How Working Parents Can Feel Less Overwhelmed and More in Control

Revise budget numbers. Parent/teacher conference Wednesday. Edit the marketing overview document. Finish summer camp applications. Give candidate interview feedback to HR. Grocery run — we’re out of everything…

If you’re a working parent, chances are excellent that at any given time, your to-do list looks like the one above — and that it stretches on, and on, and on — an endless, and eternally growing, list of deliverables. Is it any wonder that research shows that most working parents feel stressed, tired, and rushed? Or that when you look ahead, you feel more than a little overwhelmed?

As a responsible person and a hard worker, you know how to dig in and get things done. And since becoming a parent, you’ve tried various strategies to keep the ever-more-intense pace: moving paper to-do lists onto your iPhone, reorganizing your Outlook “Tasks” section, spending more and more time logged into work each evening, cleaning up the endless queue of unread emails, sleeping progressively less each night.

Yet you’re still haunted by the nagging sense of not getting enough done, of falling down in some way, of giving things that really matter short shrift — and feeling as if the wheels may come off the bus very, very soon.

The problem isn’t in your organizational system or work ethic — it’s in how human brains are wired. It’s normal to feel overwhelmed, with so much to do and so many demands on you.

But here’s the good news: There are simple and effective techniques for taming the overwhelmedness — things any working parent can do, starting today, to feel more competent, calm, and in control and to start shrinking that task list permanently. Here are four of the most powerful.

  1. Know your end game.
  2. Invest your time accordingly.
  3. Keep a “got it done” list.
  4. Schedule a regular power outage.

 

For details on the four above and the full article, click here.

Daisy Wademan

Article written by Daisy Wademan DowlingFounder and CEO of Workparent.

Breath Confidence from EATWHATEVER®

I have a habit of liking foods that tend to leave my breath a little less desirable. I’m looking at you everything bagel.

It’s especially alarming when I’m out in public with friends or significant other, and I need to keep myself within an arms length distance so they can’t smell my breath.

To solve the bad breath problem, I tried out Eatwhatever® . Eatwhatever®  is a revolutionary breath freshener that assures confident fresh breath in two quick steps—swallow a gel, suck on a mint. Unlike other breath fresheners, Eatwhatever® works in your stomach AND your mouth. It’s all natural, vegan, gluten free, kosher certified and made in the USA!

I was lucky enough to team up with Jacqui Rosshandler, President of Jacquil LLC, and creator of Eatwhatever®, to try both the peppermint and ginger flavors. They were both great!

What I was really impressed by was the ginger flavor. One night I had an upset stomach, and remembered I had a stash of Eatwhatever® mints in my cupboard. I took a ginger gel cap followed by a mint, and my stomach felt much more at ease minutes later. An added bonus for expecting moms, the ginger flavor does wonders for helping with morning sickness and nausea.

To snag some of the Eatwhatever® products, checkout their website. And for those dog lovers, checkout Woofmints! Now both you and your pup can stay kissable!

EatWhatever

Written by our Marketing & Social Media Consultant, Taylor Bell

The Winter Olympic Games for Kids

Sitting and watching the Olympic games is great, but wouldn’t it be even greater to be involved in the winter game action yourself?

After tuning into the various games on television, and teaching your children about the sport(s), turn your living room into a mini PyeongChang, and create some winter Olympic games of your own!

Of course, these games aren’t nearly as rigorous as freestyle skiing or speed skating, but they are guaranteed to be just as fun! Maybe more along the lines of curling, if you will.

1. Snowball toss: For this game, grab some plastic cups, markers, and cotton balls, and then try your luck at getting the cotton balls into the cups.

2. Snowman slam: You’ll need white foam cups, construction paper or markers, and some white socks for this one.  Then see if you can toss the balled up socks and knock down all the snowmen. This could be fun for bowling, too!

3. Pin the carrot: Think of this as the winterized version of pin the tail on the donkey. A large roll of white paper will work best, along with some colored construction paper, and a blind fold.

4. FREEZE: Number four on the linked list brings a musical game where all you’ll need is something to play music and an open space for the kiddies to dance. When the the music stops, the kids have to freeze!

5. Snowman draw game: Grab some paper plates and markers, and you’ll be all set. The child will hold the paper plate on their head with one hand and try to draw a snowman holding a marker with the other.

If you try out the games, we want to see it! Post your photos to Facebook and tag @BellFamilyCompany in your post!

Written by our Marketing & Social Media Consultant, Taylor Bell

Home Organizing Is Done & Done!

Done & Done does your home, too!

