All Posts By Heather Wells

Be Thankful Every Day, Not Only on Thanksgiving

The holidays are here again!

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, I keep seeing people posting on social media all the things that they are thankful for. And while I think that expressing gratitude is always a good thing; I always wonder why people only seem to do it around a specific holiday?

Why only think about what you are thankful for around Thanksgiving? Why not do it all year round, every day?

Today's podcast talks about why remembering to be thankful every single day is so important.

Being Thankful Every Day is So Important

Now I know that for many of us single moms it can be hard sometimes to be thankful or show gratitude. When things seem so hard or stressful. When you aren't sure how you are going to pay the bills this month or if you will have enough food.

When your ex decides to stop paying child support. Or maybe you are recently divorced and it seems hard to see how you could possibly be thankful for your world falling apart at the seams. These hard times can make it very hard to find things to be thankful for.

But it's these times when it is more important than ever to work on being thankful. Because that is how we bring ourselves back to the light and the good times. By finding the good in the bad.

Creating a daily gratitude practice for yourself can be so helpful and will often get you through those hard times with a better outlook.

 

Here are a few ways to help yourself in your gratitude practice:

1. Appreciate everything: Even if it seems silly

There are days when I struggle to find things to be thankful for but then I remember I can be thankful for ANYTHING. Coffee makes the list more often than not. My fuzzy slippers when my feet are cold. My little girl still wanting to come in and cuddle with me sometimes even though she is almost 12 now.

All of these things are small, but I am so thankful for them

2. Be Thankful of Your Struggles and Hard Times

I know that one is hard! But all struggles are there for a reason. They help you learn something about yourself or someone else. They help you develop into the person you are meant to be.

If you are struggling with bills, still give thanks for those bills. There are many people in the world without the heat that you are complaining about paying for. The water that you are paying the bill for comes directly to your home – others have to walk for hours to get theirs.

Those bills allow you to have take for granted things that others would give anything to have.

3. Make your gratitude part of your daily routine

When you are brushing your teeth, or taking a shower. Think of at least 5 things you are thankful for. Incorporate it into your daily routine so it can become a habit for you.

Establishing a routine for your gratitude, remembering to be thankful every day can really improve your mood. It helps you see the world and your life from a perspective of thankfulness. Seeing everything as a blessing. And that should never be limited to a holiday season, it should be a daily occurrence.

Toxic Masculinity: How One Twitter Dad Made My Heart Happy

Toxic Masculinity: One Dad Took to Twitter to Defend His Son

A few days ago I was scrolling through my Twitter feed trying, and failing, to ignore the political nonsense that has overtaken literally all social media platforms. I posted some pithy comments and re-tweeted some of the dumbest things that I came across. Realizing that by doing so I was totally contributing to the din, but apparently unable to stop myself.

 

 

When I came across a post by a father Twitter handle: @daddyfiles, that caught my attention and made me stop in my tracks. It was a post about his little boy being bullied at school for wearing nail polish. His son LOVES to wear nail polish and one day at school the kids made him feel bad for doing so.

“They called him names and told him to take it off. This lasted the entire day.”

They teased him and said he couldn't wear nail polish because he was a boy. He came home in tears and told his dad he didn't want to wear it anymore, even though he loved it.

 

This dad took to twitter and railed against the toxic masculinity that caused this little boy to question himself and want to stop being who he was. And this dad was PISSED! I read through his entire thread and all I could say was BRAVO!

 

Seriously, I gave that man a standing ovation in my damn living room. It made my heart so happy to see this father do what ALL parents should do – accept their children for how they are. Could it be a phase? Of course it could. Will he decide later to no longer wear nail polish? Of course he could.

But ultimately this little boy ended up knowing that his father supported and loved him no matter what!

Isn't that what we as parents are supposed to do? Raise our children to know that no matter how they dress, what they look like, who they love, how they wear their hair – that we will love them. That we support them.

 

When his son came home in tears because kids at school were teasing him this dad took to Twitter to take on toxic masculinity.

We don't have to always LIKE what they do or wear BUT they aren't us and we aren't them. Giving your child the ability to express themselves (as long as no one is being physically harmed) is so very important. I don't want my child to grow up hating me because I couldn't bring myself to approve of who they were at their core.

I would never want to lose a relationship with my child simply because I couldn't accept their differences. It made my heart happy to see this dad just blast the toxic masculinity that caused his poor little boy to suffer at school.

Thank you @daddyfiles for all you did to support and love your son!

The Pros & Cons of Working From Home

The Pros & Cons of Working From Home

The Single Mom Podcast - The pros and cons of working from home

As a single mom I struggled for years trying to support my family while working full time. I had to apply for government assistance to afford the child care I needed. I knew that the only way I was going to get out the struggle I was in was if I didn't have to pay for child care. The only way I would be able to do that was working from home.

I had no idea what I was going to do or how I was going to do it but I dove right in. I made a lot of mistakes and stumbled along the way, but I was able to create a successful business for myself. I have been self employed for 10 years now. It has been the best thing I could have done for myself and my family.

Working from home has given me back control of my time and allowed me to be more present in my children's lives.

 

Working from home has plenty of perks but it can also have some downsides as well. It isn't always for everyone. In this weeks podcast I cover the pros and cons of working from home.

Remember to Take Care Of Yourself! – Self-Care is IMPORTANT!

Self-Care – we know it's important right?

You hear it all the time, self-care – don't forget to take care of yourself. As single moms we are more often than not running in 5 different directions, going a million miles an hour with our hair on fire! We take on so much every day just to keep our small humans alive and kicking. And on those days self-care is probably the very last thing on our minds!

But when we do this it can take its toll on us. Hell, who am I kidding, it kicks our asses most days. We spend so much time taking on all the things that need to be done that we often neglect to take care of ourselves.

We put ourselves last.

Remember to take care of yourself. Self care is critical for single mothers!

And by the time we finally have time to MAYBE do something for ourselves, it is really just one more thing that takes up our time and energy and we just don't do it.

OR we feel guilty for doing it. For the simple act of taking a moment to care for ourselves, we feel bad because we could be doing any number of the other things that are on our to-do list.

And yes, I KNOW that you know how important self-care is. And yes, I KNOW that you have heard me talk about this before. But if you are anything like me, even knowing how important it is, it almost always ends up falling WAAAAAAAY to the bottom of your list of priorities.

We have to stop letting ourselves do that. Our well being is imperative to our children's well being. If we are too stressed and too tired and too overwhelmed – it reflects in our parenting. No matter how hard we try to hide it.

We aren't at the top of our games as moms when we allow ourselves to get to that point. We need to relax and recharge!

Take time to recharge.

Now I know that many of you are saying ‘I don't have time!' …. none of us have time! BUT we need to find a way to make time. Even something as simple as taking a bubble bath and reading for 30 min while your kids take a nap. OR giving yourself a pedicure after the kids go to sleep for the night.

Instead of doing that load of laundry, that will still be there when you are done (it's not like it's gonna self destruct if you wait an hour to put it in) – go for a walk to a park and just enjoy the out doors before you pick up your kids from school.

