<![CDATA[NonperfectParenting - Product Reviews]]>Wed, 23 Aug 2017 12:10:44 -0700Weebly<![CDATA[Kids Parties For Parents: A Welcoming Guide]]>Thu, 03 Aug 2017 19:06:59 GMThttp://nonperfectparenting.com/5/post/2017/08/kids-parties-for-parents-a-welcoming-guide.htmlWhile most parents tend to enjoy it when their own kids have a party, other children’s parties are… well… not exactly the most inviting of prospects. While you know your kids will have a good time as guests, the same is not always true of the parents.
We’ve all been to those kids parties where the kids are having a blast, while the parents stand around awkwardly, realizing they have nothing in common bar the fact their children are friends. They’re not fun experiences, and you can spend more time talking to your child than other parents - which not only limits how much fun your kid can have, but denies you some essential adult time.


It therefore makes sense that the next time you are throwing a party for your own kids, you might want to spend a few minutes ensuring the adults are catered to as well. This needn’t be as difficult as it sounds; it is possible to have a truly amazing kids party while still satisfying the Moms and Dads too. Here is a simple route to managing this unlikely juxtaposition.


#1 - Food and Drink Options


For kids, a birthday party is a time when they can forget the need to eat healthily and indulge themselves. While it’s also a chance for adults to drink fizzy soda and eat cake they might usually avoid, it’s undeniable that some people just won’t want to.


This is why it makes sense to have a few adult-friendly food options, right through from canapes to the desserts that you prepare. It also helps if you save yourself some time and buy alcohol online, as well as a few options for those who might have dietary requirements. You’ll find the parents will be extremely grateful for their needs having been catered to, making a more pleasant atmosphere for all.


#2 - Split The Minding Duty


Having to hover over kids during a party is a surefire way of guaranteeing no parent is going to have the best time. So everyone can have a break and doesn’t feel the need to helicopter over their offspring, split up the duties. While a few select parents watch over the whole bunch, the rest of you can take a minute’s respite and relax in a separate area.


It’s always a good idea to ensure the lines of communication between the guardian parents and the relaxing parents are open. If you can’t quickly shout for assistance, then swap phone numbers, so if you’re taking time out relaxing you can be sure you can get back to your child ASAP in the event of mishap.


#3 - Entertainment Choices


Many a children’s party will leave the adults with very little to do but either watch the kids, or talk amongst themselves. While it’s fine to talk if you know one another, a lot of parties won’t have the same level of parental involvement - which can leave people who don’t know the rest so well, feeling like they are left out.


You can prevent this problem with a few entertainment options for adults. Card games are fun and usually popular, or just play a movie in a quiet space - something light that people can dip in and out of.


Hopefully, thanks to the above, your party will not only be amazing for your child - but all the attending adults, too!



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<![CDATA[Parenting Takes Time, So Here's How to Find More of It]]>Sun, 30 Jul 2017 23:34:42 GMThttp://nonperfectparenting.com/5/post/2017/07/parenting-takes-time-so-heres-how-to-find-more-of-it.html     Parenting is one of those things that there is no fixed definition of. There is no right way and wrong way to be a parent. You just have to find your own way and be the best parent you can. But one thing that parenting does require is time. You need to have time to spend with your children and dedicate to them. However, it’s not always easy for working parents to find that time. Here are some ideas and changes that you might want to consider putting in place in order to find more time to be a parent.
Join Them in Doing What They Enjoy


All kids have certain things that they enjoy doing. And these days, those activities can often happen in isolation. This can eat into the time that you might be able to spend with your kids being a parent. So, why not join them in doing the things that they enjoy. Even if those things don’t interest you, make the most of them as ways to get closer to your kids and spend a bit more quality time with them. It could mean watching a TV show alongside them or even playing a videogame with them. It’s better to do it together than allow them to always do it alone.


