FREE Pregnancy Weight Gain Tracker

Surprise GIVEAWAY!! FREE Pregnancy Weight Gain Tracker

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This post may contain advertisements and/or links for products and services that I value. I offer recommendations to products and/or services that I find helpful in my own life as a mom. I may receive a commission based on viewer purchases or interactions with these ads. You will NOT be charged any extra money. All prices will stay the same for you whether your purchase items/services through links found on this site or not! 

Hey Mamas,

This giveaway has expired. 🙁

But don’t worry!!

You can still get a copy of your FREE Pregnancy Weight Gain Trackers- for every mom who wants to stay healthy during pregnancy by following this link! 

I hope you enjoy!

Sincerely,

Mrs. S

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Best Mom Hacks that Save Time, Energy, and Money

25 Best Mom Hacks that Save Time, Energy, and Money

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Photo by Julie Johnson on Unsplash

This post may contain advertisements and/or links for products and services that I value. I offer recommendations to products and/or services that I find helpful in my own life as a mom. I may receive a commission based on viewer purchases or interactions with these ads. You will NOT be charged any extra money. All prices will stay the same for you whether your purchase items/services through links found on this site or not! 

Moms- You are hard workers!

I know how much time, effort, patience, energy, money, and ingenuity are required to be a mom. It’s exhausting!

That’s why I keep my eyes open for any small tricks of the trade the simplify my life.

Here’s some of my favorite hacks for mamas like me!

Comment Below- What “Mom Hacks” save you time, energy, or money??

 

1. OFF Spray for Monsters Under the Bed

You know how you can buy “Off” to keep mosquitoes away? Well, some clever parent decided to make their own “Monster Spray” to help a child calm down in the night.

So smart huh??

All you need is a spray bottle, some essential oils for scent, and water.

Explain to the child that the monsters don’t like the smell of the spray, just like mosquitoes don’t like Off. Then spray a little of the “Monster Spray” under the child’s bed to keep monsters away all night long.

Genius!

2. Save the Socks

Do you lose your socks in the laundry all the time? Seriously, where do they go? I have to know… my brain is going to explode because I can’t figure it out.

Until I get that one sorted out, I have started to put all my socks into one mesh garment bag in the washer. It zips closed to keep all my socks together while they are cleaned.

Then when the laundry is all done, every sock has a match (can you imagine that???) and I don’t have to sort through the clothes to find all the socks. It’s amazing!

person holding front-load clothes washer botton

3. Label Clothing with Initials

I used to think that labeling clothing was only for “lost and found” purposes. If my daughter left her jacket at school, we could easily identify it from the massive pile of jackets that her classmates have lost throughout the year.

But I recently learned another great use.

Labeling laundry (all laundry) by putting each child’s initials on the tag or inside makes folding laundry SOOO much easier!

I can turn on my favorite show, sit on the couch, and fold away without any concentration on the task. I feel like I’m having some veg-time but really I’m getting work done. t’s so wonderful!

4. Grocery Pick Up from Walmart

If you haven’t tried this, you’ve got to check it out!

I love the grocery pick up from Walmart. Obviously, it’s super easy! All I have to do is order some items online, pay online, and drive up to the pick up window.

But there are other perks too! I don’t have to buckle and unbuckle the kids, the kids don’t get upset when they see things in the store that they can’t have, I don’t spend unnecessary money picking up items that weren’t on my list, and my favorite of all…. drum roll… Walmart occasionally upgrades my purchases if they were out of the item that I originally wanted! Cool huh?

5. Amazon Dash Button

Amazon Dash Buttons are fantastic! All you need is Wifi and you’re ready to go.

Your Amazon Dash Button will help you order those daily necessities as soon as you notice that you need more.

You know how you’re always thinking to yourself, “Oh, toilet paper, don’t forget to buy toilet paper the next time I go to Walmart….” and then you forget?

No more of that!

Just order it instantly and easily using your Amazon Dash Button!

Even better- there are Amazon Dash Buttons available in all your favorite brands!

Click the images below to purchase your Amazon Dash Buttons today!

-Starbucks Double Shot

-Campbell’s Chunky Soup


-Gerber Formula

-Dixie Paper Products

-Kleenex

-Doritos Chips

-Pampers

-All Laundry Detergent

-Hefty Bags

-Ziploc Bags

-Clorox Wipes

-Colgate

-Goldfish

-Cascade

-Tide

-Pringles

-Iams Pet Food

-Red Bull

6. Packed Lunches in 5 Seconds

Need a quick and easy way to assemble school lunches? Try this!

