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Staying Sane This Summer With Your Kids and Their Electronics

Staying Sane This Summer With Your Kids and Their Electronics

Summer is here! For kids that means, NO SCHOOL, NO HOMEWORK, and most of all NO REGIMEN. This turns my house (which is already a circus), in to an absolute cluster. The problem is, although the schedule changes for the kids, it really doesn't change that much for mom and dad. We still work every single day. Add to that, baseball season ramps up, so then we are squealing around on two wheels trying to get everyone to practice and games on time. 

Kids and their electronics

Now before you go getting the pre-conceived notion that I am one of these crazy sports parents (well I might be crazy, but that is beside the point), I do not focus my entire life around my kids sporting events. However, I do think that it is important to teach your child that if you make a commitment to anything, whether or not that is a team, a club, a group, or whatever that might be, that you stick with it and show up.

 So, the other morning after the 4th time I had asked my children to put their shoes on so I wouldn't be obscenely late for work, they finally pulled their head out of their "electronic devices" and I got a blank stare from both of them... I had visions of going postal on their iPads. I was thinking circa 1999 Office Space printer melt down. #PCLoadLetter #WTFdoesthatmean. By the way if you have no idea what I am talking about, you have missed out on a really sweet action movie, and I suggest that you rectify this problem immediately. 
 

             Office Space PC Load LetterOffice Space Printer and Fax

Damn It Feels Good To Be a Gangsta

When I posted on Facebook about my little daydream about having a psychotic episode on my children's technology, I must not have been alone. Lots of others chimed in with some great idea on how to keep the electronics problem in check, and other contributed some awesome quotes from the movie.  ( All were appreciated.) I wanted to share some of those ideas here, along with some other ways to keep your sanity this summer. 

These are just the rules at my house. Every house is totally different and no two houses will work with the same rules. These are just ideas to start from. 

  1. No electronics at the table or while eating. (All food is eaten at the table) Adults are included in this too. I don't think it's fair to ask the children not to have their iPads if I am staring at my phone. (Someone also suggested have a box to put electronics in during meals if this was an issue.)
  1. No electronics in the mornings.  I haven't implemented this yet, but I feel it coming. We struggle to get out the door every morning, and half the time it's because I have to ask the kids to do things multiple times to actually get them done. 
  1. Keep a schedule, including naps as intact as possible.  Humans are creatures of habit, and we all function better when we are in a routine. As much as we can, we try to keep wake up, nap, and bedtime roughly the same, even in the summer.
  1. Replace homework with chores for the summer. So, the whole point of being a parent is to raise your child into being a card carrying member of the working society eventually.  Children need to learn that everyone has to contribute to make a household run.  Because I love y’all, I have made a downloadable chore list that you can print and customize for your children.  Once they complete their chores, then perhaps they can play with their "electronics".    
  1. We still keep our night routine the same, by rubbing everyone down with  Sleepytime Cream, spraying the beds with No More Monsters Spray, and we make every attempt to try to get 8 hours of sleep.  Now that my kids are a little older and they will generally sleep through the night (thank goodness, there were about 6 straight years that I don't know if I ever got a solid night of sleep), I cherish every minute of rest that I get.  We all sleep so much better when we keep this routine going!

Sleepytime Cream for insomnia

 

Chores don't have to be hand scrubbing the floors either, even young kids can do the most basic things just to learn they have to contribute.   Now I know what you are thinking....Why would I want to give my 3 year old a job, when it will take 3 hours to complete and then I will just have to redo it? Well, I totally get the OCD factor, but here are some good links for ages appropriate chore lists.

 https://www.focusonthefamily.com/parenting/parenting-challenges/motivating-kids-to-clean-up/age-appropriate-chores

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/school-thought/201411/age-appropriate-chores-children

Want the Wifi Passoword, do your chores

BTW...this parent is a #boss

 

If you have other ideas or ways that you keep your family sane during the summer, we would love to hear them!  Don't keep that stuff to yourself, please share and comment below!

 Here is the chore chart that you can print and customize- Enjoy!

