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Wednesday, November 30, 2016

How NOT to interact on Instagram

Mom2MomEd Blog: How NOT to interact on Instagram
McKenzie and I LOVE Instagram. In fact, it might just be my favorite social media platform of all time. 

I am hyper visual and love the easy gratification of Instagram and the wide variety of images I find there--I love it even more than Pinterest, and I really love Pinterest!

We make it a priority for Mom2MomEd to try to post to our Instagram account on an almost daily basis and to interact with other posts and accounts that we enjoy. However, lately we've noticed a commenting trend that both makes us chuckle but also frustrates us.

We love comments that are relevant to what we post. 

If we post a picture of our kids covered in mud, we love hearing from other parents whose children also enjoy getting outdoors and down into the dirt. If we post pictures of our mom-problems, like spilled coffee or our obvious sleep deprivation, we love hearing from other moms that can commiserate. 

We love to leave comments on the posts of others when we have something relevant to say. If you post about reading a book to your kids that might be too difficult for them, but you do it anyhow, and the experience is positive, I'm likely to post my own thoughts about the importance of doing this very thing and how it will impact your child's reading interests and abilities for a long time to come. If you post an awesome craft idea, we might comment with how fun it looks and how we'll try it ourselves or with our kids. 

After all, the point of social media is interaction and connection with others, isn't it?

Sure, we use social media to promote our business, but we also use it to build relationships, to connect, to feel like we belong. We use it to build up our mom-tribe and to support other moms, just as we need support ourselves.

But, lately it seems like there has been an overflow of people using social media in a "Pay attention to me, Me, MEEEEE" sort of manner.

Here, friends, is a little primer on how NOT to interact on Instagram.

1. Irrelevant tagging
Don't tag us in posts or comments that have absolutely nothing to do with our message or theme. And, especially don't tag us on images or threads that have to do with sex, violence, drugs, or other unsavory or adult content...our whole business is centered on parenting and education! Keep it at least PG-13 or less, please!

2. Tagging on sales promotions
I'm sorry, but we don't want to buy the products you keep tagging us on. They are most likely irrelevant to us (see tip #1 above) or are for purchasing followers and likes. Sorry, but no. We don't want to buy followers and likes. We want to grow our audience organically and for our audience to actually be interested in us and our content, and vice versa. While I would love for Mom2MomEd to have a HUGE following, our size isn't our main priority--putting out good, relevant, strong parenting and education related information for parents and educators is our priority.

3. Irrelevant or generic comments 
You know how we know you just want us to follow you and build up YOUR audience, even if we have nothing in common? You post totally irrelevant or generic comments on our Instagram photos. You post things like, "Great shot!" or "Love your feed!" or "This is the best photo!" Is it possible you really believe these things about our pictures or account? Sure, it's possible, but it's also really unlikely when we take a look at your account and see nothing in common with us. 

Here's how you SHOULD interact on Instagram:
Like, comment, and follow when you really feel compelled to do so. If you truly like our images or think we have things in common, please like our images and follow us and comment! If you think we could have an engaging exchange, please comment and start a conversation, add some advice, or ask questions! We want honest, relevant relationships on social media. 

What are your social media pet peeves? Post a comment here, on Facebook, or over on Instagram!

Mom2MomEd rant OVER!
We'd love for you to take a moment to check out these additional posts:

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

5 Things I do to tame Holiday Hoopla craziness

Mom2Mom Ed Blog: 5 things I do to tame Holiday Hoopla craziness
It's that time of year again!

There is so much to celebrate and do with friends, family, and school! It's a busy time of year full of special treats, festive traditions, and making memories. For many families (mine included), it also tends to be a stressful time of year.

I don't know if it's the anticipation, the extra activities (and sugar!), or just the holiday season in general, but my kids tend to go NUTS at this time of year! For 11 months out of the year, my children are (mostly) adaptable, able to reason, and can function pretty well in our household without making it implode.

Until we get to December....dun dun dunnnnnn.

It's like a switch flips and we have new kids! When did we participate in a kid swap?

I've noticed this escalating for the past couple of years, and I have really tried to pair down our festivities and choose only ones that will not incite hysterical chaos in our house. (Is that even possible with a 3 and 5 year old?)

