Category: Tips

The Basics of Responsible Borrowing

The temptation to borrow money haunts everyone at some point. Sometimes it’s a good idea — necessary, even — but many times it isn’t. Before you take out that loan, you should ask yourself three questions.

Why are you borrowing?

Only borrow out of necessity. This is especially true when it comes to your decision to apply for an easy installment loan or take up credit card debt. These options should only be used for unexpected expenses, like car repairs and home repairs, or buying essential groceries between pay periods.

If you just want something, try to find other ways to finance the purchase. You could put it on layaway, sell some unwanted belongings, or simply save up. The temptation is there to get it now and pay for it later, but you need to understand that if you borrow, you will end up paying substantially more than what you would have originally because of interest.

Money lending is a business, and charging interest is the way that lenders make a profit. No one is going to give you a loan out of the goodness of their heart.

If you want a new house or car, then taking out a loan is usually the only way to do it. You should just make the decision carefully and make sure you can afford the payments.

What are the terms of the loan?

Do not decide to take out a loan based purely on verbal communication with a banker or lender. You must read the terms and conditions carefully.

Interest rates. These can be fixed or variable. That is, they can stay at a certain percentage until the loan is paid back, or they can be subject to adjustment.

Payment schedules. A loan may have a fixed period of time to pay it back. Longer terms usually mean higher interest rates. Credit cards usually have monthly payments.

Secured vs. unsecured. If a loan is secured, that means you have put something that you own — referred to as collateral — up against it. If you don’t pay back the loan, the lender can seize your property. Unsecured loans do not have collateral and make up for this by having higher interest rates.

How will you pay it back?

It’s important that you never get a loan you can’t make the payments on. You should also think about what your financial situation will be in the future. Are you worried that you might lose your job? Are there medical expenses coming up? If so, it might be better to put off borrowing until you are in a more stable position.

You should give yourself some wiggle room. Interest rates can, and do, rise. This means you could end up paying more each period than you initially agreed to.

Remember that late payments will hurt your credit score. A very bad credit score will make it hard to take out loans in the future. It can make it almost impossible to buy a house, a car, or get on a lease for an apartment.

How to Avoid Burdensome Debt

The real killer with debt is the interest. Hence, the best way to avoid being swallowed by debt (behind not borrowing at all) is to avoid interest by paying everything off as soon as possible.

For example, you can still use your credit card as long as you completely pay the balance off every month. In fact, this is a great way to build credit in the beginning.

For other types of loans, putting more money down, paying above the minimum payments, and choosing the best available loans will save you in the long run.

 

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Self-Care: How to Combat Parental Burnout

Written by: Claire Adams

Do you ever get tired of parenting? Do you ever feel like you simply can’t take it anymore? Most parents reach that point from time to time, that moment when all you want to do scream and run away somewhere where somebody will pamper you for a change. This doesn’t mean you’re a bad parent. If anything, the fact that you’re trying so hard makes you a good one. However, you should consider your own mental health and how parental burnout can affect you and your family if you don’t do something about it. If your mind is in overload and you don’t know how to get through another day of being an exemplary parent, here is some advice for you.

It takes a village to raise a child

It takes a lot of effort, devotion and patience to raise a child, but nobody can have it all under control all of the time. So, try not to be offended or threatened when another parent steps up and offers their wisdom and experience to help you in some situation you could be handling better. Instead of jumping to the conclusion that they only want to undermine you and show they’re a better parent than you, consider the fact that they might have been in your shoes and in a situation identical to this one in the past. Maybe at that point somebody helped them, or maybe they just wished somebody did. In any case, try becoming friends with other parents. They might offer some good advice on things like helping your kid with school stuff or dealing with them when they act out. Talk to moms and dads at school or at the playground, organize playdates and dinners to create your own village and maybe make parenting a bit easier.

