The MOMS on Pix11: "School's Out, Now What?"

The Moms, Melissa Gerstein and special guest Erica Reischer, psychologist and author of “What Great Parents Do,” discuss how to monitor your children’s vacation time. Do you keep their minds working or let loose and relax? Tell us your favorite summer activity that you and your kids enjoy that’s available in your town below!

Believe It Or Not … It’s Time To Talk Back To School!

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Even though it seems like summer has just begun, it’s time to start thinking about getting back into the swing of all things school and here are some of my favorite Back To School deals that you do not want to miss!

First let’s start with fashion!

H&M is gearing up for the fall with the best Back To School styles starting at $9.99! From top trends, to sustainable style, and transitional staples, the have it ALL! For girls this season it’s all about the faux leather and suede jackets, chunky knitwear and denim. H&M has a huge selection and some are even made from sustainable materials. Accessorize with a cool fringe backpack or trendy lunchbox. For boys the falls’ trends gear towards a cool downtown feel with playful pops of color! Plaid button downs, graphic tee’s and sweatshirts paired with padded bomber jacket and high top sneakers are a must! Not only is H&M the best stop for the latest fashion trends but they also give back! Donate any old or unused clothing during your next visit to H&M and get 15% off your ENTIRE PURCHASE! Read more

Do You Do MultiGenerational Travel?

Recently we headed down to the Dominican Republic with the grandparents in tow. We headed to Dreams Palm Beach Punta Cana, which is an all- inclusive resort in Punta Cana. This is now our seventh trip as a multigenerational crew, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

To see your own children with your parents, experiencing a new city, food or adventure, is one of my greatest pleasures. When you take everyone out of their daily environments and routines, it is like a breath of fresh air washing over you.

I am not saying that everything is perfect, and, at times, we can even look like a hot mess debating over restaurants and activities, but that is why you can break off into smaller groups much more easily, as well. Quite often, my son, my husband and my dad will want to golf or snorkeling, whereas we girls and Nana are left with more artsy adventures, like seashell collecting.

The key to multigenerational travel is keeping the agenda light and knowing these are precious moments that do not last forever. I also reflect upon how much my parents did for me as a kid, and I want so badly to return that favor. Having them join us on our family vacations is not only meaningful but is also my way of saying thank you. Going on a road trip vacation with the extended family is not that easy in a single car and perhaps an RV is worth considering. Of course, you’ll need somewhere to store it – RV Storage Buildings are available to be constructed on your property should you need it.

Of course, if you do intend on traveling with older relatives it is important to make sure that you visit somewhere that everyone can afford. Our parents are very financially independent and have even released some of the equity from their home. They had thought about freeing up some of the value of their home to live out their retirement in style for some time, and after a friend told them to check out The Equity Release Experts online, the deal was all but sealed.

Our parents decided that they would much rather have the cash value of their property in hand to enjoy while they are still relatively active so that they can travel as much as possible. So far they have put the money towards well over a dozen exciting vacations. I do not blame them at all. Your retirement is all about doing what makes you happy after all, and thanks to retirement mortgages, more elderly people than ever before are enjoying their golden years to the full.

The other bonus to this traveling crew is built-in babysitting! I find that my husband and I can take a break and go out for dinner, and even have an evening alone. Sometimes when I get this opportunity I play bingo games on my mobile because it tends to give me stress relief as well as winning some cash. Recently I have decided to compare bingo sites so that I can find the best one for my money, either way, an evening alone is still bliss. It is hard to have a family vacation and also, somehow, simultaneously give oneself a vacation. The grandparents are the secret weapon for this. Even if you are still “on duty”, having another set of eyeballs on your kids, whether they are building sandcastles or monitoring pool-time, is extremely helpful. I actually read an entire book this past vacation.

Yes, there are amazing kids clubs, too. I have experienced them at Dreams Resorts & Spas and Beaches Resorts; however, still being able to all be together during the day is important to me. I don’t want to take a family vacation and not see my children.

The bottom line is that you should be appreciative when you are a multigenerational traveling crew. It is about time together, and we all know time is fleeting, especially when it comes to our grandparents.

No matter where you are going on your vacation or how many people you take, you’ve got to be on top of all your financials for it. Taking everyone on a countryside trip, (if you’re going across the pond to England) means that you’ll need to know the tax laws of that country and how they apply if you want to get a caravan, for instance, it also is the same for motorhomes and campervans and must be adhered to.

Divorce Diaries: Do Parents on Their Own Need a Plus One?