Anyway, here are some of the things I've done and plan to continue to do this year to keep my little family from falling off of the rails...

1. Keep meal times consistent and healthy.
We are the perfect definition of a family who gets "hangry"--so hungry that we tend to get angry. It's so easy to cave in and grab convenience foods as a result, so I try minimize fast food, random dinner nights out, and extra sweets and junk food. We tend to eat dinner around the same time every night anyway, but I pay extra attention to that during November and December.

In addition to consistent meal times, I try to have a little plate of cut up veggies, fruits, and crackers (my daughter calls them snack trays) out so that my kids, husband, and I can graze when we feel like it between meals. I know some people have strong feelings about snacks between meals, but my kids really need them. If they weren't eating meals at mealtimes, then I would rethink this, but for us it works!

2. Give them a treat in the morning.
Yes, I said it. Treats in the morning aren't an every day thing or part of our normal routine, but on a day that my little ones want that cookie or piece of candy, I let them have it--but only in the morning.

I know this sounds crazy, but my kids sugar crash hard. If we wait until after dinner to have that little treat, it's a disaster and if we have a treat after lunch then they crash right before dinner which is the craziest time of day in my house.

A small, single morning treat seems to work for us. My kids burn off the sugar high throughout the day and we don't have to try to get sugar crazed kids to bed on time.

3. I don't do advent calendars that have gifts or toys in them.
We tried this toy-based advent calendars one year and it didn't go well. Maybe my kids were too young. Maybe I had too many ideas of how it should go. Regardless, it wasn't pleasant. My son ended up thinking he got a gift every single day and didn't understand the concept of the advent calendar. My daughter pretty much chewed on her toys and then forgot about them.

It made me sad because advent calendars are so cute and I really wanted them to work out. I think that it was too much and my kids were too young. Toy-based advent calendars just added to the chaos of the season for us.

I do plan to try them again, someday, but I don't think that I"ll be making it an annual tradition. This year, I did pick up an advent calendar with a daily piece of chocolate though, and I think I'll let them open them in the mornings to do double duty with that morning treat I mentioned above! :)

That said, I have had success in the past with a holiday book advent calendar--check out THIS post with our list of recommended books and tips on putting this together.

4. We don't say yes to every party and event.
We happen to know quite a few people who host holiday parties and, while we really love to see everyone, I am very careful with how much I schedule for us (read THIS post to learn more about why).

I tend to be an over scheduler as it is, so this is really hard for me. I try to make an extra special effort to keep as much down time as possible in our schedules so we aren't all exhausted, run down, and sick by the end of the month. It's not worth it to be overextended, and thankfully our friends seem to understand and try to do the same.

The point is to ENJOY the holidays, not to be exhausted and irritated and just DONE, right?

5. We are starting a new tradition.
This is one I'm starting this year. I have asked my kids to pick out a few toys that they don't play with or want anymore so we can donate them to a child. I want my kids to get away from the "I want every toy in the entire world for Christmas" mentality and into the spirit of giving. I hope that over time, my kids ill understand why it is so important. I am excited to do this with them!

My kids have gotten things together before to donate, but never around Christmas when they are focused on what THEY want for themselves. I plan to talk about how we need to make room for new toys before Christmas as well.

I should add that I feel like our holiday season is extra long because my son's birthday is a mere 10 days after Christmas and my daughters birthday follows quickly in February. So we go straight from Christmas into back-to-back birthdays. It can get a little nuts and there are a lot of gifts/toys/stuff flying in and out of this house!

I don't know if any or all of these tips will work for you, but I thought I'd share since this time of year is crazy for just about everyone!

What do you do to minimize the nuthouse holiday syndrome in your family? My ears are wide open for ideas!
And, if you have a moment, be sure to check out these additional great posts, including our top picks for holiday gift giving:
Want another fun and cute way to tame your holiday madness? Pare down your gift giving to a want, a need, a wear, and a read and keep track of your gift buying/planning list with this fun printable from our Etsy shop:
https://www.etsy.com/listing/476059444/christmas-gift-planning-worksheet-for?ref=shop_home_active_7

How busy moms can squeeze in more reading time

Mom2MomEd Blog: How busy moms can read more...where to find the time
So many of my mom friends love to read, yet so many have next to no time for their favorite hobby. I totally understand! I barely have time for reading myself, but honestly, if I could make a living reading (but reading the things I want to read), I would be so, so happy! I'm not sure there is a word that actually describes that level of happiness!

