Sofya and her family.

By Sofya Stearns 

I’m a mom of a 10-year-old child; I get you moms.  

After wanting to have a baby for so many years, my wish finally came true 10 years ago. Therefore, I cannot wait for school to be over to spend every second with my daughter. However, I am a business owner too, and although I have only one child, and yes, I’m in charge of my own schedule, balancing is not an easy task. On that note, when women tell me that I have it easy because I only have one child, it really hurts. 

I understand that not everyone feels all the joy that I do when school is out, especially when we hear from our kids, “I’m bored. I have nothing to do.” Or “I don’t want to go to the pool, it’s boring.” Or “I’m hungry, I need a snack!” This drives us moms insane, right? So, then the question arises, how to solve these dilemmas? 

Well, moms, I’m here to help! Perhaps, the kids are all “pooled out” (is that really a thing?). What about organizing a book club among their friends? And whoever reads a book first, gets a little prize—nothing too fancy or over the top—or maybe as a reward he or she has the chance to pick the book for the next month.  

Another question/idea: Whatever happened to good old portable games that are nondigital? There are a ton of these games that you can purchase from Learning Express or Five Below. There are so many inexpensive games to play like UNO, Dominos, Connect 4, Candy Land and random coloring games and books as well as puzzles, and, of course, Mad Libs! 

It seems that children are hungrier during the summer So how to provide healthy snacks? Hummus comes to mind. It has a long shelf life and can be made in large quantities. It’s delicious with pitas, pretzels, celery, carrots, radishes, baby tomatoes and cucumbers. Did you know that cucumbers are a wonderful way to stay hydrated as they contain 92% water? 

Now that school is out, you can no longer sneak fruit into a lunch box. One way to get kids to eat fruit is to whip up a batch of baked apples with walnuts, or with any nut of your choice. (Those with nut allergies may want to try coconut, and fruit preserves that are low in sugar.) Walnuts are a wonderful source of antioxidants and excellent for the brain, which makes total sense (have you ever noticed that they are even shaped like a brain?!) Slice them up and voila, you got yourself a sweet and healthy snack for your kiddos and for you! You may also consider frozen mango, grapes, and/or any type of berries as they are wonderful, hydrating, and nutritious. 

At times, drinking water can get boring. To liven it, you can add a few drops of MiO or Sunkist water enhancer. 

Moms, one lesson I have learned from other moms is to share your burdens with other moms, and don’t judge yourselves (or each other) because none of us are perfect. The following is what I tell my 10-year-old, “As long as you did your best, that’s what really counts.” 

How can I help? Email to tell me about the advice you’d like to see in future issues of Northern Connection. Until next month.