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Discipline~ using your inside voice outside...your head, behavior, training, self-control, misbehavior,parents, child discipline

Have you ever thought something in your head and in your head it’s really freaking funny? Lacking the discipline to keep it there, you say the words out loud and are met with the ” Is she F to the bomb out of her mind” look? No? Just me, eh?

So, let’s just say that your kids are being complete crack ninjas (of the cutest kind mind you) and you think to yourself, jeez…I’d really like to return these little maniacs to the baby store. But we never say such things out loud because we’d be seen as horrible people who are at the very least social deviants and at the most not fit for parenting at all. DCFS would be called immediately. Instead, we stand there in silence, biting our tongues while our hair falls out in clumps from stress and we develop ulcers…. and we smile. You know that ridiculous ” I have no clue what the hell to do and I can NOT control these ninjas without medicinal help!” look. And as our children misbehave, we simply take a deep breath and pray for time to pass quickly. Believe me, I know adults sometimes need a time out too.Nobody’s perfect, right?

In reality, what choices do we have? In a calm and quiet voice, bend to their eye level and try to reason with children beneath the age of reason? Have you seen anyone ever actually do this? I have and while it is perfectly PC and I wish I could be more like that Mama, it seldom works and is usually met with a resounding “NO!” which really translates in baby speak as a forceful “F*ck YOU!”

Perhaps, you could send them on their way to a nice long (age appropriate= 1 minute per year of life) “time out”. Excuse me but if the time out is under 2 minutes, foggedaboutit. It’s simply not going to work. If your child is too young to walk, time out won’t work. Aside from the fact they will just crawl away, the child will flee out of sheer incomprehension. I tried this and ended up chasing a giggling toddler around the room like Benny Hill. She thought it was a game…. catch the baby. I am the one who ended up in tears and apologizing.

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Discipline~ using your inside voice outside...your head, behavior, training, self-control, misbehavior,parents, child discipline

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If the child is too old for time out, they sit there ignoring you and waiting out the time out. They are content with this time to gather their thoughts and plan their bedtime revolt.

You can’t spank your child no more than you can kick your dog. You just can’t so just let that idea slip right out of your head.

Sure, you have your thoughts of effective discipline but never actually do them and you NEVER speak of them. These are the dreams of medieval discipline that we fantasize about when 7 children under the age of 5 are screaming and ignoring while we curl up in a corner crying in the fetal position.The key is NOT to speak of them in polite society.

Discipline~ Using Your inside Voice Outside…your head

“Come here you little punk, I bet a good dose of water-boarding will make you pick up those damn Polly pockets and Legos!”

“Oh yeah, NO to me? NO to you! NO dinner! No toys! No clothes! No play dates! I’m taking it all away!!!”

“You hate me? Well, I don’t like you either!”

“Why? Why? Because, I said so that’s why. Now stop asking me so many flipping questions!!!! ARGH!!!!!!!”

“Please, for the love of GOD, GO THE FUCK TO SLEEP!!!!!!!”

Then there is that one comment that you think might be acceptable to say out loud, funny even in the right context. When my hairdresser asked why I would get my girls names tattooed on my wrists:

“Well, I figure since they are the ones who make me want to slit my wrists perhaps if I see their sweet names there on my wrists it could give me something to live for. Or get a sharper razor.”

I was joking OBVIOUSLY but her face told me that that was one of those statements that most definitely should have stayed INSIDE MY HEAD!

Discipline~ Using Your inside Voice Outside…your head

So, now I have two problems, she thinks I’m an asshole and I have to find a new hairdresser. I should have exercised some discipline of my own filter.[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

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Before your heads explode, I am not referring to my children. I am not referring to any child on this entire planet. I was spanked as a little one and believe me when I say that I have been all over the spectrum on this subject. The bottom line is that I can’t do it, though on some days, I really wish I could. I understand why some people do, but I just couldn’t ever imagine taking hand to child and inflicting such pain and humiliation. But alas, I’m not talking about that here.That could be an entirely different post.

The “Bitch” to which I am referring is other adults. When my children are naughty and don’t behave, there are repercussions. Things are taken away, they are scolded, timed out, sent to their room.When they behave badly, they are disciplined. When my dog doesn’t listen, or pees on the floor, or heaven forbid *poops* on my floor, chews up toys, etcetera, she is disciplined. She is put outside. She is sent to another room.She is scolded. Tapped on the snout with a paper. Regardless, if she behaves badly; she is disciplined. I mean isn’t this what we are trying to instill in our children? We want our children to respect themselves and others. We want them to be good citizens of the world. We need to know that they are being released into the world with a functioning moral compass.

As adults, I expect more out of people. I expect you to have the good sense to consider other people’s feelings before speaking malicious words. I expect you to have the restraint to control yourself from acting on every impulse. I expect you to be able to keep your id and ego at bay in consideration of others. I  anticipate that you will behave age appropriately. I don’t expect people to walk the earth on egg shells out of complete disregard for themselves but I also suspect that you should know the breadth and width to which your ripple in life may carry on. No one is perfect but I expect we all ,as adults, have the capacity to employ certain behaviors that make us better people than if we did not utilize them.

