hard to keep together for over 17 years. I realized that with hard work and openness, my kids didn’t have to be “ruined” and infact, they could very well thrive in a two-home, co-parenting arrangement.

One of the first steps was coming to an agreement with their father about how that would look.  He was in agreeance we needed to work on having positive exchange and open dialog about our children, especially in front of them.  They needed to see we were on the “same team” when it came to parenting. I would like to share with you some steps I have learned towards having a healthy co-parent relationship that gives your children space to feel connected to their father, while still allowing you to “move on.”

*It is important to note: these steps may not be possible in every situation. If your ex is unwilling to work with you, the fact is you will only be able to do so much and if your ex is not a safe person for your children to be around at all then your path will look completely different.  

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Provide a means for them to communicate with him directly..and often.

In this day in age of smartphones and FaceTime, connecting face to face with someone is easier than ever.  While at times I find it tempting to discourage phone calls for the sake of busyness and staying on routine, this is a lifeline that could be crucial to showing your child you will not stand in the way of them building a strong relationship with their other parent.  It’s not always convenient but it’s important none the less.  We often will do facetime calls from the car on the way home from school or they take turns on the couch talking to Dad while I make dinner.  

TIP: Avoid calls when they are emotionally vulnerable such as bedtime. Sometimes you may feel that an exception is appropriate but be aware that this could potentially be upsetting.

You may opt for a regular phone call vs. facetime, particularly in the beginning.  I was given this advice early in my separation.  Seeing their other parent but not physically being with them can be confusing for young children.  At times too, when emotions are high, it can be a manipulative exchange and in turn will create an unhealthy relationship for the parent and child.

 

Share stories and point out commonalities.

As you find yourself healing from a separation and/or divorce, it is tempting to rid yourself of all things that include or remind you of your former partner.  You may even catch yourself becoming irritated at the very mention of their name.  To help my children feel connected to their Dad, I began making a point of sharing stories or pointing out common interests.  My kids favorite story about their Dad is “the roach story”.  I’m pretty sure my re-account gets longer and more dramatic with every telling.  They also love when we talk about where they got some of their distinctives such as hair and eye color.

TIP: You never want your child to feel that because they may remind you of your ex that you are rejecting them. Encourage them that the traits that they share with their other parent are ones you love, even if you don’t love it in your ex.

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Encourage them to celebrate special days and help provide a means for them to do so (birthdays, religious holidays, Father’s day, etc..).

Kids love giving gifts as much as they enjoy receiving them. Perhaps with little ones, give them each a certain amount to spend on an individual gift and give suggestions on things you know your ex-husband will enjoy. If they are older, this is a great opportunity to teach savings and budgeting, allowing them to plan their own giving.  But, better yet, a homemade gift goes just as far, if not further. Remember, this is their father, and gifts are a great way to express love and build a deeper connection.  Allow them to brainstorm what their father enjoys, his interests, hobbies, etc.

TIP: Let them own the gift as being just from them, not from you, no matter how much you did to make it happen. And then let it go, don’t expect your ex to make the same effort and don’t stew on that because this is about your child and their relationship with their other parent. You’re doing this for your child, not your ex.

 

He isn’t JUST their father; he is ALSO their parent.

Make a point to keep the other parent informed, whether that be phone, email, counselor, or direct communication from their school of successes and difficulties your children may be experiencing. You may now be leading your household alone, but it doesn’t remove their other parent from helping to guide and teach. For instance If your child is having a tough time making good choices, or is struggling with their friend connections at school, give their parent an opportunity to speak into that situation as well and address disciplinary problems. This will further cement the fact that as a two-home family, Mom and Dad are still “on the same playing field” when it comes to their parenting roles.

Tip: Do not take this as an opportunity to blame-shift or use the other parent as “the bad guy”.  This will jeopardize the co-parenting relationship and create a toxic environment for everyone! Also, do not make disciplinary decisions for the other parent. For instance, do not set restrictions that apply to their time with the other parent. Allow Dad to set his own consequences for his home.

We all worry about our kids and want them to thrive as they develop into the amazing people they have the potential to become. Even through divorce, your children can and will flourish and develop normally emotionally, and having a strong plan in place will help make that possible. This isn’t realistic in every situation, and that’s ok! Your children still have a strong future ahead of them, with your help. You’ve got this!


