Traveling with kids..make it easy!

Often people believe life comes to a standstill after the arrival of a baby. They can’t go out, can’t travel, can’t have fun anymore! That’s not true! Of course, after the arrival of a child all programs or outings need to be accommodated and planned according to the child.

Me and my husband love traveling. Since my husband loves driving, we have taken many car trips too. These trips have included our kids as young as 7 months old!

When to take out a baby for travel is totally each parent’s choice. There are no hard and fast rules for parenting as every parent is different.

What I am sharing is my experience of traveling with kids at various stages and how to make the traveling fun and easy. These are just general tips and parents can modify according to their parenting styles and preferences:

  1. Don’t panic before your travel starts. Just go with the flow.
  2. Be flexible with the child’s food and food timings. One of the most common fears when traveling is not able to give the child his food on time or the regular food that he eats. Just relax. Your child will be absolutely okay if for a few days the timings go a bit haywire or if he has his milk twice instead of thrice. I believe that kids are pretty flexible that way.
  3. Carry extra clothes, diaper, bottle, nappy rash cream, wipes, few over-the-counter medicines for stomach issues handy in a bag when traveling with a baby. Just change the diaper every few hours. You can feed him at your will.
  4. Carry water, snacks, chocolates, etc. when traveling with slightly older kids. Don’t bother about the “junk” during holidays. After all holidays are meant to be break from the usual routine.
  5. When traveling in a car make halts at frequent intervals so that the kids can run around for some time, eat some meals, and enjoy the trip!
  6. Once my kids turned a year old, I never carried any food with me when traveling. They had the regular rice, dal, veggies, eggs, chicken, etc. that was available in the hotel. Of course, they wouldn’t eat too spicy things. They would even at the dhabas!
  7. Always book hotels which have kid-friendly activities. Kids have the best fun in the swimming pools. Most hotels have activities for the kids too depending on their age. Explore the surroundings too.
  8. Set yourself and your kids free once you travel! Let your kids also explore the new place. Don’t worry about when they wake up or when they sleep! We all follow a set routine throughout the year; vacations are meant to be “life without rules.”
  9. Always carry medicines for nausea and vomiting, headache, fever, antiseptic for injuries, chewing gums, Band-Aids. Keep a pair of clothes, a jacket handy for the children.
  10. Carry few board games when going for a long journey. Also for that time give some leeway to the gadget time.
  11. Tell them about the significance of the place that you are traveling. Also, talk to them and know about their perspective about the travel and the place.

Traveling is a lot of fun with kids, of course not without some crankiness or vomiting at times! But these are the memories that the kids do cherish for a lifetime.

Daily makeup routine using five products..

I am no makeup artist or expert but over the years with trial and error and watching tips and tricks from experts have learnt the art of basic makeup for daily wear which can be tweaked to a more glamorous look only by highlighting either the eyes or lips.  I must say here that this is only my trick as a layman and not a makeup expert.

Here I am talking about the daily makeup routine using only 5 products:  Concealer, CC cream or foundation, compact, kajal and lipstick.  These are the products which are worth investing and I believe every woman should have for the basic look.  This makeup can be done within 10 minutes or less once you are used to doing it.

Before starting the makeup, make sure your skin is clean.  Use a good face wash based on your skin type to wash your face, tone it using a good toner, and moisturize the skin using a good moisturizer.  The moisturizer gives a smooth finish and doesn’t make the look face cakey.  After following the CTM routine do the following steps:

1.  Apply concealer as dots all over your face.  Choose a concealer closer to your skin tone.  Apply all over the face using a sponge, brush or even fingers.  I generally use my fingers to apply the makeup products but you may use whatever you are comfortable using.  Make sure the concealer covers the face and neck properly.  Allow it to set.

2.  Apply foundation/CC cream again in the similar fashion as the concealer.  I find CC creams good for giving nice coverage to my face and it lasts longer too.  Using brush/fingers apply evenly on the face and neck.  Make sure it blends properly.

3.  Dab the compact after this.  The compact helps the makeup to set and gives an even and smooth finish.  Again, select a compact closer to your skin tone to give a natural look.

4.  Next comes the kajal, my favorite makeup product.  You might opt not to use it if you don’t like wearing kajal but I believe kajal gives an instant “lift” to the face and makes the face brighter.  Apply on the upper and lower waterline and upper and lower eyelids using a steady hand.  If you are not used to applying liner or kajal, practice!  I generally like using black kajal but you can use brown or any other color which you might like.

5.  Lastly comes the lipstick.  If you are going to office or want to go out during the daytime, you might opt for lighter shades like light pink, mauve, light brown.  Apply one coat of lipstick, dab some compact, and reapply.  This helps the lipstick to stay longer.  If you want to party or go out after office, apply a darker shade of lipstick like wine, red, dark brown, chocolate, etc.  Perk up your eye makeup with smoky look by smudging the kajal a bit.

Friends, this routine works for me, but you might experiment with your looks the way you want to.  Go for it!

Work from home-how easy, how difficult..

I am a part of many mom forums and even otherwise daily come across many women wanting to do some work from home.  Many of them are frustrated or unhappy that they are unable to utilize their skills and qualifications or have an income of their own.  Many women feel lonely once the kids are grown up and want to do something of their own.  Many women in nuclear setup or otherwise do not wish to leave their small babies and go out to work and hence look for work-from-home opportunities.

Sounds nice and it is a boon for many women too!  There are lots of work-from-home options coming up each day.  Jobs in the field of content writing, blogging, data entry, social media-related jobs, medical transcription, tuition, etc., etc. are few work-from-home options.

But is it really as easy as it sounds?  Like every other thing, work from home has its own pros and cons.  I started working from home when my son turned 9 months old.  I stay in a nuclear set-up with my husband being my rock solid support always.  Its been almost 14 years now that I have been working from home, changed my job profile though.  I have had and still have many hard days.  Now with the kids grown up things are easier but still managing the home, kids’ studies, people, phone calls, etc., is quite a task.

Sharing few tips from my own experience of so many years of working from home:

1.  Work from home doesn’t mean that you don’t have to denote fixed working hours.  Yes, it has more flexibility than the office hours yet one needs to stay committed to the assigned hours.  Stay connected with your work colleagues online.

2.  Before starting any work from home option, please think calmly about it.  It is a commitment after all.  You can keep on taking breaks every 3-4 days citing kids’ issues or other social problems.  It impacts your performance as well as irritates your employer.

3.  Support system.  Create a support system, specially if your child is very small, so that you can work without any distractions while someone takes care of your child or does the home chores.

4.  Don’t expect the same salary, perks, or career growth as one gets when works from office.  I won’t generalize but generally the work-from-home jobs options have slower growth and sometimes lesser salary as compared to the office-going counterparts.  Things are changing though!

5.  Don’t try to do home chores and your job together.  It’s hugely distracting!  What I used to do was did some chores before starting my work and then finished the other chores later.  Compartmentalize your work and prioritize them accordingly.

6.  Inform your family and friends about work timings so that they call or visit accordingly, unless any emergency of course.

7.  Spouse and children play a big supportive role for women who work from home, at least holds true for me.  My husband was always very, very helpful and supportive.  Once my kids turned a bit older they also started realizing that mom is working and that she shouldn’t be disturbed.  Now the kids are my motivating factor!  Involve your family in your work schedule!

8.  Keep on reinventing and updating yourself.  Work from home can get stagnating at times.  Look for some other line which interests you, learn more about it, and try to work in that field, if you wish to.

Any work, be it from office or from home, is never easy.  Every place has its own set of challenges.  If you have decided to take the plunge, best of luck!