The Price of Motherhood – Is It Wrong for Mothers to be So Selfless?

In the past few months, I feel that I am thinking of my children all the time. I don’t think enough for myself. I am facing this dilemma, am I doing it right? Is my selfless nature towards my children making my children ungrateful? Are they taking me for granted ? Is this the price of motherhood?

Is It wrong to be a Stay at home mum?

I am a stay at home mum. Though I work from home, I am always ‘available’ for my children, at their beck and call. My husband works full time and therefore I do most of the care giving to my children. If you are stay at home mum like me, you would know that this is not a 9-5 job. There is no finish time. Every minute, every second throughout the day and night you are a mum. There is no pay, no leave. Do our children appreciate this? Probably not. 

Do children of stay at home mums take their mother for granted?

Yes. They do especially during the summer holidays. ‘Mummy has to play with me, take me to the beach, park etc’. Stay at mom homes do not get any time to themselves for the entire 6 weeks(feels too long!).

A mother can’t think like a father

I have been told by my husband quite a few times, ‘think about yourself now, don’t always think of the kids always’. But most of the times, I have just been unable to do that. Is it just me or are all mothers like that?

Families are getting smaller

I was brought up in a joint family which means the extended family were living in the same house as my parents. It was easier for my parents to bring me up as there were people around to ‘help out’. But my husband and I are on our own. All the parental responsibility falls on us and mostly me as hubby is at work.

My children are with me the whole day which is truly a test of patience especially in the summer holidays.

So how would you deal with this ? If you are a stay at home mum like me without any help, it is a very trying time !

My solution

  • I try to put a positive spin on things which I get frustrated with – for example, this is the best time to spend time with my children. Time will fly very fast and before I know they will be all grown up. If ever you feel angry and frustrated, say this in your mind, ‘ I must spend the time with my children now. Before I know it they will be all grown up and won’t need me anymore’.
  • If you work from home like me, at least (try to) work couple of hours during the day, maybe while kids are playing with themselves or watching television. You might not to be too productive with your work so choose work which requires less focus. I feel that by working even an hour, brings sanity back in my life while the kids are at home. Please refer to my previous post ‘How to Work From Home with Kids’.
  • If you don’t work at all, then do something of your own, preferably something mentally stimulating like a crossword puzzle.
  • Be kind to yourself, ask your spouse or friend for help if required to look after your children, once in few weeks, refresh and recharge yourself- even if it is only for an hour. It will make a huge difference!
  • Accept the situation. If you accept the situation that you and your spouse are the only caregivers of your children, you would find it easier to deal with the situation. Go with the flow. Don’t pressurise yourself with the cooking, cleaning etc.
  • Think of this situation as a learning curve for you as well. You will definitely learn to be patient if nothing else!
  • Teach your children to think of their Mummy too, teach them to be grateful that their Mum is always around to look after them.
  • Get your kids to help you with the household chores depending on their age and ability. This will show them how hard you work to look after them.
  • If possible ask the grandparents to look after the children for a couple of hours so you can re-energise yourself.
  • If your spouse is agreeable you can ask him to put the kids to bed while you go for walk few times a week. Fresh air can do wonders for your mind after an exhausting day with kids. It will help you relax and calm your mind down.

Children are the future of tomorrow

All the children of this world including ours are the future of tomorrow. If we provide them with a happy, safe,honest and secure upbringing,they will be able to spread this love in the world long after we are gone. Therefore, it is imperative we give the right upbringing to our children. As a parent we would have to give quite a few sacrifices as children are the only hope of mankind. If we teach our children to be selfless,loving and caring then they will be able to teach the same things to their own children.

Conclusion

I know the job of a stay at home is the hardest job in this world, but we have to persevere to make a better tomorrow. But it is also imperative that a mother gets a break from her routine through her spouse or other family members or friends. I believe that these sacrifices will not go vain. Such is the power of love of a mother!

After all it is said that since God couldn’t be everywhere, he made mothers!

Do you want to share any tips which may help other stay at home mums? Please share via comment box below.

Regards,

 

 

 

 

 

 

When Should Children Stop Sleeping With Parents – At What Age?

In the Western Countries, medical professionals always advise that the child sleep in their own room from 6 months onward. Room sharing with parents is not encouraged. But in other countries, it’s perfectly fine for children to sleep with their parents upto 7-8 years or sometimes even 10 years of age. So, when should children stop sleeping with parents?

The First 12 Months

From my own experience, for the first 12 months I kept my child in a cot in the same room as me. I did not let my baby sleep in my bed except when I would breastfeed my baby in the middle of the night. If you breastfeed your baby at night on your bed, don’t let blankets or quilt cover your baby or make them too hot. Also, you have got to make sure you don’t crush your baby. Make sure you always place baby on their backs and there are NO older children in your bed at that time.

