#MomWinWednesday Having Fun

#MomWinWednesday Here on #MomWinWednesday I am encouraging you to celebrate the small wins in your day. Because, let’s face it, sometimes the small wins are the only wins we get in a given day.

I’ve written before about setting yourself up for a successful morning before–and make sure you grab your free printable here! Well, this morning was a payoff for proper nighttime preparation. I DID manage to make sure the  girls laid their clothes out last night. We ALL made it to bed on time–even me–which might have freaked out the teen when he came home from work to a dark house!

This morning we were up with the sun, and even had time for a home cooked breakfast! (thanks Dad!). But the most fun, and my #momwin would be the fun lipsync party we had to a favorite song over our eggs and bagels!

It set ALL of our days up for smiles and happiness.

(And WHAT is our favorite song for an epic lipsync battle?)

 

#MomWinWednesday– The One in Which I Refrain from Yelling–Plus FREE Bedtime Checklist!

#MomWinWednesday

It is no secret that I am a mom who yells too much. I’ve talked about it before here. I come from a long line of yellers. My grandma even managed to yell in two languages.

I also am really, really, working on this. I’ve been working on this for almost 21 years.

It is NOT getting any easier.

However, my empathetic side tells me that I would be CRUSHED if someone yelled at me every single morning.

And so, I really work to tame my tongue.

I also remind myself that good mornings begin at night. Meaning, the more that I prepare for our mornings the night before, the smoother things will go. Sadly, at night, what I would prefer to do is knit or crochet and binge watch shows. Being a grown up is hard sometimes.

You can download this free printable bedtime checklist!

I’m working on implementing a checklist for the kids (and for me too!) so that we can help our mornings go a little smoother. I’ll share it with you here. I’ve left space for you to add some tasks that might be unique to your family as well! My girls love clipboards, so I have laminated this checklist and given them each a clipboard and a dry erase marker to check off each task.

Hopefully, as we get used to checking off our items each night, mornings will become easier and easier!

Chime in! How do you tame the morning crazies? Share your tips with other moms in the comments, or pop over to the Facebook page and join the conversation there!

 

Working Mom Challenge: Margin

Working mom challenge Remember when you had your first baby? Do you remember the most ANNOYING bit of advice that the church ladies gave you? I’m going to guess that it was this: “Sleep when the baby sleeps.” I’m certain that they meant well, but my first baby did not sleep. Ever. Like, not even in the hospital. I spent much of his first year trying to find him interesting things to look at. He did eventually learn to sleep–sometime between his 18th and 20th birthdays, and he now can successfully sleep through any home project that is going on, such as vacuuming, laundry, or lawn mowing.

This advice was well-meaning. And perhaps, if that kid had slept, I MIGHT have taken it. But probably not. I was young, and I had a lot less need of what I need so much now in my 40s. Margin.

Margin and balance are the self-care elements that I crave so much more now that I work full-time. While I still want to do all the things, I know that if I try, I will end up burnt out and resentful.

So, as I get busier at work, I learn to at least try to say no more outside of work. My busiest time at work is in the fall, when the kids also seem to be busiest with school and sports. There are class parties, and cross country team trips, and PTO fundraisers. Meanwhile I am super nose-down all day at work trying to make three major events to run smoothly. In the fall, I am the mom who sends napkins for the class party. And I no longer feel guilty about it. To me, it is the working mom equivalent of sleeping when the baby sleeps.

This time of year is much more routine and “regular” at work. This is when I can say yes to more things. This is when I can  send a cute snack to school for the Twins’ birthday (they are going to be SEVEN on Saturday!!!!!) Tune in later this week for my working Mom cute Snack Tutorial!  This time of year I can consider helping out with sporting events.

Saturday I had a rare, unscheduled weekend day. IT WAS FABULOUS! I did really sexy, exciting things–like do all of the laundry, vacuum the living room, and clean the kitchen. But I also had the joy of reading for hours with the girls, binge watching Little House on the Prairie, and crocheting (another) hat.

I encourage you to leave an unscheduled weekend day for yourself every few months–resist the temptation to add something in. You might have to (gasp) say no to someone to get such a day, but I assure you, it will leave you refreshed and renewed!

