Metro Parent Relief

Easy Ways To Document Your Baby’s Growth

Keeping a photographic record of your baby’s growth is invaluable, but can easily fall by the wayside in the early months.  A lot of us take weekly or monthly photos of our pregnant bellies so that we can document the growth of our ever-expanding midsections and developing babies. Once baby is born, creativity often takes a backseat to diapers, burp cloths and 2am feedings. Here are some fun tips and ideas for documenting your baby’s growth that, with a little bit of planning, are fairly simple to do.

1.  We love the idea of photographing your child in the exact same setting each month.  By keeping the background constant in these photos, you can really see your child’s transformation from a baby into a toddler. Choose a setting that’s easy to recreate each month, the same chair or on the same rug.  Then, pick an outfit that you can buy in multiple sizes, like a plain-colored onesie or t-shirt.  Including a stuffed animal is a great way to add scale to the photo and it’s also something fun for your baby to hold while you take pictures.

2.  Another unique idea we adore is using a Stendig wall calendar as a background for your photos. This 36×48 calendar is a stark, neutral background that dates your pictures while allowing your little one to shine.

3.  Write your baby’s age on a small chalkboard or whiteboard and include it in your photos.

4.  Use balloons to show your baby’s age.  Adding a balloon each month makes for more and more adorable photos as the year goes on.

5.  Spell out your child’s age with alphabet blocks (you can include his name and milestones too) on a white blanket or sheet. Lie or sit your baby next to them and take pictures quickly before she starts to play with your backdrop.

6.  Monthly onesie stickers are really simple and easy to use and are a perfect way to document your baby’s first 12 months. There are so many designs and colors to choose from, simply stick these on a onesie and snap away.

For the best results, commit to a schedule (be realistic) and stick to it! Be consistent. Take many more photos than you think you’ll need.  Enjoy the process, and have fun!

Follow us on FACEBOOK! Check out our posts to see these ideas and find even more creative ways to document your child’s growth.

SLEEP DEPRIVATION- The TOP 5 Things you MUST DO TODAY!

Are you sleep deprived?  Do you feel like a walking zombie?  Sleep deprivation is a period in most new parents lives when you literally begin craving a few hours of straight sleep.  The lack of sleep required for the body to operate and function normally can be detrimental to your health.  Sleep deprivation is serious, and can cause weight gain, stress, along with poor decision making.  There are MANY reasons a new parent may suffer from sleep deprivation, but you’d be surprised to know that it is not all of the time the new addition keeping you up.  See these 5 Tips below, that you must incorporate into your winding down routine, to assure that YOUR body and mind is prepared for bed.

  1. No Caffiene after 3pm.
  2. Follow the same bedtime each night
  3. Lower lights, noise, and stimulation
  4. Do not check emails, surf the web, or anything computer related a few hours before
  5. Try to meditate- clearing your mind of all thoughts, and activities of the day

I also ran across an article from Parents.com that has additional tips.  Again, this is about you, the parent, not sleep training for the baby.  If you find that you are unable to put these practices in place, due to a new baby, phone in help from a relative, friend, or us!  Everyone deserves a night of solid, uninterrupted sleep, even if it’s just one to two nights per week, you will find a couple of nights sleep can go a long way.  There are also experts, including some on the Metro Parent Relief nanny, sleep training lists that can help with incorporating healthy sleep habits for baby, should that be a reason for your sleep deprivation.  Our expert nannies, and night nannies, can help you get the sleep you need, to be the best parent you can be!

Check out the Parents.com article attached.  Sleep is just as important for you, the parent, as it is for baby.

http://www.parents.com/baby/new-parent/sleep-deprivation/post-baby-sleep-interferences/

At Metro Parent Relief- All of our nannies, night nannies, childcare experts, and babysitters are criminal background checked, sex offender checked, reference checked, have passed a written assessment, and live local in the Arlington, Alexandria, Falls Church, McLean, Reston, Herndon, Leesburg, Potomac MD, Chevy Chase, Bethesda, and Washington DC areas!  We also offer the most competitive fees, for referring the most qualified and experienced people in the area!  Metro Parent Relief 703-798-0024, http://www.metroparentrelief.com

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Giving Back With the Whole Family

Have you found that finding the time to spend quality one on one time with an older child while caring for an infant or toddler overwhelming?  We’ve assembled a great list of volunteer opportunities in our area that welcome younger children and families. Get your entire family to work together, or, use a service project as an opportunity to get some one-on-one time with an older child. Your children will learn invaluable lessons about helping others and contributing to the community and your family will enjoy doing something for others, together.

