How to Create a Safe and Beautiful Nursery on a Budget-Jenna Sherman

Designing your baby’s nursery is one of the first tangible reminders that you do, in fact, have a little one on the way. But, if you’ve never had a room with a crib before, you should know that nurseries can get expensive quickly, and unless you pay close attention to what you put in it, they can also become a health and safety hazard for the person who you will soon love more than life itself.

 

Professional Mom covers a few things to keep in mind as you create the perfect sleep haven for your newborn.

 

Safety

 

The first thing you’ll want to pick out when designing your baby’s room is their crib. Although your goal may be to save money, plan to put some cash into this purchase. You don’t want to buy a used crib that could possibly be outdated or have damage you can’t see with the naked eye.

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6 Tips for Stay-at-Home Parents Pursuing Higher Education

By Jenna Sherman

While staying at home with your child is a worthy endeavor, forging a professional path while balancing parenthood is just as admirable. For parents who want to enhance their skills before heading into the workforce, higher education can offer guidance and boost your confidence. Consider these tips for navigating your education while raising kids.

1. Focus Your Studies Online

Freeing up time for your studies might be the most challenging part of balancing home and student life. Choosing an online degree program can make it easier to access your materials and coursework without commuting to a campus or dealing with other logistics. Attending classes online also means you can complete classwork on your own schedule.

Pursue an online master’s degree in education to prepare to become a teacher, or earn a master’s degree in business administration to launch your own company. You can achieve it all with an online program that’s custom-tailored to meet your needs.

2. Establish a Schedule

A solid routine can help you combat chaos at home while making time for your coursework. Sticking to a general schedule each day means you can maintain balance with your responsibilities.

Plus, children thrive on order and knowing what will come next. Practicing routines is excellent for kindergarten prep for your preschool child, too. For older kids who are returning to school after a break or school closure, restarting a routine is equally crucial, notes the Child Mind Institute.

3. Share with Your Children

Setting an example is one of the best ways to teach your child life lessons. When your little one sees you working hard and achieving your goals, they’ll witness the value of determination and dedication.

Strong role models are priceless for children of all ages – and you don’t need to be perfect to fit the part. Recognizing that life can be challenging yet immensely rewarding is a great lesson for children to learn.

4. Give Kids More Responsibility

When you’re a stay-at-home parent, it can feel like the entire home is your dominion. And that means handling everything from the laundry to meal prep, dishes to cleaning, and more. But no matter how old your children are (or how busy your partner is), delegating is a must.

Younger kids can tackle chores like putting dirty dishes in the sink, sorting laundry, and sweeping. Older kids may load and run the dishwasher, start the washing machine, and fold clothes. If your family balks at helping out, point out that children who help around the house are more successful as adults, according to experts.

5. Make Time for Yourself, Too

Sharing your goals and triumphs with your children is healthy and rewarding. But making time for yourself is also crucial, says Healthline. Stay-at-home parents tend to prioritize others’ needs above their own to begin with.

But now that you’re working toward academic milestones, your time may be less flexible and your responsibilities more demanding. Set aside time to unwind and relax accordingly.

6. Hack Your Home

There’s no foolproof way to save time, money, or stress. But by thinking ahead and strategizing specific tasks around the house, you can spend less time cleaning, cooking, and more.

For example, investing in a crockpot or pressure cooker could save you time in the kitchen. You can prep and set the crockpot in the morning, then forget about it until dinner time. A pressure cooker makes meals speedier, so hungry kids and parents don’t have time to complain.

Setting a cleaning schedule – say, organizing your home into zones and spending 20 minutes per day tidying each one – can also reduce the overwhelm when it comes to keeping the house reasonably clean. Invest in some organizers to make tidying up faster and easier.

Returning to school for higher education means making some changes to your stay-at-home lifestyle. But if you’re passionate about developing your skills to pursue a career, the time and energy will be worth it. All you need is a few smart ideas for managing your home and household while you go to school.

Photo via Pixabay

*Jenna Sherman is a welcomed guest writer for professionalmom.com. She hopes to help other parents acquire the skills they need to raise future leaders by providing a collection of valuable, up-to-date, authoritative resources. A mom of three (two girls and a boy) created parent-leaders.com as an avenue for parents who want to make sure their children grow up to be strong, independent, successful adults.

BE A SHEEP WITH ATTITUDE

Professional Mom, Patti McDonald here to bring encouragement and inspiration to moms and caregivers.

My topic today is the 23rd Psalm from the Bible. This usually comes up at funerals and that’s not a bad thing, however, have you ever stopped to meditate on the serene comfort of this passage? “The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want.” This is only the first verse, of course, but think about it. The very God of the Universe is our Shepherd.

