Headless Chicken

218px-headlesschickenI have been sitting here staring at this screen on and off for the past hour trying to figure what I have to say about being a young parent. Clearly I have decided to start typing, but I still have no idea where to start. I know what I want to say. The problem is how do I tell my story without sounding like a crazy woman.

Here is my attempt…

Since becoming a young parent, I do not remember the last time I was not tired. Between work, school, and caring for my son, I feel like a chicken with its head cut off running around aimlessly. With that being said, I have never been happier in my life. I smile so hard that my face hurts more than my exhausted brain. The best part of my day used to be falling asleep to Netflix. Now, the best part of my day is when Caleb is asleep and his diaper is full. I pray that he doesn’t wake up while I am changing him because I have so much work to do, but by the time I’m done and I look up at him and he’s awake. My first thought is, “Just great!” Then he looks into my eyes and he smiles at me and I can’t help but smile back. I feel like giving up EVERY SINGLE DAY, but his smiles gives me the push that I need to keep going. I laugh when I should cry, I watch him sleep when I have a million other thing I should be doing, and while people thought becoming a young parent meant my life was over, but I have never felt more alive.

To all the other chickens with your heads cut off, I can’t tell you how things will work out for you because I am still trying to figure that out for myself. What I can say is that you are not alone. Stay strong and be #proudtoparent !

Louisha

Hard working single mom’s

denise imageBeing a single mom is very hard, stressful, and depressing. Being a single mom and working is even more stressful and depressing. Work causes stress, and being a mom also causes stress so you feel so stressed out and don’t know what to do or where to go. You get so desperate that you feel like you are all alone and don’t have anyone to help you or cheer you up. You feel like your not a good parent because you have to work enough hours to get enough money to pay bills and take care of your child. I am here to tell you that you’re doing a GREAT job and keep up the good work!!

I know exactly how you feel because I am going through it myself. I am a young single hard working mom. I am my daughters mother and father. Alot of times I get out of work so tired that I just want to lay down and sleep my life away, but then reality hits me that I am not able to do that because I have to take care of my daughter first and put her to sleep before I can get some rest. Most of the times I feel like I’m stuck in between these four walls and can’t get out. But then I think of all the help I get from my family and how lucky I am to have that help.

Never feel alone. There’s always someone out there willing to hear you and give you advice. Never feel like you are not good enough, because you are. Keep working hard even if you feel like giving up because “Hard work pays off”. Give all the love you can to your child because they need to feel it. Never give up, strive to do better in life for you and your child because in the future that child will thank you for never giving up on them.

Contribute to the 2015 Young Parent Anthology!

Anthology

10 Free Things to Do in Boston with Your Kids!

  1. Free Fun Fridays: Enjoy 60 museums and cultural venues open for free on Fridays all summer long including the Franklin Park Zoo, Cape Cod Maritime Museum, MIT Museum, and more! Click here for a full schedule.
  2. Star Gazing at the Observatory: The Public Open Night at the Observatory is a chance for young people to observe the night sky through telescopes and binoculars. Gaining hands on astronomy knowledge. Wed nights, 8:30-9:30pm. Coit Observatory, Boston University, 725 Commonwealth Ave.
  3. ZUMIX’s Summer Concert Series: Join ZUMIX for a FREE concerts this summer! Sundays through Sep 7, except for Aug 17, 6-8pm. Piers Park, 95 Marginal Street, East Boston (next to Maverick Station). Matt, 617-568-9777 x123,
  4. Magic 106.7 Family Film Festival: Enjoy FREE entertainment, games and gift card giveaways beginning at 6pm followed by the featured movie starting at sundown. The first 20 guests to arrive each night will receive a free picnic blanket. Every Sat in August. Prudential Center Shops, South Garden.
  5. BPL Concerts in the Courtyard: The Boston Public Library courtyard will host free music concerts that range from jazz to classical and from folk to funk. Through Aug 29, Fridays, 12:30pm and Wednesdays, 6pm. Central Library in Copley Square.
  6. The Boston Arts Festival: This free festival showcases visual artists who exhibit and sell one-of-a-kind paintings, sculptures, jewelry, photography, and more. Aug 30-31, 12-6pm. Christopher Columbus Waterfront Park, North End. 617-635-3911
  7. Boston Parks Summer Fitness Series: This fitness series will bring FREE classes to parks across Boston through Aug! Click here for a full schedule. 617-961-3015
  8. Summer Evening Yoga at the Frog Pond: Join us on the lawn adjacent to the carousel for FREE outdoor yoga classes at the Frog Pond. All levels of experience are welcome. A limited number of mats and blocks will be available; recommended you bring your own. Thursdays, 6-7:15pm, weather permitting. http://www.bostonfrogpond.com
  9. Mayor Walsh’s Movie Night: Mayor Walsh is hosting free movie nights all across Boston. All ages are welcome to join the fun. Free popcorn! Bring your blankets and chairs and make yourself comfortable as you enjoy these family favorites in the outdoors. Full schedule here.
  10. Roxbury Revival: Legacy Project is hosting a FREE family cookout. Residents of Roxbury and neighboring communities are welcome to join. Free food, raffles, activities for all ages, live music and much more. Aug 16, 1-5pm, 10 Putnam St., Roxbury. 617-480-8675

