Let’s face it. Reading is one of the most important things we can teach our children. It isn’t always “fun” for kids to sit down and learn to read. Reading is hard for them. Can you imagine what it must be like to not know any words and have to remember how all of the letters sound together, even though some don’t sound like what they look like they should sound like. English is hard. We as parents NEED to make sure that we foster a love for reading in children when they’re very little. The younger the better.
Little boys are a mystery to me. They’re rough, hyper, and sometimes mean spirited. At the same time, they’re sweet, incredibly caring, and loving. I watch my two sons play every single day. The majority of the time, they’re screaming at each other and trying their hardest to piss each other off. It gets tiring trying to get through to them that if they just play with each other nicely no one would have to feel upset. I find myself questioning my parenting sometimes. Am I doing something wrong? Why don’t they learn?
But then comes the moments like this:
As I watch my oldest son take the hand of my youngest son and start walking him across the yard without prompting. As he explains what everything around them is. They walk together and enjoy each other’s company. I follow behind them, without them realizing I am watching and snapping a picture. I realize in this minuscule moment in time that I am doing just fine.
Little boys are little boys.
You hear people say it all the time. Boys will be boys. I guess you never truly understand what that means until you raise little boys. Sure, there needs to be boundaries set so they don’t turn into violent young men. But a little rough and tumble and sibling rivalry is good for them.
So to my handsome sons:
Play. Wrestle. Get frustrated with each other, with reason. Just remember that you have each other always. Friends will come and go but brothers are forever. And I will continue to watch and admire you every single day. To never quite understand your gender like your father does, but to always love you with all of my heart. Thank you for teaching me what it means for you to be a Momma’s Boy.
This post contains affiliate links. If you click on my link and sign up for VigLink I will make a commission.
If you have ever heard of affiliate marketing and think that it is super confusing you’re not alone. When I started blogging, I thought I would never see the day that monetizing my blog would make sense. There’s just too much to learn. But when you dive in and start actually learning, it’s not too bad at all. And most bloggers eventually look to monetize, because hey it’s just awesome to do something you love and make money doing it right?
So, there is a FREE plugin on WordPress that allows you to make your monetizing much more simple. An affiliate program is where you would sign up with say Walmart, and when you write a post recommending one of their products and someone clicks the link and purchases, you would make a profit off that sale. Instead of joining a million and a half different affiliate programs, you can join one called VigLink. VigLink has connections with thousands of popular companies including Toy’s R US, Etsy, and Ebay.
How does VigLink work?
- Sign up for a free account at VigLink.com
- Install the FREE plugin on your WordPress blog.
- Start linking to products around the web.
- VigLink automatically creates a monetized link as long as they’re partnered with that company.
- You make 75% and they keep 25% of any sales made on your link. You get paid from them monthly via PayPal.
Take for example, my daughter loves Shopkins…These cute little houseware/food themed little collectible figures. Seriously, they’re adorable. I want to purchase her a Season 6 Mega Pack from Walmart. I think it’s amazing that they are only $14.88 on Walmart.com so I decide to share with you this awesome deal by giving you a link for the Season 6 Mega Pack. Now if you’re to click on it and make a purchase, I will get a commission. At least we can look at it this way… Helping my readers out and then they can in turn help me too! So thank you to my awesome readers for making this happen! 🙂
Habits have to be formed. Studies have found that it takes 3 weeks to establish a habit. We also know that children learn the most in their first five years of life. So it is important to start building habits with your children when they’re young.
Important Habits to Start at a Young Age:
#1. Brushing teeth.
Literally as soon as those first teeth pop in. We only get two sets of teeth in our lifetime. When I was young, I had no set routine for mouth hygiene and I have suffered tremendously as an adult. I have a hard time sticking to the routine that was never set when I was young. Dental care is not cheap. All the more reason to make sure you do what you can to avoid having expensive procedures.
#2. Washing Hands Often.