You must know a little bit about sheep to understand this passage fully. Back in the day, (even in modern times in some countries,) the shepherd looked after his sheep as full guardian of their being. He rested in the exact place that the “enemies” could enter to protect them, and this also kept the flock from wandering. According to Max Lucado, “Safe in the Shepherd’s Arms,” the flock can’t even sleep without the preparation and help of the Shepherd. Even for them to have green pastures, the shepherd had to find and prepare the best fields, removing rocks and briars that would hurt them. Sheep must be fed, and all manner of their needs met for them to rest. We need our Shepherd for this as well.

When the Psalmist speaks of green pastures, still waters and a robust table set “in the presence of my enemies,” he is telling the great care that God has for us. When we are disturbed, hungry or sick, our Shepherd moves in to woo us to himself. He is our comfort. He is our all.

Jesus said, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand” John 10: 27.

I choose to be a Sheep with Attitude because I choose to follow my Shepherd, Jesus. The world will have you follow the crowd to the trucks headed to the slaughter. Sheep have a way of following the leader, much to their detriment, sometimes. I am choosing Who to follow. I choose the Shepherd who died in my place. He will take care of me, no matter what!

Come with me and follow Jesus, you will know the care of THE GOOD SHEPHERD FOREVER. “I AM THE GOOD SHEPHERD, AND KNOW MY SHEEP, AND AM KNOWN OF MINE” John 10:14

Psalms 23:

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures,

He leadeth me beside the still waters.

He restoreth my soul; he leadeth

Me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s

Sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of

The shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for thou

Art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

Thou preparest a table before me in the

Presence of mine enemies; thou anointest my head

With oil; my cup runneth over.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all

The days of my life; and I will dwell in the house

Of the Lord forever.

*ARTWORK COPY BY SARAH MCDONALD PRICE

Trusting God

While everyone is getting on the advice bandwagon, wouldn’t Professional Mom have to get out there and provide some insight and opinion? Of course!

My inspiration for you today is to Trust God. Trusting God every day is a great mind-set. Through good times and bad, God has been there for us. History tells stories of terrible hardships that we as a people have weathered and by the mercy of God, people pull through. Perhaps things will change, perhaps our schedules will be modified in some way that will never be restored, however, when there is nothing else you can do, Trust God.

The Bible says, “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him and he shall direct thy paths.” Proverbs 3: 5 & 6

Ironically, but purposely, the next verses speak of your health, wellbeing and substance (wealth,) being impacted positively when we trust God.

You may say, I’m trusting God and my family is being negatively impacted by the current situation with the Coronavirus. If you are familiar with the Bible, you may have read the book of Job. Yes, he was the most horrid example of a person trusting the Living God and being negatively impacted. He never stopped trusting the One True God and was restored graciously in the end.

So, let me ask you something. Have you given all you have to God; all you have or ever will have? This is no easy question to answer. This is a test, the test that will show your faith in Jesus Christ. The current events are “out of our control.” God knows. God knows.

If you don’t know God through Jesus Christ and His great sacrifice for our sin, it would be a good time to trust Him. It’s very simple but takes a deliberate act of your will. Trust God.

If you know Jesus as your Savior and Lord, I say to you now, Trust God. Should we be complacent and do nothing, well no. However, first, we must pray, get our priorities straight. I know I’m used to getting my own way, I’m confessing that as I write this. It’s God’s way, as I pray, I am asking God what I should do to help with this national dilemma.

Although it pains me for all the “shutdowns,” especially the churches and schools, I am so proud of the efforts of our pastors, leaders and teachers for jumping in with alternatives to gathering. We must continue to “gather together and pray corporately (virtually if necessary).”

I don’t think it’s an accident for God’s Word to say to us, “If my people, who are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14

Pray with your children, pray with your friends on Social Media and by phone, lift up those who are ill or in need and pray for our national leaders to have wisdom in this extraordinary time.

We are on the cusp of a revival. If we pray, God will hear. I cannot stress this enough. Trust God today and he will heal our nation.

Professional Mom (Patti McDonald)

Jesus And Santa; A Christian Dilemma

When Joe and I married, I didn’t ask him if he believed in Santa Claus or if he would want to teach our future children about him. But I did ask him if he believed in Jesus.

At the time, I was not as close to my Savior as I should have been, however, within a year of marriage, I began to miss going to church and that started a whole realization that Jesus is Lord of ALL. I had even said (didn’t tell Joe) that I didn’t want to have children, but this “opening all the closets of my heart” started a whole new direction in my life. I gave my whole heart to Jesus and asked Him what HE wanted for my life.

The trajectory of my life changed immediately as all my goals and deepest wants were about being pleasing to God.  Within a few months, I was impressed by the Holy Spirit to quit my job with a local endodontist, get off birth control pills and in what I now call, getting ready for God’s plan, began to get more involved in Bible Studies, church events, and used my home time to listen to radio programs with awesome Bible scholars like J. Vernon McGee, and others who prepared me for the road ahead.

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