It’s Cheer season! And, as strange as it sounds to hear myself say it, I am a Cheer mom. I also feel it’s only fair to point out that my husband is full in and definitely a Cheer dad. This is our first year of the Cheer world and, wow, it’s a lot! Last year our then four year old was in dance. If you’ve ever had a preschooler in dance, well, it’s pretty easy. Make sure she gets to practice once a week, pay your fees, take her to her two recitals in the spring, maybe do a little fund raising in between. It was fun and cute and stress free. This year things are different. Half way through the year they added a half hour to practices, which would be fine if they added to the end of practice instead of the front. Now it’s a huge challenge to pick up the kiddo after work (sometimes we have to leave work early), get her changed and fed and delivered to the studio. We have extra practices here and there. We also practice a lot at home. And then we have the competitions. So many competitions. Many of them hours away from home. It takes up a lot of time and it’s expensive.
Is it worth it? Absolutely. Cheer is a great sport. It teaches Molly so many valuable lessons and skills that it’s worth every second and every penny. And, as a parent, watching your child grow, learn and build confidence is pretty rewarding. Last weekend was our first competition and sitting in the audience watching that group of little five year olds march out on that giant stage and nail their performance (their very first performance ever!) was amazing. We were a proud bunch of parents. But as proud as we all were there’s no time to bask in that. The next competition is coming quickly and since the girls did so well with their routine it’s time to kick it up a notch and add some more difficult elements. We’ve already started working on toe touch jumps at home.
So, as you can tell, this whole “having your child in competitive sports” thing is pretty new to me. I’ll be honest, when I signed Molly up for Cheer I had no idea how time consuming it was going to be. Who knew that five year old cheerleaders compete so much? Clearly not me! But we did sign up and we are all in. We will continue to plan as best we can and juggle the schedule where we need to and be there to cheer on our little cheerleader. We just need to stay healthy! Generally by this time of year the worst of the cold and flu season is behind us but we’ve had an usually warm winter here which means the flu season arrived late and is currently at it’s peak. And as anyone that has ever cheered or parented a cheerleader knows – it is essential to have everyone on the team show up for practice and, of course, the competitions. Having even one kid out can throw a huge wrench in the routine and when you are working with five year olds, having them try to switch things up at the last minute is a lot to ask.
How do you keep a five year old, who is in school, daycare and cheer (which means she is constantly in contact with at least 60 different kids!) from catching all the bugs? Amazingly she hasn’t had more than a mild cold so far this winter so I’m knocking on wood that the healthy trend continues. Ok, well I’m doing more than superstitious rituals. There’s a lot of hand washing (and “don’t lick that!” while we are out), getting the little one to bed at a decent time, eating well (which some days is tricky when you are on the run), and working at keeping stress levels down. That’s actually a big one. Stress. With two parents that work out of the home fulltime, school, daycare and extra curricular activities it can be a lot for a little kid. Especially when that little kid has a natural tendency to get “worked up” about things. And we all know that stress can have a huge impact on your physical health. Over the years we’ve certainly developed some strategies to help Molly deal with stress. And sometimes they work. Other times, not so much. But we do our best and as she gets older she is also getting better (slowly) at dealing with stress and anxiety as well. We’ve actually come along way. And we take help where we can find it.
Orange Naturals Calm for Kids is an herbal tincture formulated specifically to help ease tummy issues and help promote calm in kids. Calm is proving to be a useful remedy in our home. If the kiddo is acting a bit anxious if I just grab the bottle of Calm for Kids and squeeze 2ml under her tongue. The good news is it usually does help. Calm is great for mild tummy troubles (caused by anxiety) but it’s also effective, as the name implies, at helping to calm kids and can be useful as a safe way to help with sleep as well. Calm for Kids is made with organic herbs and because it’s in the form of a tincture that means it is very quickly and easily absorbed. As a mother of an anxious child I absolutely recommend Calm for Kids as a tool to have on hand. It really can help with some of the small stuff. And even if you don’t have a naturally anxious child, just about every kid has their moments when a little calm can make a world of difference.
Another tool we use to help keep our daughter healthy is a daily probiotic supplement. Because Molly is on a prophylactic antibiotic for an underlying condition this is absolutely essential for her. Maintaining healthy gut flora, especially after antibiotic use, is really important to good health. In most cases it’s best to give probiotics after your child has completed their course of antibiotics rather than during (our case is different because she is on longer term antibiotics). It’s always a good idea to discuss it with your child’s doctor and/or pharmacist and see what they recommend.
One of the things I really like about the Orange Naturals Probiotic Powder is that it is safe and effective for all your kids from one year old right up through their teen years. That means you don’t have to buy a specific formula for every kid in the house! The Probiotic Powder contains 8 predominant probiotic species that are formulated for the growing needs of infants, children and adolescents. And because it’s a powder there are no big pills to swallow, you just mix it in some water, juice or whatever your kid likes to drink.
Whether you are a Cheer, Dance, Soccer or (insert your child’s activity here) mom you know how hectic certain times of the year can be and how important it is to keep your little athlete healthy. If you need a little help along the way Orange Naturals is there. Be sure to stop by the #onatural blog to get lots of great tips and advice for feeling your best and keeping your entire family healthy. You can also find Orange Naturals on Facebook for more information and fun!
Disclosure: I am part of the Orange Naturals Mom Ambassador Program and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own