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If you’re a mom, you know just how busy life can get. Between caring for your younger children and ferrying older children to and from school all the way to paying for college, motherhood can cause quite a bit of stress. Luckily, there are some things that mothers can do, even if they are on a budget, to pamper themselves and refresh themselves after the stresses of motherhood get to them. If you are a mom trying to watch her wallet and need a little break from the kids just to focus on yourself, here are five easy ways to pamper yourself on a budget.

1. Find community, advice, and friendship online.

Even if you don’t think of it, having a community online is a great way to feel supported and pampered. Consider joining the community of mothers online at Truly Mama, an online source for news, advice, and parenting tips for moms. Engaging with others who are going through what you’re going through is a great way to rejuvenate your heart and your energy levels. Being a new mom is hard, so make sure you head online to connect with other new moms and compare notes on motherhood, parenting, and childcare.

2. Get all dressed up even if you have nowhere to go.

One easy—and free!—way you can really pamper yourself is to dress yourself up in your cutest or fanciest clothes, don some makeup, and take photos to document the occasion. Even if you have no plans and nowhere to go, our clothes affect our mood, so dressing up can make a difference that can positively impact your whole day. If you have a spouse or partner, make sure to show off your cute look for some extra words of affirmation that will boost your mood as well. Looking good will make you feel good, as cliche as that may sound.

3. Go for a drink with friends, or alone!

If you’re tight on time and cash, skip the dinner plans and go for a drink, either with friends or alone. If you go with friends, you can feel comfortable to vent about whatever you’ve been going through recently in motherhood and know that your words will not fall on deaf ears. If you go alone, it can give you some much-needed time to yourself just to think, reflect, and recharge.

4. Purchase something shiny for yourself.

Buying something shiny and new just for yourself is a great pick me up no matter who you are, but as a mom, these little luxuries can make a huge impact. If you’re on a budget, opt for lab created diamond rings that emulate the looks of natural diamonds but are created in a lab. The naked eye cannot detect the difference between the physical properties of a mined diamond or a synthetic diamond, and synthetic diamonds have a clean origin. That means that there are very few ethical standards you have to worry about when you buy gemstones that are lab-created.

5. Take a darn nap.

One thing that many mothers lack, whether they are new moms or not, is sleep. The cheapest and healthiest treat you can give yourself as a mom on a budget is to take a darn nap. Set an alarm, clear out a day’s schedule, do whatever you need to do, but carve out some time for you to rest and recharge. Having a proper amount of rest will make you a better and more patient mom. Additionally, it will improve your overall health outside of any parenting responsibilities.

The children of increasingly younger ages are protagonists in the phenomenon of mobile connectivity. From two or three years old, they begin to lean out on their parents’ phones and to manage theses devices regularly, becoming familiar with their functionalities almost before being able to speak clearly, or to learn to read. This fluid handling usually makes us very funny in such small children, but we should not let them relate to these devices in an uncontrolled way. To make the use positive and the main way to prevent misuse or risk behaviors that can lead to future problems is to get involved in this technology education from the beginning. The key is as much in knowing how to orient the learning, as in not radically prohibiting it.

When to buy your kid their first mobile phone?

The children at a very younger age see mobile phone as a toy that they use to play games, to paint or color, and even watch videos of cartoons. However, as they grow, this playful use gives way to other functions. The phone becomes a device to communicate with. Therefore, the main use of the telephone is to be in contact with parents and, above all, with friends. To have a mobile phone is to belong to the group. The child sees that everyone around him has it and begins to ask for his own terminal, each time at younger ages. Thus, parents suffer emotional blackmail, coupled with some social pressure.

So, when should we buy our kids their first mobile phone? Well, there is no specific age, but you have to look at each case, at the maturity of each child, and at the specific circumstances of your lifestyle that make them need this device. And it is that at certain ages it can be relatively useful, but it is not really necessary. What we should make clear to our kids from the first moment is that the main function of the telephone is communication, and that is why it is advisable to have it.

In this sense, experts recommend that children do not have their own phone before age 12. From this age, they sharpen their need for independence and already spend more time away from us. In addition, access to a new stage in school, Secondary Education, and this is a big change for them. It is now a good time for them to begin to take on responsibilities such as those involved in having their own mobile phone.

To the parents, the device will serve us to be in continuous contact with them, to have them located, and to be able to control their exits. All this becomes possible with the use of the parental controls app such as FamilyTime parental control app that let parents view contact, call history, SMS threads, installed apps, app preferences, app usage frequency, web history and much more. In addition to supervising, parents can also take needed actions.

For example, with the app, parents can watchlist contacts, block unwanted or inappropriate apps, schedule auto screen locks and remotely lock devices, etc.  There is a lot more parents can do with this app in hand. Dp you wish to give the app a try for free? You can! Get the trial version with premium features from the Google Play store and iTunes.


