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Stef Daniel is the 40ish year old, experienced (meaning crazy already) mother of count ‘em…4 daughters (yes, she takes prayers) who have taught her nearly E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G she needs to know about raising kids and staying sane.
She hails from a small town in Georgia where she lives with her family in a red tin roofed house (with just ONE bathroom mind you) on a farm - with tons of animals of course. One day, due to her sheer aversion to shoes and her immense love of the sea, she aspires to penning her way to fame on a deserted island in the Florida Keys. For now though, Georgia will do.
Stef moved from Maryland to Georgia on a whim that proved transformational at the age of 21. Soon after she met her husband, got pregnant with twins and decided to give up a career in law enforcement to become a stay at home mother to her children. In an effort to pursue her personal passion for writing, earn some income (for beach vacations), and remain available to her now 4 children she began her freelance writing career from a used laptop in her living room. To date, she has several published works for both adults and children to her name, thousands of credited works and a laundry list of clientele that she works for on a regular basis.
The Mom-Spirational Blog is Stef’s newest endeavor aimed at offering Wisdom, Wisecracks, and Wellbeing for Women. (And men of course, if they’re interested in that sort of thing). You can visit the blog here at Everyday Family, and see the ‘uncut and uncensored’ version at http://www.momspirational.com/. Mom-Spirational is also on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Mom-spirational/129984033724713!
And of course (because who isn’t these days) I’m on Twitter too at https://twitter.com/momspirational
Stef Daniel is also the author of http://www.softballisforgirls.com/, and several children’s books about softball. Stef and her husband are extremely active in empowering the girls of Fastpitch softball (and other sports) and currently coach three Fastpitch teams. Currently, most of their free time as a family is spent sweating in dugouts at various ballparks in Georgia chanting cheesy softball cheers while encouraging girls to wear deodorant. (But they wouldn’t have it any way!) You can also find Softball is for Girls on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Softball-is-For-Girls/133729620047353
Stef believes that motherhood and womanhood should bind each and every one of together, rather than tear us apart. Her primary focus in life is her family and hearing the laughter of her daughters. She is also interested in nearly anything metaphysical, adores Reiki and meditation and her LIFE MANTRA adopted from her own mother is, “All is Always well!” Which, she is finding out on a daily basis, is pretty much always true!
Tuesday, June 18, 2013 by Stef Daniel
Last weekend, while spending the day at a kids’ softball tournament, I found it awful that the ice cream truck was continuously making rounds in the park. Here were 100s of young girls, exercising and sweating their way through the day – drinking tons of water and Gatorade – only to be sucked into the gentle tune of the ice cream truck. Go to a school party – and chances are the kids will be served more sugar on one plate than they require for an entire day (or two). And, check out the grocery carts of most people with children and you will find more sugary drinks and snacks (as well as processed convenience foods containing massive amount of sugar) than you will find fruits and vegetables in the cart.
Worse, is that sugar is EVERYWHERE. According to the Mayo Clinic, although sugar consumption among children is down since 2000, US children are still eating WAY too much sugar, and most of them are getting this sugar in the home – through sugary drinks, sweets and treats, and processed foods. Even that apple juice you might be offering your child is likely laced with a hefty amount of sugar.
The question is, how do we curb our family sweet tooth, and what can we do to ensure that our children are not consuming too many excess (and empty) calories by getting too much sugar?
Monday, June 17, 2013 by Stef Daniel
For many women, having children takes quite a toll on their self-confidence and sexuality. Obviously, pregnancy causes many changes both physcially, physiologically and emotionally that can make women feel less attractive to their partners. And, when self esteem starts to fizzle out, it is only natural to think that the man you love won't find you attractive either. The results that this can have on your marriage can be catastrophic, if you dont take a minute to put things into perspective.
