How do you feel about Participation Trophies?

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Growing up, I was involved in a lot of athletics and competitive events.  I have a box full of trophies, medals and certificates showing my success.  As my children begin their own adventures into the sports world, their generation’s parents have created a push for participation trophies.   While receiving a medal for my participation and fundraising efforts for Miles for Migraine, I took a second to reflect.

How do I feel about participation trophies?

When I received my medal, I felt good.  I felt happy, proud, and I did something for a good cause and myself.  The trophy made me feel like a success.  My children also received participation medals for their Tball and softball efforts this summer.  In our cases, we were not playing winning or losing games.  We participated and were rewarded for our efforts.

I think participation should be recognized at a noncompetitive level.  I see the recognition for both my children and myself this summer as motivation.  The medals we received were mementos of the hard work and dedication to the race and season.  My children are young and beginning to find what interests them.  Children need to be motivated.  My son’s league was not keeping score, there were about 20 four-year olds playing in the dirt more than playing the game.  They didn’t even understand the concept of score.  A game without a score is a game of instruction  not winners or losers.   

The only thing I can say about the medals is that they look at them and want to play next year.  They have a physical reminder of their good memories and the fun they had throughout the year.  If the medals were a pat on the back to say good season, I think a snack would have done the same.  My son looked forward to the snacks at the end of the game as much as the game.  I think a pizza party and snacks could have been just as an effective participation trophy.

Once they get into the winning and losing age of sports, I think medals should go to the winners.  Will they always win and be rewarded?  No, that’s life.  They will learn how to overcome setbacks, see progress, learn how to have sportsmanship and how to be a team.  Loosing is part of life and participating does not mean a reward is given.  If you show up at work but don’t get the job done, are you still paid?  Probably not for long.  Sports teach lessons of winning, loosing and working hard to be the winner and best.   Endless lessons can be learned without rewarding those who just showed up.

I think rewarding those who show up when it’s noncompetitive is ok.  We all felt good and were reminded of our dedication.  I felt proud of what I did and want my children to feel the same.  Overall, I think we all need to be reminded to keep trying and getting better.  I think a snack can be swapped for a medal and that the trophies can be saved for the winners once they are to that point.  If they don’t have a box full of trophies at the end of their lives, does that mean they are losers?  No!  In fact, they may learn more from losing than winning.  It’s all about the process not the gift.  I will take lots of pictures to save those moments as reminders of the ups and downs.  They won’t need a trophy to remind them they showed up.

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Participation trophies have turned into a way of saying the game doesn’t matter.  As long as you got dressed and showed up that day you are a winner.  The real world doesn’t reward you for showing up.  The real-world needs people to show up then do something!  It’s the something that counts.  They don’t need to just show up for school, they need to do something!  They need to work hard and get better to be a winner in life.  It will hurt to learn that sometimes they just aren’t good enough, smart enough, fast enough.  As an overprotective mom, I don’t look forward to those moments.  I will sit and cry with them when they lose but I won’t be giving them a trophy.  I’ll give them a hug, a sports tap and get them back out there.  It’s not the things in life that motivate, it’s the experiences.

When you fall off your bike, get back on and ride.  Your trophy will be knowing how to ride the rest of your life.

Now let’s go have a snack!

 

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Himalayan Salt Lamp for migraines

My Migraine Life

IMG_5134Several months ago I bought a Himalayan salt lamp.  I read about them and the possible benefits so I thought I’d try.  Sometimes I talk about things I love and I try a ton of things that I don’t.  I am always searching for something to help.

From what I read, it could possibly help purify the air, reduce allergens, increase mood and more.  If you do a search on it, you can find a lot of information.  I wake up and go to sleep with some form of headache every day so any thought in easing those times is appealing.  I leave it on my nightstand and the light is adjustable.  I have used it on high while I typically have ice or shade on my eyes.  I also use it on low when I’m awake laying in my room. I keep it on most of the time.  It has…

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Is Having Children a Benefit or Drawback to Teaching?

 

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Both being a mom and being a teacher I’m changing lives.  I may not make a lot of money but I make a difference!

 

After many years of staying home with my children, I just started my second year  back to teaching.  While returning to teaching, the question, “Is having children a benefit or drawback to teaching?” has crossed my mind.   As always, everyone is different along with life style, priorities and circumstances which dictate this answer.