Color A Smile (online) – Any age. Your child can draw or paint an original picture or a coloring page, which you then mail in to the Color A Smile office. They will distribute the artworks to nursing homes, Meals on Wheels recipients and individuals across the country who they believe would benefit from a masterpiece.

Capital Area Food Bank (DC and NoVA) – 12+, 12-16 year old volunteers must be accompanied by an adult and must have a waiver allowing participation. The mission of the Capital Area Food Bank is to feed those who suffer from hunger in the Washington metro area by acquiring food and distributing it through its network of partner agencies; and educating, empowering and enlightening the community about the issues of hunger and nutrition. Volunteers are needed in the DC and NoVA Warehouses to help in the areas of: packing and sorting, stocking floor, loading docks, and administrative work.

Earth Sangha (NoVA) – Minimum age is 8. Earth Sangha operates an ecological restoration program to restore native forests and meadows, stabilize streams, and control invasive alien plants in the Washington metro area. Volunteers will help plant native plants, trees, grasses, shrubs and wildflowers in grassland, forests and meadows. Volunteers are also needed to help control invasive plants.

Maddie’s Blankets (NoVA) – Great for young children, you simply have to be able to tie a knot. Make comforting fleece blankets for animals in shelters and children in foster care.

Claude Moore Colonial Farm (McLean) – Children under age 12 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. The mission of the Claude Moore Colonial Farm is to educate the public about American agriculture through active participation and involvement in an 18th century low-income family farm and related programs. Volunteers will dress in period costumes and portray farmers, merchants, artisans, and musicians of the 18th century.

A Forever Home (Chantilly) – Minimum age is 12. Children 12-14 must be accompanied by an adult. A Forever Home is a dog and cat rescue organization whose mission is to find permanent, loving homes for animals in dire situations. Volunteers are needed to assist in foster homes, as transporters for adoptions and vet visits, handlers at adoption days, and helpers at fundraising events.

These are just a few ideas to get older children involved with activities that have a purpose.  We encourage you to reply with any additional ideas, or groups that you wish to suggest to other Metro Parent Relief families and friends.  Summer is about enjoying time with outside of the rigorous school schedule, learning about our environment and community, and enjoying family, so make the most of it!

 

Skin Cancer Later in Life from Childhood Exposure?

Did you know that one session of long-term sun exposure can drastically increase your chances of getting skin cancer later in life?

As children and during childhood we often go to the beach and pool with our families during the summer, and sunburn seems to be a common occurrence during that time of year. Most of us don’t think much about how sunburn can really affect us and our health, especially when its something that is hard to avoid. Even when sunblock with a fair amount of SPF is applied, a lot of us still end up with a case of sunburn at the end of the day. Although mild exposure to the sun is not bad, it’s actually rather good to get some daily vitamin D in, but what we need to worry about most is the times when we catch a case of very red and painful sunburn. A good way to tell whether or not you have a pretty bad case is when you have the following symptoms-

  • Red (not pink) skin that is rather painful to the touch
  • Small blisters filled with fluid (that may burst)
  • Excessive peeling
  • Scabbing
  • Swelling
  • Headache/Fever/Nausea

Sunburn with such severity may also be known as sun poisoning, which if left untreated could be very damaging to the skin. This type of sunburn with such severity greatly increases your chances of skin cancer later in life because of the damage it emits to the skin. Decades might pass before you see the affects of one case of sun poisoning/severe sunburn, and even after years it still had taken a toll on your skin and puts you at even greater risk. This is why it is important to always protect yourself from the suns harmful rays.

