Raising a family is both rewarding and challenging. Juggling work, the house, and your family can be a major source of stress for parents. Today, I want to share five things you can do to help manage stress levels as a parent.
Reduce stress in your life by setting priorities, taking unnecessary things off of your to do list, and finding time to do things as a family that you all enjoy. Think of activities to help you feel relaxed and healthy, and then try to do at least one activity a day to reduce stress.
If you are feeling alone, reach out to a friend who you can speak honestly with. Chances are, whatever is stressing you out, might not be as uncommon as you think it is. There are a lot of stressful issues that parents face but rarely talk about. Even if your friend can’t relate to what you are going through, it always feels good to talk out tough feelings!
The activities that work best for each person will be different, but they can include meditation, yoga, exercise, reading, or even just binge-watching Netflix. Everyone manages stress in their own way, and it may be necessary for you to try a few activities to see what works best for you.
Most parents feel guilt over something they think they do wrong as a parent. A hectic work schedule, chronic illness, or the occasional yelling incident may be the source of parental guilt. Try not to be too harsh on yourself when you feel like you aren’t being a great parent. Try to focus on the parts of parenthood you are handling well instead of the things you think you are failing at.
It is okay not to be super mom or dad every day. Knowing and accepting that what you do and do not have time for in your life will help you make healthier choices that can lead to a less stressful life.
Being a parent can be hard, but it can be a little easier if you work to reduce your stress levels!
I’d love to hear from you! What is your favorite stress relieving activity? What steps have you taken to reduce stress in your life?
Our family loves to travel. Unfortunately, we haven’t hit the lottery yet, so our bank account does not always support our passion to explore new cities. Recently, I discovered Hotels Etc. This private membership club was established in 1996 and they offer great discounts on travel, entertainment and so much more! After I got my membership, I dove deep into all the wonderful discounts Hotels Etc. has to offer. Today, I want to share five cities you can visit affordably thanks to this wonderful travel club!
**I was gifted a year’s membership to Hotels Etc. so that I could review it. All opinions are my own.* All prices mentioned in this post are just examples of prices I found the day this post was published and may be different when you search. All trips are hypothetical examples with actual screenshots from the website**
Before I start talking about a few of the places you can visit after you get a Hotels Etc. membership, I want to give a few details about the program. It costs $299 a year. In my opinion, that is a wonderful value for all the discounts it provides. Once you sign up, you’ll have access to tons of discounts! In order to find those, you can use four color coded search engines. You can also click on the categories pictured above. Some categories will take you to a page listing deals, while other categories will take you to the search engines. The website takes a minute to learn how to navigate, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll be able to easily find amazing deals! I used the purple and the red engines for this post.
There are so many great discounts on Hotels Etc. for hotels in the Boston area! If you are looking for a family friendly hotel, Holliday Inn is always a great choice. Depending on the location, you can save up to $40 a night at a Holliday Inn! That is $200 off of a five night trip! While you are in Boston, you can use your membership to get tickets to the Boston Historic Sightseeing Cruise starting at $38 per person, the Boston Harbor Historic Cruise starting at $41 per person, or the Ghosts and Gravestones Tour starting at $43 per person. There are tons of other entertainment options as well! As a bonus, Salem is just over a half hour away from Boston, so you can visit two historic cities on one vacation!
Orlando is one of my favorite vacation destinations. Everyone in my family absolutely loves Disney, but a trip to the Orlando area can be very costly! With Hotels Etc., you can easily save $100 a night on Hotels that are extremely close to all the major attractions. If you need a rental car, I found an SUV rental for under $500 a week including taxes! We are considering renting a car during our next trip to Orlando and can’t wait to use this membership to save on it! If you need to fly in order to get to Flordia, Hotels Etc. can help you with that as well! They currently have 11 pages of good deals on flights.
Alaska is absolutely beautiful. I highly recommend everyone visit at least once! With the help of this club, it might be more affordable than you’d think! With the discounts, you can get a four night hotel stay for under $1,000.