Turn Tasks Into a Chance for Family Collaboration


There are always little things that need to be taken care of around the house. These tasks can also make it harder for you to spend time with your kids. When you have to cook, do DIY or make home improvements, how can you also dedicate time to parenting? Well, the answer is to find ways to turn the things you need to do into group projects that the family can collaborate on. There is no reason why you can’t have fun with your children doing some basic tasks around the home, such as cooking.

Pay Someone to do the Basic Chores Around the House


There are lots of chores that the kids are not going to want to give you a helping hand with, however. No child (and no adult either) enjoys cleaning, for example. So, why not simply pay someone else to take care of the basic chores around the house that need to be sorted out. You don’t need to do everything by yourself. And the money you spend on things like house cleaning services could be a great investment. That’s because it will free up your time and allow you to be a better parent.


Try to Work Consistent and Predictable Hours


The hours you work matter a lot. If you work hours and shift patterns that are neither consistent nor predictable, it’s impossible to arrange times that you can do things with your children. So, this is something that you should aim to change if you want to find more time to be a parent. By having your work hours nailed down, you can know when you can shut off from work and focus on your family instead. That has to be a good thing for them and for you too.
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<![CDATA[Surprising Ways Your Child Will Benefit from Having a Working Mom]]>Sun, 30 Jul 2017 23:30:34 GMThttp://nonperfectparenting.com/5/post/2017/07/surprising-ways-your-child-will-benefit-from-having-a-working-mom.html     One of the most difficult decisions any new mom has to make is whether to go back to work or not. On the one hand, you don’t want to leave your gorgeous baby. On the other hand, you need to provide for the family, and you may want to be more than just a mom too. Of course, everyone is different, and it is all about determining what is right for you and your family. However, there are some surprising ways that your child will benefit from having a working mom. Let’s take a look…
  • They become more independent - Kids are expected to be more responsible due to the simple reality of your family’s schedule. You aren’t there to hold your child’s hand throughout the entire day. They need to do things for themselves. When they are old enough, they will start to take care of different duties when they get home from school. This includes helping to start dinner, taking in the mail, and letting out the job. Your inability to be with them 24/7 will enable them to learn some valuable life skills.

  • Your job may be of a direct benefit to their progression – Your career may mean you are able to help your child with their homework and answer questions you otherwise would not be able to. In fact, a lot of parents find themselves going down a new career path once they have had kids. They often want to be involved in something that involves children or will help their children’s future. If this sounds like the position you find yourself in right now, one option is to take an online teacher librarian program. You will learn how to instruct students in using, evaluating, accessing, and integrating resources and information. This can be an excellent job when it comes to helping your child progress through school and higher education. From becoming a career advisor to a researcher, there are many different options for mothers who want to have a job of their own while also doing something that will benefit their child in the future.

  • They get more quality time – While you may spend less time with your children because you are now working, the time you do spend as a family will be real quality time. When you aren’t working, you will give your kids 100 percent of your time, and you will find that holidays and weekends often become a lot more special too. It can actually be a great way to bring the family together.

  • They learn about hard work and economics – Finally, by showing your children how important hard work is, they will learn some early lessons about economics. They will be more inclined to appreciate where money comes from, and this will lead to great opportunities for you to teach them about saving and budgeting. They will also be more encouraged to work hard in school because they will know just how important it is to secure a job that provides for their family in the future.

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<![CDATA[Top Craft Ideas That Use Fabrics and Patterns]]>Wed, 12 Jul 2017 12:22:24 GMThttp://nonperfectparenting.com/5/post/2017/07/top-craft-ideas-that-use-fabrics-and-patterns.html     Creating your own things is always a satisfying and rewarding experience. There is no need to spend money on mass produced items when you can take the time to make things with your own two hands that are personal and specific to you. If you want to make something pretty using patterns and fabrics you have lying around, here are some ideas that you should definitely consider trying out.
What You Need to Get Started


If you want to get started, you will first need suitable materials and fabrics. You can buy these very cheaply online or from a crafts store if you prefer. Think about what you’re going to make too; the ideas below will help you make that decision. When you know what you want to make, you can buy the right tools to make it happen. If you’re going to be using fabrics and you want to try some of the ideas discussed below, you will probably need a sewing machine. There are resources that can help you with using a sewing machine, such as How does a sewing machine work? - sewingmachinejudge.com. Once you start learning, you will pick things up quickly.


