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Parenting

Parenting is nothing you expected and everything you could have imagined all rolled into one. I have been spit up on, pooped on, vomited on all before 7 a.m. in the newborn years. I’ve watched my toddler shove a pearl up her nose and poop in her mouth, and I’ve even masticated food. Not as fun as it sounds. I’ve survived breast buds and the sex talk. I share everything I ever learned and you might want to know about parenting from pregnancy to labor thru to the teens years.  It’s is hard but it’s the toughest job that you’ll ever love but the salary sucks.

Is it Safe for Kids to go Back to School During a Pandemic?

As we’re all faced with the red wire blue wire decision this upcoming school year, it’s hard to know what to do. It seems like a black and white answer to a black and white question but it’s not. It’s a shit load of gray in an ever-growing unknown during an election year and we’re all quickly becoming political collateral damage. But every parent wants to know, is it safe for kids to go back to school during a pandemic?

My youngest daughter is supposed to be starting back to school, in person, tomorrow. She’s not for several reasons but mostly it’s because 3 of the 4 people in our house are either immunocompromised or have underlying conditions. Unfortunately, if one of us is exposed, we’re all vulnerable. Add that to the fact that PreK-2nd grade is not required to masks and 3rd-8th are only required to wear masks during transitions and the window for exposure is too big for my comfort.

READ ALSO: How to Safely Reenter the World After Coronavirus

We’re all in the same boat. Well, we’re all in a boat. I know that too. We’re all faced with the awful decision to decide whether or not to send our kids to school. Well, maybe not. I thought those were the choices but that’s only in my coronavirus boat.

My girls go to private schools. I’m a work from home mom. The Big Guy has a good job as a global business analyst. The girls are well-adjusted and do well in school. Other than Bella having the immune system of a newborn baby, the kids are healthy and happy. We have choices. I knew that if virtual learning wasn’t offered, the decision was still mine. If they didn’t offer what we needed this year, we could choose to explore other options. I also knew that our schools tend to be more flexible than the public school system is. I’m fully aware that my boat is of privilege.

READ ALSO: What Every Mom Needs to Know about Coronavirus

So when it came to making the decision of what to do with my girls for back to school, the only things that I had to consider were if the reopening plan was safe enough (which it was, at the high school), if our family was healthy enough and if we felt that the coronavirus cases were low enough for us to feel safe sending the girls back into the masked, socially distant, sanitized school system that they attend. I don’t feel comfortable, especially after our pediatrician gave me a scared straight conversation about being diabetic and getting the coronavirus. Add that to the fact that my best friend is an ER doctor who gives me personal Coronavirus briefings and we’ve had about 20 family members contract it, 1 die and 1 currently on a ventilator and I just can’t risk it.

But, what about the single moms and dads? What about the homes where both parents have to work outside of the house? What about the special needs kids? How about the kids who don’t have internet or computers at home? What about the kids who don’t have food at home? Or parents who abuse them? What about the families who have no other options? The families who depend on schools to be open as part of the child’s quality of life? What about the kids who are falling behind?

READ ALSO: Can You Safely Send Kids Back to School During a Pandemic?

What about the teachers? Their families? What about their health and well-being? What about everyone’s mental health? How will being in school masked and feeling like every single other person is a potential threat of contracting CoVid? How are we all expected to bear the weight of carrying it to someone and killing them?

Is it Safe for Kids to go Back to School During a Pandemic?

It’s so hard. Some school districts aren’t even giving families the choice to do virtually. Our school originally only offered it to children with underlying conditions or who had family members with underlying conditions, and anyone who tested positive or exposed to CoVid-19. But last Friday, they offered it to anyone who doesn’t feel safe sending their children into the schools.

I had already opted in and scheduled Teams meetings with my daughters’ teachers so they could “meet” them virtually. The Vice Principal is coordinating a private verification day and book pick up. The classes will be offered synchronously (live-streamed in real-time). My girls will be socially distancing from our home.

READ ALSO: I Miss you Most at 6-Feet Apart

I’ve seen lots of people struggle with whether or not to send their children into the schools. At first, it seems like an easy decision when deciding between our children’s health and exposure to coronavirus. However, it’s much more complicated than that for many. It’s a gentle balance between their mental and their physical health. I get that kids need friends and socialization. My girls would love to see their friends and gain that charge only time spent with girlfriends can bring but with the risk of contracting CoVid and the unknown of the long term effects, I can’t reconcile my mind to do it not when I have a child who is more vulnerable to catching viruses and less capable of fighting them off. For me, they can make up a year of school and they can spend time with their friends virtually and later but once you contract this virus, none of us knows how it’s going to affect us now or in the future.

Is it Safe for Teachers to go Back to School During a Pandemic??

I’ve also seen lots of posts of people saying teachers are essential workers and they need to do their jobs and go back into the classroom and if they don’t want to, let someone else have their jobs. Yet, we pay them less than fast-food restaurant workers. Many of my friends and family members work in education. People who teach are special. They educate, nurture and care for your children 7 hours of the day. They spend money out of pocket and work well beyond school hours. It is done from a place of goodness and righteousness. It’s not for the money. We couldn’t afford to pay them what they’re worth. During a pandemic, do we really expect them to risk their own health and the health of their families for our sake?

Before I had the girls, I worked in education for over a decade. Last August, I went back to the classroom. I worked with 4 and 5-year-olds. I loved them. Truly loved each and every one of them. Every day I went into that classroom, their parents entrusted those tiny humans into our care and our teachers educated them and molded their brains.

Is anyone safe to go back to school during a pandemic?

In our classroom of 3 educators, I got to be the nurturing, mommy type, because that’s who I am. I spent my days walking into the room and feeling like a rock star with 23 little souls chanting my name, like I was Taylor Swift, I held hands and band-aided booboos. Those kids were my joy and watching them grow and learn was one of the most fulfilling things I’ve ever done. However, I also got sick 10 times last year. The last virus, my doctor thinks it was coronavirus, was so bad that I gave my notice. Little people coughed and sneezed directly into my mouth 4 times.