But, alas, I obviously put too much faith into the species. Some people actually do need to be disciplined because whatever their parents did or did not do, didn’t take. Sometimes you just have to smack a bitch. I’ve been going through life with the belief that good things come to good people, people are generally good, and life is too short for grudges. I’ve been giving people the benefit of the doubt and turning cheeks.I may be snarky but I am not malicious.When it comes down to it, I’ve tried to make myself into someone who I’d want to be friends with. Through my children, I have learned even greater tolerance and understanding. I know I’m mouthy and I’m not everybody’s flavor of crazy but nobody is. In the end, I am honest and more importantly than that, and I’m sure the people I know can attest to this, I am genuine.

So, I’m putting you on notice, if you are on a rampage to obliterate the happiness of those you come into contact with, I WILL remove myself from your life.Remember that, write it down, know it in your heart.And if you deem it necessary  to carry on with this bad behavior, you will be disciplined. I will no longer turn the other cheek, I will no longer pretend that your words don’t hurt me. You will no longer get away with your despicable behavior in my world.You will be disciplined. I WILL smack a bitch.

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spanking, child abuse, sad child

Do you believe in spanking your child as a disciplining technique? Do you spank your kids? I’ve threatened it lots of times. I may have even tapped my daughter’s tush once or twice but it just never felt right. It felt wrong. I’ve written about whether or not you should spank your kids many different times on various different outlets and my opinion has always been that you probably shouldn’t spank your kid but it’s YOUR kid so it’s really up to you. Parenting is a touchy subject and I remember how pissed off people got when I said that cry it out was like abuse. I never truly wanted to offend anyone’s parenting technique; not on purpose. The other day a photo appeared in my FB tread and it’s been sitting with me and bothering me ever since.

spanking , child abuse, bad parenting

Deep down, I think that if you are spanking your child you are a jerk.

You either don’t know how or don’t want to use your words. You’d prefer to get angry, get frustrated and hit rather than dealing with bad behavior and sorting it out. Hey, I get it. I do. I have moments when I would love to spank my girls. Sometimes they behave really badly. They talk back and they don’t listen and sometimes I am just too damn tired to argue and grabbing a belt or a switch would make that all disappear. One good, swift smack would probably stop them out of pure shock and awe.

But as a child who used to get hit often, as in it was the primary source of discipline, I can tell you that your child will fear you. They will not respect you and they will avoid being caught doing bad behavior and lie if they are caught. It is not a deterrent to stop bad behavior. It is a deterrent to being honest with you. Your child will learn to fear you and hate the feeling of fear. Your child will be afraid of you. Your child will not trust you. And you can spin it anyway you like, spanking is not going to get the result you want. It will not teach discipline and promote good behavior, it will make your child afraid to get caught doing something wrong and there is a difference.

If you’re spanking your child for biting their sibling, what kind of sick and twisted, ass backwards message are you sending?

Don’t bite your brother but it’s okay for me to hit you. So, I am here to recant any wishy-washiness that I may have ever led you to believe that I have on the subject of spanking. It is never all right. It is always wrong and if you spank your child, you are most certainly not disciplining them in any meaningful way.

You are teaching them that physical attacks are okay to deal with your anger. You are teaching them that they can’t trust you. You are teaching them that you are mean and angry, that they should fear…not respect you. By spanking your children, you are undermining your own authority. So don’t spank your child. Love your child. Discipline your child when you are calm and thinking clearly because responding to bad behavior when you are angry only leads to bad choices that will inevitably damage your relationship with your child.

Think back to when you were a child, if you were spanked, was the feeling you felt when being spanked fear or respect? I know for me, when I was spanked, it was fear 100% of the time. Not once did I think to myself, wow, I respect my parents so much for sticking to their guns and punishing me with physical pain.

Do you think spanking is an effective form of discipline?

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poop inspection, Gustine Texas, strip search , elementary school children

Apparently, in Gustine, Texas (wherever the hell that may be) a group of elementary school students were “asked” to lower their pants for a semi-strip search and poop inspection of their tiny tushes on Monday.(OK, I just used the word tushes instead of asses but make no mistake, this is not acceptable or meant to be funny.)

School faculty members told two dozen co-ed students , aged 11, to drop their underwear after continually finding feces on the gym floor.

Students were separated into groups of boys and girls and ordered to “pull down their pants” so administrators could “check if they could find anything.” WHAT.THE.F*CK??? This is not the first time a teacher in Texas has stepped over the line in the pursuit of discipline.

As a mother of a 9-year-old, ordering an 11-year-old prepubescent child to drop their pants for “poop” inspection is not only way out of line, it is humiliating and demeaning and who the fuck are these teachers to be looking at kids’ asses anyway? This is a complete invasion of privacy. Can you say mama’s gonna go bat shit crazy?

Gustine Independent School District Superintendent Ken Baugh acknowledged that making kids “drop their pants” goes too far. However, he said the students were only asked to lower their pants a little to determine who the defecating culprit was. As far as I’m concerned low enough to check for feces is low enough to expose their private parts. His reasoning is about as stupid as saying you had sex just a little…just the tip. Wrong is wrong and if this were my child, I’d be filing charges against these idiots.