For one thing, your husband - especially in the immediate few months after having a baby, may be a little freaked out about how to go about resuming a sex life. Let's be real, seeing the product of sex firsthand, and experiencing the sleepless nights, leaky boobs, and transformation of the woman they love can be enough to make any man be standoffish. Secondly, not only did your body change - but your priroities did as well. Whereas prior to children you and your partner may had more free time (and energy) for intimacy - the introduction of kid to a marriage can blow your 'regularly scheduled programming' to smithereens. Getting back on course can take time, patience and planning.
And of course, there is a good chance that your own insecurities about your body - maybe the extra stretchmarks, or few extra pounds, or hormones, may be making you slightly more sensitve than necessary.
A common thing for a woman to do when a relationship changes in any way is to immediately assume that their husband is no longer attracted to them. But you don't have to go there. (Really, you dont!) There is no reason to victimize yourself by feeling like you are no longer pretty enough, or hot enough, or sexy enough for your partner. A survey conducted by NetMums of over 3,000 women revealed that the vast majority of woman felt that their partners saw them as mothers rather than lovers once they had children. In fact, only 12% thought that their partner would describe them as 'sexy.'
But what do men really think?
Tuesday, June 11, 2013 by Stef Daniel
Father’s Day is rapidly approaching, which means that mamas and children all over the United States are scrambling for ideas to make the man in their life feel loved and special. Truth be told, it’s a tad harder to shop for Father’s Day than Mother’s Day, because sending a lovely bouquet of flowers and a box of chocolates just won’t cut it. And ties – well they are simply at the bottom of the wish list for most men. Plus there is the issue that men in general are often tight lipped when it comes to asking for what they want in life. Worse, a new motorcycle so they can relive their boyish dreams is quite simply out of the question! So what are some things you can do to make Father’s Day special with the man in your life? What are the manly ways to say, “I love you and you are appreciated?”
Tuesday, June 11, 2013 by Stef Daniel
I will admit! I have been there. I have been 'that' mom whose child had a meltdown in the middle of a restaurant. That mother whose child has been rude to another adult, and that mother with the kid who bullied another kid on the playground. If mothering has taught me one thing, it is that my children and myself are not perfect.
Shamefully, I will also readily admit that I have been THAT mom who rolled her eyes, or walked off with a huffy pace, or acted irritated when another mom was experiencing a meltdown, or was privy to the wrath of having misbehaved children. Shame. On. Me.
Monday, June 10, 2013 by Stef Daniel
My children spent the night with a friend the other day and came home feeling like they were part of the 'have not' population. Their friend had four 4-wheelers, a beautiful in-ground swimming pool complete with a slide and an attached hot tub, and not just a bedroom, but a huge playroom as well. Their house was fancy and rich looking - with stone pillars at the driveway. One look in their friend’s closet and they were instantly filled with jealousy about all the fancy, name brand clothes that their friend had. She also had a brand new Mustang convertible sitting in the garage, just waiting for the day that she turned 16. This makes no mention of the fact that every time they check Facebook, they are inundated with kids in their school taking fancy cruises and beach vacations - while our summer is spent in a backyard swimming pool.
Returning to our modest home probably felt like they had stepped off the train of fortune into a town of mediocrity.
Friday, June 07, 2013 by Stef Daniel
The lazy, carefree days of summertime provide an awesome opportunity for you to make a fresh start in your life. Whether you want to give up smoking, start an exercise program, refine the way your family eats, implement a new household budget, improve your health, deep clean and un-clutter your home, or get your relationship back on track – now is the time to do so!
According to Deepak Chopra, the renowned abundant living personality, it only takes 21 days of consistent conscious living to create new habits in your life. Doing something consistently for 21 days in a row helps you break through mental boundaries and ensures you a fresh start. Think about it. Only 21 short days. Just 3 small weeks. If you can get through 9 months (40 weeks) of pregnancy, chances are you can get through 21 days of commitment to a new way of life.
The following tips will help you make positive changes in your life so that you can get a fresh start regardless of what situation in your life you are trying to change.
