There is No Sharing the Babies - Battling with the Need to Keep Them Close

Whether your baby is a newborn or an adult, there is an innate need to want to protect your child.  You will not feel comfortable with who is in contact with him or her for awhile or maybe not ever.  There is nothing right or wrong with being protective, but overprotection coupled with controlling actions can cripple your baby (son or daughter) emotionally and physically as well as cause a disconnect with others.  Consider the many children who speak openly in the media about childhood and how some were not permitted to visit relatives or enjoy the company of those who may have been a different ethnicity, social class, etc.  With social networking, this is changing and children are finding out the good, bad and ugly about relatives all by themselves.

Some children have great relationships with extended relatives because parents took the time to connect with them.  They invited family out to the home or visited with children.  They asked for assistance when they needed someone to watch a child.  They also made the time to entertain loved ones over the phone, email, or social networking sites.  There was always some kind of family involvement.  Therefore, a relationship was built with kin.  However, those who didn't do these things due to any number of reasons including being protective of children, didn't bother to create a meaningful connection with relatives.

When one refuses to share babies, doesn't like or trust relatives, or even wishes to be alone on an island with a child, you have to wonder what personal issues are happening within?  Although they might be justified, one will need to strongly consider what might be the short or long term impact on the child when he or she is being isolated from others. 

As parents, we must choose who are the good guys and who might be the bad guys and act accordingly.  However, we also must be mindful not to allow our past issues with others dictate our children's present and future for we are not promised to outlive them all.  Bridge the gap where you can before it's too late!

Nicholl McGuire 

Holidays - Children Get Overwhelmed with Toys, Relatives, Food, Noise

Sometimes parents can be so happy being amongst adults that they lose track of time and forget that their fussy baby, cranky tween, and angry teen are simply tired.

Children are excited when they know they have a day filled with fun activities and that excitement may not come down for hours, sometimes days!  They rise early, talk much, do unusual things, and can drive parents insane due to all their energy.  Oftentimes, they will want to stay up on most nights even when they should be sleeping.

Parents will need to plan accordingly.  When children are starting to overwhelm parents, it is time to put things away and direct them to bed.  At times, adults don't comprehend this especially when they don't have children at home.  They will sometimes encourage mayhem, rather than help alleviate challenging situations.

If you are a new parent, speak up and explain to those who insist on keeping children entertained that enough is enough, there is always tomorrow.  Invite them over the next day if they want to spend more time with your baby or children.  Enlist the help of those who could put toys away, help with kitchen clean up, start a bath, read a bedtime story, or do something else.

Most parents enjoy the company of all, but even the best parents grow weary of family and all that comes with them, and so do babies and children.

Nicholl McGuire is a mother of four boys and the author of When Mothers Cry and other books.  She offers spiritual insight on a number of topics on YouTube channel: nmenterprise7.

Take Control of the Toys

If you want some peace during the holiday season, be mindful of those loud, noisy toys.  They are cute, fun and might keep a child occupied for awhile, but they also can be very annoying.  These loud items can try one's patience and bring out the worst in anyone who isn't use to so much sound.  Rather than be tempted to defend the toy, be rude to adults, swear at your kid, or run out the house, make plans for the loud toys.

When dealing with noisy toys, try doing the following:

1.  Rotate the toys.  Allow the child to play with one at a time.
2.  Don't put batteries in all the toys at once.
3.  Avoid bombarding small children with so much.
4.  Take away toys they aren't playing with and hide them away until you are ready to rotate them.
5.  Don't argue with a spouse or relative about a toy he or she has bought.  All will get played with eventually, just not at that moment.  If the issue becomes a big deal, resolve in your mind to rid yourself of the problem.  Remember the land of the broken toys in the movie, Toy Story?
6.  If a toy doesn't work, take it back to the store and exchange it for one that doesn't make any noise.
7.  Put a time limit on how long a child will play with certain toys, be sure to have quieter replacements.

The more ways you come up with regulating the toys, the better you will feel.  It is never a good idea to allow children to run amuck playing with everything all at once.  Noisy toys will drive you crazy!

Nicholl McGuire also maintains the blog, When Mothers Cry, see here.

