DIY Easy My Little Pony Party Centerpiece

Don’t spend a fortune having someone else make you a My Little Pony Centerpieces for your next party or event!  Make them yourself with our DIY instructions below!  It’s super easy, fun and something you and your kids can do together!  Just follow the steps and you are on your way!  Plus (BONUS TIP) make sure you book mark this tutorial for future reference because the pony can always be substituted for whatever theme you are doing!!

my pretty pony centerpiece

My Little Pony DIY Centerpiece for a Party

What you will need:

  1.  Buckets (I got mine at Hobby Lobby)
  2. Glue Gun
  3.  Styrofoam (Sized to fit down into the bucket size you select)
  4. Dum Dums suckers (I got mine at Walmart in bags of 75)
  5. Bamboo Skewers Sticks (I got mine at Hobby Lobby)
  6. Ponies (I got a bag of 5 at my local kids resale shop for $5)

How to make easy DIY My Little Pony Centerpieces

**Note:  I was working with 5 buckets so for the purpose of this tutorial everything will be for 5.  If you have more or less, you might have to do some tweaking to my calculations.

Make sure you have all your supplies so you won’t have to get up and can get to work!

little pony party centerpiece

Plug in your Glue gun and get it warmed up.  Line up all your buckets.  Apply a fair amount of glue to the bottom of each bucket and quickly before it dries push down a piece of Styrofoam into each bucket.  You can do 2 at a time holding about 10 seconds each since the glue dries so fast.

easy party centerpieces

I had 2 bags of suckers so a total of 150.  30 suckers per bucket since I had 5 buckets to do.  Now the fun part and this is where you can be creative.  If you want them all flat, you can do that or a umbrella effect you can do that.  Just play with it.  It just depends how far you stick them into the Styrofoam.  ***Tip.  If you want them to be higher and come up out of the tip of your bucket more then you might need to buy a taller piece of Styrofoam  or glue the piece you have to the middle of the bucket instead of the bottom.

dum dums party centerpiece how to

Now that you have your dum dums in place, you want to place your bamboo sticks in your ponies. Gently but firmly (you don’t want to break your stick) jam the sharp part of the stick in one of the legs of the pony.  I used the leg that went all the way up into the body so I could stick the stick further for more support.

dum dums centerpiece for party

Next and the last step is take the bamboo stick and put it where you want it in your bucket!

my little pony party decorations

Easy Peasy.  Done!

table decoration for my little pony party

You can get very creative with the colors of the dum dums, pony’s and buckets in order to make your My Little Pony party and centerpiece fabulous!  Let us know what you think!  DIY is so fun, isn’t it!

Blessings!

 

 

 

Raise them up Honest- 3 Must Know Tips

We all want honest kids!

Today my oldest and I were at the flea market!  Oh how we love to go to junk shopping!   I picked up several great pieces but the best find of the day was not in something I purchased but something I taught my daughter.

As we walked around the tiny isles, my 5-yr-old, who loves to touch everything; bumped into a table and caused a little ceramic squirrel to fall to the ground and break.  We were both immediately mortified.  My daughter because she thought she was going to be in trouble and me because I wondered how much this piece was going to cost me.  “Sorry mommy, sorry sorry sorry” she said over and over again almost in tears putting it back up on the table.

Squirrel ceramic figure

I quickly thought to myself, “what a great learning experience this will be.”  I explained to her that we needed to take the little squirrel up to the front and explain we broke it and pay for it.  She asked why since they would not know that it broke if we just put it back.  I let her know that it was an accident, we would not be in trouble, we had to take responsibility for our actions and be honest about what we did.   I explained that the little squirrel belonged to someone else who was trying to sell it and make a profit from selling it and it was now broken and we must pay for it or at least offer to.

talk to your kids about honesty

Sure, we could of just put it back on the shelf and walked away but kind of message would I of sent my daughter?  We walked up to the front and explained that “we” had accidentally broke it.  Luckily they only charged us $2 for the little squirrel and he got to come home with us.  My husband will fix him up and all will be well.  I hope my daughter will always remember that we chose to do the honest right thing today!

Raising honest kids is something that we should all strive to do.  Follow these 3 tips and you will be headed in the right direction!

Parents Lead by example

This is by far the most important thing you can do as a parent to teach your kids to be honest.  Your kids are always watching you and taking cues from you.  Just like the ceramic squirrel from above, if I would of just put it back, that would of taught my daughter, that was okay behavior when it’s not.  Be honest in all your doings whether it be at work, school, social settings, etc.  Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it (Proverbs 22:6)
 

Surround your kids in Truth

Similar to the above tip, if they are surrounded in truth, then that is all they know.  Make your home a truthful place.  As adults, we understand the concept of a “little white lie” but kids do not. If someone calls and you don’t want to come to the phone, don’t tell you child to lie and say you are not home.  Simply have them say, “Mom, can’t come to the phone right now.”   If you want your child to miss school one day, don’t tell them that you are telling the teacher that they are sick. Simply let the school know your child will just be out for family reasons.  If you don’t like apples, tell your kids the real reason, don’t make up a reason.  Kids are smart, especially the older they get and if you are constantly surrounding them with “little white lies” they will think this is normal and okay and soon you will be at the receiving end of their “little white lies.”

Reward honest behavior

I am not saying go out and buy them a new toy when they are honest but lets face it, sometimes it is hard as heck to be honest.  You can reward them verbally!  “Did you leave the water running in the bathroom?”  “Did you get in trouble at school today?”  Sometimes it is really hard for our kids to answer yes to questions they know they are going to get in trouble for and they should be rewarded for telling the truth.  This will help teach them to be honest.  Next time instead of yelling or scolding them, try something like this, “Thank you so much for being honest, it helps me trust you!”  or  “I am glad you told me about getting in trouble at school, I know its not easy to tell me the truth sometimes but I am always so happy when you do.”  This will help encourage your child to tell you the truth even when they think they might get in trouble.  Give them a big hug next time for being honest, even if it comes with a punishment for whatever the crime was.

Good luck Mom!  Look for lessons in everyday life, they are there!  All the time!  In the meantime, go junk shopping!  You can find some great items!  Here’s mine from the squirrel day!

Blessings!

shabby chic home decor

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Who Doesn’t like Surprises in a bag? SURPRIZAMALS Stuffed Animal Review

Surprizamals- Which one will you get?

SURPRIZAMALS review

I am always looking for cute little gifts for my kids that can be used for behavior rewards in our treasure box at home or “just because” gifts that don’t break the bank.  I also look for stocking stuffers year round and little things to throw in goodie bags or gift bags when the girls have their own birthday parties or attend them.  I was so excited when we received some Surprizamals to review for y’all so I could see if these little stuffed balls would make the grade!  Of course all opinions are my own.

blind bag stuffed animals

Most kids today have heard of the “blind bag” and love the concept and my kids are no strangers, they love it!  They were so excited to get their Surprizamals and quickly opened the mailing bag and divided them up so that they each got the same amount.  Pop open the round red egg they come in and bam, you open up a super soft quality plush little stuffed animal.  They are not in a “blind bag” but the red egg needs to be popped open to see what is inside and you won’t know what Surprizamals are in your set until you open them.  How fun, especially to a young child!

stuffed animal for kids

There are 4 series (similar to seasons) currently and among them there are common, rare, ultra rare and limited edition Surprizamals to collect.  My girls started playing with them right away and trading each other to get the ones they wanted.  Made by Beverly Hills Teddy Bear Co, the “Cuties” are 2″ tall and “Wackys” are 4″ tall.  Zach the Zebra, Lola the Lady bug and Penny the Penguin are just a few of the cute little Surprizamals that you can collect.

SURPRIZAMALS

Christmas is right around the corner so you might want to keep these in mind as they are sure to be a big hit.  You can pick them up at Toys R Us, Walmart of other toy retailers as well as the Surprizamals website here.

SURPRIZAMALS are MAK approved!

 

 

Kick Your Insecurities to the Curb Mom

Are you an insecure Mom?

The looming parent teacher conference with the principal drives you straight to the
panic room in your brain. The dancing emojis from your big sister’s text about your ten
month old nephew taking his first steps wrinkles your forehead like a crumpled shirt in
the laundry. The Wonder Twins mother third promotion in five years has you hotter than
fish grease at a church social. These are things that make a mom wonder what I am
doing wrong as a mother.

Insecurity is an annoying human emotion. Being an insecure Mom is the worst. Every
little thing you do (or don’t) leads to some unfathomable conclusion that you are failing
your family. Hiccups morph into monumental crises, minor flaws become Jurassic, and
self-esteem is shattered every time a problem or a new situation makes a guest
appearance. Insecurity left unchecked can lead you straight to the tequila or your
nearest cupcake shop.

am i insecure

How do know you’re an insecure Mom?

Okay Dr. Phil, we all feel uncertain from time to time, that doesn’t mean we’re insecure. Well that is true but if you’re still feeling anxious once the storm has passed, then you may have some self-doubt taking up valuable headspace. That energy should be reserved for planning your next family getaway, revamping your personal space, or launching your business. Take a look at these
examples and see if they fit you:
• You compare yourself to other mothers at school, work, etc., even to your own
mother
• You wish your child(ren) were like someone’s child(ren)? (behavior, grades,
looks)
• You troll social media to compare your children to their cousins or classmates
• You shy away or demean other parents and kids because you feel you and yours
are failures
• You’ve given up being the best mom you can be because you think only certain
women are allowed to succeed
• You think your child’s talent to sing, write, or play the kazoo is worthless because
they don’t any tangible awards to show for it

If any of these apply, just say ouch. By the way, you’re not a mean girl; you are
insecure. Insecure is not a dirty word. Everyone, including the mighty Oprah falls short
sometimes. Doubt, lack of confidence, and fear visits everyone’s doorstep. What makes
insecurity offensive is first, no one likes to admit they’ve been there and second, there is
a payoff to remaining insecure.

Why Bonnie, whatever do you mean? I’m glad you asked. The payoff to remaining stuck in your insecurity is that you excuse yourself from doing the hard work to get yourself out of that black hole. Think about it. Which is easier have seconds of lemon meringue pie or saying no and talking a walk instead? A second slice is yours for the taking, but the walk requires changing your shoes, opening the door, leaving your house, walking at a reasonable pace to burn calories, sweating,
adding it your routine for better results. Work, work, work, work, work (Add Rhianna
here.)

Choosing to keep your arteries unclogged requires mindful effort, as facing your
insecurities starts with changing your mindset, opening your heart, leaving the past
behind, and walking away from things that don’t help you. You may sweat bullets at
first, but add a little faith to mix and it will get easier. In other words, if you’re insecure
and you know it, get some help.

Most employers offer EAP services with as many as 5 free sessions and most insurance companies will pay a part for your sessions. If spilling your guts to a stranger is not your bag, try talking to other moms who have been there and done that. Whatever you need to do to be the awesome mom you are, do it!

There is this great quote around the Internet that says something like someone else’s
house will be cleaner, kids will do better in school, husband will make more money, etc.
etc. but that shouldn’t stop you from doing your best. Our insecurities as women,
mothers, and people are never about the other person, but about how we feel or react
when the output doesn’t align with the input.

Here’s another great quote, life is 2 percent of what happens to us, but 98 percent on how we react. In case someone hasn’t told you today, the potential to be great a mom, have kids who do well in school, and the chutzpah to kill it at your job or business is already there, so stop playing the victim. You got this!

 

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From The County Fair to Disney – 4 Easy Things You Can Do to Prevent Food Poisoning

*This post contains sponsored links from unsafefoods.com

If your children are like mine, they are so excited that the summer is here. We have water park plans and trips to some of our favorite amusement parks scheduled. We may even stop at a festival or two, which are sure to have plenty of yummy fair goodies, for that mid-afternoon sugar rush. As a mom, self-professed foodie, and a food safety advocate: food is the first thing that comes to mind when I think of our day outside. I know all too well that food and outdoor events can be fraught with bacteria that could make my children sick. As foodborne illnesses are especially at their peak in the summer months, caution is a must to ensure food poisoning is not a buzzkill for your summer holiday fun.

4 Handy Tips to Prevent Food Poisoning

As a parent, you can take several precautions to help prevent your kids (and you) from coming down with the tummy troubles. Here is a handy list of four easy things you can do while still enjoying all of the culinary delights your outdoor event has to offer:

 

  1. Be on the Lookout.

    Food poisoning from mobile food vendors and even restaurants happens most often because of a sick employee. While you wait to order, see if anyone who is making the food seems to be complaining about their stomach or being sick. If so, seek another vendor.

 

  1. Gloves in Check?

    When I talk to health inspectors, many have told me this is a huge pet peeve of theirs. Sometimes a food service worker will take your payment while wearing gloves, and not change them to make your food. Just think about how many people have touched that dollar! Even worse, have they changed that pair at all that day? When in doubt, you can ask the worker to swap out for a new pair of gloves.

 

  1. Check out the Food Before Your Kids Eat it.

    I check everything my kids eat. Food has a “danger zone” between 40°F and 139°F where bacteria grow best. I make sure what should be hot is hot, and what should be cold is cold. If you order a hotdog, and it is lukewarm or room temperature, do not feel bad about sending it back. I personally would rather inconvenience a vendor than spend a night at the emergency room.

 

  1. Handwashing Anyone?

    Everyone needs to wash their hands. I will not bore you with stats, but the reality is, most people do not wash their hands after using the bathroom. Less wash their hands after touching animals. And sadly, if your hand sanitizer is not at least 60% alcohol content, most likely it won’t kill bad bacteria that causes food poisoning. Handwashing is by far the best practice for fending off disease.

    Tips to Prevent Food Poisoning

 

 Let’s Quick Talk About Food Poisoning

There is a common misconception that food poisoning happens right away and is the last item eaten. In most cases, food poisoning bugs that have a quick onset are usually less severe, like Norovirus and Staph. However, the scarier food poisoning bacteria, say E. coli, campylobacter, and salmonella, have longer periods needed to incubate in the gut. It may take 2 to 10 days for the symptoms of an E. coli infection to show. As you can imagine, they also take longer to recover from.  It may be a good idea to keep a short log of what your children ate during a trip to an amusement park in the off chance of illness.

As always, if you suspect your child has a severe form of food poisoning, urgent medical attention is recommended.

We at UnsafeFoods wish you and your family a very happy and healthy summer!

 

*MAK did receive compensation for this post.

Keep Cool Mom- 5 Tips to Survive Back to School for Busy Moms

Wow, what a crazy week it has been getting the kids ready for school!  Work, Hair-cuts, school clothes, school supplies, meet the teacher night, paperwork, and shopping for the right kind of groceries for their lunches!  This week has been hectic with more to come as we roll right along into the upcoming school year!  There were times I felt like I was going to lose my mind but I kept my cool.

Busy Moms can survive back to school with these tips!

back to school help

 

Don’t try to cram everything into one week!

You still have your normal activities, job, other kids, housework and everything else you do that makes you crazy to do.  You can’t possibility do everything you need to do to prepare for back to school all in one week/day.  Pace yourself! We started a couple of weeks before school and conquered one task every couple of days!

Plan before you purchase

This is a big one!  We spent a lot of time going through the kids closets, shoes, supplies, etc to see exactly what they needed.  Don’t just go to the store without a plan as you will end up spending way more money then you intended.  One of my daughters needed a couple more pair of shoes then the other.  My oldest needed things the youngest didn’t.  After I figured out what I needed, I wrote it all down.  Since you now know what you need, you can go online to Groupon or whatever site you like and see what coupons and sales are being offered.  You can truly save big if you do a little planning and preparation before you go out!

Start Preparing for the first day of school

Your kids might not like this one too much but don’t wait until the first day of school to get up early. Explain to them what you are doing and why, you can even make it a fun game for the younger ones.  Start again about a week before school starts and do several trial runs.  Start putting the kids down to bed at their new bedtimes, get them up at the time they would if they had school that day, eat a healthy breakfast, set out clothes and shower them the night before.  Do everything you would do if school had really started. This way you can see what works for your family and what needs some fine tuning.  There is no reason why back to school has to be chaotic.  It just takes a bit of planning ahead of time and structure.

Enlist everyone’s help

Now that the kids will have somewhere to be everyday at a certain time it is time to make sure you have some help!  Get that chore chart out and revise it.  What could the kids be doing more of to help you out and make things run smoother in your household?  Perhaps you have to be at work in the morning early as well and don’t have time to make lunches.  Older kids can make their lunches the night before to help out, empty the dishwasher, fold towels and sweep floors.  There are plenty of age appropriate chores that everyone can do to help out!  Hubby around?  He can help out with dinner/baths a few nights a week while you help the kids out with homework.   Like the crock pot? Now is the time to get it out, since it is super easy and produces great home-cooked meals!  The point is, everyone needs to be involved.

Set a positive tone for the upcoming school year

I feel this is so very important.  Will life get crazy?  Oh yes it will!  If you have multiple children they will soon be going in 5 different directions all the time but as a parent one of the most important jobs you have is to set structure and a positive tone for your kids towards life so the same applies for the upcoming school year!  Start a few weeks before school is set to start and talk to you kids about their goals, needs and fears about the upcoming school year.  Be positive even if you aren’t! You want them to develop a love for learning and they look to you and value your thoughts! Have conversations with them about the importance of a structured routine and how it benefits them.

You are character building, Mom, even if it doesn’t feel like it one day at a time.  Kids strive for structure and routine which in turn helps them develop responsible decision-making skills.  When its all said and done, you will survive!  You will figure out your routine and what works best for your family!  It might take some rearranging and re-do’s but it will happen (hopefully by Christmas break!)  : )

Do you have any great back to school tips for us?  Please let us know in the comments below!

Blessings!

Need more help?  Check out tips for going back to school HERE!

 

 

4 Simple Steps for a Family Striving for Healthy Living

Being healthy is something that my family is striving to do better!

This post was sponsored by Nature Made® as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.

It’s hard sometimes though, isn’t it?  There’s labels to check and calories to count.  There’s so many messages out there. How many steps did you take today?  Did you take your vitamins?  Eat more fiber!  Go to bed early!  It is easy to get overwhelmed, but it doesn’t have to be!

