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Gin Schaffer is a former higher education administrator and works part-time at MWHC's Regional Cancer Center as the Coordinator of Integrative Medicine. She lives in downtown Fredericksburg and enjoys walking and biking with her husband and 2 kids (especially if coffee is involved).

Pillow Talk

That time of summer has arrived when I feel like I'm saying "No" to various requests from the kids. All. The.Time.

"No, you can't have whatever that million-grams of sugar thing is; No, we're not going to any overpriced arcade, and No, I'm not buying you that toy." I understand why they ask for these things. We've been living in a summertime haze, a wonderful feeling of timelessness that somehow lands us at Carl's Ice Cream on a regular basis. Coming down from that high can be really difficult. 

The reality is, the start of school is right around the corner. And, although I think the Schaffer household is ready to head back, are we really "ready"?

Our sleep and eating habits are definitely out of whack. We've been living in a perpetual island-time atmosphere, grazing and sleeping on whatever surface we fell asleep on.  Sleep is very important for all members of the household - we all sound like a cranky 2-year-old without enough rest. Usually a week or two before school starts, we try to get ourselves back into a bedtime routine so that the mornings won't be too brutal. Sure, there will be rough moments, but it's all about reducing how many of those moments you have to endure. I love the Sleep Foundation for tips and resources about better sleep habits.   

Recognizing that the addiction to sugary treats may lead to a huge crash, we've been trying to reduce the candy and other junk foods that have really crept in over the summer. Both Jack and Anna had their well visits this summer; using the pediatrician and the questions she asked has been a helpful tool for me to remind the kids what we need to be doing to get back on track. Do their eyes roll at me? Absolutely. But, they seem to be understanding a little bit more where the "No" responses are coming from.

Falling out of and getting back into a routine is a perpetual challenge. Half the battle is recognizing what the causes of our difficulties might be so that we can make some changes - start here with these recommended 5 steps to get the kids ready for school. There is no such thing as perfection - each day is simply an opportunity to do better than the day before.

Even with the anxiety I feel towards organizing schedules and homework, I enjoy the start of the school year because it's like a new year, a clean slate to start over. So, hooray to the teachers, administrators, parents, and of course, our awesome kids. Let's Do This!


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Pouches' Community Corner

Postpartum Support Virginia

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For new and expectant mothers in the Fredericksburg area, Postpartum Support Virginia stands as the help and support for women and their families who are experiencing postpartum depression. Founded in 2009 by Adrienne Griffen, Postpartum Support Virginia offers one-on-one support, free peer-led groups, a robust site of information including screening and diagnosis overviews, fact sheets, and training sessions.