I spent many years in college receiving a formal education on best practices to teach both early childhood and special needs.  Then, I had several years of teaching before I had my own children.  I remember at a conference, a parent jokingly said, “You will understand when you have kids.”  I remember being slightly offended by this.  I spent 6-7 hours a day with their child and that’s more than most parents can say they see their children each day.  I also spent all my free time, planning, preparing and researching for their child.  My priority was my class.

Last year, my daughter had a kindergarten teacher who does not have children.  I immediately thought of that parent and was impressed by her teacher in many ways.  She was kind, patient and calm.  None of these things you need to have children to be.  In fact, none of those things you need an education for either.  Her personality and dedication impressed me the most.  My daughter thrived educationally and socially.  We both loved having her. She doesn’t have children but I knew she was going the extra mile in her free time and I appreciated her because of that.

This year she has a teacher with 5 children. My first thoughts were, “She obviously loves children but who gets the short end of the stick?  My child or her children?”  It has to happen at some point, right? We now love her for the teacher she is and all that she does.  It doesn’t matter to me if her teacher has 0 or 50 kids at home.  I’m concerned about what she is doing with my 1 child while she is teaching her those 6 hours each day.  God bless her patience to teach all day and go home to many more children.  On the other hand, she gets lots of joy at work and lots of joy at home so she’s a lucky woman.  Children are such a blessing and the more the merrier!

As for me…….

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I am now a preschool teacher with a preschooler.  I teach part time and get a chance to be a full-time mom still.  My preschooler is not in my class but our classes run at the same time so I only work while my children are in school.  I can honestly say, everyone gets the best of me.  Here’s why:

I loved and taught preschool before I had children and some of the things I worried about as a teacher I don’t worry about as a mom.  I now alter my plans with that balance in mind.

I was a stay at home mom during the hardest years a mom faces.  There is no better training of children than having two small ones, a husband that travels and chronic migraine.  To say I know how to balance, delegate, plan ahead, and multitask is an understatement.  I’ve learned how to entertain my babies while being in excruciating pain.  I’ve sacrificed my body, mind and gave up my occupation that I love all for my babies and family.  I put myself on the backburner and was happy to do it, but it was really, really hard.  I turned into a super hero and did a job that not every mom can or wants to do.  Work/life balance did not exist.  My work was my life and there was no day off.  They were long days and fast years that I feel beyond grateful for.

Now that I’m back to teaching, my students and families are getting the best and healthiest version of me.  I feel like I can give 100% to my children, students and my health.  Working part time really motivates me.  I LOVE my job and arrive each day happy to be there.  On my days off, I am often migraine sick but no one would know (see letdown migraine).  Part time allows me to be sick and take time for self-care.  For those of us who have chronic disease, scheduling in sick time is the norm and necessary

You-can-do-hard-thingsOverall, I understand teaching both with and without children.  I understand the fundamentals through education, the students point of view through not having children (and only seeing my students as students) and the behind the scenes (aka school) of what parents and children go through at home (nap schedule, eating issues, sleep issues, lack of structure, bathroom concerns and more!).

After all these years, I feel that I’m the best teacher and mom because of these experiences.  With these experiences, I know that not all teachers and moms are dealt the same hand.  There is no answer that fits all.  Not every mom, teacher, home or classroom are the same. 

Thank you to those teachers teaching my babies

Thank you to those parents allowing me to teach their babies

May we all grow and learn endless lessons both inside and out of the classroom this year!

 

Miles for Migraine virtual walk and race dates 2017

miles for migraine swag

In June, I did a virtual challenge to raise money for Miles for Migraine.  “Miles for Migraine is a registered 501(c)(3) Non-Profit with the mission of improving the lives of migraine patients and their families, raising public awareness about headache disorders, and helping find a cure for migraine. Miles for Migraine produces fun walk/run events, typically 2 mile walk and 5k and 10k race to raise money for migraine research. We also host youth camps for kids and teens impacted by migraine or other headache disorders.”

I made the goal of raising $300 for the 3 years I’ve been blogging and I’m happy to announce we met that goal and exceeded it!  Thank you to those who donated!  Migraine is terribly underfunded and every dollar goes a long way towards fellowship programs for training new doctors as well as research. THANK YOU! THANK YOU!

For those of you that missed the fundraiser and would like participate yourself, I have a few more opportunities for you.

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Philadelphia                October 7, 2017

Washington, DC             October 15, 2017

Virtual Race                       Anytime!

 

Keep moving!  I have more race dates coming for Runnin’ for Research in which I participated last year.  I hope you are motivated to take one step at a time and each day get a bit stronger.  As a chronic migraineur, I feel like one day I step forward, the next I’m knocked back down .  The most important thing is that I take that step forward again…..

