A Fine Tuned Work-Life Balance Helps Working Mothers Immensely

The task of raising children while also maintaining a work-life balance requires some coordination and planning. When both parents are working on building careers while also splitting parenting responsibilities, a work-life balance is incredibly important to make sure that you aren’t letting the most important plates fall while you’re busy spinning the less important ones.

Fine Tuning:

Let’s say you’re looking at your schedule for the coming week and you notice on Thursday that you have to stay late for a meeting, your one child has soccer practice, your other has piano lessons, and your partner is leaving for a business trip later that night. Are you going to just ‘wing it’ and assume that things will fall into place, or will take the time to plan out the evening so things can run smoothly?

There is always an element of fine tuning to maintain that balance between professional and domestic lifestyle; this helps to keep things from falling apart in moments when your schedules are tight and detailed planning is necessary for a smooth execution.

Plan out meals ahead of time.

Each weekend, plan out your dinners for the week and prepare anything that you can ahead of time.

Make double dinners.

If you’re cooking a recipe that can easily be frozen, reheated later, and served again, make a double batch of whatever it is and freeze half for another time. This way you get double the cooking done at once while using half the time.

Make a list and shop once a week.

A lot of time is wasted running to and from the store every time you need to grab something. Free up your schedule a bit by making a list of all of the things that you need to get at the store and do one big trip all at once to get everything. The twenty minutes here and twenty minutes there that you spend running to places adds up to time that would be better spent doing other things.

Don’t forget the ABC rule.

The ABC rule – Always Be Cleaning – can save you a LOT of time in the long run when you simply straighten up as you go. Embrace this idea wholeheartedly  and instill it in the rest of your family, teaching them to pick up after themselves so you don’t have to take a 2 hour chunk out of your day to do all of the cleaning.

The Women’s March on Washington

In one of the largest recorded protests in US history, a congregation gathered on the Washington Mall on January 21 to demonstrate their displeasure with the stances and promises of the recently sworn-in administration. Specifically regarding potential policies on abortion, health care, discrimination, civil rights, and legislation regarding Muslims, the nearly three million gathered in the nation’s capital made it clear that they wanted women’s issues addressed and not ignored or legislated over.

The march originally came under severe scrutiny when it became clear that the three women who were organizing the demonstration were all straight, white, and upper-middle class. Feminism itself has been criticized when it fails to incorporate issues for Women of color, LGBTQ+ women, women with disabilities, and women in poverty, as “white feminism,” or an ideology that only benefits straight, white, upper-middle class cis-gendered women. Its counterpart, “Intersectional Feminism,” is one that addresses the intersection of gender, race, income, sexuality, education, and other elements that contribute to a person’s identity and is generally considered a more inclusive, compassionate, and socially just.

To the end that the march did not want a reputation of supporting only “white feminism,” the three leaders stepped down and handed the torch to a black woman, a woman of latin american descent, and a Muslim woman who chooses to wear a hijab. These three young organizers worked hard to create and publicize a demonstration that drew attention to a smorgasbord of issues that afflict women of a wide slew of cultures. And publicize it did.

Crowd engineers estimate that the turnout at the Women’s March was about triple the turnout Donald Trump’s Inauguration, and that does not include the other movements that took place in cities as big as LA and as small as Lancaster, PA. Despite the size, the police didn’t make a single arrest, and there were no reports of property damage. Far from a riot, this demonstration was designed to celebrate American womanhood and make clear that Americans would fight to defend the progress made in women’s healthcare and public safety from assault.

The day of the event, hundreds and hundreds poured into the city, many clad in pink “pussy hats” whose proceeds benefited Planned Parenthood. People of all genders thronged to the streets holding signs declaring that women won’t stand idly by and watch their rights and healthcare erode without some backlash. Marchers carried signs that read “Pussy Grabs Back” in reference to a leaked Trump interview in which he said he would “grab [women] by the pussy.” Celebrities ranging from Madonna to Zendaya to John Legend to Scarlett Johansson attended the event to deliver speeches, perform, or just mingle with other protesters.

Overall, the march was meant to serve as a starter’s block for a long relationship among citizens to stand up against legislation and behavior that will put women in danger or purposefully make life more difficult for them. The march was imperfect for a number of reasons, including the language focused on reproductive organs that may have alienated some trans people, but on the whole, the movement demonstrated the power of numbers and the refusal of the public to take the promises of the incoming administration lying down.