A new study of families in the United States and China has found that most parents tell lies to their children as a tactic to change their behavior.

The most frequent example was parents threatening to leave children alone in public unless they behaved.

Persuasion ranged from invoking the support of the tooth fairy to telling children they would go blind unless they ate particular vegetables.

Another strategic example was: “That was beautiful piano playing.”

The study, published in the International Journal of Psychology, examined the use of “instrumental lying” – and found that such tactically-deployed falsehoods were used by an overwhelming majority of parents in both the US and China – based on interviews with about 200 families.

The most commonly used lie – popular with both US and Chinese families – was parents pretending to a child that they were going to walk away and leave the child to his or her tantrum.

“The pervasiveness of this lie may relate to the universality of the challenge parents face in trying to leave a place against their child’s wishes,” say the researchers.

Another lie that was common in both countries was the “false promise to buy a requested toy at some indefinite time in the future”.

Researchers established different categories of these untruths.


A new study of families in the United States and China has found that most parents tell lies to their children as a tactic to change their behavior

A new study of families in the United States and China has found that most parents tell lies to their children as a tactic to change their behavior


There were “untrue statements related to misbehavior”, which included: ”If you don’t behave, I will call the police,” and: “If you don’t quiet down and start behaving, the lady over there will be angry with you.”

If these seem rather unheroic examples of parenting by proxy threat, there are some more startling lies recorded.

Under the category of “Untrue statements related to leaving or staying” a parent was recorded as saying: “If you don’t follow me, a kidnapper will come to kidnap you while I’m gone.”

There were also lies motivated by protecting a child’s feelings – labeled as “Untrue statements related to positive feelings.”

This included the optimistic: “Your pet went to live on your uncle’s farm where he will have more space to run around.”

A rather self-serving untruth was used for a quick getaway from a toy shop: ”I did not bring money with me today. We can come back another day.”

There was also a selection of lies relating to “fantasy characters”, also used to enforce good behavior, such as in the run-up to Christmas.

The study found no clear difference between the lies used by mothers and fathers, according to researchers, who were from psychology departments at the University of California San Diego in the US, Zhejiang Normal University, Jinhua in China and the University of Toronto, Canada.

Although levels of such “instrumental lying” were high in both countries, they were highest in China.

The study found there was an acceptance of such lies among parents when they were used as a way of reinforcing desirable social behavior.

For example, the lie told to children that they would grow taller for every bite of broccoli was seen as encouraging healthy eating habits.

The study raises the longer-term issue of the impact on families of such opportunistic approaches to the truth. It suggests it could influence family relationships as children get older.

The researchers, headed by Gail D. Heymana, Anna S. Hsua, Genyue Fub and Kang Leeac, concluded that this raises “important moral questions for parents about when, if ever, parental lying is justified”.

Images of babies as young as two weeks old being flung around a wacky Russian therapist’s head have shocked millions around the world.

The therapist Lena Fokina filmed spinning and somersaulting the babies by their wrists and ankles has confirmed she hopes to bring the craze to the UK.

Lena Fokina, 51, can be seen flipping a baby over her head in her bizarre “baby yoga” routine which has been banned from a number of websites for fear that it glorifies child abuse.

Many viewers believed the moves must have been performed on dolls but Lena Fokina says they are definitely real babies and she has been practicing the techniques for the past 30 years.

The Russian therapist was tracked down at a seminar called “Parenting the Deliberate Way” in Dahab, Egypt, where parents from across Europe were paying her to perform the same moves on their infants, some just months old.

And while most of the babies were left screaming in tears or vomited during or after their session of “baby dynamics”, Lena Fokina insists it is for their benefit.

She said: “It’s very good for babies and not dangerous at all. Some babies cry at first, but they begin to enjoy it.

“Most people think young babies can only lie on a bed, eat, and cry. But babies are born with natural reflexes, which we can use to help them develop physically and intellectually.

“I work with parents from across Europe. I hope soon I will be working with a family in England. I think there are a number of open-minded parents there whose babies could benefit from my work.”

Lena Fokina can be seen flipping a baby over her head in her bizarre “baby yoga” routine which has been banned from a number of websites for fear that it glorifies child abuse

Lena Fokina can be seen flipping a baby over her head in her bizarre “baby yoga” routine which has been banned from a number of websites for fear that it glorifies child abuse


According to Lena Fokina, baby yoga was first practiced by ancient African tribes – but the modern incarnation was developed by fellow Russian Dr. Igor Charkovsky, who was also present at the seminar.

Lena Fokina, a mother-of-five and grandmother, does sessions that can last up to five minutes, during which babies are spun, swung and flipped, often by a single limb.

The actions are performed on babies from a few weeks old up to around age two.

Lena Fokina added: “The method was originally developed to cure and correct the health of children having muscular or skeletal problems but it is also suitable for healthy children.

“The movements are designed to improve their muscular abilities and development.

