Dinner and Memories

Large Hispanic family in kitchen preparing foodWhile driving home from my in-law’s house, I thought about the best parts of the day, and they all circled around the kitchen table. Wherever we went the most vibrant conversations, the most laughter, the most connections, and the most memories were shared and made while everyone was sitting together at the table. What is it about sitting down to a meal that just opens up the floor for good conversation? Is it the food? The drink? The people? Maybe it’s the fact that you are able to see everyone, and no one can get away. Whatever power it possesses, the kitchen table always seems to bring us together, and help us create memories.

The magic of the table isn’t just for special holidays; it should be used as often as possible. Having meals together is an important part of your family’s health and happiness; and it is important to your child’s development. Meal time is a time to talk, learn, love and listen to one another. It’s a time to bond as a family, and open the lines of communication so your children know they can talk to you about anything. And with all the issues that children have to deal with these days, open communication with them is key to helping them stay safe and make the right choices in life. Busy schedules, for everyone in the family, make it hard to sit down together. Sometimes it just seems easier to grab some food on your way to or from activities, but you can start small. Just set aside at least one meal time a week, every week, when you will all be present, and see what kind of memories you can make.~Jamie, WWP

We All Feel Bad Sometimes

mother pulling hair out with forlorn child in backgroundHave you ever felt just utterly overwhelmed by all the advice about being a good parent and how to raise worldly, well-rounded children?

Everyone seems to have an opinion about how to do it better, or which new products are must-haves if you want your kids to succeed.

While most of the articles you may read actually contain useful advice, there are a good number that just make you feel like crap. Your child is three, and you don’t have him signed up for piano lessons and learning French yet?!

Sometimes it all just seems like too much, and after reading an article looking for help you end up feeling less awesome than you are, and more lost than before.

Steve Wiens’ article, “To The Parents of Small Children: Let Me Be The One Who Says It Out Loud”, is one refreshing article that stands above the rest, helping to give an insight on what it really feels like to parent.

Parenting is a tough job, and no one is perfect

It’s a 24/7 career that consists of a thousand little jobs that all need to be done at once.

To name a few, a parent must be a:

  • cook
  • teacher
  • chauffeur
  • janitor
  • disciplinarian
  • activities director
  • nurse
  • mind reader (at least until they learn how to talk)

It’s exhausting, and sometimes you just want to hide in bed under the covers until it all goes away.

And that’s okay because being a parent doesn’t make you super human; you still have physical and mental limitations, and when they are pushed or crossed you may feel like you are failing as a parent.
The next time you are overwhelmed by advice about how to be perfect, or you want to scream because your kids are driving you nuts, take a deep breath, read over Steve Wiens’ article, and take solace in the fact that you are not alone.

And if that doesn’t work, give us a call and we’ll help you put together a plan that will teach you the parenting skills needed be the parent you always wanted to be.

A Routine Stop

imagesCA35R6TKMy husband and I went away for a long weekend, so our two-year old got to spend four nights at his grandparents’ house. I sent him off with an instruction manual that outlined his daily schedule and routines. I understand that being in a different house, with different people, things cannot be exactly the same, but I still expected his schedule and routines to be followed the best that they could. I know that the instruction manual may have been a bit controlling of me, but I worked hard at getting my son on a schedule that works for both of us, and I know how difficult he can be if he doesn’t get enough sleep.

Long story short, when he came home he was a wild man, it seemed as if he hadn’t heard the word “no” all week, he was difficult when we tried to go about our regular day, and he had issues going to and staying asleep at night. Needless to say, the next few days were a re-training boot camp; sleep training again, engraving “please” and “thank you” back into his brain, and relearning the rules and boundaries of the house. It was a lot of work, again, but eventually we got back to normal.

Sometimes life gets in the way, and schedules and routines need to be shifted a bit, but they are of the upmost importance in a child’s life! Children crave routine because it creates a safe environment by allowing them to know what to expect and when to expect it. Rules and boundaries add to that safe environment by allowing a child to know how to behave, and how they can expect others to behave around them. But after all your schedules, routines, rules and boundaries are set, they must be consistently followed; otherwise, the just don’t work.


Food for Thought

From the discovery of “pink slime” in ground beef, to the recent petition by the dairy industry to add aspartame (a controversial artificial sweetener) to milk and not add it to the label, people are becoming more aware and concerned about what actually goes our food. However, living in the busy world we do, convenience is the name of the game. But at what cost? Pre-made, packages food and meals, including baby food, can contain fillers, preservatives, and trans fats. All of which are not the best for our bodies. So what’s the alternative? Cooking meals made from fresh items at the store is your best bet. No time to cook? Think again.

