Don’t get too put off by the title…This is a really bare-it-all book on the pitfalls (and often realities) of motherhood. As Ybarbo delicately put at a recent book event, “Vacations can be bittersweet, 80% bitter, 20% sweet.” Now do I REALLY think these women think we’re constantly failing as moms? Absolutely NOT. But have they taken a completely brutally honest look at many facets of motherhood with thick skin journalism on board? Absolutely yes!
I met this team of Emmy Award Winning Today Show producers who authored the book at a recent Maryland event, and was laughing along with a room full of women about our misadventures along the path of trying to keep it all together as moms. Through vomit, missed school conferences, getting lost in theme parks, figuring out how to put the fun in vacations, and much more, this book takes us through the seasons with anecdotes, tips, and our mommy road map that makes absolutely no sense at times!
Here are Ybarbo and Zoellner at the event:
After meeting them, I tweeted something to the effect of, “Hey, we’re all in this together!” The audience shared hysterical stories of cramming kids full of sugar cereals to survive a 6am flight without thinking how the sugar high would affect their kids at 8 am to watching their kid make lunch for the first time, realizing the next morning the bread was as moldy as a science experience (hmmmm…who was that?!). Even Ybarbo herself shared a really fun story about taking her own son to work when J Lo was in studio, only to realize in her work frenzy that she was missing her other kid’s parent-teacher conference.
It was like watching stand-up comedy about life as a parent, sharing missteps from our mom life without any judgement whatsoever, and laughing hysterically.
The book: Sh*tty Mom for All Seasons: Half-@ssing It All Year Long by Alicia Ybarbo and Mary Ann Zoellner with Erin Clune
Some non-advice advice from the Sh*tty Moms
Here are some reviews that give you a flavor for the delightful dish in store for you when you pick this book up…
Praise for Sh*tty Mom for All Seasons
“Shitty Moms provides just what we all need at the end of our parenting days: a shot of irreverence with a belly laugh chaser. With Shitty Moms 2, we get to make it a double.” – Jessica Lahey, Author of the Gift of Failure
“Finally, a book that explains why kids are so hard to feed AND so easy to lose in a crowded store. Hilarious and helpful, it will keep you up at night, laugh-crying at the challenges of modern motherhood. ” – Alisyn Camerota, CNN
“A hilarious and heart-warming book that perfectly captures that delicate balance every mom feels, somewhere between “Parenting! #NailedIt!” and “What the F have I done?!?!” – Randi Zuckerberg, Digital Lifestyle Expert, Author and Host of “Dot Complicated” on SiriusXM
“If you’ve never felt like a shitty parent then you’re likely delusional. A brilliant and hilarious guide to make you feel better, or at least in great company.” – Jenni Pulos, Star of Bravo’s Flipping Out
“As a mom your spare time is precious. Spend it laughing with sh*tty moms!” – Wendy Bellissimo, CEO Wendy Bellissimo Inc.
About the Authors
Alicia Ybarbo and Mary Ann Zoellner are Emmy Award–winning producers at NBC’s TODAY show. They are the coauthors of Sh*tty Mom: The Parenting Guide for the Rest of Us and Today’s Moms: Essentials for Surviving Baby’s First Year.
Erin Clune is a journalist and humorist whose blogs include Life After NY, The Mischievous Mixologist, and her advice column, So What? Who Cares? Her work has been featured on NPR, The Rumpus, Thought Catalog, and Medium.
Thanks to our friends at The Washington Nationals for this MomTastic discount code. Go to Nationals.com/VIP, select game, and enter MOMTINI for special discounts at any games! Go Nats!
There’s only one thing I love more than reading books by parents, about parenting, and that’s MEETING the parent behind the venture. Thanks to my dear friend, Lorraine A., I recently attended a funny & insightful book talk with Brett Graff, a well-published writer known as the “Home Economist. Graff put her research and smarts into a new book, “Not Buying It: Stop Overspending, and Start Raising Happier, Healthier, More Successful Kids.” I asked Brett to share some of her favorite learnings from this research here at The Lounge. Enjoy! – Amy
Here’s me, Brett, Lorraine A., and of course, this provocative and thoughtful new book that will make you think twice before overspending on things like cribs, produce (trust me, read on…), and more!
