Turn simple foam core poster board into an adorable children’s artwork portfolio. parenthacks Visit my services page to get this, & lots more to help you get all those keepsakes organized. TheGuiltFreeParent.com
An absolutely lovely post about TheGuiltFreeParent from Stephanie Avila over at Rockabyemommy yesterday! Check it out below and visit her site to find out about some amazing interior design and maternity planning options.
I had the pleasure of meeting Shannon Teguh, creator and editor of The Guilt Free Parent blog a few weeks ago at the Club MomMe Family Spring Fest event. Shannon has such a bubbly personality and I enjoyed chatting with her about her experiences as a full time nanny. It’s through her experience in working with children and in the homes of families that she decided to share her tips and tricks for managing a hectic life! WOo hoO ThAnK YoU Shannon! (I hear the voices of moms every where exclaim with excitement!) I personally have had so many friends talking about their struggles in balancing their family, career and social life, so when I took a peek through The Guilt Free Parent, I knew that I had to share this blog with every one of you!
The Guilt Free Parent comes from a place of experience, from someone who understands your daily struggles, challenges and even the many successes that come from the daily life as a housewife, stay at home mom or a nanny. Shannon spent seven years in many homes, seeing what day to day life is like in a household with children. Along the way she has learned lots of different ways to manage time and keep things running smoothly, while making sure the children are feeling like they are getting the attention they need. There are only so many hours in the day, and Shannon shares her best tips on how to get the most out of the time that you do have.
The GuiltFreeParent.com is a great place to find quick & easy ideas for making everyday life as a parent a little less hectic. By becoming more organized you’ll be freed up to feel more connected with your family, and feel less guilty when you have to focus on your to-do list. If you need help getting more out of your day, or need someone to tackle some of those home organization projects for you, it’s a wonderful resource to find suggestions & support. I encourage you to sign up for the weekly email so you can get caught up with the latest on the site, receive hand picked ideas from Pinterest & Twitter, and access videos that walk you step-by-step through various time saving projects!
In her most recent post, “Change the way you introduce yourself & gain self confidence”, I love how her words are empowering to women and moms who may be downplaying or minimizing what they do and who they are. Her posts are not only full of great tips and advice, her words of encouragement are helpful in allowing you to gain your self confidence and peace of mind in your daily role as mom and helps to keep you on the right track to a more balanced life. If you’re interested in working with Shannon one on one, check out her services page here.
- 3 months ago
I finally pulled the trigger and launched my website TheGuiltFreeParent.com
It has been a daunting task, but I’m enjoying learning what it takes to create a website (most of the time I’m enjoying it, sometimes it makes me want to cry).
If you’ve ever felt guilty for having to tell your child, “I can’t play right now, I have “x” to do” come by and check out some ways to manage the stress of today’s fast pace life.
Sign up for my newsletter and you can get all the goodies delivered right to your Inbox! I will also be posting step by step videos for getting organized, and offering one one one time management consultation in person or via Skype.
Hope to see you there!
- 3 months ago
- 4 months ago
As women, it can be easy to use certain words to downplay and minimize what we do, or even who we are. Maybe we do this to make others feel more comfortable. Perhaps we might be self-conscious about the role we’ve chosen to play. Additionally, we may not even be completely aware that we’re doing so in the first place.
One word that demonstrates this sneaky minimizing effect is “just”. We may say, “I’m just a housewife”, “just a stay at home mom”, or in my case, “just a nanny”. It seems harmless enough, but in reality, it can shape how you and others see you. It’s as if you are saying that you are only (another restrictive word) one thing, and that thing is something you’re a little bit ashamed of.
One of the first things someone may ask when you meet them here in L.A. is “what do you do?” Asking about your profession can be a quick way for someone to get a glimpse of who you are. Answering that question has always made me feel a little uncomfortable. Among the production assistants, tech gurus, and aspiring actors, saying that I’m a nanny makes me feel a little beneath the people I’m talking to. Here I am in the land of glitz and glamor, and I spend my days wiping noses and changing diapers. I have tried to find a more creative way to describe my career, but I often end up saying, “I’m just a nanny”. It’s said almost as an apology, and I’m left feeling a little bit like “the help”. I get the sense that people are judging my intelligence and the decisions that led me to be what some may consider a glorified babysitter.
I’m not JUST a nanny. Deep down I know that I’m much more than that. I have an incredibly unique background, a vibrant life, and make a huge difference in the lives of those I work with.
- I spend my days teaching little minds to think BIG, and that anything is possible.
- I show them that life is full of surprises and joy.