I completely understand the frustration the faculty was feeling at finding feces on the floor repeatedly but in no world is inspecting a kid’s ( that you haven’t given birth to) ass for poop or anything else ever an acceptable form of discipline. No matter how annoyed and/or pissed off you may be about random defecation hijinks.

These parents have every right to be irate but I’d be doing more than just attending a school board meeting. I’d be taking the entire school to court, demanding an apology to my child and gathering a group of like minded parents to beat the asses of those teachers responsible. The school humiliated these children, illegally strip searched and invaded their privacy on school grounds, with no officers or parents present. They just did whatever the hell they wanted to. Where are the boundaries? Do these teachers think they are untouchable? They could have done anything to these children while their pants were down and no one was around. We entrust our children to them every day and they have breached that trust in an irreconcilable way.

What would you do if your child was told to strip down for a poop inspection?

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The Truth about Parenting Teenagers from a Teen Mom, teen mom, parenting teenagers, parenting teenage girls, raising teens

Ok folks, this is not a drill. We are in full teen mom mode. We’re over here parenting teenage girls. Well, a champion eye roller tween with cramps and a newly minted 14-year-old so the end is nigh and all of that, I suppose. At least that is what the world would have you believe about parenting teenagers but it’s a lie.

Obviously, no teen parenting experience is the same just like no birth or the first day of kindergarten is the same. I feel like maybe I should knock on some wood before I type this post. You know how fate likes to make fools of us all. But, dare I say, I kind of love parenting my tween and teenage girls possibly even more than when they were toddlers.

I’m in that point of parenting where I have to be the adult. Yep, either I act like an adult or this train derails. Now, I’m not saying that means that I need to go hard and fast on the discipline. Doing that would only make that train jump the tracks. Believe me, I’m talking from experience. No, I’m playing the long game, as I have since they were toddlers, and I’m following my gut. That’s the real trick to winning the parenting teens game. No matter how hard they push you away, if your gut tells you something, listen. Your mama and papa instincts are smarter than you are.

READ ALSO: Tips for Raising Teenage Girls Pt. 1

Sometimes, it’s hard looking at an overgrown child with their own thoughts and beliefs and not giving them what they want. Teens like their space. They value friendships above all else. I know this from being a teen myself. Now, that I am a teen mom, I am trying to keep all of this in mind. I listen, even when I find it mundane or infuriatingly contradictory because we need to hear what our teenage girls and boys are saying to us. They really aren’t much different from their toddler selves in terms of what they need from us. They need love, compassion, guidance and understanding not a punishing dictator, even if we do know better. Like my mother always told me, you catch more flies with honey than vinegar.

Keep in mind that your teenage son or teen daughter is still that beautiful little human being that they laid on your chest and you brought home from the hospital. That tiny, helpless human being that you loved more than life itself is still right there inside of the angry kid, bickering with her sister and talking back to you. Remember when your teen was a baby and he cried out in frustration because he couldn’t communicate his needs to you and you had to use your mom superpowers and figure it out? It’s the exact same thing. They need you, the world is new and scary again, and they don’t know how to tell you or ask you for what they need.

READ ALSO: Tips for Raising Teenage Girls Pt. 2

The thing is society has played a cruel joke on all of us. They’ve falsely made us all believe that once our kids are a certain age/size that they are capable of doing almost everything. We expect them to behave accordingly. This, in turn, makes our children believe that when they are a certain age/size they are expected to know everything. Secret: They don’t know and how can they? We’re not done raising them. They still need all of our unconditional love, understanding, patience, guidance and compassion; probably now more than ever.

I liken it to when my girls were little. They were always off the charts, size wise, so people always expected them to be further ahead in their developmental skills. I distinctly remember one occasion when Bella was just over one (she was easily the size of a 3 or 4-year-old) and we were in the grocery store and Bella was talking baby talk to me and an older woman came up to us and very condemningly said, “Shouldn’t she be “using her words”?” I nearly swallowed my tongue but managed not to hit the woman and squeak out, “She is using her words. She’s one.” I knew from that moment on that I would spend my parenting tenure being my child’s advocate and to do that, I needed to communicate with my children openly and honestly to really know what they needed from me.

READ ALSO: Tips for Raising Teenage Girls Pt. 3

I’ll be honest, parenting a teenager is not that different from parenting a toddler. The key is paying attention (even when they make it difficult), giving them grace and space when they need it (not always when they want it) and as angry as they can make you, remember growing up is hard on them too. They are afraid and feeling like they’ve lost their place in the world. Everything they knew up to this point is changing, including their own bodies and minds. Give them wings to fly but be there to catch them when they start to crash and burn. Most importantly, keep talking to them, keep listening and look past the angst and anger façade…your baby is still in there.

