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Do you think you are a distracted parent? Chances are, you don’t. But the truth is we are a generation of tech-distracted parents.

Perhaps you’ve found yourself absentmindedly scrolling through Facebook while your kid is playing at the park.

Or maybe you took a photo of your child’s little-league game for Instagram, before accidentally losing yourself in your home feed and missing your child striking out the best batter on the opposition team.

It’s happened to all of us at one point or another. But what effect is it having on our children?

What Are the Consequences of Distracted Parenting?

Since the current generation of parents are the first to bring their children up in the age of smartphones, tablets and wireless technology that seemingly connects anything to everything, research into tech-distracted parenting is still in its infancy.

However, the Journal of Child Development recently discovered that parents who are frequently distracted by technology have children with higher rates of misbehavior, attention-seeking and aggression.

What’s more, children of distracted parents are more likely to go on to develop mental health disorders such as depression and anxiety.

While different types of technology can provide a distraction, it seems that our cell phones are the main culprit.

Why Our Phones Are the Worst

In case you were wondering, the average American checks their phone at least once every 12 minutes.

Apple has unveiled similar statistics, with the average iPhone user unlocking their phone 80 times a day. Yes, that’s 80 times a day.

These checks are seldom short either.

What may start with reading a Whatsapp message, descends into 10 minutes scrolling through Facebook, before reading and consequently deleting several promotional emails from our inbox.

Before we know it, one simple notification has robbed us of 30 minutes of quality time with our kids.

It’s no wonder our children our suffering the consequences. In our rush to keep up with what’s going on with the world, we’re accidentally ignoring our own children.

So how can you improve, and curb the distractions provided by our phones and other technology?

How to Avoid Becoming a Distracted Parent

Luckily, there are several ways to limit how much your tech can distract you, leaving you to spend much higher-quality time with your children:

Admit There’s a Problem

Just like with any behavioral issue, you have to acknowledge it exists and make an effort to put a stop to it. If you think you don’t suffer from phone-addiction, try and go without it for 48 hours, only using it to text or call in case of emergencies. You may change your mind!

Practice Mindful Phone Use

Take the time to think about your phone use. Is your child present, is what’s taking place on your phone really that important? By becoming conscience of your over-use of your phone and other devices you can drastically reduce your use of them.

Turn Off Notifications

As is so often the case, our over-indulgence starts with a simple notification. If your phone doesn’t make a noise, light up or vibrate when a notification comes through then you are less likely to pick it up.

Don’t Bring It

Obviously, this doesn’t mean leaving your phone at home when you head out, since you could need it in an emergency. No, this means leaving it in a safe place (such as the car) if you’re going to park with the kids or watching their sports game so you can be more present. This way you have access to it in case of an emergency, but aren’t capable of being distracted by it.

Create an Electronic Jail

A tactic that’s worked brilliantly for me is creating an electronic jail. Essentially this is just a basket you can put your phone when you get home until you’ve put your little one to sleep. It means you still get to binge, but crucially don’t miss out on important bonding moments with your son or daughter.

Don’t waste precious time

Technology has become an essential part of our lives, and being without our cell phone sometimes feels like we’ve lost one of our limbs.

But our new way of life is starting to have a detrimental effect on our children, and we need to make changes to ensure we give them the attention we deserve.

Start by becoming more mindful of your use of technology, and in particular, your smartphone, when around with your children.

Then start taking advantage of some of my suggested methods to avoid becoming unnecessarily distracted at the expense of your children.

How have you dealt with your addiction to technology? Post what’s worked for you in the comments below!

The post Put the Phone Down – Distracted Parenting appeared first on Working Mom X.

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Balancing your career with your family is never easy. More often than not, sacrifices have to be made.

For some moms, their professional lives take precedent as long as they don’t miss on out the key moments. But for others, it’s about being there for the little moments and fitting work around their kid’s schedules.

The point is, it’s rarely ever a 50/50 balance.

And it shouldn’t be.  It should be about finding a mix that’s most satisfying for you.

Bearing that in mind, I’ve put together a few tips to help you strike that magic balance that works for both your professional and family life.

You might want to also check out Why Flexjobs is a Good Option for Moms

Leverage the People Around You

This is critical for striking a healthy balance between work and family time. And you need to start this process with your partner before enlisting anyone else.

Sit down, get your planners out, and start assigning responsibilities to each other.

Of course it’s not fair for you come home from work and have to grab the groceries, feed the kids, take them to soccer practice and then put them all to bed afterwards.

Don’t let your spouse or partner off the hook on everything. Look for opportunities where responsibilities can be shared, meaning it’s not all on you to make it happen. It’s really important that partners pull their weight too.

If you are a single parent, or your partner is frequency away with work (e.g. military), leverage your family and friends.

Most grandparents love spending any time they can with their grandchildren. And friends will always lend a hand if you can help them out with something in return later down the line.

By delegating and sharing responsibility, you can relax and focus more in your professional environment, and cherish the moments you spend with your kids even more.

Evaluate Your Career Objectives

Part of finding a satisfying mix of professional and family life is by evaluating what you want to achieve in the workplace.

Take the time to reflect on what it is you do for a living, and whether you really enjoy it.