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Shannon Streger, a work at home mom, is the project manager for The Leaky Boob. She is a (not so proud) native Houstonian.  Truly the most un-Texan Texan you’ll meet. She has 3 amazing children who keep her days full! She has a degree in Kinesiology and Psychology from Houston Baptist University. Recently, she began the certification process to become a birth doula and IBCLC.  In her free time, Shannon enjoys road trips, anything outdoors with her kids, and 90’s movies. 

A Focus on Love and Relationships with #TLBloves

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Announcing the launch of The Leaky Boob’s brand new movement: #TLBloves.

#TLBloves is a movement to talk honestly and openly about relationships and connection. With our partners, our children, and most of all, ourselves.

Humans have a deep need to connect with each other, forming bonds and experiencing love. But it isn’t always easy and sometimes it is downright confusing to be in relationship with others. With #TLBloves, we aim to provide families with community support through information sharing, narrative, and personal challenges, all free of judgment.

Following the inspiration of #TLBmoves and #TLBsafeKids, we are excited to share this new experience with you, The Leaky Boob and Beyond Moi communities, that focuses first on strengthening the connection we have with our families and ourselves, to key aspects that deeply impact relationships of all sorts. Join us on The Leaky Boob Facebook page, here; The Leaky Boob Community Facebook group, hereBeyondMoi.com and the Beyond Moi Facebook Page, here; the newly formed Beyond Moi Community Facebook group (where we talk about just about anything and everything- particularly relationships), here; and What Love Tastes Like, here.

#TLBloves appropriately launches today, Valentine’s Day, and officially will run through March 14, though a meaningful focus on how we connect with others is never really limited to a set of dates. We will be focusing on what inspires us all to connect beyond how we feed our babies, such as strengthening bonds with our other children, connecting with friends, deepening our partner relationship, and supporting each other as we grow in loving ourselves, all of this through the sharing of information, support, and most importantly, The Leaky Boob community in action. Be on the lookout for the hashtag: #TLBloves, Leaky guest posts, a vocal presence across social media (Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook, and coming to Periscope), posts from our campaign ambassadors, relevant information and interactions on our sister sites, BeyondMoi.com and What Love Tastes Like on Facebook, inspiring support within our community, giveaways, and informative articles!

Let’s explore the depth and strength of love in our relationships together, with #TLBloves.

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We’ve assembled a small team to provide a little daily inspiration and some real-life experiences as they focus on the love present in their relationships. Here are the four mamas (apart from myself) that will be sharing their #TLBloves experiences with us this for the next month:

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I’m Erica: artist, wife to Jeremy, and mama to 1 year old Jayden (you can check out #jaydenrobertalexander on Instagram to see his precious face and sweet fro), expecting another baby in September. I blog at e-everydayart.com

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image1Jennifer Spillman. 

I’m Jennifer: 35 years old, married, and mom to 4 (Hayley-15, Ty-13, and Sadie and Wyatt- 5 month old twins). I am an RN at an OB/GYN group having worked in the mother/baby capacity for the last 10 years I love breastfeeding education.

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image1Valerie Barr.

I’m Valerie, stay-at-home-mom to 3 (Anthony- 7, Lauryn- 6, and Landon-2) with a background in school counseling . We are an active family: soccer, basketball and baseball for the grown-ups, gymnastics for Lauryn, and swimming for both eldest children, and plenty of time outside for all!

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image1 (1)Samantha Barragan.

I’m Samantha, 28 year old stay-at-home mom to Ximena (He-men-uh) . We are a very proud multi-racial and bi-lingual family. I am passionate about babywearing, breastfeeding (and FED babies), and spreading awareness on issues related to social justice. I love to read and I love being outside.

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Meet our partners:

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Chompy Chic. Chompy Chic Chewlery offers unique accessories for moms to wear and babies to chomp on. Our stylish accessories are ideal for teething, nursing and babywearing. Chompy Chic is handmade in the USA, BPA and lead free, FDA approved and 100% food grade silicone. Keep those little hands and teeth busy with any of our accessories to avoid pinching and biting. Chic geometric style necklace are ideal for babies to teethe on who have emerging teeth and may need a little extra help on focusing on the nursing. All silicone is BPA and lead free, contain no phthalates, heavy metals or cadimium, 100% food grade and safe for babies to chomp on. Silicone is FDA/CE approved.

