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The Benefits of Part Time Work for Mothers

by Tina on July 9, 2012
category: Finances

In the modern world it is believed women can have it all – the gorgeous husband, the beautiful children, the big house and the high powered job. But this belief doesn’t stop many new mothers feeling guilty about returning to work and leaving their child with family or a babysitter. Not only is there a nagging guilt that their child will miss them and miss bonding with them but also the fear they will miss their child’s important miles stones, their first steps, their first words, the instances parents want to be there for.

It might lessen the guilt somewhat to discover in a recent study in Australia of 4,500 preschoolers it was found children whose mums work part time were healthier than those whose mums work from home or work full time. The children spent less time in front of the TV and ate less junk food. The two year study also found part time mums went to greater lengths to spend time with their children and the time they did spend with them was of a higher quality and more interactive which as any mum will know means their child is more able to interact with others and be seen as society as a ‘well rounded individual’.

This study was playfully named ‘Do working mothers raise couch potatoes?’ and also reported some negative impacts for working mums. It found if a mum worked more than 34 hours a week there was a struggle to find time to engage in family activities as well as keep the house hold running with cooking, cleaning and washing, though this is a fact many single people who work full time can attest to.

However, having a little extra income is always welcome and gaining it through a job that offers flexible hours is even better. And if you are a mum who requires a little extra time on your hands yet still wishes to advance in their skills, then part time work is inevitably the answer! A part time job won’t take over your life, or prevent you from spending precious time with your kids, whereas a high-flying 9 til 5 career will take up a good part of it.

There are a great number of pros and cons to working mum’s and everyone has their own opinions, however this study and a number like it have shown there is unlikely to be any harm psychologically or physically to a child of a working mum and this should go some way to lessen the guilt they feel about having to leave their children be it for a few hours a week or longer.

Divorced and Ready to Date – What to Do When Your Kids Say No

by Tina on July 1, 2012
category: Marriage

Your divorce papers have been signed and everything has been finalized. The chapter of your life that included your husband is over and now you want to move on with your life. You are ready to rebuild the family that you have and you are ready to get back out on the dating scene. But your children are resistant to the thought of you dating. How do you cope with this?

Fear of Further Loss

The age your child or children are when you get a divorce makes a difference to how they will react to it. A child has not lived long enough to have any solid life experience and as a result fears that the absolute worst thing possible will happen. When their mother meets a new man their fear is that they will not be loved as much by their mother and that she will have less time for them as a result. This often works the same when their father meets a new woman as well. To comfort and reassure your child that none of these things will happen it is important for you to talk with your child often and to listen to what he or she has to say. Encourage your kids to talk about their feelings and show love, support and understanding. Do not tell your child that what he or she is feeling is wrong because this will cause your child to emotionally withdraw from you.

Love and Attention

Your kids need as much love and attention as you can possibly give them. They also need to be reassured that you are there for them and that they are a top priority for you. Many parents make the assumption that their children understand that they need to have a life outside of being a mommy but this is not the case. Whether you have a young child or a teenager they are not likely to understand this because they think your life revolves around them. It takes quite some time for most children to understand that their mothers need other people as well.

When You Meet Someone New

Once you have met a new man get to know him well yourself before you introduce him to any of your children. You need to figure out if the relationship has the potential to become serious before you get your children involved. A man who is worth your time and your heart will understand this.

The last thing you want is to introduce your kids to new men all of the time who come and go. This can cause them to be confused and insecure and also sad if they happened to really like the man. Teenagers often become protective of their mothers when it comes to who they date and you do not want to cause them any more worry than you need to. After all they have been put through enough already!

Keep the new man away from your home when your children are at home until you are sure that he is a keeper. If you decide to get sexual then either go to his house or bring him back to your place if your kids are not at home (such as if they are staying with grandparents or their father for the weekend).

If your children do not want you to date they will often show this by becoming clingy or by whining a lot or throwing temper tantrums. It is important to talk with your children about how it is time for you to start dating again. Be gentle and kind with their feelings.

To make the transition as easy as possible for all concerned keep these ideas in mind:

-Make your children aware that your dating is very much like the time they spend with their friends.

-When you decide to introduce your children to a new man, prepare them beforehand.

-Some children might assume you are dating because you do not enjoy spending time with them. Assure them that you enjoy being with them but you also need to spend time with other adults whom you share things in common with.