I feel so much better and notice positive changes in my family when we do the following 4 things:

  • Drink 8-8oz glasses of water each day
  • I take my 100% vegetarian, gluten & dairy free Nature Made Advanced Probiotics/ kids take their vitamins
  • Cook healthy meals for my family
  • Get 30 minutes of exercise daily

walk 30 minutes a day

 

 

I want to set a good example for my children and provide them with the very best nutrition and health.   Drinking 8- 8oz glasses of water a day, eating healthy (cutting out unhealthy carbs,) taking our vitamins and getting 30 minutes of exercise each day is the big push around our house.  Your kids copy what they see you do, so my #1 focus is to teach them and show them what healthy living is about.  They take their vitamins in the morning and I take my Nature Made Advanced Probiotics which has 15 Billion live cultures per serving.*  We make it a team effort!

nature made advanced probiotics vitamins

Nature Made Advanced Probiotics from Kroger are gentle enough for everyday use so I don’t have to worry about it and super easy to take for my digestive health.  Advanced Dual Action Probiotics work in your small intestine and large intestine. † It helps support digestive balance and a healthy gut flora.†  When my inside is working well I can feel better all around.  When I feel better all around, I can take better care of my family, that’s for sure!   I believe true wellness starts on the inside!

We get out and go to the park, walk or go to the gym every day for at least 30 minutes.  I try to make it fun so the kids will be fond of exercise and can pick up the pace when they are older.

Kroger is a go to spot for us when we need to pick up healthy food as they have an amazing produce and deli section, household items and even my Nature Made Advanced Probiotics.  Yes, they have a huge pharmacy section so you can pick up everything you need all in one place, which makes for really easy!  Everyone is always nice and the kids love pushing around the little kids carts!  I highly suggest checking out Kroger next time you need to pick up some healthy food and Nature Made Advanced Probiotics.

kroger pharmacy isle

Buying and picking healthy choices is half the battle when it comes to being and eating healthy.  I find if I have it ready and prepared, I am more likely to eat it versus not being prepared and opting for takeout.  Takeout food in excess and all those unhealthy carbs/calories are so not good for us!

kroger clothing deparment

It takes a little preparation sometimes but you can be and live healthy!  Remember your kids are watching and they want to be just like you!  So, one step at a time, Mom!  Just pick one or two of the tips above and start there!  You can do it!

 

____________________________________________________________________

Formulated to provide at least 5 billion live cells per capsule (Bifidobacterium lactis SD-5674) and 10 billion live cells per capsule (Lactobacillus plantarum 299v) if continuously stored in a cool, dry place at or below 77°F (25°C) and consumed prior to expiration date. Storage and handling conditions can vary, and may affect the total amount of cells delivered at time of consumption.
 These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

Encourage Your Child to Learn and Grow – 8 Spot-on Tips for Busy Mom

This post is brought to you by Smile Tutor.

Young children experience such quick development that no month may be the same. Unfortunately, few families can succeed on just one income, so two parents end up working and being busy. How should you reconcile your busy life with your desire to be great parents? There are a number of ways you can help boost your child’s development and learning, even if you’re busy.

Encourage Your Child to Learn and Grow – 8 Spot-on Tips for Busy Mom

  1. Bring them to a playgroup.

Humans are social creatures, and children are no different! Children need friends to spend time with and bounce ideas off of in order to properly develop social skills. Organized activities can help your child learn in a safe environment. By making friends in a playgroup, your child can begin to identify with others and develop an understanding of who they are and what role they play.

  1. Give them unstructured time to play.

With so many things going on in children’s lives nowadays, it often seems as if there’s simply no time for them to simply enjoy the freedom of responsibility a child has. Children should be given plenty of time to play and develop, without being drained by mandatory extracurricular activities. Unstructured play is fundamental in healthy brain development, allowing your kids to practice their creative and critical thinking skills while boosting their imagination, dexterity, and emotional strength.

  1. Read a short book with your child.

You might be busy, but you shouldn’t be so busy that you can’t sit down and read one book before bedtime. Reading to your child helps to stimulate their imagination and expands their understanding of other people, as well as the world around them. By hearing you sound out the words, your child will be able to develop listening and language skills they’ll carry with them long into the future. On top of that, it’s important to make good memories with your children that they can remember fondly.

  1. Have a dance party.

Everyone dances! You can dance when you’re happy, or sad, or excited. Children who don’t yet have command over language can be seen dancing to express their feelings. It helps develop physical ability, because it involves a wide range of coordination, motion, strength, and endurance. It promotes emotional maturity because children are able to express themselves and learn self-awareness. They can work in a group setting and learn cooperation skills.

  1. Hire a tutor.

You may not always be around to help with the schoolwork. On top of that, school projects get heavier and more involved as your child ages. You might not be fully up-to-date on every little thing your child is learning in school, and that’s okay! Tutors who have educational training and are aware of the current status quo in classrooms can help your child by guiding them through difficult lessons and improving their schoolwork.

  1. Ask questions.

Authoritarian parenting was great years ago, but now experts recommend a more equal relationship between parents and their children. Instead of demanding that they do something, ask them politely and explain why they have to do it. Children take most of their behavioral cues from parents, so if you yell and scream at your child, chances are they will yell and scream in the future. But if you lay the foundation for stability and mental health, they’ll go into adulthood as happier, calmer adults. By asking questions and nurturing their answers, you can help them understand why it’s important to wash dishes, clean their room, or do other chores.­

  1. Sign them up for clubs and extracurriculars.

It’s important to know what your child likes and to help those passions grow. For example, if they like to build Lego robots, don’t try to sign them up for ballet. If they don’t like math, try signing them up for a reading club at the library instead. By having your child join clubs and groups, they’ll be able to receive structured guidance and help with what they love to do. It’s important for children to have hobbies because it improves their creativity and overall happiness. Make sure that you listen to your child instead of trying to ask them to do something they don’t want to do. Recognize that your child is autonomous and has their own thoughts, feelings, and ideas.

  1. Spend time with them.

Even if it’s just on the weekends, it’s important to make time for your children. Children need love, time, and attention from their parents—you’re their biggest source of validation! If they can’t feel comfortable or close to you, it’s likely that they will seek attention elsewhere or act out. Whether it’s bringing them to the museum or spending an hour at the park—or even something as simple as having dinner at a restaurant with them—time with your child is the best way you can stay involved and help them learn.

 

**MAK did receive compensation for this post.

 

 

6 Surprising Ways to Save Money on Baby Gear

 This is a sponsored post from  That Baby Brain that contains sponsored links.  Clicking on them costs you nothing.

6 Surprising Ways to Save Money on Baby Gear That you Need to Know!

Now that I’ve been a mama for six whole months now, the No. 1 tip I would give other mothers is that you probably don’t need as much stuff for your child as you’re buying. And you’re probably not stocking enough on the stuff you do need.

For example, did you know that elephant teething toy at Target is just as effective as Sophie the Giraffe, but it’s much cheaper? With all this said, here’s how you can save tons of money when you’re preparing for your baby’s arrival.

cheap baby gear

Family and Friends

The best thing that you can do is tell your family and friends what you need for your little one. Most of the time family and friends are going to jump at the chance to buy cute and fun clothes and baby items (especially if it’s your first). Don’t be afraid to tell your family and friends what you need and see what they get you. Also, make sure people know that you are also welcome to hand-me-downs. Don’t be the person that is “too good” for hand-me downs.

Of course, there are some things that you don’t want; clothes with poop stains, things that are broken or have foul smells. And you should NEVER take used car seats or cribs from anybody. Both of these items have recalls sometimes and if you get them used you will not have any idea if they’ve been recalled. You also don’t know about their history (once a  car seat has gotten in a crash it cannot be used). So, if somebody wants to give you either of these items you can politely decline. A crib and a car seat are two things you need to buy new!

Consignment Stores

There are awesome baby consignment stores across the United States such as Once Upon A Child, Goodwill and True Value. You can find some amazing things there. Children grow up so quickly and sometimes parents buy brand new clothes, toys and gear that they never actually use and then they sell it (or give it away) to different stores and you get to benefit! Before you buy any new items, check these stores first. Consignment stores are great for traditionally pricier items like double jogging strollers and jogging stroller and car seat combos.

Facebook Groups

Take advantage of social media when it comes to finding awesome items. You can join Facebook “For sale” groups or even “Baby sell” groups that you can check out and find some great deals on some killer items like kitchen playsets that would otherwise cost a small fortune. When you find an item you want, you can ask if it’s still available. Once you agree on a price you can then meet with the seller and grab the item.

Coupons

The best thing to get from coupons is wipes and diapers! You will find that you go through so many diapers a day that you’ll lose count. If you haven’t had your baby yet, the best piece of mom advice I can give you is to start stocking up NOW! Start clipping those coupons and become a coupon crazy lady (or man)! Also, baby wipes can be used for anything – and this will make you tear through them even faster.

Check Insurance First

Before you purchase some things make sure you check your insurance first. Most health insurance companies will cover your breast pump and some may even cover your car seat. They may cover nothing, but it would make you very upset at yourself if you bought an expensive item if it could have been for free.

Shop Around Before Buying

The worst mistake you could make in buying baby items is to purchase the first item that you see (especially for the larger items). Instead, be sure you’re doing your research on Amazon. Don’t make the mistake of buying the first item you see from the first store. I have made the mistake of buying something in the store on impulse, then realizing I overpaid. For example, instead of rushing to buy my Graco Snugride and matching Elite Stroller at Target, I started watching them on Amazon. Then, I pounced during the holiday shopping season and bought them at deep discounts. I also did this with our Pack ‘n Play and car seat bases. Unless you have a baby in your arms and you don’t have a car seat, then you don’t need to hurry up and purchase right that second.

They Probably Don’t Need As Much As You Think They Do

I know that having a baby is overwhelming and everybody will tell you how expensive babies and children are. However, you will be surprised about how little babies need. They don’t need all the fancy and high-end equipment. They don’t need 3,000 toys. In fact, you’ll find that your child would rather play with your shoe than their expensive toys.

Want more ways to save?  Check out our coupon page HERE!

Mom- Got Questions about Starting Kindergarten?

My conversations throughout the day are usually with a four and a five-yr old.  As exhausting as that is and all that entails, it is the most rewarding and enjoyable part of my day!  We talk (and I answer a lot of questions) about the weather and about ducks and dolls and whatever is on their little minds.  In a few short days, my oldest will be going to Kindergarten.  Really?   I was just pregnant with her the other day.  How has she evolved into this little human?  I am just not ready for this!

My Daughter is starting Kindergarten!

starting kinder

All summer I knew this day was coming, we have been talking about it for months.  Her eyes fill with excitement when she asks about it.  This last week she has been packing her new backpack to get ready and trying on her new school clothes.  Shes been asking me lots of questions.  “Mommy, will I be able to bring my own snack?” “Mommy, will I ride the bus or will you still take me like last year?”  The questions are so sweet and innocent and serious and fill my mind with questions and thoughts as well.

We have been raising this baby and preparing her each and every day for this.  Have we prepared her?  Will she know what to do if there is an emergency?  Will she know what to do if she is bullied or sees someone being bullied?  How will she feel when she gets embarrassed?  Will her self-esteem take a hit when a friend is mean to her?  Can she stay focused all day at school?  Will she come home and tell me all about her day?  I have a zillion more questions but only so much room in this post.

When I have questions that weigh heavy on my mind, I seek out the best source there is!  The Bible! There are 3 Verses that come to mind when I stress about all the questions I have about sending my daughter off to Kindergarten and anything else that occurs throughout the day!

Proverbs 3:5-6 NIV- 

5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 
6 in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.
I trust God with all my heart even when I don’t understand and submit my life and will to him.

Philippians 4:6-7 NIV

6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 
7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
The Bible tells us not to be anxious or afraid about anything but to pray with thanks and give it to God.  I put my faith in God that he will guide my Daughter and everything will be okay.

John 14:27 NIV

27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

Again, in John, the Bible tells us not to be afraid and troubled.  He gives peace.  Don’t get caught up in the World and everything it offers.  All the madness!

ready to go to school

So as much as I will miss my daily conversations and hanging out with her, I am happy to send her off to Kinder, because she’s ready.  I am getting there slowly with a little help from above!

Anyone else feel this way?  Sending yours off to Kinder this year or soon?  Let us know in the comments below!

Blessings!

Want more bible verses?  Help for the Tired Mom HERE!

 

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Raise Them up Kind Mom

Parenting is hard!

And every day I wonder what mistakes I am making along the way.  Parenting is filled with a constant shadow of doubt and there is a lot of pressure to raise the perfect child.  And lets chat for a minute about that… Who decides what the perfect child looks, acts and sounds like???  Who gets to determine what qualities the perfectly parented child has??  And who wants that job???  With all the doubt and second guessing involved with parenting I strive to allow myself the opportunity to fail and to grow.  Am I parenting the perfect child???  Sure I am.  Declan is perfect in his own right and he is the prefect child for me.  Let’s set some realistic standards here… let’s focus on growth and development… let’s shine a light on the positive.  Each child is perfect- in some way (big or small) and each child possess innate qualities that are special to them.  Kids are kids.  Let them be little.

One of the most important things for me, as a mother, is to raise a kind and thoughtful human.  If Declan does nothing else in life but be kind and respectful to others I will consider my parenting battle a successful one.  Each and every day I tell Declan how kind he is, I remind him he is sweet and I praise his ability to forgive.

Is it easy?? NO.  He is a toddler after all.  He can be defiant.  He can be cheeky.  He can be mischievous.

I believe, strongly, in the importance of reminding him he is kind in the WORST of times- when is acting defiant, cheeky and mischievous.  In the middle of a melt-down at Target because the P.J. Masks book did not come home with us, in the middle of the restaurant when he is losing his mind because he is hungry, in the midst of an argument with a friend over whose turn it is to ride the pink tractor.  Reminding Declan he is kind, sweet and forgiving stands at the forefront of my mothering.raise kind kids

Sharkarosa Wildlife Ranch- A Wild Adventure Awaits in North Texas

We did receive free passes to visit Sharkarosa but all opinions are 100% my own.

Visiting DFW or perhaps live in the area?

A great idea for the weekend is to head up to Sharkarosa Wildlife Ranch and experience some exotic animals from all around the world face to face!  When I say face to face, I mean face to face.  Ever been to the zoo and the animals are way back behind the glass and you really can’t even see them?  Not at Sharkarosa!  This unique self-proclaimed work in progress facility sits on 126 breath-taking acres and is home to over 100 animals at any given time.

The park offers field trips, private tours, open to the public Saturdays and Sundays and rental for events large and small!

Sharkarosa Wildlife Ranch

Gates open at 10am on the weekends and the front section of the ranch is self-guided but has plenty of staff and signs to help you navigate your way through.  The pony rides and petting zoo is here as well.  ($5 extra for pony rides.)

Every 30 minutes there are also educational presentations in various locations.  We were able to catch the BEARS, right outside the restaurant!  Barnaby and Bailey (brother and and sister) are rescue bears that live there right on site and are pretty cozy!  It was awesome!

bears in north texas

The remaining portion of the ranch is seen on a seated Safari Tram ride that takes you into the habitats of our larger animals such as camels, zebra, Père David’s deer, draft horses, and more.  I recommend getting on the tram as soon as you arrive and get this part of your tour out of the way so you can eat or just piddle around at leisure.  We got there right at 10:15 and were able to jump on the 10:30 tram with no lines or delay.

wildlife ranch in texas

There are feed buckets on the sides of the tram to place feed in so that the animals will come right up to you.  The Tram driver tells jokes and keeps the tour moving and everyone informed about what to do and not do.  Sit at the front of the tram as we set in the back and it was sometimes hard to hear.  Some animals you can pet, some you can’t.  We bought 4 bags of food for $10 and it did come in handy feeding the animals at the petting zoo and on the Tram.

horses at Sharkarosa

 

My kids had fun on the Kids Barrel train that runs throughout the day upon request and we saw a couple of families using the free picnic grounds having a picnic.

barrel train ride

The day worked out perfectly.  We got off the tram and the Bear show started right away. We then ate at The Bears Den Restaurant and it was truly amazing.  Everyone in my party (all 9 of us) enjoyed our food and service very much!  They don’t use croutons but cheese puffs on their salads!  How cool is that and the pizza is wood fire-grilled right in front of you!  The best part is while we waited for the food, the kids in our party, were able to go right outside the door to an awesome playground and burn off some more energy while we waited!

bears at Sharkarosa

The only thing I would change is on the website, the park offers free admission to military, however, they did not give my Dad a military discount.   My father is a Veteran who served his country and has it proudly displayed on his state of Texas drivers licence.  They would not accept that as proof, however, since he is not “active” this is what he and many veterans carry as their proof.  I wonder if the young girl working the front was just confused?

zebras at Sharkarosa

Another thing I would suggest is lower the cost of the pony rides since they were literally 2 minutes for $5.  $2 or $3 would be more suitable for what you get but the awesome restaurant and the good time had by all pretty much overshadowed the short pony rides!

park at Sharkarosa

Sharkarosa Ranch is for sure a must see destination for North Texas visitors!  Make sure to tell them we sent you!

petting zoo in texas

We love coupons so here you go!  Visit here to print out your $2.00 Off Child Admission – This coupon may be redeemed for $2.00 off one child entry with the purchase of an adult entry. Not valid with any other offer or coupon. Limit two discounted child admissions with the purchase of two full price adult admissions.

Make sure you check out our Coupons page for more coupons and offers from our amazing partners!

Blessings!

 

Roasted Applewood Smoked Bacon Pork Loin Filet & Cheesy Vegetable Rice Recipe

30 MINUTE SUMMER MEAL WITH SMITHFIELD MARINATED FRESH PORK

Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Smithfield® Marinated Fresh Pork. The opinions and text are all mine. @SmithfieldFoods

Summer is in full swing here in Texas so as you can probably imagine it is hot but we love it!  My kids are busy at camps and other activities to occupy their time, and I am busy taking care of them and everything else mom related.  It gets hard sometimes, especially since I am a working Mom but hey, we push through don’t we!

