By: Nicole Pelletiere
The day has come. It is the last and final day of your maternity leave which means it’s time to prepare to go back to the office. It won’t be the easiest transition—you’ve been at home for weeks and the thought of leaving your little one can be simply unbearable.
Co-founder of MyWorkButterfly.com and Mommy of two boys, Bradi Nathan, explains why new parents struggle with going back to work and leaving their kids. “It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity. Years your will never get back and for some, the idea of someone raising your children is unimaginable”.
Mothers may feel come initial guilt or fear of leaving their child upon returning to work. It is important to try and not feel guilty, as it’s perfectly alright to be excited about continuing your career.
After all, there are positive reasons to return to work; for one, you are providing for your family and as Bradi suggests, “Work offers a sense of self, independence and the opportunity to continue intelligent conversation”.
Upon feeling guilty, parents may also have a lack of trust that someone may not be able to parent your child as they would like. Childcare is important, but great childcare is essential when you are leaving your baby with someone else. Shop around for the perfect babysitter or facility that meets all of your needs and expectations ie: a clean, trusting, and stimulating learning environment.
Preparing to find necessary childcare is an important task to complete prior to your return to work. Set up interviews, consult your Mommy friends, and do not rule out Care.com.
Whether you are choosing a center or an individual to care for your little one, be sure to have a backup plan as well. There is a chance that your babysitter can get sick, or even your baby—in which case, he or she will have to be picked up from daycare. Have you and your spouse both discuss the possibility of these scenarios with your employers. This way if something should come up, you are both prepared to handle the situation. Lastly, try to develop some trust into the people that are caring for your child. If you don’t, then you will not have a very enjoyable work experience.
As previously mentioned, returning to work after maternity leave will not be an easy transition, but it will be an exciting one. Just remember to be prepared and strong for your family. After all, it takes a fabulous mom to do what you’re doing!
“PLEASE try to get rid of any guilt. A happy mom is a happy house”—Bradi Nathan.
Bradi Nathan is a mother to Jack and Drew, ages, 10 and 7. It may not surprise you to learn that Bradi strives to achieve her own work-life balance as the owner of a mommy and me company called For You Two. She is the co-founder of My Work Butterfly.
MyWorkButterfly.com is dedicated to providing advice, support and solutions for mothers who are contemplating a comeback career, while guiding those working moms who are trying to juggle it all.
Perhaps all they need is a good night’s sleep.
DreamChild Adventures™ audio programs, by psychiatrist Dr. Tom Jackson, have helped countless children achieve deeper relaxation and sounder sleep, conquer a host of sleep-related issues, and even build confidence and self-esteem. Backed by nearly $2 million in research-tested methods and technology, and utilizing a recording technique called 3D Living Sound, these downloadable (and on CD) journeys are brought to life in a way that has only been imagined…until now.
These entertaining and spellbinding audio adventures place the children themselves directly in the story – center stage – immersing them in hyper-realistic natural settings and gently and playfully guiding them toward more restful nights and relaxation.
To provide an even deep understanding of sleep disorders in children, Dr. Jackson has authored DreamChild™ Adventures in Relaxation and Sleep, which contains a wealth of information designed to support and supplement the DreamChild™ Adventures audio programs.
Dr. Jackson has included fourteen clinical interviews, which follows one or more children who suffered sleep problems, but who subsequently benefited from using the DreamChild™ Adventures audio programs. Each interview with the children’s parent, guardian, or therapist is broken up into two basic sections – a “before,” describing problems the children experienced prior to using the programs and an ‘after,’ relaying one or more follow-up interviews conducted several days, weeks, or months later, detailing the improvements the caretakers noticed after use of the programs.
In this in-depth resource, Dr. Jackson also explores many traditional treatments for children’s sleep problems and anxiety-related issues, including behavioral interventions and situations requiring medical attention. He even discusses adult use of these children’s programs.
“I hope to provide you with a deep understanding of the problems these audio programs and this companion guide can be used to treat, as well as related benefits that may be achieved,” says Dr. Jackson. “By showing you specific and often sweeping changes these children underwent through their experiences with the programs, my aim is to give you confidence in their potential usefulness and to inspire you to use them with any child in your life who you believe may benefit.”
