Benefits Of Burning a Bay Leaf in Your Home

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Bay leaves have been viewed as a valuable medicinal herb since the time of the ancient Greeks and Romans existed. These days however people mainly use them for home cooking, where as centuries bay leaves served an entirely different purpose.

In current times people generally use incense for burning, where as bay leaves were once burned in homes and places of worship. Some were for religious reasons, some even fantastical, but a scientific fact is a reason why others burned the leave as they contain a hodgepodge of chemicals beneficial to the body.

Below are a few health benefits you might experience if you burn bay leaves within your home.

1. Relieves Anxiety

Bay leaves contain a chemical known as linalool- which is a compound that helps reduce anxiety. The study showed that subjects felt the effect of the leaves in under 10 minutes of inhaling fumes.

2. Reduce Inflammation

Some of the medicinal properties of bay leaves include reducing inflammation in the body, especially within your joints. This healing effect comes from the chemical eugenol, which is found in bay leaves and acts as an all-natural anti-inflammatory cure.

3. Boost Immune System

If you are struggling to shake off a cold, bay leaves contain eugenol which has anti-oxidant properties and packed full of other vitamins and minerals necessary for a high-functioning body. Because of this, burning and ingesting bay leaves has the capacity to boost your immune system.

4. Cope with Diabetes

For this benefit, experts suggest consuming 1-3 grams of bay leaves a day to see the best results, as proven in a study published in the US National Library of Medicine. Consuming this amount of bay leaves for 30 left the subjects insulin levels decidedly more regular than before the study, leading researchers to believe that the anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties can help relieve some symptoms of Type II diabetes.

5. Increase Alertness

As we mentioned earlier, bay leaf smoke may have a calming effect, but it also increases alertness. In fact, burning bay leaves are often used to combat chronic fatigue! Some of the chemicals in bay leaves such as pinene, cineol, and elemicin fight feelings of tiredness and give a pleasant energy boost to those who inhale the smoke.

6. Open Respiratory System

Bay leaves are a natural remedy that can help treat clogged, backed up respiratory passages and lungs. It acts naturally to help break up and remove the nasty mucus and phlegm that’s causing all the problems. Instead of burning the leaves, soak fresh ones in clean water or pick up a small vial of bay leaf oil and use it in a humidifier to create a steamy vapor which you then breathe in. You can also simply boil the treated water on the stove top or rub the oil on your chest area to alleviate respiratory problems, allergies, and asthma.

7. Increases Mindfulness

Since bay leaves put you in a more heightened state of calmness AND awareness, using the leaves as an incense during meditation is said to be especially effective. There is no medical research on this claim, however, frequent users do associate bay leaf smoke with a more mindful meditation practice.

This train of thought goes all the way to the ancient Greek story of Apollo and Daphne. Mythology says that Daphne transformed into a bay laurel tree to escape the eager advances of the god Apollo, and the Greeks henceforth associated the leaves of the bay tree with spiritual properties. The leaves have been burned in temples for centuries to help increase focus on prayer and meditation.

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15 Simple Weight Loss Tips That Will Reduce Your Hunger

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Many people who being their weight loss journey will say just how difficult it can be.

Even if you dig deep and find the willpower to say no to unhealthy foods and snacks, working out is another game. 

A lot of people give up within a few months but if you stick to a rigid routine its half the battle.

Irrespective of the reason, be it financial, time, or energy restraints, lots of people find it difficult to maintain a workout regimen.

Although it may seen the odds are stacked against you, we have compiled some weight loss tips that might help you lose weight without having to exercise hard or stick to a strict diet.

1. EAT MORE SPICY FOODS.

While spicy foods won’t literally melt the fat away, they can help increase your metabolism and decrease your appetite. Things like mustard, black pepper, ginger, horseradish, chilies, cumin, and turmeric will do just the trick when it comes to helping you reach your weight loss goals. The main ingredient in spicy foods, capsaicin, is responsible for suppressing the appetite and boosting the metabolism.