In our family, since we are so busy, we love easy.  Easy outfits picks, easy home décor, easy meals, the list goes on and on!  I don’t have time for anything else, especially with two small children.  Creating easy, quick meals for my family used to be challenging but not on the nights I pick up Smithfield® Marinated Fresh Pork at United.  You’ve gotta try the Applewood Smoked Bacon Pork Loin Filet because it is ready in 30 minutes or less and perfect for any night of the week.  If you want real flavor, real fast, try this flavor.  The bacon tastes like you just made it yourself and marinated but nope, you didn’t have to do anything, it’s already done!

smithfield Marinated Fresh Pork

I decided to go easy and prepare a fabulous meal and invite my parents over to enjoy the summer night.  No special occasion needed, I just like when they are amazed by something I prepare that looks hard but is really super easy.  Like I said, since the meat is already marinated, it provides #RealFlavorRealFast, which made my job in the kitchen a lot easier! It’s made from 100% fresh pork and has no artificial ingredients, so I feel good serving it to my family.  You just pop it in the oven for 30 minutes at 375 and it’s done.

My husband loves bacon like he loves the weekend so tonight I am preparing a recipe with the Applewood Smoked Bacon Pork Loin Filet but they also have other varieties of delicious cuts and flavors like Roasted Garlic & Herb Pork Sirloin, Sweet Teriyaki Pork Tenderloin and Roasted Garlic & Herb Pork Loin Filet, just to name a few.

Marinated Fresh Pork

 

Here’s the recipe I decided to make for our family dinner night!

Again, super easy and yummy!

Ingredients for Applewood Smoked Bacon Pork Loin Filet and Cheesy Vegetable Rice Recipe

1 Package of Smithfield Applewood Smoked Bacon Pork Loin Filet (1 lbs.)

2-3 Large Broccoli Crowns

1 tablespoon oil

1 cup long-grain white rice

½ Cup of Grape or Cherry Tomato’s cut in halves

2 cups chicken broth

2 tablespoons butter

1 1/2 cups Cheddar cheese (or Parm)

1 teaspoon garlic powder

Salt, pepper, lime to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375. Place Smithfield Applewood Smoked Bacon Pork Loin Filet in oven for 30 min.
  2. Meanwhile, Put the oil in a sauce pan over medium to low heat.
  3. Add the rice to the pan, cook and stir, until the rice starts to turn golden brown.
  4. Add the chicken broth to the pan, heat till it starts to boil. Cover.
  5. Cook, covered, for 15 – 20 minutes or until most of the chicken broth is absorbed.
  6. Meanwhile pour 2 tsp of olive oil into sauté pan, mix in broccoli, tomatoes and garlic. Toss and Sauté to your liking until tender.
  7. Remove rice from the heat and add the butter, chopped broccoli, tomatoes, cheese, and garlic powder. Stir until well incorporated. Cover and let sit for 5 minutes.
  8. Stir again and add salt, Lime, pepper to taste
  9. Once the pork is cooked, cool, slice and serve with rice as pictured.
  10. Plate, serve and enjoy

pork recipe with veges

 

Tip:  If you want an extra tangy taste, add lemon and lime to taste.  It is so good over the rice and pork loin.

pork with bacon

Like what you see?  Smithfield is also challenging you to see what you can do with Smithfield Marinated Fresh Pork to get a flavorful meal ready in about 30 minutes with their “What Can You Do with 30?” meal and tip contest.  For more 30-minute meal prep ideas and to submit your original recipe for a chance to win great prizes, head on over to www.smithfieldrealflavorrealfast.com

 

 

 

We switched our 13-Month old Daughter from Whole Milk to Almond Milk. Should We be Supplementing with Anything Else? Help!

We received this question from one of our awesome mamas, Nikki, in our MAK Facebook group!  Join in HERE and request entry into our group to ask questions and talk to other Moms just like you!

Keep those questions coming!

Q-  We switched our 13-month-old daughter from whole milk to almond milk. Should we be supplementing with anything else?  Help!

A- Almond milk is an excellent healthy choice as an alternative to whole milk!  Doctors do suggest that an average child over the age of 12 months have only 3- 8 oz glasses of whole milk a day anyway.  Almond Milk does have vitamins A and D but is low in calcium and protein compared to other milk.  Toddlers get protein in their diets from other places but usually not too much calcium, that’s why milk is recommended in the first place.  

As far as supplementing, we suggest just making sure your little one is getting enough calcium and protein.  Try picking an Almond Milk brand that is fortified with calcium and avoid a brand that is sweetened.  This will ensure that your little one is getting the calcium they need and not too much sugar that they don’t need!  

whole milk alternative

The Institute of Medicine encourages children ages 1 to 3 to consume at least 13 grams of protein every day. Make sure your little one is eating enough of these high-protein foods appropriate for toddlers within this age range.  Soft meats such as chicken, hamburger and fish, whole milk, cheese, yogurt, tofu, eggs and legumes are just a few. Some toddlers are ready to eat peanut butter, but ask your pediatrician to be sure.

Yogurt and cheese will also help you fulfill the recommended amount of calcium (700 milligrams (mg) per day) that your little one needs if whole milk is not an option.

Great choice and question Mom!  We had our little one on Soy and Almond Milk as well while she was a toddler and she got me hooked on it as well! : )

Blessings!  Be well!

 

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And as always—-The medical information on this site is provided as an information resource only and is not intended to be relied upon for diagnostic or treatment purposes. The information is not intended for any specific patient, and does not create any client-consultant or patient-nurse relationship. There is no substitute for professional diagnosis and treatment.

Contact your child’s pediatrician for information about specific medical conditions and about your child’s nutrition and medical needs. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking professional medical advice because of something you have read on this website.

To the Woman who Mom Shamed me at The Dallas World Aquarium

So over the weekend we went to a popular destination in the area that we live.  It was hot, too crowded, and over priced.  I won’t name drop to be nice because maybe I was just in a bad mood.  No, on second thought, it was hot, too crowded, and over-priced ($77 for a family of 4.)  Just don’t go to the Dallas World Aquarium on the weekend is my best advice.  I am not saying this to bash them, just to create the possible mood that my children might of been in for the situation below.

Dallas World aquarium

Dallas World Aquarium

We had family in town all weekend so my kids woke up early that day, went to church, went out to eat and piled into the car to go to downtown Dallas from the burbs where we live and spent the afternoon being pushed, pulled, corralled and bumped around the different levels of the aquarium.  Anyone with a 4 and 5-yr-old knows that their mental and physical energy levels are only good for so long.

By the end of the day as we neared the bottom levels (you start at the top and work your way down to the bottom) there was some Mayan dancers that walked through and started to perform.

The dancing and music was pretty neat, I must say, and a good way to end the day.  My 5-yr-old was standing in front of me watching the performance and right or wrong she said to me, “boo.”  Keep in mind there was several people standing in front of us and to the side, no one behind as we were in the back.

mayan dancer dallas world aquarium

It was very loud because of the drums and the performance so no one could hear what my daughter was saying except for me and the couple to the right of us.  My daughter proceeded to “boo” the performers again.  I IMMEDIATELY reprimanded her and let her know all the reasons we don’t act like that.  I was embarrassed but more than that I was upset, “had I raised a daughter that would show such disrespect?”

Then to my dismay, I was MOM SHAMED!  The woman standing to our right, was shaking her head and looking smugly at us.  I could not believe it.  This woman was in her twenties and standing there with what looked to be her young husband and a father figure.  No kids.  No sympathy.

It was clear she was not a mother, because someone with kids might understand or lend a sympathetic smile.  I was so upset.  Someone with kids would understand what it took to simply get the kids dressed, fed and out the door that morning.  Someone with kids would understand that my child had already sat through church, lunch and a long ride where they behaved and it was time for a long over due nap.  Someone with kids would understand all the times I took little fingers off the glass and picked up trash along the way that afternoon or uttered the words “no” within the last 120 minutes.  Does this woman DARE shake her head at me?? Really?  Seriously!?

Had she taken a child to a place like that before?  Does she think that all children are well-behaved all the time?  Who does she think she is anyway?  Let’s pretend she has kids, great, she still doesn’t have a right to shake her head at us!

All of a sudden my first response was to protect my child.  Was she wrong for booing?  Oh yes, she was wrong but she was MY wrong!  Don’t judge me, don’t judge us and don’t judge her.  I wanted to protect her from this woman shaking her head at us.  I hoped she didn’t see.

I shouldn’t of but I tried to ask the woman what her problem was but it was so loud and she wouldn’t look at me when I pointed at her and asked her what her deal was.  I wanted to know what exactly she was shaking her head at.  I wanted to ask her if she had kids.

I want to be there when she does and when she remembers all the times she mom shamed and shouldn’t of.

When I got home later that night, I calmed down, got over it and let it go.  I wasn’t going to write this post for y’all but I thought it had some 3 valuable lessons to share.

  • Let’s stop the Mom Shaming and stick together!  Being a mom is hard!  Heck being a WOMAN is hard!
  • Show some sympathy towards other Moms (even if you are not a Mom.)  You never know what that mom or child has gone through leading up to where you step into the picture (I know ours wasn’t that big of a deal, but some are!)
  • Turn bad behavior into learning lessons for your child.  I was able to talk to my daughter about how booing might make the performer feel and how we show respect to everyone no matter how we might feel.

We won’t be going back to the Dallas World Aquarium anytime soon but the flamingos were beautiful!

flamingos dallas world aquarium

Do you have a mom shaming story?  Please share below and let us know! Blessings all!

 

Watchitude Slap Watch Review & Giveaway for Kids

Who doesn’t love the little slap bracelets that took us by storm a few years back!  They are so fun to play with and admit it, you have probably been known to play with your kids slappy thing a time or two!  The quality, however, is not the greatest on SOME of them so I was excited when we were asked to review an up and coming brand called Watchitude,  maker of the coolest little slap watches!  Not only is it a slap bracelet but also a watch.  Actually it is both, Intrigued?  Keep reading!

Mom Always Knows did receive 2 little mermaid watches that you see pictured below in exchange for this review but we have to try out the products that we bring you for review!

Watchitude mermaid

Kids ages 4-12 will love the fun they can have and can pick from over 100 amazing designs available on the Watchitude website!

Look at those colors!  They are bright and vivid, one of the first things I noticed when I pulled mine out of the box!  They have a patent pending process that creates a hi gloss, durable finish of a beautifully printed image on the slap watch band and face so that it never fades or peels.

Watchitude slap watch review

With a daughter entering Kinder this fall, she is starting to ask questions about time!  She likes wearing this because its fun to play with and she loves the mermaids!  I like the educational value it brings because she is asking me what time it is so we can talk about it together!  Both girl and boy designs are available and so many different styles to choose from!  A very cool thing I liked about it as well is that all of the items are mix and match. The watches actually slide off the band so you can wear just the band if you like or put the watch on a different band if you bought different styles.  Great for a kid who likes to show off their attitude like mine do!

best slap watch

I was very impressed by the quality of the band and the watch on these!  Especially like I said, so many of the slap bracelets of the past, were not very good quality! These are made of 100% virgin white silicone, certified safe and completely lead-free, and in compliance with California prop 65 safety guidelines. It is also a thick and comfortable band, and very easy for kids of all ages to put them on, including people with some physical challenges, as there are no small buckles to navigate.  I even wore it for a bit (lol) and it fit me nice and fine so if you are interested Mamas…… : )

slap watch for kids

Always a great gift idea for birthdays and holidays, for your children, grandchildren, and all the kids that are special to you!  The price point starts at $21.99 so a good value for the quality and item you are getting!

This item is MAK approved!

Want your own Watchitude Slap Watch?  You are in luck!  We are having a GIVEAWAY!

slap watch giveaway

One lucky reader will win a slap watch of your choice valued at $21.99-24.99 (there are many styles to choose from.)

 

It’s easy to enter!

  1.  Like us on FB here!
  2. Like Watchitude on FB here!
  3. Make sure you tell your friends to enter!

Make sure you read our disclaimer for complete rules on giveaways.  Good luck!

cool watches for child

 

Digital Citizenship and the Importance of Kids Online Safety: What Parents need to know- Read the Guide

Digital Citizenship and the Importance of Kids Online Safety: What Parents need to know

Read the Guide

This is a sponsored post that contains affiliate links. I received compensation in exchange for writing this post. Although this post is sponsored, all opinions are my 100% my own.

What in the world is digital citizenship?

I had never thought much about it until I was asked to write this post.  Whether we like it or not, the internet and everything that comes along with it is here to stay, including digital citizenship.  My parents and their parents before them didn’t have to worry about “digital Citizenship” or wonder what their kids were doing online like the parents of today and the future will have to.

Kids Online Safety

Digital Citizenship is  defined as the norms of appropriate, responsible behavior with regard to technology use.  It means we all have a responsibility to be appropriate and responsible when we are online.  As an adult, you already know (or should) what it means to be responsible and appropriate for the most part but have you ever thought about the internet through your child’s eyes?  It is a colorful playground with sounds and sights and many times, unfortunately, full of people who are not good digital citizens.

Children as young as 2 can operate tablets and 6-yr-olds have cell phones and Facebook pages in the world we are raising.  As a parent it is your job to teach your child to be a good digital citizen and also to protect them from those who are not.  A day does not go by that I don’t hear something on the news about hackers, online predators, cyber-bullying and other web safety issues; it is more important now than ever to remind your kids to stay safe online.  I have 2 little girls so this issue is very near and dear to my heart as they are starting to ask for their own phone and are learning more and more about their ipads.

Thankfully there are several resources out there available to you as parents to help you understand online safety and how to talk to your child about it.  A great resource is the Parents’ Survival Guide To Online Safety.  I found it very informative as it covers many topics that you will want to know!

This comprehensive guide covers topics such as:

  • UNDERSTANDING TODAY’S TEENS

  • DO’S AND DON’TS ON ONLINE SAFETY

  • HOW TO TALK TO YOUR CHILD/TEEN

  • HOW-TO’S FOR PARENTS

If you want to make sure your child fully understands why rules regarding internet use must be followed and how specifically online predators can compromise one’s safety then this is the guide for you!


Aside from the internet, cell phones are great and in many families on the go, a must have but pose another set of issues for parents to be aware of.   Did you know that text messaging and phone calls can cause distraction in areas of your child’s life as well as sleep deprivation?  Did you know that online predators and bullying can also take place over cell phones just through text?  How to Monitor & Spy on Text Messages of your Child is another guide that is packed with info that you need to know about when it comes to cell phones and text messaging in our world today.  It explains a step-by-step process as to the importance of not necessarily spying on our kids but having honest conversations with them about what they are doing on their cell phones and what we will do as parents to protect them.

monitor kids cell phones

 

Both guides above are written and provided by KidGuard, a technology services company that provides information & tools for parents to keep their kids safe online.  If you are interested in “spying” on your kids text messages, monitoring their gps locations, tracking phone logs, chats, and staying on top of issues such as cyber-bullying, online predators, teen depression, and other risks to your children arising from the internet, check out The KidGuard Phone Monitoring service.

Why don’t my kids get it? No, really means NO with free printable!

What is wrong with my kids is a question I ask myself at least 10 times a day!  Anyone here with me?  Don’t lie!  I don’t mean it in a bad way, of course not, I love my kids to the moon and back; more then anything.  That question is more generally speaking because there really is no answer when it comes to this one!

Why don’t my kids get it?  No means No!

There is nothing wrong with them, they are just normal, fun-loving, and BIG personality kids that I have created BUT is it really too much to ask that they learn no means NO!  What is there to get?

Here is example of typical day at our house:

1st Round- No you can’t have any Dr. Pepper.  No you can’t have a cookie.  No you can’t get a toy.  No you can’t have another cookie.  No you can’t get out of bed.  No you can’t sleep with us.  No you can’t color on the wall.  No you can’t cut your hair.  No you can’t cut your doll’s hair.  No you can’t pull the dog’s tail. No you can’t go barefoot.  No you can’t have another glass of milk.  No because I said so.

2nd Round time-  Kids have got smart.  After the first round of no’s, they come back and ask same question a different way.  Can I just have 1/2 a cookie then?  Can we get just a little toy instead?  Can we sleep on the floor and have a bunking party?  We promise we will wash the wall, it will wash off, we promise!  Can we cut your hair then? Buster loves to play, we will only pull his tail a little bit, he likes it!  How about just socks only? Can I just have a drink of milk instead?

Want some more “no’s”?  I’ve got them!  I am sure you do too!  I hate being the bad guy, the bad mom, always saying no but they can’t do and have everything.  Limits have to be set because of boundaries, safety issues plus you don’t want little brats growing up thinking they are entitled to everything under the sun.  We are working on that this summer.  Sometimes it is a beating, sometimes I turn my head and laugh when they are not looking at the stuff they come up with because it is comical.

I give them an “A” for effort for sure and am darn proud of their tenacity and persistence. I am happy to say they definitely got those traits from me and that will take them far some day in life, but hold up sister, not today, not with Mama.  No means NO and I have had it! We are making progress and headway.  I guess we all have to learn somewhere and somehow.  I am just so blessed and thankful that I am the one teaching them along with so many awesome people in my village.  I hope to see some light soon but for now one of them is yelling at me to come here…Time to wrap this up and go tell them NO to something.

We all need a friendly reminder on our fridge to keep us strong!  Download our free reminders to live by  Here!

no means no printable

Keep up the Juggle!  It’s real!

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Mom, Upcoming Surgery or Serious Illness? 5 Tips to Help Manage your Family

 

5 Tips to Help Manage your Family with Upcoming Surgery or Serious Illness

We all know that in most households (don’t bite my head off, I said “most”) Mom is responsible for scheduling the day-to-day events, driving the kids to and from various activities, housework, cooking, doctoring, planning and the list goes on and on. When mom is a little under the weather, Mom still performs all the usual mommy functions but have you ever thought about what happens when she is seriously under the weather? Surgery? Serious Illness? Hospitalization? Hopefully, you won’t have to ever think about things like this but for some families they have been or will be a reality.

I have had 5 surgeries since 2014 so for my family, this has become a reality. I have had to take time out of “family” when it is time to rest and recover. With proper planning, we have managed to get through these times and you can too! Here are 5 tips that will help you if you have an upcoming surgery or serious illness and need some help when it comes to managing the family.

