Brandi Michel

7 Ways To Be a Parent Your Kids Won’t Talk To or Share With

Tips to communicate better with your kids

Little kids and toddlers talk and share… a lot. It’s pretty much what they do best. In fact, many parents consider their small children to be “over-sharers” of oodles of random thoughts and information.

But as kids get older all that can change. Suddenly, your abundantly chatty 6-year-old becomes a tight-lipped 12-year-old overnight.

Tips to communicate better with your kids

Why does this communication phenomenon happen with so many kids as they get older?

It all boils down to trust and how we set up the boundaries of parental communication early on in our parenting relationship.

The younger a child is, the less they pay attention to what and how we say things. They genuinely just want to talk and be with us. So in order to keep this lovely over-sharing going strong into the teen years and beyond, we need to start preparing now.

It turns out the connection a kid needs to feel with his parents in order to open up and talk to them is cemented long before the teen years. Julie Romanowski, a parenting coach in Vancouver, says communication skills are built even in infancy and toddlerhood. source

And if you’re wondering how you connect and communicate with your little ones, if you’ve ever heard the phrase, “Mommy will you play with me?” you just heard it.

Toddlers and small children talk, share, and connect with us through play. I personally am not the mom who loves “playing with my kids” but it’s a necessary sacrifice that seals the path for open and healthy communication down the road.

We need to break our bad communication habits now and work to develop healthy ones that create openness in our relationship with our children.

Our Highest Priority as Parents

I believe one of our highest priorities as parents, beyond feeding and clothing, is to win our child’s heart. If you have a person’s heart, you have everything to need to be in a healthy and thriving relationship.

And it’s every parent on the planet’s goal to be in a healthy and thriving relationship with their child that lasts a lifetime.

It’s hard and is work that takes more sacrifice that our society thinks is necessary or even possible, but it’s oh so worth it.

If you strongly desire to raise kids that want to come to you first to share their joys and victories along with their fears, questions, and problems you need to be sure you aren’t making the following communication mistakes.

Kids, tweens, and teens all have their own levels of sensitivity. And being repeatedly exposed to any of the following mistakes can cause your child to inadvertently shut down and stop sharing with you on a meaningful level.

And that alone is devastating for a parent.

How to Become a Parent Your Kids Won’t Talk To

When your child decides to share the random events of their day at school, confides in you about a peer pressure situation they’re struggling with, or wants to tell you a dream they have for their future… it’s a big deal.

Talking and sharing is the access to our child’s heart and that’s always my goal with my kids – to win their heart. If you can successfully win the heart, you win the child.

But we need to be acutely aware of ways we might not even know that stand in our way of being a parent our kids want to talk and share with, especially as they get older.

Here are some really huge actions to watch out for in your own behavior the next time you find yourself in a kid conversation.

1 – You Try to Fix Everything

A huge mistake loving parents make as an act of love is to swoop in mid-conversation to help your child fix their problem. After all, we’re the parents with all the experience and wisdom, right?

Wrong. Well, yes you have wisdom and experience but you can’t use all that right now. Your kid is wading through their issue and finding the right words and emotions to share them with you.

That’s all that matters right now. Not fixing anything.

In fact, we all probably know what this feels like. My hubby does this to me all the time and it drives me nuts. We all need to vent and let our thoughts out into the open without solutions and ideas shooting out of the sky like heat-seeking missiles.

When we’re quick to offer solutions, what we’re really saying to the other person is they aren’t smart enough to come to a good solution on their own. We also rob our children of developing the skills to think critically and solve problems on their own.

2 – You Aren’t Fully Present

One of the most damaging things we can do repeatedly when in conversations with anyone is not give our full attention to the person.

Like when your kid tries to talk to you but your phone is literally still in your hand as you umm hmm through the conversation only occasionally meeting their eyes with yours.

This tells them you’re not really listening.

I know as women we’re known for great multitasking skills but there’s no place for multitasking in communication, with our kids or our spouse.

Eye to eye communication is best with our phone out of sight.

I already know what you’re thinking… the last time your 10-year-old held you hostage to talk about their awesome Minecraft world they just created you thought you actually fell asleep with your eyes open.

I get it, kids’ conversations aren’t always the most interesting for us but every conversation lays the groundwork for more meaningful ones down the road. Hang in there!

3 – You Judge Their Feelings

When your child is sharing how they honestly feel about a situation or even a person and we shift right into parent mode and say something like, “now that’s not a nice way to think about her.” or “is that how I taught you to talk to a friend?”

If your kid is in the middle of sharing their raw, unedited feelings our best course of action is to listen, listen, and keep listening.

Judging them no matter how much we may want to, in the moment, is off limits.

Again, think of how we feel when we vent to a friend or spouse and we know deep inside we’re totally overreacting but the last thing we want is to feel judged for our feelings.

All we want is an ear to listen.

After they’re done, try asking a question like, “how do you think you handled the situation?” or “would you have done things differently if you could?”

These are non-judgemental questions and allow your child to think and reason for themselves. This line of questioning helps your child learn how to solve problems and self-edit their own behavior.

Plus, they keep the conversation going and building more trust!

4 – You Try to Change Their Feelings

Imagine being in a conversation with a friend and you are very upset about a situation and they responded to you like this:

  • “I think you may be over-reacting a little…”
  • “I think you should…”
  • “This could get better for you if you just…”
  • You don’t need to cry about that...”

Everyone has emotions and we’re all probably guilty of way overusing them. And when we’re smack-dab in the middle of a cry-fest the LAST thing anyone wants is to be told their feelings aren’t valid or need to be changed.

The only thing your kid needs when they’re experiencing strong feelings is support and empathy.

To fully understand empathy in a way you’ve probably never heard but WILL open your eyes, watch Brene Brown’s super short video on understanding empathy (this will help you so much!):

5 – You Blow Them Off

Blowing a person off doesn’t always look like making a date with someone and not showing up. Nope. When it comes to our kids it’s often much more subtle than that.

This happens to me a lot… I’m working and one of my kids comes in the room and starts to share something amazing that happened at school and I say, “in a minute… let me finish this first” and then totally forget them when I’m done.

Kids (humans) know when they’re being blown off and though we probably do it so often we don’t even notice it anymore, we need to stop!

If you are truly unable to speak with your child at that moment (that’s real) we need to be very skilled at keeping our word when we are available. That means getting up and finding your child, apologizing, and give them your fullest attention.

Why should you apologize? This is not out of admitting that you did something wrong but as a means to acknowledge how sorry you are for not being available when they needed you.

And if you are truly able to stop what you’re doing at that moment… DO IT.

6 – You Make it All About You

Nobody likes a narcissist. If you compulsively turn conversations with other people toward you… stop now.

When someone is sharing with you, the conversation is and should be about them. Responding repeatedly with statements like…

  • “when this happened to me as a kid, I did…”
  • “what I would do is…”
  • “I know I didn’t raise you like that…”

…leaves your child feeling less-than in your eyes. You are sowing seeds of comparison and competition. And if you’re a mom talking to her daughter, this is very dangerous ground.

Often times self-absorbed communication stems from the desire to fix a situation so we end up looking good in the end. For example, if our child is acting out, we don’t want to be judged by others so we attempt to fix it fast.

We must keep our own motives out of our kid’s conversations and keep it about supporting and helping them. Instead of offering advice and opinions try asking, “how can I help?

If the answer is nothing or not now, leave it alone and don’t push to be the savior. This is a wonderful opportunity to pray for your child and let God work it out!

7 – You Freak Out

Let’s just all agree that part of being a parent is spending most of your time being shocked.

Shocked when your newborn blows out more poop than seems humanly possible and when your toddler paints a sharpie mural in your living room.

So when your kid trusts you enough to tell you that a boy hit her at school today and you immediately fly off the handle you’re sending signals that you’ll freak out every time you hear freak out worthy news.

You’ve gotta compose yourself and be cool. Count to ten, breathe slowly, or whatever you have to do but stay calm and listen. And help them work it out.

Then excuse yourself to your closet and shout into a pillow!


