“Just you wait and see” Series ; Your home will never look like this with kids living here ….

“Just you wait and see”
Your home will never look like this with kids living here….

I’m a woman who is apart of the estimated 3 million Canadians who have been diagnosed with an anxiety or mood disorder, and a few people would say I also have a touch of OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder) when it comes to my home. When my environment is a mess and chaotic that can translate to my mind becoming that way as well. My environment is my number one sanctuary to recharge and relax after a day of giving my best self to others, so if it is all out of sorts and messy I’m unable to do so and it ends up leading to negative side effects to my disorders and mental health.

When you spend so much time, money and efforts to find which strategies can be put into place to help with our overall happiness and wellbeing, we need to try our hardest to implement them to achieve positive results in our lives! I have had to consciously make the decision to constantly put in the effort to keep my house clean and organized. When my life would get a bit crazier and more hectic I wouldn’t be doing that self care and it would make my stress and anxiety escalate as well as the mess. I would put myself into a vicious cycle that would lead to feeling extremely discouraged, because a small everyday clean up would now take FOREVER and would completely overwhelm me mentally that I would in turn shut off so to speak and not do any of it.
When I was about twenty-four weeks I was put on modified bed rest for the remainder of the (longest) nine months of my (life) pregnancy. My husband works construction and in the summer months he works cra cra hours, I couldn’t really turn to him to take care of the house and keep it clean, especially to my standards. (there are a million memes about this and I’m pretty sure husbands have not cleaned a certain way so we just get frustrated just do it ourselves lol) Working with my therapist we had to prioritize certain things that would help keep my spirits up while on bed rest and a clean home was one of them. I couldn’t clean the kitchen, bathrooms, dust, vacuum, wash the floors, all the big things that physically I wasn’t allowed doing we needed to find help. I could fold the laundry and put them away if my husband did the loads and brought them to me but that’s pretty much it. My husband and I started to make a budget that fit in a cleaner to help with all that we couldn’t keep up with and let me tell you, ahhh it was a relief. Having that done was so wonderful, that we decided to have her come and clean even after having the baby for those bigger clean ups while I attempt keep up my rest and enjoy my family!
When I have been told by many people OH just you wait and see when you have kids, they would continue with, your house will look like mine ( a disaster zone), you wont be able to keep anything organized, you’re children’s toys will be EVERYWHERE they will take over your house, you wont have time to do any cleaning, the kids never put anything away and if you don’t want to spend the rest of your night doing so your house will always look like a hurricane etc., it would make my chest tight and I would start to feel nauseas. Thankfully I would only feel that way for a minute because I’ve worked ten years in childcare, have three years of education under my belt, nannied for three years, and was a live in au pair for one, and I would remind myself, wait a minute this is SO possible I have worked with children and it’s possible to have them respect their environments!

Home and Childcare environments are very different. Its much easier to set up routines and stay consistent with the days schedules in a childcare setting, however as a parent you shouldn’t feel discouraged, there are many simple stragies that you can use in your home life to help, its honestly all about the FOLLOW THROUGH. In other blog posts I refer to my unborn child as a baby body terrorist, but honestly children at almost every age and stage other then newborn are mini terrorist’s and you should under no circumstances negotiate with them, EVER! As soon as we show signs of weakness that’s when they strike!

5 Simples ways keep your home organized with children

1. Practice what you Preach because Monkey see Monkey do

This is more important then most parents realize. When it comes to anything pertaining to your children’s growth and development of habits, they are learning it first and foremost from you at home. If they aren’t seeing that you’re caring and respecting your environment they won’t learn that its expected, important, or normal. Having them see through your actions is the easiest way to get them involved as just a daily motion of life. Another factor is not just that you shouldn’t just do the chores but show them that its enjoyable. Who wants to try to imitate doing something if the person doing it is miserable? Its never to late to change your lifestyle and your own habits, if a messy unorganized home is bothering you or disrupting your happiness, it will just take some time for your child to develop new habits, but stay positive and consistent and eventually they will, like you see the benefits of a clean and tidy home.

2. Finding balance between minimalism and over indulgence

A lot of the time the biggest factor in your home being unorganized is just the simple fact that you have to much stuff and not enough places to put them! For children this will effect how successful they will be able to keep their mind and physical space organized. Once a birthday or event with gifts pass a good practice would be to spend the day going through all of their things and donating what they no longer find joy from or play with to make room for the new toys. Not having a spot to put things away to clean up in your house will automatically make it more difficult to keep clean.

