Mommy Tips: How To Balance Work and Family Time

One of the many things that every working mom may face at work or at home is time management. It is also important to know that everyone around cannot do everything done in a single timetable. If you are already used to doing a “To-Do List” when you still don’t have a baby, then managing your time now would not be that difficult. You just have to add a few more things on your list to get you organized.

To help you get organized, here are some tips that you may consider following:

  • Make use of your lunch breaks. If like everyone else in the working world, you enjoy a one-hour lunch break every work-day, it is recommended that you use this time to accomplish as much as you can on your To-Do List. If you come to think of it, that one-hour lunch break could sum up to five hours of free time from Monday to Friday without your kids around. If you have personal tasks that can be done in less than an hour, then you should try doing it on your lunch break.
  • Make use of technology. With the presence of technology in every day life routine, it would be very convenient of you have technology on your side. One of the many things that you can do to take advantage of technology is make use of free mobile applications that you can use to remind yourself of any pending tasks that need your attention. Mobile apps like Evernote or Wunderlist are very helpful with this. You can say goodbye to sticky notes when you have this on your mobile phone. You can also make use of cloud servers like Google Drive to save your coupons. Who doesn’t like discount coupons, right?
  • Plan your next day. It may sound so tedious doing this especially after juggling different tasks from work and at home but doing so will help you organize your time better. If you already have a plan in mind, it will be easier for you to go on with your day knowing all the things that need to be done – urgent or not. Also, if you are able to pack lunches for your husband, children, and yourself the night before, your mornings would be so much easier. You won’t feel the need to rush and get things done quickly.
  • Don’t be afraid to delegate. You are not superwoman or wonder woman who can get things done in the speed of light. Thus, delegating some task would be very helpful to you. You can make a To-Do List for the entire family. You can make this your routine so everyone will make it a habit of checking the To-Do List made by you. This can be very helpful, especially on the weekends when you have a lot of cleaning and organizing to do. If your children are old enough to make their beds and clean their room, you can make them so. One tip that is very useful is changing the Wi-Fi password and only giving it to them once their tasks are done. Awesome, right?
  • Learn to let go. You have to remember that you can only do so much in a day in a given time. Learn to let go. It is always possible that the things you need to do can’t be done on a certain time that you have scheduled it. You can always add it on your next To-Do List and make it a priority over other tasks.

How to Baby-Proof Your Rugs With These Simple Tips

Carpets and rugs are becoming to be home essential must-haves. It is now common to see houses with rugs or carpets laying around, or see mothers shopping for one in a rug store or in a department store. However, one challenge that a lot of mums face when it comes to rug is its cleanliness, especially when there is a child involved in the process. It is no question that a rug or a carpet makes your home look more beautiful and appealing with them in it. But, it is also important to baby-proof your rugs.

Your baby is probably sitting, rolling, lying, or crawling all around your house, including your rugs. Your baby is most probably going to stick his or her hand in his or her mouth after doing all the activities that he or she can do while on the floor. Thus, it is very important to keep everything clean and tidy to protect the baby from harmful dirt and germs which may come from anywhere in the house. The following tips will help your rugs become safe and baby-proof so you can relax and enjoy watching your baby playing on your rug.

Minimizing Dirt. It is unavoidable to have dirt come into your house. However, this can be minimized. Every mum should know that prevention is better than cure. Thus, it is very important to place doormats in every entrance in your house. With a doormat, everyone who is about to get in your house will have the chance to wipe away any dirt that may have stuck in their shoes. This will minimize dirt from getting trapped in your rug. However, the best way to avoid dirt from getting in is to practice what Japanese do, which is removing shoes before getting in the house. You can always provide slippers that are specifically used for when inside the house. You can also provide a shoe rack where people can leave their shoes to get things organized by the entrance of your house. This basic cleanliness tip will surely keep anything that is dirty out of your house.

Use Non-Toxic Cleaning Materials. When you are shopping for cleaning materials for your rug, it is a must that you look for the ones that are not harmful to your baby. There are a lot of alternatives that you can buy that are not toxic like the regular cleaning materials that you can easily buy in the market. Always look for alternatives. In addition, you can also use what is already available in your house when cleaning the rug on your own. When spills occur, you can use blotting papers or paper towels to soak it up. Paper towels or any absorbent cloth can help minimize the spill from ever staining your rug, and thus keeping it clean. Furthermore, for other cleaning purposes, you can mix water with a mild detergent to keep your rug clean. This mixture added with vinegar can clean dirt on the spot. This mixture is safer than buying cleaning materials in the market. Keep club soda, baking soda, or cornstarch handy in your house. These materials are very useful when removing stains, bad odors, or grease.