Showcasing a wide range of emotional and behavioral issues, DreamChild™ Adventures in Relaxation and Sleep provides an introduction to common and not so common childhood problems including:
- Anxiety and Depression
- “Nature-Deficit Disorder”
- Sibling Rivalry
- Children of Divorce
- Academic Performance
- And much more!
Give your child the gift of quality sleep,” adds Dr. Jackson, “and give a gift that will benefit him or her and your whole family for a lifetime!”
Dr. Tom Jackson is a psychiatrist who has specialized in the treatment of sleep disorders and anxiety for the past thirty years. His unique therapeutic audio programs originate in his background as a recording engineer, therapist, musician, poet and environmental biologist. He is currently Medical Director of a public mental health clinic and in private practice. He treats both children and adults utilizing traditional and alternative modalities alike. He graduated from Northwestern University Medical School and did his internship and psychiatric residency training at the University of California, Irvine.
DreamChild™ Adventures audio programs can be purchased from www.3DAudioMagic.com. DreamChild™ Adventures in Relaxation and Sleep will be published in August 2012 and will be available from www.amazon.com and through all major booksellers.
Kushies, a company that creates and provides an innovative collection of quality baby products and accessories, recently announced the Kushies Baby of the Month contest where proud moms, dads, grandparents and others can submit photos of their most precious little ones wearing a favorite Kushies item. Each month a winner will receive $100 in fabulous Kushies products. This month’s contest will end on July 31 and a winner will be announced on August 1.
Whether it comes from a sprinkler, a swimming pool, or the beach, there’s nothing quite like playing in water in the summertime. The mere mention of water is enough to move kids to paroxysms of joy, especially when a trip to the pool is relatively rare. From the sprinkler to the shallow end, here are ten great games that kids love to play on long, hot summer days.
- Water Balloon War – Older kids love the competitive nature of a good, old-fashioned water balloon fight. A laundry basket makes a great container for freshly filled balloons; simply line the bottom with a towel to prevent any sharp edges from puncturing the balloons, causing them to detonate early. For a new twist on an old favorite, stage a game of dodge ball, replacing the ball with water balloons.
- Water Hose Limbo – Replacing the stick in a traditional round of limbo with the stream from a water hose takes the game to an entirely new level. Limbo is better with several players, so save this one for a day when your brood has their buddies over.
- Sponge Relay – A relay race is even more fun when the object is to fill a bucket with the water from a sponge. To play, each team gets two buckets and one sponge; one bucket is filled with water, which kids dunk their sponges into, and the other is left empty. Running to the opposite side of the “track,” each team member wrings the sponge out in the empty bucket and returns to their team. Rather than passing a baton, they pass the sponge. First team to fill their bucket wins.
- Marco Polo – Generations of kids have played a rousing round or two of Marco Polo whenever they were poolside; keep the tradition alive by teaching the rules of this classic game to your own youngsters.
- Not-Quite Piñata – Everyone loves a piñata; in this twist on the classic party game, water rains down in the place of sugary treats. Fill a ten-gallon garbage bag with water, and suspend it from an overhanging tree branch or other structure. Follow the traditional rules, allowing kids to take turns whacking at the bag with a broomstick. Helpful hint: dress kids in swimsuits, as they’ll get soaked when someone succeeds.
- Water Gun Tag – Put those water guns to good use by launching a tag offensive; the person who is “It” gets the water pistol, while all other players attempt to evade her. Because a successful “tag” will leave discernible evidence, there’s no disputing a changing of the guard. Don’t be surprised, however, if the chance to wield a water gun inspires kids to compete for the honor of being named “It!”
- Swimming Pool Ring Toss — With nothing more than a handful of ping-pong balls and an inner tube, kids can enjoy hours of entertainment. One child is put in charge of the inner tube, moving it slowly back and forth as another tries to toss the ping-pong balls into the middle. For a low-competition alternative that keeps rivalry at bay, instruct kids to work together to get all of the balls into the middle of the tube, rather than pitting one against the other to prevent it.
