Mommy Hacks: Learning to Share

Did you see my last post on quality time with Aden? I think pretty much everyone knows how much he loves trains at this point. Well, Ariah has been getting into trains herself – which is no surprise since of course she wants to do the things her big bro does. Turns out, this newfound interest is teaching Aden all about sharing.

Ariah - Teaching little ones to share - Tamera Mowry

They love those trains.

Little ones only begin grasping the whole sharing concept at age three or so, so Aden had had a little experience in it by the time we brought his little sis home. Of course – this is no playdate – this is a sibling, so he’s going to be making compromises and taking turns for a long time to come.

When it comes to teaching siblings to take turns with each other, it’s all about teaching kindness and generosity toward the ones you love. This is complicated for a toddler, most especially one that’s recently had to learn how to share mom and dad, but there are lots of little ways to teach these lessons.

Sometimes you have to tell little ones that the reason their little bro or sis wants to play with their toys is that they want to be included. For example, perhaps Ariah wants to play because she sees Aden having so much fun and wants to have fun too.

Just like I mentioned when talking about teaching kids to be gentle, it’s important to acknowledge the feeling behind the action. If a child doesn’t want to share, you can say something like, “I know you really love this toy, but since it’s such a great toy, other kids want to play with it too”. It helps them work through what seems like someone just interrupting their playtime.

Like most hurdles we have to cross in parenting, sharing is one of those things that you can’t really make up one single rule for. Sometimes it makes sense to intervene, and sometimes it doesn’t, so here are a few tips you might find helpful!

  • Introduce the concept of taking turns, rather than taking away, especially if it’s something they’ll get back
  • Use a timer – kids need that concrete timeline
  • We all have certain things we like to keep to ourselves – each child might have extra special items that are theirs alone
  • Model the behavior to reinforce that everyone does this

And a few tips for new moms – As a parent, you’ll find that the way you handle things may differ from another’s method. This can become an issue at the playground or on play dates. Try to keep an open mind, but know that you define how you parent. You might be teaching a lesson in sharing while another mom is teaching a lesson in patience. With little ones, there is so much for them to learn!

Things like sharing and playing together are something we’re balancing with individual quality time, which is another important topic. How do you approach the sharing issue between your children?

Xx,
Tamera

Our Mommy Son Time & Toddler Play Activities

Sometimes being a working momma can be so crazy, but when it comes down to just laughing and playing with your babies, it really couldn’t be more simple. Aden and I have such a blast together. He’s been such a good sport about having to share mommy time with his baby sister and I truly cherish the moments we can just hang out! Here’s a recap of a few of our recent mommy-son play dates. If your little ones are at this toddler age, they’ll love it too!

Playtime with Aden | Tamera Mowry

Sometimes it’s the simplest games that are most fulfilling for children. Actually, most of the time that’s the case! Aden loves his legos. Once he gets going, you can’t tear him away from them. They get his creative juices flowing and suddenly he’s building a whole world.

Playtime with Aden | Tamera Mowry

So proud.

Playtime with Aden | Tamera Mowry

When the weather is warm, you can’t go wrong spending the day in the backyard. Blowing bubbles is a simple playtime activity that toddlers go crazy for. (And did you know you can even make your own recipes for bubbles?) Even better if you can add in some fun music while they play. Whenever the music stops, he has to stop and freeze, and gets to get going again when it starts up. It’s a blast and pretty much has us cracking up the whole time.

You guys, it really is the little things. I love seeing my little man smile!

If you have any fave toddler activities, share them below.

Xx,
Tamera

How to Save Time in Your Day

Happy New Year guys! Do you do resolutions each year? This is my first full year with two little ones, and my schedule is already jam-packed. Resolutions can be well meaning, as long as they don’t put a ton of pressure on you. Let’s be real, we have enough going on! Instead of a resolution post today, I decided to share how to save time, rather than pile on the tasks. Why not? I’m sure we could all use it!

How to Save Time

The trick to saving time in your day is cutting out the unimportant things that hang us up and in the end, don’t really contribute to a fulfilling day. They’re the things we could do without. So when you’re running around all day (the mom fog is real guys), it pays to be organized! Here are 5 ways to do just that: 

Group tasks together. Ever wonder why even the simplest daily tasks in our lives tend to take forever? We’re doing too much switching back and forth. It’s one thing to juggle multiple responsibilities, but without a plan in place, you can end up driving yourself nuts running from here to there (and not just physically, mentally too). By grouping like tasks together – like scheduling out an afternoon just for errands or making it a point to group appointments/meetings all in the same proximity, you minimize travel times and transitions. Even just deciding that you’ll make all your phone calls in one sitting rather than at varying points in the day can make a huge difference.

Delegate. If you’ve got the help of a partner… Use it! That’s what a support system is there for. Divide and conquer. If you and your spouse plan out the things you’re going to accomplish beforehand, like running errands and picking up dinner, you’ll cut out a ton of extra trips and time spent going back and forth. Of course, communication is key, and if you really need help – ask for it!

Utilize your phone. Lists are nice but they’re easy to forget and a phone is something you have on you all the time. Why not put it to work for you? Make use of your calendar and notes page. It’s up to you whether you want to download planning apps to help stay organized, but simply utilizing all those features your phone likely has built in may just change your life. Seriously.

Use downtime wisely. Downtime is different than your post-work PJs and TV time – it’s not relaxing or productive. Anything from time spent in waiting rooms, for laundry to be done or food to finish cooking, can be spent wisely. Whether it’s making calls or working on the next day’s to-do so you don’t wake up already feeling behind, these are moments that can be insanely helpful. Multitasking itself can be ineffective, but downtime is fair game.

