The Moms Network: November Episode Premieres This Friday

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The November episode of The Moms Network premieres on NCTV17 this Friday, November 1 at 9 PM and our co-hosts and guests are talking fertility issues and family planning.

Get a sneak peek of the show with the clips below and be sure to watch the full episode this Friday at 9 PM on Channel 17 and NCTV17.com via simulcast and also on-demand video.

Thank you to DuPage Medical Group for being the presenting sponsor of this month’s episode.

 

 

4 Creative Halloween Pregnancy Announcements

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If one of your treats this Halloween season is to announce to family and friends that you are expecting a new baby, you might want to grab one of the 16 creative announcement ideas from TODAY.com.

While they were all fun and festive, here are four we thought were frightfully creative.  See all 16 ideas here.

Are you making a Halloween announcement this year? Let us know the creative way you shared the big news.

 

 

 

 

What’s the Deal with Teal?

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Thanks to one of our Branch partners, UrgiKids,  for bringing this great iniative to our attention:

Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) is making it easier for families managing food allergies to still have a very happy Halloween.  According to the organization’s website, the Teal Pumpkin Project is a worldwide movement that offers an alternative for kids with food allergies, as well as other children whom candy is not an option, to still have a fun and positive Halloween experience.

Here’s how you can participate:

  • Provide non-food treats for trick-or-treaters
  • Place a teal pumpkin in front of your home to indicate to passersby that you have non-food treats available
  • Add your home to the Teal Pumpkin Project map
  • Spread the word! Share the Teal Pumpkin Project with your friends and family

 

You can still offer regular candy, just be sure to keep food treats in a separate bowl.  The website offers some great ideas for non-food treats–such as glow sticks, crayons, and bouncy balls—and has lots of free resources you can use to help spread the word. Check out the site here.

Will you be participating in the Teal Pumpkin Project this year?  Let us know!

Avoiding the Retirement Savings Gap

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Branch community member Anita Knotts recently reminded us just how important it is for ALL women to be proactive when it comes to planning for their financial future.

“A new study from the Boston College Center for Retirement Research suggests that it is not just single and divorced women who are at risk,” writes Anita. “Married women in two earner households can also be financially vulnerable. Often only one of the partners has saved in a workplace retirement plan. Plus, the study found spousal benefits through Social Security decline or fully go away for two-earner couples, making income replacement from Social Security more difficult for couples.”

What can we do now to secure our financial futures?  Anita shares some strategies in her latest post for Calamos Investments:

  1. Determine how much income you are going to need in retirement to cover your expenses as well as how much you expect to receive from things such as social security, pensions, etc.  If there is a shortfall, that’s how much you will have to save.
  2. Make investing for retirement a priority. Maximize your workplace contribution or set aside additional money in an IRA or Roth IRA.
  3. If you are married, make sure both spouses’ separately save for retirement.
  4. It is important to have savings in both spouses’ names. How assets are itled can be meaningful later to demonstrate you have financial status.
  5. Take advantage of catch-up contributions starting at age 50 for both IRAs or workplace 401(k) contributions.
  6. If necessary, be aggressive about reducing spending/ increasing savings.

Read Anita’s entire post here.

Why Good Cop/Bad Cop Parenting Might Not Work

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When it comes to parenting, if you’ve gotten comfortable in your role as “good cop” or “bad cop” you may want to read this.  The folks at SheKnows spoke to several experts for their take on why “good cop/bad cop” parenting doesn’t work.  Here are a few things they discovered:

  • It Divides the Family
    Good cop/bad cop parenting illustrates that mom and dad are not on the same page and this is confusing to kids.
  • It Creates Instability
    If the rules are always changing, depending on which parent is in charge, kids won’t have a sense of security, which should be the cornerstone of every household. 
  • It Makes Kids Choose Sides
    Kids start to follow a pattern of asking the “easier” parent for things they want, which ultimately ends up with kids choosing sides or picking a “favorite.”
  • It Can Create Unhealthy Gender Labels
    If one parent in a different-sex couple is always being the “nice” one, it encourages gender bias and assumptions at a young age.
  • It Pits One Parent against the Other.
    Having to always be the enforcer — for homework, chores, and other tasks — can make one parent feel resentful toward the other.

In the end, supporting each other and each other’s parenting style is key.  “Parents need to support one another in the decisions that are made. Parenting is challenging and everybody has their  own parenting styles,” says Tammi Van Hollander, LCSW, RPT in the article

Click here to read the entire article from SheKnows.

