1 // Get Out of the House
Getting out of the house is a huge mood booster and perspective shifter! When Sophie was a baby, we’d even walk the short walk to the post office in our small town. Even though I’m an introvert, I thrive on having some sort of outing at least several days a week, no matter how small it is.
2 // Cruise Ship Activity Director
We are not our children’s “cruise ship activity director,” and that’s okay! It is good to let our children learn from boredom, and it is freeing for us as moms to acknowledge that we don’t have to fill every moment of the day with a structured activity!
**Check out Abbie (M Is For Mama) on Instagram! She also wrote a great book on motherhood – the link for that is below.
3 // How to Write an Efficient Grocery List
Writing a grocery list efficiently actually makes a big difference!! My best tips for writing an efficient grocery list are in this video!
**Here’s a link to Evernote, where you can set up a free account for a note-taking app that syncs between your phone and computer:
4 // Make Mundane Tasks Feel More Lovely
Find ways to make mundane tasks feel more lovely. The way I see it is: If you have to do a task, it might as well be something you look forward to! Of course, some jobs are just plain exhausting or unpleasant, but try to think of ways for that chore to at least be something you can semi-enjoy! When you figure out ways to enjoy them a little bit more, you’ll find that some dreaded household tasks aren’t actually that bad!
5 // How to Incorporate Educational Moments Into Your Day
Tack on educational moments TO your current routine! We can think of these as “teachable moments,” and if you start watching for them, you’ll soon see that teachable moments surface very frequently during the day! A few ideas: Practice counting, practice letters/the alphabet, try some rhyming words… There are so many ways to add educational moments to what is already going on every day.
6 // Sock Hacks!
Washing (and drying) all of those little socks together in a delicates bag makes a huge difference! This is such a small but life-changing laundry hack, and it’ll save you lots of time when it comes to sock matching and laundry folding.
**The book that mentioned washing and drying socks together is The Lazy Genius Way.
PS – Something new my family started doing this year was keeping our socks (the kids’ and mine) downstairs near our shoes! We match them up and store them in a little bin in our entryway closet. It’s been the perfect spot for us to realize someone needs socks on, and grab them before we head out the door! Additionally, we now only buy one color for each of our older children’s socks! Sophie = white and Soren = black socks! It eliminates so much decision fatigue!
You can hear about all of these more recent sock hacks in detail, plus other more minimal home organization tips, in this video:
BONUS! Strategies for Prioritizing Hydration
I used to do a poor job with hydration – actually, for most of my life, I’m pretty sure I was probably quite dehydrated! A number of years ago, I decided to focus on hydration as one of several ways to take care of my body better. And, it truly makes a big difference! It seems like a common sense routine, but to this day I still have to remind myself to hydrate well. In this video, I’m sharing strategies I use to keep myself hydrated! Taking care of our bodies well is one of the ways we can actually be a more present mama!
**Here are the items I mentioned in this video:
Iron Flask Water Bottle (I have two of the 20-oz. ones and they are my current go-to water bottles!):
Munchkin 360 Cups (I used and loved these for so long! Great if you aren’t into bottles with straws):
TrueGrapefruit Water Flavor Packets (no sweetener – just the essence of the fruit, similar to squeezing a wedge of fruit into your water):
Liquid I.V. Hydration Packets (this does have sugar but it’s a delicious way to turn water into an electrolyte beverage – my favorite flavors are Lemon-Lime and Guava. Don’t drink in the evening – the vitamins may keep you up late into the night like they did for me! A good lunchtime or naptime drink!)
**More recently, I’ve been loving LMNT (it’s sweetened with Stevia, and doesn’t keep me up at night if I have some in the evening). I generally drink one packet of LMNT every day during the kids’ Quiet Time. It’s an electrolyte drink mix and pretty salty, which I love, but I do mix it with about 4 cups of water.
At the end of the day, though, just remember to treat water like medicine (remind yourself how good it is for you to continually drink!), and keep it nearby at all times!
BONUS! Our Toddler Clock + How We Use It
Consider getting a toddler “ready to rise” clock! We love ours so much! I can’t tell you how helpful it has been for our family as our daughter has been learning the concepts of time (and also patience!) over the past couple years. These toddler “ready to rise” clocks are pretty popular right now. It’s basically a clock that you can set to signal to your child that it is all right to get up for the day. Of course, we’ll still go to Sophie if she happens to need us during the night or has some kind of an emergency (or, as she puts it, “I have a little problem!”), but this clock has helped her to determine if it’s really time to be up in the mornings and that’s what we love using it for. When her clock turns green, she can come into our room and say good morning – which, in our family, means she comes in and says, “Mama, Daddy, my clock is green!” 🙂 Some families do even more with the yellow setting of the clock, and I may do that in the future, but for now, this simple emphasis on the clock’s green setting works perfectly for us!
I highly recommend a clock like this because it serves as a great tool for teaching littles to be patient and respectful in the morning, as well as the general concept of time! 🙂 With a bit of training and practice, incorporating a toddler “ready to rise” clock into your day can help everyone feel like the morning routine – and therefore the day – is off to a good start.
** Update: Many people also love the Hatch nightlight (it has more features and you can control it from your phone). I happened to find one at a secondhand store at a deep discount, so we now use that now days, but the overall concept of giving the children an “okay to come out of your room” clock is the same!
The “Ready to Rise” clock I mentioned in this video is from the brand Little Hippo, and it is the Mella Alarm Clock. Here’s the (affiliate) link if you’re interested in checking it out:
Here’s a link to the Hatch nightlight, too!
BONUS! Future Adults
As much as I may want to keep my littles little forever…we always have to remember, we’re actually raising future adults and it’s awesome (and important) to see them grow!
** List a few character traits/abilities that you’d be blessed to see in your children when they are adults. (For example, be able to explain their faith and why they believe that; handle money wisely by not spending frivolously; be a generous person…) Then draw an arrow off to the side of each of those traits and brainstorm a couple of ways you could guide your children to begin growing in that trait now.