Now That I have Time to Think

One of the benefits of COVID-19 is the time that I am taking to motivate myself.
#selfcare #morningroutine

Continue Reading May 13, 2020 at 12:48 pm Leave a comment

The Importance of Self-Care During a Pandemic…and Beyond

Guest blog by Kristen Fescoe, Resility Health

As we find ourselves living an uncertain and challenging time, self-care has never been so important. Before the outbreak of COVID-19, self-care was something many of us pushed to the back burner. There would always be time for it tomorrow. For most, tomorrow never came. Now, as we are being asked to slow down and change the way we live, it seems that tomorrow may be today.

There are plenty of benefits to creating a self-care routine. Feeling better about yourself, living a more present life and focusing on your own goals are all important examples. Self-care is one of the best ways to stave off the physical and emotional impact of stress and worry.

When you experience a stressor in your life, big or small, your brain and body react with the fight or flight reflex. Your brain releases chemical messengers into your bloodstream. Your pulse and blood pressure quicken. While this is great if there is a real threat to you, it can be damaging to your mental and physical health if you experience it for an extended period of time.

This is where self-care plays an important role. By taking a little time every day to focus on your emotional well-being, you can start to change the way you react to stress. No matter how badly we would like to, it’s really hard to eliminate stress from our lives. Especially now, during this difficult time. Stress is a constant in most of our lives.

What we can change is the way we react to stress.

Daily self-care is a mechanism to do this. Let’s say you decide that 3 times a day you will perform a self-check-in. So each morning, afternoon and evening you will spend 2-3 minutes checking in with yourself and thinking about how you feel both physically and emotionally.

During these few minutes, you will think about any pain or discomfort you have, anything that has been silently nagging at your attention, anything that might be impacting your mood. By just taking notice of it you actually can start to change how you react to it. If you were to do this every day for 3-4 weeks you will quickly find that you become much more aware of when your body is reacting to stress and you will even start to reduce your body’s automatic stress response.

There has never been a better time to begin a self-care regimen. Stress is at an all-time high. People are dealing with everything from loss of loved ones to extreme loneliness and even the exacerbation of psychological disorders. Life isn’t easy. Since you can’t do anything to remove stress from your life, there is something you can do to change its impact on you.

C. Lynn Williams, #MsParentguru

Parent Coach, Author & Speaker

www.clynnwilliams.com


May 6, 2020 at 8:27 pm Leave a comment

It Is Okay to Feel What You’re Feeling

We’ve been quarantined for 7 weeks now. It’s okay to express what you’re feeling.

Continue Reading May 1, 2020 at 12:25 pm Leave a comment

Why I Do What I Do

I never really understood what my mother went through with me as a strong-willed daughter until I had my own children. After the childhood I had, I never wanted kids of my own. Kids were worrisome, needy and a pain in the neck! And they were yours forever! No I didn’t want children of my own. However after 3 -4 years into my first marriage, I knew I wanted somebody that looked like me. Sound selfish? Yes I’ll admit it was probably selfish. It didn’t help that my parents and my in-laws were constantly asking – “WHEN ARE YOU HAVING KIDS?”

So my parenting journey began. From the beginning I believed that children were little adults with opinions and thoughts of their own. As idealistic as that sounds, I always wanted to give my kids an opportunity to speak openly and honestly. My parenting ideas were not well-received by my mom and her generation, because children were seen and not heard when she was a child. An out-spoken kid was considered a disrespectful one. As a mom, I was more concerned with raising leaders and critical thinkers, not followers.

While my parenting journey began in the middle ‘80s, my career as an author began a decade later. A painful divorce and family relocation left me with co-parenting responsibilities as well as the challenge of parenting with adults who had entirely different philosophies of what being a parent meant. I was an old school parent with 21st century parenting ideas. Basically, I believed in eating dinners together, kids that obeyed, and bed times with technology turned off. I also encouraged my kids to talk because I wanted to hear what they were thinking and that they had a right to be heard. It’s hard to run a company or manage a city, if you’ve never been taught to think on your own.

