How To Eat Out In Public With Kids

Going out to restaurants with kids can be one of the most stressful experiences, but it doesn’t have to be if you use these tips. Yes, they’ll still be restless, because kids. And yes, you will go through a ridiculous amount of ketchup. But if you choose a family-friendly place, it’s possible for the whole crew (yes, even parents) to have a good time. And make sure there are plenty of delicious desserts for bribing, I mean, creating incentives for kids to be on their best behavior.

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Everything You Need To Help Your Teenager Get Organized For High School

teenage boys

Do you remember what it was like getting ready for the first day of school when you were a teenager? For most of us, the focus was on making sure we had the “right” clothes and shoes, and trying to figure out if any of our friends were going to be in our classes.

That was pretty much it.

I don’t know if kids these days are more mature than us, or if we were just slackers, but now there’s way more than just wardrobe to think about when a kid is getting ready for high school. I’m not talking about school supplies, either. That’s the easy part. That’s where we come in as the parents. It’s our job to make sure our teens are equipped to have a great school year. After all, even though they might be big, stinky high-schoolers now, they’ll always be our babies!

1. Time Management Skills

With so much pulling at a kid’s attention these days (Gaming! Social media! Soccer practice!), helping them prioritize responsibilities is critical. If you’ve ever had to drop off a pair of forgotten cleats to the school office, you know what I’m talking about. Whether it’s uploading a calendar app, or using a good old-fashioned wall planner, teaching your teen how to manage their time will set them up for success for the whole school year — meaning fewer interruptions to your day to save theirs!

2. Good Grooming Habits

As much as things have changed since we were in high school, one thing has stayed the same. Teen body odor is real. My nose hairs still bristle at the memory. Thankfully, it’s easy to encourage good grooming habits in your teenage boy by teaching a simple routine. Head over to Walmart to pick up the #1 teen boy approved grooming products. Then, shower with AXE Apollo Body Wash and shampoo with AXE Apollo Shampoo. Finally, apply AXE Apollo Antiperspirant Deodorant , a little AXE Apollo Body Spray, and they’re done! Society will thank you for it.

3. Digital Citizenship

Our teens might be more technically savvy than us, but the one thing we still have over them is experience and common sense. Before you send your kid off to high school, sit down and have a talk with them about your family rules for being online, whether or not you have chosen to give them a device of their own. A digital contract is a great way to get mutual agreement on how, when, and what your teen does online.

4. Confidence Boosters

The last thing you need to make sure your kid is organized for high school is whatever it is they need to feel confident and self-assured. Teens who feel comfortable in their own skin do better in school. That might be a book bag that is big enough to carry all of their textbooks and their instrument, and make them look fly! It could be a fresh haircut before the first day of class or new graphic tees. It could be finding their squad in a club for kids with similar interests or life experiences. Whatever it is, even a little confidence booster can go a long way in turning high school from the “absolute worst” into “legit fun.”

High school doesn’t have to stink. Between us helping our kids be organized and AXE helping them smell good, our teens are going to have a great year!

It’s normal for teenage boys to have body odor — their bodies are changing all the time. AXE body products help them get through those changes smelling good! Get AXE Body products at Walmart.

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Why I Put A Phone On My Tween’s Back-To-School List

tween on smartphone

Buying my daughter a cell phone wasn’t a decision I made lightly. While she’d love to believe her constant begging was the reason I finally caved, it wasn’t. Although my preference was to keep my daughter phone-free for as long as possible, it became unrealistic as she approached middle school. So, much to my tween’s delight, I put a cell phone on her back-to-school list.

Why would a tween ever need a phone for school? I know, I know. I questioned it myself. There are many reasons that a cell phone is a necessity and a key back-to-school item, and I was finally unable to deny it.

ABC Is Easy as Technology

We live in a digital world. Teachers are teaching via technology, and kids are learning that way, too. Having a cell phone gives my daughter the fastest access to information that is necessary to succeed in today’s school environment. Where we used to go to the library and dig in encyclopedias, kids these days pull out their smartphones and get the most recent, up-to-date information about whatever topic they’re interested in. A monitored phone helps my tween stay competitive in this new, modern way of learning.