As for immediate treatment for sun poisoning and or severe sunburn you should try to stay indoors for a few days and limit sun exposure, when you do go out try to cover the affected areas. As well as use aloe Vera gel or deep moisturizers, drink extra fluids for a few days, take a cool shower or bath, or take an over the counter pain medication. All of which are short and easy fixes for the problem. After about a week if your symptoms still persist, you should take a trip to the doctor. There’s a great chance that you’ve received 3rd or possibly 2nd degree burns and your skin may need a prescribed cream in order to speed up the healing process.

Protecting your skin from the sun if extremely important, the skin is very sensitive and the suns UV rays can easily damage it. Its important to always wear some form of protection, anything with an SPF over 30 will do about the same job protecting you, and anything less is just about useless but the higher the number, the longer you can go without reapplication. Although its recommended that you should try to reapply at least every 30 minutes to ensure the best protection possible. Having a case of server sunburn is not fun trust me, and the affects of getting it once can last decades and increase your skins sensitivity to the sun. Why risk heightening your chances of skin cancer when you can so easily protect yourself and your children?

 

For more information, go to: http://www.netdoctor.co.uk/health_advice/facts/sunchildren.htm, and https://www.google.com/search?q=sun+poisoning&oq=sun&aqs=chrome.1.57j59j0l2j62l2.3592j0&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

 

Written by Guest Blogger- Nyema A. Wilson

 

TOP 5 TIPS FOR NEW PARENTS TO GET MORE SLEEP!

             5 TIPS FOR NEW PARENTS TO GET MORE SLEEP!

Every new parent knows that the first few weeks you are in bliss with your new addition to the family, however, that bliss can start to diminish as you become more and more sleep deprived.  Sleep deprivation is a real cause of many both cognitive and health related issues.  Sleep deprivation can cause new parents to feel sluggish, foggy headed, and deflect important decision making.  Sleep deprivation can also cause unwanted weight gain, and stress on the body.

Below are 5 TOP TIPS to follow as a new parent to inch closer to the goal of a good night’s sleep.  Review and implement these routines into the early weeks after birth, and mom will recuperate faster, and dad will be able to go back to work after taking leave feeling refreshed and in tune.

1-   Pump & Sleep– Some new parents are hesitant to introduce the bottle to their newborn at first. However, by doing so, you are ensuring that you have the ability to receive help from other’s with feedings, while mom rests.  This doesn’t mean that each feeding is by bottle, you still want to have the bonding time with your newborn, but introducing the bottle and having Dad, a family member, friend, or night nanny give the pumped breast milk 1-2 feedings per night, will allow mom to get a few hours of straight, uninterrupted sleep, that her body needs during this important time of healing.

2-   One Night On, One Night Off– Take turns getting up at night for feedings.  By rotating nights, for instance Dad on Monday night, Mom on Tuesday night, and so forth, this will allow each of you a well deserved break to look forward to.  If Dad has returned back to work, and family or friends, aren’t able to provide a continuous schedule of every other night helping out, call a night nanny agency to book a well qualified, completely screened, and professional, caring nanny, to come in and assist you.

3-   Separate Rooms– On the “Night Off” when it isn’t your turn, or you have a night nanny to help care for your newborn, consider sleeping in a separate room.  This will allow you uninterrupted sleep, while the person on is feeding and changing baby, etc.   It also helps to take turns sleeping in on the weekend!

4-   2 Shifts– Some parents of newborns have found that splitting the night into two shifts helps each parent get some sleep.  For instance, Mom can take the 10:30pm-2:30am shift, and Dad the 2:30am-6am shift, or visa versa.  This may not be an option if Dad has returned back to work, as he will not be able to provide the child care necessary during a shift and be alert and well rested to prepare for a busy day at work.  At that time feel free to ask for help outside of the home.

5-   Early To Bed– This is the one suggestion that everyone gave to me, but I would find impossible at times, go to sleep when the baby/children are sleeping.  With so many things to do, another load of laundry, empting a dishwasher, grocery store, dry cleaning, and not to mention keeping a clean home, it is difficult to allow yourself that complete down time when the baby is asleep during the day.  As a jack of all trades, which is what we become as parents, your other duties are constantly nagging at you.  This is another prime example as to when to call for help.

