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Me Time—What’s that and where can I get some? by Sandra Beck, Motherhood Incorporated

By Sandra Beck, Motherhood Incorporated

As working mothers we work hard every day to maintain our household, care for our children, and maintain our relationships with our husbands and friends. But what do we do for us?  We are so busy caring for others we forget to care for ourselves, to take a little “me” time.

“Me” time, what a concept!  It should be a daily occurrence, a time we set aside for ourselves.  Set out and plan a block of time, even just 15 minutes, for your “me” time each day. Use this time to meditate, take a walk, take a hot bath, or even just a power nap.

Sit down and make a list of some things you’d like to do for yourself and how much time you need to do them.  Make it a point to schedule in at least one of these things into each day. “Me” time can be shared too, get a group a friends together and take a walk or call a friend just to chat.

I have made it a point to do something to improve myself physically, emotionally, and spiritually each day.  I start my day by writing down what I will do for me in each of those categories and at the end of the day I can review this and see just how much I was able to accomplish. This can be a real boost to the ego! 

I think you will find as I have that just taking a little time for yourself each day can work wonders in improving your outlook on life and your attitude.

I hope you enjoy reading these blogs as much as I enjoy writing them! Should you have any questions about Motherhood Incorporated either as a client or as a mom looking for work, please email me directly at sandra@motherhoodincorporated.com or you can check us out at www.motherhoodincorporated.com and www.sandrabeck.com.

Decorating Your Home for the Holidays on a Budget by Sandra Beck, Motherhood Incorporated

By Sandra Beck, Motherhood Incorporated

Wow, the holiday season is fast approaching! We’ve barely put away the dishes for Thanksgiving and it’s time to start thinking about Christmas, Hanukkah, or Kwanza.  With these tough economic times anything we can do to save money is a bonus.  It is possible to decorate your home for the holidays on a budget while keeping the kids busy and enjoying a little family togetherness. That’s what the season is all about, celebrating with family and friends.

A pack of construction paper in different colors, some ribbon, scissors, and glue can go a long way in creating decorations for your home.  Old holiday cards can be recycled into decorations by cutting out pictures on the front of the cards and pasting them on a background of colored construction paper.  These can be used as decorations for your Christmas tree or placed on your mantel or walls to create some holiday spirit.

Your children’s wallet size school pictures or even 3 X 5 photos can be mounted on a piece of construction paper or placed in a frame of popsicle sticks with a ribbon attached—you can even add a handwritten message like Christmas 2009 at the bottom.  These are great for your home or even as a gift for family, especially grandparents. 

Snowflakes, draedels, menorahs, or Kwanza candelabras can be cut out of construction paper to decorate your home or windows.

Be creative!  These are simple ways to get the whole family involved, keep your kids busy, and get your house decorated without breaking the bank.

Good luck and Happy Holidays from Motherhood Incorporated!

I hope you enjoy reading these blogs as much as I enjoy writing them! Should you have any questions about Motherhood Incorporated either as a client or as a mom looking for work, please email me directly at sandra@motherhoodincorporated.com or you can check us out at www.motherhoodincorporated.com and www.sandrabeck.com.

Keeping Your Kids Healthy During Flu Season by Sandra Beck, Motherhood Incorporated

By Sandra Beck, Motherhood Incorporated

 

It’s the season.  No, not just the holiday season but the cold and flu season as well. Millions of people will contract or a cold or the flu in the next few months.  So what can we as mothers do to protect our families from the flu? What about flu vaccines? How do we explain to our children why it is so important to stay healthy?    

The influenza virus changes every year. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) evaluate what form of the influenza virus is likely to be most prevalent each year and alter the vaccine to protect the general public from that particular influenza virus.  This year, of course, we have H1N1 to contend with as well. 

Unless your child has allergies to egg, flu vaccines are generally safe for children of all ages.  If you aren’t sure if your child should take the vaccine, contact your pediatrician.  Most children can take the inhaled (live virus) vaccines. It’s painless and quick. There is even an H1N1 vaccine that can be inhaled.