It’s OK to ask for help

When taking care of your children seems too much to handle and you need some time off, remember that you can always ask for help and that it’s not something you should be ashamed of or hide from. There are many people you can turn to. It could be your spouse, your parents, siblings, friends or neighbors or anybody else you trust. When you try doing everything on your own, of course you’ll feel like you’re on the brink of madness. And if you have nobody close to you to jump in, there’s always the option of paying for help. For example, there are some amazing catering companies out there which will impress even the most demanding guests, meaning that you don’t have to make all the food for your kid’s birthday party yourself. Also, if cleaning your home takes too much of your time and energy, find somebody who’ll come once or twice a week and get things sorted out for you. Just don’t shy away from reaching out when the going gets tough.

Lower your expectations

When the bar is raised too high up, you won’t be able to reach it no matter how hard you try, which can leave you feeling inadequate, frustrated and desperate. When you notice that this is happening, remember that you’re the one who decides where the bar is and lower it a bit. Don’t expect perfection from yourself, because there is no perfection when it comes to parenthood. A lot of times it comes down to trial and error, whether we like to admit it or not. What does this mean? Basically, it means it’s not the end of the world if let things go when they get too difficult. Nobody will judge you if your house is messy from time to time, if you let your kids watch Trolls on TV or if they skip their piano lesson or football practice once in a while. Adjust your expectations to something more realistic and you’ll relieve yourself of some stress momentarily.

Be more than just a parent

Once you become a parent, it can become hard to remember that you were ever anything other than that. Well, you were and you are. You’re a person with needs, desires and ambitions that have nothing to do with your children. Send your kids to kindergarten and find a part-time job if you don’t already have one. You can even start working online from home, or at least find a hobby you’ll enjoy. If nothing else, don’t forget to give yourself some time away from your family occasionally, to do things that make you feel happy and help you unwind. Under no circumstances should you think that this is selfish. It’s a way to preserve your mental and physical health, so that you can be a calmer and more supportive parent to your children in the long term.

Parental burnout is a real problem and one you should deal with as soon as you feel the need to. Consider this an important part of your self-care and a way to stay on top of your parental role.

 

7 Great Ways to Raise and Empower Your Daughter

Having a daughter is a great gift, but also a great responsibility. We live in a world that is changing, hopefully for the best, especially when it comes to the position of women in the society, their empowerment and their voice. So it is, now more important than ever that we raise generation upon generation of young women who will know there is no limit what they can do in life and who will feel empowered from day one. But it all depends on the parents and what we install in their minds from the very beginning. So here are some great tips on raising a little powerhouse of a lady.

Let her be heard

It is important that you always ask her about her opinion on the matter at hand. Just telling someone what to do over and over again creates a pattern that is hard to break later on. So, by letting her know you are interested in what she has to say you are teaching her that her opinion and ideas matter and thus encouraging her to put them forward. This will have a great impact on the way she interacts with others as she will be able to form her own opinions and won’t be afraid to share them with the world.

Photo by Michael Morse from Pexels.

Encourage her to learn

Education is a huge part of female empowerment. Being able to attend the schools she wants or to choose her own profession it is something truly amazing. And to think it was not an option just a few years ago, and is still not in some countries in the world. Luckily there are a lot of organizations working on changing this, and there are more and more girl’s scholarships available to help set this change in motion. So help your daughter understand, however cliché it might sound, knowledge is power, and education is an integral part of that.

Expose her to the right role models

Having someone to look up to is important as we grow up. And for a young girl having strong female role models can be life changing. It is important that they exist both in the family and outside of it. Of course, you are the biggest one she has, so it is important to not only teach your daughter certain principles but for you as a parent to live them as well. Next come the role models from the world of literature, politics and, yes, pop culture. There are some great women throughout history that can serve as fantastic role models, from Jane Goodall to Lisa Randall and Aung San Suu Kyi, all of whom show how strong and powerful women can be and how they can influence the changes in the world we live in.

Photo by Albert Rafael from Pexels.

Help her withstand the pressures of our society

Even the best upbringing cannot help your daughter and save her from the cruel reality that comes from entering the society. From kindergarten to university she will have to hold her own. We all know how cruel kids can be and how at times it is difficult to stand up to peer pressure. It is up to us, as parents, to help our child cope, and not let them suffer in silence. Because not everyone will accept an empowered female, and there will be times that she will have to stand for what she believes in, even when it seems impossible. That is the lesson we are supposed to be teaching them.

