be a consumer of experience not things this holiday season

The holiday season is in full swing, which means retail stores all over the world are packed with shoppers, trying to find the perfect gift for friends and family. If you’re a planner, you might have already thought about what you’re getting your loved ones for the holidays.

But, think about this for a second: How many times has holiday shopping stressed you out? It can be hard to find the right present for everyone on your list, not to mention it’s expensive and time-consuming! Then, you run the risk of getting them something they may not even like.

Get them something they can’t re-gift this year – experience.

Think back to the holidays when you were a child. You might remember a favorite gift from one year, but the one thing that transcends time is the memories and traditions. It’s baking your grandma’s sugar cookies every year, or caroling with your brother and sister, or picking out the perfect turkey with your dad. Those are the types of gifts that we treasure forever.

This year, give a gift that indulges all the 5 senses instead of something that will collect dust on a shelf and soon be forgotten.

Here are 5 ideas on how you can enjoy the holidays through experiences, not things this year:
Cooking/Baking Classes
Grab a group of friends or your significant other and sign up to take a holiday-themed cooking classes. Learn how to make a special dish together and then recreate it for a holiday meal with your family and friends.
Weekend Trip
Take a weekend trip somewhere! In the spirit of the holidays, find a city with a great light display, a Christmas tree farm, or maybe a replica of the North Pole. Pack the car, grab some sandwiches or snacks and spend the weekend exploring a new place.
Holiday Cheer
Whether this means watching a holiday movie every week, spending a weekend decorating your home with your family, or going to see the lights in your town, take some time out of your week to spend time with those special people in your life, making memories that you’ll remember year after year.
Giving Back
‘Tis the season of giving – and not just to your friends and family, but to those who are in need. Sign up to serve food at your local homeless shelter or host a toy or food drive in your neighborhood. Bringing joy to others’ lives will get you in the holiday spirit and inspire others to do the same!
See a Show
When was the last time you went to the theatre? There’s something magical about seeing a live performance, and during the holiday season, there are plenty of amazing options. See if your local theatre is performing “The Nutcracker” ballet or “A Christmas Carol.” It’s a great excuse to get dressed up and spend a night on the town with someone special.

For many people, true happiness doesn’t come from things wrapped in pretty paper and bows, but instead comes from experiencing – doing! The holiday season is the perfect time to get out and experience life. So, this year, get together with the people that you love and accumulate memories, not things.

Turning Point is here to assist any woman that needs medical care, community referrals and even parenting advice! To receive help today, please call us at 858-397-1970, or send a confidential email to info@mmpregnancy.com. We look forward to hearing from you!

Parenting Styles

An unplanned or unexpected pregnancy creates both short-term and long-term anxiety. Women (especially young women – who suddenly face a surprise pregnancy must deal with immediate concerns, such as:

  • Determine gestation period
  • Communicate with family members
  • Implement optimal health habits

But there are those way-in-the-future considerations, too. But they’re not as far in the future as you’d think. One non-immediate concern for any pregnant woman and their spouse or partner is a simple, yet complicated question: “What kind of parent will I be?”

Stay Involved – Parenting is a 24/7 Endeavor, But It’s Fun, Too!

While no two parenting styles are exactly the same, there are a few proven techniques that every successful parent follows. Through our experience in mentoring pregnant women and new mothers, these are the best ways to ensure children are given the best opportunity for a bright future:

Be a parent first, and friend second.

Young children require guidance, first and foremost. While it’s tempting to be a “buddy” to your child, remember that your #1 job as a parent is parenting. It sounds obvious, but needs to be stressed.

Set firm rules – and follow through with appropriate consequences.

Chores, on-time homework and other daily and weekly tasks are a great way for parents to offer crucial input and guidance. Whenever a rule is broken, be firm and resolute in carrying out punishment. But on the flip side, good parents also reinforce good behavior with rewards and incentives.

Don’t micromanage.

