Loveness in the Brokenness

By Kathleen Fleming, Majestic Unicorn

This was my hallway last Wednesday.

Broken. Sharp. Treacherous.

This was my hallway. It was my son who did this.

Sometimes, often really, things break - irreparably. And it takes your breath away...straight away. It took my breath away when my son stormed into the bathroom, frustrated, angry, fed-up for his very own, very significant to him, reasons. And when he chose to SLAM the bathroom door, causing the heavy mirror mounted to the front to slip out of the hardware holding it in place and crash onto the floor - a million, BROKEN pieces were left reflecting the afternoon light.

I was quiet.

I surveyed the damage and took a deep breath.

Put the dog outside so he wouldn't cut his feet, put the cat in the basement for the same reason.

I walked into the backyard and felt the hot tears streaming down my face. It's amazing how alone you can feel as a single parent in moments like these. I realized how scared and disappointed I felt. Did this really just happen? Yes. This was real. And as I stood and considered whether or not this was an indication of his developing character, I heard his tears through the window above me, coming from inside the bathroom. His soul hurt. This was not what he expected either. Hello, Anger - I don't remember inviting you into my house. Scary. Terrified. Ashamed. Worried. Scared.

Deep breath, #MamaWarrior. Deep breath.

That small, fragile soul needs you right now. He needs your very best. Your biggest compassion. Your most gentle and firm mama love and reassurance. More deep breaths. Go Mama. Go. Go now. Go open the front door, tiptoe through the broken glass, hear him hearing you coming, watch the bathroom door crack open, see the face you love most in the world red with worry and wet with tears, his voice is suddenly so small: "Mama, I'll never do it again, I am SO sorry." More tears. More weeping. Such uncertainty on his sweet face.

Go Mama. Get him. Go now. Scoop him into your lap. Yup, you're crying too. Damn this was big. Hold him tight. Watch how he curls into a ball in your arms so quickly. See how eager he is to be loved by you. To be reassured by you. See how small he still is. See how fragile that spirit is.

I love you.
You are safe.
I am right here.

The worst part is over now. I've got you. I'm here. I love you. Go Mama. Tell him about Anger. Tell him now. Anger is a really powerful feeling. You have a right to your Anger. Anger burns hot. It can purify. It can also destroy. He nods. He feels it. He's met Anger now. There's a better way to show your big feelings. We'll work on it together...tomorrow.

I'm here to help you. You are safe. You are never alone in your anger. You are never alone in your fears. I'm here. We're here together.

Now we will clean together.

And we cleaned up the broken pieces. We swept and we vacuumed. It was quiet work. It was careful work. It was thoughtful work.

Sometimes things break. Sometimes we break them. It's not the breaking that matters, the how or why. What matters is how we choose to respond to the broken-ness. Does it kill us? Does it throw us into a downward spiral of blame and punishment? OR does it help us remember how to love deepest? Does it push us towards compassion and over the hurdle of "rightness" and "wrongness" into LOVENESS? Yes. LOVENESS.

Go Mama. Go now. Get that baby of yours. Teach that. Show that. Live that. It's called LOVENESS. Go. Now.

Mother Love by Lulu, United Arab Emirates | Find more art by Lulu at Deviant Art

Related Reading: 

About the author.
Read more from Fleming at Majestic Unicorn and find her on Facebook here.

Tackling Distress Tantrums with Brain Research

When Things Get Physical: Hitting, Throwing, Kicking, Biting

Love Matters

Why Spanking is Never Okay

Peaceful Parenting Group

Baby's Breastfeeding Pattern

Newborn breastfeeding pattern

In the hospital we encourage moms to breastfeed every 2-3 hours to nourish baby and bring in a good future milk supply.
It’s math: 8-12 feeds in 24 hours (ideal) = nursing every 2-3 hours πŸ“šπŸ“ˆ

It’s a quick and easy way to get the message across that this baby needs to eat, and often
Unfortunately, new parents seem think breastfeeding is going to be like the first picture (cereal)...all the feeds perfectly spaced out, and all the same size. Every 2-3 hours. Easy. And the baby will sleep like an angel in between....
THIS IS NOT REALITY. In reality, your sweet newborn baby will have good feeds, short feeds, sleepy feeds, crappy feeds, and everything in between! 
The visual of the blueberries is amazing because it shows how realistically feedings are at all different times and different lengths (bigger blueberries). And did you count the berries?!? More than enough! 
Yes, we want you to nurse every 2-3 hours, but baby calls the shots. Less watching the clock   and more watching for feeding cues. πŸ‘ΆπŸ» 

Related Reading:

• Knowing my baby's hunger cues:

• The Case for Cue Feeding:

• Why African Babies Don't Cry: 

• Breastfeeding community:

Newborn stomach size
Breastfeeding on cue awareness raising cards at Etsy

Insight In Menstruation and Medicating Women's Feelings

By Julie Holland
Originally published in the New York Times March 1, 2015

Women are moody. By evolutionary design, we are hard-wired to be sensitive to our environments, empathic to our children’s needs and intuitive of our partners’ intentions. This is basic to our survival and that of our offspring. 