All necklaces have a breakaway clasp for safety and are intended for moms to wear. Products with small beads should never be left unattended with a baby. Inspect for damage to cording and beads before each use. Discard if damaged.

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Earth Mama Angel Baby. Earth Mama believes in the natural process of birth, and the healing power of nature. Our mission is to provide safe, herbal alternatives for pregnant, postpartum and breastfeeding women, and babies of all ages, and to help educate people about traditional plant medicine and safe personal care. We manufacture natural and organic products that work, combining generations of women’s wisdom and traditional plant medicine with the safety and assurances of contemporary evidence based research. If it doesn’t measure up to Mama’s standards, it doesn’t leave the building.

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Kahiniwalla. Kahiniwalla is a fair trade company based in the US which distributes Pebble, a fair trade brand based in Bangladesh, employing over 9,000 women in over 90 separate villages. Pebble is made up of handmade toys, rattles, hats, nursery decor and more. Kahiniwalla means storyteller and we not only seek to create a market for Pebble products but we tell the fantastic story of Pebble’s talented artisan wherever we go. Pebble is truly putting smiles on faces around the world.

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Bamboobies. Bamboobies makes premium, eco-friendly breastfeeding support products. Our products address a variety of pregnancy and new mom breastfeeding needs and really work (as our growing, vocal base of moms will tell you!). Our products are created with love from one mom to many others to ensure that new moms and babies are happier and healthier, and so is their world.

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Milk Makers. Milkmakers cookies and mixes are seriously delicious and nutritious…with natural key ingredients that can help BOOST your breast milk supply.

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Baby K’tan.  Baby K’tan, LLC is a Florida-based Juvenile product company founded by two families raising children with special needs. With a desire to provide their children with the sensory nourishment they required for optimal development, while also wanting to carry their babies as much as possible for parent-child bonding, both families experimented with different baby slings and carriers. Improving and incorporating different aspects from various carriers that were already on the market, the innovative designed Baby K’tan® Baby Carrier was created! As time went on, the Baby K’tan family added new styles and accessory items to their brand and continue to increase their product line in various areas of the juvenile industry, adding innovative products that assist in baby-parent bonding and make life easier.

A percentage of the proceeds from the sale of every Baby K’tan® product is allocated to the American Heart Association and to The National Down Syndrome Society.

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10 Ways to Love Yourself, Love Your Life, and Not Lose Your Mind

by Brianne Martin

The alarm rings, I jump up, get dressed, run to the kitchen, make coffee and breakfast, wake the kids, prepare their lunch, pick out their clothes, and send the them off to school. In the midst of the morning madness, I make sure my husband doesn’t forget the leftovers from the night before, and a hot cup of coffee to go. That is just a glimpse to the start of my day. The chaos continues throughout the day with feedings, diapering, meal prep, clean up, dinner time and baths. As moms our jobs are never done and with hectic schedules it is easy to forget one very important thing. Ourselves!!!

Just recently I found myself sitting in my bed, but not in dreamland anticipating the sound of the alarm. I was sitting there crying my eyes out. I let myself go. I lost my identity. I was mom, and no longer had a name that I once belong to. I stopped caring for myself which basically had a domino effect on my family. Since I wasn’t taking care of myself, I slowly slipped into a dark bitter place. I was no longer enjoying my children and I was no longer my happy self. My attitude was affecting my children and husband in a negative way. My relationships with them were becoming unhealthy.

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To understand what was going on internally with me, I had to ask myself some important questions. Why did I stop caring for myself? Why did I put everyone else’s needs before mine? I think as mothers, we tend to naturally put our kids first. We tend to feel guilty when we do things for ourselves, but I am here to tell you to push the guilt aside! If you don’t fill your cup and shower yourself with some love, you are going to grow weary and become bitter. I know many of the reasons I didn’t do things for myself was due to financial stress and the cost to treat myself to something so luxurious as a spa day.

I decided to put together a short list of things you can do for free or almost free to fill your cup!