It doesn't have to cost a ton of money, it doesn't even have to take up much time – just find something that helps you recharge your batteries, feeds your soul/spirit and keeps you SANE!

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Pick Your Battles – Save Your Sanity!

This weeks podcast is about picking your battles!

The Single Mom Blog - Podcast, Pick Your Battles

What do you mean ‘pick your battles'? As parents we have so many different things that we have to worry about and deal with on a daily basis. Making sure that these little humans grow up safe and secure and turn into hopefully productive members of society!

But let's be honest – they can REALLY test our patience and our sanity! Who among us hasn't ended up in a battle royale with their kid over something completely ridiculous? I know I have! We all struggle with it, and we all know that in the end it leaves us feeling emotionally and physically drained.

So over the years I have learned to pick my battles when it comes to my kids, rather than spend time and energy on arguing. Now don't get me wrong – I still stand my ground on the important things but I am not willing to get into a 30 minute argument over whether my daughter should wear matching socks or not.

If my son decides he wants to make a peanut butter sandwich rather than eat spaghetti for dinner – fine by me. I am not going to argue and make myself insane over little things. Life is too short and I have only so much energy and patience to get me through my day.

Having a child with special needs definitely can complicate this but it is something that I also implement with my son. Picking my battles with him is very necessary because my son LOVES to battle.

If he can get me to step in that arena with him, he is in his element.

And I end up feeling like I just went 10 rounds with a boxing pro – even though I “won” the battle.

Today's podcast discusses why it is so important to your own well being and mental health to learn to pick your battles. Is it REALLY worth the argument? Or is it better for you if you can just learn to let it go?

Don’t Be So Quick to Judge Others


There was a recent story about an actor who used to work on The Cosby Show who is now bagging groceries at a Trader Joes. Fox News posted this “story” with a picture of the man carrying grocery bags with a dirty shirt on. The backlash that they received from this story was epic.

Because the story was positioned in a way that made it seem they were slamming the man in a sort of “look how far they have fallen” piece.

The Single Mom Blog: Don't Be So Quick To Judge, Fox News posted a story trying to embarrass former Cosby Show actor for working at Trader Joes. Don't make judgments about others.

People from all walks of life came out in defense of this man. Railing against Fox for degrading a man for simply working a job. How dare they make it seem like this man was any less because he is not acting anymore and instead working a regular job like the rest of us.

At the time of this post, there has been no retraction or apology from Fox but it made me think about the subject of today's podcast.

How often do we look at someone and make a snap judgement about them? How often is it done to us? For all we know this actor DECIDED to leave acting behind and is happy as a clam bagging groceries, and to try and belittle him for it is simply wrong.

Shop Your Fav Brands at Scrapbook.com
 

I know that I have been treated poorly by those who make snap judgments about me as a single mom. I've had people assume I was on welfare even when I wasn't. I have had people assume that because I am a single mother I must be a whore. Hell, my ex (my daughter's dad) even told me once that I was trying to trap him.

In his mind apparently, because I was a single mother, I was looking for a man to come and take care of me and my kids. That I specifically targeted him because he owned a home and a business and therefore was a good ‘target'.

Never mind the fact that I had been single for 7 years prior to meeting him, had my own place, paid my own bills and never once mentioned anything about marriage or moving in. Really nothing I actually did would imply that I was looking to ‘trap' him. But he made his snap judgement.

 

Today's podcast is about these types of judgments. Do others do this to you? Do you do it to others? We shouldn't but we do. Let's try to be better so we don't end up like Fox News, trying to embarrass some guy who is just trying to live his life.

Brain Injury – My Son’s Story & New Changes

The Single Mom Podcast - Episode #55 - My son's traumatic brain injury and the new issues from his injuryIn this weeks Single Mom Podcast (after returning from a year off of podcasting) I decided that since I had blogged about my son's seizure during our vacation that I should give a little more background on how my son's brain injury occurred.

My son and his twin brother are shaken baby survivors. When Gage was 5 months old his father shook him so severely that he was hospitalized.  His injuries were so severe that the doctors weren't sure he would survive them, and IF he did they believed he would spend the rest of his life in a vegetative state.

Gage spent a month and a half in Children's Hospital fighting for his life. During that time I was dealing with the criminal case against their father as well as a social services case. (There is a blog post and podcast in the works about that part.) Listen to the episode to hear more…

UPDATE: Our Summer Vacation and Seizures

So how was your summer?

Pretty common question right? How was your summer?

Did you do anything fun? Take any trips?

Typically we ask these questions and are asked the same in return. Normally I answer with the basic answer “We went to the pool, hung out at the zoo … you know summer stuff”. This year, not so much.

This year we did go on a trip. Not something we do too often because it can be very expensive to fly 4 of us anywhere and cover hotels and entertainment. This year, however, as a present to my boys for graduating high school (YAY!) my parents offered to pay for us to fly back east and go to Myrtle Beach.

So we planned a 2 1/2 week trip – fly out to my folks place in Virginia, drive down to Myrtle Beach for 5 days and then spend the rest of the time with family and seeing the sights in Virginia. It was a great trip that started off without a hitch. Which is saying something for us. Typically getting me and three kids out the door for a trip like this is pretty exhausting.

This time we got packed, out the door and on the plane with little to no problem. It HAS been over 5 years since we last took a trip back east though, so the kids being older and more able to help probably had something to do with it.

Trip to Virginia 2018, Summer Vacation to the Beach

We landed at Washington Dulles Airport with no issues after a little bit of a bumpy ride. My parents were there to meet us and the kids were so happy to see them. So was I. Going 5 years without seeing your Mom is hard.

We left for Myrtle Beach the next day and I have to say, for a 9 hour drive my kids did pretty awesome there as well. The hotel we stayed at was wonderful, we were right on the beach so all we had to do was go downstairs and walk out to it. I love being at the beach so much, I hope one day to move to a house right off the beach and just fall asleep listening to the waves. That is my biggest dream.

The days we spent at Myrtle Beach were great. We spent hours at the beach, the kids playing in the waves and then we would head out to eat at local restaurants. If you are ever at Myrtle Beach I highly recommend River City Cafe! Their burgers were so good, their sweet potato fries – THE BEST! The time share we were at had a full kitchen, washer/dryer and all the amenities so it was like a second home to be honest.

For 4 days we enjoyed all kinds of fun – walking down the main drag, going to The Gay Dolphin Gift Cove (which is a HUGE curio store where they sell any and all the knickknacks you can possibly imagine – we're talking multi-level shopping experience here – so fun). We rode on the huge SkyWheel, ate food that wasn't good for us and played arcade games. It was so much fun.

Then on our last day, my parents drove up to North Carolina to look at some retirement properties they were interested in so the kids and I decided to head out for some lunch and final time at the shops and arcades. We were out for a few hours and then started our walk back.

When we were just a few blocks away from our hotel my son Gage told me he felt weird. That when he closed his eyes he felt dizzy. Thinking that he was just hot and probably tired I told him to just keep going that we were almost there. Then he started wobbling while he was walking. I thought he was just being over dramatic. We finally made into the blessed air conditioning of the hotel lobby and I thought he would start feeling better.

