Father’s Day Ideas



Father’s Day will be here before we know it, and because of the current situation regarding coronavirus, a little bit of extra planning is going to be needed! Buying presents is never easy, and it seems to get more difficult with every year that passes by. The key is to choose something that is different and unique, and that shows you have put a lot of thought into it, yet at the same time, you need to make sure that the gift is going to be something the recipient likes. With that in mind, here are some suggestions…


Wow your dad with a fish tank

A lot of men dream of having their own fish tank! It is something that not only looks great in the home, but also provides them with a hobby as well. Check out how to make an African cichlid tank if you’re looking for some ideas. You may simply want to provide your dad with the tank and his first fish. That way, he can have a lot of fun adding different decorations and fish to the mix. 


Go for something funny with novelty braces

Braces are coming back into fashion, as they add a vintage and classic touch to an outfit. But, with novelty braces, you are able to put your unique stamp on this trend, with everything from occupations to animal themes available. Not only is this fun, but also it shows you have put a lot of thought into the present because you have tried to choose a design that is significant to your dad. And, let’s not ignore the fact that braces are very comfortable and practical. Plus, it is highly unlikely that anyone else is going to have purchased novelty braces for the person in question, and thus you don’t need to fret about buying the same gift as someone else.


Is your dad in hospital? Send artificial flowers 

One of the main reasons why you should send artificial flowers is quite simple – fresh flowers are banned in a large number of hospitals. This is because hospital bosses believe that bringing fresh flowers into hospitals can spread germs. They state that fresh flowers will create more work for nurses and lead to health issues by aggravating allergies and spreading bacteria. However, this does not mean you cannot cheer up your loved one, as artificial flower arrangements offer all of the beauty without any of the risks. It is actually believed that as many as nine in every ten hospitals have banned patients from having fresh flowers by their bed, and thus it is really not worth the risk of spending your money on fresh blooms when it is likely that they will not be allowed on the ward. Instead, people are turning towards silk flowers. Moreover, the beauty of artificial flowers is that they never die or lose their attractiveness, which means the person you are sending them to can appreciate them forever. This is particularly beneficial if someone has a long stay in hospital ahead of him or her.

How to Enjoy Weekends as a Family

Is there anything better than spending time as a family? You’re creating memories, having fun, bonding, and more. It’s the gift that just keeps on giving. Alas, given how busy we all are, sometimes it’s just not all that possible during the week. There’s work, school, sports clubs, and so on to take care of. Thankfully, we have the weekend, which provides the perfect opportunity to spend time together. While there’ll be weekends where people are busy, every now and again it’s worthwhile crafting the perfect weekend to enjoy as a clan. But how? We take a look at how to do it below.

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Have a Relaxed Morning


Everything’s all go, go, go during the week. At the weekend? Things should be a little more relaxed, and that all begins with how you start the day. Make sure that schedule for Saturday morning is clear, so you have nothing to do but to enjoy the gift of the weekend. That’s not to say that everyone should stay in bed for hours upon hours, oh no. There’s something magical about everyone congregating in the living room in their pajamas, with cartoons on the television for the kids, coffee in the mug for the parents.


Fuel for the Day


During the week, it’ll be dinner that’s the most important meal of the day. On the weekend, it’ll be all about breakfast. A big and nutritious breakfast will provide everyone with the fuel they need to go on adventures in the afternoon (more on that later), and can simply be a delicious way to get the weekend off to the best possible start. So look at making an extra effort to make it perfect. Set the table, prepare a tasty meal, such as scrambled eggs with sour cream followed by fruit, and enjoy. Spending some time enjoying a meal with the family is one of life’s gifts, so make the most of it.


An Adventure


Now that you’ve had the perfect morning, it’ll be time to have some fun! Saturday afternoons should always be spent outdoors (unless it’s raining of course), so plan something good. It doesn’t really matter what it is, so long as it’s fun! One particularly recommended activity is to visit a natural park close to you. There’s nothing like going on an adventure in the outdoors with the family, and you’ll also feel like you’ve done something with your day.


Saturday Night Fun


After all that fun, what will you do with Saturday night? Given that you’re probably pretty tired now, it’s best not to make too many plans. It could be that you just get takeout food and throw on a classic family movie for everyone to enjoy. 


Sunday Goodness 


And then onto Sunday, which presents a pretty fantastic opportunity to do…nothing at all. It’s a day of rest, when people can do whatever they want. Try to make a big Sunday lunch for everyone though, to round off a weekend that’s been wholesome, tasty, and fun.

Want to Protect Your Loved Ones Even After You go? Read This

One crucial topic that nobody likes to talk about is estate planning. Well, everyone exempt estate lawyers. But the truth of the matter is you will eventually die whether you want to or not. And it is better to plan for it in advance since you never know what can happen in life.

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You do not want to leave your family in a financial mess after you leave, do you? An estate plan can, therefore, be one of the best things you can do for your family. By creating an estate plan, you designate who will receive your property and handle your duties when you become incapacitated or after you die.

Some Steps in an Estate Plan That Can Help you Protect Your Loved Ones

Create a will

It is always hard for a family to handle the death of a member. It becomes even more troublesome when you add the burden of dealing with the remaining estate. To safeguard them from this, you need to create a will. A will helps you determine the beneficiary of your estate.

After your die, your heirs may have a hard time taking ownership of your property, especially if there is a relative that wants to have a share. A will helps to prevent such situations by making sure that your estate goes to whoever you intend.

When you die without leaving a will, the intestate laws will kick in and take charge of leaving your estate. Sometimes, when this happens, the beneficiary you intend to give your property may not always be the one that inherits.

Your estate may also go through the probate court, a process that can be very long and costly for your family to bear.

Take out a life insurance

By taking out life insurance, you can ensure that your family does not suffer from financial problems when you are not around. Your family will receive a death benefit that they can use to help clear your funeral costs, mortgage debt, and any other monthly bills. The amount your family receives is tax-free.

There are two basic types of insurance that you can choose to take out. Term life insurance provides your family protection for a specified period before it comes to an end. You are the one that determines the period of coverage. Permanent life insurance, on the other hand, does not run out, provided you keep paying the premium. It guarantees that your family will receive protection no matter when you die.

You can incorporate your life insurance in your estate plan by creating a life insurance trust. A life insurance trust helps you to secure the proceeds of a life insurance policy for the benefit of the beneficiary. The trust removes the insurance policy from your assets during the calculation of the state and federal taxes.

By creating a will and taking out a life insurance policy, you can guarantee that your loved ones will receive financial protection in the event of your death. While preparing for your death is essential, you should always have your safety in mind. Death or incapacitate can happen at any time. By keeping yourself safe, you can get to spend more time with your loved ones.