Parenting isn’t easy… that wasn’t part of the deal. But one of the greatest joys a mom can experience is the trust and loving relationship with her child. It takes work but is the greatest work we’ll ever do!

How do you connect and keep communication flowing in your home? Share in the comments below.

We want our kids to share all their deepest hopes, fears, and struggles... but there are a lot of reasons why they don't and share them with someone else. Learn the behaviors we might be doing that's costing us a close relationship with our kids! #kidsandparenting #parenting

Why Moms Yelling At Their Kids Isn’t the Problem – and What Is

There are tons of articles floating around the internet telling moms how and why they should stop yelling at their kids. And while I’ll admit I’m one of many bloggers who’ve written on this topic – I want to set the record straight.

 

Personally, I struggled a lot in my early years as a mom with getting my kids to listen without yelling or constant nagging.

That’s why I simply don’t believe the yelling is the problem. If our kids don’t listen without the shock of a yell from us or needing to be reminded a hundred times, our system isn’t working.

It’s not the yelling that needs fixing, it’s the system!

And a lot of the parenting advice today can leave moms feeling hopeless for why they can’t control their own temper or why they can’t figure out how to get their kid’s attention without yelling.

If that’s you, know you’re NOT alone and you’re NOT a bad mom!

Moving right along…

Related: How to Really Get Your Kids to Listen

All Moms Yell at Some Point

Yelling happens to all moms at some point. I don’t know a mom who’s never lost her cool. If that’s you, I’ve seriously got to meet you and sincerely shake your hand.

The cold, hard truth is motherhood can be painfully hard some days. And when we combine the behavioral issues of our kids, our own emotional challenges and seriously crappy days – yelling seems like an inevitable occurrence.

In my early days as a mom, I probably yelled at my kids at least once every day. Sometimes my yelling was just high energy talking like when we’d be running late and I needed to announce it upstairs to the whole house at once. Let’s go!!

But other times I yelled when I was angry like when my kids would start arguing in the living room over what to watch on Netflix and start wrestling over the remote. 

In the beginning, it all seemed normal. When I yelled, it always got everyone’s attention and made me feel like I was doing a better job than simply taking a passive approach. 

I felt proud of the fact that my kids were always some of the most well behaved kids in the room. I always got compliments and comments about how respectful my children were, even when they were just toddlers. 

What people didn’t see was, I was using yelling as part of my parenting strategy. A strategy that gets results but doesn’t last. One that required ME to make it work. 

This overwhelm and exhaustion only perpetuated my yelling and anger. It was like I was angry because I had to yell in order to get anything done. 

I’m convinced that if there was a way to measure the stress hormones surging through my body in those days, mine would’ve been off the charts! I was always running on a 10 and found it very hard to be in a state of calm or ever be relaxed or playful with my kids.

Click below to get my FREE guide that shows you how to quickly identify surprising mom anger triggers and how to calm down before losing it!

What’s Really Behind All The Yelling

I didn’t really want to yell or scream at my kids. But at the time, I felt like it was my only option and was my go-to method that always gave me that quick win.

I wished there was a way I could talk to my kids like Claire Huxtable who always knew just what to say to get her kids to listen, teach a valuable life lesson, and make a priceless connection with her kids – all after a long day at the office. 

What I didn’t know at the time was my communication process with my kids was broken and that parenting like Claire wasn’t a total work of fiction.

The problem with yelling all the time is it hinders our ability to truly connect to the heart of our children. Think about if you yelled at your spouse all the time when they got on your nerves. Instead of communicating in a more respectful way you just yelled and nagged.

Or what if your partner was the yeller and lost it every time they didn’t like the way you did something. Hmm. I bet there wouldn’t be a lot of intimacy happening.

It’s the same with our kids. When we’re angry and yelling, it sends negative and fear-laden messages to our brain about the source of our anger. Who just happens to be our kids. 

Yelling also sends fear signals to our kids’ brains and studies have shown that yelling also has damaging effects to their brains and overall development.

When you combine how yelling makes us feel and how it makes our kids feel – it really hinders our ability to have a close, intimate, and even playful relationship with our children.

Again, let me emphasize that yelling here and there isn’t likely to be a problem. What I’m talking about here is a lifestyle of yelling.

Related: Surprising reasons moms really yell

What We Need to Ask Ourselves

If you find yourself yelling on a daily basis, I want to encourage you to take a moment to ask yourself why. 

Are you dangling at the end of your rope? 

Are you stressed and exhausted beyond anything you’ve experienced? 

Do you need a better way to get your kids to be self-motivated and listen without you needing to yell? 

Is there a source of unresolved anger that’s bubbling under the surface?

Only you know the answer to those questions and only you know if you need and want to change. It’s not my place or anyone else’s to tell you that you have a problem or need to change.

You’re smart and capable enough to decide that for yourself.

I made my own decision to change because I didn’t like how I felt as a mom anymore. I didn’t read a parenting article that told me I should stop yelling. I just felt inside that there was a better way for me and my family.

What You Probably Don’t Know About Yelling

Yelling is two things…

The first is something I didn’t know early on. And that is yelling is a reinforcer of the behavior we don’t want. Yep. Every time we yell and our kids finally jump up and do what we ask, we‘ve reinforced that ineffective pattern of behavior.

We’re essentially training our kids to only listen and obey when we yell. In fact, I used to say that to my kids when I was annoyed… “you guys are training me to yell more because you don’t listen until I yell.” 

Sure, I was just venting my frustration, but the truth was they weren’t training me… I was training them! 

The second thing is that yelling is more about us and how we’re feeling in the moment than it is about our kids and what they’re doing in the moment. 

Imagine your spouse just came home and gave you the devastating news that his position is being phased out of his company and he’ll be getting laid off next month. 

Suddenly, you’re heart starts racing and you’re flooded with high levels of anxiety, fear, frustration, and maybe even anger at the situation. You walk into the kitchen to get a glass of water and you’re jolted when see your 4-year-old decided to take his older sister’s giant pack of colored sharpies and make a mural on the kitchen wall. 

How do you think you’d react to the wall and your son in that moment? What would you say? What would you do? Do you think you’d be yelling or screaming?

Now let’s change that scenario up a bit. Let’s say your husband came home and announces that he’s finally been given the dream promotion he’s been working on for two years. 

 

His salary and bonuses will be increasing significantly and you can finally move out of your cramped house and into the neighborhood you’ve both been eyeing for over a year. 

 

You’re elated and filled with a renewed sense of hope. As you bounce into the kitchen for a drink of water you suddenly notice your son’s art project. 

 

How do you think you’d react to the wall and your son now? Is it a much different reaction from the first one? Do you think yelling and screaming would be involved? Or do you think you might even have a sense of humor about it. 

 

I’ve seen many awful messes made by toddlers whose moms decided to make a video and post it on social media. I’ve always thought, “she must have been in a fantastic mood when that happened!

Seriously, the BEST News Ever!

Now that we know what yelling is… let’s talk about what yelling is NOT. Yelling is not something that has to control you. We get to decide.

 

If yelling is more about us and NOT our kids… that means we have the power to control the only thing we can control… us. 

 

We can’t make our kids behave differently, make better choices, or do everything just the way we want it. That’s the definition of owning a robot. And if you’ve been a parent beyond 5 minutes, you know there’s no off switch or mute button!

 

That said, we can take courage to make a change within ourselves. One that allows us to learn easier ways to get our kids to really listen without all the yelling and constant reminding (yes, it’s possible!) And one that helps us manage our emotions in a healthy way. 

 

This is the work I did for myself. I got very honest with myself and asked God to help me through this process. And He did. I surrendered my guilt, frustrations, and my pride before God and decided that it was time I committed to doing the work I needed in order to change. 

 

And make no mistake about it, this was WORK. God gave me the grace, but I had to walk through the hard stuff for several years while making all the mistakes until I made it to a place that feels like peace. 

 

I can’t express the gratitude that I feel for giving myself permission to be brave to go somewhere I was terrified to go. 

 

I still get mad, irritated, and yell from time to time. I’m human and those old instincts still come out if I can stressed and tired. 

