Letting Go of your Expectations

There is a honeymoon period to homecoming bliss and you are probably have expectations, here are some ways to manage expectations & prevent disappointment

Homecomings are hard and can either be a time of great joy and excitement or times of heartache and disappointment! Sometimes both. So how can you prevent the disappointment? By realizing nothing is like the fantasies in our head and likely our SOs are envisioning something all their own. And when these two visions don’t line up, heartache can happen. Last week I wrote about homecoming anxiety and I wanted to follow through on some thoughts I had about managing our expectations. But as I started writing it I realized it could be a post all its own because it can apply not only to homecoming but to marriage and parenting as well.

Just like after you start a relationship, get married, or move in together, there is a honeymoon period to homecoming bliss. And while you are preparing for the homecoming you are probably setting up expectations of what your time will be like, and also for what will happen after the honeymoon period begins to fade. But this will just set you up for disappointments that could potentially turn into resentment. Maybe they don’t begin to pick up on all the chores they left behind right away and you’re still doing them even though you were so excited to be done with that chore after they returned. Leave those expectations behind and homecoming will be a much smoother transition.

Now you are probably asking yourself how can I do that. I am going to share one of my methods for releasing expectations. Often we don’t even know what those expectations are. They are subconscious and we don’t recognize them. So it can be really difficult to let go of them if you don’t even know they exist!

So Step 1: Identify your expectations.
  • When I am trying to identify any bias, expectations or anything that may not explicitly come to my mind is begin to envision what my hope, dream, fantasy of the situation is. For example, we have a wee little one at home and I have changed all the diapers, taken out the diaper pail every week, gotten up at every midnight feeding, given every bath and all the laundry. If my expectations that all of this will magically be lifted off my plate when B returns then I am sure to be disappointed when that does not magically happen. To figure out that this is my expectation I simply sat down and journaled about what immediately comes to mind without any filter or editing. This is just for you, so there is no need to censor yourself! This is exploratory exercise. Then go back and read about what you think will change now that they are home.

Now you know your expectations, how do you let go of them?

Step 2: Release them
  • For people who are very tactile you can do something physically with the piece of paper you wrote them on. Take a red marker and put a big “X” through them, throw the paper away.  For some just envisioning them in your mind and watching them fly away is enough. However works for you.

And now that you released them, know they will likely creep back in.

Step 3: Keep them in check
  • We can never 100% release our expectations but after we do we need to keep those feelings in check and realize that they are likely idealistic and unattainable we can manage them. When you begin to feel yourself disappointed by your SOs actions or lack of actions think back to your list of expectations and ask yourself: “Is this one of my expectations?” Why is this making me feel this way?

 

There is a honeymoon period to homecoming bliss and you are probably have expectations, here are some ways to manage expectations & prevent disappointment

 

When the Countdown is On

Homecoming is right around the corner! It is totally normal to be anxious as homecoming approaches. Here are some tips to managing that anxiety.

We are less than a month from homecoming! And after 11 months, 335 days, countless hours and endless baby milestones my patience and emotions seem to be running rampant (personally I think my emotions somehow found a way to steal every ounce of patience with this situation I have left!).

At first it left me super confused. I have handled most things- big and small over the last year with a good amount of grace. At least I think I have. But as soon as we crossed a thresh hold of it actually being close, all of the sudden I feel like a hot mess. I thought the rampant emotions would have been reserved for when he was leaving, I had my fair share of those. Then again I was 7 months pregnant at the time! But I am coming to realize that homecoming jitters come well before the night before they arrive.

We are under a month out and while the last 11 months flew by these weeks seem to be dragging and it is taking its toll. I am exhausted- emotionally and mentally from tackling so much alone. And with a PCS coming up as soon as he returns the amount of adulting I am doing has exponentially increased over the last few weeks from coordinating movers, finding housing, car shopping on the East Coast while in Hawaii, managing vacation schedules so we can assure we see everyone and let everyone meet the baby while we are on leave. The list seems endless

So what are we to do with all these pre-homecoming jitters??

