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Even though I am the youngest mom at my son’s school, I still feel like becoming a twenty-something-year-old mom is the best decision I ever made. I use to be fearful being a mom in my 20’s because that meant that it would end to me doing what I wanted to do when I wanted to do it. But being a young mom has so many perks to it in the long run.
So here are 15 perks of being a mother in your 20’s.
1. You are the hottest mom because you are younger than the rest of the moms.
2. When your child is 18 and ready to move out of your house you will still be in your 40’s and can have time to enjoy life.
3. You still have the energy to keep up with your kid.
Maybe try staying in as a family and play a board game. By carving out game time you can allow for some light family fun. You can try alternating days to play a different game. So if you play scrabble on Tuesday, then on Thursday or Friday you could play a fun card game.
Simple games like name, place, animal and things could be made more exciting.
Carroms, Ludo, Monopoly, Chutes and ladders, Pictionary and all of the classic games should come out. You can think of some unique games too. One evening, a simple deck card game could be played.
Create A Quiz Game
Think of some interesting questions that everyone is able to answer. Maybe some fun debate questions or simple story telling. Even an anecdote or one of your kids favorite childhood memory. By starting family conversations, you open up the family to bond and enjoy each other. Because there will be so much to discuss and talk about.
Gardening with children is not just fun, but can be extremely useful educationally.
Gardening helps children to understand about life cycles, seasons, and the importance of nature. Growing your own vegetables is a very good way to help children understand where food comes from.
But what can you do in the garden with children, and how involved can they be? This page describes some activities that will be useful with children aged anything from about two to ten, and perhaps beyond.
Clothes For Gardening
Whatever age your children, gardening should result in dirty, mud-stained clothes. It is important that they can get really involved, with dirty hands and clothes, without having to worry about the dirt.
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Modelling in Clay or Play-Dough
Parents worried about mess should embrace play-dough whole-heartedly because it washes out of clothes easily and can be cleaned off carpet with a vacuum cleaner, even if it has been trodden in.
Clay is a more advanced option that should only be introduced once you are confident that your children will notice when it is on the floor and can be trusted to keep it reasonably tidy.
You will need:
- Play-dough, either bought or home-made;
- A plastic tablecloth or plastic-topped table;
- Lots of cutters, rolling pins, shapers and pushers (buy these at charity shops or ask for them for birthdays as having plenty makes a big difference to the enjoyment levels).
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Specific Craft Activities
Painting and Drawing
Painting and drawing includes any kind of mark-making: it might be on paper, or board, or on paving outside in chalk.
Mark-making is very good preparation for school so it is a good thing to encourage from an early age, but it can be very messy.
You need to provide:
- Drawing surface (for example, large sheets of paper, blackboard or floor space outside); and
- Mark-making material (for example, paint and brushes, or chalks).
Tips for Crafting With Children
Prior Preparation and Planning
Just like cooking with children, preparation is key to enjoyable craft sessions with children. Make sure that you have thought about it in advance and have an activity ready to go, otherwise the child will lose interest while you get things ready.
Think like a pre-school provider: everything needs to be out and ready when the children arrive to play.
One Thing at a Time
Don’t be tempted to offer several options and expect your child to make up their mind. Get one activity organized, whether that is play-dough, painting, or making something, and then help your child to complete it.
If you are offering your attention, and something fun to do, you are unlikely to get complaints that an alternative activity is not available.
A bit of thought about what you can expect your child to do will pay off, especially if you have more than one.
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Remember, be tolerant, especially of mess.
There will be mess, and plenty of it, when cooking with children but you can clear it up later and they might even help you with the washing-up, water play being many children’s favourite activity.
Also remember that you will need at least twice as long to make anything with children involved.
The idea is not to create a masterpiece, but to get your children involved in food preparation, and to have some fun together.
You can also use the experience to teach children the basics of food hygiene, safety and nutrition and diet.
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How Many Children?
The easiest number of children to manage is, of course, one, especially when they are very small.
If you have two under the age of about five, cooking with each separately is probably recommended as you may otherwise end up being quite stressed.
A four-year old can do significantly more than a two-year old, but that won’t stop the two-year old trying to get fully involved, or mean that you don’t need to help the four-year old at all. The need to watch both, and do several things at once, may reduce your enjoyment of the session significantly!
Interestingly, it is entirely possible to cook with a group of four children of the same age, especially once they reach the age of four or five. This is because they are more capable of doing things for themselves and also understand about taking turns. Four competitive small boys taking turns can cream butter and sugar together at amazing speeds and with huge efficiency.
What to Cook
Baking is usually the first choice activity when cooking with children.
