The Working Mom’s Wellness Guide

We all know how hard it can be to look after ourselves when we’re on the move. Busy days at work and a happily chaotic family life can leave us stretched a bit thin. What’s more, it can feel like taking time for yourself is taking time away from family time. It’s all about getting the balance right. Here are some top tips for how to get the balance spot on, and how to look after yourself properly!
Food

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The food we eat can make us feel sluggish and lethargic or fuel us for our busy days. Ditched processed foods which are laden with sugar and start eating fresh homemade meals instead. Of course, when you’re on the go you can hardly whip up a nutritious meal, so planning is essential.

If you struggle to find time in the mornings to get everyone ready for school/work and make yourself lunch, do it the night before. If you’re having pasta bolognese for dinner, cook extra pasta. When the pasta is ready simply save some of the plain pasta for your lunch. Then after dinner toss through some lettuce and tuna for a quick and healthy lunch. In the morning you just have to grab and go. Similarly, if you’re having chicken for dinner, cook an extra breast (baking is best) and boil some extra broccoli. This is a great lunch, full of protein, for the next day.
Health

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Finding time to take care of your health is essential. Florida Woman Care of Jacksonville has a whole range of services for women concerned with their health. From the menopause to vaccinations, your health should be a top priority. Having a great diet is one thing you can do to improve your health. Keeping fit and de-stressing are other ways you can improve your health too.
Fitness is great for your physical and mental health. Taking the time to go for a walk or a run, is sometimes the only time we get to ourselves in a day. Use it as a chance to decompress and have some quiet alone time. Exercise also helps to stave off depression making us feel more positive and happy. Mental health is just as important as physical health. Keep your brain working to the best of its ability by taking the time to rest. Each day steal a few quiet minutes to meditate and contemplate. What did you achieve? What’s bothering you? Deal with the issues of the day and move on. Stress can invade our sleep and every aspect of our lives. Make sure you deal with yours.
Happiness

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Of course, our families, partners, friends, and loved ones provide us with ample happiness. It’s important, however, not to feel like a slave to our jobs and family responsibilities. Make sure you pursue hobbies which make you happy. Whether it’s going to the cinema, painting, or singing, practice your hobbies at least once a week. When you’re busy providing for others and being selfless all week, it’s okay to take some me time and not feel guilty about it.

Posted in Working Moms

How To Do A Pre-Stork Party On A Budget

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Planning a baby shower nowadays is kind of a big deal. It’s no longer sitting around and exchanging presents – there’s so much more to consider. Games, food, drinks, decorations … it’s all got to be delicately thought out and there are a lot of factors that will determine what sort of theme you’re going for. It can start to get expensive, so here as some top saving tips to get you on your way and give the new mom a shower to remember!

Games
There are so many different ideas floating around online for what to do in terms of games. Most of them don’t require too much in terms of expense, but there are certain things that may need to be bought – pens and paper, for example. Keep it on a budget and don’t go overboard … there can always be too much of a good thing, and while people may seem like they’re enjoying the games, it can become tedious after a while. Use it to break up the day rather than focusing the whole event around them. While you may feel like you need to fill the time the whole way through, the mom to be will be enjoying seeing all of her friends and family together one last time before her life changes forever. It’s a really special time.

Decorations
DIY is best when thinking about how best to prepare the room that you’ll be holding the baby shower in. Decorations can come in many forms, so try and think outside the box; instead of thinking what could adorn the walls, think about what could hang from the ceiling and be a centrepiece on the table. You could have a string of photos of the mom to be from when she was a baby herself – have a hunt around online for some great deals on photo printing such as tiny prints coupons. Try and make it as personal to the mother as you you can. A great Pinterest-inspired idea is to draw out a bare tree and have everybody put their fingerprint on it as the leaves. It is something that can then be put up in the new baby’s room as part of the decor.

