Kiddo rituals

The planner I LOVE and use incorporates this amazing idea of rituals. There are four of them:

  • Morning routine
  • Workday start up routine
  • Workday shut down routine
  • Evening routine

Each of these rituals includes the things you need to get done at each particular point of the day to set you up for success and to allow for the transition necessary. For example my morning ritual looks like this:

  • Pray
  • Teeth / dressed
  • Devo
  • Plan day
  • Write

Screen Shot 2018-09-19 at 10.21.00 AMI’m now in the process of adopting what I do to what works for my kiddos. Last year for the kids I had a huge to do list for them each day that they’d check off. It kind of worked kind of didn’t. After using this planner for the last quarter, I realized that it’s partly because it was sectioned off in this manner. That kind of breakdown would probably help my kiddos.

 

Kiddos need routine too! Routines for the kiddos typically include things like meals together, reading and singing at bedtime and even consistent family playing time. Researchers from the National Center for Education Statistics examined over 8,500 children and their routines that included those specific activities. They found the social-emotional health of those kiddos who had routines was higher which affected everything from social skills to performance in school. Scientists also found routines at bedtime, along with a consistent bedtime, produce better sleepers up to the age of six. The more consistent the routine, the better the impact. A routine family meal improves the likelihood kids will eat healthier (by 24 percent) and reduces chances they’ll have an eating disorder (by 35 percent) or even be overweight (by 12 percent) according to Cornell University researchers.

Routine acts like a safety net to a child where so much is constantly changing. It’s so hard being a kid. You know, having someone cook for you, change your diapers, carry you everywhere and provide for all your needs.

No wait, that’s not the hard part.

What’s hard is that their brains, their bodies, their grade level and their eating habits are constantly changing. It can be pretty tough for a little person. Having a routine means they have something constant, they have reassurance that some things are predictable. Some things don’t change. Much. This routine also allows kiddos to get good at something. You know, getting up, brushing teeth, going to school. If they do that the same every day then they’re going to get pretty good. That’s a nice little confidence boost for a person who is learning and developing so rapidly it can seem like nothing gets mastered.

In fact, a routine is actually freeing in that it allows those young brains to focus on other stuff rather than wondering what spiral of events things will occur in today. And, anytime you think routine isn’t important, try not getting a toddler their nap and see how well it works out. Hint: not well. It works out not well.

So, let’s do this together. Let’s brainstorm this together. I’ll put some of the basics here. And there will also be a spot for you to allot time. So many times we underestimate how long it takes us (or our kids) to do things. Then we’re rushed and yelling. This is a chance to fight back against that! Be realistic with your time. Then count backward from when the deadline is. My daughter can get her stuff done in 30 minutes. My son takes an hour to do the same amount of stuff. So, I have to have him up at 7am in the morning in order to not need to yell!

Print out the blank template and make it for your kiddos. Discuss it, display it and use it! Watch the wonders it works. Print here: Kiddo rituals

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Kid morning routine:

  • Wake
  • Bed
  • Teeth
  • Dressed
  • Pick up room if needed
  • Hug mom
  • Breakfast
  • Dishes / table

Kid school day start up routine:

  • Pack lunch
  • Do hair
  • Shoes
  • Prayer
  • Affirmations

Kid school day shut down routine:

  • Unpack backpack
  • Lunch dishes in dishwasher
  • Homework / forms
  • Repack & Hang up backpack

Screen Shot 2018-09-19 at 10.21.00 AMKid evening routine:

  • Clean up
  • Bath
  • PJs / teeth
  • Story & song
  • Hugs & kisses & prayer

Of course, these routines won’t work every time but that’s okay. The expectation is set and the possibility is there. This is our best case scenario! This is what will really help our kiddos win the day!

The planner I use is Michael Hyatt’s Full Focus Planner. I highly recommend it. Buy the planner. Get the code first here, then go to the shop. Browse about the planner here, you can flip through EVERY page, it’s pretty cool.