This one is HUGE. Kids just aren’t germ conscious. Their little minds can’t comprehend microscopic bugs getting in their bodies and making them sick. You may not be able to teach them about germs, but you can make sure they’re washing their hands often. We wash when we get home from the stores. We wash after going to the bathroom. We wash before eating. We wash after handling our ferrets and cleaning pet boxes. It took a while for it to sink in, and sometimes they still forget. But at least we’re establishing good clean habits.
#3. Opening doors for others.
This just goes along with being kind to others. My oldest son just turned 5. He watches his Daddy open my car door for me every time we go out. The other day we were going out to get supplies for his birthday and he opened my car door for me before I even walked out of the house. He was so proud of himself. I love seeing young children do nice things for others. It shows they’re really being raised right. Since then, he’s been opening doors for me constantly because I told him how happy it made me. Other things to teach them might be to compliment others. To not look at others differently if they’re not like you. All prejudices start when children see prejudices.
#4. Doing their own chores.
I believe any habit started at a young age will stick with you. If you don’t expect your children to help out when they’re little, you won’t be able to just wake them up one day when they’re a teenager and say it’s time to start doing laundry and dishes and mopping and sweeping. This will NOT END WELL. However, if you make sure that children start a habit of cleaning up after themselves and actually wanting to learn how to care for themselves, they will prosper as adults. You don’t have to expect your 4 year old will do a full load of dishes every night. Look up age appropriate chores and start out slowly.
While I could probably drone on for days about things to teach their kids while they’re young, I really feel like these are the most important. Staying positive through early enforcement and introduction of habits will ensure success in the future.
What habits do YOU think are important to start with young children? Did I miss any?
Admit it. You either are someone or know someone who cringes at the thought of getting an invite to a direct sales home party or now Facebook party. Direct sales have been around for a long time, and they are even more common with the introduction of social media.
But even social media has its pitfalls for those of us looking to better ourselves with something other than a 9 to 5. Recently, I was trying to share just a cute FREE educational reading game for kids that my company Usborne books offers on a support page for parents on Facebook. I truly thought that it would help other children learn to read like it is helping my own. But just because I wrote that I was an Usborne consultant I was made to edit my post so that I wasn’t “advertising.” Sorry but that wasn’t my intention to advertise at all, I was just sharing how I found the program.
Why are direct sales so awful?
I don’t understand the stigma that direct sales reps get. I do get that there are the rotten few who spoil it for the bunch by spamming. But really, I would be willing to bet that 95% of us direct sales reps care more about you and your needs.
Most direct sales companies are trying to sell higher quality products that are designed to help you and your family in different ways. I have been in a few amazing companies. Tastefully Simple had simple and natural food products made with only a few simple ingredients. It Works had awesome botanically based products for your bodies health and wellness. Mia Bella Candles had AWESOME gourmet candles made from soot-free palm oil. Now I am selling high quality and engaging children’s books with Usborne Books & More.
When you buy from a DS rep, you’re helping them survive.
I am thankful for every single person who has bought from me or held a party with my companies. Every purchase made helps my family pay the bills. I am a stay at home mom of three beautiful children. It kills me to think that I am not helping with the income, but going out and getting a job would be silly considering I would have to put three kids in childcare. Childcare is ridiculously expensive.
When you go to box stores and make a purchase, the workers won’t make any more money if the store makes $1,000 or $100,000. So if you really want to help make a difference in someone’s life, buy direct.
But it’s more expensive.
Sure it is more expensive. But you have to think that those companies have to sell their product and pay their consultants while still making a profit for themselves. You could look at it this way. That little bit extra will pay for higher quality products that will last longer. It will also help a friend or family member get a little extra money to contribute to their family budget. I know that everything I have purchased from DS companies has lasted longer, especially make up, lotions, etc… It’s because the higher the quality the less you have to use at once. So really, the added expense is worth it if you think about it.