If you hate going to work every day, then you may want to shift your balance to increase the time you spend with your kids. This will help to offset the misery of grinding away, week after week, to collect a paycheck at the end of the month.

Alternatively, it might be time to take up a new role that helps you better balance your dual roles, even if it means a slight pay cut as a result.

If you find yourself in the enviable position of loving what you do for a job, you may want to start setting goals for where you want to be by a specific date in the future career-wise.

You can then use your leveraged network as described above to put in the necessary hours at work to get that promotion or that raise that you’ve set yourself as a target.

Let Kids in On Your Decisions

Part of the struggle of being a working parent is the feeling of guilt that accompanies missing key events in your young children’s lives as a result of work.

After all, when working full-time, it’s almost impossible to be at every single school sports match, dance recital, family dinner or school play.

But that guilt can be mitigated by involving your kid(s) in striking a balance that works for the both of you.

As parents, we can’t always tell what is important to our children.

We may think that they really appreciated your help with building that model for the science fair, but they would have much rather that you attended their piano recital the following week.

While young children may not quite understand the concept of work, they do understand what is important to them. Sit your child down and be honest and upfront with them about what you have time to attend and be a part of.

This way the decision is in their hands, and you’ll never miss something that is really important to them.

It will also teach them the important life skill of prioritization from an early age.

Finding balance is about prioritizing what’s most important to you

Getting a balance of family and work life is an ongoing process. It’s not something that should be set in stone.

For example, work may be low on the priority list when your kids are especially young. But, it may start to take precedence once they reach school age.

Hopefully you can utilize some of the tips I’ve provided to end up with a mix that you’re completely satisfied with.

Do you have any tips for juggling your job and your family? What worked for you?

Share your stories in the comments below!

The post How to Balance Your Career with Your Family appeared first on Working Mom X.

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Drowning is one of the country’s biggest child killers. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, drowning is the second highest cause of unintentional deaths in children under 15.

Almost half of those drowning deaths will occur less than 25 yards from an adult.

But here’s the real kicker.

In ten percent of those cases the adults will watch it happen, oblivious to what’s actually going on.

So if you thought you knew what a kid drowning looks like, you may want to think again.

I’m going to run through what you need to be looking out for, what to do in response, and how to prevent it in the first place.

So let’s get you prepared for heading out to the pool or the beach with your kids this summer.

Why Drowning Doesn’t Look Like You Might Think  

Drowning doesn’t look like it does on the TV or in the movies. There isn’t much (if any) yelling, waving, or splashing.

Firstly, this is because the body is programmed to take care of breathing first, speech second. If a child is battling to stay afloat they physiologically cannot yell as the body is trying to maintain airflow into the lungs.

Secondly, drowning kids cannot wave for help because their body’s natural instinctive drowning response is to force their arms out laterally and push down through the water’s surface.

This action allows their mouths to get above the water once more to gulp in more air.

Because drowning tends to happen with the body in the upright position, there’s no evidence of the strong leg kicking that’s happening underneath. And as I’ve just explained, the arms spend the majority of the time beneath the water trying to push it down.

Therefore, in the event of drowning, there’s very little splashing.

Of course, this is not to say that a kid who is thrashing around and yelling for help doesn’t need immediate assistance. It just means they are in a state of aquatic distress, which can last up to 60 seconds before the process of actual drowning begins.

For that reason, aquatic distress is much easier to spot than drowning.

So what are the signs to look out for when a child is potentially drowning at either the beach or in a pool?

How to Spot a Kid who’s Drowning

There are several signs that a child may be drowning and they may be exhibiting all or only one of them.

Here’s what to look out for:

  • Silent Panic – As touched upon before, a kid that is hyperventilating will not be able to scream out for help. Look at a kid’s face for panic or concern. Their facial expression will often give you the best indication of what’s happening.
  • Head Titled Back – Kids will naturally tilt their head backwards to raise the mouth as high as possible. If their head is titled back and water is covering most of their hair and face, then it’s likely they’re in trouble.
  • Eyes Glassed Over – If a child’s eyes looked glassed over, or unable to focus, it’s usually a tell-tale sign that they are experiencing drowning.
  • Arms Pushing Downward – Look for children making downward pushes or making a motion to grab something that isn’t there beneath the water. This is part of their instinctive response to push themselves up to get their mouths above water.
  • Treading Water/Bobbing Up and Down – Kids drowning are rarely (if ever) on the move. If you can see a child trying to move without making any headway, they could be in trouble. Remember that fatigue and cramps are often causes of drowning, preventing children from continuing to swim to their intended destination.
How to Respond to a Kid Drowning

Once you are certain someone is drowning, alert lifeguards or any other appropriate response teams on site immediately.

If you a competent swimmer, go ahead and save them yourselves, but only when it is safe to do so.

In an ocean setting there are often dangerous currents which could endanger your life as well as theirs. Think calmly and carefully about the situation before taking action.

If available, you can toss a flotation device for the child to grab on to, this will help them keep their mouths above water, stabilizing their breathing whilst waiting for help to arrive.

The most important thing is to arrange help either by yourself or other reasonable parties as fast as physically possible as you will not have long to act.

How to Prevent a Kid from Drowning

No kid is infallible when it comes to drowning.

But there are several steps you can take to reduce their chances of encountering a drowning scenario.

