Tooth Fairy Hacks Every Mom Needs to Know

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We are at the age when the tooth fairy has started to visit. And, shortly after the first tooth was lost, the magic was over. I no longer want the tooth fairy to sprinkle glitter on the pillowcases to leave behind tooth fairy evidence. I’m over the tooth fairy leaving a note and more than a dollar bill. My kids are lucky if the tooth fairy even remembers! Since I have heard from other mom friends that their tooth fairy is as forgetful as mine, I have done some research to help moms everywhere.

Set an Alarm

My first tip is to set the alarm. Let’s face it. If you don’t set the alarm, the tooth fairy will miss her visit. Just make sure the alarm is set late enough for the kids to be asleep and you to still be awake.

“Under the Pillow” is Old News

One of the trickiest things a tooth fairy has to do is find the tooth hidden under the pillow. Not only is it difficult to find in the dark, but it is also a quick way to wake up a sleeping child. If your tooth fairy is still using this method, urge her to try something new ASAP. Purchase a tooth fairy pillow or stuffed animal that will make the tooth fairy’s job easier. Even better – hang a tooth fairy pillow on the outside of your child’s door.

Keep Petty Cash

No one ever seems to have cash when they need it, such as when a kid randomly loses a tooth. So, keep some petty cash in your home just for these special occasions.

Lies to Tell Your Kids if the Tooth Fairy Forgot to Visit

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At some point, the tooth fairy is going to forget to visit, and your precious little one will be heartbroken, and you will be plagued with mom guilt. To help you move past this moment, here are some lies you can use:

It was raining…

Did you know tooth fairies cannot fly if it is raining because their wings cannot get wet? Or, if it is too windy, they have to wait until it is safe to fly.

The bedroom was too messy…

If a child’s bedroom is too messy, it is 1) too difficult for the tooth fairy to find the tooth or 2) too unsafe for a small tooth fairy.

You went to bed too late…

If a child does not go to sleep early enough, the tooth fairy may not visit because she was already fast asleep before the child was.

She was so busy at night…

If the tooth fairy misses her nighttime visit, that’s probably because she was too busy visiting other kids (or taking care of her own). But, if a tooth fairy is too busy at night, she CAN visit during the day while kids are in school.

Lies to Tell Your Kids If They Try Trick the Tooth Fairy

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There may come a time when your child tries to trick the tooth fairy to see whether or not she is real, like this kid did to his poor parents by not telling that he lost a tooth and put it under his pillow. If your kid pulls something similar, here are two more lies you may find useful:

Parents Need to Contact Her

Parents need to contact the tooth fairy to let her know there is a child in the house in need of a visit.

Parents Have to Turn Off the Security System

The tooth fairy cannot visit your home safely if your parents don’t turn off the security system; therefore, kids must tell their parents so they can make sure she can get in the house unnoticed.

Fun Things for NYC Families to Do This Memorial Day Weekend

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Memorial Day is Monday, May 27th. For New York families, this gives us one long weekend to help us make it through the rest of the school year until summer break begins. Since the last month of school is always crazy, I like to find something fun for my family to do over the holiday. However, with all the busyness at the end of the school year, I also don’t want to push myself or my daughters by doing anything too big. With that being said, I’d like to share with you some ideas that will make celebrating Memorial Day easy and fun.

Support the Armed Forces at Fleet Week

Photo: Military News

Photo: Military News

Since Memorial Day is the national holiday to honor those who have served in the United States military, look for ways you can support those currently serving and honor those who have died serving. One way to recognize the military is to attend one of the many Fleet Week events taking place from May 22nd – 27th. Little ones will love seeing all the men and women in uniform as well as the opportunity to tour the ship and meet NASA astronauts.

Check Out Governor’s Island

Photo: Governor’s Island

Photo: Governor’s Island

If your family has never visited the 43-acre park known as Governor’s Island, Memorial Day weekend is a perfect time. During this holiday weekend, they offer several events that are family-friendly. Plus, it is a cool way to see the city.

