Viewing entries tagged
parenting

Earth Day Activity- DIY Birds Nest Balls

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Earth Day Activity- DIY Birds Nest Balls

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We are pleased to celebrate Earth Day and created this fun activity to do with the little ones using natural and up-recycled materials while providing a valuable contribution to the environment around us. Whether you live in the city or beyond the beltway, the nature walk can be a fun, healthy activity to do together while the weather is lovely.

These DIY Birds Nest Balls are filled with small objects, both natural and recycled, which the neighborhood birds can come and collect for building their nests. Then, when you see already built nests in you yard or on your street, you may recognize some of the colorful fabric or string you gave the birds for their creations.

What you’ll need:

  • Decorative grape-vine balls for filling

  • String for hanging the balls

  • Paper scraps or fabric scraps. Think thin strips less than 1/4” wide and 2” long so they aren’t too heavy for the birds to carry.

  • Small twigs, straw, feathers, or even untreated human hair or pet hair. Nothing with chemicals like flea and tick medicine.

  • Scissors

  • Flowers, pinecones, grass clippings

Fabric scraps, string, ribbon, left over crinkle paper from Easter baskets are all good ideas for this project.

Fabric scraps, string, ribbon, left over crinkle paper from Easter baskets are all good ideas for this project.

These grapevine balls be found at many craft stores and often at the thrift store, if you’re looking to reduce your “footprint.”

These grapevine balls be found at many craft stores and often at the thrift store, if you’re looking to reduce your “footprint.”

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International Women's Day 2019

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International Women's Day 2019

By Ashley Woolsey, social media manager

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Today is International Women's Day. We know that the transition to becoming a mother can often shift our perspective of what that means about our identity.

It is often hard to remember who you once were before you became a parent and it's equally difficult to separate yourself from that role and discover who you are now. As a woman, as a person, as an individual. For a lot of new parents the return to work postpartum comes with so many emotions. Especially in the US where our family leave is scarce and often non existent. This means a faster return to work for those who are not emotionally, mentally or even physically ready. 

On the other hand there are those of us who thrive at work. Who crave for our brains to be simulated and to grow and nurture our careers. Some of us are ready almost immediately to get back into that environment and reclaim the ideality of the 'who we once were" woman. But whatever the case may be, the transition will still be a challenging one given that you have just given birth and your mental and physical self need to heal and replenish. 

If you are a breastfeeding or pumping parent, no matter your mind set on going back to work, you still have a new challenge of producing and maintaining a supply for your child while apart.

The Breastfeeding Center of Greater Washington  is a wonderful resource for new parents to learn and get advice on how to best do that. They offer classes on breast pump basics  and pumping strategies for retuning to work . You can learn about how to maintain your supply, how to properly store your milk, and how to continue a breast-feeding relationship with your child when you're back together. 

You absolutely don't have to be a breastfeeding or pumping parent to benefit from their class offerings. They also have a prenatal and postnatal rights at work class taught by lawyers in the field to help guide you in planning and executing your new work/family life role. And lastly they offer a return to work support group which is a great way to connect to other parents in your position and to express your feelings and concerns with going back to work by receiving support and advice.

Being a women in and of itself comes with it's own unique sets of challenges that only grow as you become a mother.

At Doulas of Capitol Hill we pride ourselves in helping women find their old identities and discover new ones as we help guide you though this change. Our postpartum doulas are always there to be a shoulder to lean and learn on. Our Lactation Consultants are available to come to your home and support you in your breastfeeding and pumping needs one on one, and our DCH Village is a 24/7 support group on Facebook that creates a safe and non judgmental space for you to ask questions and meet new people who are in the same stages of life and motherhood. We are in the business of women supporting and empowering women and today, like all days, we celebrate you. Happy International Women's day!

Ashley Woolsey is social media manager at Doulas of Capitol Hill and creator of the blog Motherhood Tabutiful. She speaks sarcasm fluently, drinks coffee through an IV, and I has a deep and possibly borderline obsessive love towards all things Harry Potter and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Ashley is a self-described advocate for social justice and human rights and if there's a march she’ll probably be there with her sister.

Ashley Woolsey is social media manager at Doulas of Capitol Hill and creator of the blog Motherhood Tabutiful. She speaks sarcasm fluently, drinks coffee through an IV, and I has a deep and possibly borderline obsessive love towards all things Harry Potter and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Ashley is a self-described advocate for social justice and human rights and if there's a march she’ll probably be there with her sister.

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Prioritizing Self-Care During the Holidays

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Prioritizing Self-Care During the Holidays

Emily Souder, LCSW-C, MA, MSW

Start the slow cooker at 8 am. Schedule flu shots for the littles. Order a birthday gift for the neighbor’s little girl. Clean up goldfish crumbs. Work on that business project.

Sound familiar? This is a pretty typical train of thought for me when I’m running through my mental to-do list. Carrying this mental load around is exhausting. Yes, a paper list helps, but there are still a lot of things to juggle! This list is just on a normal day, but during the holidays, the tasks stack up in a way that just doesn’t happen during the rest of the year.