Five Things I Learned About Spending Money to Raise Great Kids
By Brett Graff
I’m a newspaper columnist, mom and now, author of a book that was born after my friend — who happens to be a pediatrician — and I wondered: Is all this money we’re spending on our kids actually messing them up? As parents, we’re competitive, emotional and we’re deeply committed to our cause. This makes us the perfect consumers. For products, yes, but also coaches, teachers, camps. They toss around words such as confidence, self esteem, emotional intelligence and brain-building. And we salivate while reaching for our wallets. So I in turn I looked at every facet of our spending and found research from National Institutes of Health, the American Academy of Pediatrics, Harvard University, Stanford University, Cornell University, the Food & Drug Administration and dozens of other esteemed intuitions and learned – um – a lot of the results were buying are the opposite of what we’d hoped. Where are we not putting our money? Into the rock solid financial foundations that actually can launch our kids into greatness. After all this, I learned…..
About the Author:
Brett Graff is The Home Economist, writing and reporting on the unseen forces affecting our decisions about money. The reasons we spend, save, earn or even discuss finances with our kids and friends aren’t always obvious. And prices, products and circumstances are certainly not always as they seem. We are all economists, making decisions on how to allocate our resources each day. We need to be informed.
Brett’s column THE HOME ECONOMIST is nationally syndicated and published in newspapers all over the country. Her new book, “Not Buying It: Stop Overspending, and Start Raising Happier, Healthier, More Successful Kids,” is available on Amazon.
Thanks to guest author Andrea Woroch, a consumer savings expert who shares these great “trip tips” that will “keep your budget in check” and lead to great family adventures…
Families with school-aged kids are eagerly awaiting the upcoming spring break for a chance to escape the real world and enjoy some extra time together. Since this week-long hiatus typically occurs between mid-March and mid-April, parents have likely confirmed most of the travel arrangements like flights and hotel.
While it’s important to find the best airfare and accommodation deals, keeping costs in mind when you get to your destination is equally crucial. It’s easy to get caught up in the moment and spend beyond your means, especially with such temptations as afternoon snacks, unplanned excursions and must-have souvenirs.
To help keep your budget in check this spring break, here are eight travel hacks that will save you money without compromising family fun.
Search daily deals.
Before heading on your trip, start scoping out daily deals offered at the destination you’re visiting. From restaurant savings to discounts on activities and entertainment, you can save a bundle using these vouchers. Sign up at Groupon or LivingSocial to get alerts via email or download the app for instant pop-up notifications so you don’t miss out on limited-time offers. Review the fine print and expiration dates first, though, to ensure the voucher will be valid during your vacation.
Redeem reward points.
If you have reward points saved up on your credit card, consider redeeming them for gift cards to restaurants and activities. For example, you can get cards for SpaFinder Wellness to help cover the cost of a spa day for you and your daughter, or AMC Theater gift cards to cut down on the expense of a family outing to the movies. Alternatively, you can save your reward points for a future family trip and use a site like RewardExpert.com to understand how many points you need for a specific destination, and create a plan to accrue them as quickly as possible!
Take public transportation.
If you’re visiting a city, using your car or renting one can turn into more time spent getting lost or in traffic than actually enjoying the sites. Not only will you reduce fuel and parking costs, but taking public transportation is a great way to get acquainted with a new area while saving you money. Plus, you’re more apt to engage with locals and may end up with great recommendations for restaurants and activities as a result.
Look for restaurant coupons.
Not having to cook is one of the luxuries parents look forward to when traveling. However, eating out for every meal can destroy your budget. Make sandwiches in your hotel room to take along for the day’s adventure and pack snacks to carry with you. For dinner, take advantage of early bird or happy hour discounts (and don’t forget the all important restaurant bag). What’s more, you can access restaurant coupons using the Coupon Sherpa mobile app for deals at both chain favorites and local eateries.