I’ve held little hands covered in boogers and had my arm licked from the hand up to the elbow while walking with a 5-year-old, more times than I can count. I soothed them when their hearts were aching for their mama’s on those first days of school. I held their hair when they vomited from the stomach flu and carried them to the nurse when they were feverish. My point is that as much as teachers love what they do, they shouldn’t have to put their own health in jeopardy to do it, definitely not during a pandemic. If your child can’t follow the rules and wear a mask maybe you should ask yourself, is it safe for kids to go back to school during a pandemic? If they can’t or you don’t feel safe, let them learn virtually.

READ ALSO:  The New Normal is Not Normal

So before you judge what any other parent, teacher or child is doing this school year, consider that maybe you don’t know what they’re going through, what they’ve been through or who they’ve lost. Stop expecting your child’s teachers to risk their lives because you don’t believe the pandemic is real. Start wearing your masks and make sure that your children are wearing theirs so we can all get back to living in this new normal safely. The thing is that as long as all of us aren’t doing our part, all of us are in danger and the longer the numbers are going to go up…the longer none of us can get back to safely living our normal lives.

What do you think, is it safe for kids to go back to school during a pandemic?c? Why or why not?

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ACEs, three people who saved my life, childhood

This post is made possible with support from the American Academy of Pediatrics through a cooperative agreement with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. All opinions are my own.

I grew up in a big family with an even bigger extended family. Our family wasn’t just the people we were related to. It was also the people in our community whom we loved and who loved us and cared for us, too. I am grateful for those people who were there when I needed them most. 

My parents are good parents. They’re even better grandparents. When I was small, they were new at parenting and, like all of us, they didn’t always know the right thing to do. I’ve made mistakes as a mom, just as all of us do. But I survived those moments thanks to good intentions and the village that was there to help guide me when I was a little lost and couldn’t find my way. In many ways, I’ve thrived because of the positive childhood experiences I’ve had.  

I did however live through my fair share of ACEs (Adverse Childhood Experiences). ACEs are negative childhood experiences that impact children and can have long-lasting effects. There are 10 ACEs, and they fall into 3 categories: 1) Abuse (physical, emotional, or sexual); 2) Neglect (physical or emotional); and 3) Household dysfunction (mental illness, domestic violence, divorce, incarcerated relative, substance abuse). Thankfully, ACEs can be prevented or mitigated when adults and children have strong support systems through individuals or organizations. 

There are a lot of traumatic things that can happen in a child’s life, including death, pandemics, or natural disasters, but ACEs can be prevented either directly with help from another person, or indirectly through policy, education, or society changes such as paid family leave or prison sentencing laws. 

The ACEs that I experienced were physical and emotional abuse by a father who was an alcoholic. He has since stopped drinking. He has been sober for most of my adult life, but those early days have left their scars. His alcoholism sucked all of the air out of the room. This isn’t to say he wasn’t a good dad. When he was sober, 5 days of the week, he was a devoted, loving, and involved father. But when he was drinking, he was selfish, mean, quick-tempered, unpredictable, and volatile. He was scary, maybe even more so because when he was sober, he was so good.

His behavior had ripple effects. His instability caused my mother to spend a lot of her time distracted, overwhelmed, afraid, and unhappy. She loved us so much, but it always felt like she was withdrawn, even though she was always physically there. She teetered between being emotionally removed and overly emotional. For me, I never felt like she was completely present; putting out fires while awaiting the next crisis. 

ACEs, three people who saved my life, childhood

In turn, this caused me to pick up the slack, and that impeded my childhood. With 6 children, a volatile father who drank, and a mom who was always overwhelmed, worried, and afraid, I was left feeling abandoned even when I was living in the house with both of my parents. They were physically there, but I felt very alone. I needed to talk. I needed to be seen. But I was just one more thing on their lists of things to survive, and sometimes, my needs were too much for their patience that day. 

Each day was an unknown—maybe it would be a day at the beach followed by a cookout and laughter, or maybe it would be a drunk dad, an overwhelmed mom, and a slap or a belt buckle for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. I just never knew, and that was my entire childhood until I went away to college, which may have never happened if not for a few special people who saw me drowning and threw me a buoy. University was my escape plan, but these people were integral in helping me get through some of the rough patches. 

ACEs, three people who saved my life, childhoodThankfully, for as many adverse childhood experiences as I had, I also had many positive childhood experiences with my parents. Luckily for me, a few very special people’s simple acts of kindness towards a little girl in crisis helped me to grow into the person I am today. They’re the reason I’ve always made myself available to lift children up when I can, to advocate for my children’s friends, and to be a champion and cheerleader for my girls. I learned from the mistakes and the kindnesses of the adults in my life. Our actions, good or bad, have ripples and can make a difference in other people’s lives, especially a child’s. 

There were many but these are the three that I would like to thank:

Mrs. Vrabel, my 2nd-grade teacher who took a special liking to me and saw me at a time when I needed to be seen. She nurtured my gifts and praised me at a time when I was one of five children under 7 at home. She made me feel special when my parents were too busy, tired and overwhelmed to do it themselves. 

ACEs, three people who saved my life, childhood

My Tio Narci and my Tio Ramon, who both made the time to talk and listen when I was trying to understand what was going on with my parents’ fighting and my dad’s drinking. They made me not feel alone, and I felt safe knowing they were there to intercede when my mom couldn’t. I felt heard when my voice felt small. They stepped in on my behalf to remind my parents we were still there watching—afraid and confused. They made me feel normal at a time when my life felt out of control.

ACEs, three people who saved my life, childhood

My friend’s mom, Linda, who I will never forget. To this day, I adore her. A lot of things were happening at home when I was a senior in high school. It was all so much that I was depressed and, at one point, suicidal. School wasn’t very important to me. I knew college was my escape plan and I got good grades, but I was depressed and I just didn’t want to be there. I didn’t want to be anywhere.

ACEs, three people who saved my life, childhoodBy that point, I was suffering from eating disorders, and that was just one more thing I had to hide. I suffered from a lot of stomach issues from anxiety from my home life, so I missed a lot of school. My mom let me stay home because she knew what was going on and that was the only thing she could do to help. My English teacher tried to fail me for the last quarter of my senior year because of my attendance issues despite my grade being an A. 

