It’s April Vacation Here and This is How I’m Balancing

How does a work at home mom who has many hats survive April vacation week? Ask me in about four days.

No, seriously though, this isn’t my first school break week trying to figure out how to juggle the trio while working the multiple tasks I do from home. If you’re a work at home parent like me who needs to keep that work flowing even during school break, here are some ways I have learned to juggle the parent vs work at home life when school is out.

Tips to Juggle School Break and Work at Home

Tips to Juggle School Break and Work at Home

Remain Calm

The first tip I can give any parent who’s trying to get their client work done or blog writing completed with kids running around in the background is to remain calm. One day your kids will be grown up, out of the house and living their own life. Do not take one moment for granted and don’t let the busyness of work keep you from enjoying this happy chaos. Breath before speaking if you’re trying to get work done and the kids are simply loud as loud can be. At this moment, once you’ve remained calm, you may speak up in a kind voice to let the kids know they can be loud in a little while but you have work to do so could they either go outside or just be a bit quieter for a bit longer.

Set Expectations

I totally bombed it this April vacation and didn’t do what I usually do in the summer break season – set up a poster board with a timeline of the day. I usually set expectations for my younger two kids because one is on the autism spectrum so he does well with a visual list of times for his day to day tasks. Since I didn’t prepare, I am winging it but with expectations verbally told. I let the kids know if they give me the morning to do my work that in the late afternoon they will have me to interact with and enjoy life. Let your kids know that you expect them to have certain boundaries respected while you’re getting work done and express those in a calm, respectful manner.

Enjoy Little Moments

The trio and I have a really great relationship, while things were rocky for a bit due to a situation here, the bond is growing back like it was before all of that bad stuff happened. Currently, the trio and I are back to having a mutual respect and trust for each other. The trio knows that when I say this will happen, it will happen which wasn’t the case for the past couple of years. I remind myself to take a break come afternoon to go for a walk, sit and interact with the trio as they enjoy a YouTube video, show or game of their own. I listen to them and laugh with them. These little moments actually make it easier for me to work around their vacation days.

Be Realistic

Lastly, I have learned to be realistic with what I can accomplish during April vacation or even summer break. I have learned where my limits are, what hours of the day are best for me to get work done without the youngest needing some Mama attention and so forth. When I start setting realistic expectations my stress levels reduce and I’m able to successfully juggle both work and parenthood. The only way I could start being realistic was to stop thinking that I had to do it all and do it all in the same day. I learned that I have limits and need limits to remain happy and healthy.

Juggling your kids during any school vacation while working at home isn’t easy. As your kids get older, the juggling may be easier but not always. My kids are age 9 and up yet still that little man needs his Mama’s attention sometimes more than he did when he was a toddler. Remember that while you’re busy making a successful business online, your kids are growing up. Be certain that you maintain a proper balance between parenthood and work so that your kids don’t grow up feeling as if you put making money before them. There will always be time to make money, especially when you work from home but this moment with your kiddos won’t be around forever.

Cheers to your success and ability to remain calm, set expectations while being realistic and enjoying those little moments of childhood while they last.

 

5 Life Hacks for Your Tiny Kitchen

Do you have a small kitchen? No problem! Finding space to utilize in a tiny kitchen can be pretty difficult to achieve but it isn’t as hard as it may seem. Here are 5 life hacks for your tiny kitchen.

5 Life Hacks for Your Tiny Kitchen

5 Life Hacks for Your Tiny Kitchen

Use fridge space to your advantage

When there’s so little space to utilize, sometimes the thing you don’t think to use for extra room is your fridge. With some simple magnets and desk organizers or containers, you can make all kinds of custom hangers to attach to your fridge. These can hold spices, cook books, recipe pages, and tons more. If you’re crafty, there are even more possibilities for DIY magnet holders in your kitchen.

DIYs are lifesavers

You have all kinds of materials in your home or at the local dollar store that can be used to your advantage in this situation. Whether putting up shelves, making organizers from desk items, using different containers for spices or foods, or some of the many other options; you can get a lot of extra space in the kitchen. Some people get even craftier and customize drawers to have cutting boards inside of them or a trash bin.