Also, if you’d like to edit the document itself, here is a link. Just make a copy, save to your google drive and then make changes!

Undercommunicating

This week in my planning mastermind group, we’re talking about marriage meetings. Marriage meetings are something I started getting serious about this year in order to “communicate on purpose” with my spouse. It helps us talk over the good and the bad as well as get on the same page with goals, finances and schedules. It’s been a game changer.

One of the main reasons we needed this meeting is because I’m an undercommunicator. In her book Breaking Busy, Alli Worthington describes it this way. Undercommunicators are “people who talk less or hold back from expressing their opinions or feelings.”

Here are some signs you might be an undercommunicator, according to Alli:

  • You think people don’t follow your directions well
  • People often fail to live up to your expectations
  • You find yourself doing things you don’t want to do because you don’t want to speak up
  • Your spouse often complains, “I’m not a mind reader you know!”

As a person who hardly ever shuts up, I never would’ve considered myself an undercommunicator until I read Alli’s book. Then it hit me:

I communicate minimally and expect maximumly.

This goes with my husband and with my kids. Not on purpose. I just assume they understand what is going on, what’s needed, what’s expected. And, in many cases, I’ve just assumed all the work or burdens because I don’t want to speak up or am slightly trepidatious of the consequences. Maybe you’re like me? Does it sometimes feel easier to just do it / deal with it yourself than communicate about it? Does it sometimes feel easier to just go with the flow than communicate about it?

I often end up in situations and with things that I did not desire because of this undercommunication problem. One of my tattoos is missing a crucial detail I wanted because I couldn’t bring myself to tell her to redesign it! A tattoo? Are you kidding me?

I used to find myself spending my family vacations not doing anything my heart desired because I didn’t clearly communicate what it was I would like to be doing.

Likewise, I find myself giving my kids tasks and then being frustrated with the results. The reason though, is I didn’t clearly communicate my full expectations. Hello, they’re kids. They probably don’t know it all Shana! However, if I do communicate exactly what I expect (and especially if there is a visual aid) they tend to nail it.

Can you relate? These are some examples. They’re small. But the little stress, the little resentments, they add up. And for what reason? Whenever I do communicate, people are usually happy to at least try to see my point of view or even comply.

On the other hand, overcommunicators are not necessarily better. You might be an overcommunicator if you’re always thinking of the next thing you’ll say in a conversation, if you say goodbye several times in a phone call or even have been accused of hijacking a conversation or meeting. Overcommunicators overwhelm conversations and sometimes talk a lot without saying anything.

Both types of communication waste time, energy and can generate frustration. In my marriage, I cannot afford wasted time, energy and frustration. If I want to have an awesome marriage, I have to communicate intentionally. With three young kids, careers and schedules that make my head spin, a meeting is a must. It gives us a chance to communicate on purpose. Uninterrupted. It allows me the space and time to overcome my undercommunicator patterns.

So, let me know if you’re an undercommunicator or overcommunicator. How can you overcome? Be sure to check out my original marriage meeting post here.

I’m a homemaker, not a maid.

One of the mantra’s I’ve been repeating over and over in my head lately is:

I’m a homemaker, not a maid.

I find myself saying it like an affirmation. Like I’m trying to believe it as I say it. As if I’m trying to get my brain to agree with me. If you’re anything like me, you might find it easier just to pick up the shoes, make the bed or any other number of chores. Just do it for them and it’ll be faster, there will be less nagging and, you know, it might actually get done.

On the other hand, I might never actually get done. Yes, if I’m the one doing everything, I’m never going to finish. This house is never going to be clean. Make the home I cannot.

Let’s dive in to this idea by thinking about the differences between a maid and a homemaker.

Because I’m a word nerd, let’s just check out the definition:

maid. /mād/ noun
  1. a female domestic servant.

Ooh, that doesn’t sit well. No, I don’t like the sound of that at all. I don’t mind working on my servant heart attitude. But I am not a female domestic servant. Nope.