For more on tips for new parents to get sleep go to http://www.babycenter.com/0_8-ways-for-new-parents-to-get-more-sleep_7750.bc

Metro Parent Relief is just that, not just a nanny agency, but a “RELIEF” AGENCY!  We can provide night nannies to care for your newborn/infant, arrange for a day nanny if you need an extra set of hands, schedule someone to come clean your home for a modest hourly rate, have an assistant run errands for you such as grocery shop, dry cleaning, picking up prescriptions, even have someone organize the nursery, important papers, clothing as the seasons change, and so on.  Moms and Dads have MANY jobs to fulfill, booking help from time to time is an option to getting things done!  Visit us at http://www.metroparentrelief.com today!  Proudly serving all of:

Northern Virginia, including areas of Alexandria, Arlington, Falls Church, Fairfax, McLean, Vienna, Great Falls, Reston, Herndon, Sterling, Ashburn, and Leesburg, VA.

In Maryland, Chevy Chase, Bethesda, Rockville, Potomac, Gaithersburg, Silver Spring, as far east as Annapolis.

AND

Washington DC!

                                                                                                     Metro Parent Relief   703-798-0024 

8th grade formal, really?

8th Grade Formal                       

I wanted to write from a different perspective today, more of a personal note to find out if any other parents in the DC, MD, and VA area are experiencing the same situations.  If you or someone you know has gone through this, please feel free to comment, at least I will know I am not alone in this.  As a parent, there are certain things that you do for your children, and often ask yourself, is this over doing it?

We all want to make our children happy, feel a part of the crowd, and allow them to socialize and have a great time with friends, but I find myself feeling like I have mistakenly pushed a fast forward button about five years in the future.

When I was in school, intermediate, or middle school as we called it, I did experience my first school dance.  The school dance included purchasing a ticket during lunch period, with a written permission note from my parents for $ 1.00.  Next, I marked the date on the calendar, and counted down the days.  On the day of the dance, we went to school as normal, and once the school bell rang, everyone attending the dance headed for the cafeteria or gym, where we had juice, chips, and the girls stood on one side, huddles in groups, laughing, talking, and catching up on things, and the boys did the same on the opposite side of the room.  No preparations, no big to do’s involved.

Fast forward about 25 years, and this is where I stand.  I am very aware that things do change over time, and that the current generation of teenagers, are more advanced in many ways including education, technology, and fashion.  However, what I have experienced over the past few weeks has literally blown my mind.  I am flabbergasted, at the preparation put into today’s 8th grade dances.  Excuse me, as my daughter has reminded me several times over the past few weeks, 8th grade FORMAL!  It is almost leading me to question my own sanity.  Is this really happening, are other parents really going to these extreme lengths to prepare for a few hours at the school?

My child, N. is fourteen years old, and in the 8th grade.  She is a very popular, smart, and beautiful girl, with being in all honor courses, which I am extremely proud of her for. She is also very athletic, and has a wonderful personality.  She is literally floating on cloud nine at this moment, as she has been treated to the following to get ready for the “FORMAL”.  Tyson’s Corner mall has been the new hang out spot for us lately, from teen stores like Charlotte Rouge, and Forever 21, to Nordstrom’s, Macy’s, and Angel nails.  At the nail salon, she needed her eyebrows and lip waxed, and a mani/pedi.  We have also had to make a trip to the hair salon and N. even wanted her make- up done at MAC (which is where I drew the line), nope CVS has all that you will need.

Am I way behind the times, or is this the norm?  I have another daughter, A. 3 years old, and I can only imagine how this event will advance when it’s her turn.  I just can’t believe that all of this has taken place for an 8th grade dance, oops, excuse me again, “ FORMAL”.  Oh, and did I mention that the group of teens will be riding in a stretch limo, and attending an “after party”, at a friend’s home.  What is this world coming to?  There I go sounding like my mom again, but seriously, am I alone to feel like this is way over doing it?  I even went as far as to ask N. and a few friends that were over earlier,  isn’t all of this going to take away from the anticipation and excitement of their prom?  The reply was “no mom, our dresses will be longer, we will have dates, and it will be even more of a FORMAL event! “ Yikes.