Tips for Parenting Teenage Girls from a Teen Mom

Unconditional Love

Always, every day, no matter what love them like you loved that baby they laid on your chest. They are still in there hiding behind the eye rolls, smart mouth and pimples. No matter how big they get, they still need positive affirmations and love. Give hugs and keep telling them you love them. Maybe just not in public as much as when they were in kindergarten.

Communication

Talk to them. Not just when you think they did something stupid but all day every day. More importantly, listen. When they talk, they are trying to tell you something even if they don’t have the words. Read between the lines. Fight for them like you did before they were taller than you. Let them say whatever they need to say to you, try to keep your cool and see through their own insecurities and fear. Be there.

Patience

Count to ten before you scream at them. I know that you are tired of them looking at you like you are the dumbest person on earth. I know it breaks your heart when they look at you like you are a stranger on the street. Don’t allow them to be disrespectful or cruel but remember sometimes they are having a bad day. Maybe someone at school was being cruel or unkind, give them the benefit of the doubt. Try not to tell them you hate them ( even if in that moment maybe you do). Remember hate the sin not the sinner? Be patient, the child you couldn’t get enough of is inside that teenage girl smacking her lips and thinking she knows everything and soon enough, you’ll be needed as her soft place to land.

Understanding

This one is hard because teenagers can be frustrating and infuriating and sometimes you just don’t want to rise above it. Sometimes you want to get down in the dirt with them and make them cry to give them a taste of their own medicine. Don’t do that.  That’s what bathrooms are for, go cry in private. Don’t fall apart. You need to be the adult.

When your teen girl tells you something that you don’t want to hear (she’s thinking about having sex or she drank at a party) you need to remember you were her not so long ago. Then ask yourself, what will yield a better outcome 1) screaming at her with full disappointment and having her never tell you anything again or 2) listening, recognizing that she is becoming a young adult and these are young adult issues and calmly offering advice and guidance? I think you know the right answer. It’s hard. No one wants to have these conversations with their “child” but this is how they learn to do the right thing and be kind humans, from our sacrifice of weighing in on these topics when we’d really prefer to just lock them in their rooms and keep them safe until they go to college.

Listening

Use your voice of reason, stop talking and listen to the words coming out of their faces. Will it always be what you want to hear? NO! Do you need to hear it? Hell YES! As parents, just because we don’t hear something doesn’t stop it from happening. It’s like not going to the doctor when you have cancer because you’re afraid of the diagnosis. Knowing the diagnosis is not what’s going to kill you, ignoring the symptoms and not getting treated is. Have the hard conversations and listen to everything they say because they are trying to tell you something you need to hear and maybe it could save their life.

Forgiveness

This is a big one. Wow! Teenagers can be cruel and have a biting tongue. They have a knack for going for the weak spots. It must be a defense mechanism against bullying that kicks in with the hormones at puberty. While most won’t dare use it against their peers, they will easily use it on the people who will always love them, their parents. Keep in mind, the teen years are only 7 years of their entire lifetime, don’t punish them or hold grudges against them for what they say or do as teens. Discipline as needed but also remember to dole out positive enforcement and random acts of kindness towards your teenage children, they need it more than anyone else. Let it go. Forgiveness is for both of you. Forgive yourself too for feeling like you’re failing. We all do in these years.

Guidance

Always be there to gently guide your teenagers in the right direction. Firstly, demonstrate good behavior by example. Just like toddlers, they tend to do what they see not what they are told. Next, you can’t force a strong-willed teen to do anything. You can but nobody wins. But you can gently nudge them in the right direction by limiting the choices available. They still need to feel like they have free will.

Make life more of a would you rather situation instead of a what would you do situation because the world is still too big for all of that responsibility. Also, be available to give feedback when asked. If they are talking to you, they might want you to give them your input. This allows them to make their own informed decisions rather than listening to just their peers. But this only works if you respect and value your child’s thoughts and opinions. We are teaching them to make good choices. You can’t just tell them. They have to learn to use logical thinking and decide for themselves.

Compassion

This is so important. Remember you were where they’re at, not so long ago. You didn’t always know everything. I still don’t. When your child messes up, listen to them and be there. Hold them. Help them get through it. Don’t chide and chastise them. Just love them and let them know that everyone makes mistakes and, unless someone’s dead, we’ll all get through it.

It sounds like a lot of rules but in the end, all you really need to do is follow your gut. Your mom intuition tells you when things aren’t right, even when your mind and heart don’t want to believe it. I’ll be here if you want to commiserate and compare notes. We’ll all survive.

 

 

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discipline, exercise, parenting, how to change bad behavior with exercise

I found the cure to all bad habits and I can tell you the secret of how to change bad behavior with exercise! Nope, it has nothing to do with exerting yourself and distracting yourself. It has nothing to do with feeling better about yourself or being a better person. It’s much simpler than that and I promise you, it works. I am living proof. You can change bad behavior with exercise and achieve parenting level master status. It is discipline in the best way possible.

We all have bad habits. It’s the truth. I try to be a good example for my daughters. We want our children to grow up to be upstanding citizens of the world. We want them to go out into the world and be so fierce and fearless that they impress everyone they meet. We don’t want them to be jerks. One of my life goals is for people to meet my children throughout their life and be like, “Damn, that is one bada** woman!” At the same time, I want them to be like, “What a lady she is.” That’s my mom getting in my head.