Take the time to discuss different notions

Be there to answer her questions, from the very start. Whether they are about life, the world we live in or people who surround us. It is important that she gets that information from you as much as possible. That way you know what she hears is the truth. Letting her google it or hear it from the wrong people could have a negative effect on her point of view, and even her self- esteem. You can take a few minutes out of each day and simply tell her to ask you whatever she wants. It can be a great learning and bonding experience at the same time.

Photo by Lgh_9 from Pexels.

Teach her to be critical about the media

What media places out there can have a strong effect on young girls, and they can be quite taken with it. Thinking that they need to look, act or think in a certain way. This can have a negative effect on the way they perceive the world and what is expected of them to be. So it is important to start having this conversation as early as possible and to keep having it until they grow up. Teach them about the distorted images that the media can sometimes show, pointed towards the right media outlets, and help them see themselves as individuals and not part of the collective thought that is being pushed at them.

Don’t limit their imagination

This might be the most important piece of advice. Your daughter needs to have a vivid imagination because that is where all great ideas come from. So if she wants to be a truck driver at three years of age support it as much as you would support her wanting to be a doctor at eighteen. Don’t limit her choices and ideas; let her express herself that way she can show you and the world who she really is without the fear of not being accepted.

So now you have your guidelines, and don’t forget you might be raising the future president or astronaut.

About the Author

Claire Adams is a personal and professional development expert who believes that a positive attitude is one of the keys to success. She enjoys life to the fullest in the healthiest way possible and loves to share her insights into parenting, education, and entrepreneurship. Feel free to reach her on Facebook and Twitter.

 

Building Swimming Confidence And So Much More | Aqua-Tots Fast Track Program

We adore swimming in our household and it is something that our daughter, Nikki, has enjoyed even more since taking classes at Aqua-Tots Swim School. We always felt that swimming was an important life skill to learn and we found it necessary for our daughter to learn them in a comfortable and safe setting.

We recently participated in Aqua-Tots Fast Track Program and we were astonished to see the leaps she took in her swimming skills. The Fast Track Program is a program that consists of four consecutive lessons over the course of four days with the same instructor. With the flexibility of my work schedule we were able to participate in the early morning class at 8:45 AM.

Now at first, I wasn’t sure how we were going to do early morning classes as Nikki isn’t a morning person but the simple thought of swimming had her up and ready to take on the world. With each class, I saw that she was getting better and much faster. Her confidence tripled as the days went by and it was simply amazing to see. I have to mention that Nikki’s biggest struggle with swimming has been going on her back. Nikki was so afraid to do back floats and by Wednesday she was doing them on her own which had me in tears. I was extremely proud that she conquered her fears and did it with such confidence. This all on its own was the breakthrough that we have been waiting for and it has finally arrived. That day I started telling anyone who wanted to hear that my daughter did the backstroke and back float. The best part was how proud Nikki was and every day that week, she would ask me, “Did I do good today?” Every day I told her that she did amazing and that I was so proud of her. Seeing her smile and how proud she was of herself, was all that I ever wanted and needed. That one week in the Fast Track Program did all that for us and we are truly thankful for it!

The Fast Track Program is designed to build on each child’s skills on what they are already learning and helps them propel their skills forward. It is also designed to build children’s confidence and aids with quicker retention of skills.

We saw these benefits right away from Day one and by Day four the transformation was remarkable. They do say practice makes perfect and that is exactly what the Fast Track Program does. By going to class every day for four days straight really gave my daughter the opportunity to hone in on the skills that she has already learned and advance in new skills too. Her muscles were grasping the concepts and motions making each day a little easier to learn. Building those muscle memories takes a lot of repetition and practice before it can become second nature and the Fast Track Program is a great example of this. It allows a child’s body to memorize what they need to do and then allows them to focus on adding new techniques and speed to their swimming. I know that Nikki was swimming a lot quicker than she was the week before!