Food

Food doesn’t have to be expensive, and your guests won’t be expecting a full-blown three course meal. Keep it light and keep it varied – that’s the best plan of action. This may be your biggest expense of the day, so try and keep reigned in on what you’re spending on. There is always so much food left over at the end of any party, and this one will be just the same. Think about the things that are usually left over at the end of any event you’ve been to (such as salads, certain sandwiches etc) and avoid placing them out. Take into consideration all the different diets that you may have to cater for, such as vegetarians and coeliacs, and make sure that you do a headcount of who’s coming at least a week beforehand so you know how much food to prepare.

Posted in Parties and Planning

What to Do When The Kids Are Ill.

It can be scary and stressful. But it’s something that every parent is going to experience at one time or another. That is the kids being ill or having an accident. But there are somethings that you can do that make it easier to cope with, and ensure that the kids get the best possible care that they need. Read on to find out what they are.

Don’t panic
One of the biggest things that you can do for the health and wellbeing of your child when they are ill or have been injured is to not panic. Of course, it’s the first thing your mind and body want to do, because the thing that is most precious to you in the whole world is in danger.

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But by keeping a calm head, you will not only help keep your little ones calm but also maximise your chances of assessing the situation correctly. Thus helping your child to get the right treatment for them in the quickest way possible.

Do identify the seriousness of the problem
Sometimes it can be pretty tough as a parent to decide what is serious, and what isn’t when the kids are little. Of course it easier to think that everything is serious, and should be checked out straight away. But after a few emergency room visits where they don’t do anything, you may start to think that you are a little over precautious.

So how can you tell the difference between an emergency and something that you should just keep an eye on? Well, first of all, no one is going to know your child like you know them. So if you feel that there is something seriously wrong you should always follow up on this instinct.

Secondly, it’s a good idea to keep a thermometer in the house. Preferably an electric one that can be used in the ear to get an accurate temperature reading. Then, remember that if you child has a fever of 104 F or over, it needs further investigation by a medical professional.

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Thirdly, anything that is encumbering their breathing is likely to be something of an emergency. Particularly for small children. So asthma or chest infections need to get checked out the straight way. Remember too, that if they are having real trouble breathing or are turning an odd color take then straight to the memory room or call an ambulance.

Lastly, use common sense. Forget worrying about bothering the doctors, with your kid’s health is always better to be safe than sorry. So it’s common sense to get things that you are worried about sorted as soon as possible.

Don’t use the wrong service
If you have decided to seek professional medical help, it’s important to realise that there is not only one option for this that you can choose. For immediate emergencies like broken bones, cuts, or concussion it always best to go to the emergency room.
But for things that need attention, but not are an emergency, you can get immediate medical help by going to an urgent care centre instead.

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This is a particularly good idea because you probably won’t have to wait as long to be seen. It also frees up the medical staff in the ER to deal with the more serious cases of trauma. Not to mention that it may be a lot cheaper for you.

Do keep you child as comfortable as possible
When your little one is ill or has had an accident it important to keep them as comfortable as possible before they are being treated. This is partly because being ill or injured makes them feel vulnerable, and they have fewer resources than an adult to deal with this type of trauma.

It is also because the body has a distinct way of dealing with a serious health issue that includes going into shock. If you don’t keep your little one warm and comfortable, it can result in shock, which can further complete their condition.

Of course, comfort is not to be thought more of than safety, though. That is why it is essential to remember that if they have been in a fall, or accident that affects the head, neck, or back, it is best to not move them. So wait until the medical team arrives at the scene and let them do it to prevent further damage to these areas.
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Posted in health and fitness

How To Teach And Not Preach To Your Kids

 

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Getting the balance right as a parent is never easy. You want your child to grow up to be as smart, strong and happy as they could possibly be, as every parent does, but you’ve no idea how to best go about achieving that. Sometimes it can seem that being the fun parent who encourages creativity and messing around is the best route to take, but then you worry about whether your little one will make it in the brutal, real world. However, sometimes you consider being a strict parent who encourages intense learning and removes distractions, but then you worry about your child being unhappy and unfulfilled in life.

