How to Navigate These 3 Challenges of Family Planning

The challenges faced by families in the modern era can be enormous, especially the process of planning. Balancing work life, managing interpersonal relationships of all family members and overcoming health issues related to fertility can all place burdens on parents-to-be and their children. Fortunately, with the right amount of planning and a bit of mental toughness, these challenges can be overcome. Here are a few of the most common issues facing families and some tips on how to deal with them.

Children Who Don’t Want Another Sibling

There can be several reasons why a young child may not want a little brother or sister. One of the most common of these might be the expectation of loss, which includes loss of attention, loss of access to resources, etc. Jealousy is, in fact, one of the most prevalent human emotions and is not limited to children. Research has shed some light on the psychological factors that cause jealousy in children who may be wary of another sibling joining the family. Ways to prevent this include a focus on increasing the connection between parent and child prior to and after introducing a new family member, encouraging laughter, which releases feel-good hormones in your child, and taking the time to assure your older child that he or she is needed and appreciated.

Infertility

Women in the western world face fertility issues frequently. This can be due to age, health conditions, diet, stress and other factors. Many health professionals specialize in helping couples struggling to conceive. Strategies such as tracking ovulation and lifestyle modifications, as well as taking medication, can help. Sometimes, though, naturally conceiving a child is simply not possible. In these instances, couples may consider procedures such as egg donation. This refers to the process of taking an egg from a donor and implanting it into the mother’s ovaries. Although egg donation is an involved and often expensive process, it is a viable alternative to natural conception. According to Baby Steps, egg donation can be a six-month process or more, so couples should take time constraints into consideration if they are interested in this option.

Balancing Work Life

Women who have established careers often face difficult choices. Choosing between a career and a new family can be a tough decision. Increasingly, families rely on dual incomes to make ends meet, and personal accounts of work-life balance struggles are well-documented. Many people report that managing time throughout the day is a major contributor to stress and burnout, which can be even more difficult to manage with a new baby. Communication between members of the family is essential to maintaining harmony and a sense of common purpose. Proper financial planning is a major tool for preventing conflict and reducing stress in a new family. Discussing priorities in terms of family life versus career can go a long way in protecting the long-term mental health of all family members. Creating and sticking to a family schedule can also help organize time and prevent conflict.

Many resources are available online to help cope with the challenges faced by parents and their children, and counseling with a trained professional is sometimes necessary. However, these obstacles can be overcome with dedication and perseverance when everyone is on the same page.
Parenting is no easy task. If you need more advice, check out some of our other articles!

Why We Stopped Using Amazon Prime Video

Child watching television

We’ve been having a bit of a problem with the old television lately. It’s not that it’s gone kaput or anything although it does have a few gremlins, (it seems to be crashing a lot). However, this is not what this post is about. Our adorable little six year old has discovered narrated video games on Amazon Prime Video.

I have made my peace with him playing games. I see a lot of benefits from him playing these on the PlayStation. From his hand-eye coordination, his problem solving, strategic thinking and even his reading but I see no benefit from him watching other people playing games on the television. There is one caveat, I don’t mind him watching the Minecraft Videos with Stampy Cat as there is usually some science angle to them.

Now whenever he is given the tablet or PlayStation time he is constantly narrating what he is doing. His social skills have taken a dive and I’m a little worried. This has prompted us to ban Amazon Prime Video from our house. To be honest we don’t tend to watch it anyway. We buy Amazon Prime for the postage not the streaming service. The only thing I watched it for was Lucifer and that’s gone to Netflix so there is no point in keeping it.

Should he be having screen time at all?

Imaginative Play
Imaginative Play from Pexels.com

I’ve read some articles in the past that advocate cutting screen time altogether but I genuinely believe that everything is good in moderation with the obvious few exceptions, (poisons, playing chicken walking across the road etc). I really don’t mind him watching television as long as there is some educational aspect to it. This could be social or science or problem solving. It has to be something. The Stampy videos show how to program using Minecraft, Ninjago shows team work and social skills, his games are all about problem solving. These are things I can get behind. The whole video game narration thing? – not so much.

How is the absence of Amazon Prime Video going?

So how is it going? I’ve upped the reading time and I swear the tantrums have gone down a bit. My nerves are a lot better. Listening to the same inane description of game play for the fiftieth time really made me tense up with frustration. This was followed by Mario Cart and my stress levels went through the roof. It is all banned now and we are finding new ways to entertain ourselves which is leading to a happy mummy and better behaved little boy.

Should we cancel Amazon Prime?

