Look To the Western Sky

A blog about single life as a parent & the dreams of a writer by Margo L. Dill

Author: luvboxerdogs (page 1 of 14)

Treatment and Recovery Advice for Couples Affected by Addiction

Here is a guest post by Julie Morris, who is a life and career coach. Check her services out here

Discovering that your spouse is an addict may bring up overwhelming emotions of anger, betrayal and guilt that maybe you enabled or caused them to get addicted. You may wonder whether there is hope for recovery and how you can help your beloved to recover. Addiction recovery is possible, and a spouse plays a key role in their partner’s recovery.

Discovering addiction in a loved one

In most cases, a spouse discovers that their partner is addicted before their loved one accepts the addiction. It could be something you have suspected for weeks, months or even years.

Some signs of addiction include unexplained weight loss within a short period, loss of interest in appearance, unusual hyperactivity or lethargy, habitual lying, defensiveness and paranoia.  In the case of addiction to prescribed drugs, you may notice extra pill bottles in the garbage, or your partner may be taking more than the prescribed dosage of the particular drug. Unexplained financial issues may be an indicator of an addiction problem, as your partner may be using the money to purchase their drug of choice.

Opiate addiction among seniors

Prescription drug abuse among seniors has increased in the last decade, and is expected to  skyrocket in the coming one. Opioids are among the most abused prescription drugs among people in this age bracket. This can be attributed to the prevalence of chronic diseases among seniors who are put on pain management drugs such as opioids. If opioid administration is not well-monitored by a doctor, one may end up using them too frequently, eventually becoming dependent on them.

Opiate addiction among seniors can often go unnoticed, because in most cases, your spouse may already be exhibiting addiction-like symptoms such as nausea, drowsiness, and constricted pupils from their preexisting chronic illness. If you suspect opiate addiction in your spouse, it is important to speak to your spouse’s doctor about it. When left unattended, opiate addiction can worsen the existing chronic illness.

Helping a loved one get treatment

After discovering that your partner is an addict, the next step is intervention. However, you must proceed with caution. Choose an ideal time to bring up the issue, like a time when your partner’s mood is calm and your children are not present. Bring up the issue in a non-accusatory way.

Your spouse might deny their addiction or respond violently. In case your partner’s response is hostile, back away from the conversation and ensure you are safe. However, do not give up. Consider finding an interventionist who can lead the conversation to a peaceful resolution.

Consult with an addiction specialist to explore the treatment options available for the drug or substance your partner is using. Some common options include checking into a rehabilitation center, individual therapy, group therapy, support groups such as Alcoholic Anonymous, and codependency support.

Healing as a couple

When your spouse is addicted, you, too, are dealing with it. Therefore, a sustainable recovery approach is one that factors you in, especially during aftercare treatment. There are a number of treatments available for couples. These include general group therapy, addiction-focused couples’ therapy, family therapy and individual therapy.

You can integrate two or more therapies depending on what works best.  You and your spouse can incorporate separate individual therapy alongside couples’ sessions. If you have children, incorporate family therapy sessions too.

Attend peer support groups together or separately. Addiction can be isolating for both of you. When you join a support group, you realize that there are many other couples going through a similar situation. If you feel that your spouse’s addiction and recovery is taking a toll on you, it may be best to separate. Educate yourself about the various aspects of addiction treatment and recovery. Your research will help you better understand your partner’s recovery journey, and help you discover ways you can best support him or her.

Addiction undermines the foundation of a marriage. However, there is a chance that you can work together with your spouse to overcome the addiction and rebuild your marriage. The key is to find professional help, for each of you individually and together as a couple.

 

Up for a pre-summer reading challenge? It’s free and easy and helps develop a love of reading in your family. Sign up here.
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Join the 21-Day Pre-Summer Reading Challenge for Adults and Kids

Most libraries have a summer reading challenge–St. Louis County has a great one each year. Katie and I have participated for several years, and we plan to again this year. Most of them work like this: Read a certain number of minutes or a certain number of books and  earn prizes throughout the summer, accumulating in a bigger prize at the end of the summer.