- Liquid Jump Rope — Substitute the rope for a stream of water from the hose for a great way to keep kids cool while encouraging physically active play during the warm summer months. An older child or adult should control the hose to keep the stream consistent.
- Sharks and Minnows – Another classic pool game, Sharks and Minnows is a variation on the traditional game of Tag, modified to suit a swimming pool. At the beginning of the game, the “minnows” line up at the side of the pool while the shark hovers in the middle. At the shark’s count of three, the minnows attempt to swim across without being tagged. When a minnow is tagged, they join forces with the shark and work to capture their former teammates; last minnow swimming is declared the winner.
- Swimming Pool Volley Ball – Inexpensive pool volleyball sets can be picked up at your local big-box retailer, and provide hours of summer fun. Because the resistance of the water makes it almost impossible to move quickly, a game of swimming pool volleyball becomes a bit more challenging than its dry-land counterpart. These sets often come with several rackets and a shuttlecock, allowing kids to switch to swimming pool badminton as the mood strikes them.
Though kids absolutely love them, slippery slides with small pools at the end are quite dangerous. Kids should always have strict supervision when using such toys to prevent reckless behavior. Also, pieces of rubber left behind by broken water balloons present a significant choking hazard to small children and can be dangerous to wildlife. Make cleaning up part of the game to ensure that each piece is properly disposed of, and slather on the sunscreen to avoid painful burns.
Content provided by Nanny.net
Kendra Wilkinson has never been soft-spoken about anything. That’s why when she was asked recently by Ali Landry in an episode of “Around The Clock” on her website KendraWilkinson.com about the continuing conversation about breastfeeding in public and how old is too old, the momapreneur certainly did not hold back, offering her always honest and always real feelings about the subject to the panel of ladies.
See what she had to say here:
In full-out Kendra-candor she asks: ““I wanna know what happens at the dinner table…does the little boy go ‘Mama, can I have your boob please?’…I mean come on.”
Visit KendraWilkinson.com for more honest and up to the moment news on the star of “Kendra On Top” and go to source for real moms and women.
“Concert Music” is music written by primarily dead Euro-males between roughly 1650 and 1900, music typically heard in the rather formal environs of a concert hall. Yes, this music is often referred to as “classical music”, which is as useless and misleading a phrase as “real imitation margarine!” When we call something “classic”, we are identifying it with the ideals and restraint of ancient Greek art, which immediately rules out the great bulk of concert music, which as often as not is filled with schmerz und schmutz, sturm und drang, angst and exaltation. Even if we use the word “classic” in its loosest permutation — to indicate something exemplary — who’s to say there isn’t such a thing as “Classic Jazz”, “Classic Rock” — and even, painful though it may be to contemplate, “Classic Death Metal/Grindcore”. So: a pox on the phrase “classical music”. Concert music it is.
And why, pray tell, should we want to introduce our children to concert music? Because it constitutes some of the greatest art our species has ever cooked up, musical art that informs, educates, entertains, inspires, and ultimately packs a toy shop’s worth of joy that will stick with them for the rest of their lives.
1. It is a truism that children will read if they are read to and if they see their parents read. It is incumbent upon parents to set an example by listening to concert music at home and in the car (the latter might require some negotiation, but it CAN BE DONE). Don’t be afraid of playing the same piece over and over again; familiarity breeds affection.
(Having said all this, don’t play one type of music to the exclusion of all others. The distinctions we have created between “concert music” and “rock ‘n’ roll”, and “jazz” and so forth are generally meaningless to children. They tend to just like music — all music — which is how it should be.)
2. Invest in some decent percussion toys and encourage your kids to “play along” with recordings and videos. Yes, I’m aware that this can drive an adult up a wall, which is why we should do it with them. This makes us active, not passive participants in the musical process, and it’s more fun than you might think. As for “insulting” Bach or Mozart or Beethoven by doing this; my friends, they’re dead and beyond insult. Besides, do you really think playing along with a recording is more insulting than the disco arrangement of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony that was featured in the movie Saturday Night Fever? I rest my case.
