Becoming the mom you want to be is not necessarily an easy task. You may wonder what your purpose is in all this, while you change diapers and fix dinner and nurse the baby (all at the same time). It's pretty self-defeating to try to be a perfect mom, so that's not what this article is about. This is about becoming the mom YOU want to be, which means aiming for more contentment and satisfaction in your mothering efforts.
In order to become the mom you want to be, it helps to stop and take stock of just what you're doing and where you want to be. Here are some tips that may help.
1. Do What You Need to Do
Many of us moms feel like we can't put the kids in front of the TV or DVD player - not even once. While experts are in agreement that daily TV viewing for hours on end is not a good habit, there's no shame in letting them watch something so you can save your sanity (or read a book!). Sometimes you just need a few minutes, and then you're a better mom after a little recovery time.
2. Exercise When and How You Can
Even if you can't put in an hour in the gym (and many busy moms can't!), don't give up exercising altogether. Just because you can't go all out and run marathons doesn't mean you can't give yourself some much-needed exercise (and the resulting energy boost). Do what you can do - walk with the baby in a stroller; take your child on a hike; run races; dance to music indoors. The point is to move every day for a period of time!
3. Stop the Guilt
Ah, guilt - moms are so prone to it that it's almost a stereotype. To make things worse, guilt makes a circle - if you feel guilty about something, then you feel guilty for feeling guilty! And guilt can wear you out, physically and mentally. So remind yourself that you are doing the best you can; no mom is perfect. If you snap at your kids or "lose it" occasionally, an apology works wonders (once everyone has cooled off).
4. Don't Live in Your Own Mom's Shadow
This is a tough one. If you had a fantastic mom, you may feel pressure to be just like she was to you growing up, and may find yourself unable to measure up. If you had a lousy mom (or worse, an abusive one), then you may carry the fear of being like her and try to "rise above" your upbringing.
If you need to see a counselor or therapist about this, do so - it's that important. It's a good idea to "own" your mothering efforts and recognize that you are an individual. Your household won't look like your mom's household, whether that's good or bad. And you shouldn't expect it to.
5. Hear What Your Kids Are Saying
Really hearing your kids - listening effectively - is a key component to being the mom you want to be. Sometimes, that means biting your tongue and listening rather than immediately offering to solve the problem. Other times it means you need to be proactive and solve the problem. Most importantly, listening shows your kids that you do care and are there for them.
Exotic pets bring with them their own set of rules. It isn’t like owning a cat or a dog but it can prove even more satisfying. Before you set your sights on something like a tarantula, find out if indeed you are the perfect candidate for one.
Tarantulas are misunderstood creatures. Most people are scared of them because of what they have heard and seen on television movies. In their natural habitat, they function much like any other wild animal, using their instincts to survive. And, contrary to Hollywood, they are not out to feast on human flesh or grow ten feet tall and crush you.
With that said, exotic pets are finding a place in captivity as household pets. Just like snakes, lizards or exotic birds, it is best to learn all that you can about the type of animal in general and the species you wish to house in particular before making a final decision to buy.
Deterrents to Choosing a Tarantula for a Pet
Here are a few things to consider before bringing a tarantula into your home.
Allergies – You could be allergic to the venom in a tarantula bite. Bites are not common. These insects only bite when threatened or scared. And, they will warn their prey first by rearing up on their hind legs. There has not been a documented case of a human dying from a bite, but people react differently to their venom. If you currently have pet allergies, it may be wise to choose another animal.
Cuddling required – People choose a particular pet for different reasons. If you desire to spend time with your pet that involves handling, a tarantula may not be for you. They are quite delicate and can be easily injured if they fall from your hand or get knocked off of a counter or table. Such injuries can even result in death.
Kids – Pet spiders and kids do not mix. If you want to welcome a tarantula into your home, it is best that any kids be at least 16 years of age or older. Younger ones could be spooked by the way the tarantula looks, and then you’ll have a problem.
You are a singular pet owner – Tarantulas can live for as long as thirty years. If you move or decide you don’t want it any more, what will happen to your pet? If friends or other family members are leery of owning a spider, there will be no one to care for it. Owning one is a long-term commitment.
