4 Mistakes Parents Make When Going Through a Divorce

It’s never an easy bridge to cross when a couple decides that they are going to get a divorce.  Divorce is difficult enough on its own, and when you throw kids into the equation it can get downright emotional.  Things can quickly start to get stressful between divvying up who gets to take what and there may even be fighting over who gets custody.

Although there is no handbook for how to go about it perfectly, there are a few common mistakes that should be avoided.  When it comes to things to try to look out for, here are some of the most common mistakes that parents can make when going through this difficult time.

Acting Like Everything Is Fine

Some parents want to cause the family the least amount of stress possible so they try to sweep emotions under the rug.  Rather than being forthright about the circumstances, they refuse to acknowledge the problems at hand and put on an air of everything being the same.

Even though parents intentions may be pure when they do this, it’s actually much more harmful than beneficial.

Acknowledging that something has changed and what everyone can anticipate moving forward is crucial.  Otherwise, children may feel confused and like they have no outlet for the emotions they’re going through.

Talking Badly About The Other Parent

When two people decide to get divorced, it’s often because they are angry with each other.  They may each feel very righteous about the role that they play and carry anger.

Sometimes this can lead to bad-mouthing the other parent in front of the kids.  This causes children to feel as if they need to choose sides and can damage them psychologically.  Rather than using your child as a place to air your anger, talk to a friend or family member instead.

Moving Too Quickly Into Another Relationship

Even though couples going through a divorce may be excited to move onto bigger and better things, it’s important to take things slowly when you start a new relationship.

Easing into a relationship with a new person should be dealt with delicately rather than charging forward.  Children may not be used to the idea of someone else stepping into the picture.  Not to mention if things don’t work out, they may end up losing someone that they’ve become attached to.

Failing To Have a Conversation

It’s important to take a step back and have a conversation with your kids at some point during the divorce to see how they’re feeling about it all.

When parents fail to have an honest and open talk about everyone’s standpoint then things can quickly get out of hand and emotions can run wild.

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Saving Money on Family Days Out

Having a family can be a costly endeavour, all those groceries, all the toys for the kids, all the toilet paper and toothpaste, the list goes on and on. Of course, you are probably willing to spend anything to keep your loved ones happy, no one is making you do this, but don’t you wish you didn’t have to sometimes? So you could still have nice days out without having to spend a week’s worth of wages? There are several ways you can go about still making the time with the family an exciting one and not going destitute.

Image source: Pexels

Feeding the family

On a weekend day out you probably end up going to eat somewhere, be it in a restaurant or some fast food chain, someone is going to be hungry at some point. Afterwards, the kids are probably going to want some dessert (unsurprisingly). Now while substituting some fancy ice cream might not be the easiest thing, taking packed lunches instead of going to get dinner for a ridiculous amount might save you a pretty penny. Packed lunches also have that picnic appeal which everyone loves, making it a win-win scenario and it doesn’t take a master chef to make sandwiches.


If you have a family, you probably also own a car, and since that car is presumably the family car, it is probably rather sizeable. Large family cars tend to have less-than-amazing gas mileage, often leaving you speechless at the pump, wishing you walked instead. Then come the parking fees when you already get there, and having to worry about getting back to the car in time. It’s a mess. Sometimes instead of taking the car out, consider taking a cab which is probably going to be cheaper than the gas + parking, or maybe just a free uber ride. Why not?

Image source: Pexels

Setting up things to do for the kids doesn’t always have to be incredibly costly, there tend to be more deals for various kid activities than you might think. Often even found on cereal boxes, or in brochures, you can find free tickets for kids to theme parks, cinemas amongst many other activities. Keep an eye out for those next time you go grocery shopping. On the other hand, many attractions often just turn out to be free entirely. Museums and galleries might not always be your son’s cup of tea, but places like the National History Museum in London are entirely free from start to finish and have exhibits on topics such as dinosaurs which are bound to interest any young minds. If you’re feeling generous you can always treat your kids to something in the gift shop but other than the price of travelling there, museums often tend to be a great idea for a low budget day out. If your kids really want to go to a Legoland or Disneyland type scenario which usually end up being somewhere far out and not exactly 10 minutes by car, consider taking a different means of transport than your car. As mentioned previously, family cars can be quite the fuel hogs and taking them out can be costly. Taking a coach or train can often turn out to be much cheaper and hassle-free. With companies like Megabus selling tickets for as little as £2.50, taking them out might really save you quite a bit of money.
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The Best Ways to Participate in Your Child’s Education

As a parent, you always want your best for your child. And that’s certainly true when it comes to their education. There are so many good ways to get involved in their education. You can learn about some of them by reading the information below. Each of these ideas will help you integrate yourself into their learning and schooling experience without distracting them or causing unnecessary problems.


