2018 Best Toddler Alarm Clocks – Perfect for Sleep Training!

2018 Best Toddler Alarm Clocks – Perfect for Sleep Training!

In order to keep you up-to-date with the best toddler alarm clocks, we update this post regularly. Here are our 2018 favorite clocks for kids!

Sleep training your toddler? Check out these toddler alarm clocks that will help a child who can’t tell time understand when it’s okay to get out of bed. Parenting toddlers is all kinds of crazy if they get a little more sleep – that will give mom and dad more sleep as well!

Alarm Clocks for Toddlers and Sleep Training

We have 4 kids. Somehow we managed to survive the toddler years! The first 2 we did not use any sleep training techniques – and OH the insanity!  Our littles would get up at all hours of the night, not understanding that they should stay in bed. We started using a toddler clock with our third child.

One of the hardest challenges when I had to get the kids to childcare and we had a strict morning routine was finding a kid-friendly alarm clock. I have had many friends recommend these and are glad to share these here. I hope they work well as you sleep train your toddler. As you transition your toddler from the crib to a big boy bed (or big girl bed), it’s time to introduce the alarm clock. 

Best Alarm Clocks for Toddlers

Here is a round-up of the best toddler alarm clocks. This is a fabulous assortment of the clocks that have different functions to help with sleep training. We are big believers in each child will have their own way of learning and with that, you have to adapt how you parent each kid.  Help teach your toddler how long to stay in bed when it is okay to get out of bed and some toddler alarm clocks even have a timeout time! These toddler alarm clocks serve multiple functions and are essential during these trying years. Find one that will be the perfect addition to your kid’s room. 

Okay to Wake Alarm Clock

okay to wake alarm for toddlers

First, let’s look at the OK to Wake toddler alarm. It is ranked 4-stars on Amazon with over 2,200 reviews! The OK to Wake clock features a color changing night-light timer teaching children to stay in bed longer in the morning so parents get more sleep (at least that’s the plan!). Set this bedside alarm clock next to your tot’s bed and let sleep training begin.

A few things else to note about the OK to Wake alarm:

  • This clock features a color-changing night-light that teaches children to stay in bed longer so families get better sleep!
  • It is 4.5″ and is perfect for your child’s bedside table.
  • The clock is soft yellow night-light and glows green when it’s OK for your child to get out of bed
  • OK to Wake features an alarm clock with snooze, convenient nap timer, interchangeable faceplates, and fun animations that give this personality!
  • This is easy for parents to program – the idea is that this will grows with families by helping them get more sleep, and teach children independence and help with sleep training.

Buy from Amazon

Teach Me Time! Talking Alarm Clock & Night-Light

teach me time best toddler clock

Next, we have the Teach Me Time Talking Clock. This wake-up clock for toddlers is one of the best-rated kid alarm clocks with over 2,200+ reviews and a 4-star rating. With those reviews, you can say this is definitely a good choice!

A few things to note about the Teach Me Time Talking:

  • This child’s bedside alarm clock features a time-teaching educational game and dual-color nightlight all in one!
  • Three interchangeable color rings are included.
  • The night-light is a soft yellow in the evening and turns green in the morning (parent programmable) so children know when it’s OK to get out of bed!
  • As your child grows, they can play with the interactive talking time-teaching game. It  has five adjustable skill levels and teaches time-telling concepts on the analog and digital clock faces
  • For older children: Teach Me Time! Talking Alarm Clock is a fully-functional alarm clock with snooze–just like mom and dads! So this will grow with your kids!
  • Included is a USB cord and will need 2 AA batteries. 

Buy From Amazon

Amazon Echo Dot

amazon echo dot toddler alarm clock

Let’s talk about the Echo Dot. While not this isn’t something you would think of as a traditional toddler alarm clocks – this is what we have moved to for our kids! Why? Every night since our littles were babies, we’ve had music playing in their room. With the Amazon Echo Dot – we have been able to set up a music playlist and play that for them as they go to sleep AND set up an alarm for the morning. This keeps them in bed until the alarm goes off. I do recommend locking down your Amazon Echo Dot so that you don’t have children ordering things, but it’s easy to do.

