Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Is working from home with children a good idea?


There seems to be this superhero image of parents who work from home….they appear to be able to juggle it all, not have to pay for childcare, and still be home with their kids…but to be honest working full time and being home with your kids sounds unrealistic and exhausting.  How is that possible? What’s the cost?  Are your kids really happy that your home with them if your constantly asking them to be quiet or putting them in front of the t.v?  What are your thoughts?

Friday, April 11, 2014

Recovering Drama Queen

Ok...I admit it...
I'm a recovering drama queen...



I used to get swept up in the latest drama.... and I still catch myself getting caught up in gossip (or even sometimes spreading gossip myself!)...but I don't like it.  I don't like it one bit.

When I hear a headline story about “a train crash with dead bodies still screaming for help” I admit I sometimes click on these heart wrenching stories but then I start to feel really sad and upset….but some people love hearing these stories.  I don’t understand. I know these people are not bad people so why do they get such a thrill from hearing about these tragedies?  Why do people watch the news every day and talk about the latest tragedies.

When I got separated, and started writing about my feelings about divorce my readers/views DOUBLED then as my life started getting better, many of those people faded.  So, why is that we are so attracted to drama?  While I think that our minds natural gravitate towards something that is exciting, don’t people get that sad feeling and begin worrying about the people affected by these tragedies?  Have we lost our sense of empathy? About a year ago, someone posted a picture of a vehicle flipped over on a road near me.  The vehicle looked like my ex husband’s vehicle (which was carrying my 2 children at the time) and I was more than horrified for the next 45 minutes until I found out it was not his car. 

I realize that to be an active member of society it’s necessary to read things that are not always pleasant.  I force myself to stay current on the latest news even though it’s not always what I want to hear.  But, my question remains, why? Why do we like drama so much? Why can’t we focus on the good things life has to offer? Why can't we focus on each others strengths instead of tragedy?

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

GRATITUDE!


How to be a successful single parent...or not




Are you wondering how to be a successful single parent?  Well, the first question is how do you define success? Having happy kids?  Being happy yourself?  Being able to pay your bills?  Having a good career?  Remarrying?  

Having a clear definition of success is extremely important because otherwise we’re just going through the motions…paying our bills, changing diapers, cleaning, working, helping our mom, going  out to dinner, etc….you can begin to feel like a robot...and we all feel that sometimes....but what is it that you REALLY WANT??

Being a single parent is similar to a wheel barrow.  One parent represents the tiny wheel holding a lot of weight on top and wobbling around like crazy.  Paying the household bills with one income is hard for both parents and trying to juggle kids with only 2 hands is impossible at times.   So, how do we do it and can we be successful???? Here are a few ideas that have helped me....
1.      

1    1. Define success.  Take 5 minutes right now to write down what you want your life to look like.

2.      2. Ask for help.  It takes a village to raise children and you’re being selfish if you think that your child only needs you.  Your child needs a variety of support, ideas, and encouragement and your delusional if you think you can do it all.  If you’re telling me that you do not have any help.  STOP!  You're just giving me an excuse.  Make friends that will help you, go to a church, or find a way to afford babysitting a few hours here and there.

3.      3. Stop being a victim.  Let’s be real.  It’s understandable that you’re angry but you’re the one in charge of your life.  You may have anger at your ex but the real anger is because you are not happy with where your life is right now and your ex is an easy target.  Believe me, I've been there!!

 .    4.  Practice gratitude.  Maybe your life is not where you wanted it to be when you dreamed of growing up and having a cute little family with a picket fence...but drowning in your sorrow is not going to move you forward.  Write down 10 things every day that are great in your life. Remember, it could always be worse!


Sunday, March 23, 2014

4 Ways to Make Family Movie Night a Blast

 


If you're like me, one of my favorite family activities is to have family movie night.  What I like best about family movie night is the excitement and anticipation around it.  I want my children to look back and remember these times fondly so I try to make it fun!  Here's how I do it...

1.  Let your kids pick the movie
Of course, what else but Frozen!? Who doesn't want to watch Frozen?! What a great movie that even adults will enjoy!  You can buy it here on Amazon for $20.00 or, of course, find a Red Box machine near you!  If Frozen isn't your top pick, here are some great ideas for family friendly movies from Parenting Magazine Best Movies for Families.

2.  Build excitement
 Let your kids pick the movie and watch the trailer online.  Find out some things about the characters and ask them questions about what they think will happen in the movie.

3.  Make a cool snack
I like to make a snack that fits the theme (ice cream for Frozen for example) but you don't need to go crazy.  Popcorn is always a hit!

4. WATCH the movie.  No, really WATCH the movie.  Put your phone away and be present.  Engage in the movie and engage in your child's life.  You'll be glad you did.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Should You Provide In-Home Childcare?

Do you ever wonder if you should provide childcare to other children to bring in some extra cash flow fro your family?  Maybe it would be an extra bonus amount of money or maybe it's a necessity.  Whatever the case, make sure you consider the big picture before making the commitment.

1.  Do the math.  The cost of caring for just 1 or 2 children is usually not a huge amount of money.  The reason is that you are competing with childcare centers that are able to cover the expenses differently and have a higher ratio.  That being said, if you want a few extra dollars, it could be perfect for you.  Just make sure the extra money is worth it to you. HOWEVER, don't forget to put a number on your OWN children!  If you have to work outside the home, you will be paying for your children to go to childcare which is costly!  But if you want to make a decent amount of money it may be necessary to watch a handful of children.  It may be helpful to calculate what you will be making per hour.

2.  Consider the responsibility involved.  Caring for children is not easy, especially younger children.  They demand a lot of time and can be stressful when they go through potty training, terrible twos, or even if they experience allergies.  Daycare centers will charge extra for infants and require help for children with special needs.  Why should you be any different? 

3.  Find a good family/families.  If you already have a family or 2 in mind (that you like and trust) you will be in a better situation to succeed.  It took me a long time to find good families that I could depend on to pay on time, pick up on time, and children that had a successful experience in my home.  Remember you're interviewing them as much as they are interviewing you so be picking about who you choose and if it's not a good fit don't do it.

4.  Consider all factors involved.  Watching children on the side is essentially starting your own business.  It's important to have a plan and set clear boundaries from the beginning (especially if you your family or friends' children) It may sound easy to take in a few extra kids, why not? You're already taking care of your own kids, right?  But make sure you consider all aspects before making the commitment.  How will you handle sick kids (yours or theirs)? What if you or your husband is sick?  What if they don't pay you?  Will they be bringing their own lunches/snacks?  Do they want to deduct childcare expenses from their taxes?  Will they be accommodating for vacations?  Will they get a long with your children?

Although caring for other children in your home can be a great business for many parents who are already at home with their kids,  it's important to make sure you consider everything involved and how it will impact your family overall before making the commitment.