I’m a mom who does everything with my kids. And not only do I do, I like to try new things. If I didn’t have a fear of flying I would want to sky dive (although, I have looked at CBD oil law and it looks like this could be an option for when I do have to next get on an airplane to help me calm down a little). We scoot all over town. We play hockey, ice skate, ski, go on windy water slides, water ski, and I never met a roller coaster with too many loops or drops.

Going through the divorce process has not changed this either. Unfortunately, sometimes relationships and civil partnerships come to a natural end. Things are not always simple though and there are lots of reasons why a couple might decide to get divorced. Most importantly, no matter what the circumstances, if you are going through a divorce, then it is vital that you seek legal advice from a team of family law experts such as Simon Law. Divorce law can be complex and therefore it is in your best interest to work with a legal professional to help you both to reach the best possible outcome.

In situations where the father is present and known to authorities, this tends to make issues of child support easier when a couple is no longer together. Although a divorce is a hard thing to go through, I’m still glad their father is not absent. In cases where fathers have left the scene, it can become difficult for single mothers to claim child support when raising their kids. In these situations, something like DNA testing in Detroit may be useful to definitively state who the father is in cases where the actual father is disputing his own paternity and running away from his legal duties to act in the child’s best interests. DNA tests do away with any doubt even in situations when the mother is not sure who the biological father is too. These can be used in evidence when legal action is taken to get him to take some financial responsibility. It’s not pleasant, but it can be necessary for preventing raising a child on a single salary, which is notoriously difficult – especially while simultaneously holding down a full-time job. I don’t envy mothers who have to go through this ordeal, but at least there are services out there to help them.

So as we drove in our rented Kia, for a long weekend getaway with friends, to Woodloch Pines in Pennsylvania, even the car ride out of Manhattan is an adventure for us city slickers. As a “mom on her own” any experience or any road trip with my kids is something I thrive on. I like to show them the world. There’s nothing better than seeing them try new things. When we arrived was no better news than being able to snow tube at night.

We were the first ones on the hill. After a few pictures to document our venture, my older son went first. He went fast and had a blast. Then another family started just off to the side. I then raced down with my little one on my lap. As we sailed up a hill and gained more speed it was the feeling I not only loved but I also felt the excitement in my son lying on top of me. But that didn’t last. Seconds later, we saw the other family in front of us. Just there. And then BOOM. We crashed at full speed right into them. Jaylan was crying, my head hurt. I was looking at my son to make sure he was ok and he wouldn’t stop crying. Then I heard the mom in front of me screaming, “We need medics. We need help. Get help.” And I wondered if she saw something on my son that I didn’t. So I started to yell, “We need help”. But it wasn’t until I put my hand to my head that I realized they needed help for me. There was blood everywhere. It was all over me, dripping down my face, covering the snow around me and all over my white jacket. At that moment all I could think about was who would take care of my boys? We were there alone. Our friends were arriving in about an hour. I worried that with all the blood I might pass out. What if I had a head injury?

I gave my phone to my almost 9-year-old son and asked to make sure he knew how to use it. At this point the other family used snowballs to ice my head. I didn’t know where all the blood was coming from or what was really wrong with me. Two medics arrived and I tried to get up, but after a single step, this mom who thinks she can do anything, knew that with one more step I might pass out. So I sat back in the snow while they put a neck brace on for precaution and tied me to a board. And I just kept talking to my boys. I needed to see them, to hear them and to know that they were okay. I still wasn’t even sure if my little one was also hurt and now, lying on the board, I couldn’t see. I asked the other mom to go be a mom to my kids. I blurted out phone numbers. I wanted to make sure everyone there knew who to call. We called my friends to meet us at the hospital. I gave everyone around me my kids’ dads name and number. I made sure everyone was connected. That’s what kept me thinking. I needed to plan. I needed to make sure my boys were okay and in touch with everyone.

And when we were finally in the ambulance, my little one was beside me also strapped in as a precaution, I began to think, should parents on their own with you kids do things like this alone? What if I had passed out? What if something worse really did happen? After being up all night and traveling back to a hospital in NYC, getting 14 stitches 3 layers deep, I wonder. As an adventurous mom, as a mom who loves what I call our #travelingtrio do I now have to re-think certain things? I love our trio, I live for every single thing I do on my own with my boys. However, this accident has made me think. It was traumatic for my boys to see me scared, helpless, hurt, panicked, worried and concerned. They had all of the same feelings. So does this mean a parent on their own has to alter adventures? Do I always need a plus one?

I don’t know the answer to this. What I do know is I have two brave boys. And that’s a good start.

To see the article, visit the Huffington Post.