It Takes a Village with Renee Kaiman

It Takes a Village with Renee Kaiman

Handle: Renee Kaiman

Day Job: Blogger at My So Called Mommy Life and Behavioural Therapist

Offspring: 2 kids; my daughter is 6 and my son is 4

Give us the Coles notes version of your birth story: first one- water broke at 40 weeks + 2 days, busiest day the hospital had in 10 years, no bed available, sat in a chair in triage for 7 hrs, got epidural, baby got stuck sunny-side up, pushed for over three hours with no drugs, tried to vacuum her out but it didn’t work. It ended in an emergency c-section and a four day hospital stay.

Second- planned c-section at 38 weeks. An amazing experience. Listened to music in the OR and as Trains “Soul Sister” was playing the doctor pulled down the sheet so I could watch my son be born. Home under 48 hours later.

What’s the most useful baby product you have and why do you love it? My baby carrier. Both babies wanted to be on me and as much as I like sitting on the couch with them I get nothing done that way. This gave me the opportunity to keep my hands free and keeps them happy and close.

How do you practice self care? I make time for me. Whether it’s a massage or dinner with friends, taking time to nourish my soul helps me be a better parent. To be honest, I didn’t get the whole self-care thing when I had my babies. It wasn’t until I got sick and started making a point to do things I enjoy for myself did I come to see the importance of carving out me time. And the thing is, it doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. Could be meditating or taking a hot bath once the kids are asleep.

Can you share your toughest memory of being a parent so far? Being diagnosed with breast cancer when my kids were 3.5 years old and 1.5 years old. I was so worried I was going to die and that my kids wouldn’t know who I was. Not only did I have to worry about myself and getting better but I had to parent too when I felt good. I had to let go and accept help from lots of different people in order to focus on getting better.

Can you share one of your best experiences of being a parent so far? Summer 2016. Hands down. After being sick in 2015, I was determined to have the best summer ever in 2016 with my family. And we did just that. Couldn’t have asked for better weather, at amazing places, with my favourite people, making amazing memories.

What is a coping strategy that you use that you can share with new parents? Make time for yourself. Even if it’s a walk to the drug store or to grab a coffee alone, having a few quiet moments to yourself can help you refocus. It’s so easy as new parents to say “I can’t leave the baby”. You don’t have to leave for hours but some quality time alone will leave you refreshed–I promise!

If you could go back in time what would you tell your new parent self?/What do you wish you knew when you first became a parent that you know now? Feed your baby. Whatever way. Just make sure he/she is fed. Worry about yourself and don’t let the guilt eat you up.

My daughter for a variety of reasons couldn’t breast feed but I tried for 6 weeks. It was torture for me and her. I tried everything possible, saw many lactation consultants, doctors etc but no matter what we did, it never worked. I was so focused on breast feeding her that when I decided to stop and give her a bottle I felt guilty for months. In the end, she’s happy and healthy and that’s all that matters!

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