Parenting Healthy

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Being Stepmom: The most ungratefull and satisfying job

I am so blessed that 10 years ago my husband chose me to help him raise his 2 boys that were 6 and 12 when I joined the family. They are now 16 and 22 and it has been one happy, crazy, emotional and satisfying job! Can you relate? In our situation, we do not live far from the boys' Mom. When you consider the two households, ours is the one that is about school, work and discipline. The other house is about play, friends and a lack of discipline. I only say that for the big picture and because if their Mother was to read this, she would not totally disagree. We all discuss this imbalance quite frequently. However, despite the differences in each household the boys are very fortunate enough to have 2 households that love them tremendously in our own ways. My husband and I get the short end of the stick as we make them do things like have curfews, divide time with friends to important things like schoolwork and family. As a teenager, which house would you rather live in? Right? I get it and I don't even have the energy to fight it and we don't fight it-we just raise the boys! The oldest has turned out to be a prime example that we are doing things right in our home and despite the pressures the teenager has between 2 homes, we do right by him as well. Never, will I compromise my husband and I's parenting style to give in for temporary gratification. Having 2 homes must be tough-my parents are not divorced-but if 2 households commit to doing right for the kids it can become a very supportive unit. I wish more than anything our boys had that. Being a Stepmom-doing the work, but can't dare have the title! Do you relate? I am not complaining at all. I am very confident in my marriage and my home. I tend to look at it all in a very comical way, really! I bite my tongue and only get loud when the boys well-being is compromised. Perhaps you relate to what I write below....

Dear Bio-Mom,

To the biological Moms who have a caring Stepmom raising your children with you, we never doubt you are Mom. We will never have that bond you have with them and only the Stepmom who wants to create a huge source of stress and disappointment to themselves will pretend they do. I have a biological son who is 6 and he could never have the connection with another woman like he has with me. We know this! If you have a disaster for a Stepmom in the other home then I am truly sorry! That would be the worst thing I  could ever imagine for my children. However, as a caring Stepmom we want to be our own selves just like you do. Maybe you are strict and your ex and I are not and maybe you are uninvolved where your Ex and I are highly involved. Does that bother you? Is it really necessary to tell the kids in sly ways that you disagree with how we run our home? Unless we are harming the kids, we are good people who want to raise good kids. To tell your children that our good is not the right good or 'your good' is really a source of stress and huge pressure you are dumping on their shoulders. I speak as a Stepmom that does not play games, does not speak ill words, but will stand up and explain things to the kids when they were given the wrong information or only part of the story. We may not be Mom, but we love those kids and if Mom is happy they are surrounded by extra love, the kids will become content and happy too. If you make it a game, they will play games too-with both of our households!

We are not in a competition. There is no game called "Who's house is their favorite?" Really? Come on! It is called parenting. It is a set of adults who want the best for the kids and together-or separately-we can get them to become confident and respectful adults. Common sense shows that working as a team brings proven results and shows the kids that despite differences, when there is a common goal to achieve that being a team player will bring success. Yes, that means making tough choices to make sure the kids are in the best situation they can be at any given time to reach their changing goals. But if games are what you like to play, then divide that line in the sand, make sure you give the kids only partial details and not the whole story to truly make it challenging for them and stand back to see how that turns out for you. Their Dad and I will be at our home rolling our eyes and expecting rules and curfews and punishing them when they break it or talk back. It really is that simple to us. 

I recently read that in many cases the most source of stress in divorced household for the kids will come from the parent who left. It is called guilty parenting. If you are the one who left my husband for whatever reason, just don't transfer that guilt to your children. And do not ever let your children see you despising us as Stepmom's unless disrespect is the trait you are aiming for in our child. I am here because I love their father and I want the kids to be content. I became a Stepmom 10 years ago, myself. I came from a very violent relationship. I had just escaped-essentially preparing for death as I ran because I feared he was coming after me only to find myself befriending my now husband and have 2 kids in my life. I share this because Stepmoms are humans and we have feelings. We may have been carefree or running for our lives one moment and raising your kids the next. Unless you want to make the transition harder for everyone, please don't criticize or tell your kids to disrespect our name. The kids do talk and I would much rather you just come stab that knife into my back personally then go through the kids. I am not your competition. I am your help. I am more love in your kids lives. I support their Dad and keep him honest and involved. Lord knows how he'd be left alone with no help from a woman in the house. Your kids just might be surviving on ham sandwiches and coke when here. Mom is the one who has to make that choice because the kids are watching and will ultimately mimic YOU! Show them respect and kindness. Show them discipline and love and when it gets tough, you are fortunate enough to have a Stepmom's help and support. Stab that Stepmom in the back and things get very stressful real fast! Be a real Mom, not a guilty parent. We ask that of you because we want the best for your kids!