Create Your Own Tote Bag


Tote bags are so simple but so useful at the same time. There is no reason why you can’t create your own and make the most of it each day. To make one, all you need to do is cut out the outer material, the inner material and some handles. They you just have to sew them together correctly and you will have a tote bag that you can start using right away. There are guides online that can show you how all this done.


Make Fabric Shoelaces


If you want to use your craft skills to make a fashion item that will have an impact on how you look, then why not opt for some new fabric shoelaces? These can be used on pretty much any shoes out there, as long as they’re lace-up shoes. And they can add some new colour or patterns to a pair of shoes that are starting to look a little dull and boring. It’s one of those things that’s really easy to do as well. You can find a tutorial at makeit-loveit.com/diy-fabric-shoelaces.


Create Covers for Seat Cushions and Pillows


These days, we all have cushions on our homes. They add a little extra comfort, and many people also choose them for their aesthetic properties. If you want to add some more cushions to your home, why not make your own covers for them? It’s so easy to do and can add a new dimension to your home. The same applies to covers for your pillows; they’re just as easy to make.


Make a Tablecloth


Finally, if you want to add something new to your home’s dining area, make a tablecloth. These are the simplest of all the simple craft ideas mentioned here. You just need the right fabric cut to the right measurements and finished off around the edges. Anyone can do it, and it’s perfect project for people just getting started.



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<![CDATA[Accessorising Your Car For A Roadtrip]]>Wed, 12 Jul 2017 12:20:40 GMThttp://nonperfectparenting.com/5/post/2017/07/accessorising-your-car-for-a-roadtrip.html     Is your car ready for a roadtrip? Before hitting the road, it could be worth shopping around for some accessories. Not only could kitting out your car make the ride more comfortable, it could also give you more options of what to take with you. Here are some of the best accessories to arm yourself with before embarking on your highway adventure.
USB phone charger


Even if you do charge it up the night before, your phone is likely to go through more battery on a long roadtrip. Many of us will use our phone as a GPS, to stream music or simply as a device to keep the kids happy in the back. Being able to charge up en route can prevent running out of battery before getting to your destination. Some charger adaptors come with multiple ports and are useful for charging up multiple gadgets.


GPS


Whilst many of us have a GPS inbuilt into our smartphones, it can be worth having a separate GPS gadget to keep the phone free. This may allow you to use your phone to call people, to distract the kids with a movie or to use another driving app whilst still able to navigate oneself.



Roof rack


Family roadtrips can often be a squeeze. You can give yourself more space by fitting a roof rack to the top of the car. Luggage can then be stored at the top giving you more space to pack other belongings. For a more waterproof solution, a roof box may be more appropriate. These come in all shapes and sizes and could allow you to double your storage space.


Bike rack


For those days when you want to take a break from the wheel and be active, a bike rack can be ideal for giving you the option to go cycling. There are lots of different types of bike rack with some storing your bike on top, whilst others store it at the back. Other hobbyists may even want to fit racks for fishing rods or skis.




Safety Kit


Car safety kits are worth having in the event of a breakdown or accident. They include items such as warning triangles, first aid kits and fluorescent jackets. Some countries have even made having such a kit a legal requirement. You can also buy extras for different kinds of adventures. For example, if you’re travelling off-road or in very rural territory, it’s worth having a shovel and a tow rope. You may even want a jerry can if you’re unsure that you’ll come across a gas pump for a while.