See a Parade

Photo: Rove

Photo: Rove

Over Memorial Day weekend, you have tons of options for seeing a parade. Again, this is a great way to honor the holiday for reasons beyond the start of summer since the parades celebrate the military. If there is not a Memorial Day parade in your area of New York, you can always make plans to applaud the soldiers at the Brooklyn Memorial Day Parade.

Head to the Beach

Photo: NYC Parks

Photo: NYC Parks

For many, Memorial Day is not complete without a visit to the beach. Fortunately, NYC families can get to a beach – though it may be a crowded one on Memorial Day. As long as you mentally prepare for the crowds and have abundant patience, then a visit to Coney Island or Rockaway Beach is a fun way to celebrate the holiday and get excited about summer vacation. If the weather does not cooperate with all your fun outdoor plans, then head to the New York Aquarium. You’ll be inside, but you can still get that ocean-feeling!

Take a Last-Minute Trip

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Last but not least, it is not too late to plan a short family getaway over the long weekend. You can visit my family’s favorite – Kalahari Indoor Waterpark Resorts. Plus, Hershey, Pennsylvania is a great family-friendly destination for this time of year. It is home to Hershey Park (naturally) where chocolate is celebrated, but it is also close to the Crayola Experience.

If you are wanting a little more grown-up but still kid-friendly, consider the Mohonk Mountain House, in New Paltz, New York. This is an all-inclusive clifftop resort with tons of family-friendly activities.

What is your family planning to do this Memorial Day weekend?

This Mother’s Day Celebrate Your Mom Friends

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I’m sure this Mother’s Day you will be surrounded by your kids and told how much they love you. Which they totally should because this is your special day! But, this year, I’d like to make a Mother’s Day suggestion. After you have celebrated your own mother and been celebrated for being a mother, take time to celebrate the other mothers in your life – your mom friends.

We All Want to Hear We are Doing a Good Job

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Of course we love receiving cards and gifts from our little ones that tell us we are “the best mom in the whole wide world.” But, it is something entirely different to receive compliments about your parenting from other moms. For whatever reason, we easily compliment our mom friends on their purses, shoes, and decorating skills, but we seldom compliment them on their parenting. I know I always feel great when another mom tells me I am doing a good job.

Motherhood is Lonely

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Mother’s Day is wonderful, but for many moms, it is a difficult day. For women who have lost their moms or struggled to have children, Mother’s Day can be lonely. In addition, being a mom, itself, is lonely. For instance, found that 90 percent of mothers feel lonely since having children and 54 percent felt “friendless” after giving birth. Yikes! This is another reason why we should make every effort to reach out to the other moms in our lives this Mother’s Day.

Moms Need a Village

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It takes a village to raise a child. This Mother’s Day honor the women in your village. Who is helping you raise your child? Who is helping you become a better mother and woman? Not only will you be acknowledging their importance in your life, but you will also be strengthening the bonds of your little village.

We All Want to Feel Appreciated

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I don’t know about you, but I really (really) appreciate a sincere thank you. It just feels good to feel appreciated. When my family acknowledges all that I do, I feel like my heart grows three sizes. Since much of what moms do day in and day out goes unnoticed, Mother’s Day is the perfect opportunity to show some appreciation for the other moms in your life. Today’s the day to thank your mom friend for treating your kids like her own.

A Smile, A Hug, and a Thank You Goes a Long Way

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The best thing you can do for another mom this Mother’s Day is make her feel seen and loved. We are all working so very hard, and a smile, a hug, and a thank you can go a long day. Who knows? The mom you encounter may be at the end of her rope. Her family may not have made her feel like an excellent mother on this special day. But, if she can tell you are in her corner, supporting her, it can make all the difference.

I wish you all a very Happy Mother’s Day! Thank you for walking alongside me during this season of motherhood.