But vaccinations are not the only way to protect your family from the flu.  Something as basic as handwashing can protect you and your children from many viruses, not just the flu.  Hand sanitizer is another great way to kill germs when soap and water are not readily available and you can get one that hangs on your keychain or on your child’s backpack.  

Children need to know that it is important to stay healthy so that they can get the most out of life.  Tell them that a healthy lifestyle is a happy lifestyle. 

Don’t forget the age old adage: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

I hope you enjoy reading these blogs as much as I enjoy writing them!  Should have any questions about Motherhood Incorporated either as a client or a mom looking for work, please email me directly at sandra@motherhoodincorporated.com  or you can check us out at www.motherhoodincorporated.com and www.sandrabeck.com.

Eating Healthy—It’s All About the Colors by Sandra Beck, Motherhood Incorporated

By Sandra Beck, Motherhood Incorporated

Childhood obesity is on the rise. It’s a fact, one that at least for me is hard to swallow.  It is up to us as mothers to do what we can to combat this problem head-on.  Our children will follow our example, whether we like it or not.  So we have to change our own lifestyle in order to get our children to follow suit.

Have you ever noticed that most fast food is brown or tan in color—so blah!  Why not add a little color to your diet and in the process eat healthier. It’s all about the colors.  If it’s pleasing to the eye, it will likely be pleasing to the palate.  Restaurants use this technique all the time—it’s all about presentation.

Vegetables and fruits come in a variety of colors. Make a salad incorporating many different colored vegetables.  For example, a green salad with red,green,and yellow peppers cut up in it as well as radishes, mushrooms, or even squash is not only colorful but healthy.  You could give it a Mexican flair and add black beans, salsa, and sour cream or a sprinkling of cheese.  A fruit salad with grapes (green and red), pineapple, red or green apples, and raisins can be a healthy snack for hungry kids.

Eating healthy by eating your colors can start when your children are infants.  Baby food comes in many different flavors and colors, you can even make your own. Starting healthy eating early in life will likely carry on as your children grow.

So add a little color to you and your family’s dinner plate and reap the reward of building a healthy family.

I hope you enjoy reading these blogs as much as I enjoy writing them!  Should you have any questions about Motherhood Incorporated either as a client or a mom looking for work, please email me directly at sandra@motherhoodincorporated.com or you check us out at www.motherhoodincorporated.com and www.sandrabeck.com.

Making Time for Play as a Working Mother by Sandra Beck, Motherhood Incorporated

By Sandra Beck, Motherhood Incorporated

 

Making Time for Play

Making Time for Play

As a working mother I never feel like I have enough time to just play with my kids.  There always seems to be another deadline to meet, calls to make, and a pile of work on my desk that needs my immediate attention.

 

My two sons, ages 6 and 3, are very active and would love to have my undivided attention.  However, duty calls and work must be done if the mortgage and the bills are to get paid.  Try explaining that to a 3 year old…let me tell you, it’s impossible. 

 

What is possible is to carve out time in your day to play and release your inner child at the same time…how refreshing.

 

Day planners are made for just that.  Plan out a block or blocks of time each week that you can dedicate just to the kids.  If possible, plan these around times in their schedule where other activities don’t interfere—for example, naptime for your 3 yr old or karate class for your 6 yr old. 

 

Playtime can be indoors or outdoors depending on the weather but have a variety of activities for the kids to choose from.  This gives the kids some control and allows them the independence of choosing an activity.  Playtime can be as simple as kicking a soccer ball around or getting down on the floor and playing cars or building blocks or as involved as taking a nature hike outdoors.

 

During play time, put on the answering machine and turn your cell phone off so that the kids know this is their time.  Avoid any unnecessary interruptions.  Get down at your child’s level. Encourage creativity.  You can ask the older children to write down a list of activities that they might enjoy doing with you during “play time,” this engages them and teaches them how to make the best of their time too. 

 

While not easy, scheduling quality play time with your kids while still maintaining your business is not an impossibility.  It just takes planning.