Then he started shivering. Like the way that you shiver when you get the chills. I asked him what was wrong and he said he didn't know. That he wasn't trying to do it and he couldn't stop it. We got into the elevator and started the slow ride up to the 18th floor. Gage's shivers got bigger. Then it happened.

My son had a seizure.

The minute the doors of the elevator opened, I tried to get Gage out of the elevator but he couldn't hear me. He was shaking uncontrollably and then a look of complete terror crossed his face and in the next second his entire body locked up. His eyes rolled back, his mouth locked in and open position and his arms hyper extended out in front of him.

My daughter screamed for help and I told my son Connor to hit the alarm button and get us back down to the lobby.  At the same time this was happening I slid Gage down the wall of the elevator to sit on the floor. I held his head in my hands and just kept talking to him. My daughter Brooklyn was crying and understandably freaked out.

After was seemed like the longest elevator ride ever the doors opened to the lobby. Immediately we screamed for help telling the employees that my son was having a seizure. They called 911 right away. We used the carpet that was under my son to drag him out of the elevator and into the elevator waiting area where it was cooler then rolled him on his side.

By this time Gage's seizure had passed and he was no longer tensed up. He was breathing but unresponsive for several minutes. When he finally started to come around his speech was slurred, he was confused and couldn't understand why he was lying on the floor. The EMT's arrived shortly after and Gage and I rode to the local hospital. They would only let one person ride with him so I had to leave my daughter with her brother until my parents got back. She was so upset but they were only an hour away so I knew she would be alright.

The hospital admitted Gage and we were in for a long night in the PICU while they monitored him and ran tests. He was given an EEG and seizure medication. He did not have any further seizures during the night so he was released the next morning with orders from the doctor to see his neurologist when we got home.

Crazy 8 Sale On Now!
EEG for Gage's seizure during our summer vacation to Myrtle Beach
Gage's EEG, he was not happy

We drove back to Virginia to my parents house and spent the rest of our vacation out there without any further seizures. We made the necessary appointments for further EEGs and MRIs as well as with his neurologist. We were given a ton of information on seizures as well as prescriptions for additional seizure medication. Due to my son's brain injury it is hard to know exactly what may have caused the seizure but they believe it is just a progression of the injury now that he is older. For now, he is seizure free and doing ok. But this was one of the scariest things we have had happen since his injury when he was an infant.

I will be talking more about Gage's story and his condition on my next podcast so be on the look out for that.

Inspirational Single Moms in Movies

Erin Brockovich, The Single Mom Blog - Inspirational Single Moms in Movies

Inspirational Single Moms in Movies

 

It’s been a popular storyline for television and film to follow – portraying single mothers as victim, waiting for men to rescue them from precarious scenarios.

However, times are changing, and more movies are now presenting single mothers as heroines of their own story. This article takes a look at five inspirational single moms on film.

Erin Brockovich – Erin Brockovich

According to movie site Fandango, “Erin Brockovich” features the titular character, a down-on-her-luck mother, managing not only to discover a massive cover-up involving a major power company contaminating the town’s water with poisonous substances, she also spearheaded the lawsuit against the company. Her efforts led to the plaintiffs winning the case.

Prior to “Erin Brockovich,” Julia Roberts was known for starring in rom-coms such as “Pretty Woman,” “My Best Friend’s Wedding,” “Notting Hill,” and “Runaway Bride.” However, her role in the true-to-life story put her on the map as a serious actress, with the role garnering her several awards.

(Side note: I was watching this exact movie when my water broke when I was pregnant with my twin boys. So this movie literally started me down the road of single motherhood.)

Jenna – Waitress

At first, Jenna, played by Keri Russell, seemed like a train wreck waiting to happen. She was unhappy with her relationship with her abusive husband, and her job as a waitress. She became pregnant, and although it wasn’t exactly a timely pregnancy, she decides to keep the baby despite someone suggesting that she gets an abortion. Matters become even worse when she falls in love with her new doctor, who she initiated an affair with despite the fact that both of them are married.

The birth of her baby gives her the strength to leave both her husband and her lover, knowing that she is better off without the two relationships in her life. The epilogue revealed that she soon became the owner of the diner that she worked at and went onto raise her child all by herself. But more importantly, she was happier than ever before.

May Miller – The Single Moms Club

“The Single Moms Club” may feature five strong women, but Working Mother pointed out that May Miller stands out among the leading characters. Played by Nia Long, May is a newspaper reporter who is raising her 12-year-old son alone. The boy is desperately searching for his biological father, and this is a key element to the story and how May deals with the subject.

Sarah Connor – Terminator 2

An action film might seem out of place in a list of strong single mothers, but Sarah Connor is a character that continues to break boundaries. She didn’t let her incarceration into a mental institution stop her. In the first “Terminator” film, Connor found herself locked up, but instead of letting this ruin her, she used it as an avenue to workout and get physically fit for the impending robot apocalypse.

Despite two actors portraying Sarah Connor in both film and television after “Terminator 2,” it was Linda Hamilton’s performance that the film series fans remember the most. Her role as a tough mother in the film helped put “Terminator 2” on the map as the best film in the franchise, and it continues to produce spin-offs. The Terminator 2 slot game which was unveiled by gaming site Slingo is just one of the popular digital games released in the film’s honor more than two decades since it first came out.

Dede Tate – “Little Man Tate”

As a single mother, Dede Tate, played by Jodie Foster, struggled to provide for her son Fred. The film focuses on Fred as an intellectual genius and how Dede needs to step up to the plate to give her son the best chance at realizing his potential. She eventually takes a chance and enrolls Fred in a private school for gifted children. The film shows Dede’s attempts to connect with her son and nurture his talents.

Mayim Bialik Wrote a Book And It’s AWESOME!

If you are not sure who Mayim Bialik is, you may not have been a young girl growing up in the 90's watching Blossom dancing on your TV screen listening to her on screen brother Joey say “Whoa!”

You are more than likely familiar with her role as Sheldon's love interest Amy on the Big Bang Theory. What you MAY not know however is that she is a scientist in real life. Like a really real scientist with a B.S. in neuroscience.

She also created a site called GrokNation which caters to women and includes wide-ranging topics such as religion, popular culture, parenting, and Hollywood. Man this lady has a lot going on – including launching a brand new book!

Girling Up: How to Be Strong, Smart and Spectacular looks to be an amazing book and one I will likely be purchasing for my daughter. It tackles a lot of issues for little girls from a scientific perspective breaking down many of the things that as a little girl I wondered about.

Hell, some of them I still wonder about.

The book has 6 chapters:

  1. How Our Bodies Work
  2. How We Grow
  3. How We Learn
  4. How We Love
  5. How We Cope
  6. How We Matter

And that last chapter is one that I am so very excited to read to my daughter.

Fair Warning:

Now, fair warning this book DOES talk about things like genitalia and sex and other various topics that you may or may not feel your child is ready for. Depending on when  you are ready to have “the talk” or if you have already have had it, I felt it still important to make you aware of that little detail.