He would have succeeded. I was terrified when he gleefully told me. Yes, he smiled. He didn’t know what was going on at home, and he didn’t care. That wasn’t his job. He just knew that I missed his class a lot, and he felt that deserved punishment. Did I mention I was #3 in my class? Did I mention that I had been in journalism, yearbook, and newspaper for all 4 years of high school? Did I mention I took 2 languages, all 4 years? I was the nerdy girl who worked her tail off to get accepted to every college she applied to. I got a gold seal on my diploma. But he tried to fail me, and I had no one to advocate for me because my parents were otherwise engaged.

I didn’t know what to do. Then my friend, Laurie, stepped in with her mom, who happened to be on the school board. The teacher was overruled because all of those journalism classes counted as English coursework, so his one quarter was not going to affect my overall requirements. She saved my future when no one else could or would. 

I’ll never forget what these people did for me. They saved me at pivotal moments in my life when I could have been lost. It’s so important to create safe, stable, and nurturing relationships and environments in childhood, which are essential to lifelong health and success as well as the prevention of ACEs. Prevention or mitigation is possible when adults and children have strong support systems through individuals or organizations. That’s the idea of preventing them directly. You can help other people and stop ACEs from happening, and other people can help you and stop ACEs from happening. That’s why support networks are a necessary component of preventing ACEs. 

ACEs, three people who saved my life, childhoodThese three people changed the trajectory of my life. I am who I am, in part, because they were in my life when I needed them most. Are you one of some child’s three people? Are you a  resource that children can rely on to create those safe, stable, and nurturing relationships and environments? How can you be part of someone else’s “three,” and provide that vital support that every child needs growing up?

 

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new normal, Coronavirus, Covid-19, back to school in pandemic, how to send kids back to school during a pandemic, face masks

Like most parents, I’m overwhelmed trying to decide whether or not to send my girls back to school this fall and I know that I am not alone. August 13th is coming at us like a freight train. I’m not normally a nervous person but the thought of sending my girls back to school has me terrified. The question every parent wants the answer to is how to send kids back to school during a pandemic? Is it even possible to do it safely? Let’s ask the CDC

I’m an optimist but I also have common sense and I do not take chances when it comes to the life and death of my girls. I don’t f*ck around. On March 9, my best friend (who happens to be an ED doctor) called and warned me that quarantine was coming and Coronavirus was much more serious than any of us anticipated. By that Thursday, I had decided to take my girls out of school.new normal, Coronavirus, Covid-19, back to school in pandemic, how to send kids back to school during a pandemic, face masks

READ ALSO: What Every Mom Should Know About Coronavirus

It was an easy decision. My daughters’ health was in jeopardy by an unknown pandemic. My gut told me what to do and I did it. We’re still quarantining because there is still so much about the pandemic that we don’t fully understand. I’ve lost friends and family members, more each day are contracting this virus. With each announcement, I’m more acutely aware of how easily any one of us can fall victim to it, and none of us know how our immune system will react to it. If you’ve given yourself false security by choosing to believe that it’s only other people’s families and friends who die from CoVid-19, you’re wrong. It doesn’t discriminate. Anyone of us can get it.

I felt safe when we were all staying in the house. I know that’s not sustainable for the long-term.

Was it frustrating for the world to come to a screeching halt? Yes, I’m not naturally a person who can stay still.

Is distance learning inconvenient and stressful? Yes.

Do I wish everyone’s lives could go back to normal and we could safely go back to life as we knew it before CoVid? More than anything. We’ve lost months of plans, travels, celebrations and time with people we love that we won’t ever be able to recover.

Do I want my girls to enjoy their 8th grade and sophomore year of school, filled with firsts and lasts and all the childhood goodness in between? 1000x yes but I don’t think it’s possible this year. We’re no safer than we were in March. In truth, it’s even more dangerous now because, people refuse to wear masks and social distance, and those are the only weapons we have to currently protect us.

READ ALSO: Doctor Gave Up Her Kids to Take Care of Coronavirus Patients

I’d like to believe that if everyone was taking responsibility for their own well-being, observing social distancing wearing masks, we could all find our way through this together. It would be easier to trust that people were trying to do the right thing. We could all take peace knowing that we were all working together to protect each other, out of human courtesy and respect for life, regardless of a little personal inconvenience.

The government is urging our schools to open, even threatening to withhold funds. How can they ask parents to send the children we created, birthed and love more than anything else in this world back into schools in the middle of a pandemic? I fully understand that our economy is in danger of collapse because of shutdowns but at what cost are we willing to sacrifice for economic comfort? We can live without a lot of comforts but my children are not an option. No one wants to sacrifice their family for economic recovery.  Nobody should have to. Human life is irreplaceable, no matter your politics. I wouldn’t sacrifice my enemy’s life for my own economic satisfaction.

People are scared of losing their homes, their jobs, and their very way of life because of coronavirus. Requiring that our children go back to the classroom is irresponsible and dangerous. Betsy DeVos and Donald Trump are effectively saying that our children’s lives, the teachers’ lives, and our (the parents’) lives are less important than the DOW Jones. It’s easy to surmise that when an administration lies to a nation and tells us the opposite of common sense and truth, puts our lives in jeopardy, there’s another agenda right beneath the surface and it’s not altruistic and it has nothing to do with our freedoms. It’s about what politics has always been about money and power.