Keeping Your Rug Dry. An additional concern to all mums out there is how to keep their rugs really dry to keep fungus, mold, or mildew from growing. If you are cleaning your rug with water, it is a must that you keep it dry under the sun. Flip the rug on each side to maximize drying. You can also use fan to hasten the drying process. However, if it is avoidable, don’t wash your rug with water. If the stains and dirt can be removed without the use of water, please do so. However, if you really need to get it cleaned with water, you also have the option to call the professionals to have it done correctly. A professional cleaner will make sure everything is safe and baby-proof so you can just relax and wait for your rug to be delivered to your home.

Making Working and Breastfeeding Work

Many mothers already have a hard time breastfeeding their babies. But what if you’re also working? We are now seeing a growing number of women forgoing the norm of being plain housewives and actually joining the workforce. And when these women have babies, they are faced with the dilemma of continuing work or giving it up and just staying at home to take care of their child. If you’re one of them, here are some tips to help you make working and breastfeeding work.

  • Many employers have made their offices child-friendly; some allow mothers to bring their baby to work, while others offer an on-site daycare for their employees’ children. Explore your options and make the best out of them.
  • Make your breast pump your best friend. Learn how to effectively use one so you can efficiently pump enough milk for your baby before you leave for work. Your baby can have enough supply until you can get home.
  • If you can, squeeze pumping during your work times. There are hands-free pumps available today so you can extract milk while working in front of your computer or filing paperwork. Your office mates won’t even notice.
  • Be flexible and prepared to constantly change up your schedule from time to time. Babies can be quite unpredictable; the routine that works for them today might completely change the next. Re-evaluate your lifestyle and, if you can, explore other work possibilities.
  • If you cannot bring your baby to work, you can spend quality time with your baby at night after work. Use this time to breastfeed and bond with them. Also make the most of those days when you don’t have work.
  • Mothers who cannot pump enough milk can opt to mix feed their babies. This means feeding them formula as a backup for when they cannot extract enough milk. Ask your doctor for the best way to go about mixed feeding.
  • Finally, make sure that you also take care of yourself. All the initial stress of adjusting might leave you too tired to set aside time for your well-being. Eat properly, get some exercise and allow yourself to enjoy small luxuries and pampering once in a while.

Breastfeeding and working truly are hard to do simultaneously. Unfortunately, many mothers have to do it. But with the tips above, these tasks should be a lot easier and manageable. If you have any more questions about breastfeeding, talk to your doctor now. He should be able to give you more tips to ensure that you efficiently do your work while giving your baby optimal nutrition and care.

The Benefits of Hardwood Floors Vs. Carpeted Floors

When properly taken care of, the advantages a hardwood floor can offer as compared to carpeted floors are quite many and pay off in the long run.

Carpeting or Hardwood floors? Both options have very distinct benefits and disadvantages. While different working and living environments call for the use of specific materials, some features of hardwood floors and carpeting are normally consistent in almost all environments.

Carpeting

Comfortable and Quiet

One outstanding attribute of carpeting is that it is soft, buffering and insulating in nature. Carpeting not only absorbs sounds naturally but also retains heat, an aspect that can be quite beneficial in colder environments. Considering that carpeting is comfortable, it can be a great option for people who are regularly on their feet for long periods of time, and has proven priceless in the case of slides, trips, slips and for dropped items.

The 70’s Shag

The sad thing is that it is difficult to catch floor carpeting at its most ideal “peak”. Carpets tend to get out of style meaning that you probably will be forced to replace yours a couple of times as the trends come and go, and as the look and feel of the environment, you live in changes.

New Carpet Smell is Equal to Chemical Cartel

Did you know that new carpeting can be hazardous to health? Most modern manufacturers use synthetic materials – that smell you smell in your newly carpeted shop or living room – which can be harmful to you. New carpets usually leak for years while installations often use chemicals that emit harmful fumes that could cause breathing or sinus problems in people who have been exposed to them for long periods of time. The great thing is that there are carpets that are made using all-natural and eco-friendly materials, however, they usually are quite costly.

Advancement in technology today has even made it possible to install some more permanence in carpeting – today’s carpets are being made almost fireproof, with anti-fade color fastness, and almost-perfect stain protection.

High Maintenance

Sadly, all forms of carpeting will deteriorate with time, and the more traffic a carpet experiences, the worse the effect. Most carpets normally end up looking ragged within five years.

Most types of carpets have loops that can easily be pulled loose. Considering that carpets are of a woven nature, once they start unraveling, then things move from bad to worse very fast. And when this happens, then you have a problem at hand as it is very hard to repair a damaged carpet. Replacing it is usually the only option available.

Extensive Cleaning, Very Minimal Results

The sad thing about carpets is that they require intensive yearly, monthly, weekly, and daily cleaning using expensive, extensive aids, equipment and chemicals. And the worst thing is that they are mostly a one-way street. Given enough traffic and time, carpets will always matte and will become increasingly hard to care for.