It is all covered in a very scientific way and tastefully but as a mom I figured you may want that heads up so you don't end up shocking yourself and your kid when you first open the pages. lol.

The one thing that really made me excited to see this book is that it is a book that not only covers many things that some little girls never really feel they can talk about. From what I have seen of it so far Mayim wrote it in such a way that it promotes confidence in who they are. That being a girl means being strong and that we are important, not just because we are pretty but for everything that we contribute.

I think so many little girls grow up in this world of pre-defined beauty that they don't feel secure in who they are. My daughter recently accidentally shaved off part of her own eyebrow because some YouTube video told her what she needed to do to make her eyebrows on ‘fleek'.

I won't even get into how much I hate that word.

My daughter is also concerned about her weight a lot lately. She is 10! When I was 10 I don't remember even CARING what my weight was. But now it seems that the societal pressures are creeping in at an early age. And it terrifies me.

Mayim Bialik wrote a book called Girling Up and it's awesome!

So anytime I can bring something into my daughter's world that encourages using her brain, developing those high self esteem muscles and truly finding her own power I am all for it!

I am so excited to get my copy of this book for my daughter. You can use the link to grab your own copy of Girling Up: How to Be Strong, Smart and Spectacular as well.

(Disclaimer: this link is an affiliate link and will not change the price you pay for the item, but it does give me a little something for the click.)

My Weight Loss Struggle – Are There Ways to Lose Weight Quickly?

I posted a while ago that I was going to start on a new challenge: Lose 40 pounds.

Yep – 40!

That's a lot of weight to lose for me, especially since the last few years I have been packing it on instead of losing weight. I mentioned how I had gained the weight and why it was so hard for me to lose. The biggest reason being that I REALLY like food. That and I had lived a fairly sedentary lifestyle for quite a few years now.

Being parked behind a computer desk for the better part of my day did not do me any favors and then add to that my love of food and you will end up with a pretty significant weight increase.

One of my saving graces is that I am tall so the weight increase, while pretty intense doesn't look like a TON of weight gain. However, it is taking a toll on my body for sure. I get tired more easily, don't have the energy I once did, my knees bother me more than they should and of course my clothes are not comfortable anymore (some flat out don't fit).

Now over the years I have tried many different ways to lose the weight: Weight Watchers, Nutrisystem, Weight Loss clinics and more – none of them really working. These programs, while great, didn't work for me for one simple reason – ME! I give up. I quit. I get bored or frustrated and don't want to do it any more!

I'm A Quitter - why I fail at weight loss

I don't like feeling like I have to starve myself, or feel like I don't get to eat what I want when I want. I HATE being told what I can and can't do – and that's what these diets (ANY diet really) make me feel like. Like I am being told that I can't eat what I want if I want to be able to lose weight. And so more often than not I will behave myself for weeks and then in a fit of defiance I will gorge on things that I “can't” have – thus I failed and thus I quit. I figure ‘Well hell I already screwed myself so why not just give up.'

Told you I was a quitter.

Now after I came to terms with this fact and how it was effecting my weight loss I thought to myself there just HAS to be a way for me to do this. And there is – I am making small but measurable changes in my lifestyle. Many of which I found in this article on Health.com in their article ‘16 Ways to Lose Weight Fast

In today's podcast I will review the first 8 of 16 and how I am implementing these in my life. Click the player below to listen.

Another great resource that I have found recently is this article on the site Health Ambition that offers more ideas and tips for losing weight.

Are you currently on a weight loss mission too? Do you have some great tips that have helped YOU lose weight? We would love to hear from you in the comments below AND on our Facebook page!

How To Break Up Boredom This Spring Break

How to break up boredom this spring break - The Single Mom Blog

How to Break Up Boredom This Spring Break

Spring break is upon us yet again mommies. For some families this means taking a trip somewhere or planning out various activities. But for many of us who aren’t able to get away we have to find ways to keep our kiddos occupied. Which is sometimes easier said than done.

For many years in our home it was a constant challenge to find ways to keep them from being bored. Now I am not one of those parents who feels they need to keep their kids occupied for their own development. No I am the parent who knows that when my kids get bored bad things start to happen. Fights break out, things get broken, walls get colored on. At one point when left to their own devices wet toilet paper covered my upstairs bathroom. I’ll let you figure out how the toilet paper got wet – (hint: it didn’t involve the sink).

So to save our sanity and hopefully our breakable items in the house I have searched Pinterest for some really fun ideas. Hopefully this will help keep the kids entertained and having fun over spring break. If nothing else it may end up giving you some epic Pinterest fails that you can then share with us!

Here we go:


1. Make a Mini Greenhouse

Many plants have to be started indoors before they can be transplanted out into the garden. Starting an indoor mini greenhouse can be a fun project for your kids. Watching our seeds sprout and grow was definitely a source of fun for my kids when they were little. I kind of get a kick out of it too. This pin from gardenlovin.com has multiple different ideas for mini greenhouses. Some more complex than others but all great for growing new sprouts!
How to Break Up Boredom During Spring Break - Start a Mini Greenhouse / The Single Mom Blog



How to Break Up Boredom During Spring Break - Make Your Very Own Bouncy Balls / The Single Mom Blog


2. Make Your Own Bouncy Balls

Science experiements are always a good time! You have fun AND you learn. So why not make something that is a lot of fun to use even after the science is over. A great idea that we found at www.the36thavenue.com is a fun way to pass the time. Just make sure to bounce those balls outside if you want to save your breakables.


3. Arts and Crafts

Arts and crafts – the ‘ol stand by. Sitting the kids down with scraps of colored paper, glue and glitter is one of the most popular activities out there. Personally I love spring time crafts because it is now nice enough that you can send them outside to do them! Which means I am not finding glitter all over the house – for the most part. Perfectionpending.net created a great post with a collection of 15 different crafts for kids to do. Personally the lightning bug eggs are my favorite.
How to Break Up Boredom During Spring Break - Arts and Crafts / The Single Mom Blog

How to Break Up Boredom During Spring Break - Thumbprint Art Flower Pots / The Single Mom Blog


4. Make Thumbprint Art Flower Pots

I guess these could TECHNICALLY fall into the arts and crafts category but they are just so cute I thought they deserved their own section. These pots from momalwaysfindsout.com are so sweet and something that will give you a lasting memory of your little ones, from when they were little. Also, if you decided to go ahead and create those mini greenhouses you now have somewhere to plant your newly sprouted plants! Win win!


5. Laundry Basket Skee Ball

Indoor games can be so much fun for the kids. This is a great one that hopefully won't cause too much destruction. It is also very inexpensive to set up and play. This great idea came from frugalfun4boys.com and only requires laundry baskets, a cardboard box, paper, markers and some ball pit balls. Indoor fun ideas are great to have on hand just in case your spring break gets rained out.
How to Break Up Boredom During Spring Break - Laundry Basket Skee Ball / The Single Mom Blog


This is The Most Important Decision You Can Make [Podcast]

Who you allow into your life, mind & heart are among the most important decisions you will ever make.

It took me some time to fully understand this and how important it was in my life. I am one of those people who will always try to see the good in people. I usually end up ignoring the bad when I do though.