Firstly, get all of your children swimming lessons if they haven’t had them already. The better they are as a swimmer, the less likely they are to drown.

Next, when at the pool or the beach, take turns with your partner to watch your kids in the water. Do not rely solely on a lifeguard. Although it’s very rare, they can make mistakes.

They are your children, therefore make them your responsibility.

If you are not 100% confident in your child’s swimming ability or the specific situation (such as a large ocean swell at the beach), take a much closer watching brief, staying within touching distance.

This way if anything does start to go wrong you can immediately grab them and pull them out of the water.

Another helpful method is to pair kids up, that way one of them can yell and wave if the other is getting into difficulty.

Finally, teach your children to stay well away from pool drains or filters since the suction from these devices can cause real issues for small children underwater.

Keep your child and yourself safe from drowning

Drowning is a very real threat to your kid’s safety this summer, so it’s important to be able to spot the warning signs before it’s too late.

Remember if you do spot someone drowning, only attempt to save them if it is safe to do so.

By endangering yourself, you will make lifeguards or any other emergency services choose between saving you or your child.

By taking note of my prevention tips above you can greatly reduce the chance of your child coming to any harm in the water. Swimming lessons are perhaps the best way of preventing your child from coming into any difficulty.

What are your tips when it comes to helping kids avoid drowning? Have you experienced any near misses with your children?

If you feel you can help others, share your stories in the comments below.

The post How to Spot a Kid That’s Drowning appeared first on Working Mom X.

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As parents, we sometimes struggle to understand our children’s perceived lack of motivation for the really important things in life, such as school work or physical fitness. Leaving you exasperated with what appears to be your lazy child.

In fact, by pushing them into doing those things, you are likely to be met with resistance, as opposed to increasing their motivation.

But don’t accept it as something that can’t change. The key is to help your children become self-motivated, rather than punishing, begging, or bribing them to display the type of behavior you want them to exhibit.

So how can you motivate your child to become more active and productive?

Don’t Provide Everything On a Silver Platter

This is first step to altering a child’s thinking without outright punishing or rewarding them for very specific behavior.

For instance, let’s say that you are out shopping and your child has demanded a new pair of gym shoes when there’s nothing wrong with their current pair. Rather than just giving an outright “no”, think about how you can use this as a lesson for your currently lazy child.

Sometimes it’s better to take a slightly different approach. Lead with a phrase similar to “ok, if you want those shoes, what can you contribute to how much they cost?”.

Immediately they begin to realize that the things they desire in life are not going to be just handed to them on a silver platter. They will better understand the value of working first, and earning their desired goal (new shoes) later.

Set An Example

This may sound obvious, but if your child sees you crack open a can of soda, empty a bag of chips into a bowl and then turn on the TV to binge watch soaps every afternoon, then they are going to exhibit similar lazy behavior.

Set the example for your child.

If all they see of you is taking care of the laundry, paying the bills and heading off to work (if you’re not a stay-at-home mom), they are going to see hard work as a normal part of your household. They will start to exhibit behavior that reflects that.

It’s surprising how much of an effect parents’ behavioral patterns can have on a child. It’s perhaps why so many of us moms pick up parenting techniques used on us when we were children.

Don’t forget the example you set can cover a broad spectrum, including exhibiting the value you place on regular exercise (if your child is currently physically inactive), or the importance of chores (if they don’t help around the house).

Delve into Their Motivations

There’s no such thing as a completely lazy child. There’s usually some item or some activity that they can get really motivated for.

By taking a step back and asking yourself “what does my child really enjoy?” or “what do they actually want?” you can begin to start setting a structure that makes your child want to earn those perceived rewards.

We rarely talk with our children about what their ambitions and motivations are at a young age. But by doing so, us moms can begin to understand what will steer them to focus on the important stuff such as school grades or exercise.

For example, like many children, it may be the case that all your child wants to do is play video games.

Don’t just confiscating their games. Talk to them about how the people who develop these games had to work very hard on their schoolwork when they were younger. They had to work hard to be able to do what they love full-time.

Similarly, if their lack of willingness to exercise is concerning you, you could relate physical activities back to their favorite games.

Kids will love making costumes of their favorite characters with you and playing out their gaming fantasies in the back yard, getting that all important exercise in, without being glued to a screen.

Let Them Face the Consequences of Their Actions

This builds on my previous point and sets a framework for bringing about self-motivation within your currently lazy child.

Let’s use the video games example once more.

If a child knows by not completing homework or chores that they don’t get access to their games console, then you put the power of the decision in their hands.

You are not telling them what to do, how to do it, or why they should care about things like good grades in school or contributing to the household. You are simply teaching them the basic principle that hard work is rewarded.

Don’t give up on them just yet

Sometimes it can feel like an uphill battle to motivate your child.

But by taking the time to understand what makes them tick, you can help to build their self-motivation and inner-drive. Set an example yourself, and allow your children to face the consequences for their lack of effort,

Your aim should always be to develop your child so that they want to accomplish necessary tasks themselves. This is rather than by having to force them to do everything through punishments or rewards.

What has helped to motivate your child? Do you have any neat tricks you can share in the comments below?

The post My Child is Lazy, What Do I Do? appeared first on Working Mom X.

