Tag: Tips

A Bundle Of Duties Before The Bundle Of Joy: Preparing Your Home For A Baby

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As if you don’t have enough to do already! Of all the work that comes along in preparing yourself for the impending birth of your child, you’ve also got to look at the environment that your baby is going to inhabit. Put simply, your home is the most important environment, not just to nurture and raise your child, but also to ensure that you have everything in place so after you come home from the hospital, you can hit the ground running. But as with every parent that goes on the journey of having a child, they seldom feel prepared. So, let’s give you a couple of hints to ensure that the home is prepared in every single way.

Give Your Home A Safety Exam

As much of a shock to the system as having a baby is, we have to remember that when our child gets going and learns how to crawl, opens cabinets, and gets into all manner of mayhem, that will be a bigger shock to the system! It’s important to give your home a safety exam, not just so the baby is safe but also you need to fix those little house duties that you’ve not been able to get round to because of numerous trips to the hospital. That way you will ensure that the home is safe for the baby, but also, an appliance won’t give up on you when you need it the most! There is nothing worse than in the middle of the night when you are trying to sterilize a bottle with some boiling water, but the electricity has gone off everywhere, and not only do you not have light, but the kettle doesn’t work, and there’s a screaming baby to boot!

Have a look at your property and take yourself out of the equation for a second. Perhaps you lived in this property for a while, so while you think it’s safe, what is it like for a baby where a dangling switch or open plughole seems like a really exciting prospect? There are things that you need to do, such as locking medication and cleaning products away into secure cabinets, but also when you are looking at the property, and attempt to ascertain its safety, you shouldn’t underestimate the potential for disaster. When you live in a property that is, at best, temperamental, that one little watermark on the wall may harbor a bigger problem. If this is the case, it’s important to get in contact with a plumber, like on mrrooter.ca/mississauga to deal with the issue as soon as possible. Making sure that your home is safe will be easier to achieve before the baby comes along. You may think you’ve got plenty of time, but babies become mobile overnight, almost literally! You don’t want to be full of regrets.

Rearrange Your Space

Another thing you need to do right now because you have the time and the luxury is to arrange the space, not just so the baby paraphernalia has a place to live, but you may also want to turn the space into something more practical. The kitchen is a great example. Look at the counter, and see what can be stored. If you are someone that doesn’t like a lot of mess, finding a cabinet for all the baby stuff is a good idea. This means you’re going to have to rearrange the space and perhaps look at where older things might go. This may be part of the nesting phase, where you are compelled to clean the property and rearrange everything in preparation for your baby’s arrival. But it’s common sense to make everything easily accessible. You’ve got to prepare for the fact that you won’t be sleeping much, which makes the littlest of tasks an almighty chore. You don’t want to be rooting around for things in the fridge when there are so many expired jars in the way! Everything has to be accessible.

Planning For Late Nights, Early Mornings, And No Sleep

When you hear so much about the lack of sleep, this may very well be your biggest fear. As you start to get closer to the due date, your sleep may actually tail off, and when people tell you that you need to get as much rest as possible, this may seem more than impossible. And this means that when you are making the home ready for you and the baby, you have got to think about making life easier overall. When you lack sleep, your decision-making can prove troublesome. But this means you’ve got to learn the cliche of “sleeping when the baby sleeps.” But, when you can’t sleep because you’re concerned about the baby (which is very normal), you need a lot of home comforts around. If you decide to breastfeed, you need quick access to all the home comforts. This means you may very well be relying on Netflix in the middle of the night, but also, you will learn the art of making coffee with one hand! One of the greatest tools you can use is an insulated mug. Drinking a simple cup of coffee may take in excess of 45 minutes on certain days so having a nice mug of coffee is one of life’s little home comforts. It is those little things that will keep you going, especially during stressful times.