Feedings – Tarantulas eat live prey. If you have a problem handling crickets, roaches, even mice or grasshoppers, a tarantula may not be for you.
It might be cool to own a tarantula but if you can’t commit to it, consider another pet.
Here are more species of tarantula for you to check out before you buy one. Here you will learn more about the Chilean rose, Brazilian black, Costa Rican zebra and greenbottle blue varieties.
Chilean Rose Tarantula
One of the most common varieties seen in pet stores, this tarantula is native to South America. Other common names include the Chilean common, Chilean rose haired, Chilean flame and Chilean fire tarantula. The scientific name is Grammostola rosea.
The adult leg span ranges from four and a half to five and a half inches in length. Life span varies, with the female living longer than the male.
They are terrestrial spiders. Their ideal habitat consists of two to three inches of substrate with a log or cracked pot for a hiding area. Don’t forget the water dish. Misting can ensure the tarantula maintains a humidity of around 80 percent.
Chilean rose tarantulas are docile. They are the ultimate starter spider pet. Their diet consists of crickets, other insects and maybe an occasional mouse.
Brazilian Black Tarantula
The Brazilian black is native to South America, specifically grassy areas of Brazil and Uruguay. Its scientific name is Grammostola pulchra.
The adult leg span ranges from five to six inches. They have been known to live up to 20 years. You may find them in pet stores and as pets in school classrooms.
These are terrestrial spiders. An ideal habitat consists of as much as five inches of substrate (peat moss or potting soil), with a log or similar decoration for a hiding area. Misting can maintain humidity around 80 percent. Include a water dish.
This species is calm, hence being used in classrooms. Brazilian black tarantulas eat crickets, larger insects, small lizards and mice on occasion.
Costa Rican Zebra Tarantula
Costa Rican zebra tarantulas are native to Central America and northern to southern areas of the United States. Other common names include zebra tarantula and striped knee. Its scientific name is Aphonopelma seemanni.
The adult leg span is about four to four and a half inches. The zebra striping differs from vertical white stripes on black legs to horizontal ones.
These are burrowing spiders. Their idea habitat includes about five inches of substrate with a log or some other decoration to use as a hiding area. Misting keeps the humidity around 80 percent.
This spider is docile but can be nervous. It is best not to handle any tarantula unless you need to. Their diet consists of crickets, large insects and mice.
Greenbottle Blue Tarantula
The greenbottle blue tarantula is native to South America, particularly Paraguay and Venezuela. It has dramatic coloring including electric blue legs and an orange abdomen, making it one of the most striking spiders of its kind. Other common names include Venezuelan greenbottle blue and orange bottlebrush. Its scientific name is Chromatopelma cyaneopubescens.
The adult leg span is around four to four and a half inches. The coloring makes it very distinctive and highly prized.
They are terrestrial spiders. An ideal habitat includes about three inches of substrate. Because it lives in dry areas, you can include sand here as well. Logs or bark can make good hiding areas and space for webbing. Also include a water dish. Misting provides humidity around 65 to 75 percent.
These spiders are adaptable to life in captivity. They are sort of docile but can be nervous as well, so handle as little as possible. They eat crickets and small insects.
Consider these species if you are looking for a tarantula to keep as a pet.
Get to know the different species of tarantula before you buy. Here, you will find out about the Pinktoe, Common Brown, Mexican Red Knee and Mexican Red Leg varieties.
The pinktoe tarantula is native to South America and the southern Caribbean. It is also referred to as the common pinktoe, South American pinktoe and Guyana pinktoe. The scientific name for this species is Avicularia avicularia.
The leg span of a pinktoe can reach five inches. Their lifespan ranges from ten years and beyond. Of course, the males live for a much shorter time than the females.
They are arboreal spiders that climb trees using the hooks at the end of their legs. An ideal habitat would include a tall, ten-gallon tank with room and decorations for them to climb. Consider logs as well as vines. The bottom of the tank needs a layer of substrate about two inches thick. Mist them often to maintain a high humidity level (around 80%).
