Let’s get real about motherhood: It’s hard as hell. It’ is mentally, emotionally, physically and financially exhausting. Some women find it blissful and others find themselves staring through a haze toward the day when their kids are pretty much self-sufficient.
Whatever your journey so far, I’m here to make it better. I’m what you might describe as a bull-horn when I find fabulously deigned and versatile baby gear/mommy gear and these items are my most talked about makes-my-life-easier top 5.
1. PREMAXX BABY CARRIER. It’s for women and men – it’s not girly, granola, nor “dated”. Happily it’s comfortable and easy to use. It is made of canvas and cotton and features draw string cords on each side that allow you to adjust how much of your baby covered while you wear him or her. It has a padded bottom for added cushioning, a secure adjustable strap that can easily be lengthened or shorted for any wearer, an easy to access pocket (when the baby isn’t in it), and happens to be really insulating. We use it all year long and so far we’ve been able to use it from birth to age 2 yrs. Babies can sit or lie in it, and the sling is designed in such a way that the sides can fold down along the “bottom” so that you can ear the sling as a seat for a toddler up to 30 lbs. It is stylish and functional. Another fabulous benefit of it’s design is that you can nurse while your baby is in it and NO ONE CAN TELL!!!!
2.BUMBO. I ‘ve always said that I couldn’t understand why nature was savy enough to make women’s hips wider, and know when to let milk come in but didn’t design me to have an extra arm for several months after a baby’s birth. Well, the makers of the fabulous Bumbo must have wondered the same thing and have created a seat that makes it possible for babies who are not yet able to sit on their own, to sit. As long as they can hold their heads up, the Bumbo will do the rest. With an optional tray ($15.00), it can serve as a highchair for feedings and for playing. Plus it looks good, isn’t cumbersome and comes in several playful colours. The material makes it “grippy” and while you are advised not to use it on counter tops, I always have because I am right there with the girls. Don’t ever leave babies unattended, really.
3.JJ COLE SLING-BACK DIAPER BAG. It is the sleekest, James Bond-type bag-like product I have ever seen or used. It is narrow and is to be worn with the the strap along your chest. With one elongated large pocket, a smaller pocket, and a slim pocket for keys, cash, etc. These are the Mary-Poppin of pockets, this is what I have been able to fit:
3 size 4 diapers, a travel change pad, a hard plastic portable wipe case, a 3-6 month old onesy, baby socks, bib, a bottle (there is a compartment for bottles on the side which fits 1 baby bottles or water bottle, wallet, keys,lip gloss, travel pack of tissues, trail mix ziplock baggie, 1/2 package of arrowroot cookies.
4.PEG PEREGO PLIKO P3. I’m fairly certain that I’m cheap. Why I think I’m cheap is fodder for another post, but it relevant to this pick and this is why: It made no sense to me to spend hundreds and hundreds of dollars on a stroller when I could get a decent stroller with good reviews for a lot less. So when we had Naya, we bought the Graco travel set and reveled in it’s bountiful cup holder and storage tray. I loved that EVERYTHING fit in the carriage underneath and that it rolled really well. Then I used it for month and started to hate it, opting a lot of the time to use my sling instead of bringing the stroller anywhere. I fought with it’s heaviness and size. While it lay flat when closed, it pretty much took over my entire trunk. If I bought things, they had to go on top of the folded stroller and that meant that if I had more than one stop to make, bags needed to go in the back seat instead of my trunk. So my husband and I decided to find our first choice in strollers, the Pliko at a reasonable price.
[Our margin of reasonable had expanded significantly, but still, we scoured the internet for the Pliko out there at the best possible price and ended up picking up a brand new Pliko P3 for under $250.00 on Ebay.]
The Pliko P3 folds up like an umbrella (it is narrower than a golf bag and about as tall as one). It has two handles over which you can drape your diaper bag, a single cup-holder, it reclines all the way down for sleeping, has a tray with a cup holder, and an under carriage that holds a lot of stuff (once you find a way to jam it through the sides.
Wanna know the best part? It weighs 16 lbs. And with a handle on the side, once folded down you can carry it in one hand and your baby in the other, seriously. It’ll fit in the front seat of your car, in the back seat along the floor, and take up a small section of your trunk. It has a 5-point harness, a toddler stand in the back, and a rather generous canopy. It is narrower than all the full strollers, which means that when you are bored and circling the mall you won’t get caught in narrow aisles, sweeping clothes on hangers along behind you. You can turn this baby on a dime and navigate with complete ease. The down side: snow. The wheels are small, so you really can’t glide through snow…but you can trudge and that’s enough for most of us who live in cities and drive.
5. Humour. No kidding, this is not a joke and this is not filler because I only have four favourite things but “Top Five” is more ubiquitous. Seriously, “Fave Four” rings better than Top Five. Everyone has a top five.
Here is the deal on humour. Even if you are not personally funny, never find anything to be funny, and do not enjoy most forms of humour, looking at your life with children under 4 with a bit of a smirk on your face will make your life dramatically different. I don’t care whether you look like sh-t, feel like a mop, hate your husband, are jealous of your put-together friend, or wonder how the little aliens in your life came to be yours. They are YOURS. And you can enjoy all of it so much more if you regard things that happen as a Temporarily Trying Moment rather than a “my life sucks” moment. Pretend your life is comedic series on TV. If the baby on screen threw up in the mom’s mouth, you’d be grossed out but you’d laugh right? Well it happened to me. And I laughed, well, I gagged and then I laughed though a mouthful of bona-fide baby vomit. [Tip from me to you, turn your head sideways so that most of it drips out, then rinse and gargle while your husband laughs and holds the offending infant.]
Humour helps avoid complaining, which is critical because the more you complain, the worse it all becomes. Stop talking about the things that annoy you and their volume will decrease. You’ll notice them less and find yourself coping better. Laugh with your kids, show them that happiness is what life is about rather than sending the message that life is a chore, misery and hardship. If you are married to a funny person, this will be easier for you to do, but if you’re not, come see me. I’ll make you happy, as best as I can.