As all of us know, the first few years of parenting can be an absolute whirlwind. Looking after little ones is all-consuming and can ultimately mean we have few opportunities to actually sit down and think beyond the short term.
However, despite those challenges, it is still very important to consider the future and even approach subjects that most people actively avoid talking about. Sadly, losing loved ones and experiencing other difficult moments is a part of life and, as such, it is important to think about the steps you can take to be prepared when the worst happens. Here, we outline a few issues which we think could be a vital starting point.
One issue you might not have got around to looking at since becoming a parent is the range of insurance you have in place. Having kids is a huge moment and you need to ensure that any existing policies for matters such as health or life insurance remain fit for purpose. In terms of the latter, worryingly, research released last year actually suggested that only 59 per cent of Americans currently own life insurance in some form.
Another matter which should be reviewed is your home insurance, as it is worthwhile reminding yourself of the terms of the policy and whether anything needs to be changed now children are in the picture.
For a great number of us, work is a major source of pride and we take a lot of care to ensure that we always perform to our best. However, errors and problems sadly can arise and that is why protection is needed, particularly if it is your own business.
Having the right insurance can help in this regard and many providers offer cover which is tailored to suit specific occupations. For example, Next Insurance offers HVAC insurance, which is designed to ensure contractors involved in air conditioning are covered for everything from injuries to damage to a client’s property.
Writing a will
Stopping for a moment to think about our own mortality can be tough, but death is an issue we should not ignore. Time and time again we see headlines in the news about the likes of Prince or Aretha Franklin passing away without a will in place, but sadly the same thing happens to many normal Americans too. In fact, a 2017 survey by Caring.com estimated that more than half of people in the US do not have a will.
Leaving a clear and concise will is very important, as it should ensure that your friends and family have a proper understanding of how your estate needs to be handled when you die. Furthermore, it should go some way towards minimising the risk of them falling out regarding such issues.
Preparing for hard times
Thinking about worst case scenarios can be very difficult and often emotional, but sadly it is vital that many of us do it. We hope the ideas above may help you get started on ensuring both you and your family have measures in place for when life gets tough.
Now women can share maternity when starting a family
The decision to start a family is a big one, it is a chance to take the next step in your life or relationship. Yet for some couples making that decision is only the first step in a long road to motherhood.
For women in a same sex relationship, it means making a lot of decisions about how to start the adventure of motherhood together, and how to go about finding a sperm donor and ultimately finding a clinic or fertility treatment centre who can make the entire process the wonderful and magical experience it should be.
A shared maternity allows both of you to be part of the process
The clinic Fertty International in Barcelona is leading the way in fertilization services to lesbian couples, offering a way for both partners to be part of the process. The option is known as reciprocal IVF, and what this means is that the in vitro fertilization cycle is carried out on one of the couple. This stimulates egg production in the ovaries, which can then be collected for fertilization with the semen of an anonymous donor.
The embryos are then transferred into the uterus of the other partner to begin gestation. The second partner will then carry the baby to full term. It is really quite wonderful what science makes possible. For LGBT couples dreaming of starting a family together this is one way to bring motherhood to both women.
What to expect from the first phase
This is the first step you the journey to motherhood and it is exciting. The specialist and experts at the clinic will be there for you every step of the way to make sure you have the best experience. For the woman who will be providing the eggs, several weeks before the procedure there will be some hormonal contraception given.
The purpose of this is to interrupt the normal cycle. This is so that when fertility drugs are then taken the body is ready to produce a few extra eggs in the ovary, rather than the normal one. This gives the best chance of fertilization in the next steps.
What happens during fertilization and implantation
Once the eggs are retrieved they are joined with the donor sperm in a state of the art laboratory for fertilization. If they are successfully fertilized then they are allowed to undergo a couple of days of cell division before the embryo is transplanted into the second partner, via the vagina, through the cervix and into the uterus.
It is usual to transplant more than one embryo, and in Spain that number is limited to three in order to reduce the risk of multiple pregnancies which can pose a risk to both the mother and the babies.
Some women describe the process as feeling similar to a PAP smear test. It does not feel comfortable but it does not require any sedation or drugs. After around 10 days or so a blood pregnancy test can be done in order to find out if the implantation was successful.
Any embryos that are not used in this stage can be cryopreserved for the future or even donated to other couples unable to do the first part of the treatment themselves for whatever reason.
It make take several cycles for a successful result
IVF has a success rate of anything between 40 and 70%, depending on a range of factors such as the age of the women, the quality of the eggs and the quality of the embryos produced. It will require a detailed review of each couple’s person circumstances to give an idea of potential success rate.
