Start an Income Producing Blog in 15 Minutes

If you have always wanted to start and income producing lifestyle or niche blog, what are you waiting for? It is so easy, Mommy Ramblings recently wrote about how you can start an income producing blog in 15 minutes. Check it out below.

So, you want to start a blog, this step-by-step guide will get you started with your domain name, blog server and website in about 15 minutes.

What Kind of Blog?

Think about what kind of blog you want to start. Maybe you already know, and that is good. If not, the first thing to consider is, the type of blog you want to start. Do you want to have a niche blog that will limit you to one topic or do you want a more general blog that gives you the freedom to post about different topics?

There are pros and cons to both.  A niche blog on a subject you are knowledgeable about can help build your credibility as an expert. Some say they rank better and are easier to make money with than a broad subject blog. However, others will say that a broad subject blog allows you to appeal to a larger audience and get more new readers from search engines thanks to the wide range of topics.

In the end, I believe if you are sharing great content, your followers will come whether you have a niche or broad topic blog, so blog about what you like to write about.  It is always easier to write about what you know and are passionate about. 

Own Your Domain 

Next,  you need to think of a name for your blog and register your domain URL. You might think you would rather skip buying your own URL and start blogging on a free site like Blogger or WordPress.com. If I can offer my first piece of advice,  it would be to start with your own domain name on self hosted site. I speak from experience as someone who started on wordpress.com. Within 6 months of my blog taking off,  I switched to a self hosted WordPress.org blog for a number of reasons.

First, it allowed me to add sidebar ads and affiliate links to monetize my blog as well as being able to use plugins which helped me to customize my blog easily. When you switch platforms, you have to transfer all your content from one platform to another. Many bloggers are not comfortable moving their content over, and so they have to hire someone to do the transfer for them.

Luckily, I am tech savvy and performed the transfer myself or I would have had to shell out a few hundred dollars to have my site transferred. Beyond that, when you do switch, you have to build up your stats again. All of that could have been avoided had I just started on a self-hosted WordPress.org site in the first place.

Register Your Domain

After you chose your domain name, you have to register it. The first step is to make sure your domain name is available. Go to BlueHost and click GET STARTED.

You will then be taken to a page that shows you the plans. I know you will be thrilled to see that it is not going to cost you an arm and a leg to get started when you use BlueHost. They have some amazing deals on their already low-cost hosting.

The great thing is one domain name is included with any hosting package you pick. The thing I love about BlueHost is that for their Plus, Prime or Pro hosting plans you  can host an unlimited number of websites with them for the same price.

That means you pay the same low price a month to host 10 sites as you would 1 site. If you want to branch out in the future and add more sites, you will not have to pay any extraRight now, the Prime plan is the same as the Plus and so, it is a no brainer to go with the Prime. 

Choose your plan and it will take you to the next screen where you can check to see if your domain is available. Just type the name in the new domain box and click on next. If your name is available, you are golden. If it is not, they will give you some alternatives or you can think of something else.

Once you have a name that is available you can advance to the next page where you will fill in your information.

 

There was a nice surprise on this page. As I was scrolling down, a pop up appeared with an offer to save even more. It said I could get 3 years for the price of 2. The new price was $4.95 a month, and as you can see, it is quite a savings.

The other great thing is with the Prime membership, many extras other companies charge you for things like domain privacy protection, site backup pro  and domain registration are FREE. You can add SiteLock security for just $1.99 a month, and I would recommend it. Okay, you are all set, just hit submit and we can move on to the fun part.

Install WordPress

Once you have checked out, you will get an email from BlueHost that will have your login information. Once you have that, you are ready to log on to your BlueHost CPanel.

The second icon on the first row under the heading WEBSITE is what you will click to install WordPress.org.

You will be advanced to another screen where you will click the down arrow to select your website and it will show up as the domain for installation. Click NEXT.

On the next page, you will fill out your site name which would be the name of your blog, your admin name that you will log on to WordPress with and your WordPress Password as well as, your admin email. Acknowledge the terms of service and click NEXT.