Okay, to be fair, let’s check out the definition of a homemaker.

home·mak·er. /ˈhōmˌmākər/ noun

  1. a person, especially a housewife, who manages a home.

That sounds better. A little easier to swallow.

Now I want to dig a little deeper. What is the function of a maid? Let’s let Wikipedia tell us:

Maids perform typical domestic chores such as laundry, ironing, cleaning the house, grocery shopping, cooking, and caring for household pets.

Chores! Woohoo. Now, I know I *get to* do all those things. I have managed to find peace and joy in serving my family in this way…eventually. But my job is not just chores. I know it’s bigger. Again we will let Wiki tell us. Instead of just text this time, let’s have a photo instead.

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Notice that there is quite a lot going on there. That list scrolls well beyond that screenshot.

The lesson here is while a maid is a tough job, it’s not my job. A maid works at a hotel. Or, if you’re lucky, maybe a maid comes to your home. But the things a maid does are just a part of what a homemaker does.

As a homemaker, I have more work to do than simply pick up after other people. If I spend my best time and energy doing that, the other things will, by default, fall by the wayside. Now, some people choose to concentrate on the other functions of homemaker and ignore the clean home part altogether. “Busy making memories” is a favorite quote for wall art.

On top of that huge list of things to do as a homemaker, we also have modern society which has gone off the rails with other stuff that apparently needs to be done like perfect birthday parties and year-round sports. You don’t have time to be a maid y’all!

What do I mean by that? I mean your best hope is to enable your family to take care of themselves as much as they can so you can get it all done.

In my own case, that means holding my family to a higher standard than I find myself naturally leaning toward.

When I see shoes in the hallway, it is easier to grab them and put them away. But that’s what a maid does. A homemaker teaches kids (or husbands if necessary I suppose, but that is another blog post) to put their own shoes away. My job is not to put shoes away. My job is to make a home the way we want it to be. While that does include shoe-free hallways, it’s more important to me to teach others how to put their own shoes away. It’s a better investment of my time. Once I teach them to do it, I know they know how and I know they can handle that all the times in the future. I know when they’re out on their own, I’ll have done my due diligence. Maybe their shoes will be in the hallway in of their own home, but it won’t be because I didn’t teach them.

Additionally, my time is too valuable to be wasting it putting someone else’s shoes away. If I put those shoes away, I’m trading away time that I could be ____________. Are there more important tasks I want to be doing rather than putting shoes away? Always. For me those are things like cooking nutritious meals, exercising, going to the beach or a museum, preparing a budget or scheduling the day. Now, there are also tasks I have to be doing rather than putting shoes away. These are things the kids and husband can’t really do like cleaning the stove, meal planning, taking apart fans to dust them and scheduling dentist appointments.

Not putting the shoes away is also a boundary I need to set with my family. By putting the shoes away, I’m teaching them that their time is more valuable than mine. I’m teaching them not to value me. It sounds ridiculous, but if we really stop to think about it, that’s the reality.

And that reality is harsh. I see many women lacking the self worth to set proper boundaries. They are showing their family love by doing everything for them. But they aren’t showing themselves any love. While that seems saintly and selfless, it ends up giving society women who are unhappy, stressed, anxious, tired, sick, mean, in need of rehab or wanting a divorce. No, really. Boundaries are a tough part of adulting, especially since we’ve probably jacked them up to begin with. But we can change and so can they.

(By the way ladies, if you do work outside the home, you and I both know you’re still the primary homemaker. This all applies, perhaps even more-so.)

Furthermore, the boundary it’s setting for kids is setting them up to be spoiled (#entitled). Now, I know we’re all going to battle the clean room and what not probably for the duration of our children’s childhood. However, the battle is the point. It’s a journey, a process. We’re teaching and shaping. What kind of adult do we want out there in the world? If we don’t fight for it daily, it’s not going to happen.

So, I am currently checking myself more and more often. I’m a homemaker, not a maid.

