This post is part two of a three part series. You can read part 1 here.
Part 2 – Mom Matters
Please watch this short video which will introduce the post.
Ways to make life easier for moms:
-Recognize your importance
-Understand that Mothering is very hard work
-Understand that Mothering will require long hours and an enormous amount of self denial for many years. It’s part of the job.
– Don’t compare yourself to other moms. Glean good ideas, but don’t envy. God knit you together with only YOU in mind
– Teach your baby/toddler to sit quietly while being held. It is a huge benefit for the child to learn how to control their body for a short amount of time. That can make going to a restaurant, church, or any other indoor activity more pleasant for everyone in the family. I made a video to describe how to do this. Watch it here.
– Find a devotional that works for you, and try to spend at least several minutes a day alone with God. I like Jesus Calling and devotionals by Beth Moore and Joyce Meyers. I have also enjoyed participating with Courtney Joseph’s , (Women Living Well), free daily women’s Bible study found here.
– Get dressed every day. In addition to physical clothing, cloth yourself with Colossians 3:12-14
– Eat the frog first. I have started a wonderful habit. I do the ONE most important chore or task first, as early in my day as possible. That way, if the rest of the day ‘falls apart,’ I feel so much better.
My biggest frog was my chronically messy house. After decluttering and coming up with a chore chart, much of that was taken care of. My second biggest took longer to ‘fix.’ That was meal planning and preparation. It would be 4:00 PM and I would have NO idea what to make for supper. We had to eat supper between 5:00 and 6:00, between my husband’s first and second job. After years of stress, I made a list of our family’s 20 favorite meals. Each month, I would make the same 20 meals. Generally on the weekends, I would try to make something new and different. From Monday through Friday, I would make one of the twenty. It worked well for us. I always had enough of the ingredients in the pantry and freezer to make at least 2 or 3 of the meals on the list. And, when an ingredient was on sale, because I knew I would need it each month, I would buy the item in bulk. I ended up saving quite a bit of money. Sometimes, I would snatch time and make a double portion of even a more simple meal, like Shepherd’s Pie, and freeze one for the next month
-Smells have an effect on the mood in our home. I try to keep our main room, the living room, smelling fresh and happy by lighting a candle or using a room freshener. It just seems to make the day seem brighter.
-Give yourself time regularly to do something that you love to do! Every day from 2:00-3:00 all of my children napped or played quietly in their rooms. I DID NOT use that hour to clean up, or scrub the bathtub, or make supper. I did something that I loved to do. I read or called a friend or made myself hot tea and a snack. One of my friends went to a local Starbucks every Saturday morning from 9:00-12:00 to work on the computer in peace. Another friend went out every Thursday night with her sister, just for fun. I think that some free time is crucial for our mental health.
– Be careful how you spend time outside of your home. This may not be the season for you to be the president of the PTO, and be on the Ladies Auxiliary Board at church and teach a Sunday School class. They are all good things, but make sure that it is God’s plan for you at this time.
-Remember your husband. I neglected to honor my husband above our children for far too many years. His needs couldn’t be heard above the clamor of the children. Putting effort and time into my marriage continues to blesse everyone in the family.
I would LOVE to hear what YOU would add to this list.
Part 3 deals with raising our children. That will be the next post.
Today’s Post – Make Your House Do the Work
Here are some tips to make your life easier in your home:
-Get rid of clutter!!! It takes up so much of ‘our’ valuable time. ‘Our’ time is really God’s time. I don’t want to waste His time.
Toy clutter ……. Your child’s joy is not proportional to his number of toys. Limit the toys. Our favorites for our boys included Duplos, wooden building blocks, Matchbox cars, small metal tractors and other types of farm machinery, games, books and books on CDs. Even those items were limited. If the plastic case for the Matchbox cars was full, a new car purchased meant that an older car had to be given away.
Our favorite girl’s toys included ONE special babydoll for each daughter, doll equipment, Duplos, books and books on CDs, dress-up clothes, and games. Again, there were limits.
Clothing ……. I had to stop buying separates, (clothing), from yard sales, because I would struggle finding a top or bottom that matched. I’d have drawers full of clothing that the children never wore. After 6 frustrating years of too many clothes, and 5 children later, I limited each child, and ME, to 7 outfits for fall and winter, and 7 outfits for spring and summer. I later added 3 outfits for each of us for church and special occasions. (We also each had farm clothing that would only be worn in our barns and fields). I did LESS wash with fewer outfits. Makes no sense, but it was wonderful. When a new piece of clothing came into the house, a piece of clothing was donated to a charity. You might have fainted when you read ‘7’ pieces of clothing. With what number would YOU be comfortable? One of my friends limited each of her children to 30 outfits.
Knick-knacks and things on the wall ………. I got rid of them. ALL of them. I was so tired of dusting my rooster collection, and my numerous family pictures on my walls, I removed them all!!! I put them in boxes and stored them in my attic. When my children started helping me with chores I put SOME of the pictures back on the wall, but ditched the roosters. What is your time worth? Mine wasn’t worth dusting roosters.
Magazines ……….. I stopped all of my subscriptions. I felt guilty every time I saw a magazine on my table. I just didn’t have enough time to read it.
Mail ……. I deal with the mail as soon as I look at it, which usually invoves throwing most of it away I have a 12 file folder system for the rest.
-Cleaning … Don’t Do it Alone
Chore charts …….have your children help to clean. I know that those words seem like an oxymoron, and I would tend to agree when the children are preschoolers. By age 5, 6 or older, the children are actual helpers. I will be making a short video explaining functional chore charts.
Have enough good cleaning supplies …….. I own 2 vacuum cleaners. One is for upstairs and one is for downstairs so I don’t have to drag one around. I keep cleaning supplies in each bathroom to keep things more efficient. And, I purchase my favorite cleaning supplies and toilet paper in bulk when they are on sale.
Purchase good exterior and interior floor mats. Eighty percent of the dirt entering our home comes in from our shoes. It sounds silly, but it’s true. I ordered mine from Don Aslett’s Clean Report 17 years ago, and they are still effective! I have to use my non-electric floor sweeper every day on these mats because so much dirt accumulates. (I buy other things from the Clean Report also)
Have a cleaning schedule that works for you. I’ll share mine in the chore chart video.
Determine to keep one or two rooms in your house ‘company ready.’ Keep it, (them), clutter free. It gives me a sense of peace knowing that my kitchen table and counters are clutter free because that is the room people see when they enter my home. The bedrooms might be a different story!
Have designated ‘pick-up’ times. Before lunch, supper and bedtime my children had to clean up everything on every floor that was out of place. It became an easy to learn habit.
We had a 36″ by 36″ piece of Lucite tucked under our entertainment center that was used under every project If we were coloring, playing with Duplos, painting, playing with Play-doh, doing science experiments, etc., each child knew to drag the piece of Lucite onto our kitchen table first. That was an easy way to control the messiness of creativity.
Tomorrow I’ll continue the series with ways to keep your children occupied and happy!
I’d love to read how YOU help your house ‘clean itself.’
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