Be sure to read to the end to learn about our giveaway with True North Ring Slings.
When a new baby joins the family, the pace of life inevitably slows. The priorities shift to feedings, diapers, cuddles, and nap times. One thing that doesn’t go away is the daily routine of meals, errands, laundry, and tidying. Mom’s hands are full and her plate just got fuller.
I remember well how overwhelmed I felt as a first time mom four years ago! Simple tasks like folding laundry suddenly seemed impossible… they needed to be done, but not at the expense of sacrificing time with my baby.
Enter the time-honored, global tradition of babywearing. I loved that I could snuggle my baby and still stay on top of the daily happenings. With my second born, I discovered another plus: it made snuggles easier during those long, hard days of teething. Now, with my third baby, I’m loving that I can still keep up with my toddlers and keep my baby close by.
What carriers have I tried? What are the pros and cons?
Wrap Carriers. My wrap-style carrier (think Moby, Solly, etc.) was my initiation into babywearing. It gave me the courage I needed to go grocery shopping for the very first time alone with the baby.
Pros: Soft and stretchy. Readily available. (Even stores like Target and Walmart offer this style)
Cons: Hot. Difficult to use. (Unless you like feeling like a ninja all while juggling a baby)
Soft Structured Carriers. After becoming frustrated with the complicated wrap carrier, I purchased a soft structured carrier (such as a Boba, Ergo, Lillebaby, etc.). It was a great experience, but lacked a few conveniences I desired.
Pros: Supportive. Great for long carries and bigger babies.
Cons: Bulky (you can’t just toss it your diaper bag). Difficult to safely situate newer babies (who often want to be worn more frequently).
Ring Slings. My third baby has been much more picky about being worn. He’s had some pretty difficult tummy issues and needs a lot of Mommy snuggles, but my wrap and structured carriers were met with very low tolerance. At the suggestion of my midwife, I pulled the trigger and purchased a ring sling. He slept for two hours the very first time I wore him. I’ve tried a few different ring slings for fun since they’ve worked so well for us and can safely say, linen (from a company such as True North Ring Slings) is my favorite. The sling took babywearing from something I did for convenience to something I did because I truly loved wearing my baby.
Pros: Even picky babies seem happy in a sling. Easily adaptable from tiny newborns to toddlers. Quick to adjust (I love having an alternative to lugging around a heavy car seat). Strong supportive fabric that’s still soft enough for delicate babies. Compact (can easily fold and stash in your diaper bag for on-the-go days).
Cons: Slight learning curve (well worth it!). Needs a short breaking in period (there are lots of great short cuts and resources for this!)
I strongly believe that next to a quality car seat, my ring sling is the most worthwhile baby equipment purchase we have made. Hands down.
We are THRILLED to be partnering with Alberta-based True North Ring Slings to bring you a giveaway! I recently purchased a beautiful gray ring sling (with to-die-for rose gold rings) from this amazing company. I’ve been nothing short of impressed by their quality and their customer service. I’ve received almost instant responses from them when I’ve reached out with questions – and they’ve been so personable (even giving me the fun fact that I was their first Texas customer!).
Using high-quality linen sourced from Europe, they offer a wonderful range of colors from classic neutrals to vibrant hues. They are unique in that they offer several lengths to choose from (no worries if you’re tall or broad shouldered! They’ve got you covered!). Their slings meet all safety standards (both mandatory and voluntary), so you can rest easy knowing that your baby is safe. More than anything, I love that is company is mommy-owned!
True North is partnering with us to GIVEAWAY a $50 STORE CREDIT* to one lucky reader and a 10% OFF COUPON CODE to all the rest of you!
To enter the giveaway, head over to Instagram and follow us (@canvasandtable) and then (@truenorthringslings). Tag your friends on our Instagram about this baby wearing blog post (you’ll receive an entry for each tag). For a bonus entry, “regram” our post to your personal Instagram!**
To save 10% on your order, simple use this code when you check out: canvasandtable. Offer good through April 20th.
Do you “wear” your baby? Leave a comment below and tell us.
*$50 store credit is CAD (Canadian dollars) as True North is based in Canada.
**Find complete entry instructions on Instagram post
“…I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which He has called you, what are the riches of His glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His great might…” Ephesians 1:16-19 ESV
Hoping is hard work. The act of hope is defined by Merriam-Webster as, “to desire with expectation of obtainment” and “to expect with confidence”. As those whom have gone through long waiting periods know too well, waiting with expectation is a difficult thing to do.