The rating on the Amazon Echo Dot is off the charts, understandably so. It’s received 4.5 stars with over 19.2k reviews! We have multiple Echo Dots and an Echo in our home and use them daily. This is definitely a tech home device that we recommend.

Buy From Amazon

 

Argos Children’s Alarm Clock – Gro-Clock Sleep Trainer Clock

sleep train clock

Here is the Glo-Clock Sleep Trainer, also known as the Argo Children’s Alarm. It features a pleasant glow of light – not to bright and the concept is unique. The stars disappear over the night, so when your child wakes up in the night, they instantly know how long they have until morning by how many stars are left. In the morning, at the designated time, the last star and the big star disappear, and the sun comes out as the face color changes to yellow. The kids know they are allowed to get up when the sun comes up.

Buy on Amazon

Bunny Toddler Alarm Clock

bunny toddler alarm clock

This bunny toddler alarm – also known as the Claessens’ Kids Kid’Sleep Classic Sleep Trainer comes in both blue and pink.  Here are a few features you should know about:

  • The Claessens’ Kids Kid’Sleep Classic Sleep Trainer teaches kids when it is time to sleep and when it is time to get up.
  • The sleeping bunny character is illuminated and the child knows he or she has to sleep a while longer. There are three different brightness settings within the display.
  • At the time set by the parents by means of the timer, the bunny character changes to the wake-up position. The child knows that he or she can get up!
  • There are two-time settings, one for the morning and one for the afternoon nap.

Buy on Amazon

Boon Glo Balls

boon night balls

How cool are these Boon Glo Balls? Not an alarm clock, but this will help you in your sleep training your toddlers! You can take the glow balls with you – no more dark trips to the bathroom for a potty break. Your toddler will love this clock as it also doubles as a portable nightlight.  The Boon Glo Balls glow lasts for 30 minutes.

Buy from Amazon

Zazoo Photo Clockzazzo best clock for toddlers
You can customize how your child wakes up with the Zazoo photo clock. Use your PhotoClock as a traditional clock with an audio alarm. The clock comes with display options that may include the time only or time and date.

There are several options for the audio alarm tone including ringing, beeping or waking to music. Use one of the pre-loaded songs for the alarm tone or wake to any song of your choice. The Zazoo photo alarm clock is also a digital photo frame!

Buy on Amazon

Toddler Alarm Clock OK To Wake Owl With Night-Light & Music, Nap Timer

owl night clock

This cuddly OK to Wake! Owl is a night light and toddler clock in a non-traditional sense all-in-one.  It has received 3.5 stars on Amazon. The OK to Wake Owl teaches kids to sleep in so you can too! OK to Wake! Owl’s face illuminates in two colors: a soft yellow glow in the evening comforts kids as they fall asleep. In the morning, Owl’s face turns green when it’s “OK to Wake!” (a time that parents can select). You kids will quickly learn the morning routine, giving parents extra sleep.

Next, this adorable Owl also plays lullabies and gives kids gentle reminders to stay in bed when its tummy is pressed at night or in the wee hours of the morning. A convenient nap timer function (up to 12 hours – that’s a LONG nap!) is another added convenience that parents love. When nap time is over, the Owl’s face glows green to show that it’s “OK to Wake!” Pressing the Owl’s tummy plays a fun wake-up tune.

Buy from Amazon

Stoplight Sleep Enhancing Clock

toddler clock

With the Stoplight Sleep Enhancing Toddler Alarm Clocks toddlers know if it’s time to get up by looking at the stoplight. When the red light is on it is time to sleep – when the green light is on it is time to wake up. This color clock for toddlers is a parent favorite.

Here are some reasons this may work for your while sleep training your little:

  • Sleep enhancing alarm clock for kids featuring a stoplight and sculpted figure
  • Toddlers know if it’s time to get up by looking at the stoplight
  • Red light means it’s time to sleep; green light means it’s time to wake up
  • Digital clock and optional beeping alarm function included
  • Features a friendly boy driving a red and blue car with sports emblems

Buy on Amazon

Kid’Sleep My First Alarm – Light Up Clock for Toddlers

Pink, pretty and a high rating on Amazon! The Kid Sleep My First Alarm Clock will help your little one wake up when it’s time to wake up and help teach your toddler how to read a clock.

