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Home is Where the Heart is? Deciding if You Should Become a Stay-At-Home Mom

Home is Where the Heart is? Deciding if You Should Become a Stay-At-Home Mom

One of the most heart wrenching moments for most working moms is that day when you have to return to your job after maternity, leaving your baby at a daycare. Ugh! (insert scream here).  It does not matter if it is your first baby or your fifth baby, going back to work at that moment can be downright agonizing. Besides, being home healing from the delivery process and caring for your newborn baby can provide a much needed escape from your work environment. Who could not get use to 6-8 weeks at home (hopefully WITH pay)? Nice, right? That is a BIG DEAL in itself, but the bigger deal is that you get to be THERE for your child. THERE to take them to their doctors’ appointments, THERE to feed them, THERE to rock them to sleep, THERE to watch them laugh, etc. You get my point, right?

Deciding whether or not to work outside the home is a huge decision. In fact, it’s one of the most challenging decisions you may ever have to make. I have once before gone through the difficult process of making the decision to stay at home, and have also counseled with several women as they have toiled over making the same decision. I’m not naive. I know that this is a touchy issue among women. I am not here to debate either side. As a mom, I have both stayed at home and worked outside the home full-time. I can tell you that neither is easy. I choose not to judge either woman by their decision as to whether or not they work outside their home. I know great moms that stay at home and great moms that don’t. Ok, now that we have that cleared up, here are some factors to look at when determining if you will stay home.

Choice– I heard a great quote that says, “Life is choice driven. You live and die by the choices you make.” So true! Life is full of choices. Every choice has a price that you should evaluate upfront, and determine if you are willing to pay it. What price will you pay if you work inside the home full-time? Will it cost you a lessened household income that you feel would be financially detrimental right now? If so, are you willing to pay the price to restructure your budget, cut out some two income luxuries, and set new financial priorities? Are you willing to pay the price of discipline to pay down debt? NOTE: Deciding to stay home does NOT mean you have to take an oath of poverty. Remember, YOUR thinking determines YOUR living. Who says you will have to struggle to stay afloat just because you are not working outside the home full-time?  Even if someone else experienced at financial struggle when they left their job doesn’t mean that you will. Sure, challenges will come, but challenges come when you work outside the home, too! You have to trust God and walk by faith either way. Put a comprehensive financial plan in place and work the plan.

Agreement– Does your spouse agree that you being home is the right thing to do right now? If he doesn’t agree, don’t do it! Coming home without his agreement will only irritate him and put you in a position to have to constantly prove yourself to him. Agreement gives you creative power! You can accomplish more if you are on the same team than if you are fighting against each other. If your spouse does not agree right now, WAIT prayerfully and abstain from constant nagging and complaining about it. Search for creative ways to demonstrate to him how much more enhanced your lives would be if you were home.

Prepare– Make a plan for a smooth transition.  Maybe the time isn’t right for you to be home right now, but it is more advantageous to do it in the near future. Create a plan that you can work towards. Will you transition into part time work before coming home full-time? Will you run a home based business? If so, what steps can you take now to get that set up so that the transition home will be easy? In most cases, coming home isn’t something you want to do suddenly. You must prepare. Preparation days are never wasted days!

Purpose– What will be your purpose for being home? Defining your purpose or compelling reason why you are home will help you stick it out for the long haul. How long will you be home? Is it until the kids get a certain age or grade? What are your spouse’s expectations of you? Have a REAL talk about this one. There are lots of myths about being at home. Read my blog on the Top 4 Myths About Stay at Home Moms. It will help you set some realistic goals and expectations.

Supermom Tip– Are you thinking about making the transition to become a stay at home mom? Don’t make an emotional decision. When the emotion wears off, you will still have to live with your decision. Pray about it. Talk about it. Research it. Decisions like this take time. Don’t rush into it.

Let me hear from YOU. What are your thoughts on this blog? I love hearing from you!

Thank you for reading my blog. If you think it is helpful, please share it with others via your social networking sites and e-mail list. Go to comments, and look for the sharing options on this blog. I appreciate you!

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Posted by on April 19, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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4 Myths About Stay-At-Home Moms

4 Myths About Stay-At-Home Moms

If you have ever been a stay-at-home mom, chances are you have had a lot to deal with. Kids, schedules, duties, errands, etc. can seem never ending. It’s not like you need anything else to deal with, but you have probably had to deal with one more thing– the myths people have about what a Stay-at-home mom does.  In fact, you may have had your own myths before taking on this new role. Read these top 4 myths about stay-at-home moms, and see if any of these sound familiar.