Even with regular cleaning, particles like grit, grime, dust, and dirt find a way through the fabrics and sink through the weaves and pads, eventually settling near the floor. Moisture brought about by spills, accidents, traffic, and even carpet shampoo can increase dampness, increasing the likelihood of carpet rot and creating a conducive environment for mildew to grow. People who’ve ever removed old carpets can relate to this and can share some really horrifying stories about this.

Good thing I’ve found a great rug cleaning service called Silver Rug Cleaning. They saved a lot of my rugs and I don’t know what will I do with my carpet if I hadn’t found them.

Allergy Nightmare

Carpets can be a living nightmare, especially for people who suffer allergies as they are a constant source of irritating dust, fur, dander, fluff, pollen, mildew, mold and dust mites which thrive in carpets.

Hardwood

Clean and Safe

Unlike carpeting, hardwood does not hide any harmful particulate matter, making it a healthier and safer flooring option for living environment, more so, for people who suffer allergies.

While hardwood floors generally cost more than carpeted ones, they require lesser maintenance, can be repaired (they often require no replacement), and last much longer.

In older homes, a hardwood floor can be colder and draftier. But this can be remedied by putting well-selected area rugs in areas people use a lot.

Low Maintenance

Compared to carpeted floors, hardwood floors normally require very little maintenance – in terms of equipment and effort. Just consider the price difference between a vacuum cleaner and a mop. At the same time, hardwood floors are more resistant to stains and spills.

However, hardwood floors can get dented, scuffed, scratched, damaged and scraped – especially if they experience a lot of traffic. Nonetheless, wooden flooring can often be smoothed and refinished. In most cases, there is never a need to replace a wooden floor

Sustainable

Consider that wood’s a naturally occurring resource that can be reforested, wooden floors are normally a more ecological option to go for. Fast growing wood type materials like bamboo, which is a grass, make this option an even more reasonable reality.

Unsurpassed Value and Beauty

Perhaps the main reason to consider going for a hardwood floor is because of the aesthetic benefits it has to offer.

Hardwood floors have been around for the longest time, and this type of flooring is probably one of the oldest forms flooring materials available. Wood never gets out of style; and since woods and trees are available in many forms, types, designs, patterns, grains, consistencies, and colors, you have plenty of options to work with.

While most new homeowners will opt to remove the existing carpeting once they purchase a house as they consider it an extra expense, that is not the case with hardwood floors as they increase the house’s value.

While a wooden floor may cost you more to install, with proper maintenance, it can be a sound investment that pays off over time.

5 Road Trip Essentials for a Busy Mom

Here’s a fun article for you today where I share my top 5 road trip essentials.

1. Clean out the car – I know this might be a no-brainer for some and for a long time I was like “Why would I clean the car when I know it’s gonna get messy after the road trip?” But it’s a good thing to start with a clean car to be more organized and for some reason, it helps to get it cleaner longer. It’s also easier to travel when you know where every single thing is. It feels better and and everything is more enjoyable. So before any road trip, I do clean out the car. I vacuum it. I make sure that everything is wiped clean. The cupholders are empty, seats are clean, there’s space everywhere because you’re gonna be packing stuff and you don’t want last week’s trash mix with the next weeks clothes. So clean the car, give it a good vacuum and call it a day.

2. Car is ready. Make sure that all the fluids are top up, oils are changed and you have a full tank of gas before you set out. This one is really important at least for me because I had experiences of having my car not ready for the trip. It’s gonna help your trip to be a little smoother.

3. Entertainment for the kids. Let the kids pack their own bags and bring their own entertainment for a road trip. This is really important because it gives them a sense of independence. They are responsible for what they can bring. I don’t know what entertains them as well as they do – what they love changes weekly. When they were younger, I did that for them. I would pack them several different things. I would even get them a new toy or something they can play with. But now that they’re 4 and 7, I tell them to pack their own bags and choose exactly what they like to bring. They’re likely to be better entertained than if I pack their bags for them. Of course, there are always ipads and iphones but if want to step out from sitting them with electronics, you can tell them to bring their own entertainment.

4. Snack packs. I’ve had some bad experience with snacks in the car in the past. Everytime I clean the car, I always say “no more food in the car”. But let’s be honest, that’s not practical. A lot of the time, you’re just trying to get somewhere in a hurry and you’re like “just eat this so you’re not hungry”. It kinda makes a little hard. So I just try to stay away from things that can make a big mess. I try to pack things that are easier to pick up like string cheese and carrots. Granola bars are great because you have one piece of everything versus small pieces that can spill everywhere. Here’s a good homemade granola bar recipe.

5. Emergency supplies. You have to be prepared and even if you think you’ll never use it, you can never tell. A few of emergency items that I keep in my car are water to keep them hydrated, extra sweatshirts, umbrella, plastic bags for trash, bandages and essential oils, alcohol, pads, flashlight and a very basic tool kit. Everything you might need for emergencies, pack them in the car.

Those are my 5 road trip essentials. I hope this help you have a better road trip. Please do share if you have road trip essentials of your own.