social media parent overwhelm

How to avoid parental burn out

Parenthood begins the moment a child enters this world and its parents are tasked with the immensely important job of keeping that child well and happy. With that comes the obvious responsibilities of maintaining shelter, food, clothing, education,  and a loving environment. Of course, with that comes providing the child with extended relationships, extra-curricular activities, and a variety of different experiences while avoiding your inevitable burn out as a parent.

Are you feeling the burn out yet?

There is so much pressure when it comes to raising a child. Parents do what they can to make sure that their child is well-cared for, but also make sure that they grow into productive, respected members of society. As if keeping them alive and well wasn’t enough!

There is a riddling of guilt that comes with these parental duties; Are you doing enough? Are you doing too much? Are you making too many mistakes? Are you doing the right things? The expectations of yourself become crushing. That, on top of all the external demands- household, career, personal concerns, etc-  the role of being a parent becomes incredibly daunting.

Over time, these duties that require so much attention will begin to wear parents down and they will begin to burn out.   Parental tasks are a priority and become so consuming that the degradation of the parents themselves often isn’t noticed until it has reached a crucial point. Parents reach a point of burn out completely; their tasks become impossible to conquer and their ability to manage becomes intrinsically challenging. While it may seem that the hole is inescapable, it’s not. There is hope.

 

How to avoid burn out as a parent

There are steps that parents can take to ensure they are capable of giving their children- and themselves- the proper care they need to be able to be positive parents:

Talk to someone

Confide in someone who can empathize with your situation. Typically, this will be another parent that you know that can lend a supportive ear. Aim for a time when the kids are entertained so that you can have a candid phone call or coffee date. Be honest with your friend, and with yourself. Make sure you’re talking to someone you trust won’t pass judgment. This will ensure that you’re able to be as truthful to yourself as possible.

Take care of yourself

When was the last time you went out with your friends without the kids or did something just for adults? When did you last shoot some hoops or read a book in the park? Take care of yourself. If you want to be the best you can be, you’re going to need to show yourself the same love you show your children. Give yourself time to explore who you are. Yes, you’re a parent, but don’t forget who you were before you became a parent.

Delegate tasks

The burden of your mile-long to-do list is disheartening. Make sure that everyone in the family is pitching in to help. Create chore charts. Establish roles for each family member and make sure they understand and agree. If possible, try hiring a cleaner or another service that will ease the burden of everything that needs to get done.

Pin this so your fellow Mom can avoid burn out, too.

How to not get burnt out

 

Take a social media break

There’s nothing better to make you feel inadequate as a parent than a newsfeed filled with information telling you that you are. Everyone is entitled to their opinion; you just don’t need to be exposed to all of them. Stay true to what you believe in and don’t let outside influences sway how you feel.

Just Say No

You’ve been asked again to chair the fundraising committee for the school. You do it- again- because you feel obligated. Just like we tell our children: Use your words! Taking on extra tasks that don’t immediately benefit you and your family isn’t going to make you a hero- it’s going to make you exhausted and lead to complete burn out.

 

Enjoy lazy days

Don’t feel guilty when you and the kids don’t get out of your pajamas AT ALL on a Saturday. Don’t worry about keeping track of the hours of t.v. they’ve watched. Enjoy some downtime. If you’re feeling tired by the weekend, it’s likely your kids are, too. Do everyone a favor and literally relax!

Seek professional help

If you’re finding that the overwhelm of parenthood is dragging you down into a depression be sure to discuss that with your healthcare practitioner or counselling services. Don’t be embarrassed. You reaching out is indicative of you as a parent; it means that you care enough about the well-being of your children that you’re attempting to help yourself. That’s commendable.

 

Always know that you’re not alone. We are often led to believe that other parents are having a much easier time with parenting than we are, but in reality, the majority of us are all dealing with a struggle. Remember that when you see a Mom or Dad having a difficult time. It’s possible they are on the brink of burn out. Give them a kind, knowing smile. It will make all the difference in their world.

how to make a scary healthy yogurt barfait

How to make a scary healthy yogurt “Barf”ait

It’s Halloween!