Wayward Teens: Back-Talking, Nasty Attitudes, Sneaky Behaviors, Ungratefulness

You know when you have to turn up the discipline, teens will not hesitate to test a parent.  The back talk shows up when you tell them to do something.  The eye-rolls and deep sighs present a new character you didn't encounter when they were small and cute.  Things they once didn't mind telling you are now off-limits.  Buy them some gifts and they aren't too happy about your selections no matter how much time you spent getting them or how much money you paid for them.

Tough teens are not easy to parent especially when they were born into a tough atmosphere.  Parents were hollering (possibly fighting), grandparents were rude and ignorant, the environment in the neighborhood was challenging, and friends were at times wild and crazy. Throw in some alcohol and drugs and children were exposed to far too much then they should have.  So it isn't any wonder when a tough teen talks, walks and acts tough.

Violent and sexual media doesn't help matters when it comes to raising teens.  Parents who permit a child to watch and play with whatever will be faced with more issues than one who tends to monitor his or her child's activities on and offline. 

A wayward teen is one who may have started on the right path (being respectful, caring, loving, etc.), but has now changed due to any number of factors including a parent not making time to assist a son or daughter or failing to find and pay for necessary resources to help him or her.  Many teens suffer from lack.  A parent who lacks knowledge, wisdom, time, and money is most likely going to have trouble with a teen's behavior in and out of school.  The parent might be very good about buying things, attending sporting events, participating in school projects, etc. but have a bad attitude at home.  He or she could be impatient, rude, strict, or have a personality disorder.  Those who live with the parent know better including a child turned teen who simply can't deal with a parent's issues any longer.

Parents can make their lives easier by taking the time to learn more about what makes your teen feel the need to back-talk, (i.e) for a young girl could this be connected to her menstrual cycle?  Maybe there is a teen boy who finds it difficult to talk about a closet behavior he might have, why?  Whatever the issue, the Internet is the book that generations before us didn't have to help them raise us when we were teens, but we do have, so why not make the most of it?  Forums, blogs like this, videos and articles related to how to communicate with teens might provide you with the insight you need to deal with issues.

Nicholl McGuire also maintains When Mothers Cry, the blog

Getting Rest After Having a Newborn, Tips on Keeping Stress Levels Down

I believe I was able to dream again after four months of having a newborn.  The demands of feedings, burping, diaper changes, and other needs were so intense during the first four months that I felt at times I was ill-equipped to handle a baby.  Being tired most often, unable to sleep through the night, and having my share of women's issues, was mentally and physically draining.  Yet, I pressed on anyway during tough times with all my children.  My new partner who was initially confused after I had my third son, caught on later and realized I seriously needed help.  My older children to a previous relationship helped when they could during visitations.  Then there were calls of well-wishes and strangers on the street that said kind things to me about my son.  It wouldn't be long, more specifically 14 months later, that my final son showed up.

I didn't pressure myself to see everyone in the family who wanted to just hold a newborn, but didn't want to babysit or help clean my home.  I also didn't run to the church either knowing full well the stress of calming the baby as well as watching folks wanting to touch the baby with unclean hands would be too much!  I didn't want admirers around me or stares from brothers and sisters warning me about a crying baby.  All I wanted was to be left alone, me and new baby.  I learned this after feeling stress from having the first grandchild, first grandson. 

Family members acted strangely at times and said far too many wrong things when it came to who was next to spend time with the newborn.  As the children grew older, walking and talking--getting into everything, the petty comments died down and the desire to watch the first grandchild died down too.  It also helped that I had moved as well.

I am a strong believer that a mother who brings a newborn in the world has the right to dictate when she is ready to see people and when she is able to deal with people holding her child.  I think it is terrible when controlling and manipulative individuals want to attempt to dictate to the mother how the whole process of delivery should happen down to who shows up at the home after the baby is born.

True rest doesn't come for new parents until the baby sleeps through the night.  That is an occasion for celebration!  The day you are able to wake up and realize that you didn't have to check on the baby at all--it is such a great feeling!  Some things I did to keep the peace in the home for all when it came to a challenging newborn at times included:

1.  I didn't keep the baby in the room with the other children.  He slept sometimes in a bassinet in the living-room or in my bedroom.

