How To Achieve Your Career Goals As A Busy Parent

Being a parent does not mean that a successful career is out of the question; it just means that your goals may change and develop slightly. You can still be a hands-on mom and a driven businesswoman – despite what people may think. With that in mind, here are some easy ways in which you can begin to achieve your career goals. 

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Hybrid Time: Guilt Free Mothering

Do you feel like you are constantly being pulled in different directions?  Do you feel torn when you have to partake in household chores instead of spending time with your children?  Does the mommy guilt begin to pile on?  Do you start questioning your priorities?

We have all been there, we feel so guilty for taking time to do things like laundry and dishes instead of spending quality time with the children.  Granted these are tasks that need to be completed; maybe there is a way to do both? This is what I like to call Hybrid time.

Hybrid Time is time during the day that you complete household chores while still participating in fun games and activities with your children. This way you can remove the mommy guilt and feel great about getting the necessary chores accomplished. Below are a few of the activities that my children and I participate in during Hybrid time.

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Treasure Hunt: So you need a few minutes to switch around the laundry and start dinner?  This is a great choice that is sure to give you some time to complete your chores and your child is guaranteed to have fun.

Appropriate for Age:  preschoolers and up. 

Time: Should give mom 10-15 minutes to complete her task  

What you will need: Paper, Pen, & Treasure The treasure could be their snack (still in package) or their favorite toy, any treasure will do, it is more about the hunt.

How to make: Take the paper and pen and draw out five locations on the map. It is important that the map is age appropriate for your child. If your child can read you can write out hints and clues along the way but if they are younger pictures will need to be provided. The last location should be where you place the treasure. Time to play: Hand over the map and watch as the fun unfolds. 

Added fun: If you have walkie-talkies you can feed them hints and clues along their travels throughout the house. You can be in the basement doing laundry while talking to them or, in the next room, wherever.

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Healthy Option vs. Unhealthy option

Appropriate for Age: 2 and up

Time: this fluctuates, you decide how many rounds your want to play. This is a favorite game for the children to play while I prepare meals. They often sit at the table eagerly awaiting my next question.

How to play: While prepare a meal have your children sit around or within ear shot and you name three foods. You can either name two healthy options and one unhealthy (they would name the unhealthy), or you name two unhealthy and one healthy (they would name the healthy).

For example: Name the unhealthy option- Apple, Peach, or French Fries? The answer is French fries.  Name the healthy option- Carrot cake, oatmeal cookies, or celery?  The answer is celery. You could also add to the fun and use visual aids if you have them available in your kitchen. You can make this age appropriate as well, say you would like to teach your elementary child healthy food options. You could have them name the complex carbohydrate or perhaps the food with protein, etc. Then give your child a chance to ask you the questions, this really helps them understand nutrition. Hopefully one day they will stump you. I think that whenever you have the opportunity to engage in an educational activity with your child why not make it fun!

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Hide-N-Find

Appropriate for Age: 2 and up

Time: usually 10 minutes but could fluctuate

How to play: Take 5 of the same objects, maybe five plastic stacking cups, linking rings, Barbie dolls, legos, five of anything that is similar.  Hide those five objects in your home. Place them in age/height appropriate locations then have your child locate them. This is a fun activity because you do not have to hide, mommy can continue on with the household chores while the kiddo searches the house for the objects.

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Pots-N-Pan Jam

Appropriate for Age: All time Favorite with the babies and toddlers

How to play: Get out a pot, pan, spatula, and wooden spoon and give them to the baby. You tap on the pot and pan with the spoon then the baby will, and so on and so forth. This is an oldie but a goody.

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What Animal am I?

Appropriate for Age: 2 and up

How to Play: You pick an animal in you mind, say a cow.  Your child then guesses what animal you are, basically 20 questions but with animals. Then it is their turn to pick an animal.  If you can get some pictures of animals prior to playing and then pull those out for your children to review during the game it makes it easier for them to pick their animimal and answer your questions.

Now you can kiss that mommy guilt goodbye, get the household tasks accomplished and still have fun with your children. Life is good!