Some research suggests that women are often better at articulating their feelings than men because as the female brain develops, more capacity is reserved for language, memory, hearing and observing emotions in others. These are observations rooted in biology, not intended to mesh with any kind of pro- or anti-feminist ideology. But they do have social implications. 

Women’s emotionality is a sign of health, not disease; it is a source of power. But we are under constant pressure to restrain our emotional lives. We have been taught to apologize for our tears, to suppress our anger and to fear being called hysterical. The pharmaceutical industry plays on that fear, targeting women in a barrage of advertising on daytime talk shows and in magazines. 

More Americans are on psychiatric medications than ever before, and in my experience they are staying on them far longer than was ever intended. Sales of antidepressants and antianxiety meds have been booming in the past two decades, and they’ve recently been outpaced by an antipsychotic, Abilify, that is the No. 1 seller among all drugs in the United States, not just psychiatric ones. 

As a psychiatrist practicing for 20 years, I must tell you, this is insane. 

At least one in four women in America now takes a psychiatric medication, compared with one in seven men. Women are nearly twice as likely to receive a diagnosis of depression or anxiety disorder than men are. For many women, these drugs greatly improve their lives. But for others they aren’t necessary. The increase in prescriptions for psychiatric medications, often by doctors in other specialties, is creating a new normal, encouraging more women to seek chemical assistance. Whether a woman needs these drugs should be a medical decision, not a response to peer pressure and consumerism. 

The new, medicated normal is at odds with women’s dynamic biology; brain and body chemicals are meant to be in flux. To simplify things, think of serotonin as the “it’s all good” brain chemical. Too high and you don’t care much about anything; too low and everything seems like a problem to be fixed. 

In the days leading up to menstruation, when emotional sensitivity is heightened, women may feel less insulated, more irritable or dissatisfied. I tell my patients that the thoughts and feelings that come up during this phase are genuine, and perhaps it’s best to re-evaluate what they put up with the rest of the month, when their hormone and neurotransmitter levels are more likely programmed to prompt them to be accommodating to others’ demands and needs. 

The most common antidepressants, which are also used to treat anxiety, are selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (S.S.R.I.s) that enhance serotonin transmission. S.S.R.I.s keep things “all good.” But too good is no good. More serotonin might lengthen your short fuse and quell your fears, but it also helps to numb you, physically and emotionally. These medicines frequently leave women less interested in sex. S.S.R.I.s tend to blunt negative feelings more than they boost positive ones. On S.S.R.I.s, you probably won’t be skipping around with a grin; it’s just that you stay more rational and less emotional. Some people on S.S.R.I.s have also reported less of many other human traits: empathy, irritation, sadness, erotic dreaming, creativity, anger, expression of their feelings, mourning and worry. 

Obviously, there are situations where psychiatric medications are called for. The problem is too many genuinely ill people remain untreated, mostly because of socioeconomic factors. People who don’t really need these drugs are trying to medicate a normal reaction to an unnatural set of stressors: lives without nearly enough sleep, sunshine, nutrients, movement and eye contact, which is crucial to us as social primates. If the serotonin levels of women are constantly, artificially high, they are at risk of losing their emotional sensitivity with its natural fluctuations, and modeling a more masculine, static hormonal balance. 

This emotional blunting encourages women to take on behaviors that are typically approved by men: appearing to be invulnerable, for instance, a stance that might help women move up in male-dominated businesses. Primate studies show that giving an S.S.R.I. can augment social dominance behaviors, elevating an animal’s status in the hierarchy. But at what cost? 

I had a patient who called me from her office in tears, saying she needed to increase her antidepressant dosage because she couldn’t be seen crying at work. After dissecting why she was upset — her boss had betrayed and humiliated her in front of her staff — we decided that what was needed was calm confrontation, not more medication. 

Medical chart reviews consistently show that doctors are more likely to give women psychiatric medications than men, especially women between the ages of 35 and 64. For some women in that age group the symptoms of perimenopause can sound a lot like depression, and tears are common. 

Crying isn’t just about sadness. When we are scared, or frustrated, when we see injustice, when we are deeply touched by the poignancy of humanity, we cry. And some women cry more easily than others. It doesn’t mean we’re weak or out of control. 