Serving Their Wishes: Preparing Yourself For The Death Of A Parent

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There are few inevitability’s in life. When we are taking care of aging parents we’ve got to prepare ourselves for the fact that they will pass away. It’s not necessarily something that we want to think about, but emotionally and practically it can be something that can help us get the grieving process started. But in one respect we will struggle to imagine life without our parents as they’ve been there for all of the big moments in our lives we will have to face it at some point. And as difficult as it can be, what can we do to prepare ourselves?


Serving Their Wishes

We have to remember that as our parents get older or become unwell we will want to avoid thinking about them passing away, but we have got to remember that preparing emotionally can help us and help them. We need to remember that there are things that they will want to leave for us and there are things that we can help them to do. We could help them to create a record of their life by incorporating stories and anecdotes into a book or even prepare a videotape for them to leave behind sage advice. And as morbid as it can be from your perspective, helping them to prepare the funeral can help to achieve closure. Picking the songs for the ceremony, the dress code, and even the headstones, can be a very therapeutic process. Helping your parents to pick through headstones made by Memorials.com or other suppliers can give them a far better idea of the legacy they would like to leave behind. We have to remember that it’s not just about us; we have to serve their wishes first.


Reminisce Before They Go

We live a life of regret on occasion. It can be magnified when someone we love passes away. There is always that regret that we didn’t tell them that we love them or forgave them while we had the chance. If we take the opportunity to honor them while they’re still alive and reminisce about times gone by it shows them how much they mean to us. One of the things we tend to do is wait until the funeral to share those funny stories or what they meant to us. In one respect this is futile. Why don’t we include our parents when we’re looking back? It’s one of those little moments that you will remember forever. Taking an opportunity to remember about times gone by and bring things up that you had completely forgotten about can give you a newfound perspective of the situation but also of your parents. In one respect it’s the perfect opportunity to be their child again rather than being all grown up. When our parents treat us like children it can be frustrating but it’s at this point where we should remember that they want to to view us as their little babies again.


Understanding Your Grief

Preparing for their death is physically and psychologically draining. We’ve got to remember that grief is such a diverse topic. Everybody grieves in their own way. There is some advice on Winstonswish.org to highlight this. But some people feel that they have already grieved for their parents before they’ve gone. This is especially true with those that have dementia or age-related cognitive decline. And the very act of passing away solidifies it in their minds. The most important thing to remember is that each situation is unique. When we are preparing for death it is something that we have to recognize but also understand that these things can take time. Grief is not a one-size-fits-all situation. And this is especially true with our parents. When we start to think about those times when they picked us up after we grazed our knee, all the way through to helping us buy our first house, all of these little acts given by someone who is not here anymore can greatly overwhelm us. And grief is not something you need to go through alone. But you should also remember that grief is about celebrating who they are. When our first parent passes away it is a major shock and everything caves in but we have got to remember that if we focus on the act of death we’re not celebrating their life.


And don’t forget it’s not anything you need to go through alone. There is always plenty of help available through professional organizations. We all prepare in our own way.

Supporting Children Through Tough Times

One of the most challenging aspects of parenting is knowing that you can’t shelter, shield and protect your child from every potential threat, traumatic life event or obstacle. Even the most diligent parents can’t be there 24-hours-a-day to prevent their child from coming to harm, and life is full of challenges for adults and kids alike. While some hurdles can be overcome easily, others have long-lasting implications. If you’re a parent, and you’re keen to make sure you’re there to support your child through the tough times, here are some helpful tips. 

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Talk to your child as openly as possible

Mental health is a subject we talk about a lot in this day and age, but it hasn’t always been this way. Many people who are now parents grew up in households where it wasn’t ‘normal’ to talk about how you feel or share thoughts or worries. As a parent, it’s beneficial to try and encourage your children to chat and engage with you, and to really get to know them, so that they feel able to come to you if they’re feeling down or they’re dealing with problems, for example, a classmate picking on them at school or a bad exam result. You don’t have to open the floor to a deep discussion every night, but take time to talk. Chat about your day, have fun together and make sure your kids know that the lines of communication are always open.


Recognizing signs of distress and behavioral changes

Children deal with all kinds of challenges, but some are much more difficult than others. While most will bounce back from an argument with a friend or a poor performance in a test, there is a risk that more profound problems or events can contribute to behavioral changes. If a child has been through prolonged, severe bullying or abuse, or they have behavioral problems, they may display signs that you shouldn’t ignore as a parent. Use your intuition, try and approach the subject with them very tactfully and gently, and be prepared to seek expert advice. There are people and organizations like Youth Villages that specialize in supporting families and children who are dealing with emotional and behavioral disorders. If your child does have behavioral issues, or they have been through an ordeal, which has taken its toll, it’s perfectly natural to experience a whole raft of emotions yourself. Talk about how you feel with a friend or family member or see a therapist if you feel more comfortable speaking to somebody you don’t know. 


Working together

Every family goes through ups and downs, and often, the best way to tackle the lows is to pull together. Talk as a family and make sure every individual knows that they’re not alone. When times are tough, for example, a child is coming to terms with bereavement, or they’ve been bullied at school, children might want to speak to other kids in the same boat or to experts or advisers, but they’ll always benefit from knowing that you’re there for them. 

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Being a parent can be tough, especially when your children go through hard times or they find life difficult. Being supportive, listening and learning to recognize symptoms and signs of distress can help you protect and build your child back up.

Who Said Multi-Generational Living Had To Be Difficult?

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While we’d all love our parents to remain independent and sprightly, reality rarely lives up to the expectation. In fact, a surprising amount of us have to take on significant care roles in our parents’ lives. And, to a certain extent, you’ll be more than happy to commit to care activities that require regular visits to their house, help with appointments, and more. But, at a certain stage, these efforts may not be enough anymore.


When you reach this point, you may well face the reality of bringing them into your home full-time. Inevitably, a setup like this can cause trepidation for both parties. Your parents, for example, may worry about losing their dignity or independence and you may be concerned about compromising on personal space.


These worries are entirely normal, but trust us when we say that they’re no reason not to give this a go. Many individuals manage to make this setup work for everyone, and they typically do so by keeping the following pointers in mind.


# 1 – Keep your parent’s space private


Attempting to set your parents up in your spare room could see everyone’s worst nightmares coming true. Instead, think of providing them with a private space. The best-case scenario would be an unattached outhouse that sees them enjoying independent living while still having you close to hand. If that isn’t possible, at least consider ways to rearrange or renovate to at least provide them with an entrance of their own. It’s a small gesture, but it’ll go a considerable way towards relieving you of pressure and, most importantly, helping them retain some semblance of independence. 