The key to good parenting is to teach and not preach. Much like everything in life, moderation is the answer, and you shouldn’t be forcing your child to go out and have fun or stay in and work hard; you should be teaching them about the merits of both elements of life. You should be guiding your child towards answers for themselves because the most important lesson we can teach the next generation is how to independently think. If you’re not sure how to get the balance between fun and seriousness, here are some tips for teaching your kids without preaching your word as if it was the law.

Find out what they love.

Instead of forcing what you think is the best route on your child, you should be harnessing their existing talents. Find out your kid’s passions because it’s far easier to help guide your child towards a secure and happy future when it’s a future they want. They might be young and their skill might not be fully formed yet, whether they’re talented at drawing or simply remembering historical facts, but if it’s something they deeply care about, then they’ll want to further themselves and improve their skillset.

This is where you should be stepping in to help teach them as the parent. You shouldn’t be preaching about the things you think they should be focusing on, as you might send your child down a path that doesn’t suit them and draw their focus away from the thing in which they actually had talent and potential. Don’t worry if they’re not displaying a genius level of talent right now. It’s okay for them to make mistakes, as long as they’re improving. Support your child’s passions, as you never know what they might blossom into.

Make learning and growing fun.

Telling a child to learn about something is always going to earn you a frustrated expression, but guiding your child towards education through something fun and relaxing is a great way to help them grow naturally. This doesn’t always mean dragging them to a museum or making them write a novel. For example, looking into ride on toys for kids might help you find a fun bike or even a battery-powered mini car to teach your little one necessary motor skills whilst they still have fun. Education comes in many forms, and it doesn’t always have to be school-based academia. You could set your child the task of budgeting the food you eat for the week, and see how they get on with adding everything up.

Teach them how to treat others.

This is another important one, as children follow by example. If you demonstrate kindness and affection to other people, your child will understand that this is the way people should be treated and learn to do so within their own interactions. Again, it’s not about preaching, but showing. Actions often speak louder than words, and your child will learn much more from seeing how you treat others than how you tell them they should treat others.

Posted in parenting

Save the Present, Prepare the Future

When you’re a mom, it can be hard to save money. It seems like it’s bleeding out of you during the first couple of years of your child’s life; there is always something that they will want or need that will require you to part with cash. It’s just the way it goes, and it’s one of the few things in this life that will never change. Looking towards the future can be a terrifying prospect when you’re taking their needs into consideration – think college, travelling, vehicles and anything else they may need to get them on their way. So what can be done to make sure that you – and them – are financially prepared?

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Start a Trust Fund
Trust funds aren’t just for the kids of the rich and famous. The biggest expense with them is hiring an attorney to execute your wishes, but it’s important to remember that once you have placed any money or assets into a trust fund, they can’t be withdrawn again. This is probably why they are so associated with the rich – remember Logan Huntzberger’s Dad from Gilmore Girls? He could totally throw cash into a trust fund and forget about it without having to worry about running into any financial trouble. The majority of us can’t do that. There is another option – putting your money into a UGMA/UTMA Custodial Account can ensure that the money is going towards college or education, or you could look towards getting a Kiss Trust Fund which works on a lower income.

Lower Your Outgoings
You can lower how much you are paying out in many ways. Go through your direct debits online and see which ones are really necessary; keep your bills and tax payments but cut off any subscription services that you may have going on in the background. Take a look at your home and consider whether you need the space you have. If you know that you need to move for more space but can’t afford it, take a look at new-build mobile homes on offer to give you more room for your money. There are also some great budget calculators online that look at where most of your expenditure is going; the majority of them require you to save your receipts on a daily basis to input exactly what you’ve been spending to get an accurate analysis.

