Archives for September 2012

How to Stop Feeling Mom Guilt

So RichMama’s let me ask you a question – do you feel guilty – like you’re not doing enough for your kids, yourself, your family?  Ugh, mom guilt. It seems to be an integral part of motherhood. Born at the moment of conception, the guilt starts wreaking havoc on your life. Even before the baby is born you start thinking, “I shouldn’t have done this” or “I should have done that.” And once they’re born, forget about it. Every little tear they shed, every little mistake piles up like dirty diapers until you’re overwhelmed by a giant stack of stinky guilt.

Does Mom Guilt Need to Be a Part of Your Life?

It seems some mothers latch onto the mom guilt as a rite of passage. You’re supposed to feel it, right? Well, perhaps not. In most cases, guilt is a rather unproductive emotion. It doesn’t help you accomplish anything. It doesn’t make you or your child a better person. It doesn’t change things.

Think about the last time you felt a bit of guilt. Maybe you snapped at your child or didn’t feed them as many vegetables as you think you should have. What did the guilt accomplish? Did it change the past? Did it magically make you, or your child, feel better? No and no. Let it go!

How to Stop Feeling Mom Guilt

#1 Accept That You’re Not Perfect

Much of the guilt that moms feel stems from the weird need to be perfect – or to think that you’re expected to be perfect. Your mom wasn’t perfect, right? You’re not perfect either and no one really expects you to be.

They do expect you to do your best. However, doing your best doesn’t mean you won’t make mistakes. In fact, if you’re trying really hard you’ll probably make many mistakes. Sit back, repeat the mantra, “I’m not perfect and I don’t need to be,” and then relax. You’re going to make mistakes and the world won’t end when you do.

#2 Learn from the Mistake

When you make a mistake, instead of feeling unproductive guilt why not turn it into a productive moment? You can if you learn from the mistake. Assess what happened and why, and then create a plan to avoid making that mistake again. Move onward and upward as they say.

#3 Start Paying Attention to Why You Feel Guilt

Okay, it’s time for an honest moment. It’s time to get in touch with your feelings. When you’re feeling guilty about something, sit down and spend a few quiet moments assessing why. What does the guilt do for you? Why are you choosing to feel guilt instead of some other emotion? Maybe it’s easier to feel guilty than to be angry or frightened.

Guilt seems to be a natural part of motherhood for many. However, it doesn’t have to be. You can have a happier and more productive parenting experience if you learn to let go of guilt.

 

Three Great Interval Training Walking Programs to Burn More Weight

Did you know that you can burn calories (and lose weight faster) by working out less?  Oh yes, RichMama’s – it’s true…read on…If you’re looking for interval training walking programs, you may be wondering what’s out there. Here are three great interval training walking programs to help you burn more weight.

Lunchtime Walk

If you want to prevent weight gain from your desk or office job, one of the most doable programs for working people is to walk during your lunch hour. Bring a pair of walking shoes to the office and go for it! Here’s how this program works.

First, bring your lunch to work or order take-out. If you bring your lunch, leave your desk at noon and head out. Choose a destination that’s about half a mile away. Walk briskly along the sidewalk and don’t stop for red lights; instead, jog in place or turn down the block. You may add on some distance but one of the keys to interval training is to keep up the intensity.

After about a minute, scale back and walk moderately to your destination. If you ordered take-out, pick it up and head back. If not, simply turn around and head back to the office. Repeat the same alternating program of intensity and moderation.

Treadmill Program

If you have a treadmill, you can do a great interval training program on it. As long as you can adjust the incline and your treadmill has a reliable timer, you can create an effective interval training program using your machine.

First, stretch well, focusing on your calves, buttocks and thighs. Begin with about 5 minutes of moderate walking on a 1% incline (or so). Then up the intensity to a steeper incline and walk hard and fast for 1 minute. Reduce the incline back to 1% and walk moderately for 4 minutes. Experts recommend you repeat this for 30 minutes.

Of course, you can do this at a gym or on a home treadmill.

Speed versus Moderate

If you have access to a track or something similar, you can do the interval program right in your neighborhood. In this case, you can’t control the incline outside, but you can vary the speed.

Once you’ve stretched, walk moderately for 5 minutes. Then speed up to an intense, rapid walk or even a slow jog. Do this intense walking for 1 minute, then go back to the moderate walking for 4 minutes. Again, repeat for 30 minutes.