Oversee Homework


It’s definitely a good idea to get into the habit of overseeing your child’s homework if you can. That way, they will be doing it and not missing any. It’s so easy for them to lie and say that they have no homework, but if you supervise their schedule and can look at their planner or journal, you’ll know for sure what the truth is. That had to be a good thing.


Always Attend Parent Teacher Meetings


It’s always a good idea to ensure you attend every parent teacher meeting that is scheduled. If you fail to to turn up to all of these, you will be passing up the chance to learn about what your child is studying and how they are performing at school. It’s impossible to become more involved if you’re not even willing to show up to these meetings, so make that commitment.



Get Involved in School Events and Fundraisers


Most schools have events and fundraisers dotted throughout the academic calendar. You should definitely try to attend these. Or you could go a step further and try to help out at these fundraisers. They’re always in need of extra pairs of hands, so why not? Read this called Make fundraising easier with http://www.the-fund-raiser.com/easy-fundraising-ideas-will-make-fundraising-easier if you do want to get involved.


Assist Your Child With Study at Home


Home study is not just about homework. Your child will also need to work at home to bolster their knowledge and make them feel ready for the academic tests that lie ahead for you. Assist them with home learning as much as you possibly can, and don’t cut any corners along the way. It’s vital for them to have a quiet and isolated place in which they can study in peace, free from distractions. It seems like a small thing, but to a child that’s trying to focus on study, it can be a pretty big deal. Find ideas on how to create the right study space at https://www.thoughtco.com/create-a-study-space-1857109.


Learn When They Need Space and Independence


Participating in your child’s education is not necessarily something that you can force yourself into. They should be allowed to have their own space and independence because those things will soon be very important indeed. Sometimes, as a parent, you just need to step back and accept that you don’t have all the answers and that your child really does need some space at times. It’s something that you’ll get used to as you grow up and learn from experience.


There are so many good ways to get involved in your child’s education. Make the most of the ideas above if you want to do just that.
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Simple and Effective Ways To Reduce Family Anxiety

Many families have trouble with anxiety issues. There are things known as vertical and horizontal stressors, and even if you’re not aware of the precise definitions of those terms, chances are very likely that you suffer from them. Essentially, they are sets of generational anxiety passed down through families, and then sets of external trouble that invaded your home’s psychology from outside of the family structure.

To reduce internal and external anxiety, there are some options that you can pursue. If addiction runs in the family, you should not be afraid to talk about treatment. There are also the choices of going to family therapy sessions, scheduling meal times together regularly, and making sure that your family institutes a device-free time on a consistent basis.

Don’t Be Afraid of Treatment Options

One of the hardest family issues to deal with is if a member is dealing with addiction. Supporting someone in recovery requires that everyone in the family not be afraid of what it means to accept someone as an addict, and to agree that drastic measures may need to be taken to promote positive change and normalize habits over an extended period.

Go To Family Therapy Sessions

Many families have found that group therapy sessions work wonders. Though there is often some resistance at the beginning, especially from children in their teenage years, working through family therapy under a licensed psychologist can be a fast track to everyone being able to communicate effectively. It takes many years and lots of training to understand group dynamics functionally, and therapists can quickly begin to get to the core of where the worries and your family might be.

Schedule a Meal Together Regularly

Dinner with the family as a ritual is linked to a much more relaxed family communication style. If everyone gets face-to-face time on a regular basis, then some problems that come up in every family don’t get shuffled under the rug and left to fester. Even the simple process of eating together creates a bond that will help push back against much of the resentment that can occur within families, even when everyone recognizes that they love each other very much.

Have Device-Free Time

Creating a safe time for turning off all devices is a straightforward and practical way to reduce family anxiety as well. Just stating that for an hour everyone needs to unplug from their cell phones, tablets, computers, and other devices set the stage for a much more direct communication environment. Family members can either be bored and stare at each other or take that time to interact in a way that promotes positive bonding. Don’t let electronic connection devices lead to a disconnection in the family unit!