I wrote about waiting recently, and while that in and of itself is a topic for another day, in the wait there must be hope, in order for us to grow and flourish as God intended. As I heard it once said, in painful times, you either become bitter or better, and waiting seasons are a vivid picture of a time when we make the choice to become bitter or better.
A friend recently shared that, in a time of loss, she recognized that God asked of her to give Him her hope, however small. I happened to read this on a very tough day, in a tough week, and in a tough season. Hope & loss often go hand-in-hand – the feeling that you’ve lost or given up something, and whether tangible or not, the emotional journey is deep and arduous. Pain seeks to put out the light of hope by teaching us that hoping can hurt, and if it is just too hard, we can choose to stop hoping and no longer go through the pain of disappointment and emotional suffering.
To be completely honest, it has been a week in which I don’t feel like writing and I haven’t felt a whole lot like hoping, either. Emotions have been deep and wide, but I was reminded of my friend’s words on hope as I came across this Scripture this morning- “…having the eyes of your heart enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which He has called you…”. My friend did not reference this Scripture, but her testimony and this Scripture clashed together before me and reminded me, God has called us to hope.
In the original Greek of the New Testament, the word “hope” in this Scripture is the Greek word “elpis”. It comes from the word “elpo”, meaning “to anticipate, welcome” and in and of itself means the “expectation of what is sure (certain)”. (Strong’s) To anticipate and welcome the expectation of what is sure is to put all your cards on the table, so to speak. It is to say, “this is happening and I will wait here, expectantly, until it does”.
Reality is that type of waiting is hard, because it is in our flesh to not want to wait and experience discomfort and the great pain that can sometimes come with it- but it’s what God has called us to, to wait upon Him, and to hope in Him. And hoping in Him is what makes all the difference.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30 NIV
Many times, when the burden just feels like too much, we’ve stopped waiting in the Lord and relying on Him for our strength to do so. Staying and abiding in the Lord, we receive the strength of the Holy Spirit that is so much greater than we could ever summon on our own. One of my favorite Scriptures is Proverbs 4:25. It says, “Look straight ahead, and fix your eyes on what lies before you.” (NLT). Oftentimes I’m reminded that I’ve stopped fixing my eyes on Christ when I feel like the burden is just too much.
Scripture calls the hope we have, as Christians, “the riches of His glorious inheritance…and the surpassing greatness of His power to us who believe” (BSB). Through Christ we have the hope that that thing we are waiting on and believing for breakthrough in is going to happen and come to pass, because of the power we as Christians have been given, if we only believe and hold fast to that belief.
I believe there is power in speaking the Word and calling things that aren’t as through they are. When God gave Abram his new name, Abram chose to share that with other people. In a time when the meanings of names were well-known and recognized, letting people know, “I am now Abraham” and letting new people you meet know, “I am Abraham” would have the same as saying, “I am the father of many nations”. Abraham enacted his faith in God’s calling on his life, years and years and years and decades before the meaning of his name would ever come to pass. He was likely ridiculed and his name would have at least been talked of, due to its meaning, and it was 40 years before the truth of his name became visible to everyone else. It would have been so easy for him to give up on his hope, but He believed and stood firm because He knew God is faithful to His promises.
Whatever you’re going through, God has given you the tools you need to persevere, and what’s more, He has called you to hope. Hope for the “future and a hope” God has given you and the dreams He has placed in your heart. Whatever you’re waiting on, if you’ve read this post this far through, you likely feel a depth of pain in choosing to hope, because it literally is “getting your hopes up”. I believe God has good and not evil for you, and the dreams and vision God has put in you are there for a reason. I encourage you, search Scripture for a promise you can hold on to. Find a Scripture that speaks to your situation and pray that over yourself. Believe that for your reality, not what you see.
“So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.” Galatians 6:9 NLT
I want to believe with you today, whatever you’re hoping for. If you feel comfortable, leave a comment below or send us a message at our Contact page. Hoping is hard work, but we’ve been equipped, and joining together in prayer and persevering for one another truly results in such a blessing when we live in the hope we’ve been called to.
1. Spend some time meditating on the promises of God. Find your Scripture, tape it on your mirror, make it your phone lock screen, or share with someone that this is the verse you’re believing for in your life.