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Teach Them To Save
Teaching your children to save what they earn or are gifted is an invaluable life lesson. Childhood is one of the only times where you can get away with making a lot of mistakes, but this is one definitely needs to be learned from. It’s so easy to replace or give money over when they overspend or misplace what they have, but the earlier they realise that this isn’t how they can operate in the adult world, the better chance they have. Show them the importance of saving by making them gather their pennies together for something that they really want – perhaps a new game or a toy. The feeling of satisfaction of earning something rather than having it given to them will override any previous unhappy feelings.

Posted in savings

Running On Empty: Why Rest Will Make You A Better Parent

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We all know that parenting is a journey. And, as with any journey, it’s important you don’t fall asleep at the wheel! There’s no denying that parenting is exhausting. It is, in itself, a full-time job, let alone what you do for a living! Not to mention that caring for children can cause a lot of emotional stress. It’s no wonder many of us are exhausted. When we’re tired, we don’t function like we should. Exhaustion could leave you unable to cope with what parenting throws at you. Here’s how to get rest, and why it’s important that you do.

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TIME OFF

Taking time off is crucial for getting the rest you need. You wouldn’t work without holidays. Parenting is no different. Many of us are reluctant to admit we need time off from our kids. A good parent shouldn’t need time away, right? Or, maybe not. Parents who know when to take time for themselves are better equipped to care for their children. That’s not to say that you should take too much time off. One night every few weeks should be enough to refresh you. Make a note of your night off in your diary and make plans. Organize for the kids to stay with a family member or babysitter. Then, the world is your oyster. Think about what you want to do. You could use the night to spend time with your partner, or meet with friends. You might even want to spend the night alone, with a glass of wine and a book. This is your night. Do what you like!

A GOOD NIGHT’S SLEEP

Nights off aren’t the only thing that can help you feel rested. It’s also important that you get enough sleep. When you have a lot to think about, it can be hard to sleep. And, parents always have a lot to think about! Even so, there are steps you can take to ensure you get more sleep. From taking the time to unwind in the evenings, to buying a mattress that sends you to sleep the moment you lay down. If you’re uncomfortable in the night, you’re less likely to get the recommended amount of sleep. Treat yourself to a new mattress and pillows. Go all out and buy yourself some california king bed sheets. The more effort you put into the quest, the faster you’ll see results. It’s worth putting the time into your sleep journey, though. The more rested you are, the better chance you stand of being there when your children need you.

WHAT DIFFERENCE WILL IT MAKE?

But, what difference will all this effort make? The simple answer is a lot. When you’re exhausted, everything is harder to deal with. Tiredness can lead to that feeling of not being able to cope. But, as a parent, you need to be able to cope. If you don’t, how can you expect your children to? So, go on. Find out how to improve your state of mind with rest!

Posted in parenting

Moving Up The Property Ladder For Your Growing Family Needs

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Your first home is undoubtedly the one that you’ll remember more than any ever in life. However, as your family circumstances change with time, it’s quite likely that you’ll need to a bigger and better property. It’s not that there is anything wrong with your starter home, you’ve simply outgrown it.

It can be a stressful process. In addition to the financial elements, you now have kids to worry about too. Therefore, taking the right steps towards a successful and efficient move is essential. Here’s all you need to know.

1)Finding The Right Location
When you move home, you aren’t just looking for a new property; you are starting a new chapter in your lives. Whether you’re moving five miles down the road or 500 doesn’t matter. You need to know that the new place is situated in a place where you can live happily for years to come.

This should have been an important factor last time. However, second time homebuyers have an even greater need to find the right property in the right location. After all, there’s a strong chance you’ll be spending a long time in this new home.
As well as using the help of experts, you should test the waters yourself. Drive through the area late at night to check noise levels, and use the internet to check crime rates and other important elements.

2)Finding The Right Home
Finding the right neighborhood for your family is a vital starting point. Nonetheless, the most important thing is that you find the right property. Let’s face it; this will be the focus on your long-term happiness.