Tip 1- It Takes a Village

We have all heard this expression but it is so true. You have to ask for help if you need it! My family is so blessed to have friends, neighbors and family who bring over meals and help with the kids during the times when I am recovering the first few days after surgery and truly can’t do these things. If you don’t ask or let people know what is going on with you, they won’t know what you need. I am very proud and don’t like to ask and usually don’t but since I am active in helping others, it comes back around when I am in need. Get involved if you are new to town or don’t have family in your local church or Mom groups in your town. There are plenty of ladies who would love to become friends with awesome YOU and be a part of your VILLAGE! It does take a Village, especially when something like this happens.

it takes a village mom

Tip 2- Be active in helping others

I brought up this point above! Be apart of your village. Get involved in your friends, neighbors and families lives. We all need help from time to time! I promise someone right now that you know needs something, they might not be asking, but they do! It really feels good, like soul good, when you help someone in need. Taking someone dinner, or even just asking what they need, offering to take their kids for an hour or two and the list goes on and on are all ways we can help out someone. It comes back around to you in your time of need, I promise!

Tip 3- Be a Planner

One thing that helps me when I know I am about to have surgery and be down for a bit is plan! I make a few dinners and freeze them so my family will have something to eat, plan out activities for the kids a week or two in advance so they are not going stir crazy and my husband isn’t banging his head into the wall wondering what to do with them and stock up on items at the store that I know my family will need in advance so we don’t run out of anything while I am down. Basically take care of everything in advance that I can think of so for my recovery time (whatever that is for you) I can truly rest and relax. Especially if you will be on pain meds and not 100% coherent some of the time you might want to think of writing down some of your routine out as well so your husband or whoever will be spending the days with the kids will know what the routine will be in your absence.  If you don’t have the Cozi App, you should seriously look into getting it!  You can input your schedules into the app and sync it with your husband, one and done!  Read about it here!  Get all the medications you will need filled and ready and the times you will need to take them wrote out and ready.

Tip 4- Rest and Recover

With a couple of my surgeries, I made the mistake of going back to work too fast, not resting, not taking care of myself and it cost me big time. I had a seizure and ended up in ICU for 5 days because of it, not good! One of the most important bits of advice I can offer you is take the time you need to rest and recover! Don’t overdo it! You might think you feel better, you might think you need to get up and clean or get up and play with the kids but you need to follow the doctors orders and you need to listen to your body! If you feel tired, you are. If you feel weak, you are! Listen to your body! Listen to your doctor! If you followed tip 1 then there should be plenty of people helping you clean the house or make dinner and if you followed tip 3 and planned ahead then there is nothing that you really need to do anyway besides relax! Catch up on your favorite shows, besides when else can you lay around in bed and watch TV?? NEVER! 🙂

Tip 5- Be prepared and informed!

This is so important as well! You are your own health advocate. Read up on what is going on with you. Is it a surgery? Health issue? Hospitalization? Whatever the case, be informed! Ask questions! Let your family know. Do you need a 2nd opinion? In one of my cases, I did and it was the best decision I ever made to change doctors and hospitals at one point the difference between having a suggested craniotomy  to a more simpler procedure! Your health is so important!  Information is power!  You will feel 100% better about what is going on with your body if you truly understand it and so will your family!

Have you ever heard the old saying, “If Mama ain’t well, no one is!” It’s true!

Stay well Mom! Until next time, keep up the juggle because it’s real!

Blessings,
The MAK Team

Want more MAK, check out our current giveaways HERE!

Hey Mom- The Best Diapers For a Life Less Messy

Diapers Diapers Diapers!

Where do you start!?  So many brands with so many claims!  Leak-proof, eco-friendly, fragrance- free and the list goes on and on.  I know this may seem exhausting if you are a soon-to-mom or new mom but never fear….we have looked near and far and found the perfect DIAPER GUIDE for you.  You need to be equipped with the best considering those little whipper snappers will go through about 5000 of them (diapers) before they are fully potty-trained.

Wow, that is crazy!

best diapers for baby

Our friends at Reviews.com, a small group of obsessive consumers with a passion for the truth, and the desire to find the best have done all the work for you!  Needless to say, your Aunt Bertha and best friend Sally will also have their two cents to throw in on EVERYTHING baby-related but hopefully this diaper guide can take something off your plate.  You have more to worry about now!

Shop for Diapers here from our friends at Amazon.  We do recieve a small commission if you buy to help support our blog!

To find the best diapers For a Life Less Messy, Reviews.com started with 33 contenders focusing simply that a diaper should work, fit, absorb and be safe for your baby to wear. Diaper experts, nurses, midwives, and, of course, parents were interviewed and only 4 companies/brands stood up to the test!


Don’t think I am going to give it away but I will tell you the brand I used for both my daughters, Pampers, was one of the 4!  Whoo hoo!

I always loved my Pampers! : )

what diapers should i use

Head on over and check out the results and review yourself HERE!

Need to save money on baby gear?  Read our 6 Surprising ways how to do that Now!

Tell them we sent you!

Blessings!

MAK Team

 

What’s Your Child’s Love Language Quiz

Ever wonder what your child’s love language is?

Kids are all so different which means sometimes as Mom we need to respond to them differently.  Take this free quiz and find out now!  Don’t forget to share your results!  Check back as we plan to update new quizzes and topics weekly!

Powered by

Want another quiz? Check out “What’s Your Parenting Style Quiz” HERE

Mom Guilt + Social Media- Is There a Connection?

This week our topic is Mom Guilt!  We all feel it and know it well!  While trying our best, we as Mom’s are often left feeling empty and depleted.  Why is that?  Why is nothing ever good enough and leave us full of guilt? Our friends at  Jesus and Wine take a stab at Mom Guilt and offer some unique perspective on this important topic!  We hope you can find some comfort and information in her words below!  If you get a chance, go on over and visit Casey over at Jesus and Wine , Lord knows, we need some of both! : )

 

Mom Guilt

by Casey Thomas

Two words: Mom. Guilt. It is for real y’all. I do think I have an overly active Catholic guilt/conscience, but I also think mom guilt is something the majority of moms feel on a regular basis.

Thoughts Throughout the Day

I have so many internal thoughts and questions going through my head every day. The majority of them pertain to my children. With that, most of them are criticisms about myself as a mother.

It goes something like this: Did I read to my kids enough today? I don’t think I’ve brushed my kid’s teeth in the past 24 hours. When was the last time I washed their sheets? My child ate half a piece of string cheese for breakfast. Am I teaching my kids enough? I’m pretty sure I gave my kids too much screen time today – like all day screen time. My kids don’t like to play independently, have I made them too needy? My kid is asking for friends to play with. Am I getting them involved enough? I lost my patience and yelled too much today, again. My child just slept for two hours, and I wasn’t one bit productive. My house is still a mess.

Life is Hard

If you’re like me, you hold it in, you don’t want people to know your weaknesses, and you just try to make it through another day doing your best. Until you have a crazy, fleeting moment like me and think it’s a good idea to post for everyone to see. I’ll regret that. But you know you’ll have another day where your kids only eat junk, watch the tv too much, and you spend too much time on social media in their presence.

It’s life. Life is hard. Parenthood is hard. So, why do we make it even harder? The guilt makes it harder. The kind of guilt I’m talking about is internal guilt. No one is telling me I’m a bad mother. No one is telling me I’m doing it wrong. I am my toughest critic.

We have to stop making ourselves feel guilty and know that if we are doing our best, if our children’s needs are met, if they are happy and healthy, we are doing a good job. We all have bad days here and there where we could be better, but we have to focus on what we are doing right.

i have mom guilt

Social Media Comparison

I think it would be interesting to do a study on mom guilt throughout different generations. I wonder how our mothers and their mothers felt mom guilt? No doubt, I’m sure they had it from time to time, but I can’t help but wondering if the technology driven world we live in today aids in the guilt we feel as mom’s. If I were a betting woman, which sometimes I do like a little blackjack and horse race betting, I’d say it absolutely does.

How many times have you seen something on social media that another mother is doing that makes you feel like you just don’t stack up? I know I have. I’ve seen videos of kids walking at 9-10 months when my now 15 month old is just starting to walk. I’ve seen videos of kids talking in complete sentences well before two when my child didn’t start talking in complete sentences until a few months after he turned two. I have seen snap chats of all the amazing outings people are taking their kids on when my kids have been stuck at our house for three days in a row. I’ve seen amazing bento box lunches when my kids are eating processed food.

And I know, as our children get older, we will continue to feel mom guilt in new ways. I’ve seen pictures of report cards with straight A’s. What if my children struggle in school and a B or C is my child’s personal best? I’ve seen pictures posted of kids sweeping up awards at their awards programs. What if my child is one of the only ones in their class that didn’t get an award? What kind of guilt am I going to feel when I see the other children being more successful, or more well-rounded than mine? Is it my fault? What could I have done differently?

We Aren’t Great at Everything

Let me stop and say, I am not faulting anyone that has posted these things. I brag on my children as well. I love seeing pictures and hearing stories of everyone’s kids. I love seeing momma’s and daddy’s brag on their children. We are our children’s advocates and should be their biggest fans. That’s our job as parents.

Not everyone is good at everything, and that includes us parents. Except those people that are, and you want to just tell them to spread the wealth a little bit. Everyone can’t and shouldn’t get a trophy for everything.

Not only is it our job to be their biggest advocates and fans, but It is also our job as parents to raise strong, confident, hard working children that know their strengths and their weaknesses. Kids that know things won’t just be handed to them in life. Kids that know they have to work for what they want. They will learn that from us. Let us be confident in what we are doing. Let us work hard and do our best even if it looks like someone else is doing better than us. Let us know that we may be weak in one area compared to someone else, but we may outshine them in another area where they fail.

What is Portrayed is not Always the Whole Truth

I also think it’s vital to remember social media gives us the opportunity to only post the best. To only post our proudest moments. To only post the great and wonderful aspects of our lives. It gives us the opportunity to present our lives in the way that we want other people to view us.

We only see what is presented to us, what is portrayed to us how people want us to see it. We literally only see a snapshot of someone’s life. We don’t see the miscarriages and fertility struggles behind the couples’ trips to paradise. We don’t see the marital problems behind the family portraits. We don’t see the battles of eating disorders or addictions behind the fun night’s out. We don’t see the tears behind the rock star single parent. We don’t see the financial struggles behind the Christmas morning presents. We don’t see the loneliness behind the family of six.

Life Isn’t Always Greener on the Other Side

We need to remember, life isn’t always greener on the other side. When I do my best, and you do your best, it is undoubtedly going to look different, and that is ok. You may have your child potty trained at 18 months while mine is potty trained at 3 (gosh we hope by then!), but maybe my child plays better with other children than yours.

I need to remember to ask myself these questions every day: Is my child learning? Yes. Is my child clothed and fed? Yes. Does my child have a roof over their head? Yes. Is my child healthy and happy? Yes. Is my child loved fiercely? Yes. Is my child throwing a tantrum in the middle of the floor. Yes, but it’s ok, I’m sure yours has today too.

We have to stop comparing ourselves to one another. We have to know that our best is good enough. We have to stop feeling guilty.

Want to try your luck at one of our awesome giveaways?  Check here to see what is currently running!  Good luck!

A Mothers Love for her Son: Why I will love him too much!

Since I have two daughters and much of my site is focused on raising girls, I wanted to feature a story about a Mother and Son!  Make sure you check out Cathy on A Boy and His Mom to read more about her!  Thanks for Sharing Cathy!

Why I will love him too much!

By Cathy Goodwin

Each day it seems I turn on the TV and there is yet another story of innocent lives lost. As I drive by the municipal buildings the flags are at half mast again, another reminder, that people don’t always love one another.  I then turn to Facebook and read an article about a young Mom who lost her young son that rocked me to my core.  Even weeks later it still has had a profound affect on me.

Since my son was born and especially since my divorce, I have often been criticized for doing too much for my son.  Buying him too many things, giving in to his wishes too often….for actually loving him too much.  First of all, any mother that has to share custody of their children will understand my need to want to make up for the lost time when he is at his father’s.  Any mother that has lost a child, I am sure would support me in my need to ensure every short moment we have together is not wasted.

I lost my twin sister when we were just about to turn 8 years old, so just getting my son to that age was very weighing on me.  In my mind, I just needed to get him to 8, and then I could breathe a sigh of relief; if just for a moment.

I know that Moms are supposed to support each other but I know that there is often a lot of criticism if your parenting ways are not the same as others.   However, I am willing to face the criticism to love my son too much.

I will:

Let him sleep with me at night if he wants.  Soon he will be old enough to not want to sleep with his Mom and those cuddles will be a thing of the past.

Let him have treats after dinner (obviously in moderation.) What’s the old saying “Life is too short, eat dessert first?”

mothers love for her son

Let him stay up late once and a while watching TV together.  Soon Mom won’t be cool enough to hang out with so I will let him enjoy these moments as much as I do.

Let him act overly silly and boisterous when he needs to and lett him be the kid he wants to be.

Take him on little trips and activities as often as I can.  I can’t afford week long vacations to Disney or the islands, so let’s enjoy what I can afford.

beach

Attend every extracurricular, every practice, every school event because soon enough college/university will call and there won’t be any of these events.

Let him have some extra screen time and stay in his pajamas all day when  he just wants to have a lazy day.  As adults, we all know that life can move too fast and we all want some down time every one and a while.

let your kids play more

Keep all his art work (rivaling a hoarder) so that when he’s older I can look back and enjoy.

Buy him toys and little gifts when it’s not his birthday or Christmas or any holiday.  Just because I want to.

Smother him with hugs and kisses until he tells me to stop.  I don’t see him every day, so this Mom has to make up for lost time.

i love my son

And I will love him too much any way I know how because I am reminded day in and day out how short life can be and I don’t ever want to have that “if I only I showed him I loved him more” moment.

Want more parenting tips and articles?  Check out our Life as Mom page HERE!

 

How to Beat Postpartum Depression

So its Mother’s Day week and while most of us our preparing to celebrate our Motherhood there are some amazing mom’s who are suffering, usually silently!  A while back we posted an interview with Ms. Lauren who had also suffered from postpartum depression and was challenging us all to ask the question #howsmama to anyone who had just had a baby.  Did you challenge anyone? Go HERE to take the challenge for yourself!

Angela of Natural Born Mommy also experienced postpartum depression and provides us with 6 FAB tips that helped her through as well as a free workbook below.  Enjoy!

Blessings,

The MAK Team


How to Beat Postpartum Depression

By Angela Baguet

It can happen to any of us.  It doesn’t matter if you’re a therapist or if you have been around kids your entire life.  Postpartum depression is a real thing that many mommies go through.

But did you know that many of us mommies who don’t get to the point of depression still experience postpartum blues?  It’s a normal thing, but it still feels awful.

My experience with postpartum depression

I was a therapist before I had my daughter, but that didn’t stop me from experiencing intense postpartum blues.  Although I didn’t get to the point of being clinically depressed, there were days when I felt really down and worthless.

One important thing to know about postpartum depression is that it can affect us all differently.  For me, it wasn’t so much that I wasn’t bonding with my baby or that I was overwhelmed with mommy-hood.  Instead, it was more about how much my relationship with my husband had drastically changed.  It was about people suddenly being very opinionated about my life, yet at the same time, I felt like I didn’t matter to anyone.  And it was about my body image, something I had already struggled with prior to pregnancy.

These feelings persisted on and off for about a year after my daughter’s birth.  What’s interesting, however, is that I was assessed for postpartum depression only once throughout that entire time period.  The assessment came from my child’s pediatrician a week after I had my baby, not from my own doctor.  So I think it’s safe to say that there needs to be more awareness about postpartum depression.  But what is postpartum depression exactly?

Postpartum blues versus depression

Women who have more than just postpartum blues may have a hard time functioning.  They might struggle with caring for the baby or for themselves.  They may experience intense anger or anxiety, as well as significant changes in eating or sleeping habits (which can be hard to assess because us mommies don’t get much sleep to begin with).  In some cases, moms may even have thoughts of hurting themselves or the baby.  If you are experiencing any of these things, please seek support from a therapist.  You are so worth it, Mommy!

So how do you fight the postpartum blues/depression?  Follow these tips!  They will take some time and effort.  But again, you’re so worth it!

How to beat postpartum depression and the postpartum blues

  1. Get support

Even if you feel worthless, you are incredible!  So please seek support from a therapist, especially if you think you have more than the postpartum blues and are on the verge of depression.

Don’t try to go it alone.  Talk to your spouse/partner or whoever will listen (I’ll listen!).  For me, talking to my mom and having date nights with my husband was a big help.

  1. Know your triggers

I started to notice some environmental conditions that preceded my blues.  For instance, if I didn’t get enough sleep or ate a bunch of sugar the day before, I noticed that this affected me physically.  I felt drained, which felt a lot like depression, so then I would feel depressed.

If you know what triggers your depression, then you can find ways to work around those triggers.  It can be hard identifying triggers, so I recommend keeping a journal, even if you only write a couple words per day.

  1. Change your thoughts

Behind depression, there are often extremely negative, irrational thoughts driving our feelings and behaviors.  For example, I thought “Things are never going to be the same with my husband again, and it’s just going to get worse as we have more kids.”

These thoughts are not helpful!  So you need to change them!  Challenge those thoughts and replace them with better thoughts.  Instead, I should say to myself, “Our relationship has changed, but that’s part of the adventures of growing old together.  We’ll learn to adjust.”

  1. Identify coping skills

What sort of things help you feel better when you are feeling sad, depressed, anxious, or angry?  Make a list, and use those ideas when you feel depressed.  Try to come up with a nice variety of coping skills.  For example, identify ideas to use at home versus in public, as well as ideas you can do while the baby is awake versus napping.

  1. Change your behaviors

Changing your thoughts can be really hard to do, especially if you are a person who is used to thinking negatively.  But you can also work on changing your behavior.  By changing your behaviors, you realize that you start to feel better, which in turn helps you change your thoughts.

So how do you do this?  Use some of those coping skills that you identified above.  Plan and schedule things to do throughout your day in order to keep the good feelings going (You can download my FREE WORKBOOK below to help with this).  I know… plans go out the window when you become a mom.  But take little baby steps.  You can plan something as simple as lighting a candle that uplifts you or drinking a cup of tea.  For me, diffusing essential oils and having a cup of lavender tea during the baby’s naps helped me to feel as if I was treating myself.