Keeping On Top Of House Duties

They say that during the first couple of weeks of a baby’s life that all cleaning goes out of the window! And while you may have plenty of visitors, and you want to make the home as presentable as possible it may very well be impossible to even put the vacuum around! But keeping on top of house duties is something that can be done, just as long as you plan better. You may find that doing the dishes is impossible, and while there’s no shame in leaving the sink to pile up, there is also no shame in asking visitors to help out because you haven’t had the chance! When you are are are sleep deprived, and you would like to tidy the house, you’ve got to work smart instead of hard. A handheld vacuum will work wonders because it’s a quick method of lifting up bits of lint and dirt. That way, you can keep the house vaguely presentable. But remember, even if you are house proud, people will understand that you have a baby to look after, so things can fall by the wayside. But there are little hacks you can take advantage of. The biggest one is getting a bouncy seat or a carrier, and doing a little bit of housework with them strapped in. All the motion could put the baby to sleep, so it’s win-win!

And also, while you might not think that you’re able to prepare for keeping the house clean, you can certainly minimize the overall duties by looking at your household tasks and see what you can do in the run-up to the baby being born! A great example is the cooking! Because eating a meal is a 30-minute task, and one you have to do standing up, you’ve got to think how difficult it would be to even cook a meal in the run-up to dinner time! Batch cooking is a lifesaver. A couple of months before the baby is born, start to compile meals that can be cooked, portioned up, and put in the freezer. There are some recipes on purewow.com/food to give you some inspiration. It’s also worth stocking the cupboards with perishables, so even if you have a spare 50 minutes to rustle up something, at the very least, you can have a tin of soup, or something quick. Eating quick is the name of the game, but you also need to eat healthily. Batch cooking is the best way to prepare meals that have a wider variety of vitamins and minerals. It will be crucial when the baby comes along, and you need that little bit of extra goodness in your diet. Because, after all, we can very easily rely on takeout and other unhealthy foodstuffs to see us through a tough time. This is an incredibly bad habit to get into because it may take a long time to get out.

You may wonder how you even have time to do all of this! But you will soon realize the benefit of hindsight if you don’t get underway. Preparing your home for the baby isn’t just about a nurturing environment (and padlocking everything), but it’s about making sure that you are able to thrive. You want the place to be a loving home, and you will start to get things underway, and you may even realize that you aren’t as prepared as you think. This is why now is the perfect opportunity to get the home up to speed. A baby is a wonderful thing, and it will change your life, as well as how you view yourself, but you also want to enjoy those precious few weeks. If you end up stressing about things around the house, rather than enjoying time with your little one, it will feel like a waste.

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We’re Going on a Bear Hunt | Christmas Activity Book

“A perfect activity book for Christmas!” – Momma Braga

Synopsis

Inspired by the animated special based on a beloved classic, this treasure trove of activities, fun facts, and more than a hundred stickers is the perfect gift for a magical time of year.

There’s so much to make, do, and discover in the countdown to Christmas! Whether kids like staying indoors to make crafts or stepping outside to explore, they’ll find plenty of ideas in this gem of a book. Would you like to create a wreath, design your own cards, pr make a special cake for the birds? How about learning some seasonal jokes, looking for winter creatures, or completing a Christmas tree calendar with stickers? With easy-to-follow instructions, charming illustrations, and plenty of holiday spirit, this hands-on guide to making the most of the season will children entertained and inspired.

#MelAndNikkiReview

We’re Going on a Bear Hunt: Christmas Activity Book is the perfect activity book for the holiday season. It truly does have many wonderful activities to keep your little one entertained. We have tried some of them already but are saving most of them to do during Christmas with our family. Nikki loves the option of coloring your own stickers and it made her feel extra special to say that she colored it on her own.

To pick a favorite activity for me would be very difficult as I love Christmas and all the activities are perfect and easy! The activity book comes with a Christmas Tree Calendar and we will be posting it on our door so that each day Nikki can put a sticker on the tree as our countdown. Such a simple and easy idea to do with a beautiful impact for the child. Oh did we mention there is a golden treat recipe too?! There is just so much fun to be had with this Christmas Activity Book.

