empty-nest-syndrome-150x150-1-2 Empty nest syndrome refers to the feelings of sadness, grief, depression, loneliness, emptiness and loss when children grow up, leave for college, get married, or leave home to live on their own. “Empty-nesters” can either be mothers or fathers, but mothers are primarily the ones who have difficulty dealing with or coping with an empty nest when children begin leaving home to live their lives as adults.

What do I do now?, What can I do now?, are questions empty-nesters commonly ask before, during or after learning their children are leaving home, since parents have spent most of their lives focused on raising children, caring for the home and family, until suddenly the kids are gone.

Are you an empty-nester? Are your children leaving home to head off to college? Are your children getting married soon, moving away or getting their own home? Is your son or daughter leaving home soon, leading you to ask yourself, What do I do after my children leave home?

Empty Nest Syndrome

First, let me say, Congratulations! Give yourself a big pat on the back for having raised your children in such a way that you’re not dealing with adult children living at home years after kids should have left home and begun living their lives as full grown, successful, independent adults.

You have taught your children how to be an adult, and you should be congratulated! You have cut the apron strings by letting go, and the “tied to his mother’s apron strings” quote doesn’t apply to you in regards to your son or daughter leaving home. Trust me, you don’t want to deal with the “revolving door syndrome” so common in today’s society. Good for you!

If you are trying to deal with an empty nest now, or will be an empty-nester sometime soon, please understand you’re not alone. Many moms and dads are trying to cope with empty nest feelings and emotions just like you are, and no two people deal with stressful situations like this the same way, so patience, understanding and empathy are important.

What Do I Do Now? What Can I Do Now?

What do I do after my children leave home? There are many things you can do, should do or need to do now that your children have left home and you are alone at last. It’s time to change your focus on being a parent and the responsibilities of parenting children still living at home, and direct your time and energies towards other things you can do that bring you enjoyment, pleasure and a sense of fulfillment.

Ask yourself, if you could do it all over again, what are some “coulda, shoulda, woulda” things you wish you had done before getting married or before having children? The answer to “What do I do now” is that you now have time to take a life inventory on yourself and start doing the things you have always wanted to do but never could before.

children-leaving-home-150x150-1-2 It’s time to get busy! Put your thinking cap on and get those creative juices flowing, and come up with a “What I Can Do Now” list now that the kids are grown and gone. Go back to school to get your high school diploma, or get the college degree you always wanted. Rekindle the romance with your spouse and fire up your marriage by spending time together and bringing back the fun and excitement experienced when you were dating or before the kids came along.

Do some volunteer work; find a new hobby; join an active online support group for encouragement. Travel! Take a cruise, rent an RV and stay at RV parks while traveling, or check out the cost of Flights and buy a plane ticket to visit places you’ve always wanted to see but couldn’t. (I recommend the Philippines) Learn a new language! You can do what I’m doing and learn spanish online, or you can learn japanese online or any other language you have wanted to learn but never had the time.

Or, here’s an idea for you and it’s completely FREE! I bet, after raising your children, you probably have lots of interesting mom, dad, grandpa or grandma stories to tell. Why not start a free blog and write stories about whatever topics you are passionate about? If you’re wondering what is a blog, you’re reading a “blog post” right now about Empty Nest Syndrome. Get it?

Are you dealing with empty nest syndrome? What are some things you have found that helped you cope with your children leaving home? What is on your What I Can Do Now list? Share your ideas, suggestions, tips and advice in the comment section below.

Categories: Children, Elderly, Family, Marriage, Men, Parenting, Relationships, Women – Tags: adult children living at home, apron strings, Children, children leaving home, College, daughter, empty nest, empty nest syndrome, empty nester, Home, independent adults, moms and dads, nest, parenting adult children, Raising children, s, way

tattoo-barbie-by-mattel-150x150-1 Tattoo Barbie? But of course there’s now a tattoo Barbie! Totally Pierced Barbie is sure to be next on Mattel’s list of upcoming toys coming soon to a toy store near you! It was just a matter of time before Barbie doll maker Mattel would introduce Totally Stylin’ Tattoo Nikki, Barbie’s brunette friend and counterpart, as part of their new spring line of Barbie dolls. Mattel’s excuse for marketing a doll that comes with tattoo stickers is to just help girls “express themselves and be creative” and to “keep up with the changing times” we’re living in.

Tattoo Barbie comes supplied with tattoo stickers for herself and 40 temporary tattoos for Barbie-loving kids to put on themselves, with the help of a water gun for easy application of the tattoos to children’s skin. But wait! This isn’t the first time Mattel has marketed a tattoo Barbie doll, and it’s not the first time there has been a Barbie doll controversy brewing, that leaves parents wondering if this nonsense will ever end.

Why not consider an age-appropriate doll that looks real, which is the Only Hearts Club dolls (and others), as the Only Hearts girls are one of the best Barbie alternative dolls on the market today?