Dedicate a section of your fridge just for packed school lunches. On Sunday night, make 5 sandwiches per child, 5 Ziploc bags of veggies per child, 5 juice boxes per child, 5 other sides per child (fruit, chips, fruit snacks, dessert, etc.). Now, you have enough fixin’s to throw together a full lunch for every child every school day for an entire week! Grab n’ go! 

Or even better- let the kids grab whatever they want to eat that day! Done!

7. Double Layered Waterproof Mattress Pad and Sheet

This might be my favorite mom trick of all time. When you make up a baby or a toddler’s bed, layer one mattress pad, then one sheet, then another mattress pad, and another sheet.

The magic here is that if your child has a blowout diaper, if they wet the bed, or if they get sick in the middle of the night, you can easily pull off the top layer of mattress pad and sheet. Throw those in the wash. Meanwhile, the child’s bed is ready to go so you can get them settled back in for the night without any hassle!

photo of baby laying on bed

8. Disinfecting Toys

Toys get messy fast. They need to be cleaned… but how??

Try putting toys into a mesh garment bag to keep them contained then put them through the washing machine! Air dry, and you’re done! No extra scrubbing required!

9. Decrease the Fast Food Mess While Traveling

Occasionally while traveling, fast food can be a necessary evil.

But it’s such a mess in the car! How’s a 5 year old supposed to hold a hamburger, apple slices, fries, and a drink?

The solution- ask the restaurant for one disposable beverage tray per child. Then assemble each child’s food in the beverage tray! There’s enough slots to hold it all for them.

burgers and fries inside box

10. Duct Tape Diapers

Did your toddler go through a phase of taking off her own diapers? Mine did. It’s no fun.

Sometimes the diapers were clean, which was annoying because then I was guaranteed to have pee on the floor soon. Sometimes the diapers were dirty, which was just disgusting.

Needless to say, it had to stop. Duct tape fixed that right up! I basically duct taped a belt around my child’s diaper so that she couldn’t remove it herself. Easy peasy!

11. Personalized Bins

My home gets cluttered so fast. Not dirty, jut cluttered- full of random things that my kids throw everywhere instead of putting them away.

The usual offenders include shoes, backpacks, pencils, folders, lunchboxes, coats… all the “home from school” stuff.

I love the idea of having a bin for each child to put all of their school stuff in. Nothing gets lost, it’s all ready for them to leave the next day, and it’s all out of your living space. Perfect!

12. Veggie Squeezes

Baby food pouches or applesauce pouches are wonderfully healthy and kids love them!

They are quick, easy, transportable, not messy, and tasty! Perfect!

And they provide even more of those healthy fruits and veggies that you’re always trying to convince your kids to try.

bowl of vegetable salads

13. Mark Left and Right on Shoes

I love when toddlers get to the independent stage. You know, the stage when they want to do everything themselves.

That stage is so fun because your little one is learning tons of amazing life skills, and you get a little break from some of the things you usually have to do for the child.

Shoes pose a unique challenge because it’s difficult for kids to tell which shoe goes on which foot. But my kids usually forget to double check with me until after the shoes are on their feet and tied tight. That means I have to make time for the child to put the shoes on, wait for them to ask, switch the shoes, and then we’re finally ready to leave the house.

No thank you. Instead, I marked all of the shoes with “L” and “R” inside the shoe so that she could tell which foot that shoe belongs on! Done!

14. Wifi Vs Chores

It can be tough to motivate kids to help with chores. They know they are supposed to do their chores, but they complain, and argue, and fight you the whole way.

It’s not easy as the parent to stick to your guns when it comes to chores. It’s sometimes just easier to do the chores yourself.

If your child needs a little extra push to help out around the house, try changing the wifi password every morning. He can have the new password after he finishes up his chores! This stops the arguing, gives him new motivation, and allows you to spend your time doing better things other than nagging your kids to do their chores!

If you don’t need the wifi, you could also just unplug your router and keep it hidden until chores are done.