Therefore, for this #MelAndNikkiReview, we give it 5 stars out of 5! Christmas fun awaits in this book and as a parent you will have fun too!

This would make a perfect gift for a child between the ages of three and seven. If you would like to purchase one, click here.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

Momma Braga

*This book was provided in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are our own.

‘Tis Always The Swim Season

Swimming is more than splashing with your friends on a hot summer day. Children can reap many rewards from taking swimming lessons year-round.

But don’t just take just our word on it. We went to the experts themselves at Aqua-Tots to see the overall benefits of swimming all year-round.

So, let’s jump in!

Many of us know the importance of swimming year-round; however, there are also many who do not. Give us your insight on:
The Development Benefits

Swimming involves a lot of visible physical components, but in addition to that it also involves a great deal of cognitive focus. For example, when swimming freestyle, you must coordinate your arms and legs to move simultaneously. When our students enter Level 10, we start to teach them breath control and “side breathing” which is an incremental area of focus layered onto the movement of limbs. Its multitasking at its finest!

The Physical Benefits

Swimming is great exercise for all ages. In fact, it uses multiple muscles in the body at the same time. It also helps to build strong muscles and endurance; skills which are transferable to other sports. Unlike other sports though, learning to swim year-round is a life skill that will help children stay safe in and around water over a lifetime!

Overall Benefits

In addition to moving your muscles, swimming, also gives your brain a workout with all of the multitasking you do with your body which in turn serves as a total mood booster. Achieving new skills, overcoming anxieties, and becoming independent in the water are all major confidence boosters! It also helps children stay active year-round, and supports key social developments for kiddos like listening, taking turns, verbal communication…all taking place in an environment where positive friendships can grow!

Swimming is a life skill that should be practiced all year long. It is one of the best skills to equip your child with this summer.

What tips can you give parents who may feel overwhelmed in adding an extracurricular activity during the school year?

Swimming is an individual sport, which allows children to progress at their own pace and provides a stress-free environment. Here at Aqua-Tots, there is no pressure to commit to specific days, as you might with other team sports. If outside commitments arise, Aqua-Tots has a flexible make-up policy to accommodate busy schedules, vacation time, and other extracurricular events.

Unlike other sports, swimming is a lifelong safety skill and therefore, it is critical for all individuals to feel confident and independent in the water. You never know when you might find yourself in or around water – even throughout winter (e.g. public pools, ice and open water during vacations). Finding a way to incorporate swimming into your schedule will not only help your child with the developmental and physical benefits of swimming, it will also give you piece of mind knowing your child will be that much safer when exposed to water.

Is there a specific time that works best for families when they have children in school? From your experience is there a time of the day that works best such as right after school or later in the day?

We know life with kids get busy, which is why being open weekdays and weekends allows families to have the flexibility to take swim lessons the day(s) that best suit individual family needs. Weekday morning lessons are ideal for new Moms with babies or toddlers because the serene and warm environment lends itself sets (remove sets) to bonding with little ones as well as connecting with other Moms.

Some caregivers find it’s a great activity for school age-children to do during the weekday evenings so they can go home and have a nice, restful sleep! Other families are just too busy during the weekdays and prefer to come in for lessons on either Saturday or Sunday. Regardless of your child’s age or swimming ability, our schedule is designed to offer all eight levels many times throughout the week, to ensure we are able to run classes for a four-month-old and a 12-year-old on the same day.

Aside from the swimming benefits aspect, can you tell us a bit about the community benefits? Tell us about the importance of creating a supportive community through your school.

We are all about family and community at Aqua-Tots. We pride ourselves in greeting your family every time you walk in the door. We also love getting involved in different community groups. You’ll always see us at different festivals and events in the Greater Toronto Area, such as Children’s Festivals and the annual Santa Claus Parade.

We also have several special events which we host free of charge for all members to celebrate milestones throughout the year. The Easter Bunny and Santa make an annual guest appearance at our schools…and the smiles on the kids faces are a priceless reward!