“And the children often turn out to be early readers, singers, talkers, swimmers. It also makes their hands stronger. We are humanists and we don’t do anything wrong.”

At the camp, the parents, hailing mainly from Russia and the Ukraine, also seemed entirely satisfied as they stood by and watched Lena Fokina treat their babies, usually above a gravel floor.

Each day at 8:00 a.m., parents would bring their tots to the Mirage Village Hotel in Dahab. Around 20 parents had signed up for Lena Fokina’s latest 12-day seminar, which costs $400 per family.

Parents smiled and chatted as the infants were left dangling for long periods by their arms or legs. But in almost every case the babies began crying just seconds into the bizarre routine.

And another vomited mid-air after undergoing several minutes of swinging. Yet Lena Fokina refused to acknowledge any dangers.

The therapist said: “From the moment of its birth a child can grasp, step, support itself and swim.

“The Charkovsky method uses these natural reflexes for child training. The amount of time it takes to train an adult to do it on a child depends on the sensibility of the child’s parent. Sometimes it only takes one training session.”

For years, doctors around the world have warned that “dramatic and unnatural movements” inflicted on a young baby can lead to brain bleeding, retinal hemorrhaging and brain swelling – commonly known as Shaken Baby Syndrome (SBS).

And some researchers have suggested that SBS can occur at much lower levels of head movement than had been previously thought.

But Lena Fokina, who has been practicing baby yoga for more than 30 years, tells clients it is harmless even for newborn babies, as long as a child is eased into the movements gradually.

She is also not worried about any strain on the babies’ joints and limbs.

Lena Fokina said: “Even a tiny baby’s body can adapt to the process easily if you take it gradually.

“As long as the parent or instructor has practiced and studied the teachings of Dr. Charkovsky the child will be fine.

“People tend to get upset when they see it because they are not aware of children’s real abilities – but these abilities are much wider than it is traditionally thought.”

The Dahab seminar offered participants the opportunity to “learn the method of Igor Charkovsky and techniques for working with pregnant women, newborns and children”.

As well as morning seminars in “baby dynamics” parents were also instructed in “water rebirthing”, which involves repeatedly dunking children’s heads underwater.

The practice is designed to address “repressed trauma from birth”.

According to literature about the practice on Lena Fokina’s website, rebirthing “allows the mind and body to gently restructure itself so as to increase the feeling of happiness, efficiency, be healthy and to feel the inner harmony of the individual”.

However, there seemed to be little of this on display in the children being forced under the water by Dr. Igor Charkovsky, a Russian midwife whose research includes the effect dolphins can have on a mother’s calm during childbirth.

Again, many ended up in tears.

Also on offer at the seminar were more traditional pursuits such as baby massage, swimming lessons and gymnastics.

Lena Fokina has also conducted workshops in Thailand and India where she has worked on children from all over the world.

She said: “Baby dynamics is quite well known in Russia but up to now all the literature about it has only been in Russian.

“However, it is becoming increasingly popular throughout the world and we want to teach parents by bringing our methods to where they live.

“Although I don’t know anybody practicing in the UK yet I will be very proud when I see my methods applied there.”

Lena Fokina studied physical education at the University of Physical Culture in Moscow, achieving a Master’s degree.

She later went on to study under Dr. Igor Charkovsky.

Now, divorced Lena Fokina has five children, Alexandra, 30, Tatyana, 27, Timur, 23, Maria, 16 and 13-year-old Pavel.

Lena Fokina is also grandmother to Christian, 3, and Petrik, 4, and it was on her own children that she started refining the worrying methods.

The therapist said: “I first tried baby dynamics 30 years ago after my oldest daughter Alexandra was born. At first I was worried, but then I realized how my children enjoyed it and it inspired me.

“People criticize our methods out of ignorance – if only they tried to understand what we were doing, they would change their attitudes. If by doing it I give children an advantage, why wouldn’t I?

“I was aware of the practices but it was only later when I was introduced to Dr. Charkovsky that I became a teacher in it. It’s something I am very proud of and have believed in for a very long time.”

Lena Fokina lives in Russia but frequently visits Dahab where her two eldest daughters live. She works full-time giving seminars all over the world, but insists her work is not done for profit.

She said: “What I do is not a commercial project. I earn enough money just to live here and work with children. What I do is not part of my life, it is my life.”

Despite being relatively common in Russia, Lena Fokina says she prefers to hold her seminars in Egypt.

Lena Fokina said: “I love Egypt for many reasons. The climate is favorable with lots of sun and warm sea.

“There are also good conditions for free diving, yoga and sports and the people here have a good attitude to what I am doing.

“All my children have grown up according to the Charkovsky method and they have all gone on to achieve outstanding results in life – they are Russian champions in parachuting, free diving and horse riding.

“Now my children are practicing those same methods on their own children. It’s the best proof.”

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