Single Parents

There are more single parents these days than there used to be even two decades ago. And what was unacceptable then is now marginally more accepted, although there are still some cases where single parents are looked on with shock and horror. You might not think it true in this day and age, but the sad fact of the matter is, that no matter how liberated we are, we’re still not liberated enough to accept some situations of single parents.

It might be perfectly acceptable to be widowed single parents, and it might even be acceptable to be divorced single parents, but what about the single mother who’s seventeen and still in high school? It’s by no means right or the best thing for kids to become parents at such a young age, but it becomes almost even more impossible for them when they remain single.

Unfortunately, young single parents come under a lot of criticism when they should instead be getting support. They made a mistake, sure, but everyone makes mistakes, and they’ve probably paid a very high price for theirs. Who are we really to place a stigma on them and their children and make an admittedly hard life even harder?
Then again single parents can also come disguised in the form of non-married couples. This is just as much shock and horror for some people as teenage single parents. They can’t understand why you would become pregnant if you’re not married and feel that without marriage a union isn’t lasting or binding.

And when the couples split up and go their separate ways as sometimes happens, they feel even more vindicated in pointing out that they really shouldn’t have had children in the first place, without a wedding band on the finger.

A great piece of what they’re forgetting here is that it doesn’t matter if you married your partner before having any children because a great many married couples split up as well. And they have children too. So why then are divorced single parents more acceptable than non-married single parents?

Remember also that it wasn’t all that long ago when even divorced singles were frowned upon in society, never mind if they were divorced single parents or not. So what’s the problem right? If the pattern holds, then ultimately all these single parents who are so shunned by society now will become socially acceptable as time passes.

What To Do When Your Kid Isn’t First

Remember the days when there was “That Dad” or “That Mom” at your kid’s softball, football, or baseball game who just wouldn’t stop hollering, and got thrown out of the game? Fortunately, there was usually only one and you could mostly avoid them just by sitting at the opposite end of the bleachers and rolling your eyes a lot. You would have a few nights of practice a week for your child’s sport or related art activity where you would spend an hour or so and then go home and have dinner and do homework as a family. Those days are GONE.

The New Reality Of Competition

Today’s world of hyper-competitive children’s events has created an environment where unless your child is getting private lessons (the term “privates” has a whole new meaning now!) and practicing until 8 or 9 several nights a week, they are probably falling behind — and that is often something that parents are not willing to accept. What are we doing to our children’s self-worth if we say that unless they are practically killing themselves practicing whatever their activity is every spare moment that their worth is somehow less? And what of the children whose parents cannot afford to buy fancy dance outfits, or go on week-long trips around the country to watch their children compete at traveling baseball or cheerleading Nationals? Those children are feeling left out and left behind by their peers.

Letting Kids Be Kids

It may be time to take a step back from the weekend-long baseball tournaments, dance competitions, or beauty pageants. Stop spending tens of thousands of dollars on these activities that are quite likely to leave your child burned out and frustrated and broke. It may be difficult if not impossible to completely step away from activities, but consider cutting back or at least leaving a few nights every week as sacred family time where everyone sits down together, shares a meal and conversation — preferably with no electronics around the table! Let your kids take some time on the weekend to play with friends and just be themselves. We are raising a generation of unqualified overachievers who believe that unless you are standing at the top of the podium, you have no self-worth — and that those who are winning in these contrived competitions often get the feeling that they are better than their peers.

Instead, let’s teach children the spirit of cooperation. Competition has its place and is important for encouraging young individuals to do their best and strive to improve. However, the unreasonable pressure that we can put on them as parents is likely to backfire in the long run as children rebel against the strict requirements of their parents for excellence and perfection in all things that they do.

6 Natural Remedies That Will Keep You Out Of The Clinic

When you or your children are not feeling your best it can be incredibly hard to find time to get in to see your doctor–between after-school activities, work, and carpools, and then trying to get an appointment and plan–well, it can be impossible sometimes. Plus, who wants to take prescription drugs all the time? Instead of letting yourself continue to run down and feel terrible, here are some quick home remedies that will get you back up to speed and feeling great in no time!

1) Migraines

Headaches are bad enough, but migraines can be utterly miserable. Keep that bad headache or migraine in check with a few drops of peppermint essential oil, rubbed into your temples and behind your ears.

2) Bloating

There is nothing worse than the feeling that you’re about to explode out of your clothes, and it’s hard to find anything that will make you feel better quickly when that feeling hits. What causes that awful feeling? Who knows, but one of the easiest, cheapest, and best answers is to try a mild diuretic such as dandelion tea. It works by stimulating bile to break down foods, and can also help you shed extra water.

3) Back Pain

Whether it’s from picking up heavy children or carting loads of laundry through the house, nearly all Moms have back pain–some regularly. What can you do to help get rid of the nagging pain? You don’t have to spend a lot of money on different balms or pain relievers, instead, try adding a few drops of peppermint oil and menthol to water and freeze it. When it’s all frozen together, have a friend (or your significant other!) rub the soothing concoction into your back and feel the pain melt away.

4) Brain Freeze

Everyone has had a kid with a brain freeze – that feeling that your entire head has turned into a block of ice and suddenly the world narrows to a tiny window . . . so instead of suffering along for one more minute, try this simple (and free!) trick. Push your tongue to the roof of your mouth. Something about having your tongue in this location can help calm the nerves and soothe the pain faster than you can imagine.

5) Insomnia

There are so many different things going through your mind–kids, school, what to make for dinner, when you have to go to the store, upcoming birthday parties, and gifts–that it’s a wonder your brain is ever able to turn off! Help it along by consuming some fresh and tart cherries before bed. Not only do they contain natural melatonin, but they will give you a boost of vitamins that your body has all night to absorb.

6) Damaged Hair

Olive oil is not just for healthy cooking–it can give your hair a shine treatment as well! Olive oil is packed with monounsaturated fatty acids that can pump up your hair and make it softer and more manageable.

Take just a few minutes for yourself and try these great (and inexpensive!) home remedies–you will be glad that you did! Great for parenting.