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Archive for May, 2008

Balancing Your Home and Business Life without Having Super Powers

May 28, 2008 By: RealLifeSolutions Category: About the Family, Children, Freebies, Goals, Just for Fun, Organization, Parenting, Stress Management, Uncategorized 1 Comment →

For moms who work from home, balancing the home and business sides of their lives can feel downright impossible, especially when the reason they began working from home was so they could spend more time with family. However, many home businesses actually fail because moms don’t manage to balance business and home life. How can you juggle your family’s needs, your business needs and occasionally find some time for your needs without being a super hero?

The first thing any mom should do to achieve balance is to get the family involved. If your children and husband support you, you will find that they interrupt less often and are more likely to pitch in to get household chores done. You’re probably thinking that will happen the day the moon turns to blue cheese, right? However, if you mention that you need to get a major project done and will be able to buy a pizza and rent a video when you are paid, you may be surprised at how quickly everyone pitches in to help out.

If you have young children, they may not be able to understand the concept of waiting for a reward. To get your younger children involved, try explaining what you are doing in very simple terms and having them help you. Set up a small desk or table for your toddlers and add crayons and paper so they can help you with your work by drawing some pictures or writing a letter. Children that are a bit older can put stamps on envelopes and seal them, paperclip papers together or do other simple organizational tasks.

Of course, no matter how supportive your family and friends are, they are not going to be happy if you work 15 hours a day. Make sure that you ask for uninterrupted time to do your job or run your business, but also make sure that you schedule time for your family and friends. While you are making up that schedule, don’t forget your significant other. If you sit at your computer all evening after the children are tucked away for the night, you may end up with some serious relationship issues!

Once your family and friends are involved and you’ve scheduled time for them in your life, it is time to consider a few ways to make the most of your valuable work time. While you may be tempted to work non-stop during the time you have dedicated to your business, you should actually try to take some breaks. Taking a half-hour walk or having lunch away from your desk can really help you recharge your mind and keeps your body from growing stiff and tired. When you sit back down, you can do so with a clearer view of your goals and fresh energy and focus.

Also, don’t be afraid to make a “to do” list for your business. Write the four or five items you absolutely must do on your list and promise yourself that you will get them done before you visit your favorite forums or check your email. This can really help you get more work accomplished in less time.

So, although you may not have super powers, you can still have a home life, a business life and some time for yourself. The next time you are feeling overwhelmed, take a deep breath, ask your family for some help and try out a few of these great ideas for balancing your life.

Aritcle by Aurelia Williams -

I am dedicated to helping moms maximize their time. Visit my report at Finding More Family Time,  you’ll discover EXACTLY how to find more time for your family AND get everything else done too!

I’ve been Schmoozed

May 27, 2008 By: RealLifeSolutions Category: About the Family, Healthy Living, Pamper Yourself, Self Esteem, Stress Management No Comments →

Schmoozins.com is a place where the emphasis is on real women providing relevant information and interaction for other women. Topics include health, parenting, career, finance, relationships and more. In a world where women are so busy with career and family, websites like Schmoozins.com give women the connect with other women twenty-four hours per day, seven days per week.

My article, Finding Happiness: Tips for Women, was featured there – you may want to stop by, read the article and bookmark the site.

Free Work At Home Idea’s For Moms!!

May 27, 2008 By: RealLifeSolutions Category: Blogroll, Children, Freebies, Goals, Healthy Living, Organization, Pamper Yourself, Parenting, Self Esteem, Stress Management, Teenagers, Uncategorized, Working From Home No Comments →

I know many moms out there are looking for ways to earn a little income at home (either full time or part time).  Well, Real Life Solutions has a page dedicated to Work At Home Ideas.  Be sure to check it out, you may see something that you like.

Take care and let me know if you see anything that sparks an interest in you

Childhood Depression Symptoms

May 26, 2008 By: RealLifeSolutions Category: Children, Teenagers, Uncategorized No Comments →

In order to recognize when a child is depressed, it is important to become aware of the symptoms and the signs to look for. Because children are not as articulate as adults in expressing their emotions, it is unlikely that they will come to us and say “I’m depressed” as an adult might do. In fact, they may not even realize themselves that something is out of the ordinary. Children live in a world controlled by adults and can easily feel powerless over what is happening to them. This puts the responsibility upon us as adults to look for signs of trouble and help children cope.

The warning signs of depression fall basically into four different categories: emotional signs, cognitive signs (those involving thinking), physical complaints, and behavioral changes. Not every child who is depressed experiences every symptom.

Emotional Signs

Typical moods or emotions experienced by children suffering from depression include:

Sadness – The child may feel despondent and hopeless. They may cry easily. Some children will hide their tears by becoming withdrawn.