No More Feeling Guilty for No Reason

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Have you ever lost sleep because of something seemingly small that you did or did not do? Every woman I know has second-guessed herself at some time because she is afraid she has hurt someone’s feelings or let someone down. When you are a working mom, you feel guilty for not doing enough with your kids at home. When you are a stay at home mom, you feel guilty for not doing enough to provide financially.

If you feel guilty more often than you would like, you are not alone. 96% of women feel ashamed at least once a day. That’s crazy! It’s no wonder this generation of women feels stressed out all the time. We are carrying around tons of guilt baggage for things we shouldn’t even feel guilty about doing or saying.

Women, It’s Time to Trash the Guilt Once and For All

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After seeing how guilt does nothing but inhibit me at home, in relationships and the workplace, I am done. I want to get rid of feeling guilty over things that I shouldn’t. I’m sick of saying “I’m sorry” all the time for things I don’t even actually need to apologize for.

I caught myself recently feeling guilty and apologizing to someone recently, and after gaining some perspective realized I had not done anything wrong. They should have been the ones apologizing to me! Why do we do that?

Now that I am more aware of my personal issue, I have done my homework so I can tackle it when it strikes at unnecessary moments.

Here is My No-Guilt Game Plan

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Look for Reasons - First, I am going to look for the reasons. IS there any actual reason for me to feel guilty? If there is, then I need to do what needs to be done to make it right. If not, then I need to accept that this is not my burden.

Identify the Feelings Behind the Guilt – Next, I will question where the feelings of guilt are coming from. Often, we feel guilty because we are really feeling overwhelmed or angry. What are my true feelings about the situation?

Shake It Off – If it was not my fault or was just something minor, I will choose to SHAKE IT OFF. Carrying around guilt baggage will only make life harder. If you can quickly move on, you will be much better for it.

Be Clear with Your Expectations and Limits – Next, I plan to be upfront about my expectations and limitations. This way people cannot expect me to do more and I will not be made to feel guilty because I have been clear about what I can and cannot do.

Accept Imperfection – Finally, I will stop being so hard on myself. There is no perfect woman – myself included. Rather than placing unrealistic expectations on myself, I am going to strive to do the best I can each day and be proud of what I achieved in my 24 hours instead of focusing on what I didn’t do.

Who else is tired of feeling guilty all the time? What is your game plan for tackling guilt?

My Wishes for My Daughters in this New Year

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As a mom, my heart and mind are always on my two beautiful daughters. Even when we are apart, I am thinking about them and wishing them well. As their mom, it is my unique responsibility to help them grow up to be strong women.

Sometimes I get so focused on who I want my daughters to grow up to be that I lose sight of who they are right now. So, while I don’t think my girls need to make resolutions as adults do at the start of a new year, there are some wishes I hope to come true for them over the next year — wishes that will allow them to be little but also help them to grow.

Allow me the opportunity to make some wishes for my daughters in this new year.

Embrace fun

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May this year be one where our kids have more fun. Let’s embrace silliness. Let’s fill our homes with laughter. Instead of forcing our kids to be picture-perfect all the time, let’s give them space to let their hair down.

Play and play some more

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Extracurricular activities are great, but this year, let’s have more free play time. Let’s encourage imaginative play with our children becoming different characters and turning ordinary household objects into magical inventions.

Try something new

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For children, trying new things can be scary. But, also for kids, much of the world is still new to them. May this be the year they decide to try something new – a new sport, a new activity, or simply a new food.

Learn something valuable

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Yes – kids need to learn their ABCs and 123s, and they should be praised when they do so. But, let’s also help them learn life skills. May this be the year they learn to do something of value that they will use the rest of their lives – like how to tie their shoes.

Share, give, donate

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As their toy collections grow, may they be encouraged to share with their siblings and friends and give to the needy. May they donate to causes that move their young hearts – animals, foster care, or children’s hospitals.

Practice gratitude

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Throughout the year, may our kids practice gratitude. As every door is opened and each gift unwrapped, may they say “thank you” without being reminded.

