A pet to raise your child

If you have a kid, you need a pet.  Now I know that is a statement that seems direct.  Who am I to tell you to get a pet?  Well, let me share with you why I feel so strongly about this.  As a child, we had a cat.  I am not a cat person as an adult, but I do recall fond memories of our cat as a child.  We also had a dog in my teenage years.  On both occasions, the animals were cared for by my parents, but there were times that pet care was a chore assigned to my sister and I.  As an adult, I see why these chores were assigned from time to time, but never my permanent chore. (and I also see why it was not my full time responsibility)

Reason 1: Caring for others

Teaching kids to care for others is a process.  They need to see it, do it and learn what happens when you don’t do it.  That means they need to walk dogs, feed cats and play with them.  As we all know, the consequences of not doing these are accidents on the floor, crying from the pet or even chewing up things we don’t want chewed in an effort to seek attention.  Sounds a lot like a kid right?  The point is; their little minds don’t see us as mommies and daddies doing this for our children.  From the moment they are born, we are wiping butts, feeding crying babies and entertaining them as they grow into little people.  Having a pet takes each of these actions and applies them to an unbiased party.

Reason 2: Sharing

Kids, especially first born or only children need to learn to share.  Even prior to daycare or VPK, there is an opportunity to teach this by moms and dads giving affection to pets.  Doesn’t sound like a big deal, but when first done, you may find your little one crawling into our lap or doing something to turn your attention back to them.  This is natural but dividing your attention between a pet and a child shows them without causing any harm, that you can have affections toward others in addition to loving them.  Please do not misunderstand, I am by no means suggesting you neglect a child or care for a pet instead of a child.  This is simply an example of a lesson a child can learn almost subliminally.

Reason 3: Comfort

Kids need to be able to count on and confide in a buddy.  Aside from their parents or maybe a sibling, a pet is the next immediate resource for small kids.  In many cases, animals adopt a protective bond over small children, often providing comfort and a calmness to little ones.  As a child grows, so will this bond. If you have ever had a childhood pet, I’m sure there was a time or two that you confided in your four-legged best friend.  Shared your deepest secrets or feelings.  By doing that it taught you the meaning of friendship and loyalty. Pets are nothing if not loyal.

Reason 4: Death

As much as I hate to say it, the death of a pet as a result of an illness or old age is often one of the first times children will experience death.  This helps them to learn about the natural expiration date we all have.  It also helps them to learn to value memories.  By experiencing the loss of a family pet it gives you an opportunity to teach your children about the circle of life (in whichever religion you believe).  It gives you an opportunity to show them how to mourn but also how to celebrate the memories.

I am not a parenting expert, nor do I claim to be an expert in anything, but I have lived a solid, experience-filled life and feel as though our experiences (good and bad) can be passed on in a positive light to the next generation.  As your family decides on a pet in the future or maybe you already have a pet, but are now adding a child to the mix, I hope this little blog on the topic of family pets is helpful.

As always – Have a Happy day ~Mrs Go to girl

The days following a celebration

Here we are and it is three days past Christmas.  We have spent at least a month gearing up for the holiday celebration.  Buying and wrapping gifts, planning get togethers and meals with friends and loved ones and then the big day is here!  The same happens for a wedding (only slightly delayed taking into consideration the honeymoon).  The days after everything “gets back to normal” can be draining.

As I sit here today, back at work and engaging with co-workers and clients alike, I find myself in a whirlwind of emotion.  The day or two returning from a celebration are filled with recanted conversations of how the holiday or celebration was spent, who attended, what gifts were exchanged, etc.  But then there is day three.    Day three brings back the “normal” and I can’t help but find myself a bit out of sorts.  Almost physically tired from the excitement of the previous days and even month, here I sit in a bit of a fog.

I think day three is the adjustment period.  The time when the excited conversations stop, the day to day work and chores filter into a steady pace and the emotion I find myself feeling is “blah”.  Don’t get me wrong, I am very happy and had a great holiday season, but I am noticing the office is quieter now than the previous days and week.  The moods are a bit more chill but yet still focused.  Though this is not at all a bad day it does beg the question “where did the joy go?”  Where is the merriment?

In life we have good days and bad days, but to make a good or bad day there is usually an event or thing that causes the good and the bad.  I have always said we should appreciate the bad days for without them there would be no good ones. But here we are in a day like today… no good or bad to be had.  Just a day.

In writing this, I think I have decided these “blah” days of no agenda and nothing exciting to do but the normal occurring should also be considered “good days”.  These are the days we allow ourselves to catch our breath from the roller coaster ride of life.  These moments we find ourselves in that may sometimes feel awkward simply because nothing is making the day good or bad, are the worlds way of saying, be still.  There is a twist coming, you should rest and prepare. Prepare for a high or a low, prepare for joy or sadness, but in this moment, be still. Your roller coaster ride of life is gearing up for another adventure.

And with that, I am still.

Have a Happy Day ~ Mrs. Go To Girl

When life gets in the way of your regularly scheduled program…

We will now return to your regularly scheduled program….. Hi friends and family! It’s me! Mrs. Go To Girl! I know, It’s been a hot minute since I’ve posted a blog so here I am being real about life.