For the last several years, I pretty much read next to nothing. I was so busy trying to make ends meet that I rarely had time to read--or rather, I found myself so exhausted that I never MADE time to read. The result?

I was grumpy.
I was in a creative slump.
I was out of hope for the future.
I felt like my best friends (books and their characters) were missing from my life.

I slowly rebuilt my reading habit, carving out time here and there to read, and occasionally kept track of my reading--a little habit I started after reading The Polysyllabic Spree by Nick Hornby which is basically a book about carving out time to read and tracking your reading.

{{Side note--I am a huge Nick Hornby fan and highly recommend pretty much everything he has written, although The Polysyllabic Spree and A Long Way Down are my two favorites! Find his books HERE.}}

More recently, life has still been chaotic, but I got so tired of feeling crappy all the time that I decided to make a conscious effort to read more. I was certain that increasing my time spent reading would improve my mood and general outlook on life.

I was right.

When I spend copious amounts of time reading, my introvert brain is nourished. I feel refreshed, renewed, and re-energized. My creativity starts revving up, my mood softens, and I am able to imagine a more joyous and abundant path for my future.

Carving out time to read is still a challenge though.

I have to consciously work at it.

Here are a few of the ways I have managed to carve out reading time this year and other ideas that may resonate with you:
  • Read while brushing your teeth
  • Read while walking (very carefully)
  • Take a few extra moments while sitting on the toilet to finish a couple of pages
  • Read only what you enjoy--don't force yourself to slog through something you don't like.
  • Quit television and watch Netflix only very selectively
  • Always carry at least one or two books (or a loaded Kindle) with you
  • Wake up earlier or stay up later to read (but only a little bit...you need your rest to support your reading!)
  • Make it a family affair--kids keep interrupting your reading? Insist that they read alongside you.
  • Stop driving and take public transportation so you can read while you ride.
  • Read while you wait for dinner to cook instead of doing other mindless tasks as the water boils or oven works.
  • Find an hour every week to take yourself on a reading date--choose a coffee shop you love or one you've always wanted to try, set your kids up with a babysitter, and go read for an hour.
  • Join a silent reading group--this is not your typical book club! A silent reading group is a group of people who want to spend time with others and to read, but not necessarily to discuss their reading. The point is to actually read, not necessarily to discuss the book--have you ever noticed how most book clubs end up not actually discussing the book? 
  • Take a book with you to appointments--just prior to finishing this post, I had a doctor's appointment and got in several pages in the waiting room and a couple more in the exam room.
The more you make a conscious effort to read more, the more you will find yourself carving out additional moments to read. I think you will also become a more selective reader, narrowing down what you will enjoy and what you won't, and thus you'll waste less time on reading material that you just don't like.

I've gone from reading maybe twenty minutes per week to a minimum of twenty minutes per day. That may not seem like a whole lot, but compounded over many days, weeks, and months, twenty minutes per day actually adds up to quite a bit of reading. On the very best days, however, I get in a few hours! Those days are GLORIOUS!!!

I could have read more if I enjoyed speed reading, but to be totally honest, I like to read slowly. I like to savor what I am reading, to think about it, and to take my time. If I read as fast as I am capable of, I end up feeling like I didn't get as much out of the book as I could have--I certainly don't enjoy it nearly as much when I read quickly.