Momup! Monday: The Miraculous Moment you become a Mom

Mama’s to do list:

  • Laundry
  • Birthday Breakfast (as a tradition in our family we only have donuts on birthdays), daddy gets up early to get the donuts (even on a Monday morning) and we all have breakfast together as a family.
  • Morning drop off
  • Drop off donations at the Animal Shelter (those darn kitten and puppies are so cute, it is so tempting to take one home). We did not take any home but we did pray that each one would find a warm and loving family to call their own.
  • Get stuff at the grocery store for thanksgiving
  • Stop at Hobby Lobby to get a birthday gift for our daughter
  • Clean house before parents come for a birthday celebration (it will be her third)
  • Momup!
  • Parent/Teacher conference (had to reschedule, mommy confession, I totally missed the original conference, I wrote it on the wrong date)

It was six years ago today that my first child was born.  My husband and I wanted to be surprised so we did not find out the sex when we went to the ultrasound appointment. We asked for gender neutral items at the baby shower and it was a good thing we did because our second child was a boy, so we had practically everything for those first few months, like baby clothes, blankets, sheets, etc.

I remember my husband and I had spicy chicken wings around 10pm the night before she was born.  At 1pm those wings kicked in because I was experiencing the worst heart burn ever, contractions, and my water broke.  Being first time parents we rushed to the hospital, you know, like the movies.  I didn’t want to have my baby in the car!

Yes, I thought pregnancy was a license to eat. I gained a whopping 70 pounds (shhh). I only gained 45 pounds with my second pregnancy and a mere 35 with my third.

So we got to the hospital and I was only dilated to two centimeters.  So they had me walk the halls, and walk the halls, and keep walking the halls.  Then they checked me and I was at two centimeters.  I remember being so nervous, this wasn’t what was supposed to happen, I was supposed to be making progress. In the movies I would have already had my baby by now and been back to a size 2, come on!

They hooked me up with pitocin and WOW did things get real, REAL INTENSE! Those contractions were so intense I found myself praying to God that it was my last.  I so desperately wanted to go natural with my birth and have no drugs but the intensity of the contraction was exhausting and the darn nurse kept coming in and increasing the amount of pitocin I was being given.  The nurse suggested that I take something so that I had enough energy to push when the time came.  CRAP! I thought, I totally forgot about the pushing part, I totally understood why they called it labor. So I went for the epidural and I suddenly felt like a failure, here I was trying to provide the healthiest pregnancy and birth for our child and I had fail, my first task as a mother and I had failed.  So I was given the epidural which felt like a relaxing massage compared to the intense contractions for that darn pitocin.  For the next five hours I gave myself a hard time, I kept thinking, I just drugged my child, my poor baby, now my baby will never get into Harvard because I got the epidural that is going to impede that Harvard gene, what have I done! Then the nurse interrupted and said it was time to push.  Well, that has to be something I can do right.

So I started pushing and nothing.  They moved my body in weird positions trying to get the baby to rotate. All the while I was still feeling guilty about the epidural, and wondering if the epidural already took its effect on the baby and maybe that was why it wasn’t moving.  Then they had me push again, but nothing.  Panic really set in, and I prayed again.  I asked God to forgive me for the epidural and please, please help me, give me the strength; I did not want a cesarean.  Just then the baby started to budge.  An hour and a half into pushing and another problem presented itself, the baby’s heart rate was dropping.  NO! I thought, NO! We have not come this far baby to have somthing happen to you now.  Again, I prayed to God to do whatever he had to so that our baby would be born.  After vomiting a few more times, having the cord carefully removed from her neck, (it was around it twice), and two straight hours of pushing our beautiful baby was born sunny side up, the baby never did rotate.  Then the doctor said the words my husband and I had been waiting for the past nine months, “it’s a……GIRL.

18 hours of labor, and the baby was 7lbs 3oz 21inches long

First time Mommy amazed at the beautiful blessing that is her baby girl.

I had a baby girl.  As soon as I gazed into her beautiful eyes I could feel the presence of the Holy spirit.  I had just experienced a miracle. I was now a mother.  It was at that moment, while there were a handful of people in the room engaging in various activities that everything stood still, as if it was just the two of us, her and me lying on the hospital bed.  I exclaimed to her that I was sorry for the whole birthing process but I am not sure if it is truly a breeze for anyone, the good thing is we forget, that is how there are so many people on this planet.  I also confessed that while I thought I had the perfect birthing plan that it turned out God and her had a different plan and I will come to peace with that one day (I am still working on it). I also shared with her that this motherhood thing is new, I may make a few mistakes along the way, but if it is anything as remotely amazing as the last two minutes I will be the most blessed mommy on this planet.

Happy Birthday Baby Girl and thank you for making me a Mommy

Please share your first moments as a new mom, from the serious, to the humor.