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As a mom, horrible sleep is part of the job description. Whether it is nighttime breastfeeding, pregnancy discomfort, a kid with a nightmare, waking up in a cold sweat thinking of all the things you need to accomplish tomorrow, waiting up for your teenager to get home…there is a lot of disrupted sleep and a lot of tossing and turning. I call this Momsomnia.
Some of your momsomnia is biological. Women have evolved to be lighter sleepers. This makes sense. Women already sleep worse than men, but motherhood adds another layer to this. Sorry ladies, it gets even worse with age.
So, what do you do with yourself when you are tossing and turning at 3am?
Bottom line is you have some nighttime hours to kill and they could be spent doing something better than scrolling social media. Turning your momsomnia into a win-win makes is much better for your health in the long run and might make these tough years more bearable.
Here are 6 ways you can nighttime self-care. Some of them take pre-planning but, Mama, you have a little “me time” on your hands. That’s precious commodity in mommyland, so don’t waste it…
- Meditate: Have an meditation app pulled up on your phone and ready to go. If you struggle to find quiet time to meditate during the day, this is perfect for you. You might fall back asleep or might gain a little zen. Either way, you win.
- Read a book. Don’t turn on your phone. Screen time stimulates your brain to wakefulness. Pick something inspirational or life-giving that will feed your soul.
- Get some creative work done.(Heck, when do you think I write these blogs?) The middle of the night can be a great time for creativity.
- Journal: This is particularly great for calming those racing thoughts that keep you up.
- Do work you would have done tomorrow. Instead of stressing about the work you’ll be too tired for tomorrow, take a quick moment to reorganize your schedule. If you are awake and alert now, do the work and schedule a midmorning nap tomorrow.
- Yoga: Some poses are designed for bringing peace and calm.
Self-care as a mom takes a lot of flexibility and creativity. Your schedule is going to be out of whack. What worked for you before children might not work now, and you can’t control your schedule as well as you could before. Turning these stressful moments into wins will help you not just survive motherhood, but thrive.
Author: Dr. Charlynn Ruan, clinical psychologist and founder of Thrive Psychology Group for women.
Here are some tips for kicking “Holiday Break Boredom” to the curb, and making the most of your time off together as a family.
Make Holiday Decorations
Making ornaments can be a fun and simple way to build memories that last a lifetime. All you need is paint, popsicle sticks, a clear ornament (and Pinterest of course), and you’re all set!
Families celebrating Kwanzaa can practice Zawadi as a fun family activity. Pasta necklaces are a no-mess way to celebrate this African custom of gift giving for kids. Using a fishing line or string, add red, green, and black dry pasta noodles of different shapes, and give them to friends and family members.
Volunteer At A Local Food Pantry
This is a great introduction to having conversations with your kids about helping those in need in and around the holiday season. This can also be a way for your family to engage with others who may come from different backgrounds and home origins. It teaches your kids to value others, regardless of their background. You might end up making a new friend!
Christmas Caroling At A Local Nursing Home
What a better way to show appreciation and spread holiday cheer than singing loud for all to hear? Gather your family and some friends, and organize a day at a nursing home in your community. You can spend time with the residents while singing Christmas carols, playing games, and brightening the day of those who may not have a lot of people to celebrate with during this holiday season.
Build A Gingerbread House
Whether you build one together as a family or make it a contest, this is a timeless holiday activity. Stores like Michael’s, Whole Foods and Target have DIY gingerbread houses that come pre-assembled (or, if you’re feeling up for the challenge, you can build one yourself). Gingerbread house building allows your kids to express their creativity. You might even discover you have a future architect or designer on your hands!
Family Excursion Day
Perhaps you didn’t have time for everything you wanted to do this summer. Use your child’s holiday break as a way to fit in some quality family time. Go to the ballet. See a play for the first time. Check out the local zoo or aquarium. Take the opportunity to do that one last thing as a family before the year is over!
Year End Bonus (most popular): A bonus for a nanny is an extra special “Thank you!” for dedicating time all year long to your most precious littles. A typical bonus is either one or two weeks pay depending on how long the nanny has been working with your family. If you aren’t able to afford the same bonus as you gave last year, have an open conversation with your nanny. Any monetary gift is much appreciated!
Gift Cards: Is there a special restaurant, retail or online store your nanny likes to shop at? Would she enjoy an afternoon at the spa or getting a mani or pedi, but would never splurge on herself? Gift cards make the perfect gift for a nanny who is always putting the needs of others first!
Lessons or Memberships: Does your nanny enjoy dancing, drawing, or learning a second language? Does she/he workout, enjoy cooking, or taking photographs? Gym memberships, enrichment classes or lessons are another way of treating your nanny. You may even want to gift your nanny a membership to the International Nanny Association or pay for the conference in New Orleans in 2019!