Lastly, registering your children in swimming lessons fosters positive, supportive relationships. We love seeing friendships form within our classes. A lot of parents become friends through their children’s lessons which is so fun to see. Stop on by, and be prepared to make some awesome new friends.

Anything else you would like to add to our amazing readers?

If you love your experience at Aqua-Tots you can always benefit from spreading the word! Refer a friend to our weekday morning classes and receive a $25 referral credit when your friends or family members sign up!

 

There you have it! ‘Tis always the swim season! Children can benefit greatly from year-round swim lessons from a safety and development standpoint. Incorporating swim lessons into your routine is an invaluable asset to your child’s mental and physical well-being.

Build, refine and stay sharp all year-round with Aqua-Tots. Make sure to check them out at the Mississauga or Burlington locations to get started.

Until next time…Just keep swimming! 😉

-Momma Braga

 

This article is a paid partnership with Aqua-Tots Swim Schools. Views and opinions expressed here belong to Momma Braga.

 

What Do You Do If Your Baby Just Won’t Sleep?!

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It’s one of the most painful parts of parenting, when your baby won’t sleep. Sometimes the issue is straightforward, such as if they’re teething, in which case, we can prepare ourselves for a rough night on occasion. But what happens when your baby just won’t sleep, and you think you’ve tried everything?

Have they been unwell recently?

It’s easy to say that once they’ve got over a cold that they are fine, but as you well know, it can take a long time to get over something. They may be fine in themselves but by the time bedtime rolls around, they need a little bit of extra comfort, and it’s definitely worth checking their temperature just before bedtime. If that’s the case where you can get some paracetamol for kids to lower their temperature. We can be unwell for quite a while, and when you think about your children being surrounded by other kids with other bugs, feeling under the weather can be par for the course for a while.

Are they going through a change?

Stress isn’t something that’s for parents; when toddlers and babies undergo various milestones, they can regress. Look at your child; has something happened recently that has caused major upheaval in their world? It doesn’t have to be a major thing, but when you think about those big changes, such as going to school, or a new sibling, you have to expect that they will regress in some way because it is their way of coping with the problem. If this is the case, and they need a little bit of extra care and attention, give it to them. Because otherwise, if you don’t feel supported, they will express themselves in ways that aren’t particularly nice, such as an aggressive manner.

Have they ever been to sleep by themselves?

It’s a comfort thing, especially at the very outset, and you want your child to go to sleep, you naturally cuddle them until they do drop off, but if they wake up in the night and you aren’t there, they’ll get upset, and so the cycle begins all over again. If you can find a way to help your child fall asleep by themselves, they will become self-soothing. We have to teach them how to fall asleep by themselves, and it can take a long time to get right. You can begin by sitting a little bit further away from the bed, and gradually, over time, move a  little bit further towards the bedroom door. As well as this, think about other ways to help them drift off, such as certain cues like giving them a bath before bed, reading a story, and building night-time routines that can help them go to sleep self sufficiently.

There are so many reasons why they won’t go to sleep by themselves, and a lot of parents feel that they just need to let their children cry it out, but this, as has been shown numerous times, isn’t a very good approach. As much as we need to give them comfort, if they don’t sleep, it’s definitely worth thinking about if they have been unwell recently, or are anxious for whatever reason.

 

Start the Fall Season Right With Swim Club, Adult Lessons and Family Swims…Oh My!

The leaves are starting to turn colours, the air is getting crisp and the smell of Autumn is filling the air. All clear signs that Fall is soon upon us.

Now when we think of Fall, we rarely think of swimming but we would like to change that especially with the great new services offered at Aqua-Tots Swim Schools.

Here is what is new at Aqua-Tots Burlington.

New Swim Club

Make a splash in a new club this Fall! This service is open to swimmers in Level 7 and 8. Swim Club is a 30-minute program intended to help advanced swimmers with developing endurance and stamina. Students will have the opportunity to refine technique in all the major strokes as well as working on their flip turns while swimming the whole length of the pool!