3. Having designated spaces (if possible designated rooms)

Parents who have reached out to me as an educator usually say that their homes have been taken over by their children and all of their things, and aren’t sure what to do, the first thing we often suggest doing is tackling their environment. This is honestly one of the biggest reasons why getting children to be organized and tidy in a daycare can be so successful, its because we set up their physical space and environment with this in mind. Clearly defining a space or room is very important. If you want your kitchen, living room and dining room to be just that, don’t have a bin for toys around and set up clear boundaries and stay consistent, that toys and playing happens only in the places you set up. i.e. Playroom, basement or their bedrooms. Having a designated overall space its crucial for your children to have clear understandings of where exactly their things belong to be able to put them back in the right places. This will look different for each age group. For example, if you have a younger child who isn’t reading yet a bin where the trains belong should only have a picture on the bin, but a child who is reading can have both or just the word trains. In our daycare we have each bin clearly labeled and it makes it easy for the children to know where they need to put the toys they are playing with when they are finished.

These are some of our spaces at my daycare for the children

4. Only have them be responsible for their messes (at first)

When you have a younger child its difficult for them to grasp the idea of “chipping in” and being responsible for different house hold chores other then a mess they’ve made themselves. According to Piaget’s theories, until a child is 7 years old they are egocentric and only really consider their own point of view. If you have them clean their messes right after they’ve made them, it will be quick, easy and manageable, it will avoid them from becoming discouraged and overwhelmed. Your child will feel successful and proud of their things, just like you do.

5. Only take one toy out at a time

This rule is the hardest but most beneficial for your child to be able to succeed in their cleanliness and organization in your home. It will take a lot of discipline and consistency to for this rule to be followed by your little one, especially if you are trying to re-train some bad habits. When we have new children come into our programs, it takes about a month or two to drill this rule into their little brains for it to come second nature to them. There will be times to “mix” toys but the expectation needs to be understood that it will take them longer to clean up and they have to agree to that before they take out more. Not only will taking one thing out at a time help them keep their areas clean or help them clean up quicker after they are done playing, but studies have shown that the least number of toys played with by children at one time helps with their imaginative and creative play, helps them develop longer attention spans, and establish better social skills.

If having an organized, tiny and clean home is important to you either before or after making a family for what ever the reason, I’ll be here to support you, help give ideas that work for me and my lifestyle and just listen to you vent.

“Small disciplines repeated with consistency everyday, lead to great achievements gained slowly over time.” – John Maxwell

If any of you fabulous mamas have any questions for me or any tips on this subject that has worked for you and your family please leave a comment above , I’d love to connect!

Vanessa Ravalico

Choosing age appropriate literature (Infant 0-12 months)

How to choose books that are age appropriate

amadeos book corner 2
Amadeo’s Book shelf stocked and ready to go for each age

In some book stores the sections are so beautifully organized and separated into suggested age categories, but for the stores that don’t clearly mark age appropriate books for your little ones, here are some tips for picking books that will help your child with their developmental milestones and keep them engaged.

(Birth – 6 months)

• Look for cloth or board books that your infant can safely explore and interact with. (basically, a book that your child can put into their mouths and grab or turn the pages easily on their own.)

• Choose books with little to no text, and high contrast pictures. Your infants vision is still developing so this will help grab their focus and attention.

• Choose books that will help entice and promote fine motor and cognitive interactions with your infant. Examples: books with mirrors, peekaboo flaps and textures they can feel to their touch.

• Choosing when to read to your baby is important at this age. Read to you baby right after they have woken from a nap and just been fed, they will be the most attentive and engaged at this time. This is the perfect time read, sing and play with your baby.

 

amadeos book corner

 

When reading to your infant it’s mostly about the bonding, one on one attention and having them hear different words and tones in your voice. There have been many world-wide studies that show even reading to your infant while your pregnant can be extremely beneficial for future language and cognitive developments.

infant books

 

amadeos book corner 3

(7 – 12 months)

• When choosing books to read to your child between this age group all of the prior suggestions above still apply and are helpful guidelines.

• Choose books that have a lot of familiar words and objects that correspond to your infant’s world. Examples: books with “mommy” “daddy” “milk”. When you are reading these familiar words repetitively, your child will start making cognitive connections.