The difference for me is I know exactly how to calm my nerves in those anger-inducing moments. I’ve done it for so long, I even surprise myself sometimes!

But the most priceless gift is having kids who truly listen to me and the relationship I’ve been able to build with each one of them. 

Less Yelling is Just a Happy By-Product

If you’re feeling stuck in a cycle of yelling and can’t figure it out… it’s time to do some work. That’s because you don’t have to yell unless you really want to. 

NOT yelling shouldn’t be your focus. There’s always an underlying cause that needs more attention.

You can become a mom that’s calmer and more playful than you’ve been in a long time. 

One who’s not burnt out and overwhelmed to your max. 

If I can do it… you can do it.

Yelling less at our kids is simply a by-product of fixing the actual problem!

If you’re a mom who’s stuck and feels alone… please hear me now. You are NOT alone! You are NOT a bad mom. And you do NOT need to spend your days in guilt and frustration. There is freedom for you. 

You can start your journey to a calmer way of life by grabbing your free copy of The Calm Mom Formula! It will teach you how to start training your brain and understanding your anger triggers.

 

How have you overcome anger? Share your tips in the comments below. Or share your biggest struggles and questions and I’ll be sure to answer them below!

With all the advice telling moms to stop yelling at their kids, I believe this is bad advice for moms. Why? Because there's something huge that's missing when we say to moms to just stop and calm down. Here's what moms should focus on instead... #kidsandparenting #momanger #parentingtips

7 Life-Changing Effects of Waking Up Before Your Kids & How to Easily Get Started

How to easily wake up before your kids and the 7 powerful effects that happen! Three simple steps to get you started! #momlife

I like to say that I’m a “sleep person.” Not a morning person or a night person… just a mama who really, really loves her precious sleep.

But a few years ago I came to a crossroad and desperately needed to make a change in my life and do things differently. There was just one problem – I didn’t have any wiggle room in my daily schedule to move things around.

How to easily wake up before your kids and the 7 powerful effects that happen! Three simple steps to get you started! #momlife

As moms, our lives tend to revolve around everyone else’s needs and schedules so I knew if I wanted more time, and time that I could have consistently, I was going to have to steal it from myself.

And that’s what I did.

I took baby steps and started waking up before my kids… and the results were life-changing. No seriously, waking up early changed my life.

And I won’t sugar coat it for you, it was never and is never easy. It takes tons of sacrifice every single day. Again, I really LOOOVE sleeping in.

However, I made a choice for myself that I’m so happy I did.

But before I share all the details of why I made this choice, I feel it’s necessary to cover a few points first.

The first is that learning to wake up early was a process that evolved over a couple of years. And the goal to start shouldn’t feel like a load of weight or pressure to do one more huge thing as a mom. Motherhood is hard enough and this is NOT the only way to do things.

In fact, read to the end to hear my full thoughts on this issue.

And second, motherhood is filled with so many expectations on what we should be doing and when. Only you can decide if this is the season for you to add on something new. And you’ll know inside when the time is right.

7 Life-Changing Effects of Waking Up Before Your Kids

However, waking up to the sound of children running around, whining “I’m Hungry”, and fighting over toys can be literally the worst way to start your day… ever!

Even if you decide to wake up a simple 15 minutes before your kids and steal a moment to soak up the quiet stillness of the morning, you’ll feel so much more ahead of the day instead of running behind.

This is the most obvious benefit of waking up before your kids. And it’s a BIG one!

But there are also more little-known and life-changing benefits of rising before your little ones and that’s what I’m covering in detail in this post. 

Related posts on living your best life as a busy mom:

6 Surefire Ways to Ditch Overwhelm and be More Productive Today

9 Ways to Rid Your Mind of Self-Doubt & Become a More Confident Person

The Secret to Working Out and Staying Fit as a Busy Mom

4 Positive Mindsets Shifts to Help You Live a More Enjoyable Life Right Now

1 – You Come to Know You are Loved by You

As women, we struggle with self-care and self-love. It’s not hard to see why with all the constant pouring out we do every moment of the day. We’re too often left bone-dry and feeling underappreciated.

We often fight feelings of guilt, failure, and not being a good enough mom. I believe in many ways motherhood is the great equalizer for women, who all experience these feelings in their day to day mom life.

With all those negative feelings stewing around our amazing qualities, our unrelenting love for our families, and all the great things we do every day can become dull and unnoticed.

Why? Because motherhood is expected and simply a part of your daily life. Moms don’t get awards for doing an amazing job… it’s expected.

But when you suddenly decide to make a sacrifice and do something for you… something unexpected happens. You start to notice that YOU matter too. That YOU are still there. And YOU are loved by you.

And when that self-love kicks in, you start thinking, doing, and acting differently. You wear better clothes, you take a shower every day or most days, and you begin thinking about those old dusty goals from your pre-kid days.

2 – You Become Stronger

If you know anything about working out you know that when you first start… your muscles are crazy weak. And after you work them they revolt and make you walk around in serious pain for a few days.

Walking around like a duck after a great leg day is the best. 😉

But after you keep showing up and working out those same muscles they hurt less, grow bigger and stronger, and help to burn all that suffocating fat that surrounds those sexy muscles.

That process of growing stronger at the gym is the same process that happens when you stick to your goal of waking up earlier than your kids.

It gets easier and you start to experience an inner strength rising up inside that’s the best kick starter for your day.

3 – You Gain More Confidence

Confidence is something I’ve always struggled with in my life. I spent so much of my energy comparing myself to everyone around me which always left me drained in self-confidence.

That was partly because I never gave myself the space to think my own thoughts, create my own ideas, and even set my own goals.

When you never give yourself the place to stretch yourself and only rely on doing what everyone else thinks is best, your mind starts to believe you aren’t capable.

Yes, waking up roughly three hours before my kids allowed me to see that I don’t have to just take life as it comes to me, but I have the power to write my own story as I want it to be told.

Here are some amazingly helpful self-confidence tips for moms who struggle with low self-esteem!

4 – You Learn to Trust Yourself

No one likes being stood up, especially on a continual basis. In fact, if one of your friends constantly invited you to meet up for coffee and catch up but left you hanging again and again, you probably wouldn’t be friends for long.

That’s because that’s rude and disrespectful. It sends the message that you don’t matter to them. But it also brings into question their integrity. You simply can’t trust a word they say.

Now let’s talk about how many times you invited yourself for a quiet run in the morning and stayed in bed instead. Or a million other times you told yourself you’d be somewhere, doing something and decided your Netflix account was a better friend than you are.

Here’s the real danger in not keeping your word to yourself. Studies on cognitive dissonance show that when people’s actions and beliefs don’t line up, they usually change their beliefs to match their actions.

You’re actually telling yourself you don’t matter and don’t deserve the time you’ve tried to set aside for yourself. And learning to stick with your early rise goal allows you to start trusting yourself again.

5 – You Become a Master

Malcolm Gladwell shook the productivity world when we said that it takes 10,000 hours of practice to become a master of anything.

This can totally feel overwhelming but it’s also strangely encouraging because there’s a clear number… a clear goal to be attained.

Now, whether or not you believe this 10,000-hour rule or not (and many do not) the fact is, the longer you do anything the easier and better it gets.

And I’m not talking about trying to become a Pulitzer Prize-winning writer if writing isn’t your thing. We’re talking about doing something you’re already passionate about and already doing or wanting to do on some level.

When you set aside a consistent time to write, read/study, sow, design, build, workout or whatever it is, you will gain your own kind of mastery!

6 – Your Purpose Comes Alive

When moms sacrifice their precious sleep it’s got to be for something that really matters. Something that’s deeply personal and inspiring to their soul.

And in most cases, that thing is closely connected to their passion or purpose. And when you give yourself permission to pursue your passion, over time it starts to evolve and come alive.

Things that don’t get watered and fed wither and die. When we feed our passions they get stronger and begin to thrive.

I believe we as moms all have a unique God-given purpose outside of motherhood. Our purpose may even be closely related to being a mom but motherhood is a ministry and a season of its own.

