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WomanOf the Month 4-04: Parenting Expert Tracy Lyn Moland

Sure you may feel you###ve got to take care of everybody else, especially with the summer months at hand. But Tracy Lyn Moland, author of Mom Management, Managing Mom Before Everybody Else, wants women to take care of themselves first.

Moland###s method is to empower busy and often overwhelmed people to find the balance between doing and being, to shift their perspective by gaining a new understanding and appreciation of time, and to nurture and invest in themselves on a regular basis. She###s been called a leader in hypertasking, time and life management, and marketing to moms. She earned her Bachelor of Education at the University of Alberta, and went on to pursue a career in teaching. She later was a certified Fitness Instructor, owning and operating a successful business, and pursued her passion for triathlons. She now resides in Calgary, Canada, with her husband and two children, Courtney-Lyn, 8, and Mats, 6.

With summer at the door, we asked Moland about her own favorite summer experiences, the biggest challenges moms face today in raising kids, and finally, for 10 Tips for Staying Sane This Summer (see accompanying story below, "The Kids are Coming, The Kids are Coming: 10 Tips For Staying Sane This Summer").

How did you spend the summers when you were young and how does it differ from what kids do today?

Swimming - I spent hours and hours at the pool - we would bike or walk down and spend the day there. We had a membership and loved it. Back then it was a boring. normal pool with a board and a deep end. None of the splash toys, wave pools etc. We had games we played, underwater tea parties, etc. As we got older we would talk to and meet the boys!!! I so remember that point where I was too old to play… and it made me sad!

Ironically, last summer I had all these plans for the kids. We would go here, do this and that, and they just wanted to hang out. We have around 20 kids on our cul de sac and they have so much fun together. Often a sprinkler or wading pool will come out, a mom will make lunch, another a snack, or a hockey game will start. The kids have so much fun outside, without TV, internet, etc. I think they have incredible summer memories! We don###t watch much TV or have video games in our house, but even the kids that do have them spend more time outside.

How can parents monitor teens in the summer, with their constant wish to be out and about all the time?

One of the pieces of advice from a mom I interviewed was to make it a group effort. If the kids try to do some of the figuring themselves they are more likely to get their way. Instead of always asking mom for a ride, how about if they make the plans or take on some of the responsibility? For example, if they can take the bus to the movie, the parents can pick them up. Or they can bike, walk, etc.

What do you think is the biggest challenge Moms face today in raising children?

The entire world is TOOOOO busy. We are all trying to do so much that we don###t get much done at all. We want our kids to be the best, have it all and can try too hard and put them in too many things. We have so much info available to us, through the internet, for example, that it can be overwhelming.

Your work includes suggesting that moms develop a Life Map. What does that mean?

We all need a map - without a map we are staying still. By creating a life map, we have to determine a destination and a plan to get there. At different times in life the map may be more complicated but we all need to feel like we are moving and growing. A road map for life has 3 components. Dreams - your destination; activities- your directions; and goals - your itinerary. At this link you###ll find a description of how to fully create a life map. Click here

And here are Tracy###s suggestions for staying cool when it gets hot…

The Kids are Coming, the Kids are Coming…. 10 Tips for Staying Sane this Summer

The countdown is on - the kids are out of school. The kids are ecstatic and the parents in fear. We all have different summer memories - great times, boring times, and traveling. Summer is a wonderful time but it can certainly come with some challenges. Our children are out of school and that can mean some interesting scheduling. Unfortunately, the working world does not generally allow for holidays that mirror the local school systems. However, with a bit of advance planning parents can ensure that they avoid bored kids and maintain their own sanity.

The following tips can be very helpful in staying sane with the kids out of school:

1. Plan ahead - Look closely at your schedule now. Are there certain days or events that pop out for you? Do you have some important meetings, guests or travel for work? Are there certain events that take place in your city? Do you have company coming? Mark these events on a main calendar so you can plan around them.

2. Ask your children what they want to do - Last summer I had all these things that I thought we would do. My children had other plans. With over 15 children living on our cul de sac they were content to hang out here and play outside with their friends. If your children do want to take certain programs, you may need to book now.

3. Research your city - Many cities offer a lot of interesting programs during the summer. These can range from free to paid programs. There may be park programs, day camps, summer camps, festivals, or shows. Your church, community center or school may run programs. The more you are aware of the more options available to you.

4. Choose and commit to a few events - Coordinate your schedule and the events in your city. If you have a busy work week this may be the perfect week to enroll your children in a bible camp or a sports camp. If there is a fun festival, maybe you can take a day or 2 off work and hang out with your children.

5. Enlist help - Find out what your children###s friends are up to for the summer. Our children miss their friends so see if you can alternate some childcare. Have your children###s friends over one week and then send your children to their house the next week.

6. Visit family - I have more time off than my husband so often I will head out to visit friends and family in other cities. We also will invite family to come visit us. We may all head into the mountains for the day or just stay home and let the kids play and adults relax and visit.

7. Take a road trip - head out of town for a day or two. There is often some pretty neat stuff in close driving distance that you never have time to get to. Learn the history of your area, see the sites or relax on a beach.

8. Act like a tourist - what do tourists do in your city? Where do you send your company? Pretend you are visiting and do the these things. Get to know your community and explore.

9. Alter your schedule - In the hot summer months, move the children###s rooms to the basement. Allow your children to share a room, sleep in or stay up later. Changes in routine and schedule can be a fun way to add variety to the summer!

10. Allow Imaginations to Soar - By adding a few new ideas and events into your summer months you can avoid boredom for the children and frustration for you. However don###t forget that sometimes in the summer the most fun comes from the fact that we can do nothing at all. Children create amazing games with their friends while playing outside or watching the clouds.

Summer is truly a special time. Take advantage of all that is available to you and your family and have fun!

Free Events

  • Playground programs

  • Wading pools

  • Splash Parks

  • Bible Schools

  • Nature trails

  • Hiking

  • Lakes/rivers/beaches

  • Biking

  • Rollerblading

  • Library programs

Paid Ideas