Quite often I would ignore or disregard bad qualities or behavior because I thought that the person was a ‘good person underneath it all‘. With my boys' father I chose to look past all of the blatant signs that he was not good for me, or my boys. I tried to make something work with my daughter's father that would never work. The whole time telling myself that I could fix things that simply weren't fixable.

The realization of how important this decision was for my life finally hit home when I had to completely sever my relationship with my best friend. We had been friends for almost 10 years when I had to walk away. For some time I had suspicions that she had started using drugs. But I found myself making excuses and talking myself out of those suspicions.

My friend couldn't possibly be using, she wouldn't lie straight to my face when I asked her. She wouldn't use drugs while me and my children were in the house. I just couldn't make myself believe it no matter what my gut said. Finally, I couldn't ignore the signs and people telling me that she was using. I had to tell my best friend, a woman I considered a sister, that she could no longer be in my life.

It took me a while after that to finally realize that it took me far too long to cut my friend out of my life. I allowed her around my children when I shouldn't have because I wanted to believe my friend. That I stayed for too long in a ‘relationship' with my daughter's father because I wanted believe that he would change. I ignored all the signs and it effected my life.

Have you ever heard the phrase ‘You are who you hang with‘?

Who you allow into your life, mind and heart are among the most important decisions you will ever make.

When you allow toxic people into your life they will poison it. It may not happen right away, and you may not even realize it. Until it's too late. They can effect your outlook on life, the way you behave, activate bad habits. When I was with my daughter's father I drank a whole lot more than I normally do. I felt that in order to be with him I had to drink like him. I was the worst version of myself when I was with him.

Since that relationship and losing my best friend I have made sure to only allow positive people into my life. People who will bring out the best in me. Push me to be a better person and help me enforce a positive and healthy lifestyle. It took me many years to fully understand how important this was for a healthy life for myself and my family. Since making that decision life has been much more of a blessing than a burden.

I have had less drama to deal with. There is no longer a constant feeling of BLAH looming overhead. Making sure that only certain people are allowed into our family and into my life has been critical for our happiness and peace. It is the most important thing.

 

Trumpcare Bill Pulled Before Vote

Trumpcare bill pulled before the vote. Trump and Paul Ryan couldn't get their horrific bill passed even with a Republican congress

Trumpcare just failed before it even got to the floor!

 

After years and years of complaining about Obamacare (ACA) and how horrible it was the Republicans appear to have simply thrown a bill together in the hopes that it will stick. The “American Health Care Act” (Trumpcare) appears to be the biggest pile of garbage I have ever seen. You would think that in all this time the GOP would have had at least SOME idea of what they were going to do when/if they got the chance to finally repeal Obamacare. Apparently not.

As a single mother of two special needs boys the recent discussion of the AHCA has had me really worried. Not just because it stripped many of the things in Obamacare that help myself and my family but because it was going to be detrimental to so many of the working poor families out there.

The proposed new bill would have provided tax credits instead of subsidies for lower income families to help offset the cost of insurance. Many feel that they are the same thing but in reality they are not for lower income families. Tax credits are given at the time you file your taxes giving you more on a tax return (if you get one) and subsidies help offset the cost at the time you sign up for insurance. I know as a single parent I can't afford to pay higher rates for insurance up front and then wait until tax time to receive the money back.

The plan would also look to de-fund Planned Parenthood where many women go for healthcare services.

There are many other reasons to not like the AHCA but the biggest is simply that it appears to help the affluent and healthy and pretty much screws over the poor or struggling families. Because of this and many of the items in this bill there was absolutely no support from the Democrats in the House. The bill also lost Republican support due to the problems it would cause for Medicaid expansion, coverage for the elderly as well as lower income families.

There were other Conservatives who refused to vote for the bill because it didn't go far enough in repealing Obamacare! Which astounds me, I mean how big of an asshole does Trumpcare have to be to make Conservatives happy? It already clearly favors the wealthy and hurts the poor so what more needs to happen for this bill to be good enough for them?

In the late hours it appeared that Trump and his team were trying to make concessions and changes that would possibly get him the votes he desperately needed to get the bill passed. It still wasn't enough. When it became clear that they would not have enough votes to pass, instead of going to the floor and losing the vote Trump just ordered the bill pulled.

I'm not going to lie, I squealed in delight when I heard that this horrific bill was not going to pass. I have friends employed in healthcare and I know that they have all been dreading Trumpcare. I have a friend who works with Kaiser Permanente and she said “I would rather quit my job of 10 years than spend the next 4 years trying to fix the mess that this new healthcare bill will cause.” NO ONE was happy with the AHCA.

But then again, what did they expect? I mean even my 9 year old child knows that when you wait until the last minute to do your work it's gonna suck. You can't try and throw something together last minute and have it be a quality solution. Donald Trump was recently quoted saying “Who knew healthcare was so complicated”… um.. EVERYONE!!! Everyone except you apparently. You thought you would just be able to jump in and yank Obamacare without any muss or fuss. Now you know it doesn't work like that. It's not like your company Donny, there are lives at stake and so many complexities that you can't do that.

You are a novice at all of this though Donny, so it can hardly be expected that you would know that. I'm not quite sure what your Republican counterpart's excuse it though. They should have known better.

No matter what though, today my family and I still have insurance and that is what matters to me.

The White House Budget Director Does Not Speak For Me

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The White House budget director Mick Mulvaney went on MSNBC's “Morning Joe” program this Thursday to discuss the recently proposed “America First” budget which shows an increase in defense spending and some pretty dramatic cuts in other areas. The most notable being the EPA, Environmental Protection Agency, who are tasked with helping protect our environment and making sure there is a livable planet for our children and great grandchildren. There are many other areas that are seeing cuts such as the Corporation for Public Broadcasting – which funds PBS.

During his interview Mulvaney stated “When you start looking at places that we reduce spending, one of the questions we asked was can we really continue to ask a coal miner in West Virginia or a single mom in Detroit to pay for these programs? The answer was no, we can ask them to pay for defense, and we will, but we can't ask them to continue to pay for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.”

And they aren't just going after Sesame Street and clean air either, the following departments will see cuts as well:

The America First budget is full of bullshit cuts that will hurt lower class families, the environment and more

 

The amount of departmental cuts Trump's budget is proposing is horrifying and will hurt lower income families in so many different ways. Many of the programs that will lose funding are ones that help feed the elderly (Meals on Wheels) and provide school lunches and after school programs for lower income families. Programs such as the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities will lose funding all while military spending will see an increase of $54 billion. Several billion dollars of that increase are slotted to pay for ‘the wall'.

You know, the one that Mexico was going to pay for but aren't REALLY going to pay for because WE are going to be forced to pay for it. Yeah, that stupid wall.

Now I can't speak for that “coal miner in West Virginia” but as a single mom in Denver (not Detroit) I can state with great enthusiasm that I would rather pay for almost ANYTHING instead of that stupid ass wall.

I would happily pay for Sesame Street and PBS to continue instead of paying for that wall.