It’s Time to Take Matters Into Your Own Hands, Kid

The change from a little kid to a tween is drastic and sudden. One day I woke up and my baby girl was a young lady with her own friends, social calendar, and to-do list! Having a phone gives her the chance to be responsible and learn to keep her own life organized. The best part is, I didn’t have to spend a lot for a phone for my daughter to organize her life digitally. Twigby offers smartphones, including the iPhone and Samsung brands at affordable prices, and they’re constantly bringing in new models. Less work for me AND I don’t have to go broke? Yes, please.

Perfect for Baller Shot Callers

Two words: Sports Mom. One phrase: I can’t keep up. If your kid plays sports, you know that as they get older, the more involved practices and games are. Then there are tournaments, team-bonding activities, and coach’s notes from games. Guess what? All of that is done online. My daughter does a much better job with keeping up with all of that than I do, and having her own cell phone helps. Twigby has low-cost plans that start at $9 a MONTH for unlimited texting and 300 minutes, plus data plans as low as $3 month, which is just enough for her to stay on top of her busy sports schedule. If she goes over, though, Twigby’s Overage Protection ensures I won’t need a professional sports player’s salary to cover it because she’ll always have unlimited data, just at a slower speed. Plus, Twigby is currently offering 25% off your service for six months. Talk about ballin’!

Call Me, Maybe (Probably)

As much as I’d like to believe that since I survived without a cell phone as a tween, my daughter should also be able to, times have changed. My friends and I passed notes and occasionally chatted on the house phone after school until our parents needed to make a call. I NEVER had communication with my teachers outside of school. It’s so different now. Kids communicate with their friends, coaches, and even teachers all the time. It’s just how things are done. Having a cell phone gives my daughter her own direct line of communication and gets me out of the middle, so my girl does what kids do these days.

Always Be My Baby

I know my tween thinks she can take care of herself, but she’s still my baby! As she becomes more independent, I need to be able to stalk… I mean, keep up with my little girl. With the Twigby app, I can track my daughter’s phone usage, turn on/off calling, text, and data. I want my daughter to know that no matter how old she gets, if she needs me, I’m just a phone call away. But for right now, I’m monitoring things too.

School starts back up soon, and I know that having a phone will enhance my daughter’s experience. I’m sure there will be plenty of silly pictures with her friends, time spent on games, and weird tween texting. Digital literacy means that she gets to do all of that. I trust her and know that she’s ready to dive into the 21st century and take on technology.

And I’ll be there to take it on, right along with her.

This post was created in partnership with Twigby. Affordable plans, nationwide coverage, a 30 Day Satisfaction Guarantee, and a selection of phones that are perfect for families, Twigby is a great choice for parents looking to add tech to their kid’s back-to-school list. Learn more about the Wi-Fi only, call and text, or full data plans that Twigby offers and use promo code MOM to receive a $10 credit when you sign up. 

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6 Things That May Actually Be Signs Of Anxiety

Before I got diagnosed with anxiety, I had no idea I had it. I got everything done! Nothing scared me! So how could I have anxiety? Well, the truth is, anxiety is sneaky — and it looks different for everyone.

It crept into my life with useless warnings of dire things. Like I’d be almost asleep at night, and my anxiety would show up to say, “Hey, did you sign that permission slip? And what are you going to do about the leak in the downstairs bathroom? And by the way, did you see the news today?”

The truth is that anxiety has diverse symptoms that can easily be dismissed, especially for a busy mom like me. I was so used to putting my head down and just getting everything DONE that I didn’t realize how much it was disrupting my life. When my doctor told me what I was experiencing was anxiety, it was actually a relief to know I wasn’t, you know, losing my mind.

It’s not just me, either. All my mom friends are struggling. This isn’t exactly news — we’re expected to do ALL THE THINGS without enough sleep or downtime. Not only is there work, the house, the laundry, the cooking, but you also have to remember field trip forms and which kid needs new shoes. And when, exactly, is the band concert?

Luckily, I found a solution that works for me (more about that later). But first let’s talk about what anxiety can look like so you can address it before it disrupts more of your life. Because none of us have time for that.

Sleep? What’s Sleep?