Buy on Amazon

Little Tikes Discover Sounds Alarm Clock

best alarm clock

Little Tikes Discover Sounds alarm clock is the perfect toddler clock for your younger toddlers. The clock will say the time.

Buy on Amazon

Onaroo Night Owl Portable Night-Light with OK to Wake!

Perfect for your little night owl, this portable night light works as a night light and glows green in the morning when it’s okay to get out of bed.

Buy on Amazon

Diggin Thomas The Tank Go Glow Sleep Training Clock

Fans of Thomas the Tank will love this 2-in-1 bedtime training clock and night light.

Buy on Amazon

Rocket Projection Alarm Digital Clock

My 8-year-old has this and loves this, but you know who loves it more? Our toddler! While it’s not the best at teaching how to tell time, it’s perfect for an outer space bedroom. So, definitely check it out!

Buy on Amazon

Sleep Buddy – Toddler Sleep Training System

Next up, we have the Sleep Buddy toddler sleep training system. This toddler sleep training clock is designed to help your tot learn when he or she should stay in bed.  The sleep training system includes a SleepBuddy light, a children’s book, a reward chart and a step-by-step parent’s guide to sleep training. As a result, can help you and your kid get a better nights sleep!

Buy on Amazon

My Tot Toddler Alarm Clock

The My Tot Clock changes colors to teach your toddlers when to sleep and when it’s okay to wake up by using lights (blue light means sleep – yellow light means okay to wake up.)  

This toddler clock also plays bedtime stories, lullabies, white noise and wake up music!  With a clock face, your toddler will also be able to see the time as he learns to tell time. The lights make a great night light, as a result – this is multi-functioning!  This toddler alarm clock even has a built-in timeout timer and a toddler activity manager for positive activities.

Buy from Amazon

Favorite Kid Alarm Clocks for Toddlers

Which of these toddler alarm clocks is your favorite? What tips for toddler sleep do you have for other parents? So, leave your tip and favorite in the comments!

Last updated: 5/15/18.  We have revised to include the best-rated alarms for toddlers.

best toddler alarm clocks

Transitioning your toddler from a crib to a bed? Check out these toddler bed ideas.

10 Easy DIY Christmas Ornaments to Make With Your Kids

10 Easy DIY Christmas Ornaments to Make With Your Kids

Looking for DIY Christmas Ornaments you can make with your kids? Look no further! Get ready to get glittery!

Next week all 4 kids will be home. If everything works out as planned, I’ll have the majority of the week off and we can get crafting. We have had our Christmas tree up for a while, but just now got our ornaments down. By far, my favorite Christmas ornaments are the handmade ones.

10 Kid Friendly DIY Christmas Ornaments

Crack out the glue and glitter and let’s DIY with the kids. Here are 10 different kid DIY Christmas ornaments for you and your littles to make. 

DIY Christmas Ornaments to Make with the Kids

Mom Tip: Before making Christmas ornaments with the kids – or any other craft, put down a cheap plastic tablecloth. I stock up on these every time we go to the Dollar Tree. This helps make clean-up easy and simple, just gather up the plastic tablecloth and throw away! This especially is helpful if glitter is involved. Now the floor? I guess you could cover the floors in plastic tablecloths as well, but other than that, you are on your own for advice on that mess!

Lego Christmas Tree Ornament (1)

What kid doesn’t LOVE Legos? This adorable DIY Lego Christmas ornament is sure to be a kid fave! You will need 

Get the full directions on how to make this Lego Christmas Tree Ornament at Creative Green Living

Button Snowman Tree Ornament (2)

With only a few supplies, you and your child can make this darling button snowman Christmas ornament. 

Get full directions at Craft Bits

3-Ingredient Cinnamon Ornament (3)

These Cinnamon ornaments are one my favorite DIY Christmas Ornaments to make! Super easy and delicious smelling!

Read more at: The Kitchen is My Playground

Snow Globe Christmas Ornament (4)

We made these snow globe Christmas ornaments with the kids when they were toddlers. They absolutely loved it. I found one of them this year in the bottom of our ornament box, smushed. Maybe it’s time to make a new set!