-Start slowly. Spend a minimal of time with your new beau and work up to more time in order to assure your children that they are not losing you.

-Set aside time with your children before and after your dates. Mommy and children time matters too.

Dogs Do Bite – Teaching Your Child How Not to be Bitten

by Tina on June 23, 2012
category: 3 – 5 years (preschooler),Practical Tips

children and dogsWhether you have a dog at present or whether you plan to get one for your household in the near future it is important that you teach your children what they need to do in order to avoid getting bitten. Even if you have no pets your children will be in contact with dogs at some point in time and need to be taught how to properly behave around them.

Dogs do not bite for any reason. Most often it happens because they are provoked in some manner and feel the need to defend themselves. This is natural instinct kicking in. When they do bite it is most often because they are fearful of being harmed.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that almost five million people are bitten annually by dogs in the United States. Children are three times more likely than adults to suffer a serious dog bite. The good news is that dog bites are largely preventable. It is necessary to educate your kids to avoid the possibility that a dog will bite them.

How do you do this?

Tell your children to ask for an owner’s permission to pet their dog before they go ahead and just do it

If the owner says it is okay then make it clear to your child that he or she should approach the dog in a quiet and calm manner and should take slow steps when getting close to the animal. Let the dog sniff you before you touch him. This will let you know if he is being responsive to you. If he is then pet his head, back or sides in a manner that is friendly, gentle and non-threatening.

When a dog is eating, sleeping or playing with a toy leave him alone

When he is occupied with an activity or is resting this is not the time to bother him. Teach your children that. Dogs tend to be very protective of their food as well as their toys. If they think someone is trying to take something that is theirs away from them they may bite. The same can be said if they are startled or frightened. Explain to your child that just as he or she does not like to be bothered or disturbed during meal times, play or while asleep, the same can be said for a dog.

Educate your child about the territorial nature of dogs.

Instruct your son or daughter to not try to pet a dog that is in a yard or behind a fence or one that is in a motor vehicle with the window down. Dogs are protective of what is theirs and will do everything in their power to protect their personal space. It is important to heed this warning to prevent getting bit.

Other Important Points

To prevent your child from suffering from a dog bite tell him or her that it is never a good idea to walk up to a dog that he/she does not know on the street and try to pet it. Children should stay away from stray dogs. Often these dogs are hungry or lost and are not likely to be in a congenial type of mood. If the dog approaches the child then he or she should remain calm and still. A sudden move or too much exuberance may scare the dog and can cause the child to be bitten.

It is a commonly held belief that a wagging tail means that a dog is friendly and receptive to attention. While this is sometimes the case, it is not a diehard rule.

When meeting a new dog at a friend or neighbor’s home you should never rush at the animal for any reason. Instead let the dog come to you and sniff you before you reach out your hand to touch him or her.  It is through smell that a dog starts to become acquainted with a stranger. Your scent is one of the factors a dog uses to determine if they want to come closer to you or not.

Making Time for Yourself When You are a Busy Mom

by Tina on May 12, 2012
category: Practical Tips

When you have children to take care of, laundry to do, meals to prepare and your job to go to it can be difficult (well downright impossible sometimes!) to make time for yourself and your own needs. Finding the time to get your hair cut, working in your flower garden or even sitting down to have a couple of sips of tea and read a few pages in a novel can be beyond the scope that your schedule allows. It is important though to find “me” time in your busy “mom” days.

Why is it so Important?

Making time for yourself is important because if you do not then you can become overwhelmed, stressed out and exhausted. You may even end up feeling angry because you are neglecting yourself. If you can find a few minutes every day to relax and do something nice for yourself then this can be very good for your emotional and psychological well-being. Even if it is not every day, as often as you can you should look for opportunities to make time for yourself.

Find the Time Whenever You Can

busy-momYou need to find time to be good to yourself whenever you can find it. Perhaps it is later in the evening after your children have gone to bed. Or maybe it is first thing in the morning before your children have gotten out of bed. Enjoy a cup of tea or coffee and the silence of some uninterrupted moments before the day takes hold. Or maybe it is when your six month old is napping, in between doing laundry and washing dishes. The point is make every moment count in your day-to-day schedule and find a few precious minutes wherever and whenever you can in your hectic day to do something just for yourself. Even if you stop for five minutes to put your feet up and daydream as you look out the window, that is still precious time for yourself – and it matters.

