What I Would Do Differently if I Were 33 Again

parentingSeveral months ago, I wrote an article for LinkedIn about what I’d do differently if I were 22 again— if I had the same knowledge and experience I have now. I listed several items I would have advised my 22-year-old self to do.

Among other things, I recommended slowing down, experimenting more, taking more chances, and traveling more.

It was such a revealing exercise that I thought I’d also look back at when I was 33 years old (which was 12 years ago) and consider what I’d change at that point, knowing what I know now.

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10 Parent Do-Overs For 2015 Including “Embrace the Mess”

mary_jo_rapiniBy Mary Jo Rapini, MEd, LPC

When my first daughter was six and my youngest was two, I came to a realization that helped me parent in a much different fashion. You see, I’ve always been a neat freak and I prefer structure and order in my home. Beds made, no dust, and I’m happy. No one told me I couldn’t have that and kids too, but it wasn’t long before I realized I would stress myself into a heart attack if I continued.

When you have kids, you should actually think of living in a barn because kids are hoarders; they’re messy; they spill anything they carry; and they are curious and forgetful. They don’t close doors, clean up toys, worry about mud, clean up art supplies or Cheerios. And, unless you pacify them with electronic gadgets (which don’t stimulate their creative ingenuity as well as hands on manipulating things), your home will be full of rocks, leaves, sand and bugs.

Every parent I know who has a teenager or college-bound child reminisces about what they would do differently if they had a baby or small children now. Many of the things they say are enlightening and helpful when you are sure you’re losing your mind with the little ones. I have come up with a list of ten things for parents to consider for 2015 as they continue raising their children.

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5 Strategies to Stay Sane, Be a Happy Single Mom and Raise a Positive Family

By Erika Oliver

I didn’t plan to be a mom. I planned to be a career woman that took a city by storm. Well how hard could that be? I have a couple of college degrees and even though I didn’t have parent role models to pattern after, I’m smart and can figure things out.

Yeah right. Where was the warning label? “Parenting is the most strenuous, scary and unappreciated job on the planet. Prepare to give your soul, sanity and wallet.” It’s true that parenting also offers unimaginable rewards and fun but it’s the moments of utter shock and being pressed to your limits that I wasn’t prepared to navigate.

If you didn’t expect to be a parent (especially a single parent), thought parenting would be easier, or are breaking negative family patterns here are my words of survival – and in many cases triumph – to keep yourself intact and raise a wonderful, loving, and gloriously positive family. [Read more…]

Eating Disorders: No Longer Just For Young Females

By Dr. Kim Dennis

For decades, the topic of eating disorders conjured an immediate stereotype – female, beautiful, a high achiever, affluent, often the first-born, and above all, young. She might be the high school prom queen, or the college cheerleader, but hardly ever was she a middle-aged mother of three. Indeed, the very idea that a woman in midlife could suffer from anorexia or bulimia was nearly unimaginable.

In years past, experts believed eating disorders rarely, if ever, occurred after the age of 35; we now know anorexia occurs across the lifespan, in girls and women, boys and men. In fact, behavioral and mental health professionals report that in the past decade, they are treating an increasing number of women in their 30s, 40s and 50s who are starving themselves. Additionally, these women are abusing laxatives, exercising to dangerous extremes and self-harming – behaviors that frequently co-occur.

Women seeking treatment later in life typically fall into one of three categories: those who have secretly struggled with an eating disorder for many years yet did not receive help; those who were treated for an eating disorder in younger years; and those who developed an eating disorder as an adult.

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Spider Veins and the Types of Treatment Circulatory Centers Provides

Circulatory Centers was founded in 1979 as The Circulatory Centers, by William G. Katz, M.D., F.A.C.S., a board certified vascular surgeon. Over the past few decades they have seen tremendous advances in the vascular treatment options for varicose veins. Learn more by watching the video below.

Breastfeeding Friendly Place Awards Nominations Due May 14

Nursing Moms:  Identify Places Where You Feel Welcome

Nominations for its annual Breastfeeding Friendly Place Awards are due May 11, according to the Allegheny County Health Department.

The awards are for workplaces, public places and other sites away from home that make an extra effort to meet the needs of nursing moms by offering a supportive environment and positive attitude toward breastfeeding.

Breastfeeding friendly places can encourage moms to breastfeed longer.  Health benefits to babies and their moms increase when babies are breastfed for at least six months, but only 44.3% nationwide and 37.6% in Pennsylvania are breastfed that long.

Breastfeeding friendly workplaces are also good for business, because breastfed babies are less likely to get sick throughout their childhood and that means working moms and dads take less time off due to a child’s illness.

To nominate an employer, public place or other site outside the home for the awards, please call the Health Department at 412-687-ACHDor visit www.achd.net.

What Women Need to Know About Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

By Jane M. Martin, BA, LRT, CRT, Associate Director of Education for the COPD Foundation

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) describes progressive lung diseases, encompassing emphysema, chronic bronchitis, refractory (non-reversible) asthma and some forms of bronchiectasis. It kills more women than breast cancer and diabetes combined, yet many women don’t know they have it, often dismissing its symptoms — breathlessness, coughing and wheezing — as signs of aging. The disease develops slowly, generally around age 40, but earlier in those with genetically inherited COPD. You might have trouble catching your breath going up a flight of stairs, a persistent cough, chest congestion or excess phlegm. All too often, women are incorrectly diagnosed with asthma.

Women are about twice as likely to be diagnosed with chronic bronchitis as males. In 2008, 3.1 million males had a diagnosis of chronic bronchitis compared to 6.7 million females, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, with women who smoke being 13 times more likely to die from COPD compared to women who have never smoked.

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Women and Thyroid Disease: Could You be Undiagnosed or Undertreated?

By Janie Bowthorpe, M.Ed

The 21st Century gave birth to something quite remarkable and life-changing for women: a vocal thyroid patient revolution that has turned the traditional “diagnosis” and “treatment” of thyroid problems on their heads.

Namely, thyroid patients worldwide made the woeful but important discovery that they’d been poorly diagnosed or undertreated for more than 50 years! This was a huge and bold realization in the face of a medical community that has rigidly held to the superiority of their beliefs!

Why did this medical calamity happen for so long? Because patients have been led to believe that a pituitary hormone lab test called the TSH (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone) was enough to diagnose by (it wasn’t and has left millions undiagnosed for years with worsening symptoms), or that T4-only medications like Synthroid, Levoxyl, or levothyroxine were good treatments (they weren’t and left patients with continued and problematic symptoms).

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Managing a High-Risk Pregnancy: Difficult but NOT Impossible

By Kelly Whitehead

One in 8 babies are born premature (before 37 weeks). They suffer from numerous problems including: inability or difficulty breathing, feeding/growth issues, bleeding into the brain, an eye disease which can cause blindness, neurologic disabilities, or hearing problems.

A high-risk pregnancy is a time of enormous stress, fear, unknowns, even isolation, depression, and a disruption of your entire life. Lifting a simple load of laundry, or other children, are now huge no-no’s. Here are some tips to coping, managing, and hopefully thriving during this (not so fun) journey to parenthood:

Dealing With the “Medical Stuff”

  • Understand your risk factors. The number one risk for having a premature a baby is having had a prior early birth. Other risk factors include: smoking/drinking/illicit drug use, cervical/womb abnormalities, carrying multiples, being a black woman, being obese or very skinny, conceiving through IVF, having placental issues, poor nutrition, or certain chronic conditions (like diabetes or high blood pressure). Unfortunately, many women who have their babies early have no known risk factors.

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