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New Parents Struggle: 4 Ways to Provide Your Support

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4 Simple Ways to Support New Parents Who Are Struggling

Do you have any new parents in your life? Perhaps you have friends who just had a baby, or perhaps a family member or coworker recently became a parent?

If someone in your life is just starting their journey of parenthood, they’re going to need more support than they might feel comfortable asking for. If you want to help them, but don’t know how, here are some of the biggest struggles they’ll face and ways you can provide your support.

They’ll have low energy for basic tasks

New parents will naturally be low on energy, whether it’s from staying up all night soothing a crying baby, feeding every few hours, or stress. This lack of energy will make it hard for them to accomplish even the most basic tasks like doing the dishes and scheduling appointments.

One of the best ways to help a new parent is to manage the tasks they don’t have the energy for. Granted, this is easier to do when you live with them or if they’re a family member you see often.

The most important task you can take on is handling their appointments. Find out their schedule of availability and once you know their schedule, you can make all of their appointments for them. For instance, if they need lactation support from a professional breastfeeding consultant, schedule their consultation with an IBCLC so they don’t need to make the phone call or deal with the logistics.

In addition to managing their appointments, consider doing household chores like laundry and dishes. You’d be surprised to learn how the smallest tasks can help the most. Here are some more ideas for small tasks you can take on to help:

  • Basic yard work
  • Making school lunches for their older kids
  • Picking up and dropping off older kids for school, sports, and appointments
  • Coming over for dinner and cooking for the whole family
  • Grocery shopping
  • Run random errands like going to the hardware store
  • Anything else that would alleviate stress and/or save time

They might be exhausted from breastfeeding

Many new mothers face unexpected challenges with breastfeeding. Sometimes they don’t have the energy to breastfeed throughout the day, but don’t want to depend on formula when it’s not necessary. In this case, you might be able to help make breastfeeding less exhausting.

One thing new parents can do is pump ahead of time to make sure they always have enough milk on hand for the baby. You can help with this process by feeding the baby for them and offering to clean the pump and bottles so they don’t have to work so hard.

They might need emotional support

Chances are, the new parent in your life will need your emotional support. The stress of being a parent can be extremely taxing and a little emotional support can go a long way.

You can spend time with them, share meals with them, or just make them a cup of coffee and talk. It also helps to simply be an ear or a shoulder. It never hurts to ask your friend or family member exactly how you can support them. If they know what they need, they’ll tell you.

Supporting a new parent emotionally is sometimes even more important than supporting them with money or taking over their household duties. New parents are going to be exhausted, and emotional support can sometimes be the magic pill needed to reduce stress and help them feel more rested and relaxed.

Ask what you can do for them

The number one way to support anyone is to ask what you can do for them. Most people know what they need and will tell you if you ask, even if they wouldn’t normally offer the information.

Ask the new parent in your life what you can do to help them while they figure out their new routines and get settled into parenthood. Let them know that no request is too small and if they don’t have any ideas in the moment, make sure they know they can reach out to you at any time.

Every ounce of support makes a difference

It doesn’t matter how much or how little you can offer the new parents in your life. Being a new parent is challenging, and every ounce of support will be appreciated.

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Destinations

Best Vacations for the Recently Retired

Work is done and you have little to no responsibilities since you recently retired, so what are your excuses to not travel?

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Work is done and you have little to no responsibilities since you recently retired, so what are your excuses to not travel? It’s time to enjoy your golden years and travel to some fun destinations. If you saved for your retirement, hopefully you put in some sort of travel budget so you can see the world, and stay in amazing hotels like the Marriott. Baby Boomers are reaching retirement age and that means a huge influx of retired travelers is set to hit the world’s top destinations. We can’t travel like we used to so let’s explore some excellent vacations for retirees.

Ireland

Who hasn’t dreamed of strolling through the rolling green hills of Ireland? The lush green country is a perfect vacation destination for the retired set. Dublin is a great place to start to see some of the oldest buildings in all of Europe and taste the perfect pint at the Guinness brewery. There is so much to see in Ireland you can really take your time on an extended trip and enjoy everything Ireland has to offer.  The perfect vacation for the recently retired.