Other Great Reads: 

10 Best Hair Styles for Mom on a Busy School Morning

How to Create and Implement a Kick @$$ Chore Chart

20 Things I Wish I’d Known BEFORE I Started Potty Training

Helping Your Toddler Understand Time- Less than $20 DIY Resource for Parents

Creative Ways to Save Money For Parents and Families


 

15. Puppy Potty Pads

You know how you use those pads to house train a puppy? Why not use those pads to house train a child??

Yep, that’s right. Puppy pads can save your couches, beds, and other furniture while you potty train your kids.

16. String of Cheerios

Cheerios are a favorite snack in my house, especially to my babies and toddlers. But they are so messy! I’m always vacuuming up Cheerios that are crushed in my carpet.

Instead of handing toddler a bowl of Cheerios or hand feeding Cheerios to my baby, I’ve started stringing Cheerios on a piece of dental floss. My little ones (especially teething babies) can chew the snack as they want without me having to keep a close eye on them.

Side note- I do not put the string of Cheerios around the child’s neck for safety reasons.

17. Pencil Case of Kids’ Stuff in Your Purse

Do you keep all sorts of items in your purse for your kids?

My purse has snacks, crayons, small notepads, bows for their hair, baby socks, a pacifier… Tons of random items that are just for the kids.

And what’s worse- because there is so much stuff floating around in there, I can never find what I need when I need it. I’d have to empty the entire purse to get to it! It’s also difficult to switch purses if I want to because I’d have to move over all the kids’ stuff as well as my own stuff.

Here’s how to solve the problem. Fill a pencil box with all the kid stuff. Now, it’s all in one place, your purse is less cluttered, and it’s easy to locate items you need.

woman holding brown and pink floral leather crossbody bag

18. Rolled Up Towel Under Baby’s Head in the Bathtub

Babies are difficult to bathe.

Here’s my favorite method to make sure my baby’s head and face stay above the water line.

Fold one hand towel and place it under my baby’s head to raise her up above the water. Then, roll a second hand towel and place it under her neck. This helps her stay balanced and comfortable in the bathtub. The rolled towel also keeps her from rolling from side to side so that I can wash her without worry.

19. Grounded Until….

Do you ever use the “grounded” method to punish your kids for misbehaving?

It does work for a lot of kids, but the tough part is that grounding kids can be a punishment for mom as well as for the kid.

So here’s a great mom hack that can save you!

Instead of grounding your child for a certain amount of time (one week, three days, etc.) try grounding your child until he earns a certain amount of “points.” You determine what positive behaviors earn points and how many points that behavior is worth.

Or, try grounding your child until they complete a to do list. You can include things like making restitution to whoever they hurt when they acted out, helping around the house, completing school work, read a book, or doing acts of service for others.

silhouette of child sitting behind tree during sunset

20. Freezer Meals

Freezer meals are the best! You spend one day cooking in bulk, then you don’t have to cook for a week or two, depending on how much freezer space you have!

Or just make one big recipe and freeze half of it. You had to cook dinner tonight anyways, so why not make a bigger batch so that you can have some for later?? This will save you from throwing away leftovers and you’ve got dinner ready for a difficult day!

You can save a ton of money and waste less!

Try freezing enchiladas, pasta bakes, lasagna, homemade pizza, or try customized freezer meals. 

21. Contact Information Close By

Find clever ways to keep your phone number on your child at all times. Just in case your child gets lost, kind strangers will be able to help him get back to you again if they can contact you.

Here are some good ideas: make a bracelet with your phone number for your child, write your number on your child’s backpack/shoes/coat, use a backpack tag with your phone number, put your number on a key chain, etc.

person's hand over brown floral field during daytime

22. Keep a “Sick Container” with All Your Flu Season Needs

Kids get sick at the most inopportune moments. Often in the middle of the night.

I used to get caught in the middle of the night digging around in my cupboards for medicine, a bowl for the little one to throw up in, cleaning supplies to clean puke, a thermometer, Gatorade, or chicken noodle soup to help a sick little child.

Now, I keep all those things in a “sick container”. Really, it’s just a 5 gallon bucket, but it has everything I need at a moment’s notice. I can get my little one all fixed up and back to bed without even having to turn my brain on. Back to sleep for everyone!

baby sleeping on black surface

24. Walmart Bag for Trash in the Van

Does your vehicle fill up with all kinds of trash like mine does? I don’t even know where it all comes from.

Fast food while traveling is the worst, but even during our everyday drives to school and the grocery store trash just seems to fill up.