When I was researching to write this post, I asked a family member “Where have you always wanted to visit, but the costs of a hotel kept you away?”. She answered Miami. You can use Hotels Etc. to save a range of $15 to $50 a night on familiar hotel chains like Holiday Inn and Homewood Suites. There are a some hotels where you can save even more than that! When you aren’t at the beach, you can visit Sawgrass Recreation Park starting at just $24 a person or the Mansions of Miami Boat Tour starting at $27 per person. If you have a rainy day during your trip, you can either get a coupon for extra jump time at Sky Zone Trampoline Park.
I visited Seattle as a teenager and I hope to travel back again soon! I loved the whole city. Since we live in Ohio, it has the potential to be an expensive trip. I will use our membership to make it less costly! There are a lot of hotel options under $200 a night after the discount! If you need a car, you can grab a 25% coupon for Budget Rent A Car right now!
After spending hours exploring all the perks of this membership program, I can definitely say that if you travel often, you’ll get much more than your money worth out of a subscription. If you only travel once a year, it may not be something you are interested in, but it depends on where you are traveling to. Discounts on everyday things like online shopping and gift cards to chain resturants are a wonderful bonus.
I’d love to hear from you. Have you ever used Hotels Etc.? If so, what did you think of it?
My daughter doesn’t have a bedtime. I know this might surprise some of you, but it is a decision I made less than a year ago that has worked out well for our family. We still have a routine we follow each night, but my daughter and how she is feeling that day, determine what time we will start. Today, I want to talk about three of the reasons why we skip bedtime in our house.
I used to put my daughter to bed exactly at 7:15, but it was often a struggle. One day, I decided to just wing it and let her tell me when she was ready to get to bed. She slept better than she had for a long time that night. Now, it’s not uncommon for her to sleep 12 hours, which did not happen at all when we were setting her bedtime. Taking away the pressure of a bedtime gives children the opportunity to listen to their body and to set their own sleep patterns.
Have you ever laid in bed feeling powerless because you just can’t fall asleep? Imagine how stressful that is for a child! Struggling each night at bedtime may actually cause a child to have long term sleep difficulties.
Letting your child decide when to go to bed puts them in command of their own routine and helps them learn how to develop healthy habits. It’s crucial that children learn how to make good decisions for themselves. The more small decisions we can let our children make, the better they will be able to adjust as they get older and are faced with more serious decisions.
Developing healthy sleep habits in the early years of a child’s life is very important. Instead of a strict bedtime, I’ve chosen to empower my preschooler to trust her instincts and make her own sleep decisions.
I’d love to hear from you! Do you have a bedtime for your children or do you let them guide the nighttime routine?
The toddler years can be a wonderful, but sometimes frustrating, part of your child’s life. You will find yourself repeating “Don’t touch that” over and over again, they will outgrow outfits over night, and you’ll learn something new every day. Life with a toddler is full of curiosity, hugs, smiles, and the occasional tantrums. You may also suddenly realize that most of the things you received at your baby shower are items you no longer need. Today, I’ve put together a list of affordable products that will help you through the toddler years.
**This post contains affiliate links. We may get a small commission, at no additional charge to you, for purchases made from our links. All opinions are our own.**
You are probably ready to be done with a bulky stroller by now, but if you have a young toddler, it might be a few years before you are done with strollers. My four year old still likes to ride in hers from time to time. If you haven’t yet, now is the time to pick up a very light weight stroller.
Getting rid of the bottle was easy for my daughter, but getting her to drink out of a straw cup was a bit harder! She hated everything but soft spout sippy cups for the longest time. Sometimes, you just have to keep buying different cups until you find one that clicks!
Your sweet toddler will be a preschooler before you know it, so try to enjoy this stage as much as you can! If you are already past the toddler stage, I’d love to hear from you! What products were essential for your little one when they were a toddler?
Are you buying for an infant? Check out this video!
Living Treasures Wild Animal Park in New Castle, Pennsylvania is a great destination for families who are looking for a more intimate wildlife experience than you can find in many zoos. The animals are well looked after, are kept in high-quality enclosures, and seem to be pretty happy. We have taken several family members with us on visits to the animal park and they’ve all raved about their experience. Today, I want to share my four year old’s five favorite things to do while we are visiting Living Treasures.