At higher doses, S.S.R.I.s make it difficult to cry. They can also promote apathy and indifference. Change comes from the discomfort and awareness that something is wrong; we know what’s right only when we feel it. If medicated means complacent, it helps no one. When we are overmedicated, our emotions become synthetic. 

For personal growth, for a satisfying marriage and for a more peaceful world, what we need is more empathy, compassion, receptivity, emotionality and vulnerability, not less. We need to stop labeling our sadness and anxiety as uncomfortable symptoms, and to appreciate them as a healthy, adaptive part of our biology. 

Julie Holland is a psychiatrist in New York and the author of “Moody Bitches: The Truth About the Drugs You’re Taking, the Sleep You’re Missing, the Sex You’re Not Having, and What’s Really Making You Crazy.

How to Feel Yourself Again After Pregnancy

Having a baby is one of the most magical moments in any parent’s life. After all, you’re bringing a whole new life into the world! It can take a toll on you, though, and after nine months of fluctuating hormones and a changing body, you might feel it’s time to get back to your usual self – here is how. 

Start an Exercise Routine 

Many women expect their bodies to go back to how they once were soon after pregnancy, but it can take a long time to shift that baby weight. By creating an exercise regime, though, you will steadily reduce your body fat so that you can fit into your pre-pregnancy clothes once more. 

If you’re not long back from the hospital, it’s best not to rush into hardcore workouts. Instead, try gentler exercises like yoga, as it is a great way to increase your flexibility, improve your posture, and burn some calories without pushing your body too hard (just make sure you listen to your body if you feel pain). To get started, look for some quality yoga mats for ultimate comfort before joining a class or following online tutorials. 

See Your Friends 

Having a newborn in the house can make socializing difficult, but it’s important to schedule time with your friends. After all, they’re probably eager to meet your little bundle of joy! While you will want to give your baby all your attention, chatting and reminiscing with people outside your household will help you feel like your old self again. 

Have a Pamper Day 

Giving birth is anything but easy, and you might feel disconnected from your body once it is over. While you might not feel or look the way you once did, a pamper day will give you the beauty treatment you need to feel confident in yourself. 

Read an Old Favorite Novel 

It is hard work looking after a newborn – you must feed them, change their diaper, and be there to tend to every other need. While this means you won’t have as much time to go out, you can still do the things you once loved in your home, such as reading an old favorite novel. The great thing about reading is that you can do it while sitting by the crib, with your baby on your lap, or even in the bath when you have ten minutes to yourself. So, let yourself sink into a familiar world for a while, and you’ll soon feel better. 

Chat with Other New Moms 

If you’re struggling during the early days, you can always reach out to mommy groups (either online or in-person) to seek advice and chat with people in a similar situation. It’ll show you that everything you are feeling is completely normal, and you’ll likely end up making new friends along the way. 

Appreciate Your Body 

Many new mothers struggle with body image post-birth. While it is healthy to eat well and keep up an exercise regime, you should also learn to appreciate your body for more than just the way it looks. After all, it was incredible enough to bring your little one into the world, so it deserves a lot of love and appreciation.

5 Ways to get active with your children

Making a physical activity part of your routine is great for everyone's health, and it will also mean your little people will grow to be healthy adults too. Getting moving and raising your heart rate is recommended, of course, to keep your body healthy, but it's also a huge boost for mental wellbeing too. Not only that, but children love any opportunity to connect with their parents and spend time together having fun. So there are loads of great reasons to get active; here are six ways you can do just that.

Backyard games 

The easiest way to add some activity to your day is to get out into the yard with your children and play. Knock a ball around, toss a Frisbee, and play tag. If you have a little time, set up an assault course to clamber around or create stations to work your way through, including things like jump rope for a count of thirty, hit a target with a ball or hula-hoop for one minute. Why not really put some thought into it and go on an imaginary journey around your yard? Pretend you're in a jungle perhaps, and along the way, you have to crawl on the ground through imaginary passageways, jump over rivers, and balance across rope bridges crossing a huge ravine. It's sure to raise a few giggles along with your heart rate! 

Go for a hike 

The U.S. has some amazing countryside, so take lots of opportunities to explore your local area on foot. Choose different landscapes such as meadows, forests, rocky terrain, and your child will be learning about the world around them too. There are some great books available on exploring nature so why not grab one and see if you can understand more about the creatures and plants who live alongside you too? Visit the playpark Some of the best childhood memories are made at the playpark, and joy is increased when mom and dad join in too! Get climbing, sliding, balancing, and swinging, and you'll quickly find it makes the park a lot more fun for you too! 