I thought it would be fun to do a 21-Day Pre-Summer Reading Challenge for kids and/or adults (or both!) during the busy springtime when weather is warmer, sports seasons are in full swing, days are longer, and school is busy. It’s still important to read, right?

Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body. —Richard Steele

A person who won’t read has no advantage over one who can’t read. —Mark Twain

Let us read and let us dance—two amusements that will never do any harm to the world. —Voltaire

More great reading quotes...here.

What is the 21-Day Pre-Summer Reading Challenge? 

Between April 30 and May 25 (the beginning of Memorial Day Weekend),  you need to read 21 days for 20 minutes each day (of course, you can read every day if you want!). You can read anything! It can be books to your kids; it can be a novel or self-help book; it can be a magazine; it can be a blog you’ve been meaning to check out. Anybody of any age can participate, by the way!

What it can’t be is Facebook posts or tweets or something similar…if you’re not sure, email me at margolynndill (at) gmail.com!

How do you sign up? 

Go to the sign-up form on this page here.

How much does it cost to participate?

Participation is free!

How do I keep track of what I read or my child reads?

You can download a record sheet at the link above for any member of your family who wants to participate! You record daily readings on this sheet.

What do I get if myself or my child completes the reading challenge for 21 total days before May 25?

  1. Each person who completes the reading challenge, and turns in their record sheet by May 30, 2018, will be entered to win a $20 Amazon gift card. One gift card will be awarded on June 15,2018 to one person who completed the challenge and turned in their sheet. A bonus entry if you read every single day of the challenge (April 30 to May 25) for 20 minutes! (Plus, there are more ways to receive EXTRA entries–please see the record sheet on this page!)  
  2. Each person who completes the reading challenge will be acknowledged on this blog!
  3. You will receive a digital badge, which you can post on your blog or social media account.
  4. You will receive a 25 percent off coupon for any of my Editor 911 services. This does NOT expire and can be used for any member of your family.
  5. If you or your family have any service, charity, event, anything family-friendly to promote, and you finish the challenge, you can do so on my FB page and/or this blog.
  6. Hopefully, you will also receive a good reading habit that will last throughout the summer and even further!

So what are you waiting for? Go here now and sign up for the reading challenge today! 

 

 

 

 

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Which Car Is Best For Your Family? 3 Tips When Choosing

(contributed post)

Choosing a family car is not like choosing a car for yourself, when you were single or even before kids. For one thing, you probably don’t have the money to splash out on something fancy when you’ve got a college fund to save for! Instead, think past what you want and focus in on exactly what it is you all need.

There will be time later on when the kids are grown to get a snazzy sports car, but for now, you will need to settle for something a little more practical. Think about how you want to use a car and what your budget is realistically. Though you can get a lot for your money these days, a car is not the be all and end all of family life and should fit in with your other financial obligations.

Why Motorcycles are a No (For You and the Kids)

Obviously, you can’t get a baby seat onto the back of a motorcycle and nor should you try! But, also think about hanging up your helmet, too. Motorcycles can be dangerous, and if you were to get into an accident, you could be in real trouble. As a parent, this could have a massive impact on your family. Even with motorcycle accident lawyers that can help recover the cost of any treatments you require, you will never regain the time you lost with your kids if you are injured.

The thing is, and the reason that this small section is included, is that many men can feel that they are losing who they are when they become parents. While we often talk about how women can maintain their sense of self throughout motherhood, there isn’t as much self-help for the guys. Many men seem to think that the antidote to being a parent is to take risks, and motors can feature highly from the teenager’s moped to the midlife crisis car. The point is that it isn’t the motorcycle that makes the guy who he is.

So, motorcycles out of the way – what are we looking for here?

Car Safety is Your Main Priority

Once upon a time, car safety was mainly about being able to slam on the breaks and swerve in time. These days, it is a lot more technical, and there are all kinds of ways that cars have improved. If you are looking for the safest car, you can easily research consumer safety reports, warnings and tests on the Internet. 