2. Commit to praying that verse over yourself for the next 30 days.
3. Receive the Holy Spirit’s strengthening for you in this season- and believe that good things, God’s things, are ahead.
I recently had the opportunity to share something that was on my heart as a devotional to a women’s ministry. Today, I wanted to share this with you. As you take the time to study the seasons of life and the purpose for each and every one, I hope this blesses you and encourages you in your walk with the Lord.
Ecclesiastes 3:1 (ESV) “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven.”
The sunlight seems happy, shining upon the backyard. The breeze blows gently through the trees, creating the familiar sound that comes with the leaves turning. Wrapped in my sweater, the cool, crisp air seems invigorating and a feeling of satisfaction is in my heart. It’s fall. The season of pumpkin spice, sweaters, and boots has arrived and my heart is content. I find myself wishing it could feel like this every day, just to be reminded of something so important, in a soft, still voice- there are seasons for a reason.
Have you found yourself wishing away the season you’re in, pining for the moment you can metaphorically pull your boots out of the recesses of the closet? Because we don’t share spiritual seasons with everyone around us, it can be easy to lose sight of the fact that the season has a purpose, and failing to tend to that purpose can create heartache in our lives and close the door to blessings God has in store for us. Let’s take a look at the reason each season exists and how this applies to our spiritual lives.
The purpose of Winter is for evaluation, reflection, and putting in the work ahead of time for the spring that is coming. Oftentimes Winter comes in the closing of a chapter, and that may result in a very full heart of emotion with seemingly nowhere to release. For the reason of Winter to be recognized, its purpose must be allowed to play out. Psalm 37:3 (ESV) says, “Trust in the Lord and do good…”. In the season of Winter, it is especially important to invest yourself in your relationship with the Lord and trust Him while tending to the seasonal purpose of what He has laid before you. Joyce Meyer says, “Just as winter prepares plants and trees for warmer weather, a spiritually dormant season is a time of preparation- when our inner character is developed and strengthened. Strong character is essential for withstanding storms that will come during seasons of growth and harvest.” How often we tend to find this season very uncomfortable and wish it away, but when this season is fully invested in, we are fully prepared for Spring to arrive.
The purpose of Spring is a time for planting. Often, this season is accompanied with the invigoration of new excitement in your relationship with God. We have a tendency to desire for God to bring us into a new season and find the purpose of it to be a bit more work than we would like. It is so important that we embrace the moment at hand and delve into the work of planting the seeds of vision, purpose, and responsibility that God has given each of us as individuals. “No discipline brings joy, but seems grevious and painful; but afterwards, it yields a peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.” (Hebrews 12:11, AMP)
The purpose of Summer is to tend the fields. This is sometimes the most easily identifiable season in our lives as we play and wait and work among the fields in our lives. It is essential that we don’t lose track of our purpose during the long, hot hours of summer fun that so easily entice us to lose focus on the purpose of this season. Without Summer, there can be no harvest, so “Look straight ahead, and fix your eyes on what lies before you.” (Proverbs 4:25, NLT).
The purpose of Fall is a time for new life. The long, still hours of winter spent in planning, the toil in the new dawn of spring, and the lively hours of waiting amidst the heat have all paid off with the harvest at hand. The barns are filled and the vats full of wine, in Bible speak. The Fall is the time for reaping what we’ve sown- and the season that so evidently reminds us of what we have put in. “And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.” (Galatians 6:9 ESV). The Fall is a time for being filled to overflowing, to store up for the Winter, and enjoying the fruits of the work put in for the past 9 months.
Through the spiritual seasons, we see that sometimes we don’t always have a view of the full picture of the process God is putting us through. It is a choice to recognize the season God has put before each of us and to “do good”. Recognize the good God has set before you in the season you are in, and put your hands to doing it well and purposing to maximize on the purpose of this season through faith in Christ and by the power of the Holy Spirit. “…I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content…” (Philippians 4:11, ESV)
According to Ecclesiastes 3:1, there is a time for every season. Spiritually, we know that not all of us go through the same seasons at the same times. What season of life are you going through right now?
What do you think is the purpose of the spiritual season you are in right now?
Scripture is filled with the exhortation to “trust God and do good”. These two go hand-in-hand and fill us with the ability to approach God-given assignments and glorify God through serving Him. What is the “good” God has placed in front of you to tend to in your season right now?