After 12 Months

When I stopped breastfeeding at around 12 months, I moved the cot to another room, so my child would sleep in a separate room. It was very hard transitioning them from my room to another room. My husband and I had to wake up several times in the night to console them and put them back to bed. But the key thing here is to be consistent .

Initially you will have to put them to sleep, preferably the same way you used to do it when they used to sleep in your(parents) room.

You have to keep doing this everyday so they get used to idea as well as you. When they wake up in the night and ask to sleep with you, encourage them to sleep in their bed. Sit with them for a bit while they put themselves to sleep again. It was very hard doing this every night, absolutely exhausting. Sometimes, I just had to give in and let them sleep in my bed.

But the next day I would remind my child again that she/he needs to sleep in their own bed.

Be Consistent in What you do

If you want your child to sleep in their own bed, you should be consistent in what you say to them. Don’t say one night, ‘you can’t sleep in my bed tonight’ and the next night you say ‘you can sleep in my bed’. If you are utterly exhausted like I was, explain to them , because you are scared of the monster, you can sleep in my bed tonight but not every night, you have to start sleeping in your own bed.

Praise them

Every time they sleep in their bed for the whole night, I used to reward my children with reward stickers and praise them. Praise will go a long way.

Be Patient

Transitioning them to their own room is a process. Don’t expect overnight success.

The younger the better

Even if your child is older, move him or her to his/her room ASAP. It is easier to make younger children sleep in their own beds in their own rooms than older children. As children get older, it will be harder to make this move. Remember you are doing this for their development, so don’t feel guilty.

After 3years+

By the time your child is around 3 years of age, she/he should able to start putting themselves to sleep. If not, encourage them to do so. Explain to them that you need to go to sleep and there is no point of mummy or daddy sitting next to you or ‘close your eyes, I will back in a little while’ and then check on them every 10 minutes or so until they put themselves to sleep.

If required put a night light

I always put a night light in my kids room, so they don’t feel the darkness too much especially in the winter. Also, they can find their way if they wake up in the night.

Why is it Important for Children to Sleep in their own beds

  • Children need to deal with their fears or nightmares on their own. This will increase their confidence about looking after themselves.
  • Parents need a little space from their children. This is especially necessary so that both the Mum and Dad can keep their marriage strong. Please refer to my previous post, How To Keep your Marriage Strong After Kids.
  • It encourages independence in children.
  • Parents and children both will have a goodnight’s sleep as everyone will be sleeping in their own beds .

So what are your experiences or opinion on this matter? Should children be sleeping with their parents? How hard it has been for you to move your child out of your room? Share via the comment box, I would love to hear from you!

Regards

 

 

 

How To Work From Home With Kids – Especially During Summer Holidays!

By now all schools would have closed and all school going kids would be over the moon, EXCITED..summer holidays have started! But the parents of kids, who work from home, would not be so excited. How to work from home with kids is indeed very challenging. Summer holidays last for a long time 6 weeks to 8 weeks, nearly 2 months ! Parents not only need to work but also keep the children occupied. I would like to share some top tips on how to handle both of them .

Time Management

Allocate time for doing your work in a day. Say you want to do 3 hours of work during the day, work 2 hours in the morning and 1 hour in the afternoon. Allocate time for any other chores you would want to do for example cooking lunch or playing with kids. Time management is very crucial to completing  all your professional and personal work .

Plan Ahead

Before the start of the holidays, make sure you have stocked up on your stationary like printer papers, cartridges, etc. Make a timetable or schedule of how you would complete all your work on time as per your deadlines. Make sure you follow this schedule properly .

Explain your work to your children

Explain to your children that why your work is important to you ? What would happen if you are unable to complete your work on time? You should do this so that children realise the importance of your work- financial or need to create your identity. Kids shouldn’t feel neglected during the holidays.

Make Rules

During the holidays, I often explain to my children that I would be working from home so that I can look after them. But when I am working, please do not disturb me. If I complete my work on time, I can play with them or take them out to the park or to the beach. If your children are very young then they might not understand. Even older children will need to be reminded time and again not to disturb while the parent is working.

Make a list of activities

Before the start of every holiday, I make a list of indoor and outdoor activities which are of interest to the kids. Then I add a list of educational work which I would like them to do during the holidays. For example times table,spellings, cursive writing etc. Like me, you can put the list on the fridge or anywhere you can easily access it. If you feel the kids are getting bored or restless, you won’t need to think how to keep the kids busy, as the list is right in front of you.

Consider buying some inexpensive toys – the novelty of the toys will keep them busy. If you have bought more than one toy , space out giving each toy.

Keep toys and games within reach

If you have got more than one child, make sure all the toys and games are within easy access. For example while you are working, your children can play a game of snakes and ladders with each other. If the games are within their reach they can easily get it themselves rather than you leaving your work and bringing the game to them.