There are few moments so full of unadulterated happiness than losing all inhibitions and freely dancing with your little ones. Make a happy playlist on whatever music app you use. It doesn't need to be children's songs specifically, so why not choose some tunes that take you back and put a smile on your face too? So whenever you feel like it, have an impromptu boogie! 

Do home workouts 

If you prefer to have more structure when exercising, you can find some great at-home workouts online. For instance, Moms Into Fitness have online workouts that can be as short as 15 minutes and can be completed throughout the week. You will even find some great guidance on nutrition that is perfect for kids too! 

Get on your bike 

Swapping four wheels for two is an ideal way to fit more activity into your daily routine. For shorter journeys, or even just for fun, it's great to demonstrate to youngsters that you don't need to take the car every time and it makes travel less mundane. A quick trip to the store on your bike feels like an outing compared to a car ride. Getting active doesn't have to be time-consuming or a chore, but demonstrating to your children that life is more fun when you get moving is beneficial in so many ways, and you'll probably find you increase your own fitness at the same time too.

How to Look After Your Wellness While Studying for an Ed.D

The act of studying can be tiring and stressful. With looming deadlines and an abundance of lectures all leading you towards examinations that determine your grade and whether you pass or fail, it can become all too easy to forget to care for your physical and mental wellbeing while you hit the books and write your essays. While it is important to study and expand your knowledge, so too is ensuring that you are looking after yourself. Even the simple practices of eating a healthy, homecooked meal and getting an early night’s sleep can work wonders in ensuring that you are revitalized enough to perform better. 

Caring for yourself becomes even more important as you go on to study for a doctorate in a certain field, such as education. A doctorate can be an intensive part of your life as you have in-depth studies to attend and examinations to pass. However, in the end, the added stresses of obtaining a doctorate can be worth it and can lead you towards a satisfying career path with plenty of opportunities. For instance, if you possess an Ed.D, you can become a high school principal. This is an exciting career prospect for those who love to work with children. 

If you are hoping to work toward an Ed.D, or perhaps you already are but are struggling with the pressures of doing so, here are some useful tips to help you care for yourself so that you can perform to the best of your ability. 

Find the Right Form of Study for You 

Today, you do not have to be confined to studying at a traditional university. The option to study online is a viable and serious option. What’s more, it allows those who may need added flexibility because of parental or professional responsibilities to continue their studies without having to travel to and from campus and stick to a tight study schedule. 

Online study is a great option for many people because, as mentioned before, it offers more flexibility but is also typically cheaper. You can log on and complete your studies at your own pace as long as you hit the deadlines that are expected of you. This can reduce a person’s stress levels, but it also allows the student to take better care of themselves. If you are still wondering “is an Ed.D worth it?” be sure to read the linked article from Marymount University. The interview explains the benefits of studying for a doctorate in education and the career paths it opens up for you. 

Create a Study Schedule 

There are numerous benefits to creating and sticking to a study schedule. Not only does it keep you on the right path so that you can continue checking off the items on your to-do list, but it also paints you a clear picture of how you are spending your time and allows you to schedule some free time to unwind and care for yourself. After all, it is vital that you schedule in relaxation time so that you can take your physical and mental needs into consideration. 

There are many ways to create a study schedule. Ideally, you should have a digital and physical copy so that you can see one hanging up in your home (and so that others such as family members can see it) and one on your laptop and phone so that you can easily check what needs to be done when you are online.

You will want to write down all coursework deadlines and any looming exams that are coming up. From there, you should also include any lectures and seminars. Once these are noted, you can start to schedule your hours of study, making sure to include the subjects you will be studying and for how long. The more details you include in your study schedule, the less time you will spend trying to remember what it is you were planning to achieve. 

Once you have scheduled everything study and school related, it is time to include any plans outside of university, such as sporting activities or meet-ups with friends and family. What’s more, you should include mundane tasks which you may think are redundant like “gym” and “meal prep” so that you know to stick to these tasks, too. 

While it may seem odd scheduling in time to relax and do nothing (perhaps you want to spend an hour each evening watching your favorite anime), it can help you stick to your relaxation hours so that you do not end up burnt out. 

Find a Calming Place of Study 

Studying is stressful, especially if you do not have the right environment to optimize your study habits. Usually, students thrive in an environment that is quiet, cozy, and has minimal distractions. Of course, the coronavirus has forced many students to create a study spot within the confines of their own homes, and while this lessens the freedom you may be used to, it does provide you with the motivation to study in a space that is optimal for your study habits. If you are ever unsure on how to create the perfect space or are struggling because of living in a small environment, there are many tips online on how you can create a productive study area

Eat Healthy Meals 

Certain foods help unlock your potential and improve concentration levels. For instance, junk food and food that is laced with sugar and saturated fats will make you feel sluggish and sleepy. You should avoid these foods so that you can remain alert and focused instead. Rather, you should be eating meals that are enriched in healthy protein, fresh fruit and vegetables, as well as dark leafy greens. Drinking green tea is also a good idea since it contains high levels of EGCG which has been linked with better learning and memory. For a snack, you could cut an apple into slices and spread peanut butter on them. 