I would rather pay to help low income children and the elderly be able to EAT than pay for that ludicrous wall.

I would rather pay to ensure that my children and grand children and great grand children have an inhabitable planet with air that they can breathe and water they can drink than pay for that ineffectual dumb ass wall.

I would rather pay for the people of Flint, Michigan to finally have drinkable water than pay for that ridiculous short sighted moronic wall.

I would rather pay to help teachers (who don't earn enough money in the first place) and schools provide after school programs for children than pay for that ‘anyone who has a fucking brain knows it's a stupid idea' wall.

Hell, I would prefer my tax dollars go to anything that would HELP the citizens of this country, the refugees fleeing terror in their home lands, the undocumented immigrants who want nothing more than a better life for themselves and their families, the low income and the elderly, the disabled and the forgotten homeless than to spend one penny toward that idiotic wall.

The US spends more on defense than China, Saudi Arabia, Russia, the UK, India, France and Japan COMBINED! Why do we need to spend more there when there are children going hungry in our country? When families are losing their homes. When our Veterans are more likely to end up homeless than they are to be helped. When single parents can't afford child care for their children so they end up stuck on government assistance programs all the while being called ‘welfare queens' and ‘drains on society'.

No Mr. Mulvaney you don't speak for me because if you did, you would stamp a big ‘F**K YOU' on this budget proposal – because it sucks!

 

Talking Transgender with My Kids – What Do You Say?

The most recent controversial decision by the Trump administration (because there have been quite a few to choose from) is taking aim as transgender youth in our schools.

In May of 2016 the Obama administration stated that Title IX protects the right of transgender students to use the restroom and locker rooms that coincide with the gender they identify with. However, recently the current administration has decided that they didn't really like that idea.

Stating that they believe that it should be something each state and local school district should develop policy on. Basically passing the buck to the states, which means that many transgender students in conservative states are screwed.

Now putting aside all of the politics that come along with what should be a basic human right issue it does bring up the topic of how are we addressing this with our children? I mean it does effect them doesn't it?

So I thought I would share how this issue has effected our family because:

  • we actually know a trans child,
  • she goes to my daughter's school.
  • she rides in our carpool
  • and we simply adore her!

For the purpose of this post we will call her Jennifer.

This year before school started Jennifer's mother let us know that her son had decided that he was more comfortable as a girl and wanted to be called Jennifer from now on. He wanted to wear dresses and be a girl. Her parents discussed it, consulted their family doctor and decided that was how it would be. Jennifer's mother let me know this decision at back to school night.

I can only imagine as a mom how scary that moment may have been for her. Letting me know this major decision and hoping that I was the type of person who would be accepting of it. Hoping that I wouldn't cause a scene or call her a horrible parent or tell her that her child was just WRONG. Praying that she wouldn't have to tell her daughter that they needed to find a new carpool.

I could almost see her shoulders relax a bit when I looked at her and simply said ‘ok'.

When we got home my daughter had a couple of questions for me about Jennifer. Which was understandable. They all boiled down into one thing though “Why does Jennifer want to be a girl and not a boy?”

Great question. I told her that I personally couldn't fully understand it because I had never felt like I was the wrong gender. BUT I told her that the best way I could explain it is that deep down Jennifer felt more like a girl than a boy. For whatever reason, that is how she was more comfortable.

I said to my daughter, imagine if you were told every day that you HAD to dress as a boy and act like a boy and be referred to as a boy. She said “But I am a girl not a boy”. I said THAT is how Jennifer feels. She feels truly that she is a girl and not a boy and she is happier and more comfortable as a girl.

My daughter is accepting of Jennifer and hasn't really had any issues. She did at one point say that she felt a little uncomfortable when Jennifer was in the bathroom. I told her that I understood and we discussed that at length. Why it made her uncomfortable. What, if anything, had happened to make her feel that way.

I understood why she was a bit uncomfortable, because of course Jennifer is still anatomically a boy. I asked her though if she thought that Jennifer should go into the boys bathroom dressed as a girl? Would that make the boys uncomfortable? Would Jennifer be uncomfortable?

My daughter and I talked back and forth about this and I did my best to cover all her concerns. What it boiled down to though was me saying “You are going in there to pee and get out right? You are in a stall and can't see her and she can't see you while you pee right? So really you both just want to go in, do your business and get out right? And if you didn't know that Jennifer was originally a boy you wouldn't even know right?”

She said “Yeah, so I guess it's not really a big deal.”

We talked more and even though I know she will possibly have more questions or concerns she came away from our talk feeling better.

It is understandably a bit confusing to those who aren't transgender. Just like those who haven't ever experienced discrimination don't completely understand how it feels. I feel that kids are more accepting though. They don't have bias or pre-conceived notions when they are young. They learn them as they get older.

Jennifer has been fully accepted at her school by those who knew her as a boy. I'm sure there have been questions and many conversations but all in all she is doing well. I think that is the key though – having conversations.

Talk to your kids, find out their questions and concerns and try your best to address them. Talk to them about tolerance, self-awareness, understanding and of course coming to you with any concerns. Our kids need to feel they can talk with us about things that worry, concern or confuse them. And they should be met with understanding from us as parents.

 

 

I joined a gym … I might possibly die

the single mom blog joins a gym. I may be dying.

I think I might be dying!

So if you have been reading the blog or following my podcasts you know that a few weeks ago I did a pod cast about setting goals. I feel that New Year's resolutions are too easy to break and often times when we make them we are already planning in our heads when we are going to fail.

So setting intentions and goals is key to helping you achieve those things that you really want to accomplish. It isn't always easy though. In fact almost everything that we really want takes hard work to achieve.

So to help me with my goals I decided to join a gym.

Now if you recall one of my goals for the past year or so has been to lose the weight that I gained when I quit smoking several years back. Quitting smoking was one of the BEST things I could have done for myself for many different reasons:

  1. I feel better and am not always out of breath
  2. I am less likely to get cancer
  3. I am less likely to die from heart disease
  4. I am not forking out hundreds of dollars a month for a nasty habit
  5. aaaanddd… I am no longer getting daily guilt trips from my kids about it!

However, I could have done without the extra 50 or so pounds I gained when I quit.

So as you know I started working toward losing that weight and I have been doing pretty well on my own. I started meal planning and prepping my meals ahead of time (be on the look out for a post about that soon) and also started walking on my treadmill on a regular basis.

I tried doing some work out videos as well but sort of fell out of the habit and some of them were really too intense for my poor knees. (Yes I am getting old and my knees are shot).

So far I have lost 20 pounds, which HELL YEAH!!! I am super proud of myself for but then I fell back into my old habits around Thanksgiving. I think we all mentally give ourselves permission to fall off the wagon around that time of year don't we? Or maybe that's just me.

Well anyway, after the holiday I knew that I had gained a little of the weight back so I was THRILLED when I found out they were opening a new Vasa Fitness right by my house! A gym I can walk to! Well that eliminates my excuse of not having time to drive there.

It opened a little over a week ago and it is a really lovely gym. All brand new shiny equipment, work out room for classes, racket ball courts (which would be awesome if I knew how to play), a lap pool with sauna and steam room. They have it all!