While WordPress is installing, you will see a bunch of themes on the page. Don’t worry about those and just wait until the installation is complete. I will go over themes once you log into your WordPress site. There are many free themes available as well as some like Genesis that many bloggers use because it is so easy to work with.

When the installation is complete, you will get an email with everything you need to log on to your new WordPress site. 

As you will see in your email, the address for your login will be http://www.YourDomainName.com/wp-admin. When you enter that address, you see the log in screen below.

Choose A Theme

Log in and look at the sidebar, you will see a paint brush icon and the word APPEARANCE. Click it and you will see THEMES. When you click that, you can have fun browsing themes for your blog. There are so many to choose from . There are many free themes you can choose from or you can go with the very popular Genesis Framework.

Genesis is very flexible and makes it easy to customize your blog easily whether you are a novice or advanced developer. The Genesis theme provides a secure, search-engine-optimized foundation that takes WordPress to places you never thought it could go, for a one time purchase price of $59.95. Once you purchase this theme you can use it on as many sites as you have, at any time. That is a super value!

You can then get a return customer discount on a Child Theme that works with your Genesis Framework. There are Child Themes for Lifestyle Blogs, Food Blogs, Business Blogs, Real Estate Blogs and more.

If you are looking for a low cost logo or custom blog theme etc, check out Fiverr. You can find some great graphic artists on there as well as virtual assistants or any other services you need to help you build a great income producing blog.

When you start making that income and need some user-friendly accounting software to help you manage payments, send invoices, manage projects, track time and so much more, try the free trial of FreshBooks. They are helping the self employed and small business owners, including bloggers to easily manage and run their business.

See, that was easy wasn’t it. We will cover more about customizing your blog and the best plugins to install but the hardest part is done! Give yourself a pat on the back, I am really proud of you!

 

How To Hire A Virtual Assistant

If you are in need of someone to help you out with your business, replying to emails, proofreading, responding to website comments, managing your social media accounts etc., a virtual assistant may be the answer.

We have a team of virtual assistants that can help you with the above tasks and more. Free yourself up for the tasks that really matter to your business and delegate things to your own virtual assistant.

Take a look at our Hire A Virtual Assistant  page and all the services we offer.

If you would like to learn more about our services and how we can help you, please email info@Moms4TheWin.com with “Virtual Assistant” in the subject line. 

This is Why You May Not Be Able To Work From Home

Stressed, worn out, tired and frustrated, if that’s how you would describe your journey to you JOB today and you’re reading this post in a crowded office, inside a tiny windowless cubicle, surrounded by irritating sounds and voices just dreading the commute home, you’re not alonerat race

Even though advances in technology allow many to work in telecommute capacities from remote locations, there are still many in the situation described above. In fact, the majority in the workforce today are still stuck in that kind of work environment. So the next question you may be asking is why?

Why are so many still wasting what could be productive hours stuck commuting in rush hour traffic?  Why do they have to waste money on gas and put needless wear and tear on their vehicles, pay huge tolls or get squashed and crammed into seats on mass transit and pay fare increases at every turn?

National statistics show that remote workers are more productive, take fewer sick days and have a more pleasing and quieter work environment than those still stuck in the corporate rat race.

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Many business owners predict that by 2022 more than 50% of their now office based employees will be working in a telecommute capacity out of their home office. Many think that 20 years from now commuting will be a thing of the past.

However, if you are still reading in that tiny, cramped cubicle, you may be wondering if the dream of working from your home office will ever be a reality for you. Why are some employers holding back from this concept?

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No trust, sad but true, most employers do not trust their employees. While most would never admit it, that is why they will not embrace the remote work lifestyle. Some managers like the power they feel running their little empire where they can see their worker bees right in front of them. Employees out of sight for these managers means a lack of control. In reality it is due to their incompetent management skills and lack of knowledge about how to manage a remote workforce.

This fear of not being in control is worse at smaller companies.  Even though they have a more intimate and friendly relationship with their employees they feel if they are trekking in to work so should the office staff.

The lack of trust transfers over to the employees because almost half believe their performance is based on how much time they spend in the office and not what they are ultimately delivering. They worry if they are not in the main cubicle maze filled arena they will be forgotten and lose the chance to promote in the company.  They have a need to be seen and feel working in a remote location would not show their level of commitment to their employer.