Buy an entertainment book.
You can access two-for-one and 50% off deals on restaurants, activities and more for whatever city you’re visiting through an entertainment book. For instance, buy an entertainment book for Santa Barbara and you’ll get one free child admission with one adult ticket for their popular Zoo, and in Orlando you’ll score one free bowling session when a second one is purchased at AMF Bowling Centers.
Find free activities.
To make the most of your trip, you may want to book an action-packed schedule of activities and tours for the entire family. But, this can get pricey and may also wipe you and your family out! There are likely plenty of free activities that you all will enjoy like swimming, hiking or star gazing. Consult with the hotel concierge or head to the city’s visitor bureau for a guide and list of ideas for free and low-cost things to do and see.
Participate in a volunteer activity.
There’s no better way to experience a community than to volunteer your time on a local project. Plus, any opportunity to show your children the magic of giving should be embraced! Use a site like VolunteerMatch.org to find opportunities in your destination city or town, and filter by those activities you think your family will enjoy most. For example, you can participate in a Clean Your Block Party event in Tampa Bay, Fl., with such projects as garden planting, habitat restoration, tree planting and more.
Snap lots of pictures.
Instead of loading up your suitcase with a bunch of souvenirs, capture the best memories with selfies and group shots using your camera’s timer setting. When you get home, create a digital photo book as your spring break keepsake, or order a custom photo book online from sites like Snapfish and Shutterfly. Reduce your costs with coupon codes from sites like FreeShipping.org, which is currently offering free shipping and 25% off your order from Snapfish.
Author Bio: Andrea Woroch is a nationally-recognized consumer-finance expert who is passionate about helping families discover simple ways to spend less and save more without sacrificing their lifestyles. She is a frequent contributor to national shows such as Today, Good Morning America and FOX & Friends, and has worked with hundreds of other popular media like Dr. OZ, CNN, MSNBC, ABC World News, Inside Edition, Wall Street Journal, Money Magazine, Real Simple, Family Circle, Cosmopolitan and many more. Andrea also writes for various news outlets and her stories have been published on Forbes, AOL Daily Finance, Yahoo!, Huffington Post, LearnVest, New York Daily News “Dollar Stretcher” and ClarkHoward.com. You can read more about Andrea and watch recent TV clips at www.AndreaWoroch.com.
One author is drawing a connection between oral health and overall health. Thanks to guest author Dr. Susan Maples DDS, for some great oral hygiene tips. A top eight innovator in U.S. dentistry and author of Blabber Mouth: 77 Secrets Only Your Mouth Can Tell You To Live a Healthier, Happier, Sexier Life, Maples says, “Children must take care of their teeth and gums not just for the oral health benefits, but to keep the rest of their bodies healthy as well. Good habits are formed at an early age. But when it comes to the oral health of children, some parents don’t take it seriously. ”
Dr. Maples’ tips for parents:
– Lay off the fruit juice: Parents often think fruit juice is a healthy choice for a drink. Juice is loaded with sugar which feeds cavity bags. When consumed regularly, it can predispose children to type 2 diabetes. Water is the best option for beverages. Drink less fruit juice and eat more fruit.
– Only use soft bristle toothbrushes: When it comes to how hard the bristles of the toothbrush should be, the only choice is not hard at all. Make sure you always choose soft bristles to avoid traumatizing your gums. Scrubbing with a medium or hard bristle brush can make the gums recede from the teeth and it’s irreversible except through surgery.
– Parents need to supervise brushing and flossing: Letting children take care of their own teeth without being shown the proper techniques can be disastrous. Just as you would help your children tie their shoes, help them brush and floss. Kids need supervision to safely and effectively remove plaque until they prove they know what they’re doing. Make sure they’re getting those hard to reach spots in the back of the mouth.
– Don’t avoid or neglect preventive dental visits: Cavities between teeth can only be detected with x-rays. Your children need to see the dentist twice a year. Make appointments at times you’ll remember like on their birthday, at the beginning of the new year or at the start of the school year.