1. Prepare for the Homecoming

Homecomings are so exciting! And whether you do signs, special outfits, a photographer, deep cleaning the house, making all their favorites food, hair & nail appointments. Whatever it is go ahead and just knock yourself out. Do anything that you think will help make you more comfortable! It will help ease those nerves. Also it keeps your hands busy! This will help work out some of those jitters too.

2. Know that it is Normal

Sometimes we get jittery and nervous because we feel like we are the only ones who feel that way. Normalizing the feeling of nervousness surrounding homecoming needs to happen. While sure we are excited to get our love back, we have also gone from doing everything alone for who knows how long to having them back around 100% of the time again. And that is going to be different. So it is normal to be nervous.

3. Let Go of Expectations

Just like after you start a relationship, get married, or move in together, there is a honeymoon period to homecoming bliss. And while you are preparing for the homecoming you are probably setting up expectations of what your time will be like, and also for what will happen after the honeymoon period begins to fade. But this will just set you up for disappointments that could potentially turn into resentment. Maybe they don’t begin to pick up on all the chores they left behind right away and you’re still doing them even though you were so excited to be done with that chore after they returned. Leave those expectations behind and homecoming will be a much smoother transition.

 

Homecoming is right around the corner! It is totally normal to be anxious as homecoming approaches. Here are some tips to managing that anxiety.

5 Things Civilian Kids Can Learn from a Military Kid

I was raised as a civilian child and there was a best friend of mine who was a military kid. As I was growing up, I noticed a lot of difference between us. Some of those differences taught me valuable lessons as I grew up. Here are some of the lessons I learned.

Believe me, there’s a lot of difference between a civilian and military kid!

I can vow for the fact because I was raised as a civilian child and there was a best friend of mine whose father was a military officer. As I was growing up, I noticed a lot of difference between us. The culture in which they end up growing seems to be pretty influential than us.

While, I am definitely not criticizing our upbringing. It’s just that they are more delved into sentiments and good deeds. Also, when it comes to being sensible, they are pretty sound.

I’ve personally learned many things from Rick, my childhood best friend from the military family. Actually, this is why I felt that such a topic is definitely worth writing. Hence, here I am with this piece of writing.

If you’re fortunate enough to know any such gracious military family, let your child learn some significant things from the kids over there. I am sure you will be proud of your little one with due course of time.

Here’s what he/she will learn from a military kid:

 

  1. Say Hi to the Strangers:

One of the most amazing facts that your child can learn from a military kid is that friends are not going to come to you. What you can do at your best is that you can make the first move and go to them. So, don’t be shy and just go up and say hello to them. It will further let your little one mingle with a lot of people and enhance his/her friend’s circle.

 

  1. You Should be a Helping Hand:

Military kids are always helpful by nature. Whatever might be the scenario, they try their best to help others. It is one of the most significant lessons that a child from military family can teach others.

I remember an incident when I was not able to understand some specific maths lessons while I was in the secondary school. I was finding it quite difficult to solve the sums. The classes were not sufficient for me to understand the concepts.

At that time, Rick helped me a lot! He was the person who taught me the lessons effectively. In fact, it was he who made the first move to let me know that he can help me out. This helping nature in them can make the life for the entire military family a bit less exhausting.

Like this, through many other incidents, I learnt from him that it’s really great to be a helping hand for others.

  1. Absence Doesn’t Matter:

When it comes to separations from their family, civilians are pretty blessed in comparison to the military kids. For the civilian children, even a short business trip can be quite painful. However, military kids know how to manage without their dad for years.

Just think of spending your kid’s two consecutive birthdays without his/her dad.

How does it feel?

Isn’t it quite distressing for your darling?

Well, I had seen the same thing happening with Rick when he was just 6! Although, I was also a child then, still I still remember his answer when I asked him, “Don’t you feel bad as your dad is not there to celebrate with you?’’

His reply was, ‘ Not at all! I know that dad is doing his work. I am just looking forward to celebrate with him when he comes”.