Celebrate well and often

Celebrating Mickey Mouse’s 90th Birthday

Celebrating Mickey Mouse’s 90th Birthday

This year let’s celebrate birthdays and holidays and everything in between. May we find every opportunity to cheer, decorate with balloons and confetti, and eat cake.

Create something beautiful

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Let’s fill our closets with art supplies and let the kids go wild. May our faces show sheer delight when they proudly show us their beautiful disasters. May we hang them from our refrigerators and frame them on the wall.

Stay healthy

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May they wash their hands constantly and exercise regularly. May they avoid stomach bugs, the flu, and eat something green. May they stay safe and healthy all year long.

Fellow mamas, what wishes do you have for your children this year?

15 Ways to Achieve a Healthy and Happy Work/Life Balance

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As a working woman, I learned early on the importance of maintaining a healthy work/life balance. If I don’t, it becomes very obvious that I am juggling too many plates at one time. So, I have worked hard at trying to be the best at my job when I am at work and the best mom and spouse I can be when I am at home.

Here’s the thing. Nowadays, I am proud of my work/life balance. However, it didn’t happen naturally. I had to be intentional. Here are the things I do that help me be my best self at home and work:

1. Plan ahead.

Calendars and planners are your friends. Use them. Make a note of when you have big work projects on the shared calendar, so you know not to schedule important family events during this same time.

2. Talk with your spouse at the beginning of each month.

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At the beginning of each month, look over the calendar together with your spouse. Many families use family calendar apps. While these are great, I find it is still helpful to actually talk about what lies ahead and make plans for childcare, date nights, and me time in advance.

3. Change your clothes.

Your work wardrobe should not be your all-the-time wear. As soon as you get home from work, change into lounge wear. This signifies to your family and your body that you are off the clock.

4. Have designated hours at home for work.

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Most people will be required to do some work at home. The problem is too often we lose control of the amount of time we are working at home. Instead, have a set time to do work-related tasks at home.

5. Enjoy your weekends.

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To maintain work/life balance, you have to have a life! So, enjoy your weekends! Find ways to relax and do things you love with the people you love on your days off each week.

6. Take vacations.

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Speaking of days off, you absolutely have to use your vacation days! More than half of Americans leave vacation days unused. Don’t let this be you. You must take vacations with your family. And, those moms reading this post should take kid-free vacations throughout the year to stay sane.

7. Use alarms.

Time can easily get away from us if we let it. Instead, make use of the alarm on your phone. Whenever you have a small work task, set the alarm so you don’t wind up doing more than you should.

8. Stay healthy.

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If you want to be your best self at home and work, then you have to prioritize your health. Eat well, sleep well, and exercise.

9. Learn to say no.

Ladies, I cannot say it enough – you have to learn to say no! If the boss asks you to do something that is not part of your job description, say no. If your family asks you to handle one more thing, say no.

10. Have set “me time.”

Add “me time” to your calendar and do not feel guilty about it! You need time for yourself. Period. Whether this is time in the evening for a glass of wine and a bath or a night out with your girlfriends, it is important.

11. Leave work on time.

This is a hard one for many of us, but you should make it a habit of leaving work on time. Again, set an alarm that reminds you it is time to wrap things up. Announce to colleagues that you will be leaving at 5 pm so if they have anything pressing, they need to tell you beforehand.

12. Escape the office.

As often as possible, escape the office for your breaks. Eat lunch outside or in a totally different setting.

13. Set work boundaries.

Good bosses know you have a life outside of work, but they still may need a reminder that when you are on vacation, they need to leave you alone. For instance, tell colleagues you will only be checking email in the morning and not taking phone calls.

14. Make time for the things you love.

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Nothing will make you feel more like yourself than doing the things you love. So, it is important to look at the calendar and see where you can squeeze in time to take part in some of your favorite hobbies.

15. Give your loved ones some attention.

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Last but not least, make every effort to give your loved ones your full attention for a little bit of time each day. It is so easy to try to multi-task when you are busy, but for a few minutes, put the phone down and look your loved ones in the eye.