Below are all of the books I have read so far this year (that I finished), as of the end of November, along with my rating on a 5-star system--while I firmly believe in using your local library (most of the books on this list were checked out from my library), I have linked all 4-star and better titles to their corresponding listings on Amazon:

5 out of 5 stars--MUST READS!
Shades of Blue: Writers on Depression, Suicide, and Feeling Blue by Amy Ferris (non-fiction; essays)
Fail, Fail Again, Fail Better by Pema Chodron (spiritual; personal development)
The Perfect Score Project: Uncovering the Secrets of the SAT by Debbie Stier (memoir, study guide--truly more memoir than study guide, but many excellent tips if you have a teen needing to take the SAT!)
Show Your Work by Austin Kleon (non-fiction, creative development)
Evil Plans: Having Fun on the Road to World Domination by Hugh MacLeod (non-fiction, creative and business development)
Midnight Sun by Jo Nesbo (fiction, Scandinavian Noir)
Girl on a Train by AJ Waines (fiction, suspense)
The Dip by Seth Godin (non-fiction, personal and creative development)
Girl Boss by Sophia Amoruso (memoir, business development)
Fika: The Art of the Swedish Coffee Break, with Recipes for Pastries, Breads, and Other Treats by Anna Brones and Johanna Kindvall (cookbook, heavily dairy laden--just in case you are allergic, as I am, but all recipes are tasty with a few alterations as appropriate!)

4.5 out of 5 stars--EXCELLENT READS!
Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg (non-fiction, personal development for women)

4 out of 5 stars--PRETTY GOSH, DARN GOOD!
A Farm Dies Once a Year by Arlo Crawford (non-fiction, memoir)
What Now by Ann Patchett (non-fiction, essay/speech)
Love Your Life, Not Theirs by Rachel Cruze (non-fiction, personal finance; read my review HERE)
DC Trip by Sara Benincasa (young adult fiction) 

3 out of 5 stars--EH, READ IT OR DON'T!
Cracking the GRE Premium (study guide--yes, I read the whole thing)
The Big Leap: Conquer Your Hidden Fear and Take Life to the Next Level by Gay Hendricks (non-fiction, personal development)
Gamelife: A Memoir by Michael W. Clune (memoir) 

1 out of 5 stars--SKIP IT!
The Girl in the Spider's Web by David Lagercrantz (fiction, Scandinavian Noir; the 4th in the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series, but written by a different author and filled with discrepancies!)
What have you read recently? Anything I should put on my TBR (to be read) list?
Be sure to check out these additional reading, literacy, and bookish posts:
We do urge you to visit your local library,
but if you choose to purchase any or all of the linked books above,
please note that the links are affiliate links. Thanks!

Monday, November 28, 2016

What's the deal with shy kids?

Mom2MomEd Blog: What's the deal with shy kids?
Does anyone else have a really shy kiddo?

You may be surprised to hear that my spirited child is also my painfully shy child.

She's like night and day around people and then at home. Seriously, I've had people look at me like I'm crazy when I say that my little Delilah is my wild child. They just don't believe me, but trust me, my daughter sits there quiet and cute, hiding behind me as if she couldn't possibly disturb a fly.

What people don't see is that my daughter trashes my house, writes on my walls, climbs on the top of the fridge, squeezes toothpaste all over the bathroom mirror, and "helps" by spreading flour all over the floor.

Seriously.

In public, my daughter won't talk--at home she won't even talk if someone new to her visits. Like, she won't talk AT ALL most of the time when we are out. Even around people that she knows and loves, she takes a long time to warm up to them.

I was talking to Malea last night about my concerns for my daughter and how some adults have been really cruel in the way that they've interacted with Delilah.

You read that right....adults being cruel as they interact with a THREE YEAR OLD.

Give me a freaking break!

I've had people get offended that my daughter won't talk to them or they say I"m going to have to make her talk when she gets to school, and my favorite is when they just get louder and more obnoxious which ensures that she will definitely never speak again to anyone in public.

Thanks people.
Thanks adults who should know better.
Thanks people whose opinions don't count when it comes to my child.

First of all there is nothing wrong with my daughter.

She's cautious by nature, and I am glad. A long time ago, we were all cautious too. It's totally normal, but it seems like a lot of adults have forgotten that fact. Some kids grow out of it, some don't, and some just need to do grow and develop at their own pace.

You know what? That's totally ok.

The hard part for me, as her mom, is that she takes forever for Delilah to warm up to a new situation, so it takes a lot of time on my part to help her acclimate. I've had to get creative and I try to do what works for her (regardless of what other adults think about it)--some things have worked and some haven't.

As with most things in parenting, it's a lot of trial and error!