  1. Take a hot bubble bath or shower- Be sure during this time you are kid free and totally alone. It is important to find peace to regroup for another full day of adventures. (If it requires some bonding time with Netflix and your kids, it is worth it.)
  2. Give yourself a pedicure or manicure- soak your feet or paint your nails in silence or while listening to your favorite tunes. (Netflix can help with this too.)
  3. Barter babysitting with a friend- this will allow your friend some free time and you some free time and there is no cost involved for childcare. Us moms have to look out for each other!
  4. Read a book- turn off the television, close the laptop, and put down the phone. Get lost in a book for an hour while sipping on your favorite beverage. And don’t fret about the Lego pile that has magically appeared in the living room.
  5. Write in a journal- take a few minutes to write down things that are bothering you or things that make you happy. I find writing helps me feel free of things that may have been weighing me down. Doing this when kids have just settled for sleep even before doing the dishes or cleaning can help clear your mind.
  6. Get outside- go for a walk or jog. Breathe the fresh air, stop and look at all that Mother Nature has created around you.
  7. Borrow a fitness video from a friend- I know exercise is not for everyone, but it really is important for your health. It will help with stress and we know as moms we deal with SOME stress.
  8. If you like it and you wear it, put on make-up – sometimes make-up can be that added touch to lift our spirits.
  9. Get dressed up- take off the yoga pants and put on something that makes you feel pretty.
  10. Take a nap- If the kids are napping, leave the dishes and dirty floors, and climb in the bed and rest. Sleep really helps us in so many ways.

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It isn’t always easy finding time for yourself, but it is important to make the time recognizing that what that looks like for one person may be totally different from the next. It is important to love and care for yourself because in turn you can better love and care for your children. As moms the most important people in our life are our children and significant others. For us to truly love them, we need to love ourselves. Loving myself doesn’t come easy, but I will continue to work at it every day to be a better mom and wife.

You can find more ideas on ways to nurture the nurturer with a multi scenery approach here, when you’re in need of an oxygen mask here, 22 more ideas for taking care of you here, and that point where you have to do something here.


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Brianne Martin, a work at home mom, is the brand coordinator for The Leaky Boob. She has 3 children so her days are always full of activities and adventures. She studied American Sign Language at the University of South Florida. In her free time, Brianne enjoys reading and spending time with her kids and husband. They currently reside in sunny Florida. 

Babywearing: A Modern Adaptation for Parents

by Reina Christian, Baby K’tan, LLC

This post made possible by the support of Baby K’tan

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Parenting is hard. Sure, it’s been happening for a very long time but it’s still hard. Full of challenges. For some parents, more than others.

 

While many of us feel overwhelmed with the beautiful task that is caring for and bringing up children when we aren’t dealing with mobility difficulties or chronic pain, there are parents that face challenges that amplify the everyday aspects of parenting that can seem exhausting in their own right to untold degrees. Yet every day, parents with limited physical resources love and care for their children, fighting through their own pain to be present and connected with their precious little ones. Forging their own path in their parenting journey, these are some of the bravest parents you’ll ever meet who know the meaning of sacrifice and give new meaning to ingenuity.

 

For the love of their children.

 

For parents with physical obstacles, finding and creating alternatives for navigating their parenting terrain is essential. In a world set up to work for a certain privileged group, many parents that don’t fit that mold look for ways to make it work for them. Babywearing for adaptive parents opens up connection and closeness.

 

When something comes along that helps, it is celebrated.

 

Just at the very center of the Baby K’tan story sits inventor Michal Chesal’s son Coby. Born with Down syndrome, his condition was the reason Chesal went to work exploring a babywearing option that would be crucial for offering her son the best possible development during the early stages. The result was a carrier that supported his low muscle tone contrary to the other carriers available on the market 13 years ago.

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Today, the Baby K’tan Baby Carrier has grown to be a popular option for all caregivers wanting to carry their little ones. What Michal didn’t realize at the time, was that the product she invented for her son with disabilities would soon become an important necessity and mainstay for caregivers who themselves live with disabilities. For some, the carrier doesn’t just offer a more convenient way to carry a baby, but rather the only way to carry or hold a baby.

 

Parents with disabilities bring a special gift to their parenting: they understand the need for adapting.

