Articles for parenting

As I sit here blogging this evening I suddenly hear the sound of my dishwasher unloading. Now since I am sitting here on the couch in the living room I am quite astounded to be hearing the clicking of glasses as they make their way into the cupboard – oh wait. YES! That is the sound of a drawer and the tinkle of cutlery being sorted (yes sorted) into their individual compartments of the cutlery tray !

No I don’t have an automatic unloading dishwasher (but I would pay extra for that feature!). I believe it is my son (9) since he is the only family member not in the room. Unless of course our cat has some extraordinary powers I am unaware of.

I want to celebrate! It’s moments like this that make me think I am doing OK as a mother.  In case you are wondering how he knows to actually sort the cutlery. That was his first chore, mind you I never told him it was a chore. When he was three, I would take the knives out and hand him the cutlery case from the dishwasher and show him to put the spoons together the forks together while I unloaded the dishwasher. Taking full advantage of those years when they WANT to do what ever mommy does.

I also wanted to mention this wonderful idea I saw on “And thats…the truth” a  parenting blog this evening. In celebration of her children’s school achievements this year she is having plaques made for her children. After watching my son’s grade four floor hockey team almost suffocating one another in the pile to reach their trophy last week .. I believe this is just the perfect way to celebrate and remember our children’s school accomplishments.  Thank you Kim.

Categories : Organized Mom Blog
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As a single mother with three children its easy to get burned out and need a little time on my own to get caught up with work, home and SLEEP.

I have paired up with three other moms and started an overnight babysitting exchange . Here’s how it works; one weekend each month I host a sleep over for all three families (8 children). This evening usually consists of playing a game, followed by movies and a sleep out on the living room floor in sleeping bags. The following morning I pull out my waffle makers and the children feast on waffles and oranges.

Each mother hosts a pajama party at her home as well. Leaving me with two glorious evenings to clean, blog, even sleep. One of the mothers uses her evening to have date nights with her husband and the other to work on school assignments.

So how do you start a babysitting exchange ? Start by determining your needs. An exchange will work best if you can find families needing the same type of help you need. When each family has different needs (over night versus Saturday mornings) the exchage can become complicated. Begin asking around to friends, moms at different events to see who all might be interested in starting a childcare exchange network with the same requirement as you.

Planning a weekend away with your partner or husband ? Look for a family who may also like to consider a weekend away. If you don’t have friends you know well enough for an over night exchange, consider short term babysitting swaps or groups.

I have an exchange with another mother who like me needs to attend her children’s school PAC meeting each month. My meeting is the first  of each month hers is the second Tuesday. This exchange works great 10 swaps a year all pre-booked. We drop our children with their pajama’s and tooth brushes and pick them up ready for bed.

The Baby sitter exchange offers a venue for meeting other parents looking for childcare exchanges. Be sure to require EACH adult over the age of 16 in each home to have a criminal record check performed. GreatAuPair.com offers Criminal record checks for all of the USA and Canada.

Meet with all the parents ahead of time to discuss, agree upon and write down what each parents responsibilities will be. Be sure to provide information to each parent regarding your children’s likes, dislikes, important medical information, and a secondary emergency contact. Medical release forms should be provided to each member of your exchange.

Utilizing a childcare exchange may help you free up some time in your busy life to care for yourself or catch up on your to do list. You may be surprised how many people are open to the idea of exchanging childcare once you start asking around.

Let me know what sort of childcare exchanges are working for your family.

Categories : Articles, parenting
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I was blessed with the most adorable baby boy. He came in to the world on a chilly morning November in 2003. He was beautiful, elf like with pointy ears and the cutest dimples. He slept that day. He didn’t that night or the next or the next. Four years he never slept for more then three hours in a row. I was a very tired mom. I am still a very tired mom. Take a tired mom and add the morning school rush. That creates a cranky mom.

Alison Miller has some great advice for the morning rush and I stand behind her advice.

“The problem is in what you expect of your daughter. A four-year-old simply cannot organize herself to move as quickly and efficiently as an adult or an older child. She doesn’t yet have a mature understanding of time. She can’t yet remember what she has to do next at any given point. She can’t make a list on paper, let alone in her head. You have to allow plenty of time, and help her through the process.” Alison Miller’s answer to a parent taken from her website Life Seminars .

There are so many ways we can help our children (and those tired cranky moms). We have all heard about the Yummy Mommy movement and like any point of view there are positives and negatives, but putting yourself first so that you are well rested will help your entire family.

Here are a few things that help me with the school rush:

1) Let the children select their own clothing for the next morning as part of your evening routine the night before.

2) Have the children pack their school bags after they finish their evening homework.

3) Give yourself some time before the children wake up. Set your alarm 5 minutes early each day for five days. An extra 25 minutes each morning before your children wake up will allow you to get things done without being rushed and interrupted by children.

4) Turn the TV OFF. Television will slow everyone down and inevitably result in ” MOMMM, just 5 more minutes.” Instead make some upbeat fun music CDs and play them in the morning.

5) Consider your child’s individuality. If your son won’t eat breakfast, stop fighting. Make him a healthy shake or send him to school with a yogurt tube and a granola bar. If your daughter has a hard time waking up each morning, maybe a morning shower would help.

6) Have a “Launch Pad” near your front door. Have everything waiting and ready to go the night before. School bags, agenda’s, shoes, coats, mitts, sunglasses, library books, videos to return.

Please share your tips for the morning rush by commenting below.

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