• Dear Parents…


     Are you okay?

    Seriously, are you reaaalllyyy okay?  Most of us are inclined to quickly reply, “yes, I’m fine!”  However, if we step back and take a moment to really be honest with ourselves. We are, in fact, not okay.   

    Haven’t moments of not being okay, is okay.  Taking the time to realize that we need a moment to even process that we are not okay, is okay.  We live up to an unrealistic standard of being these supposed “super parents” that, if not occasionally checked, leads down a narrow and dangerous path of us parents lying to ourselves that we are okay and we are not.  

    Was it our own caregivers, who likely had their own periods of parental turbulence, that made parenting life look so easy that we mistakenly believed that they were always okay?  

    Is it the constant disjointed messaging of parental perfection that dominates or social feeds?  You know, the picture-perfect smiling family of eight, donning coordinated outfits head to toe, matching perfectly groomed Goldendoodle in tow sitting in their spotless and flawlessly decorated living room. Meanwhile, we average parents consider it a good day if we’re able to take two swigs of the morning coffee while it’s still lukewarm and a great day if we make it to the afternoon having not stepped on a pile of legos on our way, late of course, to the 75th video conference call of the day. 

    I know I’m not alone.  Are you with me?  

    Let’s exhale together. Now, let’s dissect this, one step at a time.   

    Be honest.

    Choose your battles.  

    Protect your peace.

    Don’t compare.

    Be intentional.

    Create a sanctuary. 

    Seek help.

    The first step to solving a problem is to admit the problem actually exists. You’re going to have to sit yourself down to have an honest talk with yourself in the mirror.  You are mentally struggling.  And, in order to feel better, to be better, it’s necessary for you to make intentional changes. 

    Recognize that feeling overwhelmed and imperfect is normal.  The way that you are feeling is acceptable. Moreover, you will not get to a better place unless you afford yourself permission to not be okay.

    So, now I’m going to be completely honest with you. I’m raising my own teenagers and I’ve had a close hand in raising, guiding, molding and mentoring hundreds of children into well-adjusted adults.  As a psychotherapist for over two decades, I’ve leveraged my expertise in parenting and education to lead families to parent consciously.  The common theme from parents coming from all walks of life is that at times, parenting can feel like an uphill battle.  Life without children has it’s curveballs.  On some days, leading a family can feel like the front side of a dartboard after target practice.  

    When life “piles it on”, parents must toss back the unnecessary pieces in order to focus on what is truly important.  If there are 10 things in the pile, start with two or three issues that are the most pressing, and peel back those layers first.  Less important matters have a way of working themselves out.  

    Many first-time parents attempt to make gourmet cuisine for their new family. Meanwhile, veteran parents are excited to merely get nutritious food groups to the dinner table in one meal. Over time, we learn that the 1-hour prep, 1.5 hours of cooking and the extra hour for clean-up per meal looks great but, ultimately, is not worth our sanity. Veteran parents have learned to meal prep for 2 hours over the weekend for the upcoming week; thereby: saving precious time and money.  The extra time and money gained by choosing the right battle will enable the veteran parent to spend quality time attacking another issue from the “pile”.

    ** Here’s a little added secret, with the right seasonings and plating, your family will be blown away by the most simple of dishes.  

    Simply put, we tend to take on too much.  We do things for the sake of just doing them because we believe it should be done.  Some of the things we take on are impeding our peace.  We also entertain people in our lives that deplete us more than they pour into us because, again, we believe we should.  We allow those things and people to take hold of our peace and that adds an unnecessary level of stress that we don’t need. It also is a huge contributor to feeling like we are not okay.  It is all avoidable.  Learn to say no to things that disturb your peace and yes to things that bring you joy. 

    This one is so hard while living in the world of social media.  Try not to get caught up in the webbed world of so-called perfection.  In general, people tend to show us their best.  We tend to hyper-focus on how much of a mess our lives are, which is a stark contrast to the constant images in front of us. The easiest way to not get caught up is to log off and tune out.  It may be easier said than done at first, but we manifest that which we focus our time and attention.  So, focus your attention on how you can grow instead of focusing on how others are succeeding.  

    This goes along with the idea of not comparing. Thoughts manifest things.  Being intentional about what one does, why it’s done and how it’s done redirects thought and action in the same direction. These intentional acts move us from a place of being down and sad to mobilizing ourselves to feel better.  It’s a step in the right direction to really being okay instead of just pretending that we are okay.

    We’ve learned to protect our peace by intentionally choosing our battles and not comparing.  The next step would be to create a physical place to maintain the peace we create.  I’m not talking about major home renovations here, I’m talking about a small corner in the walk-in-closet or the bedroom.  It could be sitting on a pouf with a good book or a new journal under dim lights and a brand new candle nearby or it could be sitting at a fold-up table in a well-lit room to work on a craft, hobby or writing project.  Either way, create a “me” place that allows you to tap into your senses that you overlook through the constant times of chaos as you go about your days as a busy parent.  A candle or freshly cleaned room with your favorite cleanser will tap into your sense of smell.  Consider your preferred lighting for your sense of sight.  Do you like soft lighting or do you prefer bright white?  Set the mood for your sense of hearing by tuning into your favorite background sounds.  Do you even know what you like?  Is it an upbeat song like Drake’s “Started from the bottom” or is it slower like Lauryn Hill and Bob Marley’s, “Turn Your Lights Down Low” ????  See where I’m going?  Create your own sanctuary.