Sicily

If Italian food is your favorite or if ancient architecture is your bag, Sicily is for you. Who hasn’t wanted to check out Palermo, the lively capital that boasts spectacular cathedrals and delicious street food? The small island off the coast of Italy’s big toe is the perfect destination for retired folk. The islands slow pace and miles of gorgeous beaches make Sicily a great spot. Many Italian-Americans track their heritage to Sicily and those Baby Boomers can visit their ancient roots.  Retired people will love the vibe of Sicily.

Australia

The flights to Australia will take up to 21 hours so you need to spend some time there to make it worth it. Now you are retired and you have literally nowhere to be, it’s the perfect time to take an extended vacation to the land down under. Australia has something for everyone, with major cities, extreme outback and wonderful beaches. You must see Sydney Harbor, the Great Barrier Reef and a kangaroo. Other than that, explore Australia at your own pace; you have all the time in the world.

U.S. Road Trip

If times what you have, why not take a coast-to-coast road trip across our great country. America has so much diverse landscapes that you can experience so much on a road trip. For a real adventure rent a recreational vehicle and take your time, see all the sites you want and do it in style. An RV can be rented at very affordable prices and offers a unique experience many have never lived. See the Grand Canyon, Niagara Falls, drive historic Route 66 or make your own route.

Blue Ridge Parkway

Why not take a road trip on the most scenic highway in America, the Blue Ridge Parkway. This picturesque 470-mile drive connects Shenandoah National Park in Virginia and the Great Smoky Mountain national Park in North Carolina. The road follows the peaks of numerous mountains along the way giving off spectacular views and winding through some cute little towns.   There are some seriously cute places to stay along the way and more than enough activities to keep you entertained.

Rocky Mountaineer

Maybe you should let someone else drive so you can soak up all the incredible views along the Canadian Rocky Mountains, in the Rocky Mountaineer, a luxury train. Enjoy sitting in glass domed train cars so you can see beauty at every angle. There are multiple options available to satisfy any urge. You can get coastal views or strictly mountain routes. You can decide among many options to make the vacation fit exactly what you want.

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Destinations

Why You Should Visit Hawaii

 I break down each island in the chain and tell you why you should visit each one

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Hawaii is paradise on Earth and one of the most traveled to destinations on the planet, so why all the hype? I break down each island in the chain and tell you why you should visit each one. Check out paradise in each of its unique forms from the laid back vibes of Molokai to the big city by the beach in Oahu’s Honolulu.

 

Oahu

Oahu is home to the largest city in all the Hawaiian Islands and is the most populated. There is a huge military population on Oahu as the Navy has its base, Pearl Harbor. Honolulu is the island’s only “big” city and Waikiki is the party destination if you are into that sort of thing. Not all of Oahu is a party destination, as many parts of the island operate at a much slower pace. Check out the North Shore for bohemian beach towns and world-class surfing.

For some interesting attractions, check out the Polynesian Cultural Center or the sunken remains of the USS Arizona at Pearl Harbor. The beaches are world-class and the resorts are massive.

 

Hawaii (Big Island)

The largest of the Hawaiian Islands by far is Hawaii or “the Big Island.” This massive island features almost every climate in its rich ecosystems. There is often snow on top of the mountain peaks that are surrounded by rainforests and deserts. The big island features a wide variety of terrain and activities. Check out some of the best surfing, snorkeling and hiking the world has to offer. The island is split into two main sides, the leeward side, which is very dry and arid, and the wayward side, which is the wettest region in America.

Make sure you check out Mauna Kea, the world’s tallest mountain, measured from the sea floor up. There are also two active volcanoes to check out where you can see lava flows.

 

Maui

The most all-around island in the chain, Maui has a little bit of everything. Every major resort has a luau and we recommend checking one out for some culture and unlimited mai tais. This island has all the outdoor activities you could ever want with some incredible hiking, surfing and snorkeling. The weather is perfect and the sun is usually shining.   Take a hike to the crater of a volcano at the Haleakala National Park.  