Back in 1999, Mattel introduced its first tattoo Barbie by the name of “Butterfly Art Barbie”, with a large butterfly tattoo covering her mid-drift area, which also came with tattoos for children. Butterfly Art Barbie was yanked from toy store shelves after four months due to a storm of controversy by outraged parents.

The Sexualization of Children

Mattel is either not paying attention or doesn’t care about the growing concern over the sexualization of children in today’s society, and how their continued efforts to market inappropriate toys to children is harming kids. This new Barbie with all her tattoos is a big hit amongst clueless parents, with some stores being completely sold out of the tattoo-stamped doll, while informed parents are furious and demanding that Barbie be banned.

tattoo-barbie-150x150-1 It wasn’t long ago that “Pregnant Barbie” was banned and removed from store shelves, although that doll was Barbie’s married friend Midge, pregnant with her second child. Pregnant Barbie comes with a detachable tummy where the doll’s baby should be, and this doll also become a big hit amongst little girls, and parents were all too willing to buy into the targeted marketing of inappropriate toys for their children.

Media efforts to sexualize children and turn young girls into little Lolita’s is very real in our society, and toy makers and marketers continue to target young girls and boys with their ideas of fun toys for kids, regardless of the harmful effects brought on by inappropriate clothes and toys made for children.

Parents, if you really want your daughter to grow up dressing and acting like a two-cent skank, keep on buying your little girls street-walker Bratz dolls, push-up bras, thongs, “eye candy” panties, mini or micro-mini skirts, sequined crop-tops and other hooker-style “fashionable” outfits, and the trouble you’re having with your daughter will be unlike anything you could have imagined.

Go ahead, turn a blind eye and claim that Tattoo Barbie, Pregnant Barbie, Bratz dolls and the inappropriate clothes and toys you’re buying for your kids, or the trashy stuff you’re allowing others to give your kids, doesn’t have any effect on the clothes teens and adults choose to wear as they get older or how your kids turn out. But then again, even very young children as young as three or four years old are being allowed to wear these types of clothes. Be forewarned: You shall reap what you sow.

At least some of us are paying close attention to the crap manufacturers and marketers are constantly trying to shove down our throats, while they continue to line their own pockets with your hard-earned money, while at the same time your kids are suffering the harmful effects of the sexualization of children in society today.

Categories: Children, Education, Family, Men, Parenting, Reviews, Shopping, Teenagers, Women – Tags: barbie doll, barbie dolls, butterfly tattoo, doll maker, hearts club, mattel, pregnant barbie, s, sexualization of children

, Telling It Like It IsPrintable Valentine cards for Valentine’s Day, especially FREE Valentine Cards, is on the top of the list of things to do for people preparing for Valentine’s Day 2009. I haven’t bought a Valentine’s Day card in years, not since discovering how easy printable Valentine cards are to print and/or email to give to family and friends.

Printable Valentine’s Day cards are so easy, even a child could do it. Where do I get my printable cards and FREE Valentine e-cards for Valentine’s Day, Birthdays, Anniversaries, Holidays and other special occasions?

Hallmark Card Studio by Hallmark offers excellent greeting card software for any and all occasions, with thousands of cards and designs to choose from, where you can print and mail or create e-cards to send by email.

Whatever printable Valentine cards options you choose, let me be the first to wish you and yours a Happy Valentine’s Day 2009!

Categories: Children, Dating, Family, Friendship, Holidays, Marriage, Men, Parenting, Relationships, Shopping, Teenagers, Women – Tags: americangreetings, free, free valentine cards, greeting card software, hallmark card studio, happy valentine, printable cards, printable valentine cards, s, valentine e cards, valentine s day, valentine s day card, valentine’s day, Valentine’s Day gift ideas, valentine’s day gifts

the-expectant-father1Believe it or not, expectant fathers have just as many questions, concerns, worries and doubts about pregnancy and parenthood as expectant mothers do. Unfortunately, there aren’t nearly as many resources and helpful literature available for the father-to-be to get advice and helpful tips about pregnancy as there are for the mother-to-be. Most pregnancy books tell women to eat right, exercise, and maintain a low-stress lifestyle, but they offer very little in the way of explanation of how such choices affect the baby, and those books don’t address the concerns of the dad-to-be.

People tend to forget that new dads also have valid feelings, hopes, concerns and fears about pregnancy, childbirth, and their new babies. Studies show that men experience intense changes in their levels of stress, anxiety, depression, and relationship satisfaction during pregnancy. Why should a father-to-be even concern himself?, you may be asking yourself. After all, he doesn’t have to carry the fetus, deal with morning sickness, the mood swings, weird cravings at 2 a.m., go through labor pains, or give birth to an 8-pound bowling ball!

It’s hard for some people to understand that the expectant father’s physical distance from the process of pregnancy brings its own stress and worries. Most men have a positive reaction to finding out about the pregnancy, but may also have doubts, confusion and fear about all the changes taking place. “What kind of father will I be?” What is happening inside his partner’s body during conception, pregnancy, labor and delivery affects the father physically and emotionally just as much as it does the mother.