One of the things that has worked for us is for my daughter to "tell me a secret". She really does want to talk and interact, but she doesn't always feel comfortable speaking out loud, especially to adults. She will now whisper in my ear what she wants me to say or she will end it with, "Please don't tell them right now."

My daughter is so painfully shy that she often won't even speak to me in public other than in a whisper. However, I've found that once she whispers a couple of times, she tends to open up and speak out loud to everyone--except when someone says, "Whispering is rude" or "You can tell me too." Like most kids, she hears those statements, internalizes them, and then she aborts mission and shuts down.

Again, adults of the world, thanks a whole lot!

There are a few things that have helped my daughter get over her shyness--mostly they are situational.

We try to keep to a routine and to make it predictable. She loves her pre-school teacher (who doesn't?), but doesn't like for me to leave after drop off. She loves being held and is tiny enough to still pick her up and carry her around. So, at preschool, when we say goodbye, I pick her up, give her a squeeze, and hand her to her teacher. She then gets cuddles, gets to be held, and feels secure. This is especially helpful for when there is a new parent working in class or the routine has been altered for the day. My daughter is adaptable though--I have learned that, even if it isn't always apparent--she had a substitute teacher a couple of days this past month and was totally fine! She didn't ask me to hold her at goodbyes...maybe it was because she didn't know the sub, but regardless, it was a really big step for her!

I also try to keep my daughter informed of upcoming things and changes, but I don't give her too much notice. I've found that if I tell her too far in advance, she will just talk and worry about the upcoming changes or events, so I don't do that any more. It was miserable for her, and I just felt horrible leading up to the event. So now, the morning of or the night before (even the night before is too much notice most of the time), I tell her what to expect and lay out the plan of whatever it is we are doing. Then, when we are in the situation and I can see her start to withdraw, I can remind her of the plan and reiterate what she can expect. That seems to help a lot.

Finally, if I just could cart her brother with us everywhere we go, she would be absolutely fine! When he's around, she's completely comfortable and engaging and social. She follows her big brother's lead and has almost no need for a warm up period at all. He's her safe place, her buffer, and, thank goodness, he includes her without fail. They have the sweetest relationship and I've really never met siblings that are closer. However, that is a lot of responsibility to put on a 5 year old brother, and it's not realistic for us to be together all of the time anyway!

Malea, who has been-there-done-that with her son and even herself when it comes to shyness, gave me some good ideas on working on coping skills and some books to read with Delilah. I'm going to start experimenting and trying new things, but I often think my daughter's shyness is already getting much better only for us to have a huge regression (which we are in right now) and it then feel like we are starting all over again.

Hopefully, if you have a shy child yourself, some of the tips I use with Delilah may help you, and if not, maybe this post will remind you of some things that you shouldn't say to the parent of a shy child or the child themselves. Remember, kids can hear you, even if you aren't speaking directly to them or even if they aren't responding to you....just because they aren't actively engaging with you doesn't mean they aren't listening and paying attention to your cues.

In fact, some children who seem totally disengaged or aloof are actually paying even more attention to you, your words, and your behaviors than the child who is engaging with you. Some kids, like my Delilah, are gathering information and forming conclusions before responding.

What are some tips you have to help shy children develop coping skills? Do you have any experiences that you could share about how adults have reacted to your shy child? Please share, I'm desperate for ideas!
Please take a moment to check out these additional posts, and be sure to also hop over to our Etsy shop!
http://mom2momed.blogspot.com/2016/07/parenting-my-spirited-child-can-you.html
http://mom2momed.blogspot.com/2016_06_01_archive.html
http://mom2momed.blogspot.com/2016/06/the-importance-of-family-meals.html
http://mom2momed.etsy.com

    Thursday, November 24, 2016

    Children are GROSS--a story about boogers

    Mom2MomEd Blog: Children are GROSS--a story about boogers
    Children are gross...

    ...and that little fact happened to win me a contest a few years back!

    When my son was about 6 or 7 years old (he's 18 now and likely will be mortified to know I am sharing this story), we were sitting on the couch watching television together. Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed movement near his face.

    I kept watching television...

    Then, before I could stop him, I had the realization that the movement was his hand near his face and that his finger was heading towards his nose.

    Quick as a flash, his finger was in his nose, digging around and then that very same finger was...

    IN...

    MY...