2. INCLUDE CHIA SEEDS IN YOUR DIET.

Chia seeds have a lot of fibre, which will help keep you full and, therefore, eat fewer calories throughout the day. These seeds swell in your stomach to suppress your appetite and help with digestion. If you don’t eat chia seeds regularly, try them out in smoothies, yogurt, oatmeal, pancakes, or even on top of salads as an easy way to add them to your diet.

3. EAT APPLES.

Yet another food with a lot of fibre, apples also contain high water content, which can help to keep you fuller longer. Apples involve a lot of chewing as well, which means your digestive system will take longer to break it down. Not to mention, you can take an apple with you wherever you go, which makes them a great mid-day snack to power you through the work or school day.

4. DRINK PLENTY OF WATER.

As you already know, water is essential to our well-being. As for how much you need to drink, it really depends on the individual, but some studies have found that drinking water before meals can help curb your appetite. Drinking water also increases the amount of calories you burn, which will help with weight loss. In fact, one study found that overweight women who increased water intake to over one litre per day lost an extra 4.4 pounds over a 12-month period.

5.  FOOD JOURNAL.

Most people have no idea how many calories they consume on a daily basis. Keeping track of how much you eat can help you lose weight by seeing where you might need to make some changes. Of course, you’ll have to take into account how many calories you burn as well, but having a food diary is a great start to your weight loss journey. This tip may not suppress your appetite, but it will help you cut back on unnecessary calories.

6. DRINK MORE GREEN TEA.

After water, green tea is probably the best thing you can drink for weight loss. Not only does it contain a lot of antioxidants, but the caffeine content can help boost your metabolism and aid in fat burning. One compound in green tea called epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) is believed to be a key factor in boosting metabolism and decreasing appetite.

Green tea also affects two important peptide hormones – norepinephrine and dopamine – which activate the sympathetic nervous system and promote fat breakdown.

7. SNIFF PEPPERMINT.

This sounds like a strange way to help with weight loss, but hear us out. Peppermint contains certain compounds that help control cravings and increase metabolism. In fact, a 2008 study conducted by the Wheeling Jesuit University analyzed participants’ appetites after having them inhale peppermint every two hours for five days. Participants who inhaled the peppermint oil had decreased hunger and fewer cravings than those who didn’t inhale the oil.

Use pure peppermint oil and inhale it or put it in a diffuser.

8. USE GRAPEFRUIT ESSENTIAL OILS FOR WEIGHT LOSS.

Grapefruit contains a powerful compound called nootkatone that has been shown to turn on AMPK, an enzyme that controls metabolism and appetite. Grapefruit oil serves as a natural way to lose weight and control cravings. To use it, simply add a few drops to your water or tea, diffuse it, or apply it directly on your body.

9. BREATHE DEEPLY.

Too many of us breathe shallowly and quickly, which can amp up the production of cortisol. As a result, we grow more anxious and restless. Not only that, but increased cortisol levels have been linked to higher percentages of abdominal fat as well as BMI. Additionally, higher production of cortisol causes the body to become resistant to leptin, a hormone that sends the signal to your brain that you’re full.

So, the more cortisol you produce, the more you become resistant to leptin. This means you’ll have a harder time knowing when you’ve had enough to eat. When you’re stressed, you also tend to reach for high-fat, high-sugar, and high-carb foods because they produce serotonin and increase calm feelings. However, in the long run, these types of foods will only hinder your weight loss goals and possibly produce other health problems.

To prevent this whole cycle, it’s very important to control stress levels While breathing deeply alone may not eliminate your stress, it can certainly help you manage it better.

You can do deep breathing exercises anywhere, such as in your car on your way home from work or at the grocery store waiting to check out. However, it’s best to carve out some time after you’ve done all your errands and chores for the day and find a quiet place where you can relax. Breathe in deeply through your nose and out through your mouth, close your eyes, and try your best to clear your mind.