The benefits are endless in our opinion as it really does wonders for a child’s learning on such an important life skill. But it is so much more than just swimming as it builds confidence and I need to mention that Nikki was at her happiest during the Fast Track Program. Her smile was permanent that week as she was so proud of what she accomplished in just four days. Now that in itself made it all worth it to us.

We captured Nikki on the last day of class to see what she thought of the Fast Track Program and even though she was quick with her message it was sweet nonetheless.

To learn more about the Fast Track Program, please contact Aqua-Tots Swim Schools. They do have the best swimming curriculum that truly benefits each child as it is based around your child’s learning.

Special thank you to Aqua-Tots Swim School for giving us a confident little swimmer.

Like Dory says, “Just Keep Swimming.”

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

 

 

 

 

 

This article is brought to you in partnership with Aqua-Tots Swim School.

How Parents Can Support Their Teens Through Last Year of High School

Photo by Vince Fleming on Unsplash

Written By: Claire Adams

The end of high school usually comes faster than anybody’s expected, and that last year can be extremely stressful for students, but also for their parents. However, no matter how much stress you think you feel as a parent, know that your child is feeling it even more. They’re young, their hormones are probably running wild and they have to balance between the studying, falling in love and being good friends. And since being a teenager definitely isn’t easy, you need to be there to support them as they take on their exams. Here are a few tips on how to do it.

Listen to them

One way for your child to relieve some stress is by talking about what worries them, their fears and problems, or simply telling you about their progress. When they do, avoid imposing your own opinion on them. It may not be what they want or need to hear right now. Instead, listen actively to what they’re telling you and respond with questions or even simple nods to keep them talking and to let them know they’ve got your attention. When your child knows their opinion is valued and their feelings validated, and when they see that you really want to hear how they want to solve their problem, they will be more likely to come to you with any of their issues later on. Offer encouragement and praise for all the things they’re doing well and avoid criticizing them when they make mistakes and they will know they can turn to you with anything that’s bothering them.

Photo by David Kennedy on Unsplash

Make studying easier for them

Another way to support your child through this stressful period is to enable them to study without interruptions and in a good environment. Make sure they have a nice study space, with a lot of natural light and that they have all they need to work right there, on their desk. Try giving them more time by assigning them fewer chores and letting them skip some of their usual extracurricular activities. If they’re panicking over the immensity of their tasks, talk to them and help them break those tasks into smaller ones and set themselves more achievable, short-term goals. If their textbook is huge, tell them to focus on chapter 2 today, and move on when they’re done with that. If you notice that their notes are chaotic, don’t make them feel additionally bad about that, but rather help them organize them, or suggest that they use the effective and thorough WACE notes for anything they missed in class or didn’t manage to take down. Plus, remind them to take breaks from time to time, so that they remain fresh and focused for longer.

Tend to their basic needs

This doesn’t mean that you should treat them like babies, but it is important to prepare nutritious meals for them daily so that they have the energy required for what’s ahead of them that day. Don’t allow them to turn to junk or comfort foods, which wouldn’t be surprising, due to the stress of the upcoming exams. Make sure they get all the necessary nutrients to remain healthy, energized and sharp. Encourage them to go outside and engage in some sort of physical activity at least once every day, and talk to them about staying up too late, since losing sleep can interfere with their mental performance and attention, slowing them down when they can’t afford it. It’s also essential that they finish studying at least an hour before bedtime so that they can unravel and relax and fall asleep more easily. Finally, be familiar with their schedule and make certain that they’re awake and ready for their day before you go on with yours.

Photo by Soroush Karimi on Unsplash

Being a parent means being there for your child whenever they need it, and especially when the going gets tough. Knowing that they have somebody to trust and lean on when they’re under pressure will take some tension off of them and allow them to do the best they can in every aspect of their life, including their education.

About the Author

Claire is a personal and professional development expert who believes that a positive attitude is one of the keys to success. She enjoys life to the fullest in the healthiest way possible and loves to share her insights into parenting, education, and entrepreneurship. Feel free to reach her on Facebook and Twitter.