Check out this link, they even have Do’s and Don’ts for the dance, including a reminder to wear deoderant!  Too funny. http://www.wikihow.com/Dress-for-an-8th-Grade-Formal

 

 

Memorial Day Lessons for Families

We all joke about family vacations, the ever lasting questions of “Are we there yet”?, the beach traffic that builds the anticipation, of the start of the long, lazy days of summer.  There are so many plans to make including, the laundry, the packing, the decisions on which clothes to bring, do we need to bring along the babies pack and play, who’s side of the family to visit this year, are we staying at a hotel or brave enough to stay at his parent’s home, the car rental, date and times of departure/arrival, are we going to fly or drive, and so much more!  No wonder so many parents are left feeling like they need a vacation after the vacation because there is so much work involved.

While putting it all together this week, remember that the most important reasons for family vacations and travel are to finally have a stretch of true quality time, build memories, allow the cousins to bond, great food on the grill, and hopefully a little R&R in between.  While we are so grateful for those things, and the ability to have this time with our friends and families, we also need to be sure to keep the whole meaning of Memorial Day respected, taught to our children, and appreciated.

As young as two and three years old, children can begin to identify with our American Flag, and chances are that you have someone in your family, or a neighbor, or one of the children at your kids school has a parent in the military.  Educating our children on the true meaning behind Memorial Day, which is the final Monday in May of every year designated to honor the men and women who have died serving our country in the military.  This holiday was originated after the civil war, and was formerly known as Decoration Day.  By the early 20th century, Decoration Day, now Memorial Day was being celebrated in a more expressive way by people gathering at national and church cemetaries honoring thier family members lost in the line of duty, marked by special family gatherings of meals, trips to the beach, fireworks, the long family weekend, and officially marking the start of summer!

You can make this lesson fun and enjoyable in many ways with your children.  Many families choose to visit the Arlington National Cemetary, The Tomb of the Unknown, The Marine Corps War Memorial, and the Wasington Monument.  DC area families have the ability to take advantage of so many sights here in the Arlington, and Washington DC areas.  It literally is a hop, skip, and jump, away from us, so please consider making memories with an important trip downtown.  There are also ways of learning about this holiday by reading books, perhaps attending a parade, or even taking a trip to The Arlington House, or otherwise known as the Robert E. Lee memorial, all of which can teach the appreciation and passion behind such an important holiday.  You, the parent, can make this critical lesson better understood, and easy to grasp by keeping it light, fun, and interesting.

Below is a list of fun books to read with children of all ages, including activities, games, and fun recipes to help educated the youngest member of your family about Memorial Day.  We, the staff, and nannies, child care specialist, and babysitters referred by Metro Parent Relief believe that keeping our children grounded, and teaching them to honor our countries military is a very important character building element.

The books that http://www.apples4theteacher.com recommends include:

Memorial Day Books for Kids - Let's Get Ready for Memorial Day

Let’s Get Ready for Memorial Day – By Lloyd G. Douglas

Memorial Day Books for Kids - Memorial Day Surprise

Memorial Day Surprise- By Theresa Golding

and

Memorial Day Books for Kids - The Wall

The Wall- By Eve Bunting

http://www.apples4theteacher.com also has links to fun, educational, activities, crafts, coloring pages, teen book lists, and Memorial Day fact sheets and puzzles, so click below to check it out!

http://www.apples4theteacher.com/holidays/memorial-day/kids-books/

The day nannies, night nannies, sleep trainers, child care specialist/experts, babysitters, referred by our staff, and I wish you, and your family a very HAPPY MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND!

 

 

Playdate Bullying

You’re excited. Your son has finally scored a playdate with Billy, a boy in his class he can’t stop talking about. But when the kids get together, little Billy turns out to be a bully and the playdate is filled with more tears than fun. How do you handle it?