Forget the Baby Registry. Here are 10 Things Moms Really Need (or Want)

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Being in the mom blog sphere, I am constantly seeing people ask about mom must-haves. However, my baby registry days are over. And, as any experienced mom will tell you, half the stuff you register for you do not even need. But, now that I’ve been doing this mom thing for a few years now, I think I have a good grasp on what moms really need (or want).

I invite you to read over my list of ten things and respond with the things you would recommend as dream mom must-haves.

1. A Giant Bag

During the diaper years, you are going to need a big bag. Period. You will not be able to leave the house without a giant Mary Poppins-sized bag full of mom tricks. Fortunately, designers have seen the need, and today you can find gorgeous designer diaper bags that look more purse-like than boxy diaper bags.

2. A Netflix Subscription

In the baby days, you will find Netflix is your new best friend. Netflix is the one who will be there for you during the middle of the night feeding sessions. And, as your children grow and you head back to work, Netflix will be there for you in the evenings when you are too tired to think.

3. A Meal Delivery Service

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Many moms find they are so busy and so tired that they can’t even see straight – let alone plan out healthy meals for the family. Make it easier on yourself by subscribing to a meal delivery service like Hello Fresh. 

4. A Regular Babysitter

It is so easy to let date night take a backseat after you have kids, but it is so important to stay connected with your spouse. The problem for many moms is that they don’t have a regular babysitter. We just want a babysitter that we trust that is reliable! Why is that so hard to find?

5. Endless Amounts of Coffee

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Moms want (and need) all the coffee. Really people should just be handed out coffee for free to moms they see on the street. We need it. We are tired. There is a big possibility we did not get enough sleep. Just give us the coffee!

6. A Workout Routine

Not all moms like to work out, but working out has been proven to not only keep you healthy physically but also mentally healthy. If we have just a few minutes every day to get those endorphins up, we should do it. But, again, it is not that easy! If you are finding it hard to get to the gym, consider signing up for online courses.

7. A House Cleaner

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Do I even need to explain this one? Ha! All moms secretly fantasize of coming home to a clean home, but realistically, our homes are filled with children. And children are messy.

8. A Personal Wine Fridge

Drinking wine out of a plastic cup. #momlife

Drinking wine out of a plastic cup. #momlife

In the evenings, many moms like to wine-down. If this is you, invest in a personal wine fridge ensuring you never run out when you need it the most - like a day filled with work complications and toddler tantrums.

9. Something Pretty Just for Herself

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As a mom, it is very easy to shop for your kids instead of yourself. You deserve something pretty for yourself! I splurge on beautiful shoes. The shoes are all mine, and they remind me I more than just “mom.”

10. A Camera or an Excellent Photographer

While many of the things on this list are things we want but don’t necessarily need, I firmly believe all moms need photographs of their kids. If you have camera skills, then invest in a quality camera. If you’d rather have professional photos done, then book a photographer whose work you love. Just remember to print the photos out and frame them!

What am I missing? What are some other things moms really need?

9 Fall Break Ideas for NYC Families

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Fall in New York City is a special time of year. The weather starts to chill – and sometimes gets downright cold. It also starts the busy holiday season. Now that Halloween is over, the big rush towards the holidays begins.

During a season full of hustle and bustle, I like finding the time to take a nice break. That’s why I love fall break trips! Whether your family plans to travel over the long Thanksgiving break or you can only squeeze in a weekend trip, fall break trips are a must! You need that time to put away the work stuff and the holiday planning to enjoy some quality time with the ones you love.

I’ve come up with a list of 9 fall break ideas for busy NYC families that cover lots of different budgets. Even better, most only require a tank of gas!

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The Catskills, New York

If you want beautiful scenery, head to The Catskills. You will find plenty of places to take Insta-worthy shots, and your kids will be able to use up some of their energy on one of your family hikes.