3. Rent/buy/download and play cool movies like “Beethoven Lives Upstairs”, “Mr. Bach Comes to Call”, Disney’s “Peter and the Wolf” and “Fantasia 2000″. Each episode of Disney Junior’s “Little Einsteins” series focuses on a different piece of concert music and teaches all sorts of musical terminology as well. My three year-old son and five year-old daughter love them.
4. Go to local orchestral concerts TOGETHER, in particular children’s/family concerts. Outdoor festival concerts are even better, because the kids can run around and move to the music. Try to listen to the pieces on the program before hand. Music literacy is akin to written literacy, and a little (even a tiny!) bit of preparation pays off big time in terms of intensifying the experience.
5. Get a piano. It doesn’t have to be a 8’11¾” Steinway “D” (list price around 130k); a little spinet will do. Put it in a place where the kids can bang on it without making the rest of the family crazy. When it’s time for piano lessons (at age 6 or 7; no need to rush) the piano will thus be an old friend and not a new torture device. (A “piano” is made out of wood, medal, leather and felt. It breathes. It is real. Its mechanism follows the will of the player’s body. An electric keyboard is made out of plastic and circuitry. It is not real. It does not breath. It has no place in your house or apartment. “But it makes so many different sounds!” So does a cat in a microwave: does sonic variety justify putting little Boots in the micro? “But we don’t have room for a piano.” Yes you do. “But my child can practice a keyboard wearing earphones, so we don’t have to listen”. Oh, that’s a GREAT message to send your child: go practice, but don’t make us listen to you.)
Recording starter kit. Here are some great works wonderfully performed to start out with.
- Johann Sebastian Bach, Brandenburg Concertos; Trevor Pinnock conducting, on Archiv
- Wolfgang Mozart, Symphonies Nos. 39, 40, & 41; Neville Marriner conducting, on EMI
- Ludwig (“my friends call me Louis) van Beethoven, Nine Symphonies; John Eliot Gardiner conducting, on Archiv
- Camille Saint-Saens, Carnival of the Animals; Charles Dutoit conducting, on London
- Sergei Prokofiev, Peter and the Wolf; Carlo Rossi conducting, narrated by Boris Karloff, Vanguard
© 2012 Robert Greenberg, author of How to Listen to Great Music: A Guide to Its History, Culture, and Heart
Robert Greenberg, author of How to Listen to Great Music: A Guide to Its History, Culture, and Heart, is a speaker, pianist, and music historian. He has served on the faculties of UC Berkeley, California State University East Bay, and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, where he was chairman of the Department of Music History and Literature and director of the Adult Extension Division. He is currently music historian-in-residence with San Francisco Performances and also serves as the resident composer and music historian to NPR’s Weekend All Things Considered. Since 1993, he has recorded over 550 lectures for The Great Courses.
Founded in 1990, The Great Courses produces DVD and audio recordings of courses by top university professors in the country, which are sold through direct marketing. It is a nine-figure-a-year business and they distribute forty-eight million catalogs annually. They offer more than four hundred courses on topics including business and economics; fine arts and music; ancient, medieval, and modern history; literature and English language; philosophy and intellectual history; religion; social sciences; and science and mathematics.
Find a parent who breezes through an airport with one suitcase and a carry-on, and I’ll show you a parent who left their child at home. Good planning will mean less stress and headache for you the entire visit, but there’s a fine line between dragging the entire contents of your home and leaving everything to chance. You want to be prepared, but not overburdened. So, what to bring?
Start with the basics. Consider this list and start checking off who will provide each item: you, your host, or a rental service. Thankfully, there are places, easily found on the Internet, where you can rent items like cribs and car seats (even bottle sterilizers), which can be delivered to your destination.