Yes! Focusing on the upcoming presence rather than the existing absence is something worth learning from military kids. They really have a strong mind and heart!

  1. Saying Goodbye Should be Peace:

Yes! It is a yet another significant example of the stronger hearts of Milkids. Whether it is saying goodbye to a friend who is going to move to a new place or a really crappy one when God has taken someone away from you forever, military children can remain calm in every situation.

Even during the hardest ever circumstances, milkids are able to figure out only the ‘good’ from the goodbye. So, it is certainly something worth learning from them.

  1. Staying Loyal:

Civilian children can be seen often looking for their own tribe to play or mingle with. However, it’s not the same with military kids. They believe that all are same and everyone is walking in each other’s shoes. While being forged into the same fires, they together come out in an extremely strong way. They can’t even think of cheating someone else or doing something bad with anyone. This is something really commendable among milkids.

Aren’t the aforementioned facts worth an applause?

Undoubtedly, if you are a civilian, your kids can learn these excellent ways of leading a happy and content life from the military kids.

 

I was raised as a civilian child and there was a best friend of mine who was a military kid. As I was growing up, I noticed a lot of difference between us. Some of those differences taught me valuable lessons as I grew up. Here are some of the lessons I learned.

About Author:

Clara Decker is the marketing manager at CouponsMonk.com, deals and discounts provider company. She is passionate about money savings, investment and children psychology, and relationship. In addition, Clara also supports non-profit agencies that provide healthcare solutions to handicapped and disabled people.

My Must Haves for Traveling with Baby

Traveling with baby can be stressful, but as military families, it is pretty inevitable! Either on leave for vacation, to visit family, or when its time to PCS. But there are some must have essential items that can make traveling easier, whether flying or driving!

A few weeks ago I shared about our travels in South Korea. I loved our trip, but I was really nervous about traveling internationally for 12+ hours by myself with an infant! I spent a lot of time on Pinterest and Google looking for all the tips, tricks, and hacks for traveling alone with a baby! I was overwhelmed by the amount of information that was out there. Some was helpful, some wasn’t. So I wanted to share my two cents worth of experience in traveling with a baby with you .

Here are my must have products when traveling with baby:

A Baby Carrier

When going through the airport I would have struggled big time with pushing a stroller and carrying my luggage through the airport. Wearing her in a carrier made it hands free to keep my passport, boarding passes, and my phone. Also Anything else I might need it for like emptying pockets going through security. Also for us with all the sights and sounds in the airport I knew she would easily be overwhelmed and carrying her would be a comfort for her. And it was it made her much less irritable and I didn’t have to worry about pushing a crying baby around in the stroller with my hands full unable to get her out.

A Backpack Style Diaper Bag

This goes along with being hands free. I have a really nice diaper bag that I love that is over the shoulder. But going through the airport it just would not have been practical as it is forever falling off my shoulder. Having a backpack for a diaper bag also helped distribute the weight I felt so my shoulders, arms and back weren’t hurting.

Backup Clothes for mom and baby

Thankfully I was not the object of any explosive diapers, but had I been I definitely would not have wanted to finish out the plane ride in pooped, peed or spit up clothes on! In that same frame a wet bag- like the ones a lot of cloth diapering mamas use so that the soiled clothes are not making a mess in the rest of your diaper bag.

A Comfort Toy

Does your baby have a lovey? Well this is not the time to forget it. Even if you are running low on space find a way to squeeze the lovey in. It will help your little one have a familiar piece of home with them. When little ones feel out of place it will be hard for them to relax, having their lovey might help them catch some sleep on the flight so you can too!

New Toys (or Toys that haven’t been played with recently)

Little babies, and those under the age of 2 do not have a huge interest in TV or movies to hold their attention during long flights. So having new toys can help create interest in it, keeping them occupied. However, if you don’t want to spend more money on new toys before travel, a couple weeks before it happens remove a few little toys from their collection and put them away. By the time you fly it will be like a new toy again!

All of these things helped my solo travel with baby go pretty seamlessly!

