8 Tips for Organizing and Managing Your Family

13
Feb
2017

8 Tips for Organizing and Managing Your Family

I’ve been doing this “mom” gig now for almost 25 years, so I feel that I have gained some “secrets” to keeping my home organized and running smoothly. I realize many of us didn’t learn these things at home. Homemaking and motherhood are not “classes taught in school”. But they are learned in the home. Many of us didn’t observe, or didn’t have role models that provided a great learning environment.

I know I receive many emails from moms asking for ways to simply their days and get more organized. This post is for you! Basic steps that can have HUGE pay-off!

#1: Have ONE Family Calendar

This transformed our lives, especially with having older kids who do not live at home. I use an electronic calendar so it’s synced from anywhere. We use i-Cal now, but we have used Cozi in the past, as well as paper. It doesn’t matter which you choose, but picking one and stinking with it for all appointments and activities is key. If you choose paper, like the one Master Family Calendar that you print from the Supplemental Pack, make sure you post it so everyone can see it!

#2: Quick Pick Up

Before going to bed, be sure the kitchen is clean! This one task is really helpful for ending your day well and setting the scene for morning. It’s refreshing to wake up in a clean kitchen – especially when grabbing my coffee!

#3: Have a Housekeeping System

I have this one down now! After years of experimenting, I need to have big tasks broken down into smaller ones. I don’t have one specific day a week to clean, so I created the Confident Mom Weekly Household Planner. It breaks down tasks for cleaning every room in your house and a few other areas too. This system has kept my sanity!

#4: Delegate

I have shared this secret for years – but even I don’t use it as often as I should. Kids are amazing with tasks like emptying the silverware from the dishwasher, folding towels, taking garbage out, and wiping down remote controls and light switches. It helps them develop life skills and also helps us get a bit more done!

#5: Establish Routines

This simple step will be so life changing for everyone in your home. Have a simple morning routine, afternoon routine and bedtime routine. I use to think routines were boring, but NOPE! They provide freedom and especially help children feel comfortable because they learn to know what to expect. Can you imagine not having to repeat directions about what to do after school each day?  

#6: Meal Plan 

Life is good when I know what is for dinner. I have been using Pinterest as a help. I love my Family Favorites Board and plan meals out for two weeks. I also use eMeals and have saved many recipes and meal plans from my seven years of using this fabulous service. If you’ve never tried it, you can grab a 14-day trial for FREE!

#7: Don’t Overbook

This is an epidemic in my opinion. Our current society spends more time away from home than at home. It’s very easy to sign up for activity after activity and commit yourself to helping others or volunteering for different events, but you are truly running everyone ragged. Overbooking can create stress for you and your family and it will play out in anxiety, troublesome behavior, and illness.

#8: Find “Just for Mom” Time

This is non-negotiable. Yes, I am serious. I do believe every mom needs some down time – with no one else. Find what nourishes you. For me it is a once a month massage, getting up before my family and enjoying my coffee and quiet time, getting a nice walk at sunset, and meeting a friend for lunch. No one will make it happen for you – you need to schedule it in yourself!

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

A Joyful Start to Your Morning

8
Dec
2016

A Joyful Start to Your Morning

Now that winter is upon us, it certainly takes a bit more energy and coaxing to get out of a nice, cozy warm bed and begin our day. What helps you get your morning mood going in a positive direction? I have several must have’s for my mornings. I’ve shared my morning devotional time reading and about having a morning routine, but I have not really shared with you my secret – really yummy coffee!

Coffee.

I am quite the coffee snob for sure. You can ask any of my family members – they will tell you! I am picky about my coffee.  

There are a few things in life that matter a lot to me, and coffee is one of those things I put in my top ten. I love good, strong, dark coffee – with a little raw milk and ground cinnamon on top. It is perfection. Just for good measure, a few of the other things that matter to me in life are Jesus, my family and friends, my husband, the beach, my essential oils and supplements, worship music, and a nice glass of wine!

I love coffee so much that I am (almost) embarrassed to admit that in our house we have five coffee brewing devices. Um. Yes, we do. We are prepared for large crowds, fast brewing, and those with particular coffee desires – I mean, I can relate!

Morning Coffee

My favorite way to start my day right now is with a strong cup of espresso with some warm raw milk and a dash of ground cinnamon. Since giving up sugar in my coffee, I have been so intrigued with really tasting the marvelous flavors of different beans and the results when they are roasted.   

I had the pleasure to collaborate with Gourmesso and have been experimenting with some new coffee blends and let me say – I am in heaven! Gourmesso has convenient Nespresso compatible pods that come in 25 different varieties and they are mostly Fair Trade certified. There are many that fit my realm of strong, dark roasts, but I found two that were particularly fabulous.

Since I really enjoy a rich, deep roast, the House Blend Lungo is my go-to coffee first thing in the morning. It has a slightly nutty flavor and is full-bodied, incredibly rich and perfect with a velvety crema. It’s delightful!  

My other go-to is the Honduras Pura Forte. It consists of different roasts of 100% arabica beans. The beans are grown and harvested according to purely ecological guidelines. I love when a company really takes an interest in using sustainable farming practices that benefit the environment.

There is a benefit of enjoying the simple things in life. For me, coffee is a simple pleasure. It creates good memories, can reunite friends, creates warmth in a home, and facilitates good conversation. Finding a simple pleasure to begin your day and bring joy in the morning is very calming to your soul. These are the things that matter.

Since our move in September, I have taken inventory of what really matters and how I can find joy in the small things.  

Beach Walk in Seabrook

A walk on the beach out on a crisp cool morning is finished nicely when I return home to brew a cup of rich coffee. I love brewing coffee at home and having it taste better than what I can buy when I am out at a local coffee shop.  

Do you have a ritual or part of your morning routine that helps get your day started off in a joyful way? I’d love to hear about it.

I received complimentary coffee pods in exchange for my review and article. All opinions are my own and unbiased.

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