Check out the directions at Tator Tots and Jello

Crochet Snowflake Ornament (5)

This crochet snowflake ornament would be a great holiday project to do with older kids.

View the full how-to at Craft Bits

Salt Art Ornaments (6)

These salt art ornaments are fun (but messy!) 

Here are the supplies you will need to complete these:

Get full directions on Chica Circle

Easy Homemade Snowflake Ornaments (7)

I would love to see a whole tree made of these in the lovely pink, green and teal color palette! 

View the full how-to on Chica Circle

Easy Paper Ornament (8)

With just a few supplies from around the house, you can make these simple and easy paper ornaments for your tree. 

View more at Twitchetts

Kid Fingerprint Ornament (9)

What a great keepsake ornament! Make this kid fingerprint ornament with your kids. This would be fabulous as a Christmas present for the grandparents!

View the complete tutorial at Tator Tots and Jello

Glitter Ornaments (10)

This is a GET MESSY project. If your kid loves glitter, here is a glitter ornament project full of SPARKLE!

View tutorial at Chica Circle

We absolutely LOVE Christmas! Make sure to check out all of our Christmas content!

Which DIY Ornament is Your Fave?

Best Way to Teach Money Management to a Teenager

Best Way to Teach Money Management to a Teenager

This post about how to teach money management to teens is brought to you by Current. All opinions are my own.

It happened. That sweet little baby girl that I gave birth to, what feels like just a few years ago is now actually a 14-years-old freshman in high school. She is smart, beautiful, has a level head on her shoulders, actively involved in school and church and has a bright future ahead.

Teaching Teens About Money

In just 3.5 short years, our daughter will be ready to fly the coop. That gives us have 3.5 more years to get in as many life lessons as possible. We’ve constantly drilled into her to be grateful for all things. She has a generous spirit when it comes to volunteering. Driving will start in a few months. She has learned to cook. We are still working on laundry. All-in-all, thankfully our daughter has a good head on her shoulders. Many of life skills I know she will do fine with, but there is one area of concern that is kind of a big deal… Finances. 

Teens and Money - teaching teens about finances

Something I have learned as a mom is I must teach money management to my teen. It can be scary and frustrating, but it doesn’t have to be. For years, we have tried various ways to help her learn about money – but this year has been a real eyeopener as to how much learning she needs. With her color guard and new high school social life, she has been given money to use for various things and well let’s just say we would like to have seen it spent better. Thankfully, how we give her money and how she can use it is all about to change, thanks to Current. 

Debit Card for Teenagers to Help Teach Money Management

Current is a debit card, designed specifically for teenagers.  The Current debit card gives kids independence. It’s the perfect way to keep a watchful eye on your kids without having to get involved every time they want to spend money and is a great tool to teach teens about money management. Bonus: it’s easy and convenient to use!

When I was growing up, my parent’s opened a checking account for me in hopes that I would learn money management that way. Getting money out was a joke. As a teen, I often wrote hot checks – unknowing of how much actual money I had. The whole process was tedious and frustrating. 

Teach Money Management to Teens

Current offers a solution to the frustration that I experienced as a teen.  With this debit card, the teenager and parent know exactly how much money is in the Current account, and how it is being spent. It is a practical teaching tool that helps with financial boundaries and education. 

A few years ago, I was sitting in a parent meeting at church and something was said that stuck out to me. If your child is going to make mistakes, it’s best that they do them under your roof so that you can help them and guide them to a solution. While I know that my kids will make financial issues (don’t we all?) – if they can learn the basic principals and make any mistakes and find resolution at home, think how much better they will be prepared when they do hit that bump in the future. 

Current Debit Card

Here is how Current works. 

Current Debit Card App

First, this Current debit card speaks teen. With the debit card, there is an accompanying app. The Current debit card app is both for the teens and parents and is a fabulous tool to teach money management. It serves as a virtual wallet for the teen and as a control panel for the parents. 

Teen App

On the teens’ app, they will see their money and options for how they use it. The Current app gives your teenager 3 virtual wallets. One for spending, savings, and giving.