Though many cars advertise the powers of their media center (and, let’s be honest, being able to play DVDs in the backseat is pretty cool), you should be looking at the safety features and working out what is worth the money. What is really cool about a lot of media center screens is that they also have a rearview camera to help you see what is behind you before backing up as well as a proximity alarm, if any car or person is coming near the vehicle. Hands-free calling and voice command will also keep your attention on the road where it belongs.

Older road users might think that all this tech is just a fancy way of making cars more expensive, but look carefully at your insurance because many of these safety features could end up saving you money.

Higher Seats Are Easier to Manage

First things first: if you are going to wrestle a howling toddler into a car seat, it will always be easier to wrestle them into a seat you can easily reach. Saloon cars are great once you are in, but the number of times you will bash your head against the roof of the car while trying to strap all the kids in will get old quickly.

Instead, look for a higher car like a 4×4, which will allow you to get the kids in without a fuss: you won’t bang your head, and everyone will be happier. Another advantage of this kind of car is that you will also be able to pack plenty of stuff into the trunk when you are traveling with your family.

There is a downside, though, and that is simply that bigger cars cost more. So, if you can afford to splash out on a more expensive car and save your back, then do.

Sliding Doors Are Your Friend

If you can find a model of car with sliding doors ,then you are in for a real win. Car doors are definitely high on the list of irritants for parents, especially when there are limited space in a parking lot. With a sliding door, you won’t have to worry so much about having room on either side of the car.

Sliding doors are also great because they are much less likely to catch in the wind or the door closing on a family member accidentally. In other words, you get maximum access with minimum fuss – and what’s not to like in that?

When you think about how much time you spend getting in and out of your family car, ferrying your kids – and other people’s kids – to all kinds of events and just driving yourself, it actually adds up really quickly. It is well worth taking some time to choose carefully and imagine how the cars various features will work for you and your loved ones.

 

One last tip: take a carseat to the showroom with you to see how it will fit in a prospective car. Honestly, some a brilliant and obvious winners but some just look like that until you realise that once the booster seat is in, nothing else will ever fit.

 

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Top 5 Financial Posts to Help Parents Manage Their Money

Here are the top 5 articles on “Look to the Western Sky” to help you make smart financial decisions for you and your family. Most of these articles with “finance” or “budget” in the title or tagged with these words were contributed. I think many of them offer some good, practical advice and give you some points to consider when you are thinking about your family’s budget. I didn’t include two articles about making money online, but those are also on my blog if you want to click FINANCE in the tag cloud and scroll down to find those. Sometimes, you are looking for part-time opportunities or day-time work that does not make you leave your house or your children, so those two articles are something to also check out.

I’m always looking for good financial articles for parents for this blog–these articles help me and they help my readers. Even the most money savvy person can use a reminder here or there on how to save money or take an inexpensive vacation or save for your children’s college. Our motto should not be “Money Schmoney.” 🙂

Overcoming Your Financial Slump: A Single Parent’s Guide

 

Improving Your Finances at the End of the Week

 

Cutting The Cost of Parenthood

 

Money Myths That Cost Single Parents Greatly

 

Great Parenting Needn’t Be Expensive

 

 

 

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As Parents, What Can We Do to Give Our Children The Best Start in Life?

(contributed post)

When you have a child, your world changes. No longer are you the most important person in your life, you now have a responsibility to look after your child and ensure they’re happy, healthy and grow up to be a functioning member of society. Raising a child can be a minefield, and lots of things will depend on factors like the country you live in, your own personal views, your religion and much more. However there are some things that are common with all of us. Here are some of the ways your child can get off to the best start.