This weekly Swim Club is an easy drop in on Tuesday from 8 PM to 8:30 PM and will be available on a pay per class basis. Swim Club is perfect for those swimmers aspiring to move into competitive swimming down the line.

New Adult Lessons

Who says only kids can learn how to swim?! It’s never too late to start! The one-on-one (private) adult swim lessons will include a personalized approach to every adult’s individual goals whether that be building basic comfort in the water or wanting to master the breaststroke, you now can with this new service.

These lessons will be offered in 30-minute segments on a pay per class basis. These classes will be available during lunch time every Thursday.

Family Swim

Fall and winter can be tough to get through especially when you have little ones at home that get the wiggles! As parents we want to help everyone in the family stay active heading into the cooler weather days. This is why Aqua-Tots is hosting 3 FREE Family Swims every week including: Wednesdays from 12 PM to 1 PM; and Saturdays and Sundays from 1 PM to 2 PM. These family swims are great for bonding with your wee ones and also a wonderful opportunity for older children to show off the swim skills they learn in class. The pool is 90 degrees which helps everyone stay warm and comfortable no matter what the weather is like outside.

There you have it! Three new amazing services that are being offered this Fall at Aqua-Tots in Burlington. You don’t want to miss out on the opportunity to join one or all of the new services.

As we have mentioned before on our blog, Aqua-Tots Swim Schools are great schools that truly teach the importance of water safety while still having fun. They provide a much-needed service to the communities they serve and I am truly grateful for them.

If you would like to learn more about these new services or how you can get your child enrolled in a swim program, please feel free to contact them at 905.331.3393 or send them an email at burlingtoninfo@aqua-tots.com. They will be splashing for joy when they hear from you!

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

This article is a paid partnership with Aqua-Tots Swim Schools. Views and opinions expressed here belong to Momma Braga.

Teaching Children Healthy Eating Through Play | Good For Kids

We love seeing ideas grow and come to life. This is why we are thrilled to do this follow up article on The World’s First Healthy Eating Doll by Good for Kids.

The doll and book were launched earlier this year and we get to review it on the #MelAndNikkiReview.

Let’s just recap a little about the concept behind this amazing toy and book.

Summer

Summer is the World’s First Healthy Eating Doll and she is adorable! She is a magnetic doll that can easily tell which foods are good for her. Summer comes with a set of 20 colorful, wooden toy foods and a cute shopping bag. Healthy foods like apples, carrots, tomatoes, blueberries and broccoli, stick to her mouth so she can “eat” them. If the doll is offered a lollipop however, she will not take it. The effect of tasting and touching the foods is accomplished through the use of hidden magnets, that are safely and inconspicuously embedded in the mouth and the hands of the doll. Summer can easily pick up healthy foods with her hands and bring them to her mouth. She really knows what’s good for her!

Healthy Foods Are Fun To Eat Book

This children’s picture book is filled with bouncy rhymes and gorgeous illustrations made entirely of fruits and veggies. It features food art created by over 10 talented artists from all around the world!

This book teaches children about healthy eating and you can combine the book with the doll in the learning experience.

#MelAndNikkiReview

We already fell in love with this product during their Kickstarter Campaign as we thought the concept was genius! Now we get to actually try it out for ourselves and our love for it has grown tremendously. It is such a great way to promote and encourage healthy eating. Nikki really got a kick out of the doll only picking up and “eating” the healthy foods. Nikki is still trying to figure out how Summer does it but we will keep that secret from her a little while longer. At the present time, we tell her that Summer is very smart and knows what’s good for her body and it works! 😉

The combination of Summer with the Healthy Foods Are Fun To Eat Book is fantastic! This children’s book is unique as it uses fruits and veggies to create the illustrations. Each page is breathtaking and it simply amazes me to see the art created with fruits and veggies. I think I need to up my mom game! 😉 You can use both the doll and book in teaching about healthy and unhealthy foods. Plus, the doll is so adorable that it is hard not to enjoy learning about different foods through her.