Plastic Walmart bags are easy to loop around arm rests. Now, you’ve got a built in “trash bag”. As soon as the bag is full, simply remove it, tie it up, and throw it out. Replace the bag with a new Walmart bag.

And you can feel good about reusing those plastic bags instead of throwing them out.

24. Keep Outfits Together in a Ziploc Bag

When I travel, I end up with piles of children’s clothes thrown all over the place as I search through our things to find the cute outfits I’d planned.

Instead of ruffling through everything, put all the items you need for one cute outfit together in a gallon Ziploc bag. That means shirt, pants, underwear, jewelry, bows, socks, the whole nine yards! All in one convenient place!

All you have to do is pick one bag full of items and you’re all set to dress your child.

women's assorted clothes

25. New and Improved Ice Pack for “Owies”

My kids always seem to need ice packs. We’re always getting bumps and bruises. But ice packs fix them up right away and they’re off to play again!

The problem is that ice packs break, leak, and cause messes. And they’re hard and uncomfortable.

Rather than using traditional ice packs, I’ve switched to frozen marshmallows. They’re soft, clean, and they still fix the “ouchies.” My kids also love to eat one marshmallow after. Then I refreeze the rest and we’re all ready for next time!

 

Comment Below- What “Mom Hacks” save you time, energy, or money??

I hope this hacks save you some time.

And I hope you recycle that newfound time into yourself, your kids, your significant other, or whoever needs you most right now! 

Sincerely,

Mrs. S

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Best Hair Styles For Mom On A Busy School Morning

10 Best Hair Styles for Mom on a Busy School Morning

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Photo by Hannah Morgan on Unsplash

This post may contain advertisements and/or links for products and services that I value. I offer recommendations to products and/or services that I find helpful in my own life as a mom. I may receive a commission based on viewer purchases or interactions with these ads. You will NOT be charged any extra money. All prices will stay the same for you whether your purchase items/services through links found on this site or not! 

Hey Mamas,

Are you perpetually running late? I was a very punctual person before I had kids.

Remember those days? I knew exactly what was on my schedule for the day, I had an organized to do list, and everything that needed to get done did get done.

There were just more hours in the day before my cute family got bigger. But I wouldn’t trade it for anything!

I strongly encourage moms to dress up and look nice on a regular basis. It’s so great for our emotional well being, our self-confidence, and our sense of purpose! I love to feel like I look good, even if it’s just a day at home.

But… If I can’t even get my kids to school on time in the morning how am I supposed to take the time to do my hair and makeup?

Here’s some gorgeous mamas who know what to do!

Comment below- What is your favorite quick hairdo? How do you do it??

1) A Messy Bun

This is my favorite how-to for a beautiful messy bun. So quick, so easy, and so classy!

Not only does it save you time because it’s easy to do, but it saves you time because your hair doesn’t have to be clean! Perfect for those crazy mornings when you don’t have time to shower.
Here’s the simple steps to a perfect messy bun.
-Flip your hair over your head.
-Gather hair into a high pony tail.
-Twist the pony tail.
-Wrap the twisted hair around the pony tail into a thick bun.
-If desired, pull hair in different directions to make the bun messier.
That’s it!! Done and done! Grab your kid’s backpack and be on your way!

2) The Knot

Image result for low knot bun
This style looks so cute and fresh, but it only takes 5 minutes to complete!

Here’s how to do it:
-Separate hair into two strands in the back of the head.
-Tie the two strands together twice into a double knot.
-Secure the bottom of the knot with a pony tail.
-Tuck the pony tail under and around the knot.
-Secure with bobby pins.

You’re gorgeous!

3) Knotted Pony Tail

easy-ponytail

Look at this amazing twist on a boring pony tail!! This is so clever and unique, and it can be done in the same amount of time it takes your six-year-old to eat a bowl of cereal on the way to school.
That’s right, you could be done with your hair by the time your kid is done eating in the morning.
Here’s how:
-Separate your hair into two strands off to the side of your head.
-Tie the two strands into a knot twice to create a double knot.
-Secure with a ponytail.
-Spread out the hair in the lower sections of the knot to cover the pony tail.
You’re done! Hurry off to work!

4) Hair Tied into a Bow

hair bow hairstyle
Want something creative? Something new? Something unique?

Try the literal hair bow. As in, your hair is the bow. So cool!