Be organized

Organization can make a bigger difference than you may think. A cluttered kitchen gets hard to find things and even worse, there’s less room! Always be sure to keep your cabinets, spices, recipes, and even your fridge/freezer nice and organized. It doesn’t have to be perfect, just making sure you think of conserving space when doing things or putting items away can make a difference in organization too.

Cabinets can be very versatile

Little do you know, the cabinets in your kitchen have far more uses than the common eye may assume. The inside of your cabinet doors can have white boards, chalk boards, small magazine organizers, or hanging places for your cooking utensils. It all depends on what you need most. Not only are the insides useful in cabinets. The ends of cabinets can be helpful for you as well. Shelving or hanging space is best there. There can be utensils, spice racks, or pot hangers on the ends of cabinets.

Sometimes less is more

Although most people tend to collect many items in the kitchen-usually including doubles of the same size pans/pots or the same cooking utensils-having all those extra items sometimes isn’t helpful one bit. The occasional extra of the same spatula or pot size that you tend to use more frequently can be useful. However, try to limit having too many items in your kitchen.

There you have it, 5 tips and life hacks that are going to save you a lot of time, money, and stress in your small kitchen. Good luck along your way!

Helping Your Kids Without Doing The Work for Them

 You want your child to get through school as smoothly as possible, and while you cannot sit by them every step of the way and find all the answers for them, you can help them find solutions for increasing their knowledge and understanding. They might be reluctant now, but when graduation and later college come around, they will thank you.

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As your child goes through school, there will be times where they sit over their workbooks or homework at the dinner table or in their room looking stumped. During this, you want to give them a hand and help them as much as possible. However, you might be reluctant to help too much as you don’t want to end up doing the work for them.

Because kids won’t learn anything that way. They need to do the work themselves if they want to understand the assignments properly and be able to complete similar exercises and essays in the classroom, where you will be absent.

Helping your kids with their school work, but not completing it for them, will help with their critical thinking skills as well as independence. It will set them up for further problem-solving experiences later in life, and allow them to approach anything with the confidence that they can do it. Showing them which way to go, but not leading the way, will help enormously as they navigate the challenging plain of education in their early years and teens.

 ROUTINE

 Establishing a routine for your child will help them become more comfortable with what they need to do and save them from wasting most of their time on video games or watching TV. While it is still important for them to blow off steam with friends and hobbies, it should not take precedence over their school work in their early years.

Getting used to a routine will include them studying for an hour or two after school, which will give them plenty of time to relax later on. Furthermore, this routine will soon become ingrained in their everyday activities, and so at some point, they will feel like they want and need to do it before worrying about anything else.

However, it is vital that this does not become too regimented. You want your child to have an excellent work ethic, but you also want them to have a social life. Encouraging the routine to include both work and play will help foster a healthy social life as well as ensuring the work gets completed, too.

 RESOURCES

Back in the day, it used to be that if you needed information on for a history project that you had to run down to the library and pour over textbook after textbook for hours until you found what you needed. But no more.

The ever-growing digital archives online have streamlined that process so that now your child does not even have to leave their room. Everything is available to them at the click of a mouse or swipe of a screen. However, for those unfamiliar with Googling anything other than funny videos may need guidance in directing them to the resource of their choice, so explaining the basics of an educational Google search will come in handy.

Furthermore, using fraction calculators to better explain and visually demonstrate the formula for them when it comes to studying math equations. Math can be a stressful subject if you are not a natural, but using the plethora of option at your and your child’s fingertips will ease this stress and put them on the path to mathematical success.

REVISE

 Revision is, to many kids, a horribly dull activity. They feel that all they are doing is reading and rereading information that they already know, and this can get frustrating. It is all too easy to read something once or twice and then be convinced that you know it because you have just read it. Because of this, revision can sometimes feel like a lot of time wasted on learning nothing.

However, if they ever want to succeed and continue to build on existing knowledge, then revision is essential for entering any exams with a head full of necessary information. This will allow them to write and write and write for however long they need without grasping at straws for points and conclusions.