Image via Giphy

Night after night I’d lay awake with a racing heart. At first I thought it was my diet, but nope. It was anxiety. And guess what makes anxiety worse? Yep, lack of sleep. This is how I found my solution: gummy bears. Specifically, these CBD gummies for sleep. GAME. CHANGER.

What Was I Doing Again?

Image via Giphy

I always hit the ground running from the moment I wake up until I drag my butt to bed. But I started noticing I was having trouble staying on task and focusing on what I was doing, and it was much worse as a mom with kids interrupting me constantly. I thought I had “mom brain” but nope. Again, it was anxiety.

I Don’t Want to Mom Today. My Everything Hurts.

Image via Giphy

You know what you do when you are anxious? You tense up, which can make your head, neck, and shoulders hurt. I was popping meds like candy, but without treating the anxiety, the pain always came back.

I’m Busy. Call Me Never.

Image via Giphy

I used to go out with friends all the time, even after I had my kids. Because I knew I was happier when I had adult human interaction. But as my anxiety crept up, the number of times I said no grew. Eventually people stopped calling. Withdrawing from social events? Yep, that can be connected to anxiety.

OMG WHAT DO YOU WANT ALREADY?!

Image via Giphy

I always used to get a bit cranky around a certain time of the month, but my family brought to my attention that I’d developed an irritation trigger finger. I’d flip out over the smallest things and was, well, a jerk to everyone. Now when I start to feel irritated, I grab some CBD oil and take a mom time-out. It helps.

Help Me! I’m Freaking Out.

Image via Giphy

It seems like panic attacks should be easy to spot, right? WRONG. I thought if you didn’t need to breathe into a bag, you weren’t having a panic attack. It turns out they can be far more subtle, especially for women. I had no idea my “freak-outs” were really panic attacks.

So what I’m saying is this: Anxiety is really common, super sneaky, and steals your joy. If any of the above sounds like you, reach out to someone and get help. Because as I’ve discovered, it doesn’t have to be this way.

Anxiety is a nightmare, but using cannabinoids (CBD) from Pure Relief can help. All Pure Relief products are extracted from organic hemp using the cleanest method possible: supercritical CO2 extraction. Their hemp-derived CBD goes from the plant to the bottle without the use of any harmful chemicals or dangerous byproducts.

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Your Dream Vacation Scenario

For some people, a dream vacation includes primping, massages, and robes that never seem to cover all the places that need covering. For others, it’s about having the flexibility of an RV so that you can sleep in any new city, and you’re never stranded without a bathroom. And for some, it’s about finding a mythological hot tub filled with chicken nuggets. To each their own.

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16 Tips For Planning A Truly Magical RV Vacation

You’ve decided to embark on one of the most memorable ways to vacation — RVing! You know where you’re going (or maybe you’re winging it), the kids are pumped, and all that’s left to do is make a plan.

No matter where the road takes you, you’re guaranteed to have a good time in an RV. But just to make sure your vacation is top-notch, we asked Scary Mommies to give us all their best tips for planning an amazing RV vacation, and they did not disappoint.

Here are 16 tips to make your next RV vacation truly magical:

1. Oh…good call.

2. Crockpots for the win!

3. We really like the part about making the kids do chores.

4. Take ALL the pictures.

5. Dorothy knows.

6. You should probably pack extra underwear, too, tbh.

7. Rain, rain go away.

8. Not sure what “boondocking” is, but it sounds like it could be a good time!

9. We like the way that Ashley thinks.

10. What an awesome way to look back on the memory of your trip!

11. Don’t forget to enjoy the views.

12. So just like parenthood then?

13. There is plenty to explore and you can cook all you want.

14. “Keep a weather eye on the horizon” is not just something pirates say.

15. Discovering local eats is always a great idea.

16. Sage advice.

Did you write all of that down? Above all else, remember: Vacation is meant to be fun. So spend it doing what you love. Ask the kids to get involved in the planning. Let them map out your route, or choose places to stop. RVing is about exploring, enjoying the beauty of the road, and spending time with the ones you love. Now what are you waiting for?