10. DRINK APPLE CIDER VINEGAR. 

Apple cider vinegar can help with weight loss because it contains something called acetic acid, a short-chain fatty acid. This helps lower blood sugar, decrease insulin levels, increase metabolism, reduce fat storage, burn fat, and suppress appetite. You should dilute it in water and have about a tablespoon three times a day for the best results.

11. PRACTICE MINDFUL EATING.

So many people today are distracted when they eat, which can lead to eating more. For example, let’s say you bring a whole bag of chips or cookies into your room while you watch TV. Chances are, most of the bag will be gone by the time you’ve finished your show because you were paying more attention to the TV than your food. To have better eating habits, it’s important to focus solely on your food while you eat.

Eliminate distractions such as your phone, TV, and computer, and simply enjoy your meal. Focus on the flavors, textures, sounds, and smells of your food as you eat it. Bringing mindfulness into your meals will not only make your food taste better, it can also increase your awareness of your body’s hunger cues, which will help you eat less.

12. EXERCISE BEFORE DINNER.

Some people say exercising before your day begins is best, but if you want to lose weight, try working out just before eating dinner. Some studies have shown that doing this helps decrease hunger hormones while increasing hormones that act as appetite suppressants.

13. EAT MORE VEGGIES.

Veggies such as broccoli, Swiss chard, and spinach are packed with nutrients and fiber. These will help keep you fuller longer. Try eating a big salad for dinner consisting of mostly greens; the volume will keep you full, which will suppress your appetite.

14. BRUSH YOUR TEETH AFTER EVERY MEAL.

This signals to your brain that mealtime is over. This will help you avoid the kitchen (and a lot of extra calories).

15. DRINK MORE COFFEE.

While coffee can increase anxiety in some people, it also helps boost metabolism and suppress your appetite. This occurs due to a compound called chlorogenic acid, which slows the absorption of carbohydrates and breaks down fat. However, make sure to drink it black with only a little cream and no added sugar for the best results.

If you enjoyed these tips then please SHARE this post with others on Facebook it might come in handy for the New Year.

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Mom warns parents after daughter’s face slashed by ceiling fan while on bunk bed

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As a parent there are often times we just want to take a few moments to relax . It may be while our kids are quietly reading a book, playing with their toys in the living room, or just chilling in their rooms.

But is that ever the case?

Elizabeth Louise, mother of 7 year old Tanya heard her daughter scream in horror while they were at a friend’s birthday party lately. She never imagined for one second that the cause of her daughter’s screams would be because of a ceiling fan.

Elizabeth and her daughter Tanya were celebrating a birthday party at one of their friends house one day when the unthinkable occurred.

Tanya was upstairs in her friend’s room, laying down on the bunk bed, while another one of the young girls innocently turned the ceiling fan on.

A few minutes after Tanya stood on the bed, but didn’t realise the fan was on. All of a sudden it slammed into her, severely slashing her face.

Without hesitation Elizabeth quickly rang for an ambulance and they were rushed to the emergency room. The 7-year-old turned to her mom on route to the hospital and said: “I don’t want to look ugly.”

Devastating Outcome

After examining the child, doctors realised the accident had caused a massive wound to Tanya’s face which had also caused nerve damage. Now she will be forced to have plastic surgery, at present she unable to smile or feel anything on the side of her face that was injured.

“I’m heartbroken for her knowing she will have a massive scar across her face,” Elizabeth explains “Hopefully (this) can be fixed but we won’t know if it is for a couple months.”

Urgent Warning

Her mother later posted images of her daughter’s horrible injuries on Facebook to warn other parents about the dangers of combining ceiling fans with bunk beds.

The post has circulated online, while many express sympathy for Tanya’s terrifying ordeal and wish her a quick recovery.

Her says that Tanya’s condition is improving but slowly.

My little princess is out of surgery and feeling good,” she wrote in an updated comment on Facebook. “She is one brave girl definitely braver than mummy. All she wanted to do when she woke was to colour in and eat pancakes.”

