Real Simple Mama

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Tag: kids (page 1 of 2)

How Meditation Calms This Anxious Mom

I am a mom. And I have anxiety. I don’t have a severe enough case that I need to take medications or see a specialist, but by the end of a long day I sometimes feel like I’m wound up and unraveling at the same time. Since my first pregnancy, I sporadically turned to meditation to quiet my mind and relax my body. But a few months ago I began a nightly ritual of stillness and meditation. And it has been miraculous. Here’s exactly how meditation calms this anxious mom.

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Teach A Simple Listening Activity to Your Kids

I’m a music teacher who is now a stay-at-home mom. While my current role is different – I’m at home with my own children instead of a music classroom – I still love teaching age-appropriate music lessons to my kids! I frequently come up with new ideas, and I have a great session you can do with kids as young as two years old. This music lesson is simple and customizable for children preschool age and up, no teaching experience needed! Read on to learn how to do a simple music listening activity with your kids!

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What It’s Like to Be Married to a Stay-At-Home Mom: The Working Dad’s Perspective

I haven’t always been a stay-at-home mom, or SAHM. When I was pregnant with my first child, all the way until he was two years old, I was a working mom. I did the whole pumping/daycare/packing food/cry at dropoff thing, and I hated it. So when we got pregnant with our second child, I knew I had to make a huge adjustment.

While my husband and I were always in agreement that I should stay at home with the babies, we didn’t really know anyone (except his mom, thirty years ago) who had done it. And it was certainly a transition for our house and our marriage.

That’s why I thought to sit my husband down (after asking nicely, of course) and pick his weary brain. Now he’s the sole breadwinner for our little home, and he’s married to a SAHM. So what’s it really like… from the dad’s perspective? Continue reading

Great Music to Listen to With Your Kids… in Every Genre!

I love playing music for my kids! We almost always have some type of music playing in our home and in the car. As a music educator, it’s a passion of mine that my children hear great music from all genres on a regular basis. I truly feel that we are putting our kids at a disadvantage if we limit what they listen to: while kids’ music is just fine, it leaves out so much great repertoire!

So I’ve put together a list of some of my favorite artists by genre, so that you can look into them with your own family. You can tie in various genres to the recipes you’re cooking, books you’re reading, places you’re going… the possibilities are endless! Continue reading

My Least Favorite Parenting Advice

If you’re a parent, you know that people can sometimes tell you things which are not helpful at all (and instead, drive you crazy or stress you out). My great friend Marie, who helps parents over at Create Balanced Life, has some words of wisdom on this. Here’s what she has to say about that one annoying thing people tell new parents – her least parenting advice – and what to think about instead. Continue reading

Self Care for the Busy Mom

I’ve read about a thousand posts about self care for moms. And I always get anxious that taking care of myself means sacrificing quality time with my kids, or time to clean up and get work done. There are so many great ideas out there, but I feel guilty when I think about leaving my toddler crying on the floor so that I can sip my coffee while it’s still hot. I can’t enjoy my alone time with some of these extravagant ideas… and some I just plain can’t afford.

So here’s what I’ve done: I’ve looked at my own life and what works for our little family. I’ve looked at things which make me happy and recharge the batteries of my soul. And I’ve looked at things which are easily doable on a regular basis, when (gasp!) the kids are around. What’s made it into this article are the things which fit every one of those qualifications.

The result? Self care for the busy mom. These tips won’t make you feel like you’re a horrible mother, because your kids won’t suffer. You can take care of yourself while taking care of the kids, too.

Just remember: you can’t serve others when your cup is empty. It’s taken me years to admit this, but it’s true. So take care of yourself and be well, my friend. I’m in the trenches with you, but I’m still smiling! Continue reading

Keeping Your Kids Safe

Turn on the news and you will see: it’s a dangerous world out there. While we try to surround ourselves with good people and safe experiences, our children will one day be out on their own. We must prepare our kids for all kinds of situations. And the dialogue starts when they’re still young and innocent.

Here I’ll give you some suggestions on how to begin those essential conversations. Continue reading

How To Talk To Your Kids

Do you have an open relationship with your kids? Do you feel that you have mutual trust and respect? Are you comfortable talking to your kids about anything, and you feel that they would come to you if they had a problem or a question?

I think that most parents really have their heart in the right place, and they want to do well for their children. My nine years of teaching experience, from kindergarten through high school seniors, plus my experience as a parent, have proved this to me. But with all of the hundreds of students I have taught, I have also dealt with hundreds of parents. And I have noticed some recurring behaviors in regards to the students who felt a disconnect with their parents.

Many parents are just in survival mode. They take what their children say at face value, and have so many other stressors and distractions in life that it is easy for them to miss what is going on in their child’s world. Their child feels ignored, unimportant, or like their parents would not understand.

The other thing which I frequently observe is the parents who just do not know what to say to their kids. They hesitate to have discussions about difficult or mature topics, like puberty or sex. Since it makes the parent uncomfortable, they refrain from saying anything at all.

The problem is, at one point or another your child is going to have some troubles or some questions. If you do not have that “open door” rapport with your child, they will find their comfort or their answers elsewhere.

I do not think I need to say more than that.

I’ll give you a little bit of tough love: you are a parent. So you need to be a parent. For the sake of your child – their safety, their happiness – I do not care if it makes you uncomfortable. Your child needs to see that you love them and you are making the effort.

So let’s get to it: here are the five tips I’ve got to help you start building that open, honest communication with your kid. Continue reading

Teaching My Kids To Have A Positive Body Image

Having a baby is a glorious, life-changing event which leaves you breathless and teary-eyed. Your body has done something miraculous! You’ve housed another human being, growing them from a cluster of a few cells to a living breathing person. That’s pretty damn cool, Mama.

But then you look in the mirror, try to wear your favorite pre-pregnancy jeans or think about swim season. Your hair starts falling out and – what the hell? – you have acne all over again. The cost of making this beautiful little life just took an insane toll on your body, and potentially, on your self esteem.

It’s totally normal to have a woe-is-me phase, but here are some things to keep in mind as your children grow and look to your example. Continue reading

Five Things Every Mom Needs to Promise Herself

Motherhood is beautiful and life changing. But it can also be overwhelming and difficult. In the midst of the chaos and the mess, every mom should make these five promises… to herself. Continue reading

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