With a move and a baby on the way, it’s near impossible to find time to organize my closets and pack. I have so much unnecessary stuff that I needed to pitch, but it’s hard to throw away memories and find the time. There is a chance I might be making excuses…

I finally asked one of my clients who owns an organization company to help. She booked an appointment with me right before the holidays, so I could start the new year off right! Kate and her team started with my baby’s closet full of everything from toys, clothes, luggage, blankets, boxes of old photos – you name it – it’s in there.

She pulled out the endless number of towels I had, and went through what to keep and what to donate. The keep items were perfectly folded in a hotel-like way back into the closet. I had no idea how many holiday hand towels one person could accumulate. Bye!

We all know kids’ toys take over a NYC apartment fast; I stuffed all of mine in the closet. Everything was pulled out and assed; do I really need this?

Then came the boxes. We started filling them with items we didn’t need until after our move; kids clothes, blankets, old pictures, toys no longer age appropriate… off they went into labeled boxes.

It took about 2.5 hours to get everything together and organized, then off they went wishing me well in the new year with a fresh start of no clutter! Below is a before and after of the closet.

Baby closet-before

Baby closet-after-1

“It’s important to have an organized home since babies and children are by nature somewhat unpredictable. Having an organized home allows for a feeling of control and the ability to handle anything that might occur at any given moment.”

Book your appointment with Kate’s mother, Ann, and mention Bell Family to get 10% off! Promo ends March 1st.

To learn more about Done & Done, click here.

Written by our Founder & CEO, Lindsay Bell

The Woman Inside the Mom

It’s important for moms to focus on the woman that lives inside being a mom. It can be easy to forget about who you are and what you want when you are caught up playing the role of mom, and looking after your little one(s).

Beyond Mom is a community of over 6,000 creative and productive women that focus on seeking Self within motherhood. We had the chance to get to know Randi Zinn, author, mindfulness and wellness expert, and founder of Beyond Mom, to learn more about this great organization.

Q: What was your greatest influence or drive to start up Beyond Mom?

A: Intuitively, I knew that I wouldn’t be happy just focusing on motherhood. I love my kids beyond measure but somehow inside I knew that if I was fueling myself and giving to the world, I would be a better mother. I met so many women who felt the same way and I wanted to create a space that honored this perspective and encouraged it. Plus, I want to show my kids what it looks like to work hard and go for your dreams. Just the other day, my son asked why I had to leave to go to an event for my book, and I told him that I wanted him to know that he could write a book one day….he seemed to like that answer.

Q: The name Beyond Mom is great! Why is it so important for moms to realize that there is value in life “Beyond Mom”?

A: When we shed all the titles, the expectations, the daily schedules and to-do lists, there is an essence that is made up of the truth of who we really are. The more time that we are in touch with that essence, the happier we really are because then we are in the flow of our lives. Our culture tells us that we should look perfect, act perfect and raise perfect children, and yet, tells us that we’re selfish for nurturing and investing in ourselves. I’m hoping Beyond Mom changes that cultural mindset….quickly.

Q: What are the most successful ways Beyond Mom works to support/encourage moms and their individual pursuits?

A: I hold regular events to bring women together for information, inspiration and community – I think magic happens in real time! What is most successful though are the day long retreats that I hold for moms to refuel themselves with yoga, meditation, discussion, speakers, and best of all, free time. Moms desperately need time to themselves and rarely get it. I’m super excited that our first Urban Day Retreat is happening on February 10th here in NYC and there’s still some spots left! Sign up here and invest in yourself and you will experience the rewards!

Q: You’re also the author of the recently published book, Going Beyond Mom. What are a few tips readers will learn by picking up a copy for themselves?

A: My book walks a woman through the layers of who she is and the layers that most typically experience upheaval as a mom. I walk you through how to rebuild these parts of yourself so you feel more solid and are able to be more present in all parts of your life – especially if you want to launch an idea. (second part of the book). A few of my favorite tips: move your body – moving your body reminds you that you are alive (very important when you are exhausted), use mindfulness techniques to calm mental overwhelm and intense emotional reactions, make sure the community in your home (anyone who walks in to help keep your home and kids safe and happy, is aligned with your values and overall needs, surrounded yourself with like-minded, inspiring people, and befriend change! (don’t struggle against change – accept it – and experience the unexpected beauty on the other side). How to do all of the above? Buy the book and dive in!

Beyond Mom_edited-1

Written by our Marketing & Social Media Coordinator, Taylor Bell

Office Organizing Is Done & Done!

Kate Pawlowski gets to hang out with her mother whom she adores. Everyday, they meet interesting people, help them declutter their life, and this is their job…amazing!

When I found this out, I was immediately drawn to her business, as I also work alongside my mother everyday – and it’s seriously the best! Kate and Ann Lightfoot co-founded Done & Done Home in 2012, and have an impressive client list organizing for some of our favorite movie stars, TV personalities, and authors.

