Water Safety: Having Fun While Staying Alert

The recent devastating news that Granger Smith lost his son in a tragic drowning incident has brought renewed attention to the importance of water safety.  The implications of having small children around water can be dangerous and even deadly but there are practical solutions to help safeguard your family.

More Than Just Pools

Know that kids don’t need a ton of water to be in harm’s way. They can drown in as little as two inches of water–and it happens fast. Many of us are vacationing in new environments–hotels, AirBnBs, beach rentals. Take a minute to make note of potential hazards upon arrival.

Supervision

This can seem like a no brainer but when you have groups of people gathered for a party of event, the adults often relax because there is a false sense of security with so many eyes on the pool. But there is a big difference between active supervision and passive socializing. Someone should be designated to carefully monitor at all times.

Safety Reminders

This article outlines fantastic safety tips but in particular, I loved the idea of briefing your kids before they swim. Outlining when, where and how far they can go helps set expectations and keep them safe.

Prevention

One of the best ways to help your child be safe around water is to get them into swimming lessons at a young age. Knowledge is key and when children complete water safety courses they are more likely to be able to navigate an emergency.

Be Prepared

As much as none of us want to envision the worst case scenario, it is important to be prepared should you find yourself in the presence of a drowning victim. Knowing CPR and First Aid can often greatly improve the outcome of a child’s situation.

Natural Energy Boosters for Moms on the Go

Maybe it’s the go, go, go pace of summer break or the fact that my baby is up at 5:30 every morning but I have been on the hunt for ways to keep my energy up so we can do all of the fun things, I can keep my house somewhat clean and get dinner on the table. Here are a few ways to get a natural energy boost:

  1. Exercise — I know, I know. Don’t hate me. But it’s true. An early minute walk/run or even chasing the kids around the yard with the sprinkler on is a great way to get your blood pumping, adrenaline running and even burn a few calories. It’s a win/win and the hardest part is usually lacing up your shoes. Try it!
  2. B Vitamins– Most of us mamas are putting our own nutrition behind everyone else’s. Its important to supplement those B vitamins which are integral to turning your food into energy.
  3. Water– Proper hydration boosts your metabolism and in turn combats that sluggish feeling. Pair that with outdoor activities that can leave you feeling drained and getting in those daily ounces is more important than ever.
  4. Essential Oils– They’re all the rage for a reason. A few dabs of peppermint or orange can boost your mood and give you a little energy!
  5. Chocolate–Cocoa contains stimulants that act like caffeine. Break off a small piece of dark chocolate to savor during nap time!
  6. Distractions– A lot of time that afternoon slump comes from ruminating on stressful things. Take 5 minutes to meditate or journal and distract your mind from turning the same problems over and over. You’ll feel refreshed!
  7. Coffee– While this may sound obvious, you may be surprised to know that the specialty drinks we tend to gravitate towards as a “pick-me-up” actually contain less  caffeine than regular drip coffee.

How She Does It: Jennifer McLamb

This week’s installment of How She Does It features my right-hand woman, Jennifer! I am lucky enough to have known her long enough to watch her go from college student to newlywed to amazing mama. I am amazed at how she does it all!

Jennifer McLamb

Sitter Recruiter for the Charlotte Team of PlatinumSitters

Licensed Realtor in NC/SC
Mom to Mitchell, age 1

Married to John

Uses PlatinumSitters: Monthly


Your baby is almost one! How are you feeling as you round out this first year?


Getting through the first year is a huge accomplishment! I feel like a huge weight has been lifted, we are on a great routine and get to enjoy lots of fun activities together! 


You and your husband, John, were together for awhile before welcoming Mitchell. How would you say baby has changed your marriage–both good and bad?

 Going from just a dog and a cat to a BABY, dog and cat has been an adjustment, but a great one! John and I still try and have date night as much as possible – I feel that it is very important to remember what brought us together in the first place! 


What is your biggest struggle in terms of finding balance?

