How Did I Manage To Workout At Home With Kids

After pregnancies, most of the mothers gain a lot of weight and with their new baby they don’t get the time to work out, go to the gym or even for a walk. I didn’t gain much weight in my first pregnancy but after my second, I did put on a lot of weight. After my daughter was 2 years old, I tried to join different group training sessions. But then they were expensive and obviously it was difficult for me to leave her at home and manage it with the other house chores and commitments. By the time she was 3 I found out that I was expecting again with my 3rd child. So I started to gain weight again…along with the previous weight which I was never able to shed!

I decided to workout at home when my son (my 3rd child) was 2 years old. I googled how to workout at home and I joined various support groups on Facebook which gave me a lot of motivation. Following are some tips which can help you work out at home and save some money instead of going to the gym which can cost a lot!

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Fix the time

Fix the time which is most suitable for you to work out at home and stick to it, so that you will be able to manage and finish your house chores accordingly. I schedule my time from 5pm to 6pm when I am usually done with all the cooking, cleaning and dishes. This is generally the time when my children are always busy playing in their room or when they are allowed their screen time.

Always change into workout clothes

You will never get the motivation in your lounge wear or in your pjs. When it’s time for your work out always wear your gym clothes. It also improves your confidence and performance.

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Follow YouTube and workout apps

There are lots of YouTube videos through which you can search for any type of workout; whether it’s simple cardio or aerobics, zumba or strength trainings. I started with Leslie Sansone’s “walk at home”. If you are new to work out and don’t know how to start, I suggest you begin with this. It’s a low intensity cardio and very easy to follow. For a little high intensity, you can checkout popsugar fitness on YouTube.

Also,  there are different apps available like ”women workout at home”, “workout for women”, “home workout for women”. These are some which I downloaded and found really effective. You can search for more which are applicable for you.

Cardio vs strength

When working out, both cardio and strength exercises are essential for the body. With cardio you can burn those calories and strength training helps you to burn the body fat and makes lean muscles. Try to do strength trainings twice a week.

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Involve your kids

If you think your kids won’t let you work out (and if your kids are older than 2 years,) you can ask them to follow you. Children love to imitate their parents. They will try to copy you in their cute little ways, and you will love it!

Early morning/ late night

If you are a mother of an infant who keep you busy the whole day, then you can work out early in the morning before your baby wakes up or at night when you put him/her into bed at night. Just 30 mins will do the work. You know… a little workout is always better than no workout at all. I used to wake up 30 mins before my husband woke up for office and I would leave the baby with him. It was going good until the pandemic happened.

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Ask for your partner’s support

If you are a mother of an infant, you can always ask your partner for support to look after the baby while you can do a little work out at home. You can select your time when your spouse is available to take care of the baby. Sometimes when I am doing exercise at home, I ask my husband to play with our son otherwise he comes to me again and again and asks for his milk or candy or cookie or toy .. or any thing at all… you know kids! Lol!

Work out at home is not difficult and it can be done very easily. It just needs a little determination and planning. I am a mother of 3 kids and if I can do it, so can you. I’ll be honest here. I do become lazy sometimes and don’t work out for days but it’s okay… it’s okay to take a break. Because tomorrow is a new day and you can start again. Don’t forget…consistency is the key!!!

6 ways to connect with your tween/teen daughter

When you get to know that you are expecting, motherhood hits you instantly. No matter it’s a boy or a girl, you automatically connect with your child. But when you know you are having a daughter, you know that’s something which you can’t have with your son. You always know that that time will come when your daughter think and feel differently. She will come to that age when you will be her biggest support BUT you can never expect when it will happen.

The baby girl you were holding in your arms. The baby girl, who was playing with dolls just a few day ago, started to feel differently. All of a sudden she becomes quiet and starts to behave like adults. Then you know that your baby girl is not a baby anymore. She is a big girl now. And now you are the only person, who can understand her and make her feel comfortable and safe.