– Cavities in children need to be treated: Some parents think that cavities in baby teeth can be ignored because these teeth will fall out eventually. You can’t ignore cavities even in baby teeth. They must be treated or they can create dangerous infections and abscesses.
– Some bleeding is expected: Blood isn’t always the sign of something bad. If your child’s gums bleed when they brush or floss, don’t stop their routine. Bleeding is a natural response when you clean inflamed gums and isn’t from brushing or flossing too hard. Keep at it to reduce the bacteria and avoid periodontal disease. The bleeding will subside as the bacteria load is cleaned up. If bleeding persists, see your dentist.
– Fluoride is a must: Fluoride promotes healthy and strong teeth for a lifetime. Both fluoride in the water supply (or a prescription supplement) and topical fluoride in the dental office and in toothpaste are critically important to help avoid cavities. Make sure and use an age appropriate toothpaste because until a child can spit, he shouldn’t chance swallowing fluoride.
Who doesn’t love comfort food? And imagine a collection of yummy, comfort food recipes that show you how to indulge in 100-calorie increments?
I recently got a chance to preview a new cookbook that does just that. The Perfect Portion Cookbook has 150 recipes, each outlined in 100-calorie portions. Here are some that really caught my eye as looking delicious, interesting, and something that would be helpful to eat in moderation.
First, an Enchilada Bake – this looks like a blanket on a cold day, and we’re having lots of those in D.C.:
And a sweet treat, 100-calorie Brownie Bites…yummm!
Get the kids involved! Here’s a fun way to show kids the process and encourage them to assist. The Better Batter French Toast would be a #MomTastic activity and very family-friendly.
Here’s the “411” on this new cookbook:
It is available for pre-order now on Amazon $29.95 and will be sold on QVC for a limited time with a special pre-order price of $19.95 plus $5 shipping/handling at this link.
Disclosure: A cookbook was provided for review, but the opinions here are all my own!
Wear the Cape™, a brand that gives back and aims to restore the power of kindness and heroic character with cool, inspirational products and its non-profit the kidkind foundation, released some great tips about teaching kids to understand the joy of giving to others.
Wear the Cape’s tips were conceived by the organization’s resident character education expert Philip Brown, PhD, who is a Fellow of the Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology at Rutgers University, where he founded and directed the Center for Social and Character Development. With his pointers, Dr. Brown focuses on how we can help our kids understand the joy of giving.
1. Be intentional. Talk to children about giving and charity, how it makes us feel, and what values we are upholding. Whether the heart-to-heart is about giving money or time and energies, research shows that talking with children to help them understand the family and society values associated with giving is important.
2. Think beyond your family. Let children know they are part of a community and global citizenship. Ask who has served your family this past year and could use some recognition. Look at where there are people in need locally, nationally and internationally. Could a neighbor use a helping hand or the local food pantry some extra servers?
3. Involve your kids in decision-making. Include your children in discussions about to whom something should be given, whether it’s a toy, a dollar, a card, the offer of service or a good word. Simple and sweet can open the heart as much as big and fancy. Think of family and then extend outward. Involving kids in the process of selecting charities or persons to whom they want to give goes a long way toward building a generous spirit.
4. Gift outside the box – literally. Consider gifts of experiences rather than just material items. We remember and cherish good times together longer than almost any physical present.
5. Don’t overlook the art of receiving. You can help children build their character by learning how to receive gifts gracefully and with gratitude, which is as important as being a caring giver. Gift occasions are also about receiving. Receiving should be done with an open heart, remembering that the person giving the gift wants to please you and make you feel good.
Wear the Cape had a #betterthanpresents contest over the holidays, and reports that most kids’ talked about family time as something better than presents. For example, helping to take care of a baby brother, going to a baseball game with dad, and having the entire family at a birthday party.
The Concussion movie recently released may raise concerns about head safety in children who play contact sports. We want our children to be active, stay healthy, and enjoy the positive benefits of team sports. While there is a risk in playing any sport, the benefits will likely far outweigh the risks if coached and played with head safety in mind.