What is a blessing of the season you are in and how can you share the benefit of that to bring life to others?
Study: Spend time doing a topical study of Scripture on the season or purpose you have identified in your life. Read Ecclesiastes 3 and spend time journaling or drawing as you spend time in prayer looking to God for growth, thanking Him for His plan, and glorifying Him for all He has brought you through.
Act: Share with someone in your life what you’ve learned from your study of your season or purpose and how that is a blessing & encouragement before your next meeting. Share the good news of what God is doing in your life!
Do you have something to share about the season you’re in or one you’ve been in? We would love to hear it- please share in the comments below!
We are delighted to bring you a guest post today from a friend of mine (Laurel). Jess and I met earlier this year at an incredible and intense personal development seminar. Sometimes you have old friends with whom your friendships have seasoned nicely over the years of changes, joys, and trails. Other times you meet a new friend, who happens to have a LOT in common with you and a similar vision for life. That’s Jess. We’ve enjoyed so much sharing about our lives as stay-at-home moms and as moms of two toddler boys each. Additionally, I’ve really appreciated the heart Jess has shown through our personal correspondence (aka- Facebook Messenger) as she has supported her husband through a busy phase of life, so much so that I’ve asked (and she has so willingly agreed) to write as a guest on Canvas and Table. I’m certain you will appreciate the words she has to share!
We’re in a season, our little family, a season of changes and challenges. A season of long days and short nights. A season we weren’t quite expecting, but are fully embracing. Three years ago I left my full-time teaching career to be home with my children. I never in a million years thought that I’d be a “stay-at-home” mama, but here I am spending my days nurturing and fostering two tiny humans. This is the work I was called to do, to mother these sweet boys while my husband works hard to provide for our family.
This past year has been a rough one for my husband as he has taken on some new endeavors and had to navigate a new role within his company. He works long, often unpredictable hours, and spends his time at home pursing another venture we’re super excited about. Most days he’s maxed out before even coming home, having given himself fully to his career and passion. Though it’s hard to be on the receiving end of that some days, God has really challenged me this year to find ways to fully support my husband in this stress-filled season we’re in.
I want to share with you 5 ways I’ve been working to support my husband more fully during this season.
1. Do things for him joyfully. Get up early and make him breakfast – I’m so not a morning person; most days my children are my wake-up call. But there are many times when my husband has to head into work well before the kids wake up and instead of just laying in bed and catching some extra sleep, I’ll get up and cook him a warm breakfast while he’s showering. What a blessing it is to enjoy breakfast together, just the two of us! I also love to cook his favorite dinner, even if he won’t be home to eat it…he’ll surely enjoy the leftovers just as much when he does get home! My boys and I like to bake his favorite treat together, then drop it off at the office to surprise him. Even if we don’t see him when we drop it off, he’s so surprised and reminded of us when he does stumble upon the treat at his desk! Showing your love and appreciation for your husband in tangible ways, while maintaining a joyful heart will fill you both up!
2. Listen and stay positive. After a long day with toddlers, all I want to do is dump my frustrations on him and engage in an adult conversation without interruption! But, sometimes it’s best to be a listening ear and allow him to unload from his stressful day before dumping the days frustrations on him. Not every day is great, but there is good in every day! When you do share about your day, focus on that. Life with toddlers can be messy and unpredictable, filled with loads of challenges, but amidst the chaos, there is so much joy! Share that joy with your husband; I guarantee he wishes he could experience those moments with you each and every day!
3. Encourage him to care for himself. When you see your husband struggling, encourage him. As mamas we’re often reminded that “you can’t pour from an empty cup” and the same is true for your husband. Find ways to help him fill his cup. Encourage him to pursue a hobby or interest. Encourage him to go to the gym, get outside, or just read a book. There is a very noticeable change in my husband’s attitude and demeanor when he gets home from the gym. I do my best to encourage him to go as often as he needs, because I know it’s not only good for him physically, but mentally as well. Just like us, our husbands often put their self-care needs on the back burner as they struggle to balance working to provide for their family and being present to care for their family.