This is because you mix everything together cold and then cook it, which means that only the adult has to touch anything hot.
Baking also results in things that children want to eat, like cakes and biscuits (cookies). There are plenty of simple and easy cake and biscuit recipes in books and on the internet so even a novice baker can feel reasonably confident.
Biscuits are probably the easiest thing to make. Some require small balls of mixture squashed gently, and others need rolling and cutting. Children tend to love this part of the activity so it may be worth investing in some fun-shaped cookie cutters, such as butterflies or dinosaurs.
Keeping children busy is half the battle in keeping them quiet and happy, and there is a huge amount of advice available on ways to manage this, including our page - Top Tips for the School Holidays.
If you’re thinking of going out and about, check out our pages on Outings with Children.
Of course, there is the issue of the ‘electronic babysitter’, and whether it is good for children to spend time watching television or using computers. This is a perennial issue for all parents, whether your child is barely 18 months or approaching 18 years old. Read more in our page on Screen Time for Children.
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I Can Just Spend 5 Minutes Tracking My Accounts
Even if you will never use a spreadsheet or a formal budgeting system, you can still commit to checking in on your accounts. Think of it as feeding your fish. You don’t need an elaborate fish food dispenser with bells and whistles, you just need to lift the lid, peek in and make sure all is well.
I check our bank transactions for 5 minutes on Mondays and Fridays. And our investments on the last day of the month. This simple habit revealed three significant errors in the past few years:
- Our bank withdrew double mortgage payments one month
- Our car dealership set up automatic monthly car payments out of our account for someone else’s vehicle (we’re nice, but not that nice!)
- A major investment firm gave $9,000 of our life savings to someone else because of a clerical error (read the ridiculous story here)
It is easy to assume that banks, car dealerships and investment firms won’t make mistakes, but that is not the case. Simple, regular habits will help you be more aware of your financial picture, and catch any double charges or errors. Well worth the 5-minute investment.
I Can Just Automate a Few Things
Setting up a few automations will simplify your finances and help you achieve goals faster than you think. Call your bank to get advice on which systems will serve you well.
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I Can Do a Spending Freeze for A Day or a Week
Try this once and watch what happens. Limit your spending to only food and transportation for a set amount of time. Notice how many times you go to mindlessly spend money before remembering it’s a Spending Freeze. Your bank balance will reward your self-control, and you will become more aware of how much shopping can be done out of habit.
I Can Have a Low-Budget Weekend
Since entertainment spending often skyrockets on the weekend, challenge yourself to plan a fun activity using very little money. Encourage the whole family to join in on the challenge. Better yet, invite another family to work with you. What kind of adventures could both families have together while only spending $10? $20? Our library has free passes to conservation parks that can be signed out for a week. Be creative and meet up for a free afternoon with each family contributing to a picnic. A little planning goes a long way in saving.
I Can Just Make a Bit More
This tip can revolutionize your financial management. If you have a large purchase to make, find creative ways to earn extra income so your regular account won’t take a hit. The more urgent the goal, the more creative you will become.
When we bought our first home, we desperately needed air conditioning. The thought of Little Squishy waking up from naps with soggy hair made this a priority. But we didn’t have $2,000 on hand. I brainstormed a list of things I could do as a SAHM to quickly save up. I started in-home tutoring around my sleeping boy’s schedule. After a few months of stuffing all earnings into a sock drawer, we were able to pay for the A/C in full.
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No Budget, No Problem: How to Get a Grip on Your Finances When Spreadsheets Aren’t Your Thing
I Can Just Spend a Bit Less
Do you wander around the mall on your lunch break or mindlessly scroll online stores? Searching out the next great buy can be addictive because our brains receive a shot of endorphins when we see something exciting. The problem is, this easily leads to overspending.
And we might be inadvertently modeling this pattern for our children. Our 7-year-old and I recently had this conversation:
Him: Mom, I found something I really want to buy on Amazon.
Me: Did you know you wanted to buy it before you went on Amazon?
Do your finances feel out of control? These practical tips will help you implement strategies to get you closer to saving money without a spreadsheet.
My friend Sara struggles with managing her money.
She’s a busy working mom of 3 littles and at the end of a busy day, the last thing she wants to do is enter numbers into a complicated budget. At the same time, she dreads opening her credit card statements and often feels guilty about overspending. She earns a decent income but has no idea how the money disappears so quickly. After hitting a low point, Sara asked me to help her make some changes. Her only request was that my ideas be simple and attainable.
This is for all the Saras.
If you are struggling with your finances like Sara, I promise it’s possible to manage your money better. So before you throw in the towel (that you bought on impulse), try the “I Can Just” technique. Instead of focusing on making huge financial changes, just do one thing differently every day. Small steps. Big results.