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Being a mother comes with all sorts of challenges. One of those challenges is deciding how you are going to tackle the issue of working with a young child to raise.

For some, returning to their old job and paying for child care is the answer. But many others want to spend quality time at home raising their children while still bringing in an income to the family home.

Flexjobs can provide a solution for many moms who find themselves looking for that flexible work.

So what exactly is flexjobs? How can it provide a good solution for moms who need more flexibility in their job?

What is Flexjobs?

Flexjobs is a marketplace for remote, part-time, freelance, and flexible jobs.

What stands flexjobs apart from similar websites is that they hand-screen their opportunities to make sure they are from reputable organizations.

There aren’t any too-good-to-be true business opportunities, multi-level marketing (MLM) scams, or any other junk job postings.

Their opportunities are all from professional companies that include stellar names such as: PWC, Apple, Dell, SAP, Hilton Hotels and many more.

Why is Flexjobs a Good Option for Moms?

These jobs give Moms the opportunity to earn a respectable income without the hassle of having to commute and spend the day in an office environment.

In fact, Flexjobs themselves conducted a survey which revealed that 83% of all parents wanted to work at home 100% of the time.

So apart from giving parents the ability to work from home, what other advantages does flexible working offer?

You Can Take More Time to Care for Your Children

 Obviously, without the morning and afternoon commute, and particularly if you are only working part-time, you will have more time to spend with your young one(s).

This gives you time to spend on important bonding activities, and helps a great deal when it comes to taking care of tasks that are made more difficult by holding down a job.

For example, meal prep is less stressful when you don’t have to run all over town after work, picking up the kids from daycare, hitting the grocery store and then cooking while making sure your little one isn’t trying to destroy the living room furniture!

It also allows you to spend a little more time on yourself.

You can use the extra time to cook healthier meals, or dedicate it to extra exercise by bringing your kid along for a walk or jog in their stroller.

You Can Keep Your Skills Up-To-Date

 One issue facing many stay-at-home moms (SAHMs), is that their industry can move on without them.

Processes and skills change to reflect market demands, and it may be the case that the skills you know inside and out today, may not be as valuable in the future.

By continuing to work on a flexible or remote basis, you can continue to stay on top of the latest best practices in your field.

Additionally, when you feel the time is right to return to full time work, you won’t have any issues, such as being proficient in a software that no longer exists.

Avoid the “Motherhood Penalty”

It has long been a complaint of moms who made the choice to sacrifice work in order to raise their children that they are penalized financially, when they do eventually return to work.

Dubbed the “Motherhood Penalty”, employers are getting better at accepting working moms back into the workforce, but there is still a lot of progress to be made.

By working on a flexible basis, you can avoid any time or pay gaps in your resume.

This helps to keep your career trajectory on the same path and allows you to continue to earn an increasing wage as you ease yourself back into full-time work.

Create a Better Life Balance

As I mentioned in a previous blog post, while being a SAHM has many advantages, a large proportion of them report an unhappiness in not having the day-to-day social aspect of work in their lives.

When the only person you talk to during the day is of an age where they can’t yet properly form sentences, some mothers yearn for more intellectual stimulation.

By using a platform like Flexjobs to find work to fit around your schedule, you have the ability to have that mental stimulation and feeling of responsibly to a company, without giving up many of the benefits of being a SAHM.

Don’t sacrifice when you don’t have to

Flexjobs offers a solution to mothers who don’t want to miss those all-important moments in their child’s development, while still earning an income within a professional company.

Whether you need flexible remote work, or you work set hours while your spouse looks after the children, it’s a great place for those of you looking to keep your career moving forward after having kids.

Have you used Flexjobs before? What was your experience?

Let me know in the comments below!

The post Why Flexjobs is a Good Option for Moms appeared first on Working Mom X.

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Budget-friendly vacations are a great way to spend precious time with your family during Summer break.

My husband and I typically bounce different ideas around before picking something, but we usually choose trips that expand our horizons in one way or another. Whether that’s by spending time in new surroundings, or by learning new things or local history at museums and landmarks.

This is especially true since we’ve had our son.

Of course, there is a downside to going on vacation with your family- the cost!

That’s why I’ve put together a list of 5 of the best locations to pack in a great vacation, without breaking the bank.

be sure to also check out my recommendations for Moms

Yellowstone National Park

In terms of getting inspired, it doesn’t get much more awe-inspiring than Yellowstone. With geysers, waterfalls, canyons, thermal hot springs and views that will take your breath away, there’s something for everyone.

You can pay a visit to Old Faithful, one of the world’s most famous geysers, hike to the top of the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone, or head out to the Hayden Valley to try and spot bison, elk, coyotes and grizzly bears.

The best part? All of those activities are free!

Hotels provide good value accommodation in the area, but you won’t need to spend much at all if you decide to bring a tent or recreational vehicle with you.

Yellowstone is located in Wyoming, so it’s probably not something you’re going to drive to from anywhere in the eastern US. But it’s a great park to visit if you happen to already be in one of the Mountain States or the northwest.

Washington D.C.

If you live anywhere east of the Mississippi, then Washington D.C. should be at the top of your list, as it offers the best value out there.

Our nation’s capital is packed full of free activities. You can make a start by strolling up the iconic Lincoln Memorial monument, before heading up to the National Gallery to take in some art.