Stop the judgement and the stigma!
Successful DS reps are very strong, dedicated, and hard working individuals. It takes a lot to make it in this type of business. You have to be self-motivated. You have to be able to take A LOT of rejection. You have to be passionate about what you do. Many people join when they have little money and NEED the extra boost. So before judging those who are looking to better their lives with direct sales, PLEASE think about these things. We are NOT trying to spam you. In fact, many of us truly believe we are HELPING others better themselves.
I challenge every single one of you that reads this post to make a purchase from a direct sales consultant. Holidays are coming up. Get loved ones a gift from someone who will truly benefit from your purchase. Comment below when you do, and tell me what company you bought from! There are SO many companies out there, I can’t wait to see what everyone chooses!
Marriage is amazing and beautiful and tough. It takes a lot of work to maintain a strong and loving relationship. If you think about it, your spouse knows you on a more personal level than anyone. This can be a blessing and a curse at times.
These days strong relationships are few and far between and I often hear people say things like I wish my relationship was like yours. I need a man like yours. I am here to say that it isn’t always as perfect as it seems, but we remain strong by doing many small things for each other ALL the time. No exceptions.
#1. ALWAYS Say I love you back. Even when you don’t feel like it.
It’s important that your spouse knows that you love them even when you are upset and maybe not feeling the love quite so much. It isn’t always the easiest thing to say I love you when you’re mad, but it will help. I promise. You HAVE to know that no matter how bad it gets, you still feel the same.
#2. Don’t talk badly about each other to your friends and family when you’re having issues.
This causes distrust with your spouse if they end up finding out that you’ve been saying things to other people. If my husband and I have issues, we confront each other and talk it out instead of involving everyone else. This didn’t happen right away. We learned to do this after a few years of being together. But I really feel like this one is SUPER important. You and your spouse are in this marriage together and no one else is. Leave them out of it.
#3. Make sure you can laugh and joke around.
Life can be hard. It can bring people down. Stress is very common. Don’t let everything get to you. Make sure you can laugh and play and joke around with each other. The more you let every little thing bother you, the more miserable you will be. When you live with someone who is miserable YOU become miserable. So just be silly once in a while.
#4. Don’t let anyone hinder how you feel about your spouse.
It’s been my experience that if someone is unhappy with their own life, they’ll try and make you miserable about your own. They’ll try to make you feel like your spouse isn’t good enough, or doesn’t love you enough. Everyone is different and has different views. Here again they only see what’s on the outside. They’re not there to see every day life. Do NOT allow someone to make you feel like your choice in husband or wife isn’t good enough. If you’re happy and they love you, they will support you. Period.
#5. ALWAYS tell the truth, even when it hurts.
This one is HUGE. When our relationship was new, we sometimes would say white lies because we wouldn’t want to upset each other. We both learned fast that this was not the best idea. When one of us would find out later on that the truth wasn’t completely there, it would cause pain and distrust. Pain and distrust that was never really needed. I have made it sort of a new motto that even if I get pissed off and lose it for a little while, I would rather you hit me with the truth as soon as possible. Keeping things or not telling the whole truths just hurt way worse later on when they finally come out. Because they will. Everything comes out sooner or later.
#6. Take care of each other.
If your husband works a long day, make dinner for him when he gets home. Give him a massage. If your wife spends all day with the kids and is mentally exhausted when you get home from work, draw her a hot bath and take the kids outside so she can enjoy a quiet house. It’s these small things that make you appreciate each other just that little bit more. It lets you know you’re important. That it’s okay to feel tired or burnt out.
#7. Don’t make him/her feel guilty for wanting to relax.