I’m doing a few other things to insure some margin in my day to day life. My freshman is on the swim team this year (which makes me indescribably happy!) and has 6 am practices 4 or 5 days a week. I am NOT a morning person, but I crave alone time. So, I have begun spending an hour each morning after dropping him off in a “morning make”. I brew my pot of coffee, turn on the news, and crochet for a solid, quiet, blessed hour!!!By the time I have to wake the other kids, I am caffeinated, un-stressed (crochet is SO zen for me), and ready to face the day. As a side benefit, I am then tired enough to get to bed at a decent hour at night! I do NOT check texts or social media during this time. As a matter of fact, I don’t log in to anything until I am at work and even then, not until after I do my daily reading.

Adopting one laundry day a week has given me some space in my week as well. Laundry day may be busy–but I only have to fold and put away clothes one day a week! Somehow that reduces my stress the rest of the week. I no longer feel like I have laundry looming over me. Now, this did take getting all of my laundry caught up at once–blizzard to the rescue!!!

I’m also sticking to my plan of meeting up with girlfriends for lunch regularly. As much as I crave alone-time, I also crave time with friends!

Chime in! How do you create margin in your working mom life?

#MomWinWednesday: Frazzled Mom Edition

#MomWinWednesday

#MomWinWednesday

 

 

On Wednesdays we share our prayer requests over on the Facebook page, and we share our #MomWins big and small here on the blog.

On Tuesday I had to be a grown up and go back to work after 11 glorious days at home with the family. I did not fuss or cry. #MomWin.

Today I forgot to put food in the slow cooker for dinner tonight AND we had a rehearsal at church. I resisted the urge to hit the drive through and made bacon and eggs instead. #MomWin.

And that, friends, is really all I have on this busy week. I’m in survival mode, y’all! (Also, my husband bought a new humidifier for our duty winter air house. It works, but it is so much white noise! I hate white noise. #MomWhine (or wine?)

 

please share your #MomWins in the comments!

Our Cozy Little Christmas

Snow
The view from our house Monday morning–halfway through the blizzard,

One of the odd parts about being a clergy family is holidays. While the rest of the world seems to be heading out on exciting vacations,or visiting far-flung relatives, our family is tied to the church. Don’t get me wrong, I love our family and the traditions we have formed over the years, but there is always a little bit of a tug–a what if. 

This year was already shaping up to be different. With both Christmas and New Years Day falling on Sundays, I was guaranteed two four-day weekends off from work–and so, I decided to take the middle days off as well, netting me over a week of vacation time. I was picturing days of blissfully crocheting. I even brought home some books from work–a bit of continuing ed, if you wish.

I no sooner got home on Thursday night that the wether reports were becoming more and more dire. we were going to have a blizzard of epic proportions–on Christmas. It would be our third blizzard in as many weeks. We were not even sure if we would be able to hold Christmas Day services at church. I spent Friday–along with all of Bismarck–at Target, stocking up on essentials, and junk food, and festive food, and extra milk–just in case. 

And then we waited. And waited. And waited. I was certain we would wake up to a new blanket of snow on Christmas morning–but instead, the sun shone brightly–so off to church we went. It was a lovely service that we enjoyed–and we also enjoyed watching our anxious children squirm in anticipation of the gift opening that would follow church. On our way home it began raining and sleeting, but no snow. 

By 1 PM, our promised snow began–and continued to fall and blow for about 24 hours straight. We were officially snowed in. As a mom to six, I was delighted! it was the best Christmas gift I could ever ask for! Just our little family of eight, all home alone–with no outside distractions or work or coming and going for three whole days. 

Perhaps the teens would argue that it was too much togetherness–but for me–it was perfect! 

By Thursday our road was finally plowed, and I was ready to go into town again. 

And now on New Year’s Day, guess what we are watching for? You guessed it! Another storm! I’m not sure where we will put all of this snow, but I must say, I LOVE this! I feel like I live in a lovely snow globe, and I am enjoying every minute of togetherness with the ones I love most!