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3 Common Reasons New Parents Fight

Becoming a first-time parent is something that not everyone can fully comprehend until it happens to them.  A new arrival in the house means an entirely new set of wonders, challenges, and experiences that no one can quite be prepared for.  

Often the new surprise of everything that the new challenge presents can cause new parents to quarrel in ways that they never have before.  Here are some of the most common reasons that new parents can begin to argue after adjusting to life with a baby.

One Stays Home More Than The Other

In many cases, one of the parents starts to feel like they are the one taking on the majority of the work with the newborn.  One parent often isn’t quite prepared for the restrictions that a new child puts on them.  Since the baby often needs to sleep, be comforted, and have food on hand, it becomes a challenge to leave the house.

It is common for one parent to go through an identity crisis of sorts and they revert back to a younger time in their lives.  It is not rare for them to go out and drink heavily, stay out late, or do other sorts of behavior which involve avoiding responsibilities.  

When the other parent feels like they are taking on all of the work at home this can create bitterness and an imbalance.  It is important to discuss that an equal share of responsibility is crucial in order for your relationship to survive.

Lack of Sleep And Exhaustion

It’s no secret that newborn babies are downright exhausting.  It can be a lot of sleepless nights and rocking a baby that can’t seem to be comforted despite your best efforts.  Sometimes parents are so exhausted that they start to take it out on each other.

When you are running on one or two hours of sleep your patience can run thin and you can start to wonder how you are possibly going to make it through the day.  This is usually when arguments erupt and tension arises.

It is important to take turns resting so that the both of you can be on your best form.  Swapping feedings responsibilities and giving the other parent the chance to nap sometimes will benefit your relationship as parents.

Criticizing The Other

Since both parents are new at this there can be a lot of insecurity about whether you are doing things right.  Despite the numerous amount of books that are written on the subject of parenting, there is really no one right way to do things.

When there is such a gray area for how to parent since each child is different, this can lead to criticism of how your partner is going about their duties.

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Tips For Your Child’s First Year At School

Getting your kid prepared for starting school is something that can be a lot to imagine.  You start to think about all of the changes that they will go through and worry about how they will adjust socially.  When your little one has been used to staying at home all day with you for their life so far, it can be a jolting experience suddenly having to wear a backpack, abide by a schedule, and follow a curriculum.

Rather than letting it take you by storm all at once, make it a process which you are prepared for.  By following these steps, you can ensure that your child’s transition into becoming a student their first year is successful.

Make It Fun

In order to get them ready for the change, you will want to make it something that they can get excited about.  You can make learning seem like a game by engaging them in educational activities at home which are similar to the ones that they will be doing in school.

When learning becomes something that they get excited about then this will carry on through the rest of their years in education rather than being something that they dread or see as a chore.  Try buying some interactive card games, watching education programs, or playing quizzes.

Start The Conversation Early

Try to start talking about school several months before they will begin.  When the conversation starts early then they can begin preparing mentally for the change.  If you just throw them into it without preparation or warning then they could panic and not accept the change.

You can start doing things like visiting other schools so that they can see what it’s like in a classroom setting and know what it will be like.

Stay Involved

Once they start class you should make an effort to walk in with them in the mornings and take a genuine interest in what they are doing in the classroom.  

You can walk around and let them tell you all about the things on the wall and perhaps the artwork that they have made which is displayed on the walls.  When you make this effort then they are given the permission to get excited and show off what they have accomplished to you.

Talk About What They Learned At Home

Every day after school you should encourage conversation about what they are learning and keep the conversation going.  When they take pride in telling you about what they accomplished and learned then you will encourage them to create even more memories to talk about the next time they come home from school.  This excitement is one of the greatest gifts that you can give them for their learning process.

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Tips For Keeping Your Teens Out Of Trouble

When it comes to being a parent the baby and toddler years are hard enough as it is.  However, the teen years come with their own set of challenges.  While your children may at this point be old enough to dress, feed, and bathe themselves, this doesn’t mean that they don’t have plenty of new things for you to have to worry about.

Teens tend to get into trouble a great deal since this is the age when they are starting to learn their limits and experiment with boundaries.  It is important to remember that this is completely normal and that you shouldn’t feel that anything is out of the ordinary or wrong with them.  Rather than panicking and assuming you are the only parent in the world going through this, remain calm and try the following tactics.