“Time is so incredibly limited and precious. Ten minutes that are wasted spent looking for things you need around the office are ten minutes you don’t get to spend with your family.”

I needed my office organized bad. I was eight months pregnant with baby number two, and had no energy to deal. Kate and Blandy – one of her trusted team members – greeted me with open arms and guided me through the purge process. As a sentimental Sally, it’s hard for me to throw memories away; my original business plan, my first company shirt I had made, my logo drafts… It was beginning to clutter and it needed to go. We went piece by piece to see what should stay and go. It was so nice to be able to take baby steps through it all, and thankfully they were kind and understood that it’s not easy letting go.

Three hours later, I probably cut my office belongings by 75%. The office looked fresh, clean, and in complete order to start the new year.

What I have been putting off for years, debating in my head and weighing me down for months, was done in three hours flat. It was fantastic and such a relief!

I needed someone to come in and just tell me what to do to get it done, and Done & Done did just that.

Here’s a before and after of my office clutter: children’s toys, arts and crafts, company shifts, etc.

Done-Done-shelf   DoneDone-ppl

And here is the dreaded file drawers, which I haven’t touched in years.

Done-Done-drawer

Book your appointment with Kate and mention Bell Family by March 1st, and get 10% off!

Written by our Founder & CEO, Lindsay Bell

Endless Possibilities with Concierge New York

We recently had the opportunity to talk with Elizabeth McBride Harless, who is the Business Development Director at Concierge New York. During our conversation, Elizabeth provided us with the inside scoop behind Concierge through a short Q&A.

Read along for our conversation, and learn how the possibilities are endless with the help of your Concierge team.

Q: Where did the inspiration of starting up Concierge come from?

A: Our founder started the company in London with the notion that anything is possible. She established Concierge with the mission of delivering exceptional service by going to ends of the earth to help our members.  At Concierge, no is not an option! No matter how large, small or atypical the request, Concierge will take care of every detail, seamlessly and with discretion.

Q: What sets Concierge apart, and would drive people to join if they are looking for a little extra help?

A: Concierge has offices in London and New York. We cap membership to 100 members worldwide to ensure an incredibly personalized, tailored service. We take pride in executing requests with great care, keeping our member’s best interests top of mind and delivering solutions that are best suited for their lifestyle and preferences.

Q: What service(s) do members find the most beneficial to have in their daily lives? Which do you think would be most beneficial for moms and dads?

A: Upon joining Concierge, each member is assigned a dedicated account management team. While we have standard office hours, we also offer weekend and evening support. An individual from the team can be available at any time needed to troubleshoot unexpected issues or emergencies. I think the security and comfort in knowing that with Concierge, you have a reliable, honest support system is simply invaluable.   Be it organizing a house move, planning a birthday party, or finding the best tutor or pediatrician, Concierge helps manage and simplify life, so that time is spent with family and friends, doing what you love.

Q: If someone is looking to join Concierge New York, how do they go about signing up? What does the process look like? 

A: Concierge New York is selectively taking on new members. Should you be interested in learning more about the service and how it could be of value to your family, please contact Elizabeth McBride Harless at elizabeth@conciergenewyork.com.

For more information about Concierge New York, visit their website.

Concierge-NYC

Written by our Marketing & Social Media Consultant, Taylor Bell

Experience Farm Life in the City!

Being stuck indoors during the cold, winter months with children can take its toll on any parent. It can become even more challenging when living in the not so spacious quarters of a city apartment. 

Wouldn’t it be nice to linger away from the city life and head for a life surrounded by what nature has to offer? Imagine getting that experience and not having to travel a hundred miles outside the city for a farm spotting. 

The Art Farm in the City is a children’s education center that is home to New York City’s only indoor petting zoo! Art Farm is a unique space to meet and interact with animals from bearded dragons, to chinchillas and chickens. Their philosophy encourages a childhood relationship with the natural world, while engaging children in care and compassion of all living creatures.

Children can enjoy a various amount of activities including art, music, and cooking-themed classes, playtime, drop-ins, birthday parties, and camps.

Bell Family’s Founder & CEO, Lindsay Bell, took her toddler son there after the holiday season and he loved every minute of it! Growing up on a small farm in Ohio, it’s important for Lindsay to share a piece of her upbringing in nature with her son. Her son loved the turtles the most! So much that he said it over and over for the rest of the day – a new word! He also spent time looking at the fish, birds, and he got inside the fence area with the rabbits. Mom and son practiced the names of the pets and the sounds they make. It was a playtime activity mixed with some learning. 

The place was packed as it was a frigid winter day, but all guests were in good spirits and there were plenty of activities for all the kids.  For more information on The Art Farm in the City, check out their website here.

