Monday

Does Stressed Mom Need a Gift or Some Love?

You are a mother.  You are a mother who is stressed.  You are a mother who is not only stressed, but don't feel so good about the upcoming holiday.  Whether your own mother is alive or not, you realize that another celebration of mom and/or you is not what you need right now.  Then say so.  Maybe you have decided you are not cooking, visiting, party planning, or expecting anything from anyone. 

You just want love, Mom, I get it.  A hug will do, an "I love you" is sweet, and some time alone is also good.  A cheap husband, boyfriend or relative will applaud your simple request, but if one feels it in his or her heart to do something nice so be it--embrace it.  Yet, these days love is what you and others most likely appreciate more.

We  have lived in a world of much confusion, anger, bitterness, jealousy and more and with each passing day it seems to be getting worse.  A stressed mother feels like she is the sun revolving around the world rather than the sun revolving around her.  She is trying very hard to make a partner, children, co-workers, relatives, and others happy and bring light to the darkness that maybe in their lives.  Yet, Mom is not only tired, but angry because the more she does for others, the more they expect from her even when a holiday approaches. 

When Mother decides to retreat, take a break, and distance herself from people, she is viewed as not a nice person and is "God with her."  Her anticipated break she takes for herself may be days, weeks, or even years depending on how worn out she is emotionally and/or physically.  Sometimes there is no break, she has simply made up in her mind she is so over people, places and things that she remains distant.

A Mother's Day gift is nice for you or someone that you know, but what is most important is love near or from afar.  Love conquers all.  You don't have to know the mom who needs love and she doesn't have to know you, simply wish her well, say a prayer and put her in God's hands.  Think of  those around you who are experiencing much pressure from parenting to work and then along comes another holiday that might not be so positive for them (many people no longer have their moms around due to distance or death).  And you thought you had it bad?

You attract love when you are willing to receive it, so welcome it and allow peaceful moments to revive you.  Avoid the temptation to fill every moment of the day with activity.  When you need an extra pair of hands, use them.  The benefit to this upcoming season is that there are those who will be willing to help you just because it is Mother's Day.  So appreciate them and make those requests.

Nicholl McGuire

Mother's Day Gift Idea - What should you look for in an essential oil diffuser?

Diffusers

Before we begin with the topic of what to look for in an essential oil diffuser, let’s quickly go over what an essential oil actually is. This is a natural substance that carries the fragrance of a herb or flower in a concentrated form following its distillation. Essential oils have been used to make perfume and other cosmetic products for millennia. Their fragrances are still considered wholesome supplements that are an inseparable part of a clean and natural way of life.

Not all perfume is made with essential oils. A lot of cosmetic companies rely on preservatives and artificial chemicals, as they are cheaper. Of course, this is not the best option. As the benefits of inhaling powerful essential oils are widely recognized, even undeniable, a lot of people purchase diffusers.

A diffuser helps disperse an essential oil into interior space. The welcoming, pleasant fragrance is slowly released, resulting in a sense of calm and relaxation that would not be so easy to achieve otherwise, i.e. by relying on fully natural scents.

Unobtrusive and elegant

Aesthetic appeal is a top consideration when it comes to selecting the right diffuser. This is understandable, as essential oils appeal not only to our sense of smell but also to our eyes. If you are reading this, you are someone who knows the importance of the appeal to the senses, so you will agree that the design of the diffuser should be a key consideration.

One model of the Young Living Aria essential oil diffuser, for example, is shaped like a rosebud and looks great on a mantelpiece or natural wood table. It's off-white and purple exterior is aesthetically pleasing, efficient and functional.  Alternatively, you could opt for the Deneve Riverock, which is black and white, also unobtrusive, and specifically safe to use with citrus oils (not all essential oil diffusers are).

Tank size, runtime, light features

The Riverock has a runtime of up to 5 hours and a tank size of 70 ml. This is a relatively short runtime and a small tank size, which some may see as a disadvantage. It can cover an area of 250 sq. ft. It is elegant and modern, making it perfect if you are planning to place it in a visible location in your home or office. It’s even great for the bedroom because the LED light band around it isn’t too bright, and if the LED is turned off, it emits no light at all. The black model features a nice light effect due to the color-changing light band reflected by the dark hemispheres. It shuts off automatically when the tank is empty, making it safe to use when you are busy or asleep.