  1. Prepare yourself

If you know you are susceptible to postpartum depression and are having another baby, do what you can to prepare yourself for the second time around.  Your experience and your emotions can vary from one child to another, but it doesn’t hurt to be prepared.

 

Download my Free FREE POSTPARTUM DEPRESSION WORKBOOK HERE to start feeling better with just a few simple steps.

I hope this post was helpful to you.  Please share it so that other mommies out there can benefit from it!  And thank you to Mom Always Knows for giving me the opportunity to share this information with you!

Have you experienced the postpartum blues or postpartum depression?  If so, what did you do about it?

 

Disclaimer: Although I was a therapist before I became a stay-at-home mom, I am not your therapist (Although, I’m sure you’d be wonderful to work with!).  Reading this post does not enter you into a client-therapist relationship with me.  The content in this post is meant to be used as a general guideline and has not been individually tailored to your needs.  If you are in need of therapeutic services, please seek the support of a mental health counselor.

 

To the Brand New Mama–27 bits of Amazing Advice Just for You!

Awesome advice for New Mamas

Mother’s day is next week- whoo hoo!  My first Mother’s Day I was beaming from ear to ear with a happy healthy 7-month-old in tow but I was also struggling at the same time to learn this thing we all call motherhood.  Fast forward 5 years and 5 Mother’s Day’s later, I have learned so much and much of it from other Mama’s who have been there and done that.  I wanted to share some encouragement and advice geared towards other new Mom’s who might be struggling right about now!

We enlisted 26 other Mom’s and are bringing it straight to you!  Make sure you stop by and see some of them for more advice, coupons, printables and all sorts of goodies!  Enjoy and Happy Mother’s Day!!!  We hope you have a wonderful day!

 

advice for new moms

This post contains affiliate links to help support our blog.  Clicking on them or any of the sites below does not cost you a thing.

♥27 Amazing Bits of Advice♥

  • Cara at Jazzie Beans– Being a mom is wonderful, but it is hard as all get out 😉 It is okay to take time for yourself, even if it is only 5 minutes. It truly is better to just put your baby in the crib if he/she is crying and walk away for a few minutes to regain your sanity!!
  • Nicola at For the Love of Jars– My best piece of advice is to paint your toenails.  I don’t care if you do it yourself or if you get a pedicure but no matter how crap, tired, useless, exhausted you feel everyone will think you’ve got it sorted if your toenails are painted!!_
  • Summer at Summer Price – The best advice I’d give to new moms is … Give yourself some time to adjust to this new life. The desire to “do it all” might be strong, do your best to ignore it. Take time to just sit on the couch. The housework will be there when you are ready, you can shower tomorrow. Don’t rush back into “real life” Take a moment to enjoy this time.
  • Jessi with BohemiMama – Stay IN bed until you’ve gotten your usual number of hours actually sleeping! If you normally need 8 hours sleep to feel rested and healthy, then stay in bed as long as it takes to get those 8 hours, even if it takes 12 or more. Then, get up, shower, dress, and face the new day.
  • Karen at The Momma Chef: 6 Ingredients 6 Minutes Prep – It gets easier, I promise! I remember counting down the days until my newborn was 3 months old so I could start letting him cry a bit at night, well that newborn just turned 12 years old! It’s hard to cherish the time when you are so sleep deprived but just remember that all the exhausting newborn crap is only temporary and let yourself get used to being a parent, it takes time!
  • Melody at DosMommas – Don’t wish for future milestones to come sooner! Your little one grows up so fast and you can take the day-to-day for granted, especially as a new mom. Take a mental (or real) picture of your little one every day because they won’t be your tiny little baby forever!  And learn how to change a diaper in under 10 seconds- especially if you have a boy!
  • Ashley, Founder/CEO at The Sharing Exchange – Do what works best for you, your baby and your family. No one else’s opinions matter.
    • Take time for yourself at least once per week. Get out of the house for an hour or two, read quietly in your bedroom, take a long shower. Self care is so critically important!
    • Poop alone once per day. Kick your little ones out of the bathroom and enjoy your time alone without someone grabbing at your leggings and begging to be picked up. If hubby’s can take 30+ minutes in the bathroom, we moms certainly deserve 10 free uninterrupted minutes too!

  • Leah from Cedar Street -Find time for yourself everyday, even if it’s just for 30 minutes. Reach out to friends and stay in community if you don’t have family nearby. It can be hard with a newborn to have the energy to socialize, but being  yourself with a newborn all the time can be lonely and lead to depression. Nap when the baby naps. Lastly, ask for help!
  • Elna from Twins Mommy – The best tip I can give you is to listen to yourself. You’re going to get a lot of tips from other moms and your mom and everyone’s mom. But only you know your own child. As a mom to twins I had everyone telling me what to do and not do. In the end, I trusted my instincts. They’re four years old and thriving J
  • Stephanie at You are my Sonshine -Swallow your pride and let others help you. I have a hard time letting other people, even my husband, do things for me. You will be tired, exhausted, in pain, and recovering. Your primary focus should be on letting yourself heal from birth and taking care of your new child. If someone offers to do the dishes, let them. If someone offers to fold the laundry, give it to them. You have time to be your “super mom” self later, once you are sleeping better and feeling better.
  • Talia of Living Sowell Blog – I think, a big thing to remember is that your main job is to prepare this little person to live and function in the real world. If you remember that little sentence and apply it to certain situations, you will be golden. Think about it, when they’re newborns you have to train them to sleep and eat (real world stuff). Plus, that rule can be applied throughout their whole upbringing. I haven’t raised a teenager yet, but I’m thinking remembering that little tidbit will be crucial. Wink, wink. When in doubt, think “how can I best prepare this little person (with love and kindness) for the real world?”
  • Sheyla from The Momma Chronicles – Try to clean while baby sleeps.  It will be so tempting to sleep while baby sleeps during those first few weeks, but the housework will pile up quicker then you know.
  • Elizabeth of Mom Always Knows – Just breathe!  You got this!  God won’t ever give you more then you can handle and you can handle this!  Let the housework pile up, who cares about that!  Take care of you and that new baby.  Learn about each other and enjoy!  It goes so quick!  Seriously!  Take pictures and videos of everything!  My girls are 4 and 5 now and love love love watching the videos when they were little!  We put them on the laptop and loop them and they seriously entertain themselves watching for hours! : )
  • Lori at How She Quits – It doesn’t matter how prepared you are, how many children you’ve had nor what you tell yourself…..every time you hold your newborn baby in your arms and sniff the top of their sweet little head, you will swear on your mother’s grave that you will never, ever again set foot in your office or a job of any kind.   There is some kind of anti-work hormone released when you go through childbirth.   It slowly wears off.  For some people it’s a couple weeks.  For others its a couple month or even years.   So don’t make any drastic decisions while those anti-work hormones are racing.  You will be able to balance it all.  You will find some sanity and purpose outside of your home.  I know this so well as a mother of 4 kids.  With #4 I even knew it was coming and told myself to be ready for those moments of crunching spreadsheets with my newborn in my arms trying to figure out exactly how our budget could work with one income.   I knew it and I couldn’t fight it!   So do yourself a favor and don’t call your boss until cooler heads and hearts prevail.   In the meantime, snuggle up that infant!
  • Daisha at Daisha Renee -It may seem like a good idea at the time to get chores done while the baby / kids are down for a nap or spending the day with grandma. NO! You need rest. This is so important, because we need time to recharge our mom batteries and be ready for the next wave of tantrums. Wearing yourself down to the brink of exhaustion is never a good thing.
  • Poorvi at Happy Mommy -While taking care of your new born baby, don’t forget to take care of yourself. I know it’s hard with all the sleepless nights, breastfeeding struggles, but your baby needs you the most, so you have be as healthy as you can. Household chores and other stuff can be taken care by your spouse or family members or other help. Mama needs her rest.
  • Tamara with Parenting 2-Home Kids -Sleep when the baby sleeps. If you are nursing awesome, but if the baby is not sleeping much, it is ok to allow someone else to feed the baby. Even if they give the new babe formula once in awhile, it is ok. Many people have survived to adulthood, after being fed formula.
  • Adree at The Keele Deal– Enjoy each moment, your kids grow so fast. That’s what I keep telling myself! Also, don’t worry if “take a shower” is something that doesn’t get crossed off your to do list in the morning, we have all been there. Midnight showers are one of my favorites! 😊

Nannies4hire

  • Corinna of The Mommy Clause – Establish a buffer zone of time after your baby is born.  The first few days and weeks can be a one way ticket to Crazy Town!  You will need space to get your bearings.  It’s okay to put off visitors for a few weeks.  The baby will still be “new” and you’ll have a much better chance of filtering out everyone’s “advice”.
  • Meagan at Our Poetic Chaos – Be kind to you, all days won’t be perfect. We are all moms with different talents, different backgrounds, and experiences. We will have good days and bad, it doesn’t mean one is inferior to another, but each of us are resources to one another. It took me a long time to see that some of those mamas I would feel intimidated by are some I could learn and those who seemed to have it all together we’re the ones who like me challenged their mothering skills. No one has it all together all the time.
  • Tracy at Frugal Florida Mom– Give away your kid whenever you can. 😉 Yes, that sounds harsh, but if I had let my screaming newborn baby sleep in the hospital nursery the first few nights I wouldn’t have been on the verge of losing my mind and would have been able to enjoy my new, precious baby more.  And when they get older, leave them with family or babysitters to go on a date, get a pedicure or just take a walk. Self care is vital to sanity
  • Maryam with Blazing From Home – Don’t waste these special moments wishing that your kids will grow up fast, leave your house and do stuff for themselves. Embrace this phase, cherish it, take photos, make videos and celebrate special events and do all you can. Make them happy, and make yourself happy too. You’d one day wish for these moments, but can’t get them back, only memories
  • Natasha at The Viecco Vault – People are going to have so much advice to give you, don’t let it overwhelm (or annoy) you.  Just smile, nod, and take everything with a grain of salt.  At the end of the day you know what is best for you and your baby.  Trust yourself!
  • Stephanie of Blended Life Happy Wife – To remember Moms need and deserve a break.  If you are breastfeeding you aren’t a cow.  You are a wonderful source of nourishment for your baby and you don’t always have to go visit people, they can come to you.
  • Emily and Sherrie at Forever Young Moms – Trust your instincts, you know what’s best for your baby.  And, they’re more durable than you think!  Keep up the great work, you can do it!
  • Mae with The Gospel of Beauty – Don’t wish for future milestones to come sooner! Your little one grows up so fast and you can take the day-to-day for granted, especially as a new mom. Take a mental (or real) picture of your little one every day because they won’t be your tiny little baby forever!  And learn how to change a diaper in under 10 seconds- especially if you have a boy

Free Printable!!  Proverbs 31:25 Verse!  Frame it, email it, save it!  Just know it!  Be Strong Ladies!  You got this!

Blessings!

Download Free “Just Breathe” Printable Here!

just breathe graphic

 

The Dreaded Housework (and how to get the kids involved!)

With Mother’s Day right around the corner, I think we have all earned a break!  I hope your family is good to you on this special day and chips in and helps out with the dreaded housework! Ha!

Here is a great idea by Summer Long to get the kids involved with the housework not just for Mother’s day but perhaps all year long!  Should your kids do chores?  Oh yes they should and can!!

You can read more from Summer and her tips for a simple and healthy lifestyle HERE!

 


By Summer Price

The Dreaded Housework (and how to get the kids involved!)

The other day I was talking to a friend about trying to keep a clean house with lots of little kids around. Sometimes it certainly isn’t easy and more than once I have had people “stop by” when the house is a disaster zone. That is for sure!

diy chore charts

One thing that has helped me tremendously is finding a system that works really well for me and my kids. I came up with 12 chores that needed to be done on a regular basis and I purchased a 12 sided die.

Each kid takes turns rolling the die until all of the #’s have been rolled.  It works out for us that each kid does three chores each day.  If you have fewer kids they could do more than three chores each or maybe just use a regular die and have fewer chores.

This is my list of chores if you need some ideas.

  1. Bedroomgames to get kids to do chores
  2. Living Room
  3. Family Room
  4. Play Room
  5. Hallways
  6. Kitchen Floor
  7. Kitchen counters
  8. Dishes
  9. Bathroom
  10. Dust
  11. Laundry
  12. Parent Choice (I usually choose some type of “spring cleaning” item like wash one wall, or clean the baseboards in this room, or things that don’t need to be done on a daily or weekly basis.)There are some chores that my four and six-year-old can’t quite do yet on their own. So depending on how strong and patient I feel that day 😉 I either have them roll until they get to a number they can do on their own or I “supervise” them while they do one of the more challenging ones. I try to let them do the work as I instruct them so that they can learn to do it on their own.We write our chores on my Boogie Board, which I absolutely love!  It is like an erasable notebook so it is easy for us to keep track of what chores have been rolled and we don’t have to get a new piece of scrap paper to write them down on anymore.Hopefully, if this is something you struggle with in your home like I did you will find some benefit with this option.  I like it because the kids like doing a different chore each day, they like playing with the die and there is a lot less nagging from me.Plus I think they have a clearer understanding of what is expected of them.

    Wishing you a clean home!

    summer price

 

5 Things I did not Know about a C-Section

Having a C-Section?

The idea for this topic has been on my mind for some time, practically since my son was born, to be honest.  I remember thinking  “Why did not one of my friends ever mention any of this to me??”  I was literally one of the last of dozens of friends to have children, so I remember being surprised that I was so ill-prepared for a C-section.  I think people naturally just tend to forget traumatic events like childbirth, especially since they are so elated about their baby.

Obviously, everyone has different experiences, but interestingly enough, it was only after I had my son and started talking to other women that I realized that many of these occurrences are actually quite common.

Below are 5 things that I did not know about a C-section.

  1. You are not going to be able to move around much AT All.  Even the littlest of tasks can be very painful or uncomfortable.  Getting into and out of bed?  You may need a step stool.  Literally.  I had to use one since my bed was so high.  As a matter of fact, I even slept in the guest room for 1-2 weeks, since that bed was lower, and therefore easier to maneuver into.  Stairs are a challenge.  I only did them twice a day….coming down in the morning and going up at night.  Getting up from the couch was uncomfortable, and I even struggled with holding the baby.  If I was not feeding him, I pretty much could not comfortably hold him, as he would brush up against my incision site.  Therefore, I would expect that you would need someone with you for the first couple of weeks after giving birth.  I was fortunate that my husband was home, but I honestly don’t know how I could have physically cared for Gavin without him.  Those C-section moms who also have toddlers at home?  I can’t even imagine.
  2. Piggybacking on the above…….you likely won’t be taking your baby on many errands without someone coming with you.  Those car seats are no joke.  I could not lift the car seat with my son in it and get him into the car by myself.  Also……travel strollers??  You won’t be lugging them out of the trunk by yourself.  After a couple of weeks, when I was itching to get out, I either ran errands briefly myself, or my husband would always come with me.  On occasion, I would meet a friend somewhere who could help me with the physical part of lifting Gavin/stroller/car seat.  The one thing that would have been more useful was the snap and go, as I would not have had to lug the massive travel system around with me.  It was not until about 6 weeks postpartum that I could get out by myself with the baby, and even then I had to take it easy, or I would ultimately be very sore that evening.  
  3. Working out after 8 weeks?  Please.  In the US, most short-term disability provides 6 weeks for a vaginal birth, and 8 weeks for a C-section.  After having a C-section, this seems like a joke to me.  (I cannot speak for a vaginal birth, as I know those have their own set of challenges, but I can say that C-section women should really be given 12 weeks).    I feel very lucky that I was off with my son for just about 5 months.  However, I was absolutely still healing at 8 weeks and experiencing soreness when I exerted myself too much.  If I had to go back to work at 8 weeks, I would certainly have done so, but I also would have had to make sure I was resting considerably at my job, not standing/walking too much, etc.  By 8 weeks postpartum, I was taking light strolls around the neighborhood with a couple of my girlfriends.  I am talking 1 mile at a leisurely pace.  Of course there are always exceptions to anything (my friend Tracy was able to run a couple of days after giving birth), but overall, to insinuate that most women can and/or should be hitting the gym two months after having a C-section is absurd.
  4. Be ready for a bump!  And I am not talking the postpartum bump either.  I remember frantically calling my doctor when my son was about 3 weeks old, as I had a golf-ball sized lump on my incision site.  Of course, I was terrified it was some sort of infection.  While that can occur, in my case it was strictly scar tissue.  The weird thing was that it did not crop up until a few weeks after giving birth.  I affectionately dubbed this lump my “C-section shelf”, and would joke that it was so large I could set a can of soda on it.  At my doctor’s advice, I would massage the scar tissue a few times a day, and after a couple of weeks, it dissipated.  (Although, unless you have amazing genes or get a tummy tuck, that region is never really all that smooth again).  **Plan on wearing loose-fitting clothing for a while, in case you experience this common event.**  Luckily, Gavin was born in early September in North Carolina, so I pretty much wore dresses or linen shorts for a good 6-8 weeks.  If you have a C-section in winter or a colder climate, look for sweatpants or loose-fitting pants that don’t rub your incision site.  And…..don’t forget high-waisted underwear.  Think Granny panties, ladies.  Charming, I know, but at least they might guarantee that there won’t be any Irish twins in your future 🙂
  5. Okay, this one is not exclusive to C-sections at all, but I literally had no idea this was a thing.  Be prepared for night sweats!I am not talking a few sweaty strands of hair in the morning, either.  I am talking full-fledged, “change the sheets at 3:00am” sweats.  I have no idea how this escaped my attention or why no one ever mentioned this to me.  There were a couple of nights after Gavin was born that I was panicking, taking my temperature, convinced I had picked up a deadly virus at the hospital.  Nope, just hormones.  I am sure this was mentioned somewhere in one of the 12 bazillion baby books I had, but let’s be real.  During my last summer of freedom, I had better things to read than books that would likely only freak me out. #beachreadsforthewin.  Luckily this only lasts for about two weeks postpartum.  My advice?  Keep a change of clothes and a couple of towels right next to your bed, so you can quickly change if needed, and slap a dry towel or blanket on your sweaty sheets.