Me Time Options for Moms

When the weather is good and your children are at school, or at grandma’s or are visiting a friend take a stroll around your neighborhood or through a local park. Be leisurely about it and pay attention to all of the beauty that surrounds you. Breathe in the fresh air and enjoy those moments of being alone with nature. Okay, so maybe the dog needs to be walked so you choose to combine his walk with your alone time and maybe you are walking in a dog park instead of the local park. At least you are out walking! Whatever works for you is fine as long as you get to relax your mind and body a bit and get away from some of the stresses of the day.

Regardless of whether you work inside or outside of the home you need to take breaks. Whether it is a break from your computer or your kids wanting your undivided attention you need to take mini breaks throughout the day to keep your sanity. Maybe you can retreat to your favorite chair and flip through a magazine or call up a close friend for a quick chat. Or maybe you can spend a few minutes working on a craft, skimming the newspaper or glancing at a television program that you enjoy.

When you have a larger block of time for yourself, such as if your husband takes the kids somewhere for an afternoon then pamper yourself because you deserve it. Go to the beauty salon and get your hair styled differently, get a manicure, a pedicure, a facial, or a massage. If one of your friends is free then make it an outing for the two of you. While you are at it the two of you should catch up over coffee or lunch.  As a mother you are probably so use to treating your loved ones that you have forgotten how good it feels to treat yourself. It is time to remember it now!

A Guide to Nutrition During Pregnancy

by Tina on April 25, 2012
category: Pregnancy

pregnancy nutritionEating right is essential both for yourself and for your baby. This is so true before your baby is born as well as once he/she is here with you.  Here we offer a guide to nutrition for expectant mothers.

Eating for Two

What should you eat while you are pregnant? This is a very important question that you need to ask yourself. To ask it before you are even pregnant is good news for your baby’s health and well-being.

Nutrition during pregnancy sets the stage for the health of your baby while in utero as well as after he or she has been delivered. It needs to be a very important consideration for all expectant mommies. A good pregnancy and nutrition go hand in hand. A pregnant diet should include all of the foods that are rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and essential amino acids.

You should learn about the food groups and also learn how to eat for two and how to balance your meals so they lean towards the healthy side. Your physician will be able to tell you what constitutes a healthy pregnancy. He will tell you what foods contain nutrients and also what foods to avoid during pregnancy. You must do your part for the health of your baby by following the guidelines recommended to you by your healthcare provider.

Your nutritional needs will change as you progress through the trimesters. You will also find that your tolerance for eating different kinds of foods will also change.

There are some basic guidelines that all pregnant women should follow throughout every stage of the process. Let us look at those now.

The Importance of Eating and Drinking Water

As a pregnant woman eating during pregnancy matters a lot. Your baby needs to grow and develop and he or she requires proper nutrition to do that. You need to try to eat balanced meals and not to skip any of your meals.

During those times when your stomach is queasy eating less or eating a diet that is a little bland is understandable but you should not deliberately skip any meals. This is not the time to be worrying about your weight. Of course you will put on weight- you are carrying a baby who needs to eat to develop and grow strong.

You need to keep yourself well hydrated. When it comes to avoiding constipation and what to avoid when pregnant the last thing you want to do is to reduce your water consumption. Drink up and do so often throughout the day. Consume at least six to eight glasses daily. You should also cut back on your caffeine consumption. That means drinking less coffee, tea and soda and consuming less chocolate (in food and in beverages).

Food for Pregnancy

A diet for pregnancy needs to include plenty of calcium. To increase your intake of calcium you need to make sure you are consuming enough dairy products. Examples of good choices of food for pregnant ladies include milk, yogurt, low fat cheese and pudding. You can also get a plentiful supply of calcium through non-dairy sources such as broccoli, beans, kale, salmon and orange juice.

A healthy infant requires folic acid because it is needed for the development of the brain and the spine. It is particularly important to be consuming enough folic acid before you know that you are expecting a baby. Ask your doctor if taking a folic acid supplement is a good idea for you if you are trying to get pregnant. Some of the best sources of this mineral include dark leafy green vegetables, cantaloupe, corn, beets, squash, peanuts, peanut butter, orange juice from concentrate and dried beans.

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