 

 

Top 10 Summer Water Safety Tips

With summer days ahead, we can’t help but get excited for hot days where we can dip into the water. But as a parent we also can’t help but think of water safety for our children too.

This is why we thought it would be fitting to put together a list of some tips on water safety. We have gone to the experts at Aqua-Tots Swim Schools in Mississauga to give us the low down on what all parents and guardians should keep in mind around the water.

Tip #1 – Check Before You Swim!

Always have an adult check the water prior to going in. It is important to check how deep it is and if there is anything at the bottom that can be of danger. This way it will be a safe place for a child to swim.

Tip #2 – Buddy System

There is always safety in numbers. When going into the water, always swim with a buddy. Not only is it safe but fun too! Stay within your comfort level in the water and don’t be shy to ask for help when needed.

Tip #3 – Supervise

This tip can’t be stressed enough and a great warning for all parents and guardians. Make sure there is always direct adult supervision at all times when a child is in the water keeping a close eye to help prevent any in-water incidents.

Tip #4 – Finding Your Air

Practice having your child become comfortable with getting into the recovery position and finding their air on their back (doing the back float) when trying to find their place of safety.

Tip #5 – Fishy Cheeks

Practice the fishy cheeks method – inhaling air and holding for a count of 5 to build comfort with submersions.

Tip #6 – Jumping!

Everyone loves a good jump into the water but it is important to keep safety in mind. It is recommended to practice safe entries such as feet first. Avoid deep dives and belly flops for safety reasons.

Tip #7 – Pool Exists

Not only entering the pool needs to be done with safety but leaving the pool too. For tots and school aged children, the proper way to guide them safely out of the pool is by guiding their limbs by using elbow, elbow, tummy, knee and knee.

Tip #8 – No Running

A safety rule that everyone should follow is that there should be absolutely no running on the pool deck to prevent slips and falls.

Tip #9 – Clean Pool = Safe Pool

Keep pool toys away from the pool and deck area when not in use. This will prevent accidents in and out of the pool.

Tip #10 – Goggles

Ask your child to practice swimming with and without goggles. By doing this, you are allowing your child to adapt to the various water environments and it prevents your child to develop a dependency on goggles.

These 10 tips on water safety will have your family enjoying summer with peace of mind. We can not stress enough the importance of staying safe and enjoying the water.

Did we miss a tip? If so, we would love to hear them. Feel free to leave a comment below with what tip you would include.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

 

This article is brought to you in partnership with Aqua-Tots Swim School, Mississauga.

 

 

How To Prepare Your Family For Interstate Moving

Moving can be quite the unforgettable adventure, especially if you know the place you’re moving to is something you know you’d like to live in. However, preparing the family for moving interstate isn’t just a matter of asking everyone to pack. Here’s how to prepare your family for interstate moving, and how you can move in without hassle.

Simply Self Storage numbers indicate that a myriad of individuals actually use moving services, although 44-percent of their respondents are from individuals. Other users include corporate (36-percent), and the military (16-percent). 73-percent of things moved are household goods, with 20-percent being office equipment. Here are tips to prepare your family for the “big day”:

 