Check it out!

-Separate one thin strand of hair on the right side of your head and one thin strand of hair on the left side of your head.
-Pull both strands of hair to the back of your head.
-Tie the strands of hair together into a bow- just like you were tying your shoe.
-Secure the bow with bobby pins.

So easy! And so adorable! You’ll be the coolest mom at the PTO meeting!

5) Face-Framing Twist


This is a beautiful look, but it takes no effort at all! You can be done in time to grab a cup of coffee before you have to run out the door!

Here’s the trick!

-Choose what size of a section you want to twist. Pin the rest of your hair back so it is out of the way.
-Out of the chosen section, begin at the top of the head. Section out two small strands.
-Twist the front strand over the back strand of hair.
-Section out another small strand of hair.
-Twist the next section into the existing twist.
-Slowly section out additional small strands and add them to the twist one at a time, until you have twisted the whole section.
-Secure with a bobby pin.


Other Great Reads: 

5 Tips to have Optimal Health Before a New Baby (For People Who Don’t Like to Exercise or Diet)

What About Me? Parents- Take Care of Yourselves!

A Rockstar a Day Keeps the Children At Bay…. Healthy and Natural Tips to Keep Your Energy Up


 

6) Bangs for a Day

Do you ever wish you had bangs, but are you too scared to take the plunge?

Try bangs for a day, enjoy the fresh new look, but you don’t have to stick with it if you don’t want to.

And you’re done with plenty of time to drive your kiddos to school.

That’s the best deal I’ve heard all year!

Here’s how to do it:

-Put your hair into a high pony tail (We used to call these cheerleader ponies.)
-Use a small section of hair from the pony tail. Bring it forward. Fan the hair so that it falls across your eyes and forehead to make fake bangs. Use bobby pins to secure your fake bangs in place- adjusting for the appropriate length of bangs.
-Twist and wind the remaining hair in the ponytail into a thick bun. This will hide the origins of your fake bangs, keeping everyone wondering where your gorgeous new look came from!

Viola! A beautiful new look! Love it or leave it- no harm done! And you’re on time to your first appointment of the day.

7) Two-Minute Tuck

This two minute tuck tutorial is SO easy. It totally transforms my bad hair day to a flawless hairstyle! I love to do the two minute tuck on really busy days!
This is genius! It’s so fancy, and yet you can be done in TWO MINUTES! It’s even in the name!

Can’t argue with that.

And this is another great hairdo if you don’t have the time to shower in the morning. No problem!

This sweet style is so simple. Try it today!

-Part your hair in the middle or off to the side. Use a cute elastic headband- placed with the front of the headband on your forehead.
-Take thick sections of hair around the back of your neck, leaving out just a little hair to frame your face.
-Tuck the strands of hair into the headband. Loop the hiar up and under the headband.

You’re done! Time to get on with your busy day… and with a look like that, it’s sure to be a great day!

8) Criss-Cross Twist

This hairdo looks like it took all day but it’s actually only a few seconds! I could get this done before my child finds her shoes!

And it looks so classy! Absolutely beautiful.

This hairdo works best with short to medium length hair.

Here are the steps:

-Separate hair into two strands.
-Twist the first strand and pin it to the opposite side.
-Twist the second strand. Loop it over the first strand and pin to the opposite side.

Beautiful, quick, easy. It’s perfect for a school day morning rush.

9) Braided Bun

Another gorgeous bun, just as simple to create and soooo cute.

This looks so professional, but it doesn’t take all morning to look like this.

Here’s how!

-Pull your hair into a low pony tail in the back of your head.
-Braid the pony tail.
-Wrap the braided pony tail around itself.
-Secure with bobby pins.

You’re ready to go! Lookin’ hot!

10) Half Up Twist
Hair Romance - Easy half up twist tutorial 2
I love this look. Gorgeous and classy, but not time consuming.

Your hair is out of your eyes and face. You look stunning, but not too fancy to run errands.

You’ll be looking perfect before your kids even start arguing this morning! That’s right, and for my kids that’s about the first 10 minutes of being awake.

And again, no clean hair necessary so this is a great solution if you just need a few extra minutes to push snooze.

-Separate one small strand of hair on the right side of your head and one small strand of hair on the left side of your head.
-Twist each strand individually.
-Pull back the twisted strands of hair.
-Secure with an elastic band.