READ ALSO:  I Miss you Most at 6-Feet Apart

You’re probably wondering how to send kids back to school in a pandemic. What our high school is doing has addressed a lot of my concerns. It’s a very comprehensive and well-thought-out plan but even still, I’m not sure that it’s enough to convince me to feel safe enough to send my daughters to school. At the end of the day, my kid is still immune-compromised and I’m diabetic. Whether I want to believe it or not, going into a public place of 1000 or more students (even with a mask and everything intended to be done right) in one building puts their lives in jeopardy because there is a lot of room for human error. When you’re dealing with children, human error is more likely than not.

new normal, Coronavirus, Covid-19, back to school in pandemic, how to send kids back to school during a pandemic, face masks

Here are a few things our school is doing to send kids back to school during a pandemic, I won’t share it all because it’s a 16 page PDF ( I told you that it was comprehensive) but here are a few things:

  1. Masks to be worn in transition (in and out of building, between classes, on way to anywhere).
  2. In class, the desk will be socially distanced, masks are not required (this part gives me pause)
  3. unless asking a teacher for help.
  4. If you are in a class with a teacher who is older or immune-compromised, mask must be worn the entire time. If you cannot do so, due to a medical reason, the student will be transferred to a different classroom.
  5. Anyone who tests positive, must stay home for 10 days and must be fever free for 72 hours. Cannot return to school without a physician’s note and negative tests for coronavirus.
  6. There is a separate CoVid isolation room with plexiglass between beds and its own ventilation system for anyone exhibiting symptoms. Students must be picked up within 30 minutes if sick and going home.
  7. Students who are vulnerable, immune-compromised, have parents who with underlying conditions, have been exposed to CoVid or have tested positive symptomatic or asymptomatic are to participate in virtual learning which will be live-streamed daily by all teachers so kids can “attend” class from home and have live interaction and learning.
  8. Desks and chairs to we sanitized when students enter the room and before they leave.
  9. Hallways will be one way.
  10. 10 minutes between classes to allow for one-way traffic and getting books in a safe manner.
  11. All returned library books will be isolated for 10 days.
  12. The school will be fogged nightly.
  13. Lunch will be socially distanced, utilizing cafeteria and Basketball gym as well as adding a 4th lunch period. Lunches are to be packed from home or plated and delivered by cafeteria workers. Masks must be worn until sat at chosen, assigned (for the year) seat. No more a la cart offerings. Only touchless pay.
  14. Lockers will now be Freshman, sophomore, junior and senior versus whole grades in certain hallways. No sharing of lockers unless you are related and quarantined together, in which case, you will be required to share a locker with your sibling.
  15. Students will be dismissed to lockers in a staggered phase i.e. Freshman and Juniors after the first period, then sophomores and Seniors after the second period, alternating as such for the remainder of the day.
  16. Daily dismissal staggered.

There is so much more. Our plan is very comprehensive. It’s great on paper. I’m just not so sure how it will work in reality.  I hope it works and fully recognize that it’s a little different for our private school than it is for public schools. It’s a privilege that all of our students have laptops and WiFi and that many of our students have at least one parent who stays at home and can readily be available when and if we need to go to virtual learning.

READ ALSO: The New Normal is Not Normal

You’re not alone. None of know how to do this. We’re all in this together. But if you can’t reconcile yourself to which way to choose, if you can, err on the side of caution. We can overcome a pandemic but we can’t bring back the dead. Go with your gut and do what’s best for your family and your child. This is a new territory and there is no absolute right or wrong answer but I think the choice ultimately should be with the parents. No matter what you decide, we’re all in this pandemic together. Stay safe, wash your hands, social distance and PLEASE wear your masks.

Are you or what are your thoughts on how to send kids back to school during a pandemic?

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Mother's Day

I wasn’t sure what to expect this year for Mother’s Day. Normally, my only wish is peace, a clean house and not be needed. I appreciate a good day off of mom duty. I know it sounds selfish when so many moms just want to celebrate with their children or their moms but really all I want is a quiet house with no one asking anything of me. I want 24 hours of no responsibilities and no one depending on me for anything. I want to just be me. Somehow this Mother’s Day was more special than any other.

Normally, what I’ve wanted is exactly what the Big Guy has given me. It’s a Queen for the day situation. Well, to be honest, with the Big Guy, he always treats me like a queen just this queen has to do dishes and break up bickering matches between teenagers and fold laundry. Being a queen is not all it’s cracked up to be. Sometimes, I just want to drive somewhere with my favorite music blaring singing at the top of my lungs or eat what I want to eat or watch a rated R movie or binge a foreign film series without judgment. I hate the feeling of expectation. You know when the world gives you some side-eye as it wonders pretty damn aloud, why you aren’t doing something else…something they deem productive? No, just me?

READ ALSO: A Mother’s Day I’ll Never Forget

I grew up in a house where weekends were not for sleeping in; they were for waking up even earlier to get more done. And you never had the luxury of being bored because my father would find some household chore for you to do. Everything was never always done and there was plenty to go around. And so, now, I find I almost impossible to relax if anyone else is around. If you are anyone who could possibly expect anything from me…you can rest assured that I cannot relax.

But this year, Mother’s Day fell on quarantine, so did the anniversary of my miscarriage which I observe every year as my national day of grief (this year I had an audience because everyone was underfoot), as did my husband’s birthday, our 21st wedding anniversary is this weekend and my daughter’s 13th birthday. This shelter in place is really jacking up life as we know it. My expectations for Mother’s Day were pretty low.

I didn’t expect gifts because who can go shopping. I didn’t expect fancy brunches at a restaurant or visits from my mom or my sisters. All I wanted was my day off but how? We’re all in this quarantine together so I couldn’t really expect alone time. All I really wanted was no bickering between the kids, no housework for me and not to have to worry about dinner. Done, done and done. But something was different, aside from the world being in a coronavirus tizzy… my girls did something different.

READ ALSO: Sick, Fat and Nearly Dead on Mother’s Day

I don’t know if it’s the fact that we’ve all been quarantined for over 2 months or the fact that they are getting older or maybe they just were trying to make me happy with their thoughtfulness but they surprised me. Both girls posted sweet messages on Instagram with pictures of us from when they were little. It wasn’t about the picture on social media it was the fact that they said how much they loved and appreciated me, with specifics, online, in front of everyone. They’re teens.

Not to be that person but my 15-year-old called me, “Diosa,” which means goddess. Fuck a queen, my girl thinks I’m a goddess and she called me her best friend. Then, she thanked me for making her the “bad bitch” she is. Now, I don’t like women being called bitches but when my teen thinks of herself as a “bad bitch” I call that a mom win.

My youngest, who I’m pretty sure hates me on most days because fucking hormones and she is my teen wonder twin, told me not only that she loves me so much but more importantly she said that I’m always there for her and never give up on her which I don’t ever but I wasn’t sure she realized that until that moment. The fact that she does lets me know that I’m on the right track. God knows we moms spend so much time trying to figure out what’s going on in our kids’ heads. It was so nice for them to tell me.