You Host Rental
_____ _____ _____ Crib or bassinet
_____ _____ _____ Playpen
_____ _____ _____ Sleeping bags
_____ _____ _____ Car seat
_____ _____ _____ Baby bottles and/ or medicines
_____ _____ _____ Specific foods/formula
_____ _____ _____ Baby monitor
_____ _____ _____ Breast-feeding equipment
_____ _____ _____ Diapers, diaper bag, baby wipes, powder, etc.
_____ _____ _____ Night-light
_____ _____ _____ Plastic sheets if your child may wet the bed
_____ _____ _____ Entertainment material
_____ _____ _____ Sports equipment, life preservers, sunglasses, lotion
_____ _____ _____ Stroller(s)
_____ _____ _____ Baby gates
_____ _____ _____ Appropriate clothing for the weather and activities planned
Share with your host the items on your list you are hoping they can provide. If you’re worried that your needs will sound like a list of demands from a spoiled ‘tweener—don’t. Most hosts will appreciate your thoughtfulness by not having to scramble to get things after you arrive. Once they know what you need, and if they don’t have it, it gives them the opportunity to ask a neighbor or friend to supply something for the time you will be there. Your host will let you know what is not available. Coordinating with them in advance is the key.
Of course how you are getting to the visit makes a difference in what you can bring, or not, so know what is allowed on an airplane, bus, or train. It is always best to call the transportation company ahead or check their website.
VISIT TIP: Take the time to research the place you will be visiting. Check to see where the nearest doctor, pharmacy, playground or park, theater, library, or pool is located. Although one would assume the host will know, Grandmother may not have been water sliding in some time!
If there are just some things your children can’t or won’t eat or are allergic to, let your host know. Your host will most likely go to the store to stock up on some items and will appreciate not spending time or money on things that won’t be consumed. Emailing a list ahead of time is a smart and reasonable thing to do. You can always add the words, “But if you were not planning on going to the market, no worries! I am happy to go after we arrive.” If your child only eats certain foods, and you are driving, bring some with you or stop at a grocery store close to the host’s house. Don’t expect your host to have specialty items unless you specifically requested them in advance.
Brush up on the basics with your children before the visit. Go through the photo album and remind them who’s who; teach, or remind, young men and women the importance of shaking hands with a solid grip and looking adults in the eye. Tell them what is not allowed and what you expect in terms of their behavior, and what you hope they might enjoy during the visit. Remind them, also, of basic manners, such as saying “please” and “thank you” and “may I?” Children are much more comfortable when they know how to behave and what is expected of them.
VISIT TIP: Help your child make, or simply bring, a gift for the host or the children of the host. Even children feel special when presenting a gift and feel proud not arriving empty-handed.
Don’t break your own rules just because you’re visiting. If you want your children to be in bed at a certain time, make it happen. You rule! If you don’t want them to drink sodas or watch a movie you think is inappropriate for their temperament or age, don’t let them. Your host should respect your rules and support them.
Although difficult, do not allow your children to use electronic games or gadgets excessively. The point of the visit is to get everyone involved with each other—to be inclusive—not reclusive. This is especially important of course when the young ones are visiting the Grandparents.
When you get home have the child create, or pick out, a thank-you card for the host. How artistic it is makes absolutely no difference. The fact that it is handmade makes it beautiful. And the child will learn a valuable lesson from doing it. No, this time email will not do.
Kathy Bertone is the co-founder and former managing partner of a merger and acquisition firm located outside Washington, DC. For years, she and her husband have enjoyed entertaining friends and family in their three homes. She currently lives in Naples, FL where she continues to perfect her hosting expertise. Kathy is the author of the new book, The Art of the Visit: Being the Perfect Host, Becoming the Perfect Guest. For more information, please visit: http://www.
All parents are concerned with keeping their children as safe as possible in the home, and now they can help protect their kids with their decorating style in mind. With home décor spending on the rise, Dorel Juvenile Group has announced a new line of Safety 1st childproofing products that offer sleek modern designs that blend in seamlessly with home furnishings.
“Safeguarding your home is a must for parents with little ones on the move, “said Julie Vallese, Consumer Safety Expert with Dorel Juvenile Group. “Safety 1st recognizes that parents want to protect their kids from hazards around the home without detracting from their interior decorating or design. With this in mind, we are happy to offer parents sleek safety products for harmonious integration into their homes.”