Look After Their Health

As parents, our children’s health is of the utmost importance. However, we’re in the midst of an obesity epidemic, and even well-meaning parents can find that their children are a little heavier than guidelines suggest they should be. This can be a mixture of a lack of knowledge, easy access to convenient foods and things like technology making kids more sedentary. A decade or two ago, children would be running around outside, playing on their bikes and being active to curb boredom. These days, they can access the world at their fingertips using their phones, computers or TV. One of the best things you can do to promote good health in children is to make it fun. Encourage them to prepare healthy meals with you, choose good ingredients while shopping and even grow some of your own foods together. Make exercise enjoyable- hire a bouncy castle on a summer’s weekend or purchase a trampoline. Have water fights and play active games together. Go on family hikes and bike rides together , which are great for bonding as well as getting in some all-important exercise. When it’s fun, kids are more likely to get on board, and eventually healthy living will become an ingrained habit. It allows them to make healthy choices for themselves as they get older, which can set them up for success in their life in future.

Invest in Their Education

Being well educated can give you so many more opportunities in life. It means you can apply for better jobs, get on a good career path and have the ability to earn money, which can give you financial freedom and a much more comfortable lifestyle. Making sure they get access to good education, and encouraging a love of learning are two of the very best things you can do for your child’s future. Studies have found that the quality of education that children receive has more of an influence than gender or even their family’s income. Your child’s attitude, their friends and peers, their knowledge and job prospects for the future will all be influenced by the school you pick. On top of finding a good school, you could focus on their education in other ways. Take them on educational trips such as to museums and galleries. Teach them around the home about nutrition, cooking, baking, DIY and crafts for example. Take them camping, fishing, teach them map reading and orienteering, and introduce them to lots of extracurricular activities, such as sports and exercise. There’s much more to learn in life that just what’s in school textbooks. Giving them a thirst for knowledge and a love of learning are so beneficial.

Think About Where You Will Live

You child’s home and school life are incredibly important, but they will also be influenced by the place that they live. Somewhere rife with poverty, crime and unemployment, for example, is never going to be the most positive environment for your child to grow up in. Of course, they can still do well and better their lives, but dysfunction can seem normal to them when they’re surrounded by it. If it’s in your power to move to a nicer area to better yours and your child’s life, then take that opportunity. Look for somewhere with good resources: activities for youth, high employment levels and good education.  Even a small apartment or HDB resale in a nice area would be beneficial compared with a larger house in an area that isn’t great. It’s certainly something to take into consideration when you’re looking for a place to rent or own.

Take Discipline Seriously

Being a parent isn’t just about providing for your child and giving them everything they need. It’s about equipping them with the skills and knowledge they need to be a successful member of society. This allows them to form lasting relationships and friendships, and become a well-rounded individual who can navigate life feeling happy and secure. One thing that can help children is discipline. Discipline allows your child to become civilized in society; it’s not all about punishment. It’s a way of teaching that allows them to learn from mistakes without repeating them, and giving them the cognitive tools to be able to learn better behavior and do better next time around.  It’s about being clear on the rules and boundaries. It’s about accepting that they won’t be perfect, but acknowledging that all behavior has consequences–positive and negative. Children crave attention, rules and boundaries; they thrive when they know what it is they can and can’t do– even if they do push their boundaries at times. Remain firm but fair, and any punishment should reflect the severity of what they have done as well as their age and understanding. For example, very young children throwing tantrums aren’t going to understand or benefit from long time- outs or revoking of certain privileges.

Work on Their Self-Esteem

Again, parenting is about equipping children with the skills and understanding they need to get through life independently. And self-esteem and confidence is an essential asset. When you’re confident in yourself and your abilities, you aren’t held back from trying new things. You can smile in the face of adversity and know that even if you fail, you can keep at it until you eventually reach your goal. Children need to know that it’s ok to fail or go wrong, but that sticking with it means they will eventually achieve their goal and be proud of themselves when they do. Children with good levels of confidence and self esteem tend to be happier and more optimistic compared with those who don’t. Children with low self-esteem find challenges to be frustrating and can be a huge source of anxiety for them.  Praise your child’s accomplishments, and let them work out things themselves. For example, instead of doing everything for them, let them try themselves until they work out a solution. When playing a game, don’t let them win every time- that way when they do win, it will be well earned and they can feel proud of their accomplishments. It’s easy to want to give them everything they want, but understanding that not everything will go their way, and how to be a gracious loser when they don’t, is a fantastic skill to have. Be aware of your own words and behavior too. Criticizing yourself, others or your child can stick with them; remain upbeat and positive and realistic when things go wrong.