 

The first time Michal realized that her invention could help parents living with disabilities was when her sister Chumi used the Baby K’tan to carry one of her nieces. Chumi suffers from a neurological pain disorder that doesn’t allow her to walk or hold weight on her legs. While in a wheel chair, Chumi can use the carry her many nieces and nephews safely without putting weight on her lap which can cause intense pain. Like Chumi, for parents and other caregivers utilizing a wheelchair, babywearing may provide a safe option for connection, bonding, and to be able to accomplish the practical aspects necessary for daily life. For some, this is the only way they can hold their babies.

 

“I knew I was creating something that would benefit my son, but I never imagined that it would become essential for some parents and never in my wildest dreams would have thought it could be the only way some parents hold their babies,” says Chesal, president and co-owner of Baby K’tan, LLC.  

Adaptive Parents 

When Samantha Rawagah gave birth to her baby boy, her father was delighted to know that he would soon have a grandson to do all the things that Grandpas are supposed to do with their grandchildren. Only one thing was standing in the way. Mr. Rawagah is a paraplegic and uses a wheelchair to get around. With limited use of his arms, he feared not being able to hold his grandson. Samantha’s solution was to put a Baby K’tan on her dad. The result was a match made in heaven – the perfect way for Mr. Rawagah to hold his grandson close to his heart.

 

Cristine Pyle knows all too well how Mr. Rawagah felt. While Cristine is not confined to a wheelchair, she too is learning how to parent with physical limitations. Cristine has a right hemiparesis that affects both her right arm and leg. She has no functional use of her right arm or hand and has limited mobility, balance, and endurance due to the weakness in her right leg. On her blog, AdaptiveMom.com, Cristine reports on parenting resources for differently-abled parents. With two little ones in-tow, she often relies on babywearing as a way to adapt. Cristine shared her experience of using the Baby K’tan here.

 

When Tabitha Caldwell was just a tot of 3 years old, she was the victim of a gunshot that damaged her spine. The injury resulted in the loss of use of her leg. As an adult, even though doctors warned that she may not be able to have children, she was fortunate to have carried and birthed two children who are now 9 years old and 7 months respectively. Tabitha relies on her baby carrier to assist her with her baby’s reflux as he needs to be held upright for a period of time after eating. Tabitha’s carrier of choice for her needs is the Baby K’Tan and she says that without it, managing his needs would be much more challenging.

 

These stories are at the very center of organizations like Ruckabye Baby, a non-profit whose mission is to provide baby carriers to wounded military members of all branches who have been injured in service to our nation, thereby giving them an extra tool to comfort, bond with, and care for their small children.

 

“Our intent is to not only get the carriers out to service members and their spouses, but to teach them, whether in person or via video conference, how to use the carrier correctly,” says Chelsea Cary, President of Ruckabye Baby. “We work with their care team where appropriate to help the injured service member thrive in this new avenue of parenting.”

 

Parenting with physical challenges is difficult but not impossible and with information, support, and community, there are options. Most importantly, nobody needs to go it alone. Together, we can share adaptive parenting techniques and stories, encouraging each other along the way.

 

Baby K’tan is proud to support the mission of Ruckabye Baby and all of the parents and caregivers with physical limitations and disabilities who rely on babywearing to raise their little ones. We see first hand the value of bonding through babywearing and what it means for all families, believing that everyone benefits.

 

While Chumi, Mr. Rawagah, Cristine, Tabitha and the clients of Ruckabye Baby all use babywearing as a way to assist them with acquired disabilities, using a carrier may be beneficial for those with congenital disabilities who are raising children as well. As a company whose product was invented for a child born with disabilities, the Baby K’tan family is pleased to know that the Baby K’tan Baby Carrier has been able to help other families who learn to adapt in similar situations.

 

All parents can use a little support. Adaptive parents show time and time again they are more than equipped for the task of parenting, we celebrate their strength, creativity, persistence, and most of all their dedication and love.

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To learn more about Baby K’tan, click here.

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Reina Christian, a South Florida native, is the Marketing Manager at Baby K’tan, LLC. After graduating from the University of Florida with a B.S. in Event Management Specialization and a Minor in Business she went on to work in marketing for a number of local non-profits and for-profits. Reina has a strong focus in social media marketing, her interest for which stemmed from the role that social media plays in our growing internet-based society. An emerging marketing leader with a strong passion for branding, she has helped propel Baby K’tan, LLC from a small startup into one of the more prominent companies in today’s growing baby carrier industry.