Don’t forget to spend time with them

Parents have got to accept that during the summer holidays, they wouldn’t be able to do as much work as they would be able to do during the school term time. Whilst making your schedule, try to accommodate sometime spending with the kids doing their favourite activity, indoors and outdoors.

Take the kids to parks and beaches

Make sometime available for taking kids to parks and beaches – that is the best and cheapest way to enjoy the summer, also it’s the most enjoyable activity for kids. As a parent, you would to get fresh air as well and enjoy the sunshine!

Consider Summer camps or activities

If your child likes certain activities like swimming or football, get them enrolled in the holiday courses. If your child likes going to summer camps, enroll them there. This will encourage social skills in them. They might also learn certain other activities, while they are at the summer camps.

Arrange play dates

Arrange play dates with your children’s class mates or friends. Depending on your workload, you can decide whether to let your child go to their friends house or vice versa.

Consider working at night

From experience, if you have got a child under the age of 10 years, you would not be able to do more than 3 hours of work during the day. The next option is to work at night after the kids have gone to sleep. Beware that you would be tired as well especially due to the fact that the kids are at home .

Taking annual leave

If both parents are employed, you can use maximum number of your annual leave in the summer holidays. If grandparents or relatives are willing to help you, you can leave your children one or two days a week with them. Make sure you spend time with your children on other days of the week.

As mentioned above, it will not be possible for parents to do as much work in the holidays as they can during term time. Holidays are a good time to spend quality time with your children and work is important too. 

Therefore, balancing both is very important. Children shouldn’t feel neglected and unwanted .

Do you have a plan as to how to handle your work and your kids during the holidays? Would you like to share it ? Put your ideas in the comment box below. I would love to hear from you.

Happy Holidays!

 

Regards

 

 

 

Teaching Children To Be Grateful – A Way To Happiness

One of the stumbling blocks that I have often encountered in my journey as a mother, is that my children are never grateful for what they have. As soon as I buy them a toy, they start demanding for another toy. Not only is this frustrating (and expensive) but I do wonder ‘Will they ever be happy with what they have?’ You might say children are always greedy, they are always ungrateful! But as a parent you do not want your child to remain ungrateful throughout his/her life. I believe that teaching children to be grateful is important as it is a way to happiness and contentment.

Benefits of being grateful

Whether it is an adult or a child, every person should be grateful for what they have. Being grateful brings a lot of positivity in an individual’s life and therefore you will be :

  • Less depressed
  • Less envious
  • Less materialistic
  • Less anxious

AND

  • More positive
  • More happy
  • More content

Overall, they would be more happier in their life, if they are grateful. Even as an adult, when they are faced with a difficult situation, the habit of being grateful will help them .

How do you teach your child to be grateful

It is not easy to teach children to be grateful. But if parents make an effort, then it can have an impact on the overall thinking/mindset of the child .

Please and thank you

My husband and I insist that every time the children ask us for something they have to say ‘ please’, even if it is just for a glass of water and a ‘thank you’ after it is given to them. I know in this fast life, parents might not have time to insist on please and thank yous, but it is very important that the children appreciate every thing the parents do for their children.

Making kids realise how privileged they are

Whenever we go to India, I show/explain my children how underprivileged the poor children living in shanties and slums are. I make my children realise how privileged they are – they have a home, clothes, food, toys etc. If you can take your children to visit soup kitchens or children’s homes and explain to them how fortunate they are compared to people in soup kitchens or children in children’s home.

Limit the number of toys, books, clothes you buy

I know as a parent we would like to provide “everything possible ” for our child. “I will give my child everything I didn’t have in my childhood”. I don’t believe in this. How would you teach your child how to be grateful for what he/she has got? The important question you have to make your child ask herself or himself is “do I really need this?” If the answer is no, don’t buy it !

Reduce wastages

Make sure your children finish all the food on their plate and they do not waste any food. If required give them a slightly lesser quantity if overeating is an issue. Avoid throwing food in the bin. Explain to them that there are lot of people starving in this world, so we shouldn’t be wasting food.

Set an example

As I have mentioned in my previous posts, parents have to always set an example for their children. Children always copy their parents. If they see their parents leading a modest life, buying things only if needed, then they will do the same.

For very young children

If your children are very young, you can teach them a few games to teach them gratitude. For example, each day or each week at the dinner table tell them to say one thing which gave them a lot of happiness on that day. Make sure you participate in the game as well.

If your child can write, they can keep a gratitude journal and write all the good things that happened to them on a daily basis.

In some religions, it is a custom to say a gratitude prayer before you eat your meal.

Make them earn it

If children ask for toys, don’t just give it to them. Make them earn it. Either through good behaviour or helping with household chores. Only give the toy if they pass the test of good behaviour.

Don’t hesitate to say no

If they ask for toys which are very expensive or you feel that they don’t need it or they are too young for it, say ‘no’. It is hard for some parents to tell their children I won’t buy it for you but you have to do it to teach your child gratitude. Children shouldn’t get toys or games that they demand for, very easily. It doesn’t matter whether the parent can afford to pay for it or not.