From cabinet and oven locks to stove knob covers, this new line offers easy to use and install products that match your finishes. Here are a few of the new products:
- Grip n’ Go Cabinet Lock (HS167) – Young kids love opening and closing cabinet doors and drawers, where they can access sharp utensils, small appliances and cleaning supplies. To keep kids out of kitchen or bathroom cabinets, the Grip n’ Go Cabinet Lock features a SecureTech™ visual locking indictor to ensure proper use. MSRP: $2.50 for 2pk
- Stainless Steel Stove Knob Covers (HS147) – To keep kids from accidentally turning on the stove, knob covers are suggested. The heat resistant Stainless Steel Stove Knob Covers feature tinted plastic coloring that blends in with the décor around it. The universal design fits most stoves. MSRP: $9.00
- Refrigerator Door Lock (HS187) – The refrigerator represents another potential hazard in the kitchen. This door lock features an adhesive mount for easy installation and disables for periods of nonuse. MSRP: $4.50
- Grip n’ Twist Door Knob Covers (HS166) – To prevent kids from entering parents-only rooms, install Grip n’ Twist Door Knob Covers. Their sleek modern design blends in with any home décor. MSRP: $3.00 for 3pk
The Safety 1st childproofing line also features the following products:
- Oven Door Lock (HS146): MSRP: $5.00
- Multi-Purpose Appliance Lock (HS148): MSRP: $5.00 for 2pk
- Side by Side Cabinet Lock (HS168): MSRP: $4.00 for 2pk
Summer sun is practically synonymous with water fun. But as much as we love pools, they can be dangerous for little ones. Drowning is the second leading cause of unintentional injury death among children ages 1 to 4 years, so toddlers are at high risk—especially those with swimming pools at home, according to a study presented at the October 2011 American Academy of Pediatrics National Conference & Exhibition. Lead author Phyllis Agran, MD, MPH, offers these vital safety tips:
- Residential swimming pools must be surrounded by a four-sided fence with a self-closing and self-latching gate that is never left open.
- Stay within an arm’s length of your child, providing “touch supervision,” whenever he’s in or near the water.
- Don’t gab on the phone, play Angry Birds or drink alcohol while supervising him.
- Consider swim lessons. A recent report found that toddlers who have had formal instruction are less likely to drown. (But remember: Even the best little swimmer still needs constant supervision.)
- You (or whoever is watching your child) should know how to swim and be trained in child CPR and first aid.
- Keep a phone and lifesaving equipment (including a life buoy, a life jacket and a reach tool such as a shepherd’s crook) poolside just in case.
By: Nicole Pelletiere
Feedings, dirty diapers and spit-ups, oh my!
Amongst handling all the responsibilities that come with being new parents, who can stop to think: “What ever happened to date night?”
It seems impossible to even consider. However, a number of studies show that couples that play together do in fact stay together.
So without further adieu, let’s look at 5 simple date nights that will reignite that post-baby spark in your marriage…
1.) Have game night with just the two of you.
After you’ve put your little one to bed, brush the dust off Monopoly and break out the snacks. Laughter is good for the soul and chances are, the two of you are in need of it. Try and make a night out of this fun couple’s activity (or at least until the baby monitor starts going off).
2.) Have a quiet, romantic night at home.
Are you able to send the kids to Grandma’s? If so, then take advantage. Dim the lights and whip up your favorite meal, paired with some wine and candlelight. Or better yet, order-in your favorite takeout.
3.) Have a night of nostalgia.
How utterly romantic to relive your first date, or even to just go back to the place where you both first met. It’s a great reminder of why the two of you got together in the first place and hopefully, you’ll fall in love all over again.
End the night by breaking out some old photos. You’ll relive past memories and have some great laughs too.
4.) Go to dinner and a movie.
Okay, so it’s not the most creative date, but at least you’re spending time together. Try a new dining experience by going to a restaurant that you both have never been to before.
For a switch, try going to the theatre first, skip the popcorn, and talk about the movie over dinner afterwards.
5.) Go bowling.
There’s nothing like a little friendly competition with your hubby. You can dress comfortable, order some cheap drinks, and even make an exciting wager based on who wins the game.
Congratulations on becoming new parents and remember, you both deserve to celebrate together!