There’s so much pressure to do things. We are always on the go. Working long hours to barely make enough to survive. Cleaning the house a million times a day because there is always something to be done. Bills to pay. Sporting events to attend. Birthday parties, grocery shopping, and everything else. Sometimes it is needed and okay to say lets do nothing today. I’ve grown up with the impression that you’re lazy if you take time for yourself. It’s something that I STILL need to try and get past in my own head. Even when I am sick, I feel like I need to be doing things. But life goes on no matter what you do. You will always have time to clean, do sports, pay bills, etc. If your spouse wants to play video games or watch movies for a day, let him. As long as that isn’t ALL he does, by all means let him. If you’re always on top of your significant other and making them do this and that for you, there will come a time where they resent you.
#8. Try new things for each other.
I’m guilty of not wanting to try things that don’t interest me. Most people are. But my husband has asked me before to give things a shot, I do and to my surprise, I like it. Don’t shoot them down just because you don’t think you’ll like it. I feel extremely loved when my husband does things with me that most men wouldn’t do, like going shopping or helping me with my direct sales company events. Even watching a chick flick or something that he normally wouldn’t pick out.
#9. Don’t go to bed angry.
I hear this one a lot. This isn’t just something that I came up with. But it really never is good to go to bed angry. It usually makes you sleep like crap, feel like crap, and usually intensifies the bad feelings the next morning. Even if you can’t come to a resolution, at least let them know you love them and you will make sure you talk in the morning.
#10. Just enjoy each other.
Do not get in the “ball and chain” mindset just because you’ve been together a few years. It’s okay to be comfortable with someone without feeling like they’re burdening you. Happiness is definitely a mindset. Life may not always be perfect, but it doesn’t have to be when you have someone who is perfect for you. This too shall pass.
I have something that I like to call “midnight motivation.” Basically, you spend all day tired as hell… Then as soon as your head hits the pillow, you’re the next Albert Einstein and ready to create the world’s next big thing.
I can’t tell you how many times I have heard other mom’s say the same thing. I believe it’s just our time to process. We spend so much of the day worrying about everything other than ourselves. Feeding the kids. Keeping the house clean. Paying the bills. Making sure everything gets done that needs to and your kids are safe and healthy.
So my best quiet time is when the family falls asleep. I like to sit up and process the world at that time.
How Can You Benefit From Midnight Motivation?
It can be a little frustrating at first. You feel almost useless because it’s too late to really start anything, but you feel so productive. So I use that to my benefit by making lists. I blog, I sell children’s books, I have my own photography business. So I use this midnight motivation to make “to do” lists for everything I need to do the next day. I write down ideas for blog posts. I Pinterest photography poses and themes that I might like to try.
Keep a notebook by your bed at night. Whenever you come up with the next best thing, write it down. You might be surprised by what you can accomplish this way. As soon as you wake up the next morning, grab that notebook and head downstairs for your morning cup of coffee, or soda in my case.
How many of you other Mom’s and Dad’s out there have experienced “midnight motivation?” What are your methods of madness for this? Drop me a comment below with anything you would like to share! I would love to hear your experiences!
Let’s face it. Experiments are fun! To a kid, nothing is as fun as getting messy. So when you want to have fun with kids and maybe even teach them a little about science, what about making some gloop? This experiment has also been known as “oobleck.” It is just three very simple and inexpensive ingredients, but it entertains even full grown adults. We did this experiment with our three kids ages 6, 4, and 2. I almost think that my husband and I had almost as much fun as the kids did with this. It is also nice because non of the ingredients are harmful, so my two year old was able to get right in on the action without me fearing if it would harm him to get it in his mouth.
As a cyberschool family, our school day is not traditional in any means. We do not get up at the crack of dawn. We do not rush around to eat and run out the door. Starting school doesn’t always happen as soon as breakfast is over. So what does it mean for a child in cyber school? How do their days work?
Daily lessons are on the planner.
Every morning, I wake up and study the lesson plans for the day. They usually have all core subjects. Every other day there is usually another non-core class, like phys. ed or art. Lessons can be completed whenever, as long as your total hours for the week are 25 (in elementary school). When the lessons are complete you check the complete box.