Many employees would accept a pay cut for the option of working from a home office. Nearly 1/3 of corporate employees would accept a pay cut or decrease in vacation time if they had the ability to work from home.  However, many do not want to telecommute exclusively because that makes them feel socially isolated. They crave contact with co workers and sometimes feel that family interruptions could affect their performance negatively.

Working remotely like anything else is not a perfect fit for everyone.  Not all jobs can be done from home either. Correction officers, doctors, nurses, janitorial staff, landscapers, cab drivers, bus drivers, train engineers, plumbers, electricians and domestic help, etc will usually not have a telecommute option.

Then there is the face to face aspect that some managers feel is imperative for their business.  Sure there are virtual offices  Skype, slack and other technology to facilitate team work and one on one meetings, but sometimes there is a need for  physical interaction that’s missing from the virtual world.

Depending on the kind of technology needed the cost could be a large part of why some small companies cannot embrace the telecommuting culture. However some small companies realize big savings with remote workers and can reduce their overhead costs considerably.

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I have been working remotely for almost a decade and I love it.  I cannot imagine going back to the corporate rat race.  I utilize technology that allows me interaction and conversation with coworkers and partners, ability to meet with clients all from the comfort of my home office.

If you are looking for a remote career, contact us today for more information on how we can help you find that ideal working environment and help you achieve a better work/life balance.

Top Time Management Tips For Work From Home Moms

Time-Management-Tips-Moms4TheWinWe all have the same 24 hours in a day, the difference is how we use those hours.  I teach time management skills to marketing professionals and I want to share some great tips you can implement today that will make you more productive.

1. Use a To-Do List-write it down and make it happen.  A to-do list is essential to keep your tasks in front of you.  Whether it’s a pen and paper or an App, the important thing is that it works for you and you use it!

 

2. Batch your errands With a to-do list you will be able to see quickly what errands you have and how many you can batch together.  For instance let’s look at two examples:

You go to the post office and the bank and drive home.  After getting a cup of coffee you remember you have to drop off tax forms at the accountant, so back into town to do that.  Get home and make lunch then remember you have to drop off your suit for the networking event next week at the cleaners, so…

Not too efficient right?

When you have your tasks clearly in front of you, you would clearly see that you could have batched all four of the above errands and taken care of them in one trip which would have saved you time, gas and increased your productivity.

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3. Learn to Overcome Procrastination-There are 4 simple reasons that we procrastinate:

  • Difficult-we tell ourselves the task is too hard.
  •  Time Consuming-It will take too much time to do.
  •  Lack of Knowledge–we worry that we do not have the knowledge or skills to complete the task.
  • Fear-fear of doing it wrong and having others ridicule our efforts.

We can overcome the above reasons by just telling ourselves the opposite.

  • It is not that difficult.
  • It won’t take that much time.
  • I know what I am doing and anything I need to know I can learn while completing the task.
  • Others are so busy with their own lives and problems they are not going to even be concerned about what I am doing.

4. Delegate whenever possible-When something is not essential and you can delegate to someone who can do it 80% as well as you, delegate it.  It will free you up to concentrate on the most important tasks that you need to reach your goals.

5. Get rid of distractions-turn off social media and alerts, turn off your phone, set aside the time you need for a task and work until finished. Reward yourself for staying on task and completing it.

6. Take care of yourself-eat right, get enough sleep and exercise.  Take breaks and time to recharge your batteries during large projects and come back revitalized.

7.Prioritize your tasks so that you are working on the things that really matter, the tasks that are bringing you to your long-term goals.  You will always have things that are undone but you can roll those over to the next day.  When you prioritize you will ensure that your most critical tasks are complete.

8. Write down your goals, having clearly written goals keeps you on track.  With you goals in front of you it will help you to focus on what matters.

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Balancing Kids and Your Career

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I’m a mom who has the ability to work from home and I really feel blessed that I can.  I’m able to do so much more for my family and kids then when I worked a corporate job with a commute and having to spend the entire workday in my office.  However no one said working from home does not have challenges because it certainly does.