When Mitchell naps I try and be super mom and get all my chores off of my to-do list! Laundry, cleaning, groceries, work –  Ultimately that is not always possible but I try and use those times to my advantage so that I can spend time with him the rest of the day! Luckily my job is flexible and allows me the freedom to work when/where I can! 


How has PlatinumSitters helped you in that pursuit?


Platinumsitters has really made it easy for us to have an accountable sitter that we can depend on, should the need arise for a last minute appointment or date night! Its a great feeling as a first time mom to not worry about who is with Mitchell while we are gone, I can fully trust that they have been vetted and background checked. We have used several sitters so we can get to know them in case one is not available! 


What would you go back and tell yourself during the first month of motherhood?

Give yourself time and grace. They dont send you home from the hospital with an instruction manual unfortunately. The whole process of motherhood is a learning curve, especially for me! I read a number of books before Mitchell was born but you have to figure out what works for you and your family and you just make it work! 


Quick! You have two hours of kid-free time…what are you going to do?

Target Run and Grocery shopping all by myself! 

Thank you to Jennifer for taking the time to chat with me! Now we know how she does it! Tell me something in the comments that makes your life easier as you balance work, motherhood and everything else. Happy Monday!

Easter Themed Ideas to Slay the Preschool Party

Here’s your cheaters guide to looking good at drop-off when you’re expected to roll up with something allergy-friendly, cute and creative.

Build-a-Bunny Craft

I am a fan of anything self-contained so throw the pre-cut ears, nose and whiskers in the cup alongside the googly eyes. This is a cute craft that isn’t terribly messy and will keep kids occupied indoors or out!

via SheKnows


Bunny Tails

This couldn’t be easier. And it’s perfect if you forgot to buy Easter eggs. Stuff , staple, repeat.

via

Yarn Eggs

Cut some yarn. Cut some ovals. Call it a day.

via Craft Create Cook

Bunny Juice

Normally, I think this stuff is a bit extra– but the printable you can find here makes this a snap and the cotton tail is super cute.

I mean, thats cute.

Let Target Do It

When all else fails, buy online and pick up on your way. What kids don’t love this stuff anyway? Everyone wins!

No candy here!

The Daily Details: An Afternoon of Self-Care

a beautiful day for some beauty treatments

Hey friends!

I wanted to share my afternoon adventure with you all! I went uptown to The Daily Details for a little self-care after working all morning. It has been a busy week and it was so nice to have this to look forward to on Friday afternoon!

I booked an appointment for an eyebrow wax and tint on the Daily Details website. I love that it’s easy to see what services they offer, pricing and availability right online.

The staff at the salon was really helpful–I was even able to call and adjust my appointment when I realized I was a little ahead of schedule. The girl who answered the phone was friendly and even helped me navigate parking (because let’s be honest–parking uptown is the opposite of relaxing!).

Once I arrived, I was greeted and offered something to drink–they have Prosecco and wine, in addition to wine and soft drinks. They brought me to the back where they do waxing and tinting.

Danielle introduced herself and immediately told me what to expect from the appointment, as I told her I was nervous since my brows had gone quite awhile without any attention! She was thorough and knowledgable–even asking about what skincare I use to avoid any potential interactions. I appreciated how–no pun intended–detailed she was.

Additionally, Danielle is a mom, too. We talked about our kids and how hard it is to balance work/home balance. She was super cheerful and fun and I felt like I spent half an hour with a friend!

I do not typically tack something for myself onto the end of my baby-free time but I knew Mae was in good hands and it felt great to do a little something for myself! The best part was The Daily Details made scheduling an appointment super easy and Danielle was so fun to work with.

Interested in trying The Daily Details for yourself? For the month of April, the Daily Details is also offering $5 off brow services! Stay tuned–we will have an exciting announcement on our Instagram Monday morning!

It’s Monday and Mondays Matter

Shoutout to my colleague, Ms. Mitchell, for this mantra. See, as many of you know, I am an educator at heart. I taught middle school for seven years before I started with PlatinumSitters. For half of that time, I was at a middle school with Ms. Mitchell and she did the Monday morning announcements–always signing off with “Don’t forget, today is Monday–and Mondays matter!”