The Stepmoms who care

Perhaps you chuckle as a Stepmom reading this because you relate. Perhaps you are a Bio-Mom who has handed Stepmom the short end of the stick too many times to count. The kids are watching us! Just remember that parenting is not a game, it is real.  Real kids. Real lives. Real homes. Teamwork at its finest! Learn to love crazy and make sure your children only know what your goal is for them, never show them all the stress it takes to get there-divorced or not! It is not their burden to carry. If they think everyone is content and happy, they will be content and happy. It really is that simple! Pay attention because they sure are!

Giveaway: Bru Joy Stainless Steel Can opener offers great value

This is a giveaway post for Bru Joy. Giveaway fulfilled by sponsor

Bru Joy has the stainless steel you love in your kitchen and you can have it in your gadgets! This Stainless Steel can opener is so easy to use. I was so impressed with how smooth it is to use as a manual opener and this is great for those with arthritis or may have difficulty with hard-to-turn manual openers. It is sleek and matches the stainless steel you may already have in your kitchen.

Bru Joy Stainless Steel Opener features
  • Sturdy and easy to use with big turning knob
  • Built-in bottle opener and soda tab lifter
  • Ultra sharp cutting discs leave a smooth edge
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Risk-free, 100% satisfaction guarantee
This makes a great gift for any occasion, especially for arthritic or senior citizens that need an easy-to-use opener that looks great and leaves no jagged edges behind. The grip is easy despite all stainless steel design. The handle hooks are great for storage and easy access.

Buy Bru Joy

The Giveaway
One lucky reader will win this Stainless Steel opener for Bru Joy. US only. Ends 9/ 19. Enter below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

New Release: 20-MInute Yoga DVD Yoga for the Belly, Butt and Thighs

We all know those 3 trouble spots-the belly, butt and thighs as the hardest areas to work. If you are like me and can't always manage to get to a gym with proper equipment, take a 20 minute break daily and tone those areas easily with Chrissy Carter. Chrisy is a senior yoga instructor, teacher trainer, mentor and anatomy teacher at Yoga Works in New York City.

These are my favorite types of workouts to do just before my daily shower. I love that I can choose a different workout each time to change up the routine a bit. There are 4 routines to choose from. The Belly yoga routine is the shortest at 15 minutes and helps you strengthen and tone your midsection. The Butt yoga routine is 20 minutes long and helps you lift, strengthen and sculpt those glutes. The Thighs yoga routine is 20 minutes and brings length, strength and toning moves for the thighs and lower legs. The fourth is my favorite and also 20 minutes called the Total Body Tone. This yoga routine strengthens your core to assist in full-body results and revs up your metabolism.

We all can spare 15-20 minutes in our day. There really is no excuse and you don't even have to leave your home. Get those kids to school; put those little ones down for a morning nap and spend 20 minutes on those trouble areas before your shower time. You deserve to give yourself that attention and you will feel great and ready to tackle the rest of the day. This is a great start to those saying "I really should start, but don't know how".

Head over to Amazon and treat your self to Yoga for the Belly, Butt and Thighs.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Dental hygiene tips and Healthy Aging Month with CloSYS

This is a promotional post for CloSYS. All opinions are my own.

There is no hiding from it. We all age! As we age we begin to think regular doctor checks, mammograms, bone loss and our dental health. CloSYS was kind enough to send me samples as they celebrate Healthy Aging month as a dental company focused on safe and effective dental products. You can really feel the clean and effectiveness as you use these products. 

What can happen to our teeth as we age? Enamel breakdown is common from years of acid foods and beverages. Our dentin (the middle layer) can become darker and thicker and teeth staining is the end result. The older you get, the more chance of higher plaque build-up that in many cases is simply due to the inability to brush and floss properly because of other ailments you have. Medications taken can effect your teeth and gums strength and color. It is clear that the most damage control we can do when we are younger, the better off we will be down the road. So start now! It's never too late to take better care of your teeth.