Balancing a career and kids is challenging and it doesn’t matter if they are home or in school, you will feel yourself up on that tightrope a lot.  Here are some ways you can make things easier:

Don’t accept the guilt–Studies show children with working moms grow up well-adjusted and they are on average higher academic achievers and less likely to suffer from depression and anxiety later in life compared to peers who had moms that did not work.

Have a Plan–If you are just going back to work whether from home or out in the corporate world, you need to have plans in place for child care, after school activities, back up plans for snow days and sick days and a support person you can call for any of the unplanned situations that occur with kids.

Have a Flexible Workplace-This is why I love working from home and being able to create my own hours to work around things that I need to do.  I can volunteer at my children’s school, go on field trips, take time off when I want or need to and that gives me such peace of mind.  I think it is what makes all of what I do possible.

Make sure your children get enough sleep-Getting enough rest is important for children, too. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children between the ages of 1 and 10 get between 10 and 13 hours of sleep each night. In addition, evidence suggests that young children who get less than 7.5 hours of sleep at night are at increased risk for being overweight and experiencing anxiety, depression and learning problems as adolescents.

Lose your expectations or at least adjust them-If something is not working change it and understand that there is no perfection and you don’t have to be perfect.  Learn to roll with it and you will be a lot happier.  Understand things usually end up working for the best even when they are not going how you intended.

Schedule in family fun time– Make sure to schedule time for fun and family events and don’t let anything make you miss them.  The break is good for everyone and you will all be a lot happier.

Kick Perfection to the curb-Don’t hold yourself to perfection or feel you need to be perfect because you are just going to be miserable trying to keep up with that agenda.  Instead cut yourself slack and know that your best is good enough and life comes in stages so what may be a hurdle now with your kids and your career will pass and other hurdles will come but you will be constantly growing and evolving and things have a way of falling into place even if they are not perfect.  Good enough is okay!

If you are looking for a more flexible career, something that will allow you the ability to work from a home office while earning a corporate level income, we can help.  Contact us today to learn about career options that will have you less stressed and spending more time with your family.

Great Tips To Balance Working From Home When The Kids Are Out Of School!!!

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I can relate well to working at home with kids and for moms that have had their kids in school all year, summer can bring new challenges.  For moms just getting accustomed to having the kids home all day, it may be very hard to figure out how this is going to work.  It can work but there is an adjustment period and some strategies to help you both have a fun, productive and memorable summer.

Top Tips for Working From Home With Young Kids Home For Summer Vacation:

1. Plan, plan, plan. Create a schedule for the day– I sometimes hate to plan because it always seems there is some monkey ready to throw a monkey wrench in.  However, you really must try to plan and have a schedule to have the best chance of keeping everyone on track this summer.  Plan out some fun for you and the kids every day.  It will really help everyone to feel connected, refreshed and will not only make you feel better as a mom but return and work more productively.  When fun time is on the calendar, kids will know there is something to look forward to and are more apt to leave you alone when you do need to work.

The routine of having a plan is comforting to kids and they like to know what to expect.  So even if you have a monkey or two that does throw a wrench in the mix you should be able to handle it and get back on track. Post the schedule in a place that is accessible and easy for the kids to see. Include other items like conference calls, writing time, meeting time, play dates, activities and meals so that everyone can clearly see what the day holds.

2. Get up earlier than your kids or stay up and work later– You do this anyway, right? When my kids are home during everyone else’s traditional work hours, we have a lot of together time during the day, and this means I have to plan for work when they’re asleep, or I’ll carve out more time over the weekend when my husband is home. Just knowing I have time mentally set aside in a few hours allows me to relax a little more and be more present during the times I’ve scheduled to be focused on my children.

3. Be Honest With Your Clients– If you are in a business that is family friendly, and you have chosen to accept clients that appreciate your focus on work/life balance, then let your clients know you are juggling the kids and your business during the summer.  Tell them how blessed you are to have the option to work from home but that the summer means that there needs to be some extra creativity and scheduling to keep things in order.