 

I would love to hear all about your travel hacks!

Traveling with baby can be stressful, but as military families, it is pretty inevitable! Either on leave for vacation, to visit family, or when its time to PCS. But there are some must have essential items that can make traveling easier, whether flying or driving!

Time to PCS: Choosing Housing

It's that time of year again- Summer PCS season. Along with a move comes with finding new housing. Do you live in the surrounding community? Do you prefer base housing? There can be a lot of different factors that influence the decision. These are the top priorities for our family.

It is PCS season again. If you’re moving this summer then it is time to decide whether you want to search high and low for housing in the community or wait for base housing. There are many Pros and Cons to each, and it is different for every family. And maybe even post to post.

Our first military move was to Fort Benning. It was just the two of us, although we were soon joined by a hyper active puppy. The area of Columbus, GA was a relatively cheap rental market. We decided to live off post so we could pocket some of our BAH. Our next move was an unaccompanied PCS and so he lives on post in Korea. He lives super close to work and has many other conveniences.

But Once again we are faced with the decision: on or off base housing?

This time though we are not just a young couple, we have a baby in tow. And while we are still years away from having to factor in school districts for housing. Being in a nice, kid friendly neighborhood with parks and other littles for her to play with is very important to us.

SO far each time we have moved we sit down and weigh the pros and cons of each and here is the list of __ we base our decision off of:

  • Cost: can we save money by living off post and pocketing any extra BAH. If we live off post is the cost of living so high we will lose money by having to spend more than BAH to cover rent & all utilities. This factor definitely gets more weight than some of the others because we feel it is important to save money where we can!
  • Neighborhood Safety: Every military spouse knows they are going to get left at home overnight more than once, for who knows how long. For both of our piece of mind living in a safe neighborhood is very important to us. Even more so now with a baby at home. Can we get a decent house in a good neighborhood. When we lived at Benning our care was broken into and it really made it hard to sleep for a few nights since I was home alone when it happened.
  • Friends in the Area: I am an extroverted person and so I don’t like being home by myself for long periods of time without being out with friends. Being close enough to the base to participate in events is important to me (more so than my husband).
  • Easy Commute: They already work really long hours. They get to work early, they sometimes have to work late! I don’t want him to have to drive a long time in a lot of traffic causing him more stress. Also the closer you are its possible that they can come home for breakfast after PT or lunch- this can save tons of money!
  • Close to Activities in the Area: My little and I like to get out a good amount, at least a few times a week so being close to things to do in the community is important to us.

These are our biggest categories we assess for when determining where to live next! Then which ever has the most wins is where we hope for! What factors do you always consider when deciding on housing?

What is your favorite place to live? On Post or Off Post?

It's that time of year again- Summer PCS season. Along with a move comes with finding new housing. Do you live in the surrounding community? Do you prefer base housing? There can be a lot of different factors that influence the decision. These are the top priorities for our family.

How Baby Wearing Saved me During Deployment

Being a new mom is hard! Being a new mom and a solo parent all at once is double hard! There is no one else around to hold the baby when doing household chores, or someone to do those chores for you! Enter baby wearing! Without it this deployment time period would have been so much more difficult!

Before I was pregnant I spent years and years babysitting. And during those years I discovered the beauty of baby wearing! It made chasing other kids so much easier! Have a toddler want to get out of the house but have a little one to watch too? Pop that baby in the carrier and chase the toddler around wearing him out!

So when I found out I was pregnant I was so excite to get to wear my own baby! But until she was here I just didn’t understand how big a part of my life it was going to be! As ya’ll know my hubby has been in Korea for most of baby’s first year, and although I live with my parents I know its not their job and responsibility to watch my baby all the time or to clean up after me. But being the only parent around the house day in and day out, my little girl has become quite clingy and only wants to be with mom a good part of the day.

Don’t get my wrong I love the cuddles, but it makes it very difficult to get anything done if every time I leave the room she screams! Which let me tell you, definitely happens! That meant every time I needed to pee, make food, do dishes, hang laundry, get laundry off the line, I was greeted by sad cries of my little girl!