Kids will love the free Smithsonian Museums (particularly Air and Space/Natural History), and no trip would be complete without a visit to the Whitehouse!

Renting bikes is an option to get around the city economically and there are plenty of reasonably priced hotels and Airbnb locations for your accommodation needs.

The Grand Canyon

If you live in the Southwest or four corners area, you have to plan at least one family trip to the Grand Canyon. It’s one of the seven wonders, and a place that’s on many people’s bucket list. And it’s not as expensive as you might think.

You can book great value hotels or campsites by carefully planning and booking months in advance.

There’s also a lot more to the Grand Canyon area than just taking a few pictures of the Colorado river valley.

For instance, there are plenty of free hiking trails which take you to some of the most mouth-watering vistas without the chance of crowds of tourists spoiling it for you. Also, rather than investing in a helicopter trip, you can book cheaper activities such as paddling down the river, or white water rafting.

Dining is expensive in this region, but there is a workaround. If you’re on the South Rim, you can easily head to nearby Flagstaff to take advantage of their growing foodie scene, without receiving a check that’ll make your eyes water.

Destin Florida

If you are desperate to spend some time by the sea on gorgeous white sandy beaches, then there’s probably nowhere that can provide better value than Destin. And what family doesn’t like going to the beach for vacation?

As someone who’s now spent a good amount of time exploring Florida, I can personally vouch for this vacation spot. It manages to deliver family bonding time on pristine beaches, without the price tag associated with some of the pricier locales, like Clearwater and Miami.

Your activities don’t just have to be limited to the beach however, you can book competitively priced boat tours to go dolphin spotting, or treat yourself to some retail therapy at one of Destin’s many shopping centers.

There’s also multiple scenic golf courses if you or your partner would like to work on your game while on vacation.

Chicago

If you live anywhere in the Midwest, Chicago might prove a great destination if you’re looking for a city break.

Much like D.C., Chicago packs in a bunch of free museums. And with the addition of Lincoln Park Zoo, where you can take the kids to see zebras, sloths, hippos and even polar bears!

Of course, you are going to need to treat your kids to a famous deep-pan Chicago pizza at one of dozens of the city’s downtown pizzerias.

You can then eat your slices within one of the cities many free parks (such as Millennium Park) before heading to Wrigley Field to experience one of the best atmospheres baseball has to offer.

Chicago offers that big city experience, without the big city price tag you get in places like New York and San Francisco.

Budget Friendly Family fun

Going on vacation doesn’t always mean you have rack up huge credit card bills to afford them. These locations are great places to explore, relax and unwind, or become inspired depending on where you decide to go.

Which have been your favorite budget-friendly vacation destinations?

Let me know in the comments below!

The post Five Budget-Friendly Vacation Ideas appeared first on Working Mom X.

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If you left your job to have a kid, or kids, at some point you may get the itch to get back to work. I’m not talking about someone returning from Maternity leave, this is about the Moms who been out for several years. It can be daunting returning to work after being out of the game for so long, so I’ve put together this list of tips to help you get started on your journey back to employment.

I know many Moms who have done just this. Whether you pursue part-time or full-time work is up to you, however the process for getting ready to re-start your career is much the same.

Decide What You Really Want to Do woman at work

 So, you’ve decided that you want to take the leap and get back into work. But what do you want to do?

Many moms feel it’s easiest to jump back into their old career path, but this can be a mistake. Just because you are qualified attorney, C.P.A. or actuary doesn’t mean you are tied to those professions, especially if you never really enjoyed them in the first place.

Instead, take some time to really think about what it is that you want to do.

Raising children is likely to have shifted your attitudes, interests and hobbies. So make sure to pick a position that aligns with them, rather than just sticking with the safety of what you knew before.

Update Your Resume and Personal Marketing Materials

 Once you’ve decided which position you would like to apply for, it’s time to blow the dust off your old resume and bring it up to date.

But resume best practices may have changed a little since you were last employed. Making things even tougher, many companies use computer algorithms to filter out resumes based on certain key words and experience patterns.

With that in mind, it makes sense to pay a professional to review and improve it. One of my personal skills as someone experienced in recruiting and hiring is helping others with their resume.  If you’d like me to take a look at yours, reach out to me here.

This is also an opportunity to update your personal social media profiles to indicate you are available for employment. LinkedIn is a great place to showcase expertise, as well as locate employers that you think could be a good fit for you.

It’s common practice for potential employers to Google your name, so it’s vital to get all of your ducks in a row when it comes to social media profiles.

Network, Network, Network!

 The old adage “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know” still carries as much weight today as it ever has.

For that reason, once you’ve prepared all of your personal materials, it’s time to get out there and network.

A good place to start is by researching local networking events. Attending these gatherings can help put a name to your face and build connections that could prove vital further down the line.

Some of the places you might want to check are your local Chamber of Commerce, as well as the website MeetUp.com.  Find a business networking event or meetup group in your area of interest, go, and start meeting people you can connect with.

You can also conduct your networking online using LinkedIn, since it’s such a great platform for facilitating third-party introductions. Make a start by reaching out to your current network of colleagues, and see who they may be able to get you a meeting with (online or otherwise).

Finally, send out an email to all friends and family indicting that you are looking for work, attaching a copy of your resume.

