7 Reasons to Read to Your Child

6
Feb
2017

7 Reasons to Read to Your Child

We all know that learning to read is important, but as parents what we do to facilitate this milestone in our home is extremely important. For those that homeschool, you already have the great joy of educating your children on your terms. But for those who school outside the home, it can seem daunting to know what to focus on at home. Helping to encourage your child to read is at the top of my list! Reading to your child has many benefits, one of which is simply having time to snuggle together.

#1: Reading Is Important

When you read to your child, he/she will learn that reading is important to you. Therefore, reading will become important to him/her.

#2: Listening Is Powerful

The more your child hears sounds, the better he/she will process these sounds into words. When a child is preschool/kindergarten age, the listening word starts to become the written word. Reading will foster your child’s ability to listen and pay attention. With all the problems we here about concerning attention spans, this is a great way to avoid that.

#3: Effective Calming

Reading has a calming effect on a restless or fussy baby. Words spoken out loud give a calming effect – even for you as you read. Who doesn’t want an easy way to calm a fussy baby?

#4: An Easy Routine

Reading is a wonderful before bed routine. Studies have shown that a child will thrive in an atmosphere in which routines are present. So either before or after pajamas, spend some time reading a book. We’ve recently started The Magic Treehouse books and we read a few chapters each night.

#5: Expand Their Imagination

Reading will help to develop your child’s imagination. Have you ever gotten lost in a good book? Your child can do the same while you are reading to him/her. We have recently been learning about sharks, dinosaurs, and Ancient Egypt – all from the comfort of our home!

#6: Build Communication Skills

When you spend time reading to toddlers, they’ll be much more likely to express themselves and relate to others in a healthy way. By witnessing the interactions between the characters in the books you read, as well as the contact with you during story time, your child is gaining valuable communication skills.

#7: Life-Long Reader

Reading to your child will develop in him/her the desire to become a reader.

We recently discovered a fun way to expand our reading library all on my iPad. Now that we’ve moved, we are 30 minutes from a library, so not super convenient for random trips to the library to get books. A friend shared Epic! Unlimited Books for Kids, which offers unlimited access to over 20,000 high-quality children’s books, including thousands of read-to-me, audio books, and educational videos. It does cost $4.99 a month, so for a few months we are trying it out to see how we enjoy the convenience. I really like that there are options for reading levels, having the book read to my child, or having him read. He uses his Blue Light Glasses too, which helps me feel good with him using screen devices, especially in the evening. We have thoroughly enjoying expanding our imagination with books!

Isn’t it exciting to think that you can have such an effect on your child’s ability to read just by reading to him/her? You have the power to develop a life long joy of reading and learning in your child. WOW! Just read.

5 Benefits of Regular Date Nights

16
Jan
2017

5 Benefits of Regular Date Nights

So, when was your last date night? Go ahead. Take a break and check your calendar. I did when I sat down to write this article because it had been almost a month since my hubby and I snuck away for a few hours alone! Yikes! It’s embarrassing really.

I know how I feel when I return from date night, so why is it so hard to get these on the calendar? For us it is a recent move to a newer community that has left us searching for sitter alternatives, but that is really no excuse. There are good things that come from making regular date nights happen, and I am set on scheduling these out in our calendar because my marriage deserves it.

What are the benefits? Here are just a few I managed to consider. I bet you have others too.

Anticipation Is Always Good!

I love having something to look forward to, don’t you? Having that Thursday date night on the calendar and looking forward to it all week can help me and my attitude stay happy and healthy as I journey through the day. Thinking of what to do, where we might go, what we might talk about, what dreams may develop in that conversation because we have some freedom and are not bound by home tasks – it is so nice to have uninterrupted conversation.

Connection and Communication

This is a continuation of the “uninterrupted conversation” part. When we get that time to chat with no destination, it is amazing how connected and affirmed you can feel toward your spouse. I am sure you know what I mean – when you feel they are truly listening to you because they aren’t focused on getting the kids into the bath or making lunches. We need this time to build strong marriages, because let’s face it – we lead busy lives and when we don’t make time for each other, something is bound to break and someone will feel “not connected”.

An Opportunity for Romance

We all need it and we long for that romance in our marriage. It’s a struggle and you have to be intentional to keep the romance alive when you’ve got ten plates spinning in the air. I love being able to sneak away on date night and create a calm that I can’t get at home, and who knows, it might end up creating fireworks at home later.

