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Don't be afraid to be your fabulous, amazing, modern, creative, quirky or unique you with theCityMoms.

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    Ask Amanda: Separation Anxiety and School

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    My oldest is about to start kindergarten and I'm worried about separation anxiety. He gets upset easily and has a hard time calming down. I'm worried about how he'll do all day at school.

     

    It can be so hard to cope with the separation anxiety that comes with being away from our children for long periods of time. The meltdowns and clingy-ness make it even harder.

    My youngest was two-and-a-half when we first had to put him in daycare. Previously he had been with my mother, which is about as good as it gets for childcare.

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    Amanda and her youngest son.

    Man, was it TORTURE dropping him off at the daycare. He would get a little clingy even at my parents, but nothing like this!

    It didn't matter how much we hyped it up. Once we walked into that classroom, the reality would hit him and the meltdown ensued!

    I literally had to peel him off of me and just walk out. Some days I could sneak out when he was distracted with a toy.

    I know a lot of parents worry about how this seemingly traumatic experience might be scarring their kids for life.

    Today's article will help you learn ways to better manage this anxiety and feel better about the separation.

    Talk About It

    Whether it's prompted by a Llama Llama book or Daniel Tiger episode, have a conversation about the transition and their feelings. It's okay if they don't seem to understand or if the talk only lasts for a few minutes.

    Lay the foundation that it's okay to miss you and that you will miss them, reminding them that you will be coming back to pick them up.

    List all the fun things about daycare or school. At our daycare, my youngest would get to paint and do other really messy projects that we didn't do at home.

    Do Your Kid a Favor

    We don't want our kids to be upset, but we aren't doing them any favors when we try to make those feelings go away for them.

    You have probably heard of helicopter or lawnmower parenting, where the parents insert themselves too much into their child's life. They solve their children's problems and remove common obstacles for them.

    Unfortunately, this type of parenting can cause A LOT of problems for kiddos down the road.

    When children are parented in this manner, they are more likely to experience anxiety (the exact problem we think we're fixing), low self-esteem and lack of confidence, under-developed life skills (cleaning, organization, communication, relationships), and poor coping skills (low frustration tolerance, emotional dysregulation). Check out this article from Parents.com for more info.

    Be the Change

    Ok, so you realize you're not doing your kiddo any favors by fixing their feeling for them, but you still feel guilty and dread dropping them off.

    So, how do you feel better and make everyone's life a little easier?

    Change that way you think about that separation. Our anxious thoughts generate that anxious feeling.

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    It does not scar him for life to be so upset when I leave.

    He won't hate me forever for working instead of staying home with him. 

    She will get along fine without me. 

    If we change our beliefs that the separation is so horrible, then we can change the way we feel about it.

    Changing our thoughts may not directly change our children's behavior, but we can model acceptance of the situation, which shows our kids that it's really no big deal to be away from us.

    I reassured myself by having faith in the daycare providers' abilities. I knew they cared about my child and were capable of comforting him. Maybe they wouldn't do it exactly the way I would, but I reminded myself he was in good hands.

    I asked them one time how long he cries after I leave and they said it was less than 10 minutes, typically. I would tell myself this as I walked out, almost in tears myself.

    My youngest doesn't attend daycare anymore. And now when we drive by the building, he talks about his friends and has even asked a couple times if he can go play with them, again. So, that tells me he’s not scarred for life.

    Thanks for taking the time,

    Amanda


    How do you handle separation from your kiddos? Share in the comments below!

    Have a question for Ask Amanda? Click HERE.


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    Mom of the Month: Amanda

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    “Love and logic” is how Amanda Campbell defines her parenting style. As I sit down with her over coffee to discuss her burgeoning business, her experiences as a mother, and how she is really an introvert, it becomes apparent that she exudes this philosophy in all areas of her life.

    After years of working in public mental health, Amanda opened the doors to her very own practice as a Licensed Mental Health Counselor in May of 2015. Amanda has that calm but knowing demeanor you would really want in a therapist. Something about her just makes you want to talk, which is probably why I can’t help share all the quirks of my husband’s I would like her to help me fix. Every therapist loves getting hit up for free advice, right?

    Amanda specializes working with moms, couples, and adults and older adolescents with anxiety. She likes to refer herself as the therapist for “worry warts and distant couples”. Amanda enjoys the freedom of being her own boss and choosing her own clients but admits that being her boss has come with a huge learning curve. In addition to the mental health component of her job, she has had to learn how to do advertising, marketing, social media, and client procurement. “Basically, everything outside of the actual therapy has been my biggest challenge,” she said. But Amanda isn’t looking back, only forward. She stays current in her field, has started a clinical consultation group, and serves as the resident expert for theCityMoms of Greater Indianapolis.

