Once upon a time, I was busy. I worked full time, participated in not one, not two, but three team sports. I walked the dog, I cooked, I cleaned, I did the laundry and grocery shopped, I prepped meals for days in advance, I did it all! I was Superwoman and conquering the world. And then it happened, I had a kid.
Once my daughter came along, the entire world as I knew it changed. At the beginning it’s all about the physical world around you. You’re no longer working and are suddenly up two, three, four times a night to feed this screaming little “bundle of joy”. You’re tired, you eat anything that’s easy to grab with one hand, and you watch horrible daytime TV without even realizing you’re doing it. What you may not see immediately is that your emotional world has completely shifted as well. You’ve put this new tiny person before yourself. Baby always eats first, sometimes two and three feedings go by before you even have time to drink your cold decaffeinated coffee. The fur-baby that was rapidly demoted to dog waits to go outside as patiently as she can, and when you stop long enough to notice what smells, you realize you haven’t had a shower in three days. Myself, I’d stopped working out regularly, ate fast, prepackaged and processed foods, and didn’t sleep nearly enough to get as much cleaning, laundry, etc… done in a day as I could.
Of course it gets better, but the theme stays the same unless you acknowledge and change it. The kid(s) is always going to be number one now, but part of making sure that you’re being the best parent you can be is to take care of yourself. That looks different in each of our individual lives. I chose to return to work on a part-time basis and I’m lucky that this was an option with my employer. Of course there are days where I’d do anything to be in a quiet office with a Starbucks, but overall I feel like I have found my balance.
My balance looks like this: I’m a full time parent with a little bit of help. We don’t have family living close by for assistance, so YMCA Child Minding sees my daughter twice a week. This allows me to get in two solid gym workouts a week, all my other workouts happen at home – that’s my “me” time. She participates in activities twice a week, and I try to schedule those on days where I’m already at the YMCA to give us some free time other days. We camp, hike, and bike as a family so she sees an active family lifestyle every day. Although she’s still pretty small (just two), I let her cook with me. I feel like this teaches her that we cook healthy meals together at home. I work three to four evenings when my husband gets home from work which allows me to still have time to be me instead of Mommy. I’m able to utilize my education and to socialize with adults and not have the conversation turn into whatever the heck Curious George got himself into that morning. I also let perfection go, I no longer live in a pristine house – it’s messy (not dirty!) and cluttered with toys. Now my home is filled with love and laughter, so that’s a trade off I accept happily.
What do you miss? What is it that you slowly gave up but didn’t even realize until now? What are you going to take time to do for you and only you?
Whatever your situation is, I’m here to tell you that you need, and I mean NEED to take that time for yourself. Life is really busy if you let it be, and finding balance is an absolute essential to having your life be a happy one.
The internet can be both a great place full of ideas, resources and fun, and a negative place with images, videos and people that may frighten or hurt your children.
As parents, it can be intimidating to try and navigate how to protect your kids and teach them how to be wise and safe on the internet.
We’ve found some helpful tips for you and your family to use to make sure your interactions with the online world are safe and balanced.
Some tops tips are:
- Set time limits for internet use
- Check out and explore the websites your kids want to use or are using
- Set boundaries for which websites your kids can use
- Talk to children about not sharing any personal information online
- Keep computer and internet use in common areas of the home
- Supervise younger children while they use the internet and talk about internet use in a non-threatening way with teens
Overall, teaching your children how to be safe on the internet is about keep the communications lines open. Talk them about the internet, about the things they like on it, and let them know they can and should talk to you if they see or experience something online that makes them feel strange, scared, or unsure.
Some great internet-use resources are:
5 Rules to Keep Your Children’s Internet Use Healthy
Internet Savvy Training from the Government of Alberta
Thank you to the WebMD website for this article called Healthy Eating Habits for your Child about teaching healthy eating habits to children and youth. It’s much easier than you think and encourages the entire family to think about health & wellness together!
Check out the article on the WebMD website. Here is a teaser:
“By teaching your children healthy eating habits, and modeling these behaviors in yourself, you can help your children maintain a healthy weight and normal growth. Also, the eating habits your children pick up when they are young will help them maintain a healthy lifestyle when they are adults.
Your child’s health care provider can evaluate your child’s weight and growth and let you know if your child needs to lose or gain weight or if any dietary changes need to be made.”