I don’t know when or how, but somehow that little affirmation lodged itself in my brain and has lived there ever since. I think it to myself each Monday morning. I say it to my kiddo as I usher her cranky self off to school. Because it’s true: Monday is the start of something new. A week of possibility. The chance to get things back on track or keep the momentum going.

Well, guess what? Today was a MONDAY. The baby cried so much that I called my mother-in-law crying. Yes, eight years into the parenting game and they still break me from time to time.

After that, I had to hustle to get a mama a sitter when she was diagnosed with the flu and deal with some work “fires”. Somewhere in there, I burnt my lunch and cried a little more over some tough situations around us. I realized I dropped the ball on my own childcare for an event later this week. I hustled to fix it, hustled to catch up on laundry, and hustled to put on real pants for story time.

The opposite of my work setup most days.

But, my husband came home with flowers and chocolate. We managed to have a nice meal. The rain they promised didn’t come until well past our need to be outside. We reset. It’s fine. And I am choosing to embrace what Ms. Mitchell always tell us: It’s Monday and Mondays matter.

So let’s get after it this week, mamas. If you have had a day like me, lets remember that today dictates the rest of the week. End tonight on a positive note: email a friend to say hello, call your own mama, schedule a date night to look forward to.

If you’re have an awesome start to the week, soak it in! Recognize it and appreciate it. Let that good feeling carry you through whatever the rest of the week may bring. Because today is Monday–and Mondays Matter!

A Guest Post: Finding Your Tribe

Hi Everyone! I’m Monica from Triangle Area Parenting Support. I’m delighted to be guest blogging at Platinum sitters today! It’s amazing to share space with this great company knowing that together we are all working toward strengthening families from the inside out.

When I had my first baby I literally couldn’t believe that they just let me leave the hospital with this sweet tiny fragile child. I had no idea what I was doing as a new mom and no one handed me an instruction manual. We had done a lot of preparation for birth, but did nothing to prepare for our new roles at parents.

Regardless of how you got to where you are, every new parent needs the kind of support that can only come through empathetic friendship. You need a group of folks – other moms, other families, other dads – that know EXACTLY what you’re going through because they are also going through it.

Raise your hand if you could use a hand.

New moms and dads face a huge identity change. We must climb to our new roles while also grappling with unmet birth experience expectations, deep sleep deprivation, life-or-death feeding choices (we believe that fed and rested are the best options!), sleep choices, attachment choices, and possibly postpartum mood and anxiety disorder issues.

As a new parent, I needed help, but I didn’t know how to ask for it. When the freezer meals were gone. When my partner returned to work. I found myself alone — with a crying baby — wondering — What am I supposed to do?

I was that mom eight years ago. I lived thousands of miles away from my parents and long term friends. We literally only knew 4 families in the whole city when I gave birth to my daughter. But this wasn’t a question that my OB or nurses ever raised. They never asked, “How are you getting help now that you have a new baby at home?” Luckily, one of my only friends in the city had also just had her first baby and encouraged me to join a new parent support group. This was the BEST. DECISION. EVER.

We joined a Program for Early Parent Support (PEPS) group about 3 weeks after my daughter was born. This group became a source of community, consolation, encouragement, and help in times when we needed it. It was such a vital part of my own new parent transition that when we had the opportunity to move back to North Carolina, we brought the program with us and the response has been tremendous.

We are so privileged to be able to connect new parents in these intimate community-based groups all around the Triangle. Since 2016, TAPS has served over 200 families by creating and facilitating community based peer support groups.

What’s a group like?

TAPS Groups meet weekly for a 10-week period. Each group has a dedicated TAPS Group Leader who facilitates discussion and provides local resources for group members during the 10 weeks.

The weekly meeting includes a sharing time, a developmental activity, and a discussion of a relevant parenting topic. Topics may include feeding, sleeping, emotional challenges, postpartum mood and anxiety disorders, balancing work and family, and more. Every group experience is also unique because each group chooses five topics from a list of 40+ parenting discussion topics.