Myth #1: You Don’t Work or Hold a REAL Job—This is so offensive it’s almost funny. A REAL job??? Hmm…maybe you’re right. It’s really more of an UNREAListic job at times.  Most “real jobs” give you a paycheck for your time,  offer insurance and investment benefits,  provide scheduled lunch breaks, give time off for vacation, afford you paid sick days, and here’s the best one—they have hours of operation so you get a start time and an end time to your day. Stay-at-home moms get NONE of that, and most are not sad about it. The benefit of time with their children far outweighs the benefits of a “real job”.

Myth #2: You Don’t Have a College Degree— Sure, you may have graduated from high school, but surely you don’t have a bachelor’s or master’s degree. I mean, if you did, you would be out earning a living at some top paying job, right? WRONG. Many stay-at-home moms have college degrees. The choice to stay home with their kids is just that—a choice. That choice usually has more to do with their beliefs about family, what’s beneficial for their family right now, or maybe even their religious beliefs.  They don’t believe staying at home with their kids is a waste of a degree, but an investment into their family.

Myth #3: You Have Unlimited Free Time—Oh yes, 24 hours of nothing to do. How dreamy! This misconception is often adopted by the new stay-at-home mom, too. The new stay-at-home mom tends to think she will have tons of time to pray and read her Bible (if it was not a priority before, it won’t automatically become one now that you’re home), go to lunch with friends (most of your friends will probably be at work), sleep in when needed (NOT), and catch up on television shows and other leisurely things (TV? What’s that?).   And let’s not forget the plans that your well-meaning family members have made for you now that you have all this free time. You can run their errands and handle business matters for them while they work. Friends may think they can call you daily and talk for hours since you’re home all day. Neighbors believe they can drop by unannounced or count on you to catch the delivery truck scheduled to drop off an important package at their home. After all, you have so much free time on your hands. Your spouse may be surprised and maybe even a little upset to learn that you haven’t accomplished a (un)reasonable amount of tasks during the day. He may ask, “ What have you been doing with all your free time?” Whoa, TIME OUT! (Insert a blow of the whistle right here). Here’s the truth. Time switches to warp speed when you’re at home. If you are not up and dressed by at least 10 am, your day will be gone before you know it. Also, kids can keep you very, very, very busy. If they are home they keep you busy. If they are at school, you still have tons of things to do around the house. If you volunteer some of your time, that makes your schedule even tighter.  If you are running a business out of your home, that makes you busy, too! Help your spouse, family, friends, and neighbors out by re-defining what “at home” really means. Lovingly establish boundaries with them. Help them understand that you are not on an extended vacation. You still do work, just at different address.

Myth #4: You Have No Money or You Have Excessive Money— They think, “You poor thing you.  You must be barely making it if you’re not holding down a steady job these days. After all, who can support a family in this economy without both spouses working? Or here’s the other extreme—They ask, “What line of work does your husband do that makes it affordable for you to stay home? He must make a lot of money. “  While those two scenarios may be the case for some moms that stay home, it’s certainly not the case for all. Many moms that stay home just make choices that financially support their decision. They also learn how to be creative and how to be content.  They believe that life isn’t always about them having the most, but simply about them making the most of what they have.

Supermom Tip– Know your value. Don’t allow anyone else define you or determine your value. Whether you work as a stay-at-home mom or work outside the home, YOU MATTER to God, your family, and your community.

Ok, so do you have any myths to add to this list? If you are a stay-at-home mom, have you had to deal with family or friends that held these types of beliefs about you?  If you’re a mom that works outside the home, did you ever think any of these myths about stay-at-home moms? I value your feedback and love reading your comments!

Thank you for reading my blog. If you think it is helpful, please share it with others via your social networking sites and e-mail list. Go to comments, and look for the sharing options on this blog. I appreciate you!

 
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Posted by on April 19, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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7 Budget Friendly Breaks for Moms

7 Budget Friendly Breaks for Moms

Let’s face it– moms are busy. Managing our personal universe in 24 hour increments is no small job! The day to day activities can take a toll on even the most organized mom. Sure, the family vacation is scheduled for this year, but what do you do when you need a break NOW and the annual family vacation is months away? You look in the mirror and unashamedly sing that old McDonalds jingle to yourself, “You deserve a break today!” I have learned by experience that taking mini breaks along the way help me maintain a sense of balance in my life. My motto is: Take MINI breaks to help prevent MAJOR breakdowns.  Regardless of your income, you can have the break you deserve! Here are my 7 Budget Friendly Breaks for Moms.

 

  1. Get Grounded– A coffee shop like Starbucks is a great place to chill out for a bit, get caught up on a book, or even do some light work on your laptop. Perhaps you can also enjoy your favorite coffee beverage while you’re there. The great thing about Starbucks is that it’s a huge chain, with locations everywhere. Chances are there is one near your house. That way, you don’t have to go very far to get away.
  2. Heavenly Hands & Feet– Smart nail shop owners are answering the relaxation needs of their clients by adding a spa-like feel to their nail shops. To help clients relax, they have thrown out the blaring volume flat screen televisions, and traded them for mellow music and spa like décor in a kid-free environment. Forget about scheduling pricey spa treatments weeks in advance. The easy walk in policy has made it effortless for you to just drop in on the fly and get a manicure and/or pedicure for a decent price.
  3. Walk It Out– Break out your gym shoes and take a stroll around your neighborhood or a nearby park alone. The fresh air and change of scenery can do wonders for clearing your mind. Take your iPod and listen to something inspiring, or simply enjoy the nature scene while walking or running in total peace and quiet.
  4. Road Runner– Do you live near a scenic highway or country road? Get in the car and drive on it. Don’t cloud your mind with a specific destination or time to get there. You’re not playing taxi, you’re just driving off into the sunset (haven’t you always wanted to say you did that anyway?).Enjoy the ride.
  5. Hotel California– Ok, so maybe you don’t live in California, but you can still go to a hotel. Staying 1-2 nights in a nearby hotel can provide relaxation wonders. Let the housekeeper clean your room, and be sure to take advantage of room service at least once. Consider using online bidding services like Hotwire or last minute deals at Hotels.com to find and book your room at an inexpensive price. It does not have to cost a fortune to live in luxury for a couple of nights. Sweet dreams!
  6. Staycation– If you were headed to an event or had to travel out of town, you wouldn’t hesitate to locate a sitter for your kids. Have you ever considered getting a sitter just so you can stay home? Consider doing it, especially if you can sit at home without thinking of all the work you want to do to your home. Take that uninterrupted bubble bath, sleep in, work on your hobby, etc. It’s YOUR time. Use it on YOU.
  7. Retail Therapy– No worries! I am not talking about going out and splurging, although that would be nice from time to time if it doesn’t set you back financially. If you love to shop like I do, set yourself a budget and buy yourself something. The only rule is that you have to spend the money on YOU! Even if you set aside $20 to spend, you can buy a new MAC lipstick, a fabulous pair of earrings, or maybe you catch an unbelievable clearance sale at your favorite store. It’s not really about what you get; it’s about putting YOU your mind. YOU MATTER!

 

These are just some of my favorite ideas. I hope you will be proactive about setting aside time to take a mini-break . Make these breaks happen for yourself. Don’t wait for someone else to do it for you.

 

Supermom Tip: An empty pitcher doesn’t help anyone in need of a drink. Fill yourself up first, and then pour out to others. Be good to yourself so that you can be good to those you serve.

 

 
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Posted by on March 9, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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The Making of a SUPERmom– How I Discovered My Cape

The Making of  a SUPERmom– How I Discovered My Cape

What makes a SUPER mom? I can’t say I know completely, but the perception is a woman who is able to do super human feats, above and beyond the norm. Ah, if that’s the case, I remember exactly when I discovered my “SUPER mom powers”.

Imagine this—I was a pregnant, twenty-one year old, recently married woman, enrolled as a full-time college student with my heaviest course load of 17 hours. Not a huge deal since my baby was due mid-May, just as the semester would be ending.  Everything seemed to be in sync until one day I experienced unusual pain. Through a series of fast and traumatic events, my husband and I found ourselves at a hospital that night making serious life and death decisions over the future of our unborn daughter and me. Trying to stop my labor posed as a major health risk to me and her due to other complications. At the same time, our daughter was a few weeks shy of being in the “safety zone” if we allowed her to be born then.  It seemed nothing was certain. Through a brief time alone together in prayer, we sensed the undeniable peace of God nudging us to allow her to be born right then. Fearlessly I went into surgery under a complete anesthesia.  I awakened later and learned that our 3 pound baby girl was here, but not without some complications that would keep her hospitalized for several weeks.

Before I ever laid eyes on her in that hospital, I was forewarned by the doctors and my husband that she probably didn’t look like what I expected. I didn’t care. I had already set my heart to love her anyway. I just needed to see her. I made the slow walk down to the neo-natal ICU and there she was. I was so unprepared for what I saw. I broke down in tears at the sight of my tiny little baby with tubes disguising her face and body as she lay on her back…fighting for every breath. I wanted to stay by her side and help her get better any way I could.

After a day or so, I was released from the hospital, but my daughter was not. How was I supposed to leave my new baby in the care of nurses and doctors while I went back home? Was I supposed to resume life as usual? How could I continue my hefty class load, along with its assignments and tests while constantly pumping breast milk for storing up and making frequent trips to the hospital? How could I balance this with my “regular” home life of paying bills and cooking dinner? To be honest with you, I didn’t know how; and I never gave it much thought. I knew I didn’t want to quit college mid semester, and there was nothing else left to take off my plate. So I just did what I had to do. I believed if my baby girl could fight every breath in that hospital, surely I could fight to finish that semester by the grace of God.

God harmoniously worked everything out for our good. Our daughter got out the hospital a little earlier than we anticipated. Most importantly, she was discharged much healthier than expected! No major medications or surgeries were needed. My grade point average was the highest ever during my time in college, nearing close to a 4.0. Although we lived a few hours from our biological family, our local family which consisted of friends from church, work, and school all helped by giving their sincere prayers and precious time to us. Looking back, I can see how God put his SUPER on my natural MOM abilities.  I stretched further, reached higher, dug deeper, and came out on top with His help. There is no way I could have done that on my own. Jesus Christ’s strength was made PERFECT in my weakness.

And that’s my SUPERmom story….well, part of it anyway. That experience changed my perception about what I could really handle. It would have been much easier just to quit school or at least drop some classes. By pressing in during that challenging time, I was able to graduate from college the next year. Oh, and today my oldest daughter is a smart and beautiful young lady.

I know that you have your own unique story. Many of you have so graciously shared them in the comment section of my previous blogs, and I love reading them!  Some of you are single moms, others are married moms, some of you have children with health challenges, and others of you are overcoming your own challenges. Regardless of the circumstances, I think the lessons in this blog applies to us all. What are that lessons? They are simple— Don’t quit. Trust (lean, rely, depend on) God. You can’t be super and sane on your own. He is the SUPER in SUPERmom.

Do you know another mom that could use this encouragement? Maybe she has her hands in a lot of things right now. Maybe life has dealt her some unexpected circumstances. Maybe challenges have caused her to give up on pursuing some personal goals. If you think someone else could be encouraged by this blog, please share, post, or tweet it. Thank you. Also, please leave your comments about when you “discovered your cape.” Your comments are so helpful to me and everyone that reads them. God bless you!

 
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Posted by on March 7, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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10 Mother & Daughter Bonding Ideas Under $10

10 Mother & Daughter Bonding Ideas Under $10
Looking for some great ways to strengthen the bond with your daughter? Face to face interaction with your child is one of the best ways to bond with them and to create lasting memories. Studies show that the time you spend with your kid makes a much more lasting impression then what you buy for them. So, regardless of your level of income moms, here are 10 ideas under $10 that you can do with your daughters. HAPPY BONDING!
  1. Bake Something NEW–  Open a cookbook, magazine, or go online and select a new dessert recipe and go for it! Be sure to select something with inexpensive ingredients. Even if your new dessert does not turn out perfect, the time you spend trying will be worth it!
  2. Manicure & Pedicure– Gather all your manicure and pedicure tools and have a party! Play music softly in the background and talk while polishing each others nails. Take small risks by choosing a nail polish color against your norm. Try creating designs to add even more fun to it. Nail polisher remover can easily get rid of anything you don’t want to showcase in public.
  3. Pajamas – Buy matching pajamas sets and designate a certain day of the week or special holiday to wear them. Take pics for your scrapbook or to share with relatives and friends.
  4. Fashion Show– Go right into your closets and create new looks for each other out of clothes you already have. Start the music and walk the “runway” in your home. Don’t be too serious when creating the looks. The more absurd, the bigger the laughs!
  5. Talent Show– Discover your inner poet, musician, or singer by hosting a talent show in your home. Forget over rehearsing, make it spontaneous!
  6. Movie/TV Night– Camp out on the sofa and watch a chick flick or a Lifetime movie marathon. Be sure to let your daughter choose something she likes. Even if it’s not your favorite thing to watch, it will mean so much to her to have your undivided participation.
  7. Book Club– Pick a great novel from the library to read together.
  8. Vision Boards– Grab some old magazines, poster boards, glue sticks, and scissors and create a vision board. What a great way to find out what your daughter dreams about doing someday!
  9. Talk Time– Go to your daughter’s room and just chill out. Turn off the cell phones and TV. Just be in their presence and the conversation will begin to flow. You might be surprised how much she’ll open up and share with you.
  10. Outdoor Fun– Be a kid again mom. Get on your bike or roller blades and go take your daughter for a spin around the neighborhood. Play outdoor sports, go for a walk, or swimming together if possible.

I have done ALL of these ideas and more with my girls and they loved it! Do you plan to try any of these ideas? Do you have some other fun inexpensive ideas to add to the list?

Supermom Tip: Remember to make the time to bond with your daughter. It does not take a big financial investment, only an investment of your time. The payoff is SUPER!

 
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Posted by on February 23, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Fire the MAID, Hire the COACH- Making the SHIFT

I confess I was sort of late learning to ride a bike. I was so girly, I didn’t want to fall off a bike and scar my legs (don’t judge me). By the time I got the courage to learn how to ride a one speed bike, most of my cousins I wanted to ride with had moved on to the ten speed bike. It was bigger and better, yet a little more complicated. The ten speed bike came with gears that I could shift to adjust the bike, making for a much easier ride up or down a hill. That feature alone made the ten speed bike better than the one speed bike. If you have ever had to walk alongside your one speed bike instead of riding it while going up a hill, you know exactly what I mean!

Moms, can you imagine life in one speed? I can. I did one speed for a while, but the journey got hard. Living life in one speed wasn’t intentional. It was subtle—very subtle. I imagine I was like most moms. My husband and I brought that beautiful bouncing baby girl home from the hospital and I went into action—feeding, changing diapers, bathing, changing clothes, combing hair, doing laundry, packing baby bags, and on and on and on. I did it day after day, month after month, year after year, and I neglected to shift. It just became natural for me to do it all, even after I had my second child. I was too exhausted as the mom of two young girls, only 18 months apart (yeah, almost twins). I did manage to make some minor adjustments along the way, but I can’t say I had actually shifted gears. I didn’t even realize I was supposed to shift gears. The realization came when my 7-year-old niece came to stay at our home for the weekend. She was about the same age as my girls, but she was extremely independent. She took showers (not 30 minute baths with the perfect water temperature, bubbles, and toys). She had selected and packed her own clothes, managed her own hair fairly decently, and much more. I was SHOCKED! It had never occurred to me that my girls were at the age where they could do more for themselves. Somewhere along the way, between the hustle and bustle of life, and the longing to just get things taken care of, I had become like a maid, an unpaid maid I should add.

That day I did what any good mom would do- I FIRED the MAID, and HIRED the COACH! This revelation did not mean I would no longer serve my kids, it just meant I would start training them as well. I honor and respect the position of a maid, and in no way am I putting it down, but in the life of a mom, the maid must be a seasonal position. You must know when to shift gears and start coaching instead. A maid does everything for you. A coach trains, instructs, and prepares you. Prepares you for what? They PREPARE you to WIN the upcoming game (of life). Once the game begins, the coach isn’t allowed to get in the game and play for the player. At best, the coach can give guidance from the sidelines. A great coach uses practice time to show the player what to do, watches them do it, and then gives them any needed correction or further guidance until they can successfully do it on their own. The coach is satisfied from seeing the player use the preparation he or she taught them, and score big during the game! Just like game day comes for the player, the day will come where your child will be on their own, putting all your instruction into action. Prepare them NOW to WIN when that time comes. But keep in mind, WINNING TAKES TRAINING!

That ten speed bike I mentioned earlier is much like the life of a mom. As our children grow, we have to make the necessary adjustments for a much easier ride. I have seen it time and time again, you know, that burned out feeling you get when you don’t shift gears. That is because LIFE IS NOT MEANT TO BE LIVED IN ONE GEAR. Most of the time when the moms I know get burned out I ask them what are their responsibilities and what are their kid’s responsibilities around the house. I have usually found it’s the mom doing it ALL! Some moms do it all because they got in one speed and stayed there. Due to a lack of knowledge, they missed the shift. Other moms do it all because they don’t want to teach and train. They figure it will save them time and frustration just to do it themselves. That way they know it will be done right. Then there are some moms who have a need to be needed by their child. They attach what they DO for the child with their VALUE to the child, so they joyfully do it all. Moms, please know you are an invaluable treasure simply because of who you ARE, not only because of what you DO for your child. You are valuable just because you are their mom. Remember, when you do it all, you rob your child of the benefit of being responsible and knowing HOW to do things. If the President and First Lady of the United States make their daughters have responsibilities in the White house, why can’t our kids have some responsibilities in our house? Let’s evaluate where we are now so we can make the SHIFT!

Evaluate What – Make a written list of what your household responsibilities are. The best way to get a complete list is to write down every household related thing you do over the next seven days. Seeing it in writing will give you much more clarity than just thinking about your responsibilities in your head. If you’re exhausted just looking at the list, you probably need to shift!

Evaluate Why– Look at each task on your list and ask yourself, “Why am I doing this?” Is it because your kids are infants? Is it because your kids are too busy (this busy kid thing will be in an upcoming blog)? Do you pity your kids, and think giving them responsibilities is unfair? Be HONEST with yourself. There may be some good reasons. There may also be some not so good reasons. It’s okay, that’s why you are doing this evaluation.

Evaluate Who & When– Who can do what you are doing? When can they start? This is about establishing age appropriate duties for your kids. If your toddler can take toys out the toy chest, they can also put toys back in the toy chest. Have you ever observed all the duties a child has at their school? Even the kindergartener has to empty their own lunch tray. Why can’t they empty their dinner plate at home? Can your 7-year-old access the cabinets? Have them help put away clean dishes. Maybe they can put canned goods neatly in the pantry. Are you still waking your kids up every morning? Why not get them their own alarm clock without a snooze button? Are you still telling them when to get in and out the shower? Put a timer in there; let them set it to 10 minutes before they get in the shower; when it goes off, they have to get out the shower. Can your child fold towels, move clothes from the washer to the dryer? Do they know their colors? If so, get a dark, white, and bright-colored laundry baskets and have them sort the clothes accordingly. Teach them to make their bed correctly, instead of you doing it for them. You get my point, right coach? Show them how, do it with them, watch them do it, make corrections as needed, and then let them have it. You will always OVERSEE everything and hold them accountable, but you don’t have to DO everything.

SUPERMOM Tip– Making the necessary shifts can help you not to burnout quickly. It’s not about making lazy moms, but making responsible kids! Coach your kids on how to do things for themselves. When game time comes, they will be ready, and you will be proud to watch them WIN!

What are your thoughts? Have you been the maid for too long? Do you plan to implement these steps? I enjoy your feedback and comments.

 
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Posted by on February 17, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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PREP(aration) SCHOOL