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    When she isn’t fixing marriages and calming people’s worries, she is busy raising her two sons: Trajan, 7; and Parker, 4. Her husband, Ryan, is also an entrepreneur. He left a career in the healthcare industry to become a mobile personal trainer. Amanda said her family is certainly learning to sync their calendars and embracing the flexibility of two entrepreneurial parents. As a mother Amanda tries to be fair and loving at the same time. She explained that her parenting style has evolved over time, and she has learned to be more empathetic and less authoritarian. She believes that it’s important to give her children a voice. It is in moments like these where it is apparent why she is such a successful therapist.

    As a family the Campbells enjoy doing crafty things, dumping all of the Legos out on the floor and having a family build, and going to the IMA and library. On her own, Amanda enjoys reading and cooking. She has been a theCityMom since January 2016 and stays active with play dates and the Mompreneur meetings. Amanda originally joined to make friends for herself and to socialize her younger son Parker. She appreciates that the group allows “other moms to put themselves out there.” She would love to see more daytime events downtown.

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    And yes, even though she talks to people for a living, Amanda is a self-described introvert. It’s not that she doesn’t enjoy people, but rather she is not always comfortable in social settings. She has learned to hide it well and opening a private practice has given her a huge boost of confidence and the drive to just “plunge into it”. Thank goodness, because I have some more questions to ask her…

     

    And now, what you are dying to know…

     

    What five items would you bring to a desert island?

    1. Coffee

    2. Bag o books

    3. Sunglasses

    4. One of those knives that has all the other gadgets. Swiss army knife?

    5. Pillow

    What are you reading right now?

    1. The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery by Eric Foner

    2. The Dive From Clausen's Pier by Ann Packer

    What’s the weirdest thing in your purse?

    I always carry a lot of napkins. I have some fruit strips and crayon packs in Altoid tins.

    What is your best recent mom memory?

    My son Trajan wanted to take his blanket outside. I of course didn’t want him to. He asked me, “Mom, what are you really worried about?” We talked it through, and the therapist in me was so proud of him. I loved being able to reason with him.

    What is your guilty pleasure?

    I play Candy Crush. It’s a nice distraction :)

     

    Be sure to check out Amanda's Website www.busymomslifecoach.com

     

     

     

    And stay tuned next month to see who Amanda thinks should be the September Mom of the Month!

     

     

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    Mississippi Pot Roast: Recipe of the Week

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    Mississippi Pot Roast

    Recipe from Belle of the Kitchen www.belleofthekitchen.com

     

    If you missed out on my last recipe (http://www.thecitymoms.org/crock_pot_creamy_pierogi) let me fill you in on my cooking style: the less work the better. I am a fan of convenience, healthiness, but most importantly convenience.

    As I was meal planning this week I stumbled across this recipe from Bell of the Kitchen on Pinterest. It appealed to me on multiple levels. First, this recipe had a minimal number of ingredients. Excellent. Second, it required only one kitchen tool, the CrockPot. Even Better. And third, it allowed me to continue my ongoing quest to cook a roast that doesn’t suck. Challenge accepted.

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    Ingredients:

    3-4 pounds chuck roast (I used two, 2 lb roasts, because that’s what Kroger had)

    1 packet Au Jus gravy mix

    1 packet Ranch dressing mix

    4 pepperoncini peppers

    ¼ cup butter, cut into slices

    **If you are feeling extra lazy/efficient use a disposable CrockPot liner.

     

    Directions:

    Place the meat in the CrockPot. Cover with the two seasoning packets. Add the four peppers and the butter slices. Cook on low for 8-10 hours.

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    I have to say that this might be the best roast I have ever cooked. Unlike the dry slabs of meat I usually produce, this roast was incredibly juicy and flavorful. We barely had enough leftovers for my lunch the next day. I served this with Bob Evans mashed potatoes (available in the refrigerator section of your grocery store) and a bagged Chopped Kale and broccoli salad bag. I can’t set the bar too high. Enjoy!

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My oldest is about to start kindergarten and I'm worried about separation anxiety. He gets upset easily and has a hard time calming down. I'm worried about how he'll do all day at school.   It can be so hard to cope with the separation anxiety that comes with being...