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Monday

6 Essential Tips For Working Mothers

"A mother's work is never done" (sigh). Just when you think you're through, you find you've only just begun. You aren’t the only one!

If the pressure of balancing your work and parenting is ultimately leading you to give both your work and family less, it is time to find a new parenting strategy and quick! When a work from home mom decides to set clear boundaries and manage her time effectively she can dramatically reduce parenting stress and boost her parenting joy. So let’s get started.

Six Essential Work Life Survival Parenting Tips for the Work at Home Mom (WAHM)

Your happiness as a work at home mom (WAHM) depends on your commitment to following these six parenting time management tips:

1. Ban your open door policy. Set your work hours and stick with them. Unless your job requires you to answer the phone, answer it only on your schedule. A work at home mom (WAHM) has no time for distractions (especially from your kids and spouse—likely your biggest distractions). This only leads to low productivity. Make certain every member of your household knows the times of day when you are and are not available for interruptions and stick with this schedule.

2. Involve your family in what you do. Talk about what you do, ask your family to help solve work problems (children often find very creative solutions), and let them help you with small jobs like licking envelopes. One work at home mom I know asked her nine year old daughter to answer the business telephone when the receptionist called in sick, on one of their biggest sales days. This boosted her daughter's self-esteem and also helped her appreciate how her mother's work put a roof over her head, food in her mouth and clothes on her back.

3. Consciously make the transition from work to home. When it is family time, focus on the family. Make certain you have cleared the work cobwebs from your head. Write down your to-do list for the next day and ask yourself before you leave your desk, "How can I make my time with my family special?" Then smile and give them a hug when you see them. Too tired? Take a 20 minute cat nap, a quick walk, meditate for a short while or say a little prayer to let go of your day, so you can be all they deserve you to be.

4. Remember it's about quality time, not quantity time. When you are with your family, be with your family. Leave work behind so you can focus on them. "Light up" as soon as they come into the room and find fun ways to do mealtimes, and even clean-up times together. Half an hour of positive can prevent dozens of hours of misbehavior.

5. Solve misbehavior time-wasters. As a family counselor, I regularly hear variations on the complaint, "My kids are driving me crazy, but I'm too crazy to find time to learn how to stop them from driving me crazy." There are simple ways to motivate your children to want to be well behaved. Invest the time now, so you don't spend more time and frustration later on (which of course takes away from time you can devote to your work).

6. Schedule your self-care time. The most critical key to your WAHM success is to nurture some of your needs so you can continually renew your passion for parenting. You need time to replenish your energy so you can be more efficient, productive and happy. With so much on your plate it is essential that you schedule a minimum of 20 minutes a day for you. Before or after the kids are in bed is generally the easiest to stick with.

By the way, if putting your self-care needs first makes you feel guilty and selfish, then don't do it for you—do it for your family. It is time that your self-care became a necessity, not a luxury so you can give more to all you do—at both work and home. Remember that if you are emotionally and physically healthy, you will be able to give more quality time to your family.

The six parenting time-management tips above will allow even the busiest work at home mom to finally have her cake and eat it too. By successfully balancing work and family, you will model for your children a fulfilled and healthy woman and your family will no longer have to deal with a "burnout-mom" but a happy one!


Kelly Nault-Matzen, M.A., is a corporate spokesperson, mother and wife, family counselor and founder of http://UltimateParent.Com —a company that provides parenting resources such as the Mommy Moments online parenting course. To gain access to more parenting tools visit http://www.ultimateparenting.com

Friday

You Are Not Just A Mother, You Are You First!

Mothers face many challenges in today’s world. They carry the responsibility of many roles. Through these roles we become different things to different people. Sometimes we get divided over having a career and having a families or find conflict between the different jobs that we try to do. Making the question “Who am I?” even harder to answer.

It grows harder because mothers see this little person that looks up at them with innocent trusting eyes, mommy is everything to that little one. She makes the hurt from boo-boos go away with a kiss, chases the monsters from under the bed away, and rocks them after a bad dream. Every mother takes that responsibility and carries it with her no matter where she goes. It is an awesome responsibility of caring for this wonderful little person and being mom is always on the mind. As much as it is wonderful to revel in mommyhood, we still need to remember that being a mother is just one part of us, the more we allow ourselves to see who we are the better examples we can set for our children to leading a balanced life.