Our Secrets For More Sleep… Or Just Commiserating On Wanting More

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Hey there sleepyhead!  Feeling drained (literally) and lacking in sleep?  Welcome to parenthood! Of course this is when the chorus chimes in with “but they are totally worth it!”.  Yeah, ok yes, we get that but you know whats nice..not being so tired that you begin to question all the great mysteries of life and you sanity along with them.  Sleep is necessary, its important, and especially for a breastfeeding Momma and her partner for that matter.  In this edition of our weekly newsletter we are talking about sleep and how you can get more, without sacrificing your breastfeeding relationship. Have a great week Leakies!
-TLB Team
 

Hey Leakies!

Tired? You’re not alone. Not at all. In fact, studies shown that 4 months isn’t enough to recover from the fatigue that comes from having a new baby.

Lots and lots of parents are tired.

It is possible that it’s that your balance is off and it is something that nutrition and exercise could help with, or maybe it is even more serious and you need to see your health care provider for more information, or possibly it is depression and you need to speak to someone about your emotional and mental health, or maybe you’re like me- a night owl parent trying to function in an early bird world

 

This is an excerpt from our TLB email, to continue reading, click here.

Jessica Martin-Weber
Founder, TheLeakyBoob.com

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Plan vs Reality- Parenting Time Warp

by Jessica Martin-Weber

Parenting time warp

The best laid plans of… parents. We try. We pick clothes out the night before, have breakfast made ahead, (or even a lactation one to help make more milk), have the alarm set early enough to leave time for whatever comes up, have the diaper bag packed, have a pinterest worthy station by the door, you name it. We’re doing it. And still, we have to apologize for being late or unable to get to all the errands on our list.

It’s like we’re sabotaged. Sabotaged by the cutest little warriors armed with poop bombs, spit up amo belts, and growth spurts. What do you mean those shoes don’t fit? Didn’t you wear them yesterday?

Plan for the morning:

Baby nurses during the night, latching while you both sleep.

6.40 AM Wake before kids, sneak out of bed to wake school-age child and take shower.

6.50 AM Get dressed in clean clothes picked out the night before, check on school age child getting ready in clothes picked out the night before, find them reading and gently remind them to get a moving, walk away smiling at how they love reading.

6.55 AM Start making a nutritious, easy, tasty, 15 minute breakfast idea you saw on pinterest for “busy moms” that promised “kids will love it!”

7.05 AM Kids begin to wake, happy about a new day. Baby wakes and happily settles into the ring sling to nurse while you finish breakfast and older children helps set the table.

7.15 Sit down together for breakfast, kids love it, chat about plans for the rest of the day.

7.35 Whoops! Got caught up telling silly jokes around breakfast, which the kids loved. Rush out the door to meet school bus for older child.

7.45 Come home, clear table, do dishes with preschooler helping.

8.15 Kids dressed and then play with blocks while you check the already packed diaper bag.

8.30 Try new 10 minute hairstyle you saw on pinterest, it looks adorable. Do makeup.

8.45 Head out the door for errands and play date with everyone clean and fed.

It is a well laid plan. Everything set in place for it to unfold perfectly and even a little room for the unexpected. There’s no reason for it not to happen that way.

There really is no reason not to have prancing unicorns and gardening fairies either. I mean really. Anything is attainable if you try hard enough. Organize well enough. WANT IT BADLY ENOUGH.

For those that have their day unfold like this, you’re incredible. I’m enough, you’re incredible. I’m not jealous or resentful or anything. Ok, maybe a little. I’ll just keep telling myself I’m enough and suspect you’re hiding the unicorns and fairies somewhere. I can even be happy for you.

And embrace my reality.

Parenting time late with kids

Reality for the morning:

Baby nurses off and on during the night but has a preference on position and it’s not comfortable for you, end up with knot in your back and waking every hour.