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# 2 – Give them their own utilities


Your parents are going to feel pretty lousy if you start paying their utilities and, on a practical level, you might not be able to afford doing so. With that in mind, consider providing them their own utilities where possible. This will be an easy goal to come by if they’re entirely separate with an independent circuit board and the option to install separate heating solutions such as this US Stove barrel kit. Even if they’re within your household, seeing if you can split electrical circuits, etc. is guaranteed to provide peace of mind. 


# 3 – Always knock 


Often when our parents move in, we make the false assumption we can turn up whenever. Sadly, this could prevent them from enjoying the privacy you’ve attempted to create. Not to mention that it’s guaranteed to get on your parent’s nerves. Obviously, you can’t always knock for seniors who struggle with mobility, but you should give fair warning of any visit where you can. Something as simple as knocking or messaging before you head into their section of the house is the best thing you can do to keep on positive footing. It’s a small gesture of respect, and it also ensures they’re able to feel safe and comfortable in their area. After all, how would you like it if there was forever a risk of someone barging into your room when you’re trying to chill out?


# 4 – Don’t be nosy

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Along the same lines, you should also make sure that you don’t fall foul to nosiness once your parents are living on your doorstep. Providing them with their entrance can help here, but there’s still a temptation to keep an eye out for any medical professionals that come and go. You may even slip into the habit of keeping a close watch for friends so that you can rest easy that your parents are happy. Again, though, this is a significant breach of privacy, and it’s a habit you need to steer clear of at all times.


Admittedly, this will sometimes be far easier said than done, but keep clear from watching that private entrance as much as you can. Even if you do spot someone coming and going, don’t bring it up or draw conclusions unless your parents see fit to mention it directly to you. After all, they may be living with you now, but that doesn’t mean you have a right to know everything they get up to!


A final word


Moving elderly parents into your family home is rarely easy for anyone involved, and that’s likely to be the case for at least a little while despite your best efforts. Still, steps like these can go a huge way towards setting the right boundaries, and approaching this setup as you mean to go on.

5 Signs You’re Ready to Start a Family

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As you grow older, you’ll start to get asked by various family members and friends ‘when will you settle down and have kids’? The question that everyone dreads no matter if you’re male or female, it’s something that you might not know just yet. It takes a while to feel ready to have a family – and it’s a stage that’s different in everyone’s life.


One person might want to start a family the moment that they get married or are in a relationship, whereas others want to either wait a few years or do it solo. This decision is up to you. Don’t ever feel pressured into having a family if you aren’t ready. Even if every other person that you know in their twenties or thirties is having babies, it doesn’t mean that it’s the right move for you.


If you’re thinking that it might be the next step to take, however, it can be a very exciting time. There tends to be several signs that you’re ready – and here are five of them:

You Have a Strong Support System 


Having a baby is a huge responsibility – and one that you will need a hand with every once in a while. From watching your little one so you can sleep to looking after them for a while so you can get out and visit friends, you want a strong support system that’s there to help you when you need it.


Whether it be your partner or your family and friends, a strong support system is crucial. Without it, you could feel as though you’re alone in the journey and you’re exhausted with what motherhood or fatherhood has brought with it. So before you have a baby, ensure that you have this.

Your Life is Stable 


Before bringing a baby into this world, make sure that your life is stable. From having a home to a good job, you want to have the best environment possible to bring a little one into. You want your baby to thrive, so you must be in the best position possible in order for this to happen.

You Have the Responsibility


If you’re an incredibly responsible and caring person, then when you feel as though you are physically and emotionally ready, it could be time to have a baby. As you can care for yourself, you’ll be able to look after your newborn with ease. 

You Have the Finances 


As aforementioned, you need to be stable in your life before you decide to have a baby. This includes your financial situation. It’s no secret that babies cost a lot, from all of the things that you have to buy before you give birth to bringing them up over the years. 


If you’re unable to naturally have a baby, you’ll also have to think about the other ways that you can have a little one – along with the prices. For example, if you’re looking to have a baby through means of an egg donation or an adoption, look at the prices and how much you’ll have to save. 

You’re Ready For The Change 


This might seem obvious, but it’s perhaps the most important point on this list. You need to be in a position in your life in which you feel ready for a baby. As mentioned above, this can happen at any time throughout your life and is something that’s different for everyone. 


If you’ve started to have the initial feelings, think it through, plan it out and talk to your partner. If you’re both ready, then you can start to truly consider it.

How to Help Your Kids Through a Divorce

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Divorce isn’t easy for anyone. When there are children to think about as well, this can make it even more difficult. Children may not understand exactly what is happening or why it is happening, and you want to do the best you can to help them through this scary and challenging time. If you have no idea how you can help your kids through this situation, try not to worry too much. We have some ideas below to provide you with some helpful information, so you can figure out the best way to help your child through this.


Both Parents Should Still Be Involved

Your child loves both of their parents, and even though you and your partner have decided not to stay together, it doesn’t mean that your children should not be able to see one of their parents just because one parent can’t stand the other one. It is important to remember that both parents have the right to continue to spend time with their child. If one parent is not letting the other parent see their child, for example, a mother is not letting the father see the child, then there are resources that can help with father’s rights.


How to Tell Them 

Having a conversation about your divorce with your children is not going to be easy, but it is something that has to be done. In terms of what to say, it will vary depending on the age of the child. You will want to be open and honest about what is happening. Another good idea is to have both parents present when you are telling them about it and to make sure that you tell the child that it is not their fault as well as preparing them for the idea that there will be changes.


Helping Kids After You Tell Them

After you have told your children what is happening, you want to be prepared for what to do next. Children can react in many different ways to the news that their parents will no longer be together, but make sure you let them know you are there for them and that whatever they are feeling is ok. You also want to convey to them that they can talk to you about what is happening when they feel that they are ready. They may have questions for you, so you also want to prepare for this possibility. Finally, make sure to let your children know that this is an ongoing conversation, so they won’t feel scared to bring it up again or ask more questions if they think of others later on.

Throughout the divorce process, things such as trying to keep a consistent routine and continuing to support your children are essential. If, in the divorce process, you end up having to go through a custody evaluation, you can look into resources to find out helpful information for going through that process. Remember that although this is a difficult situation, you will get through it.

Why Parents Should Talk to Their Kids About Sex and Sexuality

It should be no secret that kids are heavily influenced by their parents. After all, they spend most of their lives around you and will pick up different habits that you have. As a result, it’s your responsibility to instil good values into your children, and this is where it helps to sit them down and speak to them about important life concepts.


One good example is regarding sex and sexuality. This is a topic that your children will eventually find out about, even if it means talking to friends or asking their teachers. However, we believe it’s a good idea to step in at an early stage to teach them about it before they have a chance to stumble upon it.

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It’s an opportunity to bond


When raising children, finding opportunities to bond with your kids is really important for their development and your relationship with them. Your children want to know that you’re always looking out for them and that you’re not afraid of talking about difficult or unique subjects with them. You don’t want to miss out on this opportunity to bond and teach your child about certain important concepts in life, so try to do it before they have a chance to learn from their peers.