Teach Them the Importance of Respect

When we respect others, it shows that we value another as an individual. Respect allows us to honor the personal rights of other humans and allows them to keep their dignity. Because kids aren’t born with the ability to respect others, it’s something that as parents we have to teach them. Babies learn to manipulate the world they live in to get their needs met, so as they mature into a little person, it’s important to show them that this isn’t something they can do later on in their lives. They have to learn to respect their elders and those in a position of authority such as police and teachers. They need to be taught how to share with siblings and peers. They have to understand that sometimes they have to be patient and wait their turn for the things that they want. These are difficult lessons to learn as a child, and aren’t always things that they will thank you for in the moment! However they’re important things to understand and are crucial if they’re going to go on and be successful adults. You don’t have to be your child’s friend- you’re their teacher and guide!

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The Sunshine Blogger Award Forces Me to Answer Some Personal Questions

Talented author and fellow blogger, Pat Wahler, who graciously comments on most of my posts (THANK YOU, PAT! BLOGGERS LOVE COMMENTS! ), nominated me for a Sunshine Award and assigned questions for pondering. The game goes like this:

  • Thank the person who nominated you. (Thank you, Pat.)
  • Answer the questions from the person who nominated you.
  • Nominate other bloggers for the award. (Cackles evilly.)
  • Notify the bloggers you have nominated them.
  • Hope they don’t block you, link to your blog in a nice post, where they answer these 10 questions. (I’ve made it 10 questions as that seems reasonable)

1. What do you love most about blogging/writing?

I think it’s an outlet for me. I always feel better after blogging and/or working on my novel. I love readers, but even if I don’t have any, I still feel better to get these words running around in my brain out. It’s an added bonus when someone says my words helped them.

2. Name a place you’ve never been but would love to visit and why?

Europe. Well, I feel like I really need to get out of the country and experience life.

3. Describe your favorite snack.

Chips and dips. Almost any. Chips and dips.

4. What’s the best movie you’ve seen recently?

This is so hard for me because currently as a single mother, I see a lot of kids’ movies and/or watch 1 or 2 episodes of some Netflix or Hulu show. So, I recently saw A Wrinkle in Time, and I really did enjoy it.

5. What is your favorite season and why?

I love summer. I love doing summer stuff like swimming and long walks at night and snow cone stands with Katie. And it is much less stressful than the school year in the mornings.

6. Do you believe in ghosts?

I’ve always wanted to see a ghost but I never have. So I’m not sure about this…

7. What advice do you give but don’t take yourself?

Pat said, “Limit your time on social media. It’s a time suck.” That is a great one, Pat, which I also don’t follow.  🙂 I would say, “Stop worrying about the little things so much.” I am a worry-wart.

8. If you had to choose one favorite color, what would it be?

Yellow! Bright and sunny and beautiful.

9. When is the last time you laughed?

With Katie a few minutes ago when I was trying to convince her that she was the mommy and I was the kid–she could do the chores and I could play. 🙂

10. Do you prefer a tablet or actual book while reading?

Actual book reading. I just can’t get into the Kindle, even though I’ve tried several times.

 

Phew! Okay, now I’m nominating three bloggers:

 

Amy Willoughby Burle who has a new book out so check her out! THE LEMONADE YEAR!

Amy Harke Moore at “A Rural Girl Writes”. This blog is so good. Her latest post is on perfectionism. Check it out if you haven’t.

Kathryn Schleich at  Inspiring Women Authors to Find Their Passion and Live It. Kathryn is a great writer with a great message.