With a growing family, there are a number of things that you need to look for in the new home. Space is obviously top of the agenda while simple things like color schemes shouldn’t bother you too much. Perhaps most importantly, though, a property survey will give you the peace of mind that the building is safe and secure.
It might take months to stamp your personality on the property. By having those key elements in place from day one, though, you’ll make that transition far smoother.

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3)Selling Your Existing Property
Unless you’ve suddenly come into a huge cash injection, your move to the new home relies heavily on the sale of your current home. You cannot afford to forget it.
As a homebuyer yourself, you already know what potential investors want from a property. Going the extra mile to ensure the existing property sells for the best price is key. Moreover, you need it to sell fast. Otherwise, it could be holding up the purchase of the next property.

If all else fails, you could use quick cash sales or send it to auction. As long as you take the necessary precautions, though, you should be just fine.

4)Preparing For The Big Day
The process of selling a home and buying a new one is extremely stressful. But you’d be a fool to think it ends on the move day. If you have children, it’s likely to be one of the longest days of your life. That’s not to say it isn’t worth the hassle. Nevertheless, you should be prepared.

Moving is a big deal for your kids, especially if they are leaving behind their friends. Ensuring that you pack the car with some entertaining features like a DVD player can make a big difference throughout the journey. Meanwhile, you should promise them a trip to a local attraction in the days following your move.

 

Posted in Moving Day

They Looked After You: Now It’s Your Turn

When your parents get older the roles can change and you may need to look after them, just as they once did for you when you were young. It can be harrowing, and a gut wrenching experience that will always end in the worst. But, it is life. The cycle that is ever moving. The care given may change drastically. You may just need to move them into a better suited home. Or perhaps make simple changes. Or, you may need to give them a form of full time care. Whatever needs to be done there are ways for coping with it and doing it in a way that is nice and respectful. You may already have considered these. But they can help you think of things in a different way and give them the care they deserve.

Home For The Elderly
Sometimes a last resort because it can almost feel like a betrayal. But, it needs to happen if they need around the clock care that you just can’t provide. Consider what best suits them. If they have dementia or something similar then consider a home that provides specialist care such as ParcProvence.com. The specialist care will make their lives much better and give you the peace of mind you need to ensure they are having a decent time with like minded individuals under experts who are experienced. Homes come in all different price ranges, so you can pick and choose one that suits your needs and one that is close by.

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Help Them Out
They may not even need to move into a home. Instead, consider just giving them the help you need. Work out a rota with other younger family members and help them do what they like to do. This can be taking them out to do the shopping for some food to eat. Or it could be going over to help them clean their house. Whatever it is, it will mean the world to them and help ensure they have what they need to live their life in the way they are used to. Quality of life as an old person is vital, and their happiness should be top of the list. Just taking an hour out of your day can mean the world to them.

Home Changes
You may need to make changes to a home to ensure they can live as they have done. First, this means the stairs need to go. You could sell the home and move them into a bungalow where the issue of stairs are completely nullified. You may also need to put certain handles around the house so they can move around with ease. This means getting up off the chair or help with the toilet. It can be invasive and they may not like people making these changes but they can really help them continue living without help. Ask them if they would like to live with you while the work is being done to make the transition easier.

Posted in parenting

The Calm Before the Storm

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As we are moving into Spring, it is becoming increasingly more apparent that the weather can affect how we are feeling. The sluggishness that we were experiencing post New Year (you know, after the resolutions have worn off…) is starting to flourish into something exciting now that we know that warmer weather is on its way – but how can we shake off the feelings that are going hand in hand with what’s going on outside our windows? Sometimes, it’s not possible…