My daughter turned 10 this year in January and everything was going normal. Suddenly she started to act strangely. She started to behave and talk like big girls. She started to get irritated by small things and now she likes to spend time in her room rather then going out with us.

I knew this would happen but, I was not expecting this so soon. Then I realized that she has started her tween phase. And this is all very normal. Then I started to google about it how can I make her feel comforted. So these are following thing am doing right now.

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1.Doing something together

Try to engage her in your activities or do something together what she likes. Like you can bake her favorite cookies together or when you are cooking ask her to help you with the ingredients. Or may be you can go for cycling/ swimming together (whatever she likes).

One day my daughter suddenly started to wash dishes. Without telling me. I told her its okay if she likes to do the dishes she can wash her plate only. She doesn’t need to do all the dishes. She was happy. Now  she helps me the laundry regularly. I tell her every time what cycle to select and how much detergent to use.

Doing this make them confident and responsible and they feel like contributing in the house like adults.

2.Talk to them

As a mother you can always sense that something is bothering your child. Something is not right. You can sense their tone. You can even say it by looking at their face. Just talk to them. Ask them what’s bothering them.

My daughter started her 6th grade this year. And this year the school management shuffled their sections and now her best friends is in another section. Since the beginning of this academic year she is acting as she is not happy. One day she was very quiet so I asked her “what’s wrong?”. Then she told me that she is sad because her friend is in another section now so she will make new friends and that she will forget my daughter. We talked for an hour and I tried to explain it to her that it’s the part of life, you can always make new friends and you can stay connected to your old friends as well. After the talk, she was fine.

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3.Plan a family day/ activity

My daughter always asks me to do something fun. And by fun she means doing anything but with the whole family. Whether its going on a picnic or swimming. Or just a family movie day with pizza. My daughter loves this. She calls it “pizza party”.

4.Ask for her opinion

Take their suggestions when ever you can. If you are buying clothes ask them what they like. Even if you are buying for your self  ask them if they like the color. They always give the honest opinion. Or if you are planning a dinner party, ask her if she can help you make the menu.

5.Don’t take their behavior personally

At this age, she is going through a lot of emotional and physical changes. She is confused and she is trying to figure herself out. The emotions that she is feeling for the first time. She gets irritated on small things or talks to you disrespectfully. Don’t take her wrong. Try to handle her calmly. Talk to her if you can or just give her some space to cool down. She doesn’t hate you. She is trying to understand her emotions.

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6.Stay strong

Keep your calm and give her space BUT also keep an eye on her. This is when she needs to be observed. Stay strong on rules and try to explain it to her. Tell her the things she is allowed and things she is not allowed to do. The best way to do is to answer her every question like adults. At this stage giving commands will only make things worse. Gain her trust and explain everything to her that if she is forbidden then why is that so. Give her logical explanations.

Its not easy. Its really tough. But this is the time when we can have that connection with our daughters which can help them in the development of their personality. this is the time when she wants someone to understand her and listen to her and feel her. And when you do this, she will feel special and loved. She will feels comforted. Otherwise she will look for someone outside of her family who can give her all these things.

12 Ways to Get Your Child to Love Reading Books

I remember my father always bringing us these beautiful and colorful books when he would return from his business trips. Oddly enough, he used to bring us those kids encyclopedias or other kinds of general knowledge books because he didn’t know much about story books then.

Now I was never a reader, but I always wanted my kids to read books. I remember when my oldest daughter was 6 months old and I bought her first baby book. I would read it to her in the afternoon right before her mid-day nap.

Fast forward a decade; now I have 3 kids and all of them love to read. Here is how I got my kids to love reading books.

Start reading to your baby as early as 6 months

We all know a 6 month old baby can’t read books, but you can find plenty of books for 6+ months old babies in the book store that they sure can appreciate. You can buy books like “My first words” or “My toys”. Babies this age are more intuitive than we think, and they can pick up a lot of things from these books that “resemble” their surroundings (it’s all about cerebral development and forming connections). Or, you can buy some of those cute song books of nursery rhymes and you can sing along too.