Studying for an Ed.D can be tiresome and stressful, but there are many benefits. Not only do you unlock the potential of working within an exciting field, but you earn an impressive qualification. Remember to always look after yourself, however, so that you can continue to excel and unlock your potential.

10 Financial Skills to Learn Early

The 10 Most Important Financial Skills to Learn

Your personal finance decisions could set you up for a bright future and an early retirement, or conversely restrict your upward mobility for decades. And unfortunately, personal finance skills aren’t commonly taught in schools; instead, you have to learn them on your own.

Learning core financial skills fully and early in your life can make a dramatic impact in the quality of your life for decades to come. But what are the most important skills to learn?

Why Learn Financial Skills Early?

First, let’s cover why financial skills are so important to learn early.

·         Compound interest. Compound interest refers to interest that continuously applies to a growing principal; if you earn 5 percent a year on an investment of $10,000, you’ll earn $500 the first year, $525 the second year, and so on. Each year you have to grow your investments and minimize your debts can multiply your eventual net worth.

·         Changing risk tolerance. Over time, your risk tolerance shrinks. Young people have a much higher risk tolerance and can afford to make risky or dumb decisions. Older people need to plan more conservatively, so they have less flexibility.

·         Learning and development. Learning a skill early gives you plenty of time to fully develop it. You can apply the lesson over the course of decades and perfect its application in your daily life.

It’s never too late to learn financial skills, but the earlier you learn them, the better.

The Most Important Financial Skills to Learn

These are some of the most important financial skills to add to your repertoire:

1.       Reading supply and demand. In economics, almost everything is dictated by supply and demand. The higher the supply and the lower the demand, the lower prices fall. The lower the supply and the higher the demand, the higher prices rise. This simple concept can help you make smarter investments, especially if you plan to buy and sell real estate. It can even help you make better personal purchases on a daily basis.

2.       Planning a budget. Everyone needs to have a budget in place. Your budget will help you understand the true reach of your income, your full living expenses, and even your path to achieve your long-term financial goals. It’s the backbone of any serious personal finance strategy, and it should grow with your increasing experience.

3.       Calculating compound interest. Remember the power of compound interest? You should also be familiar with how to calculate it, so you can estimate the growth of your investments and understand the true nature of the debts you take on.

4.       Balancing a checkbook. Most people don’t have a physical checkbook these days. But you should still be able to read the account balance statements of your online accounts and make sure everything adds up.

5.       Building and managing credit. Your credit score is a measure of your financial trustworthiness, and it has a major impact on your ability to get loans and make big purchases. It’s important to know how to build a credit score and keep it in good shape indefinitely. Paying all your bills in full and on time while minimizing debt is a great start.

6.       Setting long-term goals. What do you want to achieve in your financial life? Do you want to retire by a certain age? Do you want to achieve a specific net worth? How are you going to get there?

7.       Investing. Everyone should be investing. Opening a retirement account like a Roth IRA, or even a basic brokerage account, can be the gateway to significant long-term growth. These days, trading stocks, ETFs, mutual funds, bonds, and even REITs is remarkably simple.

8.       Reducing debt. Less debt means a higher credit score, more financial freedom, and a faster path to building wealth. Consolidating debts, making principal payments, and negotiating terms can all help you here.

9.       Living below your means. One of the best personal finance moves you can make is living below your means. Spend your money like you make far less than you actually make; this will prevent you from overspending and give you far more money you can use to invest in assets that can generate long-term gains. It’s also a good way to build financial discipline.

10.   Creating backup plans. Even the best financial strategies often fail to pan out as intended. All it takes is a sudden medical expense, the loss of a job, or a divorce to completely undermine your long-term financial goals. To accommodate them, it’s important to have backup plans; creating multiple streams of income, saving up an emergency fund, and considering contingency options for your career can all help here.

Most of these skills are easy to self-develop. You can read a few online articles about them, talk to friends about them, and then incorporate them into your daily life. Don’t be surprised if you struggle to learn some of these basic concepts, especially if you have minimal personal finance experience previously; if you’re patient, in time they’ll come naturally to you. 

Everything You Need to Know About Plagiocephaly

Plagiocephaly is a common disorder in infants, but it may be alarming to parents. Knowing what plagiocephaly is, how to treat it, how to avoid it and what signs to watch out for can ease parents' fears and help keep infants safe.

What is it?