Fishtank

Written by our Marketing & Social Media Consultant, Taylor Bell

Five Key Findings in Recruiting and Retaining Nannies

If you haven’t read it somewhere else before, then read it here first; hiring a nanny through an agency is the route you should always take.

In a recent article posted by GTM Payroll Services, they go on to support the fact that when a person hires a nanny through an agency, rather than an online job site, they’re going to get a better quality nanny. One they’ll keep for longer, and spend less time finding the right match.

Here are five key findings from the article:

1. Families and Nannies Both Want a Good Fit
Employers cited “demonstrated responsibility and trustworthiness” as the top quality they look for when hiring a nanny. Employers were asked to rank 14 qualities on a scale from one to 10 with one being not important and 10 being very important. Responsibility and trustworthiness scored ahead of personality fit, passion for childcare, references, and experience.

2. Good Communication Practices Will Help Retention
Forty-three percent of families hired more than one nanny in the past five years. That means retention can be an issue for families who like and want to keep their nanny. Some of the top reasons reported for why nannies leave the jobs are 1) the family no longer needs the nanny, 2) schedule/number of hours, and 3) bad pay.

3. Hiring through an Agency Can Shorten Hiring Process
Seventy-four percent of employers who hired through an agency cited “time savings/hassle-free process” and “quality of candidates” as the top reasons they chose to work with an agency. Fifty-nine percent of agency users spent less than 20 hours on the hiring process, compared to only 24% of online job site users.

4. Benefits Can Help Attract, Retain Top Candidates
Most nannies receive paid holidays (88%), paid vacations (89%), and paid sick days (76%). This is the starting point for families when offering household employee benefits to a potential hire. To separate themselves from other employers, families may want to consider offering annual bonuses and flexible hours. Only 47% of nannies have schedule flexibility and just 44% get a bonus. Of the nannies that receive an annual bonus, 55% receive at least $750.

5. Paying Legally Expands Number of Candidates
By not legally paying an employee, a family cuts in half the number of available candidates for their position. Forty-six percent of nannies say it’s not likely they would take a job that paid “off the books.”

Read more details about the survey findings from GTM Payroll here.

What You Need to Know About Fevers

Cold and flu season is upon us, and with that comes a classic symptom – fever.

There are a lot of things to know about fevers, and we want to share some must have knowledge before your temperature starts rising.

What temperature is considered a fever?
A fever is any temperature above 100.4. A normal body temperature is anywhere between 97 degrees F and 100.3 degrees F.

Is there such a thing as a fever that’s too high?
There are no magic numbers with fevers. A child with a 104.5 degree fever isn’t necessarily sicker than one with a fever of 100.8. What matters most is the duration of the fever and your child’s behavior once the temperature comes down. In addition, if your child has a fever for more than three days we recommend that they see a doctor.

Are fevers dangerous?
Having a fever is your child’s natural response to fighting infection. Though fevers may feel scary, they are not usually dangerous. Remember, there are medications available to help bring down your child’s temperature so they can be more comfortable.

Should babies always receive medicine for fevers?
You do not have to give your child medication just because he/she has a fever. The fever itself is not dangerous. The reason behind giving them medication is to make him/her more comfortable. If your child has a temperature of 101, but is playing, drinking fluids, and running around, then you can wait and see how they do. If the child seems uncomfortable, it is a good idea to give him/her the medicine so they feel better. Acetaminophen (the active ingredient in Tylenol) can be given every four hours. Ibuprofen (the active ingredient in Advil and Motrin) can be given every 6 hours once your child is over six months of age.

Can fevers give children brain damage?
Having a fever is the body’s physiologic response to fighting infection. Fevers will not “fry” or “melt” your child’s brain. There is a small subset of children who can have seizures with fever; these are referred to as febrile seizures. These events are uncommon and studies have shown many times that fever reducers do not prevent febrile seizures. If your child does have a febrile seizure you should call 911.

When should I seek medical attention?

  • The child is less than 2-months-old and has a rectal temperature greater than 100.4 degrees.
  • He/she has had persistent fevers for more than three days in a row.
  • He/she is very irritable, despite the fever having gone down.
  • He/she is extremely sleepy and you are having difficulty awakening them.
  • He/she is having trouble breathing.
  • You are not sure how to handle the situation (or you feel concerned about your child’s condition).

Remember, treating the fever with a fever reducer will bring down your child’s temperature, but does not take care of the underlying illness. It is likely that once the medication wears off, your child will have a fever again. In most cases, time, fluids, and fever reducers are all they will need to get back to their normal self.

Winter-standing

This blog was repurposed from Premier Pediatrics. For the complete post, click here