10 Ways for Stay-at-home Moms to Relax and De-stress

It has its rewards; however, things can be overwhelming sometimes for a stay-at-home mom. Are you always doing things for others with little or no time left for yourself? Here are some ways to relax and de-stress:

  1. Tell others when you feel overwhelmed. They may not like what you have to say, but it is better to express how you feel. You don’t want to hold your feelings in and lash out at a later time. Calmly express your feelings. It’s always nice to HEAR that you’re appreciated for all that you do.
  2. Pamper yourself. Go get a massage, manicure, or pedicure. Go to the beauty salon. If you don’t want to go to the spa, there are things you can do at home. For instance, you can take a long bubble bath, light some scented candles, or give yourself a facial. When you look good, you feel good.
  3. Exercise.  Physical activity relieves stress and burns calories.
  4. Take time to see friends. I typically get together with friends at least once a month for dinner or other activity. It gives us a chance to talk and catch up.
  5. Accept those invites. If you get invited to a party or event, go if you don’t have other plans.  It’s a privilege to be included.
  6. Go shopping. This is always fun for those that enjoy it. Macy’s, Victoria’s Secret, and DSW Shoes always send me coupons.
  7. Have daily quiet time. I either do it first thing in the morning or in the evening. Sometimes I do it twice daily. This is the time that I use to brainstorm, pray, write in my journal, and do meditation.
  8. Have date nights. When you can get a babysitter, plan a night out for two. Dinner and a movie always work well. If you both enjoy sports, plan to go to a game.
  9. Plan a getaway. Sometimes you just need a change in scenery. If you’re fortunate enough to a vacation each year, do it. There are so many beautiful places to see, within the U.S. as well as internationally. Life is shorter than you think.
  10. Get a hobby. Find an activity that you’re passionate about. Your hobby could later become a source of income.

When your kids are in school, that gives you time to run errands and relax for a while. If your kids take naps, use that time to catch up on sleep. I rarely have the opportunity to sleep past 6:30am. I’m usually the first to get up most days. Even though I only have one child, he keeps me busy. I treasure our time together. He’s growing up.

Got Milk?

IMG_0671 IMG_0672Got Milk?

 

 

As a kid, I drank whole milk. I didn’t like skim milk because I thought that it tasted like water. I could taste the difference between whole milk and low fat milk as well. As a got older, I really couldn’t tell the difference between the two. Some say that they can’t test the difference between whole milk and skim milk. One day, I decided that I really didn’t like drinking milk as much as a used to, so I started drinking orange juice with calcium and eating more yogurt to get my calcium. Then, my aunt told me about Silk soy milk. I had read that it can lower your cholesterol, which is always helpful. It is also a good source of calcium and vitamin D.  Once I tried soy milk, I never went back to cow’s milk.

 

Now, you may be wondering why I gave you that background, right?  I have talked to others that have said the same thing.  Also, I started shopping at Trader Joe’s last year.  I know that they carry foods that are all-natural and organic.  The label on their milk says that the cows were not treated with rBST.  Recombinant bovine somatotropin is a protein hormone that allows dairy cattle to produce milk. A dairy cow’s peak production for milk is 60 days after she gives birth to her calf.  A cow supplemented with rBST can provide even more milk.  (According to Global Dairy Innovation, one dairy cow produces enough milk in one day to provide milk for 125 school children’s lunch).   The goal is always to produce more to make more money.  I’ll give you a minute to think about that.

My son drinks Trader Joe’s whole milk.  He has a speech delay, and he was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder last year.  Doctors don’t know where he falls on the spectrum.  Also, my son is very sociable.  Autistic kids typically are afraid of social interaction.  Whether or not he proves to have autism down the road, he still needs to eat healthy.  He’s tried soy milk, but doesn’t like it as much as regular milk.  In fact, I’m the only one in my household that drinks soy milk. Regardless, we know that the milk he drinks he good for him.  By the way, it does taste better than milk that I used to buy from the supermarket. Continue reading “Got Milk?”

The Transition Back to Work

 

 

I know that it’s been a while since I’ve posted a blog. After almost a year and a half of being a stay-at-home mom, I decided to go back to work. Since my son is in school for 5 hours a day 5 days per week, I figured it would be a great time to return to the lab. I have a Master of Science degree in Analytical Chemistry, so my experience is primarily in the pharmaceutical and biotech industries. I must say that so far, it has been an interesting experience.   Every day is unpredictable. You don’t know what projects may come up. Of course, everything has a tight deadline, but most places that I’ve worked revolve around them.