Considering the increasing number of fathers who want to be actively involved in the pregnancy and parenting process, from the moment it is learned that a baby is on the way, it’s about time father’s were provided straight-forward facts from a male expert about everything that goes on throughout pregnancy, as well as providing facts and tips about parenting.

Armin A. Brott and Jennifer Ash have collaborated on the Second Edition of The Expectant Father: Facts, Tips, and Advice for Dads-to-Be, and is in my opinion the best guidebook for fathers- and mothers-to-be in their journey through the nine months of pregnancy and beyond, far and above any other pregnancy book for men or woman combined. Also included in this edition are chapters on labor and delivery, a chapter on Cesarean sections, as well as a chapter that addresses questions and concerns you may have regarding caring for and getting to know your baby in the first few weeks after bringing him or her home.

Readers of the First Edition of The Expectant Father took great exception to Brott’s seeming overuse of words like “You” and “Your”, causing some readers to feel that Brott was suggesting that fathers were to control all the decision-making in regards to their partner’s pregnancy. My opinion is that those readers were themselves being oversensitive, as subsequent words and sentences made clear (at least to me) that Brott’s intent was for the father- and mother-to-be to make necessary decisions together, rather than feel forced into anything by overbearing physicians, hospitals, nurses and other caregivers.

dad-and-babyIf you’re expecting your first child, you’re in for a number of surprises, most of them being good ones. Pregnancy can begin with a wide range of emotions for the father (and the mother), stimulating feelings of both fear and hope, so understanding your feelings during this time can help you begin to see how your role from man to dad is developing, and how you can best stay connected and involved in the pregnancy right alongside the mother. Men who are about to become dads often express concern about their partner’s and the baby’s health, worries about money (How are we going to afford this?), and concerns about what type of father you will be (Will I be a good dad?).

This bestselling book, The Expectant Father – now fully updated and expanded, is an information-packed, month-by-month guide to all the emotional, financial, and physical changes the father-to-be may experience during the course of his partner’s pregnancy. The book divides each month of pregnancy into four categories: “What She’s Going Through” (physical and emotion changes), “What’s Going On with the Baby” (physical progress), “What You’re Going Through” (physical and emotional changes) and “Staying Involved” (tips on supporting and encouraging the pregnant partner).

Including wisdom from top experts in the field, from obstetricians and birth-class instructors to psychologists and sociologists, the Second Edition of The Expectant Father includes the latest research and is filled with sound advice and practical tips for men, such as:

  • How to afford a pregnancy
  • Who will help deliver the baby?
  • How much is this going to cost?
  • Questions about insurance coverage
  • What changes may we expect to our sex lives?
  • Should we have the baby in the hospital or at home?
  • How much does a mid-wife cost?
  • Special ways to prepare if you’re adopting a baby
  • How to juggle your work and family values
  • How to make sense of your conflicting emotions
  • What childbirth classes don’t teach you
  • How to manage if you are expecting more than one baby
  • Ways to support and encourage your partner throughout the pregnancy
  • How to deal with the obstacles society places in the way of involved fathers
  • What are the nutritional needs of the mother-to-be?

mixed-couple-expecting-a-childThere is discussion on prenatal communication, sex during pregnancy, finding childcare, dealing with late-night wake-ups, changing diapers, dressing babies and young children, sex after pregnancy etc., all from the expectant father’s point of view. Time magazine has penned Brott with the nickname “the superdad’s superdad” and for very good reason. The Expectant Father concludes with an informative chapter called “Fathering Today,” which provides tips on how to overcome the many obstacles contemporary fathers may experience in their role as an actively involved dad.

I feel I should also mention that while reading the book, there may very well be feelings or situations discussed in, for example, the third-month chapter that you may not experience until the sixth or seventh-month, or vice-versa as each and every pregnancy is different. Also added to this edition is information for adoptive fathers, expectant fathers of multiples – twins, triplets, or more.

At the very end of the book is a list of Resources, including phone numbers, addresses, website addresses, contact email addresses where you and your partner can dig even deeper (if that’s possible) into information you may be interested in. My favorite thing about The Expectant Father is that the book is also available in an Audiobook for dads- and moms-to-be to listen to while commuting to and from work, or while simply driving in their car. The Expectant Father is also available as a Father Knows Best -3 Pack Deal! which allows interested readers the opportunity to get all three amazing books in a set. Truly an awesome, super-pack of information, and most definitely a must-read for all new dads.

Related Articles:

Birthing Options – Natural Childbirth Options For Expectant Mothers
Baby Needs Checklist – Basic Baby Needs for Newborn Babies
Ricki Lake’s The Business of Being Born
Pregnant Teenagers – Unplanned Teenage Pregnancy

, Telling It Like It Is

Categories: Children, Dating, Family, Health, Marriage, Men, Parenting, Relationships, Reviews, Teenagers, Women – Tags: Armin A Brott, childbirth, expectant father, for men, Jennifer Ash, labor and delivery, morning sickness, new babies, parenthood, pregnancy, pregnancy books, s, the, tips and advice for dads to be

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