I decided right when I saw it that I was going to be there every day if I could! Work out for as many hours as possible to get myself back into shape! I was all in baby!

This is where I went horribly horribly wrong…

I probably should have eased myself back into it. Taken a little time to get my body back into the groove of things. But no, not me – I was gonna lose weight dammit!

So I did a kick boxing cardio class that I managed to huff and puff my bouncy butt through. I did sit ups until I thought I might throw up. Then I did more with a weight on my chest. I strapped myself into any and all machines that I knew how to used and did as many sets as I possibly could.

I curled. I crunched. I squatted (sort of). I pulled and pushed. I swam laps in the wonderful pool they have there and sat in their sauna and steam room thinking that would help a bit with my recovery.

Then I did it all again the next day and the next…

Why in the hell did I want to torture myself like this again?

I am not quite sure when I forgot that I am almost 40 but at some point in my goal setting madness I must have. Also forgot that at the age of almost 40 my body does not recover as quickly as it used to. In fact my body may not recover at all. My back hurts, my knees hurt, my legs hurt, my arms hurt – hell my hair even hurts!

What the hell was I thinking of jumping back into working out like I had never left? Like I hadn't been on a 6 year sabbatical from anything workout related. Hadn't even set foot in a gym in over half a decade. But no, little over zealous me decided ‘I got this!' and just dove right in.

I have since spent the last couple of days making sounds that could only be described as what my son calls a cat in labor while going up and down the stairs. I have to hold onto the railing like I am 80 instead of 40.

If that wasn't the worst of it, going to the bathroom the other day was a fun experience in pain as well. Having to hold onto the sink and the side of the tub just to sit down! Then realizing that in order to get back up I had to push using the arms that were so sore I couldn't even raise them over my head!

Now I realize that this may sound a bit extreme, but it's not. I have been a mess the past couple of days. Self inflicted pain that was brought on with the best of intentions. The intention of fitting back into my pre-fat pants that I have been holding on to for years.

The intention of feeling better and having more energy again. The intention of improving my health.

All great intentions – now I just have to remind myself of them and get my butt back into the gym … when I can walk properly again. This time I will take it a bit slower.

Don’t Make Resolutions – Get Your Intentions and Goals

Happy 2017!!

I hope that the first few weeks of the new year have been good for you. I know that this has been a scary couple of weeks for me. As many of you reading know I am not a huge Trump fan. To be honest he scares the hell out of me and I find him kind of childish.

However, like it or not, he is the new President of the United States. That being said I decided that this would make for a good topic for this podcast. Not Trump per say BUT my ability to manage how I feel about Trump.

What does any of this have to do with New Year's Resolutions you may ask? Well, here's how.

I have always had an issue with making New Year's Resolutions mainly because of the mindset around them. The fact that we are supposed to tell ourselves that the very first day of a New Year holds some secret power over us to make us do things that we did do ALL YEAR LONG last year! Like some sort of ass backwards Cinderella – the stroke of midnight is going to somehow make us magically become better at doing shit!?

The Single Mom Blog, setting goals and intentions for the upcoming year

Um-no. That isn't how it works. We can tell ourselves that all we want but if we are truly being honest, the second we make that resolution we already have a part of our brain ticking down the time until we break them. The simple idea of a New Year's Resolution brings that idea of when we are going to break it into our minds.

Be honest – when your best friend comes up and tells you “My resolution is to lose 20 pounds. I joined a gym and am going to work out every day.” You know if the back of your mind you are thinking ‘Yeah right Becky, I give it 3 weeks before you are back to hitting the jelly donuts'

It sounds awful but we all know at one point or another we have thought it, especially about ourselves. Especially when we attach New Year's Resolution to our goals.

Resolutions are easy to break – goals are more attainable.

Conquer Your Year Planner - 2017 Goals

So instead of resolutions – set goals for yourself. Goals are quantifiable, they are tangible. They will not make you feel like if you happen to fail you suck and now you have to wait until next year to try again. Goals are things you can break down into small little milestones or victories. Things you can track.

There are tons of planners and books that you can use to help track and meet your goals. You can download our free weekly planner here. I personally am using the Conquer Your Year planner to help me reach my business goals this year.

While you are setting those goals – also set your intentions for the year. Intentions are different than goals. They are the intangible mindsets and inner voices that we set for ourselves that help us REACH our goals. They assist in creating the version of ourselves that we would like to see.

This brings us back around to Trump (see I told you it would all come together)

Because I have such strong feelings against Trump I have had to set my intention for the year to one of hope. Hope and the intent to give a chance to someone who, based on everything said and done up to this point, is the antithesis of what I believe and pursue in my life. Because he is such a distorted version of what I would like to have in the White House I have to work REALLY hard with that intention.

My other intention is to start living my life more true to my beliefs and what is truly in my heart. For so long I have adjusted because I felt that if I were to really be authentic with how I feel I would be mocked or laughed at. I felt I needed to mute myself in order to not cause waves.

I feel it in every part of my life most of the time. When I paint, I feel like – no one is going to like this so why show it to anyone. It isn't as good as it should be. I feel like what and who I truly am is not quite right, so I must conform to something else.

I'm not unhappy - I'm just not quite ME...

Now I don't mean this to say that I am unhappy, but I just don't feel like I have been true to myself. There is something in me that always holds back because I don't want to rock the boat, or cause problems, or be seen as bitchy, or flaky or whatever… and that isn't how I want to feel.

My intentions will help me with my goals. They will support those changes that I want to make in my life. They will help bring about the change that I seek.

So what goals are you going to set for yourself? What are YOUR intentions for the New Year?

*this blog contains affiliate links for products. I will only ever post affiliate links for products I have used myself or for people and products I just love.

Are Hatchimals Really Worth the Cost?

Are Hatchimals even worth it?!

It seems like every few years or so there is a toy that comes out around Christmas time that sends parents into a consumer frenzy. A toy that their child simply HAS to have. Like I will totally DIE if you don't get that for me Mom!

When I was a child it was Cabbage Patch Dolls. Those were the must have toys for that year back in 19- cough cough! 

I realize I just totally dated myself because I remember when Cabbage Patch Dolls were new and special. That is the very first toy craze I remember though.

I was lucky though, because around the time that the Cabbage Patch dolls were in high demand my father worked as the manager of a toy store! So you can guess which little girl got the hook up on Cabbage Patch Dolls.

When people were running around like crazy trying to find a doll, ANY doll my wonderful father had already shipped me THREE! Well, actually it was two dolls and one Koosa. Now if you aren't familiar with Koosas they were the ‘pets' of the Cabbage Patch dolls. There was a dog, a cat and a lion – those are the only ones I remember. They were basically Cabbage Patch dolls with animal heads and tails.

Now let's forget the fact that they were basically trying to tell little children that if they had this doll they would be lucky. I wanted one just so my other dolls could have a pet. During the Cabbage Patch rush these guys were just as hard to find as the others. So I was REALLY lucky to have gotten one for Christmas that year.