Commonwealth Charter Academy offers blended classrooms called Live Lessons that students can attend for a more traditional approach to cyber school. They will attend a virtual classroom for specified periods of time each day to learn with a teacher and other classmates. If the times don’t work for you, there are recordings of the lesson that you can watch later. Choosing not to attend Live Lessons is also an option, they just switch you into a class called asynchronous. Students in asynchronous work independently with a parent or learning coach and only speak to their teacher once a month or once every 3 weeks.
Electives, Clubs, and Field Trips
Even as early as Kindergarten, students have the options to join clubs or sign up for elective classes. Last year, my daughter had a Home Ec style class called Home Life that taught her basic skills such as cooking, maintenance around the house, and budgeting money. She also joined a pen pal club to meet more students in cyberschooling around the country. There was also a Pens and Lens club she did to showcase her photography skills. Our school offers hundreds of free or paid field trips every year. This not only adds to active hands-on learning, but also allows the children more opportunities for face-to-face interaction with fellow students.
Flexibility is Key.
All in all, the BEST part of this way of education is the flexibility of your school day. Families that aren’t used to first shift schedules do not have to struggle to train their children to go to bed early and wake up early. Families that are active in sporting can enjoy going to practices and games without worrying about whether or not it will interfere with school because guess what? Those hours count as school time! Taking educational trips also count! If you and your child get burnt out in the middle of a lesson you don’t have to be afraid of taking a break and coming back to it later. It really just creates a great positive atmosphere for learning.
Here is my princess working on handwriting while her baby brother watches and asks questions with her. I LOVE seeing them able to learn and grow together. To not miss out on the little moments. To be a full time family. This is everything to me.
Going from one kid to two is easy. It’s fun and exciting. Especially if you end up having a boy and a girl. Going from two to three kids is insane. Everything changes. The dynamic is thrown off. The numbers are odd. What does this do for the way of life? Moms with more than 2 kids are sure to experience these things.
#1. You say “No” more than any other word.
No hitting. No looking at each other. No pooping on the floor. No do NOT jump off that chair. It’s a pretty small word in comparison to how much it gets used. And they still manage to misinterpret it a lot. With two kids, you do say no a lot don’t get me wrong. But the third child will want to do EVERYTHING their older siblings do, so the use of NO becomes that much more important.
#2. Balancing becomes a key way of life.
Balancing your time with all of them. Making sure you get quality alone time with each. Making sure they have a fair share of time spent with others. Making sure you make time with your husband. Making sure you have time for friends. Making sure you get some alone time. Making sure you can still do all of those things while managing the million loads of laundry you will do in a week. It really jumps up your game when you add more children to the mix.
#3. Nothing surprises you.
You will have seen probably everything you can think of by the time you have a third or fourth baby. Poop smeared on the wall? Seen it. Kid eating cat food? Seen it. Picking a dirt covered lollipop up after dropping it on the carpet and putting it in their mouth. Yep. Seen that too. The difference between the first and third child is that you would have a minor heart attack when the first child would do that. We would probably rush them to the hospital in fear of them catching some rare and terrible disease. The third child. Eh, they’ll be fine. We all eat a pound of dirt in our lifetime anyways right? It’ll just help their immune system.
#4. And still EVERYTHING surprises you.
Hearing I love you Mommy from the third child. It will hit you like a freight train. Sitting back and watching your older two love on the baby. It’s perfection. Watching the third baby take his/her first steps. I don’t know, it will still just surprise you. To think, you made every single one of those beautiful beings. How is that possible?
#5. You can manage ANYTHING.
Taking care of three kids is a challenge. You no longer have enough hands to hold all of them. You no longer have a lap big enough for all of them. But you will find room. Fitting all kids into the car with clothes that match and shoes on both feet will be a great accomplishment. You start to realize that super heroes are an understatement. We moms ARE superheroes.