Gerry Gioia, PhD, Director of Safe Concussion Outcome, Recovery & Education (SCORE) Program at Children’s National Health System, shares 10 questions parents should ask youth sports coaches to ensure their child’s team is practicing proper head safety to prevent concussion.
And here’s the Concussion movie trailer:
Every 52 minutes in America, someone is killed in a drunk driving crash. And, for every preventable drunk driving death – 10,076 in 2013 alone – exponentially more lives are forever changed by the loss of a parent, child, friend or loved one of these preventable tragedies. This, according to the The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, needs to stop. Take the pledge (I just did, and was the 19,298th person) to not drive drunk, and share with your friends. They also just launched a SaferRide app to assist.
Here are some tips they shared about thinking ahead, and honestly, just thinking…
If you plan on celebrating with alcohol this holiday season, plan on a sober driver.
If you’ve been drinking at all, you should not be behind the wheel. It will cost you—possibly your life.
Keep your holidays happy and safe. When you have any alcohol, let someone sober do the driving. Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving.
For more information, visit www.trafficsafetymarketing.gov.
One of my favorite events each year, PEP’s Noted Author Series, is a great combination of education, entertainment, and parenting community at its best. This year’s duo of speakers promises to be an amazing line-up of tips and ideas you can bring home to your own families. Events are filling fast for November 19-20 in the DC/MD/VA area, so grab your seats, and get ready for some #MomTastic information. Full disclosure, I’m a volunteer Board Member at PEP, and I’m a huge believer as you know in parenting education and collaboration.
Here are some excerpts from interviews each speaker had with Katherine Reynolds Lewis that I hope you’ll find useful.
Letting Go of Your Tween or Teen
By Katherine Reynolds Lewis
Michael J. Bradley is a practicing adolescent psychologist and award-winning author of Yes, Your Teen is Crazy! Loving Your Kid Without Losing Your Mind. He shared some insights with Katherine Reynolds Lewis about how parents can cope with the tumultuous experience of raising an adolescent…
Parents talk about something called teen rebellion. Most of us believe there’s no such thing, any more than there is neighbor rebellion. Your next door neighbor may disagree with you about politics and house color and music. I don’t think you say they’re being disrespectful. We’re different, but we can live together. That’s the new configuration.
Adolescent brains are works in progress. The last part that gets wired in is the most difficult part – judgment, mediating emotion, good long-term decisions. They wire all the passion stuff first – the sex, popularity, instant gratification – and the last thing that gets wired in is the brakes. It’s a really scary ride for a period of time.
Parents have to make a decision early on about what their mission is. Most parents decide their mission is to control their child. We advocate that your real mission should be to teach your child to control himself. It involves using respect-based techniques where you try to help your child think through things and learn, so the child can one day sort those things out on her own.
A Less-Is-More Approach to Parenting
By Katherine Reynolds Lewis
Vicki Hoefle is a parent educator and author of The Straight Talk on Parenting: A No-Nonsense Approach on How to Grow a Grown-Up and Duct Tape Parenting: A Less Is More Approach to Raising Respectful, Responsible, and Resilient Kids Here are some of her insights she shared with Katherine Reynolds Lewis about her five-step plan to becoming an effective, engaged parent of kids who solve their own problems.
Parents are under a lot of pressure in life in general, outside of their role as parents. There’s a lot of pressure to perform, to succeed, to get ahead, and that filters into their parenting. Then parenting becomes another vehicle for that stress-induced performance anxiety. That wears us down.
What if you took one step to the right and a half step back so your kids could see the world they’re being asked to navigate? You can be involved but you’re just far enough away that the child can develop their own assessment skills, the difference between good and bad choices, learn how to overcome frustration, how to make amends, to reach out, to take a healthy risk. You would be close enough to watch this and offer a little commentary, when asked, so you find that balance between being involved and taking over.
