In between overdoing it

Archive for April, 2016

Why Your Children Need More Sleep

sleepDoes your child seem like they need an exorcism most mornings? Are they waking up angry, difficult and impatient? The culprit could be sleep deprivation. What? But my kid gets 8 hour. If your kids are only getting 8 hour then they are not getting enough sleep according to WebMD.  They state the recommended amount of sleep is:

For an infant under one:14-15 hours per day.

For children between 1-3 years of age:12-14 hours

For 3-6 year olds: 10-12 hours per day is recommended

For 7-11 year olds: 11-12 hours a day

For 12-18 year olds: 8-9 hours of sleep a day.

Years ago, I knew something was up when it came to my children’s sleep patterns. I would listen to other mother’s complain that their children were difficult, had a hard time listening, get frustrated easily. I noticed this same behavior in my children when they missed a nap. So for this reason our family adhered to a strict nap schedule, which we still stick to today.

I began to see a pattern emerge. The families who said their kids were often difficult and didn’t listen were also the same families that did not nap their children regularly. When I remarked on this, they would response that their children “don’t need a nap,” or “would never nap.” However, I always wondered if the mid-day nap was sacrificed because it did not fit into the families schedule.

Don’t get me wrong, mid-day naps are often inconvenient and difficult to plan around. I don’t mean to imply that these parents were neglectful. However, I could see a direct correlation between the well-behaved,  a well rested children and the “they don’t need a nap,” difficult child.

Since many mothers do not stay at home and most families are in constant motion come the weekend. Regular napping might not seem a necessity any longer. However, it seems children are falling far short of the needed number of sleeping hours.

According to a US News report, “School-aged children need 10 to 12 hours of sleep per night, and many children are getting only 7 to 8 hours per night – sometimes even less.” The article also states, “Too little sleep has been associated with behavior issues, including ADHD, hyperactivity and mood swings. Studies have consistently linked even mild sleep deprivation with academic underachievement, concentration difficulties and lower test performance and overall school performance. Poor sleep is also associated with poor eating habits and obesity.” 

Teens, it seems are the worst offenders of sleep deprivation. According to Time Magazine, up to one third of US teens are not getting enough sleep. It might have something to do with the proliferation of smart phones, IPads and other electronic devices that are often used before bed. Personally, I am guilty of this myself and have noticed a marked difference in my sleep patterns when I put the electronic devices in another room before bed.

So what are some things we can do to help our kids get the proper amount of sleep

  1. If you have children under the age of 5 give them a regularly scheduled nap. Even of you think they will not nap. Give them a consistent “quiet time,” where they must lay in bed.
  2. Examine the real reason your child is not napping. Is it inconvenience for the family schedule? Do they know you will give in if they fight it?
  3.  Set a definite bed time and do not push your child past it. We are all guilty of doing this occasionally. However, if this is happening often, it might be contributing to behavioral difficulties.
  4. Determine a routine for sleeping and waking. Examine your childes behavior to see if they might actually need more sleep
  5. Shut of electronics. I’m not going to lie this is a hard one. We have a half hour of TV time in our house that we use to wind down and get ready of bed. (Also I use it to get some cuddle time in.)
  6. Set a good example. Make sure you are getting adequate sleep as well.

 

 

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Last Chance to become a more Successful U

sucessful u

I have some great news! Trish Russell who brings her Mini-Moment Monday feature to the blog, is sharing her course Successful U with us one last time before it goes away for the summer. I took this course myself and it is chockfull of thought proving, useful and actionable information.

She is offering it at a super low “Premier Champion” rate. She has opened this rate up for In Between Moderation readers. (I am kind of like the special friend that knows the bouncer at the best club in town.)

If you are thinking of investing in this course don’t wait long. Seats are very limited and it will not be offered again at this price.

[ctt title=”Successful U is a two week course where we spend time together in a closed Facebook group applying systems and processes to develop strong roots for your business. Go to successfulu.instapage.com” tweet=”” coverup=”X7d57″]
“The topics we cover are
1) Organization systems
2) Media Strategy
3) Customer Service
4) Leadership Prep
5) Personal Development & A wrap up of how to move forward.
To sign up go to:
successfulu.instapage.com

 

Why I had to break-up with cake decorating

cakeFor any of you that have been following this blog for a while you have heard me talk about, and seen me post my cakes. Last year, I decided to get serious about cake decorating and pursue it as a business. I got business cards, attended conferances and classes, and started taking on a steady stream of orders at a reduced starter price. The last part might have been my down fall.wpid-20150905_131320-1.jpg

I research the heck out of running a cake business and felt I was ready to get started. However, I lacked the confidance in my skills to charge full price, so I offered my services for a deep, deep discount. In January, I was gung-ho, and took on enough orders to carry me thought until April. I was so stoked! But then an odd thing happened. A week before each order was due, I found myself getting nervous, anxious and irritable. I was unable to take care of my house during the week before the order due date. I also found ,as much as I might try to schedule things outside of family time, it was always seeping into those hours.wp-1456191905077.jpg

In addition to the family intrustion, money was becoming a huge factor. Each time I had an order due I would have to do a fairly large outlay of money in supplies. In most cases the supply cost far exceeded the cost I was charging for the cake. So it was almost as if I was paying the customer for the cost of letting me do a cake for them. This started creating additional resentment and anger towards the craft.

