Oh no! Summer break is fast-approaching and supermom just isn't ready. How can you maintain your sanity while still being everything your kids need this summer? Supermoms may look cool and collected on the outside but on the inside it can be a whole new story. We moms can have so much responsibility and so little time. Do you have your supermom sanity checklist ready for summer break?
Go into summer break with an open mind. It's fine to plan some things. But remember that this is supposed to be fun -- for you as well as the kids. Leave room for those last-minute moments of fun that come along. Schedules can help ensure the kids won't be bored and you don't miss any important business plans. But don't be afraid to stray from the schedule when warranted. Stay sane by remembering that it is OK if things are not perfectly planned out all the time. After all, it's summer time. Let loose a little and be open to changes.
Have plenty for everyone to do ahead of time. Be it scheduled activities or coloring books for road trips, make sure you have something for the kids to do. Otherwise be prepared to have your sanity tested each time someone blurts out "I'm bored" several times each hour. Outdoor and indoor toys and crafts can help busy the kids. For the younger set, bubbles, large beads and laces, blocks, balls, and outdoor push toys are good choices. For older kids, try a soccer ball and goal, skates, and puzzles and games (both board and book). You will likely have much more on your list, but that's a start.
It's OK to mix business with pleasure. If your boss will allow it, try doing some of your work at home to cut back on the hours you'll be in the office. This way, you get more time with the kids, even if some of it will be spent working. Won't this make a supermom even more insane? I personally get a certain peace of mind from being at home with the kids. As a work at home mom, I know how frustrated kids can get when the focus is on work. But each time the kids and I talk, all in all, they would still prefer I work at home. Kids want to play outside? Set yourself up a workspace in the backyard and let them have at it while you get work done. Best of both worlds.
Always have a backup plan. This cannot be stressed enough. You may think you have everything planned out perfectly. But sometimes things don't go the way they are intended. An event may finish up early or get canceled. Transportation plans may fail. Be sure you have an alternative activity for the kids to do in these cases. This includes packing "emergency packs" of toys and books in the vehicle (in case there's a breakdown), knowing alternative recreational options, and keeping a list of local places the kids enjoy.
Relax. No matter what you are doing this summer, remember to take a breather. Nothing can drive a supermom insane more than overworking herself. And trust me, this is something very common in a supermom. What mom doesn't believe she can do it all? But guess what? Doing it all should also involve taking time out to relax. Include the family in part of that. For instance, everyone can do yoga together to wind down at the end of the day. Then mom's personal relaxation time can be a warm bath after the kids are fast asleep.
*I originally published this via Yahoo Contributor Network
Everything fun! That seemed to end up being the theme of today, though mostly unplanned. Lots of things got done today and pretty much all of them were fun. As most of you know, I’m a major workaholic.. But I’m also silly and fun most of the time.
Some of you may know that I’m back to Crafting to Help Homeless Pets. I also like to post the leftover things we can’t use for that on Listia. That way, other folks can get some quality beads (and other things) and I can use the credits for supplies. Keeping our bead (and other) supply flowing helps out more homeless pets by allowing us to make and sell more jewelry and other crafts. We don’t profit by much after shipping and donation to the animal shelters. But, we mostly do it for the pets.
Anyhow, it was a productive day in that regard because I made a sale on Etsy yesterday, as well as had a few auctions end in credit bids on Listia. That meant Rich and I had to get those things sent out to the post office. That trip was productive for obvious reasons. We were also able to snag a few needed items from A.C. Moore (a craft store) and Market Basket (a grocery store), as well as fill up the gas tank.
After that, we came home and got lots more done. I was able to make and post a couple more jewelry items on Etsy. I also was able to get some content posted, as was Rich. How is all of this related to fun? Um, you do know me, right? Work is FUN!! Besides, who wouldn’t love a career like this? I get to make crafts, help animals, write, publish, design websites, etc. You see, it’s all creative, just like me. Of course it was fun!
Wait, where does the color come in? I said something about color, didn’t I? Guess what I did...again? Yup, re-dyed my hair purple. Most people hate the process involved with coloring hair. But, not me. I use vegan hair dye, so I don’t have to deal with the icky chemical smell and scalp burns. No thanks! I have fun coloring my hair, from start to finish.
While the hair color was setting, Rich and I were watching the first two Hobbit movies to get us into the mood for the third one, which he just won the UV code for. I was also publishing and writing and editing and other stuff, as usual. Anyway, we had both seen the first two in the series. But we never got around to the third one, which we plan to do tomorrow.