2.  I refused to continue conversations over the phone or in-person when my baby needed me.  If the baby was taking too long to calm down or I had, had enough, I had music for my ears, a vacuum, and a baby swing.  These all helped.

3.  I didn't permit critical, difficult or angry people with their negative energy to cross my doorstep, nor did I go to theirs.  If they wanted to come over, I set aside a specific day and time, other times I simply said, "Not a good time, I will call you to set up a time."  I really had no patience or time to sit and entertain someone especially when I had days when I was in pain after having a baby.

4.  I conversed with my partner about how I felt about mostly everything i.e.) newborn issues, employment, the other children, the ex, and finances.  Whether he agreed or disagreed with my thoughts/plans, it didn't matter, I just needed to talk.  My body had to emotionally and physically heal, the baby needed to be trained to live in our world, and doctor's appointments were necessary whether he liked going or not.  I discussed with him about his work schedule and we planned accordingly.  He helped with nighttime changes and feedings.  I posted the baby's feeding and diaper schedule and included tips on what to do if the baby did one thing or another and posted on the refrigerator.  I never let his mood, television watching or facial expressions hinder me from asking him to help.  I shared with him when I needed to leave the home and went out for a bite to eat and to the movies.

5.  I had my older children participate in a baby care program.  They learned how to do things like change diapers, deal with some emergencies, etc.  It was very helpful to them and they were able to connect with their little brothers.

6.  When things got real tough, I planned a vacation away to see my mother and grandmother, who had been there and done that!  I didn't take the baby with me.

7.  I listed the baby's needs and asked my partner to run errands.  This way there was no conversation needed about everything that we ran out of or any complaint about me always asking him to do something.  Once the list was complete and coupons attached, he went out and got what we needed.

8.  I didn't participate in holiday planning or making myself available to help others.  Holidays were the least of my concern.  We reasoned we needed to save money not spend it on adults and their children.  I also didn't let church leaders and church-goers guilt me into giving money to the church and other causes.  I ignored all ads from my older children's schools about needing money.  When I stopped giving to this cause and that one, I was able to buy things for the baby that were needed like a stroller for starters, formula and clothes.

9.  We didn't go out and splurge on anything.  Instead, we periodically looked for places to dine that were low key, inexpensive and family friendly and took baby along.  Oftentimes, we used coupons.  If the newborn became restless, one of us took the baby out and the other waited for the food to be prepared so that we could take it home.

10.  The residence and laundry were tended to on certain days rather than everyday.  No one had the time or energy to want to maintain both daily.  Although, I would have liked to do that, I didn't want to add additional stress on the dad by asking him too much or wear myself out trying to do everything each day.  If something needed to be done, I mentioned it or left a note or did it the following day.  For instance, I cooked enough food for a few days at times rather than just a day.

Hope these tips are helpful and for veteran moms, I know they brought back to some memories!

Nicholl McGuire shares spiritual insight about a variety of issues at YouTube channel: nmenterprise7

A Word from the Blogger of

Thank you so much for stopping by!  I started out writing parenting articles in 2007.  At that time, I had a newborn, a toddler, a tween, and a soon-to-be teen.  I needed a place to release some of the pressure, so this blog as well as the blog and book When Mothers Cry was birthed during the same year my last son was born.

It has been a long and challenging journey with the children and I have had to pray much.  There were times that I felt like my head was going to pop off from crying from a newborn to little boys fighting with one another.  Sometimes I would close the door of my bedroom and breathe deeply and other times I would leave my residence as soon as my partner hit the door.  When times are good, you know as parents, they are good!  Children make you laugh, partners do nice things, and the world seems like a better place.

 I am grateful for you readers who have stopped by my blogs over the years and I appreciate you supporting them by purchasing items from this site and others.  I ask for your continued support and please do share this blog with other parents.


Nicholl McGuire

Twitter @nichollmcguire

YouTube channel: nmenterprise7

Know Your Enemy: The Christian's Critic
When Mothers Cry
Laboring to Love Myself
Laboring to Love an Abusive Mate
Floral Beauty on a Dead End Street
Spiritual Poems By Nicholl

Nicholl's spiritual poetry blog: http://spiritualpoemsbynicholl.blogsp...

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