Re- use or share

If you have got more than one child, make them share or re-use toys or clothes. Don’t buy two or three or four of everything. Being very close in age and similar in size, my sister and I used to share clothes in our childhood.

Make them help with chores

Make your children help with chores, fold clothes, cut the salad, wash the plates. From an early age, make them clear up their toys every night before they go to bed.

Explain to them why

Always explain your actions to your child. Don’t make them feel that you are being mean or unjust to them. Teach them not to be greedy- to be happy with what they have. Make them choose toys or clothes to give to charity. Make them ‘share’ their toys and clothes with poor children.

Show them how much poverty exists in this world

There are lot of images and you tube videos available on the internet through which you can show how poor children live, starving children in Africa who do not have clothes or food or clean water to drink or schools to go to! When parents teach their children gratitude, it will be a good reminder to them as well that it is so important to be always grateful with whatever you have. At least it was to me!

Do you have any tips or stories to share about gratitude? Please put them in the comment box below. I will be happy to hear from you!

Regards

 

 

Parents Helping With Homework – Is It Important?

The ex- principal of my children’s school believed homework was totally unnecessary and even though homework was given to the children it was never marked by the teachers. The reason that the ex-principal didn’t believe in homework was parents helping their children with the homework. This wasn’t acceptable to her. I believe homework should be done by children but if they are unsure of anything – parents should help, support and guide them. Some parents may say they don’t have any time to help children with their homework.

It is an individual choice whether parents feel homework is important or whether they are able to find time to help children with their homework, but I believe homework is important for following reasons:

Consolidates their learning

Children learn from teachers at school. Maybe by the time they come home they have forgotten what was taught in the school. It is also possible that the child has misunderstood or not understood at all what was taught in the class. You might say my child would have asked the teacher if they didn’t understand, but from experience both as a mother and as a child (once upon time), I know that a child can feel very shy or embarrassed to tell their teacher that they didn’t understand the concept. They might even feel that they will be bullied by their classmates if they say they didn’t understand. Parents helping them with homework can therefore help consolidate the child’s learning at school.

Parents know what is being taught in school

Through homework parents know what is being taught in the school on the day or week of the homework. This is especially helpful for parents of younger children. Younger children don’t always tell their parents what they did in the school.

Parents can gauge child’s understanding

When the parent is sitting with the child to do her/his homework, they can understand how much the child has understood what was taught in the school. They can also know the child’s weak and strong subjects and accordingly work with them on the weak subjects.

Parent teacher meetings

Homework also help parents discuss the child’s performance with the teacher in the parent – teacher meeting. Sometimes what the child might not know/do in the school, he/she will able to do it more easily at home under the guidance of their parents.

One to one

When a parent helps/supports their child’s homework, the child gets total attention of the parent which is not possible in the school. For example if the child is weak in a particular subject he/she might need more attention. This can be done at home with the help and support of the parent.

Parent’s contribution

Through homework, parents can contribute to their child’s learning.

A way to spend time with your child

I know that homework is not a favourite activity of a child, but through helping your child at homework you can get to spend time with your child as well as build some bond with her/him. Children feel loved too if their parents are involved in every aspect of their life.

Show your child you care

Through homework you can show your child you care for them and their well-being. You can also show them that you as a parent consider education very important and that’s why you persevere with them.

Teaching children important values

While you do homework with your child, it is very likely your child will get frustrated if he/she can’t get their homework right. This is the time when you can teach your child, not to give up or to keep trying again and again till you get it right.

After reading all the above if you feel that homework is important for your child, here are some tips which can help you to get your child’s homework done regularly:

  • Manage your time – set aside some time every day for your child and their homework
  • Explain to your child that you have to do your homework at a set time everyday
  • Encourage them to do their homework on their own or tell them to explain to you how a particular maths problem has been taught to them at school. Let them teach you !
  • If they get a problem or a spelling wrong – don’t tell them off. Tell them to keep trying till they get it right. Teach them not to give up. Teach them to persevere
  • If on a particular day your child is tired or if they are not in the mood(you will know if they are not focusing at all) don’t force them to their homework – leave it for the next day but explain to them that they must finish it the next day. You do not want them making a habit of not finishing their homework
  • Lastly, make sure you praise them a lot – whether their achievement is big or small. Praise will go a long way- children will feel more encouraged as well as happy with themselves

I reward my children with (reward) stickers whenever they show a good performance .

Do you believe in homework? Can you suggest any tips or tricks for making children do their homework? Type them in the comment box below and send it to me! I would be happy to hear from you.

Good luck with the homework!

Regards

 

 

 

Teaching Kids Life Skills -What and How?

