Tips on Beating Those Co-Parenting Holiday Blues for Single Moms

Do you share holidays? Feeling lost without the kids? I’ll be giving you suggestions on how to handle those  tough holidays when the kids are with the other parent. Don’t worry your momma heart will get through it!

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5 Simple Ways to Show Your Children Kindness

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If you’re like me then you love your kid(s) to the moon! So it should be easy to show them kindness right? Well, yes and no, not really no but, when life gets hectic and there are a million things tugging at you, kindness can fall by the wayside. Luckily for us, our kids are pretty forgiving. Kindness doesn’t have to come through grand gestures, it doesn’t cost money, it’s the simple things that you can do that will speak volumes to your children.

Here are 5 Simple Ways to Show Kindness to Your Kids Everyday:

Be Present: Put down the phone, shut the laptop, stop doing 10 things at once and simply sit in their presence. Maybe it is just watching a movie with them without being distracted by the text coming through, or talking to them without running from one room to the next finishing up chores, or sitting down with milk and cookies and being completely absorbed in what they are saying without your mind racing.  Simply just practice being in their presence and being present with them.

Show Them You’re Interested in Them: Being interested is more than just being present, it is being curious about their very essence. It is asking questions, digging below the surface, and developing a bond with the person they are evolving into as they grow through childhood.  It’s easy to get caught up into routine and have the same stale conversation day in and day out. When this happens we miss out on discovering  who our child really is. When you show your child you are interested in them you convey that you care about them as an individual.

Give Them a Hug and Kiss: I find one of the easiest and sweetest way to show my child kindness is with a big hug and kiss. Don’t underestimate physical contact! Your body language says so much to your child. I know the older they get they might shy away, but I say do it anyway! Sneak it in whenever you can and I believe they will appreciate mom’s touch.

Be Forgiving and Show Grace: When we give our children forgiveness and grace we show them our pure unconditional love for them, not to mention we model Jesus. Forgiveness is kindness. It says yes, there may be consequences, but I love you anyway. When we give our child grace we show the softness that Jesus shows us.

Say, “I Love You”: These three words so simple yet so full of kindness and power. Tell your child you love them, whenever you can. Let them know how you feel and that they are loved. There is no greater gift to a child then to say those words.

Looking for a Fun Bonding Experience? Visit Lake Needwood!

I always feel at home near the water or on the water. My preference is the ocean, but if one isn’t near, I’ll take a lake. Especially, if it is a gorgeous day and I’m with my favorite girl! If you’re looking for an inexpensive outdoor activity, and live in Maryland, visit Lake Needwood.

It’s a beautiful serene 75 acre lake where you can rent kayaks, row boats, canoes, pedal boats, or even take a tour on a Pontoon boat. We decided on the pedal boat. They provide everyone with a life jacket and at least 4 people can fit in the boat.  We paid $9.50 for a half an hour and was on the lake for about an hour and a half. We paid under $20 bucks which was a great price for all the fun we had!

The first time I went to Lake Needwood I was pregnant which was 10 years ago! Now, my girl is 10 and can help pedal the boat! What better way to celebrate a glorious Sunday then hop into a pedal boat on a lake? It was a ton of fun and I totally recommend going with your kids. It was a sweet bonding experience just being out on the glistening lake, talking, laughing and pedaling.

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For a complete list of prices and park hours, Visit: http://www.montgomeryparks.org/parks-and-trails/lake-needwood-boats/

15700 Needwood Lake Circle
Rockville, MD 20855

15% Off The Creative Homemaking for Little Homemakers! Offer Ends Monday!

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I can’t wait for this workshop! I’m nervous, but excited about starting something new! If you live in DC metro area I would love for your daughter to come! She’ll learn, have fun, get some great goodies, and make some new friends! Register by Monday, you’ll get 15% Off! Also if you have more than one child attending you’ll get 50% off on the other registration!

Hope to see you!

Back to School Tax Holidays! Find Savings in Your State!

 

 

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If you’re like most parents you keep your eyes open for any discounts that will save you a few bucks! Every year I try to post some resources that may save you a few dollars. This is one of my favorite resources from Bankrate, which is a list of each state and the days you can shop for school supplies, clothes and more…tax free. Check out the list below and start shopping!