Wednesday, June 05, 2013 by Stef Daniel
When I found out I was pregnant with my 4th child, I was shocked. I already had 3 healthy baby girls and my husband and I had considered our diaper changing and breastfeeding years over. My third child was just months away from entering kindergarten and I was blossoming with the thought of having some time to myself each day. I even went out and got myself a part time job! Then BAM! The pink line showed up, well...pink!
At the time my oldest were kids were just weeks away from their 10th birthday. And they were old enough to know that having another baby meant more than they were going to have another sibling. Needless to say, they weren't happy about this little blessing.
Still, at the present moment - with my 6 year old and my 15 year old twins (will be 16 this year), I have to admit that having kids a decade apart really is not that bad.
Monday, June 03, 2013 by Stef Daniel
With 4 kiddos under my belt, the days of obsessive worry about every cough, belly ache, and fever are long gone. I have nursed enough sick kids back to health to know when it is time to go to the doctor, and when it is time to wait and let the sneaky virus or bug work its way out of my child's body as nature intended.
Years ago when one of my daughters was sick for months on end and eventually hospitalized for a long week, I will admit - I was totally freaked out. I thought about the fact that my child might die, or that she might be very sick, or that my life might change in an instant. While she did get well and everything turned out fine, you never quite forget the thoughts that race through your mind and the way panic can stranglehold you into shock.
Just recently - with another strangely sick kid - the regular office visit ended with a referral to the AFLAC Cancer & Hematology unit at Scottish Rite. When the doctor said the words out loud while handing me the referral, I was choked once again by the fear stranglehold that I had hoped I would go a lifetime without ever feeling again.
Friday, May 31, 2013 by Stef Daniel
I took my daughter to her 11 year old well-check, mandatory for her entry into 6th grade, just a few weeks ago.
While we were sitting in the waiting room, a mother walked in with two children - both in wheelchairs, with all sorts of tubes hooked up to their tiny bodies. Neither of the children were able to utilize their major muscle groups, and were tightly buckled into their wheelchairs. One of the kids was around 9 or 10 years old, while the other was likely 5 or 6. As we waited in a packed waiting room, both of these children were coughing in such a manner that sounded like they were choking. (They didn't have muscular control of their swallowing.) The mother, quite unphased, continued about her business, certainly used to the sounds of her children - but the horrid looks of the other parents worsened.
What I noticed was that the whole time she was there other moms were blatantly staring at this mother. And the kids. One mom even picked up her baby and moved away from where these kids were sitting in such a hurry that it was apparent she thought whatever the kids had was contagious. A very young mom allowed her toddler to ask loud and obnoxious questions about what was wrong with 'those kids,' in a room full of people. While it’s natural for kids to be curious, I found it rather rude that the adults in the waiting room were so taken off course by the sight of two disabled children that they could barely contain their rudeness.
I am sure that this mom was used to this behavior.
Tuesday, May 28, 2013 by Stef Daniel
Not that long ago, my daughter refused to wear shoes. Every time we would go shoe shopping it would turn into some sort of circus freak show that left me reaching for copious amounts of wine in the aftermath. Or, I would buy a pair that she said felt fine in the store - only for her to send them sailing across the room the moment I tried to make her wear them.
Being a 'choose your battles' sort of mom, I often opted to let her run around barefoot. Yes, this was much to my dismay. But I happily considered that she must have had some previous life event that left her with claustrophobic feet syndrome - and figured there could be worse problems.
And worse problems there are. It's one thing to not want to wear shoes. It's completely another to have a meltdown every time I tried to buckle her into her car seat and to find myself getting a mile from home and finding that the little escape artist had somehow figured a way to wiggle and writhe out of the buckles. (What happened to those days where she used to fall asleep with the lull of the engine?)
As she got older, I figured the move to a booster seat - A LAW FOR HER AGE, would ease the pain.
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