It may not be an activity that yields immediate results, but if a suitable position does pop up, your inner circle of family and friends are immediately going to think of you.

Prepare for Interviews

Failure to prepare is preparing to fail, as the saying goes.

You must dedicate enough time to get ready for the pressure situation of an interview, as it’s likely to have been a while since you’ve had one. You need to have viable answers prepared for the obvious questions about the gap(s) in your employment.

For many Moms, it can be intimidating discussing leaving work to raise kids, and explaining why you want to get back into things.  This concern isn’t unwarranted though, because a lot of hiring managers have skipped over viable candidates in just this situation.

Thankfully though, attitudes have improved. Many employers are better now at focusing on your ability to do the job instead of your absence to be a mother.

If you are asked questions of this nature during your interview, it’s best to be honest but brief. Steer the conversation back to how qualified you are to take on this role and that you are raring to get back into work. This is exactly the type of question you need to practice for in a mock interview.

This is another service I provide to help others prepare for the job interview. I’ll hold a mock interview session, identifying problem areas the candidate can improve on in preparation for the real interview.  Players practice before their games, musicians practice before their performance, why wouldn’t you practice before your interview?

If you’re ready to go back to work, just do it

 It can be tough finding employment after being a stay-at-home mom for a few years, but don’t let that put you off. Getting back into the workforce gives you a number of opportunities to rediscover the love you once had for your old profession, or even explore new areas of interest.

It can also be a great feeling returning to work. You left your job to raise your kids, and you’re a great Mom because of it.  But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get back to your career if that’s what you want to do.  It might be tough, but you’ll be glad you did.

Hopefully you’ve found the above advice about getting back into work useful.

What worked for you when securing a job after being a stay-at-home mom? Let me know what your own personal tips are in the comments below!

The post Returning to Work (After Being a Stay-at-Home Mom) appeared first on Working Mom X.

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After having kids, many Moms are ready to return back to the workforce.  But in some cases, they want to find something different than their previous job. They want something that gives them the chance to build equity in something. Like starting their own business, with real assets and employees

The Amazon Delivery Service Partner offers one such opportunity, allowing Moms to create their very own brick and mortar business.

Wait, did I just suggest a delivery service as an opportunity for Moms? Yes, and for very good reason.

Working Mom vs Stay at Home Mom

What is the Amazon Delivery Service Partner Program?

Amazon is looking for hundreds of would-be entrepreneurs across the United States to launch their own package delivery business. The idea is that successful applicants will be responsible for hiring a team of drivers and running the day-today operations.  Partners would build up a small fleet of 20-40 vans that will be out delivering parcels for Amazon.

Once you build your business, it’s estimated that you will be in charge of at least 40 employees. That number could increase up to 100, depending on how successful your business becomes.

Just like with most franchise-style businesses, there is an up-front investment requirement. But at just $10,000, it is significantly smaller than many other similar opportunities. And in return, you get to share a slice of the profits generated by the most valuable company in the world.

Why Has Amazon Created This Opportunity?

Amazon has long had the same problem that other retailers also suffer from. The so-called “last mile” of delivery. Packages can be quickly distributed around the country using their best-in-class supply chain of planes and semi trucks. But the last leg, from the local depot to a customer’s home, is still causing them problems.

Others retailers have taken a stab at trying to solve this issue in the past without much success. For example, Walmart tried by asking employees to deliver packages before and after their shifts. This was quickly scrapped as it seemed employees weren’t thrilled about picking up an additional courier shift after a 9-hour stint on the shop floor.

But not only is Amazon trying to solve the “last mile” conundrum, they’re making increasingly difficult service promises to their customers. What started as 2-day guaranteed delivery has quickly become a one-day turnaround, and in some areas they even offer same day delivery.

This has begun the shift towards stocking local warehouses with key products so they can be shipped in a matter of minutes following an online order. Amazon has decided to look for entrepreneurs to run these local depots as their own businesses, with Amazon footing the bill for their services.

What Are the Program Requirements?

If you’re interested in this program, you might want to know what it takes to get an application started.

First, the capital requirement is an initial $10,000. That may seem a lot to some of you, but to put that in perspective, to open a McDonalds you’d have to shell out a $45,000 franchise fee. And then you’d need $750,000 in liquid assets, and expect to invest up to $2.2 million over the life of your ownership.

As with other outsourced models, Amazon does expect you to have some liquid assets.  But at an amount of closer to $25,000, it’s significantly less than most other good franchise opportunities. This liquidity is to fund costs such as van leases, hiring employees, payroll, legal fees for forming your company, and all of the necessary insurances.

The liquid assets requirement is much lower than other similar opportunities because you can start getting your first payments from Amazon within a month of starting. These payments should cover the majority of your operating costs, and you can scale to profitability from there.

What Are the Responsibilities of an Owner?

You are responsible for the day-today operation of the business. Make no mistake, you will be rolling up your sleeves and getting hands on with this business. This is certainly not a passive or semi-passive investment.

As outlined in Amazon’s brochure, you will start each day by scheduling your drivers and their routes, before meeting them for a morning inspirational huddle and sending them off on their way.