We won’t do this simply because we need it for the postage. If Amazon were ever to unbundle the streaming service from the postage then we would stop it. We’ve removed the icon from the menu on our television so our little one can’t find it. We’ll obviously still have it but we will have to jump through a couple of hoops to get to it. By the time our son works out how to do this hopefully he will have grown out of the phase.

Takeaway Thoughts

While I honestly believe that our son should be able to do what he wants, it has to be within limits, I have to be the dragon on occasion and ban things which are unhealthy. We won’t be using Amazon Prime Video for the foreseeable future as it will be too much effort. We will probably start watching it if some amazing show comes on and our friends rave about it but apart from that the choice that comes with it appears dire (for us) and in my eyes, inappropriate for my child at least.

Baby photos and Facebook: A shifting perspective

image

I never thought I was going to have a kid and I was never interested in the world of children. In fact I used to walk in the opposite direction when I used to hear the sounds of a baby when they were introduced  at my old workplace.

My pet ‘hate’ used to be profile pictures of babies. I
found it creepy talking to a thirty something who looked like a baby. …and the timelines, sooo many baby pictures, why did they take so many?

Well since December the shoe has been on the other foot. While I haven’t gone down the profile pic route,  I have *gulp* been updating my timeline with cute baby pictures. I can’t help myself. He does sonethibg cute and I am compelled to pick my phone up and take a photo.  Then my finger slips to the share button and somehow slides to the Facebook app. It’s like my fingers have a life of their own.

So I now get it. You can’t fight the cuteness. You just have to go with the flow and hope your single friends (and those who don’t want kids) forgive you eventually. Or at least until they have their own and face the same fate as well.

…and another thing, the really weird thing is I like looking at other people’s baby photos now!

Friday blues…

I have decided to repost some of my old blog posts from the distant past when I was working as a School Librarian. Kids do the funniest things and I really enjoyed working in a school. Posts may be edited from the original blog. So this is part of a series from my old Batty Librarian Blog…

 

Well, Friday was quite fun. I had to do the late shift as my assistant needed to do something that night. To be honest I don’t mind its usually quiet on a Friday (relatively speaking that is!) Well, this Friday was no different.

I got in the requuisite half an hour early (I hate public transport), actually 33 minutes early this time. Then again I suppose its better than being late.

First I went to check to see if the food had arrived in the kitchen, it hadn’t so I toddled up to the library and thought I’d spend a quiet few minutes in the cupboard reading a book until my shift starts. I only get paid for working part-time hours and I tend to do more hours than that anyway so I get rebellious now and again and want to do the hours they pay me for. Foiled again, it’s locked.

So I trundle along to the desk and my assistant waves her keys at me asking if I want to borrow them. At this point my rebelliousness wears off and I decide it won’t kill me to give the school yet another 20 minutes of my time for free.

So the day goes pretty quickly, I’m still sorting out the careers section of the library. It’s been neglected for several years. It’s great if you want to find out what courses to study in Science in 1999 or what university was like in 1987 but some of the newer books are fewer and far between. Don’t get me wrong there was the Student book 2006 and The big guide 2007 and 2008. The previous Librarian had bought some new books, but just never weeded the old stock.

So this is the task I set myself for this month, try to sort out the mess known as the careers library. [I always said I liked a challenge.] I managed to catalogue about 6 books by 4pm when the first influx of kids trickle in. I’m really proud of myself at this point!

First I had to stop and settle them down as soon as they came in. The boys go to one side of the room and the girls the other. Mainly because I had to split up the boys as soon as they came in but we won’t go into that.

I was doing the usual, “Please girls shush, you need to work quietly now.” When one of the girls spots its me.

Each of us ‘Librarians’ has our favourites among the pupils and this girl is one of mine although we don’t like to show it. She’s cheeky but in a nice way. There’s no malice and she is usually really funny if a little random.

Today, she spots me and goes “oh Librarian, it’s you, High Five.” and she lifts her hand up.

I shrug and lift my hand and she smacks mine in a high five movement. ..and before I can go back to the desk she gives me a great big bear hug. I freeze. This was really embarrassing for me. I usually have a personal space boundary of about a foot. I’m shy and I like to keep my distance.

This time I didn’t have time to react so I just stood there with my arms to my side until she let go. I gave a quick nervous grin and scarpered back to the relative safety of my desk and shouted again at the boys who were chatting nearby.

At this point I’ll revise my former statement in another post. I don’t shout usually in the day time, but after school baby-sitting sessions are quite another matter.