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Thoughts on Brene Brown’s Braving the Wilderness and Belonging in Our Families

My MOPS group chose Braving the Wilderness by Brene Brown as our book club book this year. And amazingly, I have already finished it! (Book club meeting is not until May. YAY me! ) Most of you have probably heard of Brene Brown–her books are popular right now, and she writes with a very easy conversational style while still saying all kinds of important, life-changing, and thought-provoking things! On her website, she has a few discussion guides to go with the book, so in preparation for my MOPS discussion, I thought I would tackle a few of those questions here. So here we go…

As humans, we all want to feel like we belong, but we shouldn’t change our true selves to fit in, and that is hard. One place where we NEED to feel like we belong as our true selves is our families, but often, people don’t. So here’s a question on her guide: Not belonging in our families is still one of the most dangerous hurts. It has the power to break our heart, our spirit, and our sense of self-worth. Are we talking to one another about what it means to build a belonging family verses a “fitting-in” family?

 I can’t wait to talk to MOPS about this because I think this is crucial and difficult for parents. As parents, we want to see our children succeed. We want them to follow rules and do well in school. We also tend to sign them up for activities and events that we did as kids or that all the other kids are doing in their class. But are we listening to each one of our children? Are we taking into consideration individual likes and dislikes?

This is hard. I’m guilty of it myself. When Katie told me she wanted to do cheerleading, I was like: Ugh, really? But what about basketball? She told me no, so I signed her up for cheerleading in kindergarten. Once she was going to games and saw that some of her friends were also playing basketball, she decided she wanted to do that, too. So in first grade, I signed her up for both. Now, I’m so glad that I did not try to squash that part of her who wants to be a cheerleader because she gets SO MUCH JOY out of it. She smiles, she dances, she laughs, and it’s not easy. Remembering the moves and the dances and getting all those coordinated at age 7 takes a lot of practice!

I’m sure there are other ways I can work on building a belonging family–it’s a fine line between “here are the rules of society you must follow to be a good citizen” and “here is your individuality–be a free spirit if you want.” Any tips or stories you have to share on how you build a belonging family would be great!

Here is another thing she asks:

Are we modeling belonging to and believing in ourselves? Are our children seeing us take unpopular stands and are we talking honestly about how hard and scary that can be?

We currently live in a world where opinions are shared online more than ever before. You don’t have to share your stance on hot button issues on Facebook or Twitter if it doesn’t make you comfortable. But if someone comes in to your home and starts talking about gun control, do you kindly and compassionately share your own opinion or do you nod along with the person, even if you disagree completely? This is difficult, and it is something that divides families and breaks friendships all the time. But it’s important to model that even if you disagree with someone, the relationship does not have to end. You can kindly share what you feel or you can even say: Would you mind if we talked about something else for a while until we can settle down and discuss this calmly? After the person leaves your home, and I feel like this is the key, we can talk as a family about what happened and what worked and didn’t work in the situation.

What I love about Brene’s book, Braving the Wilderness, is that she tackles this very subject. We don’t have to get into a screaming match every time we disagree with someone. We don’t have to purge our Facebook friends because they are Republicans and we are Democrats. We can have real conversations with people to try and understand their viewpoint and kindly share ours, without relationships ending or hurting each other’s feelings. This is so important, especially in today’s world.

If you are looking for a book that will make you think about what it means to belong as  your true self, then this is a great book to pick up, full of real-life examples.

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Tips for Helping Your Children Deal with Divorce and Breakups

This article was contributed, but man, it is good. It hits home, and I especially like the paragraph that I highlighted with my Practical Moms Unite logo. Since my daughter did have to live through a divorce and my ex-husband and I share custody, I know how important and difficult the points in this post are! I hope it helps someone else, too. 

