About Me

Allergies: The Unbearable Sniffing, Sneezing and Drainage

My name is Marilyn Baker, and I have horrible allergies. I’m 42 years old and have been suffering from allergies since I was a child. I have seasonal and environmental allergies. Allergies plague me year round. When I was young, my parents even moved to a dryer area in the hope of helping me. Over the past eight years, I have done extensive research both through doctors and online. I have managed to come up with some combinations that have helped me a great deal. My allergies aren’t gone, but they have become manageable. I do have to have allergy shots, but I also use some natural remedies. I am happy to be able to share my findings with you here on my blog. I hope you can find some of this of value.

Allergies: The Unbearable Sniffing, Sneezing and Drainage

Keeping Your Own Dreams Alive As A Parent

by Clifton Davidson

Having a child means making many sacrifices: doing without sleep, forgoing vacations for college funds, and giving up gourmet dinners for kid-friendly fare. But do you feel like at some point you've perhaps made too many concessions to parenting at the expense of your own dreams and ambitions? This can be a common problem for parents, but it doesn't have to be. Here's how to reclaim some of your own time, so you can achieve your personal goals too.

Why Parents Fear Being "Selfish"

There's a lot of pressure on parents today to be perfect, especially in the eyes of their children and other parents. Parents fear putting their kids on the back burner, even for a few minutes a week, will have serious and lasting consequences.

Parenting is expensive too, and some parents are afraid that if they're not busying parenting, they need to be working. Pursuing their own goals or dreams seems selfish or unrealistic.

Styles of parenting have changed too over the years. Where in generations past it was normal for parents to take time to themselves, now they feel they need to be immersed in their kids' lives every moment of every day, and their children's busy schedules only feed this.

Putting your needs away can be just as detrimental, however, and it doesn't show you as a "whole" person to your children. Furthermore, it makes it all the more devastating for you when the children finally leave home, and you've devoted your entire life to them with nothing left of yourself to fill the void.

How to Create Time

You need to carve out your own time as early as possible in the parenting process, so your children grow up with the concept of "mommy time" or "daddy time." That takes forethought and organizing.

Be aggressive about scheduling and keep a monthly, weekly, and daily calendar in which you block out time for your own interests, whether that's a college class, book group, or going to the gym. Make sure to fill in your activities before little things fill in and take over the schedule.

If it's possible, bring your kids in on it. Are you writing a book? Schedule a Sunday afternoon "writing jamboree" where you work on your writing while junior works on his or her own creative project.

Set boundaries and enforce them. Is writing time quiet time only? Make sure that rule is upheld, and be willing to take a stand. If it doesn't work to engage in your activity with the kids, get your spouse or a babysitter to cover for a bit, and hang a "Do not disturb" sign on your door.

How to Save Money for Yourself

If budgeting for your activities is challenging, try saving a little each week that never gets touched for diaper or field trip money. You'd be surprised how fast $5 here and there adds up. Go without that cup of fancy coffee or that shoe sale and put the money in your fund.

There are a million and a half ways to make money online these days. Maybe after the kids are in bed, you can spend an hour here or there making some extra dough to spend on whatever it is that keeps the spark alive in you, from buying a kayak to taking a trip abroad.

What to Do About Tough Choices

Sometimes there are tough choices to make between your own interests and those of your child. It's okay to put your own stuff on hold for a week or two if your kid is going through a rough time. And conversely, there are moments when your needs have to take precedence.

If your dream is to make partner at a law firm and a big case suddenly demands your attention the same night as your child's piano recital, you can do what business guru and author Suzy Welch does: apply the 10-10-10 rule. Ask yourself what are the short-term and long-term consequences of choosing your needs over your child's. It may make you feel better about putting yourself first.

If you feel like the struggle of choosing between your needs and your kids' needs is too much for you to handle, it may be time to speak with a professional at a group like Associated Psychologists & Counselors.