STEPS

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How To Be An Ally To Young Parents

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Fathers Day in Boston

Family Fathers Fun Day Poster

#MamasDay 2014

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We believe that being a Mama is a profound act of community that should be acknowledged and celebrated. Make this radical idea go viral by sharing one of Strong Families Mamas Day e-cards here

Choose your favorite card image, then add your own custom message. We invite you to share the cards you make with your friends and loved ones via email, Facebook, Twitter and more. To learn more about the artists, click here.

Free Prom Dresses & Tuxedos!

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Breastfeeding is Empowering!

I breastfed my daughter for a year and six months (maybe a little more). I do not remember exactly when I stopped breastfeeding, even though it was a huge moment in both Lily’s life and mine. I tried to stop breastfeeding as soon as she became 11 months but breastfeeding was heaven for me. I gained an amazing connection with my daughter that I will forever be thankful for. I believe that our bond became stronger because my daughter felt safe, happy, and comfortable through this experience. After lily shots or when she was sick I would breastfeed her and that would calm her down in seconds. I never had to struggle to put my daughter to sleep as soon as she was on the breast she would drift away. My daughter and I were in our own bubble when I was breastfeeding her.

My daughter’s health is great and I believe breastfeeding was the cause of this. It is rare for my daughter to get sick; she does not get as sick as other children in the winter. So I am thrilled that she does not have health issues.

Breastfeeding was comforting to my daughter. I know that when I breastfeed lily she was more relaxed and happy. Everyone in my life supported my decision for breastfeeding. I would have my mother Spanish remedies to increasing my milk supply. I think that having this support made a difference in the connection that I had with my daughter. Having people cheer you on about breastfeeding is great and makes you want to continue and make the experience last a little bit longer.

I weighed 150 lbs. when I gave birth. After I stopped breastfeeding I weighed 98. Losing this weight was bittersweet. It was bad because I wanted to gain more weight after birth, but the good thing is that my body looked great afterwards. I could not believe that breastfeeding could cause such a weight change.

I stopped breastfeeding because I was becoming too skinny, my daughter used my boobs for comfort, and my schedule did not work with breastfeeding. My daughter would want to stay on the breast all day. She would pull my shirt and position herself for it, would play and watch TV while still being on the breast. It was weird to have her do this. But even with those negatives I wanted to continue breastfeeding.

It was empowering. I felt like any other mother out there. I did not feel just like a young mother, I felt like a powerful mom. Breastfeeding makes you feel powerful. That’s what I loved about it. I feel that my body was made to nurture a child. If I could go back in time, I would do it all over again to gain those emotions and awesome breastfeeding moments.

Tips on breastfeeding:

  • Always have that medical soothing for sore breast. It helps to apply it when the breast hurts. Helping to prevent sore breast.
  • Drink lots of fluid throughout the day. The more you drink the more your breast supply.
  • Remember what you eat and drink will influence what your child eats and drinks
  • Wear clothing that is easy to pull your breast out easily.
  • Turtle necks are a hassle when trying to breast feed
  • Breastfeeding bra are great but not necessarily needed.
  • Do not through away all your old bras, you may actually go back to the same cup.

Leave a comment below with your questions and tips!