Babies' skulls are much softer than those of an adult and can easily become misshapen. Plagiocephaly is a disorder in which one area of a baby's skull can become flattened. This happens due to frequent pressure on the area. Often, this pressure comes from sleeping in the same position too often or the baby's positioning in the mother's womb. Plagiocephaly is most common in premature infants that have to stay in one position while receiving treatment. It is also common with multiple births due to limited space in the womb.

If plagiocephaly is not treated, the skull can harden while still in its misshapen state. This can cause facial asymmetry, visible flat spots and misaligned jaws.

How is it Treated?

Plagiocephaly is a very easily treatable disorder. Parents have several options when it comes to treatment. One of the easiest treatment options is using a plagiocephaly baby pillow with a concave design that supports the head while sleeping to reshape the skull and prevent flattening. Specialized headbands and shaping cups are also available. In more severe cases, plagiocephaly may need to be treated with the use of a molding helmet that corrects head shape. These helmets are custom-made to fit the baby's head and must be prescribed by a doctor.

Parents should take their infant to a doctor if they notice flattening of the skull. Their physician can confirm that they have plagiocephaly and not a more serious condition, such as craniosynostosis. They can also create a treatment plan to correct the plagiocephaly.

Is it Avoidable?

In some cases, plagiocephaly can be avoided. Parents can prevent flattening of the skull by using a plagiocephaly baby pillow, making sure the child does not spend too much time laying in the same position and giving the child tummy time every day. In other cases, such as the development of plagiocephaly in the womb, it is not avoidable.

What Are the Signs?

There are several indicators of plagiocephaly that parents should watch for. The baby may have visible flat areas on the back or sides of their head, an asymmetrical face, asymmetrical ears, an enlarged forehead on one side, a lack of a soft spot on top of the head or uneven cheek bones or eyes. If you notice any of these signs, start implementing repositioning techniques and tummy time immediately. If the child's skull does not quickly return to its normal shape, contact a physician.

A baby displaying signs of plagiocephaly is not a cause for alarm. The disorder is very common, easily treatable and typically will have no long term side effects if treated properly. If you are concerned that your child may develop the disorder, you can implement prevention techniques, such as repositioning and using plagiocephaly pillows. Always consult a physician before starting a new treatment regimen.

Times When You Might Need to Call in a Professional

It feels great fixing a problem in your home yourself. Unfortunately, there are quite a lot of complex issues that cannot be solved by the keen handywoman or handyman around the house. Sometimes, it is best to cut your losses and call in a trained professional. Here are four areas in which you might want to defer a job to an experienced pro. 


While some plumbing is accessible to the ambitious DIY homeowner, a great deal of plumbing requires professional training and specialist equipment. Sewage leaks, boiler problems, water hammer and pressure dropouts all need a trained eye and a steady hand to fix. Anything to do with water heating should be dealt with by a professional plumber. Gas leaks should also not be fixed by an untrained person. Gas plumbing has to be installed correctly for safety reasons - that should be relatively obvious. 


Modern home electrics are very reliable, and don’t usually require professional intervention. There are some circumstances, however, when you need to call up your local 24/7 emergency electrician. If you notice new loud noises being made by your appliances, isolated blackouts or unusually pale sparks coming out of your outlets then you are going to need some professional help. 

It is also a very good idea to call in an electrician after any kind of flood. Water damage can cause short circuiting. This can lead to electrical fires – a major cause of house fire. 


If you live in an old house, you will know that it is perfectly normal for it to wobble and bend slightly as you move about. If you notice any changes to the way your house moves, or notice any beams sagging or cracking then you need to call an emergency structural surveyor or engineer. Structural changes can occur due to problems like woodworm, damage caused by heavy rain and snow or a sudden increase in occupancy. A professional structural engineer can determine the structural durability and strength of a structure. If they determine that the house is unsafe then they will advise you on your next steps. Be warned – structural work is very expensive. 


Human beings have cohabited with animals for thousands of years. Animals like mice have a symbiotic relationship with humans. If they are present in small numbers, it is very unlikely that you will notice them. Some pests, however, are a real health threat. Rats can procreate at an alarming rate, and can’t usually be removed using simple traps. They are remarkably intelligent, and can carry a number of unpleasant diseases – usually secondhand in the form of parasite-borne viruses. 

It is very hard to get rid of a large rat colony on your own. Professional pest control companies employ a multi-pronged strategy for ridding your home of rodents. Many companies also offer humane pest control – allowing you to remove the animals without killing them. An increase in rats within a home can also indicate a sewage leak or a waste disposal problem. Rats are drawn to enclosed spaces and human waste.