I found with each order my resentment grew. I was sacrificing time with my family and it was costing me money in the process. Ok, I was learning but was it worth it? I was starting to feel like it wasn’t. But I was resistant to giving it up, I didn’t want to be a quitter.wp-1454870790682.jpg

By the end of Febuary I started to realize I was not in love with cake decorating like I had been just a fewmonths prior. I wanted to devote more time to my family, and had started wanting to expand the reach of my blog. My interests were changing and I found that I no longer wanted to decorate cakes anymore. After a long conversation with a trusted friend she stressed the idea that I must narrow my focus and pick where I wanted to go. Then I finally made the desion that I would no longer take on any cake orders and let the idea of a cake business fade into the background.

The other twist to this story was once I shared this with my family, they were surprisingly excited about my decision. They felt the resentment, anxity and neglect that was brought on by this venture. They wanted to be supportive of me and said nothing. But in reality they secretly wanted me to stop doing cake decorating. I had no idea this had such a big obvious impact on my family, but there it was clear as day. My kids were only little once and I was exchanging time with them for a business that I didn’t even enjoy anymore.wpid-wp-1445282137010.jpg

I might decide to try and start a cake business one day when I have more time. When my children are older. When I’m not working full-time. But for now I have decided to keep it as an occasional hobby and something to bring me joy. Not stress.wpid-20150822_162657-1.jpg

So what is my reason for telling you this story? To reinforce the idea that it is ok to change your mind. Sometime if it’s for the right reasons, it’s ok to be a quitter.

 

How you are losing money…drip by drip

drip

Water. It comes out of the faucet or from the hose but we really never think about how much it cost us to have H2O easily available to use everyday. There are more reasons to paying attention to water usage then just sound environmental practices. It could actually save you money. Here are the top 5 tips to tracking and reducing your water bill.

*** This refers to those who get there water from a municipal or city source.

#1 – Who uses the water in your house? -It is important to look at how many people live in your house and how much water they are consuming. For example teens, who have a tendency to take longer showers, might have a higher water usage then other members of the household. One or the ways to lessen water consumption in this area would be to

install a low-flow shower head. It might be a little extreme but set a time while you are in the shower to get a better idea of how ling you are actually spending in there. If you have a an older shower head you could be using up to 20 gallons of water for a 5 minute shower, according to Answers.com.

#2 – Check for  leaks – This is by far the biggest way to save money on your water bill. Likewise, if you are seeing a big spike in water usage it is most likely due to a water leak somewhere. Common places that leaks occur are toilets, pipes connections, and faucts. Those constant leaky drips add up.

#3 – Consider the season – In the summer people have a tendancy to use more water to fill the kiddie pool, water the garden, and keep the lawn green. This turns into a lot more water usage which is reflected in your water bill. Water your lawn only when it needs it will reduce your water consumtion dramaticly. Also adding mulch around shrubs and tress will help reduce the need to water frequently.

#4 – Don’t keep the water continusly running – Shut of the hose, or faucet in between uses like when you are brushing your teeth, cleaning vegetables or washing your car. Also hand washing a dish or cup here or there instead of running the dishwasher can also help conserve.

#5 – Check your water meter – To make sure it is working correctly and giving an accurate reading of your water usage so you are not paying more then you should be. You can follow this tutorial for step by step instructions on how to properly read and calculate your water usage.

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How to stop the “gimmies” and put your kids to work

Click Here for your FREE chore chart

work

Where do your kids get money from? Is it from grandma, from birthdays, from gifts? Getting a gift is all well and good, however what does this teach them? Do they have any understanding of what you go through to earn that money? Or is it just “gimme, gimme, gimme?”

For a while, I did not think my children had a grasp on what it takes to buy a new toy. It got to the point that they had so much they didn’t seem to treasure any of it. It became my fear that they would come to expect that getting an overabundance of things was a common place.

To combat this, I made the decision if my children wanted something they would have to start buying it on there own. They would have to put in the work like me and their father had. I implemented this strategy after my son turned 4 and my daughter, 7. At first there was some resistance. But once we held firm to the word “no” when at the store, our kids started to see that they were going to have to earn their way to a new toy.

I followed the lead of Rachel Cruz’s book Smart Money, Smart Kids” to tweak the chore regimen I had begun to implement. There are a few key points in designing our chore plan that I thought made a lot of sense and mimicked real world work in a kid friendly way.