Another option is the PureSpa Deluxe. It's light band changes color, a pleasant and vibrant effect. It has the edge over the Riverock when it comes to runtime and tank size - up to 10 hours and 120 ml. It covers approximately the same area as the Riverock. It also shuts off automatically, but should not be used with citrus oils.

Sunday

DIY Mother's Day Gifts

Compost Tumbler Review

Do you feel frustrated in your search for the right compost tumbler? You decided to start making compost, but are struggling with the vast choice of tumblers that is available? Read on to learn more about the different types of tumbles and some top ideas!

Growing vegetables and fruit in your garden with organic, fresh, homemade compost is an amazing experience. You know what you are eating, because you are making it yourself. No more overpriced greenhouse “food.” No more standard, terrible, chock full of nitrates, mass produced stuff.

Our health depends on us. We are what we eat. Growing your food, real, healthy food, is a reasonable and great thing to do. You are helping save the planet by recycling and reusing your  organic waste; and you aren’t using any fossil fuels to achieve this, because composting is an entirely natural process. Compost can be used to improve the health of your plants. This compost covers the circle of life, especially if you're growing edibles.

Now moving on to the tumblers – it's why you came here. We’ll start with an excellent professional review. The Jora 70 Gallon 270 Compost Tumbler makes it easy to produce  fertilizer. It has two chambers, enabling prolonged use. You can add organic materials to one chamber, while the ones in the other compartment mature. This  compost means you can make and use it at the same time.

Thanks to its full insulation, the tumbler can make compost in less than a month. In comparison, some take up to 9 months to make. It can also compost in winter.

Jora is ideal for large families and larger households in general as well as restaurants and schools. It will last for years, because it's from galvanized steel. On the downside, it's more expensive than mulch, but worth it. Its high capacity makes it unsuitable for smaller homes. You need some technical skills to mount it (with screws on the wall, screws sold separately).

Jora comes with rodent proof features and can operate in different climates. Because composting produces heat and the various materials you use work at different temperatures, it can be challenging to achieve a rich, even compost. The Jora heats up to 160 degrees, which is sufficient to composts any and all organic materials. These will start breaking down, before they rot and begin to attract rodents.

The fact that you have to rotate the tumbler regularly can be a bit frustrating, but this is key to the creation of good compost. You must ensure that air is getting into the mixture to make composting faster. The tumbler’s full insulation keeps rodents out. It also reduces odors and is elevated. All you need to do is add organic waste and turn the tumbler by hand. New waste comes into contact with forming compost. Turning the compost bin ensures supply of oxygen, so that the microbes carrying out the decomposition survive. Do not put animal waste, fish or meat in.

Wednesday

Prepare for the Summer Break - Your Child's Educational, Emotional Weaknesses

Soon summer break will be here and so will long days of boredom with many children.  The school year reveals a lot about children and what their educational, emotional or physical needs are.  Sit back and think about the following and begin your quest to get your child some needed help so that he or she will be prepared for the next school year.  Think about the catalysts behind why your son or daughter had challenges this year.  Take some time to interview him or her.

1)  Misbehaving in the classroom, easily distracted.

2)  Talking disrespectfully to teachers and peers.

3)  Not completing homework.

4)  Weak in areas of math, reading, writing, comprehension, etc.

5)  Unable to work with others.

6)  Very talkative.

7)  Emotional outbursts.

8)  Poor study habits.

9)  Increase physical illnesses.

10)  Tardy to classes.

Take a look at those report cards, notes, test results, and other communication that was given to you during the school year.  Check out what parents have done online to help their children break bad habits.  Find out from the school what local resources are offered this summer to help children.

Nicholl McGuire

Thursday

Common Mouth Problems Stressed Out Moms Need to Watch

Are you constantly hitting new levels of stress because of the kids at home you have to deal with? As a new mom, stress is the biggest factor you need to watch out for. Your mouth may be in danger because of the huge amount of pressure you’re under. Dental specialists all over the world report increased incidence of tooth issues from stressed out moms, especially new mothers. Dentists are almost always able to tell if you are stressed out, because it shows in your mouth in many ways. Here are some of the ways in which dental quality is impacted by how stressed you are.