Current Debit Card App - Manageing Money

This will help teach your kids the basic principals of money management. The app even has the option to automate savings through a round-up feature.

debit card for kids

Here is more on the virtual wallets offered in the Current app: 

Spending Wallet - Current AppThe Spending wallet

This is linked to the debit card. It’s for day-to-day expenses, viewing their allowance and managing chores.

 

Savings Wallet - Current AppThe Savings wallet

This helps kids to put money away for a rainy day. Kids can automate savings through our round-ups feature.

 

Giving Wallet - Current AppThe Giving wallet

This enables kids to donate to thousands of local and national causes. It helps to teach empathy.

 

Your kids can easily see where their money is and how to use it. They can donate, automate savings and if needed – request additional funds. 

Parents App

On the parents’ app interface, you can automate deposits, as well as set limits and see where your kid is spending their money. There are no additional fees for transactions. 

Current Debit Card App for Parents

Automate Allowance – Digitize Your Kids Allowance!

One of my favorite features is the ability to automate her allowance payments. That’s right, no more having to have cash or worry about her losing it (that NEVER happens.) We set up a weekly payment for our daughter’s allowance that is deposited every Friday. 

automate allowance

Chore for Payment

Another fabulous feature of the Current debit card app is the Chore for payment feature. You set up a chore, such as clean your room, decide on how much your teen should be paid and the frequency. Once your child marks the chore as complete, you will be notified to review and finalize the payment. 

additional chores for money

Set Spending Limits

Another great benefit of the Current debit card for teens is the ability to limit spending on categories. 

limit teen spending - current app

Current Pay

If you are needing to give your child money often, you will want to setup Current pay. WIth Current pay, you are able to do a quick, real-time payment between your account and your child’s account. This was super easy to do. Just click Current Pay and make a deposit from your bank to the parent account. This will let you have money on hand to quickly give your child if you ever need to give above anything that is automated, such as an allowance payment. 

Teaching Teens About Money

Money is a foundational element of life. Teaching your teens about money is critical. The Current debit card is an amazing tool to get your teens acclimated to budgeting, spending, saving and giving.  And the best part? The whole process of teaching your teens about money involves technology that your kids are already familiar with, their phone! You don’t have to worry about your teen losing their cash. You can see exactly where their money is being spent. The best part, of course, is that your teenager is learning how best to manage their finances.  Parenting is hard, so glad there are tools like Current to help us teach money management to our kids. 

Current Debit Card Pricing

The cost of the Current Debit Card is affordable and well worth it.  It is just $3 a month for 1 kid or $4 a month for 2 kids. If you have more kids, it’s just a $1 more a month per kid! There are no additional fees, unless they spend internationally (5% fee) or if you need to replace their debit card ($5). 

More About Current

Current is a financial technology startup that enables people to more effectively manage their money with family and friends

  • Current combines a free debit card for each of your children with a mobile app
  • Current does it for a one, flat annual fee with no hidden charges or upselling
  • Current’s flexible, API-based platform adapts to the needs of each user, allowing parents to transfer money, automate allowances, set up and reward chores, put spending control in place and maintain visibility into their children’s spending with real-time alerts.

Learn more about Current

What tips do you have for parents on how to teach money management to teens?

 

 

Hyundai Hope on Wheels – Providing Much Needed Hope and Funding for Pediatric Cancer

Hyundai Hope on Wheels – Providing Much Needed Hope and Funding for Pediatric Cancer

Last week I had the privilege of attending the Hyundai Hope on Wheels “Celebration of Life” dinner in Dallas. Hyundai Hope on Wheels is a non-profit organization devoted to funding pediatric cancer research. 

Pediatric Cancer Research

The dinner was a huge eye-opener in regards to what lack of attention and funding is given to pediatric cancer. As a mom to 4 kids, we worry about things like the kids getting the flu or breaking an arm – not cancer. Cancer does not discriminate. Did you know that each day, 43 families in the United States find out their child has cancer? Cancer’s impact on children can be devastating. 

Pediatric Cancer ResearchDid you know that each day, 43 families in the United States find out their child has cancer? Cancer’s impact on children can be devastating, but there is a reason for hope. Now, thankfully more than 80% of children with cancer survive. With pediatric cancer funding from groups like Hyundai Hope on Wheels – that number can increase. It must. 80% isn’t good enough. 