  • My kids can do their own laundry.
  • My kids can clean their own rooms.
  • My kids can put their own shoes away.
  • My kids can take care of our pet.
  • My kids can pack their own lunches (the 3 year old needs supervision. But that’s what the 6 and 9 year old are for!).
  • My kids can even cook a little bit!

All the things a maid would typically do, my kids are totally capable of doing. Although they can do things, that doesn’t always mean they do do it. In those cases, I gently remind them. Which may or may not lead to NOT GENTLY reminding them. 😉 (What WOULD happen if anyone listened the first time? Would the earth stop spinning?)

This is less about a kid’s chore chart and more about my own mindset. About really thinking through how I’m showing up in the world. I’m a homemaker, not a maid.

How about you? Do you struggle with this? Do you feel like a maid? Does your family contribute? Do you value yourself? What boundaries have you set? What boundaries do you want to set?

*Hey y’all, I’m a life coach. If you’d like my help, fill out the contact form below.

Picky eater solutions

Last night I was at football practice listening to parents lament about their kiddo’s eating habits. Oh yes, this is something we can all relate to. If you can’t, you have some miracle parenting method that I really need to soak in!

We all face the picky eater issues to some degree. Sometimes that’s a toddler testing independence, a kiddo with texture issues or even a child who has never developed a palette for anything other than chicken nuggets and macaroni.

I always say I ruined my first kid, then I figured it out from there. Because I’d not ever learned how to eat correctly, I had no way how to feed him. To make matters worse, he had a gag reflex, made worse by the tool they gave me to feed him because of the reflex. Now I know it made things worse, but I just didn’t know then.

I fed my first kiddo Nutrigrain bars. I don’t really remember what else, but that was probably as nutritious as it got. As for texture issues, he would vomit spaghetti and other foods his mouth couldn’t handle.

As for my other kids, I literally just cooked down or blended whatever we ate and gave it to them. By the third kid, I had it down. Her first foods were avocado and eggs and she still drinks a shake everyday.

The road has been long. I don’t want to tell you all of my woes but I do want to tell you picky eaters can definitely be CAUSED by us parents and fortunately, they can also be REMEDIED by us parents. Today Zach eats eggs and oatmeal for breakfast and his favorite vegetable is raw spinach. He’s not perfect, but we have made great strides in his future. My goal is for my kiddos to leave my house with healthy eating habits so they don’t have the health issues or learning crisis I had as a grown woman.

Here are some strategies I’ve used and I recommend to you if you have similar goals:

Reduce portions.

The first strategy to help your picky eater is to reduce portions. We often put so much more food on their plates than they can or even should eat. They’re little people. With little bellies. Start with really small portions for the kiddos because it will seem less daunting to them as they look at their plates. I’m talking like two green beans. Then you can easily celebrate success because it might be one or two bites you have to get through. And you better celebrate. I mean, make this the biggest deal in the history of the world. Then maybe next time they’ll eat three green beans. Gains. We’re all about the incredibly slow, microscopic gains.

Choices empower.

The second strategy is that choices empower. When it comes to your picky eater, you can give them choices. A while ago I wanted all of the kids to try cherry tomatoes. To be fair, their dad doesn’t even like them. I wasn’t expecting much. I gave my son the choice of trying one tomato for dinner or ten pieces of spinach. Do you believe he chose a huge handful of spinach over the one tomato? I can. With this strategy he still gets nutrition (it wasn’t one tomato or candy) but he feels a little more in control. Control is a key factor with picky eaters. I let my kids pick their choices in their lunches. I control what they can choose from, they get to choose. Would you believe my son now chooses spinach every time as his lunch veggie? This is the kid who hadn’t even tasted a raw vegetable until he was 3 or 4 years old.

To eat or not to eat.