Last day of Wego endorsements-please vote now!!


I’m so honored to be nominated for Wego Health awards!!!!!!!!I have been nominated for best in show for blog, Instagram and facebook and twitter.

“WEGO Health is a mission-driven company dedicated to transforming health care by harnessing the experience, skills and insights of patient leaders. The WEGO Health Awards were created to embody the mission of WEGO Health: to empower Patient Leaders. We connect with countless patient advocates, influencers, and experts who are helping others and transforming healthcare–often without recognition. The WEGO Health Awards offers a way to introduce new Patient Leaders to the online community, and to allow network members the opportunity to recognize and say “thank you” to the leaders they look up to.” Check them out at Wego Health

Now I need your help.

Please go to: https://awards.wegohealth.com/nominees/4071
Simply go to the link and click the orange thumbs up to endorse My Migraine Life. Use the pull down menu to endorse each award I am nominated for.

If you would like, you can tweet and support on facebook once you’ve done so to encourage other to do the same.

If you are reading this, chances are you have been touched by My Migraine Life in some way. Please vote to show your support and give thanks for my advocacy work helping others.
THANK YOU!

Truth in Advertising and product claims to treat, cure or prevent

Recently, a popular website named “Goop” became under fire for deceptive marking with disease treatment claims.  It is a blog that focuses on fashion, beauty and wellness.  Some of their products claim to treat, cure or prevent a host of diseases.  It seems that Goop is taking advantage of those looking for answers.  A nonprofit, Truth in Advertising requested it to be taken down.  In response to the official complaint, a spokesperson for Goop told E! news that they would “make those improvements that we believe are reasonable and necessary in the interests of our community of users.”

I was especially interested in this topic being I give product reviews.  My goal is not to sell or make money off of my reviews and recommendations (although I do have affiliates).  The products I post in SHOP things that I love are products that I use to treat myself.  I recommend them hoping they may help you also.  I am not a doctor and what works for me may or may not help you….but I hope it does!

With full disclosure, I have received products that I have not reviewed or recommended.  My rule is, if I don’t like it, I don’t write about it.  I have had offers for paid opportunities that I have rejected due to false claims.  I like to help weed out the “snake in the grass” products that are looking to make money and find the products that are the “real deal” in natural healing.

Red flags I see with products:

  • Claims that it will “cure”

o   There is no current cure and advertisers play off the emotions of people desperate for answers and help.

  • It works for everyone

o   Nothing will work the same for everyone.  The body is unique and will respond in such a way.

What does “reasonable and necessary [changes] in the interests of our community of users” mean?

Is it list price, retail price, price margin, cost of good, claims documented or product reviews?  What are the interests of community of users? Retail price, effectiveness of products, type of product?  It is all quite subjective. Products should be measured only on yourself.  If it doesn’t help YOU then stop using it.  Stop wasting your hope, your money, give your body a break and try something new.

Why do I try so many things?

Nothing works the same every time.  Body’s change and so do the reactions to products.  I typically like to recommend products that are not taken internally because of the complexities of how the body reacts.  Vitamins and pills get tricky but I enjoy encouraging juices and healthy foods to nourish.  I love trying new products and feel I can never have enough “self care” items regardless of my ailments.   While I try new products I encourage you to try the products and see how you feel.

 

#MondayMotivation Less doing and more being

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Today’s #MondayMotivation is a reminder to drop the “to do list” and focus on “being.”  I find this really, REALLY hard to do!!!!  I’m a mom, wife, teacher and migraine sufferer.  Where do I have time to just be?  With my migraines, I find I always have a list in my head to get done ahead of time preparing for a migraine.  I also have a list of things that accumulate while I have a migraine and am unable to do it. The list goes on…..

This week is the week before school.  My children are growing up so fast and my migraines make me miss so much! This week I’m going to focus on extending good night kisses, cuddling my babies longer, dancing more, being kinder to myself, letting go, being proud and getting lost in the moment.  I’m going to let go of the to do list while I have a migraine and not feel pressured to check off that list while I’m playing legos on the floor.

This seems nearly impossible, but I’m going to try! MUCH easier said than done……..

Please Excuse the advertisement at the end.  I do not endorse this product and have not tried it. Originally posted on https://www.facebook.com/SanctuarySpaHQ/?hc_ref=ARSUxEeI7tunSfT59ScNhKmrKl8DRKlmMzQ5dSkN7JuUesXNuMJ2HKkYXzKnv8WEjn4&fref=nf