 

Kauai

Known as the garden island, Kauai is easily the most beautiful of the main islands. This is also known as the lovers’ island and the retirement island as most guests are on their honeymoon or well, old. There aren’t too many spots open past 8pm and the island’s nightlife is almost non-existent. There is some of the best hiking and outdoor activities in the world.

Check out the Na Pali Coast, a rocky, 20-mile section of the island that is unreachable by car and where you’ll recognize the beginning of Jurassic Park. Take a helicopter tour of amazing waterfalls and secret beaches galore.

The most impressive feature is the Grand Canyon of the Pacific, the Waimea Canyon.

 

 

Lanai

The smallest of the Hawaiian Islands that are open to the public, Lanai is mostly owned privately by billionaire Larry Ellison (Oracle). This island used to be a huge pineapple plantation and is now home to two Four Seasons resorts. Golf is god here as two of the best courses in the US are located here.

 

Molokai

The most remote Hawaiian Island is Molokai, which has hardly any infrastructure and has very few visitors each year. The pace is slow here and they only operate on island time. Come here if you want to chill hardcore and not do many touristy activities, as they don’t really exist here.

 

Find which version of paradise you like the most and check it out. Hawaii has a little of something for everyone; you just have to find it.

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Guides

Airplane Bathroom Hacks

We talked to some flight attendants who shared with us their awesome airplane bathroom hacks.

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An airplane bathroom may be the worst possible place to do your business but when you are 25,000 feet up in the sky, what are your other options?  They are small, inconvenient and not the most sanitary places, but when nature calls and you have nowhere else to go.

We talked to some flight attendants who shared with us their awesome airplane bathroom hacks. When is the best time to go, what you should bring, how to deal with the smell and when are the worst times to use the airplane restroom. Don’t be stuck thousands of feet in the sky with nowhere to go number 2 because there is a huge line, follow our airplane bathroom guide.

 

When to go

Flight attendants told us that there are two perfect times to use the airplane bathroom with having people lined up outside waiting. First is right after the pilot turns off the seatbelt signs. This window closes fast so be ready. Once the plane takes off, it usually takes about 5 minutes to reach cruising altitude, this is the height that the plane levels off and becomes flatter in the air. This is your opportunity so don’t let it slip away. Be prepared to get up the second the seatbelt sign goes off. You would have about 10 minutes to do your business without people lined up outside.   Flight attendants will be just getting up from their jump seats so you won’t have anyone in the aisles to block your path.

The second perfect window is right before the flight attendants start their drink service. Flight attendants don’t like when people are up during the drink service since the carts take up the entire walkway. Getting up right before their drink service takes some timing and situational awareness. Pay attention to the flight attendants, they should all be in the galley area prepping their drink carts, so this is your chance. Pop up quickly before they have a chance to tell you to sit down. Now you’ll have up to 10 minutes all alone in the bathroom. Also the best time to join the “mile-High Club,” if you know what I mean! Don’t stay more than 10 minutes or a flight attendant may come knock on the door and ruin the moment.

 

What to bring

I always travel with bathroom wipes because we all know how cheap airplane bathroom toilet paper is. Something to read is always a nice touch, but don’t be obvious, we don’t need the whole plane to know what’s going on.

 

Smell?

The smell can get you in trouble, not literally, just embarrassing. The flight attendant we spoke with told us a great hack. She brings a packet of coffee grounds into the lavatory to soak up the odor. Ask the flight attendant; they will happily give you one, because everyone will suffer if not. They will be trapped in the same sardine can as everyone else, so they want a no stink situation too.

 

Times to avoid

Right before landing is a terrible time to go to the bathroom. The flight attendants will be upset and the bathroom can be a little bumpy during landings.

The worst time to go is about 15 minutes after the seatbelt sign is taken away. This gives people time to realize they have to use the restroom so the line can be ridiculous.

 

Good luck and use the airplane restroom at these optimum times.

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