Different Types of books

You can find all types of books in the bookstore. For babies and toddlers buy small hardcover books or big books with lots of pictures and very little text, or those books that play music when you open them. You can also find water proof books for their bath time!

Read to them with expressions

I started to buy story books for my oldest when she was one year old. I used to do the dramatic reading I could manage, with all the expressions and exaggerated emotions and all, much like what the kids are used to see in cartoons. It will make them to connect with the book and make reading time more interesting.

Keep the books in their reach

Make a book corner, decorate it and keep the books at the place from where they’re always reachable to the kids. Soon enough you’ll start noticing that your child heads over to the book corner and grabs a book when they’re not in the mood for toys!

Fix the time for reading

Make book reading a habit and set up a crude schedule for reading time. When my daughter was 2 years old, I used to read her story books before her bed time at night. She was too young to read then, but she liked books so much that she would bring me her favorite story books to read.

Make your children relate to the books

When you start potty training your child, you absolutely HAVE to buy a book of potty training of your child’s favorite character or cartoon. Similarly if you are expecting another baby, or your child is starting their pre-school, or you visit the zoo for a family’s day out, or even if you are moving to another house, you can find children’s books on all these topics. Remember; a child’s mind is quick to form an attachment to things they are familiar with. Children can and will relate their lives to their books and then you can talk to your child about all the things they think reflect in their own lives.

Make library/ book store visits regular

We used to go to the book store every month and we would spend HOURS there to find some good books. We have been doing this since….always! And now, we go to the book shop every week because my girls love to read so much that they start reading their new books the day they buy it. And they can finish a book within one week!

Books vs Toys

Try to replace toys with books. Instead of buying them a toy present, buy their favorite story book or a story book of their favorite cartoon character. Instead of spending way too much in an attempt to expand their toy collection, spent some time to find and collect all the books of their favorite character and make a small library in their room. This way, you save money and help your kids form a productive habit. Two birds with one stone!

Let them choose

 Whenever you go to the library or a book store, encourage them to choose their own books. If you force them to buy a book according to your liking, there is a chance that they will not read it and end up developing a dislike for reading. Don’t make it seem like a chore! When I try to give my 3 year old son books about colors or shapes or ABC’s, he simply rejects it and picks up something related to construction machines or PJ Masks (his favorite cartoon). Let them select what they like and they will devour it faster than you can imagine.

Read to your children

Even if your child is old enough to read, make time to read to your children. They will simply love you for it. Whenever I read to my 3 year old, my 7 year old always comes and sits with us. It’s a great way to spend time with your children. Talk to them about the story; ask them about their thoughts on it and little trivia questions about the plot. Invite them to explain what’s happening in the story. Don’t forget to encourage their questions and comments!

Give them a big cheer after they finish their book

Whenever My 7 year old daughter buys a new book, she comes home and starts reading it right away. And sure enough, after some time she comes up to me and tells me proudly that she already has finished her book. How you react to your kid’s achievements is VERY important. I congratulate her and always act surprised about her finishing her book so quickly. Always tell them that they have done a great job and how proud you are of them.

Don’t force them to read

If there’s one thing we know about kids, it’s that they’ll always do the opposite of what you pester them about. Don’t force your child to read if they want to play with their logos or paint instead. Let them make their own choices. Otherwise, they will start to dislike reading altogether. Let them decide when to read and what to read.

Reading is an excellent activity which helps children in increasing their knowledge and vocabulary. It’s a healthy habit far too often overlooked by parents and an opportunity far too valuable to not take advantage of.

They say that children imitate what they see. They are right. If we want our children to pick up the reading bug, we have to set examples in front to them to follow. If we keep using our electronic devices in front of them and hypocritically ask them to read more books, they are never going to do it. So, the next time you’re at the book store helping your kids pick out their books, pick one up for yourself and jump aboard the reading train!

