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Am I a bad mother?

Oh, Mama, we can hear you now. You’re questioning yourself. Even worse – you’re berating and criticizing yourself for being a bad mother.

Nothing could have prepared you for the depth of love you feel for your children. You would do anything for them; they deserve the world. But, are you giving them the world? You must be criticizing yourself with all your ‘failures’ – you left the TV on all day so you could work or clean or simply rest a bit. And don’t let me start on dinner – hot dogs, right?

Now, back to the real world. It’s not a failure that you didn’t insist harder on whole grains, lean protein, or vegetables. It’s not the end of the world if they had longer screen time today. And no, your outburst or yelling won’t be their most vivid memory in the future!

You aren’t a bad mother! You’re an overwhelmed mom. You’re a dedicated mom. You’re the kind of mother that doesn’t need to be ‘parent-shamed’ for her decisions. You CERTAINLY ARE a good mother. You’re the first person they look for when they rip the skin off their knees. Now, repeat “I am a good mother”. We know that you’re. You’re reading this because you care and you love your children. 

You are not alone in this. Even if you’re a single mother, you are not alone. We’re empathetic to the things you’re experiencing, and we want to help you. Do you know the reason for that? It’s because you’re a good mother. We’ll continue reminding you until you believe it. Remember, as Jill Churchill said, “There’s no way to be a perfect mother and a million ways to be a good one.”

It’s okay not to be perfect

Tell yourself that and believe it. Just lower the bar on what “good parenting” is and be less self-critical. Don’t compare yourself to other mothers. You don’t get to see their ‘bad days’ on social media so you’ll hold up to unrealistic comparisons. Every parent is different and unique and knows what works best for their children.

We all face challenges as mothers – struggling to be patient at bedtime, getting frustrated more than we admit, feeling guilty, and vowing tomorrow will be better. And it’ll be if you’re optimistic. A positive outcome is more likely if you imagine that your children will have fun and make happy memories.

Kids just need your love and dedication when you’re with them. Be present when you’re spending time with them and enjoy their company. Enjoy every conversation, every smile, and hug. 

“Motherhood has taught me the meaning of living in the moment and being at peace. Children don’t think about yesterday, and they don’t think about tomorrow. They just exist in the moment.” – Jessalyn Gilsig

The sum of childhood shapes your children

Not just today. Bad days happen, but let the challenges serve you as lessons, shaping you in a woman of patience, kindness, strength, and loyalty. Things will pile up and spiral out of control. Don’t think you’re a failure – have little confidence in yourself. 

The interactions you have with your children daily will shape your relationship with them, so it matters to emphasize love. Children will forget what you said or did, but they won’t forget how you made them feel. So, make them feel loved, appreciated, and one-of-a-kind. 

Life

Take care of your mental health during this weird holiday season

So, the holiday season is completely unrecognizable thanks to the pandemic. We know that is hard, so we offer you tips for how to cope.

The holiday and post-holiday season can be stressful at the best of times. But this time, several months into the pandemic, is definitely not the best of times. It has been hard to spend winter holidays away from loved ones and long-standing traditions. 

The holidays have looked different this year, but that, combined with the fact that we are still and will be in a pandemic for a while, makes this holiday season extra painful. There is hope now that a few COVID-19 vaccines have been approved. However, high-risk people and front line healthcare workers will be first to get protected, so that means our lives won’t be going back to normal just yet.

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And that is an even bigger bummer! We all thought that we “sacrifice” the holidays, but then we would get to live a normal life. But that won’t be the case for at least several months.  So, we know that all of us need help to protect our mental health while living through a pandemic during and after the holiday season.  

Plan tiny distractions during the holiday season 

Make a list of all of the tasks, hobbies, or projects you can do to stay occupied and follow up on each of them. Now is the time to learn how to cook and bake, organize your winter wardrobe, organize your library, watch black and white movies, or knit a beautiful scarf. 

Reframe your thinking

Stop telling yourself that you are staying home due to some crisis that is out of your control. That is frustrating! Instead, try to think that you stay at home because you are motivated to protect the ones you love the most. Modifying your holiday plans or staying at home brings us closer to the end of this pandemic, so next year we get to have back all our traditions. 

Go outside more than ever during and after this holiday season

You should find ways to spend time outdoors and experience the joys of the cold weather. This will make your days better. Bundle up and go for a walk, or you can even learn a new winter sport and have fun in the mountains. 

Make me warm in this cold weather

Update your family traditions

If you miss the holiday traditions you have with your family and friends, see what you can do virtually. Make your special recipes together over FaceTime or Zoom and eat them together. Or host an ugly sweater party. The goal is to find creative, new ways to feel together even when apart. 

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Practice extreme coziness

Or like the Danish like to call it – hygge. This practice reminds us to appreciate the joys during this holiday season. Allow yourself to buy that soft onesie or blanket, curl up with a good book by the (virtual) fire, drink your favorite coffee, spend time with your pet, or treat yourself to a long bath.

holiday season

Ditch the pressure

You should know that it is okay to feel burnt out or stressed. Don’t put pressure on yourself to have a wonderful holiday season! We are all in this together, we all feel bad, so don’t feel miserable if you see that the others have perfect holidays on Instagram. They don’t.  