Therefore, for this #MelAndNikkiReview, we give this delightful duo of Summer and The Healthy Foods Are Fun To Eat, 10 strawberries out of 5! It promotes healthy eating in the most fun way and we love the combination of doll and book. We recommend this for children ages three and up. This would be great for schools to use with young children as it can be a great tool in teaching.

If you would like to purchase the combo pack which includes Summer and the book, click here. If you just want to purchase Summer or the book on its own, you have that option too. Just click here and select which one you would like. We recommend the package. 😉

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

* This product was provided in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are our own.

 

Smell My Foot! | Book Review

“A silly but adorable young readers book that will have everyone laughing out loud and learn a very important lesson too!” – Momma Braga

Synopsis

Meet Chick and Brain. And their friend Spot. Chick likes to follow the rules. Brain might not be as smart as he looks. And Spot just wants to eat lunch. In a graphic reader loaded with verbal and visual humor, Cece Bell offers a comical primer on good manners gone awry. Simple, silly, and perfectly suited for its audience, this tale of Chick and Brain’s constant misunderstandings and miscommunications proves once again that Cece Bell knows just how to make kids laugh.

#MelAndNikkiReview

Smell My Foot! was a hilarious read and my daughter truly enjoyed it. She couldn’t help giggle along the way. We just loved reading it from beginning to end. I also love the comic style layout which is probably why my daughter was so intrigued by the book.

Not only does the book offer us some good laughs but it also carries an important message which is manners and a surprising hero by the end. It is a great book for early readers to grasp reading as the words are easy to read and follow. We also love the illustrations as it fits in perfectly with the story. This book is recommended for children ages four to eight and we would have to agree. 😉

It is no surprise that for this #MelAndNikkiReview, we give Smell My Foot! 10 feet out of 5! Believe me, you will be laughing out loud in no time!

If you would like to purchase a copy, please click here.

About the Author

Cece Bell is the author-illustrator of many books for young readers, including the Theodor Seuss Geisel Honor Book Rabbit and Robot: The Sleepover and the Newbery Honor Book El Deafo. She is also the creator of the Sock Monkey picture books and Chuck and Woodchuck. Cece Bell lives in Virginia with her family.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

*This book was provided in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are our own.

Twins | Book Review

“A heartfelt celebration of twins and all the ups and a few downs that come along with it.” – Momma Braga

Synopsis

A boy and a giraffe may be unlikely twins, but they don’t see it that way.

These two do everything together from leapfrogging and trick-or-treating to dancing and even, sometimes, disagreeing. Each half of this perfect pair understands that being a twin may have a lot of ups and a few downs, but in the end, it’s great knowing there’s someone in your world who is just like you.

From a father of fraternal twins comes this silly and sly demonstration that the wonders of twinship have nothing to do with looking alike and everything to do with sharing an unbreakable bond – with a sibling, a friend, or even somebody from a different species.

#MelAndNikkiReview

Twins is an adorable children’s book that allows us to take a glimpse into twin life. Even though this likely pair may not look exactly the same, but they do have a bond like no other. We loved seeing that bond that they shared and how great it can be to have a twin. I always wondered what it would be like to have two of me. 😉

The story flowed nicely and it was an easy read. The illustrations were adorable and complimented the story beautifully. We recommend this book for children ages two to six and if you have a twin, this is a great book to celebrate you! 🙂

For this #MelAndNikkiReview, we give Twins 5 stars out of 5!

If you would like to purchase a copy of our own, please click here.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

*This book was provided in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are our own.

 

Great Ways To Help Your Kids With Their Homework

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Many things in life have become more demanding and complex than when we were kids. With higher expectations, both for students and teachers, as well as additional challenges, like new curriculums and smartphones, homework is one of the many examples. Despite your already busy schedule, you have to teach your kids after school, while also making sure that you don’t interfere with their learning. This can be tricky, which is why these six great tips can be helpful.