Next, you will track your drivers’ progress and handle any on-the-road issues, either using your own knowledge or by receiving help from the Amazon support team. Finally, it’s your responsibility to debrief the team once they return, refuel the vehicles, and lock up at the end of the night.

As you can see, this business will not be suited to all moms. However, there may be opportunities to structure your day so that you can head home for lunch, or do the school pick up/drop off.

How is this Program Different from Amazon Flex?

This is very different from Amazon flex. This is an opportunity to set up your own fully fledged business. Amazon flex is a part-time opportunity where you have the ability to become a delivery driver for a few hours a day.

Amazon Flex may be a better opportunity for mothers who wish to spend as much time with their kids as possible while still earning an income. However, that income won’t be anywhere near the same level you could achieve if you decided to start your own business with the Amazon Delivery Service Program. But it could still help ease the pressure of household bills nonetheless.

How Much Can You Make as an Amazon Delivery Service Partner?

Obviously, there isn’t going to be a set number that business owners are guaranteed to make. It is heavily dependent on how well you can scale your business, manage your teams and satisfy your customers.

You are paid in three ways as a business. First, Amazon pays you a set monthly fee based on how many vehicles (routes) you are running as an Amazon operator. Second, you will receive a predefined route rate based on how long your routes are. Finally, Amazon will pay you a per-package rate based on the amount of successfully delivered packages.

As an owner, you will start with five delivery routes. Amazon expects you to have grown to 20 routes within 12 weeks of starting, and 40 routes within a year for the most successful depots. Based on 40 routes, Amazon estimates owners will have a business with a revenue of between $1 million and $4.5 million, and a profit of between $75,000 to $300,000.

This is serious take-home money, in return for running a serious business.

Final Thoughts

I know for many, the start of starting your own business can be quite intimidating.  Even for those more entrepeneurial types, a $35,000 investment might be too much.  But if you have the means, this is one unique opportunity that won’t be around forever. You’d be starting your own business under the umbrella of the biggest brands on the planet. You can’t buy that kind of market potential.

Make no mistake, this is a competitive opportunity, and most applications are likely to be turned down. So, think about how you can stand out from the crowd.

If you’re a Mom who’s ready to take on the world, and you think you’ve got what it takes, why not apply here.

The post Start your own business as an Amazon Delivery Service Partner appeared first on Working Mom X.

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Did you watch the entire series? Or at least the last season?  Even if you only watched one episode, it’s not too late to start stocking up on the GoT gear.

You know the series is based on a set of books, right?

Do you have friends and coworkers who talk about how it compares to the books, but you haven’t read them yet?  No worries. You can snag your own copies of these books right here.

Here is the leather bound collector’s set for only $45.85

A Game of Thrones / A Clash of Kings / A Storm of Swords / A Feast for Crows / A Dance with Dragons (Song of Ice and Fire Series) (A Song of Ice and Fire)
If you prefer the easier to handle paperback version, you can get this set up instead for $28.04

A Game of Thrones / A Clash of Kings / A Storm of Swords / A Feast of Crows / A Dance with Dragons

Forget the books, I just want to watch it

If you’re like me, you probably don’t have the time, or enough peace and quiet to read a full book, let alone an entire set of them.  No worries, you can snag the entire series of Season 1-8 on Blu-Ray.  Relive every crazy story moment about fire and ice and white walkers whenever you want.  Click here to preorder your copy at $249.95

Game of Thrones: The Complete Seasons 1-8 (Collectors Edition/BD)

I need some good TV show threads

Of course, now that GoT has established itself among the best tv series, you need to have some official clothing. This tee This is available in 11 different colors and only $12.99.

Memento Mother of Dragons GOT Thrones TV Game Women’s Ladies Crewneck T-Shirt



And no one wants to be on Arya’s list.  I love this tee as its so soft and has just the right amount of snarkyness. Any GoT fan will know exactly what you’re referring to. Starting at only $24.99, this is available in three different colors: black, maroon and royal blue.

Don’t Make Me Add You to The List Women’s V-Neck T-Shirt

Know a couple that is expecting? Are they as hardcore GoT fans as you are? Then these matching tees are a must.  I would totally wear this! This gives The Night’s Watch a whole another meaning. Priced from $24.99- $29.94

Allntrends Couples T Shirts Baby is Coming My Watch Begins Fans Pregnancy Tshirt

 What about my beverages while I’m watching?

Who doesn’t want these cool looking wine tumblers and coffee cups your drinks. Available in 3 sizes- 12, 20 and 30 ounces, and five different colors= Rose gold, purple, mint, navy blue and white.

That’s What I Do, I Drink and I Know Things – GOT House Lannister Inspired Merchandise Gift – Funny Birthday, Mother’s Day Gifts Idea for Women – LEADO 12oz Insulated Stemless Wine Tumbler

What about a GoT Tervis?  This is a must have for any GoT enthusiast.  Appropriate for year round and not just when Winter Is Here

Tervis 1243477 HBO Game of Thrones – House Stark Insulated Travel Tumbler with Wrap & Lid, 16 oz – Tritan, Clear

If you prefer a coffee mug for those lazy Saturday or Sunday mornings, nothing is more perfect than the white logo mug that’s $20.18.  I need this yesterday.

Game of Thrones White with Logo

But where do I set my drink?