Sometimes relationships don’t work, and that’s part of life. However, when there are children involved, things can become messy and out of control faster than you’d like to think. It’s important to be able to create a relationship with your former spouse or partner, so that you can co-parent your children like you have been doing, but just not living together. Unfortunately, too many people don’t protect their children from the problems they are having within their relationships, and this can have a very negative effect on them. Co-parenting can be difficult, but children shouldn’t have to suffer through endless arguments between their parents. When all is said and done,  the only important thing is that they are healthy, happy, and thriving children. Here’s how you can get through the struggles of co-parenting, so your children can thrive.

If you were married to the co-parent, then things can become a little more difficult than if you weren’t because of divorce proceedings and dividing what you’ve built together in a fair way, so that there are no arguments. You will also have to check what rules there are with the best divorce lawyer so that both of you are clear on what should be done.

It’s also likely that when the time comes to tell your children that you are no longer going to be together, they will be upset. Unfortunately, there isn’t a way out of this, but there are ways in which you can break the news to them more gently and avoid them feeling like their whole world is falling apart. Here are some things that you can consider doing:

  • Rather than simply moving out or having your partner move out, prepare your children for the move first, so it’s not such a shock to wake up one morning and have one of their parents no longer living with them. It might be difficult for the two of you to be around each other, and that’s understandable, but it’s the kindest thing to do for the sake of your children.
  • Speaking to your children in an age-appropriate way about what’s happening before making any decisions or changes in their lives will make the whole process much more smooth for them as they will understand the changes they are experiencing.
  • It’s always best to explain that even though their parents aren’t together anymore, the love that you have for them won’t change and that they are the most important thing in both of your lives. This always seems like an obvious thing to say, but if left unsaid, it can leave your children feeling or wondering like any of this is their fault. Make sure they know that they haven’t done anything.

Obviously each family has their own problems, and dealing with something like a break up isn’t going to be the same for everyone.

The next thing that you will need to think about is the time they will spend with you vs the time they will spend with the co-parent. Come to an agreement that allows your children to know exactly when they are going to be with you, and when they are going to be with their other parent.

Letting your children have some decision making is always a good idea, so they don’t feel like they are losing all control. For example, when the transition of moving out is happening, allow your children to choose things to take to their other home You need to try and remember that it’s not just you and your ex dealing with the break up, it’s the children too, so if they need some comfort by taking a toy or comforter between each home then that shouldn’t be stopped.

Having to let your children go to their other parents’ home for a few days will be difficult! Since they were born, you may not have known a day without them. It will be heartbreaking to watch them as they go off happily, or if they don’t go off happily, that will hurt too. A great way to help diffuse the situation for both you and your children is to set up times where they can call you to tell you about their day or even something simple like saying good night.

Once you and your co-parent are no longer living together, decision making can become a tricky situation, especially if you are both disagreeing on something. Try to set up some sort of arrangement, where if there are decisions that involve your children to be made, you either meet or have a conversation on the phone. Many co-parents make the mistake of just making a decision without the other’s input, which then leads to arguments that could affect your children. On the other hand, there will be times where you disagree and you argue, but this should always be done in private, so your children don’t have to see their parents screaming and shouting at each other.

Relationship breakdowns are hard and are an emotional time for everyone that’s involved. Try to keep your composure, so you can make the transition as easy as possible for your children because at the end of it all they are the only ones that matter in all of this mess. Co-parenting is hard work; but if you both work with each other rather than against each other, you can make the process a little bit easier on everyone involved.

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Tips to Choose Flower Arrangements for Your Dining Room

Flowers always have a way of making a home look more beautiful and cheerful. Their lovely shapes and bright colors can put people who see them in a good mood. If you love flowers, you will want to add flowers to your home, too. Put a pretty flower arrangement from a flower delivery company in your home and make your home look more beautiful. Everyone who visits will be impressed and feel relaxed in your home, especially if you put the flower arrangement in a pretty vase on top of your family dining room table.

Below are the tips for picking flower arrangements for your family dining room table:

  1. Consider the room decoration

Whatever is your flower choice, make sure that you choose the most appropriate one—for the sake of the room decoration! The flower arrangement is used to beautify your room, after all. Make sure that you pick the one that will complement the room. For example, if your dining room design or decoration is the minimalist type, it’s better if you choose a simple flower arrangement because a lavish flower arrangement might not look appropriate there.

