stop sibling fighting

Are your kids constantly fighting? Here’s how to stop it!

My kids are never fighting. Ever.

I’m not entirely sure why I’m even writing this post, to be honest.

HA!

I’m totally messing with you. My kids fight all the freakin’ time. Often our days start off like this:

SISTER A: “Good morning, sis.”

SISTER B: “WHY DO YOU ALWAYS DO THAT TO ME? UGH! DON’T TALK TO ME.”

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It continues on from there. It’s exhausting for me, so I can only imagine how tiring it is for them. I’ve tried begging and pleading with them to stop. I’ve explained negative energy. I’ve mocked them. I’ve gotten my own sister to help me role-play a fighting and making up scenario. I’ve bribed them.

Nothing works.

I get it. They’re kids. They’re also siblings. They’re going to fight. However, it would be nice if there was a little bit of peace in the household. Just for a while. Especially before I’ve had a cup of coffee (for everyone’s sake-seriously).

I turned to the good ol‘ Facebook Mom groups for some advice, and this is what was suggested:

are your kids always fighting?

Tips to stop sibling fighting

Talk to them

Okay, yes. This makes sense. This would be your logical first step. Explain to them how destructive their fighting is to each other and the rest of the family. Guide them through practical and effective strategies for dealing with situations they may find themselves in. Assist them through a particular situation to model what a dispute should look like.

Get along t-shirt

Basically, this is an extra large shirt that you put both children in until they stop fighting.

Have them sit together holding hands

Once they’ve stopped fighting they need to say one nice thing to the other. This will help them focus on the positive aspects of the other person.

Activity jar

Fill a jar with activity ideas. Some will be fun. Some will not. They all will be things that they have to do together: wash floors, do a puzzle, do the weeding, make each other a snack. These things require working together positively. If that is not accomplished they lose a privilege for a week-or another consequence.

Let them duke it out

Tune it out, Mom. Unless the fighting start to get physical let them try and sort it out for themselves. They may come to some conclusions on their own. Try and let them figure out what works for them and what doesn’t.

Separate them

Give them individual tasks in different areas of the house. After a while, they’ll realize that they miss one another and will want to spend time with the other person.

Get them outside

Okay, hippy-dippy time. Nature is your healer. Fresh air will recharge them (and you) and put everyone in a better mood. Go worm searching. Dig a hole. Find something to do outside that will distract them from fighting while they reap the benefits of the outdoors.

Be a good example

I’m going to go ahead and throw this in here: I’m super lucky. I have an AMAZING sister who I can count on to be there for me. I love her so much and I know that’s reciprocal.

It hasn’t always been like that, though. I’m pretty sure our poor Mom was pulling her hair out with our fighting the same way I pull my hair out with my kids fighting. However, now we model behavior in front of my kids that show a positive relationship. We discuss how Auntie and Mommy didn’t always get along, but now that we’re older we appreciate each other. I remind them that their sister will one day be their very best friend-just like mine is my best friend- whether they believe it or not.

Maybe you don’t have a positive relationship with your sibling, but if you can try and make it amicable in front of the kids you’ll be doing them and yourself a favor.

 

So, there you have it. These suggestions from dozens of moms may help put an end to the sibling fighting you’re experiencing.

Can you add to the list of ways to curb sibling fighting? I’d love to hear in the comments below!

fun car games to play

Great car games you can play with your kids

In one month, the government will be implementing a poll for all parents who drive children under the ages of 10. They want to determine whether or not driving with children under the ages of 10 will fall into the category of distracted driving. If it is determined that it is, indeed, distracting to have children in the vehicle,  there will be a law enforced that will dictate that only one child be in the vehicle at one time.

Obviously, this isn’t true, but my children don’t know that. The fighting in the back seat, the screaming at the top of their lungs, the constant struggle for space that isn’t there.

I get it. It sucks to be strapped into a seat while Mom drives you 4 million hours to get to the grocery store, but it kinda has to happen (especially if public transit or walking isn’t an option)!

A solution to distracted driving

Generally, kids aren’t terribly receptive to Mom blaring her 90’s hits and insisting that they belt out the tunes with her. In fact, it’s possible (somehow?!) that it actually just contributes to the tension in the vehicle.