Giving time to your gifts and giving yourself time to have quiet time with God is so important to your personal growth.

7  – You Become a Better Mom

Finally, and not at all the least, is that you actually become a better, happier mom. Didn’t see that coming, did you!

When you make time for you and just you, something powerful happens… you loose mom-resentment. You know those thoughts that creep in and tell you how you could do this or that if you didn’t have a house full of kids… or one kid.

I know, I know it doesn’t feel right when we think those thoughts or even when I just talked about them but all moms think them from time to time.

But here’s what happens when you give consistent time for you… all you. The resentment fades, you feel more fulfilled as a person outside of being a mom, and you actually feel more tuned in to your kid’s needs.

We need to be filled up so we can be adequately poured out for our families. And that’s what happens in those quiet, early hours.

3 Easy Steps to Start Waking Up Before Your Kids

Before we dive into these super practical steps to waking up before your kids. I need to share the absolute importance of you knowing your “why” intimately.

After you start you’ll want to quit this new wake up time many, many times down the road. And when that spirit of quit jumps all over you in your comfy bed, you need to know why you want to wake up so early in the first place.

Is it to have some quiet time to connect with God and study your Bible to grow stronger spiritually?

Is it to have consistent uninterrupted time to write or work on your business?

Is it to work out and lose 50 lbs and stay healthy and active?

Is it to drink a cup of coffee and stare out the window in the blessed quiet for 15 minutes before your crew wakes up?

It doesn’t matter what your reason… that belongs to you alone. And your reason doesn’t have to be super significant in the eyes of the world… only you.

Without trying to sound like a cliche hair dye commercial… you are worth it!

Just know your “why” and get started. Here are the easy 3 steps that any mom can start right now.

Step 1 – Roll Back No More Than One Hour

If you’re an overachiever like myself, you may be tempted to roll back your clock at least a couple hours. DO NOT DO THAT… yet.

Roll back your clock by 30 minutes increments if you’re really not a morning person or one hour if you really feel you’re ready. But no more until you’ve been waking up at this new time for at least 3 months.

Shocking your body into a drastically early wake-up time can cause your body to revolt and we don’t need your mind and body plotting against your new goals! Slow change is lasting change.

And be sure to get to bed early enough to not loose your recommended hours of sleep!

Step 2 – Gracefully Reset Every Time You Sleep In

This process really isn’t as hard as you may think. The biggest obstacle to lasting change is failure. Failure to get out of bed!

You WILL hit snooze, cover your head with your pillow, or throw your clock across the room some mornings. Especially, if the baby was sick or your toddler starts hating their bed for the 100th time this year.

#MomLife is full of sleep stealers so when you just can’t get up, cut yourself a much-needed break. Don’t let frustration linger and reset tomorrow.

And repeat this process as long as needed.

3 – Play Hide and Seek with Your Alarm

This final step is one I actually had to add into my wake up routine when I started snoozing my phone in my sleep repeatedly. I’m so sneaky in my sleep!

I would wake up so frustrated because I felt like I had no control. Until I decided to be sneaky with myself!

I would lay my phone in different places that required me to get up and move to turn it off. It worked like a champ!

What To Do When You Can’t

You may be reading this and for some reason, you can’t wake up early or you feel like staying up late would work better for you.

Let me be super upfront here, this post isn’t to put pressure on moms who are already doing too much. Or the mom who just had a baby and now is feeling guilty that she’s too exhausted to try this new goal… yet.

Here’s one mom’s honest story of why she doesn’t wake up before her kids.

This is for the mom who is ready and wants to stretch herself in a new way but needs a little push and a whole lot of support and inspiration.

And finally, if you are a classic night owl then honestly do what works for you. I used to stay up late when I was younger and it worked fine for me.

Productivity studies actually show that people are more productive at the times they “think” they are most productive. Mind over matter, I guess.

The whole point of this article is to help you find time for you. And anyway you get it is a win in my book!


Have you already been waking up early? What’s your best early rise tip? Or your biggest early rise question? Share in the comments below.

How to easily wake up before your kids and the 7 powerful effects that happen! Three simple steps to get you started! #momlife

Waking up before your kids has many life-changing benefits. Here are 3 simple steps to start waking up before your kids. #kidsandparenting #momlife #motherhood

Free Virtual Tours for Kids They Can Enjoy from Home!

While the world is practicing social distancing and theme parks, museums, libraries, zoos, and more are all closed that doesn’t have to stop our kids from going to all the places…even while being quarantined in our homes.

This list of free virtual tours allows you and your kids to have fun learning and experiencing places they might not get a chance to visit, especially when most of these places are closed due to the pandemic.

Just point and click and fly all over the globe without ever leaving your couch!

Free Virtual Zoo Tours

Georgia Aquarium: The live webcams at the Georgia Aquarium are literally stunning and feature live feeds of their piranhas, blue whales, jellyfish, and more.

Monterey Bay Aquarium: Your kids will love seeing the live feed of the adorable otters! There are also live feeds of the shark exhibit, close up breathtaking jellyfish views, and the cutest penguins.

San Diego Zoo: Don’t miss the crystal clear views of the koalas, tigers, baby elephants, and many more amazing animals. Plus, their site has games, puzzles, and activities to keep your kids learning and entertained.

Houston Zoo: Between the hours of 7:00 am and 7:00 pm CMT, you can view the coolest views of the rhinos, gorillas, and they even have a close-up ant exhibit!

Atlanta Zoo: See the cutest panda on the Atlanta Zoo’s live panda exhibit.

Free Virtual Theme Park and Ride Tours

These YouTube channels are perfect for letting your kids experience the best rides, shows, and parades at their favorite theme parks around the country. They are each very high-quality channels, so click to enjoy and browse through their many tour videos.

Big Fat Panda: See amazing videos of the best parades, shows, and rides at Disney. You’ll literally feel like your on the rides yourself!

Fun Family Florida: These ride tours are so well done and feature some of the best rides at both Disney Orlando and Universal Studios.

The Coaster Views: Ride all the virtual rides at Universal Studios, Islands of Adventure, Disney Orlando, and even Six Flags.

SoCal Attractions 360: Slide down epic water rides, rollercoasters, and see shows on the country’s West Coast and never want to leave!

Free Virtual Field Trips

These field trips are opportunities for kids to visit locations from the Great Wall of China to Mars! These virtual tours are not only fun but offer an educational resource too.

Great Wall of China

A Trip to Mars

Johnson Space Center

The Smithsonian Museum

The Pyramids in Egypt

Whether you’re stuck in the house or free to roam, these virtual tours will allow your child to travel the world and beyond! They also make fantastic field trips for your homeschool. Let us know in the comments which tour is your favorite!

Work at Home Mom Success: Run Your Business, Home, & Family with Ease

work at home mom success

I’ve been a work at home mom since I’ve been a mother…exactly 14 years ago to be exact. The whole reason I started working from home is to become a stay at home mom. I know I’m not alone in this story.

But now with everything going on in the world, moms and dads are working from home at an unprecedented rate! And whether you made an intentional choice to work from home and plan to maintain this lifestyle or you were temporarily forced into working from home – the tips in this post will help save your sanity!

work at home mom success

 

I learned many lessons along the way and made ten times as many mistakes. The best part about it all is I don’t have any regrets because all the failures and missteps I’ve taken can’t remove the wonderful seeds I’ve been able to sow into the lives of my children while staying home with them.

If you’re a mom who’s already working from home with your children or is thinking about making the transition, you need help. Help with understanding how to do this crazy work at home life with kids!

The biggest lesson I’ve learned is if you want to have it all…you need to understand you can’t do it all. 

That simply means, do the things that really matter and make it your business to delegate the rest. It’s not easy and there’s not an endless supply of money laying around but you’re a powerful woman and I know you can do this.

That’s what this post is all about…giving you the tips, strategies, and encouragement to live your dream of staying home with your children successfully.

Whether you need to work at home for income or you’re pursuing your passion for starting your own blog or business, these tips will help you stay focused, productive, AND fully connected to your family in the process.

Ready to make work at home life easier and more fun?