I want my daughters to be the perfect lovechild of Audrey Hepburn, Maya Angelou and Lady Gaga. I want them to be fierce, caring and relentless in their pursuit of good and happiness. That’s what I’m going for but I want them to use their words. I want their words to be the vehicle that can gain them entry into any conversation in the world. I want their brains to be their sexiest body part.

I want them to be giving, loving and embrace life and love and people. I want them to live out loud with no walls or prejudices. I want them to fully appreciate the world they live in without fear or self-doubt. I think I am succeeding, or at least on trajectory with this path, with the exception of one small kink…using their words.

This is where it happens, this is what prompted me to figure out how to change bad behavior with exercise.

Yes, embarrassing as it is, I (the writer) have failed my children in the example of using their words.  You see, I know a lot of words. I know all of the words. I am in love with the words. But sometimes, I am a lazy word user and I resort to profanity. GASP! I know shocking. Well, not really. Not if you’re a long time follower of me. I’ve been trying a lot harder to stop with the lazy words because I don’t want my girls to use all the lazy words. So, I made a decision and it is kind of shocking how well it has worked.

This is how to change bad behavior with exercise.

It’s actually very simple. I implemented a rule a few weeks ago that if you (collective you, as in my family) curse, that is an automatic 50 crunches and if you bicker and yell, that is an automatic 200 pushups and so began the hardest few days of my life. Just kidding, I’ve lived through a lot of hard stuff. I was not going to be broken by crunches and yet, 400 crunches in one day…it was pretty rough but it worked almost immediately. Who knew you could change bad behavior with exercise?

The thing that I’ve learned is that no amount of grounding, taking away of friends, tech or play dates will work to curb my children’s bad behavior. They respond much more astutely to positive reinforcement. I’m not surprised because I am the same way.  I’d prefer to get a reward at the end of hard work than to not get punished. I learned when I was pretty young that I preferred to do what I wanted and suffer the consequences, that’s just how I work and unfortunately, I think I passed that strong will along to my daughters.

However, apparently, none of us love doing crunches. In fact, we despise them. Now, these were not your average run of the mill sit ups. These were those blasted ballet/ floor barre/ physical therapy ones meant to target your lower abdomen. No one works their lower abdomen. It’s not natural and it HURTS!

3 days is how long it took to cure me of my cursing habit. 2 days is all that it took for the girls to never want to use any sort of lazy word ever again. You see apparently, our lazy words are not worth getting off our lazy butts and doing 400 crunches. And the bickering, well, my girls hate push ups even more than crunches. Bickering has been at an all-time low. I can feel my sanity returning. It’s all fun and games until someone has to do exercise.

You see, I’m a die hard, forgiveness over permission gal but I had to be the example and so crunch away I did. I’m still doing 150 every day, just in case I stub my toe or something and need that sweet release plus, I could definitely live without a FUPA. It’s so simple to change bad behavior with exercise. Why did I never think of this before?

I’ve also realized that crunches can probably cure just about any bad habit we have. Think about it. You want to gamble, each bet is 100 crunches. You want to drink, each cocktail is 100 crunches. Want to eat that whole sleeve of Oreos? That will be 50 crunches per cookie, thank you. I’m pretty sure most of us would think twice before doing that again because I don’t know about you but a swear word is not worth 400 crunches and there are no cookies worth 50 crunches. Then again, at the very least, I’d be a heathen with great abs!

Would you have ever thought it was possible to change bad behavior with exercise?

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I am super duper sick today! I mean like cold sweats, runny nose, sore throat, ball of mush , I keep losing my balance and getting dizzy. I need to just lie here and veg out. So, I am sharing Kristen @ Motherhood Uncensored’s post verbatim on today’s challenge.I will hopefully be back to myself or more in the range tomorrow but I didn’t want you to miss out on today’s challenge. OK,Never mind I couldn’t do it. I have loyalty to you people Have mercy on me, if it sounds ridiculous..its because I am ridiculously ill.

Today’s Challenge #29: Read and Learn is quite simple. Find parenting books and read them.
Alright, so maybe finding the time to do that is not as simple as it sounds. I have had Eat, Pray ,Love all summer long and have only gotten 30 pages in. I have had Woman, God, 7 Food on my coffee table and have yet to crack it.I even made a failed attempt at reading and finishing 1-2-3 Magic, but I never got around to finishing..that explains some things!

Since I had the bug guy has been traveling a lot this year, I have not really had the opportunity to read much at all. My intentions are good and I am quite the bibliophile but when I have 2 kids who need everything from me at all times, it’s not easy to make a case for reading and ignoring them.Luckily, they have started going to bed really early since school started ( 6 ish) but I am trying to maintain my blog and I actually work online int he evenings so  there’s that. One hand I have a ob that pays money, on the other I have my blog that is my passion and then there’s reading…obviously reading gets pushed to the back burner. Yes, I read books to my kids and I read the parenting books but that leaves no time for leisure reading unless I decide to forgo sleep, oh wait, I already gave that up fro blogging!