10 Ways to Engage Children Without Using Electronic Gadgets

Remember the times when we used to play fun games in our childhood? You know, that time in our lives when these electronic gadgets hadn’t taken over the world yet? Good old days. We used to come home from school, finish our homework in a hurry so that we could go outside to meet our friends and play; games like hopscotch, hide and seek, playing with our dolls or going to the park and wait for our turn on the swings. (Seems like I’m talking about another era :D)

But times have changed. Technology has taken over and today’s children are more advanced. They even know how to use all these electronic gadgets better than we do. For instance, my ten year old daughter tells me how to use the new filters on Snapchat and my three year old son knows where to find the games on the tablet. And honestly, every time he uses the tablet or my cellphone, I feel terribly sad and guilty. It’s unhealthy and it’s unnatural. Therefore, I came up with these 10 ideas to limit their screen time:


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  1. Build structures with Lego/blocks

My 3 kids love playing with Legos and blocks. In all fairness, every kid in the world loves Legos. Sometimes even adults! Both my daughters get extremely creative and they can spend hours building doll houses with Legos. As for my 3 year old son, he loves to make big towers with the blocks and gets really dramatic when the tower crashes (he has a flair for drama). He could do this a hundred times.

2.Build a fort

This is another way for the kids to explore their minds and get creative. If your kids are old enough then allow them to set up the fort according to their imagination. With younger kids, you can help them make one with cardboard boxes or put a linen sheet over 3 wooden sticks and decorate it with fancy pillows and twinkly lights and put their favorite toys inside. They would spend hours pretending prince or princesses.

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3.Book reading

When you go to the bookstore, let your children choose a book for themselves. Like when my second daughter was learning how to read, I helped her choose one of those “Easy to Read” beginner level books. Now she can read quite well and when we go to the bookstore, I just tell her the section to choose from and she selects her own books. For my 3 year old I buy big books with a lot of pictures and very little text, or one of those cute books with the sound effects and music that plays when you flip the pages.

4.Junior Chef

Another great way and highly recommended way to spend some quality time with the kids. Make cupcakes and ask them to help out! They could put ingredients into the bowls and help mix the batter and at the end, they always love to decorate the frosting with some sprinkles. You can also try making pizza. Each kid gets to make his own pizza. You can put everything in front of them and ask them put the pizza sauce themselves and the toppings according to their liking. You can also tell them your childhood stories while you are cooking/baking with them.

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5.Play outside

Head out to your backyard or to your nearest park and let them play on the swings and slides, or just run like there’s no tomorrow. There are a lot more benefits to physical activity than you might think! Physical benefits aside, children are more happy and easy-going after a good visit to the park. You can take your bicycles to the park and ride along with them. Or you can also play badminton, enjoy a game of Frisbee, throw and catch the ball. Another fun thing to do is bring a picnic in the park with the kids’ favorite snacks.

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6.Arts and crafts

Painting, crafting for dolls, or just give them some plastic bottle caps, tissue rolls and some egg cartons; you will be surprised how kids use their imagination and make amazing masterpieces.

7.Gardening

Children are always interested in gown up’s activities. So, the next time when you’re gardening in your backyard or if you are watering your indoor plants, ask your children to lend you a hand (don’t forget to make it sound like a fun task!). They could help you change the soil and maybe fetch some water in the watering can. You can also give some basic information about gardening and how plants grow.

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8.Play indoor games

There are lots of ideas for indoor games like Simon Says, I Spy, board games like Monopoly and Scrabble, and card games like UNO. Playing indoor games is a great idea when you are tired and you want the kids to play quietly. While the kids are playing you can join them or just watch them and cherish these moments.