Make sure clients know you will live up to your expectations for them and that you will make sure to meet deadlines so they are at ease.  The heads-up will let them understand if it takes a little longer to reach you or something along those lines.

4. Plan for interactive crafts or activities they can do independently– What did we do before Pinterest and blogs? There are so many crafts that kids can do on their own, and I find setting kids up with a fun activity keeps them happy and lets you get work done.

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5. Make Meal Time A Priority–  Set aside ample time for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Turn off  and unplug from all distractions. Make eye contact with your kids and have conversation. Remember you are making great memories here and spending quality time.

6. Take breaks when the whining starts– There will be times when, despite your best intentions and planning, your kids will not be able to NOT bug you. When you can, stop what you are doing, get up, and spend a few focused minutes with your kids. Give them the attention they need to let them know you are there for them, and ease them into resuming their independent activity. Sometimes the whining is a good indication that they’ve had enough independent activity time, too, so listen to their cues and if you have to, move around the schedule and have some quality time now versus later.

7. Save Busy Work– Entrepreneurs have many busy work tasks that can be set aside and completed after hours. Filing, paying bills, pulling reports, organizing digital documents, preparing for meetings, updating web content and scheduling social media posts are all tasks that sometimes can be put off and tackled outside of the times when your children are home & awake.

8. Save screen time or quiet reading time for your conference call times– When you have to make calls, this is a great time to set the kids up with a movie, tablets, computer time, or other activities that you know will take a while longer, such as their quiet reading time or movie time.

9. Get out of the house– If you are able to work from your computer or can make calls away from home, do it!  Go pack up and take the kids to the park or sit and work outside while you supervise them riding bikes or playing with frineds.and refreshed, ready to begin again.

10. Ask Your Kids For Help– Even elementary age kids can help you with some business tasks. Enlist your kids to help and they will keep busy and feel special.

11. Go with the flow– Always remember the monkeys with the wrenches, things will happen to throw you off track so be prepared.  Working from home with kids can lead to many interruptions that cause us to take longer to complete things and to have to start things over.  If your perfect plan does not work remember there are 25 other letters in the Alphabet so just roll with ti and try the next letter.

Most of all, get off the guilty mom train & stop trying to do things the way you think other people think you should.  Don’t let anyone make you feel guilty for working or taking care of things while your kids do something independently and don’t feel like you are a bad mom.  Independent activities are very beneficial for kids and they do not need a helicopter mom who does not let up.  In the end the independent activities and time will help them be better equipped for real life.

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Have a great Summer!!!

Strategies To Free Yourself From A Creative Rut!!!

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Are you feeling unmotivated, uninspired, lacking focus? Has the flow of those creative juices seemed to dry up?  Well, don’t feel bad because it happens to all of us at one time or another.  I have some great tips that can help you break free from the rut and get you back where you want to be.

Let the creative ideas flow and worry about editing after.  Just sit and write without worrying about logic or if something will work, just write and get your ideas down.  When you are trying to do both  you will stifle your creative side, you can edit later, create now!

Give yourself permission to make mistakes and look at mistakes as  learning experiences.  If you’re so afraid of making a mistake, you might just miss the chance to make a huge breakthrough.  So remember success comes from making mistakes and you can learn more from failure than you can from success.

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Believe in yourself, have great posture that you can do whatever you set your mind to.  Positive affirmations are a great tool you can use that will help you see your assets and not focus on shortcomings.  When you break down the road blocks in your own head you unleash your true talent and abilities.

Stop letting others and their negative beliefs make you doubt yourself, your ideas or your success.  Ignore what they say and instead focus on showing them how wrong they are.  Small people try to crush other people’s dreams, so don’t listen to them!

Research is good but over thinking is bad.  It is a fine balance between doing your homework on an idea or project and over thinking everything so much that you never get started.  So know when enough is enough and don’t let information overload hold you back.

Remember that work and play for a creative thinker can be the same.  In fact sometimes play can get the ideas flowing better, so free your brain and give it some play time.  The next bit idea is right around the corner!

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Winter Blues Got You Down? Telecommuting Is A Viable Option For Moms!!!