Parents have a sense that there’s a way to create more balance in the family. Then it’s about introducing them to these five foundational pieces:
This week’s #MomtasticFind is a new product that has a simple but really important mission: to rescue, elevate, and improve the family dinner hour. After reviewing some of their pieces, I wanted to share a great quote from their piece about teamwork, because I think it’s most relevant to a successful family unit (and getting the dishes done…). “When we work together, we can accomplish so much more…Teamwork requires good listening skills and cooperation among all members of the group.”
Here’s a synopsis from their press release…
At a time when electronic and digital passion monopolizes our children’s time and lives, Kimball Companies found a new, easy and fun way for families to connect. Family Table Time was designed by Neal and Jill Kimball to help engage families with very meaningful conversations while creating unforgettable memories. It promotes positive behaviors in parents and children to cook, eat, talk, connect, engage, read, learn and move together as a family. The Kimballs saw the time invested in their jobs, kids’ schools, as well as their after school activities kept them from enjoying this valuable time with their kids. They needed a time that was theirs – a time to teach, share, laugh and celebrate – this special time was going by fast.
Everything changed when the Kimballs realized what was absent from their lives, a simple family dinner – that had been a cornerstone of the family. The “and how was your day?” conversation around the pot roast from their childhood that kept the family together was not happening with their children. Based on “Ready, Set, Connect“, it works like this: 1) Cook and Eat as a Family
2) Talk, Connect, Celebrate and Capture Memories
3) Move, Play, or Exercise Together
Editor’s Note: I love it! We do our very best to make mealtime a “cell free zone,” and I definitely think mealtime is one of the best treasures a family has. The Kimball’s program has everything you need to make it a success including conversation starters, positive reinforcement, and lots of ingredients for success at your own table, and who knows, some of these valuable skills may find their way beyond the table. I previewed some of the downloads, and they’re colorful, easy-to-follow, and applicable to kids of all ages. Their “Talking Torch” is adorable, and gives you a chance to give everyone a voice at the table. Who can argue with that? Check it out here.
Here’s a great news clip on the story behind this story.
Editor’s Note: No compensation was provided to write this post – I’m donating this story as a public service to fellow families and hope I can “pay it forward” so more and more families have better dinner adventures together.
Even though we’re beyond back-to-school season, colder temperatures bring cold & flu season, so it’s timely to talk about healthy routines. Thanks to Dr. Linda Fu, a general pediatrician at Children’s National Health System, who sent me health tips for parents:
1. Make sure your child is up to date on their vaccinations. In recent years, the recommended vaccination schedule has changed due to more disease outbreaks in the U.S. Visit the CDC’s website for a list of required vaccinations by age group. Editor’s Note: Here’s a great “catch-up schedule” if you think you may be missing some.
2. Practice routines including easing your child into a regular sleep schedule. According to new guidelines released by the National Sleep Foundation, school-aged children need between nine and 11 hours of sleep per night. Not having enough sleep can impede the learning process and make it difficult for your child to fully focus on what’s being taught.
3. Make sure your child’s nutrition needs are met. This includes eating breakfast every day and making sure your child has a well-balanced lunch. Eating right will help your child focus and learn better during the school day. It’s also important to pay attention to how your child reacts to different foods. If you notice something that may be a food allergy, take your child to a primary care provider to be tested. Limiting your child’s food options before officially being tested is not recommended, as you may unintentionally be cutting out an important food group. If your child does have an allergy, make sure their teacher and/or school nurse knows and that you are familiar with the school’s policy. Some food allergies are very serious, and it’s crucial to make sure your child’s teacher knows their restrictions so they can ensure you child stays safe at school.
4. Take your child to get an annual check-up with your primary care physician. New classrooms mean new germs.
Photo provided by Children’s National Health System.
Linda Fu, MD, MS, is a general pediatrician at Children’s National Health System and an Associate Professor of Pediatrics at the George Washington University School of Medicine. Dr. Fu also serves as the Director of Outcomes and Evaluation for Children’s School Services and as the Immunization Initiatives Representative for the DC Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Dr. Fu’s advocacy and research interests lie in immunization delivery—understanding and removing barriers to children receiving recommended vaccinations to keep them and the community at-large safe from vaccine-preventable diseases. She has current funding from the NIH to examine social influences on parental vaccination decision-making. Dr. Fu has overseen several projects to update pediatric providers in the District of Columbia and in 21 states on the implementation of immunization delivery best practices.