Did you know the Goverment of Alberta has a department dedicated to your safety? The Alberta Emergency Management Agency (AEMA) works to inform and prepare the public should an emergency take place in your home, office, school, public or just about any place you can be:
The primary objective of the public awareness and education programs and services of the Alberta Emergency Management Agency (AEMA) is to create an informed public that knows the steps that should be taken to prevent and respond to a wide range of emergency incidents. These steps are to protect life, property, and the environment, and to promptly notify emergency response services.
Emergency preparedness is everyone’s responsibility. The basic tenet of public awareness and education is to increase their knowledge to enable safe attitudes and behaviours.
Check out what the Province of Alberta is doing to help inform people and keep us all safe by visiting the AEMA website.
An insightful article written by a mom (Michele Zip) about how we approach feeding our young ones. Good insight and good tips for moving forward with teaching your family how to eat with a mindful, healthy approach.
“…It seems though that maybe, just maybe, we are overfeeding our kids. Big surprise, right. We are a nation of super-sizing. Maybe our warped minds are just trying to get too much food down our kids’ throats and we need to do some portion control. Yes, that’s exactly it.
Our toddlers and preschoolers still have tiny little bellies. Their stomach is about the same size as their clenched fist. Tiny! So let’s take a look at these guidelines given to us by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics…”
Read the full article on the Huffington Post Parents Canada website, brought over from The Stir blog.
This one might stir up some controversy… Is it wrong for children to fear their parents? In an article on the Fisher-Price website, writer Kenneth N. Condrell (Ph.D Child Psychologist) explores the issue of disappointing parents & self–to the point that the idea of doing so becomes an actual fear.
“I used to think it was wrong for children to be afraid of their parents. But after giving talks to thousands of parents, I learned that most people grew up having some fear of their parents, and I began to re-think this issue. I do think it is wrong for children to grow up fearing that their parents will hit them or harm them or verbally abuse them if they do something wrong. But many of the parents I have talked to who grew up fearing their own parents didn’t fear being hurt or harmed or abused. They feared letting their parents down. They feared disappointing their parents.”
Read the full article on the Fisher-Price website and then post your comments here. It would be good to hear what you think of this article, topic and have some discussion.
A simple question with a deeply complicated anwer. Do you want to know more about your kid’s genetic code to hopefully prevent future diseases? Seems a simple YES – because we want to protect our children and keep them healthy – but you can find out a whole lot more than you bargained for:
“This week’s TIME cover story asks a simple question with a complicated answer. Sophisticated DNA testing is allowing parents to learn more about the health of their children than ever before, but how much do we really want to know? Doctors are starting to use genome sequencing, which scans a person’s entire genetic code, to map the DNA of children, with the hope of catching diseases early and offering targeted treatments. But the tests can also detect mutations for diseases that may not develop for decades, if at all. Think about it for a minute: would you want to know if your toddler has an increased risk of getting cancer?”
Read the full article by Bonnie Rochman on the Time Healthland website.
Here is some incredible information from the Child Development Institute on the Adolescent stages of development, including models of transition, description of stages, conclusions/action for moving forward:
“You can begin to understand this age group if you look at its place on the growth sequence. Notice how it’s right next to the adult stage, the last step before being an adult. This is a time for adolescents to decide about their future line of work and think about starting their own families in a few years. One of the first things they must do is to start making their own decisions.”
Read the article in full on the Child Development Institute website.
Here’s a cool article on the eHow.com website by K.R. Barr filled with ideas for how to creatively share family heritage with loved-ones:
“Knowing who you are and where you come from helps define how you see yourself and how you live your life. Parents can encourage children to learn about their heritage by telling stories about family members, explaining social customs and favorite holidays, or sharing family recipes.”
Read the article in full on the eHow.com website to get a full list of great ideas.
An excellent, detailed article on the Child Development Institute website on helping the young people in your life develop good, solid self-image:
“Parents, more than anyone else can promote their child’s self-esteem. It isn’t a particularly difficult thing to do. If fact, most parents do it without even realizing that their words and actions have great impact on how their child or teenager feels about himself. Here are some suggestions to keep in mind…”
Read the article in full on the Child Development Institute website.
- Blog - Featured
- Camp Chief Hector YMCA
- Camp Riveredge YMCA
- Community YMCA
- Grade 6 Membership
- Gray Family Eau Claire YMCA
- Melcor YMCA at Crowfoot
- Quarry Park Child Development Centre
- Remington YMCA
- Saddletowne YMCA
- Shane Homes YMCA at Rocky Ridge
- Shawnessy YMCA
- South Health Campus YMCA
- Success Story
- Success Story - Featured
- YMCA News