Another fun thing was that Rich got to watch his team (the Boston Red Sox) kick some serious butt in their first game of the season. I’m more of a basketball fan than a baseball fan. But that was a pretty entertaining game.
The eleven year old also texted us some cute videos she made. Speaking of her, I won a good sized book lot for her in an eBay auction a few days ago. So I got to tell her about that, as well as give her funds for more books at the school book fair. Yeah, we’re all book nuts. What can I say? More fun! I also played a funny late April Fool’s joke on the kiddos and texted them all a pic of me in a ponytail at just the right angle, telling them I cut my hair because I was tired of it. They freaked out -- and then laughed hard when I informed them it was a joke.
Now we’re watching Bates Motel, as I continue to write and make more jewelry and Rich gets to play some games on the computer. Not sure how much more I’ll get tonight because I’m such a workaholic. But hey, as you can see, I do know how to have fun, too.
Everything is fun with me - even work. Did you do anything fun recently? Tell me about it.
P.S. This is my E post for the Blogging from A to Z Challenge!
I recently bought a Samsung Galaxy S5 and turned my old Samsung S3 into an amazing tablet for my son. I know what you're thinking. The Samsung Galaxy S3 was not a cheap phone when I bought it. That's the point. I paid good money for my S3. But my current prepaid cell phone carrier isn't supporting it any longer and I'm not willing to switch to a contract carrier. Besides, the S5 is obviously an upgrade that I'm enjoying.
How the Idea Came About
My three girls all have smart phones with the same carrier I do. But my son is the youngest and hasn't yet earned that privilege. All of the cheap tablets and portable game devices we've purchased over time have gotten broken. But the kids have always been good about the phone when they've used it to play games or make calls.
So I had this genius idea to make my son an awesome tablet from my S3, so that he would be able to play the same games with the other kids. That's way better than recycling it and getting back pennies compared to what I paid for it. It still has many miles of use left. Trashing or recycling it would be wasteful right now.
How I Made a Tablet Using the Samsung Galaxy S3
The first thing I did was download the Smart Switch Mobile app, allowing me to transfer the files, texts, call log, etc from the S3 over to my new S5. Then, I restored the S3 to factory condition so that it would be renewed. I then disabled and/or password-protected all factory apps my son wouldn't need or shouldn't have.
Next, I set up his phone and created new Google and Samsung accounts for my son's tablet that do not have credit cards attached. This way, anything he downloads has to be free. I then downloaded Avast mobile and also added a few more parental - type safety measures, so that my son's new tablet would be protected.
Once that maintenance work was done, it was time to download apps my son would find useful. I downloaded a healthy variety of both educational games, as well as other types. Built-in apps already included things like drawing/painting, taking notes, office software, and the like. Because many tablets run on the same Android technology as the Samsung Galaxy S3, it was easy to find plenty of games for kids.
How I Made My Son's "New" Samsung Galaxy S3 Tablet Durable
Any experienced parent knows that devices kids use need to be both safe and durable. As mentioned above, I took care of the safety part. As for durability, I searched Amazon for the sturdiest case I could find that was suitable for kids. The case had to be tough enough to help the tablet withstand occasional dropping. But it also had to be kid-friendly in appearance.
After searching a bit, I came across many different character cases. They were all pretty thick. But I especially liked the dark color combination (less likely to show kid dirt) of the Zooky Black Cow silicone case. The thickness of this case, as well as the amount of protection around the camera, speaker, and microphone were perfect. I also liked that it came with a free screen protection sheet, as the Samsung Galaxy S3 needed a new one. I had since removed the one that I purchased with it, as the person who installed it did it incorrectly and I never got around to replacing it. So this solved that issue.
The Convenience of a Phone-Sized Tablet for Kids
As it turns out, using my old phone as a tablet is actually better than getting my son a regular tablet. My son can easily carry it in his pocket, making it even more portable than a regular tablet. I researched many tablets and the camera in my old Samsung S3 is better than those in tablets within a comfortable price range. It also has a great deal of space, even without an SD card.
Adding an SD card will come later, especially when he starts taking more pictures and video. But even after downloading 40 game apps for him, I hadn't even come close to using up the available internal space. Now my son can play his own games, as well as compete with his sisters in the games they love together.
*These changes and modifications are not necessarily recommended by the manufacturer. The author has made these modifications of her own volition. If you try this, please be responsible and do your own research regarding safety and other matters in relation to this choice. The author is not responsible for any actions that occur as a result of these changes.