But when exactly should you do it? Most children are exposed to information about sex and sexuality at a much younger age than you’d expect. This is especially true if you give them unfiltered access to the internet or television. While many parents do rely on the school system to teach their kids about sex and sexuality, it’s never a bad idea to start talking about it especially as your child’s body begins to develop.


Topics to cover with your child


We believe that safety is one of the most important topics to cover. For instance, talking about contraception methods and sexually transmitted diseases will help them understand the dangers of having unprotected sex. However, they should also understand that regular unprotected sex with a partner is the most common way to start a family.


You also shouldn’t be afraid to answer questions that your child has, especially if an intimate scene appears on television. If your child’s school is teaching sex education, then you should ask your child about the topics they’ve covered and review them together. It’s also important that you help your child differentiate between the portrayal of sex in the media and real relationships. While it can initially seem embarrassing or awkward to talk with your child about intimate subjects like sex, it’s an essential part of their development and it ensures that they’re learning from a trustworthy source as opposed to just their peers.


Contrary to popular belief, teaching your child about sex and sexuality from an early age does not lead to promiscuity. With that said, we hope that you and your child can bond over discussing important topics in life to give them more experience and to improve your family relationships.

3 Rules For Keeping Your Kids On The Straight And Narrow

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It’s the phone call that every parent dreads.


“Hi mom, I’m currently at the police station. Please help!”


On hearing the news, two questions will inevitably come to mind.


  1. What have they done?


  1. What have I done to allow this to happen?


Of course, you probably aren’t to blame at all. Thanks to that blessed thing known as free will, our children have the freedom to behave in ways according to their choosing. Still, that can be of little solace when our children get into trouble, be they of junior or adult age. 


All hope isn’t lost, of course. Your children can still be put on the right path, despite the actions they have already taken. There are some excellent law firms out there too, so the legal consequences could be mitigated. Check out the services of Takajian & Sitkoff as just one notable example. So, despite the stress that follows after that one phone call, life can return to normal. 


Still, the best course of action is to prevent that phone call from ever happening in the first place. While your children do have free will, as we said, there is still much you can do when they are very young to keep them on the path that is straight and narrow. 


Here are some suggestions.


#1: Spend time with them


The more time you spend with your kids, the less opportunity they will have to put a foot wrong. So, rather than let them loose on the streets on the weekend to do their own thing, do something with them on the weekend instead. Go camping with them, take them to a sports game, or anything else that will bring about family bonding. Of course, time together isn’t only about distracting them from boredom and the risk of wrongdoing. You will also have more time to teach them lessons about morality, be that with the words you speak or the actions that you role model to your children. And on that point…


#2: Be a good role model


Your children are never going to learn positive life lessons if you are less than ethical yourself. If you pay little credence to traffic laws, fiddle your taxes, verbally attack your neighbors, or do something else that can put you on the wrong side of the law, no matter how small, then your children are going to pay attention. You’re not perfect, of course, but you still have the free will to be that better person, so keep yourself in check for the long-term benefits of your children. 


#3: Address any issues quickly


If you can spot any issues within your family, deal with them promptly. So, if you get the sense that your children are hanging out with the wrong people, for example, or if they start to behave in ways that are less than moral, make sure you intervene. Hold family meetings, speak to your children’s teachers, and have those all-important sit-down chats with your child to remind them of the consequences of their actions. Your children will still have free will to do what they want, of course, but at least you will have done something rather than nothing to put them back on the right path. 


Parenting isn’t easy, and there is no guarantee that your children will be the little angels that you want them to be. However, by paying attention to the rules we have listed, you might be able to circumnavigate the risk of future trouble.


Let us know what you think, and please share your advice with us.

Quick Tips For Adjusting To Life After The Army


Joining the armed forces is one of the biggest responsibilities as well as privileges of being a citizen. When you make the choice to join the armed forces in whichever realm, you immediately become a protector of your home country and this should make you feel incredibly proud.


Of course, being in the armed forces is not easy and often you may not take control of your own health and wellbeing. This can lead you to feel recluse, depressed, and suffer from PTSD when you do finally make it home. 


Adjusting to life back on the outside can be a difficult task and it may take a long time to get there. You’ll likely need a lot of support from family and friends, Veterans Disability Info, and support getting back to work. Here are some of the ways that you can help yourself adjust back into life once you have left the armed forces for good. 


Acknowledge yourself


It is important in the first instance to acknowledge who you are and what you have been through. Life can be hard when you have lived in a different environment for so long and you need to acknowledge that you are not the same as everyone else. Own your feelings and understand them, and this will be the first step to controlling them in the future. 


Talk it out 


The best thing you can do whny ou come back and start to struggle with life is talk to your family. Never bottle up your feelings because all this will do is cause you stress and pull you further and further away from those who love you. Sit down and chat to your family and explain that you are finding it hard. They will be able to give you all of the support you need and you will have a whole network there to catch you when you fall. 


Get help


Nearly two thirds of those who suffer with mental illness after being in the army and this can have a detrimental effect on their health. It is important when you come out and try to adjust to real life that you know where support lies and how to access it. Call Military OneSource at 1-800-342-9647 for a free resource that can direct you to the support you need. 


Pace yourself 


It’s not a sprint. If you have friends who live in the same town as you who also left the armed forces at the same time, don’t feel disheartened if they adjust to life easier than you. It is important to remember that everyone has different experiences in the army and it doesn’t make you any weaker than anyone else. Focus on your own progress and don’t push yourself too far too soon. Baby steps are the way to go and they will allow you to get back to your own life in your own time without any relapse. 


Manage stressful situations 


Be sure to watch out for your triggers. We all have stress triggers to be aware of and it is important that you think about what yours is and how to manage it. Learn to avoid high risk situations and prepare yourself for others. It may take time but you will get there in the end.

Giving Your Child The Extra Help They Might Need


As parents, from a pride perspective it’s easy to get caught up with what you think your child should be doing, should know and the skills we think they should have. But each child is an individual, they learn at their own pace and we have to accept that and encourage them if they’re doing their best. However, if you’ve noticed that your child is falling behind, struggling and needs a boost, here are some of the ways you can help them. 


Have any problems properly diagnosed

If your child has any kind of mental health, learning or physical condition then this is likely to impact their lives in some way. Getting to the bottom of the problem and having it properly diagnosed can be really helpful, that way they can get the assistance and any additional help and resources they might need. Take dyslexia for example, this can make reading and keeping up with classmates incredibly difficult for a child. But with a diagnosis, they can be given extra help from teachers, be shown software and given additional help that perhaps teaches them in a different way and allows them to stay on track. Get yourself some books for dyslexia or whatever condition you’re dealing with and read up yourself as well, the better you understand what’s going on, the better position you’re in to either help or find the right help for your child. 


