Connecting the Dots

Ever had one of those days where life gets so overwhelming that we use all our energy fighting the overwhelming urge to crawl up in our beds in a fetal position ?
Managing the schedules of the children, Mom and Dad, the pets, the car , the home can be enough to make the best of us a little cranky once in a while.

So 2 weeks ago it was my turn to lose the plot. Seriously. Most days I can juggle things well but I just couldn’t get ahead of the curve. So I did what good people do …. I consumed huge quantities of caffeine and sugar .. it didn’t get me ahead of the game. So I did the next best thing and totally dumped all my troubles on the shoulders of my innocent friend Laura over at Hollywood Memorial’s therapy waiting room.
I was alot better after a good therapy session and didn’t have to throw the whole day in the garbage, however it wasn’t until later on that day that I GOT IT.
You see, life as a parent is very much a dot to dot puzzle. Most of the time we can see where we are going with the dot to dot puzzle. We see a shoe, a flower or a giraffes foot. However, every once in a while whether the days are super hectic, a particular child is going through a rough patch or we are sleep deprived we start to lose the plot. Literally.
We lose the ability to look at the dot to dot puzzle and see the mushroom, toy car or chicken. Thats when we start to crumble, thats when we feel overwhelmed and ready to throw in the towel.

What can I say? It is an inevitable part of parenting to have rough days. Just know that if you find yourself in the same position and after consuming caffeine and sugar by the truckload you still aren’t budging. And if you’ve chewed off a few friends ears and you still feel yucky then go ahead and take a deep breath and focus on all the good stuff you have accomplished, all the dots you have connected.
Go ahead and allow yourself to think about what is going on right here and right now. Maybe just maybe there is a specific corner of your world that is slightly unraveling and needs your concentration to connect those dots again. That worked for me, who knows, it might help someone else find that little flower on the right hand side of their dot to dot too.

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No more food for thought … Your meal plan ….. on an index card.

Scanned image of standard 3x5 notecard / index...Image via Wikipedia

I often get asked which book or website I recommend for meal plans. Hear this one ladies – get an index card, the last thing you need is a website to give you more choices.

Step away from the cook books, websites and from the notion of perfect.

Think back to the past few suppers you felt proud of, weren’t too time consuming and everyone ate. Add a starch, soup and salad

Write them on the index card along with the name of the protein. So Monday might be Fish : Breaded salmon, pasta, broccoli & lentil soup.

Keep your protein topics as your golden rule, so from now on Monday nights is fish night. Have tilapia next week if you want a change. Just limit your choice of choices and stop making decisions, just focus on the issue at hand which is getting the supplies in advance, cooking the food and carrying on with the rest of your day.

Yes you can bulk cook, yes you should use your crock pot, sure you can change your supper if you have the time to make some herb crusted fancy fish your husband loves. Just remember – it’s the decision making that is stalling you – it’s paralysis by analysis.

Refer back to your index card each Sunday and get ahead ….. now that’s food for thought !

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When Mom Is Out For The Count

Two children bathing in a small metal bath tubImage via Wikipedia

What happens when Mom has to be absent from the kids daily routines because of sickness ?

Here are 3 of my sanity saving tips :

1) Make a ‘to do’ chart on poster board that kids can check off or put stickers on as they go along with rewards when its completed by a certain time.
2) Have Mom record one of their favorite bedtime stories for children to follow along with. It brings a sense of normal at a time that is quite trying for children.
3) Remember that the non-flourescent colored cereal ie cheerios is a perfectly nutritious supper.

What has worked for you ? Please let us knpw

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