Want to be the best mom possible? You are not alone.

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In an evening class at Stanford University, the last lecture was on the mind-body connection — the relationship between stress and disease.

The speaker (head of psychiatry at Stanford) said, among other things, that one of the best things that a man could do for his health is to be married to a woman. … . whereas for a woman, one of the best things she could do for her health was to nurture her relationships with her girlfriends.

At first everyone laughed, but he was serious. Women connect with each other differently and provide support systems that help each other to deal with stress and difficult life experiences. Physically, this quality “girlfriend time” helps us to create more serotonin — a neurotransmitter that helps combat depression and can create a general feeling of well being.

Women share feelings, whereas men often form relationships around activities. We share from our souls with our sisters/mothers, and evidently that is very GOOD for our health. He said that spending time with a friend is just as important to our general health as jogging or working out at a gym.

There’s a tendency to think that when we are “exercising” we are doing something good for our bodies, but when we are hanging out with friends, we are wasting our time and should be more productively engaged? Not true. In fact, he said that failure to create and maintain quality personal with other humans is as dangerous to our physical health as smoking!

So every time you hang out to schmooze with a gal pal, just pat yourself on the back and congratulate yourself for doing something good for your health! We are indeed very, very lucky. Sooooo let’s toast to our friendship with
our girlfriends. Evidently it’s very good for our health.

Thanks to all the girls in my life who have helped me stay healthy, happy, and feeling very loved.


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We treasure you … at MOPS in 2015

It’s time for our first meeting of 2015, this Friday, Jan. 16. This meeting will center on preparing for our Tickets for Treasure fundraiser, scheduled during the OFLC Women’s Banquet on Jan. 23. We will create the centerpieces for the banquet and organize our donations. We also will have a devotional and fun (and I’m guessing funny!) icebreaker.
You should have received an e-mail last week detailing Tickets for Treasure. We are asking each mom to donate 1-2 items to raffle (our goal is 40). We also could use help setting up and running the raffle. We will have sign up sheets for both at our meeting.
A few other details about Friday:
_ Table 4 has breakfast.
_ We meet from 9:30-11:30 a.m., with childcare beginning at 9:15.
_ As we begin our second semester, please remember your $90 tuition. We also will be selling tickets to the Women’s Banquet for $10 (a $13 discount!).
_ We are postponing our next Secret Sister exchange until February. However, we will still have our table and prayer board set up if you need to offer or ask for Secret Sister support and prayers.

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Tickets for Treasure! We need YOU to help us gather our treasures

We are gearing up for our annual Tickets for Treasure fundraiser, to be held on Jan. 23, during the annual OFLC Women’s Banquet.

This event is MOPS’ ONLY fundraiser, and we have been very successful in the past. Last year, we raised more than $1,300 – money we use to pay for childcare, crafts, speakers, scholarships and other MOPS needs. Our goal is to eliminate additional fundraisers, requests for money or fee increases by having a successful, fun and engaging event. We also use Tickets for Treasure to promote MOPS to the larger OFLC community and show our appreciation to the church for sponsoring our group.

Our next meeting, Friday, Jan. 16, will be dedicated to preparing for Tickets for Treasure. We will be making the centerpieces for the banquet and organizing our raffle items, along with our usual icebreakers and devotional. We also will have additional tickets to the Women’s Banquet, on sale for $10.

Please bring your items to donate to the meeting. Our goal is to have 40 items for raffle. We are looking for gift baskets around a theme, gift certificates or new or gently used items you no longer want.

We DO NOT want our MOPS moms to feel pressure to buy an expensive item. We do hope that we can all think, gather and shop creatively to put together some really interesting and exciting items.

Some ideas:

_ Combine something you already have with new accessories. One of our most popular items was a gently used pasta pot that we filled with pasta, sauce, a serving spoon and some hand towels.

_ Consider donating a service that you perform or asking a professional to donate their services.

_ Use your talents to make a craft, baked good or other item. Two years ago, Jeri made two cheese plates that were very popular.

_ Donate the Christmas presents you don’t like or need. Don’t worry if you don’t think you have “enough.” We can combine things to make a basket. We will have some cellophane, ribbon and baskets if needed.

We have a few donated items that could be paired with other items to make some great baskets. These are: popcorn with popcorn spices (add a popcorn bowl or some movies passes?), an REI lunchbox (add a thermos?) and three large photo frames. If you cannot attend Friday’s meeting, you can bring your items to Linda at OFLC any time next week.

We are including some photos of baskets already donated to give you further ideas.

The Women’s Banquet is a wonderful event, and MOPS is lucky to be a part of it. Please help us continue to make Tickets for Treasure a success.

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Taken from the Huffington Post

“Yes, your happiness is important, but the moment you gave birth, your happiness took a backseat to that squalling bundle of joy. You’re not a teenager anymore. It’s not about you. Your self-actualization and self-esteem need to move over and make some mac and cheese.”