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Most of the country is buried under mountains of snow, experiencing severe, bone chilling temperature blasts and dealing with kids who are home from school more than they are in.  Many school districts have used up their snow days and parents who work outside the home are scrambling to find care options for their children so they can go into work.

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Wouldn’t it be nice if your commute was just down the hall?  That you wouldn’t  be in a frenzy trying to find alternate care for your child if school was cancelled?  Most of all, how would you like to not have to travel on those snow, ice-covered road ways and Arctic temperatures?

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If you think it sounds great but don’t know where to begin to find something like that, we can help.  Moms 4 The Win specializes in helping moms find career opportunities where they can telecommute right from their home office via virtual offices and conference lines.

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We also know moms need and want flexible schedules and time off to stay engaged and attend activities with their families.  This is not possible in conventional jobs that would not allow mom to just scurry off at 1pm to see Junior in his school play or take Sally to the dentist at 3pm.  We are focused on making the ability to do such things a priority and feel that moms that have the flexibility they need will have a better balance in their lives.

If you are suffering from a case of  the winter blahs and know you need a change, contact us via our contact form and we will get back to you right away with available options that can put that balance back in your life.

Wouldn’t it be nice to head into spring with a new outlook on life because you have the career you dreamed of?  Make that vision reality today and contact us to put the wheels in motion.

Giving Thanks For The Ability To Telecommute & Work From Home!!!

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Well, we are in the season of Thanksgiving.  It really has me thinking of how lucky I am to have the ability to work from my home office and build my career without a costly commute, daycare expenses, missing my children’s milestones or activities plus the freedom to work flexible hours.  I really can’t stand driving in snow and ice and when I was working in my corporate career, I had to do that.

I cannot tell you how many white knuckle rides there were to and from the office and just how many close calls.  In fact, I had a very bad accident in 2003 where I was lucky I survived.  It was a double roll over in an SUV on my way to work in the morning that was caused when my SUV hydroplaned in extreme rain conditions.  I was trapped upside down in my car and it was one of the scariest times of my life.

So I will say a Happy Thanksgiving to you all this holiday season and you can know that I will be giving thanks for the ability to commute to my coffeemaker in the morning and then to my desk.

Say No To Winter Commute

If you would like to explore more about the possibility of working from home and have a real career, contact us and we would love to explore the options with you.  I can safely say you won’t regret it!!!

Summer Survival Tips For The Work At Home Mom!

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Being a work at home mom has its challenges.  It has great rewards though and so those challenges are often easier to take than in another type of workplace.  One challenge is when your school age kids are off for summer break.  This will impact moms of only school age kids very significantly.  They are used to their children being in school and having many hours to work uninterrupted.

Now the kids are home and there can be conflicts.  The first would include summer activities, perhaps your child is in swim lessons or other activities that require you to drive them and pick them up during the times you normally devote to work.  Or maybe your home seems like it has been equipped with a revolving door that is bursting at the seams with your children’s friends and demands for snacks, lunches, cold drinks and supervision.  There are many other scenarios but I think you get the picture.  So what is the solution?  First and foremost, you need to know it can be done.  Have the faith that you can do this, it will take some careful planning and sacrifice but you and your kids can have a great summer break and still have your career when school starts again in September.

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Here are some helpful tips:

  • Try and use carpool solutions with other moms to shuttle your kids to and from their summer activities.  
  • Hire a mother’s helper for the summer to help you out.
  • Have easy snacks ready for your kids by making them the night before.  That way they are able to quickly refuel with healthy food.
  • Plan your family time and make sure to enjoy these days with your kids and take quality time to enjoy the season.  This will leave you all with great memories and feeling less stressed.
  • Plan a quiet, fun activity for your older kids they can do easily while you need to take a conference call or something similar.
  • For a break for you and the kids, go burn off some energy by taking a bike ride, going for a swim, taking a long walk or hike.  You will all feel better.
  • If you are able to work while your kids are at activities then do it.  If you have emails to send try to find a wi-fi or hotspot connection to catch up on that while you are waiting for them.  
  • Most of all breathe and take some time to enjoy summer activities with your kids.  Have a great summer!!!

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