Bruxism (or the Grinding Disorder)

Bruxism is the medical name given to the phenomenon where you grind your teeth a lot. You usually see this happening when you’re asleep, or because you have a deformity in your mouth. Both of these are forms of the condition, which can also be set off by high amounts of stress in your life. If you’re nervous, anxious, or just flustered, you’re more likely to vent by grinding your teeth, usually without even knowing that you are doing it. Now, it is very possible that you’re doing it right now and not realizing it. You have to look for the symptoms so you can nip it in the bud.

Some common signs include noticing a rather peculiar flatness in the tips of your teeth. This is usually more pronounced in the canines (the pointed teeth next to your incisor teeth at the front). You will also see thinner enamel in your teeth which leads to the feeling of “electricity” every time something hits a sensitive part of your tooth. There will also likely be small pits in your tongue where it got in the way of your clenched teeth.

Cankers (Sores in Your Mouth Lining)
Cankers are extremely common signs of stress. They are also a part of Bruxism and can result directly from it. You usually get them on the inside of your mouth, such as in the soft flesh of your inner cheek lining. You can feel them with your tongue if you probe around. They aren’t contagious, so your baby is not at risk. However, they are a sign that you are incredibly stressed out. Studies have shown that cankers are more common in people who are going through major life events at the time.

Gingivitis and Other Gum Problems

This is also caused by your stress levels. The more emotional and stressed you are, the more likely you are to have gum disease. Your risk of cavities also increases as time goes by and you remain in a state of stress. It is important that you see a dentist if you see the signs of gum disease. Left untreated, it can lead to far more severe conditions such as toxicity and tooth decay. Take the time to visit a dentist regularly when you’re a new mom – you never know when you might need help with your teeth. With the right care, you may be able to nip other mental conditions in the bud too!

Wednesday

What to Do When You Discover Your Son is a Father

In his early forties, he would have never thought it would happen to him, a father, former boxer now a grandfather. His handsome 16 going on 17 year old son, popular, a high school football player, now a father! “How could this be?” the father thought. He cussed, fussed, acted violently with anyone who was in his way. “I don’t want to be a grandfather! He told me he was using condoms! He said she put the condom on! I told him never let a girl put the condom on! She poked holes in it! I can’t believe this!” But he had to believe it. After the anger wore off, he and his son’s mother had to figure out something, but what?

You may be in a similar situation. So what do you do? The first step is to find your peace of mind, so that you can be of assistance to your child and his girlfriend. What that means is find someone or something that can help you take control of your thoughts and emotions so that you can think clearly. Some people take vacations during the heat of a crisis and others consult with a beloved family member or friend. Without peace of mind, you will only further aggravate the already complicated situation.

In the true story described earlier, the girl’s mother had a hard time hearing about her 15 year old daughter being pregnant. The gorgeous girl was an honors student and all her mother could do was witness her child’s future flash and then disappear before her eyes. She was so hurt by her daughter’s irresponsibility that she said some hurtful things about her boyfriend and her daughter to the both of them, the kind of things that may forever scar both children. The mother wasn’t ready to be a grandmother. She was so emotionally wounded, that she kicked her daughter out the minute she heard the news. The girl had nowhere to go, but to her boyfriend’s home. At least his parents had found their peace of mind in time to open their doors to her. But it wouldn’t be easy for the girl to live in her boyfriend’s parent’s home, for they would now preach abstinence despite it being less than a couple of years prior to the pregnancy that the boy’s father was providing him with condoms. The mother-to-be was to sleep on the couch in the basement while the father was to remain in his room during the night. They could never be in any part of the house alone.

So how do you handle the news that your son and his girlfriend are pregnant?

Assuming that you already spoke to your son, meet with him again. Find out if his thoughts about his situation have changed. How are the girl’s parents handling the news, that is, if she told them? Does she plan on getting an abortion? Does your son want her to abort? You may run into a situation where he doesn’t want the child and she does. Then what? He may be willing to give over all his rights to the child’s mother, but does that mean that future child support payments will go away? Can she still sue? You will need to consult with an attorney to find out all the details.

Your son and his girlfriend may agree to give the child up for adoption. Someone within your family or hers may want to care for the baby until they can manage. Whatever he and his girlfriend may decide, avoid the temptation to name call, talk about how miserable their life will be, or say or do anything that could jeopardize your relationship with your child and future grandchild. Your son and/or his girlfriend may be in a fragile state of mind and you don’t want to be responsible for pushing him or her over the edge.
    