    MOUTH!

    I kid you not! I was so stunned that, at first, I sat there, shocked!

    What in the world????

    Of course, I was torn between disgust and wanting to laugh. It was one of those unbelievable moments where your brain can only think, "What just happened? Is this real?"

    I could not believe it! But...

    That disgusting incident actually led to me winning a radio contest!

    Now, I almost never win anything, or at least never the grand or main prize. I've come in second and third in many contests in the past, but never first! So, when I was on my way home from work a week or two later and heard an on air call for "your grossest parenting stories" contest, I thought I'd give it a try without expecting to even get on air at all, let alone win.

    I was maybe the third caller and was shocked to find myself on air and sharing my little story. The two DJs, both women and moms, were just as grossed out by my story as I was to have been involved in the actual event! They asked me stay on hold while they took a few more calls and I could hear them discussing the other callers and my story. They kept saying, "Oh, that's gross, but not as gross as your child's boogers in your mouth!"

    I kept expecting someone to call with a really disgusting story about their kid...more disgusting than mine.

    And, the next thing I knew, I was being congratulated for winning and having the most disgusting child...er, story about my child...

    It was just before Thanksgiving, and the grand prize was a voucher for a free turkey and a bag of Thanksgiving side dish ingredients. I ended up donating most of it to the local food bank, and I've had a good laugh every Thanksgiving since remembering (and sharing) that story.

    What disgusting things have your children done that both shocked you and made you want to laugh at the same time? Share with a comment!
    Love this post? Check out these additional topics:
    http://mom2momed.blogspot.com/2016/11/20-ways-to-treat-your-fellow-moms.html
    http://mom2momed.blogspot.com/2016/11/15-ways-to-have-low-or-no-tech-family.html

    http://mom2momed.blogspot.com/2016/11/let-them-get-muddy-power-of-kids-and.html

    Wednesday, November 23, 2016

    HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

    Mom2MomEd Blog: Happy Thanksgiving!
    Happy Thanksgiving from Malea and McKenzie to you and yours! 
    We hope you will have a holiday filled with family, love, and gratitude!

    Monday, November 21, 2016

    Mom2MomEd Gift Guide: What busy moms want

    Mom2MomEd Blog: Holiday Gift Guide--What busy moms REALLY want
    Friends, have you thought about what to get for the moms on your list this holiday season?

    As two busy moms, McKenzie and I spend an embarrassing amount of time fantasizing about what we wish we could afford to buy for ourselves to make our lives easier...seriously, it comes up at least once in every conversation we have. So, we have compiled a list of what we believe are some great gift options for the busy moms in your life--it could be for YOUR mom, your wife or girlfriend, a sister or aunt, a best friend, or any other mom that's on your list.

    But first... 

    A story on what NOT to buy a mom... 

    Picture the Christmas tree, a small pile of gifts beneath it, a happy mom, smiling dad, and excited 3 year old little boy. So sweet! Gifts start to get unwrapped and the paper and ribbons are flying. The little boy is oh-ing and ah-ing over everything. The dad is thrilled that you remembered his favorite movie and got the DVD and a few other things he had mentioned over the past year.

    You put a lot of thought into the gifts you bought for your small family.

    You expected your partner to get you something with just as much thought behind it--especially since he asked you for a list of things you really wanted.Your list included a few books that had just come out.

    He hands you a package that looks and feels like it might be a couple of books. He tells you that he knows it's what you really wanted for Christmas.

    You are thrilled!

    Until you open the package...

    ...it is a modem. A computer modem. 

    Something you neither wanted nor needed.

    You look at him confused, and he says, "Well, I want a new modem so I'm going to take the modem out of my computer and put it in yours and I'll put this one in mine! Then you get a newer modem too! It's like a gift for both of us!"

    I looked around for the books I was hoping for. Nope. Nothing. No other gifts beneath the tree.

    Your gift isn't even a gift for you.

    Worst. Christmas. Present. Ever.

    Anyhow, with that out of the way, here are some gift giving ideas for the moms in your life! Be sure you put some thought into your gift giving and that the gifts you give are actually wanted by the people you are giving them to--gift giving shouldn't be about you, but rather about the person on the receiving end.