 

I hope you enjoy reading these blogs as much as I enjoy writing them! Should  you have any questions about Motherhood Incorporated either as a client or as a mom looking for work, please email me directly at sandra@motherhoodincorporated.com or you can check us out at www.motherhoodincorporated.com  and www.sandrabeck.com

4 Quick Tips to a Company Ready Home Office by Sandra Beck, Motherhood Incorporated

 by Sandra Beck, Motherhood Incorporated

 

If your home business requires occasional client visits, the state of your home office can make or break a business deal.  When my husband and I were looking for someone to photograph our wedding we visited a few photographers working out of their homes.  One invited us into a poorly lit kitchen to review his portfolio, while the contract-winning operation invited us into a home office that displayed quality and professionalism from the start.  I’m not saying that the state of your home office alone will win your clients over, but every interaction leaves a lasting impression.  Here are four tips to make sure the impression you leave is a good one:Allium flower head (macro)

 

1.  Clear the clutter.

 

Put away anything that doesn’t need to be out.  A disorganized home office will leave your clients wondering if you will drop the ball when it comes to their projects.  This is especially important when you are working with multiple clients on proprietary information.  Your customers need to know that they can trust you to be discreet.

 

2.  It’s all business.

 

Your office may be located in your home, but it should reflect a business environment.  Though you may enjoy hanging your children’s artwork and other personal effects in your workspace, when clients come around it is time to tuck these items away. 

 

3.  Critical cleaning.

 

Don’t waste time cleaning everything from top to bottom.  Focus from the waist up, on the areas that capture the eyes.  A quick dust over surfaces should suffice.  Do make sure that your guest bath is clean.  Wipe the mirror and sink, and run a brush around the toilet bowl.  Finish off by emptying the trash cans.  We all feel more comfortable in a clean environment.

 

4.  Liven it up.

 

A few strategically placed plants or a vase of fresh flowers can do wonders to brighten a room.  If you are fortunate enough to have a blooming flower garden, cut a few blooms and bring them inside.  Adding natural color to your office space will make it calm and inviting, something you can enjoy even after the close of the business day.

 

www.sandrabeck.com

www.motherhoodincorporated.com

 

Expel Sick Day Stress from Your Life by Sandra Beck, Motherhood Incorporated

by Sandra Beck, Motherhood Incorporate

 When my youngest climbed out of bed Tuesday morning, he was all giggles.  Once I flipped on the light, I was surprised to see that his eyes were red and runny.  I immediately started running over my plans for the day, which I knew were about to be changed.  No childcare or playgroup, and I’d have to squeeze a trip to the doctor in somewhere.

 

Sick days and snow days strike us all.  If you’re one of the lucky ones, they are few and far between.  Still, the stress of a sudden change of plans can be lessened, or even disappear altogether, if we put a plan in place for the unexpected.Dog

 

Plan Ahead

 

As work-at-home moms, we have to consider the possibility that we may be called on to care for our children in a pinch.  Part of the flexibility of working from home means that our spouses may depend on us as an emergency back-up plan.  It is best to come up with a family plan for these situations ahead of time.  Does your spouse expect you to care for the kids every time an unexpected situation arises, or can you share the responsibility?

 

If you know it will be up to you to make alternate arrangements, try to plan for these situations when you are negotiating project deadlines with your boss or client.  Adding a little “fluff” to your timing will allow you to breathe easier if you have to spend an afternoon in the doctor’s office, instead of at your desk.

 

Have a Backup for Your Backup

 

Your mom usually takes the kids when they are sick, but today she has plans.  Turn to plan B.  Investigate some alternate options before hand.  Try forming a group of willing mothers in your neighborhood to share snow day responsibilities, or look for a flexible daycare program in your community.

 

When All Else Fails, Keep the Kids at Home

 

Prepare some activities for your children ahead of time.  We keep a rainy day box with some books, art supplies, and small toys.  The rainy day box becomes an exciting event when the kids only see it occasionally.  Make sure they can safely enjoy the activities on their own, and you will get some work done while they play.

 

If you know there is severe weather on the way, check out a movie and some books for the kids from your local library.  You may not be quite as productive as usual, but you can prevent yourself from falling too far behind.

 

www.sandrabeck.com

www.motherhoodincorporated.com