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Courage to be a Brave Parent

5 Reasons Modern-Day Parenting Is in Crisis, According to a British Nanny

By Emma Jenner

I generally am quite an optimistic person. I tend to believe that everything will work out for the best unless the evidence is overwhelmingly to the contrary, and anyone who knows me will tell you that I am not prone to drama. That’s why when I say that modern parenting is in serious trouble — crisis, even — I hope you’ll listen, and listen carefully. I’ve worked with children and their parents across two continents and two decades, and what I’ve seen in recent years alarms me. Here are the greatest problems, as I see them:

1. A fear of our children.
I have what I think of as “the sippy cup test,” wherein I will observe a parent getting her toddler a cup of milk in the morning. If the child says, “I want the pink sippy cup, not the blue!” yet the mum has already poured the milk into the blue sippy cup, I watch carefully to see how the parent reacts. More often than not, the mum’s face whitens and she rushes to get the preferred sippy cup before the child has a tantrum. Fail! What are you afraid of, mum? Who is in charge here? Let her have a tantrum, and remove yourself so you don’t have to hear it. But for goodness’ sake, don’t make extra work for yourself just to please her — and even more importantly, think about the lesson it teaches if you give her what she wants because she’s thrown a fit.

2. A lowered bar.
When children misbehave, whether it’s by way of public outburst or private surliness, parents are apt to shrug their shoulders as if to say, “That’s just the way it is with kids.” I assure you, it doesn’t have to be. Children are capable of much more than parents typically expect from them, whether it’s in the form of proper manners, respect for elders, chores, generosity or self-control. You don’t think a child can sit through dinner at a restaurant? Rubbish. You don’t think a child can clear the table without being asked? Rubbish again! The only reason they don’t behave is because you haven’t shown them how and you haven’t expected it! It’s that simple. Raise the bar and your child shall rise to the occasion.

3. We’ve lost the village.
It used to be that bus drivers, teachers, shopkeepers and other parents had carte blanche to correct an unruly child. They would act as the mum and dad’s eyes and ears when their children were out of sight, and everyone worked towards the same shared interest: raising proper boys and girls. This village was one of support. Now, when someone who is not the child’s parent dares to correct him, the mum and dad get upset. They want their child to appear perfect, and so they often don’t accept teachers’ and others’ reports that he is not. They’ll storm in and have a go at a teacher rather than discipline their child for acting out in class. They feel the need to project a perfect picture to the world and unfortunately, their insecurity is reinforced because many parents do judge one another. If a child is having a tantrum, all eyes turn on the mum disapprovingly. Instead she should be supported, because chances are the tantrum occurred because she’s not giving in to one of her child’s demands. Those observers should instead be saying, “Hey, good work — I know setting limits is hard.”

4. A reliance on shortcuts.
I think it’s wonderful that parents have all sorts of electronics to help them through airline flights and long waits at the doctor’s office. It’s equally fabulous that we can order our groceries online for delivery, and heat up healthy-ish food at the touch of a button on the microwave. Parents are busier than ever, and I’m all for taking the easy way when you need it. But shortcuts can be a slippery slope. When you see how wonderful it is that Caillou can entertain your child on a flight, don’t be tempted to put it on when you are at a restaurant. Children must still learn patience. They must still learn to entertain themselves. They must still learn that not all food comes out steaming hot and ready in three minutes or less, and ideally they will also learn to help prepare it. Babies must learn to self-soothe instead of sitting in a vibrating chair each time they’re fussy. Toddlers need to pick themselves up when they fall down instead of just raising their arms to mum and dad. Show children that shortcuts can be helpful, but that there is great satisfaction in doing things the slow way too.

5. Parents put their children’s needs ahead of their own.
Naturally, parents are wired to take care of their children first, and this is a good thing for evolution! I am an advocate of adhering to a schedule that suits your child’s needs, and of practices like feeding and clothing your children first. But parents today have taken it too far, completely subsuming their own needs and mental health for the sake of their children. So often I see mums get up from bed again and again to fulfill the whims of their child. Or dads drop everything to run across the zoo to get their daughter a drink because she’s thirsty. There is nothing wrong with not going to your child when she wants yet another glass of water at night. There’s nothing wrong with that dad at the zoo saying, “Absolutely you can have something to drink, but you must wait until we pass the next drinking fountain.” There is nothing wrong with using the word “No” on occasion, nothing wrong with asking your child to entertain herself for a few minutes because mummy would like to use the toilet in private or flick through a magazine for that matter.

I fear that if we don’t start to correct these five grave parenting mistakes, and soon, the children we are raising will grow up to be entitled, selfish, impatient and rude adults. It won’t be their fault — it will be ours. We never taught them any differently, we never expected any more of them. We never wanted them to feel any discomfort, and so when they inevitably do, they are woefully unprepared for it. So please, parents and caregivers from London to Los Angeles, and all over the world, ask more. Expect more. Share your struggles. Give less. And let’s straighten these children out, together, and prepare them for what they need to be successful in the real world and not the sheltered one we’ve made for them.


View the original post here:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/emma-jenner/modern-day-parenting-in-c_b_5552527.html