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9.Zumba for kids

This works for me all the time. My 3 kids just love doing Zumba for Kids, which I think is a great way to use their energy and stay physically active. Just search “Zumba for Kids” and you’ll find a ton of videos on YouTube. My 3 year old doesn’t know how to follow, so he just copies his sisters 😀 It’s always so much fun watching them doing the Zumba. And the fun part is you can join them and they will love you for it.

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10.Give them chores

I often ask my kids to help me in different chores, like help me clean up the room or clean the dining table or take out the garbage bags or help me put the groceries away. And when I fold the laundry, I arranged everyone’s separate piles so that they can put them into their cupboard easily. You can give them tasks according to their age which they can do easily. And at the end you give them a big hug or a big cheer to appreciate their effort when they are finished.

I know we cannot stop our kids from using electronic gadgets completely, especially in today’s day and age where everything is digitalized and online. But we can deviate them with these activities and moderate their device usage. Remember, children follow what they see. We as parents can set examples by unplugging these electronic devises and replace screen time to face time.

Toys can be replaced, so can the cartoons and the video games, but the only thing children cannot replace is the time which they spend with their parents; the time which they will remember for the rest of their lives.

Did you enjoy the post? Don’t forget to share it to your mum friends. Did you try any of these tips? Did you enjoy your time with your kids? Do you have some more ideas? Tell us in the comments.  We’d love to hear from you!

Zoom Birthday Party in the Lockdown

So it was my son’s 3rd birthday on 14 june and me and my husband were really excited about his birthday for months because we were planning to have a big birthday party at our place. My son (Ali) is very fond of construction site machines and construction vehicles like excavators and backhoes and cranes (even i didnt know these words untill my son started watching blippi .. lol)

Me and my husband just love to do birthday decorations and planning for birthdays for our kids (our oldest daughter is 10 and second daughter will be 7 in august this year) and we have been doing this for years now… 🙂

This year, since march we were planing Ali’s 3rd construction theme birthday. I had search all the decoration ideas from pinterest, the idea of the cake , the buntings, the food … everything. and then…. lockdown started due to covid-19. We were so disappointed because we were so looking forward to it.

One day, after ramadan and exactly 2 weeks before Ali’s birthday, I was scrolling down on face book and somebody was asking about the party props for zoom birthday. Then it clicked me that we can also have Ali’s birthday party online and we can invite our family and friends on zoom.

We got really excited and started planning everything again that how should we go about it , where we should make the back drop so that it can be visible to everyone on the laptop, how to make the happy birthday banner for construction site theme, the balloons and everything. The fun part was that we made these birthday invitation cards online from http://www.greetingsisland.com . They have different themes and we were lucky to find the construction theme invitation on this website. My husband customized the details and send it to all our family and friends we wanted to invite for the zoom birthday party. This was the first time we had done this online invitation thing and everyone also got very excited about the zoom party because it was something new for them too. As soon as we send the invitations, we started to get their replies that they liked this idea very much and they confirmed at once that they will join us.

Luckily Alis birthday was on sunday so we started to setup our decorations on saturday. My husband made the perfect construction theme backdrop. He also got the caution tape from a hardware store. My daughters were also very excited and the helped us with blowing up the balloons and I made the cake at home with simple store bought chocolate cake mix and did the decoration with the small construction site toys and some chocolates like maltesers , chocolate flavor love letters waffer rolls, kitkats for the details.

We decided the birthday time at 7pm malaysia time because all our relatives are from different time zone from Pakistan, Bahrain and Sweden. So this was the time when everyone was available. And when we came online 10 min before 7 pm, everyone was already online for Alis birthday. They all were so happy to see the complete decoration like a real birthday party. We took pictures, selfies and everybody sang happy birthday for Ali. We enjoyed the party for one hour. At the end we all ordered pizza for dinner.

It was not something we planned but it turned out to be a really good and fun idea to see all your family altogether on your sons special day. So this is how we had our first zoom birthday. I hope this pandemic ends soon and we can be with our family and friends like before and be able to share these special moments with our loved ones.