Lowering Stress

The power of a date night can certainly de-stress you both. I mean, you aren’t racing around checking off lists and managing bedtime routines. You are together – just the two of you. It really is amazing how just a couple of hours can be so helpful for our emotions.

Reaffirming Your Commitment

When you place an importance on having regular date nights, you are stating your marriage is worth it. It’s worth the extra effort of finding a sitter. It’s worth the effort of thinking of something to do. It’s worth the effort of saving some money in your grocery bill so you can go grab coffee and dessert out. Your marriage is worth it. It shows a strong commitment to each other!

7 Tips to Being a Happy and More Productive Mom

9
Jan
2017

7 Tips to Being a Happy and More Productive Mom

It’s a new year and time for new habits, right? If you are anything like me, over the past few weeks my days have become a jumbled mess and I need a reset. My inbox has been getting full of messages from moms wondering how I do it all and how they can catch up and feel better in their role.

First, I do not do it all. However, I do have some tips that I use to reset myself to be happier and more productive at home. Read on if you are in need of a reset or share this with a friend who may be struggling.

Feed Your Soul

What fills you up and gives you energy for your day? Only you can answer this. For me, I must have quiet time in the morning – MUST. When I don’t, my day is flustered and my temper is short. God built me in a way that I must connect with Him and myself before I begin to pour out into others. I love doing devotions (I love the First5 app and am currently enjoying a new reading the Bible in a year series in the  YouVersion Bible app).

Get Dinner Done

One big headache for us moms is getting a plan for dinner. I have made it part of my routine to plan meals and a menu the week prior to when we need it. I can prepare for my grocery shopping and be at peace knowing we have food for meals and I will not be tempted to go out. This is healthier for me and my family. Do you need a free menu planner? Grab one here!  

Having my meals planned is a life saver! It literally gives me more energy through the day because I am not constantly using my mom brain to think, “what am I going to make for dinner?” I do love eMeals (you can try it for FREE for 14 days!) for making dinner planning easy, and also check Pinterest for menu ideas.

Create Your Big Three

Each morning after I get my little guy out the door, I come up with my big three – my three things that MUST get done that day. It could be a trip to the post office, waking the dogs, or working on my blog. I tackle these things and will at least feel successful even if I do not get to the other things on my to-do list. We often have unrealistic expectations of ourselves and what we are truly capable of completing during the day.

Rise Early

Game changer. Period. You say you’re not an early riser, okay, but you are missing out on a chunk of time that can ignite your day, your productivity level, and your happiness. I notice on the days I sleep in or am lazy to get my day going, I struggle to feel caught up and prepared. So for me and a lot of moms I know, getting up earlier than everyone else is a non-negotiable. Find a way to get to bed earlier so you can grab the time in the morning to prepare for your day.

Create a Routine

This is a huge deal and if you are flying by the seat of your pants you will continue to feel unorganized, under-prepared, and frazzled. Set a morning routine for yourself and a routine for your kiddos and an evening one. It is a must! Stick to it as much as you can. We are creatures of habit and the less we have to use our brain to figure out what we are doing next, the better – for everyone!

Slow Down

This goes a bit in hand with feeding your soul and rising early. I have found since we’ve moved to the beach that I have to have a slower pace to enjoy my day. It is not all about the rushing around and doing more. It is about enjoying your day, the small moments of joy that appear. If we are moving too fast we miss those. I will now purposefully break away from my desk at a moments notice to catch the sunset or go take the dogs to the beach. It is the best feeling ever. Even in the midst of motherhood we need to capture these moments.

Tidy the House

Yes, this is part of the equation to having a happier and more productive day. I love my Weekly Household Planner I created that helps mom just do a few things each day to keep their home organized and tidy. Do what you can and cross out the other stuff. I have moms emailing me several times a week saying that this planner has blessed them so much. They are no longer using brain cells to figure out what task to do, they just do what they can on the list. I am so blessed by this! So use a method that works for you. Do a few things a day and it won’t overwhelm you!

What is your biggest tip for having a happier and more productive day?

A Year in Review: Favorite 10 Posts of 2016

2
Jan
2017

A Year in Review: Favorite 10 Posts of 2016

I love going back and doing a year in review and seeing what posts you loved the most!  

Here is the collection. I know we have new readers. It always happens when the Confident Mom Weekly Household Planner is revealed for another year! New moms discover my site and I love that blessing.

We had a year full of adventure – selling our home of 9 years and 80% of our belongings and moving to a remote beach community. You can read more on that in this beachy post (it did not make the top ten – however, it will give you a bit more info on me and my family).