3 Ways To Help Kids Enjoy School More

Most kids tend to go through a phase in their life when they complain about school and don’t want to go. Some kids may say they dislike school altogether. It is often hard to tell whether they actually dislike school and are having a bad time or whether this is just a phase they pass through. For a lot of kids, they look back on school as being some of the best years of their lives – and this will be a realization that most kids have. To help them enjoy school more when they are actually there, here are some ways that teachers can make it more exciting. 

Do More Exercise With Them In School 

Doing exercise with kids is such a good way to make them enjoy school more – pretty much every child is bursting with energy and will be keen to use this up. Why not try to incorporate exercise into each school day? This will give the kids something to look forward to, as well as having something to break the day up a bit. Especially with younger kids, their focus is often very short-lived, so you sometimes have to work extra hard to keep them engaged. One way you can do this is by giving them a chance to move their bodies around a little. Here are some socially distanced activities you can do with kids, which are perfect for school. 

Make Your Lessons Interactive 

Making your lessons interactive is a key secret to keeping the kids happy and making them enjoy learning. Kids love to be quizzed, so when you have taught them something, get them to put their hands up and answer some questions. Quick-fire questions and answers work really well and add a little bit of excitement into the lesson. Another thing you can do is to ask them to put their thumbs up or down depending on how well they are understanding the lesson, so you can gauge who is struggling. 

Encourage And Motivate Them 

Kids do sometimes need a bit of encouragement and motivation to keep them going, so make sure you are doing this alongside challenging them. Motivation comes from wanting to impress your teacher a lot of the time – so the more they respect you, the more they will want to do well in your class. Give them a reason to do well – such as a sticker for the best-behaved person or the person with most of the answers right. Make sure you are rewarding kids for different attributes, so it isn’t just the same person every week. This could include behavior, improvement, ability, and creativity. Once kids enjoy school, it will be obvious how much they enjoy learning – you just need to motivate them to get to this point. This will give you as a teacher much more satisfaction too. School is somewhere not only to learn but to make friends and make amazing memories – so assist that by ensuring they’re having a good time.

4 Things to Consider About Fathers' Rights

As a father, you may be concerned about being treated fairly when it comes to your child custody rights. It is important to keep a few key items in mind as you move forward with your custody case.

Types of Custody

The two main types of custody are joint and sole custody. Consider which type of custody would be best for you and your child. You may also want to think about the relationship you have with your former spouse and the ways that custody may impact the contact you have with him or her. Knowing which type of custody you want will help you develop the best legal strategy when you begin working with Cordell and Cordell.

The Laws in Your State

Child custody laws vary depending on where you live. Knowing what you can reasonably expect will keep you from being disappointed or surprised as you move through the legal process. Don't feel pressure to memorize everything, but do familiarize yourself with the family laws in your area.

The Best Interests of Your Child

Be sure to consider the best outcome for your child and keep their well-being as one of your top priorities. Know how much time you are able to spend with him or her, be realistic about your schedule and consider the relationship you have with him or her when creating a plan.

Your Desired Outcome

Be very clear about your goals and desires. Make sure you are upfront with your Cordell and Cordell lawyers and the court when it comes to the relationship you want to have with your child. Think about what you want things to look like as you transition into a new phase of your life.

Knowing that you have rights as a father can go a long way towards making you feel better about your child custody case. Keep a few simple items in mind so that you can move forward with confidence.

The Women Behind Healthcare: Looking at Women in Medicine

The year is 2021, and never before in our history has medicine and healthcare been so professionalized.

With more and more graduates taking on higher-level degree programs to become better qualified and better-experienced doctors, nurses, and healthcare professionals, it would be fair to say that the human race has never had healthcare so good.

So why is it then that, in 2021, roughly half of the population is still suffering from second-class healthcare? 

That half of the population is, of course, women.

Women are left behind 

There has been much research done to show that the state of women's specific medicine is far behind that of generalized medicine and even men's specific medicine. While most medical professionals would never go as far as to say that women are being intentionally left out of research and discoveries, it does beg the question as to why women's health seems to be such a labored topic?

Many theories have been put forward as to why women's health is left behind that of men’s health, and the most prevalent theory seems to be the lack of women in higher-level medical jobs, but is this really the case? Can we really say that in the 21st century, the gender of the person conducting the research will determine how good the research actually is?

Women's medicine has always traditionally been seen as the more mysterious side of medicine, but in today's world of science and evidence-based medicine, this should not be a prevailing attitude.

Why is it then that women are being left behind and treated at a disadvantage when it comes to women's medicine,  and why does it seem to be that women's medicine is still such a taboo topic?

Do We Need More Women in Healthcare?

For over three decades, there has been an increasing number of women entering medicine and healthcare.