Loss of pleasure or interest – A child who has always enjoyed playing sports, for example, may suddenly decide to not try out for the team this year. They may complain of feeling “bored” or reject an offer to participate in an activity, which they’ve always enjoyed in the past.

Anxiety – The child may become anxious, tense, and panicky. The source of their anxiety may well give you a clue to what’s causing their depression.

Turmoil – The child may feel worried and irritable. They may brood or lash out in anger as a result of the distress they are feeling.

Cognitive Signs

A depressive mood can bring on negative, self-defeating thoughts. These skewed thought processes may help perpetuate the problem because they make the child resistant to words of encouragement or advice. Once the depression lifts, the child will be much more receptive to help. The signs to look for are:

Difficulty organizing thoughts – People with depression often have problems concentrating or remembering. In children, this may be evidenced by problems in school or an inability to complete tasks.

Negative view – People with depression may become pessimistic, perceiving themselves, their life, and their world in a very negative light.

Worthlessness and guilt – Depressed children may obsess over their perceived faults and failures, feel tremendous guilt, and declare themselves worthless.

Helplessness and hopelessness – Depressed children often believe that there is nothing they can do to relieve their feelings of depression. In particular, a child with dysthymia may perceive that this is “just the way it is” because this is their only experience.

Feelings of isolation – A child who has been picked on frequently may become very sensitive to slights from his peers.

Suicidal Thoughts – Thoughts of death are not limited to adults. Children may also wish that they were dead and express these thoughts.

Physical Signs

Depression is not just an illness of the mind. It causes changes in us physically as well.

Changes in appetite or weight – Many people with depression find that their appetite either decreases or increases. Children who usually have a healthy appetite may suddenly lose interest in eating. Children may also respond in the opposite way, but eating too much to self-medicate their feelings.

Sleep disturbances – Children with depression may have difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep once they do. They may wake too early or oversleep. They may have trouble staying awake during the day at school.

Sluggishness -Children with depression often talk, react, and walk slower. They may be less active and playful than usual.

Agitation – Depressed children may show signs of agitation by fidgeting or not being able to sit still.

Behavioral Signs

These signs will be the most obvious and easy for your detect.

Avoidance and withdrawal – Children with depression may avoid everyday or enjoyable activities and responsibilities. They may withdraw from friends and family. The bedroom can become a favorite place to escape and find solitude.

Clinging and demanding – The depressed child may become more dependent on some relationships and behave with an exaggerated sense of insecurity.

Activities in excess – A depressed child may appear to be out of control in regard to certain activities. He or she may spend long hours playing a video game or overeat.

Restlessness – The restlessness brought on by depression may lead to such behaviors as fidgeting, acting up in class, or reckless behavior

Self-Harm – Depressed individuals may cause themselves physical pain or take excessive risks. Self-injury is one example of such behavior

Honey, I’m Home

May 25, 2008 By: RealLifeSolutions Category: About the Family 10 Comments →

If you’ve been keeping up with the blog here you’ll know that 16 days ago I flew off to Florida to be with my daughter as she Gave Birth.  

Well, I was blessed to be able to stay with her and the baby for 16 full days (WOW).  I left this morning to journey back home.   Leaving was hard to do but the “real world” awaited  (smile). Shay, Kevin and Baby Kevin saw me off and we all shed a few tears (well the baby was asleep but Shay and I teared up). She is going to be an EXCELLENT mother – I can just feel it! *Go Shay*Well — 4.5 hrs and 2 flights later, I landed safely back home in DC.

What a welcome home I received too. Lance and the kids surprised me (literally) at the baggage claim and tackled me with big hugs.. ((Yes, Isreal RAN, uhh SPRINTED down the hall to tackle her mama! She was hollering “Mommy, Mommy”!!! Isaac jumped up, grabbed hold of my neck, hung there and nearly knocked me over!! When I put him down I swear he looked like he grew 2 inches (probably all in his hair since he is prepping for dreads (uhhh that’s what he said he wanted) but really it does look like he shot up. He literally held to the left side of me for the entire walk to thu the airport and up into the car. (I mean an around the hip choke hold)

Lance (hubby) who doesn’t normally do PDA stood there cheesin from ear to ear and gave me a Big “much needed and wanted” warm hug and this HUGE sigh of relief ran across his face. He picked up the bags with one hand, held the other out for me to hold onto and OFF we went

When we got home I walked in and the house was totally clean (immaculate actually), fresh flowers in the dining room and bedroom. I was SPEECHLESS! After a nice talk with Lance, a few much needed long kisses I freshened up, changed clothes and we immediately went out to dinner.