It is my belief that children should be taught life skills at a very early age. If you start early there are more chances of them willing to learn things. Over the last weekend, my kids helped us pull the weeds out from our back garden and they loved every minute of it ! The best way to teach children is to do the chores together as a family (provided it is age appropriate for your child) . Teaching kids life skills can seem daunting at first but once you get started, you would automatically know how to do it. Of course every time things won’t go as per the plan! So be prepared for that ! I believe children should be taught the following life skills:

Swimming

You can start making your child go for swimming lesson from very young age, after his/her immunisations (around 4 months of age). If they learn as babies they are likely to remember how they were floating in the warm water in the womb for 9 months ! It can also be a fun and social activity for your baby. Swimming can be fun for child of any age provided they do not fear water and that’s why it is important to make them start swimming at a young age.

Keep themselves hygienic

Children must be taught to keep themselves clean. Please refer to my post on Personal hygiene for children. This life skill will reduce the chances of them having any illnesses or diseases. They will carry these good habits into their adult life and teach the same habits to their children.

Eat healthy and exercise

Healthy eating and exercise are a must for a good health, we all know that as adults. But the same things need to be taught to our children as well. At a young age, enroll your child in at least one sports activity in a week like football, basketball, gymnastics, tennis etc. When you start weaning your child, always serve healthy and fresh food. As they grow older continue to encourage them to eat a healthy and a balanced diet. If you are struggling to make your child eat healthy please refer to my previous posts.

Mental health

Just like physical health, mental health is equally important. The easiest and most convenient way to achieve good mental health is through meditation. Meditation is a life skill too and that too a very important one. Children should be taught how to meditate from a young age. I believe all schools should teach children how to meditate. (Refer to my post of meditation benefits for children if you would like to know how to make your child meditate).

Household chores

Depending on the age of your child teach them how to do some household chores. When my son was 4 years old, he started folding his own clothes. The folds were not perfect but my husband and I always encourage both children to help us fold clothes. When children are about 7-8 years old, you can make them start washing their plates or chop salad on Sundays and in the school holidays. Maybe when they are 10-11 years old you can teach them how to make chapatis(indian bread) or  grilled sandwiches.

Manners

I always remind my children to use ‘please’ and ‘thank you’. I refer to them as ‘magic’ words. Explain to them that rudeness and calling names are a strict ‘no-no’.

Gratitude

Children in the western and developed countries especially need to be taught how to be grateful for what they have got. It could be the simplest things like getting 3 meals a day, a roof over your head, abundance of toys, clothes,chocolates etc. They have to be reminded how lucky they are compared to children living in poor and under developed countries.

Be positive

Children need to be taught how to think positively in any situation. Positive thinking and positive attitude will always help children throughout their adult life too. Perhaps it’s a good time for parents to also remember the saying that ‘ your thoughts become your reality!’

Self belief and self awareness

Children should be taught how to believe in themselves when they are teenagers. Parents should practice self belief themselves. Children should also be made self-aware and body aware as they approach puberty .

Manage money

I feel this is another skill which should be taught in high school about how children should manage and save their money. Saving and investment are also life saving skills. This can be taught by parents from a very early age by getting children to save money in their piggy bank. If they save enough money they can buy a toy of their choice from it. Perhaps the parents could start a minor’s bank account in their child’s name and show their child how they have saved money and that the money is earning interest as well. 

Teach children to be happy

Teach your children how to be happy and not how to be rich. If you are happy in life, everything will fall in its place! This is an important lesson to be taught to the children. But it can be done only if parents believe in it and follow it. Children can be taught how to be happy if they are taught how to be grateful and how to think positively !

Apart from the above teach your child how to deal with stress or failures positively. You could tell them that if you don’t succeed in something, rather than thinking of it as a failure, think of it as a learning curve. Teach them to give a positive spin to things which don’t go their way .

Would you like to share any other life saving skills, then please put them in the comment box below, I would love to hear from you !

 

 

 

 

Time Management For Stay At Home Moms – How to Get All Your Chores Done on Time

If you are a stay at home mom like me, you would be very particular about how things should be kept or cleaned in your home. But this comes at cost. Do you feel you are devoting all your time to cooking and cleaning and have very little time for yourself? In this post, I would like to share a few tips on time management for stay at home moms. I have discovered these tips from own experiences – hopefully they would work for you too:

Allocate time

For every chore like cleaning the kitchen or the bathrooms – allocate a particular day or time. For example: Every Friday at 10 am, I will clean the kitchen. Every Wednesday afternoon, I will change the bed sheets – so on.

Follow the timetable

It is important that you follow your timetable. If you don’t then all the chores will be pending at the end of the week and it will be impossible for you finish them in the weekend when you want to do things together as a family. If these chores pile up, you will not only feel lazy to finish them but also it will defeat the purpose of time management.

Take breaks

When you make your timetable don’t keep all the chores for one day. My advice is to do 1-2 cleaning chores a day- no more. Spread out all the chores. Mix the indoor and outdoor chores. Don’t keep all the indoor chores for one day and outdoor chores for another day.

