Parenting

Tips for starting a new career after a baby

Many people see a career break as a setback and there is a lot of fear at the prospect of returning to the world of work after you have had a baby. Rather than seeing it as a speed bump, treat it as an opportunity to reinvent your career. There are no rules that say you have to go back to the same job or even the same sector you worked in previously, especially as your interests and skills will change drastically during the first stages of motherhood. 

Perhaps you need to retrain or go back to school to acquire different qualifications – now is the perfect time to switch it up. Maybe you want to become a pediatric nurse after spending so long caring for your own children or possibly go down the education route. Or maybe you want to leave children solely in your personal life and you are seeking a more corporate role as a contrast to out of work.

Here are some ways in which you can begin by starting a new career or make a career change after having a baby.

  1. Same job different demands – is there an opportunity to return to the same job but on a different schedule or with varied responsibilities? Hopefully, your employer will be willing to accommodate your requests and you can return to a career more complimentary of your life as a mom – you never know until you ask.
  2. Similarly, you could look into the same company but a different role – returning to work is the perfect opportunity to explore different options within the company. You have established yourself in your previous role and the truth is, they may be happy to keep your cover on the books and let you move over to a new role.
  3. Or, you could always look for a family-friendly organization – if your previous job was a high-pressure corporate role that does not sympathize with working mothers then you may want to consider changing over to a different company. Many organizations are extremely accommodating to women with families and offer more flexible work schedules. You will not have to fear asking your boss for time off to take your baby to the doctor.
  4. Turn a hobby into your new job – if you have a passion or an interest that excites you then consider turning it into a career. The best job is one that utilizes your skills and keeps you engaged. With children at home, you might need a bit more motivation to go to work every day!
  5. Go back to square one – this is the perfect opportunity to start that career you had always dreamed of. It is never too late to re-educate and start a new career path. It can be daunting, but the timing could not be better! Go back to school and do your learning from home whilst taking care of the baby or go to night classes.
  6. Start your own business – for those mothers with a bit of entrepreneurial spirit, now is the time to start your own business. You have got nothing to lose and it means you can set your own schedule, put in as much work as you want and really take advantage of nap time to get stuff done.
Parenting

Tips for Encouraging Your Kids to Play Outside

Tips for Encouraging Your Kids to Play Outside
Photo by Scott Webb on Unsplash

Technology, screens, and gadgets mean many of our kids are spending more time inside than outside. Outdoor play, however, is important for kids for many reasons. From improved physical health to a boost to overall happiness, we should all be encouraging our kids to play outside. 

Getting your kids to play outside rather than inside, however, isn’t always a simple task. But if you’ve decided you want your kids to play outside, whether it’s to get them off their screens or because you’ve researched what causes myopia (short-sightedness), these tips will help you out. 

  1. Start in your backyard

Encouraging outdoor time doesn’t mean your kids need to be exploring the neighborhood or off on hikes. You can start small by encouraging kids to play in the backyard. Making your backyard a fun place to play is the best way to do this. Outdoor picnic, camping, or kitchen sets, sandboxes and paddling pools, or outdoor games like swing ball are great ways to make your own backyard into a fun play space. 

  1. Give them outdoor toys

Water blasters, swingball, binoculars, slides, frisbees, swing sets – there are so many outdoor toys out there that you can give your kids to encourage them to play outside. Whilst sitting outside to get some rest and relaxation is fun for adults, kids will be restless if simply left to their own devices outside. Toys that can only be outside will make your kids look forward to sunny days when they can play with them. 

  1. Make it a family activity

Leading by example is often the best way to encourage your kids to change their behavior. If your kids are forced outside and you are inside on your phone, they may feel like they are being treated unfairly. Go outside with your kids, take them to parks, play games with them, and sit outside while they play. 

  1. Do an outdoor game every weekend

Every weekend, you have an opportunity to do something fun with your family. If the weather is good enough, make an outdoor game a weekly activity. This could be a game of rounders, a scavenger hunt, or a water blaster fight. Your kids will enjoy the outdoor activity and the time spent with you. 

If you’re stuck for ideas, this list of outdoor activities to do this weekend will give you some inspiration. 

  1. Invite their friends

Playdates are a great way to socialize your kids and encourage them to spend time outside. Invite school friends over for outdoor games or a picnic – a surefire way to make outdoor time even more fun for your kids. 

  1. Get a dog

Getting a dog is a big commitment and not a decision to take lightly. That said, getting a dog is a great way to get your kids outside more. Playing in the backyard with the dog and taking it for walks will be fun for your kids and the whole family. You can also explain to your kid the importance of exercising the dog, so they will see outdoor activity as benefitting the dog and not just themselves.

Parenting

Why Eating Together as a Family Post-Pandemic is an Important Ritual

Over the last year as we all spent more time at home, many families started to cook more. For some this was fun and enjoyable and for others it was a burden. Some families did more baking and some did more scratch cooking, and others just ate more simple convenience foods that could be bought at the store and made quickly at home. 

Now that more restaurants are open and family schedules and routines are shifting, many are wondering what their new family “normal” will be. Will families who had started to cook more continue to do so? Or will they take advantage of being able to eat out more? We believe that “eating together as a family” at home post pandemic is an important ritual and way to build healthy family habits around food. 