  1. Talk To The Teachers

Parents often don’t know how involved they should be in their child’s homework. The only way to find this out for sure is the speak to the teacher. You and your child’s teacher should be a team dedicated to the academic success of your kid. This is an important relationship, which means, like any other, communication is the key. For this reason, you should attend all school events.

  1. Make A Study Space

Studying on the couch isn’t nearly as productive as your child would have you believe. After all, the living room is filled with distractions, from the television to siblings, and even pets. Your child must have a space dedicated to completing homework. This should be in a quiet and well-lit location, with plenty of space. As long as the room is free, your dining space could work well.

  1. Provide The Proper Tools

Although most parents make sure their child has plenty of stationery for school, many kids leave their pencil cases in their lockers at the end of the day. To make sure your child has no excuse to skip their homework, you must have all the tools they might need, including a computer, printer, and ink cartridges. Remember to store these things together so that nothing gets lost.

  1. Work With A Routine

Structure is very important for children, especially where homework is concerned. Different kids work best at different times of the day, so create a routine that works for your child. While most parents would prefer their kids to do their homework as soon as they get home, yours may not want to do that. No adult wants to begin the chores right after getting home from work, after all.

  1. Focus On Healthy Habits

It’s not uncommon for kids to have several hours of homework to complete each night. When your child also has other after-school commitments, like sports or music, this leaves very little time in the day. While making time for homework is crucial, your child’s health is more important. If they aren’t getting enough sleep or skipping meals, you may want to talk to the teacher.

  1. Set A Good Example

Kids learn by copying what their parents do. This means that, if your children see you working hard, they will know they should be doing the same. Although you don’t need to start pouring over a math textbook, you could let your child see you reading a novel or balancing the budget. Your child is much more likely to follow your advice if they see you doing the same.

We all want our kids to be successful, so help yours on their way by following the advice above.

7 Reasons Why I Love Girl’s Night

The day I became a mom, I knew that I would do everything and anything to be the best mom that I could be for her. From that day on, I spent many sleepless nights and days to make sure that she was very well taken care of. However, in the first three years, I was neglecting myself. During the transition into motherhood, I forgot about me as a person.

I thought that my job was to be with my child 24-7 and I shouldn’t think about having “me time.” I thought this would have been selfish (#momguilt) of me to even think that I deserved some time away as I should only focus on caring for my child. But soon I realized that I wasn’t good to anyone when I was feeling defeated and drained. I really needed some time away to re-focus and be me.

After a chat with a long-time friend who also expressed the same struggles, we thought we should launch our Girl’s Night. After convincing each other that we really did deserve it (amazing how strong mom guilt is), we were setting up our first girl’s night. Our girl’s nights are sometimes every other month or sometimes a little longer as it depends on life’s schedule; however, we always try not to delay it too much as we know how important this time is for our sanity.

That is exactly what we have been doing and we have even included more of our friends when they are able to come hang out for a bit. The Girl’s Night is one of my favorite events and I always look forward to it.

It is so important to care for yourself and much more as a mom. This is why I felt it would be great to share seven reasons why I love Girl’s Night and how it has made me a better person.

Relaxing

Just a couple of hours away from the home with your girlfriends is a relaxing experience and many times it is much needed. It gives you time to regroup and focus. Keep in mind that girl’s night doesn’t mean anything grand or expensive. A simple outing for a coffee is great idea as long as its an environment you can feel relaxed in. Just think that you don’t need to hide from little ones to enjoy some time to yourself! It is also great not to worry about having to assist anyone with their meals or even asking if anyone needs to use the washroom. 😉

You can even do other activities such as yoga or hitting the gym. The possibilities are limitless when you are planning a get together with your besties. 🙂  We have opted to do dinner as we have started a bucket list of restaurants that we want to try out! 🙂

*We may even launch a restaurant review section if our readers are up for it! Send us an email at mommabraga@gmail.com and let us know which ones we should try in the Toronto and Mississauga area.