A more cynical person could say this was a ploy. Now could it be that she gave me a hug so I would be nonplussed and wouldn’t tell her off for talking or is she just a sweet girl with a lovable nature? You decide!

A day in the life of a busy School Librarian

I have decided to repost some of my old blog posts from the distant past when I was working as a School Librarian. Kids do the funniest things and I really enjoyed working in a school. Posts may be edited from the original blog. So this is part of a series from my old Batty Librarian Blog…

I’ve had a monster day today so I thought I would write it all down to see if I actually achieved anything!

8.30

  • Go straight up to the library. I haven’t got time for the staff meeting today.
  • Put all the extra missing things the cleaner found in the lost property box and the books back on the shelves (Will kids ever learn to put things away?).
  • Put computer on
  • Put the other computers on + photocopier/printer
  • Unlock all doors
  • The computer finally has the log on screen. Log in.
  • Wait another five minutes for the screen to come to life.
  • Open Thunderbird. Swear under breathe as computer takes another five minutes to open it.
  • Get a couple of books to catalogue and open Firefox because our catalogue freezes in Internet Explorer.
  • Let the little darlings into the library.
  • Sort out riddle of the day.
  • Ring up accounts to order new chairs for the library. Get told that I need to provide an estimate of the library’s value by the end of the morning.
  • Save the cataloguing done so far and put to one side.
  • Do some photocopying for the children/teachers.
  • Open up evaluation already started by pure luck. Aargh its break-time.

11.00

  • Shout at children not to run in the library as they try to grab a computer.
  • Listen to inane but faintly amusing conversation about girl’s pet horse. Smile politely and try to sneakily to do a bit more on the valuation while they are not looking.
  • A girl wants to take out the Jane Austen Emma DVD. These come in pairs and I don’t allow them to take more than one DVD at a time. Especially as a really expensive one has been ‘mislaid’ lately. Spend five minutes searching for said DVD. Under the shelf, on the shelf, on the desk, in the box. To be told, “you mean the one the other librarian put in the box ready up there?” Grrr
  • Check out/check in about 10 books.
  • Accept donations for the library by one of the pupils
  • Shout at the kids break is nearly over. (They can’t tell the time by themselves.)

11.20

  • Peace at last. Finish evaluation – pat myself on back.
  • Rush to loo – am desperate by this time.
  • Send valuation to accounts with instructions to order chairs and get quote for other thing. There are three things in that email.
  • Ring up to check they’ve got it. Yep, but forgot about the stuff that belongs to other departments which they’ve dumped in the library storage room.
  • He deletes e-mails and tells me to send it again – except there was other stuff on there!
  • Finish valuation and send it off making sure the other stuff is on separate e-mails. I’m not checking to see if he’s got it – too much to do.
  • More people come in and ask me to do photocopying.
  • Enquiry to find out if we have a book. It is very urgent. They need it for coursework. Not in library. OK will order.
  • Processed books for teacher who wanted books urgently. Stamped and covered them.
  • More photocopying
  • Put an order together for some more books – tunnels, the looking glass wars etc and sent it off. Processed purchase order etc.
  • Put some memos together telling teachers of new additions in the library relevant to their departments
  • Process some invoices of books that arrived yesterday.

12.00

  • Assistant arrives. Woohooo – LUNCH
  • Drop off post in teachers pigeon holes at lunch while looking at Softlink catalogue and eating hurriedly and sneaking a peak at the Times.
  • Received another book package.

12.15

  • Back in library
  • Open up book package
  • Process invoice. i.e. stamp, put date on, photocopy, put arrival on computer
  • Check event is on later.
  • Ring up another school to confirm attendance at Carnegie Shadowing event in April.

1.00

  • Juniors come in
  • Check in and check out books
  • Reply to enquiry regarding Barrington Stoke books. Get really annoyed because the teacher doesn’t want to do any work and tries to get me to do everything! Her excuse is she works part-time. well join the club! So do I but I don’t fob off my work to others. I already made a leaflet for her telling her what books we had relevant for her subject. What does she want from me? Blood?
  • Allow Seniors to come in early because the library will be closed earlier because of the ‘event.’
  • Talk to teacher about world book day and get distracted by another teacher demanding attention.
  • The gigglers come in but are remarkably restrained. They are really nice kids when they are not trying to be annoying. …and by trying to be annoying I mean making funny noises and asking “Is that annoying?” They still require my attention though 🙁

2.00

  • Assistant goes to lunch
  • I show six former new book I bought which is relevant to her subject area. She takes it away to look at it and then borrows it. Oops, maybe I should have shown it to the teachers first. Never mind I do tend to get too excited about new books.
  • Quick chat to catch up on what happened during the day with assistant and the last shift.