"Girls" My Age? Ssh, I'm the Mom!
by Lyn Lomasi, Staff Writer
The other day, my two teen girls and I were browsing around in a few stores. When we got to the clothing section in the thrift store, a kind helpful employee overheard our conversation about the affordability of this particular store. So we struck up a conversation with her.
About mid-conversation she says "Oh yeah, we have lots of great stuff for girls your age." She then proceeded to talk about fashion and such. Once she finished, I said something like "I'm the mom, by the way." She was in disbelief for a second because she actually believed that I was a teen, like my girls.
She then asks me how old my kids were. She thought my kids were at home and smaller. Well, she was halfway correct. The younger two were at school. I informed her that the 15 and 17 year old were those ages and were in fact my kids.
The conversation continued into more talk like that for a bit.
I’m never sure whether to be flattered or feel immature when people mistake me for a teenager. This isn’t the first time. Most of the time I take it as a compliment. But sometimes I wonder if looking too young may not always be a good thing.
Until the next adventure!
*I originally published this on PersonaPaper (I have since removed it).
by Lyn Lomasi, Staff Writer
Positive discipline consists of more than disciplining your child in a calm manner. Positive discipline for children should consist of steps that lead to the child's well-being and development, teach a lesson about the issue at hand, and not be condescending in nature. In positive discipline for children, the action taken should lead to the child understanding why his or her behavior was wrong, as well as teach that child a life lesson that will help to prevent similar incidents in the future.
First, there are a few things to remember about positive discipline for children. Every family will not follow the exact same methods, as every family is different. Also, different methods should apply to different situations. A child who has hit another child should not be getting the same form of positive discipline as a child who forgot to make his bed before breakfast.
Different misbehaviors have different consequences and the discipline should fit accordingly. Also, remember to always follow through. Any form of positive discipline for children that is discussed, yet not carried out, will be ineffective. Not following through shows a child that he or she can do certain things without consequences and that isn't a good idea because that is not how the world works.
Daily Chore Add-Ons - One good form of positive discipline for children is to add on an extra daily chore for a week. Doing this can teach a child responsibility. At the same time, it also teaches a child that there are consequences for actions.
Misbehavior Journal - Another good form of positive discipline is to have a journal for each time a child misbehaves. The child should write down what his or her feelings were during the time of the act, as well as why he or she committed the misbehavior. This should be a private journal between parent and child. None of the children should ever see each other's journals. Once the child has written down the thoughts, the parent should in turn, respond to those thoughts with understanding, as well as a way for the child to resolve that type of situation in the future.
Behavior Money Jar - I also like to keep a jar for each kid in a place easily accessible by older children, but out of reach of younger children. In each kid's jar is any money they have that isn't for savings. Each time one of the kids does something that hurts another in some way, they have to take out a pre-determined amount (depending on what they've done) and place it into the child's jar who they've hurt or offended. Each time they do something good for someone, I might place a certain amount of money into their jar, but not always. This form of positive discipline for children reflects what may happen in adult life. In adult life, if we hurt someone, we are likely going to be paying for it in the long run. Likewise, if we do good deeds, eventually they will come back around. However, it doesn't work that way every single time, which is why I only give the money sometimes.
Volunteering - Volunteer work is also a great form of positive discipline. You never want to insinuate that the volunteering is a form of punishment because that sends the wrong message. You instead want to say something like, "I noticed that you were unhappy about some of the food choices we made in the grocery store. How about we go together and donate those foods to people who don't have the same type of choices we have?” Then, go from there with the volunteer work. This will likely trigger the child's thought process and let him or her realize that they cannot always have everything they want. It hopefully will also cause them to think twice about complaining when they know there are kids out there who don't have a fraction of what they do.
Good Deeds - Similar to the volunteer work, another great method is to elect the offending child as "Favor Giver of the Day." For one day, this person has to do at least one requested good deed for each member of the household. This form of positive discipline for children is good for when the child has disrespected one or more family members. This lesson usually teaches a child that it's more fun to help others than it is to mistreat them.
Note: The author's positive parenting method has evolved into what she calls Upstream Parenting.
*I originally published a version of this via Yahoo Contributor Network
Green parenting has definitely become a trend. But, as a parent who has been committed to living green for quite some time, I'm here to tell you it's much more than just a trend. At least that's true for our family. I started down the path of living green not because of a trend, but because of a commitment to making the Earth a great place for my kids to be in the future and for generations to come.