Ever since my son began eating real food, I have made his food from scratch using fresh vegetables and fruits. All I needed was a few hours on a Saturday or Sunday when my husband could watch the baby and I could be in the kitchen. When I was done, I had filled ice cube trays with the fresh purees I had made so they could be frozen in perfect serving sizes for later use. For the few hours of cooking, I had enough baby food to last a couple of months! Not only was this a healthier option, but it was cheaper too! Jarred baby food goes for $0.58-$0.88/jar, and a pureed $1.15 sweet potato can easily fill 8 of those jars (that’s less than $0.15/jar). This cook and freeze method can work as your family grows too. Make a few meals one day and freeze them so they are ready to cook on a later date. Crock pot meals are another healthy way to cook when you’re short on time.

The point is, choosing to take the time to prepare healthy food for your family, and yourself, is a smart choice. Presenting a variety of healthy food options now will allow your child to develop a taste for good foods. And healthy eating habits learned now will lead to them making smart, healthy choices later in life. Eat well! ~Jamie-WWP

Don’t have time to do it yourself here is a local resource for you in Columbus, Ohio. Check out Nummie Tummies, fresh, organic baby and toddler food for more information visit: www.nummietummies.com

You’ve Had a Long Day?!

Relieve the Stress and Get ResultsHave you ever heard the anecdote about the husband who came home from work to find his house a mess? When he arrives home, the dog and kids, still in their pajamas, are running around the house, toys seem to have exploded all over the place, the kitchen is a mess of leftover food and used dished from breakfast and lunch, and he finds his wife sitting in a chair reading a book. Upon inquiring about what happened, she simply replies, “Remember how you asked me what I actually do all day? Well, today I didn’t do them”.

Luckily, my husband is smart enough not to ask me what I actually do all day, but when he says, “I’m just so tired,” or “It’s been a long day,” I find myself cringing just a little. I have no doubt that my husband’s job as the manager of the major sales rep team is challenging and tiring. However, he works in the grown-up world; a world that allows you to have lunch breaks, privacy in the bathroom, adult conversation, and time that is yours (quiet if you will) to think and work alone. I feel as if he doesn’t quite understand what my days are like.

I care for two toddlers who live to explore. I make meals, clean up, play, play, play, I break up wrestling matches, and try to teach the concept of sharing. My conversations revolve around the entire list of zoo animals we saw at the zoo (two weeks ago), and I am followed everywhere I go. I can’t even get two minutes of privacy while I use the restroom. “But don’t they nap?” you ask. Of course they do, but that’s when I vacuum, do laundry and dishes, repair broken books and toys, eat, and try to squeeze in a short workout. Then they wake up, and hopefully it’s nice enough to go to the park for a while; but with two toddlers, that’s a monster of a task in itself. Finally, dinner and bedtime roll around, and then, after my twelve-hour day, I’m the one who’s tired. ~Jamie – WWP

How many moms can relate to this story? The hardest part is that our job as a mom never stops. Many of us still need to wake up in the middle of the night because our little angels are crying or having a bad dream. Or how about those nights that they are sick. We are the ones they need and want the most. However, even though it’s lots of work and can be exhausting we wouldn’t trade it for anything. Being a mom is the most rewarding job in the world! I strongly encourage every mom out there to make sure you are taking care of YOU! You are your family’s foundation and you need to make sure you are taking care of your emotional, spiritual, physical and mental health needs. It is extremely important for you to mark it in your calendar and make it priority! You are just as important as your kids and spouse. Life wouldn’t be the same without YOU! So do yourself and you’re family a favor and invest time for YOU! ~Terry – WWP

Happy Life, Happy Kids

family-together1[1]The other day I read an article on Facebook, entitled “Three Things I Wish I Knew Before I Got Married”. I shared the link at the end of this blog if you’d like to read it, but the gist of it is that if you put your marriage above all other things in your life you will be happy, and then, in turn, success will come to you in all other aspects of your life (including parenting). I can really see how this makes sense! My husband and I work really hard to make each other happy, to make each other’s lives easier, and to support one another in everything we do. This makes us a happy and communicative parenting team. Our son sees us as happy adults, happy parents, and therefore, he is a happy child.

However, this got me thinking of all the single parents out there. How do they bring up well-adjusted children? While asking myself this question, I began to think about all the single moms I know (I don’t know any single dads). I found that they all had a few qualities in common. First, they are all emotionally stable. They don’t let their world get shaken by childish drama, and when something real hits their lives; they don’t allow it to break them. Second, they have strong wills that allow them to work hard for what they want to achieve, and to provide everything for their children. And finally, they have some sort of support system. Whether it is a close circle of family or friends, they have people on whom they rely. I think the bottom line is that if you want to raise happy children, you need to make sure that your life is happy and stable, and the rest will follow. -Jamie, WWP