  • Assess everything you own with a thorough spring clean. This is especially if you’ve been living in your previous home for quite some time. Make sure you inspect every nook and cranny of your previous household and have a record of what you own and where everything is. This allows you to prepare what to take and what to leave behind.
  • Are you sure you need everything? Try to assess if there’s clutter you’ve saved but don’t exactly need and consider either selling them or throwing them away. This is because long distance movers can be quite expensive if you’ve decided to bring everything with you. If you do want to keep some clutter, try to assess how much of the costs would be allocated to them, and if you can carry that burden.
  • If you have large appliances, consider selling them. True, they might be a bit of a hassle buying newer appliances in your new area, but consider the costs of bringing the large appliances with you compared to buying a brand new one. Chances are, your old appliances might be in disrepair and may need replacement soon, anyway.
  • Get the right kind of equipment. If you’re hiring a moving company to help you, make sure you help them by getting the right kind of boxes to store your belongings in. Don’t just use boxes from the local store, as they’re built to handle groceries and not books, ornaments, and dishes. Label the boxes properly, too, and make your own inventory.
  • Get yourself a reliable moving company. If you’re moving interstate, chances are you may have shortlisted a few moving companies to help you along the way. Find best rated interstate moving companies that are not only able to move to the state with a relatively reasonable rate, but choose one that’s reputable and licensed.
  • Prepare for the move earlier, if it’s possible. Try to make sure you start and finish packing a few days before the actual move happens, as this can alleviate both you and your mover when it comes to any last-minute concerns. If you need to say goodbye to neighbors and friends, try to hold a party a few weeks before the move itself, so you have enough time to prepare.
  • Make sure to keep in touch with your moving company. Establishing good connection with your moving company can at least give you some measure of guarantee on the safety and security of your belongings throughout the move. This also allows you to properly follow-up on important matters, especially when there are sudden changes to weather and traffic.

Conclusion

If there’s anything the points above have taught us, it’s that interstate moving takes more than just preparing your things and hiring a mover to do the heavy-lifting for you. It takes knowledge on the location and the logistics, a keen eye on safety, and awareness to one’s surroundings are just some things to help ensure interstate moving is done without a hitch.

 

Steve Acker

Steve Acker has been writing as a frustrated novelist for the past 15 years, and he’s got into blog writing very recently thanks to the suggestion of a friend. As a contributor to sites such as 9kilo, Steve has applied his creative flair to his pieces, making them entertaining and informative at the same time. He loves reading books and talking with his friends in the nearby coffee shop if he has the time.

 

Parent Engagement in Children’s Learning: Guidelines for Good Practice

Like every caring parent, you want your child to show progress and do their best at school. So, in order to help them, you’d like to be engaged in their learning process. This can definitely be a good thing, since it will show your child they have your support and you will probably help them overcome some obstacles in the process. Here are some good ways to be involved in your child’s learning process.

Get to know the school and the teachers

Attend school events, like orientation or PTA meetings. Being involved at the school will allow you to get familiar with the school, teachers and other school staff, as well as with other parents. That way you can be informed of the school personnel’s plans and goals, especially those concerning your child. Find out if there are activities or events you can help organize or monitor, such as field trips and school dances, or even offer to help in your kid’s class, which will give you an insight of the school and the classroom atmosphere, but also of what is expected from your child.

Photo by rawpixel.com

Ask how your child is doing

Start with asking your child how they’re doing at school, and then find out about your child’s progress from their teacher. If you feel like your child isn’t making enough progress, ask for the teacher’s opinion on what the problem is and what you can do to help. Don’t wait too long; react as soon as possible, since you don’t want your child to fall behind too much. When you get a report card from your child’s teacher, read it thoroughly. Always be polite and friendly to the teacher, and even if you question their teaching skills, give them the benefit of the doubt, and approach them with questions, rather than accusations. Anybody will be more helpful if they’re treated with respect.

Help your child with the curriculum

If you see that your little one can’t cope with their curriculum, jump in and help. Explain anything that is unclear to them, help them deal with difficult tasks and point them towards the solution to any problem they might have. And if you and your child need extra help with key subjects, the smartest thing to do is get professional English tutoring or additional math classes. It’s important to know when your knowledge or methods simply aren’t enough and accept that it’s completely fine to hire somebody to help you.

Photo by NeONBRAND

See to it that your child’s homework gets done

Children can sometimes forget to do their homework, or simply choose not to do it, when they feel there are more interesting things for them to do. It’s your job to make sure that doesn’t happen. First, explain to your child the importance of consistency and that homework needs to be done every day in order for them to progress at school and learn more. You can help by removing any distractions from your child when they’re doing their homework. This includes telephones, tablet computers or the television. If they need help organizing or any materials for their homework, be there. Monitor their work, check if the homework is completed and correct, and praise your child, letting them know you’re proud of their effort.