Pinktoe tarantulas are docile and friendly. Because they are tree spiders, they move quickly and can pose a situation when trying to catch them if they escape. Their diet consists of mostly crickets and other insects. They may occasionally enjoy a small mouse.
Common Brown Tarantula
The common brown tarantula is found on all continents except Europe and Australia. There are over 70 types with various scientific names.
The leg span is about five and a half inches. Larger more colorful varieties can be twice that size or larger. They can live anywhere from eight to 30 years.
These spiders are terrestrial. An ideal habitat contains several inches of substrate for burrowing, clean water and branches. Misting can maintain a high humidity.
Smaller, common brown tarantulas are calm and docile. Larger varieties can be more aggressive. They eat crickets, worms, beetles and even small lizards and the occasional mouse.
Mexican Red Knee Tarantula
The Mexican red knee tarantula is native to Mexico. It is also known as the Mexican orange knee tarantula. The scientific name is Brachypelma smithi.
The leg span of a red knee is five to five and a half inches. Lifespan varies with the female living at least twice as long as the male.
Red knee tarantulas are terrestrial. The ideal habitat needs at least two to three inches of substrate consisting of peat moss or potting soil or both. Not much else is needed other than a half-submerged plant pot to use as a hiding place. Misting can keep humidity levels close to between 75 and 90 percent.
Mexican red knee tarantulas are calm and docile. They eat crickets, small lizards and the occasional mouse.
Mexican Red Leg Tarantula
Many people know something about tarantulas but you’d be surprised to know how much there is to learn. Most people are scared of them because of how they look, but maybe a more in-depth investigation is needed. Here are some interesting facts about tarantulas that could leave you curious to know more.
Fun Facts about Tarantulas
The words “fun” and “tarantulas” don’t often appear together but maybe they should. After you read the following information, make your own decision.
* Longevity – Did you know that tarantulas can live for as long as 30 years? The female of the species lives on average three times longer than the males. Males don’t usually hang on long after they reach sexual maturity.
* Size – Just like other pets, tarantulas come in a variety of sizes. The smallest may be about an inch and a half to two inches in diameter (including leg span). One of the biggest, the Goliath Birdeater, can span 12 inches in diameter. That’s about the size of a dinner plate. And, they get their name honestly. They can jump and catch birds.
* Skeleton – To look at a tarantula you would think it was soft and fuzzy on the outside and hard on the inside. Not so. It is just like other insects with a hard exoskeleton. It has no skeleton on the inside. Through a process called molting, it regularly sheds its outer skeleton when it has outgrown it so it can mature and get bigger.
* The bite – Unlike the movies, tarantulas do not try to eat people. They do have a bite that is venomous but it affects humans much like the sting of a wasp or a bee. Some people with allergies may experience more serious symptoms. But, they do not often bite. If they do it is because they are scared or on the defensive.
* No web – Tarantulas do not spin webs as other spiders do. They can produce silk from their abdomen, but it is used to line their nests or burrows so they can keep things clean. Also, the stickiness traps any prey that dares to venture too close.
* What they eat – Tarantulas are insectivores. They love small prey like crickets, small lizards, grasshoppers, even other spiders. Bigger ones won’t pass up larger prey but they mainly live off of insects. And, they hunt at night, sneaking up on their prey and eating them from the inside out.
* They are delicate – These animals may look scary and imposing but you are often more of a danger to them then they are to you. A fall, even a few feet, can be fatal to them. It can rupture the thin skin over their abdomen, leading to a slow death.
* They are quiet and enjoy alone time – Tarantulas are not fierce but docile. They like being alone and also enjoy the company of their owners. It is best to watch them instead of handling them with your hands.
Did you find out anything new? Maybe tarantulas are not as bad as you thought.
So, you are interested in having a tarantula as a pet. Tarantulas are exotic pets. You might think that they require a lot of maintenance but in fact they are one of the most low-maintenance exotic pets you will find. Here are a few facts about their care.
Before purchasing a tarantula, do your research. Learn all you can about the various species and the ones that are most suitable for a new spider owner. Know what you need before you commit to becoming a pet owner.