While it would seem sensible to assume that more women entering the healthcare field would eventually result in more women in leadership positions, this trend doesn't seem to have grown at quite the same speed.

There are many theories as to why there aren't more women in leadership positions, and these range from the sensible, which includes questions of personality differences between men and women, and of course, the question of how maternity is treated among healthcare professionals, to the misogynistic views that women are not as capable as men.

Although popular with the tabloid press, this latter view is not generally one that is shared across healthcare leadership, even by healthcare leaders who happened to be men in higher-powered positions.

There are not many people working in healthcare and leadership that seriously believe that women are incapable of doing roles purely due to their sex.

The questions surrounding personality differences between men and women and the treatment of maternity leave are questions that throw up some very difficult ethical conundrums.

It has been widely reported that,  in general, women are more likely to go into fields that are people-based and patient-focused, such as nursing,  and men are more likely to go into fields that require technical considerations and strong leadership.

Of course, this is not to say that women cannot go into technical roles and that men cannot go into people-focused roles, but if the law of averages is to be taken, the distribution is very clear between the sexes.

The obvious follow-on question from that revelation is: how does the healthcare industry ensure that women in positions such as nursing are regarded at the same higher level as men in more technical positions such as clinical research?

The Case for More Women in Leadership

In recent years, the question of how leadership roles can be more evenly distributed amongst the sexes has taken an interesting turn, with newly created advanced practitioner roles, especially in areas such as nursing.

Highly experienced advanced practice nurses can now take degree courses, such as the doctor of nursing practice (DNP), to expand their knowledge and compete for higher-level jobs.

Nurses who take on a DNP qualification have many more opportunities open to them through very specific career paths. In general, students who graduate from a DNP program have the option to go into specialist nursing fields such as maternity health, family health, and geriatric health, or they may wish to take a less patient-centric role in higher-level leadership such as clinical research positions and even healthcare lobbying.

With nursing being seen as a generally more women-centric role, it stands to reason that highly qualified nurses taking on a DNP course will go into higher-level roles in the leadership, which should, hopefully, eventually improve the distribution of women in leadership positions.

Boosting women into leadership positions is an outcome that is desirable for everyone both in healthcare and from the patient perspective. Still, policies that only focus on equality of outcome rather than equality of opportunity run the risk of promoting people who have not demonstrated the correct expertise and experience to get the role; rather, they are there to fill quotas.

Studying for a DNP course, for example, is a great way for students and highly qualified nurses to demonstrate that they have the experience and the skills to be in these higher leadership positions. 

The DNP course is a doctorate-level course that is equivalent to a medical doctor (MD) level of qualification. This means that advanced practice nurses who take on the DNP graduate course to doctorate level are trained to a very high standard, and the resulting qualifications cannot be disputed as merely there to fill quotas.

The DNP course itself is generally quite a flexible course. It is definitely hard work, but it is available to do online and part-time, which means that women already working in nursing and already qualified in nursing can benefit from working whilst studying for their DNP degree. This is a huge bonus to working women, and especially working mothers, who may not have the financial ability to take years out of work just to continue their studying.

Women’s Health Practitioner Jobs

When qualifying with a higher-level degree such as a DNP doctorate degree, the possibilities for higher level and leadership jobs opens up a lot more.

These jobs may include working within public health and government agencies as healthcare lobbyists who can work towards changing policies for the betterment of patients’ care. Nurses who are qualified to DNP level may also take on more in-house roles such as senior care residents, working as advanced practitioners in physicians’ offices, working as specialist caregivers in hospitals, community clinics, and mental health facilities.

The doctorate DNP level degree also allows for graduates to take on roles in teaching. It is hoped that seeing more women in professorship level teaching will give undergraduates and students working towards their higher level degree courses, such as the DNP, visual encouragement to continue on with their studying, thus improving the likelihood of seeing more women in these higher-level positions.

For doctorate DNP level nurses, options for specialized nursing careers may include:

  • Senior care specialists 

  • Licensed midwives 

  • Public health workers

  • Educational workers

  • Family physician

  • Gynecologists and obstetricians

  • Advanced practice nurse practitioners

  • Physiologists and geneticists

The options for much better and higher paid career progression for nurses who have undertaken the DNP courses are much more varied, and the ability for higher qualified nurses to improve both their career prospects and their salary prospects cannot be overlooked.

Why Leaving Women Out is Bad for Women’s Health

It's not just women on the side of professional medical health care that we need to consider when we think about women and medicine together.

As much as we would like to believe that there are no differences between the sexes and that everyone should be treated equally, in medicine, it is impossible to divorce sex from specific medical treatment; this means that women, specifically, are needed to take part in medical trials and medical research in order to gain a better understanding of how specific medical conditions and medical treatments will affect women.


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