Enter my baby carrier! I started with just two different carriers- a Baby K’tan and  Baby Tula Free-to-Grow structured carrier.

But soon after actually using them when she was just a couple months old, my collection quickly grew because I realized just how valuable this baby item was to my sanity!

Why baby wearing saved my sanity this deployment

Anyone who has spent any amount of time (whether a weekend or a year) Solo Parenting know that if there are kids in the house it can become difficult to get chores done, dinner made, or even just give your arms a break for a hot minute! When your solo parenting stent is a bit shorter it can be more justifiable to let housework wait, and eat take out for a couple days. But when you’re solo-parenting for a whole year, these things are just unavoidable.

I got chores done!

I tried everything to keep her contained to do chores. I tried doing them during naps and she would wake up, I tried putting her in the highchair with a toy- she screamed; I put her in the exersaucer where she could see me- and she screamed. One day I gave up, popped her in the carrier and realized I was able to do so much all without her screaming! It was a game-changer!

Not only could I clean my floors, hang laundry, and take the dog out; but, when she’s on my back I can even do dishes & prep and to some degree cook dinner! And more than that! She was so so happy to be hanging with mom

I get out of the house

When you’re the only parent while running errands it can get tricky! Especially when baby was itty bitty and couldn’t sit up in the cart babywearing was the only way to effectively grocery shop because otherwise the carseat took up the whole cart and I couldn’t push the stroller and a cart by myself.

Even more than errands- going to the beach, or other fun outings were made so much simpler than having to lug the stroller, which inevitably she would want out of and carried around leaving me to hold her one handed and push the stroller one handed.

Also it made travel solo internationally so simple!

It helped me heal

Due to some circumstances with her birth I was experiencing a lot of pain in my hand and wrist. Leaving me feeling like my wrist was weak and might snap while picking her up. Obviously, this is problematic when you’re the only parent around. With a newborn this can be hard because they want to be carried and cuddled. I didn’t want to deny her any cuddles, but some days is really was painful. BUT with the baby carrier she be cuddled up close to me without using my hand!

 

Baby wearing is my deployment hack when home solo parenting with a baby and even a toddler! I would love to hear your deployment parenting hacks? How do you get stuff done? Share your wisdom before I have to do this again!

 

 

Being a new mom is hard! Being a new mom and a solo parent all at once is double hard! There is no one else around to hold the baby when doing household chores, or someone to do those chores for you! Enter baby wearing! Without it this deployment time period would have been so much more difficult!

Daddy’s First Father’s Day

We spend so much time talking about Mama's first Mother's Day but there is something so essential that changes a man when he becomes a father. And as a mama there is nothing sweeter to see. Here are some ways you can celebrate dad for his first Father's Day!

We make a lot of fuss over Mother’s Day! Lots of lists of what Mother’s really want for Mother’s Day- gifts, a day away, a day of no responsibility, a mani/pedi, and on and on. But there is definitely a lot less love spread around the blogging world come Father’s Day. Well I am here to help all of the new, first time mom’s find incredible ways to help first time dads celebrate Father’s day!

This is our first year being celebrated as a mom and dad! Growing up for me we always did small little things- often hand made gifts and cards for Mother’s and Father’s day. It wasn’t a big holiday but we always enjoyed them together as a family. To me that is always the most important part, is being together. Celebrating that we are an even bigger family before.

This year unfortunately, due to the Army we are celebrating apart! But I don’t want my husband to miss out on being celebrated for being the awesome dad he is just because baby and I are away from him right now.

So whether you are together or apart this Father’s Day, here are some ways to help celebrate the father in your life!

 

If you are together, you have far more options for fun celebrations, so we are going to start there!

