Before having kids, I’d always heard of people talking about soccer moms—those harried suburban women with a mini-van full of kids having to run back and forth transporting them from practices to games.
I wasn’t sure that would ever by me. But now, after having kids of my own, I’m not a soccer mom. Instead, I’m a softball mom and, at one point, when my son was playing, also a baseball mom.
Peak season in the springtime usually meant practice and/or games 2-3 days a week. That was busy enough but when you pull in games on the weekends, you can see your life getting chaotic and out of control.
So, on any given day, you have to pick up the kids from school, have them scarf down a quick snack, start on their homework, go to practice, get back home, cook them dinner, feed them, and then they have to shower, finish their homework and maybe, just maybe, you can get them to bed at a decent hour.
So, how do we help our children do all of this? The first thing you’re going to need is a giant calendar.
I know, apps work well, too. But for a lot of people, having a big physical calendar is still the best way to go so you can physically see it without opening your phone and going down the rabbit-hole of technology distractions.
List all the events you have as soon as you get the schedule. Put up the practice dates, games, and other school events and see if there’s going to be any time left for other events. You don’t want to over schedule yourself and burn out even more!
Include one very specific thing for you and your family—some quality family time.
Make sure that at least once a week you’re taking a break from all the insanity and spending time without any sports. Watch a movie. Have a quiet dinner together. Do whatever you can but enjoy yourself with your kids.
And lastly, remember that the crockpot can be your friend. You don’t have to kill yourself cooking on top of all the running around and shuttling that you have to do. A slow cooker can help you set up a nutritious meal without having to spend hours slaving behind the steering wheel and over the stove.
When your little darling has an accident that results in an X ray and a confirmed fracture or break, you’re most likely worried about their pain. But then, the doctor says, “He needs to rest and be still for three weeks.” And you think, “Oh crap!” What about all the activities you’ve scheduled (and paid for?), what about school, what about your job? We break it down for you.
Depending on which little part they busted, mom and dad are going to have to dive in, facilitating with teeth brushing, getting dressed, hair combing, and possibly toilet time. The age of your child is also a factor. Some kids may regress or get frustrated when you have to help them, others may like the help because at least they don’t have you nagging them if they did it properly.
Dealing with a Non-Waterproof Cast
Not all kids get a hard, waterproof cast, so bathing and showering may become less relaxing than it used to be. After bathing, you may want to turn a hair dryer on cool and blow it through the openings of the cast, just to zap any unwanted moisture which may result in itching.
Something to look forward to, the cast is really going to be rancid when it comes off. And the skin underneath is going to look pale and wrinkly and feel squishy.
Adjusting After the Cast is Removed
Even when you make it to the finish line and it’s time to buzz the cast off, be prepared for an adjustment period when your child’s muscles and tendons need to regain strength and flexibility. Or you may have a rocket launch who looks like they never missed a beat.
The Fluff Stuff
Pillows are your kid’s friends. Prop till you drop. Maybe dig out your maternity sleeping pillow from storage. Keeping your kid comfy round-the-clock is key to whomever is caring for him/her.
Bust out the Sharpies! Why not stick some googly eyes on the cast and make it look like a pet? Decorating casts is a thing on Pinterest. You can get creative with crutches and arm slings, too. Some parents have gone uber cute and made little casts for their child’s stuffed animals. Misery loves company!
Communicate with Caregivers
Make sure you communicate with school and caregivers about what your child can and cannot do. If she can walk around and get fresh air at recess that’s better than sitting in the lunch room reading.
If your patient is home-bound, it’s time to line up some playdates. Who’s going to be good at playing cards, coloring, Legos, Mad Libs and board games? Who’s better at chilling in front of a good movie? Thankfully, your child’s brain doesn’t have to go to mush while they’re looking part-mummy. Reading, audio books and educational apps can keep your child and their company feeling enlightened.
Being a mom at Christmas can be a totally draining experience. Let’s face it: everyone else talks about how magical the holiday is and you have the radio crooning about how it’s the “most wonderful time of the year.”
But those joyful Christmas experiences of your childhood have gone the way of the dodo and been replaced by stress and anxiety.
So this year, let’s make a resolution—one that’s only good for the month of December.
Let’s resolve to do everything we can to keep Christmas simple this year!
1. Let the kids handle the “heavy lifting”
We all know that the holidays are really about the kids and letting them make memories that will last for years to come. So, have them do as much as possible and take some of the stress off of you.
This year, set up the tree for them and then just sit back and watch while they decorate it. (Obviously, if you’ve got older kids and teenagers, they may even be able to do the tree set-up as well.) But just sit back on the couch and supervise while they hang their favorite ornaments and the stockings up
2. Go digital
Every year, I spend hours trying to sign and address individual Christmas cards to my friends and family. Not this year.