You know your kids are going to be loading up on the most sugar they’ve had since Easter-and you’re terrified. You know that witches and goblins aren’t the scariest part of Halloween.  You’ve dealt with a 4 year old who’s just been given a sack-A SACK-of candy that you’re now insisting gets delegated to them when you deem appropriate. The most appropriate time, according to a 4 year old, is always, so you’re entangled in a constant battle of wills until their Halloween candy rapidly dwindles because:

a) you’ve had late night cravings

and

b) you’ve been using it as a bribery tool to get them to eat their brocolli.

Now, if you’re a modern day hippie mama (are you??) you’re cool with them having some sugary treats, but you’d like to sneak in some healthy foods to balance everything out a bit.

Start the day with a little Halloween fun for breakfast. It’s jam packed with nutritious foods and will keep them filled with energy while they’re at school enjoying their class parties (but not so nutrient dense that they’ll have energy to fight you after trick-or-treating is all said and done)!

Healthy yogurt “barf”ait

Ingredients:

-French Vanilla yogurt

-Spirullina powder (or any greens powder)

-Frozen raspberries or raspberry/strawberry jam

-Chia seeds

-Blueberries

-Granola

Instructions:

  1. Mix enough yogurt with a small amount of spirullina powder and 1 tbsp of chia seeds so that it will fill the bottom 2/3 of your jar/cup/bowl-whatever you’re using. This will make the troll snot speckled with bat eyes.
  2. Crumble the frozen raspberries and create a layer, or do the same with the jam. This is lizard’s blood.
  3. Make a layer of blueberries to represent Cyclops poop.
  4. Spring some granola on top to create witch dandruff.

Make sure to save this to Pinterest so you can find it next year, too!

How to make a scary healthy yogurt barfait

Print out this label so the kids know exactly what’s in it!

 

 

how to naturally beat mom fatigue

Natural ways to stop feeling tired all the time

It’s almost 3 p.m. and the fatigue has set in. You’ve been avoiding giving into it since this morning when you woke up exhausted from a night of little sleep. You have done a good job keeping your sleepy eyes awake by drinking countless cups of cold coffee, but the tiredness is finally catching up. Your level of exhaustion was confirmed when you found your wallet in the refrigerator.  You feel tired all the time but you don’t know what to do!

You’re nearly done the day and yet there’s still so much to do. Kids need to be picked up, homework needs to be done, dinner needs to be made, dishes need to be done, things need to be organized for the next day, kids need to be put to bed, and the list goes on forever. Once all those things are finished you can finally get some rest. The question is: Will you make it until then?

Natural ways to stop feeling tired all the time

Jess Smith, founder of Red Hawk Healing has some easy to implement strategies that can help you feel more energized and less tired all the time!

1. Go to bed early (ha ha)

It is said that every hour before midnight is worth two after.

2. Eat living foods where possible

When eating cooked, pair with enzyme-rich foods such as unpasteurized sauerkraut, kombucha,  or apple cider vinegar. Living foods are almost self-digesting, and leave you energized instead of ready for a nap.

3. Green juices

Our soils are so depleted that even the best organic produce is lacking in nutrients. Happily, dark leafy greens are rich with the nutrients missing from most diets. Green smoothies are wonderful, but green juices are quickly absorbed without a sugar spike/crash, and give a big energy boost.

4. Daily ferments

A lot of energy is lost simply to the struggle to digest food! You can get your digestive system running more optimally with ferments.

naturally beat mom fatigue

Help your fellow Mamas beat their fatigue! Click to Pin this!

5. Level blood sugar

Don’t starve yourself. Intermittent fasting (overnight/during restful hours) can be really health-giving and invigorating, but through the day, especially running after littles, food is important. Avoid sugars that spike and crash your blood sugar, and pair sweet with protein to slow the release of sugar in your blood. Don’t wait too long between meals and snacks, but also don’t snack consistently (it’s stress on the digestive system and the teeth). A jar of raw pumpkin seeds are a great protein-rich food you can grab a handful or two of if you have waited too long to eat. It will get you through until you can make something more substantial.

6. Chia seed pudding

This is great for exceptionally fatiguing circumstances. When soaked 4 hours (in a liquid of your choice – think cooled green tea, water, coconut milk and cocoa powder), it turns into a 5 hour energy boost without the crash of commercial energy drinks. Chia is not a stimulant, but is full of nutrients. If I have had a rough night, I will soak 3tbsp of chia seed with 2 cups of water in a bottle and gently shake now and then for about 10 minutes (so it doesn’t settle into globs). It will be ready by the afternoon lull when I need that boost to get me to bedtime.