How Parents Can Avoid Meltdowns Over the Holidays

As every parent with children knows, meltdowns (especially those in public), become an unwelcome part of life. While it’s normally random when these tantrums will occur, they are most likely to happen during the holiday season. After all, kids who don’t know how to express their emotions yet can become just as stressed as you do this time of year. Whether you’re a new parent or one who just needs some new techniques to try, below you’ll find tips for avoiding those dreaded meltdowns during the holidays.

Prepare for Problems

Whether you’re going to a recital or a friend’s holiday party, packing a “just in case” bag for a meltdown can save you when you need it the most. While what you pack should be based on the personality of your child, some top items to consider bringing along include:

  • Snack and Juice
  • Favorite Toy
  • Paper and Crayons
  • Headphone for Music/Games/Movies
  • Tablet

Monitor Your Schedule

While there might be a lot of holiday parties to attend, bringing your children to too many can upset their normal schedule. While attending a few events is certainly fine, you may want to cut down on the total amount on your calendar. Before making your way out, check to make sure you’re checking the following needs off your list:

  • Is your child fed? Will there be food for them to eat at the party?
  • Will there be a place for your child to sit down and rest while you’re there?
  • When you leave, will your child have enough time to unwind before bed?

Set Expectations

Before going on any type of outing, let your child know what they can expect. This should include going over rules, fun activities, downtime, food, and other important details. This will set their expectations so they can avoid disappointment.

Have a “Can Do” Attitude

Your little one might get upset when they can’t touch all the toys at the store or play in the same room as the adults at a party. So, instead of telling them “no”, why not give them things to do? At the store you could let them pick out the fruit and at the party you could have them help look after a younger child. When you make them feel important, they’re much more likely to keep their cool.

 

Millennials & Parenting

Twenty years ago, the last things we were thinking about is our children growing up and having kids themselves. We didn’t worry about sustainable energy or even imagine online communities and communication. Our parenting skills were simple. However, those parenting skills have shifted greatly, but have also been passed down to the millennials. Here’s a look at some ways millennials are changing parenting.

Technology

The use of technology has allowed millennials to establish communities based around parenting. In today’s world and society, time, distance, and travel makes it very hard to get answers fast without the use of technology. Technology and social media platforms allow parents to get advice, help, and quick answers online. It also establishes a community of support. Millennial parents are able to learn and grow from one another, all with the use of a phone or computer.

Technology also allows children to develop learning skills at a younger age through the use of interactive learning apps and games. For millennial parents, education is very important when it comes to their children. Through the use of technology, children and parents are also able to interact with distant relatives and family. This allows Millennial parents that live farther away from their relatives to interact at more frequent times.

Urban Living

Back in the day, the typical American Dream family picture included a suburban house with a green lawn and white picket fence. Today however, the American Dream has changed entirely. Millennials are staying in urban areas, enjoying their ease of access to restaurants, family activity centers, and overall community interaction. Millennials also grew up in a time where technology and the economy have taken a turn several times, therefore learning how to work hard and deal with the hardships. As many reports show, millennials don’t like to spend money more than they have to, therefore it is cheaper to live in most urban settings. This also allows them to teach their children that less is actually more, just as they learned while growing up. Living in urban settings allows millennials to save money, while also helping contribute to growing communities and establishments.

Health & Stewardship

Millennials focus a lot of their time and money on doing what’s write for the environment and their overall health. Millennials are the largest group of people who are focusing to fight climate change. Taking these steps to healthier life styles will allow their children to learn and grow the hardships and downturns the environment has taken. As the life expectancy continues to grow, the environment must continue to get cleaner. Millennials are the largest spender of sustainable energy and food products for a healthier environment to live in.

Norms  

Millennial parents are changing the norms. For example, The Atlantic reported a study that 57% of people aged 26-31 were having kids outside of marriage. Millennials don’t see marriage as a priority to have a family anymore. Another thing is raising their children as gender neutral. More and more parents are forgetting gender colors and toys and raising their children to be gender neutral. For example, who says ever said that Barbie was only for girls? Or that girls can’t skateboard? Millennial parents are changing the societal stereotypes to become a more accepting overall community.