Another variation of this strategy is to allow your kiddos to choose whether to eat or not. You see, for so many of us meal times can become a nightmare. We are either making a million different foods or begging people to eat the food in front of them. It can be so draining. And we want meal time to be nice. I’ve given you some overall strategies for kiddos above like ensuring there is always something they like on the table, something worth fighting for. For your picky eaters, you should also consider allowing them to choose not to eat. Also, let them choose how much to eat. Consider allowing them to dish it out on their plates themselves. Then, sit back and ignore their choices. Choose not to engage in coaxing, nagging or arguing or any of it. I’m here to tell you you cannot out stubborn a picky eater, or at least not without unneeded consequences. Science shows it typically makes matters worse anyway.

Instead, serve it and let it go. Just ask about their day and get about the business of enjoying meal time, regardless of their choices. If they choose to go hungry, that’s their choice. Most mealtimes will offer something they will eat so they probably won’t starve. But if they do, they do. They’ve made the choice not to eat. Empowering them also means allowing them to feel the consequences of their choices. Your job is to give them the choice and then leave it alone.

The kitchen is closed.

The third strategy is to close the kitchen and it’s probably the one that can make the biggest difference in our lives. Stop allowing kids to eat all day. Most kids don’t eat because they are not hungry. They’ve been snacking. ALL DAY. You’ll be amazed at how this simple trick can change your picky eater’s habits. Also, don’t offer any other options for dinner or after dinner. They will learn. And no, they will not starve. You also win in this situation because you can be done with food battles in between meal times. That includes dishes. Yay!

Repitition is okay.

Fourth, I want you to be okay with repetition. If you can only get your picky eater to eat a few healthy things, that’s fine. Celebrate the win and understand that their palettes will eventually change. As they continue eating healthy, their taste buds will adapt to desire (or at least not hate) more healthy things. Remember how many times they watched that one show or wanted you to read them that one book? Kids are all about repetition, so use it as a tool in your toolbox.

Lead the way.

Finally, lead the way. One study showed the variety of fruits and vegetables purchased by the parents directly correlated to the amount the children ate. In 2005 researchers showed that kiddos were more likely to try something new if they saw an adult eating it first. This strategy also means eating as a family. 

So, what do you think? Do you think any of these strategies can help you?

We’re on each other’s team

I don’t iron y’all.

My best effort is trying to remove things promptly from the dryer.

Chris was planning to do this when he gets home.

But tomorrow is a big day for him work-wise. And he’ll be gone 5-9 at least. He probably won’t sleep tonight.

So, I thought, self, how could you help him out?

In the past it wouldn’t probably have occurred to me to come at it from that angle. I probably would’ve thought more about how busy I am. How his extra business has made me also extra busy.

But I’m thankful that I’m now of the team frame of mind. As Lorde says,

“We’re on each other’s team.”

Last year when I did my first 90 day goal focus improving my marriage was one of those goals.

One thing a day for Chris was on the list. These days I don’t always do it, but I think about it most days. 😂

But I want the whole fairy tale, not just the beginning of Cinderella.

I’m SO excited that a few ladies in my planning/goal group are setting marriage as one of their goals. That makes me happppy! A good marriage takes work, intention and perspective! It’s one of the MOST important relationships we have yet it often gets put on the back burner.

But what if we were a team?! Working toward a preferred future?! Like, wo.

Others ladies have business, faith, fitness, family, nutrition and other goals for the next 90 days.

It’s going to be awesome. So much awesome.

5 Elements of Harmony (for women married w/ kids)

My girls are watching Saturday morning cartoons, My Little Pony to be exact. I heard something about “Elements if Harmony,” and being the nerd I am, it piqued my curiosity.

Or maybe it’s just that I am not feeling harmonious at the moment. I worked too many hours, my husband’s been gone and off the grid all week, the kids finished school this week and I did not eat well last night so my gut is wrenched in pain this morning.

Yeah, not harmonious.

So, I of course Googled the ponies and what their elements of harmony are.

  • Magic.
  • Honesty.
  • Kindness.
  • Laughter.
  • Generosity.
  • Loyalty.

It made me think about what my elements of harmony are. Then I realized, I already knew, I’d come up with them years ago! They were just hiding as goal sets.