My life has gotten in the way of my regularly scheduled program. My kids, my husband, my family and friends will all tell you I am a control freak. Yes, I do live by the seat of my pants when it comes to “ME”. But, when it comes to “them”, I usually plan the day-to-day life stuff down to the wire. The breakfast, lunch, dinner, homework, weekend activities, etc…. all planned. Who is going where? Who will be in town, and who is scheduled to leave? What bills are getting paid? What laundry needs to be done for which uniform or activity? All of it, carefully orchestrated like a magical symphony to keep a busy and active family running smoothly with very few hiccups.

But my life….. HA! Total train wreck on any given day. MY sister has always found this incredibly amusing. In my life and the careers I have had I have very literally planner large scale events to include thousands of people and they have gone off without a hitch, but can’t manage to schedule my own hair appointment and can manage to forget a prescription refill for two weeks past the due date! I am that lady who sees the blinking gas light and passes three gas stations before stopping for gas. Why do we do these things?

So here I am asking for your forgiveness in being remiss on staying on top of my blog posts. I will get back to enlightening you with my little quips and silly tips and tricks and thoughts on the world once again if you wish to read them. We shall return to the “regularly schedule program” as they say.

It’s funny how life get’s in the way. I suppose that’s a good thing from time to time. I think it means we are alive and living in the moment. I for one, know I do plan too much and need to embrace more adventures. Those who love me do joke about my “Grandma Adventures”, but I love the ones I get to take the kids on and I know one day they will out grow them so I want to soak them up while I still can.

Recently I have been so overwhelmed with life that even my husband noticed and he literally said “let it go”. So this is what I am attempting to do. I hope you will embrace this new choice with me. Yes I want my family to be healthy, make good choices, use good manners, be educated, and go far in life, but not at all costs. I most of all want them to be happy. Live in the moment. I want to lead by example. And this, I need to remember.

Have a happy day!

Schedule “Me Time”

It happens to the best of us, life gets busy and as our schedules and “to do” lists get longer and busier, the time we take for ourselves tends to disappear.  We feel like if we take time for ourselves we are neglecting our family, acting selfishly, or neglecting our responsibilities.  This could not be further from the truth. Life is noisy.  Life is busy.  Life takes up so much of our energy.  It’s understandable that every individual has different work situations that are unique to their field, but it important to remember that you don’t live to work. Sometimes, putting aside time for yourself may even prove to be the ideal catalyst to liberating yourself from all the struggles that are suffocating you.  

Let’s take a look at what happens when we don’t take time for ourselves and some suggestions on how to avoid or change this situation:

  1. Mental and Physical Exhaustion: people may experience mental fatigue, insomnia, confusion, poor concentration, depression, anxiety, and increased irritability when they do not take time to take care of themselves. Just like we need sleep, we need time out. 
  2. Resentments and anger build up: 
    The lack of time to yourself can cause you to build up resentments that can harm both you and your relationships. When you spend all your time filling other people’s cups, it’s likely yours will run empty. Sometimes, especially when we’re tired, we may become angry about giving so much. 
  3. Poor self-esteem develops:   
    Self-care and self-love are very much connected.  If we truly love and care about ourselves, we would make the time to care for both our physical health and mental health.  Sometimes a reluctance to make time for self-care can go deeper, to issues of self-worth and self-love.

Here is a quick list of ways to improve your “me time” and take better care of yourself on a daily basis:

  1. Schedule it! – Make a meeting with yourself daily or weekly depending on the content of the meeting.  Do you need a daily reprieve, or do you want to schedule an hour or two for a mani/pedi, exercise, or just to sit by the pool and read?  
  2. Make it count! – Don’t just “schedule” ten minutes a day or quiet time, make it quality time.  Just as you would give your newborn child your undivided attention, you deserve your attention too!
  3. Delegate tasks! – don’t let life get in the way.  Don’t get bogged down with a long list of “to do’s”  
  4. Check your e-mail and social media feeds at delegated times – Are you attached at the hip to your smart phone?  Put it down and schedule times that you will pick it up and review the latest updates.  
  5. Take 5! – Whenever you start to get overwhelmed or feel anxious, take 5 minutes to step outside and take a deep breath.  Walk around your office or work space.  there is no harm in taking 5 minutes to regroup.
  6. Say no with dignity an grace – You do not have to accept every invitation to get together or take on every task given to you.  Do not take on more than you can handle, and really take a long hard look at what you can realistically handle.  Unless you are wearing a cape and tights, I’m pretty sure you are not a super hero.  
  7. Shower time is “your time” – This is one of the few times in your day that you can guarantee peace and quiet.  Take advantage of it.  
    Purchase some aroma therapy products that you love and treat each shower like it is a spa getaway. Take some deep breaths and let the warm water wash away any tension that you were having.
  8. Take the long way home – no matter how you get o and from work or your daily activity, take the scenic route and enjoy a little peace and quiet before switching gears to family and kids and responsibilities.  

Keep in mind that carving out time for yourself is vital for keeping yourself healthy, and that means a happier family and more productive work and school life.

This blog posts was written in honor of my sister.  She takes on the world everyday.  She is strong, beautiful, smart, giving and many times forgets to take care of herself. 

Live happily,   Mrs. Go To Girl

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