Get napkins for the preschool party. Order school photos. Return boxers to the store because you bought boys’ boxers for your husband (oops). RSVP to the work happy hour. Make brownies for the neighborhood party. Do we need to send out holiday cards? Do I have spinach in my teeth?

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The topic of imbalance of emotional labor between moms and dads has been making its way around the internet, and with good reason. We carry so many of the unspoken, behind-the-scenes tasks around with us, and it’s frustrating! Even when we have supportive, present partners, it can feel that we are thinking of things that aren’t even occurring to them, and that can feel lonely. We start to think that if we don’t show up in this way, our world will fall apart. It’s scary to let go.

Let’s try something on together. What if we were able to help counteract the effects of this labor imbalance by prioritizing self-care?

Self-care looks different for everyone, but it can include setting boundaries, delegating tasks, making it to that yoga class, and saying no to the holiday happy hour.

This season, I created a free holiday challenge for moms called Rock the Hustle & Bustle specifically for this reason. Moms can benefit from their own space to practice (and it does take practice) making their wellness a priority this holiday season so they can show up for their families in a healthier, more compassionate, more energized way. We don’t have to feel depleted after the holidays!

Here are some things to consider about the holidays and caring for yourself:

  1. Missing out won’t kill you. It might be uncomfortable, but think about this: by missing out on that thing, what are you getting to participate in? What are you saying yes to by saying no?

  2. We can make choices. If the neighborhood party feels like a source of stress, can you pick up a store-bought dessert instead of making one from scratch? Can you skip it and stay in for a cozy movie night with your kiddos?

  3. Others are practicing it too. There are other moms and parents finding their way alongside of you, and reaching out and making connections with others can be a way to feel energized by friendship and to even have a reality-check partner when you wonder if you’re taking on too much.


So what do you think? Is it time to try something a little different this year? It might feel funny at first, but the benefits will have you feeling so glad you gave it a try.

Emily Souder is a licensed clinical social worker, life coach, mama, and writer in Maryland. She helps mom entrepreneurs who are feeling lost in the demands of motherhood and out of touch with themselves achieve clarity, focus, and empowerment using intuition-informed guidance, mindset work, and skill building. She is married to her best friend (so cheesy, but so true!), has two littles (ages 1 and 4), and is on her own path of rocking her authenticity.



Website: www.nestingspacellc.com

IG: www.instagram.com/nesting_space/

FB: www.facebook.com/nestingspacellc/



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Roasted Brussels Sprouts & Pomegranate Salad

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Roasted Brussels Sprouts & Pomegranate Salad

The holiday season is filled with so much joy and celebration. But we know that it can also bring on a lot of stress and heavy comfort foods. For the months of November and December Doulas of Capitol Hill is celebrating how to have a healthy holiday season. One of the ways we want to encourage you to participate in the holidays, while minding your health, is by providing some easy and delicious recipes.

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Today we have another one of Doulas of Capitol Hills amazing chefs, and postpartum doula, Muriel Vanderpuye, on the blog sharing a healthy recipe with you. A warm brussels sprout and pomegranate salad.

Muriel shared, “my children just decided they wanted to choose a healthy lifestyle and traditional African food was no longer welcome in my home.

As a mom I had to make some changes and I bumped into this recipe, I tweaked it a little and we just love it.

The Brussels sprouts vegetable comes from the cabbage family very popular In Belgium and I believe the reason for its name, Brussels. Brussels sprout is quite controversial either you love it or you hate it but this recipe made me fall in love with this unique vegetable.

The first time I tasted a sprout was in culinary school in England. It tasted quite bland with a little bit of a bitter aftertaste. Last year I found this recipe online and added some personal touches.

I love the taste of caramelized outer leaves with the toasted crunchy pecans with sour/ sharp pomegranate seeds and of course the sweetness of the honey all mixed together. This dish should be served warm

Healthy, delicious, inexpensive and easy to make. My kids just love it and I hope your family will too!”

Here is a link on tips to help peel a pomegranate

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When Romance Changes

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When Romance Changes

To Download This Printable Click the Link Below!

To Download This Printable Click the Link Below!

Life changes after having a baby. Instead of late night dinners and dancing, there's Netflix and a glass of wine. Instead of negligees there is a new found appreciation for clean clothes. Sometimes its hard to remember what life was like before children, and easy to question where the romance has gone. This Valentine's Day, I encourage you to look at your partner and realize that romance and love are not gone; they too have just changed.

Now I see genuine love in a new way; the way a child looks at his/her Daddy, and  the way a Daddy looks at his daughter or son. (I will caveat that this is my personal view through my own family lens).

It's in the giggles.
It's in the clean kitchen. 
It's dinner on the stove.
It's in goodnight kisses.

It is in small glimpses now, instead of bold gestures, but each one is measurable and meaningful. It is teaching your daughter what romance and love should feel like as she grows.

Thoughtfulness.
Encouragement.
Support.
Pride.
Laughter.

 I am not the center of my husband's attention anymore, but the beauty of it is I can love with every fiber of my being the person who has stolen his attention; it only makes me love him more. Romance has changed, but there has never been more love.

Happy Valentine's Day to all the Dads out there! Please feel free to download this printable to make your own special Valentine for the Daddy in your life! 

 

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