Show Them Statistics

Sometimes the greatest way to show your teens how to stay out of trouble isn’t by simply saying, “Don’t do this!” But instead, showing them why they shouldn’t partake in certain activities.  You should try to explain to them the results of dangerous behavior like abusing drugs and alcohol.

Sometimes it takes seeing the real effects of behavior presented in front of your face to get the big picture.  Being honest with your teenagers about how their choices can affect them, in the long run, is something that can be extremely impactful.

Here is a great website for tips about budget and money management for teens .

Be Honest With Them About Your Past

Try to talk to your kids about things that you have experimented with.  Be honest.  The more that you speak to your teens as a friend and less like someone that is towering over them with information, the more receptive they will be.

Since this age is so rebellious, it is best to try to level with them rather than be condescending.  This way of being and thinking doesn’t work very well when you want to get a message across effectively.

Spend More Time As a Family

Studies show that the more time you spend as a family the less likely kids is to fall victim to destructive behavior.  When you give them a solid foundation they don’t feel inclined to seek rebellious behavior.

Try doing things like family game nights, eating dinner together, or even just enjoying some couch time watching shows together.

Encourage Them To Be Honest With You

If you don’t leave the doors open between you and your teen, to be honest about what they are up to then you run the risk of them being too afraid to come to you when they have an issue. Make sure that they know you will always be there for them even if they think they will get in trouble.

Budgeting and Money Management

Here is a great website for tips about budget and money management for teens. Teaching children about money management is very important and will help them now and in the future.

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Tips For Going Back To School When You Have Kids

Making the decision to go back to school to increase your education is a big decision when you have a family.  The amount of work it takes to get a degree plus the amount of work it takes to keep a household running can be a pretty overwhelming combination.

The challenges of combining both of these things can lead some parents to be too afraid to even dare take them on at once. However, it doesn’t have to be impossible.  With strong intentions, hard work, and positivity, you can make anything work.  Here are some of the best tips if you are a parent who has been considering going back to school.

Consider an Online Degree

Getting your degree online is a great option since you can do most of your work from your home simultaneously being able to take care of your household.  If you have the desire to start a new career or develop further skills in your current career, this may just be the perfect option for you.

Many schools such as Maryville University offer programs for students with fantastic curriculums and tools to help you reach your career goals. The convenience of being able to work from home at any time makes it a perfect match for a busy parent who has an unconventional schedule trying to take care of the kids.

Don’t Be Afraid To Ask Friends For Help

Going back to school is something that will require your full attention at times, so it is important to not feel guilty about having to take away your attention from your kids.  Remember that the reason you are taking your attention away from them to focus on your studies is to further your education and make a better life not only for you but for them as well.

Stay Motivated

When things get challenging you can start to have your doubts about whether you should throw in the towel or not.  Many people aren’t up to the task of following through when things begin to present obstacles.

Often it can be easy to find excuses for why you should quit or why it isn’t working.  However, remind yourself of why you began in the first place. Write down all of the reasons why you weren’t satisfied with the way things were going and write down all of the things you would like to see in your life.  Stare at this list often and keep yourself motivated.

Do Your Work In The Evenings

It can be advantageous to do your work at night when your kids are in bed and the day is finished. This way you can totally focus on your studies and homework without the distractions of housework or doing things for the kids.

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Quick Solutions For When Your Family Is In a Financial Pinch

If you’re the main financial provider to your family, there may times when you go through a monetary pinch or two, where it’s important that you cut down on your budget for a minute, or find out some way to get some quick cash, particularly for things like food or paying necessarily bills like gas or electricity.

But if you find yourself on the edge of payment ability, consider the options of payday loans, credit card purchases, buying bulk food, cutting out luxuries for a little bit, or adjusting your heating and cooling to cut down on energy costs.

Payday Loans

Getting payday loans is one of the more efficient solutions to getting cash on the fly. Just remember that interest rates can really catch you off guard if you don’t pay back those loans as quickly as possible. They can be an extremely fast way to make sure that loose bills get paid on time, but falling behind on payday loan payments can be a far worse black mark on your financial timeline if you aren’t careful.

Credit Card Purchases

Even if you don’t want to use it because you have a balance on it, using a credit card to make sure that life continues for your family uninterrupted isn’t the worst thing in the world. You may end up paying quite a bit extra for it eventually as you try to pay the credit card balance off, but at least you’ll have a way out of some type of dire emergency. Even if you have to apply for a new credit card in order to have this option, at least it’s something that’s available to you in a pinch.