So, may resort to leaving books that I want to read in the bathroom.Though it kinda grosses me out to think about that. But as a last resort, you never know. I may actually get to finish Eat, Pray, Love.
Fortunately, most of the parenting books I’ve read I can skim, or at least read as a reference book, so I actually do get to glean information from them without reading the entire thing. Also, you can get a bunch of these as audio books or on your fancy readers, which might make it easier for you to digest them more quickly.

Here are some of Kristen’s favorites (these are all Amazon affiliate links, by the way):
1-2-3 Magic (great discipline book)
Protecting the Gift (how to keep your kids safe)
Parenting Beyond Belief (for those of you who practice secular [fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][non-religious] parenting)
Raising Freethinkers (the sequel to PBB)

Tell me your favorite parenting books! [/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

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how motherhood can prepare you for a new career after kids, exciting new jobs, careers fro moms going back to work, stay at home mom

Being a mom is the most rewarding thing I’ve ever done. I know that’s not politically correct and some of my feminist friends might think I’m setting the cause back but that’s not how I see it. We live in a time where women can have the career of their dreams and then chose to stay home or work outside the home and nobody blinks so that’s progress. Are we getting it all? No, it’s a lot of work but I wouldn’t change a minute of any of it. Did you know that being a stay at home mom, motherhood, can prepare you for a new career after kids?

For me, motherhood has been such a rewarding, empowering and enriching experience. For those of us who choose this path, I think we’d all agree that motherhood is awesome. Maybe it’s not all rainbows and unicorns and there are frequently mid-day blowouts, tantrums and breakdowns (by moms and kids alike) but still, on most days, there is nothing else that I’d rather be doing.

Believe it or not, motherhood can prepare you for a new career path.

But like anything else, too much of anything can simply be too much and it’s okay to admit that mommy burnout is real. Sometimes, maybe after years of parenting, you need something beyond just motherhood because eventually, our kids need us less and we need to fill that time and space with other things or we’ll suffocate our children and feel a void where all of that motherhood energy used to be expended. If you look deep within yourself, you will see that motherhood can prepare you for a new career after kids grow up. You’ve learned a whole lot of amazing skills like time management, organization, multi-tasking and customer satisfaction for the most difficult customers.

If you’re really lucky you’ll find new skills and passions that maybe you didn’t even know you had before. That’s how it’s happened to me. Like many moms, I’ve created career windows where doors were shut. When you are following your bliss, you are happy and your kids see that.

READ ALSO: How to be a present mom and have a career

Pursuing outside dreams and goals is actually good for your health and the overall wellbeing of your family. Having a mom who is happy, healthy and living her best life will trickle down to our kids; it teaches them how to live their best life, too – unapologetically following their goals and dreams, becoming the person they want to be. It’s a great example for how to live their lives. You owe it to yourself to be happy and your family wants that for you. You’ve spent so many years tending to everyone else’s needs and wants, maybe it’s time to take care of you a little bit.

But what to do after being a stay-at-home mom?

After years of giving your all to your kids and putting yourself last, you might be in the dark as to how you begin pursuing a passion. Or maybe you’re just ready to enter back into the workforce and don’t know where to start; what choices are available. You’ve got this girl. You’re currently a genius multitasking, organizing, go-getter who keeps humans alive for a living. You’ve got this. Your time is now. Follow your bliss. You’re not too old until you’re dead so don’t give me that.

READ ALSO:  When Happiness hits you like a train

Pursuing a brand new career, especially as an adult who has been home raising little people, can be a little daunting, but it’s also really exciting and incredibly fun. So many fields are open to you, and believe it or not, your skills as a parent have been training you for the discipline and creativity needed to pursue something new. Careers are out there in every field from healthcare to food, to business and more, all suited to your specific, special skills and interests. I’ve suggested a few things below to help get your creative ideas following.

This is something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately myself. I recently dipped my toe back into the outside of my home workforce and while it’s not my dream job, it’s reignited a fire in me to know exactly what my passion is and set me on a new path to pursue it.

I’m choosing a new career after kids.

You’re hearing it first here people, I’m putting it into the universe, I’m going back to school for my Masters in Digital Marketing and I’m more excited about it than I’ve been in a while. It’s a field I’m already in just with more in-depth knowledge, a few certifications and a degree with expertise. Now is the time for me and I can feel it in my gut that this is what I want.

Exciting Careers for moms  going back to work

These are just a few options for exciting pursuits open to moms, for when you’re ready to re-enter the workforce and find a career or part-time gig that gives you excitement, joy and yes, makes you seriously good money. Having a great resume will improve the chances of you getting the job.

Become a Chef/Caterer/Food Vendor

Ok, so this one does involve a lot of work, but it’s a good kind of work. Fun, productive, delicious work. This is why a lot of women go into this field after their kids get a little older. In fact, the kids can help you with this venture. It’s a labor of love. Whether your dream is to be a pastry chef at a fancy bistro, to sell home-made donuts at sports events, or make custom-cakes and cookies for birthday parties, this is an attainable dream that will flex your brain, let you be creative, show off your unique talents and best of all: you can make a lot of money at it. There are plenty of women out there who, armed with only some mixing bowls and an Instagram feed, have revamped their entire career and started lucrative businesses selling sweet treats.