At the dinner, we heard from a mom who is walking thru cancer with her young son. Her little boy danced, ate and played at the table next to me. Any outsider would think he is just a typical kid, playing with his food and laughing, not being able to sit still. 

End Childhood CancerAt our table, sat a mom who had lost of her at age 17 to brain cancer. It was a lot to process, but with the sad came the hope. We heard from several doctors on the future of cancer research. They are making huge steps to better medicines and ultimately hoping to find a cure. Without research, neither of these are possible. 

It was a lot to process, but with the sad came the hope. We heard from several doctors on the future of cancer research. They are making huge steps to better medicines and ultimately hoping to find a cure. Without research, neither of these are possible. And thanks to Hyundai Hope on Wheels, funds are being provided for that research.

Meet Hyundai Hope on Wheels

Hyundai is one of the largest private funders of research into pediatric cancer. Hyundai Hope On Wheels awards financial support – in specific fields of research – to Children’s Oncology Group member institutions. Their mission is to find a cure for childhood cancer, one handprint at a time. 

To date, Hyundai has awarded $130 million to groundbreaking research institutes across the country. With every new Hyundai vehicle purchase, Hyundai and its U.S. dealers make a donation to Hyundai Hope On Wheels.

During the “Celebration of Life” dinner, Hyundai awarded several grant recipients funds to help further their mission of finding a cure. 

Pediatric Cancer Research

Hyundai Scholar Hope Grant ($250,000)
– Dr. Christopher Porter, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta
– Dr. Julie Wolfson, the University of Alabama – Birmingham

Hyundai Young Investigator Grant ($150,000)
– Dr. Kathryn Dickerson, UT Southwestern Children’s Medical Center Foundation
– Dr. Wendy Allen-Rhoades, Texas Children’s Hospital

Hyundai Hope On Wheels

Spreading the word about childhood cancer research is near and dear to me. A friend and fellow blogger’s son was diagnosed a few years ago with Leukemia. Her son has recently finished his last treatment! Watching what his mom and family had to endure during those years is gut-wrenching.

end childhood cancer

As a child, one of my close friends also was diagnosed with Leukemia. Again, seeing a child go thru such a devastating disease is something that just shouldn’t happen to anyone, especially a kid. 

We need a cure.

Overscheduled Kids And Not Being Able to Say No!

Overscheduled Kids And Not Being Able to Say No!

It happened. Our overscheduled kids have sucked the life out of us. What sucks more, we can’t say no. Let’s talk about crazy schedules for kids and what to do when you just can’t say no. 

Overscheduling the Kids

As a mom to 4 kids, I have many friends and acquaintances who have crazy schedules for their children. It’s dance, church, scouts, sports and what have you. This in the past, has NOT been us. Overscheduled kids are something that our family simply did not participate in. We wanted dinner with the family on most nights. We wanted our kids to have time to do their homework. We wanted to be able to connect with our kids in the living, rather than between practice in the car.

overscheduling the kidsWell, guess what? That whole overscheduling thing that we avoided for years, has now decided to bite us in the face. The years of only letting one kid do a sport at a time are over. Previously, we had four seasons and four kids. Each child was given a season – and allowed to choose a sport. Well, that was long before the middle school and high school years, because now – it’s ALL THE THINGS, ALL THE TIME.

overscheduled kidsWell, that was long before the middle school and high school years, because now – it’s ALL THE THINGS, ALL THE TIME.

High School Marching Band

Our daughter is now in high school. She started color guard in middle school, and while yes – there were practices – high school marching band season has introduced us to insanity. Between the money to buy the costumes and gear (let’s not forget the fundraisers and trips) and the time for practices, competitions and football games – we are whipped. Every school morning starts with a 6:45 am practice. 

Color Guard Practice

Every school morning starts with a 6:45am practice. There is afterschool practice once a week, where she is at school from 6:45 am until 8:00 pm at night. Then on game days, she is at school from 6:45 am until around 10-11:00 pm. Competition days, she is with the team on the weekends. It’s A LOT.

color guard practice

Winter Guard is Coming

And this is just high school marching band season. Come winter, color guard participates in Winter Guard where they perform at various competitions, minus the band. 