  • Does dad have a favorite hobby?
    • Chances are your hubby has been imagining enjoying all his favorite past times, and teaching them ton his little ones since he became a dad. Whether its fishing, hunting, sports, cars, or anything else there are probably ways he can share them with his little one even on his very first Father’s Day! Ok well maybe not hunting, but you can probably take the baby fishing at the lake or a fishing pond. Take the baby to a sporting event if its in season. The point is get out and do something with dad and baby, even if isn’t your favorite thing. It is his day! So do whatever it is with a smile on your face!
  • A 100% Daddy Spoiling Day
    • Ok so maybe dad’s favorite hobby’s aren’t baby friendly. But that doesn’t mean he can’t be spoiled on his day. Make his favorite meals, go his favorite places, watch his favorite shows and movies. Do whatever it is he wants! When it comes to Mother’s day this is often a popular route for showing mom appreciation but somehow it doesn’t always get translated to dad!

But, Maybe you are like us and dad is deployed or away for Father’s Day. Here are some ways you can celebrate him from afar!

  • Go all out on a care package!
    • Here are some great ideas for your first Father’s Day Care Package: a craft made by baby for dad. Framed picture of him and baby if you have any, or just framed picture of baby if you don’t. Send Dad his favorite treats- does he love a certain type of goodies that he can’t easily get where he is at? That is a great way to make him feel special. Do you have the ability to video call? Let him and baby spend some face time together via the computer! The older the baby the more fun it will be for her, but Dad will love it regardless! And finally send something with hand or foot prints in it. Being able to see a tangible item of baby’s growth will help make him feel like he isn’t missing as much!

Regardless of how you are spending Father’s Day help him feel special and celebrate him in his own way!

 

What is your families favorite way to celebrate Father’s Day?

We spend so much time talking about Mama's first Mother's Day but there is something so essential that changes a man when he becomes a father. And as a mama there is nothing sweeter to see. Here are some ways you can celebrate dad for his first Father's Day!

DIY ECO-CLEANING RECIPES WHEN YOU HAVE A BABY

People rarely care what kind of product they use to clean at home, most of them barely pay attention to all the harmful chemicals in the structure of their cleaners, but once you have a child you will try to start paying more attention to what kind of cleaning recipes you apply at home to keep baby safe.

People rarely care what kind of product they use to clean at home, most of
them barely pay attention to all the harmful chemicals in the structure of
their cleaners, but once you have a child you will try to start paying more
attention to what kind of cleaning recipes you apply at home to keep baby safe.

If you look at those back stickers on the cleaning products you will
probably notice a lot of warnings saying to keep away from children and the
harmful side effects they can cause if they come in close contact with
them.

As always we will count on our faithful natural cleaners- they represent no
danger to children and some are arguably considered even more effective
than the chemicals-based ones, those cleaners are the “usual suspects”-
lemon, white vinegar, baking soda and if you need something even more
stronger- hydrogen peroxide. Using these natural ingredients we can make
ourselves a lot of different types of DIY cleaners with strong cleaning
powers.

Using Baby Safe Homemade Cleaners

The use of home-made cleaners all from natural products are the best
resolution for your cleaning chores. The baby’s skin and brain are
especially vulnerable to chemicals and we strongly recommend you avoid
using them with your child around the house. Those DIY natural cleaners
will also improve the air quality in your home and decreases the amount of
air pollutants caused by the regular, store-bought cleaners. Avoid those at
any cost, because babies have faster respiration, which means they will
inhale faster and more of the pollutants.

Baby Safe Dish Washing

To perform a proper cleaning on your cookware and avoid the harmful
chemicals, you will need sea salt mixed with lemon juice or baking soda and
water mixed into a paste. It is better and safe to use those given that you
spent a lot of time in the kitchen with your baby in arms or in the
stroller. It will also ease your mind on the licking action that takes
place on whatever item’s close to your baby.

Baby Safe Laundry

When doing laundry and especially when using a fabric softener we suggest
you make your own, as the regular one contains lots of chemicals that can
endanger the well-being of our child- you will need one part vinegar[2] and
two parts water to achieve the desired result.