Be positive

If you maintain a positive attitude towards learning and school, your child will pick up on that. Be a positive role model and read with your child, so that they perceive reading as something pleasant. If you limit their screen time, you should show support by skipping your favourite TV show and switching off your phone when it’s study or homework time. Tell your child about all the good things you achieved in life because of what you learned at school. They need to know that they aren’t just learning to get a good grade, but to gain knowledge of the world around them.

Photo by Chris Benson

Active learning

Whenever possible, show your child the practical use of their theoretical knowledge, whether in the kitchen, or outside in nature. For example, they won’t mind learning about animals if you take them to the zoo, so that they can see what all those animals really look like. Active learning is all about them asking questions and getting answers, exploring their surroundings and solving various problems. Encourage your child to play sports or play an instrument, and to ask all the questions that pop into their mind, which will reflect on their enthusiasm for school and learning.

Your involvement in your child’s education is a key factor in their academic success, so get involved and give your child all the time and patience they need to thrive. Your child is worth it.

 

Written by: Claire Adams

About the Author

Claire is a personal and professional development expert who believes that a positive attitude is one of the keys to success. She enjoys life to the fullest in the healthiest way possible and loves to share her insights into parenting, education, and entrepreneurship. Feel free to reach her on Facebook and Twitter.

 

Knowing When Not To “Ovary” Step Your Boundaries

To empower change, you need to be a driver of change.

I started my blog almost three years ago and the driving factor was to inspire others’ through experiences that I share from my own life and from other amazing people. I always felt that we can learn so much from one another and it helps us empathize with the paths that people walk through.

Not one person lives the same life or has the same experiences as another. That is why it is important to create a community of understanding and support.

But it wasn’t until I got into the parenting world that I have seen another side of “human interest.”

We all have been asked a million in one questions about our lives by curious people. But when do the questions become too personal?

Now I am an open book ever since becoming a parent. What you see is what you get in layers (I have to be honest). I tolerate a lot of questions as I want to be respectful and nice but I really don’t think that anyone should endure it. Even if it is perceived as “normal” questions to ask.

Recently, I have been asked if I was expecting as a few people noticed that I was interested in attending a Baby Show (Thanks Facebook for sharing events that I am interested in. This is an issue that I don’t even want to touch on…yet). Now I am not sure how that conclusion came about since I do write a blog on parenting and am the Assignments Editor at The Baby Spot. But that is beside the point. Of course I shared my thoughts online as it can be therapeutic to vent online for all to see. Then it had me really thinking, “Why do people ask and why do they care?”

I read an article awhile back that spoke volumes about wanting or getting pregnant was no one’s business. And it is very true! Now I know many people who don’t see the harm in asking so let me bring in my experience as that is the only way I know how.

Back in 2014, I gave birth to a healthy little baby girl. We were all thrilled as my husband and I were married for already seven years so people were starting to really question if babies were in our future (didn’t know there was a timeline of having children after marriage but to some there is). I thought this could be the end of the baby questions but unfortunately it was not and I wasn’t too surprised. As we have been programmed to ask these “normal” questions.

We were even asked why it took us so long to get pregnant and if there was something wrong with us. Once I had the courage to respond, I replied with tears in my eyes, “There wasn’t a problem. We were just grieving the loss of our baby that we miscarried before we had our healthy baby girl.” This was the first time that we were disclosing this information to people and while many empathized, others continued with questions. So I slowly developed a thick skin to brush the insensitive questions and played it off that the people who were asking “didn’t know any better.”

But I think it is time to bring this to light as this momma and many others have had enough.

Unless a woman has come to you to talk about her pregnancy goals or life, don’t ask!

Reasons Why Not To Ask

We don’t know what one is going through and some women could be going through any one of these reasons as this is why you should not ask:

  • Grieving a miscarriage
  • Difficulty in getting pregnant
  • Financial strain (News flash! Kids are expensive)
  • Suffering from other health issues
  • In an abusive relationship or just a rocky relationship
  • Does not want children (There is nothing wrong with that)

The list could go on and on. The bottom line is that they are not your ovaries to care so much about. Did it ever occur to people that those constant questions could actually cause the person stress? Imagine the health issues that stress brings onto a person!