 

 

What Comes to Mind When You Hear ‘Self-Care’?

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I realize we may not know each other, but I can guarantee you we churned up a similar image: A woman with a perfectly messy top knot, soaking in endless bubbles with sliced cucumber over her eye lids, and a glass of rose on a bamboo bath tray. And in the background, the ultimate in self-care ambiance, Kenny G.

Oh, and I should mention the unmentioned. That bathroom is totally spotless. Not a sign of children, laundry, dirty towels, or toothpaste lingering in the sink.

What? Too much?

Contrary to what our culture so artfully shares on pages of fashion magazines and #selfcaresunday, this is not self-care. This is good hygiene and questionable taste in music, at best. As relaxing as this image attempts to portray, it’s not realistic unless the kids are asleep, the dishes are done, and someone else has the baby monitor. And in the slight chance all of that has happened, please let us call adult bath time by its real name: a break. Not self-care.

As moms, our lives are scheduled around our children. From drop offs to deadlines, soccer practice to science projects, we are what our children commit to. And we love it, for the most part. But this scheduling comes with a price. Our children will always come first.

Moms are a force to be reckon with. We run on less sleep, more coffee, and serious adrenaline when necessary. We make the brownies, sign up for the volunteer events, and always, always check the calendar to make sure we aren’t forgetting a special event along the way. We know our kids schedules better than they do, especially if they are in elementary school. We are like their second brain. We know when they are hurting and hurt just as much as they do. We also celebrate their joys as if they are our own, because in a way, they are.

But if we peel away at the layers of our days, we will find a lot of buried business. This business is typically in form of actions that we likely need to address, tasks that should be done for the betterment of our health, or conversations with people that we avoid having. Initially these things feel small and are easily distractible, but with time, they bear more weight on the mind and body. Tension builds and creates inflammation, resulting in a cycle of negativity, depression, and anxiety, effecting both the physical and mental self.

Real self-care addresses the business head on. It is not something that can be outsourced, which makes it especially challenging. You can hire a professional to paint your nails or poke the blackheads out of your pores. But you cannot hire someone to take that spin class, have the mammogram you’ve been putting off, or visit with a therapist. Self-care is not selfish. It is necessary, and requires continuous upkeep. In a world where we get what we give, why not give our best to ourselves so we can share that with the people we love the most? And in this process, we encourage others to do the same.

Now, picture what this kind of thoughtful, ever-evolving self-care looks like: I see a fellow mom leaving her therapist’s office. I see a woman walking into her first group fitness class. I see a friend picking up the phone and scheduling her mammogram. I see a brave, empowered woman taking her life by the reigns and claiming what she wants for herself and her future. And I see everyone around her benefiting from it.

 

Grace Boland
Mama, yogi, health enthusiast,
and lover of all things family
and the perfect glass of red

How to Manage Your Child’s Temper Tantrum

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The phrase “temper tantrum” is enough to raise a parent’s blood pressure, but is it possible that they can be a good thing? This post from our friends at Bright Horizons Naperville has us thinking differently about this not-so-great part of childhood, including some great tips for how to handle temper tantrums and how to make them happen less often.

Read the article here. 

How to Love Your Postpartum Body

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As soon as you found out you were pregnant, your body changed.  Literally.

You spent nine months growing your beautiful baby and although you are still basking in the beauty that is motherhood, you just can’t seem to to embrace your post-baby body transformation. We’ve all be there. And, as someone who is a true believer in loving WHO you are the WAY you are, I want to offer some words of encouragement I found from Darling magazine:

Your body is a hero’s body. 
Giving birth is a superhero power. Your stretch marks are your beauty marks and worth everything. Try focusing on your happiness and what is positive in your life at that moment.

Your little miracle made changes worthwhile.
You are now a mother. Soak in those newborn moments. What your baby needs is his or her mother and your body is now their safe haven.

Your features deserve love.
We are so great at focusing on our shortcomings instead of our strengths, so find something you like about yourself when you look in the mirror and focus on that or speak a mantra.

You don’t need to be so hard on yourself.
Accept that we judge ourselves more harshly than others do. No one is expecting you to look perfect. Recognize that even if you don’t go back to your pre-baby weight, it’s not the end of the world.

I love this quote: “Don’t let your body affect your happiness and confidence. Your imperfections are to be celebrated.”

Click here to read the entire article.

 

 

 

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