I don't know the exact date I started our family on this journey and don't really recall there being any sort of epiphany. It seems that I've always instilled at least some green habits. As we discover new things, I add more and more to our lifestyle. I don't base our green living habits on what so-and-so is doing or on the latest fad green products. Instead, I make conscious choices on what's good for the environment and what is not. I consider the impact each time I make a purchase or commit an action. Being a green parent is less about special products and more about minimalism and reducing waste and chemical usage.
Believe it or not, everyday activities, like visiting the park with the kids, can make a huge negative impact on the environment. This is especially true if they are regular activities or a parent is not thinking green at the time. Of course, no one is perfect. Even I participate in activities that are not Earth-friendly. We all do both consciously and subconsciously. But if we can be green as much as possible, this beautiful planet will stay pretty even longer. Just because we may not be around to see its demise doesn't mean we should be careless. Our kids and their kids and so on need a healthy place to grow.
Try cleaning the house with homemade solutions that are both cost-effective and better for the environment. A bonus is that the kids can also help you clean and they and your pets will be safer. Use homemade shampoos and natural haircare alternatives for the family. Kids like to be messy, so let them join in making some of these items.
Teach kids to be green with lessons that will last a lifetime. Teach them by doing, but also explain what you are doing and why. Be creative in instilling the lessons. Play games, incorporate it into the chores, and just have fun! Green parenting is important, but it certainly does not need to be boring.
*I originally published this via Yahoo Shine
A few weekends ago, the kids had some good friends over and being a holiday (though, not one we celebrate in the most popular way), I had promised I wouldn't work too much. I never promise a whole day off because I'm a workaholic and a single mother. I also work at home so my work is readily available, but I digress. An opportunity presented itself to wing it, so I did.
Forming A Brilliant Idea
Because we had nothing better to do, I get this brilliant beyond brilliant idea to take all of my kids, both of our dogs, plus some of their friends and an extra dog to the park. I don't have a vehicle, so of course the plan was to walk on the trail that led us to the intended park. Our nature trails can take us to several parks, depending on which way we choose to go. We chose the largest park and headed that way. Yes, I am insane enough to take a walk with six kids and three dogs with only me as the sole adult. Us single parents know how to work it whatever it may be.
Learning the Many Ways To Wing It
The kids wanted to play on the way, of course. So who was going to walk the dogs? Why me, of course. Yep, winging it because I had never walked the extra dog before, nor had she been walked with our dogs and here I was about to hold all three of their leashes together. Thankfully, it worked out well. They had been introduced briefly a few times and apparently that was enough to satisfy them all. In some situations, you just have to go with the flow and let the chips fall as they may.
The restroom and drinking fountain were closed and of course the kids needed both so we made use of a nearby store for both purposes and went right back to playing. The dogs wanted to run around and the kids wanted to use the playground so I found a spot in the field that was next to the playground so I could run with the dogs while watching the kids.
Life Lessons In Winging It For Everyone
Throughout this walk and park visit, many interesting situations came up where I had to wing it. But that's life. No matter how much you plan things, sometimes you just have to wing it and in the end, you may find out that winging it is the both the best lesson and the best fun you've had in quite a long time. It's quite fine to plan things. You have to have goals. But it's also good to just let it go and let it flow.
All of these scenarios could have been stressful and some may not have gotten involved in the whole thing, to begin with. But I've quickly learned in many experiences that if you have an open mind and are aware of your surroundings (and all the many ways you can use them to your advantage), life can lead to some fun adventures.
Just wing it! Your life is waiting for you!
D is for Determination
Back in 2007, I was your average web user with a mom blog trying to find something I could do at home with my kids to make money.
I went on a hunt for writing jobs but it mostly uncovered work at home scams - people trying to get me to pay them for work. Little did they know, I am not that gullible. I kept at the search, determined to find the right company.
Writing jobs had to be out there, especially taking into consideration that writing is everywhere. One day I came upon a web site promising to pay writers both upfronts and page views. Having been through so many scams I honestly thought it might be one too. But something told me to join and try it out.
Fast forward a few years and I was one of the most prolific there -- out of hundreds of thousands of users. But I didn't stop there. I was determined to help others achieve the same. Fast forward to 2009 and I became staff at that same site. I started as a Community Advocate, working my way up to Community Manager.