Portland, Maine

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Kids love Portland for its ferry boats rides, and parents love Portland for the ambiance of the bay. You can visit the lighthouse, explore the children’s museum, and eat loads of lobster.

Washington, DC

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Many families hesitate to take their little ones to DC, but they really shouldn’t. DC is great for kids! In addition to tons of free national monuments to view, there are also several free museums. Dc also has a great food scene, so mom and dad will be happy, too.

Poconos, Pennsylvania

If you are looking for relaxation, a visit to the Poconos may be just what you need. From beautiful mountain scenery to beautiful lake views, the Poconos offer a quiet escape from the city.

Boston, Massachusetts

Boston is a fun city to visit. In addition to the mass amounts of history you can learn on a tour of the city, you will also love the culture. Bostonians are proud, and you can feel it in the air. Plus, Boston has a lot of fun things for kids to enjoy such as the duck tours.

Hudson Valley, New York

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If you plan a trip to Hudson Valley in the near future, you are likely to surrounded by all the breathtaking colors of fall. You will be able to capture beautiful family photographs as you explore the area and wander through the quaint villages.

The Adirondacks, New York

Looking for an early winter escape? Look no further than the Adirondacks. This is the ideal skiing location for winter getaways. Even better – the Adirondacks are home to several breweries and wineries.

Hershey, Pennsylvania

Do I even have to sell you on this one? This whole town celebrates chocolate! The big appeal for families is clearly the HersheyPark, and why not? It’s a theme park that is focused on candy. What’s not to love?

Enjoy a Staycation!

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Sometimes the best kinds of breaks are the ones that don’t take us anyway. Those of us who call NYC home can easily enjoy a staycation and still manage to visit places we have never been. Explore new parts of the city that appeal to your whole family or spend your vacation visiting all your favorite spots. The point is to rest.

What plans does your family have for fall break? Let me know in the comments!

Why You Should Take a Vacation Without Your Kids At Least Once a Year

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I’m here today to give you permission to do something that might feel a little crazy. Moms, you need to take a vacation. And not just any vacation. You need to take a kid-free vacation at least once a year.

I’ve heard the excuses. You are too busy. It just isn’t possible to find childcare. You would feel guilty. Enough with the excuses! I’m not saying you have to go somewhere for an entire week or spend a ton of money. But hey, if you can pull that off, go right ahead and don’t feel guilty.

Your kids will survive without you for a couple of days. Plus, you will come back refreshed and rejuvenated and ready to do all the mom stuff without complaint. Think about it. Don’t you always feel a little bit better when you get some downtime? Now just imagine if that downtime was more than fifteen minutes of privacy in your bathroom. You’d be the best mom ever!

Now that we’ve got the whole guilt issue out of the way, let’s talk about all the reasons you should take a vacation without your kids.

To Remember Who You Are

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Being a mom is the best job in the world. But, once upon a time, you were more than “just mom.” Do you remember that lady? While being a mom is going to be your main priority when you are with your kids, something magical happens when you step out of that role for a couple of days. The women you were slowly starts to reemerge!

To Reconnect with Others

For those of you who are married with kids, you no doubt understand the importance of having alone time with your spouse. It is so important to spend time with your spouse without kids to reconnect. While date nights are wonderful, you should also try to sneak away together for a weekend. After 14 years together, I appreciate time away with my man even more.

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Along these same lines, if there is any way possible you can pull off taking a girls trip each year – do it! Getting away with your girlfriends kid-free is good for the soul – and even better for your sanity. Like they say, sometimes talking with our girlfriends is all the therapy we need.

To Have Some Real Rest

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Even though my girls are well past the stage of waking up throughout the night, I still feel like I don’t get as much sleep as I would like. It’s probably because like most moms, my senses are always on alert when my girls are nearby. But, when I travel without my kids, my brain gets a little break, and I can rest easy.

To Have Someone Take Care of You for a Change

Moms are always taking care of others and putting someone else’s needs above their own. I cook, I clean, I work, I tuck my babies in each night, and on and on. It is so nice to stay at a luxury hotel where I don’t have to lift a finger unless I want to. Room service? Maid service? Turn down service? Yes, please!