Handling any bullying situation is tough, especially when your child is involved, but it can also be a learning opportunity.  As parents, it is our responsibility to protect our children and to teach them how to handle difficult situations when they come up.

When your child is on a playdate, especially with a new friend, stay and observe interactions. Young children are still learning how to behave appropriately and need adult guidance during playdates.  Also, if you’re present you can witness exactly what is going on which will help you when you’re discussing the situation with your child.

Watch Billy’s parent to see if/how they handle his behavior.  Anytime there is any kind of bullying, immediate action should be taken. The bully’s parent should address the behavior and explain that it’s not acceptable.  As the parent of the bullied child, you should immediately attend to your son, make sure that he is okay and tell him that that behavior will not be tolerated.  Give your child the words to express how he may be feeling: “Billy pushed you down and that hurts! You’re angry and upset that he did that.”

If the other parent is not there, attend to your child first. Then, talk to Billy in a way that will help him feel empathy for your son; “Do you see Johnny crying? You pushed him and it hurt. Pushing is not acceptable and if you push him again the playdate will be over.”  Remain cool, calm, and collected.  The calmer you are, the calmer the children will be.

If the bullying behavior continues, end the playdate.  Be sure to explain to your son that it is not his fault that the playdate is over.  You don’t want him to blame himself.

Once you’ve discussed the situation with Billy’s mom and you feel as though she is going to fully address these events with Billy, then try another playdate.  Make sure she stays and is available to intervene if need be.

Focus on the learning experience for your child.  In life, your son is going to come into contact with children who bully, who are bossy, overbearing, and tough to handle.  It’s important that he learn what to do when he encounters these types of people and that he build up his own confidence in his abilities to cope with difficult situations.  However, he should also learn that no one has the right to bully him and that he deserves to be protected if and when he’s bullied. Read each situation and act according to what you think is best for your child.  Remember, your child’s well-being is your responsibility and don’t be afraid to speak up and get involved if you see him being mistreated.

7 Great Mother’s Day Gift Ideas in the DC Area

mother's day

7 Great Mothers Day Ideas for Arlington, Alexandria, Loudoun, DC, Maryland,  MUMS:

The Kennedy Center – The Choral Arts- Broadway’s Show Stoppers- 5pm Mother’s Day.  Check out certifikid’s special offer http://www.certifikid.com/deal/6514/20-for-broadway-show-stoppers-mothers-day-concert

Red Door Spa– Now offering Free $ 30 Spa Card with a purchase of $ 200 or more

 http://www.reddoorspas.com/reddoorlocations/dayspainarlingtonvirginia.aspx

Mike’s All American Grill- Choose from many restaurants in the DC Area to dine, my all time favorite- Mike’s in Springfield, VA yum, yum! http://www.greatamericanrestaurants.com/mikes/Info/Locations

 Tiny Jewel Box Inc. – NW DC Downtown’s most popular little secret- Offering up to 70% savings – Once a Year Only!  http://www.tinyjewelbox.com/ This special is a must- unique pieces, that will make any mom feel special!

Mayflower Renaissance Hotel– Extended Mother’s Day Breakfast until 2pm-

http://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/wassh-renaissance-mayflower-hotel/ My hubby and I go here all of the time, just for a mini- overnight stay to reconnect and enjoy the historic luxury!  Book a nanny or babysitter for your child care needs!

Hallmark– Now offering $2 dollar coupons for purchases- Visit Lulu’s in Crystal City

http://www.hallmark.com Sometimes cards say what we don’t know how to say!

Carriage of the Capitolhttp://www.carriagesofthecapital.com/ There is nothing ordinary about this surprise. This special treat is guaranteed to make mom feel like a princess again!

 

*****Forward to the dad in your life, that may need a little help on what to do!

Don’t Forget to CALL METRO PARENT RELIEF to find a nanny/sitter for you NOW!  We proudly service Alexandria, Arlington, Fairfax, Reston, Leesburg, Herndon, Sterling, Great Falls, McLean, Potomac, Bethesda, Chevy Chase, Rockville, and Washington DC areas!

