FROM ONE MOM TO ANOTHER
By Natasha Legere
Everyone who knows Natasha is impressed by her smiling cheerfulness. Natasha and her husband have six beautiful children under six, at the time of this writing. She has kindly shared with us some of her keys to optimism and success.
TIDBITS FOR MOMS:
1. Sleep is so important. If you get enough sleep you will enjoy your own company as will your family and friends. You will also have the energy you need to accomplish the day’s work ahead;
2. Healthy eating and fluid intake. Plan your meals snacks, treats and eating out a week in advance. Buy a water jug and fill it up for the day and once it is finished you know you have had your 6-8 glasses a day;
3. Exercise at least 20 minutes a day. If you are a people person and need the motivation of others to get you going join a walking club. If you have limited mobility looking after small children buy a folding treadmill. They are easy to use and can flip up for storage and also keep little feet and fingers out of harms way. If cost is an issue look on line for second hand deals;
4. Meditation time in the evening when all the children have gone to bed;
5. Have some kind of agenda/poster board that is used and readily available for reference by both parents to co-ordinate the family’s activities to keep everyone organized;
6. Date night with your husband at least once a month. If babysitting is too costly, arrange with friends to trade off babysitting and if you have lots of little people hire a babysitter to help out;
7. Meet once a month with your girlfriends. Start a dinner and a movie club. Some restaurants have dinner and a movie deals for movies that have been out at least 2 weeks. Join or start a bookclub, a decorating club, a curling club, a choir, an art class, a sports team, the list is endless;
8. Plan game nights with your children and invite over family friends. Your children want to know that you can have fun with them. Plan outdoor activities for the family with friends and get active. Library days are great and many libraries have excellent children’s programs;
9. Have a clear division of labour in the house. Make sure everyone knows what jobs they are responsible for;
10. Laundry tips. I find doing small loads everyday is the best way to keep the laundry under control. We turned our laundry room into the children’s closets. This eliminates children changing their clothes during the day. Children are required to put their dirty clothes into the laundry hamper when they get undressed and dressed which eliminates having to collect all the hampers from their rooms. Best of all we fold and put away everything out of the dryer into cloth storage units from Ikea. One stop laundry for the kids. For smaller item storage open baskets are great for socks, underwear, PJs etc. Use collapsible laundry baskets for easy storage;
11. Define areas of the house that are toy free. High traffic areas and parent spaces should be free of toys. The three “toys” for small babies that I have found indispensable were a bouncy chair, a saucer or jolly jumper and the large collapsible playpen from Toys’R Us; and
12. Volunteer with your children to help out with the needs of your community.