Meet with the couple

Once you and your son have talked, arrange a date to meet with his girlfriend. You will want to know what her intentions are. There may be discrepancies in their story, she may have changed her mind concerning the baby, and she may be having trouble communicating with her own parents and friends. Provide any advice that could help the both of them.

Meet with the parents

You will want to notify the girl that you will be contacting her parents. Arrange to meet with them either in the presence of a school administrator, a teen pregnancy counselor, or some other person who can act as a witness. In the event that there is ever a future legal battle, you do not want to be making agreements with these people that could be used against you later. Think about what questions you will ask her parents such as what are their intentions concerning the care of the baby. Will they be buying diapers, food, milk etc. for the newborn as well?

Meet with the school

Contact a school nurse and/or counselor to provide you with a list of teen pregnancy resources in your area. Your son and his girlfriend will need to be present so that they can apply for free aid.

Arrange parenting classes and any other special program you have heard about

Once you, your son and/or his girlfriend have made appointments, he or she should conduct any research on obtaining employment until the baby arrives. Unfortunately, now that a baby is on the way, some of those extracurricular activities may have to be dropped temporarily unless the family is willing to chip in for the care of their future addition while the children start focusing on completing high school.

If neither parent on either side wants the young couple and their newborn to live with them, learn about independent living programs in your area for teen parents. The program criteria is different depending on where the teen lives, how old he or she is, whether they income qualify, etc.

Make room in your home

If the children do not qualify for independent living, you or her parents will need to figure out how to make room in your home for baby items. You will also have to consider finding some place in the home for your son to care for his baby when he or she awakes through the night especially if there are other young children living in the home.

Join a support group

Receiving news about your child having a child isn’t easy and being around others who understand and can empathize with your struggle can bring your spirits up. Avoid being around people who can’t be of any assistance to you or your son. The last thing you need right now is someone igniting your fire by blaming and judging you as a parent or negatively commenting about your child’s action or inaction.

As a believer, remember to pray.  You will need the hand of God to help you during challenging times with your son and his family.

Nicholl McGuire is the owner of this blog and the author of When Mothers Cry and Tell Me Mother You're Sorry.



Monday

Prepare for the Next School Break Now

One of the bravest things a mother can do for herself and her child is know when to let go and just do it!  It doesn't matter the child's age, when things are getting out of control and you feel as a mother that you can't do much more for your child, pick up the phone!  Some moms probably did just that this last break.  In the near future, other moms will end up not doing too much to get some assistance because they falsely believe they can do everything on their own.  This is why we see or hear of children being abused or worse dying in the care of moms.  If you have a newborn or toddler and you are feeling a bit frustrated or at your wits end, start looking for resources that offer child care.  There are programs out there that are discounted and even free for a time.  But you don't know if you don't look.  Check with human services department in your city, churches, mother support groups, and online ads related to childcare programs or home daycare.

Spring breaks (or any school breaks) can be grueling.  Your money, time, and patience is only going to go so far before you look at the calendar and say, "Thank God, back to school."  So before the next break, put an action plan together for yourself and the children.  Know what you are going to do when things get rough again at home.  The following is a list to help plan for the next break which is the longest of them all, summer break (sigh).

1.  Save money for activities.  Start now signing them up for stuff if you haven't already.

2.  Find out what events are happening in other neighborhoods where your relatives live and make plans with them to take your children to them during the summer.  This way you have some relief.

3.  List family freebies and discounted days at restaurants and elsewhere.  Note them on your personal calendar.  This way you don't have to cook on those days.

4.  Check in with friends and find out what their plans are for their children this summer.

5.  Plan what you will do when children are unable to go outside.  Do you have some fun things for them?  Rotate toys and don't allow them to see and play with everything all at once.  This way when you pull the fun stuff out of storage it will be like Christmas time for them this summer. 

6.  Talk with tweens and teens about household chores and work.  There are sites online that pay children 13 years and up so start searching.  Schedule days for them to work.  Check with relatives who are in need of help and talk with them about paying the children for tasks.  This way you can relieve some stress on your wallet.

7.  Share concerns with your Creator, a person of faith who can pray for you or a counselor.  When you are able to communicate family matters with someone, you are better able to deal with children.  Also, they don't feel so much tension emanating from you.

Nicholl McGuire
When Mothers Cry Author
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About Me

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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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