Hire a tutor

Kids don’t need to be struggling with a condition to fall behind with school work, there are lots of reasons they might do so. Not all children will learn subjects at the same pace, and yours might struggle with things here and there even if the rest of their schoolwork is good. Hiring a tutor can be a way to overcome the issues that crop up here and there, having someone else explain things in a slightly different way, one on one might just be what’s needed for it to click in their mind. There are plenty of tutors out there that work freelance and will be able to come to your home so scheduling in a little extra study is quick and hassle free- have a look online and see who is available in your area. 


Build skills outside of the classroom

Schools teach our kids so much, but there are lots of skills we’ll need to build or at least build upon as parents. Learning outside of the classroom can be a lot of fun, and generally gives your child more life experience and understanding to build upon which can be useful when it comes to their studies. Take them to the farm or zoo to teach them about animals, or a museum or religious building to teach about culture, history or religion. Go camping or spend time outdoors to build practical skills, or travel to new places so they can experience completely new things for themselves without just seeing them in books or on tv. Skills like cooking, cleaning and budgeting money are things you can start teaching about when kids are young and build up over the years.

Fun Things To Do As A Family On The Weekend

As the weekend rolls around, it’s an opportunity for you to relax after the working week and for the children to have fun after a week of learning at school. However, sitting around all weekend can be wasteful and although a rest is needed, having fun with your family is important. Here are fun things to do as a family on the weekend. 


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Get Some Education

Education is beneficial to a child’s development, and it can dictate what your child does as a career when they grow up. Their level of education will decide on what college they get into and what career options are available to them. Therefore, any parent wants to give their children the best opportunity to do anything they wish to do. So the more life experiences and knowledge you offer them, the better. You can all get a bit of education in the form of a popup museum that may be local to you. With museums, they can offer a wealth of knowledge that can even be new to yourself. It’s great to do as a family because you can chat about what you’ve learned afterward and you can spend hours at a time in a museum.


Visit A Theme Park

A theme park is the ultimate day out, and whether you’re children enjoy going on roller coasters or not, there’s a ride that’s tame enough for anyone. Just being in a theme park is exciting enough because it can create a certain atmosphere that can lift anyone’s spirits, especially with theme parks like Disneyland existing. Make the most of your day by venturing out as early as possible. That way, you have the whole day to yourself, and if you’re trying to save money, packed lunches are a great way to ensure you don’t need to leave earlier than planned.


Have A Picnic

Talking of food, a picnic is a great family activity to do together, particularly when the weather is nice. Head down to the local park or even outside in your back garden. As long as you’re getting some fresh air, that’s all that matters. Try to create the spread together as a family, and this can help build up skills within the kitchen for your children too. Get a soft blanket or towel and spend the afternoon eating, kicking a ball around, or just relax. You can also try removing any electronic devices to have a mini detox. 


Throw A Games Night

And finally, there’s always a family games night. It’s something that you can make as a tradition for the family. Perhaps it’s a specific game, or something different that you play each weekend. It’s a great way of getting everyone together and encouraging a little competitiveness between family members. It also teaches them to play fair and to know that winning isn’t always the point, it’s the taking part that matters most.


Hopefully, with these tips, you can fill up your weekend with lots of fun activities for you and the family.

How To Prepare For Your Family’s Future

Image by Mario Renteria from Pixabay 


If you have just started a family, then you’re probably very busy with feeding, bathing and bedtimes and with all this going on, looking ahead to the future may seem a long way away. However, now that you have a family, it’s more important than ever to plan for the future, and it’s never too early to start. 


Education, Education, Education

As early as possible, you need to think about children’s education. From teaching them the alphabet and making sure that you are giving them the best start in life you can, you also need to look ahead at their education in the future. While you don’t want to put too much pressure on your child, it’s important to have a back-up and be prepared financially for your child’s higher education. Make a plan as early as possible as it’s a long-term goal and make allowances for inflation and other potential unforeseen issues.


Make Memories And Live In The Here And Now

When thinking about planning for the future, it’s very important not to forget to concentrate on the here and now of your family life. It’s good to make sure you’ve got a good life balance and ensure that although working hard for the future is important it’s good to create happy, joyful memories that you and the kids can both enjoy. You also have a job in raising the kids; you need to be aware that life is not just a financial goal, but the children need education on life and guidance from you.

Make A Will

It is also really important that you make a will, and this will ensure your wishes are followed in the event of your death. It’s not just about distributing your finances, but a will covers other things such as funeral arrangements and what happens with your children in the event. Take the appropriate advice; you will need to speak to someone specializing in estate litigation; make sure your views are known, legally, in this document.


Make Sure You Have Insurance

Adequate life insurance is very important, and especially if you are the main earner in your family, it is essential for your’s and your family’s peace of mind. Should the worst happen, your family will be provided for financially? Have a look at life insurance quotes to find out what the best policy is for you.


Teach Children From Your Mistakes

An important lesson in life is for children to learn is that everyone makes mistakes and that there shouldn’t be too much pressure to live up to an unrealistic notion of perfection. You can teach them that failures and setbacks happen to all of us, but it’s how we deal with them that’s just as important as the failure itself.

The Growing Dangers Of Raising A Family

Raising a family is something you’re either going to have been so passionate about from a young age, something you feel like you’ve been forced into, or perhaps even something you’re being thrown into right now. Either way, most of us are going to end up raising a family, whether you feel like you’re ready to or willing to. For the most part, raising a family is going to be one big happy memory. The love that they will bring into your life is like nothing else, and the way that you see the world will change because of them. All of the sudden you won’t be bothered about the trivial things you used to be bothered about, and you’ll have an interest in things that you never thought possible. Because from the moment those newborn baby eyes look straight back into yours, and you feel that loving connection, you’ll be hooked on the life they give you. Even through the times where you’re in tears of tiredness, fits of rage, or stages of doubt, you’ll always end up having that passion to make their life incredible. But with all of this, becomes a deep desire to provide and care for them, more than you will have ever done in your life before. So, to make sure that you’re only experiencing all of the lovely things we started off with, we’re going to show you some of the growing dangers of raising a family.

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It’s Just So Expensive!


One of the most expensive times to raise a child is during the first year. But this is only because it can be so hard to get used to money management when you haven’t had to do it before. Because even though it might seem like it’s all easy to do, the prices just keep going up and up, and as time goes on, the money you’re bringing in will go down. Most companies will allow a certain amount of maternity leave, and then another certain amount of time with reduced pay. But then it will be you on your own for a few months, or maybe even more depending on how long you’re planning on having off. But it’s something you get into the swing of doing, and you will eventually learn how to budget your money, even if that means you’re going to miss out on some of the luxuries you once used to love. As time goes on, new expenses will come into your life that will lead you to feel that raising a child is so financially draining. When they get into high school years, you’re going to go through the stage of having to pay for their uniforms, and then having to pay to repair them, and then having to pay for their school lunches. So realistically, no matter what stage in their life they’re at, it’s going to test your money management skills, but with good management and compromises, it’s going to be so easy for you!


