Dealing with separation anxiety when kids return to school can be heartbreaking. Whether kindergarten or university, many parents struggle with tears and phone calls during this time of change. It takes strength and trust in the teachers to leave your child in a state of duress. Here are a few ideas of what may help to mitigate the anxiety for both of you.
Like many women, as I entered my 40s, I began fighting with my weight just a little bit more. My jeans are too tight, even my clothes from last year are snugger than I’d like. The worst part (and one I hate to admit, but I will to you guys) is that I know that what’s really responsible for the added pounds is wine consumption.
I definitely enjoy the occasional glass of wine here and there, but when I’m stressed (this happens often), I tend to drink even more than usual. Obviously, a lot of us do: Moms and wine have become a boring cliché, a too-obvious meme. We use wine as a crutch when our lives get out of hand, as a symbol to make us feel like we’re in control. Just glancing at a few wine labels at the liquor store, it’s frighteningly obvious that too many wine companies are marketing to the ‘stressed-out-mom’ demographic, like me.
The holidays are upon us, and we spoke with Celebrity Pet Expert Harrison Forbes for a few tips on eliminating stress for our best friends during the busy holiday season. Here are his ideas on eliminating pet stress.
I don’t like new year’s resolutions because they usually amount to more pressure and disappointment. I try to look at life as progress – are every few years getting better than the last? Are we happy? Over the past two months I’ve been focusing on living simply, eliminating stress and organizing life. Along with drinking lemon water, buying a juicer, there are 10 things the family has undertaken to ensure we are living simply with as little stress as possible.
1. Unsubscribe from as many email lists as possible. Keep the ones that you covet, but recognize that your time – even that 5 second glance to your phone when it dings – is worth gold.
2. Do a closet overhaul. (It doesn’t have to be a What Not to Wear episode where you feel guilty and depressed.) Put anything that doesn’t quite fit in a suitcase labelled with the size and date. We love Mabel’s Labels new Scan and Store barcode labels with an app so you know what’s in the box and where you put it! Check for stained items, holes, pills and shoes beyond repair. Invest in new, thin felt hangers (Homesense is a great place for these) and take metal hangers back to the drycleaner.
3. Place all of your jewelry on the bed. Separate any broken pieces that need repair, and start a collection of unwanted or broken costume pieces for a little girl in your life. When I was a little girl, a friend’s grandmother did this for me and I was thrilled by my treasures. Polish the silver and clean gold, pearls and gems with a soft cloth. I hung chunky necklaces on scarf hangars and places bangles in shoeboxes.
4. Pull out your makeup and toss anything that is too old. Wash brushes with Dawn and water and dry flat on a cloth. 97.9 % of us, according to a 2003 study on the use of cosmetics, are guilty of using make-up after the expiration date, with mascara being the most frequently mentioned product. Products with a higher water content have a shorter lifespan after opening due to the ability for bacteria and microbes to breed in moisture. Curious about expiration dates? Here’s a cheat sheet:
Expiration Dates for Makeup:
Mascara (regular or waterproof), liquid, pencil or gel eyeliners: 4 to 6 months
Cream, Liquid or Stick Foundations or Concealers: 6 months to 1 year
Powder-based products (including mineral makeup): 2-3 years
Lipsticks, Lip Gloss, & Lip Pencils: 2-3 years
Cleansers: 1 year
Toners: 6 months to 1 year
BHA or AHA Exfoliants: 1 year
Facial or Body Moisturizers and Serums: 6 months to 1 year
Lip Balms: 1 year
5. Eliminate undue travel stress. Note passport expiry dates in your calendar and apply for a Nexus/Global Entry pass to skip long airport security lines. Keep travel chargers and ziplocks sorted with different currencies from past trips in your go-to suitcase, and have a few key seasonal clothing items at the ready in case you take a trip to a different climate. Check balances on hotel points cards and ensure you are using them to your advantage.
6. Be ready for sick days. Check first aid kits for expiration dates on medicines. Have homemade chicken soup in the freezer. We use the homemade chicken stock recipe from Kitchen Stewardship, which provides incredible healing benefits, including boosting the immune system, aiding digestion, increasing efficiency of protein use and providing easily digestible minerals, including calcium. You also get none of the ‘fake’ foods and preservatives when you make it yourself. Get rid of the dust. Give your kids an extendible Swiffer duster once a week and give them a quarter if they can cover it with dust from the tops of frames and chandeliers.
7. Grab all of your gift cards and see if some can be amalgamated. If you have a stack of cards you will never use, use Cardswap.ca to exchange them for cards you will use.
8. Are your computer and mobile phone systems working well? I hadn’t backed up files, and my phone and computer contacts were duplicated or not being saved properly. Not being able to find a number for a mom during a playdate or losing precious photos to power surges can be devastating or just stressful. Calling Geek Squad or heading to the nearest Apple or Microsoft store could sort out all of your tech woes. Oh, and write your printer toner numbers in your wallet along with your license plate number. (Or am I the only one who always forgets these?) You can also photograph it all, along with membership cards and parking passes and store the photos in a special account in the cloud.
9. Evaluate the entertainment options. Our family is a bit over the top. We have a huge cable package, a Netflix subscription, Next Issue, and regularly make purchases on iTunes and Google Play. I sat down with the family and we discussed our needs. There isn’t enough time in the week to watch, play and read everything. We decided what is most important (English football and Netflix) and eliminated a few unnecessary distractions from there. It can be worth a call to your providers to check the options. Amazon Prime can cut down on entertainment costs. For film buffs in the US, Fandango is your best friend.
10. Do you and your kids do a weekly activity? We were always searching for shin guards, cleats and ski helmets, so we now have a system. Monogrammed bags for each activity (ours are from Land’s End) are packed and in the mudroom. We take them to the activity and then right to the laundry room afterwards. When the clothes are clean and dry they go right back into the bag and to their permanent home. Ditto for library book bags.
We’d love to hear your tips and tricks for living simply! Write them below and we will choose our favourite at random for a special gift card!
Disclosure: This article is not sponsored. UrbanMommies does receive samples to test from time to time, and some Proctor and Gamble and Mabel’s Labels items are shown here, however all creative and selections are my own.
Although some miscarriages are linked to chromosomal abnormalities, sperm antibodies, blood clotting disorders and anti-nuclear antibodies, 50 % of miscarriages are due to an unknown cause. Our chronic life stresses, ie. traffic, bosses, finances, will limit non-essential bodily functions, one of which is reproduction. Stress releases cortisol hormones which in turn suppresses progesterone. Progesterone is essential to maintain the uterine lining and the pregnancy. The question many pregnant moms ask is – can stress cause miscarriages?