This morning we had an appointment with our pediatrician to have school paperwork filled out as Valentina will be started preschool three half days a week in the fall. One of the things that we wanted to discuss was her vaccine exemption. Dave has very bad allergies and severe asthma, I have an autoimmune thyroid condition. We have chosen not to vaccinate Valentina because of the potential risk to her health, and we’re very happy and comfortable with that decision. [Read more…]
One of the things that I hold nearest and dearest in my path as a mother so far is Babywearing. I didn’t know anything about Babywearing when I had Valentina. I had a Baby Bjorn on my registry list, but a wise friend of mine got me an Ergo instead as she had been told that they were really popular and more comfortable.
I loved the idea of wrapping the baby and went to a few meetings to learn how. But as much as I loved the idea of Babywearing, those long wraps all tied up like spaghetti seemed cumbersome and complicated to me. I did get a ring sling and that was great for wearing around the house, and out and about when Valentina was really small. But sadly I never mastered the art of wrapping. The pics I’m including here of us in wraps all required a helping hand from someone more knowledgable and experienced!! [Read more…]
As a working mom, it’s quite hard to know how much to merge and how much to separate with personal and business life. We are blessed to live four blocks away from my office, so I walk to work with my dog Harry Winston, and our nanny brings Valentina up to see my every lunchtime (I work three days a week, so she comes those three days). Every lunch she comes to my office, she’s met many of my patients, and she knows my staff really well. I love that she knows where Mummy is when we’re not together. That hour a day has been precious time for me, and it’s made working at all a lot easier. I don’t feel like I’m missing out on so much, and she never goes more than 3-4 hours without seeing me. It’s part of her routine, so she knows not to barge through my office door if I’m still with patients when they arrive, and she knows to say bye-bye when I have to get back to work and it’s time for them to leave. To me, that’s part of trying to achieve work-life balance, and it’s something that works great for us.
Other things that have helped me to feel connected while we’re apart are pictures. I have our nanny send me pictures and/or little video clips during the day so I can see what they’re up to. It helps me to see that she’s having fun and is happy. When I’m in the throws of a stressful, busy day, working with a very unwell population as I do, nothing makes me smile like seeing a picture of my little one playing in the sand or at the park. [Read more…]
The Slight Edge: Turning Simple Disciplines into Massive Success and Happiness
by Jeff Olsen is one of the best books I’ve read recently. The premise is that instead of success, wealth, great health, (insert any desire or goal) being some big sudden thing that happens as a result of some huge event or happening; the actual path to success (as you define it) is simply a series of small steps that you do every single day. According to The Slight Edge, the difference long term is that one extra bite that you either could take or not take; the extra block you might run when you just don’t feel like it; the extra 10 minutes you get from the snooze button when you could sleep more instead. Olsen states that the difference between success and “failure” (or lack of success) is a culmination of small, seemingly inconsequential, daily decisions – that at the time seem like they wouldn’t make any difference at all.
I try to apply The Slight Edge. In fact, just yesterday in our recent heat and humidity, I cut my run short, and I knew for the rest of the day that I’d taken just that little bit away from my fitness goals.
Here’s my latest and greatest Slight Edge application. We have started a piggy bank for Valentina. Today I started a bank account for her. Every time we accumulate loose change, we put it in the piggy. Every time I get a single $1 note, I put it in a special tin for her. Sometimes I put some $5’s and $10’s in there too.
Today, I counted her singles and we have $100, and another $80 in $5 and $10 notes. I went to the bank to start her own savings account. I also set my “keep the change” (a savings feature offered by Bank of America where they round up all my purchases on my checking account, and deposit the difference in my savings account) – to dump into her account and not mine. [Read more…]
I wonder if people think I have a different experience of being a mother because I’m a doctor. There are certainly things I know from my medical background that help. But mostly, as a first time mom, I learned along the way just life everyone else. In fact, I joined some mommy groups on Facebook and purposely never mentioned anything about my medical background because I wanted to be able to ask any question I had without for of someone thinking “hey, shouldn’t she know these things if she’s a doctor”! Yes, I know that sounds pretty silly, but it was how I felt about it. It was nice for me to have separation of doctor and mom, in fact, it was crucial, especially in the beginning. It was fun for me to allow myself to be a new mom and not have expectations that I should know everything. So I still posted and asked – ‘what were your babies first finger foods?’, ‘hey this just happened what does it mean?’, or ‘check out this rash what do you think it is?’ [Read more…]
Hi and welcome to my first ever blog post on The Naturopathic Mama. This is a place where medical knowledge combines with mama experience to bring you knowledge, wisdom and empowerment on how to support your family, naturally.
I’m Nicola Ducharme, historically Nicola McFadzean. I guess to be proper I’d say Nicola Ducharme nee McFadzean.
I was born in England (hence the need to be proper much of the time). My Dad is English, my Mum is Australian. If push comes to shove, I do call myself half Aussie and half Pom, but if asked “where are you from?” my reflex response is “Australia”.
I have lived in the Unites States for coming up on 20 years, which when I think about it is longer than I lived in Australia. I’ve definitely become Americanized to some extent – I consider the U.S. home, I love it and the opportunities it has provided me, and my husband and daughter are both U.S. citizens (enough reason to keep me here!). I am a permanent resident but haven’t applied for U.S. citizenship yet, not because I don’t want to, simply because I haven’t made it that far down my to-do list. I’m busy getting my daughter her social security number, and that alone has been procrastinated for a couple of months now. Given some recent political goings-on, it might become a pressing issue, but since a green card holder has pretty much the same rights as a citizen, short of voting, I just haven’t made it top priority. [Read more…]