Remember, during the moderate walking intervals, you still need to keep up a decent pace; don’t amble. Experts say you can tell you’ve hit the right pace when you could keep it up for 30 minutes if you wanted to.

How to Secretly Help Your Family Lose a Little Weight

Hey RichMama – want everyone to get on a health kick? Does your family groan and complain when you mention diet and exercise? Do they snort in disgust when you add a few more vegetables at the dinner table? Could you all benefit from losing a little weight? Most folks can, and truth is that sometimes helping your family get in shape requires a little covert action.

#1 You Start

The first step to beginning to help your family to lose a little weight is to start on a diet and exercise program yourself. If you need their support, then tell them you’re starting a program. Otherwise, just begin it and let them watch you lose weight and enjoy the results. Sometimes the best way to make a change is to be the change. They’ll see you feeling and looking better and it’ll help show them what’s possible.

#2 Don’t Preach

Preaching has the tendency to turn people off. They shut down and stop listening. Instead of preaching about what your family should be doing and why, simply start doing it. No discussion, only action.

#3 Modify Your Habits

Do you all sit down on the weekend to watch movies and laze about the house, or do you get outside and move your body? Start changing your habits one by one. For example, instead of heading to the mall on a Saturday afternoon, head to your local recreation center for some swimming or basketball. And on your way to the gym, don’t tell your family that you’re doing it to be healthy and lose weight. You’re doing it because it’s fun.

#4 Discover Their Interests

What does your family enjoy? What interests do your children have that you can take action on? For example, maybe your youngest is interested in rock climbing and your oldest likes drama. Take the family rock climbing one weekend and to the local arts festival the next.

#5 Make Veggies Part of the Meal

There’s a three-step process to getting your family to eat more fruits and vegetables. The first step is to hide the vegetables in plain sight. Simply start adding more vegetables to each meal. Serve a salad and green beans with your meatloaf. Serve fruit salad with breakfast and apple slices with lunch.

The second step is to really hide them. When the opportunity presents itself, hide vegetables inside the meal. For example, cauliflower or turnips can be added to mashed potatoes. Zucchini can be added to spaghetti and you can add a number of veggie purees to meatloaf, meat balls and other main dishes.

The third and final step is to buy more fruits and vegetables and less junk. If your family is hungry, those healthy foods are what they have to choose from. You may hear a little bit of grumbling in the beginning, but they’ll get used to it and eventually eating healthy will become a habit.

Helping your family lose a little weight isn’t easy. It takes a bit of strategy and planning. It definitely takes persistence. However, helping them live longer and healthier lives is certainly worth the effort.

Tweet – Covert tips and strategies to secretly help your family lose weight and get in shape. LINK

Is no homework the answer to smarter kids?

There’s a no homework movement out there and your kids might be caught up in it.  According to this story on Parenting.com http://www.parenting.com/blogs/mom-congress/melissa-taylor/should-schools-abolish-homework  elelemntary schools and middle schools are dropping homework – instead asking kids to read instead.  In other less extreme cases, the some scholls have a no homework on vacation rule.  The policy of no homework is supposed to give kids more time to become better readers, and to do that, they need more time to read – not more time doing worksheets.

In many instances, this no homework policy has had no impact on test scores – they’ve held steady (note, this is not to say they’ve improved, but it just goes to show that the kids may be getting all the test prep they need in class.)

The no homework policy leaves more time, theoretically, for kids to have unstructured play time.  However, I wonder if it just leaves more time – which might be spent watching tv (I know I use ‘homework first’ as the incentive for tv time) or on structured sports – I heard that our rec lacrosse league (which is a spring sport) now has “optional” practices, year round, three days a week.

And while these are optional and a chance to for kids to get better at a s sport, I also suspect that any kid who doesn’t avail him or herself of these practices will find themselves at a disadvantage come the spring.  So would no homework be a good deal in this case, because it would let a kid play an organized sport all year round, all the time.  Seems to defeat the “unstructured” or “reading” time behind the no homework policy.

So what do you think – should there be a no homework policy for our kids?  Will this make them smarter?  What would you do to make sure this time didn’t get transferred over to more ‘activities’ or tv/video game time.  Would you make your kids read?  Play outside?  Would no homework mean you’d have a family dinner more often?

Let us know what you think below.