If multiple rounds are required the couple will need to talk in depth with the medical team to decide how many attempts are best for you.
Simplifying Your Child’s Wardrobe
Kids clothes can easily take over your life if you’re not careful. When your baby is born, your friends all want to shower you with gifts and it brings them great delight to buy your baby clothes. The clothes are cute because they’re miniature and your friends are so thoughtful and generous that the mass of kids clothes acquired soon becomes more than you can bear to dig yourself out from under. Laundry becomes a torturous task that seems to take over your life.
You spend your days laundering and folding kids clothes, only to find that when you go the put the clothes away, the drawers and closets are overflowing and things are hard to put away. “I’ll just leave this right here on the table for now. I’ll have to go through her drawers to make some room later,” you think. Been there, done that! What if I told you it doesn’t have to be this way?
Here are my top three tips for simplifying your child’s wardrobe.
1) Throw things in the trash. Maybe a harsh first point, but going through your kids’ clothes and tossing anything that is ripped or stained beyond repair is a great first step in simplifying their wardrobe. They probably aren’t wearing these clothes anyway and that makes this an easy place to start.
2) Pull out anything that doesn’t fit right now. Ever had the battle over the too-small pair of pants at the last minute while you’re trying to get everyone dressed and out the door? Eliminate the struggle and remove things from their drawers and closets that don’t currently fit. Store seasonal clothes in bins and donate or pass down to younger siblings clothes that no longer fit. This will give you a bunch of space to work with and it will also show you exactly how many of each item you have. I did this recently and found that my daughter had 33 tops in her drawer. Many of them didn’t fit and taking them out left us with so much room!
3) Fill in the gaps – Capsule Wardrobe. Does a capsule wardrobe intimidate you as it did me? Don’t be afraid to give it a shot. You can do as many or as few pieces in a capsule wardrobe. The key is that all the pieces can be worn together. After you throw away all the ripped and stained items and pull out anything that doesn’t fit right now, you’ll be able to better assess what your child needs. Don’t skip those first two steps! They’re essential to getting the capsule right the first time.
These are my top tips for simplifying a child’s wardrobe, but it could work in an adult’s closet too! Tell me – are you a clothing minimalist or do you love to shop and buy?
How PRAMA is Making Exercise a Family Affair
Technology is changing the world around us, and sometimes this can be detrimental to our family’s health. Think of how difficult it can be to drag your child away from the TV or tablet and get them to engage with the family or exercise outside.
It’s no wonder we’re starting to see an increase in child obesity and other related health problems. But the gym flooring experts at PAVIGYM are trying to change that. Drawing on their years of experience in specialised, high quality gym flooring, they have incorporated the most advanced technology in order to create a family exercise experience like no other – the PRAMA system.
The aim is to get families working out together, and the state of the art technology makes each session so immersive it becomes an experience, not just another workout.
How does the PRAMA system work?
PRAMA is an interactive workout system that incorporates modern technology into the floors and walls, combined with music and fun fitness programs to make a truly immersive experience. It’s the first of its kind, and the aim is to bring a real sense of fun into exercise, while setting challenges for participants in order to help get them fitter and stronger and meet their fitness goals.
It’s highly intelligent, using smart software and LED lighting and sensors to turn the room into a giant arcade game. There are hundreds of training modes, games, and circuits built in to cater for free training, group training, partner training and challenges.What’s more, it’s completely adaptable to all ages and levels of fitness.
The specialist kids and family programme is changing how we think about fitness
Fit and healthy children make for fit and healthy adults. If we can instill a sense of how important to our health fitness is at a younger age, then there’s a good chance we will carry that into adulthood. This is where PRAMA steps in.
Already available at locations in London such as David Lloyd, the family fitness programmes that come as part of the installation of the PRAMA fitness system are going down a storm.
It’s effectively disguising fitness as fun. Being a big game all the family can take part in, both together with the adults or as a separate kids-only session, it’s unique in the industry.
The benefits are huge. Training cognitive and motor skills is known to promote brain function in an academic capacity, as well as offering the obvious physical benefits. It can help manage obesity, ADHD, and depression. It has an important social aspect, given that healthy competition can help build self esteem and teamwork. And of course, it’s a chance for families to spend time together – away from electronic screens.
The adaptable programmes ensure it really is suitable for any age and ability, and make it possible for multiple generations to get involved. Fitness is important for the whole family, regardless of age.
Technology is the answer, not the problem
By embedding smart technology into the PRAMA system, PAVIGYM are revolutionising fitness. This new way of working out lets users view the results of their sessions online and monitor their progress over time. It’s a great way to reach new audiences and build up a member base by offering a unique system that really makes your gym stand out from the crowd.