Kaleigh Mancha, Owner of K.a.y. & M.e. answers your questions!
My partner is the “fun” one with our kids. While we try to share responsibilities for the house, I find myself being the disciplinarian. I’m the one that says “no” the most and it’s frustrating because I don’t want to be too strict, but if I’m not I get anxious about the kids not having proper rules. What do I do?
This is a reoccurring challenge, whether it’s finding a balance between your partner and you or you and your child’s caregivers. Your style can and will evolve over the course of your child’s development and the growth that comes from experience. How effective we are as parents depends greatly on how accurately we can gauge and understand our child’s temperament and learning styles. Some children need less redirecting and self regulate easily, while others may need constant reminders of what’s expected of them and stronger boundaries. When considering your own parenting style (disciplinarian, helicopter, withdrawn, lenient, relaxed, etc), think about whether you’re 1) being pushed into that role, 2) choosing your style or 3) defaulting into a style.
1) Being pushed into a parenting style usually means that you enforce rules and punishment because you perceive there is no structure or balance and are attempting to create order.
2) Choosing a parenting style usually means you’ve observed what your child responds to and are flexible in your approach while staying responsive to their needs.
3) Defaulting into a parenting style happens when you do what has always been done, when you don’t question how effective the style is for your family. Remember that what worked for you as a child, may not work for your child or what works for one child may not be most effective for another.
Things to consider:
-Is your child responding positively or negatively to your discipline style? A child responding positively doesn’t have perfect behavior, but they understand how to meet expectations and remedy their behavior with little assistance or intervention.
-Children are incredibly vulnerable to rejection, ridicule, criticism, and anger at home, and they deserve to grow up in an environment of safety, acceptance, and warmth. Does your style model respect and love?
-Communication! Discuss with your partner what works and how the two of you can use your own styles to reach the same goal. #teamworkmakesthedreamwork
I’m expecting my first baby in a few months and was curious if you could recommend some books on parenting?
Of course! As a postpartum doula it is so important I stay current on the best books for new or expecting parents. I find myself reading and recommending books I wish I had known about as a new parent all the time. Here are a few:
The Birth Partner by Penny Simkin
Birthing From Within by Pam England Horowitz
Father Coached Birthing by Dr. Robert A Bradley
Nurture: A Modern Guide to Pregnancy, Birth, Early Motherhood – and Trusting Yourself and Your Body by Erica Chidi Cohen
The First Forty Days: The Essential Art of Nourishing the New Mother by Heng Ou with Amely Greeven and Amely Greeven
Breastfeeding Made Simple: Seven Natural Laws of Nursing Mothers by Nancy Mohrbacher and Kathleen Kendall-Tackett
Down Came the Rain: My Journey Through Postpartum Depression by Brooke Shields
The Danish Way of Parenting: What the Happiest People in the World Know About Raising Confident, Capable Kids by Jessica Joelle Alexander & Iben Sandahl
Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering by Sarah J. Buckley, MD
The Whole-Brain Child by Dr. Dan Siegel
Momma Zen: Walking the Crooked Path of Motherhood by Karen Maezen Miller
I’m a new mom who is breastfeeding, but I have to return to work sooner than I hoped. We recently introduced breast milk in a bottle, but I wasn’t able to pump more than a few ounces the first few times I’ve tried. Is it possible to work full time and continue breastfeeding?
I can say from personal experience that it is absolutely possible and getting prepared for the transition is crucial! Sounds like you made an investment in a breast pump, which is the first step. (Tip: Your insurance and/or local WIC office can provide you with a breast pump at no cost to you.) You may want to consider investing in a Haakaa
(a one-piece breast pump that can serve as your milk collector or as a manual breast pump) as well. To maintain your supply, make sure you are breastfeeding as often as possible when you’re home. It’s all about supply and demand, so the more you breastfeed the more you make. Be mindful that birth control may decrease your supply temporarily. Frequency is more important than how long you pump or feed, so it is better to pump for a few minutes every few hours than once every 6 hours. Keep in mind, there are laws to protect your right to pump at work (http://nevadabreastfeeds.org/current-legislation/) and your employer must follow these guidelines. Lastly, plan ahead! Invest in a quality (lunch box sized) cooler and ice packs to store pumped milk for when you’re driving to and from work, or aren’t near a fridge, etc. Ultimately, lots of patience, planning and persistence will give you the best chance at breastfeeding as a working mama! #gomilkyourself
Marriage & Family Therapist Intern
Masters of Science, Psychology
California Polytechnic State University 2011
Labor, Postpartum & Loss Doula
Doula Trainings International 2017
Serving as a doula since 2010
Trauma Recovery Yoga Teacher
T.R.Y. Certified 2017
Body Positive Yoga Teacher
200 Hour YTT- Yogacara
Yoga Alliance Certified 2014