As a mother, I have struggled to find my own identity. I am a mother, a wife, a daughter, a business owner, a sister, a friend…..but who am I? It is easy to define yourself by what you do and what you mean to other people. As we take on these different roles our own identity gets blurred. It is harder to make the distinction. Who am I if I am not Logan’s mom or Ben’s wife?

Who are you? A wife, a mother, an employee, they are all a part of who we are, but they do not define you. We are the only ones that are able to define who we are. When are we just women? Women that have our own values, ideas, and philosophies, women that are able to embrace their different roles in life, but still are able to maintain there sense of “self”.

The importance of women defining who they are is giving them a chance to grow as women. To recognize that they need to take off all the different hats that they wear during the day and take time to honor who they are.

The problem is that because they are in so many different roles that they stop seeing themselves separate from them. They stop taking time for themselves, because they are giving so much to everyone else. Does this sound familiar? Have you lost your identity among the different jobs that you do everyday? How do you see yourself?

Here are a few questions that can help you determine if you are defining yourself by what you do instead of who you are:

Do you spend at least an hour a day doing the things that you want to do? (Reading, participating in hobbies, watching your favorite TV program, etc)

When asked to describe yourself do you start with “I enjoy…” or “I am a woman that believe/feel….”? Or do you say, “I am a mother…” or “I am a nurse…”

Are you able to say “no” to things that interfere with the things that you want to do? Or that you do not have time for?

Do you feel that your life is in balance? Which means that you get enough time to pursue your own interest instead of just the interest of your children or significant other?

Do you feel that you spend time equally on yourself as you do on others?

If you answered “no” to any of the questions it is time to get back in touch with yourself. You need to not only stop defining yourself by what you do but you need to spend sometime getting to know who you are.

Here are some tips for you to get in touch with the forgotten woman inside.

Make sure that you spend time perusing your own interests. The problem with defining yourself by what you do is that you don’t give yourself time to do what you want to do; your time is spent doing for others. Do something that you have always wanted to do; take a class, start a book club, anything that gives you some time to just do your own thing. Above all make the time to do it! It’s ok to do something for yourself.

Say “NO” frequently! Just because you take on different roles does not mean that you have to do everything for everybody. Recognize when there is something that others could really do for themselves. Do not let yourself be taken advantage of! REMEMBER it is just as much of a benefit for others to learn how to do for themselves as it is to you.

Make sure that you have OFF DUTY time! Just like a conventional job, make sure there is a time of day when you are done. Don’t work right up until you go to bed. Give yourself time to unwind, distress, and relax. Wait until the kids are in bed and take a long hot bubble bath. Curl up in your favorite chair with a good book. Meditate or do yoga. Do whatever relaxes you. You need this time to maintain some balance. Because of you multiple roles you are “on the clock” the majority of the time. You have to have time to distress! Without it you are going to “burn out”. Visualize your bank account if you keep making withdraws without making a deposit, eventually you are going to just run out of resources. Make sure to take time to revitalize yourself.

I have found that by maintaining my own identity that I am a better mother, wife, daughter, business owner, sister, and friend. It maintains balance in my life because I know that even though I am different things to different people; I know what it means to just be me.


Tonya Ramsey is a writer, speaker, life coach, and owner of LifeDesignSite.com She specializes in helping women improve their foundation of self in order to bring prosperity into their lives. Her passion is to assist women in empowering themselves.

Thursday

What to Expect When the Overachiever, Career Driven Woman Discovers She is a Mother
Prior to becoming a mother, your life was simple, but now with marriage and children things have changed. This audio is a glimpse at what a new mother goes through after discovering she is with child. For information about the book, visit http://whenmotherscry.blogspot.com
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Wednesday

Holidays are Coming: What Will You Cry About?

Holidays a time of celebration. Families gather around eat, drink and be merry at least that's what they are supposed to do, but a mother with a cry knows that isn't all that happens.

Instead, she is faced with inlaws who don't like nor respect her. Children who are never satisfied with the presents she has worked so hard to buy. Most of all, a partner who could careless. He doesn't care about the holidays, because he isn't spending much if any money on them. He isn't interested in his partner's feelings about his mother or siblings or what they say or do. He just wants to be left alone with a can or bottle to lull him to sleep after hours of watching the game.