Horrible Dangers We Hate To Think About


It’s so easy to want to keep your children wrapped up in the little bubble that you’ve kept them in since day one, but it’s not always as easy as that. Sadly, there are now more and more cases of criminal offences involving children, and they just prove how hard it is to keep our bundles of joy safe. One of the growing dangers that we’re noticing at the minute, is through social media. There are two big dangers here. Teenagers and young children who are being allowed to use social media are now being groomed by pedophiles who are posing as fellow young teenagers into a meeting. Luckily, a lot is now being done to combat this, and members of the public as well as police officers are now posing as teenagers to catch these criminals out. It’s so hard to police this as a parent without being overbearing horrible parent, but it is something that needs to be done. You should always have an idea of who they’re talking to, who they’re meeting, and generally what they’re doing until they’re at an age where they don’t need you anymore. Bullying is also another massive problem that needs to be dealt with, and social media is definitely fueling it. It could be anything from a hurtful messages on a picture, to daily bullying through messages. But again, as long as you have some sort of control over their social media accounts until they reach at least 16, you should be ok! 


When They Go Out Alone


It’s so nice for your children to finally be allowed to go out on their own. It’s that sense of freedom that they just have to have at some point, and it’s up to you as to what age you let this happen. But letting them go out alone definitely does bring their own set of dangers, and one we want to talk about is dangers with the roads. You can teach them all you want about road safety, but silly things happen when they’re out with their friends. From playing games in the road such as chicken, to simply cutting it fine with trying to get to the other side of the road to see their friends. AssuranceAmerica is just one company who is promoting the dangers of the roads, with them noting that the number of children seriously or fatally injured in road traffic accidents rapidly rising. So as much as you can, try to make sure they’re leaving your home with safety in mind, and always coming back safe!


If They Start To Hate You


It’s more of a case of when they start to hate you, rather than if they start to hate you. When they get to those teenage years and hormones are flowing, it can be so easy for a divide to be created between the two of you, and for what you might see as hate to grow. But hate is such a strong word, and it’s more them rebelling against the rules that have been there since day one, and your dying need to know what’s going on in their life. So, as much as you possibly can, make sure that you’re giving them all the space they need to be their own person. Take an interest in their life, but don’t be so pushy that they feel like you’re overbearing. Try and reduce the ground rules a little bit, and allow them to become their own person. The more you battle them at this age, the harder it’s going to be to carry on the strong relationship that you once had. Don’t become that pushover either. It’s about finding the perfect balance of being that authority figure, and a friend they can come and talk to when they’re in need.


A Family Being Torn Apart

Whether this has already happened to you or not, it’s more common to see children coming from a broken home than it is from a whole one. So many children are the product of a failed marriage, and depending on how you handle that, it can seriously affect their life. So, make sure that you’re keeping anything civil in front of your children, no matter how nasty it might be getting behind closed doors. Focus on coming up with a system that’s going to support you as a family still, and make sure that you are still doing things as a family, rather than leaving them hardly seeing a parent still.

Single Mothers – It’s Okay To Enlist Help



If parenting is one of the hardest jobs out there (and it is), then it’s not hard to imagine how doing this alone could be one of the most challenging things anyone could experience. However, many single parents take care of their children brilliantly, and are shining examples of the unconditional love that parenthood brings.


However, it can sometimes be that single parents are unfortunately happy to denigrate themselves, to believe they do not deserve help. Sometimes, they have been told these very things by unsupported parents or other guiding figures, and the wish to go against that advice and help their child become raised in a loving environment is more important than anything.


It’s fine to enlist help if experiencing this yourself, particularly if you do not know which way to turn. In fact, it is absolutely essential. When we think of this we often think of our child having to be taken over by some kind of child protective service, but enlisting help needn’t be anything as extreme or unnecessary as that.


Let us see what those practical solutions could be to make your life just a little easier.


Legal Assistance


Unfortunately, many single parents are there because of the ineptitude of their previous partner, which may not have showed itself until your beautiful child was here and in need of care. But there’s no reason why you should have to take this treatment. Finding legal assistance to defend yourself, utilizing a child support calculator to ensure you are being paid the amount you are due and keeping the records of correspondence or previous issues may denote the need for a restraining order, or perhaps a healthier means of setting up contact with said defunct parent. When you are assisted legally, you have a better chance of keeping yourself supported in the manner you deserve.


Family & Friends


It is not a great sin to ask for your parents to babysit while you experience some fun with your friends, or have a night on the town. Many mothers can feel absolutely terrible about needing some time to let their hair down, but actually, this can keep them sane and comfortable. That’s not to say that motherhood is some kind of crazy venture that leaves people distraught and unable to function, but a little break from any intense issue is fantastic now and then. Even if it’s just an evening to read, soak in a bath and watch a movie, this could be appropriate.


Care For Yourself, Too.


As a new single mother, your time is going to be fraught. But that doesn’t mean it’s not important to care for yourself, too. You have your own needs, and if you ignore yourself it will only have a negative impact on how irritable you are. Purchasing an exercise bike for ten to fifteen minutes of exercise in the morning, eating healthy foods and adopting a meal plan Sunday routine to save time through the week can truly help you reduce stress and maintain yourself. It’s in this way that you are strengthened over time, just as you need to be.


With these tips, we hope the burden and beauty of single motherhood can be just a little bit easier to deal with or comprehend. You’re doing a fantastic job.

The Debts Of Motherhood Nobody Thinks About

For many mothers, the biggest dilemma about having a child is to put their professional career on pause. Some moms find themselves forced to start a side hustle venture from home to make ends meet. Others go back to work earlier than planned because they can’t afford to stay on leave any longer. Ultimately, having a baby can put your career on hold, but more importantly, it also puts your income on standby. As new parents, if there’s one thing you can’t afford to ignore is your household income. Indeed, having a baby puts your finances back. For professional women who enjoyed a successful career, going back to work can be a challenge. But more importantly, managing the debts of motherhood and pregnancy can prove tricky without a thorough plan. 

Photo from Pxhere 


A brutal call to reality

Having a baby in the US doesn’t come for free. Indeed, featuring pregnancy care, delivery and post-birth care, mothers are likely to pay on average $30,000. Maternity costs in the US healthcare system are going through the roof. A rule of thumb is to ensure that your health insurer can help you to cover some of those astronomical costs. However, the costs remain significant throughout the US, even for insured women. Having a C-section in Vermont with insurance is going to cost over $10,640. However, in Alabama moms pay less than $8,000 for the same service. 