Plan your day

If you are the cook in your family, plan ahead what you would be cooking for lunch or dinner – do preparations a little earlier – maybe while your baby or toddler is sleeping so that once the time comes to cook dinner – you would take less time to finish cooking .

Don’t overthink

Overthinking is bad for anyone. But from a point of view of a stay at home it’s even worse. From the above example of changing bed sheets every Wednesday- don’t keep thinking from Tuesday evening – ” I have got to change the bed sheets”. By the time it is Wednesday afternoon – you have tossed and turned it so much in your head that you really don’t feel like doing it. But this will take practice. At the allocated time, just finish the chore – don’t bring any negativity into it, like – I don’t want to do it, I am bored with doing work etc.

Keep some time for yourself

Always keep sometime for yourself in the week when you are doing something you enjoy – at least for an hour. If you take a break and refresh yourself you would be better equipped to deal with all the chores .

Moms who have very young children

If you have very young children – children in nappies, it will be very hard for you to stick to your timetable. You might have allocated 10 am Tuesday to clean the kitchen but your child decides to do a poo – bang at 10 am! Don’t get frustrated – change their nappy and start cleaning the kitchen quickly before you change your mind or before negative thoughts start pouring in.

Be positive

I know it is very hard to be a stay at home mom and look after the children. Remember “your thoughts can be your biggest enemy”. Whenever you feel lazy about not finishing your chores, say to yourself ” I need to keep the house clean for myself and my family”, train your mind to think positively about household chores.

Fitness, exercise and healthy diet

Women should always strive to be healthy especially post birth – eat healthy and exercise. This will help you give the energy and stamina to cope with all chores, kids etc. Try to not eat ready made meals – look after yourself- eat nutritious food. Don’t think – that it’s just me – kids are gone to school so I don’t need to cook a nutritious meal . You should think of yourself too ! If you are a fit and healthy then you will be able to look after your family better.

Don’t look for perfection

In case you are inundated with chores,and your husband or partner offers to do dishes – accept it. I am sure most of us think ” if I don’t clean it, plates won’t feel clean”. If you get help take it. It is not easy staying at home looking after kids, cleaning the house and doing all the other countless chores. Acknowledge you are a human and treat yourself nice. If you think it appropriate advise the person /partner how you want the plates to be cleaned.

Focus on the solution, not on the problem

If you feel you are finding hard to cope with everything – split all chores individually and focus on how you can complete each one of them. If you look for a solution, you will find one! But if you keep thinking of all the problems you are facing – you will never see the end of it. A little change in mindset goes a long way. I have tried this myself and I have been very successful with it.

If you are or have been a stay at home mom, please share your tips in the comment box below. I would love to hear from you and it might help other moms too!

Regards

 

 

 

Personal Hygiene for Children – How to reduce illnesses

Children have to be taught by parents about how to keep themselves and their surroundings clean. They would have to be trained and reminded again and again about it. But you might ask, exactly what are parents supposed to teach their children regarding hygiene? I have put together some tips which I think are important so as to observe personal hygiene for children. This will not only reduce chances of your children falling sick but will also keep them and you happy.

Hairwash twice a week

Wash your child’s hair at least twice a week. As children are more physically active than adults, they attend to sweat more during daytime especially if it’s summer. Clean hair will naturally tend to smell better but also washing hair frequently will reduce the chances of them having dandruff. Excessive sweating causes dandruff.

Don’t dig your nose

It might sound funny to you right now but it is very important for children to be taught not to dig their nose. Children have got a habit of putting their hands in their nose and mouth and you don’t want their “nose wastes” going in their mouth! Also, sometimes children might dig their nose so much that they might get a nose bleed.

Cover your mouth when you cough and sneeze

Children should be covering their nose and mouth while sneezing and coughing respectively preferably with a tissue. You might have to keep reminding the children about this a lot of times but repetition brings results. If one of your child has got a cough or cold you don’t want the other children or you getting it. In case, they sneeze it’s best to catch it in a tissue and than throw the tissue in the bin and than ask them to wash their hands. Also, if they have got a cold, children should be taught to wipe their nose on a tissue rather than wiping it off with the back of their hand.

Don’t put your hand in your mouth

As mentioned above , children put their hands in their mouth as a habit. My daughter keeps putting her hand in her mouth for reasons only known to her! I have keep reminding her not do that as I have no idea how many bacteria she has got on her hands !

Nails

In younger children, parents might have to cut their nails every 2 weeks and in older children maybe every 3-4 weeks depending on how fast they grow. A lot of bacteria get infested in the nails and this might go in the child’s body when they eat. If you have a baby or toddler, they might scratch themselves if their nails are too sharp!

