Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Conflicting Time Keepers

I have a child with ADD and I must tell you I have never had such battle daily in my life.  It starts in the early morning when I first wake her from sleep.  She is asked to get dressed for the day and given a timeline.  Fifteen minutes later she still sits on the bed looking around not having moved a muscle and when you ask what she has been doing she replies, "I don't know."  This essentially sums up the way the rest of the morning goes task by task until we are both so frustrated our heads are going to pop off.

Mastering a smooth morning is only one of the daily issues we face with this twisted condition.  It can take the most intelligent and creative child in the world and present such road blocks over the basic tasks of the day that it turns the child inside out.  She has two clocks it would seem.  The timekeeper that tells her it is time to move, time to get dressed, time to do her homework, time to move on to the next and there is the other more controlling time keeper that has a different schedule.  The controlling time keepers seems to be working on a different time zone all together.  Maybe it is in Hawaii enjoying the sun.

My child is smart, funny, ridiculously creative, loving and talented.  Unfortunately, she often seems buried beneath a smothering controlling plastic veil allowing me to see her but not quit reach her.  The frustration level can be overwhelming for all of us including my suppressed little dress designer.

Medications, we've tried them.  We are still trying them.  But finding what works and doesn't cause more harm then good seems to be the hurdle there.  One is so effective she hyper focuses and another causes her to cry at the drop of a hat and lose weight at an alarming rate.

So what do we do?  We move forward and try to put systems in place that can help us avoid the mental road blocks that plague her.  We organize and organize again and again until we find the right combination that unlocks the door to "easy" and "effortless" tasks.  How do you handle your ADHD/ADD kids?  Tips?

Monday, March 29, 2010

Life in the Breakdown Lane

As life is screaming along we don't think about slowing down to smell the roses.  Who has time.  We have a job to hold down, family to feed, children to raise and if your lucky a great spouse to share it all with.

Then one day it all stops.  Life breaks down.  You lose a job and economic times take over.  You are consumed with putting food on the table and paying the light bill.  You need to find a way, and quickly, to live life in the breakdown lane.

Here are a few tips for making it through the tough times:

First, and foremost, find the silverlining.  Find tha feeling and positive that will get you through.  For me I am getting to spend time with my children I wouldn't normal get to spend.  I get to see my son's first steps, first words and get the chance to feel more like mommy and less like the lady who picks the kids up from daycare and feeds them only to put them to bed to do it all over again the next day. 

Here are some silver linings you might also have in common:

*  Time with my children
*  Save money on childcare
*  Save money on gas
*  Save money on eating out
*  Home projects

Next, you need to find a source of income.  There are many online websites that have terrific forums for just this purpose.  One of those is http://www.wahm.com/.  They have excellent ideas on how to bring some much needed bread money into your home.  We will talk about how to come up with some great ideas that fit your life another time.

You need to find a schedule that works.  The notion of being at home with your kids and having everything tip top and perfect and time for everything you need and want to do is only that, a misguided notion.  Now that's not to say it can't be done, only that you need to be realistic about it and prepare a schedule that works for everyone.  The concept of having the freedom to do what you like during the day because you aren't tied down to a 9-5 job is nice, but not real.  I have found out the hard way that without some kind of plan for the day, bed time comes quickly and leaves you with an unaccomplished feeling of failure for not accomplishing 1/3 of what you had in your mind for your day.  Develop a plan.

Keeping your bills within your new means is something that can easily get away from you.  Great, you are saving all this money by not paying for expenses you would be if you were working full time.  And believe me when I say that can be a huge savings.  For me it was upwards of $1200 a month.  That having been said, remembering that there are expenses that you have to be mindful of while you are at home is very important as well.  For example, electricity; when I was out of the house all day I wasn't using electricity to run my computer or to power the furnace every time I would turn on the hot water to wash dishes or the television that is on with YoGabbaGabba to keep my one year old occupied long enough for me to write this blog.  Be mindful of these expenses because they can sneak up on you very easily.

Get out.  Going from life in the fast lane to life in the break down lane can be a lonely place.  Find a way to get out for play groups or walk in the neighborhood or in the park.  Don't keep yourself locked up in the house.  It is physically terrible for you and your children and a complete destroyer of a good mood.

Remember, this is just the next step in your life.  Life is all about change.  Take this time to regroup and make a plan for the future. 

Sunday, March 28, 2010


The Art of Groceries

We live in a new world. The challenges faced today as parents are so very different than those of generations before us. Keeping your children safe has whole new meaning. We have the responsibility of keeping them safe from disease, drugs, people, themselves and the hardships that come with our economy. Simply providing your family with the basics of a healthy meal, a roof over their heads and clothes on their back is harder now than it has been for generations. These basics have become such a challenge for some parents that it overshadows their desire to prioritize the well being of their children as students and people.

We have a few tips for today’s mothers on how to survive this economy and make the most of your dollar.

Next Generation Coupon Clippers

Remember when your mom used to have the little index card box or cardboard sorter? Do you remember sheet after sheet of newspaper sprawled all over the kitchen table on Sundays, hopefully after the rest of the house got a grip on the sports page and current events?

Not anymore. Gone are the days of tiny left over pieces of clippings all over the place and newsprint smudges adorning the hands and face of mothers everywhere.

There are a multitude of online coupon sites where you can go to select and then print manufacturer’s coupons for your everyday products. These coupons are widely accepted in stores country wide.

Coupons have become so popular again that there are even people who earn money clipping coupons and selling them online. You can find the sale of coupons at most of the online auction sites. Some clippers even have their own websites and have turned the business of clipping and saving an entrepreneurial venture all its own.

Rewarded for Your Time

Another hot way to save a penny here and there is by taking advantage of the multitude of reward systems both online and in stores. Online you can sign up for an infinite number of rewards programs. When you buy a product or conduct a survey you are rewarded with points and once a fair number of points are accumulated the consumer can cash them in for anything from coupons to merchandise and in some cases cash. Similarly, there are chain stores that offer savings cards. The consumer signs up for these cars in the stores and in return you are given “special” discounts on particular items at specific times.

Tried and True

One sure standby for saving money is shopping store flyers. Spending a little time before shopping by sitting down and reviewing the local flyers and utilizing this information to plan out your menu for the entire week can save respectably. Take a few moments to view the flyers and cross reference them with your available coupons. You would be surprised how this little bit of extra time taken can keep some of that hard to come buy cash in your wallet. And whenever possible, purchase the store brand of the products. Label for label the content is typically the same as the name brands and they can be dollars less expensive.

These are just a few ways to save some pennies while in these unstable economic times. Take the time to put these steps into action and combine these with money saving ideas in other parts of your life and you can survive this economic test.