Elizabeth shared her plea to other parents: “Please please don’t have bunk beds near a ceiling fan.”

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Police officer shares powerful letter after stopping teen driving at 100mph – you should all read it

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Regardless of how many times we might repeat the same message numerous time,  speed kills, people seem to be willing to risk their lives – and those around them – by driving beyond the speed limit.

Sure, we’ve all went over the limit while not paying attention. Maybe you’ve done 35 in a 30 zone, or perhaps even 40 in a 30 zone. No one is perfect, I’ll give you that. However that does not mean we could all do with a reminder of the devastating effects that can occur when one loses concentration when behind the wheel.

In the North Ridgeville Police Department,  one particular police officer made an attempt to send a stark warning this Christmas via a harsh Facebook message. Now everyone should have a read of it …

The warning

The officer in question says he stopped an 18-year-old kid who might have been “minutes away” from causing a Christmas tragedy.

Apparently the kid was driving in excess of 100mph, but the officer stopped him before any accident occurring. Thats when he decided to share this open letter to the kid on Facebook, and it’s something that’s rapidly gaining attention online…

“To the 18 year old kid I stopped on SR 10,” he writes.

“You’re welcome. I’d like to believe that you were minutes away from creating an unspeakable Christmas tragedy when I stopped you. If not only killing yourself, you were well on your way to killing some innocent person who was minding their own business doing nothing else wrong but being in front of you.

You said you didn’t realize how fast you were going. That’s a lie. You may not realize when you’re doing 45 in a 35 but you are fully aware of every mile per hour at 100. You realize it with every bump you hit. You realize it as you pass cars so fast the wind moves your car. You realize it every time you drift over the line and when you move the wheel the car reacts a lot quicker than you’re used to. You absolutely realized it.

You were scared when I stopped you. You were visibly shaking and breathing hard. Unfortunately, you were scared one minute too late and for the wrong reason. You should have been scared that you were trying to kill yourself. I know you’re invincible. I know that you can’t even fathom your own death.

I can tell you dozens of stories of dead and broken 18 year old bodies that I’ve pulled from cars. Broken bodies that I’ve found in front yards after crashes. Unrecognizable bodies. They thought they were invincible too. They weren’t. They were gone so they missed the part where I had to tell their parents that they were dead. Part of your soul disappears every time you have to tell parents that their kid is dead.

I don’t KNOW your parents, but I know them. I know that when you leave every day they say “Be careful. Drive safe.” Those aren’t just words. That is the very last act of them pleading with you to come home safe. When they get a knock on the door, it’s not “Good afternoon ma’am. Your 18 year old son just had a massive heart attack. It’s “Can we sit down? Your son has been involved in a very serious crash. I’m so sorry. He’s died.” When you leave the house they know that, far and away, the best chance you have of dying that day is in that car. Sometimes you’re the innocent person hit by someone with no regard for anyone else and sometimes you’re the one with no regard for anyone else. Today you were the latter.

I don’t KNOW your parents, but I know them. I know that when you leave every day they say “Be careful. Drive safe.” Those aren’t just words. That is the very last act of them pleading with you to come home safe. When they get a knock on the door, it’s not “Good afternoon ma’am. Your 18 year old son just had a massive heart attack. It’s “Can we sit down? Your son has been involved in a very serious crash. I’m so sorry. He’s died.” When you leave the house they know that, far and away, the best chance you have of dying that day is in that car. Sometimes you’re the innocent person hit by someone with no regard for anyone else and sometimes you’re the one with no regard for anyone else. Today you were the latter.

Slow down. Please. You are not invincible. I promise.”

Each year thousands of fatalities occur due to people driving too fast.

If you agree with this police officers message then please SHARE this post with others on Facebook to help save lives.

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Parents Who Participate In ‘Elf On a Shelf’ Are Damaging Their Kids, Claim Psychologists.