Buying Bulk at the Grocery Store

Another way to stretch a buck is by buying bulk at the grocery store next time. Rice, beans, noodles – you know the drill. Things that taste good, last as dry goods, and can be a part of meals for weeks. That simple step alone can save you a lot of money in the short run.

Temporarily Cutting Out Some Excess Luxuries

For better or worse you don’t need to buy soda or juice. Water is healthier for you, and comes right from the tap. By cutting out luxuries like soft drinks and juice on an entire family level, that can translate into hundreds of dollars of savings in a month, believe it or not.

Adjusting Your Heating and Cooling

And finally, adjusting your thermostat a little outside of your comfort range, and putting on extra clothes or relying on cool water to stay in your neutral acceptable environment range can saved you a ton on energy bills during the course of a month. Make sure to add that to your arsenal of money-saving techniques.

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Educational Vacations To Take With Your Kids

When it comes time to go on a family vacation it helps to pick something to do that is both fun and educational. You obviously want to do something that your kids will enjoy, and you want to have fun too. But why not make sure they’re learning while on vacation as well?

Anyone can go enjoy a beach in Florida, or visit Epcot Center, but why not plan a few other things as part of your vacation. It’s not likely that you’re taking the family on a one day vacation, so fit in all that you can in order to have fun and make this an experience your family will remember forever.

Visit Museums

Every town, no matter how small it is, has a museum. Some of them have a simple, small local museum that teaches people about the history of that specific area. Larger cities may have more than one museum, and ones that cover all sorts of things, from history to science.

Take some time and learn about the museums in or near the area you are visiting. This way you can make an itinerary that allows you to catch all the ones that may be of interest to you and your family. If you have artists in your family then an art museum is a good plan.

Take A Class Locally

Consider learning where you’re visiting. You’ll learn a lot if you have a guided tour of the museums you visit, but why not take some time to learn about other things while you’re visiting. Places that offer learning in any town or city include libraries, museums, and art galleries.

Maybe take a local art class that gets you out into the city you are visiting and teaches you to draw the local scenery. This is a way better than any postcard you’ll find at the visitor center.

Tour The Town And Ask Questions

Another fun thing for your family to do, especially if you are visiting someplace with historical sights and lots of things to look at, is to take a tour of the area you are visiting. Ask people questions about the art, architecture, and statues you see. Takes lots of photos and even take notes about the different things you see.

Many historical sights have plaques telling about the sight and who it is dedicated to. You can take photos of this, or write the info down. It could be fun and educational to have your kids write a daily report about the things they saw and what they learned each day of your vacation.
It may be fun to spend vacation at an amusement park, but why not add a little education and culture into your next family trip. Spend one day at the park, the next touring the city, and the next at a cultural event like a festival!

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Inexpensive Stocking Stuffer Ideas For The Kids

Christmas is coming and that means you may be scratching your head to figure out what your kids want this year.  Though the holidays can be expensive, it doesn’t mean that you have to break the bank when it comes to stuffing those stockings with your kids favorite goodies.  Leave the expensive presents for Santa, because here are some great ideas for stocking stuffers for kids of any age.

For Boys

Books are a great idea for boys and girls alike.  For a younger child, make sure to opt for board books so the pages don’t get torn, and for older children look into chapter books.  Also there are some great mini sets that LEGO offers that are less than $5.00 that you can help your kid build on Christmas Day.  If you have a younger boy you can give the gift of bath crayons to make bath time more enjoyable.

Another idea is to give the little boy in your life a Hot Wheel car or a container of Play-Doh.  You will also be surprised at all of the stocking stuffer ideas you can get at your local dollar store.  Depending on the store, many dollar stores have an assortment of stocking stuffers for both boys and girls.  Yo-yos, small piggy banks, decks of cards and even small chess sets can be found for the very low price of a dollar.

For Girls

For the little girl in your life, the ideas are endless.  Give your daughter a diary with a girly matching pen.  Most girls love dressing up, so find a coin purse, and put some lip gloss in it as an added surprise.  Every child loves books, so make sure to add an age appropriate book that your little girl will love.  If you are unsure what book your kid will like, scholastic.com provides a list of the 100 greatest books for kids.

