1 // Our Professional Development
Don’t forget your own professional development! When I was an elementary teacher we had mandatory teacher workshop days and trainings, to help not only our readiness/understanding in the classroom, but also to keep our licenses current. I want to encourage you to invest (meaning, invest time and effort) in your own professional development as a mom! That doesn’t need to mean entire days dedicated to learning…although it could if that’s your style! But buying a couple motherhood or household management books and reading them for even an hour a week is a great way to “drip” that content and learning into your life. After all, motherhood IS a job. It’s an incredibly important one. If we attend seminars and ramp up on our knowledge and methods for an outside-the-home job, shouldn’t we similarly then do that for the job of motherhood? We want to be lifelong learners – we know we’ll never reach the point of knowing EVERYTHING as a mother, and that’s okay! We’re designed to need to lean on God in this beautifully intense role. But like I said, it’s great to have the desire and the commitment to grow in motherhood, so I want to encourage you to keep that curiosity and that desire to learn and grow as a mother!
2 // Use Your “Why” to Keep You From Caving!
Use your “why” to keep you from caving! With new routines or rules, or just discipline in general, if you’re not 100% fully on board yourself, then you’ll find yourself caving when your children test that boundary. Figure out your why; why did you establish that rule in the first place? Maybe it’s a particular character trait you want to encourage in your children. Ask yourself, even as a quick mental check-in (and soon it’ll become second nature): WHY do I care? (And why should I care?) For example, why do I care if my kids climb on top of the coffee table? Your parenting will be made more effective if you and your husband are on the same page, too. Even quickly briefing your husband when he comes home: “_____ lost her privilege to _____ today, FYI.” (That helps the parenting to stay consistent!)
3 // 5 Reasons to Strive For a Clean Home
I love having a clean home. Wiping the final gleaming countertop at the end of an afternoon cleaning spree is seriously satisfying! But life is busy and it can be difficult to catch up sometimes once we let clutter pile up! Luckily, there are no official awards in life for having a sparkling clean house (or penalties when we don’t!) – it is just something that we want to shoot for! A clean place brings with it benefits that aren’t simply shallow. I believe that there are some really valid reasons to strive for a clean home! Today I wanted to share some thoughts about my motivation behind cleaning.
4 // Get a Boost From “Passive Productivity!”
If you’re struggling with motivation or a lack of productivity at the moment…get those household machines running! (Dishwasher, laundry machines, even your crockpot!) It may sound like drudgery, to do supposedly “boring” homemaking tasks when you’re already feeling down, but I’ve found that doing the behind-the-scenes tasks that are NEEDED to keep the house running helps my mood (and my motivation) so much! So, get up off of the couch and get the dishwasher running, or my favorite: throw a load of laundry in the washer! It’s a not only a motivation boost to hear those household machines like the dishwasher running, but a mood boost as well, because you’re hearing your (passive!) productivity at work! That passive productivity is still productivity. Now, use that positive feeling of getting something done in the background to motivate you to work on the next more active task!
5 // The Pre-Errand (or Mid-Errand) Checklist
If you’re finding that your children are having a hard time like in public, these are some practical questions to ask yourself. The goal for us as moms is that this will eventually become automatic – and we’ll find ourselves double-checking these things BEFORE we go out to run errands in the first place! Why bother? Because we want to be compassionate towards our children as much as possible, especially when we’re taking them somewhere and will have specific or high expectations for their behavior. Being reflective and ultimately proactive will benefit us all in the long term!
6 // The 1-Touch Rule
Instead of shuffling items around all day, implement the 1-Touch Rule as much as you can in your household! You’ll find that your systems will run more smoothly, and you’ll be less bothered by clutter.
BONUS! Learn YOUR Organizing Style
It’s helpful (and freeing) to acknowledge that your organization style doesn’t have to be the same organization style as someone else! Then you can learn what your organizing style is and then adopt strategies that work for your style. THAT is what will keep your home running smoothly, not attempting to mimic someone else’s exact ways. For a little extra help: I found a site called Clutterbug (go to Clutterbug.me) a while back that has a free quiz to help you discover your organizational style, with free tips based on what your specific style is.
BONUS! Keep Scripture Nearby
A mom of four who I babysat for in high school had a Bible verse taped up above her kitchen sink, and it has really stuck with me all these years! We mamas find ourselves standing in front of the kitchen sink countless times a day, which makes it a wonderful place to renew your perspective in an ongoing way. Having Scripture posted visibly in your home (whether it’s a framed art piece that you frequently look at, or something much more simple like an index card with a verse written on it) is so meaningful. If you’d like to pick the same verse I have (which is the verse that mom had above her kitchen sink all those years ago), then I’ve got a printable version of Psalm 19:14 available for you at the button below!
BONUS! Sleeping in the Car (Planned & Unplanned)
We do a lot of driving in our family, so I wanted to share with you what our approach is when our children fall asleep in the car (sometimes we plan for them to, and sometimes we don’t!).
BONUS! “Triage System” When You’re Just Trying to Survive
We’re going back to the basics! There are certain seasons (such as a hard postpartum or sickness) when we’re just trying to stay afloat. That’s when we ask ourselves, “What would God have me do today?” and focus on 3 simple tiers of keeping the family (and ourselves) going. Once these tiers are accomplished, we can move on from there into extra tasks, projects, or creativity!