Gone are the days when Mass was a relatively peaceful time, holding a sleeping baby throughout the service and praying he doesn't wake up in the middle of it...
Mass with a little one is hard enough, but because Josh works in the restaurant industry, I frequently solo-parent at church. Whether you're flying solo or are blessed with a co-pilot, I have a few tips and tricks tucked in my diaper bag. I try to maintain a minimalist approach even to this by maximizing on things that are long-term entertainment for such a short attention span. It isn't about the amount of stuff you have on hand, but the usefulness of it.
My little guy loves books that have photographs of other babies in them. Similar to little ones who really enjoy their own reflection, looking at the images of other babies is also incredibly entertaining. I can make it through an average homily with two books featuring some of the cutest little babies!
We're caught up in the teething terror stage of life and nothing prevents unnecessary shouts like something for him to put in his mouth. We have this great teething toy by Nuby that has several different textures that he can bite on and rub on his gums. It's a popular little tool to pull out, especially when he's trying to chew on my shoulder.
Although we still aren't the best with our cups, the general game of just trying to drink water out of cup is just so fun! It also functions as another chew toy. He loves playing with his cup or my camelback-style water bottle. I generally have both tucked in my bag and can switch them out to keep him engaged with one or the other.
We've recently discovered the wonders of containers and what they hold. Just allowing him to dig through the bag and discover what I had put in there for him, such as a blanket, a texture-toy, rattle, car keys, or whatever else. Zippers, snaps, and straps hanging off of the bag also provide great distractions!
Keep patience in your back pocket throughout this. Unfortunately, church with a little can be embarrassing and frustrating. But the reality, church is a collection of people all in different seasons of their lives, including this one. Do not let others make you feel small because you are actively pursuing Christ with your little ones in tow. Jesus asked for the little ones to be brought to Him and that is still true today. Have patience and love for those around you who make you feel small or criticize you; take comfort that God wants you there, just as you are, even with your very loud little baby.
And of course, you can always start off your Mass with an intercession through Mother Mary to help support you during the Mass. I'll be praying for you mama.
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Although the weather outside disagrees, it is spring and the month of April is almost done! I cannot believe how quickly this month has flown by. Despite weird (snowy) weather throughout the month, we've had a good one and I wanted to share some of my favorite things from the past month that's made life great. After all, minimalism isn't really about having no stuff, it is about have purposeful, intentional things.
The Greatest Showman
I realize how incredibly late I am to this bandwagon, but honestly, if you have not seen it yet, you need to watch it. The movie is a feel-good phenomenon that leaves you with hope and dreams for the future. There's also great implicit dialogue about class, race, and other issues of diversity that make the movie so engaging. Bonus:it's family friendly!
Fountains of Carrots Podcast
I'm really getting into podcasts lately! This one, hosted by two Catholic moms, is so fun. The added layer that they are Catholic makes it an absolute win. My favorite that I've listened to thus far is Ep. 83, which is focused on having a positive birth experience. You can find it and their more recent shows here
I recently re-vamped my cleaning schedule to really focus on keeping the floors as clean as possible for my crawling 10 MO. I cannot stand picking him up after letting him explore for fifteen minutes and finding his knees dirt-stained. It's just that time of year (mud season) and the dogs track in so much. I'll probably keep this modified schedule for the rest of the summer and then update again when school starts.
Wal-Mart Brand (Great Value) Decaf Breakfast Blend Coffee
Josh stopped drinking caffeinated coffee around Thanksgiving this past year and has felt so much better without it in his life and recently, I realized the difference between a caffeinated day and an decaffeinated day. Since reducing my caffeine, I've noticed that I'm sleeping better and more deeply. I'm also to avoid negative trains of thought that keep me up and leave me feeling anxious. I love that we don't have to sacrifice flavor for health with this particular brand and flavor of coffee.
On an unrelated note, does anyone have an experience with capsule wardrobes? I want to try and create one for our warmer spring weather. Let me know in the comments if you have any tips or tricks.
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