Cooler


Coolers can be useful for storing drinks and snacks on a long drive. This may prevent bottles of water from going warm. It may simply give you the option to take foods such as chocolate and milk and meats with you without worrying about them melting or going off. Some coolers are electric, whilst others offer a more economical icebox solution more suitable for shorter roadtrips.



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<![CDATA[Simple Strategies To Win More Sweepstakes]]>Tue, 11 Jul 2017 12:12:06 GMThttp://nonperfectparenting.com/5/post/2017/07/simple-strategies-to-win-more-sweepstakes.html     Like a lot of moms, you probably love freebies, and jump at the mention of any kind of gift card or chance to win free stuff. That’s part of why you’re visiting this blog, right? One thing that stays a big mystery to a lot of freebie-crazy moms is sweepstakes. If it seems like everyone but you is bringing home hoards of sweepstakes prizes, you may be approaching them the wrong way. Here are a few simple strategies to help your odds.
Target Sweepstakes with A lot of Prizes
There’s a fairly simple trend you should pick up on if you want to win more in the sweepstakes you enter: the more prizes a sweepstakes offers, the better your chances will usually be of winning something. This is pretty simple, but something that a lot of people seem to completely overlook. A giveaway that’s going to give out 100 prizes is going to be 100 times easier to get something out of than one that only has a single prize. Sure, some of the prizes may not be exactly what you want, but if you choose the right platform for entering, you’ll be able to search for sweepstakes offering the prizes you want, and a lot more of them! Sweepstakes Daily, for instance, is way better than www sweepstakes com in terms of searching. Prioritize the sweepstakes with more prizes, and you’ll do a lot for your chances of winning!

Look for Sweepstakes Restricted to Certain States
This is another great way to level the playing field, and improve your chances of being a winner. Among other things, individual states have their own rules regarding sweepstakes and other competitions. Due to this, you may be able to enter sweepstakes which bar entrants who live in other states. For example, New York, Rhode Island, and Florida are often excluded from large-scale sweepstakes, and Utah and California are very rarely included in sweepstakes that are sponsored by vineyards and beer companies. Hawaii and Alaska also miss out on a lot of large sweepstakes, as shipping to these states is more expensive. If you live in any of these states, then winning anything in large sweepstakes is going to be tough. If not, you’ve got an advantage. By targeting sweepstakes that other states can’t enter, you’ll trim down the competition you’ll be up against.
Prioritize Sweepstakes with Age and Gender Restrictions
Another easy way to up your chances of a win is looking for sweepstakes and competitions that restrict entrants according to age and gender. This is one more restriction that you can use to your advantage. For instance, the majority of sweepstakes require entrants to be 18 or over, but others may set the bar higher, with some even requiring entrants to be 25 or over. There are also competitions, mostly requiring you to complete a survey before entering, that are restricted to women. These can be a little hard to find, but the work is worth it; enter one of these, and you’ll instantly half the amount of people you’ll be up against.



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<![CDATA[The Guide To Being A Single Parent In 2017]]>Fri, 07 Jul 2017 15:39:30 GMThttp://nonperfectparenting.com/5/post/2017/07/the-guide-to-being-a-single-parent-in-2017.html     Being a parent is one of the toughest jobs on the planet, but being a single parent can be twice as difficult. Depending on how many children you have, it might seem overwhelming at times. However, just the very act of you attempting to give your child what they’d receive with two parents automatically defines you as an amazing, incredible and worthy parent.
No one desires to become a single parent unless it’s required or thrust upon them, and so it’s important to remember simple tips and tricks to cope if this does happen to you. You might be going through a difficult divorce, experiencing and coming to terms with the loss of a spouse, or simply moving away from your partner with the children as a form of protecting the child.


No matter your reason, you should be gentle with yourself and realize how amazing you are for giving your everything to your child. But you should also keep these tips in mind.


Seek Professional Legal Help


This isn’t to assume that your single parenthood is a negative, it could be just what you and your child need. But during a harsh separation of partners such as through divorce, it can be difficult to come to terms with. Be sure you have a helper on hand such as Miller Bowles Law from start to finish, and your stress will reduce will which directly leads to you enjoying a better life with your children.