    WHAT THESE TWO MOMS WANT:
    Coffee--Starbucks gift cards (or their preferred coffee shop...McKenzie and I are B.I.G. Starbucks fans...like HUGE...like, we would not turn down Starbucks gift cards...ever...); Starbucks VIA packs or a bag of coffee beans* 

    Tea--but a kind or flavor she likes and the really upscale, pricey version that almost no mom would splurge on for herself*

    *A note about coffee mugs...unless you KNOW she likes a particular style of mug (travel or regular) or that she is in need of mugs, consider NOT buying her a mug. Most moms I know have TONS of coffee mugs already and don't need more--seriously, we don't want more dishes! We already have a dirty sink full!

    Books--A book she has been wanting but keeps putting off buying

    TIME ALONE...seriously. Buy her a Starbucks gift card, a book or a stack of her favorite magazines, and watch her kids for a few hours while she goes and enjoys time to herself at a coffee shop.

    Adult beverages--bottles of her favorite wine or a 6-pack of a favorite beer or a gift subscription for her favorites

    Lip balm--McKenzie loves EOS (click HERE for a really cool pack of 8--it's like Lip Smackers for moms!) while Malea prefers Burt's Bees (especially THIS one).

    Essie Nail Polish--like THIS really cute holiday gift set. 

    Professional auto detailing--preferably done by a mobile service that will come to her house!

    Gorgeous candles from Anthropologie or Bath and Body Works (if you know what kind of scents she likes)

    Gift cards to Bath and Body Works or the Body Shop if she's into delicious and luxurious lotions and soaps or to Sephora or Ulta if she loves makeup.

    GO BIG OR GO HOME GIFT IDEAS FOR MOM:
    Housekeeping--buy her a set of visits from a housekeeper. McKenzie and I both agree that a housekeeper, even if only for an hour or two per week would really revolutionize our lives! If you can go large with your Christmas gift for that special mom in your life, spring for a weekly visit for as many weeks as you can afford!

    Meal Services--Ok, we both think meal services that send you a box of ingredients and a recipe, but seriously, how about a service that prepares the meals and delivers them already put together? I don't mean calling up a restaurant and ordering food. I mean, a dedicated meal service like a personal chef type of deal. Even if it's just a meal delivered once per week--maybe on mom's busiest night of her week--it could go a long way towards sanity! Just make sure the meal service or delivery actually has options mom will like and is able to eat (for example, I have a severe dairy allergy and prefer vegan foods anyhow).

    IDEAS FROM OUR MOM FRIENDS:
    Movie tickets and free babysitting--Buy her a pair of movie tickets pay for her babysitter too! Either give her a pair so she can take her spouse or partner with her, take her yourself and arrange for the babysitting to take place at your house so she doesn't have to worry about any cleaning up, or send her to the movies on her own while you watch her kids if you know she likes movies alone!

    Bubble bath kit--a gorgeous bubble bath that truly foams up and smells great, a candle and lighter or matches to go with it, loofah or body scrub brush. 

    Appliance repairs--Is her dishwasher broken and you know someone that can fix it? Make it happen!

    A Camelback and/or a Hydro Flask water bottle

    New cookbooks--Alton Brown's newest was specifically mentioned, but I also would add Thug Kitchen, Everyday Italian by Giada de Laurentiis, and Taste of Home Casseroles, Slow Cooker, and Soups.

    A new pillow and new, super soft throw blankets

    High quality baking sheets and cupcake tins with high quality, cute, colorful cupcake liners--you know, the good ones that are more expensive than she'd be willing to buy herself!

    Entry into a 5k or other race she has been talking about--one friend specifically mentioned the Spartan Race, but for fun, why not buy entry for you and your mom friend to a Bubble Run or Color Run so you can do it together?

    Jewelry--but ONLY if you know her particular style.

    A gift card for her favorite clothing store, or if she's active a gift card to her favorite athletic store (I'd take one to Fleet Feet, personally!)

    Uggs boots 

    Free babysitting (do you see a theme here?!)

    Garden stones with kids' handprints or footprints on them

    Use of the bathroom without interruption (Isn't this on ALL of our mom wishlists????)
    Moms, what is on YOUR wishlist?
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