This time of COVID-19 quarantine is a challenging time for many reasons. Men and women are working from home and parenting from home. For some parents, that’s a new skill-set that you are building. Normally you spend 5-6 hours per day with your children. With the quarantine in place, you’re spending 24 hours per day with your children AND you’re trying to work coronavirusfrom home. How’s that working? Not so bad, if your child is school age and can work on his or her own. You can put together a family plan that gives your child time to complete school work, family time together and mom/dad work time.

If your child is under five years of age, your parenting skills are getting a great workout. Your day is structured to include lots of interactivity with your child, nap time and consistent meal times. I know work is important, because that’s how you support your family. However, if I had to choose between working or spending time with kids, I’d say make the time with your child first. Build memories that your son or daughter will talk about for the rest of their life. Have as much fun and meaningful time as possible. If your job requires daily online meetings, work around that work meetings and do something physical with your children every day.

So why do I do what I do as a parent? I do what I do, because my children are part of the next generation and I care about their success as humans.
Stay safe and healthy!

Interested in learning more about your family’s dynamics? Contact me – Ms. Parent Guru to receive information about my inspiring parenting programs for Aging Parents, Mothers and Daughters, Mothers and their Sons, Fathers and Daughters or Fathers and their Sons.

Click Here to become a part of my parenting community.

C. Lynn Williams, #MsParentguru

Parent Coach, Author & Speaker

www.clynnwilliams.com

April 10, 2020 at 7:00 pm Leave a comment

Chickenpox Vs Coronavirus

If you’ve ever had a child with chickenpox, you know how important it is to stay in the house and how miserable your child who has the chickenpox is. Chickenpox is highly contagious. You’re usually feverish and very itchy, and like the coronavirus, you are quarantined to stay inside until you’re healed.

Coronavirus reminds me of the chickenpox, because you feel terrible if you catch it, and it’s contagious! The huge difference is that some people are dying because of the coronavirus, and that’s pretty scary. So stay inside and keep a social distance from everyone… well except your family.

As a parent, I think about all the opportunities that this quarantine is offering me:

  • I get to spend more time with my family and my husband (actually as empty-nesters, my husband and I get to spend a lot of time with each other)
  • I get to make memories that I’m otherwise too busy to make
  • Limited take-out – we eat more often as a family

As an adult, I can:

  • Stay up late
  • I can binge watch TV programs I never have time to watch
  • Read books I have promised I would read, as soon as I get time

You get the idea… These are benefits of this quarantine. If you are an Entrepreneur, you’re still busy trying to figure out how to stay connected with your customers or clients. You may have to change how you do business because you are now forced to communicate with people online, by social media, by phone. I know these are new challenges for me. However as a mom, I stay in touch with my children daily, and I think about how to stay engaged with them, even though we are miles apart. If we were together what board or card game would we be playing or what movie would we watch together? My kids loved board games and we would play Monopoly, Life, Uno or Phase 10. We also enjoyed cooking and eating together and then sitting around the table and talking to each other.

teens

QuaranTeened

For those of you with teens, the biggest challenge is probably for your teenagers who are very social and used to talking to their friends instead of you. They would rather stay in their room and talk on the phone or talk to their friends on Snapchat or Instagram. This quarantine is a great opportunity to open those communication channels between the two of you and start talking. Ask their opinion on the coronavirus quarantine. It might be a little awkward, getting the conversations started. It’s okay, keep talking and finding topics that they will talk about with you.

  • Cook together
  • Depending where you live, ride bikes together
  • Watch movies
  • Have fun and enjoy each other.

I believe this time is really designed for us to get closer to the people that we love or at least learn how to love them.

In-House Spouse

Probably the next biggest challenge is how to play nice with your spouse when you are both working from home. It’s easy to forget what attracted you to each other, if you are cooped up, raising kids, working from home or trying to figure out how to pay your bills, because one of you have lost your income due to the quarantine.

The challenge is to do something fun daily together. Bring up wonderful memories from the past. Binge watch programs together. Show interest in something that your spouse or partner is interested in.

Oh, and switch up the chores with your kiddos, so that Mom (or Dad) don’t get burned out. Tweens and teens can cook and clean too!

Interested in learning more about your family’s dynamics? Contact me – Ms. Parent Guru to receive information about my inspiring parenting programs for Aging Parents, Mothers and Daughters, Mothers and their Sons, Fathers and Daughters or Fathers and their Sons.