- I’m in charge of their safety, health, and happiness.
- I’m trusted with people’s flesh and blood so that they can go out and pursue their dreams.
I don’t say any of this to puff myself up and boost my ego, but to acknowledge the reality and value of what I do. In doing so, my hope is to encourage you to gain confidence in yourself and what you do.
Think about how you really feel when it comes to what you do for a living. Are there any underlying fears or disappointments that you are hiding from yourself? Does the way that you describe your work give others permission to think or feel or treat you a certain way? What would it be like if you decided to make the conscious decision to do one of more of these things?
- Realize that you are not defined by a single description. There is value and depth to your being.
- Be confident in the choice(s) you’ve made to do what you do - whether that’s stay home with your child, go back to work, or switch careers.
- Find the value in what you do, and even if you don’t tell others, tell yourself.
Are there any words that you find yourself using to describe yourself that you wish you could remove from your vocabulary? How can you change the way you talk about yourself to encourage others to respect and appreciate what you do? If you describe yourself as “just” something you’ve subliminally influenced the person with whom you’re speaking to before they can come to their own conclusion.
Making the simple change to remove subtle key diminishing words like “just” can create a stronger first impression when meeting new people, and hopefully help you walk a little taller, too.
From now on when someone asks me what I do, I’m going to proudly say, “I nanny for a living”.
As always, I’d love to hear from my lovely readers with any feedback or suggestions. firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are around kids on a regular basis you may notice yourself saying certain things over and over (and over) again. Here are a few of the ones I catch myself running on repeat:
- Did you look for cars?
- Do you understand?
- Ready Freddy?
- In Response to the little saying “I have to go poop, but I need privacy” - ok, let me know when you need me to wipe (I’ll be sol glad when this stage is over)
- Leave your brother alone.
- Get down from there!
- Alright. Let’s go. (usually 5 or more times)
- What the heck?! (of course this is the phrase they’ve picked up from me)
- Have you brushed your teeth?
- Hand please (in crowded parking lots).
What are some of the things you find yourself saying until you’re sick of hearing your own voice?
- 4 months ago
There will ALWAYS be more to do at the end of the day. By setting priorities for what truly matters to you and your family, you can go to bed knowing that you got done what was necessary and important to you.
Here’s what my usual to-do list would look like:
These are all things that I WANT to or feel like i SHOULD get done (in 4.5 hours I have before I start work).
A great way to prioritize more effectively is to write out your list and then divide it into two categories.
Category 1 is What absolutely HAS to be done BY ME today.
- Those things that, if not done today will cause financial consequences and/or have a dire effect on your family’s well being and happiness. The task can not be reassigned to someone else and can ONLY be done by you (pay rent, appointments that directly affect your health…)
We often feel that everything has to be done by us right away, but often if we really examine our list we can see that very few things have a do or die deadline and not everything has to be done by us (I really struggle with this concept; I mean, it’s just easier to do it myself).
Category 2 is the rest
- Yes, that pile of laundry is driving you crazy and has practically started it’s own twitter account (@neverfolded), but if it doesn’t get tackled today it won’t be the end of the world. This is where we can stretch our delegation muscles. Assign older children age-appropriate tasks; you’ll be surprised what they can do. Get the whole household in on the spirit of being a team. Together you are all responsible for the care and upkeep of the home you share. You may not feel that you’re kids need chores, but think about the last time you were still awake at midnight loading the dishwasher. Wouldn’t it be nice to head to bed without feeling utterly exhausted?
Examples: laundry (unless there’s an event that REQUIRES an item be cleaned immediately), taking out the trash, organizing your freezer, making a detailed meal plan with shopping list full of organic, Paleo-approved items…
Check out that left column! Such a more manageable list. I was able to get all of this done, and even managed to squeeze in some time to work on this here blog. The stuff on the right does need to be addressed, but none of it is going to be the end of the world if I don’t get to it immediately and I’m able to go bed knowing that I did what was absolutely necessary for our family.
The 3 year old helping fold some laundry (he loved doing it too!).
As you get things done quickly and efficiently (since you’re not bogged down by a super long list) you may find that you have the time and energy to complete some stuff off Category 2’s side.
You’ll be surprised at how much more you’ll actually get done with this method. As an added bonus, the guilt of procrastinating on certain tasks will disappear because you’ll be tackling them first.
I wish you a week of feeling accomplished and unburdened. Let me know how it turns out! email@example.com
- 4 months ago
I’ve had a season pass to Disneyland only once in the almost 7 years I’ve lived in Los Angeles. It’s often hard for me to relate to those hard core Disney fans who are there every other weekend. Saturday night however reminded me just how much fun the place is, and without even stepping foot in the parks.
