Journey To Better

Hope and Inspiration for the Single Mom

Category: Parenting (page 1 of 2)

The Ultimate Guide to Prepping For Your Preschooler’s First Day of School

It’s that time of year again ladies. Back to school gear is on sale and you’re thinking about all the lunches you have to pack. After a summer full of trips to the park, travel and weeknight BBQs, it’s time to send your kids back to school.

For some of us, it’s the first time our little ones will be going to school. I don’t know where the time went. It seems like only yesterday Miss O was learning to walk and talk. Now she’s an independent, opinionated 4-year-old who plays soccer and practices ballet on the weekend.

In the weeks leading up to this point, we’ve spent a lot of time talking about school. My one takeaway from our chats? She’s ready to start. I’m a little surprised but she seems unfazed by the changes coming her way. That’s what you want though, right? But I feel a little anxious. My baby’s going to school!! OK, get a grip Milveen.

It’s that feeling that inspired this post. Sending Miss O to school is a new experience — for both of us — with a few unknowns thrown in. Over the years I’ve learned that preparation is important for managing anxiety. You can’t account for everything that can happen but you can prepare yourself and kids for the transition. Continue reading

8 Essentials For Effective Co-Parenting

I don’t think it matters how your relationship or marriage ends, the prospect of not spending time with your children every day is a hard pill to swallow for some. Whatever agreement you and your ex settle on, the fact is, your child will have to split their time between two homes.

As hard as it is to accept, there’s a bright side — this new dynamic doesn’t have to be difficult. I know, you’re asking how. The first step is to give yourself time to adjust. If you ex is pushing to make arrangements or if the courts have decided how your kids will split their time, there isn’t much time to adjust. You might have weeks or months, but the point is to use that time to come to terms with the new dynamic.

Know that whether your kids are with you or their dad, they’re safe. I know it’s hard, especially if you’re going through a stressful separation or divorce but it’s important that we, as parents, put our differences aside and do what’s best for our kids.

I’m right there with you and understand how you feel. As I go through the process myself, I’ve learned a few things along the way. Here are eight essentials to help you navigate through the early days of co-parenting. Continue reading

Numeracy & Beyond: Creative Ways to Encourage Your Child’s Love of Math

I recently had the opportunity to attend the Numeracy & Beyond Parent Conference hosted by Peel District School Board. It was a day for parents to come together and learn about how math is being taught and how to help their children develop their math skills. Being a first time parent with no involvement in the school system since I was a student, I was surprised by how much the approach to teaching math has changed. I can’t speak for other school boards but PDSB is three years into their Engage Math program. It’s a new method that gets kids thinking about math in new ways.

There was so much information to take in but I want to take some time to share with you some of the main takeaways I gathered from the speakers and workshop facilitators shared.

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You Know You Have A Toddler When…

Via blogspot.com

Via blogspot.com

When I look back over the last three years of my daughter’s life, I can’t help but smile when I think about all of the ways she’s changed my perspective on life. I’ve always been easy going but with Miss O I’ve found that I have more patience and tolerance than I previously thought possible. As a parent you recognize that it’s not all about you anymore, your kids become the focus and you adapt to how they see the world. We adapt to their idiosyncrasies and although these quirks can be trying at times, this is how our children learn and develop. My hope for Miss O is that she grows up to be smart, independent and confident. In order to help with this, I find that I let her take the lead once in a while. And by lead I mean I give her two or three options and allow her to choose. Sometimes things work out and other times I shake my head and ask myself what was I thinking…for instance, now I have to clean paint off of the floor! Who can relate?

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5 Tips For Raising Kids to be Smart With Money

Via cpacanada.ca

Via cpacanada.ca

Just like any other lesson our children have to learn as they grow up, lessons about money start at home.  While the approach will be different across different age groups, this is a guide on how best to handle general everyday situations and discussions.  While it’s never too late to teach children about money, starting early is key, if possible.  Having a clear understanding of where money comes from, saving for a big purchase, and understanding the consequences of their purchases will ultimately boost their confidence and go a long way to ensuring that they make wise decisions in the future.  Chances are many of us have made money mistakes in the past (who out there can relate to a closet full of shoes that you really don’t need? I know I can!) but teaching our children will hopefully lead to fewer mistakes and a greater appreciation for planning ahead.

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Bird Feeder Activity for Kids

Bird Feeder and Seed

A few weeks ago I came across a post on Fab Haute Mama (fabulous blog I follow, check it out) about a great activity to try with kids.  I took that idea and ran with it!  This weekend Miss O and I picked up an inexpensive bird feeder and some seed to set up a nice little spot for birds to come and have some chow.  Originally, Miss O picked out a beautiful cedar bird house (what can I say, the kid has got good taste) but sticker shock made me put it back.  We settled on a simple but nice plastic and metal feeder that allows birds to feed on three sides and has a tray on the bottom with small holes that allow water to drain out and keep the seed relatively dry.

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What Motherhood Has Taught Me About Patience

Heart

Before having Miss O I thought I was a very patient person.  However,  throw in a toddler with a mind of her own and the patience starts to wane.  Between asking her to put away her toys multiple times before bedtime and trying to catch her to put on her coat before heading out the door, I have to admit that there are times when I don’t play it cool.

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Quick and Easy Weekday Meal Ideas For Kids

We’re all busy and pressed for time in the kitchen.  As a result, it’s easy to find that you’re at a loss for what to make for dinner.  I usually set aside a few hours on Sunday to make 3 main dishes for the week which usually consist of some kind of protein (ex. beef or chicken) and rice and pasta sides.  Since veggies are very quick and easy to make, I make those on the night of and store leftovers in the fridge for the next day.  Miss O LOVES corn, broccoli and carrots so I usually rotate through these 3 options during the week.  Stay tuned for a more detailed post on meal planning basics.  I love this option because it saves time in the kitchen during the week and ensures my family’s eating healthy vs. something quick that might not always be the best choice (can you say fast food?).

Here are a few ideas of child friendly versions of meals that save time in the kitchen and your kids will (hopefully!) find tasty.

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Quick Breakfast Options For Kids On The Move

Smoothie

Who can relate to this?  You have 10 mins left until you absolutely have to leave the house, your little ones are dragging their feet and you’re still trying to grab everything you need for the day.  But wait, no one has had breakfast yet!  What to do!?  For anyone whose experienced this, here’s a list of time saving options that you can either prepare very quickly in the morning or the night before to allow you to simply grab and go when you just don’t seem to have enough time to get everything done.  We’ve all been told that breakfast is the most important meal of the day and it’s very true.  Research has shown that eating breakfast reduces overeating later in the day and allows children to perform better throughout their day.

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9 Quick Tips For Travelling With Kids

Suitcase

It’s that time of year again, March Break is upon us folks.  Whether you’re travelling with your family this week or planning a trip this spring or summer, there are a number of things to consider when travelling with little ones.  I recall the first family vacation with Miss O at 5 months old.  I was nervous because we were flying and I wasn’t sure how she’d react to the changing pressure in the cabin.  She ultimately did very well, proving that I was needlessly worried.  I did a lot of research prior to the trip (I know, first time mom here) but much of my learning came from my experience from that and subsequent trips.  Here’s a list of some of the lessons I’ve learned along the way.  Hopefully you can use these during your next trip.

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