Give Yourself Space


As a single parent responsible solely for the wellbeing of your child,  you have a burden placed upon you. Your free time will be swallowed up completely, but depending on your attitude, this could be more than tolerable. It’s no less important to you to take a breather here and there. If you have a family or friend support network (which is vital to build if you don’t already have one,) you can find ways to unwind and relax on your own during a day in your schedule. Stay sociable, stay active, and stay as healthy as you can to give your body and mind the mental breaks and support they deserve.


Be Honest With Your Children


A child who used to experience two parents now experiencing one is a life event that they will eventually ask you about. Be honest with them from the get-go. This can help them avoid a nasty surprise for them later in life. If you’ve divorced, make sure you never highlight the errors or flaws of your ex-partner. It only serves to create animosity that your child doesn’t need. If your partner has died, explain to them this has happened so they understand and can digest it early. Be sure to have long conversations about this. Give them a space to approach you at any time they require. You are their support rock as much as they are yours.


Being a single parent isn’t easy, but it is resoundingly worth it. If you are currently taking up the duties of one, or about imminently about to, you need to realize how astounding you are. Keep your head held high and do right by your child - they will appreciate it with all of their heart and soul, even if they can’t vocalize that yet.



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<![CDATA[Join Me for The Mother of All Baby Showers]]>Thu, 06 Jul 2017 22:59:38 GMThttp://nonperfectparenting.com/5/post/2017/07/join-me-for-the-mother-of-all-baby-showers.htmlThis is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of The Mother of All Baby Showers. All opinions are my own. 
     Moms in Pittsburgh are in for a treat! The biggest baby shower ever is right around the corner and you aren't going to want to miss it. This is the first time this awesome event will be held in Pittsburgh. Want to check it out? It will be at Heinz Field at the UPMC Club level on Thursday, July 27, 2017, from 6:00 PM-9:00 PM. Ill be there too so make sure you say hello! 

     You don't need to be preggo to attend. This unique event is all about pregnancy, parenting, and growing a family. It’s a true one-stop experience for gathering useful information and resources, meeting other parents and parents-to-be, celebrating parenthood, and getting pampering and gifted in the process.
      Educational sessions will cover topics related to prenatal and postnatal care, car seat safety, baby gear, nursery design, and more. The “Try It Before You Buy It” area gives attendees the chance to interact with maternity, juvenile, and family-focused national and local brands. All of the companies represented at the event have built success by listening to and educating parents, without passing judgment, and helping to instill confidence in their customers.
       The evening will also offer tasty treats from local businesses, mini spa treatments, The Mother of All Swag Bags, and giveaways valued at over $20,000.
     Sounds like a great mommy night out, right? See you there! 
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of The Mother of All Baby Showers. All opinions are my own. 
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<![CDATA[Have You Hit A Bump In The Road? The Most Common Relationship Hurdles]]>Thu, 06 Jul 2017 15:22:34 GMThttp://nonperfectparenting.com/5/post/2017/07/have-you-hit-a-bump-in-the-road-the-most-common-relationship-hurdles.html     You hear people say that relationships aren’t easy all the time. There are bound to be highs and lows. That’s the beauty of the unpredictability of life. But hopefully, there will be more peaks than troughs. If you’ve hit a bump in the road, don’t throw the towel in just yet. Often, it’s possible to overcome obstacles and get back on solid ground. Here are some of the most common relationship hurdles and some tips to get you back on track.
Time
     Time is a luxury many of us don’t have. If you think about an average day, how long have you got to spend quality time with your partner? If you have children, looking after them is a 24-hour job, and if you work long hours, you may feel like you’re stuck in a constant conveyor belt of work and sleep. If you are struggling to make time for each other, and it’s having a negative impact on your relationship, think about how you could make the situation better. Try and make time for each other. When you’re scheduling, make sure there’s a slot for a date every week or month or even just some downtime when you can chill out together. Make each other your priority, and try and manage your time better if you find it hard to say no to others or your tail is always in a spin. Take advantage of offers of help from the people closest to you. If your mom and dad are always suggesting they take the kids for a sleepover or a day out, take them up on their offer from time to time.
Money
     Most couples argue about money at some stage in their relationship, and for some, this can be a constant source of anxiety and stress. If you’re worried about paying the bills, your partner has a more flippant attitude to spending than you or one partner earns a lot more than the other, this may cause ructions. If you are rowing all the time, don’t call in the divorce attorneys just yet. Sit down, have a proper frank and honest chat, and try and identify the problems that are causing you to fall out. If you can’t reach a compromise or find a resolution, it may be worth seeing a financial adviser or talking to a couple’s therapist.
Distance