Sitting down to revise and actually do it, instead of staring at a screen or playing on their phones can pay huge dividends, but once they think they know what they need, they will move on to something else. To solve this issue, practising with your child by testing them on recent topics every day by asking them questions will help them retain the information better and save their mind from going blank when they find themselves sat down in the exam.

 REFOCUS

 There are so many distractions around the house that it can be all too easy to absently browse their social media or play games on their phone, tablet, or console. This is not just something that affects kids, but adults too. We have all had those times where we are trying to concentrate, but everything else looks so much more appealing at that moment in time.

Finding solutions to maintaining their focus will help remove such distractions. If your child often does their work in their bedroom, surrounded by books and games of all sorts, they will be tempted to avoid their work and instead play.

Consider encouraging (but not forcing) them to find an area of the house, or even the library or somewhere quiet and local, where they can complete their work in peace. They will soon find out that what used to be a three-hour-plus study session soon reduces to much, much less and they might even have time to spare to fill in some extra work, should they want to.

RELIEF

Schoolwork at any age can be stressful and time-consuming and, much of the time, your child will feel there is literally anything else they would rather be doing (even chores). However, encouraging them to create a consistent routine of revision and further learning will make their journey through school that much more comfortable and still, hopefully, leave time for them to hang out with their friends, also.

You want your child to get through school as smoothly as possible, and while you cannot sit by them every step of the way and find all the answers for them, you can help them find solutions for increasing their knowledge and understanding. They might be reluctant now, but when graduation and later college come around, they will thank you.

 

8 Ways to Use Bar Soap

Growing up you probably only thought about bar soap when it came to taking your daily shower or bath. You see bar soap is known mostly for its purpose to cleanse your body of the dirt and sweat accumulated throughout your day to day living. While bar soap is the perfect way to clean your body in the shower or tub, there are other purposes for bar soap and I am sharing those ideas with you today.

8 Ways to Use Bar Soap

Keep Paint Projects Clean

Rub a little bit of bar soap around the edges of surfaces that you’re about to paint. The bar soap will make sure any overrun of paint will be easily cleaned up when you’re finished painting.

Keep Your Nails Clean

Having long nails can be a chore, but with a little bar soap applied over your nails before going out to garden or do some dirty work will help keep the dirt from accumulating as much over your nails.

Make Liquid Soap

There are quite a few online recipe ideas for making liquid soap out of bar soap, so look them up and make your own liquid soap if bar soap isn’t your thing.

Get Zippers Moving

All too often we end up with a stiff zipper on our coat or jeans, bar soap rubbed across any zipper will help free it up and move freely.

 Coat Campfire Pans

Cooking over an open flame will ultimately lead to soot all over your pans. Use bar soap around the bottom of your pans before cooking over a fire, it will make the soot easier to clean off afterward.

Rid Home of Pests

Put a small cube of bar soap in your dresser and closets to ward off moths. You may also mix some bar soap with water in a spray bottle to use on plants so bugs don’t attack them.

Use for Shaving

Lather up that bar soap and apply to your body before shaving, use bar soap instead of shaving cream to get a clean shave in next time you need to shave your legs or face.

DIY Body Scrub

Peel down bar soap into chunks and mix with salt to create your own body scrub mixture. This will help to exfoliate your skin better than bar soap alone.

Shop for Bar Soap (Affiliate Links below)



Bali Soap – Natural Bar Soap, 6 pc Set, 3.5 Oz each

Strategies To Teach Your Child Responsibility

As a parent, we are always working at teaching our children how to be the best versions of themselves. From being thoughtful, listening when people talk, being respectful, and of course learning responsibility. Being responsible is learning to take care of their belongings, get their homework done and on time, learning to take care of themselves and others, and much more. Below are some strategies to teach your child responsibility.

When your child learns about responsibility you also want them to have a positive attitude as they complete the task at hand. You don’t want them to do the task because they have to, you want them to be proud they are doing it and to the best of their ability. Raising helpful, strong, responsible kids is our goals as parents. These tips below can help you nurture and teach your child to be responsible.