    None of the so-called perfect people you’ve been following on social media does it on their own.  They have help and so should you.  If you’re stuck in a bad space, mentally, and can’t get out, seek the professional help of a therapist.  If you are completely overwhelmed by work and chores at home, talk to the people who make up your support system.  Tell them what you need.  I’m sure they will be more than willing to lend a hand.  If you need consistent help and can afford the service, hire help.  You’d be surprised how much easier life is with the assistance of a team dedicated to helping you do your parenting “chores” so that you can focus time on your family and yourself.  

    As parents, our lives are oftentimes so chaotic that we believe that it’s normal not to take time out to focus on our mental wellness.  That’s just part of parenting life, right?  Wrong.  It doesn’t have to be and it shouldn’t be.  I’ve provided you with a blueprint to get started.  Being honest with yourself and others, choosing to address the real problems that need your immediate attention, protecting your peace, not comparing, being intentional about thoughts and actions,  creating a sanctuary and soliciting help with overwhelming tasks will guide you to getting back to an okay place.


    Be well,


    We want you to be okay.  If you find yourself overwhelmed by your parenting life.  Contact Kid Care Concierge for a free, no obligation consultation to talk about how you can begin putting the pieces back together on the road to happiness.


  • 15 Healthful Snacks for Kids

    We’ve rolled into a new school year under a “new normal”. Whether our children are learning via an in-person, hybrid or fully remote program, one consistent commonality amongst all groups is that they are always hungry. As a parent of teens, I can tell you that “snack time” doesn’t end as they get older. Their pallets become more mature and their requests more specific, but parents of children of all ages are constantly buying snacks. Insert collective sigh.

    With that said, it’s important that we feed their bodies and brains with good snacks. Lack of proper nutrition makes it difficult for learners to concentrate. We’re asking children to work from an electronic device several hours per day, socially estranged from their peers. Naturally, youngsters are bright bursts of energy. Sugary snacks evoke a sugar high and crash cycle in children. We can’t reasonably expect our children to be at their best if we don’t fuel them appropriately.

    Training our children to choose and enjoy healthful snacks will foster a lifestyle of good eating eat habits that transcends into adulthood. Watching caregivers regularly enjoy healthful snacks will provide an added benefit for children of all ages. So, eat them with and in front of your children. Healthful food doesn’t have to be boring. Presenting a variety of colorful foods to your children will have them reaching for their own nutritious snacks in no time.

    Here are 15 yummy healthful snacks that your children will devour.

    • Orange or Tangerine Slices
    • Sliced Strawberries & Blueberries
    • Low-Fat Peanut Butter & Crackers
    • Greek Yogurt Parfait
    • Granola Bars
    • Apple Slices & Almond Butter
    • Frozen Grapes
    • No Sugar Added Applesauce
    • Fruit Cups (100% juice)
    • Homemade Vegan Blueberry Muffins
    • Blended Fruit Smoothie w/ pineapples, mangos and peaches (fruits have natural sugar, so don’t add artificial sugars)
    • Acai Bowl w/ Fruit & Granola
    • Dry Cereal
    • Guacamole & Tortilla Chips
    • Sliced Veggies & Dip

    Shopping Tip: Healthful and natural foods are generally found around the perimeter of the supermarket while processed foods are usually found in the middle aisles at eye-level for quick access to shoppers. Try shopping the perimeter first, then work inward.


  • Taking Control of Your Mental Health!

    June is a month filled with sunshine and joy for many of us.  The days are longer and the weather is better.  Students, parents and teachers excitedly start the countdown to summer vacation. At the same time, the corporate culture at offices around the country shift  into a slightly more relaxed mode with stuffy board room meetings exchanged for company gatherings at outdoor cafes.  

    As we try to wrap our minds around “outside being open”, we’re still trying to reconcile what coming out of quarantine will look like for each of us.  Will we be wearing masks in the dead of summer?  Gloves at the beach?  Is it safe?  Should I allow my kids to play with friends?  What if “it” comes back again?  

    These are all very valid concerns.  Many of us are experiencing the same angst.  To be completely honest, no one can offer definitive answers at this time.  That, in itself, is scary.  When things feel as if they are getting out of control, it’s important to try to remain grounded; which is easier said than done.

    Do you need to seek immediate mental health care?  If so, the following may be helpful:   

    • If you believe you are having a mental emergency, call 9-1-1;
    • If you’re not having an emergency and you have a mental health provider, please contact him/her to schedule a teletherapy session;
    • If you don’t have a mental health provider, contact the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Helpline at 800-950-NAMI or the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK.

    If you believe that you don’t need the assistance of a mental health provider, practicing self-care can provide prospective and relief.  