Mothers everywhere are happy intially about the holidays. They fall head over heels in love with their dedication to them until something goes wrong, the money is funny, the inlaws are rude, the husband is mean, and the children are ungrateful. Like an earthquake tremor the cracks begin to show in the foundation of her walls. She is stressed. She can't find something, buy something, and no one understands.

Shall we cry about the madness or do something about it this year -- what would you say if someone told you, "Do nothing!" That's right do nothing. Your past due bills are screaming, "Pay me!" The family, well what about them? When will cooking, cleaning, maintaining household, paying off existing items, and the occassional email or phone call be comsidered a gift?

Any wise mother knows she can't do it all and she won't do it all. She has been in this movie of her life before and she almost lost her life trying to appease, but not again. She will not allow others to stress her. If the inlaws don't like her, she doesn't break bread with them. If her children are spoiled brats, she limits what she gives them or doesn't give them at all. If the ex-partner or current partner doesn't careless, neither does she. As long as their is food over her head and a place to lay her head -- she accepts her life the way it is until her God blesses her. That's right she has a faith. She believes that "All things works together for good to them that love God and to them who are called according to his purpose." -- Romans 8:28.

We mothers know that we make the rules in our house. We know that if we don't get the job done nothing gets done. That's why we have to prioritize. Look around your own home. What is important this holiday season to you. What really matters when your lying on your back, taking your last breath. Will you be thinking about the turkey you haven't cooked, the ham that you missed buying when there was a sale at your local supermarket, or the inlaws you couldn't impress? Go ahead have a meal, but don't lose your cool. Go ahead buy a gift or two, but pay cash. Go ahead sit back on the couch and toast your partner for not caring less! You owe it to yourself to go into this holiday season, smiling and being grateful that you are alive!

Nicholl McGuire
http://associatedcontent.com/nichollmcguire

Tuesday

Motherhood Changes The Body-Does It Change The Brain?

Motherhood changes the body—but does it change the brain? Sleep deprived new mothers can argue that they seem too exhausted to think. Brain researchers Kelly Lambert with Randolph-Macon College and collaborator Craig Kinsley with the University of Richmond wrote in Scientific American, January, 2006 that having a baby can actually make a mother’s brain sharper. What?—you might exclaim—I feel so exhausted, how can having a baby make my brain sharper?

Lambert and Kinsley observed the behavior of new mother rats and found that they not only out performed non-mother rats at searching for food but were also bolder in their strategies.

Coping day and night with the demands of a new baby may change the brain and behavior in ways that go beyond just nursing and nurturing. “From what we’ve seen, having a whole different being to take care of requires a whole new set of skills and a lot more awareness, cognitive awareness and multi-tasking,” explains professor Lambert. Lambert, Kinsley and others have shown that some brain changes are triggered by the surges of hormones that accompany motherhood. However, it is hormones and behavior which create an enriching experience for the brain. This enrichment lasts into old age. So who is to say that parenting is just a ‘thankless job.’

Now I know that my statement, “My daughter and son made me into the woman I am today,” made long-ago, has validity. Thank you dear daughter and son—You are my inspiration, my admiration and myself.

Dorothy M. Neddermeyer, PhD, author, international speaker and seminar leader specializes in: Mind, Body, Spirit healing and Physical/Sexual Abuse Prevention and Recovery. As an inspirational leader, Dr. Neddermeyer empowers people to view life's challenges as an opportunity for Personal/ Professional Growth and Spiritual Awakening. http://www.drdorothy.net

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Wednesday

6 Traps Misguided Children Will Set for Your Kid If They Don't Like Him or Her
Sometimes parents forget about how vicious other children can be; therefore, they don't properly prepare their own children for the traps that their child's fake friends will set for them. Article addresses some of their schemes.
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How Do I Find Myself?
Lost in the madness of being a student, girlfriend, wife, or mother? Wondering these days who are you? It's time to solve the answer to this riddle.
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Over 20 years office work experience, six years completed college coursework, background in print media and communications, recognized for exceptional attendance and received merit increase for past job performance, self-published author and part-time entrepreneur, Internet marketing and social media experience. Interned for non-profit organization, women's group and community service business. Additional experience: teaching/training others, customer service and sales. Learn more at Nicholl McGuire and Nicholl McGuire Media

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