Many thanks to Mompreneur friends Ellen Briggs and Carolina Lima Jantac for hosting me on their radio show. If engaging teamwork in the kitchen sounds out of reach, think again. There are tons of creative ways (beyond screaming and canceling cell phone service, both of which I’ve tried unsuccessfully many times) to get the kids on board to help make meals and clean up after.
I cautioned that safety comes first, so clearly think about ages and stages before getting young kids involved, but there are tons of helpful tasks for kids of any age. A while back, I tried to capture the frustration along with a dose of inspiration, “What a Chore to Make Chores Work,” because it is truly tough to get kids excited about dishwashing soap. It’s been 40+ years since Marlo Thomas released the all-time classic, “Free to Be You And Me,” but she was spot on in her “Housework is just no fun” song. So what can we do to get the job done together and maybe have some fun along the way?
Comment on this post with your creative ideas on getting kids to help!
This week’s MomTastic Find is a personal favorite and (full disclosure) client of ours. You Are Musical just launched a very exciting production..its new website. The company specializes in early childhood music education (with options for adults too), with programs in schools, homes, the community, and more. Along the production route, I learned some fascinating stats about kids and music that I wanted to share here at The Lounge.
There’s lots more science and FUN about the magic of music on their Facebook page.
Plus, here’s a bonus for MomTini Lounge friends in the Washington, DC, and NY/NJ metro areas: Grab your FREE INTRODUCTORY LESSON ($50 value) for new students. Email info@YouAreMusical.com to book your first lesson. Mention promo code MOM2015 before November 1, 2015 to redeem.
Editor’s Note: You Are Musical is a client of Write Ideas, Inc., but the opinions expressed here are all our own!
Guest Author Corinne Jacob shared some great tips on how to keep the kids busy when you have stuff to do. She suggests a combination of engagement and diversion, both great tactics depending on what you need to do.
She shared a great quote, “Moms are always on call.” That line, from Author Susan Newman’s The Book of No: 250 Ways to Say It – and Mean It – and Stop People-Pleasing Forever, definitely captures the mom’s shift (24/7). Here, Jacob shares some sage advice for supermoms around the world on how to keep the kids busy when you need to focus on something else.
A chore for a chore – that’s one of the most effective ways of keeping kids busy when you have a number of errands to run. You may be surprised to learn that kids actually love it when they are assigned household chores like arranging their books, running the vacuum cleaner, etc. This is a great way to help them develop a sense of responsibility towards their home and family.
Editor’s Note: This is my favorite, and I love getting the kids involved. I’m about to publish another article on this very topic.
Make an account of kitchen stocks
Get the kids involved in taking inventory in your kitchen. Give them a list of the items that you generally buy every month and have them give you a stock estimate so that you know what quantity of each item to buy. It will also be a good idea if the kids can write down their estimates of the quantity they think you should be buying.
Register on virtual worlds online
There are a number of safe and educational virtual worlds for kids. Virtual worlds such as Neopets can engage kids (and adults like me!) for hours on end. There’s a lot to explore and learn – discovering new lands, playing mini games, and of course, looking after your pets.
Care for pets
If you have a pet at home, then putting it to your child’s care while you’re busy finishing other chores is a good idea. Kids will grow a sense of duty towards their pet while looking after the pet’s needs and interacting with them. And all the ‘running around’ will give them the much needed exercise that they generally avoid!
Make crafts and projects
Kids are the happiest when they have a bunch of craft supplies with them! Engaging children with crafts and activities while you are busy at another important thing is a foolproof solution of keeping both the parties contended!
Corinne Jacob is a wannabe writer who is convinced that kids learn best when they’re having fun. She is constantly on the lookout for new and exciting ways to make learning an enjoyable experience. Corinne loves all things that scream out un-schooling, alternative education and holistic learning.