One of my favorite meals so far on girls night from The Rec Room at Square One.

Be Yourself (True Self)

This may not apply to everyone but it does for me. On Girl’s Night I can just be me. I don’t need to worry about the language that I use (I work in the construction field and therefore, I have picked up on a few fowl words). 😉 You can speak freely with no filter and you don’t have to worry about being judged. It feels great to let loose and be yourself as it makes the evening much more enjoyable.

We tend to forget the people we are after we become parents and that person should never be forgotten as it makes who we are.

You can even be a little silly and try out Snapchat without your child getting in the middle. 😉 Here is my sister and I.

Laughter

Now you can’t have a girl’s night and not have laughter. That is my favorite part as we get to talk about everything and anything. We always have a great laugh as there are no limits on what we can say since there are no listening ears of little ones. We also get to share stories from our past and present that always bring a few more laughs that were unexpected.

Did you know how much laughter is good for your soul? It truly is and it helps with any stress that you are feeling. I honestly love to laugh and love to make those around me laugh (even if it is making a foul out of myself). 😉

Support

Now even though your child isn’t with you on a girl’s night, it doesn’t mean you can’t use this time to talk about them. We don’t eliminate talking about our children during our girls night as sometimes we need that listening ear. Having that support in-person is so amazing and bouncing ideas off one another on any parent struggle is so helpful. We use the time to vent, support and just be there for one another.

Parenting is not easy and it is great to get the support outside the home. Mind you, girl’s night is not around child talk but we know that if we need to we can talk to one another about it. Our girl talks cover an array of topics that are important to us and we know we will be supported.

My bestie, Tanya, and I at The Rec Room at Square One on one of our girls nights. Photo Credit: My sister Karen.

Self-Care

As moms we need to find the time to take care of ourselves. Girl’s night helps me with self-care as it helps me find my way back to my inner rock star that I am and allows me to let go of high expectations. The hardest part was to let go of mom guilt that many of us are encompassed with. I knew that having time for myself did not make me a bad mom and it was important for my self-care.

When we feel great about ourselves, we will be better people and moms at the end of the day. I didn’t realize how important my own self-care was until it took a toll on me. Now I am not last on the list of caring but at the same spot as my husband and daughter. We all come first and it has been much better for us all.

Reconnecting With Friends

Relationships are important to nourish as we take care of our relationships with our children and spouse. Our friendships are also important and we need to reconnect with them too.

Girl’s night is the opportunity to connect, laugh and grow friendships. Everyone needs a friend to talk, cry and laugh with and a night out is a reminder that they do exist! The best part is that you know they are true friends when you have been apart for months and as soon as you are together, you continue exactly where you left off at. That is the power of friendship! Even if it is just one friend, that is all that is needed. I always say quality over quantity.

Renewal of Appreciation

Spouse and child(ren) will have a renewal of appreciation for all that you do when you return. You will also feel the same way. It may only be a few hours away but that is just enough to freshen the mind and make the everyday whining okay again. That time away can make mom feel happy and that in turn will have everyone else feel happy. Who doesn’t like mom being happy?!

The appreciation when you return feels great as I am always greeted with lots of hugs and kisses from both my child and husband. It makes me feel great to know I was missed even if it was just for a short period of time. It is also great for children to see that it is ok for mom to be someone besides mom and that they have friends too. When I get ready to go out, my daughter always tells me how beautiful I look and that she hopes that I have a great time with my best friend. It always makes me feel great to hear it! We all love to feel appreciated in life.

My family.

Above all, girl’s night might only be once in awhile, but every mom deserves a girl’s night out whether they go for dinner or to see a play. It is a great reminder on how much fun being an adult really is.

Hope you are taking good care of yourselves moms and know that you are amazing in everything that you do! Let us throw away the mom guilt and remember to take care of mom as we deserve it.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga