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Me Time



Just for Women

1. Go ahead, brag about YOU for once
Many stay-at-home moms have plans to return to their professional lives at some point in the future. Job coach and career counselor Jay Lang of Middletown says it's important for moms to keep detailed records of their volunteer work, so that all relevant experience is included on their resumes when it's time to go back to work.

"Employers want to identify measurable accomplishments and transferable skills," he says. He also says that resumes should be "industry agnostic." Meaning, it's not in what field you volunteered, but what you accomplished for the organization that matters. Did you organize ticket sales for an annual fundraiser? Did sales grow year-to-year?

Lang says this is the perfect example of something to be put on a resume - include how you achieved those results. These tips and more are shared with clients at the Orange County One Stop office, on Mondays and Wednesdays at the Newburgh location and on Tuesdays and Thursdays at the Middletown location. Workshops run from 9am to 12pm and from 12:30 to 3:30pm. All job seekers are eligible to attend the workshops.

2. What’s all the buzz
Grai St. Clair Rice of Honey Bee Lives in New Paltz says that setting up and tending to a couple of beehives in your backyard can be a very rewarding and joyful experience.

She says that while it's not a very complicated hobby, hosting bees takes a bit more work than it used to and it's good for those who are curious about it to know what they are actually getting into before starting.

Bee Lives is hosting an introduction to beekeeping class that Rice says she'd also recommend for those looking to make their backyards more bee-friendly. The class will be held on Sunday June 11 and Saturday June 24 from 10am to 12:30pm and costs $30. To register, go to honeybeelives.org. Learn what to plant in your garden to attract bees and learn how to make "bee tea" (a concoction that mimics pollen) by visiting honeybeelives.org.

READ MORE: 5 reasons to visit Livingston Manor

3. Cash in on FREE classes
Your local library has so much more to offer than stacks of books and the children's section. For example, the Kingston Public Library holds a weekly Stress Reduction through Meditation workshop on Mondays. The Starr Library in Rhinebeck has a special event on June 23 at which you will learn the moves and benefits of belly dancing.

The Newburgh Free Library will play host to a special workshop led by the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival in which participants will collectively create a play about the women's suffragette movement. These are just a few of the self-improvement programs offered at your local library. To find similar programs in your area, visit our calendar or visit your local library's website. Make sure to call in advance to ensure spots are available.

4. Drop the martini... it’s karaoke time!
A huge part of Me Time is remembering what life was like before kids - imagine putting your needs first, if only for just one evening. For those of you who used to perform in high school or always wanted to give it a shot, now is the time to get up on stage!

There is a lively music scene in the Hudson Valley and that means plenty of open mic nights. The Town Crier in Beacon has two free open mics every week beginning at 7pm on Mondays and Wednesdays. On the other side of the river, all types of artists - singers, musicians, poets and performance artists - are welcome at the Art Bar Gallery in Kingston from 8 to 10:30pm.

There are plenty of other options for moms who may not feel comfortable performing in a bar type setting. Grab a coffee and a sweet treat at Taste Budds in Red Hook and then wait your turn to take the microphone on Thursdays from 6:30 to 8:30pm. And an even quieter setting might be the Clinton Community Library in Rhinebeck where musicians are invited to perform the fourth Friday of every month at 7pm.

READ MORE: 7 art-filled day trips

5. Dear sleep-deprived mom: GET OUT!
"I'm a mom, I don't GET alone time!" - says almost every mom everywhere, but when alone time doesn't organically present itself, it's time to carve some out for yourself. Whatever it takes! "Sometimes you just have to grab a good book, lock yourself in the bathroom, and disappear for a few minutes," says wife and mother Hope Sims of Westchester County.

"When I really have time, I like to go to the spa for a massage and a pedicure." Finding alone time can be even more of a challenge for moms that work outside of the home. And then a few minutes to one's self might be used solely to catch a little more shut-eye.

"If I get alone time, I use it to catch up on my sleep," working mom Crystal Shue of Orange County says. If paying for a babysitter is over your budget, try setting up a Me Time Co- Op with a small group of your mom friends. Each co-op member would be responsible for watching everyone's kids once a month while the other moms enjoy some much needed me time.

Sticking to a strict schedule of when your kids go to sleep - and most importantly, in their own rooms, is also important to ensure that you have a little time to yourself to read, watch TV or to zone out, after they have peacefully gone to sleep.

Brilah Harris is a writer from Newburgh and a regular contributor to Hudson Valley Parent.