Know What You Need thumbnail

Know What You Need

3 Things by Amber Strocel,

3 Things by Amber Strocel,


You only find out what you’re really like when you’re under stress.

We just got back from a Spring Break trip to Disneyland, and boy did my parenting true colours come through. The good news is that it wasn’t all bad. For instance, when the rubber hits the road, I’m actually more patient than I give myself credit for. However, I’m also prone to lock myself in the bathroom to escape from it all.

I’ve discovered that the key to parenting success isn’t so much about changing yourself to be “good.” What is good, anyway? Rather, it’s about playing to your strengths and honouring your needs.

For me, that means giving myself periodic breaks, and then going full-tilt when my tanks are full. Your needs and strengths are probably different, though, and that’s as it should be.



If you yell at your preschooler across a crowded playground or library to come to you, there’s no way that kid is coming. At least, not if that kid is mine.

But if you kneel down and open your arms, they’ll happily run into them.

You look like a superstar — and you won’t be getting tons of looks from strangers as you strain your voice cajoling a reluctant three-year-old. Your mileage may vary, but with my children this trick works pretty much every time.


I heart my Envirosax.

They fold up super-small to fit in a purse or diaper bag, so I’m never without a reusable bag. This is great for a green mama like me, because I try to avoid taking a plastic bag whenever possible.
Picture 1

However, it’s not only about shopping.

The bags are also great for any time you need to carry something. With kids, this can mean treasures we find at the park, wet shoes or clothes — or even just a toy that they insist on bringing along and get tired of carrying.

Before I had kids, I had no idea how often I would just need a bag. Now that I’m a mom, I can’t live without them.


Contributor: Amber from
Catch up with her on her blog.
Follow her on Facebook.
Hang out on Twitter.
See her life in photos on Instagram.