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Although many people like the idea of ‘Elf on The Shelf’  some have are spoken out against it. Perhaps it does keep the children in line with Christmas approaching but it seems you could be creating more harm than you realise.

Think about it for a moment, having an elf in your home who comes alive while you sleep is a little on the creepy side. There’s a possibility it be dangerous to your child’s psyche?

I mean take a look at this Amazon ad, seems a little over the top, wouldn’t you say:

“Every year at Christmas, Santa sends his elves to watch you. And they go back and tell him who’s been bad and who’s been good. The Elf on the Shelf is watching you, what you say and what you do. The Elf on the Shelf is watching you, each and every Christmas.”

This is a play of power in more ways than most realize. Instead of addressing the issues once children misbehave, parents simply say ‘the Elf is watching you better behave’ or ‘the Elf will tell Santa to leave all your presents behind if you act like that.’ It’s a temporary fix encouraging them to behave when they want something.

Tim Kasser, a psychology professor at Knox College explains:

“There’s a very clear message with something like [Elf on the Shelf] and with the whole Santa Claus ‘naughty or nice’ concept, which is: If you’re good, you’ll get stuff.”

It isn’t doing our children any favours by pushing them to be more materialistic. If used incorrectly many psychologists have highlighted how dangerous this kind of thing can be. A couple of years ago Dr. Vanessa Lapointe, a parenting expert wrote on this topic stating the Elf on the Shelf is not for her, also noting how some parents could opt to keep the elf without going overboard with it.

She also says that parents should avoid using the elf as a ‘spy’ and do what they think feels best. If they chose to leave the elf literally on the shelf, that is okay. The whole idea behind this is actually not as fun for the children as you might believe. Having a snitch watching their every move isn’t going to make them admire the concept even if it does cute things during the night.

Behaviour issues won’t be resolved overnight. Perhaps using Elf on the Shelf in a different manner may work better. Instead of using him as a person who watches for bad things perhaps  he should focus on the good deeds.

Although many are going to be quite divided, I think at the end of the day regardless of what you choose to do in regards will be fine. 

Take a look at the video below for more details on this topic.

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Hero Trucker Sees Distraught Girl Looking Out Of Parked RV, Spots The Curtain And Runs Over

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Back in January 2015, Kevin Kimmel a truck driver had stopped to rest in New Kent, Virginia. While sipping on his cup of coffee, Kevin happened to notice something strange inside an RV parked nearby.

He spotted a young woman sitting behind a dark curtain through the window. “An older RV, black curtains — in my world, that’s not natural,” he explained.

Feeling slightly concerned the trucker could tell by the look on the girl’s face that she seemed to be distraught… and in possible danger.

Following his gut instinct Kevin proceeded to contact the local police. Thanks to making the right call he ended up saving this young woman’s life that very day. Following the incident he gained more insight and now feels obliged to spread awareness.

I’m just happy I helped her,” he said. “I’ve got daughters.”

Kevin still drives a truck — while he tours the country he speaks about his experiences at anti-trafficking events. As he and fellow truckers spend so much time in different places where victims pass, he speaks about the warning signs and the importance of following the rule should you notice something, you should take action. Especially when you consider one phone call saved a life.



If you agree Kevin deserves praise then please SHARE this story with your friends on Facebook.

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Why Stay At Home Moms Feel Depressed?

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Stay at home mom (SAHM) depression… is a topic that people avoid as nobody seems to want to talk about it. Seriously, how dare you complain after being given the opportunity to stay at home and raise your own kids?

However things aren’t that simple: yes indeed we SAHM’s are eternally grateful to stay home and raise our young, but literally thats all we become.

No one talks about the isolation, the loss of identity, the loneliness, losing your sense of self, not to mention giving up your career because it’s cheaper for you to remain home.

Nobody seems to talk about how you cry in the shower because your day was overwhelming. Who understands why you’re tired or irritable. Seriously all you want is mental break but nobody understands why you are aggravated with your kids.