Try as many parents might, kids are bound to make mistakes. Yet the best way to help them learn through the ups and downs is to let them solve problems on their own. Put up guiderails; don’t grab the wheel every time your child appears to falter.

Offer daily encouragement.

Despite today’s busy schedules with work, school and extracurricular activities, parents should always “connect” with their kids for at least a few minutes per day, preferably more. Even a  5-minute discussion about their day can spur positive personal development. Children thrive on positive affirmation, so make sure you set aside time each day to answer questions, offer advice, and just tell them they’re loved!

Promote a healthy lifestyle.

While most kids aren’t crazy about broccoli, you can still try creative ways to cook healthy yet tasty meals. Exercise is important, too – sports and other activities foster development and help build strong bodies. And don’t forget about sleep. A growing child benefits greatly from a restful night’s sleep.

Roll with the punches.

As discussed above, no parent has ever raised a child without a few bumps and hiccups along the way. So don’t make mountains out of mole hills; learn to take each day as it comes, and realize that not everything is in your control. Come to grasp with this concept, and raising a child will be more rewarding, enjoyable and unforgettable than you ever imagined!

 

Turning Point is here to assist any woman that needs medical care, community referrals and even parenting advice! To receive help today, please call us at 858-397-1970, or send a confidential email to info@mmpregnancy.com. We look forward to hearing from you!

The Best Budgeting Tips for Single Parents

Regular two-parent households can be hectic enough, but there are additional challenges for families with one primary provider. Single parents have a lot to keep track of. Baby. Bottles. Bibs. Blankets.

And budgets? You bet.

Properly managing your money is one of the best things you can do as a single parent. Your money has to stretch further for regular expenses, and you also have to be ready for the occasional emergency, like car repairs, emergency room visits and more.

Sound like an impossible task? Without a budget it does. But with a disciplined financial oversight plan in place, anything’s possible…in fact, it’s downright probable!

Single Parent, Multi-Faceted Budget: Making Your Money Work for You

Too often, single parents are controlled by their money. But it should be the other way around – you should control your money. Well, it’s time to turn the tables.

Take advantage of tax credits.

  • Every April 15th, give your budget a boost with federal tax credits designed to aid single parents. Check the IRS website for the latest credits available.

Don’t forget about retirement

  • Kicking back on a beach somewhere 40 years in the future might be the furthest thing on a single parent’s mind when raising a child, and that’s OK. However, financial advisors encourage every parent to invest in their own future, even if it’s as little as $10 or $20 per month. With the power of compound interest, you can have quite a nest egg by the time you reach your golden years.

Pay yourself first

  • Always give yourself a small percentage of your take-home pay, and keep an emergency savings fund for those unexpected costs – and as a single parent, there will be more than you think.

Stick to a budget

  • As financial guru Dave Ramsey says, every dollar should have a mission. Aim for detail with your budget, so you know exactly where every dollar is going each month.

Stay out of debt, and pay your bills on time

  • These two go hand in hand, but they’re absolutely essential for financial freedom.

Turning Point’s counselors offer a wide range of advice and knowledge for single parents, including budget and financial assistance. For more information about all the ways we can help, please visit our main office in Miramar, stop by our Mobile Pregnancy Clinic in Mountain View, or call us at 858-397-1970.

 

 

Tips on Becoming an Amazing Father

While Turning Point is known for assisting women in crisis, we haven’t forgotten about the men out there in San Diego County! From our Brothers in Arms initiative to one-on-one counseling, we have the support personnel, programs and compassion to help fathers-to-be prepare for one of the most joyous, exciting and unpredictable time in their lives – the onset of fatherhood!

Author Scott Kelby, author of The Book for Guys Who Don’t Want Kids, recently unveiled a few of his tips to become a great father. Forged from personal experience, Mr. Kelby’s advice rings true for would-be fathers of any age or background.