About CloSYS products
  • Alcohol-free
  • Sulfate-free
  • They naturally whiten
  • pH balanced
  • Stabilized chlorine dioxide for bacteria control
CloSYS has these tips to proper dental hygiene:

"Brush Your Teeth
Use a soft-bristled toothbrush or electric toothbrush and CloSYS toothpaste, and brush for two minutes, focusing your brushing on the teeth and gum line.
Clean Around Your Teeth
Use floss and an oral irrigator to remove plaque from areas that your toothbrush can't reach, and use CloSYS oral rinse after flossing or directly in your oral irrigator with a 10:1 solution of water, and rinse to help fight bacteria growth.
Clean Your Toothbrush
Soak your toothbrush in CloSYS oral rinse for approximately 1 minute once a week to sanitize it and kill the bacteria that can grow on a wet toothbrush."

Disclosure: Parenting Healthy was provided samples. 

Giveaway: New release children's CD Sea Blue Sea by the Whizpops

This is a giveaway post for Whizpops. Giveaway courtesy of the sponsor

New Release

Kids can learn a bit about sea creatures as these songs bring sharks, manta rays, whales and other sea creatures alive with music. 

  1. Song list
  2. Coral Reef
  3. Manatee
  4. Dolphin Disco
  5. Manta ray
  6. Sea Turtle
  7. Anglerfish
  8. Blue Whale
  9. Star Fish
  10. Whale Shark
  11. Octopus
Want to see the video and hear a song from the album? Here is Sea Turtle...
Hear samples and download the album:

The Giveaway
1 lucky reader will win the CD of Sea Blue Sea by the Whizpops. Open to US. Ends 9/12. Enter below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: I was not compensated for this post

Eco-friendly back to school products from TerraCycle

This is a promotional post for TerraCycle

Have you seen the store aisle for back to school?  There is so much there and hundreds of little and big sized crayons, papers, notebooks, backpacks, totes, etc... How do you decide what to buy? Do you take the kids and let them pick? Do you tackle the supply shopping solo for sanity? I take my youngest, but my teen can care less about shopping with me for supplies. We just do the clothing. I will find things on my own I know he will need. When in doubt, why not buy a product that has up-cycled the hard-to-recycle waste. Eco-friendly bags, lunch sacks and pencil cases from TerraCycle are fun and sport popular brands your child and teen love. 

We have the Doritos messenger bag. It sports the recycled parts of the Doritos X bag and my boys love their Doritos when I buy it for them. It is large and we even took it camping to hold our shower items since it can get wet. It fastens with a velcro that stays shut. 

About TerraCycle
  • A trusted resource for tips, stats and tactics on how live a greener lifestyle
  • Repurpose difficult-to-recycle packaging into products
  • World leader in collection and reuse of non-recyclable post consumer waste
  • Over 100 brands of repurposed, innovative products
  • Find products for school, home, gifts, electronic cases and more
  • Find many TerraCycle products at Walmart and Target stores

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Giveaway: Coffee for College Xpressivo Machine

Xpressivo WHITE X1 Machine with FOAMER, plus 60 coffee capsules 
 Prize Value: $103
Hosted by:
A Lucky Ladybug
Make Our Own Network
Co-Hosted by:
Monica's Rants, Raves, and Reviews

Have a student who needs the perfect dorm or apartment appliance? Enter to win!

The sleek, new, state-of-the-art Xpressivo “X1” machine makes it easy to quickly brew cafe-quality coffee, espresso, lattes, and more anytime of day – with just the touch of a button. And we'll offer it at huge discounts to customers who select one of our monthly coffee capsule delivery plans.

X1 Key Features

Our sleek and versatile X1 coffee makes both single and double espresso shots…and a full 10-ounce pour of coffee.  Over 12 months of engineering and QA went into the development of the X1, but the result is a machine that's simple to use and makes delicious coffee.

  • Expected Retail Price: $199
  • Make savory espresso-drinks with the touch of a button.
  • Fast, easy, and no mess.
  • One-touch button for short (1oz), regular (2oz), and full (10oz) pours.
  • Sleek, compact, and quiet design.
  • Choose manual or auto-stop; programmable pour quantity.
  • Energy saving 30-minute “stand-by” mode.

X1 Milk Foamer 

Our X1 machine is also available with a compatible electric foamer so you can warm and froth milk to make your favorite lattes, macchiatos, cappuccinos, and more in under 30 seconds.

This giveaway is open to the Continental US only (because of shipping costs) and will end on September 15th, 2014.  Good Luck!!