Grab a cup of coffee or tea and check out a few that maybe you missed. You can subscribe to receive my weekly blog posts delivered right to your inbox if you’d like too.

7 THINGS NO ONE TOLD YOU ABOUT MOTHERHOOD

7 Things No One Told You About Motherhood

MOMMY BURNOUT: A REAL REALITY

Mommy Burnout: A Real Reality

12 UPLIFTING BIBLE VERSES ABOUT GRACE

12 Uplifting Bible Verses About Grace

CREATING FIREWORKS IN YOUR MARRIAGE BED

Creating Fireworks in Your Marriage Bed

INSANELY YUMMY #21DSD CHOCOLATE ENERGIZING SHAKE

Insanely Yummy #21DSD Chocolate Energizing Shake

TRIED AND TRUE TIPS FOR SPENDING LESS

Tried and True Tips for Spending Less

SHIFTING TO A FRUGAL MINDSET: PAYING OFF DEBT NOW!

Shifting to a Frugal Mindset: Paying Off Debt NOW!

11 ALL-NATURAL KITCHEN CLEANING RECIPES

11 All-Natural Kitchen Cleaning Recipes

BECOMING A CALM, COOL & CONFIDENT MOM SERIES

Becoming a Calm, Cool & Confident Mom Series

CHEMICAL FREE HOT TUB MAINTENANCE

Chemical Free Hot Tub Maintenance

7 Things No One Told You About Motherhood

7
Nov
2016

7 Things No One Told You About Motherhood

I think it’s safe to say that we all had glorious images of what our life would be like once we began having children. For me, I had visions of a clean home, dinner on the table at 6:00pm, and wonderfully behaved children. Well, that bubble was busted early on!

I’ve been doing this motherhood thing for nearly 24 years. Am I an expert? Um, no way! Have I learned some things along the way? You bet. I’ll share a few of those things from my journey through motherhood. As you read them, I think you will be giving a few of them a big Amen!

Yoga Pants for the Win!

There are days – and sometimes days on end – where you can barely make it out of your pajamas and into something that resembles clothes, which we have now all adopted as our beloved yoga pants! They are stretchy, comfortable, easy to wipe off, and usually black (which matches any color top). Moms, we do love our yoga pants!

It’s Really Lonely

No one tells you this, but it is absolutely the truth. Even with strong support systems in place, your days can seem endless. After doing the same thing over and over again, you become almost like a robot. You lose touch with the outside world. It’s really tough.

A Mini Van Will Be Your Dream Car

I can remember the day we brought our new-to-us mini van home. It was glorious for me. I loved the ease of placing my daughter in her car seat and sliding the door closed. My back loved it. My body was in heaven, but my young-at-heart self was almost destroyed. I did enjoy the convenience of the mini van, but to be honest, I am glad I am out of that season!

You’ll Wonder What a Vacation Is

The word vacation will take on a new meaning – truly! Before children you had time away with wonderful meals at fine restaurants, luxurious hotels, and quiet moments. Once children are here, your vacation takes on a new meaning. Typically, you spend more time packing and unpacking than you actually did on your vacation and you need a week after you return home to recover. I know you know what I am talking about! It’s sometimes easier to just stay home.

It’s a Really, REALLY Hard Job

Yep, like someone had to tell you?! When we acknowledge it, I think it takes that power away. I know there are days which we are barely able to make it through. Those days with sick kids, a sick mom, and more bodily fluids than you can even begin to imagine. I know. Even on the days where things seem smooth, it is still exhausting. When you are pouring into the little ones in your life, your body and soul gets weary.

Bathroom Quiet Moments Rock

No one will tell you that the only private moments you will have during the day are when you are locked behind a door taking care of some business. But it’s true. Treasure these few minutes. And yes, I know we’ve all gone into hiding there saying, “We are taking care of business.” But I will tell you when I try to carve out some quiet time, I can find it when I am intentional.

You Will Need JESUS More!

When you’re exhausted – He’ll still be there.

When you’re frustrated and overwhelmed – He’ll still be there.

When you’re in tears on the floor in the bathroom – He’ll still be there.

This has been the most concrete thing for me to remember as I journeyed through my seasons of motherhood. He is there and when we take time to meet with Him, He will show up in all things. Mama – be sure you are reaching out to Him each day so He can meet with you too.

Error: Please enter a valid email address

Error: Invalid email

Error: Please enter your first name

Error: Please enter your last name

Error: Please enter a username

Error: Please enter a password

Error: Please confirm your password

Error: Password and password confirmation do not match