In order to combat distracted driving caused by your children in the vehicle, you need to do a little distracting of your own. Take their minds off their sister’s foot creeping over to their side of the van with these super simple, super fun car games that even you’ll enjoy!

great car games to play

Fun car games

The license plate game

This works best in cities. Take the letters in the license plate and create a sentence by combining words that start with those letters. For example:

License plate: TBR 392

Sentence: This Blog Rocks

Get creative, but insist that the sentence actually makes sense!

The number game

Find numbers from 0-9 on license plates.

Categories

Choose a category (animals, food, sports, etc.) and name one of those things for each letter of the alphabet.

Going on a road trip

Sorry, Mom. This one requires a great deal of thinking and memory.

Start off by explaining that someone’s going on a road trip. They need to pack their trunk with items that begin with all letters of the alphabet. Person one says something that begins with the letter “A”. Person two says something that begins with the letter “B” but then also repeats what the “A” word was. This continues with all letters of the alphabet with each person repeating all the previous items that are in the trunk.

The sign game

Working together or independently in a fierce competition find words on signs that go in order of each letter of the alphabet. Alternatively, you could do the same for each letter in a person’s name.

Would you rather…

Of course, this isn’t going to be like you played in high school. It’s going to be a lot cleaner…or grosser. Start off slow: Would you rather have to listen to Mom’s music for the rest of your life or Opera music? Once you can see that you’re starting to lose them bring out the gross guns: Would you rather eat your sister’s boogers or wear the same underwear for three days in a row?

The color game

Go through the colors of the rainbow and find an item for each color.

20 questions

Take turns thinking of an object, place, or person. The other players have to ask you “yes” or “no” questions to figure out what it is.

Assumptions

When you drive by a house make up a story about who lives in there. What do they like to do? What does the inside of the house look like? What are their jobs?

Storytime

Take turns telling a story one sentence at a time.

 

 

Those car games should keep your kids busy for a bit. At the very least it’ll give them something different to fight about other than the usual. If they start to deviate from the games and retort back to their normal fighting you can up the ante a bit and explain that the loser of the car games has to walk home.

That’ll probably work.

Probably.

 

this will make you a happier mom

This ONE thing will make you a happier Mom

The majority of the time that you spend as a mom is catering to the needs of your children. Let’s face it, depending on the ages of your children they need you A LOT! While that’s something that you knew going into motherhood, it can get mighty draining from time to time if you’re not actively making sure that you’re filling that cup of yours. Filling your cup will ultimately ensure a happier life for everyone.

There are lots of things that you can do throughout the day to make sure you’re getting a little taste of you time, but, truthfully they often involve your children being around. These involve little things like putting YOUR music on, watching YOUR (age-appropriate *sigh*) show, tell the kids to entertain themselves for a few minutes while you have that second cup of coffee, locking the door when you go pee. These little things will give you a few minutes to enjoy something that makes you who you are, and will help recharge your draining batteries and make you happier throughout the day. While they are effective, they aren’t as powerful as the one simple thing you should be doing every single day.

The one thing that will make you a happier Mom

As soon as that alarm goes off the race is on. You’re getting the kids ready for school and preparing for the day. You’re drinking your rapidly cooling coffee as you run around like a chicken with her head cut off! It’s chaos as soon as your head lifts off that pillow.

This one thing will make you a happier mom

The feelings of panic and crazy can all be somewhat alleviated by doing this one thing: Set your alarm for at least 15 minutes before you have to wake up the kids. Give yourself some time to wake up without anyone demanding things of you. Enjoy that hot cup of coffee and start the day off in a relaxed, peaceful state of mind. This is the time you get to do all the things that you want to do that you CAN’T with your kids around. Things such as subscribe to and read your favorite blog, watch those rated “M” shows, scroll through your Facebook feed without feeling guilty, have a non-Mom shower, do some yoga or meditate, or simply just stare at a wall in complete silence. This will start your day off on a happier tune than feeling the pressure as soon as your eyes flutter.

Make sure you don’t feel guilty about doing any of these things. Your kids may complain at first, but once your happier mood becomes contagious they will quickly change their tune. You’re a Mom, yes, but you haven’t entirely lost all of who you were before that came to be. Doing these things, of course, won’t guarantee that your day isn’t going to be crazy. You and I both know that it will be. It always is. Doing these things, however, will help put you in the right frame of mind for being able to deal with the chaos in a much more rested manner. You’ll feel so much better and be able to be the Mom you want to be:)

You’re doing a great job taking care of your children, Mom. Make sure you’re doing a great job taking care of yourself, too!