At Go RVing you can discover all the reasons to pick up and go on an epic road trip. Whatever your interests, wherever you want to explore, whomever you want to take along — an RV is the best way to travel. Check out some of the top reasons to Go RVing.

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4 Types Of Vacation Planners

We all know these vacation planners. There are the moms who plan every itinerary down to the minute. Then, the moms who wait until the very last minute, hoping to catch a deal. There are the moms who know RVs give them the flexibility they want in a road trip. And finally, the moms who can’t make up their mind about anything, from where they want to go to what they need to pack. But we gave you life, so you don’t get to complain.

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My Husband Hates Social Media. Here’s How We Share Memories.

My husband and I both love our family to pieces, but we have very different ways of showing it. While I gush about my babies all over the world wide web, he’s more of the strong, silent type. Family? What family? He doesn’t have any social media accounts at all. Crazy, right?

He’s just a private guy who doesn’t want to share his entire life with strangers. That doesn’t mean he doesn’t appreciate documenting our days or feel nostalgic when we look back at where we’ve been as a family.

I can appreciate that about him a lot. He may not be online, but he’s always down for making memories together. He’s pretty good at capturing them too. He has an eye for seeing interactions that are ridiculously meaningful. I’m not ashamed to admit that I have often scrolled through the camera roll on his phone tearing up at moments he’s captured when I wasn’t paying attention.

There’s just one problem: Remember how we used to take pictures and rush to get them developed because that was the only way we’d be able to see them? Now that we live in a digital world, there’s no hurry, especially since we’re sharing in real time on social media. Since my husband isn’t interested in putting pictures online, we run into the issue that none of the photos on his phone will see the light of day. That’s where ibi comes in. The ibi Smart Photo Manager is a genius way to store and share pictures privately and securely. With 2TB worth of storage space, it can hold 500,000+ photos and 200+ hours of video.

An Easy Way to Get Dad Engaged

After a few years of discovering amazing pictures on my husband’s phone, I finally got him to share them with me automatically on the cloud. Unfortunately, that solution didn’t work as well as I thought it would because the quality of the pictures were greatly diminished by the time I downloaded them from the web. Also, videos would take forever to upload, and it would be days before they’d be processed and ready for me to view!

My husband wasn’t especially interested in helping me troubleshoot and felt like there could be an easier way. ibi is that easier way. It took us five minutes to set it up. All we had to do was plug the ibi in, and it found our devices. Then we uploaded to the app and started sharing pictures privately only to the folks we want to see them.

My guy can be a little skeptical about things, especially when he’s concerned about privacy, but he’s convinced that this is a better way for us to share memories with each other and our friends and family.

Dads Want to Share — Just Not With Everyone

ibi has the option to share privately, create shared albums that our loved ones can add to, and an inner circle feed that’s like our own personal invitation-only social media network. I was shocked that my husband immediately started sending the link to albums we created to our friends. I guess I shouldn’t have been too surprised. He’s got himself a great little family. Of course he wants to show us off!

There’s actual research on this too. Clay Routledge, a professor and psychological scientist, says, “Dads tend to be more private, but they very much want opportunities to connect with loved ones through the sharing of meaningful memories.”

Well, that’s absolutely my husband.

That’s why I’m so pumped to find ibi. He can share in a way that makes him feel comfortable, and I don’t have to nag him to share his great shots with me anymore. How’s that for a win?

ibi is the smart way to store, organize, and share your treasured photos. Get control of your memories and be in control of who sees them. Visit meetibi.com for more information.

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Road Tripping vs. RVing

Road trips with kids are no joke. They have to stop to use the restroom every 20 minutes. They snack, loudly and constantly, in your ear while asking, “Are we there yet?” and giving you the play-by-play on their sibling’s bodily functions. RVs give you space for all those snacks, the lodging you need, and the personal space that every parent craves.

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10 New Mom Fears We’ve All Had But Eventually Got Over

jogging stroller

Being a new mom can be a frightening experience. Before you had a baby, all you had to do was worry about yourself. That was hard enough. Now you have to worry about someone else, and they don’t even send you home with a manual? What are they even thinking? If you’ve said to yourself, “Who thought sending me home with this baby was a good idea? I have no idea what I’m doing!” — you’re not alone.