There you go moms!

Simple, quick, and easy.

You can get your hair up while your kids are eating breakfast, while they’re searching for their lost backpack, or finishing that last homework assignment.

You’ll look so wonderful with any of these tricks without any hassle.

Enjoy!

Sincerely,

Mrs. S

Share this post with all parents who need some extra time in the morning!

Please comment and “like” if you enjoyed this post!

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Free Self Care Guide 2

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The Amazing Miracle of Moms- YOU Have Something to Offer Moms In Need

AMAZING Miracle of Moms- YOU Have Something to Offer Moms in Need

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Photo by Artem Maltsev on Unsplash

This post may contain advertisements and/or links for products and services that I value. I offer recommendations to products and/or services that I find helpful in my own life as a mom. I may receive a commission based on viewer purchases or interactions with these ads. You will NOT be charged any extra money. All prices will stay the same for you whether your purchase items/services through links found on this site or not! 

Updated 2/13/2019

 

I was touched today when I stumbled across an article that told the beautiful story of a mom who needed some help, and all the women who immediately came to her rescue. 

This poor mom was pregnant, traveling all on her own- with a toddler.

It was time for her to board the plane, but the child was having none of it. He ran, flung himself on the ground, cried, screamed, kicked. She couldn’t pick him up because of his flailing.

She was trying to hard, doing everything she could, and nothing was working.

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—————————————————————————————————————————————–

Related Titles- 

How to Handle a Tantrum Without Destroying Relationship

How to Survive a Tantrum in Public

When Life Is On a Parent’s Side- Natural Consequences

Shut Down the Mommy Guilt- Teach Kids Through Your Own Mistakes

—————————————————————————————————————————————–

We all know how that feels!!!

And then, it was just too much for her. She sat down on the floor next to her son and cried. 

I know that hopeless feeling. I know how frustrated and overwhelmed she must have been to be at the point of breaking down in front of an airport full of strangers.

And so did the women around her.

That’s the amazing part.

Several women gathered around. They all kneeled down in a circle around the crying child and mother.

There wasn’t much talking- just genuine comfort and help. Each had something to offer- a bit of food for the child, some water for the mother, a toy for the little one, good ideas and support for the mother.


Resources- Are you traveling with children? Click the images below! 

Travel Journal

Travel Lap Desk Tray

20 Piece Activity and Games Bag

Transportable Potty Seat

Magnetic Board Games

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How wonderful are women!!! I wish I could have been there to witness such a beautiful moment. 

This story inspired me.

Please comment below- when have you needed help from women around you? How did others support you?

I want to be that mom who supports the women around me. 

We all need it, don’t we? It doesn’t matter how many kids we have, how many times we’ve dealt with it all before, or how much we know about raising children.

We all need help and love from each other.

Mom and Child.jpg

Photo by Xavier Mouton Photographie on Unsplash

What holds us back from helping?

  • I worry that someone might not want my help, or that I will embarrass them by acknowledging the problem.

I always think this about other people, and yet, if a kind stranger offered help to me I would never be offended! I would be so grateful and glad at their kind heart!

This must be my own brain playing tricks on me.

Next time I feel this way, I’ll remember this quote, “Never suppress a generous thought.”

-Camilla E. Kimball

Image result for never suppress a generous thought

  • I worry that I will cause more problems by helping.

This makes no logical sense when I really stop to think about it, but it legitimately holds me back when I have to make a split second decision on whether I will help someone or not.

Of course showing love will improve a situation! How could offering a kind word or a pat on the back not help someone feel better? 

I can do better. I won’t allow myself to miss out on opportunities to bless other peoples’ lives so easily. 

  • I worry that I don’t have anything to give.

This is the hardest thought for me to overcome.

I often just don’t know what to do. I feel so unprepared, my mind draws a blank, and I freeze. What could I possibly contribute?

But you know what? I bet that mom loved each and every person who stopped in to help her- and they each brought something unique to the table.

All things combined, it was the perfect solution to the problem. 

people's hand overlapping on center

What if the child was hungry, and the woman who shared her snacks didn’t stop to help? She might have thought, “There’s plenty of people there to help. They don’t need me.”

But she was needed and she did stop!

What if the woman with the toy in her bag hadn’t stopped? That resource would have been lost. 