Winter is Coming…
It’s a weird concept to grasp a hold of – that our moods can literally change with the weather. The most common problem related to what’s on the outside that’s affecting our inside is Seasonal Affective Disorder – otherwise known as SAD (kinda appropriate, huh?) . This usually starts to make its appearance when daylight savings time rears its head, so around the October mark and through into the early part of the next year, i.e. when the nights start getting longer and the days start getting shorter. The lack of sunlight that we are presented with causes havoc with our sleeping patterns – often without us knowing it. Melatonin levels are high in people who are affected by SAD, which means that you are more likely to feel sleepier during the day, which can then have a domino effect on how you are feeling all-round. Melatonin is produced with the help of sunlight, so there’s nothing really that you can do to naturally help yourself apart from tricking your body into thinking that the sun is there – so using artificial lights to help you awaken in the morning, or maybe go a step further and just book a holiday away somewhere nice. At least you’ve got good reason for it!

Under Pressure
Many people believe that they are more sensitive to pain when the rain starts falling from the sky – especially those who suffer from arthritis. There is truth in what they are saying, though; barometric pressure drops occur just before a storm is due to start, meaning that pain felt more due to the expansion of sensitive tissues surrounding affected joints. You can get ahead of the game by following some super tips online to keep you somewhat supple and calm before anything is about to kick off weather-wise – read 108 Reasons Why Meditation Is So Beneficial and 38 Health Benefits of Yoga for starter points as to how to get your mind and body prepared for what’s to come. There isn’t any harm in giving it a try if it’s going to work, especially if you are someone who is more sensitive to the pain when it rains but could never previously explain why!

The Fine Rain that Soaks You Through
Although there are some experts that dispel the theory that rain makes you sad, for the majority of us we know that we are fine examples of pathetic fallacy as soon as the droplets start hitting the ground. There is little more that you can do than embrace it; put on your coat, take your umbrella, get out there and splash about. It’s the least you can do.

Posted in Grief and Coping

Hang In The Balance: Maintaining A Work/ Life Balance When You Have Kids

Life as a parent can be extremely busy and chaotic at times. Throw housework, paid work and the hopes of a social life into the mix and it can leave you feeling frazzled on a regular basis. Everyone needs a break now and again. If you want to avoid burnout and stay functioning, it’s so important to allow yourself a bit of time off. When you have the opportunity, don’t feel guilty about it. It’s not lazy it’s important, so embrace it and enjoy every minute!

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Whether you spend your free time working on a hobby, exercising, meditation or anything else is entirely up to you. If you’re wondering how to find time here are some tips that might help.

Work a Flexible Job
A flexible job can make life much less stressful. If your kids get ill, you’re running a little late, or some other family dilemma crops up, you have the freedom of being able to attend to problems and catch up on work later. Freelance work from home gives you this benefit; rather than having to attend a workplace with regular hours, you can work the job around other commitments. Blogging and making Youtube videos are all examples of flexible jobs you can do in your own time. It can take a while to get set up and is likely something you’ll have purely as a hobby for a while before paid opportunities come your way. But eventually could be a good source of income. Freelancing sites where you can write, design, code and other jobs can be useful too. Here you bid on the jobs you’re interested in, and if you’re accepted will finish them by a certain deadline. It means if you have a busy day you can not take any work and if you’re not, work as much as you want.

Arrange Meetups With Friends
When everyone starts working and having families, it’s easy for friendship groups to drift apart. Everyone is busy with their own lives and finding a time when everyone’s free can be a struggle. But it’s important to do this when you can, your friends allow you to just be yourself without the part of you that’s a mother or wife. You can have fun and unwind, something we all need to do every once in a while.

Allow Family To Help
If you struggle finding time to get work done or just relax when you have so much to do, family helping out can make all the difference. If your children have aunts, uncles and grandparents who love spending time with them then take them up on their offer. Even a couple of hours one evening or weekend frees up time for you to do something else. You could get productive and tackle work or housework while you don’t have little people under your feet. Or you could just chill out, take a hot bath or watch a movie!

How do you maintain the elusive work/ life balance?

Posted in Working Moms