Here are some highlights:

Return to “normal” when you can

  • Pre-child and post-child lives are like two different worlds, but it helps to reclaim a sense of “normalcy” whenever you can. Take trips with your child. Don’t be afraid of restaurants. Life the life you used to, with your child along for the ride!

Don’t worry, be happy

  • Easier said than done, but think about it: you helped bring a bouncing baby into this world, so enjoy the moment – and all the upcoming, unforgettable moments as well. Worry about the future when the future arrives. But for now, relish the experience of fatherhood!

Help carry the load

  • Part of becoming a great father is becoming a great partner or spouse. Help with feeding, changing diapers and other tasks – you’ll gain a greater bond with your child, and mom will appreciate the gestures as well!

Keep your “advice filter” on

  • Everyone from your Uncle Dave (everyone has an Uncle Dave) to your friends will offer their input on the best way to raise a child. Use what works for you; not everything you hear applies to your particular family.

The Turning Point Pregnancy Resource Center helps mothers and fathers, and we’re always here to help! Don’t hesitate to contact us; for a helping hand with fatherhood or a different perspective, please give us a call at 858-397-1970

The Advantages of an Unexpected Pregnancy

At Turning Point, we’ve helped hundreds of women deal with unplanned and unexpected pregnancies. One common thread we’ve noticed throughout each individual case – and no two paths to motherhood are exactly the same – is that every unplanned pregnancy has its own silver lining.

Despite the exasperation, desperation, stress, anxiety, fear, and the overwhelming rollercoaster of emotions that invariably impact every woman in this situation, look on the bright side: there are actually advantages to an unplanned pregnancy!

 

The Positives of Pregnancy: Embracing the Moment – and Eventually, Your Child!

 

Mistimed or unwanted pregnancies, according to recent data, account for nearly half of all pregnancies in the United States. Hey, there’s one positive already: you’re not the only one going through this trying situation.

But there are more – plenty more, as we’ve discovered through the years. And here are just some of the advantages of an unplanned pregnancy:

 

  • You become more disciplined

    The sudden knowledge of a pregnancy concentrates the mind wonderfully. Your newfound discipline may take many forms; dietary, financial, personal, you name it. When you’re living for another person and not just yourself, you tend to “button up” some of your bad habits naturally.

  • Firmed-up finances

    Regardless of your income, an unplanned pregnancy requires sound financial decisions. Many young mothers are surprised at how less stressful their financial situation is after becoming pregnant. From the pre-delivery planning to post-birth expenses, an unplanned pregnancy just has a way of unintentionally optimizing your financial life.

  • You’ll never have to make an excuse again.

    Before your unplanned pregnancy, getting out of something you didn’t want to do required a little creative talking. In its own way, an unplanned pregnancy is the ultimate “line in the sand” for your personal life. Plus, you may just end up dropping a few bad time-wasting habits along the way, too!

  • You’ll gain a better perspective – in everything you do.

    If you’re the “perfect planner” type, be prepared to live life differently. Few things happen on a flawless schedule, as an unplanned pregnancy so obviously illustrates. But the pregnancy is just the beginning; raising a child takes guts, perseverance, honesty, love, courage, faith and a thousand other things. Most of all, an unplanned pregnancy shows that you’ll make mistakes – and sometimes, those “mistakes” end up being the best thing that could possibly happen to you!

From our standpoint, the greatest advantage of an unplanned pregnancy is the end result: your newborn child. And even if you’re unsure of where your pregnancy will take you or your baby, Turning Point has the resources, counseling and support structure in place – we’ll even help you find an adoption agency, if that’s your ultimate decision – to ensure your unplanned pregnancy has more advantages than you ever thought possible!

If you’d like to talk with one of our unplanned pregnancy mentors, please call our main office at 858-397-1970. Our Miramar office in northern San Diego is now supplemented by the Turning Point Mobile Pregnancy Clinic in Mountain View, located in the southern section of the city. From every direction, we’re here to help you regardless of your individual situation. Please call and get help today – and thanks for reading our blog!