Once I started to relax and stopped putting so much pressure on myself to “recover by 8 weeks”, I eventually started to feel better.  I think I just felt a sense of frustration that no one had really been honest with me about the challenges of a C-section birth.  While I still was not 100% by 12 weeks, I certainly felt light years ahead of where I was at 8 weeks postpartum.  I was even able to begin very light jogging, but only for short distances.  (One mile or so).

The bright side……I have heard that each subsequent C-section surgery does get easier and easier.  I am not sure if that is just because you know what to expect, or because the body has “been there, done that”, and is able to recover faster.  I suspect it is a little bit of both.  For those of you ladies out there struggling with recovering, either physically or mentally, from any type of childbirth, don’t be afraid to seek help.  We are all only human, after all.

Tell me….if you had a C-section, what was your experience?  Did you recover quickly, or was it a struggle?  If you had more than one C-section, were the subsequent recoveries easier?
Want more Heather? You can check out her blog Real Life Mama here.

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To All the Tired and Hardworking Mamas- 26 Amazing Bits of Advice

♥Since Mother’s Day, one of my Fav holidays is right around the corner, I wanted to offer you some timeless advice. Not from some expert who went to school for a zillion years or read about it in a book but from real life Mama’s, who are living it and breathing it and perhaps going through it, with you right this very minute! I took to the streets and gathered up the best advice I could and am bringing it to you hot off the press!

To All the Tired and Hardworking Mamas

This Mom grind is hard! We all know that! So if you are a new Mom, old Mom, young mom, single mom, Step- Mom or whatever your situation…I hope you can find some knowledge or at least a bit of humor in the wise words below!

Enjoy!

advice for moms

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26 Amazing Bits of Advice

  • Cara at Jazzie Beans– When you have a chance to rest, do it! It is better to be a bit rested so that you can be a better mama. 🙂 It is okay to not always entertain your kiddos. Giving them the freedom to learn on their own will help them later in life. Sometimes you just have to figure things out on your own and it is okay to teach your kiddos this when they are young and you need a break.

 

  • Nicola at For the Love of Jars–  Make lists and realize that you can’t do everything.  If you children are fed, loved and happy then they are fine.  If you house is a mess then it doesn’t matter.  If you would like a housekeeper but can’t afford one then consider getting someone just to clean your kitchen and bathroom(s.)  These are the important bits…everything else can wait!

 

  • Summer at Summer Price – Give yourself some grace. Prioritize. I have a sign hanging in my family room that reads “Great Moms have sticky floors, dirty ovens, laundry piles and happy kids” If you just can’t handle having a messy home it won’t kill your kids to do a chore or two.

 

  • Jessi with BohemiMama – It is healthy to have other interests. Your kids are great and we know you love them, so do yourself, and them, a favor and take time away from them to do the things you’re passionate about. It might be work or volunteering or it could be a hobby or time with friends. If it makes you joyful, your kids will benefit from seeing you prioritize it.

 

  • Karen at The Momma Chef: 6 Ingredients 6 Minutes Prep – The best advice that I was given when my son was born was to read the book “This isn’t what I expected”. We all give birth and feel like we need to love every aspect of parenting a newborn, some of us do love it all, but it’s hard for us to admit that we might not love it all and just want a break and want our old life back! Trust me, if you let yourself know this is just a normal feeling, this will pass with time and you will forget that weren’t a “pro” the whole time!

 

  • Melody at DosMommas – Remember that it’s all worth it. Everything that you are doing will help your little one grow into a strong, healthy little human. And don’t try to do everything at once!

 

  • Ashley, Founder/CEO at The Sharing Exchange – Keep your sense of humor, totally necessary with young kids, and remember “this too shall pass”.  Everything is a phase.  Find your mom tribe and surround yourself with people who are going through the same stuff. Share your ups and downs. When you are feeling overtired, over-touched, and had enough, know that your little ones love you on your best days and worst days. You are doing a great job, mama!

 

  • Tracie at Trace Office Solutions – You are doing everything right! You know more about your baby than you think you do!

  • Leah from Cedar Street – You are amazing. Motherhood is one of the hardest things you will ever do. Keep persevering through the long, exhausting, never ending days. If you feel like all you are doing is giving of yourself, try to find a hobby or something that gives you life. Make time for yourself but also try to find joy in the mundane and in little moments throughout your day.

 

  • Elna from Twins Mommy – The best advice I can give to tired hardworking moms is to let your husband help! Don’t think that you have to do it all. Let your husband do a feeding, change a diaper, bath your baby and take the baby on a stroller walk. This was hard for me as I had strong mama bear instincts and it took almost six months for me to accept help.

 

  • Stephanie at You are my Sonshine -Give yourself a break. Take some time to make sure you are taking care of yourself. You can’t pour from an empty cup, and you can’t give what you don’t have. Let someone else watch your child(ren) for an afternoon and take some well-earned me time. Go get a massage, maybe a pedicure, or keep it low-key and just go to a park and read. Alone. By yourself. If you have a trusted relative nearby, see if they can watch your child(ren) for a night so you can get a full night’s sleep. It’s amazing what just a few hours of rest and relaxation will do for you both physically and mentally.

 

  • Talia of Living Sowell Blog – The best advice I’d give to a new mom is trust your maternal instinct and take a deep breath. I know that sounds silly, but I really wish I had chilled more as a first time mom. I was so anxious about every little thing (which is totally normal, and most first time moms are). I would say that you’ve got it, sister! Try and make sure to have that precious one-on-one time as often as you can and truly engage with them. Put the phone down!

 

  • Sheyla from The Momma Chronicles – Meal prep is your best friend, utilize it! Whether its meals you prep before baby is born, frozen dinners from the grocery store, or friends bringing over meals every couple of days. Having that extra bit of help will save you so much time and effort. That’s time you can spend sleeping, or taking a nice warm shower!
  • Elizabeth of Mom Always Knows – Don’t worry about the small stuff!  Everything will be okay!  The laundry and the dishes will still be there tomorrow and again even after you get them finished so don’t sweat it.  Do the best you can, every time and remember- you kids are watching.  You lead by example, do it right, so you don’t have to do it again.

 

  • Lori at How She Quits – This advice goes especially to the mamas who are working hard inside and outside the home.  I know your mind is half in the office and half at home and you feel a bit scattered and like you aren’t putting you best self forward.  Guess what?  You are already an over-achiever taking all that on!!!   Most likely no one else in your office knows these thoughts are running through your mind.   They probably look at you and say “wow!  she gets a lot done!”.    Keep being reliable.  Keep showing up like a professional.  The occasional milk stained shirt is quickly forgotten when you nail that proposal.   And your biggest cheerleaders that matter are those little curtain climbers waiting for you at home.    The days are long but the years are short.   You’ve got this.

 

  • Daisha at Daisha Renee – Start meal planning. Creating a meal plan so far in advance can seen a little daunting at first, but planning ahead can really pay off. You’ll get both peace of mind and have better time management. It may take a little time to get use to, but the benefits are definitely worth it.

 

  • Poorvi at Happy Mommy –  Hi mama, you should be proud of yourself, managing everything at home or work, with kids is real hard. Be proud of yourself.  Remember you are a human after all; you don’t have to be perfect in everything.  You are going to have both good and bad days as a mother, just remember you are doing your best, and it’s all that matters.

 

  • Tamara with Parenting 2-Home Kids – Streamline your  parenting rules. Your kids need only two: 1. Respect the parents. 2. Get the grades you are capable of getting. If you can only handle one rule, defer to rule one. Being respectful covers a lot of ground. When kids are respectful, they pitch in to help with chores, they let you know where they are, what they are doing and who they are with. Showing respect to the parents is also striving to make good decisions. When you focus on developing respect and good decision skills the parenting part of your life becomes infinitely easier.

 

  • Adree at The Keele Deal– Make sure you take time for yourself. I have noticed that when I get some me time, even if it’s only a few minutes, I’m a much happier mom.

Nannies4hire

  • Corinna of The Mommy Clause – Be more intentional with your time.   Don’t spend it on things that aren’t obviously beneficial!  Clear out your email inbox and unsubscribe from everything that doesn’t thrill you or help you.  Set a timer for social media each day.  You’ll be more aware of the time you’re​ spending scrolling.  Time flies!  Don’t waste it!

 

  • Meagan at Our Poetic Chaos – Accept help from others, put pride aside for there’s a moment all of us have that moment, that time we feel we need rest and need rest. It doesn’t mean you’re weak, it does mean your humble enough to lean on another to learn from and to renew yourself.

 

  • Tracy at Frugal Florida Mom– Take time to enjoy the little moments. Sadly I missed a lot of my kids’ first milestones like their first smiles and first words because I was working so hard. So be really present when you can, as much as you can to capture those moments you will cherish later.

 

  • Maryam with Blazing From Home – A new mom is a very tired human being. Oh my! I found out that the best way to do it is by taking one step at a time, one day at a time. Rest when you can, go out when you can. Spoil yourself once in a while and never neglect your body. Take care of it. Ask for help when you need it. You get to master it with time. Kudos!

 

  • Natasha at The Viecco Vault – It might not feel like it at the time but the days, weeks, and months are going to fly by.  You’re going to miss this, so take a moment to breathe and soak it all in.  Hold your baby a little tighter and rock them a little longer.  Live in the moment.  Be present!

 

  • Stephanie of Blended Life Happy Wife – Being a working Mom is the hardest job ever.  You are not letting your baby down, you are affording your baby a chance to meet some new people and make some new friends.

 

  • Emily and Sherrie at Forever Young Moms – Lean on your village! Don’t be afraid to ask for help- you don’t have to do it all alone!

Free Printable!!  Proverbs 31:25 Verse!  Frame it, email it, save it!  Just know it!  Be Strong Ladies!  You got this!

Blessings!

Download Printable HERE!

proverbs 31:25 printable verse

 

How Working from Home Will Make You a Better Parent By Daisha Renee

How Working from Home Will Make You a Better Parent

By Daisha Renee

I use to be just like you. Completely frustrated with the demand of commuting to and from work every day. Getting caught in the evening traffic on the way home, with not enough time to prepare and cook dinner for my family. Or how about picking the kids up late from daycare because traffic seemed a bit heavy or tying up loose ends before leaving the office.

For years I hated that life, especially once I became a single parent. I loathed getting home completely exhausted and not feeling like making a home cooked meal so I opted for take-out for convenience. Or being way too tired for a simple conversation with my kids. I even dreaded them asking me to read them a book before bed because all I wanted to was crash

These days my life is so different. I am way more hands on and always up-to-date with what’s going on with my kids either at school or daycare. If you’ve been struggling with whether to work from home, read on to understand why you should. It’s a parenting game changer and it’s made me a better mother.

The best part about working from home:

  1. Get to be with the kids more
  2. Making more home cooked meals, thus spending less money eating take out
  3. Putting the kids to bed every night
  4. Helping with homework or making sure homework was completed at their after-school care

Before I started working primarily at home I probably spent a total of 3 to 4 hours a day with my kids during the week and 8 hours total on the weekends. Now, I’m loving that I get to be with my kids more. Having to always make plans for someone else to pick up your kids from day/after school care or watch them on the weekends is a huge inconvenience.

Getting my kids to and from school absolutely makes my day. I get to hear about their day from their teachers first hand, instead of a chopped and screwed version from my mom. I honestly look forward to those mini-conferences with their teachers, because it allows me to address bad habits and behaviors with my children.

Since I started working from home we’re eating more home cooked meals. I don’t particularly care to cook every night, so I’ll usually cook just about every other day. Sundays, we usually have dinner at my mom’s, so I’ll cook Monday, leftovers for Tuesday and so on. The only days I order out are Friday’s and Saturday. I get to get the meal prep done before getting the kids from daycare, which saves a ton of time and allows me to multitask and focus on other things like the kids’ homework.

Another thing I love about working from home is that even when I’m working late and still get to put my kids to bed. Even better I now have the energy to read to them too. I love this because this is something they will remember once their older and my hope is that they become avid readers.

Last fall my daughter started kindergarten and with that transition came homework (inserts the hand-face-palm emoji). Now the very first thing I do when getting home with my minions is checking homework and going over site words. Before working from home I hoped that my daughter invoked that mother-daughter bond and completed her homework during after school care because she knew mommy had a tough day; not.

This is where I was failing as a parent. I don’t know why, but I relied on the fact that students were given time to work on their homework to assume that she was getting it done rather than talking to her. Talking to my daughter about the importance of getting even a small portion of her homework done during after school or even making sure she got some of it done when my mom picked her up changed. ​

Working from home has completely changed the way I parent. I’m more energetic and hands on. I don’t know what it is, but it’s something that is completely draining about commuter traffic. Working from home is really the best thing that has happened to me, besides my offspring.

If you’ve been wrestling with the idea of working from home, I say do it. You’ll save money all around from gas to food. More importantly, you’ll become a better parent. More observant, aware, and energetic. Find that perfect job and be the super mom you were always meant to be.

How to Make Single Parenting Work

How to Make Single Parenting Work

By Daisha Renee

I have been a single parent for almost 3 years now. I nearly ran myself in the ground trying to do and be everything without thinking about my mental and physical health. Single parenting can be very challenging. Over the years, I’ve learn what works for me and what doesn’t. Here are some tips on how to make single parenting work for you. Whether you are a mom or dad, they can for you too.

  1. Ask for Help!

I am a full-time single mom and I don’t get a lot of alone time, and mostly by choice.  I use to feel like I had to do it all. That if I couldn’t, then I failed as a parent. Burning yourself out makes you pretty much useless to your child(ren). You are a “single” parent, you cannot do it alone. It is true what they say, it does take a village to raise a child. When help is offered take it! Even when help isn’t offered, ask. You will be thankful for it in the long run. Even if it’s 1 or 2 hours, that’s more hours than you had before. Especially if you have more than one kid like me, TAKE IT!

I am so thankful for my kiddos grandparents and aunts. Once I learned that it was okay to reach out to my family, I felt the weight of the world lift from my chest. Sometimes due to Atlanta traffic (rolls eyes) I run a tad late picking up the kids and I prefer not to be charged a late pick up fee. I usually must ask my mom to pick up the kids for me. Luckily that’s only once a week since I’m working from home majority of the time. I also ask for an hour or two when I need to make a trip to the grocery store or want to attend an afternoon /evening yoga session. You can also ask your mom (grandma) to help with dinner when you’re too burnt out or money is tight.

  1. Connect with Other (Single) Parents

Connect with people who understand your situation. If you are a newly single parent, then hanging other with non-single parents can be a downer. It will make you resent the crap out of your kid’s other parent and maybe your current situation. Find comfort in new friendships. Talk about your children, talk about something other than your children, or a new hobby that you want to try. Get out and do something that is totally non-parent related. Single parents are one of your biggest supporters and will listen to you vent about anything. They will have proper responses instead of the unhelpful, “Damn that stinks”, because they’ve either been there or are in your shoes. Just remember to not be too negative. Look for the silver lining in your situation. If you get to a point in your life where the past doesn’t sting as much, befriend some non-single parents too.

  1. Tiny Human Helpers

Okay so I learned this one when I was pregnant with my son Peyton. Taking a trip to the past, in 2014 I was a newly single mom with 2 kids and pregnant. Their father and I had split. I was pretty much parenting on my own Monday through Friday while working a full-time job. Needless to say, I was exhausted and mad. So, I started teaching my little ones to clean up after themselves to make things a little easier on me. Fast forward to the present, my children now are putting up their own toys, straightening up their rooms once play time is over, putting their own dishes in the sink or dishwasher once they’ve completed their meals, and making their beds. My kids also like helping load and unload the laundry.

I cannot stress how important it is to teach our children these basic skills. For one they will benefit from it into adulthood and I’m sure their spouses (if they decide to marry) will thank us too. We already manage so much on our own. If you have older children, show them how to help you with the younger ones. Start with a simple task:

  • Putting the toys back in the toy box
  • Straightening up their room after play
  • Making the bed (doesn’t have to be the neatest we applaud the effort)
  • Putting their dish in the sink or dishwasher
  • Throwing their own thrash away once they’re done with a snack so you won’t have to clean up juices boxes and an empty bag of Cheetos off the floor. ​​
  1. Rest

It may seem like a good idea at the time to get chores done while the baby / kids are down for a nap or spending the day with grandma. NO! You need rest. If you are a full-time single mom like me, I’m talking complete custody of your child(ren), then you need rest. This is so important, because we need time to recharge our mom batteries and be ready for the next wave of tantrums. Wearing yourself down to the brink of exhaustion is never a good thing. Once again take care of your mental and physical health. As a mom who is living with depression I’ve learned to manage things in sections so that I won’t shut down. Get a planner and manage that to-do list in sections. Do not try to get everything done all at once.

  1. Mommy Time

I usually call this mommy time, but we need to acknowledge that we have single dads here too. Some are trying to figure this out just like us moms. Parent time means taking off your mom gear (you know those yoga pants and sweats you like to wear), get dolled up and go out with your friends, have a girls/guy’s night. See a movie even if it’s by yourself (yes, I do this). Go for a walk or a run.  Attend a yoga session once or twice a week, trust me you NEED the meditation. Take yourself shopping, even if you treat yourself to one thing you’ll feel pretty darn good afterwards. Learn to be okay with doing things that are just for you. We will spend our whole lives doing for our children, but we still must take care of our physical and mental health. If we don’t, who will?


 

Finding Out That You Are Nothing Like Mary Poppins

It’s Fabulous Lucky Friday! My favorite day of the week so I decided to have 2 guests on the site today! We featured Lady Whipp and her post on waiting earlier and since I’ve been feeling unorganized all day, (week) I loved hearing from Lorena at MamaSqueaks.  For Moms struggling with the morning routine, or heke, all the routines; this is a must read!  Check out her site for more info on essential oils, things she loves and other posts about Mom’s life.

