Monday, 22 September 2014

What's In Your Diaper Bag? Janine and Evy

 "The most amazing thing about motherhood to me is discovering the capacity I have for love. I've been moved to tears on countless occasions while just holding my daughter because I am so overcome with love for her. What am amazing feeling and how privileged are we as mothers to be able to experience it! Watching my daughter grow and learn has been the most rewarding experience of my life."
From the time she was a little girl Janine knew she wanted to be a mother. That she would have children was a certainty, but the timing of her first pregnancy came as a surprise. No problem for Janine who just says Evy “came earlier than we had planned.” A natural child birth was important for this loving mama, and her little one was clearly in a rush to join the family because she arrived 3 weeks early and with no lag time. Janine remembers the rush of it all: “my water broke at 2:00pm and she was born at 5:03pm that same day.”

Now, Evy is almost 2 years old, and finding balance has been the name of the game. Janine tried going back to work fulltime but found that it wasn’t the right move for her family. “I went back to work fulltime when Evy was about 14 months old and it was hell for me. My hours were terrible and I missed her so much. After 7 months of that I had had enough. Now I work part-time and have found the perfect balance. We're both much happier.”

With a toddler rather than an infant, Janine has learned to pare down the contents of the diaper bag, "Since Evy is older now, I don't carry nearly as much as I used to. I don't bring this fully packed diaper bag with me anymore if we are only going out for a few hours - just the mandatory diapers, wipes, snacks, and a sippy cup."

With all of her experience and passion for motherhood, we're eager to know:

What's In Your Diaper Bag?
"Now that Evy is almost 2,
her personality is exploding and I adore the little person that she is!
She is polite and affectionate, careful and responsible, funny and determined."

Mommy's Name: Janine

Baby's Name: Evy (23 months)

Most important thing in diaper bag: Pacifier (we call it her "sucky") and her blankie, (which she calls her "kiki") are equally important. 

Basic Save: I'd have to say snacks. When she was much younger and just starting to eat finger foods, I would buy her those little star puffs that can be found in the baby section of any grocery store or drug store. There was a choice between a Gerber brand and a no name brand which was MUCH cheaper. Obviously my 9 month old daughter did not notice the difference so I went with the cheaper brand. However, as she has gotten older she has become more picky. She definitely knows the difference between no name fruit snacks and Dora fruit snacks.

Essential Splurge: I do not carry this in my diaper bag any more but my breast pump was definitely my essential splurge when Evy was a baby. When she was first born, we lived 6 hours away from family so we did a lot of road trips. Evy was breast fed exclusively when at home, but we had a difficult time breast feeding in public as I had an over-active flow and we would both get very messy (not something I wanted to share with the public), so I would pump and bottle feed when we were at rest stops along the way.

Now that she is older my essential splurge for any long trip is our portable DVD player. It has saved our sanity countless times!

Best preparedness advice: Keep the diaper bag packed and ready to go at all times! This seems like the most obvious advice, but for some reason, it took us a while to figure this out. When preparing to leave the house, we would race around grabbing diapers and filling the travel wipes container, packing a bottle and toys and spare clothes etc etc. We would always forget something and it was an ongoing joke amongst our family that we were never prepared. My Mom's house is now fully stocked with supplies so that we don't even have to bring a diaper bag when we visit her!

Contents: Diapers, wipes, change of clothes, a book, whatever toy she has selected to bring with her that day, sunscreen, hat, snacks, bottle, blankie and sucky, sippy cup, hair brush (because she has wildly thick, curly hair that needs to be tamed frequently).
As you can see, Janine has it figured out. Her great advice doesn’t stop at the diaper bag, though. She is a huge supporter of listening to your own instincts as a parent when making decisions:

“We made the personal choice to limit how much we "baby proofed" our house when we discovered that we have a staircase that cannot accommodate a baby gate, so we were forced to find a new way to keep Evy safe. We have been teaching her the consequences of her actions rather than simply blocking her off. Of course we have put locks on all the cupboards that contain cleaning supplies (we are not THAT radical). Our families have struggled with our parenting style quite a bit. They have a hard time trusting us that she will not fall down the stairs, or touch the fireplace etc, but she has yet to have an accident. My theory is that if it isn't going to kill her, let her try it and experience the consequence so she can learn. At 22 months, she is extremely cautious and careful around things she isn't sure about, but at the same time she is brave and independent. One day when we were at the park, another mother mentioned that she was impressed at how careful Evy was on the play structure for her age. I was very proud :) It's not a conventional parenting method, but we feel we've made the right choice.”

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