QOTW: How do you approach New Year’s resolutions? Ever had one that actually worked?
Toy overload tips, midwives change Afghanistan’s health, and skipping the new year’s resolutions. It’s episode 71 of the Mama Natural Show.
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Happy New Year Mamas!
Hope your holiday season was filled with peace and love.
Aaaand, if you are anything like me, your holidays were also filled with boxes and bags, ribbons and bows, and toys, toys, toys.
It can get crazy, right? Well here are 5 tips to reduce the overload while teaching children how important it is to keep on giving, even after the holidays:
#5 – The Post Holiday Purge
Purging the old to make room for the new can happen anytime of the year. But after the holiday’s is a great time to downsize kids’ stuff.
Purge those toys that are broken or missing pieces or are simply out grown or not played with anymore.
This teaches children to prioritize and appreciate their favorite items and let go of the rest.
#4 – Recycle
The list of recyclables these days is enormous: From the boxes to many plastic packaging to composting the Christmas trees.
Cell phones, electronics, toys and even old tennis shoes can also be recycled. Check with your local community.
#3 – Donate
One person’s trash is another person’s treasure. Re-gift items you don’t plan on using.
If not to a friend, then to Goodwill or another charity.
#2 – Storage
I learned this from my friend Jill. Store toys in various bins and only bring them out one at a time. When one group of toys gets stale, put it back in the bin and replace it with another one. Not only does this reduce clutter, but it helps our kids sit down, focus, and PLAY with their toys instead of flitting from one plaything to the next.
#1 – Give memories instead
The greatest gift any parent can give is an experience, because the memory will last forever.
Go to the zoo, museum or sign them up for a dance or karate class. You could even do yoga together.
These types of gifts keep on giving for weeks, months and even years to come.
Next, Hasbro will unveil a new Easy-Bake Oven in February.
Apparently the new design is the brainchild of a 13-year-old.
McKenna Pope of Garfield N.J. noticed her 4-year old brother Gavyn liked to cook.
But the pink and purple Easy-Bake Oven bothered McKenna. She felt the pink and purple colors sent a clear message: “women cook, men work.”
McKenna wanted to make sure her brother knew it was okay to be a chef. So she started an on-line petition at Change.org asking Hasbro to craft a more gender-neutral version of the toy.
She gathered over 44,000 signatures (!), including celebrity chefs such as Laurent Tourondel and Michael Lomonaco.
Hasbro listened. They said the new design was already in the works, and invited McKenna and her family to visit.
After seeing the new design prototype, McKenna’s little brother thought it was “Awesome!”
Now if Hasbro would only design their cake mixes to focus on organic, healthy cooking.
It’s not impossible.
Change can happen in the least likely of ways… and places.
Take for instance, the midwives in Afghanistan. They’ve become the pillars of the health system.
It all started in 2004 with a dozen midwives.
They gathered together to form the Afghan Midwives Association (AMA).
This in an Afghanistan emerging from the restrictions of the Taliban era.
They knew full well they must band together if they were to succeed.
And succeed they have!
Today they are 2,000 midwives strong, promoting both health care and education for girls and women in Afghanistan.
As a result, the percentage of births attended by these skilled providers increased from 19 percent in 2005 to over 32 percent in 2011.
This is amazing “girl power” in a place that desperately needs it.
Finding their voice and advocating for their rights is life giving – not only for Afghanistan, but for our global community of mamas.
Now it’s time for some community news.
In the light of celebrating another year, here are three kiddos doing the same.
Stephanie’s daughter Jael (Jay-el) celebrated her first birthday on November 29th.
Jael’s arrived on planet Earth face first!
The midwife first saw a nose…..and then lips.
Hey, with a face this darling, it’s obvious why little Jael wanted to show it off.
Besides those little blond curls, Jael also gathered a few teeth and a great smile during her first year.
Happy Birthday Jael.
Next, mama Jude sent pictures of son’s Jett’s first birthday.
Jett turned one on November 23rd.
He clearly enjoyed his cupcake and party hat, which he kept on for hours.
Nothing like celebrating a year filled with mom’s milk and a bum wrapped in cloth diapers.
Happy Birthday Jett.
Lauren’s daughter Rowan also celebrated her first birthday.
Rowan was born December 14th.
This past year she’s developed a mouth full of teeth, a love for cabbage and any kind of fruit.
Her favorite words are “hush!”, which she loves to tell the dogs when they bark.
And “tak too” – Rowan’s delightful way of saying Thank You.
Rowan’s celebration was a BLAST for everyone, including the birthday girl.
Happy Birthday Rowan!
Finally, promises of the new year, the new you, and a new start are seductive.
But do New Year’s Resolutions really work?
The answer is usually no – at least not long-term.
Resolutions offer an unrealistic idea of a fresh start – a clean slate.
The problem is that successful change rarely works that way.
First, most people set the bar too high.
Creating these huge goals and resolutions upfront can create a defeatist reaction.
It overwhelms the psyche.
Next, some people overestimate the effect any one change will have on their life.
For instance, people may think losing weight will make them happy.
Then they find themselves thinner but still miserable at work or lonely or craving sugar or junk food.
Losing weight cannot and does not solve ALL one’s problems.
Instead, Brukeman suggests making smaller individual changes throughout the year.
Studies show that “small wins” contribute to happiness more than occasional big ones.
Iinstead of resolving to exercise every day for an hour, start with 5 minutes of exercise daily.
You might laugh; but you are also way less likely to resist.
Then the next day aim for 6 minutes.
And so on.
Take Jerry Seinfeld.
When he was starting out, his goal wasn’t to become a world famous comedian. His goal was simply to write jokes for 45 minutes each day.
He put an X on his calendar each day he wrote, regardless of how the writing went or the results. His only job was keep on writing and to NOT break the chain.
And we know how that all worked out for him.
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