Hope you wore your green today! ♣♣♣

Blessings, Elizabeth♥



Finding Out That You Are Nothing Like Mary Poppins

I always pictured myself being the perfect Mom who never yelled at her children, read to them every night and only fed them healthy, organic food.  Then I actually had children and found out that only happens in the movies or you have to be some sort of superhero to achieve this.  Well, apparently my cape is buried under laundry or toys because I can’t seem to find it.

 

Some Moms have it all together.

These Moms are the ones that wake up with perfect hair and makeup every morning as they cheerfully make homemade French toast and freshly squeezed orange juice meanwhile I’m trying to find a box of cereal that my kids will eat without giving me a dirty look because the name of it sounds “yucky” as I trip over the dog, spill my coffee and get glazed donut on my scrubs.

 

Driving the Kids to School in your bathrobe.

Some mornings, ok most mornings I am trying to do too many things at once so that when I get home after work, school etc I won’t have my usual 589 things to do but will instead have 567 things to do.  For some reason, I continue to believe this works.  Silly me.

Often I will be so focused on getting the kids out the door on time, pets fed, dishes washed and put away, 1 load of laundry that I started at 6am put in the dryer, lights turned off and all the other OCD things I do before I leave my house that I don’t realize that I am still wearing either my slippers, bathrobe or even that 1 pink foam curler I accidentally left in my hair.  Good times!

 

Mornings of Chaos

These mornings of chaos will end one day and you will be wondering where everyone went according to my Mom so I will try to enjoy it a little more while it lasts.  I have found however that if I pack lunches, backpacks and anything else needed for the next day as soon as I get home from work that same day it makes it easier for me to keep up with all the other things I need to do in the evenings and mornings.  That way I’m not pulling out all of my hair. Just a few strands here and there.

 

This is what works for me!

  • Like I mentioned before, I make all of our lunches for the next day the minute I get home. Sometimes if I’m really tired I have the kids help out.  I have lunch items ready to go in my fridge and pantry which makes this easier for the kids to grab and put in their lunch boxes.  Just make sure you check after they are done because a string cheese, Capri sun and a bag of Cheetos does not qualify as a lunch apparently.  Who makes these rules anyway?
  • I start 1 load of laundry when I get up on the days I have to work so that I can throw it in the dryer as I walk out the door.  I put it all away sometime in the evening.
  • Then I have a  glass of wine at the end of the day and who really cares about the rest of this list because I have wine…

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To All the Hardworking Mamas

Happy Thursday Mamas!
I have often thought about all the different types of Mamas I know and wanted to write about them.  There is the Soccer Mom, Helicopter Mom, Perfect Mom, Hot mess Mom, Granola Mom etc.  I am sure ya’ll have a list, don’t lie!   I have not yet tackled that project because there is so many plus throw in all their characteristics, it’s a huge project.  When I ran into Liat and Carolina at Momjo and read their work about hardworking Mamas, I was so excited to share, it is hilarious!  I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!  I highly suggest you check them out as they post lots of info and great tips for Mama!  They have a great Youtube Channel you can find below in their bio with AWESOME videos as well for all Moms!♥  Here is their inspiring ode to Mamas below!  Enjoy!




To All the Hardworking Mamas

To those of you who can spend the whole day with your kids.

And to those of you who wish you could spend the whole day with your kids. 
And to those of you who would much rather enjoy adult conversation. 

To those moms who sew together every single costume for the school play.

And to those moms who arrive five minutes late. Drenched in sweat. A broken heel.

To the moms who stand by the sidelines, screaming like honorary coaches.

To the moms who send dad to soccer practice and get to sleep in just a little bit.

To the moms who sit with their kids and help them do homework.

To the moms who cram homework time into 10 minutes during breakfast.

To those moms who buy those pricey, stainless aluminum bento boxes and fill them with organic, vegan, nut free, grass fed, free range, gluten free deliciousness.

And to those moms who order their kids an equally scrumptious slice of pizza.

To the more generous mamas who actually order two slices.

And to those moms who do Lunch Lady on a Monday, subs on a Tuesday and Lunchables here and there.

To those moms who give their kids only water.

And to those moms who give their kids pop, and juice every so often.

And the moms who let their kids take a sip of their coffee.

To the mamas who breastfeed for a full year.

To those who do it for two years, three years, four years?

And to those who feed them formula.

#FedIsBest

To the mamas who kiss each and every boo boo.

To the mamas who tell you to suck. It. Up.

To those moms who are best friends with their Swiffers, and their mops…

And to those moms who just bought a Roomba. Or a dog.

To the moms who minx the gym. Pilates, Zumba, Samba, Mamba.

And to the mamas who minx Netflix just the same.

To the moms who look up recipes on Pinterest and replicate them to the tee.

And to the moms who burn half the food. But hey! The meal was made with love and that’s all that matters.

To those moms who are always the perfect hostess.

And to those who will drop a million hints so that you’ll invite them over.

To the mamas who make their kids bedrooms look like magic castles. On clouds. With elves who sing their kids to sleep. 
To the mamas who paint the ceiling fuchsia and call it a day. 

To the mamas who got to get their nails and highlights done.

To the mamas who like it au naturel.

To the mamas who post each and every single picture of their kids on social media.

Look, they peed in the potty for the same time!

Look, they peed in the for the second time!

They peed in the potty again, with a cat on their lap !

To the mamas who have five good friends, and that’s a social as they’ll get.

To the moms who are so proud of their mommying skills.

To the moms who think they suck.

To those moms that brag.

And the ones who constantly, feel guilty.

To the mamas who have a nanny, a night nurse, a chef, a personal trainer.

To those moms that rack up the airlines and travel for work.

To those moms whose husbands travel and have to do it all on their own. 
To those moms who ALWAYS have to do it on their own. 

To the mamas who work in their bunny slippers and their Lululemons.

To the mamas who put on their power suits, head downtown and break the glass ceiling.

To the mamas who work at home 24/7.

To the mamas who work outside their homes and then come home, to do a little more work.

You mamas.

Bad mamas,

Good mamas. 
Crazy mamas. 

Zen mamas.

Mamas whose hearts, regardless of how insane their husbands and kids make them, are brimming with love for them.

Mamas who try YOUR freaking darnest.

At home.

At work.

At life.

Loves yourselves because we love you.

You’re rocking it to no end.

                                                                      Love,

                                                                                 – MOMJO

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5 Chores your 4-yr-old can do (and should)

I used to be the kind of Mom that liked to do everything myself because I liked it done a certain way and no one could do it right but recently as more demands have been placed on me at work and at home, I have had to adjust my thinking.  My husband has been suggesting the last few months that we institute a chore system with our daughters with an allowance but I always thought that they were too young and I thought they were not capable of doing anything that would be of real value.

When my siblings and I were young, we always had chores so the more I thought about and researched it, I could come up with nothing but positive outcomes to having our kids start doing chores around the house.  My husband and I got together and implemented 5 easy chores that our 4-yr-old daughter could do and earn an allowance each week if her daily chores were completed.  See my post here about our 5-yr old’s chore list.

Some families I know set certain days for certain chores while others have their child do all the chores in one setting, it is up to you, that is the beauty of your chore list.  Allowance amounts can range from actual cash amounts, trips to get ice cream, chore bucks or nothing at all.  I like the allowance idea because it is a good head start on teaching about currency and earning, but that’s okay too if you decide not to offer an allowance and make it an expected part of your routine.  That is good for them also.  Parents.com has a great article here about allowance and chores as well.


♥C’s Chore List♥

  1.  Empty the Dishwasher.  Do a quick visual sweep for any sharp knives or breakable objects and grab those yourself but then let your child go to town.  They probably can’t reach the high cabinets to be able to put things away but I have my daughter put everything on the stove for me and I put it up from there.  She is a master at the silverware as well as plates.  She is learning organization skills and doesn’t even know it.
  2. Empty the Trash.  I am not talking about the big trash in the kitchen but all the small trash cans throughout the house.  At this age they are more than capable of going around and bringing them all into the kitchen to dump.  Hey, it is saving my husband and I a few minutes a week.
  3. Making their bed!  I recently splurged and purchased my daughter a Beddy All in one Bedding so they could make their bed.  I suggest this 100%(My Beddy’s Review) but even if you don’t have one, teach them how to make their bed.  It will probably be sloppy, well it will be sloppy, but will get better with age and a good habit for them to start.
  4. Hang up their clothes–  This was one that helped me immensely.  Their hang-up clothes would just sit around until I had time to hang them.  My daughter now hangs many of her own clothes.  I give her 5-10 every few days or so and this has really been a life saver.
  5. Sweep the floors.  We have tile and hardwood throughout so I usually just have her do a room or 2.  Yes, I have to go back behind her but she doesn’t know that.  : )  She is just learning and learning to do it with a happy heart.  Many times we talk about helping and how Jesus likes when we help.

(Bonus Chore on our list)  Being kind and Respectful every day.♥♥♥♥

This post contains affiliate links from our partners to help support this blog.

Use your lists Moms!  I love the Cozi App and use it for all sorts of things (Cozi review ) and this is one of these things that the lists come in handy!  C’s Chore list is there and as it changes I can edit it and even assign it to my husband and will to my daughter once she gets old enough to have a phone.  You should Try the Cozi Family Organizer today. It’s FREE! We also have the chore list hung up on the fridge for everyone to see, especially my daughter!  She loves marking off what she has done and asks about what her chores are for the next day! The chore chart we use is pictured below and you can print your own FREE  here from our friends at The Gilded Pear.

Other useful resources on Amazon:
Magnetic and Wooden Chore List Ideas-
Chore List for kids
Beddy’s Options-
Beddy’s

Keep up the juggle Moms, Blessings♥

Parent Magazine

Question of the week…Help I think my son is Gay

Q–Help, I think my son is gay.  He is 17 and has never really had many friends due to some social problems he has had since youth.  He has finally developed some friendships with some kids in his theater classes that he hangs out with and one of them is gay and the other is a girl but says she is a boy trapped in a girls body.  He tells me he is not gay when I ask him.  I had to ask because my thoughts are most “straight” boys don’t hang out with gay people but he swears to me he is not.  We are a very religious family and I know being gay is wrong, I also know we are to love and be tolerant of everyone so I go back and forth on this one.  I, of course, don’t want my Son to be gay but I want him to be happy.  Please help!  Thanks, Grace

A–Well Grace, there are several different issues going on here that we could go off on a tangent about so I will try to stick to the facts.  Since you don’t know for a fact whether or not your son is gay or not there is really nothing you can do at this point besides wait until he is ready to come clean or not.  In all actuality, he might be straight and really just enjoying the company of having friends who accept him for who he is (straight or not.) We are all sinners and as believers, we need to cling to the fact that God covers us all over a multitude of sin. (1 Peter 4:8 Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.)    This includes your son, you, me, the postman, etc.

Just keep loving your son and accepting him and his friends, just like Jesus did and trust that God loves you and your Son more than anything.  Pray, pray like crazy, and throw yourself into scripture and try to get your Son to do the same thing.  It is normal to want the best for our kids but sometimes you just have to be still for awhile.  Blessings and stay strong.

Until next time…..Keep up the Juggle Moms….♥

Mom, How do you really feel when your child gets bullied?

One day last week, my 3 almost 4-year-old came home telling me “Lola” had called her a jerk when they were laying down to take a nap.  Seriously?  Seriously?  She’s three!  So many emotions were going through my mind but the first few were heartbreak, anger, and protection mode.  I let Chloe explain it to me as best as her little brain could so I could help her make sense of what happen and I did my best to stay calm especially since it occurred at a place where she was supposed to be safe; her school!

My sweet innocent Chloe preceded to ask me if she was in fact, a “jerk” and what that meant.  Being bullied on and off, myself, most of Elementery, Jr. High and High School School (but that is a whole nother series of posts I can write for yall) nothing made me madder than I was at that very moment.  My heart broke in a million pieces that she was exposed to hurtful words and feelings that did not make her feel good.

We spent several minutes as a family talking about several reasons why “Lola” might have called her a Jerk.  Maybe she has older siblings or parents that speak to her or each other in this way.  Maybe she is allowed to watch TV or internet programs that use this word.  Perhaps she doesn’t even really know (I am sure this is the case) what this word really means or its implications.

We talked about what Jesus would have done and did do when he was called names and ridiculed.  (Ephesians 4:29-30-Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them. And do not bring sorrow to God’s Holy Spirit by the way you live. Remember, he has identified you as his own, guaranteeing that you will be saved on the day of redemption.)

Lastly, we equipped her with what she needed to do the next time she was called a name by a friend or schoolmate.  By the end of the conversation, she was laughing and kidding around and knew without a benefit of a doubt she was not a “jerk.”  She knows “Lola” is not a Jerk and probably just needs a friend or was having a bad day, hopefully.

Unfortunately, I know she will encounter real “jerks” throughout her journey in life and school and it is my job to give her the tools that she needs to deal with them emotionally on the surface and internally and I intend to do that with every grain of my being.  That is our job as Moms, to project not only our kids physical well-being, but also their precious precious souls and hearts.  I plan to write a series of posts that deals specifically as to what these tools are and the best way to teach our kids what they need to know!

Now, ask me am I still mad about it…yes, the child inside of me is! : )

Until next time, keep up the juggle!

Blessings,

Here are some great books I suggest about the topic!



10 Tips for Exhausted Moms plus Free Printable

You know it’s coming…the dreaded evening routine when it’s time to make dinner, clean up dinner, give baths, do homework, read books, say prayers, pick up the house, tend to your husband and all of a sudden you look up at the clock and already 10pm.  You have done nothing that you wanted to do and feel like you have accomplished nothing for you.  You are so exhausted from working all day or taking care of the kids all day and you just want a break but now it’s time to shower and go to bed.

Here are 10 tips for exhausted moms that will hopefully help you make it through the dreaded evening routine and other parts of your day!  We have all heard the “if Mom is not good then no one is good” saying so we have to take of ourselves!  : )  Forget Stella….Mom needs to get her groove back!

Tip 1- Drink lots of water and then some more!  People reach for coffee or soda thinking this will perk them but actually this is counterproductive!  Water will rehydrate your body and keep your muscles working and keep you more alert!  Plus it does wonders for your skin!

Tip 2- Have a social life!  Moms need friends to talk to, vent to and share the good bad and ugly with!  Studies show that people with friends and who stay active are happier so it is imperative that you make time even if it is once a month to get out with the ladies—that means no kids and no husband!  Everything is more fun with a friend!

Tip 3- Go to bed on time and/or early!  This is a hard one for me as sometimes once I finally get everyone to sleep this is the only time I have to myself or to get things done but our bodies need time to rest and wind down!  Plus it is a chance to cuddle and visit with your Husband before he drifts off to sleep.  Having a routine, not just for your kids, is a good idea for Mom as well to stay sane and healthy!

Tip 4- Eat Right!  I know it sounds clique but junk in is junk out!  We need to treat our bodies like the temples they are!  Remove sugar and caffeine from your diet where possible and insert fruits, vegetables, and proteins.  Take a good woman’s multivitamin also. Drink yummy homemade smoothies loaded with Antioxidants.  Remember we don’t want our kids to see us popping Twinkies into our face daily now do we????

Tip 5- Take a power nap– We all need an energy boost from time to time! If you are lucky enough to have kids that still nap then nap with them.  If your kids are at school, nap.  If you work full time even if you can get a power nap on your lunch break it can make a huge difference in your mood.

Tip 6- Exercise- A great chance to have some alone time or even socialize with other Moms.  We need to take care of our bodies and this goes along with eating right.  Even if you are so tired, get out and take a walk.  Exercise improves your overall health and mood!  Find a short workout video on YouTube or even go play with the little monsters and get them tired!

Tip 7- Calgon take me away.  Take a bath.  Bubbles and candles are always a nice touch.  It is hard to find time in my house to do this but I try every chance I get.  If my kids know I am taking a bath, they want to jump in so many times I just lock the door and tell my husband that Mommy needs 20 minutes.  A bath makes me feel like a new “me.”  I always feel rested and ready to go after I take one and sometimes even have a chance to catch up on my latest issue of People Magazine.

Tip 8 Ask for Help– Never a sign of weakness but of strength!  Everyone needs help and no one can do it all.  It takes a village nowadays so ask your friends, husband, children, parents etc for help.  If you need to hire a cleaning lady for awhile or longer, do it.  When I was pregnant with my 2nd baby, I did just that because I was having back problems.  That was 4 years ago and she still comes monthly to help me out!  Let your various village helpers empty the dishwasher, walk the dog, take out the trash etc. so that you can rest for a minute.

Tip 9- The power of positive thinking!  Adjust your thinking and thought process!  Have a positive outlook and attitude no matter what.  Even when you are tired and down!  Remember your kids are watching and you are leading by example!  I have found “fake it till you make it” really works! Tell yourself this is going to be a “Good Day” and make it happen to matter what!

Tip 10- Do Life and all of this in Christ’s Strength– We saved the best and most important for last.  You cannot do this alone like I talked about in tip #8.  Don’t convince yourself that “I” can do this but learn to lean and rely on our heavenly father to walk you through this life and Motherhood.  Pray daily over your kids and with your kids, place bible verses around your house, and sing praises.  We cannot do this alone and why would we ever want to??  Here is a link to some special bible verses from sites we love that you can pray with your children and for yourself to prayer for strength and protection for your family.  You will be amazed in the power of prayer and God’s grace in your daily life if you lean on him.

Great Mom Resources to check out!!!

The Mother Of Knights

The Purposeful Mom

Awesome Free Printable just for you!  Get it now HERE!

 

 

Some other great resources can be found below:



 

 

 

 

Important Lessons Learned Through Dirty Laundry

It’s exhausting…I finally got the kids read to, prayers said and tucked into bed.  As I sit here, with one child yelling at me to come lay with them, I look around at the laundry.  Laundry on the couch, laundry on the floor, Laundry on the bed, laundry in the dirty clothes hamper and in the washer and the dryer.  When I say laundry I mean laundry in all stages.  Some clean, some dirty, some waiting to be hung, some folded and some just wrinkling away.  I choose to ignore it tonight as I did all day and it feels really good.

The dishes in the sink and on the counter are dirty and what’s in the dishwasher is clean because I am too exhausted to put them away and why is it that every clean sippy cup in the house is dirty except for the ones that your children refuse to drink out of but you can’t bear to throw them away so they just clutter up your cabinets along with all of the other things that you think they will need but never use.