 

2016 Sales Tax Holidays
State Date Details
Alabama Aug. 5-7
  • Books: $30 or less.
  • School supplies: $50 or less.
  • Clothing: $100 or less.
  • Computers and software: $750 or less.
  • Alabama cities and counties can opt out of the holiday. They also can participate on a limited basis, meaning only a portion of the locality’s total sales tax is exempted.
Arkansas Aug. 6-7
  • Clothing: $100 or less.
  • Apparel accessories: $50 or less.
  • School supplies: no dollar limit (most art materials are considered school supplies).
Connecticut Aug. 21-27
  • Clothing and footwear: $100 or less.
  • Custom orders of $100 or less placed and paid in full during the tax holiday week qualify for tax-free status even if the item is delivered after the holiday ends.
Florida Aug. 5-7
  • School supplies: $15 or less.
  • Clothing, footwear and accessories: $60 or less (items sold at theme parks or other entertainment complexes, hotels and airports are still taxed).
Georgia July 30-31
  • School supplies: $20 or less.
  • Clothing and footwear: $100 or less .
  • Computers and computer accessories: $1,000 or less. Computer-related accessories designed for recreational use (e.g., video games and devices) and items used in a trade or business remain taxable.
Iowa Aug. 5-6
  • Clothing and footwear: less than $100.
Louisiana Aug. 5-6
  • Most tangible personal property: $2,500 or less.
  • Holiday reduces the state’s 5% state sales tax (4.97% state sales tax plus 0.03% Louisiana Tourism Promotion District sales tax) to 3% for eligible items. Does not apply to sales taxes levied by parishes, municipalities, school boards and other taxing jurisdictions.
Maryland Aug. 14-20
  • Clothing and footwear: $100 or less.
  • School supplies remain taxable.
Mississippi July 29-30
  • Clothing and footwear: less than $100.

The city of Heidelberg is not participating in the 2016 tax holiday and will collect sales tax during the tax-free period.

Missouri Aug. 5-7
  • School supplies: $50 or less.
  • Clothing: $100 or less.
  • Computer software: $350 or less.
  • Personal computers and peripheral devices: $1,500 or less.
  • Graphing calculators: $150 or less.

Local jurisdictions can opt out, meaning that they will collect those sales tax amounts, but the state’s 4.225% tax will remain exempt for qualifying items.

New Mexico Aug. 5-7
  • School supplies: $30, $100 and $200 or less, depending on the type of supply (Classroom materials in the $30 per item category include: notebooks, paper, pens, pencils, crayons, art supplies, staples, staplers, scissors and rulers. School supplies for the $100 or less threshold include backpacks, maps and globes. The $200 or less category covers hand-held calculators.).
  • Clothing: $100 or less.
  • Computer peripheral devices: $500 or less.
  • Computers: $1,000 or less.
Ohio Aug. 5-7
  • Clothing items priced at $75 or less each. (The number of apparel pieces is unlimited as long as each item’s cost is the cap price or less. If an item of clothing sells for more than $75, tax is due on the entire selling price. Accessories and sports equipment still are taxable.).
  • School supplies priced at $20 or less each.
  • School instructional materials priced at $20 or less each.
Oklahoma Aug. 5-7
  • Clothing and footwear: $100 or less.
  • Mail, email, telephone and Internet sales are tax-free as long as the items are ordered and paid for and are available for immediate shipment during the sales tax holiday period, even if the purchases arrive after the holiday ends.
Tennessee July 29-31
  • Clothing and footwear: $100 or less.
  • School supplies: $100 or less.
  • Computers: $1,500 or less.
  • Eligible items purchased but on back order outside the customer’s control will remain tax-free.
Texas Aug. 5-7
  • Clothing and footwear: less than $100.
  • Backpacks: less than $100 (Backpacks with wheels are tax-free as long as they have straps that allow them to be worn as a traditional backpack).
  • School supplies: less than $100.
South Carolina Aug. 5-7
  • No maximum price limit is imposed for any of the following items: clothing, accessories, footwear, school supplies, computers, printers and printer supplies, computer software, bed linens and bath accessories.
  • Sales tax still applies to purchases of jewelry, cosmetics, eyewear, wallets, watches and furniture.
Virginia Aug. 5-7
  • School supplies: $20 or less (School supplies are items commonly used by students, including art and music materials, but not computers.).
  • Clothing and footwear: $100 or less.
  • Products that meet Energy Star and WaterSense qualifications and are priced at $2,500 or less Hurricane preparedness items, including portable generators priced at $1,000 or less, gas-powered chainsaws priced at $350 or less, chainsaw accessories priced at $60 or less and other eligible items priced at $60 or less.