Theater Kid

As if the craziness of color guard and high school marching band wasn’t enough – our seventh grader decides he wants to act. Great, we say, go do your thing! Well, sure enough, the kid auditions and gets into advanced acting without any previous experience. And with that, we now have a theater kid.

Theater Kid

His first performance is in a month, so now our seventh grader is at school from 8:30 am until 6:00 pm with theater. The practices last longer, the closer we get to performance time – soon he will be at school from 8:30 am until 8:00 pm. Overscheduled, much? 

When You Can’t Say No To Overscheduled Kids

So here is the deal. With the many changes over the years, the one thing that has become more apparent this year than any other thing in years past is the inability for us as parents to always say no. I would hear parents talk about their overscheduled kids and think, surely they can just take a break. It’s not that easy. 

In the past, we would be able to evaluate a schedule and see if it would be best for our kid and our family. As the kids grown, that’s just not an option. The kids can’t miss practice because we have a family thing to do. Sure, there are exceptions to the rule – but they are few and far between. This season we are in of overscheduled kids, but I have to keep reminding myself and my husband that it is good to all of this crazy. 

Getting Kids Involved

This may just sound like a bitch session, and it partly is – but at the end of the day, this mom is just trying to stay quiet and suck up this crazy overscheduled season. Why? Because my kids are involved in healthy activities and have great friends and a school environment that is so much better than the one I grew up again. So this mom is sucking it up big time, regardless of the major time suck transporting kids to and from the various activities and the infinite amounts of money that we don’t have but seem to come up with for all the extra things. 

I just have to keep focused that these things that my kids are involved with are for the greater good. They are teaching the kids about discipline, being part of a team, responsibility and other various life lessons that they need because soon they will be flying the coop. As parents, we have to continue to remember our job is to prepare kids for real life. We have to be able to open the doors, tell our baby birds to fly and pray that they will be good human beings that are productive members of society. In order to do that, we have to do things that are pains in our arses like marching band and theater. 

Before I come off too gripey, I do love my kids and love seeing them perform. I love watching them grow into the grown-ups that they soon will become. It’s just A LOT.

Kids Grow Up And It SUCKS

This blog is now 8 years old. That’s a long time for a blog, and in those 8 years, a lot has changed. I am a mom to 4 kids. The older kids made frequent appearances on the blog back in the day. Then I had 2 more kids, and then those kids made frequent appearances. Well, guess what? They all decided to grow up. 

Kids Grow Up And It SUCKSOur kids are now 14, 12, 7 and 6-years-old. A long cry from the 6 and 4-year-old that I had when starting this blog. The kids have grown up. 

This is a new normal that we are trying to adapt to and it’s insane how quick it all happened. It’s a totally different shift now from the days of trying to catch a breath, changing diapers, worrying about the baby crawling out of the crib. We have a whole new set of worries with school, teens and social media – and just trying to survive their crazy overscheduled lives. 

Keep Schedules Simple While You Can

I want to end this with some type of non-bitchy parting wisdom. Here it is. Keep it simple while you can. The one thing that this whole new season has brought to light is that I am thankful for the years that we did keep it simple with our schedules. With our younger two, while we want them to do extra-curricular things, we do it all in moderation. There will be a time where we won’t be able to say no with these younger kids. But for now, we enjoy what we can and connect however possible with the kids as they grow. 

With our younger two, while we want them to do extra-curricular things, we still keep it all in moderation. There will be a time where we won’t be able to say no with these younger kids, just like the situation we have with the older kids. But for now, we enjoy what we can and connect however possible with the kids as they grow. 

Repeating this because it’s so true – kids grow up and it sucks and it all happens to damn fast. 

Do you struggle with overscheduled kids? Leave a comment!

10 Truths About Motherhood

10 Truths About Motherhood

11 years of being a mom has taught me many lessons. There have been many FAILS. There’s been a few wins. Out of all of the things that I’ve learned, 10 truths about motherhood ring true. I could tell you things like your house will never be clean or that sleep is a myth, but there are somethings you need to learn for yourself.

Truths About Motherhood

 

motherhood truthsThese truths about motherhood are things I want to tell every mom or soon-to-be-mom to know. I wish I had known and understood these things sooner.