5 Tips for Teaching Your Child Responsibility

Strategies To Teach Your Child Responsibility

Be A Role Model

First and foremost you want to act the way you want your child to act. Parents have so many responsibilities that we can demonstrate each day how to handle them. Be on time, finish tasks doing the best you can do, and if you promise or agree to help out with something, follow through.

Start Teaching At A Young Age

If your child is still young, that is the best time to teach. Teach them to pick up their toys, put the dishes up when they are finished eating, and the list goes on. As they get older, they will be engrained with those simple responsibilities you had them do when they are young. Let them help make a sandwich at lunch, and help fold laundry. It may take longer and not be done perfectly, but allowing your child to help when they ask to, will slowly teach them simple responsibilities for later in life.

Expectations

This is something we need to work on as parents. We have to expect that if your 3-year old helps fold laundry or makes their bed it won’t be perfect. But you still allow them to help, because that is how they will learn. You have to look at your child’s age and then base what they can do and to what standard.

Demonstrate Tasks

Demonstrate how to do small tasks so your child can begin to learn. If your child has a laundry basket in their room, teach them that is where they toss dirty clothes. Or that if they want a snack, create a bin that has approved snacks that they can grab and eat by themselves if you say they can. A simple task like that will teach them how to be responsible for themselves, respect rules of the household, and grow.

Praise

Kids love to help out, and in that make sure to offer positive praise when they do. Tell them you are proud of them, thank them for helping take the trash out or dust. Children will learn that when they help it makes mom and dad proud and they will work hard to keep doing this for you.

Routine

Kids need and love structure and routines. You can slowly begin to tell your son to pick up their room each night or put the laundry in the basket. It will then become a routine. Just like with older kids, that when they get home they have to sit down and work on homework, instead of waiting till later at night. Over time it will become a routine to them, instead of winging it when they want.

 

Giving Your Kid A Santa-stic Christmas

Christmas is a time for family. And, as a child, the festive period is somehow even more magical. Maybe it’s the novelty and newness of this special time of year, or maybe it’s the beauty of believing in Santa Claus. Whatever the case, you should let this childlike mindset reignite your love for the festive season too. Your goal should be to give your kid a “Santa-stic” Christmas. Here are some pieces of advice to help you on that mission.

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Set traditions.

The best way to make Christmas special for your kid is to create some family traditions. Whilst they might say they’re most excited for presents and chocolate, every child loves spending some quality time with their family (they just might not admit it for fear of losing their street cred). Traditions don’t have to be complex or expensive. You could all watch a Christmas film together in the evening or have a special festive breakfast first thing in the morning. Find something over which you and the family can bond.

Give and receive fantastic gifts.

As tough as it is for kids to grasp, Christmas is about giving as well as receiving. Obviously, we understand the pain because we were all young once. All you could think about was racing to the living room on Christmas morning and tearing into those presents waiting for you underneath the tree. Of course, it can help your child to appreciate this festive season more if they give as well as receiving; it’ll teach them that Christmas is about sharing the joy and making others happy too. Your kid might not have money of their own yet but you can take them out shopping to help them at least pick out gifts for members of the family. It’ll teach them something about the goodness of giving to others.

Of course, helping your child choose presents for others might be easier than choosing a present for them. You should definitely ask them what sort of things they have their eye on this year to avoid disappointing them but you probably want to surprise your little one too; it’s always a satisfying feeling to see their face light up. Still, you have to find that perfect gift first. It can be quite a stressful experience. You should either get them lots of little presents or one big one that’ll blow them away. The latter could make Christmas a little more memorable for them. If you want tips on choosing kids dirt bikes and other cool items that they’ll remember (and hopefully use) for years to come then you should do some research. Be a little bold with your gift-giving this year.

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Throw a party.

You might want to set the date a few days before or after Christmas but there’s nothing like a festive party to get your child and the whole family in good spirits. You could put on some games for the children so as to get them all in the spirit for the big day and the adults could drink wine in the kitchen. That sounds like the perfect Christmas to us.

Parents, Children, And Bullying

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Bullying is endemic in modern society. Nowadays, kids don’t even have to meet someone face to face to be a bully or get bullied. Stats show that more than 75% of children have and still experience abuse from their peers. As a parent, it is your job to step in and make sure your son or daughter is not a victim. But, what can you do to keep them safe? Below is a selection of tips which experts believe to be the best steps. Hopefully, they will come in handy for you and your children.