PREP(aration) SCHOOL

Frustration and tension you could cut with a knife…..These were not feelings of a woman that had just found out some heart wrenching news. Oh no. This was ME getting my two beautiful little girls ready for church every Sunday morning– alone. My husband would leave early to play in the band at church, and I was left to myself to find tights, dresses, bows, shoes, and all the other things little girls wore. (Insert sympathy here). Oh and somewhere along the way I was supposed to get myself together and show up at church on time, looking fabulous, feeling refreshed, and ready to worship! This was NOT my reality however. While I hoped and wished it would all work out, every distraction imaginable would come up. The tights I thought they would wear had a huge hole right in the knee area. The hair bow that matched the dress would be missing in action. I would manage to locate the right foot dress shoe, but what happened to the mate of that dress shoe when I needed it most? The ticking away of my precious time made it more and more apparent that my desired departure time was NOT going to happen. The tension would mount as I came to the harsh realization that I would be late…..again. Arriving late to church also meant there would be no space left in the nursery for my kids, and no seat left in the sanctuary. I felt defeated before I even left my home. Oh happy day……
During one of these Sunday morning drama filled episodes, I threw myself a pity party and invited the Lord to join me. I needed Him to tell me why this was so difficult for poor me to get to church on time. With tear filled eyes, I heard Him speak this within me clearly, “YOU are in control of your time.” What???? Did I misunderstand something here God? How is it that I am in control of my time when all these unexpected situations keep getting thrown at me? I mean, I AM THE VICTIM HERE, right? He said, “Everyone gets the same 24 hours.“ Finally, I got it.
You see, I felt like nobody had circumstances quite like MINE. I thought my available time was shorter than everyone else’s. I started to believe I was the only person in the world who had the horrible plight of getting two kids ready for church alone. Those, my friends, are the thoughts of a VICTIM, and a VICTIM never gets VICTORY, only SYMPATHY.
Once I recognized that dark evil forces were not congregating together every Saturday night to plan my Sunday morning demise, I saw who and what the REAL problem was. It and she could be found in my mirror. It was ME. Understand this–the mother of ten kids, the surgeon that spends 14 hours in the operating room, the pastor of a mega-church, the single mother that works full-time while working on her college degree, the elementary school teacher with the overcrowded class, the single father of a special needs child, the business owner, and I were all on a level playing field when it came to TIME. Each of us were dealt the same 24 hours to make it happen, regardless of our circumstances. Suddenly the tears dried up, the tension left, and I went from being powerless to powerful in an instant. Now all I needed was a STRATEGY. After I accepted the responsibility over my use of time, it was instantly clear what I had been doing wrong. I had not PREPARED. I was getting up every Sunday morning rolling the dice, hoping and wishing I would win, instead of planning to win. A WISH is NOT a PLAN. There is a great saying that says, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” Use the following tips to make your plan and WIN:


1) PREParation– Decide the night before EXACTLY what you and your kids will wear, and then do a dress rehearsal to identify any issues. Are the tights free of holes and do they still fit? Do their clothes have any missing buttons, stains that were not removed during the washing process, etc.? Inspect everything and address any issues. Once each piece passes inspection, put it all together on a hanger. Place smaller items such as jewelry, hair bows, socks, bow tie, etc. in a small bag, and place it on the neck of the hanger. This may not seem like a big thing, but it is. It is those little details we overlook that snowball and eat away at our time.

2) Plan– Write the vision. Write out a schedule and allot a certain amount of time to it. A written plan increases the chances of it being an accomplished plan. If your kids can read, give them a copy. Both time and money must be given a specific assignment upfront, or they will aimlessly wonder everywhere, accomplishing nothing. Write each task that needs to be accomplished and delegate a frame of time to it. What time will you be in the shower? How long? What time will you comb their hair, feed them breakfast? How long will each task take? How long does it take for you to get ready? Is it better to do that before you wake your kids up or after? Be very specific and don’t leave out even the smallest of details.

3) Delegation– What are you doing for your kids that your kids could do be doing on their own? (We will discuss this more in a later blog). Is there anything you can delegate out? Can you put premeasured cups of milk in the refrigerator and covered bowls of cereal on the table and let them take it from there? Can they dress themselves? Make their own bed? Can the older child help the younger child with some things? Sometimes we think we have to do it all, when we don’t really have to.

4) Organization– This is a blog subject within itself! Elimination and organization will make all the difference. Organization involves creating a systematic place to put things, and a systematic way of doing things. Why didn’t I make this step #1? I did not make it step #1 because getting organized is a project that can take time. You can make a lot of progress by doing steps 1 & 2, even though things are not quite organized yet. Designate time to get everything in order. You won’t regret it!

5) Celebration– You finally got it right so celebrate, and get the kids in on it! Create a special little dance, handshake, or facial expression with your kids when you all accomplish a goal. That celebration will create a special memory between you and your kids. Celebration creates motivation. Motivation helps create repeat performance!

SUPERmom Tip: Super moms don’t have to be stressed out moms. Eliminate the stress, strain, and frustration that come as a result of improper planning. Creating a winning plan will help you enjoy the life you deserve with your family!

Do you plan to implement any of these steps? Do you currently implement any of these steps? If so, how is it working for you? I would love to hear back from you!

 
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Posted by on January 26, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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