  1. Don’t give your kid an allowance, give them a salary – An allowance implies that there is a weekly expectation that the child will get money no matter what or how many chores they do. A salary is the amount they earn based on the job they do.
  2. Make it optional – Just like in life. If you don’t do any work, then you don’t get paid. Giving them the option to say no allows them to see the results of their choice. (Not having any money to spend later on.)
  3. Make some chores unpaid – There should be one or two tasks that are unpaid but are contributing to the household. It reflects a respect for the maintenance and a stewardship of our home. It also helps kid to understand taking care of our home is not just mom and dad’s responsibility, but the job of everyone living in the house.
  4. Have a payment schedule -Give your children a set number of weekly chores they can accomplish and a set payment amount for each. Allow them to do optional chores if they feel industrious.
  5. Do not pay for shotty work-Build your childrens pride in the work they do by praising them when they do a good job. Just as important do not pay them for a job that they did not a put a full effort into. And by all means do not do it for them! They will learn nothing from being enabled. Even if it is not perfect, let them experience the  sense of pride in a job well done.
I will admit there have been times I have had to let my children forgo doing chores, making it a choice. It has taught them a valuable lesson at the store.  They now realize if they worked harder or saved their chore money they might have the toy they want right then and there. By earning and spending their own money, they have gotten a much better appreciation for how hard work can translates into money earned.
I have designed a FREE printable chore chart to get you started. Click Here

Mini Moments of Spring

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Joy! Cheer! Spring is here! Do you feel the new life growing around you? Is the warmer weather a welcomed change? Or is the reopening of farmer’s markets your heart song? Whatever piece of spring speaks to you, it doesn’t take long for us to build grand plans and then months from now find ourselves miserably surrounded by unmet expectations.

How do we enter spring with intention and enjoy our moments with family, friends and nature?

First, identify your TOP priority for this spring season. Working out? Spending time with family outside? Refreshing a room in your home? Gardening? Going on vacation? Then center your choices around the priority.

Why? Because spring will be over in 45 days, at least for me June marks summer. Therefore, you must stay focused or you’ll accomplish nothing.

How? If working out is a priority then ensure you block time 3-6 times a week to accomplish your routines. One neat part of being focused on a priority is your other interests will naturally feed into it without you feeling frazzled or pulled into a million directions. Take the workout example, spending time outside with family will naturally occur because your body will crave the outdoors as your fitness increases. If vacation and working out are both priorities, then make vacation your top priority. There are a lot of details that go into planning vacations and it’d be a nice change to not be worn out the week leading up to departure time! You can still workout three times a week for 30 minutes and move your fitness in a healthy direction without overwhelming your schedule.

Spring does not last long. Rather than over packing your schedule, focus and actually stop to smell the roses 😊.

This is not the type of balance you want

balanceI have a secret to tell you…it is a lie that people have been told for a longtime. We have all been fooled and it is leading us down a bad road with disastrous results. It’s called revolving balances.

Not what you were expecting? That’s kind of the point.

What is a revolving balance?

According to Wikipedia “A revolving account is an account created by a lender to represent debts where the outstanding balance does not have to be paid in full every month by the borrower to the lender.”

In other words, when you borrow money and don’t pay it back on time. The balance revolves or rolls over to the next period of time, usually a month. The longer you keep that borrowed money, the more you have to pay in the form of interest. Why is this bad? When you look at a credit card commercial, banking materials or speak to most people they are under the impression that a credit card is not a loan. That it is just like having cash. It is not. This false mentality is what is having disastrous effects on our household finances.

By using our credit cards we are “borrowing” money. This money still needs to be paid back to the lender.  For some reason in our society there is an inability to associate credit cards with borrowed money and it is taking many households by surprise. The longer you revolve a balance the more interest and fees will accrue and the longer it will take for you to pay it back.

Here are a few ways to shift your thinking and get control of your revolving credit card balances.

 

  1. Shift your mindset to stop associating credit cards are not cash. This is not your money, despite what the credit card companies and banks say. This is their money. You are only borrowing it and must return it eventually.
  2. Don’t stay in the state of denial– You are sent a disclosure (that no one reads) and new laws have forced credit card companies to spell out your interest rate and how long it will take to pay your bill if you only pay the minimum. It is your responsibility, to be aware of the terms of your agreement when you “borrow” this money.
  3. Recognize that credit card companies are in the business to make money – It’s not a bad thing just but something to keep in mind. If you revolve a balance the credit card companies make money off of interest and fees. If they are offering you what essentially is a no interest loan, be wary. They have to make money somewhere.
  4. Take a pause before you use the credit card. Is this purchase necessary or an impulse buy? Is it something you can pay for in cash?

    photo by sanja gjenero

    photo by sanja gjenero

  5. If you have a large credit card balance STOP using the card! – Ok, I don’t mean to yell but this seems like a no brainer. However we all fall prey to the ease of use built into the credit card (see my note below.) However, each time you add to the balance the longer and more difficult it will be to dig yourself out of it. If you find the pull of plastic too much for you, do the Dave Ramsay thing and break up with your credit card. Cut it up and go to a strict cash only system, at least until your balance is paid off.

Note for Mom’s: I’m not going to lie, this has been a sticking point between me and my husband. I want to get rid of the card and he feels that we need to hang on to one for emergencies. These emergencies have turned into vacation purchases we are now working to pay off.

Don’t get me wrong I’m not blaming the hubby. I was an equal party to it. I never said “no we shouldn’t put it on the card.” However, looking back, if the card had not been so easily accessible, we might have considered other options to pay for our vacation. So if you feel your household finances are going down this path. Don’t waffle like I did. Stand firm for the financial health of your household.

 

 

 

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