• When reading books out loud try to make it more of an interactive experience for your infant. Ask, “where is the dog?” help point out the dog, maybe make the sound the dog makes and get your infant to mimic that sound.

• Read the same books over and over again. I promise your infant won’t get tired or bored of them (I can’t on the other hand guarantee that you wont) instead it will help with your child’s memory help them learn the words that you are reading to them.

books older

 

“The more you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”
-Dr. Seuss

 

What are you favourite books that you read to your infant ? Comment above!

*Photos are taken by me from Amadeo’s Nursery

Who in the actual Fuck named it “Morning Sickness”

Who in the actual Fuck named it “Morning Sickness”

Reader disclaimer, this post doesn’t have any tips or tricks that worked for me in relation to getting any sort of relief from my “Morning Sickness”. This post isn’t for the faint of heart but instead for other women who will or are going through the same experience I did and just want to hear that they aren’t alone! Lets all feel okay to say that was fuckin horrible and I understand together.

4 fuckin months! I am one of the lucky ones, I’ve connected with women who experienced horrible sickness throughout their entire pregnancies (shoot me now) The medical term for this is “Hyperemesis gravidarum” sounds like a super cool harry potter spell but don’t let that fool you, symptoms feel like the rathe of he whom we don’t speak of himself.

Some of these symptoms include:

• Nausea or vomiting that persists throughout the day, making it impossible to eat or drink
• Vomiting that will occur more then three to four times a day and enabling you to keep down food or drink
• Weight loss (not ideal in pregnancy)
• Fainting or dizziness
• Reoccurring headaches or migraines
• Extreme fatigue

I had all of these symptoms reoccurring and disrupting my day to day quality of life for four long grueling months. (throughout most of my pregnancy I do refer to my child as my body baby terrorist)
I found out that I was pregnant with our child a couple hours before one of my best friends Christmas party. There truly are moments in your life that will always be imbedded in your mind, heart and soul and this was defiantly one of them for me.
* I would have to keep going back to that wonderful, magical, happy moment constantly throughout the time that I was pregnant and tell myself this is all worth it.
After finding out I was pregnant I call this week, my one week of pregnancy bliss because after that week came and went these “Hyperemesis gravidarum” symptoms came on like a raging bull in a china shop.

My whole life one of my biggest fears always had to be vomiting. I’ll never forget when I was younger I was so scared and dead set on not throwing up during a horrible flu that I decided hey if I just keep my mouth closed vomit won’t be able to come out. Spoiler alert if you’ve never tried this, man does it ever still come out but not before shooting out your nose first! So, this was the pregnancy symptom I was hoping and praying I would be able to avoid at all costs.

My days and nights all consisted of spending most of my time on and off of the toilet, not being able to eat or smell certain smells, and over all feeling like a bag of dicks. From the moment I would wake up at 5:30 am till whenever I went to bed I was vomiting almost every couple of hours, it brings you to the brink of shear exhaustion. Imagine having food positing or a stomach flu but it not going away for MONTHS, and it’s the no relief that mental drains you beyond belief.

I was constantly reading and trying to find every article on google, every tip and trick from Pinterest, advice from mom blogs, going and seeing my doctor, trying all the medications, honestly everything and anything to get some sort of relief, but nothing worked.

 So often as women we are expected to just keep things to ourselves and deal with them. I was told by many people during this stage of my pregnancy to just suck it up, it was normal and it will be done and over before I knew it. I think this is why I felt so inclined to talk so candidly about this and share my experience because I was constantly having other people try to down play my symptoms and say its just a normal part of pregnancy. (this was always coming from someone who hadn’t experienced it) Well let me tell you mother fuckers, when you are throwing up bile for four months straight, then come and talk to me, I guarantee your tune will change. Ladies that went through this I gotchu and would also encourage you to tell those people to fuck off.

I truly am very envious but always happy for those women who do have wonderful pregnancies and wish to do it a million times over. (please dm me if you fit this description, I will probably be looking into surrogacy for my next child) but for those women who have it hard and also have little body baby terrorist in them know that you truly are strong as a mother fucker and you fuckin rock!