For Teens

Buying for your teen can be tricky, but they still secretly want a stocking filled with holiday treats.  If your teen loves coffee, try a $5.00 or $10.00 gift card at Starbucks.  You can also never go wrong with a couple of movie tickets so they can go with a friend.  Another idea is to get them a magazine subscription.  Online sites such as Amazon have great deals for 12 month subscriptions to a variety of magazines running anywhere from $0.50 to $1.50 an issue for magazines such as Sports Illustrated, Entertainment Weekly, and National Geographic.  Any room left in the stocking?  If your teen has a sweet tooth fill the rest up with their favorite type of candy.

With a little bit of money you can really put together a great stocking filled with fun things for your child of any age.

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Four Tips For Finding New And Creative Things To Do With The Family

Family bonding time getting boring? You could get a little creative and find some new things to do together. Not every family night needs to be about board games and having dinner together.

Get your family out of the house every once in awhile. You can do things in your own hometown over the course of an hour, or a few, or if you have a whole day or even a whole weekend to waste you could get even more adventurous.

Go To An Expo

Consider loading the family up and heading to the local event center to take in whatever fun expo may be in town. Even RV and boat shows can be fun for the whole family since they let every check out these things and maybe even walk away with some free swag, like pens, hats, and frisbees. You might even find a great deal on a boat or RV and have something else fun to do with the family the next time you take an adventure.

Take some time to find out about what expos come to your town or near your town. You may find anything from pet expos to gluten free expos. Some may be less family friendly, but expos are always great for window shopping, people watching, and getting free promotional materials from local and national businesses.

Take A Class Together

If you have a local recreational center you may want to look into what types of classes they offer for adults and for kids. You might be able to take a cooking class together or maybe even an art class. Kids love to learn and they’ll have even more fun learning when their parents are doing it with them.

Go On A Scavenger Hunt

Geocaching is the new way to scavenger hunt, and it all it takes is GPS and a geocaching website. You’ll get tips and coordinates to find hidden little boxes around your town or parks. Most of the time you can swap some little trinket or there will be a little notebook for you to leave your name or a note in. Some are hard to find and some are much easier.

Tour Your Town Or State

Take a day to take a tour of your own hometown with your kids. Walk the parks, look through the shops, check out the library, go see a movie, go to the beach, or take some time strolling through the museum. No matter how small or big your town in there is surely something to check out there and it can make for a great adventure with the family.

If you have more than a day, like maybe a whole weekend, consider loading up the vehicle and checking out some towns outside your own. Have a whole week? Take a state tour and visit some of the roadside attractions other places in your home state have to offer.

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Four Gift Ideas For The Mom That Has It All

The gift giving season is upon you and it’s now time to find the right gifts for the people that matter in your life. One of those people is your mom or the mother of your children. Sometimes it’s difficult to find the right gift for a woman that appears to have it all.

If she’s a successful woman, no matter what she’s a success at, she may already have everything she wants and needs. She may simply be able to get the things she wants whenever she wants them. So what can you gift her?

For The Green Thumbs

If the woman in your life likes to garden then get her some gardening gifts. Maybe she needs some new pots for her container garden. Consider getting some that are larger than what she already owns so that she can transplant plants that have outgrown their current containers.

Not all green thumbs grow vegetables, so consider the woman with a love for flower beds as well when it comes to coming up with a great gift. That gift could be some new decor, like a garden gnome or angel. Or, maybe get her some bulbs to plant when spring comes, of some of her favorite flowers and plants.

In Need Of Relaxation

Most moms are in need of a little relaxation, so if you can’t figure out what to buy the mom in your life you may just get her something to help her relax. There are a lot of options, from sound machines that play soothing sounds like birds chirping and waterfalls falling. Or you could buy a machine that heats up natural oils to help put relaxing scents into the air.

If the mom in your life is more of a get up and go person you could get her a gift certificate to a massage therapist, or to the local yoga studio. Both of these are good relaxation choices as well.

Fashion Divas

Yes, there are some women out there that love fashion and beauty. If you have one of those in your life your best bet is to get her some gift cards to her favorite clothing and beauty stores. You could also consider getting her a makeover.

Book, Music, And Movie Lovers

People that love entertainment give you far more gift ideas than anyone else. You could get them gift cards to local book or music stores, or even something online, like Amazon. You could have your own book published just for them too.

You can also consider going to the technical side of it all and get them an e reader or a Blu-ray player. The options are endless. If you do get the mom in your life something like this you may want to include a gift certificate to someplace where they can buy ebooks, Blu-rays, or whatever else at.