 

 

 

The truth behind the Mom shower

The truth behind the “Mom shower”

Remember the showers you had pre-kids? The seemingly never-ending supply of hot water, the expensive boutique brand shampoo, and unless you were battling the fatigue caused by a much too late night before and/or accompanying hangover- the infinite time to carry out your daily hygiene ritual.

I’ll give you a moment to reminisce.

Fast forward a few years to when you had your first baby.

That’s when everything changed.

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Now, there’s this funny stigma that women take longer showers than men. I mean, that could be because of that whole expectation that we should have no body hair and the time it takes for us to rid of it is behind our lengthy showers, but that’s another conversation and I digress.

In reality, Moms do take longer showers than men and there’s a darn good reason for it:

The truth behind a Mom shower

Preparation time: 10 minutes

-Get kids set up in front of Pat Patrol.

-Make sure you make enough food to sustain them for the time that you’ll be busy.

Find a clean towel.

-Realize there are no clean towels.

-Smell all floor towels until you find one that doesn’t smell like urine and isn’t damp.

Getting into the shower: 8 minutes

-Keep the door somewhat ajar so you can hear if the kids are getting into things.

-Move all toys from the bottom of the bathtub-safety first!

-Hear the need for a snack replenishment.

-Go replenish snacks.

-Wait until the kids are zoned out again in front of Paw Patrol.

-Quietly return to the bathroom.

-Decide to close the door-the kids will be fine.

Showering: 20 minutes

-Set the temperature to a manageable warmth. You really shouldn’t have decided to have a shower right after the dishwasher was finished.

-Grab the shampoo.

-Realize there’s no shampoo left.

-Decide you need to have a chat with your pre-teen when you’re done your shower.

-Use bar soap to wash your hair.

-Condition hair. Why do we have so much conditioner??

-Shave armpits.

a mom shower

-Shave armpits for a second time because you couldn’t get it all the first time (when did you last shave, anyway??)

-Hear kids fighting.

-Hear kids running to the bathroom.

-See kids standing outside the shower holding the curtain open letting water spray everywhere.

-Yell at kids to go fight somewhere else.

-Regret not locking the door.

-Run out of hot water.

-Suffer in cold water while you rinse out conditioner.

-Acknowledge hairy legs. You’ll get to them next week.

Getting out of the shower: 10 minutes

– Check out your naked body in the mirror. Daaaaaaaaaamn, you look good!

-Put hair up in a towel. Dry your body.

-Start putting on clothes-but you forgot your bra in your bedroom.

-Clean up water that is all over the bathroom floor.

-Head towards the bedroom.

-Get spotted by your children who stop fighting only to taunt you with “Mommy’s naked, mommy’s naked” while they follow you into your bedroom and ask what exactly that thing you’re putting on over top of your boobs is.

-Smile.

-Enjoy your nice, clean, fresh feeling before you go back to your daily duties.

 

So, there you have it. A simple Mom shower takes approximately 48 minutes. In “pre-kid” or “I’m a man” shower world that would translate into full hair removal, deep-conditioning treatment, and even a little hanky panky. In Mom shower world, however, that mostly translates into the kids thinking you’re always doing things for yourself and guilting you about it until they get some candy.

#momlife.

Go ahead. Enjoy that nice, clean feeling you worked so hard for. You have about 30 seconds before you get to clean someone’s butt or be thrown up on, so really, REALLY embrace this moment.

how to get a great sleep

Want to get a great sleep? Try THESE 5 easy things!

Gain children, lose sleep.

From around the 7-month mark in your pregnancy-when things start to get a bit more uncomfortable and rolling over requires actual effort-until your children are 18 or so, parents don’t sleep very much. From intense midnight pregnant lady cravings to all night nursing parties to peed in beds (theirs?) to nightmares, there always seems to be something interrupting a potentially beautiful night of sleep.

If you have a sick child or a sneaky teenager you can somewhat assume that you’ll be up at some point during the night, but for the most part if and when you get a full night sleep is unpredictable. You want to make sure that you get the most of every night just in case the kids are kind enough to give you a full 8 hours of sleep! After a few nights like that the bags under your eyes might even lighten up a bit!

5 ways to get a great night sleep

Use essential oils

Put a few drops of lavender on your pillow before bed. Lavender is scientifically proven to encourage relaxation. Lie down on your pillow and take deep breaths. This works as a meditative measure as well as allowing you to reap the benefits of this calming scent.