4. Don’t nag or compare. My husband and I have never been big fans of traditional gender roles. We’ve always approached our home with a team effort…if a task needs to be done, we just do it! However, over the past few years as I’ve been home full-time, many of the traditional gender roles have emerged in our home. I do the majority of the cooking, cleaning, and child-rearing, and he cares for our property, maintains our cars, and addresses household repairs. We still function as a team, but with much more defined roles. There are days, however, when I want to throw my hands up and ask him, “When was the the last time you washed dishes or did a load of laundry?”. I want to point out all the things I’m doing, yet totally ignore the unseen ways he’s contributing to our family. Friends, nagging and comparison are never productive. Keeping score only causes resentment and frustration. If you need help around the house, just ask! It’s so much more productive and respectful to admit that you can’t do it all than to nag your husband about how he hasn’t helped!
5. Have fun. Something I’ve struggled with during this season is whether or not to fill up our weekends. My husband rarely gets a typical weekend, so I try not to plan things on the weekends so that he can be home, catch up on household chores, and just relax. I’m very conscious of giving him that time, as I know it’s a rarity. However, over the past few months, I’ve made a point to go ahead and plan that special family outing or insist on a spontaneous family trip to the zoo when he is home. I sometimes forget that just because my husband doesn’t initiate or suggest these types of activities, doesn’t mean that he doesn’t value them!
Friends, this season we’re in is HARD. Raising children is HARD. But it’s also such an incredible blessing. I count it an honor to be able to support him in his work and make it my mission to never take for granted the sacrifices he makes so that I can be home full-time. I pray that if you, too, are in a stressful season, that you can find comfort in knowing that you’re not alone in this marriage and parenthood journey.
Hi there! I’m Jess. I live in Northern Indiana with my amazing husband, Dan, and our two sweet boys, Caleb and Abel. We live a simple life. Enjoy getting our hands dirty. Creating things. Spending as much time as possible as a family. Dreaming big. Being outdoors. Cooking with vegetables grown in our very own garden. www.getoiling.com/jessankney
Leave a comment below and share which suggestion that Jess shared to be most helpful or some way that you have found to support your own husband when he is in a stressful season.
Maybe your work load is mounting or deadlines are coming up. Maybe you stay at home and it feels like everything needs to be done. Maybe life has been extraordinarily busy and you don’t have time to stop.
There are times when it seems like we don’t have the time to spare. Truth be told, what we may really need most is to slow down and take a break. My preference for an ideal break is a couple quiet hours in a coffee shop – nothing fancy and totally cliche, but it works for me. There are at least 4 reasons why a break benefits you…
Change of scenery. A break doesn’t necessarily mean removing yourself completely- sometimes you just need a change of scenery. Take a break from being on your feet all day, sitting in a cubicle, or whatever else your day to day typically looks like. Go to an environment that’s comfortable and stimulating.
Renewal. When I need a break – just some time to reflect or sit in quiet – it amazes me after a short time how ready I am to go back to my routine. My focus and vision are renewed.
Clearing of the cobwebs. We race around everywhere and live life at a crazy-fast pace. Not only is quiet good for you – you need it!
Brainstorms. I love sitting down and just dreaming up new ideas. Breaks are the perfect chance to brainstorm exciting plans and ideas for the future!
When was the last time you took a break? Tell us in the comments.
A few years ago, a certain toilet spray hit the market and everyone went bonkers when they discovered how well it worked. Magazine ads and television commercials featured this spray in a way some people found to be charmingly tongue-in-cheek, people bought it, and the world was changed. Dramatic much? Never.
A dear friend gag-gifted a set of this certain toilet spray at a gathering less than a couple months after my husband & I tied the knot…and we “won” one. I laughed at the gift…I had no idea what a treasure that little bottle would be.
For the past two years, I have only allowed us to run out twice and immediately smelled noticed the difference. That hasn’t happened again. I can’t emphasize enough what a weird little blessing this spray is to have in the bathroom of a small rental home. I was so grateful to discover a few DIY versions of this spray, and after some trial and error, found “my version”. This recipe really does help the bathroom smell fresh…ALL the time. And for you women looking for a good way to get hubby on board with the oils, try this. It’s pretty much the perfect stocking stuffer that will be used for always.
One quick tip- this specific blend of Essential Oils works VERY well, in my experience. I have tested this recipe with different oils and fragrances and there is something about this specific blend that works fabulously.
Have you used a toilet spray before? Do you love it? Comment below!
(Disclosure: Some links in this post are Amazon Affiliate links. As such, should you order through those links, we will receive a small commission off your purchase. Thank you for helping support this blog so that we are able to continue bringing you fresh content!)