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Guest Post: Mothers: Surviving Stress in the Holidays by Snowden McFall, author of Stress Express! 15 Instant Stress Relievers

Halloween is almost here, Thanksgiving is around the corner, and Chanukah, Christmas and Kwanza are all coming in December.  That means upcoming crazy days for mothers who are already incredibly busy.  How do you cope and what can you do?

 First, ask yourself how stressed are you right now.  If you’re like most Americans, you’re very stressed. Career says that 78% of American workers feel burned out. 1/3 of Americans say they’re living with extreme stress.1 Nearly 80% of all doctor visits are stress-related and 43% of adults are sick because of stress.

 As a mother, that stress gets magnified, especially if you are a working mother. Despite their best attempts, many husbands are not much help at home and women carry the greatest burdens of housework as well as childcare and community service. And the more stressed you are, the more stressed your children are.

 ”Children absolutely sense parents’ stress,” says pediatrician Kenneth Ginsburg, associate professor at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. In 2009, 36% of kids surveyed said they worried more this summer than last; 30% said they worried about family financial difficulties. 2

 What Can You Do To Lower Your Stress Levels?

1. Sleep at least 7 hours a night.  According to the World Health Organization, anything less than 7 hours a night could cause cancer!  Less than 7 hours means you are 3 times more susceptible to colds and likely to gain more weight. The solution: go to bed earlier, no email before bed, no TV in bed.  Make your bedroom a sanctuary for sleeping, making love and resting.

2. Take Vacations:  Sadly, Expedia found that 34% of Americans don’t go on vacation at all! And yet for women aged 45-64, two weeks of vacation cut their incidence of heart attack in half, according to a Boston College study! 3  Expedia also found most people feel rejuvenated after vacation, are more productive and more satisfied with their marriage.

3. Use aromatherapy to help with stress. A few drops of vanilla oil on the wrists of a child can transform a cranky, whiny child into one who is happy and laughing. Peppermint extract on your forehead or temples can help relieve pain immediately.  It’s also great for concentration.  Lemon scent cuts keyboard mistakes by 50%!

4. Spend time with girlfriends The latest research shows spending time with friends creates the release of oxytocin, a neurotransmitter that relieves stress and promotes euphoria.  In a study, those who had the most friends over a 9 year time period cut their risk of death in the next 10 years by 60%.4

5. Cultivate Optimism Optimists live 7 years longer than pessimists, have better lung function and are far less likely to die young or die from cancer. The top 10% executives think differently from others: they are all optimists! So if you want greater success, achievement,  and joy in your life, become a more positive thinker.

Women have the ability to make a huge difference in the lives of others. As mothers, your greatest gifts are your love, wisdom and   care taking.  But only if you take care of yourself and manage your stress.

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 Snowden McFall, professional speaker, trainer and author, is the owner of 27- year old Brightwork Advertising and Training and 14-year old Fired Up. She has written 5 books, including Fired Up!, which has sold  63,000+ copies, and her new book Stress Express! 15 Instant Stress Relievers. An expert on stress and motivation,  she has appeared on 300 radio shows, CNN Financial News, The Home Shopping Network, Bloomberg Television, Investors Business Daily, and She was named National Women in Business Advocate of the Year by the Small Business Administration and was honored at the White House and Congress. She can be reached at

For your free report:  The Top 20 Tips to Get Fired Up and Stay Fired Up, go to  

1.  “Stress in US Rises, Causes Health Problems,” The Scoop, The Meeting Professional, March 2008, p.442.

2.   Jayson, Sharon Kids ‘absolutely’ feel parents’ stress, 30% worry about finances,”  USA Today,  11/2/2009

 3. Brown, Sarah,  “Clean Break,” Vogue, June 2003

4.  Taylor, S. E.; Klein, L.C.; Lewis, B. P.; Gruenewald, T. L.; Gurung, R. A. R.; & Updegraff, J. A. “Female Responses to Stress: Tend and Befriend, Not Fight or Flight”, Psychological Review (2000), 107(3), p.41-429.

Guest Post from Double Duty Mommy: Best Products for More than One Child

The following is a guest post from Jennifer Mercurio, who writes the Double Duty Mommy blog.

 As a wife, mother of two, homemaker, web designer, and blogger, I have enough to take care of on a daily basis. Having time saving products in my life has made it possibly to survive my days sometimes. My daughters are 5 (6 in November), and 11 weeks old, so the following products have definitely helped daddy & me keep a little bit of our sanity.

 Recently I was sent a Bottle Snuggler baby bottle holder for a review, and now I have no idea how I made it through life without it. Okay, maybe that’s a little exaggerated, but it has definitely made daily chores more possible and has let me eat or talk on the phone when I wasn’t able to previously. Bottle Snugglers hold the bottle for you, so while you are hold and feed baby, you will still have one hand free! It’s helped both daddy & me eat while at a restaurant, answer phone calls, help with our 5 year old, and the list goes on!  They are perfect for a multi-tasking mom like me.

 I’ve been trying for 10 weeks now to breastfeed, but because since birth Kendall has such a big issue with latching, I’ve always pumped. I think now that we’re 10 weeks into it it probably won’t happen, but I do keep trying to get her latched. A product that has helped us is Pumpin’ Pals. Of course, the pump is wonderful, and helps me pump faster. Pumpin Pal is a hands-free pumping accessory. If you pump you know that normally you have to hold the bottles, and usually lean forward which kills your back. With Pumpin’ Pals attached, it eliminates all the back pain and frees your hands completely because the pump horns are angled downward and fit into most pumps you already own!

What makes the Pumpin’ Pal great is that it’s made to wrap around a double pump and then again around your neck which makes it hands-free for a relaxed and productive pumping session. I would recommend the Pumpin’ Pal if you pump regardless but if you have more then 1 kid; it is definitely a must. A big plus for me is that now, when I’m pumping, I can help my other daughter with her homework instead of making her wait.

 And lastly, probably my number one family friendly product is to wear your baby! Believe me, I never use to be a fan when I had my first daughter. Now I realize I just didn’t have the right carrier. We have several wraps and a BabyBjörn carrier (that only daddy uses). I’ve learned that I do not like carriers, and I am more of a wrap baby wearer . I was extremely intimidated by wraps at first but, believe me, they are so easy to use. My favorite by far is the Sugar Sweet Baby. Lara’s wraps are very lightweight, extremely breathe-able and, of course, gorgeous to look at.

I think wraps and carriers are definitely a must have for any parents. When all else fails, wear your baby, and I assure you your baby will fall asleep within minutes. There after you are free to get any housework done, eat, help your other kids, or just RELAX!

These are  just a few products I use to make my with two small children just a little easier.

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