Choose a reputable pet store with experience with tarantulas. If you only find one or two tarantulas in the store, try a different one that has a wider selection and more knowledge about them. When you do, ask your questions to familiarize yourself with what you will be getting into with this kind of animal.
It is best to buy all of your accessories when you purchase your pet. This way, you can set up their habitat fairly quickly. A new tarantula will need time to get used to their new environment. If you pet has just eaten in the store, they are good for a couple of days so they can explore and settle into their home without being disturbed.
You may have heard of birds molting and shedding feathers, but tarantulas also molt. They don’t shed feathers; they shed their exoskeleton. These insects don’t have an internal skeleton. In order to grow, they have to continually shed their hard exoskeleton. This happens every six months or so with an adult spider. Younger baby spiders (spiderlings) will molt more often.
Recognize the signs of molting. Spiders often turn over on their backs with their legs straight in the air. This is their pose when preparing for shedding. When ready, they have to work their way out of the shell. It can be stressful so don’t disturb your spider.
Once the exoskeleton is shed it may take a few days for the new one to harden. Your spider is at its most vulnerable now. Avoid feeding it or having live prey in the tank at this time. Their food may start to nibble on them and that can injure or kill them.
The molting pose is different from the death pose in that the legs are often curled underneath of it when the spider is ill and preparing to die.
Call your vet when you feel something might be wrong. Remember that a spider won’t eat for weeks right before molting. So before you get alarmed, check to see if it is about that time. Some signs of potential problems include:
* Small wrinkly abdomen (dehydration)
* Pacing tank (stress)
* Bleeding (some sort of injury)
* Walking on flat feet (illness)
Tarantulas don’t require much attention but they will need you to recognize when something is wrong.
Before you bring your pet tarantula home to live with you, it will need a place to call home within your residence. Unlike many other pets, it can’t sleep with you. Here are some tips about setting up a suitable habitat for your new friend.
Know Your Pet
Which type of tarantula do you own? There are two main types: arboreal and terrestrial. Terrestrial tarantulas will need space to burrow. That means a thick layer of substrate material to dig into. Arboreal ones will need decorations like a tall branch so that they can climb around and get exercise like they would do in the wild.
How big is it? You can choose an adult pet or a baby, known as a spiderling. They are so small that many online dealers will ship them in pill bottles. Once a spider begins to molt, then it will need a bigger habitat to accommodate its size. From a pill bottle, you can move up to a butter container or something similar. From a young age, it may take a while before you reach the size needed for a tank.
Keep the size of the container appropriate for the size of your spider. Tarantulas like to chase their prey and catch it. If the container is too big, prey can hide and your pet will go hungry. Don’t forget to cover your habitat so your pet doesn’t scamper away.
Choose a sufficient substrate for the bottom of the tank. For a tree spider it doesn’t have to be very deep, around an inch will do. Leave some clean space so that they can explore if they want to. Terrestrial burrowing spiders will need a deeper layer for making their hiding places, like two to five inches, depending on the size of the pet. Choose a mix of materials: organic potting soil, peat moss and/or vermiculite. Go organic to avoid having pesticides and other harmful chemicals close to your pet.
Feed your pet once or twice a week. Babies need to be fed more often. Tarantulas eat live insects. Crickets are the best choice but some owners choose roaches too. Be careful that they don’t crawl out of the habitat and infest your home. A couple of crickets a couple of times a week should be sufficient. Remove any food that is not eaten. Don’t forget the water dish. It doesn’t need to be that deep but easy for the pet to dip their fangs in and drink.
A clean habitat is healthier for your pet. Besides removing uneaten food, remove excrement from the tank on a regular basis. You won’t need a pooper scooper for this task. A paper towel will be good.
To maintain the moisture level, mist your pet once a week. Tropical varieties can be misted as much as once a day. They need a higher humidity rate. But, sitting your pet’s habitat near the window can warm it up too much and kill it, so be careful.
When you begin with a well-supplied habitat, your pet tarantula will want for nothing.