  1. Consider the color

After the room decor, the color is what you have to consider, too. Choose the flower color that looks nice and matches the room. What is the color of your dining room? If the color is white, you can choose white too, or other soft colors to make the flower arrangement stand out.

  1. Consider the flower meaning

Do you know that flowers have meaning too? Each flower has its own meaning. If you choose it right, you will not only get a pretty arrangement, but also a meaningful one. You can do a little research on the internet for each flower meaning and decide the most suitable one before buying your flowers. Or you can simply ask the florist for the flower meaning.

  1. Consider the flower itself

However, don’t forget to consider the flower itself–its life span and the maintenance that it needs. Don’t choose flowers that wilt easily or need extra care if you don’t have much free time for it. Instead, choose one that lasts long or just needs a simple treatment to keep it alive and fresh. Moreover, don’t choose flowers that need intensive sunlight if your dining room cannot provide enough sunlight.

  1. Buy it from the best florist

Finally, buy the flower arrangement from the best and trusted florist for the best result. You don’t want to buy flowers with cheap quality, right? An entrusted flower delivery service will be the best source for your flower arrangement; make the rooms in your home look more beautiful with flowers.

The best and experienced florist will know how to choose the most appropriate flower arrangement for your rooms; don’t hesitate to ask for suggestions.

(contributed post)

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5 Tricks to Spend Less Money at the Vet

I have written about my boxer Chester before, and he is a blessing to my family. However, his vet bills always seem high to me, even though we love our vet. So, when this article came in as a possible contributed post, I thought: I bet other people have the same issues as me, so why not post some tips that could possibly help us all lower our vet bills?  

Veterinary costs are some of the biggest expenses of being an animal owner. Fortunately, you can reduce these costs and give the animal the treatment it deserves without digging yourself into debt. Here are just five tricks to spend less at the vet.

Look into pet insurance

Pet insurance can help to pay for any big medical expenses, however you should check that the rates aren’t too high first, otherwise you could be spending much more money overall. To get the best bargain, you should take out pet insurance when your pet is still young and healthy and look into a fixed rate that won’t be affected when your pet gets older. Older pets are more likely to need treatment for conditions, like arthritis and renal disease. Rates will be much higher for these pets, and you could be better off avoiding insurance. Look online for deals at sites, like https://www.directline.com/pet-cover , and use comparison sites.

Seek out your local vet college for routine treatments

It’s possible that your local vet college will be looking for animals to use for vet students, so long as it is a routine treatment. Treatment could be much less costly than going to a clinic (it could even be free in some cases). Check if they are advertising for animals to use with students. If not, it could still be worth contacting them.

Consider other treatment options

It’s worth weighing up different treatment options as some may be less expensive. Sites like https://www.petbucket.com/ sell pet medication that could be cheaper than buying directly from your vet. You may also want to weigh up the price of surgery and pain relief medicine – surgery in older pets may be expensive and high risk, making it less worthwhile, whilst in younger pets taking pain relief for the rest of their life could be more expensive than surgery.

Negotiate pricing

There will often be room for negotiation when it comes to costly surgery, although specialist vets may offer less leeway. By collecting quotes from multiple local clinics ,you may be able to negotiate a price match. Some clinics may also offer installment plans, allowing you to pay off the treatment in monthly installments rather than all in one go. This could be cheaper than taking out a loan, which is likely to have interest attached.

Give your pet a healthy lifestyle

Many trips to the vets are avoidable and can be attributed to an animal’s lifestyle. Animals that are overfed and don’t get regular exercise are more likely to contract illnesses such as diabetes, heart disease, and arthritis. By taking more care when offering treats and encouraging your pet to be more active, you could prevent a lot of these diseases. Similarly, you should make sure that your animal is well groomed or that their cage is regularly cleaned out, so that they’re not at risk for fleas, bacterial infections, and worms.

 

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