Printable Chore Chart Click Here

 Customizable Chore Chart for Kids

 

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Mom Is Down and Out: The Things I Learned After My Surgery

Mom Is Down and Out: The Things I Learned After My Surgery

I recently had surgery, a surgery I've needed but put off for 2 years. I'm a mom of 3, a wife, small business owner and nurse. How in the world did I have time to recover from surgery? My husband had been telling me for years to just get it over with. My answer to him, "who will go to the grocery, who will wash the clothes? Who will cook supper and clean the house? For Pete's sake, who will wipe the little butts in this house?!"  Well, here I am, 2 weeks post op and healing up nicely with a list of things I've learned along the way.

1. Delegate the chores

First off, my kids have chores, lots of them. But little did I know, they are capable of so much more than I gave them credit for. My 14 year old had never washed a load of laundry or loaded the dishwasher before. I'm generally pretty controlling when it comes to those two things. Yes, the laundry hasn't been sorted or the dishwasher loaded efficiently, but it's done! I have no idea what temperature anything is being washed on or if the spin cycle is correct, but laundry you don't do yourself smells so sweet!
My 10 year old can now scramble eggs for breakfast by himself. He can also whip up some pretty tasty spaghetti, which I see us having a lot more often in our future!

2. Learn to Relax

I've heard of binge watching TV, but it's a foreign concept to me. My television is stuck on Nickelodeon or the Disney channel from 7 am to 9 pm ever day for years. I remember a time when I had a slew of must-watch TV. I also remember a time when my boobs defied gravity, but then came children and out went free time. I have watched more TV in the last 2 weeks than in the past 10 years. And you know what, they were right, binge watching whole seasons is amazing! I know TV rots the brain, but while it's rotting, I declare Netflix for President!

3. Ask for HELP

The third thing I've learned is asking for help is hard, but needed. Why do we women feel so guilty when we can't do everything ourselves? I was told I can't bend, strain, or lift over 8 pounds for 6 weeks. 6 weeks! Which means I can't even pour myself a glass of tea when the pitcher is full! My exact words to my discharge nurse were, "this is ridiculous." You know what else is ridiculous, seeing yourself trying to pick up dirty laundry off the floor with your toes. And even more ridiculous, the pain you feel when your body tells you you're doing too much.
So, after talking myself off a cliff, I started asking for help.  Turns out, asking for help is not ridiculous,  in fact, I could get used to this. Quick, someone bring me a bell! I will ring when you are needed!

4. Give Up the Control- It's All an Illusion Anyway

Some might say I'm a person who likes to be in control. I take no insult in this, I am who I am. But, when you are in bed unable to control all the things around you, being a control freak causes nothing but anxiety. I found a couple things to help ease my mind and anxiety during this time. First off, my essential oils. If I didn't love them before, I do now! Lavender and frankincense running in my diffuser helps keep me calm and relaxed while roman chamomile has helped me sleep. Another thing that has helped me are those adult coloring books that seem to be trendy right now. Nothing like coloring in the lines to help you feel in control!

5. The Internet is Magical

Alright, my last epiphany while recovering; online grocery shopping. This is almost as ingenious as Netflix. Amazon will not only deliver my 20 pound bag of cat food to my door, they will do it for free! Same goes for paper goods, groceries, heck, even wine if you want! And remember clipping coupons? Put your scissors away. They show you all the coupons for your items without you having to look for them. With the push of a button you save! I don't know why it took me having surgery to figure out how awesome this is. It may have taken an abdominal incision to get me to this point but I won't go back to Wal-Mart without a fight!
There you go, my list of hopefully helpful things I've learned while recovering.
So, for all the super awesome, super busy moms out there, take care of yourself so you can go back to taking care of everyone else. 
~Holly 
PS: This is a quick note from Tiffany, I would just like to point out that I have been ordering groceries and pet food off the internet for years. My methods have been met with some teasing and perhaps some eye rolls.....HOWEVER- I am so glad that Holly has now found the glory that is Amazon Prime! 
Scars and Stretch Marks Cream made with Essential Oils As soon as Holly gets the okay from her surgeon- she is going to use the S&S Cream on her scar.  We have had some awesome feedback from people about making their scars much less visible.  Just make sure you get the okay from your doctor first before you get your incision wet or apply anything to it!
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