“Anyone who thinks that they are too small to make a difference has never tried to fall asleep with a mosquito in the room.” -Christine Todd Whitman

There’s no excuse why we can’t all help each other! 

Let’s all decide now that we will help the next mom we see who needs a hand. Then we won’t be stopped by the thoughts that hold us back from helping. Make a plan now to be a support to others around you. 

Can you image the power we all have?? We can lift each other’s loads, make this tough job of parenting so much easier, and keep each other smiling. 

Let’s do it today- one little act of kindness at a time.

Women have amazing strength. Time to put it to work!

Sincerely,

Mrs. S

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Helping Your Toddler Understand Time and Routines- Less than $20 DIY Resource for Parents

Helping Your Toddler Understand Time and Routines- Less than $20 DIY Resource for Parents

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Photo by Elena Koycheva on Unsplash

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Updated 2/13/2019

Hey Parents,

Did you ever notice that the concept of time is really tough for kids to understand– all the way from birth up until they are like 7 or 8?

It’s a real problem, because we use time to manage everything in our lives!

  • When to wake up,
  • when to go to daycare or the babysitter’s,
  • when to the store,
  • when to eat,
  • when to nap,
  • when we come home from work,
  • when to celebrate holidays,
  • when to go to parties,
  • when to take a bath,
  • when to go to bed….

And through all this, our poor children don’t even know what we’re talking about when we say, “We will get to have bath time at 7 o’clock. Please wait til then.”

How can we help kids understand what’s coming next in the day?

It’s no fun to be thrown into things without any warning or understanding. What would that feel like to have NO IDEA what is going to happen next until someone else decided for you? And you HAD to do it?? 

I would throw a fit too!

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Case in point-

I was feeling so sad for my poor daughter the other day. She was getting so frustrated because she couldn’t understand why it wasn’t time to eat dinner.

Having a family dinner is very important to us, so I was hoping she would wait until dad got home from work. We do this every day, but those last 15 minutes are always a battle! 

There’s got to be a way to fix it. I’m done fighting this every single day! 

I did what every mom does- I complained to my friends about our problems. My awesome sister-in-law Monica (an amazing mother of four who I really look up to) gave me the best idea!

She said that she had heard of a tool that you can make at home, DIY, for less than $20 that will help children better understand time and routines.

Ummm…. YES PLEASE!!!

I took her suggestions and added my own twists. I call it our “Routine Clock.”

I’m focusing on two parts of our daily routine- eating times (snacks and meals) and sleeping times (nap and bedtime) by marking those events on the face of an analog clock for my child to see.

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Do you have any great ideas on how to improve this “Routine Clock”? Tell us about it! Comment below!

Step 1: Gather materials.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • A cheap analog clock

Mainstay Sterling & Noble Wall Clock – Black


  • Sharpies

Sharpie 30078 Permanent Markers, Fine Point, Classic Colors, 8 Count

  • Scissors

AmazonBasics Multipurpose Scissors – 3-Pack

  • A screwdriver

TEKTON 2796 6-in-1 Screwdriver

  • Stickers, paint, or any other fun decorations your child might like!

RENOOK Stickers for Kids 1500+, 20 Different Sheets, 3D Puffy Stickers, Scrapbooking, Bullet Journals, Stickers for Adult, Including Animals, and More,Christmas Stickers for Kids.

Crayola Washable Kids Paint, Classic Colors, 6 Count, Painting Supplies, Gift

  • Not required… But there were tiny screws that are easy to lose, so my husband’s magnetic tool tray might have come in handy. I wish I had thought of it beforehand.

Titan Tools 11061 Mini Magnetic Parts Tray

Step 2: Remove the minute hand (or at least mark the hour hand).

The overall goal with this clock is for my child to watch the hour hand approach a marked time for a snack or a meal or nap time in order to visualize when those events are getting closer.

The problem is that the minute hand crosses each of the marked time slots every hour of the day, while the hour hand only crosses them once per day (once per day during the hours that my child is awake anyways…).

So I really need my child to watch the hour hand, not the minute hand. By removing the minute hand or at least marking the hour hand, my child knows which one to keep an eye on.

You’ll have to remove the clock face for this step. It was super easy to do- just take out the screws on the back of the clock.

The minute and second hands were easy to cut with scissors. I did leave a small bit of each hand so that I could set the time on the clock.