Avoid screens

Once the kids go to bed it’s your time to zone out and catch up on your favorite Netflix shows. It’s a hard thing to do to NOT fall asleep to the boys of Supernatural (and have some fantastic dreams), but it’s definitely not in your favor! The blue light on your phone or t.v. or computer suppresses your melatonin, which is your sleep-inducing hormone. Do a bit of yoga or read a PAPERBACK BOOK in your bed. It’s been said that perhaps doing anything other than sleeping in your bed isn’t good for your brain’s association of what’s supposed to be done there, but c’mon- as if getting shut eye is the only thing really happening in there anyway;)

Mom needs to get a good night of sleep

Keep a pen and paper at your bedside

Crap! You forgot to get the money together for Sally’s field trip. Dang it! You still need to pick up the dog’s medicine from the pharmacy.

Keep a pen and paper by your bedside so you can write things down and forget about them until the morning. Otherwise, you’ll be tempted to get out of bed to finish these tasks and you’ll likely get distracted by something else that will prevent you from going straight back to bed. Once you’ve written down what you need to do try and clear your mind with those meditative breaths mentioned above so you can get yourself some sleep.

Dress comfortably

Sexy, black, lacy lingerie? No way.

Sexy, black, fleece onesie? Winner winner chicken dinner!

Wear something to bed that’s not going to interrupt your sleep. Make sure you can move freely in it and it doesn’t restrict you at all. Also, make sure to keep your feet warm by wearing socks. Warm feet will keep the rest of your body warm which will help you fall asleep faster!

Be lazy

Avoid exercise right before bed. That will only stimulate you-which is not what you want right before you are trying to go to sleep! Once you’ve put the kids to bed and they’ve finished their half-hour routine of asking for a glass of water repeatedly, you’re able to zone out and relax a bit. Give yourself time ease into sleep (even if you’ve been tired since 9 a.m. you need to let your mind shut down before you try and go to sleep)!

 

A whole night of sleep is rare when you have children. Make sure you maximize the potential for a good night just in case there are no disturbances in the night. Wouldn’t it be nice to not look like a zombie for a whole night?

Maybe consecutive hours of sleep is out of the question for you? Check out how to beat Mom fatigue naturally!

How do you

all moms can make this dinner recipe

The most amazing dinner recipe every mom can make

It’s 5:00. First off, CONGRATULATIONS! You’ve almost made it through the day. It’s been a doozie, but you’re so close to the finish line that you must keep going.

A large portion of your day was devoted to spending 2 hours in the grocery store choosing out the healthiest food for your family. You carefully crossed all the items off your mile-long list of requests and necessities and then proceeded to spend half an hour in the line up to spend half your life savings on feeding your insatiable children.

You came home and spent another hour putting all the groceries away (it took this long because you had to keep stopping to make the kids snacks and clean up after). You planned to make an incredible dinner with your fully stocked pantry, but now that the time has come to actually execute your plan you are less than enthusiastic. You JUST put all those groceries away and it seems hardly worth it to just pull them all back out again, doesn’t it?

You glance over at the dinner recipe that you intended to make for tonight, but it far less appealing now.

You decide to go down a different route tonight. Instead of your original idea of a complicated meal of macaroni and cheese (from scratch, of course…) you’re going to try an even easier dinner recipe that suits your fancy a bit better:

Easy dinner recipe for Mom

Ingredients:

-1 litre exhaustion

-2 cups of frustration

-8 tbsp. of overwhelm

-pinch of irritation

-dash of over-caffeination and regretting that 3:00 coffee…

-handful of I’m done for the night

Directions:

  1. Take all ingredients and put them in a big pot of This shit ain’t happening tonight.
  2. Put that guilt inducing recipe book away.
  3. Call the pizza man and order 2 larges so you have leftovers to send with the kids tomorrow for lunch.
  4. Pay out of your emergency fund stash -this is an emergency.
  5. Enjoy eating a homemade, delicious homemade (ehm, excuse me, it IS homemade. You mixed ingredients and created food. Homemade.) dinner instead of eating your children!

Obviously, this is a dinner recipe that can only be followed on special occasions, like when you’re really tired and the kids are driving you absolutely crazy.

Oh, wait…actually, you should probably just keep replenishing your emergency fund!