Click Here to become a part of my parenting community.

C. Lynn Williams, #MsParentguru

Parent Coach, Author & Speaker

www.clynnwilliams.com

March 26, 2020 at 3:30 pm 1 comment

Money Management Advice for Parents

Today’s guest blog is written by Sara Bailey.

As a parent, knowing how to manage your money is essential to creating a solid financial future for your children. It will also help alleviate some of the financial stress that can rub off on your children. Money management requires some key financial planning moves that will ensure that you not only set goals but accomplish them as well.

You Need to Have the Talk

If you and your partner haven’t had a serious talk about money before, then it’s definitely time. According to OppLoans, in order to have meaningful communication about finances, partners need to be open and honest about their financial circumstances. It’s suggested that you get comfortable with discussing general terms before jumping into the actual figures or creating a budget. You’ll want to avoid making it personal but focus on setting goals that you can accomplish together. It might be helpful if you think about some ways that you can start saving money as a family and bring that to the table as well. These money-saving activities may include preparing meals to avoid overspending at the grocery store, using coupons or cutting back on the money spent on your children’s clothes.

Craft a Finely Tuned Budget

The Balance gives a good overview of the things parents need to consider when designing a budget. To start with, you’ll need to determine the family’s income and track your monthly expenses. It’s also important that you devise a plan to manage your debt and increase your savings. You should make sure that you’re filing taxes correctly as this could decrease the tax obligations and free up money for your savings. When designing and maintaining your budget, don’t be afraid to make technology your friend. There are a variety of apps available that can help you track your spending, pay your bills and help you reach your savings goals. Once you’ve saved enough, you can start putting money away for your children’s college tuition or a down payment on a home. It is possible to purchase a home with a minimal down payment, but you will have to pay extra for mortgage insurance. 

Start Your Estate Planning

Depending on where you are in life, it may seem odd to start thinking about what should be taken care of in case of your passing. It’s important to remember, though, that things don’t always go according to our timelines. When dealing with estate planning, you’ll need to consult an attorney to develop documents that will dictate who will make medical decisions for you in case you’re incapacitated and who will be your child’s guardian if they are underage when you pass away. You should also create a will and ensure that your beneficiary information for all policies and accounts are up-to-date.

Another key aspect of estate planning is putting life insurance policies in place, which will protect your family financially if something were to happen to you. The right term length of your policy depends on your age and how many people are in your household. You can use an online calculator to determine how much coverage you need and how the cost can fit into your budget.

Maximize Your Benefits

If you work for a company that offers great benefits like childcare facilities and extended parental leave, then great! Even so, you should research other programs that you might be eligible for as a parent. Some of these government programs include Head Start and Early Start programs that are focused on the school readiness of children from birth to age five, as well as the childcare and development fund that provides assistance when parents need to find childcare services in order to go to work or attend school. You should also look into the Child Tax Credit or Child and Dependent Care Credit that would enable you to save on your taxes.

Parenthood can be a bit of a challenge on your finances. However, it’s something you can handle when you take all the steps necessary to have things under control. Start discussing finances with your spouse, then begin to take measures to cut costs and save for what matters most. Follow Sara Bailey at: thewidow.net

Photo courtesy of Pexels

C. Lynn Williams, #MsParentguru

Family Dynamics Strategist, Author & Speaker

www.clynnwilliams.com

February 21, 2020 at 8:00 am Leave a comment

What Love Means to Me

When I think of Valentine’s Day, I think of red roses 🌹, candlelit dinners and romance. I remember receiving a huge box of chocolates 🍫 and one of those silver chain link bracelets from my high school boyfriend. Mom made me return the bracelet, and I believe she took the box of chocolates too; telling me I was too young to receive gifts 🎁 from boys!

What do you think of when you hear the words – Happy Valentine’s Day? Do you think of love – the “I’ll be with you forever” kind of love? Or do you think of how much you love ❤️ your kids, your family, friends, neighbors, etc.?

Love changes everything we do. It changes how we feel about each other. It can melt anger and resentment. Love can soften a hardened heart ❤️.

Happy Valentine’s Day. ❤️💞

 

C. Lynn Williams, #MsParentguru

#love #relationship #family #parenting

 

February 14, 2020 at 8:00 am 2 comments

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