Read more: http://www.bankrate.com/finance/taxes/sales-tax-holiday.aspx#ixzz4G6hybTdl List provided by Bankrate.

Guest Post! Summertime Safety: “Keeping Kids Out Of Harm’s Way During Outdoor Activities,” By Sean Morris

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Kids look forward to summertime all year, waiting for the day when they can say goodbye to school routines and sleep in a little later, take vacations, and leave homework worries behind. But any parent knows that with the long, warm days also come activities that can present hazards to little ones, so it’s important to keep in mind a few safety measures that will keep accidents and worry at bay.

Bike rides, trips to the park, and fishing at the lake are all great examples of summertime fun that come with risk. Here are some tips on how to ensure your child is safe while he or she is having a blast.

Know the environment

If your child loves to play outside, chances are you’ll see some bug bites at the end of the day. Some kids aren’t bothered much by mosquitoes and other biting pests, but others are highly allergic and break out in large, itchy welts. You can protect your kiddo by having them avoid using scented perfumes or lotions, which attract many types of bugs, and spraying their skin with a safe insect repellent before they go out to play. In areas with high grass and brush, it’s a good idea to have them wear long pants tucked into boots to keep ticks at bay.

Use safety equipment

For bikers, skateboarders, and kids who ride scooters, it’s important to find the right safety gear. Helmets, knee and elbow pads, and even mouth guards are recommended depending on the child’s age, and finding the right fit is imperative. Let your child know that using equipment without being properly suited up is dangerous and that sometimes, borrowing items from friends won’t do any good because the fit will be off.

For many kids, these methods of transportation are essential in the summertime for getting around the neighborhood, but accidents can happen. Make sure your child knows what to do in the event of a spill, and it’s always a good idea to keep a first-aid kit around for scrapes and cuts. For mouth injuries, sometimes there’s nothing to do but call the dentist immediately.

Take extra precaution in the water

Water safety is something that should be taken very seriously no matter what the child’s age or experience level is. Whether they’re in an inflatable pool or at the lake, adult supervision is always recommended. Keep in mind that younger children can drown in mere inches of water, and that swimming pool rules–such as no running or diving–must be obeyed by everyone. Make sure life vests are in good shape and fit well. Teach your child the do’s and don’ts of swim safety well before they go into the water, then help them enforce the rules by being present without distractions.

Don’t rely on someone else supervising, especially at a crowded beach or pool. Even lifeguards can’t watch everyone at all times. As always when a child is outside, make sure they are well protected with sunblock, and don’t forget to keep them hydrated.

Make rest a priority

It’s also a good idea to make sure your child is well-rested before they play in the water, which can be tiring. Staying up late when school is out is part of the fun of summer break, but it can be dangerous when they need to focus. Making sure they put down their phone or laptop at least an hour before bed is a great start; studies show that this helps with a good night’s sleep.

Be careful when cooking outdoors

Many families enjoy fire pits, bonfires, and grilling during the summer, so it’s important to teach children how to be safe around all those flames. Keep grills well away from the house and out of heavily-trafficked areas. Always supervise cooking over an open flame; making s’mores can be great fun on a camping trip, but little ones should have help from an adult. If you use a gas grill, it can be helpful to set a timer–perhaps on your phone–to remind you to check and make sure it’s turned all the way off after cooking is finished.

Summertime is full of adventures for kids, and while some of them can include a bit of risk, it can be a relatively stress-free time for you if you plan accordingly.

About the Author

Sean Morris is a former social worker turned stay-at-home dad. He knows what it’s like to juggle family and career. He did it for years until deciding to become a stay-at-home dad after the birth of his son. Though he loved his career in social work, he has found this additional time with his kids to be the most rewarding experience of his life. He began writing for LearnFit.org to share his experiences and to help guide anyone struggling to find the best path for their life, career, and/or family.