I am sure that the questions come with no malice attach to them but it doesn’t mean it should be acceptable either. Let’s break the “normal” and start asking less questions about others and start listening more. You would be surprised at how much someone can disclose without being asked.

Now onto the question on many minds…Is Momma Braga pregnant?

The answer is very simple and that is NO. Do I want another? Only time will tell. But if I do and I do become pregnant then I will announce it with great pride. In the meantime, I am enjoying being a mom to one energetic daughter who has taught me that being a mother is the hardest job that I will ever have.

Please let’s respect one another and let’s break old traditions. Be the change by leading by example. Change can only happen if you do something or in this case not ask the questions.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

–          Momma Braga

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Kids Off to College – How to Cope with the Empty Nest Syndrome

Source: Pexels.com

Written By: Claire Adams

Sending your kids off to college should be one of the happiest moments in your life. However, for many mothers, this is also one of the hardest moments, as they will be separated from their children for the first time and for a prolonged period.

This is better known as an empty nest syndrome, and if you don’t know how to cope with it, you can create a tough situation both for you and your kids. So, let’s go over some tips that will show you what to do and what not to do when your kids finally leave for college.

Face the music

First of all, you should come to terms that your children are leaving and that they probably won’t return to your household. Sure, it will be hard and you will shed some tears, but that is all a part of the healing process.

The worst thing that you can do is to neglect your emotions and bury them; like that ever worked for anyone. You need to be open about the situation and learn to embrace it. Just remember that the adaptation process takes time. So, don’t expect to wake up one morning feeling jolly that your kids aren’t home, or maybe you will; everybody is different.

Source: Pexels.com

Start new activities with your spouse

Having no children around your household means that you will have a ton more time for yourself. While your kids were in the spotlight for the past 18 years or so, the time has finally come to put more attention to what you and your spouse want to do.

Maybe you were planning a tropical vacation for decades, but you couldn’t get around doing it because of your parental responsibilities. Regardless, now, you can do whatever you want. Of course, going on adventures with your spouse is also an excellent way to keep your mind off your kids. After all, you don’t want to be one of those mothers that speed dials their children every hour or so.

Keep the campus visits on the low

Next, you need to resist the urge to visit your kids every weekend. Campus visits are fantastic and going over there when they are in a tough spot with exams can help your kids stay motivated. However, if you start going over there every week or even every month, you can create the opposite effect.

The first year of college is the most important year, and you need to let your “babies” find their own way. And most importantly, don’t worry about their safety. Regardless if your children are staying in a college campus of the University of Toronto or in a private student accommodation in Melbourne CBD, know that they will be safe at all times. One last thing, don’t make surprise visits. Maybe your kids are studying or they have something planned with their college friends, and you showing up out of nowhere can ruin that.

Source: Pexels.com

Make new friends

Since your kids are off making friends and studying (of course), you should do the same. Well, you don’t have to study, but you should start meeting new people. You can join a book club, reconnect with your friends that are also going through the same phase, and so on. Most parents feel lonely once their kids leave for college, and the best way to shake off that feeling is to be around people.

Pick up a hobby

Finally, you should pick up a hobby. Keeping yourself busy with a fun little hobby is the best therapy for your mind. If you didn’t have the time for hobbies in the past, now is the best time for them. You can start DIY projects around the house, pick up sewing, plant a small garden in your backyard, maybe even start scooter riding, or anything else that you may enjoy.

And that is about it for today. As you can see, dealing with the empty nest syndrome is a slow but necessary process. Even though sending your kids to college is a dream-come-true, that doesn’t mean that you cannot feel sad about it. Just don’t try to ignore your feelings, and know that time heals everything.

 

About the Author

Claire is a personal and professional development expert who believes that a positive attitude is one of the keys to success. She enjoys life to the fullest in the healthiest way possible and loves to share her insights into parenting, education, and entrepreneurship. Feel free to reach her on Facebook and Twitter.