WOW… Just WOW… here I sit in bed with my laptop, sipping herbal tea and flicking thu‘ my TIVO‘d shows

P.S. During a talk with hubby, he said that he had NO CLUE what walking in my shoes would feel like and for everything that I do, he is forever grateful. He said “Wow, you do all of that (meaning what he did for 2 weeks) AND you volunteer at 2 schools, Serve on 2 PTA’s and still Cook:?!? You are my Lover, My Friend, My Hero… **Swoon**

Question to you ladies — how do you think your Husband or signifigant other would do filling your shoes for a few weeks? If you don’t have a Hubby or Significant other, what about a friend or another family member?

Fun, easy & educational crafts for kids

May 25, 2008 By: RealLifeSolutions Category: Children 1 Comment →

Keeping activities going at all times is what kids love to do. Try one of these 10 fun and easy crafts for kid in your house today.

Crafting with young children really isn’t about creating something in particular. Most young children don’t have the foresight to see what a project is going to be.

For young children it’s more important that they have the opportunity to play and experiment with art. Kids need to use as many of their senses as possible to get the most out of crafting. This allow them to try new sensory experiences, as well as learn causal relationships.

Hands On Crafts For Kids: 20-Minute Crafts is a great book filled with interesting animal and nature-themed projects as well as several items to make for the Holidays. 

Happy Crafting!

Raising Healthy & Fit Kids

May 24, 2008 By: RealLifeSolutions Category: About the Family, Children, Healthy Living No Comments →

Moms Talk Guide To Raising Healthy & Fit Kids

In This Exclusive Mom’s Talk eBook Guide, You’ll Discover:

How your lifestyle may be affecting your children’s health. This guide will help you create a plan to aim to get healthier…AND HAPPIER…as a solid family unit.

Ideas to get the family more active. You don’t all have to have to join a gym to be more active and interactive. This guide gives you plenty of ideas to easily incorporate activity into your lives.

How to make exercise fun. It’s easy enough to tell your children to exercise, but if they’re resistant, this guide includes tips to make being active fun.

How much exercise does your child need? Find out how active your children really should be.

The “7 Nutritional Key Rules to Live By”: We’ve put together 7 simple and incredibly practical rules to make it easier for you to manage your children’s nutrition.

Ready to Raise Happier & Healthier Children? Visit Moms Talk Guide To Raising Healthy & Fit Kids and take 30 days to review your guide. If you’re not completely satisfied, we’ll give you your money back.
No questions asked.
 

Field Trips? During Summer Vacation?

May 24, 2008 By: RealLifeSolutions Category: Children, Freebies, Just for Fun No Comments →

Don’t let the fact that school’s out deter you from doing some education things this summer. Learning can be fun!

Whew! The dog days of summer are here, and it’s time to mosey on outdoors. But you can still hear the kids whining, “What can we doooo?” Well, there are several things you can do, if you feel like getting creative. Don’t let the fact that school’s out deter you from doing some education things this summer. Learning can be fun!

Go on a nature walk.

Pack a light back-pack with drinks, a snack, a clear jar and a lid for collecting fun things, a change of clothes for the kids (optional, if you’d rather travel light), and books on birds and trees, if you have them. Find a safe place to roam, whether it’s a local park or your own backyard! Look at the trees, talk about the shapes of the leaves, how old you think the trees are, or maybe what each part of the tree does to keep it healthy. Watch some birds, and see if you can identify them. Talk about how they fly south for the winter. Examine bugs and collect a few to watch for a few days. Sit quietly and just listen to nature with your eyes closed. Look up at the sky and identify cloud shapes, tell each other of what they remind you. Enjoy your snack, pack up the back-pack, and tell your kids about your childhood summers during the walk home.

Hone those reading skills.

Why not make use of your local library? Make it a weekly trip, and let your kids each pick out 3-5 books. Visiting the library is a great way to teach children to care for things that they borrow and return them on time to the owner. Plus, making the transition back to school in the fall will be so much easier if they’ve made a habit of reading over the summer, especially if they’re choosing their own books.

Do you have a nearby children’s museum?

These are really growing in popularity, so chances are good that if your city doesn’t have one, a neighboring city does. What a nice day trip for you and your crew! Museums are great learning environments because they combine fun activities with interesting facts, all geared toward kids’ minds.

Learn about camping.

If you don’t have a tent, find a big blanket and some lawn chairs. Put the chairs in a circle, place the blanket over the chairs, give your kids some “equipment” and let them have their own kind of fun right in your backyard.

For a break from the learning, how about some water fun?

Fill a bucket of water and give your kids paintbrushes. Tell them you’d like them to paint the driveway. They’ll have a blast and stay cool at the same time. This is a lot of fun, and it helps your children “express” themselves without getting crayon on your walls! Don’t forget the things that you did as a kid to pass the summer days, too. Did you jump in the sprinkler? Fill a tub with water and play with water toys?

Whatever you do, enjoy the time with your kids. As fast as time flies with kids, it always seems to go faster in the summer!