    • Step away from the situation temporarily, if you can.  Change the routine so that you can come back and reassess the situation through a different lens. Watch a favorite movie, take a long drive or a soothing bath.
    • Do something physical.  Take a walk or run to clear your mind.  Download a workout app such as the Nike Training Club on iOS or on Android
    • Come to terms with the reality of the situation.  Control what you can.  Ask yourself questions.  Can I realistically control my situation?  If not, what can I control.  How do I break this into smaller pieces so that I can handle things piece-by-piece?

    According to NAMI:

    • 1 in 5 U.S. adults experience mental illness each year
    • 1 in 25 U.S. adults experience serious mental illness each year
    • 1 in 6 U.S. youth aged 6-17 experience a mental health disorder each year

    These statistics have undoubtedly increased by the current pandemic.   

    As human beings, we find comfort in knowing that we are not alone. Reach out.  Call a trusted friend.  Oftentimes, sharing personal thoughts and feelings aloud allows one to hear things differently.  Carrying the burden alone is tiresome and unhealthy.  Share it with someone you trust.

    Although the summer months are upon us, some of our family, friends, co-workers or neighbors are feeling dark and gloomy.  Check in with your loved ones and be open to reaching out if you find that you are not okay.  


  • Quarantine Edition: How to Make Up for Lost Time

    It seems like way back in December of 2019, many of us in the United States of America watched the Coronavirus take China by storm. Never, in our wildest dreams, would we imagine that covid-19 would find itself ravaging our own communities. If someone told me that I might be missing my daughter’s 8th-grade graduation and the graduations of other family and friends, I would have never believed you. We are in a new day of video conferencing in lieu of birthday parties and gatherings. While no one is happy about having to miss important milestones, most of us realize that staying home is the only way to keep our loved ones and neighbors safe.
    Our children, who have a more narrow scope of the world are likely to feel robbed of the opportunity to partake in the ceremonial aspect of graduation. Similarly, many parents have watched what feels like a time-lapsed video of their child turned young adult work so hard to get to the culminating point of their education, high school graduation, since as far back as they can remember.
    Socialization, an essential life skill, is a large part of what children learn within a typical school day.  School schedules, structured play and lunch rooms are designed intentionally to promote conversation amongst peers. Children who are not socialized with peers have a tendency to become withdrawn and may show signs of depression or anxiousness.
    If you’re feeling at a loss for how to give your children back some of what being quarantined has taken away, here are a few helpful tips.
    1. Plan virtual gatherings instead of in-person meetings.
    My daughter celebrated her birthday 10 days into our State mandated stay in place order. Her sister celebrated her birthday a month prior. Anyone who has had the pleasure of having same-gender children 2 years or less apart, knows that birthday parties must be equal in nature or no one in their house will be at peace.  
    Being quarantined was completely a new ideal and I was absolutely terrified to have to leave my home in order to get anything for her birthday. As parents, we do what we have to do to make our children happy.  We even got to virtually party with friends and family that live too far away to have celebrated with us in person. The party was a complete success and she was so happy!   If you would like to learn more about how to plan a virtual party, send us a comment in the section below and we will put up a post showing step by step instructions on how to plan the best virtual party ever.
    1. Put a positive spin on the situation for yourself and your children.
    We miss our friends. We miss our old life. We complained about Monday mornings but what wouldn’t we give to be sitting in traffic on our way to the office right now. If we are constantly complaining about being stuck in the house and modeling how miserable we can be to our children then they may internalize our thoughts and feelings as their own. The human brain is not fully developed until about the age of 25. accordingly, most children do not have the emotional intelligence or the cognitive ability to be able to fully process everything that is happening in our world when it comes to the effects of the Coronavirus.
    Our children tend to see the world through their caregivers’ eyes;  good, bad, or indifferent.   Instead of being unhappy not having the ability to physically touch my loved ones, have a dialogue around how fortunate we are to be able to call or video conference our loved ones because the world has slowed down. Children are like sponges, they soak in everything around them. What are you pouring into your children for them to soak up?  
    As adults, we are aware that this situation will not last forever, although it may feel like it has been forever. Children may lack perspective and hearing constant negative thoughts from caregivers, news sources or otherwise may prove to be emotionally taxing for youngsters. It is imperative to take on the mantra that “thoughts become things”.
    1. Use this as an opportunity to teach your children how to Pivot.
    A large part of how we are teaching our children how to respond to being quarantined, or many situations in life, has to do with our mindset. Along with a positive mindset, it is also equally important to teach children that life happens. Teaching resilience and flexibility are important skills that children are going to need to tap into for the rest of their lives.  
    A buzzword in business nowadays is “pivot”. Businesses who made clothing prior to March of 2020 are now churning out masks for essential workers and manufacturers have changed their scope of business to be able to produce much-needed ventilators. Life does not always go as planned. This is a real-life example that we can turn into a teachable moment for our children to learn how to adjust to life’s lemons.
    The effects that covid-19 will have on our society will be emotionally, physically and financially astounding for years to come. How we choose to respond to hardship will, in large part, determine how quickly we are able to recover from it.