To clean the mirrors and the glass at home using natural cleaners you will
need to combine all the following ingredients in one spray bottle – ¼ cup
rubbing alcohol, 1 tablespoon cornstarch, ¼ cup white vinegar, 2 cups
water and if you want to you can also add a few drops of essential oil.
This mixture is highly effective window/glass cleaner and can’t have no
harmful effect to your baby(even if he tries to lick the cleaned surface).

Can’t forget to mention the recipe for removing stains, because let’s
face it- they are everywhere when baby’s on board. Here hydrogen peroxide
plays a main role, because of it’s incredible stain removing powers. You
should also try the mixture of washing soda and white vinegar- simply
sprinkle some soda on the stain and spray it with a mixture of white
vinegar and water with ratio 1:1.

And for the toughest stains we suggest a more complicated mixture, but
still as organic: 2/3 dish detergent, 2/3 cup of ammonia, 6 tablespoons
baking soda and 2 cups of warm water. Assemble all of these into a spray
bottle then spray action follows, wait for a few minutes and end with
regular laundering.

Those DIY natural cleaning solutions are not good just for your baby, but
also for you- one can never be too careful with what he uses to clean
around the house!

This Post was Brought to you by Zowie. Zowie Ashton is from London and her hobby is to write articles and
guides related to parenting and cleaning.  She runs a small company and loves to travel with her awesome family.

 

 

People rarely care what kind of product they use to clean at home, most of them barely pay attention to all the harmful chemicals in the structure of their cleaners, but once you have a child you will try to start paying more attention to what kind of cleaning recipes you apply at home to keep baby safe.

What it’s like When Your Baby Refuses the Bottle

Ah do you here that? Someone else is feeding the baby at 4am, you get to close your eyes a little longer! Except not because your baby refuses to eat from anything else except your boob. It can be exhausting and lonely even though you know it is good for your baby and you feel bad admitting otherwise, but its ok to.

Do you want to know how much money I have spent on bottles? Well don’t worry I am not going to add it all up, because I am pretty sure I do not want to know the total costs. Especially since it has been all for not. After all the money I have spent on countless brands of bottles, my baby still arches her back, screaming hysterically, and flailing arms and legs, turning beet red when given bottle. Clearly, not ideal!

While I absolutely love that I am able to successfully breastfeed my daughter, it would be nice to get a bit of extra sleep just one night while someone gives her the 4am bottle. I love her snuggles during that time, but if I could just run to the store and leave her with dad or grandma and grandpa without fearing her getting hungry and no way to nourish her.

It definitely makes things interesting and challenging. And exhausting. It can be lonely. Especially if you aren’t comfortable breastfeeding in front of others so you retreat to the bedroom at home, the car if you’re out, or if you’re lucky enough that the place your at has a nursing mom’s room. If only your baby would just take a bottle you could let someone else bond with the baby in that special way. You could shower without the baby having to be asleep. You could run a quick errand, get a massage, a manicure, or a much needed Starbucks!

But we are told we are the lucky ones. We can breastfeed. Our babies latch great, we make plenty of milk, we may even have a supply in the freezer hoping that one day baby will wake up and forget she hates her bottle. But sometimes, it does not feel so lucky that there is no break for us.

Now I know I am lucky, our breastfeeding relationship is great. At almost 5 months old we are going strong, with clearly no signs of stopping. Almost half way to our goal. I also know that I am lucky in that because I am blessed enough to stay home with her, there is no pressure to take a bottle other than convenience for me.

When we are told we are the lucky ones, it can feel stifling like we can’t wish for things to be different.

Ah do you here that? Someone else is feeding the baby at 4am, you get to close your eyes a little longer! Except not because your baby refuses to eat from anything else except your boob. It can be exhausting and lonely even though you know it is good for your baby and you feel bad admitting otherwise, but its ok to.

What to do with Little Ones When in South Korea

Recently my little one and I traveled to South Korea to spend a month with my husband who is stationed here. We had such a blast exploring what we could while we were here! So much more we wanted to do! But here are my tips for traveling with a little one here in S. Korea.