FAST & EASY RECIPES
More concerned with getting good food on the table fast than with serving a gourmet 4-course meal? We’ve got you covered, with simple, easy-to-follow, family WHC---16CA-approved recipes that use everyday staples and come together quickly with minimum steps.
Looking for a hearty, creamy soup recipe? This loaded cream of potato soup is the perfect comfort food recipe for any week night. Cozy up & enjoy!
When the weather is cold nothing quite hits the spot like a hearty bowl of hot soup!
Loaded Cream of Potato Soup
This creamy potato version comes together surprisingly fast, but the yummy toppings make it feel extra special. It is also a great dish to serve to a crowd!
Loaded Cream Of Potato Soup
The best Creamy Potato Soup recipe with all your favorite toppings. Perfect for any week night meal!
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Place stain face down on a clean paper towel. Pre-treat underside of stain with liquid laundry detergent or stain remover, rubbing stain gently. Rinse. Soak for 30 minutes in a solution of lukewarm water mixed with all-fabric bleach. Rinse. If an item is white or colorfast, soak in bleach solution for 15 minutes. Rinse and launder normally.
Place stain face-down on a clean paper towel. Gently rub from the underside with cloth or sponge soaked in nail polish remover. Repeat with clean paper towels until the stain is gone. Launder normally.
Oil or Grease
Place stain face-down on a clean paper towel. Pre-treat underside of stain with a generous amount of liquid laundry detergent or stain remover, rubbing stain gently. Rinse with hot water. Launder normally in the hottest water possible.
Place stain face down on a clean paper towel. Pre-treat underside of the stain with liquid laundry detergent or stain remover, rubbing stain gently. Rinse. Soak for 30 minutes in a solution of lukewarm water mixed with all-fabric powdered bleach. Rinse. If the item is white or colorfast, soak in bleach solution for 15 minutes. Rinse and launder normally.
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Scrape off any excess wax with a table knife. Place the stain face down on a clean paper towel. Press an iron over the backside of the stain to release the wax onto a paper towel. Repeat with clean paper towels until no more wax transfers to the paper towel. Treat the remaining color stain with stain remover. Soak in Oxy-Clean solution for 30 minutes. Launder normally, using bleach for whites.
For whites or colorfast fabrics, fill sink or bucket with lukewarm water and 1-2 cups bleach. Soak items for 30 minutes; launder normally with bleach. For non-colorfast fabrics, fill sink or bucket with warm water, 2 squirts dish soap, and 2 tablespoons of ammonia. Soak for 30 minutes. Drain water & rinse items. Refill sink and add ¼ cup vinegar. Soak items for 30 minutes. Rinse and launder normally with the hottest water possible and add Oxy-Clean to detergent.
Place the item face down on a clean towel. Gently rub from the back with a sponge soaked in rubbing alcohol. Soak item for 15 minutes in a mixture of 1-quart lukewarm water, 1 tablespoon vinegar, and a squirt of liquid dish soap. Rinse the item. Soak in Oxy-Clean solution for 30 minutes. Launder normally, using bleach for whites.
Soak the item in cool water & Oxy-Clean solution for several hours or overnight. Launder normally, using bleach for whites. If stain remains, soak in Oxy-Clean solution again, then re-wash.
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Stain fighters to keep on hand:
- Aqua Net Hair Spray
- All Fabric Bleach (such as Clorox 2)
- Dish Soap
- Liquid Laundry Detergent
- Oxy-Clean Powder (or similar alternative)
- Paper Towels
- Rubbing Alcohol
- Stain Remover
- Table Knife
Specific stain removal:
Scrape off any dried food with a kitchen knife. Soak item for 15 minutes in a mixture of 1-quart lukewarm water, 1 tablespoon ammonia, and a squirt of liquid dish soap. Gently rub stain from the back, then soak for an additional 15 minutes. Rinse the item, then soak in Oxy-Clean solution for at least 30 minutes, or until the stain is gone. Launder normally.
Soak the item in ice-cold water for 15 minutes. Rub stain from behind. Soak an additional 15 minutes in cold water. Check stain. If still visible, soak the item in Oxy-clean solution for 30 minutes. Launder normally, using bleach for whites.
Place stain face down on a clean paper towel. Pre-treat underside of stain with liquid laundry detergent or stain remover, rubbing the stain gently. Rinse. Soak for 30 minutes in a solution of lukewarm water mixed with all-fabric bleach. Rinse. If an item is white or colorfast, soak in the bleach solution for 15 minutes. Rinse and launder normally.