When you’ve been at home all day and the house is still wrecked, nobody gets it. Or why you just need 5 minutes without anyone speaking or touching you. How could you possibly lose your sex drive. I mean there’s no reason you should feel totally and utterly exhausted, after all, you just sit at home all day.

Show me one person that understands the feeling you have when you are told you don’t have a “real job.”

I’m sure we were all working women at one stage. We got to work and interact socially with other adults outside our home. Financially we were independent and able to contribute to our household.

You don’t feel like an endless maid. You got that break away despite that love/hate feeling with work, it allows you to have breathing space from the people you live with (children, spouse, etc.). Every relationship requires time out otherwise you would go crazy being around each other 24/7. Besides it’s not healthy. Contrary to popular belief – you do need a daily break.

I don’t know how many women I encounter say “oh, you have too much time on your hands,I sure wish I could stay home, I wouldn’t complain.

Great I’m delighted for you!

Give it 6 months and I can guarantee you will change your mind, unless of course you are wealthy and have money to constantly go do things. There was a time I once was you. I wished for the day I could stay at home with my kids because I wanted to spend all my time with them. Now I realise what being a SAHM is truly all about.

Yes you chose to have kids, thats something you should have thought about that before having them. If you didn’t want to go through all this you should’ve never had kids. What,  you want more kids?

Sound familiar?

When you next hear a SAHM venting her frustrations, be sure to listen and make her feel like she is somebody and her struggles are valid.

VISIT MOMMA’S TIRED ON FACEBOOK!

This post floating has been around Facebook. It was written back in April because of how motherhood was making her feel like she was losing herself. If you women can relate read more on Facebook at Momma’s Tired.

Take a look at the TEDx video below on tips how to avoid becoming depressed if you are a stay at home mom (or dad.)

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Boy Unwraps The Only Present He Asked For At Christmas, His Emotional Reaction Says It All

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Children around the world write their wish lists to Santa without fail every year. Although each year popular gifts may change, the excitement of opening presents for children on Christmas morning remains the same.

The majority of children look forward to sitting on Santa’s lap and asking him for Christmas gifts. Generally they request inexpensive gifts that are easily found in a store from their parents and on occasion they may ask for things that aren’t from a store.

In a perfect kind of world everyone would gather around the Christmas tree to open presents and enjoy the holiday season with their family. However this isn’t the case for everybody. People in the military in particular know exactly how difficult it can be to celebrate the season while members of their family have been deployed 

A boy called Xander only desired one thing for Christmas. Unfortunately, this gift wasn’t something that could be sourced easily in store and left under a tree. 

Xander’s aunt, Jadin Hart, shared a video on Twitter which has since gone viral on December 14th. Her captain on the video reads, “My nephew got to unwrap the only Christmas gift he asked for a few days early and his reaction broke my heart”

From the noise in the background, it’s evident that Hart and Xander aren’t the only ones in the room. It seems there are a few family members around waiting patiently for Xander to his Christmas present early.

The box is so big that it doesn’t even fit under the tree and covers a good d part of the tree in the video.

Although Xander seems excited to open his present early, he takes his time. Perhaps he is wondering what could be in such a large box.

As he slowly removes the wrapping paper, and peeks inside, he sees the best present ever. There were tears in our eyes when we saw his reaction. Get the tissues ready.

You can clearly see Xander’s reaction in the video below when he saw what he got for Christmas.

Take a look at this touching video which has been viewed over 6.5 million times and has over 7.6K comments including one by John Krasinski that reads, “Wow…wow… Redefines ‘happy holidays’.  Here’s to you and yours!”

If you were moved by this touching story then please SHARE it with your friends on Facebook

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Blogger Shares Chart Comparing Working Moms To Stay-At-Home Moms, Is Going Viral

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A common conversation most women will discuss at some point is wheter or not they are better off out in the task force or remaining at home to take care of their brood. Something that is a personal decision to all of us for many different reason. Blogger Lori Alexander seems to have caused quiet an uproar on social media after sharing a chart called “Should Mothers Have Careers?” According to a lot of women the chart is totally ridiculous.