Unique or Homemade Gifts: Etsy offers a variety of unique gifts for everyone. Perhaps a homemade scarf and matching hat? Maybe a special pair of earrings or a necklace that will remind her of your family. Framed photos of the kids, or a Shutterfly photo book filled with memories shared with your family.
Fun Holiday Options: If your budget permits, fun holiday options include: frequent flier miles so she/he can go home for the holidays, a week vacation at your time-share, a gas card or help to buy a new iPad or computer. If your budget is limited, consider a gift of time and pop home a few hours early to take over for your nanny so she/he can get a jump start to their weekend.
Last but not least, remember the taxes: While this can sometimes be overlooked, please keep in mind that all bonuses (cash or gift), are taxable income to the employee and must be reported on all employment tax documents.
If you have any questions regarding holiday, year-end gifts or bonuses for your nanny, please feel free to reach out to us at email@example.com. We are always happy to help and be of service!
THE NANNY DOCTOR IS HIRING!
SEEKING SOCIAL MEDIA SAVVY PROFESSIONAL CAREER NANNY!
Are you extremely knowledgeable about what it means to be a professional career nanny? Are you a wiz at social media? Do you love writing about all things nanny? Would you like to supplement your income with an additional $1000/month?
We’re looking to keep our member online community engaged with the latest and greatest in parenting articles, kid gadgets and crafts, and pressing childcare related news.
Lindsay Heller, The Nanny Doctor, is searching for a brand new part-time Social Media Maven. You must have a great working knowledge and proficiency in Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram. Experience writing a blog is a definite plus and is required of the position. Check out some of our past blogs on our website: www.TheNannyDoctor.com
Pay is $1000/month USD for outlined requirements.
Candidates outside of Los Angeles WILL be considered for this position.
TO APPLY E-mail the following to Lindsay@thenannydoctor.com
Your cover letter – Why are you the best person for the job? (with pertinent social media experience)
Childcare resume (professional nanny experience is a MUST)
10 Tweets you would expect to see on The Nanny Doctor Twitter feed
A 300 word sample blog you would expect to see on The Nanny Doctor Website
Due to the high volume of responses received, we will only be able to respond to those who fit the criteria. Thanks and looking forward to reading your entries!
DEADLINE FOR ALL SUBMISSIONS WILL BE OCTOBER 5th @ 12pm PST.
It’s time to celebrate your nanny! National Nanny Recognition Week is September 23-29. This is a special week set aside every year to honor your nanny and show her how much you appreciate everything she does for your family. It’s a time for your children to show gratitude to their nanny for being such a positive role model. Remembering to say “Thank you” to your nanny throughout the year is so important, and here are some ways to make her feel extra special this week!
1. CREATIVE APPRECIATION
If your children are musical, have them sing a song (or write a poem) to thank your nanny. It will make her smile and it’s super creative for the kids to write their own lyrics. Video tape this so she may cherish their sweet voices for life.
2. DRAW A THANK YOU CARD
Are your children great artists? Do they love to draw? Are they blossoming artists? Help them create a special thank you card for your nanny.
3. PAMPER YOUR NANNY
Is your nanny working long shift? Is she caring for many children? Gift your nanny a relaxing day at the spa or treat her to a massage.
4. GIFT OF EDUCATION
Has your nanny always wanted to take a special class to add to her list of skills or learn another language? Sponsor her to attend the International Nanny Association conference, Save a Little Life CPR Class, take a cooking class, or attend a RIE class.
Tell your nanny how much you appreciate her, and then gift her a bonus or a health insurance stipend to contribute to her well-being.
6. WORDS OF KINDNESS
Simply say thank you and tell your nanny how wonderful she is. It feels good to be loved and hear positive things!
7. PAID DAY OFF
Treat your nanny to a paid day off. Many nannies work long hours, so they will really appreciate finding the time to visit the dentist, get a haircut, or treat them to a mani/pedi. Feeling polished is a win/win for everyone
8. THROW A NANNY PARTY
Decorate the house, make some cupcakes, put on your nanny’s favorite music, and celebrate her awesomeness!
9. DINNER AT A FAVORITE RESTAURANT
Many times nannies spend hours preparing meal plans for the week, grocery shopping, and cooking delicious meals. Treat your nanny to a night off from cooking and send her out to her favorite restaurant.
10. MAKE A DONATION
Do you already spoil your nanny and treat her like part of the family? Maybe there is a cause that is near and dear to your nanny’s heart? You and the kids could donate your time or make a kind donation? Get creative and think outside of the box!
HAVE A FABULOUS WEEK CELEBRATING YOUR EDUCATED NANNIES!
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