READ ALSO: The Best Mother’s Day Gift Ever

Not going to lie, I’ve done a lot of shit in my life. I’ve accomplished a lot. I’m well-educated, well-traveled, I’m cultured and I believe that I can do anything that I set my mind to and still these two girls are and always will be my legacy, my greatest achievement. My goal is to raise good human beings and that’s a lifetime position. It’s hard work; it takes up all of my time, my energy, my heart and my soul but I wouldn’t have it any other way. Their words, those notes, unprompted and unsolicited expressions of love, meant more to me than any gift ever could.

I don’t know what you did for Mother’s Day or how your family celebrated you but I hope they made you feel like a Diosa, a goddess, and I hope you know how much they love and appreciate you. You’re a bad bitch and I see you. So when you’re tired, exhausted from no sleep, dealing with tantrums or bickering teens, sick children and it feels like nothing in the world is going right…you’re homeschooling and you’re never off duty, just remember inside the crazy storm of motherhood, there is a calmness. Motherhood is misery peppered with profound moments of bliss. I know I’m a day late because I was trying to just be yesterday but Happy Mother’s Day to each and every one of you. May the odds be ever in your favor.

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What is the coronavirus? , What every mom should know about the coronavirus?

Wondering if you should be taking more precautions to protect your family from Coronavirus? Don’t want to be an alarmist? But want to take care of your children? Maybe you’re wondering why they named a really shitty virus after a vacation cocktail. Yes, I’d like an ice-cold coronavirus, add lime. Not funny, right? Let’s just talk plainly, what the hell is coronavirus and what should every mom know about it.

Now, while I’m not raiding my local stores of all the cleaning supplies, I am keeping my pantry stocked with Lysol, Clorox wipes, hand sanitizer and toilet paper but I do that all the time anyway. I’m not buying a year’s worth but with 4 people who seem to catch everything that goes around living in the house, we’re always stocked just in case. While I’m not one for screaming the proverbial fire in a crowded theater, I’m also a realist and the fact is that Coronavirus exists and it does not discriminate.

READ ALSO: Parents who send their kids to school sick are the worst

However, being immunosuppressed with an immunosuppressed child, I’m also not taking any unnecessary risks. We won’t be using public transportation; planes, trains, and buses are not on our to-do list. We’re also not going to be going to any large crowded venues if we can avoid it. I’m also considering taking advantage of pick-up for groceries and necessities rather than being in the stores until some of the flu strains and viruses going around are not going around as much.

Here is what I’ve found out and what every mom should know about the coronavirus!

What is the coronavirus?

Coronaviruses (CoV) is not new. They’re a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV). The issue with the current novel coronavirus is that it’s a new strain and is zoonotic, meaning it can be transmitted between animals and people. The strains that typically infect humans generally cause symptoms that are no more severe than the common cold. However, sometimes a rogue coronavirus jumps from animals to humans and is more severe than typical.

This new coronavirus is spreading quickly throughout the world and we’re all on edge, especially parents because we’re worried about our children. At last count, more than 92,000 known people have contracted Coronavirus and at least 3,000 people have died since an outbreak began in December in Wuhan, China. While most confirmed cases are still in China, the coronavirus has since spread to at least 71 countries, with at least 100 recorded cases and at least six deaths in the United States.

Previously, the bulk of the cases in the United States were connected to the Diamond Princess cruise ship that was docked in Japan after it was revealed that some guests onboard tested positive for coronavirus. But a growing number of those diagnosed have happened after contact with an infected person or after no known connection to previous cases, suggesting that the virus is spreading among communities. The outbreak is on the verge of being a pandemic if it can’t be contained.

Symptoms of the Coronavirus that Moms should be aware of

  • Common signs of infection include
  • Respiratory symptoms
  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath and breathing difficulties.
  • In more severe cases, an infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death.

How to stop the spread of Coronavirus

Standard recommendations to prevent infection spread include regular hand washing, covering mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing, thoroughly cooking meat and eggs. Avoid close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness such as coughing and sneezing.

READ ALSO: Working with Preschoolers and Jumping in the Cootie Pond

To reduce exposure to and transmission of a range of illnesses in the general public do as follows, which include hand and respiratory hygiene, and safe food practices:

  • Frequently clean hands by using alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water;
  • When coughing and sneezing cover mouth and nose with flexed elbow or tissue – throw tissues away immediately and wash hands;
  • Avoid close contact with anyone who has a fever and cough;
  • If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing seek medical care early and share previous travel history with your health care provider;
  • When visiting live markets in areas currently experiencing cases of novel coronavirus, avoid direct unprotected contact with live animals and surfaces in contact with animals;
  • The consumption of raw or undercooked animal products should be avoided. Raw meat, milk or animal organs should be handled with care, to avoid cross-contamination with uncooked foods, as per good food safety practices.

Why are experts so concerned about this new coronavirus?

  1. This is a new illness that doctors have never seen before so there’s still a lot to learn about how it’s transmitted and how it will affect everyone.

  2. The virus is contagious, even before symptoms appear.

The CDC believes the new virus is contagious during the incubation period, which is believed to be 14 days, and symptoms can appear anytime between two and 14 days after exposure. Chinese officials reported person-to-person transmission as the virus spreads. The CDC also has confirmed person-to-person transmission in the U.S.

  1. The 2019 novel coronavirus may be mild but, in some cases, can be very serious

“As with a cold, there is no vaccine for the coronavirus and a flu vaccine won’t protect people from developing it. Washing hands especially after eating, going to the bathroom, and touching your face and avoiding other people who have flu-like symptoms are the best strategies at this point.”

  1. There’s a lot that we don’t know, so precautions are extremely important

Given that the symptoms tend to be mild and the number of people infected worldwide remains small, you may wonder why so much attention is being paid to this particular illness. Extreme caution is warranted because of how little is known about this new virus. For now, spreading awareness, keeping people updated as scientists learn more, and screening people who might be at risk are the best tools available. If you travel or if you visit a health care provider or facility, it may be helpful to know that the coronavirus-related signs you see and questions you may be asked are important.