Moving forward the next real toy craze I remember was that damn Tickle Me Elmo doll. Remember that one? People were going CRAZY about that toy back in 1996. People were stampeding each other, parents were getting into fights in the stores… it was ridiculous! I remember as a teenager thinking they were all insane!

By the way there is a whole NEW Tickle Me Elmo still out there today if you're interested. He's still pretty cute – this one falls over with his butt sticking up when he gets tickled. So there's that as an added feature – lol.

The Single Mom Blog - hatchimal are they really worth it?

This year is apparently the year of the Hatchimal! And if you are not yet familiar with Hatchimals (which I can only see happening if you do not have children under the age of 13) they are toy pets that come inside an egg. Yes an egg.

While inside the egg the Hatchimal will make noise, tap the inside of the egg and even sleep. The child is supposed to ‘play' with the Hatchimal – which I am still not entirely certain how you play with something inside of an egg, but I digress. Once the Hatchimal has reached a certain level of played-with-ness it will be ready to hatch. At which time it then pecks its way out of the egg.

Now setting aside the fact that I find that both odd and cool at the same time I am struggling with understanding the madness over this toy. I get that it IS kinda cool that the thing hatches out of its egg and all. But then what?

Well apparently after the bird or whatever you get hatches you then have to help it grow up. Give it attention, play games with it and such. It also apparently grows up from baby, to toddler, to kid stages. Each stage allows you to teach it new things, play new games with it and such. Which again – is pretty cool.

It does however bring to mind the Tamagotchi craze from several years back – ok it was a couple decades back. Shut up. Tamagotchi were electronic pets that you wore on a key chain and ‘took care‘ of. You were supposed to play with it, feed it and such – just like the Hatchimals. If I am going to be quite honest I am pretty sure I killed mine – a couple of times.

They tried to make a come back in 2015 but weren't wildly successful.

Which makes me wonder - are Hatchimals worth it?

As a parent I can not understand why I would want to buy one of these things for my child. Maybe I have become stodgy in my old age but I find them quite annoying. I KNOW that like all of our other pets at some point I would likely be the one tasked with taking care of the thing.

And what happens if you don't care for it? Does it die like my Tamagotchi did? Will my child be traumatized for life because we killed her Hatchimal? Or will it simple continue to beep or tweet or whatever noise it makes until I am forced to remove its batteries and hide it in the closet. It's happened before.

Now setting aside whether or not I feel this toy is even something I would WANT in my home – why in the name of all that is good would I want to pay hundreds of dollars for it?

Seriously, that's what they are charging online right now. Because they are sold out everywhere! So smart people, those who saw this coming – they went out and stocked up on this toy. And they are making a KILLING off the parents this year. Wish I had thought of it!

Sell a half dozen Hatchimals at a 50 – 70 percent profit – Christmas would have been GOOD this year for the kids.

The single mom blog - hatchimals - are they worth it

Thankfully, my daughter actually said she didn't want one of these things for Christmas so I don't have to worry about trying to find one. But even if she did want one – she wouldn't be getting it. At least not until they went back in stock at the regular price and MAYBE then I would be willing to get one.

I am not one of those parents. I can't be. I am not going to stand in line for hours or stampede over other parents trying to get that LAST Hatchimal. Nor am I going to pay hundreds of dollars for one. It's ok for my child to be disappointed. She will live. The world won't end.

I honestly simply can not understand how parents justify behaving in that fashion for a toy. I get wanting to make your child happy on Christmas, I really do – but I don't understand going to THOSE lengths to do so. And then the question becomes – what are you teaching your child? That no price is too high? That they will get what ever they want even if it means mommy turns into a raving lunatic at the store, pushing other people to the ground to get it?

No. That will not be me. Not ever.

No one ever died from disappointment. My children won't either.

So now the question is – are you one of those parents who WILL spend obscene amounts of money on a toy for your child? Or stand in line and stampede over others to get it? And if so – WHY?

Do you just not want to upset them? Did you have a childhood where you went without and now you do everything to keep your child from experiencing it?

Comment below and let me know because I personally truly don't understand why a parent (or any one for that matter) would step on another person simply to gain access to a toy.

*this post may contain affiliate links to products. 

Holiday Traditions Our Family Celebrate

Holiday Traditions in Our Home

Wow it's almost Christmas! CHRISTMAS!!! How the hell did that happen? We have been so busy with so many things lately that it seems to have just jumped right up on us.  But here we are starting our holiday traditions in our house this week.

Our family has some pretty fun holiday traditions and I thought this year I would share some of them with you! Most of them are pretty standard, some are super fun and others are maybe a little weird…

The Christmas Pickle

Yes you read that right – The Christmas Pickle. This is a fairly new tradition in our household but one that became very popular, very quickly. So the way this tradition goes is someone (usually me) hides the pickle somewhere in the tree. Then the children will search through the tree on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day depending on your preference until someone finds it.

Now there are many different traditions when it comes to the reward for finding the pickle. For some it simply means that you will have good fortune for the following year. For others you get a reward of some kind – an extra present possibly. However, knowing that in my family the awarding of an extra present would result in arguments and a general loss of Christmas cheer – we instead opted for the pickle granting the finder first dibs on their presents. Meaning they get to open the first present.

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PNP Video from Santa!

Another tradition for us, every year the kids receive a video from Santa that they absolutely love!! The boys have gotten to old in the last couple of years to get one but my daughter still gets hers.

The PNP site allows parents to customize the messages that the kiddos can get sent to them. You can decide if your child gets a video from Santa in his work shop, or on his sleigh or maybe in the library. You can upload pics to Santa for him to put in your child's book.

It is so fun watching my daughter see Santa talk to her and show her all around the North Pole! Click here for an example of the free video I made really quickly for my daughter. This is a fun free way for your child to get something special from Santa. There is a paid version that allows you to make more than one video and choose different options as well as let your child if they made the naughty or nice list. The paid version is only about $9 so it isn't too pricey but the free version is fun as well.

The Single Mom Blog - Holiday Traditions White Christmas

Decorating the Tree & White Christmas

Decorating the tree is a pretty standard tradition for most people. For us, we put the tree up the day after Thanksgiving and decorate it while watching White Christmas. White Christmas is my absolute favorite holiday movie. Bing Crosby and Danny Kay singing and dancing with Rosemary Clooney it just doesn't get any better for me.

Some people are fans of It's a Wonderful Life or Frosty the Snowman – some just listen to holiday music while they decorate. We also love to watch the original Grinch Who Stole Christmas and A Charlie Brown Christmas.

What holiday movie is your favorite?

Christmas Cookies

And last but not least our holiday season would not be complete without making and decorating Christmas cookies! Of course, this is my daughter's favorite of all our traditions.

Every year she helps me cut out and bake the cookies and then the real fun begins! We make our own icing with powdered sugar and food coloring and then we top them with every sprinkle and decoration possible! LOL.

It's usually a pretty big mess that I end up spending well over an hour cleaning up, but it is totally worth it. It's a memory, something that I remember doing as a child and I hope she will remember all her life.

So what are YOUR family's holiday traditions? Are they similar to ours or do you have something different that you do? Let us know in the comments…