Our friends met up with us at Naples Ristorante e Pizzeria and we devoured a HALF METER of pizza out on the terrace as the sun set.
We were really lucky to see an adorable baby announcement during our fantastic meal. The expecting couple had her parents each open a box and inside were personalized Mickey ears with Grandma embroidered on one and Grandpa on the other. There was also a sonogram picture in the box. Both parents were overjoyed and I can’t imagine a happier place for such a joyous occasion. When they say it’s the “happiest place on earth” it’s because of moments like these.
Here’s a little rundown of the rest of the night:
- A stroll through a couple of the shops on D street to geek out over Star Wars stuff and adorable baby clothes.
- A stop into the Lego store to marvel over all the options in Lego today, and do a little shopping with a gift card my husband got for his birthday.
- We found the most amazing bar based on the Enchanted Tiki Room in the park. Small but full of character, the Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar ranked as a top five Disney experience for all of us, veteran Disney locals and occasional visitors alike. It’s located just behind the pools of The Disneyland Hotel. Go around the back by the giant outdoor fireplace. The bar offers a full menu of rum based drinks and had the best souvenir cups I’ve ever seen. Beware when you order certain drinks though, it’s been known to do a little raining indoors…
- The last stop on our downtown Disney tour was UVA bar in the center of the street right outside Catal. This has always been a favorite of ours and didn’t disappoint. I highly recommend the street fries; cheese, chorizo, & garlic. Yumm.
(photo courtesy of yelp.com)
A few tips to make your night run smoothly:
Parking in the Downtown Disney lot we got 3 free hours and then snagged and extra 2 hours from the restaurant by validating our ticket.
If you’re going to be doing a whole night of exploring up and down D Street, find the restaurant you want at the beginning and put your name in if there’s a long wait. You can wander around nearby and get paged once your table is available. We got really lucky and were able to be seated immediately. The line when we came out was down the block.
Since Trader Sam’s is quite small it may be hard to get a seat, but you do have to be inside to really experience the full effects. Try what we did and just stand to the side (kindly out of the way of waitstaff) and wait for a few seats to open up.
When dining or drinking at UVA bar the closest restroom is in Catal Restaurant - up the stairs and to your left. The two venues are run by the same company so don’t worry, they won’t hassle you for using their facilities.
I hope that your next trip to the House of Mouse includes a little time in Downtown Disney, and that you have a magical night like we did.
Any suggestions for places I should check out the next time? Let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org
Are there nights when you lie awake praying that your kid went to bed knowing they’re loved? Do you have days when you feel like nothing you set out to do is getting done?
There’s often talk on each side of the “mommy war” battle lines about sacrifice, but I think that the one thing that every mother is sacrificing is her confidence. Confidence that they are “good enough” as a woman and a mother. Confidence that her parenting choices are the right ones for her family. Between chores, errands, cooking, & cleaning it’s hard not to feel like something gets left undone.
I want to show you how you can conquer the clock and become confident that you’re giving your children all the love and attention they need. Let’s not waste any time and get down to how to control your calendar.
As a full time nanny for the past 6 years, I’ve gotten a “behind the scenes” look at parenting couples, and the issues that they face - not only as parents, but also in their own relationships. One thing that many couples struggle with is a lack of communication. This can seriously throw a wrench in how smoothly your day runs.
Be sure to talk to your spouse. Let them know what’s coming down the pike for the next week.
There are lots of ways to communicate with each other these days, but it often feels like we are more disconnected than ever.
- Shoot each other a text if an event comes up that needs to be added to the calendar.
- Have a shared calendar on your smart phone and add the event to the calendar so you are both aware of the commitment.
- And please for the love of God, check with your spouse BEFORE saying yes to something to see if there are any time conflicts.
By communicating with your partner you’ll be able to adjust the schedule if necessary and hopefully delegate drop offs, errands, or homework duty accordingly. By managing your time more effectively you can feel less harried, less stressed, and be free to be a more patient, engaged, and confident mother.
**Note: Timing is everything when it comes to going over the calendar and coordinating schedules. Right when you’ve walked in the door from work and the kids are clamoring for dinner and/or asking for help with homework is not the ideal time to sync schedules. Find a calmer moment, and it’s more likely that everyone will remember just what it is that they’re supposed to do tomorrow at 3:45.
What’s the most frustrating thing you deal with when it comes to managing your calendar with your partner? Let me know at email@example.com