My commute is reasonable and typical…about 45 minutes to an hour when you factor in traffic. My co-workers are friendly, although many of them are very stressed. There are times that you are required to stay past 5:00 pm or work on the weekends. Whatever the case, I refuse to be stressed out. Things are starting to turn around for the better. Oh, the power of prayer! The company recently treated us to lunch from Panera Bread, one of my favorite places. Three or four days out of the week, I leave on time. If you plan your workday properly and organize your time, you don’t need to work late. However, as I mentioned before, this job can be very unpredictable at times; things will just pop up out of nowhere.

One thing that I’ve learned this past week is not to second-guess myself. When you’re given wrong information, it affects your results. Fortunately for me, for my current project, I double-checked the method, and my results were ALWAYS correct. Just think if I had not brought it to their attention and repeated that entire experiment? It would have been in vain and a waste of time! I know that I’ve been out of the lab for a while, but I always try to produce high-quality work.

Do I regret going back to work? Not at all! I’m home to read to my son every night, and I see him before I leave in the mornings. I truly believe that this job is preparation for the next opportunity. (This position is a short-term contract, and the company will be relocating to Tennessee.) Also, I love having extra money. I like to pamper myself and buy necessities for the house. As wives, I’m sure that we all love getting facials, manicures, and pedicures. Maybe even a different hairstyle will sometimes make a difference.

Regardless of my next work project, I am prepared for anything that may happen. The key for my success will be organization, trusting my instincts, and attention to detail. Not only do you need to check your own results and data, but you also need to check to make sure that you are receiving accurate information from others working on the same project.

Be an Advocate for Your Children

Some of you may remember the blog post that I wrote in August entitled “How Someone Tried to Use My Son’s Disability to Get a Sale”. Well, this time, we had an issue with one of the technicians that works with my son during the week.  There are two technicians that work with my son a total of 2 hours per day Monday through Friday.  This particular tech was relatively new; she just started a month ago.  After 2 weeks, she failed to show up for two sessions in a row because she felt overwhelmed and very stressed.  (Yes, this is her reason for not showing up).  I wasn’t too concerned at that time because we were going on vacation for 5 days.

I can understand that when you’re in college, there are times that you may feel stressed with classes, a part-time job, and your personal life.  Still, you know what you sign up for when you accept a position…..especially one where you work with children with special needs.  The final straw was this past Friday when she failed to show up at her scheduled time.  I waited the standard 15 minutes before I called her…..I get her voice mail. After leaving a message, I called again after 15 more minutes…..no answer.  Next, I called her supervisor to let her that she failed to show up for the scheduled session.  Then, I get a text message from her claiming that she didn’t know about the session, which was later confirmed to be an untruth.  After having a more in-depth conversation with her supervisor, we both agreed that it was best to remove her from the rotation.  After all, she didn’t seem to be interested in the job.

I make sure that my son is the primarily focus of every teacher and health care provider when they come to our home. I stay informed, ask questions, and follow-up.  If my son’s needs are not the focus, then that’s a problem.  When you work with children, especially those with special needs, you should do it because you care about them.  Don’t just do it because it looks good on a résumé or a college transcript. Maybe she thought that we would sympathize with her situation.  Not when it comes to my kid.  Get it to together or move on.  There are plenty of serious-minded students that need jobs. Those are the ones that will be working with my son.

My Son the Picky Eater

I’m remembering that this time last year, my son did not like to eat table food and drank from a bottle.  Now, at 2 1/2, he drinks from a straw and eats much more of a variety of foods.  He eats green veggies, oatmeal, chicken, turkey, and fish to name a few.  And he loves water!  How is THAT for progress?!  He’s hesitant to try new foods.  If it looks different from what he’s used to seeing, he won’t eat it right away if at all.  (Smart kid!). If he doesn’t like something, he drops it on the floor for the dog, who gobbles it up.  He looks out for his buddy.

To give you some background information, my son was born premature at 26 weeks.  His occupational therapist is amazed and very pleased with his progress.  It’s really a blessing.  He’s our only child, but a very special one that always makes us proud parents.

Being a Mom

I’m open to ideas and suggestions about parenting and caring for my son, but we (his parents) are the only ones that are with him 24-7.  Everybody is always telling me how to raise my son.  He is a 2-yr-old with special needs, but The Lord gave him to use because He believes that we can handle it.  My son is smart and making lots of progress. He will continue to make progress.  Your words are everything.  It is important for us to speak positive things into his life.