 

Balancing Work and Motherhood

Balancing work and motherhood, does anyone really think they do it well? Is it even possible to truly balance it all? Children’s musician Laurie Berkner recently wrote a song about what it means to her. As I read the lyrics, I found myself laughing out loud and nodding in agreement with so much of it.  I appreciate her putting this out there for other parents like me to relate to.

I love how Laurie is so honest in her admission that she doubts herself and feels a lot of guilt. It’s refreshing when someone openly talks about these things since it seems like a lot of moms feel that they need to appear outwardly like they have it all together.  This perpetuates the idea that we can and should be all things to all people, all of the time. It would be nice if we could let go of some of the self-doubt. Are we as moms just programmed to feel guilty and to constantly second-guess ourselves?

I share in her appreciation of those sweet moments where I’m snuggling my child on the couch and soaking her in but then my mind inevitably wanders to back to my ever-present list of things to do.  I can relate to the feelings of never being able to get anywhere on time (literally never), always rushing around and just when I feel like I’ve got things under control, everything changes. Laurie does an amazing job of succinctly summing it all up.

As soon as we become parents, the clichés start to all make sense; time flies, children grow up way too fast.  Most moms I know admit that their lives are a frenzy and they feel stressed a lot of the time but they also say that they wouldn’t change it for anything.  So we take comfort in knowing that we’re all struggling with similar issues and feelings and it’s nice to know that we’re not alone.  I may always be late, always feel rushed, and am always up past 11, trying to get “just one more thing” done but I know I’m not the only one.

Balancing Work and Motherhood

The journalist asks me, “How do you do it?”
My answer is “Not very well.”
Each day is different
And when I think I’ve found a rhythm
All the plans I’ve devised
And so carefully scheduled
Get all shot to hell.

So I’ll take a taxi,
‘Cause I might get there faster
But the subway would cost me much less. . .
Ugh, the trains are delayed!
Now what if there’s traffic?
Either way, half my days
Are spent out of breath

Running from one thing
Late to another
Looked away for two minutes, and now there’s a line!
Forgot to bring lunch again
(Mine, not hers)
Slow down, slow down
Slow down
Slow
Down…
I’ll get there
Just not on time.

Talking with Brian
And planning for sitters
Who’s home today,
You or me?
That feeling of panic
That hits when I think,
“I forgot to make sure she was free.”

All my years of therapy
And yet I still cling
To the guilt I feel when I’m not there.
It’s such a cliché but I find myself thinking,
“I wish I’d been born as a pair.”

In some ways it’s easier now than it was
Lucy’s used to me coming and going.
She’s older, has friends, even tells me
“Get out Mom!” but each time it’s hard for me
Knowing
That I’ll miss some of what she was feeling that day
And I’ll miss hanging out with her too.

Time moves so fast (oy, another cliché!)
And there’s only so much I can do.

I run my own business.
I’m both artist and boss,
But pretend I’m a mom who stays home.
Then I’m gone on the weekends
Or when we’re together
Spend less time with her than my phone.

So I accept from a colleague
A derisive laugh when I say,
“Sorry, I can’t make it then.”
Because I’m picking her up,
There’s a potluck, class play
Or perhaps there’s just no school… again.

And I get to spend time with her
We read on the couch
Her body all snuggled with mine.
I breathe her in deeply
So I won’t forget
Just how good that feels
Every time.

(Then I notice that I have a pile of new messages and texts and I haven’t made dinner or taken
the dog out. When did it get to be 6:30 p.m.? When did she turn 8 years old?)

So I stay up too late
Doing work, sending email
I’m addicted to “just one more thing…”
I haven’t yet found
A different way, a better way
Or just a way
To fit everything in

I spent all that time getting ready for birth
And I think of my good friend, who said,
“Remember Laurie, this is just the curtain rising,
The real show is what lies ahead.”

Ok, so there’s no rehearsal for life
(But I’d hoped as a parent things that I’ve learned would help)
And they certainly sometimes do.
Yet often I catch myself being the child,
‘Cause I still want to be mothered too.

-Lyrics by Laurie Berkner

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