Wash hands regularly

Washing hand regularly doesn’t let bacteria settle on our hands. Train children to wash their hands

  • When they come home from anywhere, school, park, extra activities
  • Thoroughly before and after meals
  • After they sneeze
  • After they have been to the toilet

Toilet Hygiene

Children should not only be trained to clean themselves properly after a wee or a poo, but also to flush the toilet and then wash their hands with soap and water before they touch anything. Also, toys shouldn’t be allowed in the toilet. If you have just potty trained them and they refuse to sit on the toilet for a poo, talk to them or read them a book. Don’t give them anything in their hands.

Prevent Body Odours – by bathing, showering daily

Parents would sometimes feel what is the need to give a bath to a baby every day , it’s not as if she is moving around that she will get dirty. I believe that at least within a day or two from when the child is born, he/she should be bathed- at least once a day. As your child gets older, you might need to bathe him twice a day in the summer, if he/she is very sweaty after coming from the school or the park or a football lesson. Children should be given clean clothes to wear every day. At night, clean their face, hands and feet and give them clean pyjamas to wear.

Hygiene in Cooking

Parents should also observe good hygiene while cooking food (using clean counter space, clean utensils especially chopping board ) and also serve on clean plates, bowls, spoon etc. If possible always feed your child freshly cooked food. 

Hygiene at home

Parents should train their children to clear their toys after playing from a very young age. When they are toddlers, parents can teach them how to pick their toys by pretending to play a game with them. For example, “let’s see who can pick the toys the fastest” or you(parent) put a toy in the toy box than you give your child a toy and tell her/him to put it in the toy box. Do this regularly to instill the importance of cleanliness. Parents should keep their home clean so that children ‘copy’ this from their children. As per one of my previous posts, Parenting Tips for Children, children always ‘copy’ their parents. If you want them to be clean, you should make sure you keep your home clean.

If your child is sick

If you observe all the above points, the probability of your child falling sick will be much lower. Viral infection picked up from school or nursery cannot be avoided completely. In case your child is sick, make sure you disinfect your home with appropriate child friendly sprays and disinfectant. Clean your home regularly to prevent spread of virus and bacteria.

If you feel I have left out anything or if you do things differently, please share it with me in the comment box below. I would love to hear from you!

Good luck!

Regards

 

 

 

 

 

 

Role of Grandparents in Your Child’s Life – Is your child being raised by their grandparent?

Is your child being raised by their grandparents? I am not talking of kinship carers, who look after their grandchildren legally as the parents are unable to do so due to reasons such as mental illness, drug and alcohol abuse etc.

I am talking about grandparents who help the parents in looking after their grandchildren if both parents are working full time and are unable to cope with looking after their child/children. What should be the role of grandparents in your child’s life? Should grandparents remain grandparents or should they become parents second time round?

Age of the grandparents

Age of grandparents will determine whether they will be able to look after their grandchildren or not. When I had my children, my parents and my in laws were in their 70s and 80s which would make it hard for them to run around children or handle their tantrums.

Health and Lifestyle

Health and lifestyle will determine the stamina of the grandparents. If grandparents are healthy and active mentally as well as physically, it would be definitely easier for them to pick kids from school, look after them until the parents can pick them up.

Important for grandparent to look after themselves

Most likely the grandparents would be at least 60+ age wise (unless both the grandparents and the parents have had children in their early twenties!) and it is imperative that they look after themselves. It is the duty of the parents to make sure that they don’t overburden the grandparents with looking after their children. Grandparents need to have regular meals (on time) as well as rest or attend their medical appointments. Parents should think about the well-being of the grandparents before leaving their toddlers or hyperactive children to be looked after by the grandparents for the entire day ,every day especially in the school holidays.

Grandparent not keeping well

If the grandparent is not keeping well and is the childminder for your child, make sure you make other arrangements for your child. If the grandparent is not feeling well and you insist on them looking after your child, not only will you jeopardise the health of the grandparent but also the well-being of your own child.

Don’t Overburden the grandparent

Please bear in mind the age of the grandparent before asking them to help you with your child. Don’t give them multiple tasks to do in one go. If you need help, ask for one thing at a time and see how they cope with it and then ask them for more favours. If you feel they are struggling then reduce the amount of things they do for your child by either doing it yourself or getting a child minder/other help to do it.

Disciplining the Child

Parents shouldn’t expect grandparents to discipline their child. Discplining the child is the responsibility of the parent not the grandparents. Also, the grandparents have already gone through the process of raising and disciplining their own children and it would be harder for them to do it all over again.

Grandparents will do things their way

If you as a parent want the grandparent to look after your child, bear in mind that they will look after the child in their own way. As such they are doing the parents a favour by looking after the child, and it should be their prerogative on how your child is to be looked after. If that is not acceptable to the parent, it’s best for the parent to look after the child themselves or get professional help of a childminder/nanny. After all, a grandparent is not a hired help!