The Mompreneur’s Guide to Successfully Becoming your Own Boss

In this post, you’ll learn what it really takes to become your own boss and why so many people really don’t want to become their own boss! As a work at home mom understanding the pitfalls of the entrepreneurial life is key to creating your success.

Read the full post here!


How to Realistically Run Your Blog During Your Little One’s Nap

Running your business in the pockets of quiet time throughout the day is a necessary requirement of working at home with kids. Most moms work in the early morning before the kids wake up, during those precious and much-needed naps, and after the kids go to bed.

Get the tips you need to make the absolute most out of these smaller time frames to stay super productive!

Read the full post here!


The Ultimate List of Productivity Hacks for Work-at-Home Moms

In this post, you’ll get tips from 20 other full-time bloggers on how they stay productive by sharing a few of their personal work at home mom hacks.

Read the full post here!


 3 Tips to Less Distraction and More Focus as a Work at Home Mom

Distraction is a work at home mom’s nemesis and learning how to combat distraction and stay more focused is key to growing your business and enjoying your stay at home life a whole lot more.

Read the full post here!


 How to Start a Blog and Make it a Thriving Business From Day One

If you’re staying at home with your kids to start and blog a successful blog… congrats on your decision. Blogging is a perfect fit for stay at home moms. It allows moms to do work easily from their laptops, do work that’s fun and enjoyable, and doesn’t have binding office hours… except for the ones you set!

Learn the steps you MUST take to start and grow your blog into a thriving business from day one.

Read the full post here!


 4 Ways I Keep My Family First While Running My Blog & Business

Running a business from home while being a stay at home mom can be very tricky for super driven women like me. Your business (if you really love it) can easily take over your life and home super fast.

Cleaning, taking care of your home, and even spending time with your kids can take a back seat to the thrill of succeeding in your business. You don’t need to make the same mistakes I did. Get the tips to help you create your own version of work/life balance.

Read the full post here!


12 Habits of Highly Successful Goal-Setters – Made for Busy Moms!

Setting goals is essential for seeing the success you want and staying focused on your vision. Get the habits of these highly successful goal-setters that fit perfectly into the real mom life.

Get the list here!

 


How to Successfully Balance Your Passion and Your Family

Having a passion is a beautiful thing… so is having a family. So how do you take care of your family, work or run your business, and pursue your passion? It’s not hard, there are just a few things you need to know!

Read the full post here!


27 Super Easy Ways to Pursue Your Passion as a Crazy Busy Mom

Pursuing your passion doesn’t have to be a huge, overwhelming task or goal. As a mom, you’ve got enough on your plate to get done. But I know how the desire to follow your dreams can gnaw at your soul. So how do you make it work?

Take baby steps! Here are 27 super easy ways to pursue your passion while raising your family.

Get the full list here!


9 Ways to Rid Your Mind of Self Doubt & Become a More Confident Person

Anytime you step out to accomplish big things, self-doubt and fear will do what they do to try and stop you. Understanding how to properly deal with these real thoughts and feelings will keep you from getting sidetracked and will help you grow in abundant confidence.

Read the full post here!


The Automation Tools I Use to Grow My Blog on Auto-Pilot

Running a blog at home with kids is hard enough. But doing it all manually is a setup for failure or burn out. Get the top tools I and many other successful bloggers use to run and grow their business on auto-pilot so you can keep enjoying your family.

Read the full post here!


Blogging Courses That’ll Quickly Grow Your Blog for Under $100

If you’re stating at home to blog… you want to grow as quickly as possible so you can start making money for your family. Especially, if you left a full-time job. And you’re likely on a tight budget.

My biggest mistake in my early blogging days was to hold back on investing in blogging education. It was literally why I didn’t grow for so long!

I found 9 courses that are all under $100 many of which are under $50 that single-handedly helped my blog go from stale and stagnant to growing and thriving! I go into detail about how each one helped me and how they can help you.

Get the full list here!


Are you working from home now? Do you have some tips or strategies that are working well for you now? Share them in the comments below!

 

Many women are leaving their jobs to stay at home with their kids to run their own business. Work at home moms are the new stay at home mom. The work at home with kids life isn't easy, but these tips and strategies will help moms create healthy boundaries, stay productive, and enjoy their new freedom with their family.work at home mom success (1)

How to Get Your Kids to Listen Without Yelling and All the Regret

How to get your kids to listen without yelling

Ever wonder how to get your kids to listen without yelling? I know, it’s frustrating! But this simple strategy really helps to get your kids to listen without screaming your head off. You have to work it… but it really works! 

I’m not talking about when you shout upstairs for your kiddos to get in the car because you’re running late for school for the third time this week.

How to get your kids to listen without yelling

Or when your 12-year-old’s friend who lives down the block stops by and you kindly let her (and the whole house) know to come downstairs. I’m kind of loud in general… maybe you are too.

I’m talking about when your toddler decides to morph into Captain America for the hundredth time this week and starts throwing his shield across the living room and you kindly ask him to stop. At which he shows no visible signs of hearing and therefore you remind him again a little louder this time. 

Bam!  The shield slams into your wall once again and there goes your sanity and here comes the yelling.

This was me… every single day for years.

I knew something had to change because I wasn’t enjoying being a mom which I knew wasn’t right because I loved being a mom. But I just couldn’t figure out how to break the vicious cycle of yelling and regret.

Then through prayerful observation and help from my husband who could see what was going on all along, I saw that I was the cause of this cycle – not my kids. And that’s what I want to share with you in this post.

Do I still have a set-back every now and then and yell at my kids in anger? Sure, but those are infrequent and much less than they used to be. If you find yourself losing your temper frequently with your kids, I strongly encourage you to read and try these tips.

They really do work!

Why Yelling Doesn’t Get Your Kids to Listen

The first step to getting your kids to listen when you’re disciplining is to not be angry. Feels impossible, right?

I mean, sure they “hear” you, but our goal is for them to listen which isn’t the same thing.

Even if you need to step away, it’s important to release or control your personal frustration before diving right in. That’s because disciplining when you’re angry undermines your authority.

I’ve come to learn something along the way. Yelling really never worked, and kids lose respect for yelling parents. 

I thought it was working because when I talked normally, no one ever moved. Until I broke out in a nice yell. That’s only partially true because they simply learned to respond to the yelling.

Not only does disciplining when you’re angry undermine your authority, but you’re also teaching your child how to have loose and untamed emotions by watching you. Ouch!

Yelling like a lunatic and saying hurtful things to your children can have lasting consequences. And whether they tell you or not… those words run deep.

Our yelling is really more about us than it is about them.

This is so, so important for us as parents to let sink in. When we get overwhelmed at the situation and break out into a yelling fit we are acting no different than our toddler who drops to the floor in a temper tantrum.

And when we feel tempted to have a mommy tantrum… we need to give ourselves a mommy timeout.

This is really important to allow us to cool down so we don’t let our emotions take over and do or say something we’ll most certainly regret. And need to apologize for!

Lax Parenting is your Enemy

Lax parenting – without firm and consistent boundaries – opens the door to being challenged by your child at some point… really every point.

And we have the tendency be most lax when all is well and we’re having a stress-free day. Little things get overlooked over and over again. We’re afraid to make any adjustments so we don’t rock this peaceful boat we’re in.

For example, you’re in the grocery store with your toddler and things are going great. #MomWin

He asks if he can walk, and since you only had to run in for a couple things (another #MomWin) you let him walk.

In a nano-second, he starts to touch things. He’s just touching and not knocking things over… so what’s the big deal you tell yourself. Deep down, you’re terrified to do anything to end this no-chaos bliss thing happening. So you don’t tell him to stop.

But wait!! Here’s the kicker, he’s just mentally and physically recorded that it’s ok to touch stuff at the store.

Fast forward to your next trip to the store when you need to grab a cart full of stuff (no #MomWin). To top it off, your son didn’t get a full nap today and you’re so exhausted you think you might need glasses.

This time your son reaches out to grab and pull down every item he can get his hands on. You’re embarrassed, frustrated, and headed for a melt-down.