4.45 AM preschooler appears to snuggle.

4.48 AM preschooler kicks you in the head “snuggling”.

4.51 AM preschooler elbows baby in head.

4.52 AM baby alternates nursing and wailing about head being elbowed.

5.03 AM everyone settling back down, you start to doze contorted around two children in about 3 inches of space.

5.08 AM preschooler announces they are done sleeping and they’re hungry and bored.

5.09 AM you bargain with preschooler to stay in bed another hour and then you’ll let them watch a movie.

5.10 AM preschooler asks if it has been an hour, you tell them no.

5.11 AM preschooler asks if it has been an hour now, you tell them not yet and it will be a very long time still.

5.13 AM preschooler says it has been a very long time, has it been an hour, you tell them it will be a very, very, very long time. Like waiting for Christmas.

5.15 AM preschooler asks when you will put up the Christmas tree, you pretend not to hear.

5.16 AM preschooler asks when they can open their Christmas presents and because they are getting louder you tell them that Christmas isn’t for another 4 months and shhhh.

5.18 AM preschooler asks how long is 4 months and if it is time to watch the movie yet.

5.19 AM you manage to unlatch and sneak away from sleeping baby even with preschooler loudly talking about their movie selection and if Santa Clause likes chocolate chip cookies or thumb print cookies.

5.22 AM preschooler is demanding cookies and won’t pick a movie.

5.42 AM you crawl back into your 4” of bed next to your starfish baby, movie selection finally made, no cookies.

5.51 AM you jolt from your dozing woken by a distant cry for help. Heart pounding, you dash out of the room and discover the preschooler crying because they’re hungry.

5.53 AM give up on healthy option to start day, because SLEEP, and give preschooler a cold poptart.

6 AM listen to now sideways starfish baby snoring as your heart beat settles from the adrenaline rush and you wonder when was the last time you cleaned the baseboards.

6.12 AM start dozing while clinging to edge of bed so you don’t disturb starfish baby.

6.32 AM startle awake to find preschooler standing next to you staring at you. Stifle scream and urge to slug preschooler.

6.36 AM help preschooler go to the bathroom even though during the day they would get mad if you helped them.

6.45 AM consider taking a shower, decide to wait and hopefully get another 20 minutes of sleep. Because, SLEEP.

6.58 AM hear older child fighting with preschooler about wanting to watch a different movie. Ponder intervening.

6.59 AM baby is looking for boob, fighting stopped when the new movie selection started.

7 AM suddenly realize school age child needs to eat and get dressed before school.

7.01 AM baby upset the boob is on the move, you throw on yesterday’s yoga pants and decide to change your shirt later.

7.03-7.33 AM baby refuses to go in ring sling, wants to nurse in bed, preschooler and school age child upset about no more movie, not-so gently encourage school age child dressed and fed before school. Both kids leave with poptarts to meet the school bus.

7.40 AM load everyone into van to drive school age kid to school, missed the bus.

8.03 AM get preschooler and baby inside, start making a nutritious, easy, tasty, 15 minute breakfast idea you saw on pinterest for “busy moms” that promised “kids will love it!”

8.10 baby will only nurse if you lay down, try to make breakfast with baby wailing at your boob that’s out.

8. 21 preschooler insists you watch their twirling.

8.53 40 minute breakfast recipe on the table, baby wants to be worn but you must stand or baby screams.

8.55 preschooler declares breakfest “gusting” (disgusting) and cries for poptarts and raisins. Agree that breakfast is “gusting” so portarts for all.

9.08 get everyone out the door for errands and play date with everyone clean and fed. Pull out of the driveway and realize you’re still wearing the shirt you meant to change and the yoga pants. Shirt has milk stains, decide to hide milk stains with the muslin baby blanket you hope is still in the diaper bag from a few days ago.

If you made it through all that you deserve a medal. Or a piece of chocolate. Mostly a nap.

The struggle is real. The struggle is really real.

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Can you relate? Tell us how it is likely to unfold for you.

And if you can’t relate, skip on telling us how we just need to get it together and go pet your unicorns. 

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Jessica Martin-WeberDrawing from a diverse background in the performing arts and midwifery, Jessica Martin-Weber supports women and families, creating spaces for open dialogue. Writer and speaker, Jessica is the creator of TheLeakyBoob.com,co-creator of BeyondMoi.com, and co-creator of OurStableTable.com, supporter of A Girl With A View, and co-founder of Milk: An Infant Feeding Conference. She co-parents her 6 daughters with her husband of 19 years and is currently writing her first creative non-fiction book and a children’s book.