2.30

  • Toddle off to catch the bus. Gosh I am KNACKERED.

 

I don’t like reading…

I have decided to repost some of my old blog posts from the distant past when I was working as a School Librarian. Kids do the funniest things and I really enjoyed working in a school. So this is part of a series from my old Batty Librarian Blog…

Monday, 17 December 2007

I don’t like reading…

This happened to me only last week.

The library was quite quiet and there were only a few children around. It was the end of the day and I didn’t want to start any big tasks. As the end of term was fast approaching I thought I would just remind a couple of them and see if I could get them to take some books out. Here’s how the conversation went:

Me: So, have you got your books sorted for the end of term then? (in a light friendly tone, it’s good not to sound too desperate to improve the circulation figures at this point. Children can be soo fickle).
Child 1: I don’t like reading.
[A-ha, a challenge]
Child 2 with a horrified gasp: You can’t say that to the Librarian!
Child 1: It’s OK, She’s a nice Librarian. [She turns to a secretly delighted me]. I only like Jacqueline Wilson books and I’ve read all the ones you have here.
[Little does she know and why are Librarians always supposed to be scary?]
Me: Actually I’ve just bought some new teenage Jacqueline Wilson books, have you read those?
Child 1: No…
Child 2 runs eagerly to the far side of the library to pick a couple of the new ones up to show her. I walk away. I find the secret is to walk away at this point. It won’t mean anything if she feels pressurised into borrowing it. Anyway half an hour later, she takes one of the books out!

Kidz! Who’d have ’em, eh?

I have decided to repost some of my old blog posts from the distant past when I was working as a School Librarian. Kids do the funniest things and I really enjoyed working in a school. So this is part of a series from my old Batty Librarian Blog…

Wednesday, 5 December 2007

Today was another busy day down the mine, or should I say Library. 40 kids running riot around a library with me running around shouting shh, shhhhhhhh. …or the other favourite, QUUUIIIEEEETTTT.

We have a reading zone – note the careful choice of words there – Reading Zone. Do you see chat anywhere in that sentence? Nope, neither do I. So out of the 40 or so children about 15 were in the small reading area, blithely chatting away as if talk was going out of fashion.

We have a lovely reading area, a lovely black leather sofa, a couple of comfy chairs, a small square table and a few bean bags. The plan was to create a lovely environment where they could feel they could read in peace. Of course in practice that is not what happens…

Several year 7 and 8s descended on the library at 3.50. Huh? The school day doesn’t end until 4.00. Anyway, they come in, sign the sheet and head straight for the ‘reading zone’. I check they’ve signed in and follow them giving them the riot act, ie. this part of the room is for reading, I expect to see it after in the same condition as they found it and no, they can’t chat and yes the guiness book of records is OK as long as they are quiet about it.

Job done for ten minutes, I go to sit down back at the desk. Wait! what’s that, is it giggling I hear? After a long heartfelt sigh, I close the cataloguing window again, (will I ever get any work done in the late shift?) and lock the computer screen and trundle back to the corner where the reading zone is kept.

One boy is lolling on a bean bag groaning with the other kids pointing and giggling. I manage to calm them down with crossed arms and a magnificent glare (if I say so myself) and get told “Miss, he got hit in the ghoulies with a football’

Now what I ask you was I supposed to reply to that?

The RSPCP – Calling all pen lovers

I have decided to repost some of my old blog posts from the distant past from when I was working as a School Librarian. Kids do the funniest things and I really enjoyed working in a school. So this is part of a series from my old BattyLibrarian Blog…

Tuesday, 4 December 2007

The RSPCP – Calling all pen lovers

 

I work in a secondary school library (High school equivalent for any Americans). Reading the Vampire Librarian blog reminded me of the RSPCP faze around last February.

My assistant was checking some pens and throwing them away when they were dry. A group of Year 7 girls (11 year olds) caught her in the act of throwing them in the bin.

For about a month we were then lambasted for being cruel librarians with no thought for the feelings of the poor hard working unwanted pens. Can anyone else hear those violins? It was so serious they were going to call the RSPCP.

What is the RSPCP you may ask? Wait for it… The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Pens. I ask you, has anyone heard of anything so daft. The good news was it kept them busy for the rest of one lunchtime composing a letter to the this mythical society.

Ahh the joy of a school librarian.