Most groups have between 6 – 9 families in them and TAPS group leaders encourage group members to get together outside of the group’s scheduled meeting time. Many groups plan group date nights, mom’s night out, birthday parties, family picnics, and many more activities depending on their groups’ desires!

By the end of the 10 weeks, our goal is that you will find community, receive support, and be empowered as you journey into parenthood!

It’s been a pleasure sharing my story with everyone! If you are pregnant or just added a new little one to your family, we would love to help you build your parenting village.

With Gratitude,

Monica Richardson

Triangle Area Parenting Support

www.tapsnc.org

Daylight Savings is the Worst

A lot of us spent the past 48 hours slugging through the day, dragging whining kids behind us. They’re overtired but the sun is still up so they’re kicking and screaming all the way to bedtime.

So, why exactly are we torturing ourselves?

We can thank ol’ Ben Franklin for this one. He realized he was wasting daylight hours and hatched a plan to get everyone up earlier.

He had three kids so why would he do this to us?!

However, the idea really caught on during WWI as an energy-saving tactic and the practice has been a staple in many western countries since then. Although it does save a small amount of energy, the biggest push for keep Daylight Savings Time is actually a financial one.

When the sun is shining, we do more. We go more places and we spend more money. There is a lot of lobbying done to make sure we keep those “summer” hours. So, if you’re tempted to lobby against DST next year, be prepared to go up against….ya know, actually lobbyists.

So, whats the key to coping? As much as it stinks…you gotta go to bed at the same time and get your kids up at the same time. That means that at some point, everyone is truly going to be functioning on one less hour and it may take a few days to sort things out.

The good news is: this means spring is on the horizon! Your evenings can now include park visits, backyard grilling and bike rides. If you’re heading out without your kids (and with the use of a PlatinumSitter!) you can expect to be more alert when driving, to enjoy more outdoor concerts and patio dinners. It isn’t all bad after all. Thanks, Benny!

Mama’s Got a Brand New Blog

PS-Charlotte-5-2

It’s cliche, but its true. You can’t pour from an empty cup. Never has this been more evident to me than since welcoming my newest gal, Mae, just four months ago. Its amazing how you can go from a well-groomed, reasonably intelligent, kind-of-put-together human to an absolute, hormonally drenched, disaster in just a third of a year. But that postpartum wizard is certainly magic.

Although I wouldn’t necessarily recommend having a baby and then ending your maternity leave early to start an entirely new career–I will say that this has been a transformative experience for me.

Learning about PlatinumSitters from my friend Jen, my first reaction was: Where has this been all of my life? I have known many seasons of motherhood:

brand new mom of one: drenched in breast milk, googling every last thing at 4 am, tearful over simple mistakes, putting diapers in the washing machine during prisoner-of-war level sleep deprivation

single mom: simultaneously lonely while also never. alone., desperate to connect with girlfriends, occasionally asked on a date but unable to locate anything to wear outside of Chick-fil-a.

post c-section: same of mom of one except lacking all core strength

mom of two: tired, drowning in laundry, full of emotion, happily married and surrounded by amazing friends– determined to keep it that way despite the new demands on my time

And in every season, under every circumstance, I could’ve used a hand. Because it is hard and we say that a lot but the truth is: there are resources. There is grocery pickup and laundry service and the teenager down the street to mow your lawn. There is also PlatinumSitters. And in my short time here, I have become so passionate about telling moms to take a break, soak it in and let us help. You can’t get this time back. Babies don’t keep. And mamas who aren’t running on empty are really able to enjoy it all so much more. I promise.

PS-Charlotte-27

I am so excited to take over the PlatinumSitters blog and share with you all the hilarity and challenges I face in my own motherhood journey, the exciting and fun things we are working on at PS, how we find your awesome sitters, and who exactly the moms are who are running this machine.

Stay tuned–its going to be a blast!