Understand The Causes

First and foremost, it is not your fault or the fault of your son and daughter. However, it is worth pointing out that some factors tend to get a reaction. Clothing is a prime example. Students who don’t have to wear a uniform get to put on casual clothes. Although they are comfy, the apparel they wear is a sign of their social status. Nickis baby Versace and Young Versace range is obviously upper/middle class, whereas t-shirts with holes are low class. No one can help their situation, but parents can try and make their child less of a target. It doesn’t have to be top of the range stuff because as long as it’s clean and hole-free, it’s okay.

See The Signs

Children are not open books and they won’t tell their parents if they are suffering. As a mom or dad, it’s your job to spot the warning signs and act. To do that, you need to delve deeper and read between the lines. Are they not as happy or positive as usual? Do they lack confidence because of their looks or appearance? Does the idea of leaving the house fill them with dread? All of these are signs of anxiety brought about by bullies. It’s not easy yet sitting down and talking is the only way to get a straight answer.

Reduce Online Time

Some parents hate the idea of telling their kids they can’t play video games and enjoy life. However, the internet is a dangerous place where the majority of modern bullying takes place. From Twitter to Facebook, bullies will post and tweet nasty things spread across the cyber highway. Pretending it doesn’t take place isn’t a long-term answer but it does help to take a break. The less time they spend online, the less impact cyberbullying should have.

Talk Adult To Adult

The odds of two children sitting down and working through their differences are long. Typically, it’s the parents who get together and come to a suitable solution. No one likes to have the conversation, but it’s essential to prevent further damage. Bullies, like the majority of kids they fear their parents. As long as they are decent people, they will stop it at once. Of course, it’s never wise to go in all guns blazing because people go on the defensive. Instead, point out what’s wrong and come up with solutions together.

Hopefully, your children will never have to experience bullying. If they do, the tips above should help.

Ready For Life Outside The Nest?

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There comes a time in every parent’s life where they stumble across a night of zero sleep, their brain ticking like a clock on the fritz as they wonder whether or not they did enough as a parent to set their kid up to be successful in life. This usually happens right before your kid decides to leave home.

You will sit there, staring down the barrel of an emptier nest, panicking that you never did enough to prepare them for college, work and just life in general. Well, to help you panic less and rest assured more, we have pulled together a list of essential life skills your teens will need before they close the front door and wave goodbye from the driver’s seat of their first rust bucket. Think of this as a sort of checklist if you will.

What’s Cooking?

Every teen would love to have takeaway pizza for breakfast, lunch and dinner, but this isn’t exactly ideal. Neither is a life of Ramen noodles. That is why you need to teach your kid the life skill that is a few basic meals that they can fall back on and build off. Something nutritious and delicious.

Money Matters

All that time at school, enduring a life of pop quizzes and exams that are meant to get you the best job possible, and yet not a single class on money management or budgeting. That is why you need to make extra sure you teach your kid how to budget, the dangers of debt and how to make their money stretch further.

On Time

Teenagers are famous for their inability to wake up before 11 am, but being on time is a pretty important skill to have. We’re talking job interviews, doctor’s appointments, dentist check-ups, meeting friends and whatever else. Sure, some places use an appointment reminder to help overcome the pain in the-you-know-where of having people not show up, but it’s a skill that will come in handy. That’s a fact.

Social Skills

Getting a great education is super-important, but having the social skills is on another level. Being able to hold a conversation, communicate with others, work well in a team, talk in a way to get people to listen and inspire with the same veracity as, let’s say, Jon Snow. That starts with basic manners like saying please and thank you and ends with sympathising other people’s opinions. You want to make a great first impression and then deliver from then onward.

Lust Or Love

Just think back to when you were young and foolish for a second. All those romantic pit-stops you made, your vision clouded by ideas of young love and finding the one you were meant to be with while working as a barista in some tiny coffee shack in the midwest. It is a time of euphoria and total heartbreak, and that is why you need to help your child understand the difference between love and lust, and why you need to help them recover from a breakup.