There are affordable alternatives

You can” t save money on your pregnancy and delivery – it’s unwise to go through pregnancy without medical checkups. However, you can make sure you’re smart about purchasing your baby gears. Indeed, you can find cost-effective options online, such as coupons for diapers or even Facebook Marketplace. Used items are not always a bad choice, as long as you make sure they are safe for your baby. High chairs, strollers and even baby clothes can be bought second-hand without putting your family at risk. Alternatively, you can also ask your relatives and friends for hand-me-downs they don’t need anymore. 


Most parents think about college already

Do you know what the first thing that many future parents do is? They open a saving account to help pay for their child’s education. Indeed, students spend on average almost $99,500 throughout their academic studies in college. American universities, unfortunately, can be a financial drain. Top-tier universities add up living costs up to $60,000 per year to the student fees. Even with funding and financial support, academic education can lead to lasting debts for your child and yourself. 

Photo from Pxhere



Can you compensate for the extra baby expenses?

Can you recover the expenses through smart saving tricks? The answer is, unfortunately, no. However, you can gradually transform your household budget to accommodate new financial projects. For instance, changing your mortgage deal can be a good idea to free up a lump of money every month. If you prefer a long-term investment, switching your energy supplier for an off-grid solution can help you to reduce your utility bills and maybe create a savings pot for your family. 


From the cost of pregnancy care to kitting your baby, there are a lot of expenses you need to consider. Money, of course, isn’t everything, but when you’re starting a family, it’s important to budget for the essentials and develop saving strategies. Your household will be a lot happier if you don’t have to worry too much about money!

New Mom Tips You Need To Know



The moment we become a Mum is a defining time in our lives and it can change the way we live forever more. Now that we have a little baby who relies on us for everything in its life we have a new sense of purpose and something to look after as our own.


Being a new parent can be stressful and at the start, it can be easy to think you won’t be able to do all the things that your parents did. But there’s no reason not to trust in yourself and in fact, the relationship you build with your baby will allow you to come up with your own parenting style in time which suits you both. Today we are going to take a look at some of the small hacks you can try to make your life a little easier and a little more comfortable when you have a little one.


Stay comfortable


The first thing you will want to do when you have a baby is to stop looking at all of the new mums on Instagram and comparing yourself to them. These mums are likely wearing sweaters and joggers 99% of the time and you shouldn’t feel bad for wanting to dress in clothes which are comfortable for you when you are looking after your baby. There are actually tonnes of sites such as innerparents which offer clothes for new mums which are more comfortable to wear and which will allow you the freedom of movement you need for cleaning and nappy changing.


Don’t listen to everyone else


From the moment you announce that you are pregnant to the world, every single person you come across will have some nugget of wisdom to enforce on you and to tell you what to do. When you are in the stages of pregnancy or you have just given birth you will not necessarily think twice about taking every piece of advice handed to you. The issue is that everyone has a different idea of what is right and if you don’t take this into account you will struggle with looking after your baby in the best way. Shut out the white noise which is advice and let you and your baby find your own flow.


You know best


Just like Mother Gothel always says… mother knows best. Although you will be given a lot of opinions about your baby in terms of their weight or their health, it is important for you to listen to your gut instinct and let your own mind make the decision. If people are telling you that your baby is fine but you think they need a doctor, always stick with your own instinct and be on the safe side with things.


Go with the flow


As much as it would be a helpful tool, there is no such thing as an instruction manual for looking after a baby. Every single baby will be different from the moment they leave the womb and this means that you need to simply let the baby tell you what they need. It’s like getting a pet, even though you can’t talk you can sense what they need, and with a baby, they will let you know if something is wrong. Go with the flow and don’t worry about all the strict guidelines and rules right now.

Your baby is unique


Remember that your baby is like no other. If you have just had a baby and your friends are telling you to do one thing, don’t worry if this doesn’t work for your child. One size doesn’t fit all and different things will work for different babies. This will mean a lot of trial and error, but you will eventually find things which work for your child which you can implement into your life to make it easier.


Don’t sweat the bad days


As a new parent, you will likely feel as if you are walking on eggshells for the first year or so to try and make sure your baby is happy and healthy, and you may have days when you just want to stay in bed and do absolutely nothing. It’s normal to feel exhausted and sad at times and the important thing is not to beat yourself up about it all. If you feel as if you cannot look after your baby the best you can today, ask a family member or a friend if they don’t mind taking over so that you can rest. You are only human after all.


Ask for help


Following on from that last point, it is incredibly important that you take the time out to ask when you aren’t sure of something or you need help with something. Make sure that you don’t let issues simmer inside and let them out. You don’t have to be perfect all of the time and it is totally normal for you to need a little bit of aid now and again.


Always have wet wipes


As a new Mum or Dad you will have a lot of mess to clean up during your everyday lives, and when it comes to cleaning up after your baby there is nothing which can quite beat a good wet wipe. This can be used for dribbling mouths, crumbs, to protect your shoulder when you wind your baby… the list is endless and this should become a staple in your bag.


Make sure to sleep


Honestly, as annoying as it may seem, you are no good to your baby if you can’t keep your eyes open. The idea of sleeping when your baby sleeps can be difficult to adjust to, but this can actually be the best way for you to get enough rest in your day to keep you healthy and happy. If your baby tends to sleep for an hour after eating lunch, sit on the sofa and do the same. Take any little respite you can because your body and your mind need to be fresh to look after your baby in the best way it can.


Celebrate small wins


Sometimes being a parent feels like a constant battle between waking up, feeding, winding, changing and playing with your baby… and this cycle often feels like it will never end. However if you want to feel happy and in a good mood every day, you will want to celebrate every small win you have as a parent. Like for example changing your nappy in record time or not getting it inside out, managing to get your baby to eat all of its dinners… it might not seem like much but it can put you in a darn good mood after a long day.


Prep your meals


Eating as a parent can be one of the most difficult things you have to try and do. You will no longer have the same meal times as you were used to because with a baby it can be hard enough to predict one minute from the next. This is why a lot of parents either end up losing a lot of weight or putting it on due to eating at strange times of the day. To make your life much easier, make sure that you cook a few batches of meals at the weekend which you can heat up in the microwave throughout the week. This will make life so much easier for you every day and you’ll always be able to reach for a meal which is substantial and healthy at the last minute.


Plan breaks


As a parent, it will feel like all you do is work and Work and Work, and this is largely true. You don’t really have a break from your baby, because even when they are asleep they could awake at any moment. The main thing is to make sure you plan one day a week where you have time out with your partner to be you again. Ask your family to look after your baby for the night and spend some time together chilling out on the sofa or head out for a date if you want to. Taking the time out like this can be essential for your mental health every day and it can be exactly what you need to cope with having a little bundle of joy in your life.