Join me in simplifying the holiday and go digital with your Christmas card. You can still take an updated family picture and use that for your card. But just send out an email/digital card and save yourself time, aggravation, and postage money. (And keep in mind: your friends will probably appreciate it just as much since they won’t have to worry about discarding the card. Hey, it’s even more environmentally friendly!)
3. Let someone else do the cooking
If you remember a childhood of wonderful homemade Christmas meals, please don’t feel like you have to live up to those. On the big day, there is no reason why you should be stuck in the kitchen trying to prepare a turkey or ham while everyone else is sitting in the family room playing with presents and watching TV
Instead, consider buying your holiday meal pre-made from a local restaurant or catering service. Then, all you have to do is warm it up and no one has to know the difference.
There is nothing wrong with gift cards
I’m really tired of people getting judgmental about gift cards. Usually, the complaints center around the belief that the card is impersonal. But really, they aren’t!
If you buy someone a gift that doesn’t fit, that they already have, or they just don’t like, then you have given them an extra job—having to trudge back to the mall and exchange it. But with gift cards, your gift recipient can buy whatever they want and will really appreciate the opportunity to pick up the perfect gift.
And that’s a level of stress that you just don’t need. I’ve spent many a day at the mall freaking out about whether a gift was “just right.” This year, I’m cutting out that stress and letting them find the gift that is best for them.
You don’t have to spend your holidays totally stressed out so that you live in dread of next Christmas. Instead, do your best to make the holiday as simple as possible so you can enjoy the time with the rest of your family.
It’s an ongoing debate that ultimately just boils down to family preference so…
You either fall into the “Santa Claus brings out the magic and fun for kids” or the “We don’t believe in lying to our kids” group.
I’d have to say that from what I’ve seen and heard, this debate is pretty much even on both sides. And I completely understand the viewpoints from both sides
Personally, I never grew up believing that there was a Santa. I knew exactly what was under the Christmas for me because I picked it out myself. Because we didn’t have much money and what was purchased were things of necessity, like clothes and shoes.
But now with 2 kids of my own, I bought into the tradition of creating the fun and magical moments for my kids that I never experienced. I enjoy seeing them wake up on xmas morning excited to know that Santa came to visit them and left them something special.
At 10 and 8 years old, my kids still believe I think, but I know the time is coming where I’ll need to decide whether to continue to try and keep them believing or tell them what really is going on.
So previously, I’ve been able to get away with their questions with these responses…
“What do you think?”
“How do you think the presents get there?”
It’s usually not confirming or denying but reflecting the question back to them. My kids never pressed the issue but if you have very inquisitive kids, you might not get away with it so easily.
Some moms have used these responses to continue the tradition…
“I guess you have to figure that out for yourself”
“Santa is only real if you believe and if they don’t, then he isn’t real to them”
“He has a special key that unlocks any door for houses without a chimney”
“If you don’t believe, you don’t receive!”
If your kids stop believing, here are some responses that may help you explain why you been telling them about Santa all these years…
“Santa is a part of the spirit of Christmas”
“Santa may not be real but the magic of Santa is”
“The spirit of Santa was real”
“St Nicholas was real and Santa was a fun story that makes Christmas magical.” You can even go on the internet together to read up on the history of St. Nicholas.
And if you have kids that take it really hard, I absolutely love this letter that I came across the internet somewhere to help explain the spirit of Santa Claus. There are many versions of this but I really like this one. (And if this belongs to you, please let me know so that I can give you the proper credit for it)
If you have younger siblings, you could even convince your older child who now knows what really happens that they can help continue on the spirit of Santa to continue making it fun for their younger siblings.
Kids love being a part of something that the adults plan and especially if it means they know something that their siblings don’t.
So I think that is definitely what I will do when the time comes. I have my canned responses but I will also use a response similar to what’s in the letter. It captures exactly what we all aim for when introducing Santa into our kids lives.
“Santa is love and magic and hope and happiness.”
At the end of the day, it really is about enjoying quality time with family and friends, the spirit of giving and creating family traditions and memories.
Hopefully you are prepared with extra funds set aside for this time of year because from now on until the end of the year, everywhere you look, there will be some kind of a sale.
Some kind of advertisement that lures you in to thinking that you absolutely must have it.
Marketing experts are sneaky sneaky. They know how to push through to your weakness.
But whatever you do, don’t give in to it!
If you know you tend to overspend AND you know that you can’t afford to, this information is…
I get it. I love sales. I love getting a bargain. I love deals! And with online shopping so readily available, it makes it impossible to not be tempted to buy something all in the convenience of your own home.