1. You are unique.

How you parent should be unique. While Baby Wise may work for your half of your friends, it doesn’t mean it’s what will work for you and your family. You must learn to embrace being unique and finding what works for YOU.

each mom is unique

2. Your kids are unique.

EVERY child is different. Just because ONE is quiet, doesn’t mean the rest will be. Just because one responds to time out’s, doesn’t mean it will work for each child.

each kid is unique

3. Time REALLY does fly.

I use to roll my eyes every time someone said “time flies with kids” or “they’ll be grown before you know it” or “enjoy them while they are young!”. Okay, I now get it. Time DOES fly. The kids grow up way too quick. The trick is just enjoying each moment of it the best you can.

4. The most important things didn’t cost tons of money.

MONEY! If ONLY we had more money, we could buy…. Sure, money is essential, but let me give you some money saving advice….Money isn’t everything and your kids will love you regardless.

I’ve spent so much money on CRAP. Baby crap. Kid crap. Mom crap. You know that CRAP you buy, thinking it will make your life better. The best stroller, the nicest clothes, throwing the BEST kid’s birthday party. Blah – it’s all crap I tell you! I only can say this after spending way too much money and realizing that in the end, the kids don’t care.

The stroller that your child rides in will not dictate the quality of their life. The clothes your children wear will be pooped, peed and puked on.

And birthday parties, oh LORD. With 4 kids, I can tell you that our birthdays now are spent low key. We invite our closest friends and family members. We take good photos to captures the memories, but things like expensive decoration, outrageous cakes – yeah sorry kids, those things just cost way too much and the return on happiness… not worth it. 

I still get caught every now in then in the money can buy happiness trap. Reality slaps me in the face each time. What does is that old song?? Money can’t buy me love… true. that.

5. People will judge you no matter what. Stand tall and ignore them.

Are you going to work? Stay at home? Use cloth diapers? Breast feed? Day care or nanny? It doesn’t matter people. But I’ll tell you this… whatever you decide to do – you WILL be judged. The best thing you can do is keep your head high and ignore the judgement, oh and not judge other moms.

enjoying motherhood

6. Being a mom can be isolating, if you let it.

Facebook is great. I love the thing, but the people that you don’t see in real life in a some-what regular fashion – you can’t rely on them to provide you the human interaction you need. I spent months locked in the house, only seeing family. I felt like that was my only option. And you know what, it sucked. I joined a mom’s group, which I totally DID NOT want to do. But I did, and it made me get out of the house. It made me talk to people outside of the internet world. It was one of the best things I’ve done getting to know moms who understand the up’s and down’s of parenting children of similar age to your own.

7. The mom who has it all together is a fake.

No mom has it all together, for real. Even the ones that you swear just know how to do the mom thing right, yeah – each mom has flaws. Each mom deals with crap on the floor that didn’t come from the dog. Just some people don’t let other people know about things like that. Not that we should call these perfect moms out, just know that achieving perfection as a mom shouldn’t be a goal because it’s totally NOT realistic.

truths about motherhood

8. GMO’s are bad, but so is stress.

While my kids drink healthy smoothies in the mornings, they sometimes eat Macaroni and Cheese for lunch. I want kids with healthy eating habits, but stressing too much isn’t healthy either. All that said – don’t sweat stuff too much. Do what’s best for you (are you sensing a theme here??).

9. Have fun!

I love having kids. I always knew I wanted to have a large family. What I didn’t know was how fun having kids can be. Sure there are stressful moments and it took me de-stressing my life, learning to say no and saying yes to what really matters to understand this truth.

Our family likes to laugh a lot, we have fun whenever possible because people, this life is too short (and didn’t you read #3, it all goes by soo fast!)

10. You are doing a good job mom.

Despite the critics – and chances are you are your own worse critic…. YOU are doing a GREAT job MOM! Keep up the good work. Don’t compare yourself to others. Stop yourself from judging other moms. Don’t worry about how other parents are parenting. Ignore the haters – there are ALWAYS going to be haters (haters gonna hate).

mother-hood

10 Truths About Motherhood was originally published on April 9, 2014. These motherhood truths still ring true in 2017. 

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