Play For Life

One of the things that makes parenthood so wonderful, wacky, intense, complicated and challenging is the constant change that happens when kids inevitably progress through stages and ages. As soon as you have something figured out with one child, they grow out of it and onto something new. With each of my children, there have been very few consistencies amongst them in terms of behaviors, emotions and milestones, making it seem like with each child we are experiencing everything for the first time all over again. It’s true that each child is different, and while it probably speaks volumes about our parenting style, we’ve truly let all four of our children lead the way through their young lives.

From sleeping patterns to potty training, ballet classes to soccer games, each child has chosen a different pattern and path that they felt the happiest and most comfortable with. Some things have been easier than others, and each child set entirely new expectations and fundamental differences that created new rule books for us as the parents. With four children ranging from age 1 to 9, we’re used to preparing for any and every possible variation of the most extreme circumstance, because the chances are we’ll hit four different parts of that spectrum in one outing. Always one to utilize the resources around me, I’ve found that HEALTHY ESSENTIALS® -a destination for helpful tips, tricks and even money-saving coupons-provides real-time insights and often answers that help me care for not only myself, but my family too – no matter what stage we’re in.


Outdoor sports tend to increase those chances, and with juggling 5 different activities between them during the week, we run the gamut on sports injuries, accidents and general personal necessities. Soccer is a sport that both Beau and Zoe are devoted to, and by proxy Jack, Evvie, and I are, too. We spend three or more days a week at the soccer field, and it’s often a muddy and sometimes even bloody experience. No matter what kind of day or week we’re having, we know that there’s a soccer practice or game likely right around the corner. Despite what can often be extenuating circumstances, the fresh air, exercise and excitement is usually exactly what we need to keep us motivated and invigorated. There are very few things that channel Beau’s spirit the way soccer does, and I suspect this will be the case for many years to come.

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One of the things that parenting has taught me is to always try to foresee any and every unexpected circumstance. Sometimes it’s easier than others, of course, but being able to pack accordingly is a key way that I try to always be prepared. Now that the weather is getting nicer, we’re outside as often as possible. Soccer is such an easy sport to incorporate into the day, so we keep a ball in the trunk of the car along with a kit containing all of our usual necessities: Water, BAND-AID® Brand Adhesive Bandages, NEOSPORIN® , diapers, wipes, plastic doggie bags, kids snacks (non-perishable), EpiPens and sunscreen. Our ABP (Always Be Prepared) Kit is small enough to keep tucked in the trunk or behind the drivers seat and pretty much contains everything I usually otherwise either keep in a diaper bag or forget to pack with the other sports/kid/pet gear that we almost always have with us. Beau is our child that usually ends up with skinned knees or with some variation of a kid wound as he plays hard and doesn’t think about safety as a first priority. We are almost always outdoors playing-mostly soccer, especially when we aren’t at home, and I don’t worry so much anymore now that we’ve been through the ringer more than a few times. However, I also know that a character BAND-AID® Brand Adhesive Bandages will cure pretty much any tearful, worried little face and generally never leave home without them.


Raising four children has taught me more about myself than anything I’ve ever experienced otherwise. I was never a very organized person, but being a parent showed me that in order for me to be successful, I absolutely must have certain things prepared and readily available for any unforeseen circumstance. Each child has their entirely own schedule, personality and disposition, but they all love to be outside playing anything and everything. If I can walk out of the front door knowing that I have pretty much all of the necessities packed even when I inevitably forget something, I feel confident that I’ll have some control in most other situations that present themselves, especially if an accident occurs.

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