At the same time, I was also building my own (very different) network of sites. While that Yahoo site I was Community Manager for no longer exists, I am still the owner and Community Manager of my own site, continuing to freelance on the side. It's all done on my own time, while I homeschool and adventure with my family.
Determination can take you a long way.
What are you determined to achieve? Keep at it. You never know where it will take you.
*Last updated 3/12/2017
M is for Momtrepreneur
It's no secret to all who know me how I make my living as a momtrepreneur. But those of you just crossing my path may be interested in using my story to your benefit.
How do you become a momtrepreneur?
Writing worked out extremely well for me. However, if writing is not your thing, figure out what works for you. The key to being a successful momtrepreneur is figuring out what you are good at that you can do while spending as much time with your kids as possible.
For some, it may mean working from home. For others it may mean working a part time job that allows them to be available at all times the kids are not in school or otherwise occupied.
The current definition of it for me is combining my family life and my career to make both awesome. I homeschool my kids and write for a living from the convenience of my own home. Much of my writing is centered around what I learn and do in my family life.
My family life is wonderful because of the flexibility and knowledge I gain in my writing career. If you're a parent who can write, I highly recommend it. If writing is not your thing, I definitely don't. It's hard work when you know what you're doing -- and even harder if you don't.
When you read my articles, blog posts, book, and more, perhaps writing seems easy. I do enjoy my work, but I wouldn't say it's easy 100% of the time. Sometimes the words do just flow. But if you're looking for a get rich quick scheme or an easy way out, this is not it.
There are days I can write seemingly nonstop and there are other days where I can't even get out a paragraph. There's money to be had, but like any other legitimate opportunity, it takes hard work and dedication.
Look inside your heart and find out what your personal momtrepreneur (or dadtrepreneur) definition is.
If it happens to be writing, I highly recommend getting started with Write W.A.V.E. Media to get some samples out there. If you do, be sure to ask me for help if you need it. I'm the founder, one of the owners, and also a Community Manager.
C is for Courage
I won't get too personal here. But those who are close to me know that I have been going through a storm of sorts for a while now. That could be an understatement. But still I have the courage to press on.
My family. My career. My life.
Even when things are not going the greatest in your life, there is always hope for the future. No one knows for sure what will happen in a month, a day, or even in the next second. But one thing is certain. The future will hold both good and bad. I will always embrace the good parts and have the courage to sustain the negative.
As George Custer said: “It's not how many times you get knocked down that count, it's how many times you get back up."
It takes an enormous amount of courage to keep getting up, despite what the world throws at you. But remember that no matter what hurdles are in your path, only you have the power to jump them. Once you do that enough times, you will be a powerful force to reckon with. Use that strength to inspire others and give them the same courage. You will be surprised at the courage your experience can help others find.
If You Believe You Can Do Something, it Will Happen
Ever had so many responsibilities drop into your lap that you're too overwhelmed to do even 1 item on the list? Perhaps you're like me and on top of that happening, you're crazy enough to assign yourself even more.
Don't let the stress get to you. Just believe it and do it!
If anyone knows how well this works, it's me.
On top of the normal mom duties, I had to go and make things harder by throwing homeschooling into the mix. On top of that, I had to throw a full time work-at-home career into the pile. I freelance full time, write for and manage my own network of websites (like this one), and even mentor fellow writers just for fun.
Each of these things has its own free list of tasks. Many (or even most) people would have a heart attack if assigned even half of the tasks I do in a day. But yet, I get it all done, most of the time with a smile on my face.
How? Simply by believing it and doing it.
If you sit around all day stressing over where to begin, whether it will all get done, and come up with all these elaborate plans on how you are going to get it done, guess what? You've wasted all your time on worrying.
Just believe it and do it! Trust me, it works!
About Momtrepreneur Moments
by Lyn Lomasi; Owner of Intent-sive Nature & the Brand Shamans network
Welcome to "Momtrepreneur Moments". Being a business-savvy mom provides quite an interesting life.
There are moments where you just have to stop and laugh at things that happen with the kids, with the business, or even with both at the same time.
There are also moments when you need to reevaluate strategy, pat yourself on the back and pay it forward, or even times when you need to just break down and cry.
But in the end, it is all worth it - for both the business and family side. Join me as I discuss the ups and downs of being a mother and entrepreneur all at once.
With me, you'll laugh, cry, scream in frustration, learn, and teach all at the same time. Such is the life of a mom in the business world. Parenthood and business both teach life-long lessons, some tough and some so simple you'll wonder why you never realized them before.