We do encourage families to get kids involved in the kitchen, but this practice should ideally make family life easier and not more difficult. Getting involved can teach kids good eating habits and self-regulation while also fighting disordered eating habits, anxiety, and even depression, particularly important right now.  

In Sugarproof, we give ideas for specific tasks that kids of various ages can help with in a way that actually lightens the work load of the adults in the house rather than creating additional mess. 

Here are a few examples by age:

  • Toddlers can help wash fruits and vegetables, spin salad dry, and pick things like herbs or cherry tomatoes off of stems.
  • Preschool aged children can cut soft things like melon or peppers, shell peas, husk corn, snap asparagus, help measure and mix recipes for baked goods, arrange fruits and vegetables onto plates/platters, and set the table.
  • Elementary school children can peel carrots, cut/prep a wider variety of raw vegetables or fruits, crack eggs, and learn to operate appliances like a food processor or blender (supervised).
  • Older children can find recipes in cookbooks or online and start preparing simple things for the family with some/little assistance.

Involving kids in meal planning, shopping, gardening (where possible), and simple food prep increases their level of connectedness and enthusiasm for eating family meals. And ultimately this can make meal-times much easier for parents and less of a struggle. Kids who feel proud of helping make family meals are more likely to eat them enthusiastically and less likely to complain or refuse healthy foods.

And for when families do choose to buy convenience options or eat at restaurants, we have suggestions in Sugarproof for how to navigate food labels and menus to make smart choices that are lower in sugar and more nutrient-rich overall.

recommended book

About the Authors

Dr. Michael Goran, Ph.D. and Dr. Emily Ventura, Ph.D. are co-authors of pioneering new book, SUGARPROOF: The Hidden Dangers of Sugar That Are Putting Your Child’s Health at Risk and What You Can Do (Avery/Penguin Random House).  

Dr. Michael Goran, Ph.D. is a professor of pediatrics at the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles and Scientific Advisor for popular brand, Yumi Baby Food. Dr. Emily Ventura is an expert in nutrition education and recipe development. 

Sugarproof busts myths about the various types of sugars and sweeteners, helps families identify sneaky sources of sugar in their diets, and suggests realistic, family-based solutions to reduce sugar consumption and protect kids. To purchase the book or for more information, visit www.sugarproofkids.com

Parenting

The Pros and Cons of Hiring a Live-In Nanny — Is It Worth It?

An astounding 69% of parents say that good babysitters are hard to find. However, for some families, hiring a live-in nanny can present a constant and worthy option without having to continually search for a babysitter — though the notion doesn’t come without a few drawbacks. From the convenience and flexibility that a live-in nanny can offer to the negatives worth considering and the importance of keeping your childcare goals in mind along the way, here’s what you need to know.

The undeniable benefits involved

For families looking to hire a live-in nanny, there are a myriad of benefits to be aware of. For starters, a live-in nanny can present a convenient and trusted caretaker for parents who have varying and/or busy schedules. Not only that, but a live-in nanny will also allow for your child to have a familiar face looking after them, which will allow for them to bond with and become a part of the family since a live-in nanny will be committed to working for your family. With a singular nanny looking after your child as opposed to a rotating schedule of babysitters, you can rest assured that your child will get individualized attention while under their care. In turn, this will allow you to have more parental control over things like activities, diet, and overall schedules.

Potential downfalls to consider

While live-in nannies can be a fantastic option for many families, there are some potential downfalls to take into consideration before actually hiring someone. In addition to the cost, another thing to consider is the fact that you’ll be sharing a home with the nanny, which will likely require setting boundaries early on in terms of when the nanny can have time off, what rooms are off limits, etc. in order to prevent any conflict later on. However, there are additional things to consider should you go another route.

If you’ve been looking for the perfect live-in nanny and can’t seem to find one to meet your needs, looking outside the United States is a great solution in broadening your choices. However, while a nanny from another country can be great for introducing your child to a new culture and even in learning a new language, obtaining a work visa for nanny may be required, with one way being to sponsor them for an H-2B nonimmigrant visa, which will allow the nanny to work in your home for a specific period of time. However, while this can be seen as a downfall due to the paperwork involved (such as applying for temporary labor certification, etc.), the end result will allow you to have a nanny that fits your childcare needs perfectly.

Considering your childcare needs and goals

When deciding whether or not hiring a live-in nanny is right for your family, keeping your childcare needs and goals at the forefront of your mind is imperative in making the right choice. For example, if your child needs more individualized attention, or your schedule requires great flexibility in terms of childcare due to a busy work schedule, a live-in nanny could certainly be the right fit, and can allow you to cater to additional goals such as helping your child learn a new language should you sponsor someone from another country. However, if you’re reluctant to share your home with your nanny or don’t need childcare as frequently, perhaps a babysitter would present a better, more cost-effective option.

Should you not mind sharing your home, a live-in nanny can present a wonderful childcare solution for your family, especially if you have a hectic schedule and would like your child to receive more individualized attention. However, this might not be for everyone, as visa considerations and sharing your home can be potential downfalls.