The key to setting boundaries is making them consistent. In the Good Times AND in the Bad! They need to know what to expect EVERY single time.

The Importance of Staying Consistent

Children desperately need consistency to learn. Not only do they need to know what to except, but that expectation you need shouldn’t change every day of the week. And we can’t be wishy-washy.

I use to be the Queen of the Threat. I’d rattle off statements like, “Do you want to go into Timeout?” or “Do you want a spanking?”

When in reality, I didn’t plan on following through. I was banking on the “threat” doing its job. But the truth is, our kids are just too smart for that. They can see right through our weakness. I think they can smell it too!

Inconsistent or nonexistent consequences do nothing short of undermining our integrity and authority.

In short, they learn not to trust what we say.

Here’s a quick tip – make sure to think about the punishment when you’re not emotional. If you rattle off that your teenager is grounded for 6 months… if it doesn’t fit the crime, you’re going to be in a dilemma.

Do I let her off the punishment early or make her stick it out just to prove a point?

Either way isn’t the best scenario.

Firm doesn’t mean harsh.

Not only should our discipline be consistent but it also needs to be firm. They need to know you mean business.

But by the same token, they shouldn’t be afraid of you. I know, this kind of goes against many old-school parenting methods. But instilling fear is never helpful. There’s a clear difference between firm and harsh.

You may feel this is beneficial when your children are small, but as they get older – they need to know you’re there for them.

Think of all the crazy things young people have to deal with in our current times. Having a parent who blows their top over every little thing will keep your child from confiding in you – when they need you and your wisdom the most.

Let me also mention, that when I say harsh I’m not talking about spanking either. Spanking, done in a loving environment, without anger, can be a very effective discipline tool. And should only be done in love. Although it can clearly be misused and over-used.

Harsh discipline is done when we’re angry and led by our disappointment, embarrassment, guilt, or some other emotion. And can happen in every form of discipline from timeouts, lectures, mean words, shaming, and spanking.

The whole point of discipline is to teach our children what’s right and wrong. And we do this out of our love.

Discipline Should Come From Love

We see so much destruction in the news today, and I wonder how many of those individuals had no boundaries in their formative years.

Discipline, done the right way, is an act of love. It’s one way we keep our kids safe.

The Bible provides so much practical wisdom on correction and discipline. And the focal point always comes back to love. Proverbs 3:11-12 

It’s our job, really our privilege, to shape our children’s lives in a positive way. Giving them the best possible chance at life by teaching them the proper way to conduct themselves.

I want to emphasize here that the actual form of discipline and punishment you choose is not as important as being consistent and doing what you say.

Not only that, but each child is different and will respond differently to various forms of discipline such as timeouts, removal of privileges, and so on. There is no cookie-cutter formula that’ll work for every kid.

This is an on-going process and one where we need to fully depend on the Grace of God to do well. And rest in that same Grace when we miss it because we all do!

Do you have some tried and trusted methods for getting your kids to listen? Share them in the comments below! We’d love to hear them!

Tired of having to nag and yell to get your kids to listen to you? There's a better and much more enjoyable way to get your kids to listen the first time! Read to learn how to get your sanity back. #kidsandparenting #parenting #motherhood
Getting your kids to listen without yelling is easier than you think. There are simple things we must do and be consistent to see amazing results!

The Ultimate Baby Essentials List for the Minimalist Mom on a Budget

Baby essentials list

When you’re expecting your first baby or second or fifth there’s a lot of stuff to consider buying for your precious bundle of joy. And there also are a lot of things you absolutely do NOT need. And after having three kids, I’ve learned a few things!

And wasting money and taking up space in your home when adding to your family is totally unnecessary. You really can live the minimalist life and be mindful of your budget when having a baby.

Baby essentials list

This list will give you the goods on what goods you really need and which ones you need to leave at the store!

That’s because that super sweet and cuddly first year of your baby’s life is literally going to fly right by! And so much of the baby gear that’s usually recommended isn’t really going to get used that much or not at all.

Start with Your Baby Registry

One of the first things you need if you’re pregnant is a baby registry. Why? Umm, to tell all your family and friends what you really want so they can buy it for you! But you already knew that, so moving on.

Amazon is the largest retailer in the world and millions of people are ordering their every need on Amazon every single day. And that goes for gifts too!

So while you’ll definitely have fun signing up for your Target Baby Registry you may not know that Amazon has a Baby Registry too. It’s totally FREE to sign up and you get a really awesome free gift shipped to you as well.

This is a huge incentive for gift shopping because while your best friend is ordering her groceries to be shipped, she can add your baby shower gift and have it gift wrapped too. And you can add ALL of these amazing products so easy!

So it’s like doing her a favor! #winwin

Now on to our list of only the baby essentials you really need and the ones you don’t.

Baby Essentials You Must Have

Baby essentials list

1 – Newborn Pack and Plays

By the time I had my third baby, I didn’t want a bunch of large baby gear that I had to get rid of in the first year. I quickly realized that buying a sweet little bassinette isn’t necessary.

With the invention of beautifully designed newborn friendly pack and plays, this is all you need for your newborn’s first bed. They’re small enough to fit by most bedsides like a bassinette but will do so much more.

The reason I love these so much is that the newborn sleeper is perfect for snuggling your little one in softness while safely keeping them on their backs. As they get a few months older, it’s amazing how quickly they can start to roll in their sleep.

They also have a changing table that allows you to do quick changes in your room instead of needing to run to the baby’s nursery in the middle of the night.

And the best part is, as your baby gets older you can remove the newborn sleeper and changing table and have them sleep in the crib attachment. And finally, you’ll still get use out of them as a playpen for many years after! It’s simply one of the best new baby essentials I can think of!

Here is a listing of the highest 5 star reviewed newborn-friendly pack and plays!

Breastfeeding class

2 – Convertible Car Seat

We love convertible car seats because your infant car seat isn’t going to last you passed the first two years. And if we’re focusing on our budget here the convertible car seat is totally the way to go.

All of these car seats come with a newborn attachment that safely keeps your newborn snuggled while in their seat. And this particular seat is perfect because it transforms as your child grows up to 100 pounds!

Here is a full listing of all the five star rated convertible car seats!

The only time I would recommend buying an infant carrier car seat is if you have multiple children. And only if you feel that taking your baby out of her car seat every time would be too overwhelming.

We purchased a convertible car seat with my first daughter and loved it. We then purchased an infant carrier when we had our second daughter and it was convenient. But it was also very heavy to lug around too.

I would suggest investing in a comfortable baby carrier and wearing your little one everywhere. It’s super easy and keeps your baby close!

3 – Infant Carrier

I just love infant carriers! They are perfect for doing things in the house and comfortably getting around out of the house. And if you have multiple children they are a lifesaver!

There’s just one problem, many parents are getting it wrong. There’s a huge danger of hip dysplasia in babies and infants by using the wrong carrier.

Most of those carriers that dangle the baby either front or rear facing are usually the culprits. Read here to learn how to prevent hip dysplasia in infants with common baby products.

The good news is there are many great baby carriers to choose from that will keep your baby safe and comfortable and won’t wreck your back either.

I love Ergo because they’re all about the comfort of both baby and mama! This wrap style carrier takes some practice but once you get the hang of it you’ll never want to stop using it. Plus, it takes up almost no room which is a HUGE plus!

Here’s a Top Five list of infant carriers that moms voted that they love!

4 – Baby Stroller

Though I loved wearing my baby’s everywhere, I still had plenty of opportunities to use our stroller! Especially as they got older and heavier.

We chose this particular stroller that we loved so much because it had all the storage and perks of the bigger strollers but you could basically lift and operate it with one hand. I had tons of jealous mom friends when they saw how light it was.

You can buy the stroller on its own or the infant carrier and stroller combo if you’re opting for an infant carrier car seat. And if you are, I highly recommend you purchase the matching stroller. You’ll thank me later!

Check out my absolute favorite stroller here.

5 – Baby Bottles

Whether you are breastfeeding or not, chances are your baby at some point will need to drink from a bottle. And you want to be prepared!