  • Faith.
  • Family.
  • Fitness.
  • Fun.
  • Finances.

Faith.

Faith is the first element of harmony for me. Have you ever heard of the Israelite cycle? I mean, that’s not the technical term, but I’m no theologian. The Israelite cycle refers to how we read the Old Testament and watch the Israelites come back to God, and everything’s so good and awesome. Then they go back to serving idols and sin. Things get worse and worse until they finally turn back to God. And then poof! Things are good again. We see it from a distance and think, they’re kind of dense. How can they not see this cycle?

We have the same cycles in our lives though, I know I certainly do. Every once in a while I’ll wonder why things seem so hard lately. Not just regular hard, but swimming-upstream-holding-a-baby-hard. Where it seems like it’s coming from every angle and it just doesn’t make sense (it’s almost laughable) how hard things are.

That’s usually about the time I realize I’ve stopped leaning on God like I need to. When I realize I’ve been trying to do it alone. I realize my faith is out of harmony. When I hook back up to my power source, things don’t necessarily get instantly better, but my ability to handles them certainly does. In fact, it’s like poof! My entire perspective and attitude are different. And it’s like 🤦‍♀️. Shana, you’re just like the Israelites, minus golden calves.

Family.

Next up is family. I’ll tell you, even as a stay at home mom, this one being in second place is tough. It’s tough because sometimes I put it first and then I fall wearily flat on my face. It’s also tough because as an entrepreneur I can sometimes put other things before my family (mostly my marriage) but also enjoying my family. I’ve learned to keep them in this order, in priority, in order to keep harmony.

That’s not to say I’m a maid on call all the time. It just means I make sure I’m present with my family when we are together. It means I prioritize the when and the way I spend time with them. It means the home they live in and the food they eat are a priority too. Things that make my family feel out of harmony are:

  • Being in separate places in the world. This is inevitable as a military family. And I do enjoy affording my kids the opportunity to go elsewhere and learn and be with others. But I just don’t sleep as well as I do when they’re all in my house.
  • An unclean home. I’m NOT OCD trust me. But I realized I can’t truly relax and enjoy my family if the home isn’t in decent order. I don’t spend more than 30 minutes most days on upkeep, it it’s a definite priority. And my family helps. We have a work hard, play hard philosophy. And none of us are quite at the top of our games if the home isn’t cleanish.
  • Quality time ain’t happening. When we are rushed, when we are all in our own little worlds, that’s when I feel out of harmony. I’m an only child, so I relish my alone time. However, we are a family. And we do things together as a family. On purpose, not according to other people’s agendas. So, if we aren’t doing that, I feel off.

Fitness.

Fitness encompasses my mental health, my rest and, duh, my physical fitness. I’ve finally learned, after all these years, that this is such an important priority. I walk into the gym a lion, I come out like a lamb. It makes me a better mother, wife and overall human.

When I get enough rest, I literally feel like I can take on the whole world. I’m pretty stubborn about my ten minute cat naps in the afternoon. Not because I’m lazy but because it’s like a brain reset each day. I get up less stressed, more focused and rejuvenated.

Likewise, going to the mental gym is a big one for me. Putting good things in my brain, thinking about big ideas, how I can improve myself, self-correcting if I’m being mean to myself are all part of getting my mind right.

Fun.

Somewhere along the road, I apparently adopted the idea that being a married, adult woman with three kids meant I wasn’t allowed to do things I like to do. I know that sounds crazy and younger me needed therapy. But I bent my will so hard for everyone else, I rarely did just what I wanted to do in my late 20s and earlier 30s.

In my book I write about my nap time epiphany. I’ll tell you, once I took some time to just do me and what I wanted to do, I noticed immediately it was like a baptism of joy. Like, whoa! It completely changed the game and now I now if I don’t get time for fun (doing what I want to do) and friends (this is another f word, but I tuck it in fun) then things are definitely out of harmony. My husband knows this too, he’s seen the reward of a Shana who’s had some fun. So he is always gracious about letting this pony run. (Pam Tillis)

I definitely have to work hard for fun. In fact, of all of them, it’s probably the one I struggle with the most, even though I know the rewards. It’s another cycle, one best described by T-Boz.