” Why no, I have not tried crackers, ginger, small meals, or sipping water. I enjoy morning sickness so much, I thought I would just embrace the whole experience” – meme from pintrest

p.s men if you’re reading this post and this at all relates to your partners pregnancy you better start saving for an AMAZING push present! I’m hoping my will be a wonderful all-inclusive vacation without child, somewhere with bottomless margaritas!

Comment Above to share if any tips or tricks worked for you or just comment on your experience and share your stories about this so called morning sickness! I’d love to hear from you and start a conversation!

The “Just you wait and see” Series

The “Just you wait and see” series
Advice from an Educator

I’m going to make this an ongoing series because after the moment I announced I was pregnant, and I believe this probably never stops sadly, I kept hearing the same “Just you wait and see” followed by a negative or judgemental statement from someone who thought they were giving advice or they were just relieving in their minds how it was with their children at that stage.

My tribe of supportive women

I get it until you are in that moment or stage with your child you truly won’t know what it will be like, however there are a couple different factors that can change an outcome as well. We are all different in how we react, discipline, our patience thresholds, support systems, careers, education, and so many factors in everyone’s lives will not be the same. Children will all be different as well, ( even siblings) we are all individuals.
Usually this statement would be after someone had asked me a question about what I’m planning on doing in the future with my children about a certain subject only to just turn around and tear it down and belittle my intentions.

My Amazing co-workers at Glebe Parents Daycare

If you’ve read my “about me” post, I share about how my wish for this blog is to be able to have supportive conversations with other women and mothers, helping each other cope and give each other advice about motherhood. Not falling down this mom shaming path that makes us all feel as if we are failing or going to fail as mothers.

Friends and co-workers

I think we all consciously need to re think our statements after a mother shares her future plans and intentions for her family. Whether it be her children’s schedule, diet, education, routines, religious beliefs, anything that is shared we should change this natural reaction from saying “Just you wait and see” to something more positive like “That’s a great intention, Id love to hear some stragies your thinking, I had a difficult time with my children.” It would change the whole mood of the conversation and still make the mother feel valued! Who the fuck knows maybe she wont “Just have to wait and see” and what she does with her individual children may just work. If we change the conversations objective to asking their strategies and advice we may learn something that we can try implementing with our children that may work for us as well.

Friends and fellow supportive mamas

I will be sharing the different questions I’ve been asked with the following statement being made and different strategies I use with my children at work and with tips from my education background that can translate into you being able to apply it successfully to your #realmomlife.

Parenting is hard work and you will constantly be second guessing yourself, changing your strategies or intentions and the last thing you need is to hear a statement that basically implies, why would you even try your naturally going to fail at that attempt. Let’s raise each other up instead of unintentionally tearing each other down.

They’ve got my back!

“BEHIND EVERY SUCCESSFUL WOMAN IS A TRIBE OF OTHER SUCCESSFUL WOMEN, WHO HAVE HER BACK.”

Share Above in the comments on your favourite/ worst just you wait and see moments!

About Me

Most would describe me as a no filter, open book, raw kinda gal, but I haven’t always been that way.

It’s taken maturity, life experience, education, therapy, and lots of trial and error to realize that living an authentic life, translates to me living my best life.

Hi, I’m Vanessa Ravalico. I’m an educator, a wife, and first-time mama bear.
I would describe myself as a firey, no bullshit Leo who lives to make connections and entertain the masses. Between being put on modified bed rest at 24 weeks and taking an 18-month maternity leave, I knew I wanted to add substance, and purpose to my new reality as a badass mom to my first-born son. (there really is so much Netflix binging one woman can take while on bed rest)

My background is in Early Childhood Education and with ten years of experience using that knowledge in a non for profit licensed childcare centre , I’m looking forward to sharing ways to implement simple strategies that work in a daycare environment, to your/our every day insanity.

Applying my no filter way of life I want to share past and present experiences and strategies with my mental health and life’s moments, to inspire conversations and help empower women to know that mental health does not define us as women, mothers, or professionals but adds value, experience and empathy to our lives.

Womanhood, Pregnancy, and Motherhood have already proven to be some of the loneliest, scariest and confusing times in my life and having an outlet and platform to share is extremely comforting. Sharing, and connecting with women and mothers about different strategies, products, and life experiences truly is my ultimate goal with this blog, all while we have fun and laugh together.

“ I CAN DO THINGS YOU CANNOT, YOU CAN DO THINGS I CANNOT; TOGETHER WE CAN DO GREAT THINGS.” – Mother Teresa