Expect the unexpected. Parents and busy professionals alike know how easy it is to get sidetracked by all things life, so it’s best to be prepared. The worst is when something unexpected totally throws you off your game, so my solution? Have an “anything can happen” attitude, even over the smallest events. When you have two littles you have to be prepared with extra clothes, toys and activities, for example – the mood can change at anytime, lol.

Try these methods and let me know how they worked – I hope it frees up more time to focus on what’s important.

Happy New Year!

Xx,
Tamera

My Breastfeeding Experience

Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving! Today I wanted to share my breastfeeding story. It’s incredible how different one child can be from the next, and how much easier it can be the second time around. Of course, we’ve got a long way to go. But all the experiences I’ve had with Aden as a baby have definitely taught me so much, making things like breastfeeding much more enjoyable with Ariah.

Tamera Mowry | My Breastfeeding Experience | TameraMowry.com

With Aden, breastfeeding was hard. It didn’t come as naturally as we’re meant to believe. Aden wasn’t latching properly, which meant I experienced soreness, my nipples were callused and I was in pain for about 8 weeks. I was having a hard time keeping up my supply of milk and it was taking a major emotional toll on me. All this in the midst of things I had to learn and research as a new mom – it was important to know, for example that I needed to eat right while breastfeeding to give my baby what he needed. (What we eat can even contribute to whether or not the baby gets colic.) There was just so much to learn, and so much I wanted to be able to do. I wanted so desperately to breastfeed that when it didn’t seem like a viable option, I broke down. But I was determined not to give up.

I know I’m not the only woman to have felt this way. In fact, I didn’t have it as bad as some women do. Breastfeeding can come easy and it can be nearly impossible. There are a ton of reasons for this, but the one that affected me was Aden’s latch. It took some time, but I finally learned how to get the right latch, and then breastfeeding was much easier. Let me tell you you, if breastfeeding is important to you, do not leave the hospital unless you’ve had the right latch with your baby!

When it came time to breastfeed Ariah, I have to admit I was a little worried. I wanted to be sure that I could give her my antibodies, feed her nutrients and give her enough of my milk to help prevent her from getting sick. Thankfully my worries were unwarranted. I took everything I learned from my experience with Aden and Ariah had the perfect latch from day one. The nurses even commented that they wished Ariah could teach the other babies there! Lol.

Where breastfeeding with Aden was challenging, with Ariah it’s been unbelievable. I can’t fully express how it actually feels, but the bond it’s building between us is amazing. I cherish every second I can sit down and feed her. It’s our private time together, and I really find it so relaxing. It makes me feel good to know that I can give her everything that her body needs, and I plan to do so until she’s one year. And women must do what’s right for their baby–which can include bottle feeding of course. In that case, I’ve discovered that Gentle Gerber formula is best!

I’ve learned to trust my baby.

I hope hearing my story will help any new mommas out there! Share your experiences with me in the comments.

Xx,
Tamera

Photo: Katee Grace Photography

The Busy Mom’s Guide to Getting More Family Time

These days, parents are busier than ever. From both spouses working to single and working moms, time is of the essence. But as you know, family time is number one on my list. No matter how busy I get, I MUST have that time with my loved ones! I know so many people feel the same way about spending time with their kids, but don’t know exactly how to fit it all in – especially those that have nontraditional work hours or whose schedules don’t match up with family members. My experience as well as influential moms in my life, and doing a little research have all taught me simple yet meaningful ways to sneak more family time into everyday life.

Tamera Mowry Family Portraits

Make Mundane Moments Count

Boring household activities may be the last thing you and your family want to do, but it’s a nice way to squeeze in a little family time when you can’t rework the schedule. Activities like chores, laundry, errands or shopping aren’t always fun for kids, but giving your little ones more of a role in your daily activities allows you all to spend more time together, without having to sacrifice the to-do list.

Be Active Together

Being able to multitask a bit (okay, a lot) is key as a mom, so it’s not surprising that taking your children on a workout is on the list. I can’t exactly take Aden to spin class, but everyday activities like stretching, yoga, at home routines and walking can be done with kids too. Try to get your hubby involved, too!

Create Family Traditions

When children are young, sometimes you have to create the traditions that will be remembered forever. Find an activity the whole fam likes, like playing a certain game to going to a favorite lunch spot, and regularly make a point to do that. Everyone can look forward to it as you grow together. Plus, it will keep you in check – if you can’t remember the last time you did x activity, it’s been way too long!

Bedtime Rituals

Another way to build family time into your daily habits is to turn those things that happen every single day – like going to sleep – into meaningful minutes. I cherish the moments I spend reading with Aden, and since I know he loves it too, it’s easier for me to make it a priority. You can use something like your baby’s bedtime as a moment for you to get away from whatever task you’re working on in the evening, and unwind with the family for a few. If you or your partner can’t be home at bedtime, you could try working a ritual into another time of day that works best.

Make Meals Meaningful

So much of life is centered on family + meals – whether gathering to talk about the day or hosting a big ol’ holiday feast. But even your average Tuesday night meal can be special if everyone’s together. Aden’s at the age where I always have him by my side, even when preparing meals, so we get that time together. When he’s older, I hope he’ll help me prepare meals and we can all spend time – even if it’s for a quick bite on a lunch break – enjoying them together.

How do you schedule family time on your busiest days? Share your ideas below – it could help another busy momma!

Xx,
Tamera

Photo by Jose Villa