Talk To Prairie Dogs
The prairie dog enclosure is set up wonderfully for little ones. The glass front makes it easy for even the smallest child to get face to face with these little creatures. My daughter will sit down and have a chat with them while she watches them scurry around.
Hang Out With A Giant Snake
Living Treasures is home to a gigantic snake. They also have a much smaller snake that you can hold for a photo. When the snake is right on the glass, my curious preschooler loves to just hang out with it for a few minutes.
Press The Parrot
When we are waiting to enter and usually when we leave, my daughter loves pressing the button that makes an animatronic parrot talk. It says several different things, so it can be lots of fun to press the button more than once.
Watch The Flamingos
Flamingos are a family favorite. They are so colorful and graceful.
Walk With Goats
The goat petting area at Living Treasures is a lot of fun. There are always tons of baby goats to pet and feed. They also have a smaller area that has goats and sheep.
We always have a great time visiting Living Treasures! It’s much more intimate than a traditional zoo! On top of that, it is very educational and you can feed most of the animals!
This week, we have decided to bring a day at the beach home with some fun activities and crafts! Yesterday, we built a “sandcastle”. This craft is extremely easy and only takes a few materials!
**This post contains affiliate links. We may can a small commission, at no additional charge to you, for purchases made from our links.**
Construction Paper (White and Brown)
A Crayon or Marker
To start, I drew several sandcastle “parts” for my preschooler to cut out. If you are doing this craft with a younger child, you can do the cutting. If you are doing this craft with an older child, you can let them draw the sandcastle themselves and have them cut it out afterwards.
After the cutting was done, we drew a door and windows. Next, my daughter glued the castle together. I let her put the pieces on the paper however she wanted them.
When your little one is done, you will have a one of the kind sandcastle that you don’t have to worry about washing away!
Little learners enjoy pairing a book with a craft or activity! Here are a few suggestions.
While most people think self-acceptance is the same thing as self-esteem, the two are actually quite different. Self-esteem is the value we have in who we are, while self-acceptance is our ability to embrace all aspects of ourselves. Simply put, it means both understanding your value and fully embracing your personality and actions.
It is not enough to just accept the positive in yourself. To truly experience self-acceptance; you must also accept your quirks and weaknesses. It is not easy to accept the things we may not like about ourselves, but once we start accepting who we really are, we can begin the process of meaningful self-improvement. Self-acceptance can be difficult at first, but here are a few suggestions to help you along the journey!
Don’t Rush Things
The process of accepting yourself takes time. It is not easy but loving the person you are will make you happier. Not only will you feel more at peace with yourself, but you will connect better with others as well. Once you accept yourself, you will have an easier time finding others who also embrace you for you. Learning to accept yourself begins with understanding that one does not have to achieve perfection and that it is okay to simply exist just the way you are. A great first step is learning to accept your mistakes and to acknowledge that both good and bad things are part of life.
Get To Know Yourself
Many people have no idea who they truly are. Self-discovery is a necessary step towards self-acceptance. Even though a lot of us can love and accept others as they are, we still harshly judge ourselves. I believe that is because humans hate to recognize our own weaknesses. Once we truly get to know ourselves, we can choose to accept everything that makes us unique. Journaling is an amazing way to get to discover more about yourself. Try to set aside fifteen or twenty minutes a day just to write out your feelings and thoughts!
Accept That There Are Things You Can’t Change
There are things you can do to change your life for the better, but there are also things that will never change. Wishing that you could change things that will never change is just a waste of time and energy.
To be happy with who we are, we must let ourselves accept all who we are, flaws and all. Take the time to be kind to yourself and learn to overcome that inner voice that says “you are not good enough”.
In order to forgive ourselves, we have to admit that we have made mistakes in the past. This is incredibly difficult, but it is also a crucial step towards self-acceptance. As long as we feel like we are not good enough to deserve forgiveness, self-acceptance can seem difficult. Remember that mistakes and failures are part of being human. They also help us learn and grow. Every misstep is a stepping stone on your path through life. Take responsibility, acknowledge your mistakes, and try to use those mistakes to work towards better choices in the future.
As you learn to accept yourself, you will also be able to work towards becoming the best version of yourself you can be. This will bring you happiness and success.