Image result for lost jazz shoes child

I couldn’t find my daughters jazz shoes today for her dance class.  I looked everywhere and I have no doubt they will turn up in the weirdest place but I sent her to class barefoot.  Yes, I am that Mom praying that the teacher wouldn’t notice or at least wouldn’t say anything.  Thankfully, it was one of the two because she didn’t get kicked out of class and stayed the whole time. It was just my oldest daughter who scratched herself during class, probably goofing off instead of paying attention so instead of Mommy getting her 45 minutes alone in the waiting room to check emails, relax, unwind and surf the net, I was tending to a whining 5-year-old who you would have thought broke her arm and was too hurt to go back into class.  She needed band-aids and cold paper towel compress’s and Neosporin and the whole ten yards but is much better now in case you are wondering. LOL

So tonight I am just going to sit here and not worry about this laundry or these dishes and I am going to soak in the lessons of the day.  I taught my daughters about helping our friends when they need help.  We have a family friend who just had her 4th baby.  Her 2-year-old has the flu and she (the Mom) is having problems adjusting to her new life understandably.  We took one of her daughters with us to dance class today to help them out so they wouldn’t have to get the new baby out and we also took them dinner after dance class on the way to drop her daughter back off.

On the way home I was able to explain to my girls the sweet lesson of helping our friends when they are in need because this is what God wants us to do and because it is the right thing to do.  You can tell your kids all day long how to act and what to do but showing them and leading by example is truly the best teacher of them all.  Nothing makes your heart sing as a parent more than when your child “gets it.”  My girls asked if next week for dance class if we could go and pick up their friend again so we could help out this sweet family again that needed help.

Now should I should get up and tackle some of the dishes and laundry????

I will in just a little bit!  : )  I promise!
May we suggest a Robot to make things a little easier?

 

 

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Psalm 62:1  “Truly my soul finds rest in God; my salvation comes from him.”

Psalm 4:8  In peace I will lie down and sleep,  for you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety.”

Psalm 127:1-2  “Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain.  Unless the Lord watches over the city, the guards stand watch in vain.  In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat— for he grants sleep to those he loves.”

2 Thessalonians 3:13  “And as for you, brothers and sisters, never tire of doing what is good.”

Romans 12:11  Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.”

Elizbeth Hurt—–

Providing Organized Sports For Kids Doesn’t Have To Be Expensive

football kids

Sports are considered to be an important part of kids’ lives across most suburban American areas. Children not only play in schools on the outdoor playground equipment but have also joined clubs and academies for after school sports. Parents of those kids are equally fond of sports and while those kids fill the fields with excited teams, their peers and parents sit dedicatedly in the stands to cheer and encourage their kids and friends. This inclination towards sports is not limited to young children. Grownups also take subscriptions and take lessons in tennis and golf clubs. The flipside to the story is that while these activities have numerous physical and mental benefits for both children and adults, they can be a serious disadvantage on the wallets. So here is a guide for you on how to get all these benefits without compromising on your budget.

Let’s Talk About Equipment First

There are several ways to which you can save costs on outdoor playground equipment. For one, buy used equipment instead of spending more money on the new ones. After a gentle use, the new bright equipment also turns into the same appearance as a moderately used one. So get your little ones slightly used equipment whose expense would be much less. The online platforms selling outdoor playground equipment also offer more competitive prices than showrooms.

If you already have some equipment then you can also save on the expense by exchanging that for new modular playground equipment. Alternatively, you can sell the old equipment and buy a new one. That will also spare you on the cost. This is also a great way to keep the surprise and activity alive for your kid. New equipment after a while always surprises little ones and keeps them excited about playing and being active. It is likely that some other family would be willing to buy your child’s slightly used equipment as well. You can rent the equipment as well if your kids are the kind who get bored very quickly. This will also be a massive saving in your expense.

Lessons And Coaching

This is the second most expensive part of getting your kids into sports routine. It is equally problematic for grownups. The solution, therefore, is to do these small things. Firstly, make sure that you don’t wait for the deadline to apply, let alone apply post-deadline. There are generally lower rates of subscriptions for the early birds, and not missing the deadline is a sure shot way of avoiding the late fees that are in addition to the regular subscription charges.

There’s another way to drastically reduce the expenses of coaching, and that is to coach your little ones yourself. It has more than just monetary benefits. Not only would you save on massive costs, but you would also get an excellent way to bond with your kids. You don’t have to be an expert at the sport, only enthusiastic enough to spend some quality time with your little ones.

Some Other Ideas

Some other ways in which you can save on costs are indirect but equally effective. You can arrange for a carpool to take your kids to the sports academy. That would reduce the fuel costs. Also, you can manage your expenses by choosing one sport at a time. It might appear attractive to put your kids in multiple sports at the same time which would ensure against boredom and will also make sure that your kid’s activity remains consistent. But it can be a burden on the wallet and could also lead to confusion among the children who would learn all sports by a bit but not excel in one sport specifically. Therefore going step by step is better in both ways.

Things You Should Say To Your Toddler Every Morning Before School

Kids going to school

While these things hold the most importance on the first day of school, it is always advisable that you continue to tell your little ones these small things and keep reminding him of your affection and trust in him. However, for the first day of school, all these things hold much more importance as it is a new chapter in the life of your little one and he would inevitably have questions and apprehensions about what awaits him next.

New Experiences Mean New Opportunities

The first day of school is mainly cumbersome for kids because of the change in the familiar setting and familiar faces of parents and siblings. Therefore it is imperative that you take down your kid’s fears related to the first day of school. Talk to them and make them understand that new day of school means new friends, new playground structures to play on and new friends to spend time with.

God Is Going To Be With You

If you have brought up your kids with religious influences, then it would be immensely helpful for them to know that God would be there in the classrooms and playground with them. Being away from the comfort of home and the protection of parents is the most significant factor in the hesitation or fears expressed by children for the first day of school. By making them understand that even if you won’t be there, God would still be. This would allay their fears and make them look forward to school.

Tell Me about Your Day

Another thing to hearten your little one for the day and to make sure that the communication remains open between you and your kid is to tell him that you would be looking forward to the story of his experiences at school by the end of the day. Also, make sure that you follow through with this promise. When you pick your little one up from school, remember to ask him about his day. Encourage him to share everything irrespective of the fact if he liked it or got frightened by it or felt sad because of it. The idea is to make your child comfortable for school which would only be possible with unhindered communication.

Ask For Help and Ask Questions

Most children feel shy on their first day of school and prefer to stay quiet even if they are in a difficulty. They don’t ask for bathrooms or they don’t ask questions if they don’t get anything in their studies or lectures. Also tell them that they are allowed to ask questions even outside school or classrooms. Tell them that it is perfectly fine to inquire about the preschool playground equipment if they don’t know how to play, and it is equally fine to ask questions if they don’t understand anything being taught to them or happening around them.

Listening Is One of the Best Things to Do In School

While you teach them to speak up, also make sure that you tell them how important it is for them to listen. If they won’t properly listen to the instructions of their syllabus or the guidelines on how to play on the playground structures, they might lose out on their studies and also get injured in the playground. Therefore listening is as important as the confidence to speak up and ask questions.

Being Kind Take You a Long Way

Most children look forward to making friends and playing with peers in school. Therefore it is important to teach them the best way to do so. Pampered kids often find it difficult to practice kindness and nicety with new people. They get recluse or moody instead. So tell them that being kind will earn them more friends and make them more likable as well.

Parents Should Never Say Emotionally Hurtful Things To Kids

 

Children’s minds are as sensitive as their bodies. They are impressionable and highly dependent on their parents for love, affection, and security. As grownups, if we say or hear something that is emotionally hurtful, we are better adept at analyzing the situation and forgiving or forgetting it. Children, on the other hand, are not capable of such judgment and it is highly likely that they will take such statements much more seriously which could have potentially devastating effects on their minds and perceptions of the world and themselves.

parents and kids

It doesn’t need to be a parent’s intention to hurt the child. It might be spur of the moment statement but for the child, it could be much worse. It is not unusual to see parents getting angry at something their child has done during their outdoor play time. Perhaps they spoiled some playground structures or got hurt while playing despite being repeatedly told not to go near the bard wire etc. whatever the reason parents need to be careful of their words and actions towards children. Here are some of the statements that parents must avoid at all costs.

Your Sibling Is Better

Having a little healthy competition between siblings is not a bad thing, but it should never be born out of a sense of hostility or parents’ favoritism. While the kids could compete and try to outperform each other, such a statement coming from a parent could seriously hurt a child and make him shut out from the world as well as from parents. It could also harm his self-esteem and create rivalry or hatred between siblings.

Drop It Or Move On

While for elders it might be a simple statement telling the child to get over some petty issue, it is important to realize that for the child it is not as little a problem as it might appear to parents. Telling the child to get over something could potentially make him feel like his feelings are not being understood or that he is being belittled for having any such feelings. Either way, it is not good for the parent-child relationship and could also lead to feelings of grief for the little one.

Get Out Or Shut Up Or Any Form Of Yelling

Parents keep telling their children to be respectful and polite but more often than not they don’t realize that they are setting an exact example in front of them by yelling or shouting at them. Avoid any such statement which could frighten the child and make him less willing to talk or share his feelings with you. It will not only lead the child to become insolent but will also make it much harder for you to communicate with him in the future. Besides, yelling at kids is never appropriate no matter what the circumstances are.

Are You Insane?

Such a statement might come as a natural response to something silly that the child might have done. The fact is that little minds are not as sharp in observing and comprehending things as the adult minds are. Besides, children are not very adept at understanding sarcasm and such type of conversation can leave them hurt and confused. They might also feel that they are being scolded unfairly because to them what they have done made perfect sense. Make sure never to use such reactionary words to your little ones.

I Shouldn’t Have Had Kids In The First Place

Such words or anything like this could spell disaster for the child. While you might just be venting your feelings, these words could pierce deep into a child’s heart and make them feel unloved and unwanted. It is extremely important to note that children need love and affection as much as they need food and water. Therefore it must be parents’ top priority to not do or say anything that potentially makes the child feel deprived of love.

by

davidrossye in parenting

Help Children and Teens Develop Healthy Self-Esteem

Self-esteem is a major key to success in life. The development of a positive self-concept or healthy self-esteem is extremely important to the happiness and success of children and teenagers. This page will share the basics for helping kids and teens to improve their self-esteem. It will also point you to other CDI pages and CDI products that can help you to improve your child’s or teenager’s self-esteem.

Self-esteem is how we feel about ourselves, and our behavior clearly reflects those feelings. For example, a child or teen with high self-esteem will be able to:

  • act independently
  • assume responsibility
  • take pride in his accomplishments
  • tolerate frustration
  • attempt new tasks and challenges
  • handle positive and negative emotions
  • offer assistance to others

On the other hand, a child with low self-esteem will:

  • avoid trying new things
  • feel unloved and unwanted
  • blame others for his own shortcomings
  • feel, or pretend to feel, emotionally indifferent
  • be unable to tolerate a normal level of frustration
  • put down his own talents and abilities
  • be easily influenced

 

Parents, more than anyone else can promote their child’s self-esteem. It isn’t a particularly difficult thing to do. If fact, most parents do it without even realizing that their words and actions have great impact on how their child or teenager feels about himself. Here are some suggestions to keep in mind.

When you feel good about your child, mention it to him or her. Parents are often quick to express negative feelings to children but somehow don’t get around to describing positive feelings. A child doesn’t know when you are feeling good about him or her and he or she needs to hear you tell him or her that you like having him or her in the family. Children remember positive statements we say to them. They store them up and “replay” these statements to themselves. Practice giving your child words of encouragement throughout each day.

Be generous with praise. Use what is called descriptive praise to let your child know when they are doing something well. You must of course become in the habit of looking for situations in which your child is doing a good job or displaying a talent. When your child completes a task or chore you could say, “I really like the way you straightened your room. You found a place for every thing and put each thing in its place.” When you observe them showing a talent you might say, “That last piece you played was great. You really have a lot of musical talent.” Don’t be afraid to give praise often even in front of family or friends. Also, use praise to point out positive character traits. For instance, “You are a very kind person.” Or, “I like the way you stick with things you do even when it seems hard to do.” You can even praise a child for something he did not do such as “I really liked how you accepted my answer of ‘no’ and didn’t lose your temper.”

Teach your child to practice making positive self-statements. Self-talk is very important in everything we do. Psychologists have found that negative self-talk is behind depression and anxiety. What we think determines how we feel and how we feel determines how we behave. Therefore, it is important to teach children to be positive about how they “talk to themselves.” Some examples of useful self-talk are: “I can get this problem, if I just keep trying.” “It’s OK if our team lost today. We all tried our best and you can’t win them all.” “It makes me feel good to help others even if the person doesn’t notice or thank me.” Your child can become an expert at this by listening to Self-Image for Children. It combines relaxation techniques along with positive self-statements and mental pictures to help kids  develop their self-esteem.

Avoid criticism that takes the form of ridicule or shame. Sometimes it is necessary to criticize a child’s actions, and it is appropriate that parents do so. When, however the criticism is directed to the child as a person it can easily deteriorate into ridicule or shame. It is important to learn to use “I statements” rather than “You statements” when giving criticism. For instance say, “I would like you to keep your clothes in the proper place in your closet or drawers not lying all over your room;” rather than saying “Why are you such a lazy slob? Can’t you take care of anything?” Please refer to our page, Guidelines for Good Communication With Children for more suggestions. For detailed suggestions on how to get children to act responsibly while achieving a good parent/child relationship, check out Kid Cooperation.

Teach your child about decision-making and to recognize when he/she has made a good decision. Children make decisions all the time but often are not aware that they are doing so. There are a number of ways parents can help children improve their ability to consciously make wise decisions. Children make decisions all the time but often are not aware that they are doing so. There are a number of ways parents can help children improve their ability to consciously make wise decisions.

  • Help the child clarify the problem that is creating the need for a decision. Ask him questions that pinpoint how he sees, hears, and feels about a situation and what may need to be changed.
  • Brainstorm the possible solutions. Usually there is more than one solution or choice to a given dilemma, and the parent can make an important contribution by pointing out this fact and by suggesting alternatives if the child has none.
  • Allow the child to choose one of the solutions only after fully considering the consequences. The best solution will be one that solves the problem and simultaneously makes the child feel good about himself or herself.
  • Later join the child in evaluating the results of that particular solution. Did it work out well? Or did it fail? if so, why? Reviewing the tactics will equip the child to make a better decision the next time around.

Develop a positive approach to providing structure for your child. All kids and teens need to accept responsibility for their behavior. They should learn self-discipline. To help children learn self-discipline, the parent needs to adopt the role of coach/teacher rather than that of disciplinarian and punisher. Learn the “Three Fs” of positive parenting. (Discipline should be fair, firm and friendly)

From our friends at https://childdevelopmentinfo.com/

4 Types of Parenting Styles

The type of discipline you use can have a dramatic effect on your child’s development. Your discipline strategies can have a big impact on the type of relationship you have with your child. The various approaches to discipline can even influence a child’s mood and temperament into adulthood.

Researchers have discovered four types of parenting styles. These different styles are dependent on what the parent feels the child needs from them.

As a result, each parenting style uses a different approach to discipline.

Authoritarian Parenting

Authoritarian parenting is where parents establish the rules and expect that children will follow them without exception. Children have little to no involvement in problem-solving challenges or obstacles. Instead, parents expect that children will follow all of the rules all the time.

If children challenge the rules or ask why, they are usually told, “Because I said so.” Children are not usually given the reasons for the rules and there is little room for any negotiation. Authoritarian parents may use punishments instead of consequences.

Although children who grow up with authoritarian parents tend to follow rules much of the time, they may develop self-esteem problems. Sometimes children become hostile or aggressive as they may focus more on being angry at their parents for the punishment rather than learning how to make decisions and solve problems.

Read More: 10 Signs You May be an Authoritarian Parent

Authoritative Parenting

Authoritative parents also have rules that children are expected to follow, however, they allow some exceptions to the rule. They often tell children the reasons for the rules and they are more willing to consider a child’s feelings when setting limits.

Authoritative parents tend to use consequences instead of punishments. They also use more positive consequences to reinforce good behaviors and may be more willing than authoritarian parents to use reward systems and praise.

Children raised with authoritative discipline tend to be happy and successful. They are often good at making decisions and evaluating safety risks on their own. They often grow up to be responsible adults who feel comfortable expressing their opinions.

Permissive Parenting

Permissive parents don’t offer much discipline. They tend to be lenient and may only step in when there is a serious problem. There may be few consequences for misbehavior because parents have an attitude of “kids will be kids.”

Permissive parents may take on more of a friend role than a parent role. They may encourage their children to talk with them about their problems but may not discourage a lot of bad behaviors. (See the 10 Telltale Signs that You’re a Permissive Parent).

Kids who grow up with permissive parents tend to struggle academically.

They may exhibit more behavioral problems as they will likely not appreciate authority and rules. They often have low self-esteem and may report a lot of sadness.

Read More: The Consequences of Permissive Parenting on Children

Uninvolved Parenting

Uninvolved parents tend to be neglectful. They often do not meet their children’s basic needs and may expect children to raise themselves. Sometimes this is due to a parent’s mental health issues or substance abuse problems. They may also lack knowledge about parenting and child development or may feel overwhelmed by life’s other problems.

Uninvolved parents tend to have little knowledge of what their children are doing. There tends to be few, if any, rules or expectations. Children may not receive any nurturing or guidance and they lack the much need parental attention.

When parents are uninvolved, children tend to lack self-esteem and they perform poorly academically. They also exhibit frequent behavior problems and rank low in happiness.

Determining a Discipline Strategy

Sometimes parents don’t fit into just one category. There may be times they are more authoritarian and times that they tend to be more authoritative and their discipline strategies may vary from child to child.

When determining a discipline strategy, it is important to think about what it is that you want your child to learn. Effective discipline strategies can teach children to become responsible adults who are able to make healthy decisions on their own.

References:

Plotnik, R & Kouyoumdjian, H. (2010). Introduction to Psychology. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Publishing.

From our friends at https://www.verywell.com