The past month my baby and I have been traveling South Korea while we visiting my husband here! We have had so much fun and got to see so much, although so much more we wanted to see and didn’t have time for! Partly due to lack of time and partly due to lack of planning we stayed in our small little areas and explored where we were. But with a bit more time and planning we might have gotten to see so much more.

So I am sharing my favorite things we did while here & my tips and tricks I learned in my treck that might have helped us see more so that you can make the best out of your trip.

I am gonna start off with sharing what I most wanted to see while in Korea! Here was the list of things I found from hunting through Pinterest and Google.

Things to do in South Korea

What we Actually Did

Turns out Seoul is a huge city! I have never been in such a large city in my life. To put it in perspective for you the population of Seoul is 3x the population of the entire state of South Carolina (Yeah blew my mind too!!!). So not everything in the city was super close by. That prevented us from going and doing some of the things on our list, the the Indian Soul BBQ restaurant and the Trick-Eye Museum. Its ok, because I don’t think a 4 month old cares much about the trick eye museum. But while we may not have eaten at that Korean BBQ restaurant we did get to go to a very similar place down in Pyeongtaek (near Camp Humphreys). It was an all you can eat place and they give you variety of meat to choose from and you cook it yourself at the table over a grill right on your table!

But we made it to the Zoo at Seoul Grand Park. It was a huge zoo and we didn’t even get to see it all. It was an easy Subway ride to the zoo.

My biggest travel tip is to avoid the stroller at all cost!

It would have been a nightmare trying to get a stroller on and off the subway and up and down all those stairs. We wore her in a baby carrier and when she was getting heavy, we just switched! It worked out so well! It worked great for the plane too!

Walking around the zoo was fun! Not only did they have a huge selection of animals to see- Elephants, Giraffes, Gorillas, Tigers, Lions, and so many many more. There was also a lot of history there and Greenhouses to see and view all different flowers and plants.

We also tried to get to Busan and see the coast one weekend. Busan is the second biggest city in South Korea. However, when we got to the train station to buy our tickets (we got there at 10am) the next train wasn’t until 5pm. So we took the subway to the next train station, found a train leaving in the next hour, except the first 2 hours of the ride was standing room only. That was not something we were willing to do with a 4 month old. So we adventured around the town instead.

Bonus Points! We found a mall and did some shopping. I got to buy a variety of Korean skin care products! That is definitely something I will be requesting in more packages for the rest of his time here.

So lesson learned! Buy your tickets in advance.

We did try to do this to be fair, but the website was in Korean. If you can ask your hotel lobby for help, a travel office or if you know someone ask for help and pre-buy your train tickets. Then maybe you will actually get to your destination unlike us!

If you go in the Spring, Definitely seek out the Cherry Blossoms

And not just the flowers! While they are absolutely beautiful, the treats are great too! I got to try Starbucks Cherry Blossom Milk Tea, and quite a few other things! They are so tasty! And don’t worry if you don’t like Cherry Flavored things. They taste much more like Strawberries than anything else. Also the Cherry Blossom souvenirs are great too!

We didn’t go to any of the Cherry Blossom Festivals. The day we were planning to go it rained and was very windy! Also the hubs is not big into crowds so we just enjoyed them at our own leisure and found the treats at various different places!

Overall we did quite a bit considering we only had a couple full weekends to explore since the hubs did not take any leave. I encourage you to go an visit! Take the kids if you have them as there are plenty of places for them. One of the biggest things around are the themed cafes. We didn’t frequent them really, especially since our Little Miss isn’t even crawling yet there wasn’t much need for them! But they also have animal themed ones where they have roaming animals around- sheep, raccoons, rabbits, cats and more!

We had a great month here visiting and exploring! Have you ever been to Korea? What were some of your favorite things to do there! Any travel tips for traveling with little ones? Leave those in the comments too so I can build up my stock of ideas for our next trip!

Recently my little one and I traveled to South Korea to spend a month with my husband who is stationed here. We had such a blast exploring what we could while we were here! So much more we wanted to do! But here are my tips for traveling with a little one here in S. Korea.