Every now and then, I get a little easy,

I let a lot of people depend on me

When I force myself to have some fun, it all comes back into balance. I have standing dates with friends like weekly coffee. I have once a month friend dates prescheduled because if I don’t, I won’t. But I need to.

Finances.

For me, finances are all about work and money. I have an entrepreneurial heart. I love my work. So much that I would put it all the way at the top. I’ve never had a job I didn’t like. I’ve been working since I was 14. I’ve had like ten different careers. It’s fine. I’m working on it. I remember a few years into our marriage, my husband went off to training for a few months. I had just landed my dream job (at that time). I got to build our training program from scratch. And I got to pick my team. Y’all, I was in heaven. It was glorious. I was working 12-14 hour days. Because I wanted to. There was no requirement. There was no deadline. No one even knew I was working that much! Except my husband. He came home and was like…Shana, this is not normal. It was a first of many red flags. God certainly gave me Chris to help me figure out how to balance this fire I have inside. I have a really hard time just relaxing. Or just being. Or staying still in the home I pay a lot of money for. Slowly, he has helped me try to find some balance with my ambition and my priorities. On the contrary though, if I’m not working on something I feel passionate about I’ll also feel out of balance. I’ll look like Branch from Trolls.

Copyright Dreamworks.

That was another hard fought lesson for me. I’ve gone back and forth with work since becoming a mom. I think we all probably do. I’ve learned that I’m in harmony when my family comes first but I am also doing work that lights me up.

The other part of finances for me is security. Dave Ramsey says women like to feel secure when it comes to finances and he is right. It’s like the day when I go grocery shopping and my pantry is full and my fridge is full, I feel SO GOOD. How weird is that? Like, I can go to the grocery store any day. For some reason, having loads of food at home, ready to nourish my family makes me feel secure!

And so it is with my finances. When money is out of whack, I feel out of harmony. On the contrary, when we know where our money is going and those places are in alignment with our family goals, I feel good!

So those are my elements of harmony (we typically hear this as “balance” these days).

What are yours? Did any of that ring true for you too?

If you liked this post, please comment & share!


Attempting to achieve harmony without systems is futile. Listen to me as a recovering stubborn system refuser. I’ll be leading 10 women through a 90 day mastermind planning group where we will attempt I get all of that 👆🏻out of heart and into a plan. Join us, it will help you. It’s only for 90 days, what do you have to lose?
 

Cheap & fast & awesome Father’s Day gift!

Hopefully you’ve already got your Father’s Day gifts together! Whether you do or you don’t, I’ve got one for you.

It’s Cheap. Fast. Awesome.

  • You’ll need letters that spell DAD. They can be homemade or store bought.
  • You will need a frame.
  • You’ll need kids.
  • Have each kid hold a letter and take their photo.
  • Then print the photos out, put them in a frame spelling Dad. This works with whatever number of kiddos you have, I just happen to have 3. 😉
  • The first year you give him the frame. Next year you give him photos to put in the frame.
  • Eventually DAD will have years of photos to look at. To see how his precious babies have grown over the years. It’s like a yearbook for your kiddos, but it’s just for Dad.

See the video here.

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Sunday planning: Marriage meetings

Today is the day to rest & plan the week.

The brain dump allows you to have some peace & increases your chances of success.

What can you plan?

  • Meals. What’s for dinner every night this week? Lunch? Breakfast? Even if you don’t want to prep, having a plan is a BIG help during the week.

 

  • Schedule. Appointments? Meetings? Kid stuff? Get it out of your head and see what you’re working with time wise. Which days do you need to have an extra cup of coffee? 😉 

 

  • To dos. What needs to get done this week? How are you going to get it done?