  1. Guidelines will evolve as doctors learn more

The CDC advises people who travel anywhere, locally or internationally, to:

  • Avoid contact with sick people
  • Avoid animals, whether they are dead or alive, as well as animal markets, and animal products
  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

What to do if you think you may have been exposed

Anyone who has traveled to Wuhan and is experiencing fever or respiratory symptoms should:

  • Seek medical care immediately. Call ahead to their doctor or emergency room to let them know about recent travel and symptoms.

  • Avoid contact with others

  • Avoid travel if they are sick

  • Cover their mouth and nose with a tissue or sleeve (not hands) if they must cough or sneeze

  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

The virus can be spread from animals to people. But it also can be spread by coughing, sneezing and through close contact with an infected person or an object carrying the virus. Experts are still figuring out how long an infected person is contagious as they try to determine a point of transmission.

How different is it from the common cold or flu?

Coronavirus infections, in general, are indistinguishable from other respiratory infections. In most cases, they cause a runny nose, cough, sore throat, fatigue and fever. But with the new coronavirus, patients tend to have a fever, cough and shortness of breath.

Do I need to stockpile face masks?

No.

“You can increase your risk of getting it by wearing a mask if you are not a health care provider,” US Surgeon General Jerome Adams said. “Folks who don’t know how to wear them properly tend to touch their faces a lot and actually can increase the spread of coronavirus.”

The C.D.C. recommends that only infected patients and their health care providers wear N95 respirator masks, which are a special type of mask intended to filter out 95 percent of airborne particles. When physicians treat a person infected with the disease caused by the virus, they wear “a face shield, gown and gloves.

Standard surgical masks also can’t fully protect you from contracting the virus.

Should parents be worried?

Right now, no. Be cautious but not crazy. Cases in children have been very rare. Most people infected with coronavirus are between 49 and 56 years old. It appears that when kids do get it, they have milder symptoms. Flu is killing a lot more Americans, including children, but flu is the monster we know.

What steps should parents take to protect their child from Coronavirus?

You should take the same precautions you would take to protect your child from the common cold or flu.

  • Encourage children to wash their hands frequently and thoroughly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Alcohol-based hand sanitizers can work if that’s all you got, but they’re generally not as effective as soap and hot water.
  • Hands should be washed before children eat, after they use the bathroom, come inside from outdoors or touch something dirty like garbage.
  • If you see someone coughing or sneezing, try to keep your kids as far away from them as possible. It’s believed that respiratory secretions don’t travel more than six feet.
  • Travel is also fine but use common sense and caution. For the most part, domestic trips and even most international ones are still OK. Check the CDC guidelines before you plan a trip. If you’re planning a cruise for spring break, the C.D.C. urges you to avoid ones that travel to or from Asia. Personally, as much as I love cruising, it’s a stew of germs in the best conditions.

If there is an outbreak in your town, you should practice what’s known as social distancing. That means staying at home, rather than going out and about to movies, sports events and other activities. Schools could close, at least temporarily, and people who can work from home will be encouraged to do so.

For now, if you and your kids still haven’t gotten a flu shot, get one.

I’m pregnant. Should I be concerned about Coronavirus?

Yes, but no more than you would be about coming down with the flu. During pregnancy, your immune system can be depressed, which makes you more susceptible to complications from viruses like the flu and chickenpox.

There isn’t much information on how the new coronavirus affects pregnancies, though preliminary research suggests it isn’t likely to be transmitted from a mother to her baby through the womb. A study that followed nine pregnant women who were infected in Wuhan found that all of the newborns, who were delivered via cesarean section, tested negative for the coronavirus, and there were no traces of the virus in the mother’s amniotic fluid, cord blood or breast milk.

The C.D.C. does caution that it has observed miscarriage and stillbirth in pregnant women infected with other related coronaviruses (SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV). A high fever during the first trimester of pregnancy which can happen after infection with the new coronavirus and with illnesses such as a cold or flu can also increase the risk of certain birth defects.

Let me be honest with you, mom to mom, I’m not a doctor. This is just a lot of research that I found by scouring the internet. The truth is none of us want our children to catch something that we know so little about but panic is not the way to protect ourselves. In reality, I think there are probably a lot more cases we don’t know about because symptoms are mild and comparable to the viruses that we’re used to. Most cases will probably go undiagnosed. My advice is to be cautious. Practice good hygiene. Don’t take unnecessary risks. Take care of your health and maybe spend more time at home with your family during the cold and flu season. Use your common sense and mama intuition. Don’t ransack the stores and buy out all the TP, Clorox wipes and face masks because then people that need them won’t have them. It’s not the apocalypse people. It’s scary because it’s new. Be careful and be safe.

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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:

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, another profession 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. You should totally learn more about becoming a pilot and follow that dream of sailing among the clouds. Maybe I’ll tackle that next!

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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a baby changes everything, motherhood fashion, after pregnancy, how to upcycle your maternity clothes after pregnancy, birth, wardrobe

Having a baby changes everything. Anyone who tells you otherwise is a liar. The one thing it changes forever is your body. Even if you get back to the size you were pre-baby, you are changed. But who am I telling? If you’re a mom, you already know this. However, no need to stress out. Just a little change of perspective, some patience and self-love, and everything is back on track. Figuring out what to do about your maternity clothes after pregnancy can be a challenge, your body is still changing but a mom still wants to look and feel stylish. Start with upcycling your way of thinking.

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how to become the woman you were before you became mom, rediscovering who you were before motherhooddaylight savings time, kids and daylight savings time, surviving daylight savings time, DST, parenting and daylight savings time

Once you have children, “mom” is your name, taking care of little people is your game. You stop being known as the person you used to be, and you start being known as the mom, mommy, mama to your little one. If you’re like me, you’ll probably even refer to yourself as such. I’ve been Bella and Gabi’s mom for so long, I’m pretty sure that some of their friends actually think my name is BellaAnGabi. But, I’m still in here rediscovering myself before motherhood. Like you, trying to figure out how to be the woman you were before you became mom.

