Category Archives: Parenting

How to Keep Your Car Clean with Kids: A Simple Guide

It may seem like an impossible task to keep your car clean when you have kids. From spilled juice boxes to more crumbs than you can count, children have a way of making a mess out of any space. There are some tips and tricks you can follow, though, to minimize that mess. Here's how to keep your car clean with kids that will make every passenger (and you) a happy camper.

Clean up spills as soon as they happen When it comes to spills, it's less about if they'll happen and more a matter of when. While it can be a pain to clean them up after a long day, it's important to nip those messes in the bud. Clean them up as soon as you possibly can; that way, unsavory smells and stains won't stick around for the long haul. This can be hard with kids, as they're often ready to jump right out of the car and into the next fun activity, but make sure it's a priority.

Regular vacuuming is a must For any family on the go, you know eating and spending time in the car practically go hand in hand. Whether your little ones eat some French fries or have a full-out meal, a mess is likely to happen. Beyond crumbs just being an annoyance, they can even usher in some rather nasty critters. All those little bits of debris can quickly add up, so be sure to vacuum your car regularly before it becomes a full-blown problem.

Use a trash can With the amount of wrappers, food scraps, and garbage that accumulates in a car, it only makes sense to put a trash can in your vehicle. If you don't have one already, implement a trash can, garbage bag, or another kind of receptacle your kids can throw their trash in. It will help bring some order to your kid's car routine, and it will make clean up much easier. This way, you don't need to haul a garbage bag out to your car every week or two, and cleanup can happen easily every day.

Wipe down surfaces regularly An essential trick on how to keep your car clean with kids is to give any and all surfaces a regular wipe down. There's nothing more uncomfortable than sticky seats and smudgy windows, so give them a regular once over. Use wet cloths to clean and a  microfiber towel;to dry. It will make your driving experience much more pleasant.

Use car cleanup as a learning opportunity If you want your child to develop better cleaning habits, the car is a great place to start. Rather than letting the mess happen and just cleaning it up yourself, take the extra time to teach your kids about proper cleanup. They won't do it every time, but something as simple as reinforcing that they put trash in the bin will help teach them the importance of cleaning up after themselves. It's also important to establish good cleaning habits young; that way, it's much more likely to become a good habit they keep through adulthood.

Written by LouAnn Moss for The Healthy Moms Magazine and legally licensed through the Matcha publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@getmatcha.com.

Five Self-Care Strategies for Your Toughest Days

And how to find your center.

Yesterday morning I found myself inert on the couch, trying to find the energy to shower and head to the office (I had slept very little due to a tough parenting patch). I know I’m not alone. Lately, I’ve watched many of my friends and clients struggle to stay afloat. Whether it’s swimming through collective stress brought on by the current political/economic climate, navigating a health crisis or loss, feeling isolated in the midst of a career transition or dealing with a difficult relationship challenge–many are living hour to hour and having a hard time seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.

On a recent walk, my dear friend Nicole asked me, “Based on everything you’ve learned over the last 20 years about calming the brain and body and helping to reduce stress/anxiety, what are the top self-care practices you recommend to help people find their center on their toughest days?“ Ahhh, it felt good just to be able to pause and remind myself what I do when I’m struggling. Here’s what I shared with Nicole:

Get grateful

Voicing what we’re grateful for heightens our mood, floods our body with endorphins, shifts and broadens how we see the world and supports us in remembering what really matters. Try starting each day with a gratitude bomb; before you even step out of bed, give thanks, and then get your friends and family to voice what they appreciate.

Do less

Navigating uncertain times requires more space to breathe, feel, digest and discern. We need time to just be so we can integrate what’s happening around us and re-calibrate. Say no; overdoing is depleting. Give yourself full permission to do less.

Go outside

Time in nature–the ultimate antidepressant–positively affects our physical, mental and emotional well-being. It reduces stress, enhances our mood, helps us to “reset,” promotes creativity and problem solving, and supports work/life balance. Plant your bare feet on the ground, lie on a blanket in your backyard or have lunch under a tree. Change your environment and you’ll change your thoughts.

Move your body & breathe

Ever heard the phrase, “The issues are in the tissues”? Conscious movement gets us out of our heads and into the present moment. Yoga, qi gong, NIA and walking are particularly fortifying. Try this detoxifying breathing exercise (through your nose, mouth closed): breathe in for three, hold for three, breathe out for three. Repeat ten times

Ask for help

Cultivating the ability to ask for and receive support–whether it’s from a coach, therapist, mentor, neighbor, or co-worker–helps you feel more connected, calm and confident when facing tough times. Learning this skill can be life changing!

Written by Renee Peterson Trudeau for Working Mother and legally licensed through the Matcha publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@getmatcha.com.