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.

Top 5 Parenting Instagram Accounts

It’s raining–and it doesn’t appear to be letting up anytime soon. What better way to pass the time with a few great Instagram follows? Below are some of our favorites! While you’re at it, be sure to follow PlatinumSitters!

Kid’s Activities

First up, Busy Toddler! This mama of three is constantly churning out the coolest ideas for her preschool and elementary school kids. This is the perfect follow for a rainy day because you will instantly have something to do to keep them busy. Almost all of her activities include household items you likely already have–or something you can Prime in less than a day or two! Plus, I love that she keeps it real with cute hots of her kids followed by the messes they make. It would also be awesome to set up one of these ideas ahead of your sitter’s arrival–then they can handle cleanup!


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Mindful Parenting

Simply on Purpose is an account focused on helping parents get the most out of the journey. Ralphie’s soothing tone and real life examples help make her parenting tips seem practical and doable. I love her whole child approach. She really values childhood and letting kids be kids while also holding them accountable and her stories are a nice reminder in my day to reset my mindset.


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FeedingLittles

Even though I have been at this parenting game for a little while now, I was still a little stumped about introducing my youngest to food. I have always been a fan of babyled weaning and stumpled upon FeedingLittles. I love their take on food and find their infographics super helpful.


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For Keeping it Real

I started following Leslie in the middle of the night while nursing my youngest baby and found myself stifling my laughter as I scrolled her post. She iss funny and refreshing while still recognizing motherhood as a calling. I appreciate the balance and her candidness about things like nursing, date nights and hard topics (her recent posts on talking to her daughter about death were great).


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For the Coparents

Janey is HYSTERICAL so I would honestly suggest you follow her even if you don’t have a coparenting situation. She is also an amazing human being who puts her therapist skills to use on international trips where she helps provide wheelchairs and OT to impoverished children (check out her stories for how to donate to her latest trip). But what REALLY makes me love her is her fresh take on coparenting her oldest son. She keeps it light, encouraging and honest–what more can you ask for?


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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!

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

Follow Friday!

I don’t know about you guys but The Great Social Media Blackout of 2019 on Wednesday really got me thinking about who I follow and how much time I spend on those apps. While I do think it would be good to cut back again, I also have to admit that many of the accounts I follow on Instagram bring me a lot of joy for various reasons: parenting solidarity, good bargains, or just a solid laugh. Here’s who I am loving these days:

MirandainCLT— Admittedly, I consider Miranda a friend but I actually followed her before I knew her! She is a Charlotte local so I love seeing what she’s up to as a way to find out what’s going on around town. More importantly, I love her take on parenting–honest, real and fun.


Emily.Fee— Emily is a recent follow for me and I am loving her feed! She is also a Charlotte local and I find myself cracking up at her daily commentary. Her family is also ridiculously good looking.

Things.I.Bought.And.Liked — It’s my missing in life to tell everyone to follow this account. I think most people already are–but just in case you’re not: DO IT. She finds the coolest things and I am ashamed to admit how many of my recent Amazon buys are a direct result of her Instastories.

Maketodayahollyday — A Raleigh influencer! Holly has the sweetest 8 month old little boy and a feed that is just positive and bright. I love her style and her “Raleigh” highlight bubble on Instastories has me making a list of places to hit when I am in town visiting the PlatinumSitters girls!

K8_smallthings — Kate is also from Raleigh and has. the. best. hair. I just watch her stories in an attempt that my hair will look that good by osmosis? I don’t know. She also finds the best fashion finds for a stylish mom–you know, a cute dress that I can actually pick my baby up in? #hereforit

CBChatman— Charlotte and husband, along with their four ADORABLE kiddos, are renovating a historical home near the Outerbanks. Its every bit as dreamy as you’d imagine. What I love about her feed is that its beautiful but she also shares the real stuff. A lovely balance that I look forward to seeing!

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!