 

  • Goals. What’s the goal for the week? What’s the focus? Thugs ebb and flow and often we feel like we might have a theme to the week. One week it might be getting through the last week of school! One week might be to get a big project complete at work. One week might be resetting your healthy eating. Pick your focus and get your mind wrapped around it.

 

 
A game changer in my house is reflecting & planning WITH my husband. It’s called a marriage meeting. 
 
There are so many reasons this is important, but here are 3:
  1. It gets us on the same side, working as a team.
  2. It’s communication on purpose. Less surprises during the week, less fights, more control, more teamwork.
  3. I’m a words of affirmation kind of lady. Chris doesn’t mind giving them but it really isn’t something he thinks about. Beginning the meeting by filling the love tank helps the meeting go better, but it gets me what I need too!
 
I have NOT perfected or even designed my marriage meeting agenda to the level I want, but I invite you to give it a try anyway. If you can add this one habit in on Sunday & with your spouse, it will be a game changer!
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The Responsibility of Self-Care

If you haven’t heard about self-care lately, then you’ve been living under a rock. And unless that rock is a heated stone for your massage, you’re doing it wrong.

Self-care is a trendy term and concept these days but it’s a really simple concept: take care of yourself.

Taking care of yourself, especially for women, seems to be something we need reminding of. A lot. Taking care of ourselves is typically at the bottom of our to do list, which is a big no no.

Most of the words we see about self-care mirror the idea that you owe it to yourself. That’s true. You definitely do. Today, though, I want to implore you to take care of yourself from another point of you.

It’s your responsibility.

If you’re serving your family drained, empty, tired, anxious and stressed, you’re probably not serving them the way you want to. Sure, there’s a lot to do and a lot expected from us. That’s why we need a lot of good stuff going in (not talking wine here) so we can meet those expectations without feeling so drained. Because we’re so busy, as moms and as wives we often turn to our kids and spouses to be that good stuff. Unfortunately, that puts too much pressure on our families to fill holes they simply can’t fill. We lean on our children and our spouses for our own fulfillment and happiness. And while they can certainly provide some of that, it is simply not fair to depend on them for all of it. It’s not fair not only because they cannot meet that expectation but it’s also not fair because they deserve a mom and a wife that is fulfilled, charged and happy!

Are you living life that way? Do you feel energetic & strong? Do you feel full of power, love and self-discipline?

Do you feel that way? If you don’t, you need to put a serious priority on self-care. It is your responsibility ALONE to ensure you’re up for the tasks that lay before you. No one else can do that for you.

Funnily enough, getting to the point where you do feel up to the tasks set before you, where you do feel strong and energetic requires doing some stuff you might actually enjoy. 

You see, self-care is doing stuff you want to do. Many times we wind up doing what everyone else wants us to do. We convince ourselves that there isn’t time or space available for us to take time to do what we want.

But we’re wrong. Most of the time, we haven’t asked for it. Specifically. And then followed through by doing it. This is so tricky because many times we’ll be on the way out the door when calamity strikes!

Other times we simply haven’t made it a priority.

Other times we have convinced ourselves we’re too indispensable. Well, actually, the family really needs to learn to live without you a bit mom. Not too long because the house might burn down while you’re gone, but long enough that they learn to stand on their own feet, not mom’s shoulders. You are indispensable but your family will survive and everyone will be better for it.

Why? Because the family will have learned they can do some things even without mom. You’ll return from self-care recharged and ready to love on them some more. It’s a win-win. Your tank will be more full, you will be able to pour into others even more than before!

The takeaway: It’s your responsibility to take care of yourself (self-care). Stop putting yourself on the bottom of your to-do list.

That’s why I help women catch up so they can keep up and then level up. That’s what I do. All the way through to their best selves.

What do you need a jumpstart in?

Book your coaching session now.

What do you get?

  • A 30 minute call with me (this is all about you!)
  • A personalized action plan (this is all about YOUR life)

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What do you do?