And if you don’t stay disciplined, you will find yourself putting a way bigger dent on your bank account than you can really afford to.
Let me help you with some ways to do that.
Follow these tips to make sure you stay on track and prevent yourself from going on a shopping frenzy only to wake up one morning after the holidays are over and see how much money you overspent.
Make a list. Write down all the people you would like to purchase gifts for and as you come across sales, buy with them in mind only. I know how tempting it is to want to purchase things for yourself but YOU MUST RESIST the urge to do this.
Be realistic. You know exactly how much money you are capable of spending. Take that amount and drill it into your head and don’t spend more than that. If it helps, keep a note on your phone with that amount and deduct from it any amount you buy in gifts. That way, you have a real time running total.
Find an accountability partner. Once you determine this amount, tell someone who you can trust to keep you accountable to stick to your number. Someone you can call to talk you out of it when you are tempted to purchase something you shouldn’t.
Be clear. It’s super easy to get distracted from our shopping list when we come across something that we would like for ourselves. But let’s be clear and honest with yourself and before you decide to buy something, ask yourself the question, “Is this a need or a want?” “Am I going to die if I don’t purchase this thing right now?” If the answer is “no”, then you don’t need it. You have to remember that you have a whole list of people to buy for so if it’s a want, it can wait until after the holidays when you have accumulated some extra funds to spend
Stick to the plan. Resist temptation. Fight the urge. Quickly buy the presents as soon as you can and stay away from the stores or online shopping. There will always be sales on stuff. And hey, if you end up with extra money after buying everyone their gifts, then treat yourself to something with the remaining amount.
If you know you always spend too much money during this season and end up resenting yourself for it later, then do yourself a favor and be in control of it this year.
It’s awesome to be the person that has tons of gifts to share. But guess what, it’s not so awesome when you’re the person that had to rack up a huge bill because of it.
It just is not worth it.
So remember, know your limits and stick to it!
You will thank me for it after the holidays are over and you still have money in the bank to pay the bills.
A lot of moms nowadays identify as a helicopter parent because they want to keep their kids safe. You may sometimes restrict your kids’ movement to ensure their safety, but this doesn’t always equate to helicopter parenting. In my opinion, there’s a big difference between being a helicopter parent and making sure that your kids are safe.
Worrying for your child’s safety is what any responsible parent would do, but going to extreme measures is another story.
Being overprotective and overbearing like any other helicopter parent may be detrimental in the long run. You need to identify the difference between what is a helicopter parent from that of a responsible one.
By doing so, you are letting your child grow, but what is a helicopter parent, exactly?
What is a Helicopter Parent?
Learning the traits of what a helicopter parent is can be helpful in avoiding becoming/being one. Here is a list of what I think a helicopter parent does:
Doing things for your kids even if they are capable of doing it on their own.
Setting impossibly high standards on your kids.
Not allowing your kids to do what they want even if they are in a perfectly safe environment.
Stopping your kids from experiencing new things because of your irrational fear of the outcomes.
Making decisions for your kids as much as you can.
Do any of the items in the list resonate to you?
I get it, a lot of us can relate to some items on the list, and it’s perfectly normal. We want to make sure our kids have everything they need since It’s our motherly instinct kicking in!
While these feelings are normal, acting on them by being overbearing and overprotective to your kids isn’t gonna help.
Effects of Helicopter Parents to their Kids
We have the tendency to overlook what the effects of helicopter parents to their kids are and become one, ourselves.
Now that we’ve clarified what is a helicopter parent, learning on the effects of helicopter parents to kids comes next.
Commonly, the effects of helicopter parents to their kids include:
Their kids become indecisive and helpless.
Their kids have low self-esteem
Their kids finding it difficult to cope
Their kids become too dependent on others and,
Their kids become entitled
These traits may be common in younger children, but these shouldn’t persist as they grow into their adult lives. Hence, it is important to identify early on if you are a helicopter parent or not to prevent these effects.
Are you a Helicopter Parent, or not?
There is no perfect parenting style in the world, so we shouldn’t be too hard on ourselves. More so, we shouldn’t be too hard on our kids as well.
I believe we should assess our parenting styles frequently to come up with an effective style that best fits our kids. By learning what a helicopter parent is and the effects of helicopter parents to their kids, you can adjust accordingly.
We want our kids to grow holistically and become successful, and these things can only be achieved through experience. As Julius Cesar once said, “experience is a great teacher..” and we shouldn’t be afraid to let our kids learn.
If we let them learn, we are giving them the opportunity to grow into the best citizens that they can be.
Are you a helicopter parent, or not? What are your thoughts on it?
I’d love to hear them; just leave me a message or make a comment below.