4 Post-Baby Belly Workouts

As a new mom, you know how difficult it is to get back into the shape you were before your baby. You’ve gone through the pregnancy and delivery and are now wondering how you can get rid of the paunch you have leftover from those long months of carrying your child. It’s likely you’re incredibly busy, exhausted, and feeling discouraged about accomplishing the goal of improving your abdominal muscles, but it’s certainly possible! There are hundreds, probably thousands, of resources online. I’ll give you a list of simple exercises that are proven to help you improve your core strength, which is the vital first step to dropping the weight and toning your body!

 

  • Pelvic Tilt

This exercise is fairly basic and referenced on various lists about getting back into shape after a pregnancy. Just lay flat on the floor with your feet hip-width apart and straighten your arms out at your sides. Align your spine with the floor and make sure it’s straight, then inhale and exhale as you raise your hips up off the ground. Tilt your pelvis and squeeze your abs, then hold for a couple breaths before lowering back to the ground. Do 10 reps.

 

  • Plank

There are nearly endless variations on the plank, but the two classic ones you should use are the ball plank and a side plank. For the ball plank, assume a typical plank position, but rest your arms on top of an exercise ball. Hold the position for at least 30 seconds, repeat 5 times. For the side plank, lay on your side and place your forearm underneath your shoulder to support your body. Straighten the rest of your body, stack your feet, and stabilize your core. Hold for at least 30 seconds and then switch to the other side. You can add leg lifts if you feel comfortable.

 

  • Plank Vinyasa

 

This exercise is a yoga pose which puts an interesting twist on the typical plank. Get into the normal plank position, lowering onto your forearms if necessary. Once your body is straight, inhale, then exhale as you pull a leg into your chest area while contracting your abdominal muscles. Return to typical plank position and then switch legs. Alternate for 10 to 20 reps, whatever you feel most comfortable doing.

 

  • Alternating Twist

To do this exercise, lie on your back with your feet flat on the floor. Interlace your fingers behind your head, but make sure not to strain your neck. Inhale, and as you exhale contract your abs and lift your head off of the floor. Move your right elbow toward your left knee as you pull your knee toward you. Hold for a couple of breaths, then return to your starting position. Do the same on the opposite side and continue alternating knees until you reach a rep of 10.

Working Moms and Their Children

Working mothers face a lot of scrutiny. They’re expected to still remain the primary caretakers of their children on top of having a job, either full or part time. Working mothers often get asked questions like, “How do you balance work and family?” and “Who watches the kids while you’re away?,” questions rarely – if ever – asked of the father. While working mothers often feel the burden of guilt over choosing to have a career, they should feel guilty no more. Working moms, rejoice! New psychological studies have found that working mothers tend to have happier children than stay-at-home moms while also being happier themselves.

There are ever-growing amounts of research saying that helicopter parenting harms kids more than it helps them. A study of college students found that children given their independence report satisfaction, better health, and confidence as young adults, where children of helicopter parents are more likely to experience anxiety, depression, and self-doubt in their decisions. In fact, according to a University of Michigan study, the amount of time that parents – both mothers and fathers – spend with their children before their teenage years has little to no impact on the child’s performance socially, academically, or emotionally.

In fact, it’s not until the child’s teenage years that more time spend with a parent can help reduce delinquency. What actually makes a difference in the children’s lives is income: family income is a much bigger predictor of whether or not a child will have successful development than the amount of time spent with parents. This isn’t to say that people who are rich will have better kids, but rather higher household income for each income bracket correlates to better child development. An economically stable environment is more important in a child’s development than having a parent constantly present. So, working moms, if you’re working to give your child a better life, keep it up. You’re doing the right thing.

Mothers who work at least part time are happier and have better health overall as compared to stay-at-home moms.
Mothers who work at least part time are happier and have better health overall as compared to stay-at-home moms.

On top of having happier children, working mothers themselves are also happier than their stay-at-home counterparts. A study from the American Psychological Association said that mothers who are employed part time report fewer symptoms of depression and better overall health than mothers who stay at home with their children.

Moms, enjoy spending time with your children, but also enjoy taking time for yourself. Your children will thank you for it, and you’ll thank yourself.