Real Simple Mama

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Tag: parent (page 1 of 5)

The Best Toys to Inspire Imagination!

I think almost every parent at some point feels that they have too many toys for their kids. It seems like no matter how much cleaning and reorganizing, selling and donating, threatening and taking-away we do, we end up with multiplying toys.

As our family looks to downsize and simplify, we notice that our kids enjoy their imaginative toys the most. These are the toys which inspire open-ended, creative play. (And as a bonus, they rarely require batteries or make loud noises!) I’ve compiled my kids’ favorites and the smartest buys, so read on for the best toys to inspire imagination – and I hope that they help your family pretend, create, and play together!  Continue reading

Pre-K Lesson: Story Play

My son is almost four years old, which means I need to get used to calling him a pre-k aged child! My very own preschooler is absorbing all he can about our world, and is reading little by little. My husband and I, as certified teachers, are already looking to develop rigorous and fun lessons to do with our kids as they grow.

With perfect timing, Greg at Education.com contacted me about showcasing a quick-and-easy lesson plan to help pre-k kids get excited about reading. I’m proud to show you this simple activity which you can do at home with your preschooler!

Continue reading

If I Ever Have Another Baby

I must confess, I want more kids. I’ve always wanted more than two (which is what I have now). But we are at a crossroads, our little family: is another child right for us? Right now my husband and I don’t agree; he’s set on the two we have and being done with it. I, however, have other dreams. I often think of the possibility… if I ever have another baby… what would I want my experience to be like?

One thing this dialogue has made me realize is that if I ever get the chance to have another child, I am not taking a single thing for granted. I know the experience I want to have, both for my baby and for myself. If I ever have another baby, these are my plans and my promises to my future child. Continue reading

Three Mantras for the Tired Parent

Part of being a parent is just admitting that you’re tired. Perpetually, everlastingly tired. You can be tired and completely content at the same time, of course, but oftentimes that’s not the case. We are mentally and physically exhausted. Add in a toddler meltdown or a diaper blowout, and suddenly you feel like you have been pushed over the edge.

It’s no secret that I’m a big supporter of attachment parenting, but that’s not really what this article is about. Rather than talking about what to say to your kid, or how to act, I’m asking you to look inward. Freeze for a split second and get a sense of perspective. And say a mantra to yourself.

Here are three mantras for tired parents: connect with them, memorize them, use them, and breathe. Continue reading

A Bedtime Routine for The Breastfeeding, Bedsharing Toddler

There are about one hundred ways to get your toddler ready for bed. And I bet you know them all: from baths to massage to lullabies and stories, everyone has the routine which works for their little one.

But when you breastfeed (which means that you probably nurse to sleep, and also possibly bedshare), your ritual can look quite different. So I thought I’d give some perspective to the parenting posts of the world, and show you what bedtime looks like at our house. Read on for a bedtime routine for a bedsharing toddler. Continue reading

What I’ve Learned in a Year of Blogging

Well, Real Simple Mama has officially been in existence for over a year! And looking back, I’ve learned quite a lot. I’m the one-and-only person running this website, and I have lots of suggestions for someone just starting out. Here’s what I’ve learned in a year of blogging: tricks and ideas on what to do, what not to do, and a whole lot of other stuff! 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

Five Prompts to Help You Tell an Amazing Bedtime Story!

It’s bedtime, and your kids want a bedtime story. You probably know the rest. Or maybe your child is awake again, and you need to get them back to sleep!

When my babies have woken up in the middle of the night, they always want to hear a story to help them relax and fall back asleep. I don’t want to turn on a light and nothing comes to mind. If I don’t start spouting a tale soon, my kid will get agitated.

So I’ve come up with a few prompts to help you get started: my goal here is to help you create your own amazing, imaginative stories for your child! These are the bedtime tales which your kids will remember long after that sleepless night. Continue reading

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