Here are some fears we’ve all had that we eventually got over. Well, mostly.

1. Cat vs. Dog

People love to ask the timeless questions: Are you a cat person or a dog person? I like to ask: Which are you more scared of when holding a baby? I used to love cats until I had my baby. You don’t have to walk them, and they’re quiet. Too quiet. So quiet that you don’t hear them coming right up onto your legs playing a game of Crazy Eights. Having a cat in the house is like trying to jump through tires while balancing a baby in your arms. Step aside cat — I’M WALKIN’ HERE! To answer your question: Dogs.

2. Fingernail Phobia

They are minuscule yet razor sharp. Leave ‘em be, and they can draw blood when their incoherent baby arms start to flail uncontrollably. Try to cut ‘em, and suddenly your pits are in a hot sweat and you have double vision trying not to inflict harm on a tiny finger.

3. The Public Diaper Change

At home, I’m good. But what happens if you have to change the baby in public? On the bus? At a cafe? I’m not qualified to handle this without a changing table. What did people do before those fold-down wall things were invented? Seriously. Thankfully her Huggies Little Snugglers fit like a hug.

4. Supporting the Head

It’s flopping like a rag doll, and well OK, once I maybe didn’t have my hand on it at all times. Can you permanently ruin a neck? Is that a thing? Also, there are way too many soft spots involved in this tiny melon. Please let the head plates join and de-floppify ASAP because it’s too much pressure.

5. A Wet Baby

I barely remember how to bathe myself let alone figure out how to bathe a baby. There’s way too much stuff to remember…like the binky that may be under the couch and the only toy that she likes that’s somewhere in the back seat of the car. Don’t even get me started on the slip-sliding baby body that needs to be double-teamed in order to keep it in an upright position. I cannot bathe a baby alone! Is there something wrong with me? Also, pass the Huggies Natural Care Wipes because she just peed, and we are NOT doing this bath over.

6. Spit Up and the City

There are burp cloths for a reason, but at exactly what point do we go from spit up land to full-on barfing? Seems like I should know this, but my baby is borderline at all times and I can’t tell. Also, her neck rolls usually have a little cottage cheese brewing in them, but I swear I’m getting better at wiping the spit before it gets to this stage.

7. Germs From Other People

“STOP TOUCHING MY BABY’S FACE!” I shout this in my mind to Uncle Carl, but in person, I smile as every fiber in my being cringes at the sight of his giant, unsanitized hand stroking my baby’s cheek. I’ve got to escape. There is no way out. Mom’s work friend Janine is in the next room, and she’s coughing up a lung. I’VE GOT TO GET OUT!

8. Tummy Time Fails

I always remember to do tummy time at the worst time. See No. 6 on barfing. This baby is face planting, crying, and not liking anything to do with her tummy and time. Does the head look flatter than yesterday? Did she lay on her back in the bassinet too long? Why is she a crying, soggy, beached whale and not an over-easy cherub, happily rocking 360 moves?

9. Google

I told myself I wouldn’t search for weird symptoms, but oh yes, I did search for weird symptoms and now can’t un-see them. There is literally a picture of everything that could go wrong in life with a baby ever. I may need to cut off Wi-Fi for the next six to ten years if I ever want to sleep again.

10. Being Good Enough

This mom stuff is hard. I had no idea how hard. Will I start to feel less like a leaky zombie and more like the moms on TV (OK, not the ones on cable)? When are we going to be at the coo- and-giggles stage and leaving the farts and weird snorts in the middle-of-the-night stage? Also, I need to Google farts and snorts because that last one didn’t sound normal. See No. 9.

The good news is that I got over every single one of these fears and did make it to the cooing stage! OMG cooing is the best thing ever. The cat is still trying to trip me, but I’m not asking for miracles. Somehow, I figured out how to trust my intuition over my fears, and it sort of works. I’m still googling things, but who’s not? Right? Lisa? Anyone?

This article was sponsored by Huggies®, who believes that the first time you hug your baby, the rest of the world will slowly melt away and your life will be forever changed. At Huggies®, we are inspired by the loving bond between you and your baby and we’ll never stop finding ways to hug more like you. #HuggOn

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