Become a Nurse

Again, a career in family medicine that involves a lot of study and hard work. But there are so many women who go back to nursing school later in life. With so many different types of nursing degrees to choose from, you can pick any field from ER Nursing to pediatric care (babies!). Many women talk about nursing school as one of the most fun, dedicated and amazing times in their life; times where they made lifelong friendships while pursuing a respected career. Nursing also pays really well and in some cases, you can enjoy a flexible schedule. I believe it’s a calling, like teaching, because it takes a special person who loves people.

Become a Pilot

This is one of the most exciting careers that I can think of. I love flying and more and more women are becoming pilots these days. With four different types of pilot licenses available, you can be a part-time pilot, a commercial pilot, or whatever you want to be. You’re a woman, you are fierce and you can do all the things. There’s nothing cooler than a woman conquering the skies! And whether you want to make a career of it or just a weekend hobby, there are courses of study available to you no matter where you are.

READ ALSO: How to Get Yourself a Life after Motherhood

These are just three of the many, many hundreds of career choices open to you, if you’re a mom looking to get back out in the world and start a new career venture. There will never be a job more rewarding than raising your kids, and we know what a good mom you are. Taking some time for you, to become your best self and realize those goals and dreams of your own will only make you an even better mama to your children. Let’s dust off those cobwebs and start following those dreams. Your spirit – and your kids – will thank you for it. I’m doing it. You can too!

If motherhood can prepare you for a new career, and nothing was off-limits, what would you be when your kids grew up?

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, BlogHer, Nutrisystem, weight loss, dietchampagne2slider

BlogHer, Nutrisystem, weight loss, diet, champagneI just finished week 8 on Nutrisystem and I want to be honest with you. I did not lose a pound. In fact, I went to BlogHer and gained 4.6 pounds. So, to recap I was at 235 last week when I weighed in on Nutrisystem and now I am at 239.6. I am not happy about this but I wouldn’t trade my last week in Chicago for anything, not even 4.6 pounds.

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Going back to work, stay-at-home mom, new career

Are you a stay-at-home mom? Have you taken a break from corporate America to be at home and raise your family? Maybe you’re thinking of dipping your toe back in the office pond? You’re not alone. It’s scary.

A few months ago, I got really excited about the thought of returning to a corporate job. I actually got way more excited than I expected to. Dare I say I was giddy. Suddenly, the thought of someone calling me by my actual name and not needing me to keep them alive was very appealing. I felt wanted for my brain and it was amazing.

Building a fulfilling career is a challenge that a lot of people struggle with. It takes years of pushing yourself in the right direction and doing the hard work to move up the ladder. It’s easy to end up back at square one in the process, especially if you take time out for personal reasons, like raising a family. Nobody wants to hear it but it’s true even if it shouldn’t be.

READ ALSO: Working Mom Guilt; Finding the Balance 

Raising children takes a lot of time and effort, so it’s no wonder that you have to work twice as hard if you are trying to balance that with climbing the ladder in corporate America. Let’s be honest mamas and papas, I’ve only got two legs and after spending the day chasing little ones and running behind eye-rolling teenagers, my two legs and my brain are exhausted.

That shouldn’t keep us from having the careers we went to school for and worked so hard for before we became parents. Being a parent should not mean an automatic, go to jail do not pass go. We should not be penalized. Let’s be honest, parents need the money more than anyone else. Kids are expensive.

If you’re planning on returning to the workforce, hopefully, this post will help pump you up to go out there and do you.

Why Do It?

First, decide what your ‘why’ is? What is your reason for wanting to return to work? If you’re like me, your “why” are those little people whose butts and noses you’ve been wiping for the past few years. Then, get your head in the right space. There are so many reasons to want to build a career as your kids grow up, from wanting something different in your life to planning ahead for when the kids are grown. You have to decide what makes it worth it for you and your family. Obviously, there are benefits anyone would get from this, you’ll find a few below.

Money: While working any “job” can provide enough money for you to live on, especially if you are going from a 1 to 2 income household, but getting something higher up the ladder will obviously present the potential to earn more money. This extra money could go towards a vacation home, helping your kids as they start their own careers, traveling the world or just saving for a rainy day. But, I’ll be honest, if I’m leaving the house and my family, it’s got to be worth it, so the higher up the ladder, the better to me.

READ ALSO: Would You Prefer Being Divorced over Being a Stay-at-Home Parent?

Satisfaction: Personal fulfillment is a big motivator. I used to speak 4 languages. Now, my first languages are baby gibberish and teen slang. Retirement sounds like the real American dream when you’re in a job you hate. However, the reality is that spending all of that time focused on yourself might not be all it’s all cracked up. You might actually find it to be boring, especially if you take early retirement. By building a career doing something that you love you can add a lot of satisfaction to your work life and when you do retire it will be because you’re ready to relax not because you are trying to get away from a job you hate.