Take it day by day


Every baby is unique and this also means that every baby develops at a different time to others. As you raise your baby you shouldn’t be sticking to a schedule and worrying if your child isn’t crawling or talking yet. Your baby will learn this skill when they are ready and if it takes a while it’s nothing to worry about. It doesn’t mean that your child isn’t as smart as other children, it simply means that they are developing different skills and at a different rate to others, which is normal! Let things happen when they happen and don’t stress yourself out.

Are You Ready To Start A Family?

In one sense, starting a family is about the most natural, instinctive thing you can want to do. But in quite another, it is likely to be exactly something which you don’t want to rush into, and should be given a lot of careful consideration. If you are prone to acting first and thinking second, you might find that this is one occasion where that approach doesn’t fly. In any case, most of us will at some point in life consider the question of whether to have a child or multiple children and when those questions start arising it is a good and useful thing to know how to approach it. In this article, we will look at some of the concerns, questions, and issues which you should familiarize yourself with as you grapple with this difficult decision. You might find that there is more to it than you had really considered.

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Know Your Options


Firstly, you will want to make sure that you are fully aware of what options you have for the actual process of having children. It might sound as though this is a little premature, but the truth is that you need to think about it first and foremost, just in case it proves to be something that you need to worry about later on. By knowing your options first, you put yourself in a much stronger position from which to think about having children. The first thing to remember is that you always have options, even if all seems lost. If you take a look here https://www.conceiveabilities.com/about/surrogacy-egg-donor-locations/egg-donor-denver-colorado you will see that there are a number of options available to anyone struggling to conceive, so you don’t need to worry. You should also make sure that you are aware of the ins and outs of them all; infertility and other problems are very common these days, so knowing this upfront helps you save time and effort during a potentially more stressful time later on. Know your options, and if nothing else you will feel considerably more able to deal with the situation at hand, should it arise.

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Assess Your Relationship


In truth, assessing your relationship is probably going to be something you do largely unconsciously, but it’s still a good idea to be aware of some of the factors you might want to consider regardless. It’s highly valuable to determine what your relationship is like, as this is of prime importance in ensuring that you know whether or not you should be having children and starting a family. You need to try and gauge whether you are a stable and secure couple, which can be harder to grasp than you might at first think. You should also try and make sure that you are likely to stay together, and that you can stick it out through the tough times. That is especially important, because of the simple fact that having children is often extremely stressful, and the kind of thing that you need to be strong to get through. If you can do so as a couple in most situations, you will have more faith and confidence in yourselves to be able to do so when you are raising children.


Look At Your Finances


Unfortunately, we live in a world where the desire to do something is not enough – you also need to think about whether or not you can make it work financially. Figuring out the potential financial viability of having children is, however, luckily very simple, look at what you earn as a couple and rack it up against the likely costs of having children. Use an online calculator to help you work out the latter if necessary – it can be hard to consider all the costs before you know what those costs really are. Once you have the two figures, you should be able to see pretty easily whether or not you are going to be able to raise children. Also consider any future expenses which might have to be taken into account, whether or not they are expenses to do with your children. By looking at all of this sensibly and rationally, you can make sure that you are going to be in a good situation to decide if you should have children or not. Take a look at https://www.familyeducation.com/pregnancy/family-planning/10-questions-ask-when-considering-starting-family for help here too.

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As long as you consider the above, you will be able to know whether it’s a good time to have children – so make sure that you do.

4 Ways To Keep Your Children Entertained This Summer!

It’s the time of year which every child across the land looks forward to – the long summer holidays! Only Christmas rivals the delight of the school gates shutting for the next six weeks. Although summer is a fantastic way for families to spend quality time together, it is also a time which fills many a parents hearts with trepidation. Thoughts of “how will I cope?” springs to mind. There is also the inconvenience of work, most people in employment don’t have the luxury of taking six weeks off work, unless you are a teacher!


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The summer holiday gives everyone the chance to rest and recuperate. It is well documented that the pressure children are under at school is immense, they are tested at every opportunity and the early mornings and after school activities can take their toll, resulting in grumpiness and tiredness. Lazy mornings during the summer gives children the opportunity to get their full allocation of sleep, how much sleep kids should get depends on their age, activity levels and the child as an individual. There are guidelines according to age, but there are considerable variants. Children need varying amounts of sleep according to life stages. If they are entering a growth spurt, more sleep is necessary which is one of the reasons why teenagers appear to want to sleep 24/7!


Unlike older people, to relax children do need activity. It is good to be bored on occasions as long as there is lots of opportunity and stimulation around them. Being bored actually stimulates the creative nature in children.


Most people book a holiday during the summer holidays, which will break up the weeks, but you still have a few weeks to fill. The remainder of this article will look at ways of entertaining your children through the summer break.


Free activities in your local area

Often local towns and villages put on free festivals and activities during the summer holidays. Try to look for a programme of events and book your days around them. Perhaps your town has a free puppet show at 2pm in the market square, you could pack up a lunch to eat in your local park, followed by the show, an icecream on the way home and that’s one day ticked off the calendar!


Visit your local library and see what events they have over summer. Often libraries have storytelling sessions followed by a craft session, visits by local authors and summer read schemes.


Some country parks and stately homes are run by the council allowing free access in the summer. Privately owned visitor attractions also have a couple of days allowing free access.


Arts and crafts

Before the summer break starts, try to collect a stash of items that can be used for arts and crafts. Cardboard boxes, scraps of wool, silver foil, paper, pens and paints can all inspire creations. Don’t forget plenty of glue and sticky tape!


Some art and crafts ideas could include creating homes for dolls, making pom pom creatures, painting and drawing. Your child will probably make their own plans as they have a tendency to have oodles of imagination.


Games and jigsaws

Remember all those games and jigsaws your child got for Christmas, only to be played with once? Summer is the ideal time to dust them down and get playing with them. Long lazy days mean that jigsaws are likely to be completed in time before bed and the extra long game of Monopoly can be accommodated!


Games and jigsaws are perfect for rainy days.


Go to the beach


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If you live fairly close to the beach – fantastic! If not get the train and make it part of the fun. Lakes are also lovely to visit in the summer. A trip to the beach can be as expensive or cheap as you like. Head to a more deserted spot, well away from the amusements to do some beach combing and sculptures. Pack all your loose change and divide it between your children for a fun hour or two in the amusements – making it clear that once the money is spent it’s gone!


A packed lunch will make the trip more affordable and pack a big picnic rug to prevent sand in the sandwiches!


Try to create fabulous memories for your children’s summer holidays. If you try to get out of the house once a day, even for just a short walk the summer will be less likely to be filled with squabbles and grumpiness. Children are naturally inquisitive and they love to learn and experience new things.


Have fun and have a wonderful summer!