Mia Cronan is an at-home mother of five children, ages 12, 10, 8, 5, and 2, living in northeast Ohio. She owns and edits http://www.mainstreetmom.com the magazine for modern mothers with traditional values. Mia can be reached at mia@mainstreetmom.com

MainStreetMom.com is the flagship site of http://EMCWebs.com.

10 Ways To Help Reduce Your Stress

May 24, 2008 By: RealLifeSolutions Category: Stress Management No Comments →

I am seeing an increase in women that are searching for positive ways to manage their stress. Because of this, I decided to write down what I feel are the 1b est ways to deal with unhealthy stress.

These tips can be applied your life and all of your relationships as it pertains to school, work, family, your significant other and friends.

My hope is that you find positive ways to help manage all stress that you are dealing with.

1 – Manage Your Time Effectively: Keep a To Do list or daily planner and make sure to include time for yourself and time for stress reduction activities.

2 – Take a Break: Schedule several short breaks throughout your day to help minimize your stress. Get up and stretch, read a book, go for a walk or simply call a friend.

3 – Minimize Interruptions: When focusing on something important, make sure to block off a period of time when you can work without being disturbed or distracted.

4 – Eat Healthy Foods: Try to avoid foods high in fat, sugar and sodium. Be sure to snack on something healthy and do not skip meals because this will lower your energy levels.

5 – Exercise: Regular physical activity is one of the best ways to deal with stress. It releases endorphins and gives you a natural high. Try walking, bike riding or simply exercising in the comfort of your own home.

6 – Think Positively – Instead of focusing on negative thoughts, focus on the positive things in your life and say to yourself at least one positive thought each day.

7 – Learn to Say NO – Don’t feel guilty when you have to tell others no. Taking on additional projects or work for others when you are busy will only cause you more stress.

8 – Put Stressful Situations in Perspective – Will it matter a month from now? What about a year from now? Is it something that you can control? Ask yourself these questions when you are faced with a stressful situation.

9 – Get Enough Sleep: Studies show that most people need between 6-9 hours of sleep, but most people give up sleep when they are under stress to finish more work. Be sure to get the proper rest so that you can energize your mind, body and spirit.

10 – Find Someone to Talk to: Talking to your friends or family can help because it gives you a chance to express your feelings. However, problems in your social life or family life can be the hardest to talk about. If you feel like you can’t talk to your family or a friend, talk to someone outside the situation. This could be your priest or minister, a therapist, your family doctor or a coach.

Helping Your Teen Become More Organized

May 23, 2008 By: RealLifeSolutions Category: About the Family, Children, Organization, Teenagers No Comments →

How To Help Your Teens To Become More Organized

Some would joke that the only way to motivate teens is to threaten or bribe them, well those may work but in the long run, they won’t teach your teen the valuable lesson of accountability {smile}.

As you know, teens never seem to lack motivation to do what they want to do — talk on the phone, meet up with friends, go to the movies, etc. But, when it comes down to getting them to do the things that we want them to do and the things that the need to do, that seems to be a different story.

Here are some tips that we as parents can use to help motivate our teens to become more organized.

Build your teens confidence by identifying the ways in which he or she is already organized. Everyone, including your teen, shows signs of being organized with some things. Teens love to be acknowledged for a job well done so if your child does a great job organizing his or her school work or his or her clothes, try to encourage them to apply those same organizational skills to the other areas in their life that can use some organizational help.

Teach them & Have fun. Perhaps your teen really doesn’t know where to begin! Socks here and there, books under the bed, clothes stuffed behind the hamper. All of this can seem like a battle for them that is useless to fight. Why not set up a date with your child to organize his/her space together. Turn on the radio (to their favorite station of course) and together work to de-clutter the space. Keep in mind that your organizational style my not work for them so ask them questions as you go along and try to help them figure out a way to organize things so that it is easy to keep up. Another fun way to get them motivated is to provide fun, funky and cool storage bins to use for those small items that seem to just collect in the corners of their rooms.

Set Clear Rules and Let them set the schedule: Be sure that you set clear rules as to what is allowable daily clutter and what isn’t. For instance, if you don’t allow food or dishes in your teen’s room, be sure that they are following those rules and respecting them. If shoes on the floor are OK, then let them know that as well. Teens need clear-cut rules to follow. Sit down with you teen and simply ask them “What day can you carve out at least 1 hr to do a full room cleaning?” and let your teen set a day (either weekly or biweekly). What this does is let them know you value their time and schedule and it makes them accountable.

Finally, be sure you reward and commend your teens organizing successes with either a small token of additional freedom or kind words. Keep in mind that being organized is all about being responsible. For a teenager, gaining trust and freedom from parents is one of the biggest motivations of all.

Want more tips on parenting your teenager? Visit Parenting My Teen. It provides free resources and a free podcast for parents.