Long-distance relationships can be incredibly hard. Sometimes, all you want is to be together, but if your partner works away or travels on a regular basis, you may not get to see each other as often as you’d like. Phone and video calls enable you to communicate easily, but sometimes, this isn’t enough. If it is possible, try and visit each other, but stay in constant contact if this isn’t a viable option. You don’t have to rely on modern technology. Shaking things up with a delivery in the mail is a cute way of letting your partner know you’re missing them.

Love isn’t always a bed of roses. Sometimes, you’ll come across challenges as a couple, and trying to get through tough times will make you stronger. If you’ve hit a stumbling block, don’t give up. Work together to pinpoint the problem and find a solution.



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<![CDATA[Sugar Rush: Smart Food For Birthday Parties]]>Thu, 06 Jul 2017 15:08:38 GMThttp://nonperfectparenting.com/5/post/2017/07/sugar-rush-smart-food-for-birthday-parties.html     Organizing a kid’s party can be an extremely challenging job. To start, you have to choose a venue and the activities the kids will be doing. Then, you have to make sure everyone is invited and you’ve got the space you need. And, finally, you have to sort out the food, drinks, and other consumables for the day. Food and drinks will be one of the hardest parts of this sort of event to iron out. Not only do you have to feed everyone, but you also have to feed them the right things. To help you out with this, this post will be going through some of the best ways to piece an event’s food together. So, now, you just have to start thinking about the other parts of the big day.
In most meals, there is a good balance between sweet and savory food. Traditionally, a meal will be started with a course or two of savory food and finished with something sweet. Depending on the event you’re hosting, a single main course will usually be fine. This gives you the chance to save money on courses which people won’t be expecting from you. And, allows you to put more time and energy into the parts which matter. Most of the time, a catering company will be too costly for a birthday party or babyshower. Instead, you’ll be making to food yourself. So, you need to find a way to make it cheap. Cold food or buffet options can be the best to achieve this. But, you could have a couple of prepared warm options which just need to be zapped in the oven.
     Once you have your main course sorted, you can start to think about dessert. Now, this is the trickiest part of this whole arrangement. It’s very easy for kids to accidentally eat too much sugar, resulting in hours of boundless energy which will be impossible to control. You can base the sort of dessert you choose on the activities you’re doing. If the kids are going to be active, you can afford to give them more sugar. But, if they’re going to be sat still, something a little milder would be best. A website like http://allcakeprices.com/food-lion-cakes/ has loads of different resources to help you to choose something like this. And, they have all of the prices clearly and accurately displayed.
     Putting all of this together is going to take some work. And, ideally, it’s best to aim to get as much as you can from the same places. This will save time, and could even save a little bit of money. Most supermarkets will allow you to purchase their products online, nowadays. Then, they deliver them to your door. With this sort of service, you should be able to tackle near enough all of your food and decoration for the event. And, you might even be able to sort out any gifts you’d like to give.


Hopefully, this post will inspire you to put everything you have into your quest to feed the masses. It’s easy to get great variety and value out of the food for an event like this. But, it will only happen if you do the research and due diligence required.



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