Personal Value: Not everyone cares about being around other people, and will be happy to work for themselves for their entire life. If you value the community to live in, maybe you pursue a career as a way of increasing your personal value to your local area. For example, entering a new field where you are contributing value to your community may be something that you find fulfilling and fills a need for the people in your area.

Your Direction

Now that you’ve considered the benefits, time to think about how you’re going to build your career. First, decide on your direction. This doesn’t have to be as specific as the company you’d like to work for or the exact role you want, as long as it gives you a clear path to follow. Not a lot of people take this approach, but it can be a good idea to build your goals into something like a business plan. Having a plan will help you find your way to the career path you want.

This is a serious decision and it’s important that you consider everything and everyone this move will affect. You’ll want a career that you will enjoy and this will probably be the most important factor for most of us, but it isn’t the only thing to consider. It’s also worth considering the things that you’re good at, as well as those things that you struggle with. If, for example, you’re good at coding, then you should also search for job opportunities like remote programming jobs. With these considerations in mind, it should be easy to find a fulfilling career path that you’ll love. You’ll need to do lots of research to find something you can jump into that meets all of your criteria.

Education

There are several hurdles that you’ll need to overcome before you can find yourself a new career, and education is one of the biggest. It’s common for employers to expect degrees and certifications from potential employees, even if the jobs being advertised don’t require them. The market is oversaturated with qualified people. With Professor Google, it shouldn’t be too hard to figure out what you need and you can easily search for courses to upgrade your qualifications.

Research: This will start with a little bit of research, with each of the courses you have available asking for different requirements. There are websites out there which collect and compare qualifications, but you may have to do some extra searching to make sure that you’re not missing an option that could be perfect for you.

READ ALSO: If You Send Your Kids to Public School, You’re the Worst

Type Of Study: Over the last few years, it’s become increasingly common for schools to offer e-learning courses. These options are perfect for those who want to raise children at the same time as learning. Not everyone will have the discipline or attention span for something like this, so seriously consider the commitment before you decide to take on something like a BBA online to become a business manager.

Get Qualified: Once you know what kind, of course, you’d like to take and how you’d like to do it, it’s time to start getting qualified. This could take anywhere from a couple of months to several years, making it hard for a lot of people to stay focused and motivated. If you start when your kids are babies, you’ll have lots of great opportunities to do some learning as they grow up. Or maybe you prefer to wait until they are in school or at a child care center all day, either way, where there is a will there is a way. You can do this.

Experience

Along with working on your education to build a new career or return to the one you had, you may also need to spend some time thinking about the experience you have. While you need to work to be able to get experience, most roles will expect a minimum of a few years working in an entry-level role before you can get into something better. For some people, this will be a normal part of progression, and it won’t be too hard to push yourself to work for a few years before you can get the job you really want. However, maybe you’ve been doing some on the job training as a parent that you haven’t even considered. For example, I think my organization and multitasking skills have definitely grown as I’ve been working with children for the past 14 years.

As your kids grow up, you will have plenty of opportunities to get experience. If you wanted to become an office manager, for example, it would make sense to spend some time working in the school office or a local doctor’s office. This can be done when the kids are at school, and even as little as one day a week can be enough to build the background you need. This will enable you to slip into your new career far more quickly once the kids have left home, and won’t force you to spend the first leg of your career doing entry-level work.

Getting Your New Job

After all of this effort, it’ll feel like you’ve done more than enough to get the job of your dreams. In reality, though, you still have to go through the application and interview process. Applying for a Remote Executive Assistant job is simple enough; you only need a resume, a cover letter, and experience. There are loads of resources around the web that can help you with this. Employers will get far more applications than they need, and your documents could end up simply being ignored. This isn’t something you can control but makes sense to cast a wide nest and apply for as many jobs as possible.

If you’re successful with your application, you’ll be asked for an interview, and this will usually be face to face. This can be equally terrifying and surprisingly exciting. This is where I got to in the process. Prepare for your interview. Even if you feel confident, a question you’re unprepared for can easily throw you off your game. There are lots of resources on the web to help you prep for an interview. You might get confusing and difficult questions, but it will be worth taking the time to think about each of them. Anything that makes you feel more at ease in the interview process is an asset and a weapon that puts you ahead of the other candidates.

READ ALSO: What’s the DIfference Between a SAHM and Working Moms?

In most cases, you will only ever hear back from an employer if you’ve got the job, with the rest of the candidates being ignored. It’s not worth letting your hope die if a couple of months go by, though, as a lot of businesses have to go through long processes to hire someone, and won’t be able to get back to you until everything is properly in place. Unfortunately for me, that position that I was really excited about got put on hold according to the last email I received from the HR department. But still, it felt good to be interviewed and see a company get excited about what I have to offer.

With all of this in mind, are you ready to take on the challenge of building a career while you’re a full-time parent? And what parent isn’t a full-time parent? This approach can make your future more enjoyable with more money, satisfaction, and skills you’ve ever had before all working together to provide you and your family with a higher quality of life.

Are you ready to go back to work?

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