7. In breath, out breath

Pace yourself. Make note and use of your high-energy and low-energy times. Find a way to pair this with your children energy cycles, and create a daily rhythm that allows for rests. Rest can take the form of reading a book, sitting and snuggling with the kids, enjoying a cup of tea (kids like to get in on this, too), or practicing mindfulness and stillness in the moments you can.

Do something that makes you excited, and take time to do it.

So much of fatigue is mental. Depression and fatigue go hand in hand, and there is so much to write on this. Without going too deeply into this, having a hobby or something you are excited about and taking even a few hours for it on the weekend can be enough to give you the needed energy to get through. It’s joy permeates the everyday humdrum.

9. Drink lots of water!

Fatigue is a common symptom of dehydration. By the time you feel thirsty, you are already dehydrated. I like to drink a bottle (2 cups) of water right on waking. It’s an amazing boost of energy and mental clarity, wakes up digestion, and makes it easier to drink water through the day.

 

You no longer have to rely on chocolate covered espresso beans to get you through your day. Try using some of these pointers and see if they make a difference in your energy and stop feeling tired all the time.

 

How do you increase your energy! What works for you??

 

 

Jess smith red hawk healing

Jess Smith has been healing energetically since early childhood. Born in BC, as young as a few years old she would treat anything from bruises, headaches, and even more serious conditions such as epicondylitis or “Tennis Elbow.” She is now a Reiki Master/Teacher, working from her home in Deroche, BC, and has been involved in treating a wide range of physical, psychological, emotional, and spiritual conditions. Of these include: traumatic amputations and other injuries, post surgery healing and pain, back problems and injuries, digestive disturbances, cancer, headaches and migraines, eye disorders, emotional trauma, etc. She is also qualified to perform Guided Meditations, Shamanic healing, Oracle Card readings, and classes. To find out more about Jess or get in contact with her head to her website or find her on Facebook!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

talk to your daughter about the changes in her body

How to talk to your daughter about her period

This post contains affiliate links. That means that if you make a purchase through one of these links I will receive compensation. It’s actually a pretty awesome deal: you get a rad product and I get a little spending money to buy snacks for the bottomless pits that are my kids! Happy shopping:)

Your period.

While once upon a time it was was a taboo topic, it’s becoming more open this day and age in our Western worlds. Advertisements for feminine care products are being proudly presented. Girls and women are encouraged to explore, understand, love, and respect their bodies, and all of it’s functions. There are campaigns that advocate the need to spread awareness and normalize periods.

Having your period is now associated with strength, girl power, and femininity.

As it should be.

When your daughter gets her first period she may have feelings of embarrassment or fear. You can help extinguish these feelings by making sure you give her as much information about the changes in her body as possible. Here’s what your daughter needs to know about her period:

Why women have periods

Your uterus (where a baby would develop if you were pregnant) has a lining. That lining thickens in preparation for a fertilized egg. If there is no fertilized egg, that lining sheds as blood from your vagina. The bleeding lasts approximately 3-7 days.

It’s 100% NORMAL! It’s a natural body process that all women go through. It will start when she is anywhere around 11 years old: maybe a few years before, maybe a few years after. She will start by getting some pubic hair and her breasts will begin to bud. Shortly after that she will begin her menses. It will end when she is anywhere around 45: maybe a few years before, maybe a few years after. Basically, she’s going to be dealing with this for quite some time.

Now’s also a good time to have a conversation about sex, too. She can become pregnant now, and she deserves to understand that her actions can potentially have consequences.

Hygiene options

The options for how you want to go about taking care of your period blood is vast. There are conventional pads and tampons that you can get at almost any store, but there are also some really cool and fun products, too!

First, it may seem less than appealing at first, but reusable cloth pads can add some fun and individuality to the way you wear your feminine care products. From tie-dye, to paisley, to flowers you can coordinate every part of your outfit!   For more info on how to care for your reusable cloth pads check out this video here. Our society accepts cloth diapers…why not cloth menstrual pads?

