two mature woman friends chating over coffee

Parenting 101: Making Self-Care a Habit

Raising a child isn’t easy. It is definitely a full-time, around-the-clock job! Even if your child attends a preschool or daycare during the day, you can still get overwhelmed with how much work and energy it takes to care for an infant, toddler, or preschooler. We strive to be the best parents that we can be. But being your best is nearly impossible when you are burned out, mentally drained and physically exhausted.

We get tired of picking up the toys, cleaning up the spills, and changing endless diapers while struggling to find time to eat or sleep. Things begin to pile up and we can quickly start to feel stressed and overwhelmed.  Parents devote so much time to caring for their children and often leave little time to care for themselves.

Benefits of Self Care

To be our best, we have to make time to care for ourselves. When we make self-care a priority, we begin to see many improvements in our lives. For instance, we will most likely experience lower stress levels. Good self-care habits such as regular sleep, relaxation, exercise, and eating well have been proven to reduce stress levels. These practices help maintain our emotional, mental, and physical health, helping us manage and prevent stress so we can be the best for ourselves and others.

How to Start Your Self-Care Journey

  1. Put “me time” in your schedule: Alone time is necessary. And something that we often forget to do when young children can command so much of our time. When you mark it down in your calendar, it forces you to take this time more seriously. A good time for this is in the morning when your child is at preschool or daycare, or in the evening when you can find alternative childcare options. What you decide to do during your “me time” is completely up to! You may choose to exercise, go shopping, go to the spa, take a long walk in nature, or any other activity that you find calming or stress-relieving.
  2. Meet with one of your friends: This is especially important if you spend most of your day around children and need an escape. Spending time with other adults without children around can be particularly rewarding. This allows you time to have mature, full-length conversations without having to censor yourself or fear interruption.
  3. Make a journal: Write in your journal for about 20 minutes every day and just let your thoughts flow onto the paper. This is a healthy way to release those feelings that you may otherwise keep bottled up or under the surface.
  4. Set limits: Sometimes we can get stressed because we don’t know how to say ‘no’ to others. Maybe your neighbor keeps asking you to host playdates at your house or you are being pressured to volunteer somewhere. There’s no shame in saying ‘no’ to one or even a few of these requests. Instead of automatically saying ‘yes,’ you can practice saying “Let me think about it” or “I’ll get back to you on that.” It’s best to keep your workload manageable, rather than let things pile up. This will help to avoid feelings of overwhelm.
  5. Download a meditation app: Even if you’ve never meditated in your life and think that its probably not for you, it doesn’t hurt to try. You can download apps that make it easy for you to follow guided meditations on a daily basis. These apps teach you how to meditate and do breathing exercises that can calm your mind and body.

When we take care of ourselves, we show our children that self-care is a priority. We serve as good role models when we lead by example, teaching our children that we value our own health and well-being.

Self-care is important because it helps us unwind after days or weeks of stress. When we feel more relaxed, we can be calmer, healthier, and overall better parents.



caring mother lying in bed with sick girl

Caring for a Sick Child During Flu Season

With flu season in full swing, there’s a pretty good chance that your children might come down with something – even if you’re trying your best to shield them from it. Although we can’t prevent the inevitable spread of sicknesses, we can prepare ourselves for it.

Here are a few tips that can help you care for your little ones when they’re not feeling the best this flu season.

Check for a fever.

This should be the first step you take if your children tell you they aren’t feeling well. If the thermometer shows a high-grade fever for a prolonged period of time, you should seek medical attention as soon as possible. If the thermometer shows a low-grade fever, you can give them ibuprofen or acetaminophen and make sure they get plenty of rest.

Keep them hydrated.

Make sure that your children get plenty of fluids when they’re sick. This is especially important if they are suffering from diarrhea or vomiting, as these ailments can dehydrate them.

Use a humidifier.

The steam from the humidifier is a great way to clear up congestion, ease coughing, and help with a sore throat.

Give them a warm bath.

The warm water from the bath is a good way to soothe any aches or pains your children may have. Make sure you dry your children off well after you take them out of the tub so they don’t get the chills.

Let them rest, a lot.

One of the keys to a quick recovery is getting plenty of rest. create a quiet and comfortable environment for your children to get as much sleep as possible.

Elevate their head.

To help them breathe more easily, keep their head slightly elevated with pillows.

Feed them easily digestible foods.

Foods like Saltine crackers, toast, bananas, and applesauce are safe options. Classic chicken noodle soup is also a great food for relieving cold and flu symptoms.

Know the signs of serious illness.

Changes in breathing patterns, severe headache, changes in skin color, unresponsiveness, and pain or pressure in the chest or stomach are all signs of serious illness. If you notice that your child is exhibiting one or multiple of these symptoms, then they should be seen by a medical professional right away.

At Carpe Diem Private Preschool, we try to keep our students as healthy as possible, especially during flu season. Our dedicated staff works hard on a daily basis to ensure a clean and sanitary environment in each classroom and play area to prevent the spread of sicknesses. We also emphasize the importance of personal hygiene by encouraging students to wash their hands before eating and after using the restroom.


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How to Know if Your Child Has a Food Allergy

Food allergies are a dangerous immune system reaction that can threaten your child’s life if you don’t identify them right away.  To keep your child safe and healthy, it’s important to know what the signs and symptoms of a food allergy reaction look like.  Symptoms can happen rapidly, even within a few minutes to a couple of hours after eating.  They can also range from mild to severe, including:

Mild Symptoms

  • An itchy, runny nose and sneezing
  • A few hives and/or mild itchy skin
  • Mild nausea and/or stomach discomfort
  • An itchy mouth
  • A combination of mild symptoms on different areas of the body is considered severe

Severe Symptoms

  • Shortness of breath, wheezing, and/or a repetitive cough
  • A pale or blue color, fainting, weak pulse, and dizziness
  • A tightness in throat, hoarseness, trouble breathing or swallowing
  • A lot of swelling of the tongue/and or lips
  • Itchy skin rash (hives) over the body, a lot of redness
  • Vomiting, abdominal pain, or diarrhea

How Your Child Might Describe It

A young child with a limited vocabulary may not describe the symptoms of an allergic reaction the same way that an adult would. Additionally, their voices may change. For example they may become hoarse or squeaky and they may slur their words. Here are some phrases that a child may say to describe a food allergy reaction:

  • “My tongue itches,” “It (my tongue) feels like there is hair on it,” or “It feels like something’s poking my tongue.”
  • “My mouth feels funny,” or “My mouth is tingling.”
  • “There’s something stuck in my throat,” “It (my throat) feels thick,” “It feels like a bump is on the back of my throat.”
  • “My lips feel tight.”
  • “It feels like there are bugs in there,” (to describe itchy ears).

Common Food Allergies

People can experience an allergic reaction to any food, but the following foods are responsible for most allergic reactions:

  • Peanuts
  • Tree nuts
  • Shellfish
  • Fish
  • Milk
  • Eggs
  • Soy
  • Wheat

At Carpe Diem Private Preschool, we care about the health, safety and well-being of each child. It’s important to share your child’s allergies with us, so that we know how to prevent allergic reactions from occurring.  This will also ensure that we are prepared to properly care for each child if a reaction does occur. With our commitment to safety and open communication, we work together with parents and caregivers to best protect and care for all our students.