READ ALSO: The Beauty of Motherhood

Being a mom is all-consuming and it’s very easy to lose yourself in that one thing you become and even easier to forget who you were before that. Soon, all of the likes and dislikes you used to have seemed to fade away and your life revolves around your children. For example, I loved strawberry ice cream and then my children didn’t so I didn’t buy strawberry ice cream for 13 years until one day, I took that power back. What I like matters too. It’s such a simple thing but I get to matter.  With all the concessions of motherhood, the biggest is the total loss of a time in your life and that usually means sacrificing your youth.

I’m just a mom like you, trying to figure out how to be the woman you were before you became mom.

The life you had before becoming a mom and how young you used to feel is fading from all of the responsibility of your new role. You’ll think about all of the things that you used to say and do, and how different the things that you say and do are now. You’re not any less of a person, you’re just not the same person at all. You can’t be. In fact, the moms I know are some of the best people I know.

READ MORE: The TRUTH about Motherhood that No One will Tell You

The resourcefulness and resilience that you build as a mother is unfathomable, and for me, my life feels like it has a higher purpose; one greater than myself. But, that’s not to say that you shouldn’t think of the ways to get your groove back and rediscover who you are as a person. You deserve to exist autonomous from your kids and spouse. I want to show you some of the ways you can do just that and feel more like you again or at least the new hybrid wonder woman that you have become.

Rediscover Your Passions

You will have grown up having some sort of passion in life. For me, I loved writing, dancing and being active. Even if your passion was just going out and having fun every weekend, you were passionate about something. Hey, I was pretty passionate about my weekends before becoming a mom. Sure for most people, their passions stem a bit deeper than being able to have a cocktail on the weekend. Maybe you were into a sport, fashion, music, or art. For some reason, that all seems to fade into the background when you become a mom, or at least for those first few years.

READ MORE: My TRUTH about Motherhood

Your passion becomes your child, and that’s never going to go away. But you’re allowed to be able to have something else to focus on, on the side. It doesn’t make you’re a bad person to want to do things you like just for you. It’s what makes you, you, and nobody can take that away from you. You’re better for your family if you take care of yourself too. Do something just for you. Start small, take a hot bath or read a book before bedtime because you used to enjoy spa days and reading for leisure. Once you star t doing something just for you, you’ll start to reconnect with yourself and find joy in things that you forgot you used to enjoy.

Invest Some Time In What Makes You Feel Beautiful

I think all moms fall prey to this affliction at one point or another in their tenure as a mom. Sometime between pregnancy, middle of the night cluster feedings, running to make sure toddlers don’t fall when learning to walk and the teen years, messy buns, yoga pants and a t-shirt with some kind of tiny human’s bodily fluid on it becomes our mom uniform. It’s not because we moms fundamentally dislike fashion and style, it’s because our priorities changed and it just felt like keeping the baby alive was more important than what label we wore or how often we could get to dry bar. I’m here to tell you we need some of that investment in our appearance to help us feel confident.

READ ALSO: Sneaking away for Me Time

There were years where I felt like a ghost walking through my life because I had let myself go so far that I tried to convince myself that I didn’t care but I did. It wore on me. My daughters always looked amazing but I looked like the nanny Cinderella.

Let’s start with fashion, because who can deny that a cute outfit makes a mama feel empowered. You can reinvent yourself. Check out the latest styles and see feels like it fits. Scroll through Instagram and see what the cute mom influencers are wearing or check out Pinterest to discover what the latest trends are.

Try shopping at places that you wouldn’t usually shop at to get inspiration for style. Even if the style is hip athleisure wear, just a small change can change your entire perspective, mood and the way you carry yourself.

You can see more GCDS here, which is a clothing brand from Milan that you might not have ever heard about before, selling styles you’ve probably not tried in years. Also, if I can sneak in a quick face mask after the girls go to bed or some moisturizer, mascara and tinted chapstick in the morning, it makes me feel less out of sorts when I’m out in the general population. And I don’t care what anyone says, a cute messy bun is always in fashion.

Be Spontaneous

I know the thought of spontaneity is practically laughable as a mom but sometimes we need to shake things up to shake our true selves awake. I mean our mom side has been in full-on high-gear for years now. It needs to be reminded that there is a sexy, creative, intelligent, fierce and beautiful woman right beneath the service that needs the day off from mom duty to get her groove back.

As moms, our lives are on a schedule. We exist to cross things off the list. We always have to be prepared and responsible for everyone but being spontaneous can be invigorating. Try an impromptu coffee, Zumba or brunch date with a girlfriend while the kids are at school. Those dishes and laundry can wait a few hours. Don’t even bother with that mom guilt. Mom guilt and worry are two useless emotions. As a mom, it it’s easy to forget where our children end and we begin and whenever we try to do anything for ourselves, it feels unnatural but that’s just because we haven’t done it in a while. Repeat after me, you’re not a bad mom for existing outside of your children’s per view. Try to have a girl’s night or date night at least once a month. Just make it happen, even if it’s just for a couple hours. You need to feel empowered and confident as a woman to be a strong example of joy and fulfillment for your children. Do you want them to see you looking miserable as their mother? No, go get your groove back girl.

What do you do for yourself ( just you) that makes you feel good about who you are? What are your tips for how to be the woman you were before you became a mom?

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why every mom needs an escape, mom vacation, momcation

I’m tired. Every day, I get up and perform the same routine. I get the Big Guy and the girls off to school. I work out on the way home from drop off, come home, speed through breakfast and get ready for work. Over and over. Repeat.

I go to work and entertain and play surrogate mama to preschoolers for 5 hours of the day. Racking up a whopping 12000-15000 steps while there. Then, pick the girls up from school, go to whatever appointment we might have that day, maybe stop at the grocery store. Talk to the girls to see how their day went. Cook dinner. Eat dinner with the family. Talk to the Big Guy to see how his day went. Help with homework. Write for my deadlines and muster the creativity to say something on my own site. Shower. Kiss my family goodnight and go to bed. Oh wait, no I’m a mom, I’m probably up for another hour or so loading the dishwasher or folding laundry.

This mom needs an escape.

Lay in bed while an infinite list of things I forgot to do or need to do the next day overwhelm me, eventually I pass out from sheer exhaustion. Sometimes, I get to sleep 3 hours before my mom bladder wakes me up to go pee. Other nights, I’m woken to a vomiting or crying sick child or someone crawling into my bed for mom comfort. Some nights, the list is too long to close my eyes for sheer fear that I’ll suffocate the moment I close my eyes.

