It is important to take time for yourself and to be “present” when you are spending time with your children.

A smart phone

I am so happy to have fellow YOLO mom, Kristen, as a guest blogger sharing some of her parenting life lessons. Kristen has been temporarily relocated to North Carolina these last 4 months for a lung transplant. As she prepares to return home, she has been reflecting on this time she has spent away, separated from her daughter all this time and these are some of the lessons she has learned:

Take a time out every day. Our lives are so busy and we’re always on the phone, computer, texting, etc. Spend 15 minutes every day and just pay attention to what the kids have to say. Sometimes conversation with a 7 year old can be like pulling teeth. We have been doing nightly phone calls and I ask her to tell me the best and worst part of her day. It opens the line of communication and gives me an idea of what makes her happy and what’s going wrong in her life. They’ll talk if they know you’re really listening. (Thanks, Kristen. I really like this one. I have now started to incorporate this one in my life.)

It’s ok to take time for yourself. Four months is a bit extreme, but for me there was no other option. We toyed with the idea of bringing her down to North Carolina, but I would have never been able to focus the energy I needed on myself to heal – mentally or physically. I never left her for more than a night before this…she “needed me” too much. Going forward though I know it’s ok to take time for myself – she’ll be ok with grandma & grandpa and I’ll be an even better parent for taking the time for myself. A girls only trip to the Bahamas is being planned for next year – I’ve been away enough this year! ( I really agree with this one also – YOLO (You Only Live Once!)

Kristen’s parenting life lesson should remind us all about the valuable commodity of time. It reminds me of the following quote: ” Yesterday is History, Tomorrow a Mystery, Today is a Gift, That’s why it’s called the Present” – Take time for yourself today and make the most of it! The summer has officially begun! Enjoy!

 

 

 

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It’s never too early to start your Summer Bucket List.

A Summer Bucket List Photo

 

This is going to be the summer of “Less is More”. I am not signing up the kids for activities for most of the summer, but going to keep it open so we can get up and go to accomplish items on our Summer Bucket List. Keep it simple. Be grateful, happy and satisfied. Here is a draft of our list of what we have so far…

  1. Adventureland
  2. Baseball Game
  3. BBQ
  4. Beach
  5. Bowling
  6. Camping
  7. Cape Cod
  8. Central Park Picnic
  9. Circle Line Cruise
  10. Concert – Katy Perry, Jones Beach Theater
  11. Drive-In Movie Theater
  12. Dutch Wonderland
  13. Enjoy our own Backyard (Explore with a Magnifying Glass?)
  14. Lemonade Stand
  15. Local Parks
  16. Mini Golf
  17. Museums
  18. NOFO, LI
  19. Pedal Boot
  20. Play Badminton, Bocce, Frisbee, Tennis
  21. Pool
  22. Read a Good Book
  23. Run through Water Sprinklers in the Backyard
  24. See Family and Friends
  25. Sleepovers
  26. Splish Splash Water Park
  27. Stand outside the Today show with a sign
  28. Walk 10K Steps a Day
  29. Water Balloon Catch

Mommy Poppins® also has Top 100 Things to Do with your Kids Before They Grow Up in NYC and Long Island . Good stuff…

What’s on your Summer Bucket List?

Religion should play a positive part in your life.

A Cross

My husband is Hindu and I am Catholic and we embrace each others’ religions. I was very touched when my husband gave me the cross necklace in this post and asked me to identify the shape. I said –  “It is a positive/addition sign.”  My husband said to me “Remember that this cross should remind you of the “positive” energy religion brings to your life.” Wonderful way to think about it – right?

Religion can be such a controversial topic, but in my opinion the basic essence of all religions is to give you a foundation in morals and values. Don’t steal, don’t kill, be thankful and grateful for what you have, etc. I can’t say I agree with everything in my religion, but the basic principles of the religion are good. There is definitely something magical when I hear my daughter singing at the top of her lungs in church – “Peace on earth, peace on earth and good will to men…” It’s a great message.

The parenting life lesson is that religion should be seen as a positive part of your childrens’ lives and the importance of teaching them to embrace all religions. All religions are good and do things a bit differently, but in essence are going after the same thing: giving you hope, providing you with morals and values and inspiring you to be a good person.

It’s usually better to be early rather than late.

A Clock

There are so many expressions around this: the early bird catches the worm; first-come, first- served, etc.

I will share some personal examples with you of why it’s usually better to be early vs late:

Kids do remember: Last week, my younger daughter had her spring concert in the morning. My husband was traveling on business and could not be there. I wanted to make sure I was there as early as possible to get a good seat. One of my friends who came later was amazed that I was able to get the first row. “I hopped in the car to drive to school shortly after my daughter got on the bus.”, I told her. My daughter’s smile was all worth it because she should see me and knew I would capture the video for my husband to see.

Sitting at the airport is less stressful: I will never forget the time when my husband and I were leaving for our honeymoon to Greece. We lived in the city at the time and left the house at 2:00pm for 5:30pm flight. It seemed like we had enough time, but it was raining, taxi shift turnover (which means no one wants to drive to the airport) and it was a Friday. Long story short, it took us a while to get a cab and we had lots of traffic. The cab driver kept on saying “I don’t think you are going to make it.” over and over again. My stress level was high. We did make it, but I think it was because the plane was delayed. After this experience, I now always make sure I leave even more time to get to the airport. I would rather just be there early, sit around and relax.

First impressions do make a difference: It is always better to be early for an interview. This is a no brainer. Make sure you know how to get there and leave enough buffer time. No excuses are acceptable showing up late for an interview.

I can’t say I am perfect with being on time, but I try to teach my kids it is better to be early rather than late (or call to say you will be running late): be respectful of other people’s time, be less stressed and make a good first impression.

It’s always better to be overdressed than underdressed.

a layered approach

It is warmer today, but last week it was so much colder. My kids were complaining about what they had to wear to school. ” I want to wear short sleeves! Why do I have to wear a winter vest over my sweatshirt?” The weather has been a bit crazy – Katy Perry’s song comes to mind… “You’re hot and then you’re cold..you’re yes, then you’re no….” Spring arrived over a month ago and we have still been wearing our winter coats. I like to dress the kids in layers. It provides them with warmth if they need it or they can peel it off if they don’t.

Being overdressed vs underdressed applies to other areas also. If you are going to a networking event, it is always better to be dressed in a suit or smart business casual vs jeans and sneakers. Has anyone ever heard of “Dress for Success”? I have to say, I am surprised about what people wear sometimes. If you are unsure if an event is casual or formal, bring/wear a nice fitted blazer. This provides you with the option to dress it up or down.

The lesson learned here is that you need to be dressed appropriately for your environment. If it’s the weather or an event, being overdressed provides you with more flexibility. Having learned from different experiences in life, I would say being overdressed is always the better option.