Smack dab in the middle of Main Street in El Segundo is happy baby, a yoga and wellness studio for families that features a host of classes for kids, and support groups for strung-out Mamas. Two local Moms own the studio, and the space is wood-floored, cheery and compact. I wandered into happy baby six weeks after giving birth to my first child. I hadn’t slept in weeks, my eyes were bleary, I was overweight, new to the town, friendless, and, frankly, desperate. My son was crying, as usual, and the girl at the front desk took pity on me and squeezed me into a post-partum support group that had already started meeting. The teacher was a gorgeous woman with a mane of curly blonde hair and a presence bigger than life …
While they may not be able to adequately wipe their own tush, experts insist that kids as young as two years old can help around the house. Assigning chores to preschoolers teaches responsibility and makes them feel like a contributing member of the household. Pitching in may also make them more appreciative of what others—even always-taken-for-granted mom—do for them on a daily basis.
Even if your neighbors are jealous because you’ve literally got The Happiest Baby on the Block and your stellar “sportscasting” would make Janet Lansbury tear up, there’s always room for improvement in parenting. This year, in addition to our usual “exercise more” and “Talenti less” type resolutions, we are adding some mom-minded resolutions. Here’s what we are working on in 2018. How about you?
A ton of psychological research over the last decade has concluded that experiences offer more lasting happiness than possessions. Moreover, a number of mom sites have pointed out that since kids are typically overwhelmed by choice, less is more with toys. Too many things to play with usually result in a kid playing with nothing.
happy baby offers ideas for gifts that will create memories, rather than clutter ...
Thanksgiving provides a great reason to talk to our kids about gratitude. But, the conversation need not end post turkey-and-stuffing food coma. The Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley recently found that, "people who practice gratitude feel considerably happier (25%).” So, how can we work gratitude into our daily family life ... and begin instilling this practice in our little ones, even when they are still toddlers? Here are three ways:
1. Create Gratitude Gift Lists—In addition to gift lists for Santa and Nana, help your child write a list of the less tangible gifts in their life, like for example, the woman who squeezed them out of her crotch or sustained major abdominal surgery to give them life. They’ll more likely say Daniel Tiger or Annie’s gummy snacks, but it’s a start!
2. Make It a Routine—Add “What are you most thankful for today?” to your daily questions, perhaps at dinner or bedtime. Psychologists suggest making the concept more concrete by having children talk about a “rose” (e.g. mom made mac n cheese) and “thorn” (she snuck squash in the cheese) from their day.
3. Have Look Days—Every once in a while take your kids shopping, but let them know beforehand that you do not intend to buy anything. Tell them to enjoy seeing and maybe even touching the cool stuff, but remind them that they probably don’t need a third Batman figurine (even though the arms move “more better” on this one).
How do you and your crew stop to smell the roses, even when the whole house reeks of spit up? Please share in the comments below!
happy baby POSTNATAL yoga instructor, Rebecca Hackett shares her story about how finding her tribe led to the discovery of her passion and her healing, as well as the benefits of postnatal therapeutic yoga. Join Rebecca for her YOGA MAMA SUPPORT CIRCLE : a postnatal therapeutic series (6 weeks) at happy baby, offered Wednesdays (2:30pm) + Fridays (2pm) beginning in October. Pre-registration required.
nicole (aka. mrs. dancing moon), birth doula + holistic wellness expert, explains what it means to be a DOULA and how/why a doula's services are so valuable to expecting parents during pregnancy and childbirth.