READ ALSO: How to Survive Mom Guilt

I need a vacation from my inner monologue and the responsibility of my day-to-day. I’m not saying I need a vacation from my family but I’m not saying I don’t either. Every single mom/ dad/ human being needs their escape in life. It’s not something anyone gives us. It’s one of those things you’ve got to prioritize and take.

If you really think about all of the things that we do as moms on a daily basis, you’d be in awe of just how much you accomplish in a single day. The funny thing is we don’t even give ourselves credit for all that we do. We just do it. With only very minimal complaining (who’d listen anyway, right?)

why every mom needs an escape, mom vacation, momcation,vacation, disney world, Orlando Florida, Universal Studios, Shingle Creek, paradise, family vacation

A mom vacation to someplace quiet is a fantasy for most of us.

Maybe it has something to do with the fact that many of us chose to stay home with our children. Maybe we feel a little guilty that we sacrificed our careers after investing all that money on grad school (twice) and then shelving our visions for our lives. But really didn’t the dream just change?

READ ALSO: The Mom Resume

Let’s face it, by nature, moms are martyrs. We often sacrifice our hopes and dreams for those of the people we love. No one asks us to do it. We just do it instinctively and then one day, we look around and wonder what the heck happened to the life we thought we’d have?

Being home 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year doing the same routine can not only become monotonous but exhausting mentally, physically and spiritually. Taking care of our children, driving the mom taxi, cleaning, cooking and being the emotional support person for everyone in the house is a lot of work and I don’t know about you but I need an escape plan from it all sometimes.

Mom needs an escape from reality to remember who she is.

Our lives of full of crazy and chaos, even if the rest of the world doesn’t recognize what’s going on in the motherhood. We don’t get to sleep in when we’re tired. We don’t get sick days. And there sure as hell is no personal or mental health days available to moms. We get up, get to it and power through. We’re unwilling wonder women.

Every mom and dad needs an occasional escape if for nothing else just to hit the reset button and get some much needed quiet time and hey if sunshine is on the menu that’s even better.

Returning to Simpler Times

If you think back to who you used to be and the life you lived before you became a mom, you’d probably be imaging a person who was carefree with no real worries or responsibilities. Ah, the good ole days. Remember when the biggest concern you had on Friday was what you were going to wear out to the club and if you had the money for pre-club cocktails with your girls?  These days, you’re worrying if you have enough money to pay all of the bills, fill the fridge, and go out and do something as a family on the weekend.

Time to flip the script. Get in touch with your before kids self, and start doing more of the things that you love. Think about the time you were in when you loved yourself the most, and what used to make you happy. The 90’s were simpler times for me. I had a lot of fun. Remember any of these things? https://blog.meccabingo.com/the-best-90s-things-that-take-us-back/ Honestly, I was a lot of fun back then. I’m not one to live in the past and I love my future but sometimes reminding yourself of the audacious creature you are at your core is not only needed but necessary. Get yourself to a dance party stat and you will feel rejuvenated. Try it. It’s the perfect escape and you don’t even have to take a place anywhere. Who needs an airplane when you’ve got yourself a time machine?

Have A Social Life Without Children

This is such an important one that I feel like so many moms are missing out on. A social life without your children by your side is imperative to your sanity. No one can go full-on all hours of the day. Eventually, they’re going to break mama and then we all lose. When you feel like the only life you have is life as a mom, you become wrapped up in that. You don’t go out alone, and you might feel as though you have lost connections with other adults. Twice a month try to get out without the kids, a date night with your partner and a few hours with friends. It’s just enough time to remember who you are outside of being someone’s mom. Sometimes that’s all we need; a few hours of being ourselves with no butts to wipe, diapers to change or little people to army crawl out of their room after getting them to sleep. A night off without guilt can totally change your perspective.

Focusing On Your Own Self Love

Focusing on your own self-love is something you can do easily and for free but it can also feel indulgent. Cue the mom guilt. For some moms, the routine they get to do before they go to bed is all the sanctuary that they need. It’s a time when the kids are asleep in bed, and all you need to think about is you and what you want to do. An uninterrupted, hot bath, some candles, a glass of wine and quiet might be enough to do the trick. For others, a good book, hot tea and no one asking for anything for a couple of hours is perfection. The point is an escape from reality and relaxation can be pure bliss to a weary mom.

Take the Day Off

You can’t actually take the day off from being a mom nor would we want to. But you don’t always have to be in mom mode. Having those listening ears on at all times and catlike reflexes to catch falling babies and projectile vomiting is exhausting. If you want to go out shopping for clothes alone, you shouldn’t feel like you need anyone there with you. Going shopping in your own company, and then eating out on your own can bring you so much peace. Hey and watching a movie in the theater alone may be one of the greatest things none of us are doing. Trust me, just do it.

Take a Momcation

If you’re next level mom, embrace the concept of an actual vacation. I love traveling with my family but my wanderlust runs deep. Travel is one of the most beautiful ways to refresh your mindset and appreciate your life. There’s no shame in taking a day or a week and going away with your partner, your friends or just yourself to get a break and reset. Don’t feel guilty. You are doing it for the greater good. You’re doing it for all of you. A happy mom and wife is certainly a happier life.

What is your favorite way to escape your routine, relax and reset?

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parenting teens, next time they won't need me, letting go, mom of teens

Our most recent trip to Walt Disney World may have been the last one of my girls’ childhood wonder. It wasn’t on purpose. They didn’t try to do it but it happened. I felt it. The gentle pulling away that is growing up. As a parent, there’s nothing you can do about it.

You’re presented with 2 pseudo choices, go with it and gently let go with a loving smile while wiping away the secret tear in your eye. Or you can hold on for dear life, as they push, pull and drag you off of them. They love you but their instinct is to achieve maximum freedom and independence. You’re a hindrance to both, whether you mean to be or not. There’s only one way to come out of this alive, you have to let go so that the subtle pushing and pulling away of childhood into adolescence doesn’t kill you both.

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