There are many, many bottles to choose from and bottle feeding is very personal to each mom based on your feeding desires. If you are exclusively breastfeeding and want a bottle that’s very close to breast, you may want to invest in Comotomo Natural Feeding Bottles.

They are on the pricey side, but if you don’t plan to use bottles often, you could get by with just a few. And the benefits of avoiding nipple confusion likely outweigh the investment.

If you are exclusively pumping or are formula feeding like I did, you can feel free to choose a great bottle that focuses on helping baby drink and digest their milk without painful gas. I personally used these Philips Avent bottles and loved them!

I recommend buying the larger 9 oz bottles instead of the newborn 4 oz bottles. It saves money and you can just change the nipples from slow flow for your newborn to the older stages as your baby is ready.

6 – Swaddling Wraps or Blankets

Swaddling wraps have certainly come a long way since just a few years ago. I used to be firmly on the swaddling blankets side of the swaddling debate.

That’s because the first swaddling wraps on the market didn’t really achieve that snug swaddled feel that the blankets did. However, these swaddling wraps are simply amazing and make swaddling a no-brainer for tired parents!

If you love swaddling your baby with those soft muslin blankets, you’ll love these Aden + Anais swaddling blankets. 

Check out this video if you’re feeling clueless about swaddling your little one to sleep.

7 – Breastfeeding Pillow

Whether or not you are planning to breastfeed, you need one of these breastfeeding pillows! I literally used this handy pillow to prop up my little newborns all day long. The Boppy pillow’s shape seems to make them feel snuggled and keeps them calm.

And because of its portability, you can take it anywhere you go. I actually pumped for the first month because he had to be admitted in the hospital for Jaundice at 4 days old.

This complicated our breastfeeding plan, and I ended up using this pillow to lay him on while I was pumping.

This pillow also gets a lot of mileage as it works perfectly for propping up your little sitter.

8 – Burp Clothes and Onesies

A couple of things that you simply can’t live without as a new mom are burp clothes and simple onesies. Your washing machine will be full of these every single load, so you can never have enough.

These burp clothes have a unique curved flap style that seems to stay in place on your shoulder better. Plus, the designs are very cute!

These simple gray uni-sex onesies are perfect because white seems to really hold on to spit up stains and they work perfectly under baby’s outfits when you actually leave the house.


9 – Must-Have Bath Time Essentials

Obviously bathing your baby is something you’ll be doing every day or at least every other day. So, having a simple bathtub is important. This baby seat is what I used for all three of my babies and it easily fits into your kitchen sink or bathtub.

It still cradles your newborn and when you’re done it folds flat. It ends up taking no room at all and it’s very inexpensive! Perfect for the minimalist mom on a budget.

This very cool tub dam is not something I’ve used but, wish I had one when my kids were babies. It saves a ton of money and water. Probably one of the coolest baby products I’ve ever seen!


What did we miss on this baby essentials list? Let us know in the comments below what your absolute must-have baby product is!

Related Baby Posts:

60 Cool and Strong Baby Names with Powerful Meanings

25 Romantically Beautiful Baby Girl Names with Strong Meanings

All new moms need baby stuff but there are also things we don't need. This list is a complete list of baby essentials and nothing you don't need! This list is perfect for the minimalist mom. #pregnancy #babies #baby #babystuff

Activity Fun List: 31 Indoor Activities for Kids When You’re Stuck Inside!

fun indoor activities for kids

Right now the world is quarantined and stuck in our homes while we still try to keep some normalcy, work from home, homeschool our children and try not to go mad in the process. And us moms are looking for anything our kids will think is fun that isn’t attached to a screen!

But what does a mom do when the kids start crying, “I’m bored!” every 15 minutes and you feel like you might lose your mind?

fun indoor activities for kids

She finds something fun on this list and lets her kids have at it!

These fun kid’s activities will keep them happy and occupied so you don’t feel the cabin fever getting to you too much! Plus, these activities are perfect for those soggy, rainy days too!

If you have very little ones running around and messing up with the bigger kids are doing, try making your toddler a few busy bags like these.

Indoor Activities When You’re Stuck Inside

1 – Make Slime – Yes, I know this one is probably the most overdone kid’s activity ever. But for good reason! It will keep your kid occupied for hours both in the making and playing with their newest slime creation. Plus, it’s science! Here are some great science-focused slime ideas.

2 – Create an indoor obstacle course – This idea can be really fun and can use just about any supplies you already have on hand. Here’s an easy step by step post on creating your own.

3 – Do activities in a subscription craft box. My kids really love KiwiCo and each get crates (activity boxes) shipped to them each month. My kids literally scream when they see their delivery and learn a lot working through the activities each month. And if you just want to order crates in the cold months, you can pause your subscriptions in the summer months! Get 50% off your first crate here!

Here’s my little guy making his own bean bag horseshoe game! He’s loves it!

4 – Have a book read aloud sessionRead alouds are so fun for kids. My daughter still loves when I read a chapter book aloud each night. It’s great for bonding and connection over a great story. Here are some recommended read aloud books.

5 – Build and giant fort and play games inside – Kids are more apt to stay in one place and to one thing, like play a game, if they do it from inside a fort. Just skillfully pile up the couch cushions and blankets and make anything that resembles a fort. Then get your kids’ favorite board games and let them have a game day inside. Here’s a great 2019 game guide.

6 – Make giant tracks for your kid’s cars – This one may sound strange but if your child loves cars and trucks this one is really cool. Simply use painter’s or masking tape and make highway lines all over your floors that your kids can drive their cars. It’ll keep them busy for hours! Here are some fun ideas.

7 – Binge Watch a Kid’s Series on NetFlix – This idea is perfect when the whole family is sick or you just need a break. Pop some popcorn and just hit play. Your kids will be happy and you’ll probably love the show too. Lemony Snicket’s Series of Unfortunate Events is a fun show for the whole family and there are 3 seasons on NetFlix already.

8 – Make a Hallway Laser Maze – This is so much fun and your bigger kids can actually do the whole thing by themselves and you get time to yourself. All you’ll hear is tons of giggles and “aw man’s!” Check out the video example below:

9 – Make a window sun catcher – Though your kids might not be able to go outside, these cute sun catchers will make looking outside fun, especially if it snows where you are! Here’s a great sun catcher tutorial.

10 – Put on a play – If you have a bunch of little performers in your house encourage your kids to put on their own performance. They can create a script, choreograph dances, and make their own set and costumes. This could literally be an all day event.

11 – Learn new dance moves – We used to learn the latest dance moves by watching music videos on MTV. Now kids just learn them on YouTube. Put on some dance tutorial videos for kids and let them practice till their heart’s content. Here’s one to learn to Floss:

12 – Have a Marshmallow Toothpick Challenge – This is the cheapest game you can pull together for your kids. Just buy a bag of marshmallows and a box of toothpicks and let your kids have a building contest. They can construct whatever they want and challenge themselves! Here’s how to do it.

13 – Let them have paint! – Yes, I know this is a messier activity. But if your kids are older and to be trusted with paint alone or slightly supervised, this is a wonderful creative activity. Plus, you can buy art canvases rather inexpensively so they can even hang their creations when they’re done. If your little one wants to get in on the painting action, here’s a mess-free toddler option.

14 – Have a paper airplane flight contest This is the coolest idea I’ve seen. Simply make your airplanes and build a target with holes and scores.

15 – Make an indoor tape game – Not only can you make car tracks with tape but you can basically create an endless list of games too. Here’s an exhaustive list of indoor tape games from What Moms Love.

16 – Build a DIY marble maze – This is easy enough that bigger kids can do this on their own. Here’s the tutorial. Then let them have a contest to see who can get their marble through the maze the fastest.

17 – Learn how to do origami – My kids love learning origami. There are so many fun creations they can make. Here’s a fun and easy video they can watch to teach them.

18 – Do cupcake wars – Make a batch of yummy cupcakes and give each child three and have them decorate each one creatively. Have them present each of their designs for judging and then have fun eating them!

19 – Make a DIY corner page bookmark – My kids love reading and they actually don’t like dog-earing their pages. This adorable craft will give them a fun activity and will encourage them to keep reading.