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Tips For Choosing The Right At-Home Daycare

These days traditional daycares are increasingly expensive, costing some parents over half their salaries.  These rising costs leave many parents searching for childcare provided in a person’s home.

Choosing the right person to entrust our children with each day is not something to be taken lightly.  Several things must be taken into consideration before taking the leap of handing our children over to strangers.

Follow these tips to keep in mind for ensuring that you choose the best at home daycare provider.

Request a Background Check

Even if this prospective child care provider comes recommended to you by all the parents in the neighborhood and err on the side of caution.

Requesting a background check is perfectly standard and you shouldn’t fear offending them.

While this person may not necessarily be a serial killer, they may have had a history of drug abuse, theft, or any variety of criminal activities that is best known beforehand.

Having a background check ensures that you know that much more about the person you are trusting to care for your children.

Verify If They are a Registered Business

Some at-home daycares may seem too good to be true on pricing.  Chances are this is because they are an unlicensed provider.  If you are ok paying under the table and risking potential problems with the IRS, then perhaps that may be your option of choice.

However, one of the main downfalls of an unlicensed provider is, while it may be slightly cheaper, you can’t claim child care expenses on your tax return without their child care federal tax code.

Being unregistered can also mean that they are not liable for your child’s injury, or any other hazards that may occur under their watch.

Talk To Fellow Parents

When scoping out an at-home provider, try to meet some of the other parents that send their children there as well.  Ideally, you will meet with someone that you choose yourself rather than a suggested reference of the provider.  This way you avoid any bias.

Ask a fellow parent what they believe the positive aspects, as well as the negative aspects, are.  Don’t be scared away by one negative aspect, as rarely is any place 100% perfect.  Weigh out the good with the bad and come to a decision based on what you think you can stand for.

If you truly are on a budget, perhaps the place you are able to afford will be serving lunches with hot dogs and goldfish, not grain fed organic free range chicken served on a bed of pilaf.

Speak Your Mind

Don’t be afraid to ask the provider tough questions and be upfront about your expectations beforehand.  By putting everything on the table initially, you can ensure that you are both a fit for each other without concerns coming up later.

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Preparing For a New Baby: Simplified Tips

Many new parents can become overwhelmed with the bombardment of information coming at them about all the things they “need” for their new bundle of joy.   Whether it’s an overpriced rubber chew toy giraffe, or the silkiest all natural fiber baby carrier, hand-knitted by virgins in a field of organic grass.

The fact of the matter is, you don’t need hardly any of it.  Dr. Spock, one of America’s most famous authors on childcare and parenting says about baby cribs: “Sometimes there’s a cradle that’s been in the family for many years. A cardboard box or a drawer with a firm, tight-fitting pad also works well for the first couple of months.”

Your baby doesn’t care whether he or she is in italian silk sheets or something you got out of the goodwill bin.  As long as what you are using for your baby’s needs is safe, and clean, you don’t need to have the most expensive item on the market.

As far as necessities go, it’s all quite simple.

Diapers and Wipes

Your baby is going to poop and pee.  A lot.  This is one of those things that you unfortunately can’t cut corners on.  You need diapers, and you need a lot of them.

The environmental benefits of opting for cloth diapers is what sways many parents in that direction.  However, the convenience and simplicity of disposable diapers is what makes other parents go in the other direction.

Do some price comparisons and decide which kind of diaper is best for your family and budget.  The same goes for wipes. Traditional baby wipes being one option, or cotton and water being the other.

Breasts or Formula

If you’re wondering where all that poop and pee will be coming from, here is the culprit.  Your baby will need to eat sometimes as often as every 30 minutes during its early days.

You will need to provide milk either by nursing, or if that isn’t an option, choose a formula that your doctor or midwife recommends, and of course a bottle.


Your new baby will need a roof over it’s head and 4 walls with proper insulation.  Particularly if you are new parents in the winter time, this necessity is essential. You don’t need a castle or a high rise condo.  Just shelter.

Perhaps you could get away living off the land on a sandy beach somewhere in a hammock under a tree somewhere in the world, but in many parts of the modern world, that simply isn’t an option.


Babies need to be covered when they are newborns.  The womb is warm and the temperature drop the infant experiences when coming out during birth is pretty drastic.

After the initial skin to skin contact with their mother or father under a blanket, a baby should be properly bundled from head to toe.

Love and Affection

Last but not least, all of the rest would be in vain, if you didn’t love and adore your baby and give lots of kisses and touch!

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