You Deserve It!

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Being a mom is a tiring, demanding job. You deserve a break! While working moms get vacation days and sick days, your mom job does not come with those off days. That’s why it is so important for you to create those days yourself without feeling guilty about it. We all need time to ourselves to refresh. Without a vacation, employees know their workers will burn out and lose productivity. The same thing goes for parents. Invest in yourself and avoid mom burn out.

Remember, Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder

Your kids are not going to forget about you while you are away. Instead, it is likely they will miss you and be overjoyed when you are reunited. And, you know what? You will appreciate all their little idiosyncrasies even more.

9 Time Management Tips to Help Busy Moms Avoid Burnout

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Mom friends, do you feel like there just aren’t enough hours in the day? It is totally normal to feel this way! We all go through a season where we never have enough time to get everything on our to-do lists checked off. But, you don’t have to live that way forever.

Here’s the truth. I am not the best mom, wife, employee, or friend when I am burnt out. When I am exhausted, everyone is affected. As a result, I have had to learn to manage my time before that happens.

All moms need breathing room. They need space in their days – even if it is just fifteen minutes here and there. But, if you don’t learn to manage your time, you will struggle to find even fifteen minutes. Don’t let this be you! Instead, here are some tried and true ways to help busy working moms avoid burnout.

Look closely at how you spend your time.

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Before you come up with a whole new time management plan for yourself, you have to evaluate how you actually spend your time. For the next week, chart what you do hour by hour. Then, you can begin to see where you need to make some changes.

If you are like me, you will discover that there are huge chunks of wasted time in your day. You may also be relieved to find you aren’t crazy – you really do spend hours in the car driving your kids from school to practice to play dates.

Avoid the social media time suck.

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I know I am not the only mom who has fallen victim to the social media time suck. Without even realizing it, I waste so much time scrolling through Instagram or watching other people’s stories. While I love social media, I have come to realize I need to limit the amount of time I spend on it. Need help with your social media addiction? There are apps for that.

Set daily goals. Set weekly goals. Set monthly goals.

If you are not in the habit of making goals or creating to-do lists, that has got to change. One of the most effective ways to manage my time comes from setting goals and using lists to reach these goals. But, be realistic. What can you actually accomplish today without burning out? What can you put off until later in the week?

Prioritize your health.

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Moms, we are so bad about prioritizing our health. But, when mommy doesn’t feel good, everyone in our home suffers. So, try your hardest to get enough sleep and exercise – and make healthy eating choices. Choose the food that will give you lasting energy instead of the caffeine that will give you a short burst.

Learn the power of the word NO.

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Here’s another hard one for moms. You have to learn to say no. You cannot do everything for everyone. It is okay to say “no” when the PTA comes calling, or your neighbor needs a favor. Saying “no” does not make you a bad person.

Ask for (and accept) help.

Likewise, you should learn to ask for help when you need – and then accept it! If you want to manage your time, you will need to delegate tasks to the rest of your family. As your kids get older, they can help you out even more. But, in the meantime, ask friends and family for help when you feel like you have reached the end of your rope.

Outsource whatever you can.

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If it is in your budget, outsource whatever you can. Choose a meal delivery service or use a grocery delivery service. You will be amazed at how much time you save by simply not having to do the grocery shopping!

Organize your daily routine.

We all have time management issues that occur over and over again. For example, do you have a hard time finding your keys or purse in the morning? Do your kids always seem to be losing their shoes? Create a station by the door with the things you need to grab right before you walk out the door. This also becomes the landing spot when you get home. Purse, keys, bookbags, all go in the same spot each day. Simply getting rid of the morning search and rescue for necessities will be a major time saver.

Use time management apps.

Before we go today, I encourage you to invest in a time management app. You know what works best for you. Some moms find using timers for everything helps to keep their families on task. Other families use list sharing apps. Find an app that works for you – and use it!