20 – Make Toilet Paper Roll Animals – This craft is fun and can get as involved and artsy as your kids desire! Here are some ideas for inspiration.

21 – Build a rainbow prism mobile – Rainbows are beautiful outside, but this mobile craft lets you have rainbows inside! Here’s the full tutorial.

22 – Have a board game day – Just let the kids go into their games and choose a few of their favorites and play as long as they want. Here is a great board games recommended list.

23 – Play card games – Card games may not be the first thing kids think of to play with but they are still a lot of fun! Here is a post with 15 card games you can teach your kids to play with a regular deck of cards.

24 – Make an indoor scavenger hunt – Make a list of random items around the house and have the kids take pictures on their phone, tablet, or digital camera of all the items they find.

25 – Have an indoor picnic – Lay the blankets on the floor and prepare a picnic style meal.

26 – Put together a puzzle – Puzzles are fun and can take up an entire snowy afternoon. The older your kids, the bigger and harder the puzzle. The ones that cover the entire kitchen table are the best!

27 – Make DIY playdough – this non-toxic, homemade playdough is just as fun as making slime but is a less messy option for little ones. But bigger kids love playdough too.

28 – Shoot hoops – Find any ball and a larger sized basket or bucket and have a shoot out contest. I honestly can say that my husband can do this with the kids all night and they have a ball… literally!

29 – Make crystal geode eggs – This activity is so much fun and equally educational. These are naturally forming geode crystals that form inside egg shells. Here is exactly how to do it.

30 – Go camping inside – Camping is fun no matter where! So why not sleep in the living room and even get a tent. Make smores in the microwave.

31 – Have a micro treasure hunt – Every kid gets a little matchbox and has 10 minutes to fill it with as many tiny objects as they can. Thinks like a bead, a button, or even a pea.

103 Retro Baby Names That Are Perfectly Modern!

Naming your precious bundle of joy is one of the most meaningful and obviously lasting parenting choices you’ll make as a parent.

It can also make any new mom feel anxious. Should you go with a cute and adorable, strong and powerful, or totally unique and original name?

My advice is to always follow the peace in your heart. My first baby’s name was chosen many years before she was ever conceived and then my second baby’s name was given to me in a dream while I was pregnant! It doesn’t matter how you find your baby’s name, it only matters that you love it.

These are the list of names that were huge in times past and are now perfectly modern today!

Retro Baby Names That Are Modern Now

A

Adelaide, Adele, Annabelle, Ava

B

Beatrice, Billie, Bernadette, Blythe

C

Constance, Clara, Cora, Celia, Chloe, Clementine

D

Daisy, Delilah, Della, Dixie

E

Eleanor, Elsie, Edie, Eliza, Elsa, Evie, Edith, Everett

F

Fay, Flora

G

Grace, Georgette, Gwendolyn

H

Hazel, Helen, Hattie

I

Ivy, Imogen, Iris, Irene, Isabella, Ida

J

June, Jo, Jewel, Justine, Jonah

K

Kate

L

Lillian, Lizzie, Layla, Lenora, Liza, Lucy, Lennon, Lila

M

Marjorie, Mattie, Madelyn, Maisie, Maxine, May, Myra

N

Nanette, Nellie, Neva, Nicola

O

Olive, Olivia, Opal

P

Penelope, Phoebe, Pearl, Presley

Q

Quinn

R

Rose, Rhea, Roxanne, Ruby, Russell, Rory

S

Sylvia, Sophia, Sadie, Scarlett, Selma

T

Tabitha, Tillie, Trudy

V

Violet, Vera, Vivienne, Vernon

W

Willa, Wiley

More Baby Names Posts You’ll Love:

Adorably, Cute Baby Names for Girls

Strong and Cool Baby Names

The Most Unique Baby Names of all Time

27 Fun Busy Bag Activities for 2 Year Olds to Keep Them Busy

Looking for ideas to keep your little toddlers busy? I love the idea of toddler busy bags! I first discovered the idea when my first daughter was a toddler and I was beginning to work on homeschooling her while I was working from home. And I needed lots of ideas for fun activities for toddlers.

Busy bags offer fun and simple activities that are mostly focused on learning and motor skills and happily keep little ones busy for at least 15-20 minutes. And that’s light years for moms with toddlers!

Here is a list of fun and easy busy bags that are perfect for your 2-year-old. This means the pieces aren’t too small, they’re easy and engaging for toddlers to do, and they don’t contain stuff that’ll ruin your house when you’re not looking.

You’re welcome for that last one!

How to Make Your Own Busy Bags the Cheap and Easy Way

The first step is finding your bags. Many moms use reusable pencil holders. Here’s a multicolored pack of 24.

You can also just use durable slide locking Ziploc bags like these. Honestly, that’s what I use because they’re cheaper and bigger. They just don’t look at cute as the colorful ones.

busy bags activities for 2 year olds

Then you’ll want to search lists like this one and find a few busy bags you want to make. Create a list of supplies. Try to first use what you have on hand first and also look at the clearance area inside most craft stores.

Once you have your supplies, it’s time for the fun to begin! You can also allow your older kids to make the busy bags, if you have older kids. If not, put your toddler to bed and turn on your favorite Netflix show and start crafting.

This may be weird to you but I don’t like making my busy bags in front of my toddler. I love showing them when it’s all done. I don’t want to spoil the magic. But obviously do what works for you.

Finally, if you make a whole batch you’ll want to store them somewhere that keeps them from getting damaged. You can store in a drawer or a plastic bin that’s just for busy bags.

Pro mom tip: Do NOT store them with your toddler’s regular toys or in a place they can reach them on their own.

For one, you want them to be special every time you present them. This honestly keeps them playing so much longer. And two, you don’t want to walk in the room to see all your carefully crafted busy bag items all dumped into one glorious pile!

Talk about mom meltdown.

Now let’s get to all the fun.

27 Busy Bag Activities for 2 Year Olds

I’ve divided the busy bag ideas into categories so you can easily find the type of activity you want to work on first.

Looking for simple activities to keep your toddler busy and learning? This list of busy bags for 2 year olds will keep your little one busy and happy! #toddlers #activities

Fine Motor Skills Activities

No Sew Button Snake – Twitchetts

Crazy Straws – Powerful Mothering

Popsicle Stick Drop – Adventures and Play

Wooden Animal Lacing – Little Lifelong Learners

Pool Noodle Lacing – Planet of the Apels

Puzzle and Matching Activities

Super Hero Mix and Match Puzzle – School Time Snippets

Shapes Matching – Plain Vanilla Mom

Ladybug Number Match Up – Coffee and Crayons

Winter Counting Puzzle – Life Over CS

Memory Game with Lids – Powerful Mothering

Felt Counting Chain – Glued to My Crafts Blog

Alphabet Match Up – Learning 4 Kids

Crocodile Counting Match – Reading Confetti

Shapes, Letters, and Colors Recognition

Pom pom Color Egg Carton Sort – The Stay at Home Mom Survival Guide

Rainbow Sorting – Learning and Exploring Through Play

Fish for Shapes – Little Family Fun

Q Tip Counting Trays – Mama Jenn

Colored Stick to Clothes Pin Matching – Teach Me Mommy

Egg Carton Color Sort – The Imagination Tree

Alphabet Tracing Sheets – Money Saving Mom

Letter Spoon Match Up – Organized Jewish Home

Shape Sorting Ice Cube Tray – Mess for Less

Just Plain Fun Activities

Felt Tic Tac Toe Game – Childhood 101

Little Red Riding Hood Finger Puppets – Easy Peasy and Fun

Travel Felt Board – Mama Smiles

I Spy Peekaboo Bag – Childhood 101

Pipe Cleaner Lacing Game – Parents

If you’re also looking for quality online activities, check out these YouTube learning channels for kids!

Want the Simple Pathway to Calmer Days with Less Blow ups and Frustration?

Feeling overwhelmed, on-edge, and spread too-thin? You're still an incredible mom! You just need the right tools. Start Living Calmer Mom Days Today with my FREE Quick-Start Guide!