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Life

How to make friends during the pandemic?

We are here to assure you that it is possible to make new friends and build strong relationships even when everything is so different due to the pandemic.

Making friends is a challenge even under normal circumstances. But add in a pandemic that forces us to remain physically distant, and it can feel overwhelming. 

We know that meeting new people is overwhelming, but with a little willingness and effort to step outside of your comfort zone, making new friends is possible. You should start by getting yourself out there and finding places of interest to socialize. 

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Make yourself available 

You need to put yourself out somehow to make new friends. If you just sit at home doing nothing, friends won’t come to you. Don’t miss the opportunities to get out there and meet people. Try going to social functions at work or school. Or if someone invites you to a walk in the park, go for it!

Join a club or organization that works during the pandemic

This is an amazing way to find other people who will share your interests. Just remember that you do not necessarily need to have many common interests with people to make friends with them. However, if you like a certain thing, search for a location where you can meet people with the same interest. There are many online resources for finding groups who share a certain topic. You can search for events or groups on Facebook or groups on sites like Meetup.com.

Volunteer 

Volunteering is a perfect way for people of all ages to meet new people. Just make sure it is a cause you genuinely care about. By working together with other people, you will build bonds with them. For instance, you can volunteer at a local hospital, nursing home, non-profit organization, or animal shelter. Keep in mind that everyone needs help during the pandemic, so you have many choices. 

Talk to people 

You can join whatever club or organization you want, but you won’t make friends if you do not start talking to people. Also, you do not have to be involved with a club to be social. Every time you talk to someone, it is an opportunity to make a lasting friend. You don’t worry that you need to say something special – just be friendly and open a conversation by talking about the weather, compliment them about their outfit, and see where it goes from there! 

Ask them out for coffee in the park or even a picnic 

We know that the pandemic in most countries took the cafes and restaurants, but you can still have coffee to go with your new friend. Exchange numbers or social media so you can contact each other. Having coffee is a great opportunity to talk and get to know each other. At this first date, you see whether you will click together. 

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Put effort to keep the friendship going

You should know by now that good friendships take a lot of effort. We have learned during this pandemic that even with our old friends, we should always check up on them and make time for them. If your new friends are always checking up on you, remembering your birthdays or other important dates, and initiating get-togethers, lunch, you must do the same things and more whenever you can.

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Life

8 tips to lose stubborn belly fat

Let’s be honest: Indulging in too many cheat meals, stressful days at the office, or finding excuses to skip a day, week, or even months’ worth of workouts are making it easy to pack on the pounds and making it difficult to get rid of them.

That stubborn belly fat puts you at an increased risk for diabetes, heart disease, and premature death.  

Fortunately, with these 8 belly fat-fighting tips, you can lose two inches off your waistline in no time! These belly fat-fighting tips will get you a healthier body and slimmer waist, but you need to include them in your lifestyle as of now!

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Start your day early

One study shows the late sleepers who snoozed past 10:45 in the morning ate nearly 250 more calories over the day, despite eating half as many veggies and fruits as those who woke up earlier. To make things even worse, they ate more sugary, salty, and Trans fat-laden fast food than their early bird counterparts.  Also, researchers at Northwestern University have demonstrated the individuals exposed to just a short period of early morning sunlight had lower BMIs than those who woke up later. So, according to them, if you head out of the house early, you’re up for an extra metabolic boost. 

Score some rays

Getting some natural sunlight can help you get rid of the extra inches on your belly in a hurry. If you increase your intake of the sunshine vitamin, you will eliminate more body fat and weight. But, make sure to limit your time spent on the sun to 15 minutes a day for safety reasons.

Snack vegetables

Snacking on veggies is one of the easiest ways to get rid of the unwanted belly fat, as well. Choosing non-starchy vegetables, like cucumber, cauliflower, and broccoli, as snacks will help you decrease your visceral fat, simultaneously improving insulin sensitivity over five years. 

Choose sprouted bread

Choosing the right bread may actually expedite the process of losing those extra inches. Switching to sprouted bread can help out get the carbs without going up a belt size, due to the inulin content of sprouted grains. 

Switch ketchup for salsa

Ketchup, loaded with sugar (4 grams per tablespoon), is a saboteur when it comes to your weight loss efforts. Luckily, switching it to salsa can help you burn that belly fat fast. Salsa is made of fresh tomatoes, loaded with Lycopene. 

Eat more berries

Choose berries to satisfy your sweet tooth instead of some refined sugar, and enjoy a slimmer waistline in a short time. Berries like raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, and strawberries are full of Resveratrol, an antioxidant pigment that is connected to reductions in belly fat.

belly fat

Bring out some nuts

You have to get a little nutty to get your body in shape. Yes, nuts are high in fat, but that fat makes them powerful against the ballooning belly. 

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Choose fish over the usual proteins

If you want to lose weight fast, fill up on fish. If you add omega-3 fatty acids, like those in fish, to your diet, you will eliminate more weight. Always keep in mind that a fish is lower in calories than an equivalent amount of chicken or beef.

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