On the topic of reusable, a Diva Cup is another great option. It’s comfortable, economical, and easy to use. It offers 12 hours of protection, and you don’t have to worry about Toxic Shock Syndrome like you do with tampons. It takes some getting used to, so you have to make sure you give yourself some time to figure out how to make it the most comfortable for you. Either way, there’s a method to inserting either a tampon or a reusable cup. You can find graphics on the internet that will give her some insight on how to do it correctly.

If using reusable products doesn’t suit you, there are also organic cotton products that work SO WELL! You’ll have peace of mind that you won’t have any leakage or chemicals in your body.

Explain to her the importance of changing her pad/tampon/reusable cup frequently so as to avoid any unpleasant odor that may make her self-conscious. Also, gently inform her of the potential risks of Toxic Shock Syndrome from her leaving a tampon in her body for too long.

How your body feels during your period

Some women are blessed with relatively easy peasy periods, while some women are cursed with awful symptoms. Don’t lead your daughter to think that her period won’t likely be uncomfortable. Chances are she may have the typical period symptoms: cramping, tender breasts, sore back, headache, upset stomach, appetite changes, etc. Then, there’s the emotional and mental side of symptoms that can cause mood swings, irritability, sadness, to name a few.

Let her know that these things are all normal. Allow her to express her symptoms to you, and provide suggestions to offer relief. Hot water bottles, various pain relief options, plenty of chocolate, and a ton of patience are ways you can help her through these times.

What you can and can’t do on your period

What you can do: Whatever you feel like.

What you can’t do: Whatever you feel like.

How she’s feeling dictates what she can participate in. Some women get exceptionally bad cramping, irritability, etc., so give her the benefit of the doubt if and when she says she doesn’t feel up to something.

How to avoid embarrassment

While your period is often on a set cycle (every 28 days, for example), sometimes it surprises the best of us. Make sure to encourage your daughter to keep her backpack fully equipped with whatever feminine care products she needs and a few quarters just in case. Explain to her how she can roll toilet paper around her undies to act as a pad in case she can’t get one, and how to wrap a sweater around her waist in case there’s any leakage. Fill her in on the fact that light colored clothing is not ideal when you’re having your period.

The biggest part of her not being embarrassed is teaching her to not care what anyone else thinks. This is a totally natural occurrence that EVERY woman has to go through. By keeping her informed about her body’s natural processes she will have confidence. She will be able to maturely explain the wonder that is her body in the case of any taunting that may come her way from her peers that don’t fully understand.

Take a deep breath. This is definitely a tricky subject, but you’re going to do great. She’s been watching you for years. She probably has an idea of what her period entails and is likely excited for you to explain it to her.

She will want to share with you the experience that she will have as she enters womanhood. Use positive language. Take this opportunity to bond with her. Use these moments to help shape her expectation and attitude about her period. Make it a celebration!

Don’t feel the need to have an extensive conversation with her at one time. Break it into smaller conversations that are easier to digest (for both of you). If you don’t have an answer, tell her you don’t know! Offer her the opportunity for the two of you, or her by herself, to head down to the library or public health unit to find the answers.

Lastly, if you’re uncomfortable talking to your daughter about her period use pre-made letter as a guideline. Print it off as is or customize it. Use it as a tool to help make this transition easier for the both of you!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

yoga for moms

Yoga for Moms: 7 poses to try

Yoga can be a fantastically productive use of your time to benefit both your body and your mind. To a tired, overwhelmed person, going to yoga for Mom can be the recharge that they need. Remember how taking care of yourself is taking care of your children?

There are a lot of differing views on how yoga came to be. Some believe that 5000 years ago, in a beautiful place called India, yoga was developed as a series of physical movements that were said to encourage the ability for one to master the mind and emotions, and advance in their spiritual growth.

I have another theory.

5000 years ago, in a beautiful place called India, yoga was developed as a series of physical movements that were said to encourage the ability of the mothers of the land to chill out.

That’s why there is yoga for moms that involves poses that are designed specifically with Moms in mind. Here’s a few:

 

“Please let the kids behave today”

(Sukhasana)

sukhasana yoga pose

Bring your hands to heart centre, Mama. Pray to your Goddesses and Gods that the kids will not entirely chip away your sanity throughout the day.

Maybe add in a little request that you find an extra bottle of wine kicking around the house.