Set your Game of Thrones drinks down on these awesome coasters- only $11.00

Game Of Thrones Coasters | Cork Back Coaster Set

And open your favorite drinks with this awesome GoT bottle opener! Grab it  here for only $19.99

AleHorn “Hand of the King” Style Bottle Opener

Don’t forget about your Man

Father’s Day is coming up, and we’ve got your husband’s gift ideas right here for you.  Instead of the famous line Winter Is Coming, how about this awesome block cutting board? Snag it for only $49.99

Game of Thrones Cutting Board – Game of Thrones Gift, Game of Thrones Merchandise, Boyfriend Gift, Walnut Wood Cutting Board made in the USA – Winter is Here, Dinner is Coming

And of course, here’s a matching Dinner is Coming wooden spoon for only $10.77 + shipping.

Derwent Laser Crafts Game Of Thrones Inspired House Stark”Dinner Is Coming” Wooden Spoon

Need to freshen up their keychain? Are they a House of Stark fan? I love everything about this keychain. At only $11.54 every GoT fan should have one of these.

Diverse Game of Thrones: Stark Key CHA

And clothes for him

Guys can be pretty picky about what kind of t-shirts they’ll wear. Even a GoT tee shirt has to be just right.  This one gets the job done and is perfect to wear to the office for casual Fridays. This King of The North comes in Black Heather or Navy.

Game of Thrones Stark King in The North Mens Black Heather T-Shirt

If you’re traveling anytime soon, this backpack is sure to be a great conversation starter wherever you go.  This one includes a Dire Wolf keychain. Grab it for only $39.99

Skootz HBO Game of Thrones Series Backpack Bundle | Student School Bag with Durable Straps | Includes Free Dire Wolf Game of Thrones Keychain

I need a GoT pop socket

If you’re like me, you might be changing your cell phone’s pop sockets all the time. While you are ignoring those around you, scrolling away on your phone, show them on your pop socket how big a fan you are.  This will only set you back $16.99. Well worth it to display your fandom.

PopSockets Grip and Stand for Phones and Tablets

Also, if you’re looking for a good overview of the series

The post Game of Thrones is over- time to load up on the gear appeared first on Working Mom X.

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There’s only a few weeks left until kids all across the country finish the school year. Which means it’s time to get excited about all the activities you have planned with your family this Summer! Of course, going to large public events or places like Disney or an Amusement park brings the fear that all moms experience at some point. It’s hard not having thoughts of somehow temporarily losing your child or getting separated in a crowd.

Unfortunately, it probably happens more than we’d like to know.

When you picture a busy public space, like a zoo or even a large park, you can see how even the most obedient of children can on occasion run off. It’s just not that hard for a young child to become absorbed in the experience and quickly run off to the next exhibit or place space.

However, there are many steps you can take to protect your child in a public place, as well as methods to help ensure their safety should the worst happen.

Be Prepared in case the unthinkable happens

When I came across this next idea, I was amazed at the genius simplicity of it. It is to write your cell phone number on your child’s wrist, and then cover it with a Liquid Band-Aid so that it doesn’t come off.

I haven’t had to remember my husbands cell number in like ten years.  It’s in my phone, I hit his name, and it dials.  I can kind of remember it, but not really, and I call him daily.  My kid has never picked up a phone and actually dialed a number. He’d never remember my number.

The genius of this idea is that you’re basically tattooing your number on your kid so that they don’t have to remember it. If they get separated, the adult that finds them has what they need to call you and help get your child back in your hands.

Make sure they’re prepared

The second part of this strategy is to hammer home what they need to do if they become separated. Make sure they know to go to a responsible adult such a police officer or a security guard and show them their wrist to find mommy again.

This is something you’ll have to repetitively beat into their heads over time, but what you want is it to be natural for them if it ever happens. You don’t want them to panic or get scared any more than they will be, so if they remember this, then they can simply do it if they get lost.

You need to be prepared too

Upon arrival at a crowded public location, take quick pics of everyone.

If someone get separated, you’ll have an up to date photo of what your children are wearing, and this can help drastically reduce search times. It would provide a very accurate description that venue staff or police officers can circulate if they need to.

Stranger Danger

Yes, “stranger danger” applies just as much to our kids as it did when we were young. Of course, this is kind of age dependent, but stress that you can’t tell if someone is good or bad by the way that they look or talk. Help them understand that caution should be exercised around anyone that is not family or a friend.

By the same token, you should identify for them who should always be considered safe to approach, such as police officers, firefights, or EMTs.

Without scaring your children, it’s also important to emphasize the consequences that just wandering off can have. Try to plant that seed that keeps them from doing it in the first place.

Set a Rallying point

Finally, once a child is old enough, get into the habit of setting up a spot where you will agree to meet should you somehow get separated. Set a time and place. Then if your child does get separated, they can go to that place rather than trying to search for you and potentially getting even more lost.

Final Thoughts

While most public places are child-friendly, all it takes is for a child to go running off to get a parent completely freaked out. Don’t ruin your summer event by getting into this situation.

Follow the steps above so that you and your child are prepared in the case something like this happens. If you get separated, make your child as easy to find as possible.

You don’t have to sweat taking the kids out in public, especially if you’re prepared.

The post Protecting Your Child from Getting Separated in Public appeared first on Working Mom X.

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