Weekly Tips for Nov. 1, 2010

Posted on 31. Oct, 2010 by in Uncategorized

Has the sugar coma taken over your day? Or were you good and ignored all those Snickers, Reese’s, KitKats calling you? Well, Halloween is the kickoff to our 2010 holiday season.  You need to stay focused and keep on pushing to maintain healthy habits and lifestyle through the holidays are as known around here, The Gift of 10 Pounds that Keeps On Giving!  Don’t throw in the towel and think you are going to “get back into it” in January. Stay focused now and you will be very happy and proud of yourself coming January 2, 2011.

GREEN – Recycle Greeting Cards.

Everyone is already thinking of “what pictures to use for their holiday cards” and getting those pictures out.  So here is a way to recycle greeting cards from Jane Lake.

Make a Christmas Gift Box from Used Christmas Cards. These little gift boxes are a wonderful homemade craft for children or anyone who likes to recycle. Use Christmas cards, tie up with Christmas ribbon and they make neat Christmas tree trims that can hold little surprises – although they would be good for Easter or other occasions as well.

The directions are easy and no measuring involved – just follow the instructions and you’ll be making recycled greeting cards into gift boxes in no time! Click here for full directions.


Since the whole country is experiencing warm and unseasonable weather, on those warm days remember to turn off the heat and open the windows to warm your house the natural (and free!) way!  You could even boil some water with lemon slices (see last week’s green tips) to brighten up the air.

HEALTH TIP – If Momma Ain’t Happy Ain’t Nobody Happy! (Will Smith, 2002)

Tips for Stressed Out Moms

The sentiment among my women is the same. With all the holidays coming, the normal stressors for moms are double, tripled even quadruplued. Mom is overwhelmed with daily chores, now add holiday shopping, baking, decorating, hosting parties and it is huge.  Moms are waking up early, getting the laundry started, struggling to get the kids dressed and out the door, staying home with little ones, worrying, planning meals, preparing meals, cleaning the house, worrying, entertaining kids, refereeing fights, facilitating bath and bed routines, worrying, quickly checking e-mails and then doing it all over again the next day. This frenzied schedule leaves moms feeling overwhelmed, alone and unsupported. One mom shared that she is angry with her husband from the moment he walks in the door, simply because he’s been gone all day at work.

If you belong to the group of stressed out, over-extended moms, here are some tips to help ease you through the mothering frenzy.

Get a Mother’s Helper

A mother’s helper is a responsible, local 10-15 year-old kid, who is willing to pitch in. For a few dollars an hour, a mother’s helper comes over a few hours a week, while you are home, to be with your kids. This gives you some time to focus on your own things, knowing that your kids are close by and being supervised. To find a mother’s helper, consider contacting local schools or talking to neighbors. Make sure to invite your helper over for an initial introduction visit. You need to make sure that you are comfortable with this person, but also that your kids are just as comfortable. You might need to try out a few helpers to get a really good fit.

Make use of your older kids

Once kids are about 5 years old, they are perfectly capable of pitching in. However, if housekeeping becomes a series of forced chores, you are certain to encounter on-going power struggles. The good news is that kids do like to be able to help. They like to feel that they have something to contribute. The key is that they not be forced into helping. Consider sitting down as a family to discuss housekeeping. Together, create a list of all the things that need to get done in a typical week. Allow kids to chose which chores they would like to be responsible for. Give them ownership over those chores. Know that there will be days or weeks when the chores are neglected. But, remember, the minute chores become requirements is the minute kids lose interest and the power struggle begins.

Take care of Mom

We can’t give what we don’t have. When we neglect taking care of ourselves, we diminish what we are able to truly give to those around us. Typically, moms put taking care of others ahead of taking care of themselves. Ask yourself what would make you feel really good and peaceful. Taking a bath? A girl’s night out? An hour of quite reading each night before bed? Take some time to identify what you would truly need to in order to be able to feel more at ease. Once you have an idea of what you need, make that a priority. Communicate to your family members how important it is that Mom gets this time to take care of herself. Get help from your kids, your husband or hired help, but do not neglect yourself. You aren’t doing anyone any favors. You will be able to be so much more present with your kids if you also take care of yourself.

Ultimately, taking care of Mom results in taking better care of the family. Be honest about what you need and make it happen. Life is just too short not to.

Gila Brown, M.A. is a Child Development Expert and Parent Coach, with over 10 years of teaching experience.

RECIPE – To Keep the Stress Down, make a Spa-Inspired Meal.

Here is a speciality from the Golden Door Elite Spa in Southern California.  The Spinach and Sun-Dried Tomato Frittata.  Jump over to FOOD for more information.

There is so much going on right now, so be sure to share with others your likes, dislikes, comments and input next week so we can keep compiling our weekly tips.  Have a great November 1st.

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