 

 

“No, really, I’m doing yoga”

(Shavasana)

shavasana

Here’s the deal: When that person you live with comes home tell them that you’re going to do some yoga in the backyard, basement, spare room, whatever. Unroll your yoga mat (make this look legit), and lay down on it. Technically, this is yoga.

Do “yoga” until your nap is over.

 

“I’m a warrior!”

(Warrior 2)

warrior pose yoga

Get yourself into this power stance and breathe in all of your amazingness.

You have kids, you keep them alive, and you’re doing a pretty darn good job at it!

YOU ARE A WARRIOR!

 

“Sobriety test”

(Standing bow)

 

 

yoga, friends and wine

If you can balance like this, you’re pretty darn sober. If you can balance like this, you should also probably have another glass of wine!

 

“Sexy Mama”

(Downward dog)

downward facing dog yoga pose

Come on. Your bum looks amazing in those tight pants. Whenever you see your partner peeking in to watch you, you immediately transition into this tempting pose! It’s entirely possible that’s not by accident. Ya, you’re a Mom…but you’re still a sexy beast. Tempt away!

 

“Mom’s gonna blow!!”

(Lion pose)

 

They know “the look”, but this one is new altogether. You’re at your wits end, but you’re kind enough to give them fair warning.

Enjoy the look of confusion/mild entertainment/moderate fear on their faces.

They’ll soon figure out what it means and act accordingly whenever you pull it out.

 

“I’m done”

(Child’s pose)

child's pose yoga

You’ve been beat down all day. You’re exhausted. You’re done.

The kids are in bed, and there’s still a billion things to do.

Acknowledge those things. Accept those things.

Silently give those things the middle finger, and curl yourself up into a little ball of not giving a damn.

 

Practising yoga takes dedication and consistency. You should allow yourself the opportunity to go through this sequence at least once a day…for yours and everyone else’s sake!

Namaste, Mama!

 

 

Teacher

How to make an awesome teacher gift

I was talking to a teacher friend and asked him what his favorite thing to receive from kids was. He said: “gift cards”. He went on to say that he loved sentimental gifts and everything else that was given as a token of appreciation as well, but that gift cards were practical and useful.

For years it was my automatic assumption that teachers wanted needed alcohol as their year end thank you gift, but last year I bought a bottle of wine for my daughter’s pregnant (she wasn’t showing-how was I to know?) teacher and that was the year I stopped buying booze.

Since the conversation with my friend I wanted to come up with the ultimate gift for my kids’ teachers. Considering what my friend said I decided to combine the two gift ideals: A sentimental gift with a gift card. Hey?! Not bad, right?!

The awesome teacher’s gift

Kids love their teachers. My kindergartener comes home raving about her “Madame” and all of the fun things they did during the day. It only makes sense that they would want to show their appreciation as much as you do (seriously, 28 kids for 7 hours a day??? Why am I not buying them alcohol, again???)!

This year the girls are going to make hand-painted mugs and I’m going to add a gift certificate to a local coffee shop.

How to make hand-painted mugs

  1. Take a minute to prepare yourself. Meditate. Have a big ol’ cup of coffee (or whatever). Get yourself ready to take on crafts with kids.
  2. Make sure the kids are in old clothes that you don’t care about. Going clothes shopping after this is the last thing you need.
  3. Get yourself some blank mugs and oil based Sharpie pens. This won’t work if you don’t use the oil based ones.***
  4. Let them decorate the mugs (get in on this, too, Mama!). Suggest they draw something that reminds them of their teacher, or something they learned about during the year.
  5. Once they’re finished, put them on a cookie sheet. handmade mugs
  6. Heat your oven to 250 degrees. Put the tray of mugs in the oven for 2 hours. Choose an activity to do while you wait.
  7. After two hours turn off the oven, but don’t take the mugs out yet. Allow them to cool down in the oven.
  8. Once cool, take the mugs out. Add a little note telling the teacher to handwash their fantastically wonderful new mug!
    best teacher ever

    Don’t mind the dust

     

9. Add a gift card, put it in a gift bag, and badabing badaboom! You’ve got yourself an awesome teacher’s gift!

***Those specific Sharpie pens are crazy expensive. If you don’t plan on using them ever again I suggest finding something else for the kids to make for their teachers. It really is the sentiment that counts when it comes from the kids. Something as simple as a homemade card would be thrilling to their teacher.

 

What do you get your kid’s teachers?