Spending time together

A grandparent should be able to spend quality time with their grandchildren. Only then their relationship can blossom. If the parents overburden the grandparents with chores for their children, grandparent will have not time to rest or spend with their grandchildren. They might become resentful or angry at being overburdened and may not be able to give their relationship with the children what it needs!

It’s not all about money

Finally, keep in mind that saving money on the childminder is not the only thing you should be focusing on. You should also consider the well-being of the grandparent and your child.

Grandparents are only for support

It has to be kept in mind that grandparents are only there to give support to parents for raising the child. They shouldn’t be given full responsibility of raising the child.  Grandparents can teach values or family and cultural traditions to their grandchildren. They can provide support to the parents by doing the occasional pickups or helping them with their homework.

It’s fine for parents to ask grandparents to help them with their child occasionally but if you do it every day , grandparents will get tired, angry and frustrated with the level of work. At that age they won’t be able to cope with the child as well as a parent can. If grandparents want to do their own thing, parents should make their own arrangements for their child so that the grandparents can enjoy their retirement as well as get a break from looking after the grandchildren.

What are your views about role of grandparents? Do you depend on the grandparents to look after your child? Please put your comments in the box below, I would love to hear from you!

Regards

 

 

 

Kids Too Busy To Be Kids – Do You Want Them To Grow Fast?

Are your weekends busy dropping and picking your child from back-to-back extra activities? Does your child attend more activities than they can handle in a week ? Are your kids too busy to be kids?

So what could be the reason for children attending too many extra activities? I can think of a few:

  • Parents are too busy to look after their kids and extra activities are a good way to keep the kids out of their hair
  • Competitive parents feel that they should put the kids in a lot of activities to keep their child ‘ahead’ of other children
  • Parents might think that enrolling their child in lot of activities is a status symbol
  • Parents might feel that if their child enjoys one activity then he/she should be put in even more activities
  • Maybe parents with a single child would not know how to keep their child busy and therefore put them in extra activities in order to keep them busy
  • Parents of hyperactive kids might feel that kids should be kept busy to keep them out of trouble.
  • Some parents might feel putting kids in a lot of activities might make their child more equipped when he/she grows up to get into college or a job or earn a livelihood
  • Kids might want to join activities just because their best friend is doing it

So is it a good idea to keep your kids too busy? What would be effects of keeping kids too busy?

Keeps the kids out of trouble

If kids are busy they will stay out of trouble. Especially hyperactive kids .

Kids can spend all their excess energy

Parents cannot match their kids’s energy levels. Especially if you have got more than one hyperactive kid, you would want to keep them busy to stop them from fighting or doing mischief and stop you from pulling your hair out!

Kids will learn a lot of things

Kids will learn different skills if they are going to a lot of extra activities like drama, sports, classical dances,musical instruments, arts and craft etc. If your child is good at a particular activity, it might help him get admission in a college.

Too Tiring

Too many activities will make the child very tired. They might not have any time to relax at home. Children also need relaxation – more than adults .

Imaginative play is very restricted at home

When children play at home they do a lot of imaginative play activities which will develop their brain. Just like adults children feel most relaxed in their own home.

Kids might feel too pressurised

If a child is doing to too many extra activities they might feel too pressurised and this might affect their health and happiness. It is logical that children who are happy and relaxed achieve more than children who stressed and always on the go.

No time to relax for parents

If you put your children for too many activities, you might not have anytime to relax or any ‘me’ time. I feel it is important for parents to have some space of their own, and to relax without doing any parental activity.

Less Family Time

As per my previous post, Why is Family Time So Important, I have outlined the importance of family time. If your child is going for back-to-back activities in the weekend, there will be no time left to spend together as a family. There will no time to go to the park for a family stroll ! Your child will be tired and so will you !

Kids might become too independent

The more kids stay away from their parents, the faster they will grow up. Kids involved in to many activities might be wise beyond their age

Your child’s homework or schoolwork might suffer

When you book yours and your child’s time for an extra activity- ask yourself this question ‘is there enough time for homework?’ If they are already doing a lot of activities, monitor their school work – are the activities affecting their performance in school? School and studies should come first . Reduce their activities if you feel that their studies are getting affected.

Finances

Too many extra activities are going to take toll on your finances too especially if you have got more than 1 child.

Child might feel insecure

Since you (parents) are spending less time with your child/children, they would feel that my mum and dad don’t have any time for me and therefore they might insecure and unwanted.

I believe a few activities are necessary for the development of the child, but anything more than 3 – 4 activities is going to tire the child especially if they are under 10. There are other ways to keep your child busy like:

  • Parents can play with their children to keep them busy
  • Let the children be children and play in the garden or in the park as often as possible(weather permitting)
  • Let children have their me time at home – encourage them to play at home with their siblings or invite their friend over for a play date

What are your views on this? Do you keep your kids busy with a lot of activities or do you believe that kids should be spending time at home as well? Put your comments in the comment box, I would love to hear from you!

Regards