The post was shared by Lori on the Transformed Wife which details her life about Christian motherhood and marriage. The image is displayed like flowchart, with working moms’ lives on one side and stay-at-home moms’ lives on the other.

Recently Lori fanned the flames by posting this flowchart about working moms vs. stay-at-home moms. The post has nearly 2,000 comments and counting, and well… you can see why.

On the working mom side, life seem to become progressively worse and worse.

Away from home hours every day,” the chart reads. “Comes home exhausted. Dinner is usually fast food or microwaved.” Also: “Too tired for intimacy with husband.”

Apparently for stay-at-home moms, life is seemingly a breeze.

Home all day long,” the chart says. “Rests while her children nap. Dinner is from scratch, nutritious, and delicious. Reads to children, plays games, disciplines, teaches about Jesus all day long.”

It seems the chart concludes that stay-at-home moms have way better lives.

Sparking responses from both working moms and stay-at-home moms to prove her wrong, and it seems the responses are spot-on.

Most of the remaining comments are from wives and mothers who didn’t really appreciate being pitted against other moms.

Now that the post is drowning in angry comments, Lori hasn’t bothered to reply to most of them.

But Lori did have a response for one mother who wrote that she was never able to rest once while her children napped.

It’s your own fault if you didn’t nap when your children napped,” she wrote. “There are areas that we have full control over as mothers being home full time,” Lori adds.

So moms the answer is simple! If you have a job then you should quit, stay at home everything will be just perfect. 

If you feel strongly about this post then please SHARE this with other mothers on Facebook.

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Parents warned about this Facebook trend, but for this mom, it’s too late. The photos are everywhere.

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For this mom though, the warnings came too late: Investigators found the photo of her daughter on a dubious child site. There seem to be people out there who scan social networks with the sole purpose of finding photos of children to then trade. This mom made it easy for the perpetrators because the photos of her daughter were on Facebook for all to see. So this “Motherhood Challenge” has now become the touchstone for the privacy of children on the net.

It’s a humid summer’s day: At a public outdoor pool, a mother takes a photo of her daughter with her smartphone. She wants to share the photo on Facebook, contributing to the so-called, “Motherhood Challenge”, where proud mothers showcase pictures of their children. The mother accepts the challenge and uploads a picture of her daughter in her swimsuit. What this leads to could have been prevented, had the mom listened to the known warnings.

Police worldwide are warning parents not to publish photos of their children on social networks. And here are four very good reasons why parents should listen:

1. Children’s photos play straight into the hands of stalkers and sex offenders. Strangers can help themselves to these photos and also find out where the child and family live.
2. Children’s photos give a bad example in terms of data protection: parents are consenting to their privacy being exposed on the internet.
3. Children’s photos make identity theft easier for strangers wanting to falsify user profiles with these photos in order to approach other children or adolescents on the net.
4. Children’s photos lead to bullying. Of course, the parents find them cute but later on when the children reach puberty, they could become victims of bullying because of the flood of images.

Many countries are debating the prospect of tightening the laws of data protection in order to better protect the privacy of children. France is acting as a role model in these matters, whereby the publishing of pictures without the consent of the person is penalized with a fine of up to $50,000 or a year in jail. It is a strict law, which can also be applied retrospectively. This means that even adult children could sue their parents for illicitly posting pictures. Facebook even wants to react to this problem by warning about the future uploading of images when they are posted publicly.

flickr/Donnie Ray Jones

The data protection issue has been cause for concern for a while now and not only when children’s photos are involved.  In this day and age, with face recognition and data theft, you should really seriously consider what details you reveal about yourself. Tips on how to protect your privacy on Facebook can be found here and under settings, you will be able to see who has access to your photos and posts.

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