If you would rather not cut the minute hand, just mark the hour hand with a sticker or by painting it or using a sharpie to change its color. This will help it stand out so that your child knows to watch the hour hand.

Step 3: Use a sharpie to mark the times of various daily activities on the face of the clock.

Replace the face of the clock. Again- so easy, just screw the face back on.

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I tried light-colored sharpies so that my child could still see the numbers under my markings.

As my child practices with the clock, I would like to start teaching her how the numbers correspond with the time, which corresponds with our daily activities. I really didn’t want to cover up the numbers with dark colors.

I found that the light green and yellow sharpies were TOO light. You could hardly see the color. But the darker pink and darker green were perfect!

img_20181128_131142352

****Idea- One limitation of this clock is that it still only works to help my child understand the daily routine, not to prepare for curve balls that life throws when the routine is thrown off.

If you want the clock to change based on what your plans are for the day, don’t use sharpies. Try using dry erase markers so that you can add different tasks or activities based on what new things are going on for the day!

Then just erase your clock at the end of the day so that you can put the next day’s tasks on the clock!

For my purposes, I color coded the clock using green and pink. Pink marks are for meals and snacks. Green marks are for naps and bedtime.

My child usually goes to sleep at 7pm and wakes up at 7am, so I marked from 7 to 7:15 in green to mark bedtime/wake up time. Her nap is around 1-3, so those times are marked in green.

Breakfast is between 7:15-8, lunch is between 12-12:45, dinner is between 5-6, and snacks are from 10-10:30am and 3-3:30pm. Those times are all blocked out in pink.

Marking a range of time during which we generally eat or sleep rather than marking one specific time allows some flexibility.

For example, we start lunch any time between 12:00 and 12: 45.

img_20181128_131646909-e1543527079187.jpg

Step 4: Decorate it!

I have not been blessed with a talent for drawing, especially on a curved surface like the face of a clock, so it was surprisingly difficult to make my clock look cute!

In the end, I decided I’d better go simple. I outlined each different task in black sharpie to make the time slots nice and defined, added a boarder around the face of the clock, and called it good.

But let’s be real- kids aren’t judgmental. They love you no matter what, and they’re excited about new things with pretty colors. So I had nothing to worry about.

If my little one were a little older, I would probably invite her to decorate it herself.

Oh, and I also added labels on each routine so that my awesome husband knows what’s coming up next. He always wants to help but doesn’t always know how. Win Win!

img_20181128_133807252

Step 5: Set the time.

Just follow the directions on the package!

Step 6: Put your new tool to work!

Well, we completed our clock about a week ago.

My daughter is catching on fast. I make sure to show her the clock each time a snack, meal, nap, or bedtime comes up. She is starting to point to it all on her own when we are getting close to one of those times in our day.

I chose not to hang it on the wall. Rather, I keep it on the counter.

  • Giving My Daughter a Heads Up

When a meal or nap is coming up, I hand it to my daughter (she loves to hold it) point to the color coming up. I ask her, “Do you know what’s going to happen soon?” or “Do you know what’s coming up next?”

Then we talk about it and I give her a 5-minute opportunity to finish up whatever she’s doing before it’s time to transition.

  • Helping her Understand When She Needs to Wait

It’s so much easier to tell her that she needs to wait to eat! (She doesn’t mind waiting to take a nap….)

If she’s getting hungry just a few minutes before dad gets home from work, I just show her the clock and say, “It’s not time for dinner yet, but look how close it is! Almost time!” 

Then she can hold the clock and check back to watch as dinner time gets closer and closer.

I have noticed frustration levels for both me and my child decreasing every day! It’s so nice to have a simple way to help her look forward to what’s coming up next in her routine.

img_20181128_150940892

Did you try out this “Routines Clock”? How did it go?? Comment below!

Do you have any great ideas on how to make these clocks better? Tell us about it! Comment below!

I hope this resource helps some cute kids out there!

And parents, as always, keep up the good work!

(As a total side note, I recently learned about another amazing tool to help children with time! This one is a clock that lights up green when it is “wake up time.” If the child wakes up too early, the light is off so he knows to keep resting or engage in a quiet activity until the light turns green signaling that he can begin his day! AMAZING!)

Click on the image below!
Mirari OK to Wake! Alarm Clock & Night-Light

Sincerely,

Mrs. S

Please share this post with a parent who could use some help teaching their kids about time!

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