Spending Time with the Kiddos When You’re Busy

Working full-time doesn’t leave a lot of room for play. And if you have a family, obviously the number one thing you want to do is spend time with them. If you have more than one child, trying to squeeze in some one-on-one time can be a challenge. Here are a few ideas to help make sure you spend time bonding with each of your children; getting to know them, encouraging them, and reminding them that just because you are not available 24/7 they are the most important people to you.

Seize Opportunities for 1-on-1 Time When they Present Themselves

I needed a new pair of shoes, so I snagged my second daughter, told her to get ready we were going out. We spent a couple of hours trying on shoes, laughing, poking fun, talking, sharing and just having a great time — plus I not only found the pair of shoes I needed, I found two more adorable pair that came home with us too.

Plan weekly time. Every week I have to go grocery shopping, if I don’t the natives get cranky. Mom there’s nothing to eat. We’re out of milk. We’re out of yogurt. All we have is peanut butter and jelly, I hate peanut butter and jelly. So every week I take a different child with me to the grocery store. It’s an opportunity to spend some time together, to have fun, and make memories.

Monthly meetings. Before I was working, we used to have weekly meetings where we’d spend some time working on a small project together, maybe read, but we’d talk about their week, see how they were doing with their school work, talk about their strengths, weaknesses, and we’d make goals for the upcoming week. The truth is, I’d love to do these meeting weekly still, but it isn’t practical, so we do them once a month. They are important, so important they go on my calendar. Each meeting is anywhere from 30-60 minutes, depending on the child and what they need from me at that time. They come into my office and sit on the other side of my desk, just like a client would (they LOVE it!) they bring their binders and school notebooks, their list of goals, and anything else they want to show me and talk about. It’s an exceptional time to dig in deep to their souls and talk about the things that really matter to them.

Daily Walks. (Full-disclaimer — I don’t do this in the summer… it’s too hot here in Texas, but the weather is finally cooling down so daily walks will be happening again this week!) This is something I started when I was pregnant with Madie (she’s 20 months now). I wanted/needed the exercise so I’d alternate which child got to go with me. I like to walk in the evenings, so after dinner some lucky child gets to hangout with me. Sometimes I do round up the troops and they all go, but when I’m 9 months pregnant, that can be exhausting!

What are some of your favorite ways to spend time with your kiddos? Spending Time with the Kiddos When You're Busy

  • October 28, 2015

From Homeschooling Mom to Working Full-time

I am a mom. I was a stay-at-home mom for over 13 years. My husband David and I have been blessed with five children and another one on the way. As a stay-at-home homeschooling mom my world revolved around my home, my children, my husband. I was a good, no I was a great homemaker who cooked and cleaned, educated my children and if I knew my hubby had a hard day at work, I’d even put a beer in the freezer before he came home from work. Who doesn’t love an ice cold beer?

I was a full-time mom and homemaker who took my job very seriously and who loved it.

Last year my husband got sick and for six months his symptoms only got worse. While there is no official diagnosis yet, the doctors believe he may have MS — multiple sclerosis.

At the beginning of the year his health really declined and when he was laid off we knew it was a blessing in disguise.

But with no work and no money coming in I scrambled to find clients — just odd jobs online — virtual assistant work, writing, graphic design, editing, social media management, you name it — I did it. I was determined to provide for my family and I did it!

Within two weeks I was bringing in as much as my husband had been. But I was sad. I missed my kids. Everyone was home all day but I was locked away in my office hustling all day. I took pride in my role as mom and homemaker. All of me was wrapped up in being a homeschooling mom. Hours pouring over curricula and books and creating the perfect schedule. If I was no longer just a stay-at-home homeschooling mom, who was I?

Listening to the laughter during the day, it stung. It was no longer a peaceful sound. It was a reminder that I wasn’t a part of the family 24/7. It was the realization that without me all day my kids were okay. Even the baby, just over a year old at the time, didn’t need me as much as I thought she did and it hurt.

To go from complete certainty in life to not understanding my place — I was a mess. A midlife crisis at 33, was it possible? I felt like my life no longer had meaning other than bringing home the bacon.

My hustling days are over. I have one steady client that’s allowed me to free up some time to spend with my family and to pursue my dreams and make a living doing so. I’m a writer, it’s how I process the world and closely related are speakers. Having found myself in many situations leading others, organizing events and having to speak, combined with a heart for ministry to women it was a natural direction for me to pursue a career in speaking.

But how do moms do it? How can you work 40 hours and still cook and clean and spend quality time with your husband and children? I still don’t know how but somehow we make it through every day. Somehow we have still managed to homeschool and somehow I know it’s all going to be okay.

No there is still no official diagnosis for David, we just take each day as it comes. It’s great having David home and the kids love that Dad is around all the time to help with school, to talk, to veg out and watch a movie in the middle of the day. And while I work 40 hours a week I get to split that up anyway I want.

Life is good. Full of laughter and bickering and violin lessons and young teenage drama and snotty noses and hugs and long chats over hot cocoa in the morning and music playing too loud but its life and while I may not know what tomorrow has in store I know that it’s all going to be okay.

I tell you all this today not for pity but because right now this is me. Maybe an intense icebreaker, but life is intense and full of surprises. A year ago I’d be telling a very different story and I’m sure next year is going to surprise me too.From Homeschooling Mom to Working Full-time

  • October 21, 2015

Mom, You Are A Leader

You’re just a stay-at-home-mom, your day consists of laundry and dishes and runny noses and chasing toddlers and tantrums and cooking and errands and all those things that a mom must do.

The truth is — you’re raising the next generation. We often hear how being a mom is THE most important job, and I’m sure you believe that, when I was just a stay-at-home-mom I believed that too. And while I knew my job was vital and I knew it mattered, it never occurred to me that I was in fact a leader.

When I started working full-time and I no longer got to spend my day with my children I knew that I wanted to start my own business, to be an entrepreneur of sorts… a writer, because that’s just me, it’s how I process the world. So I hired a business coach. I set out on this journey and I wanted someone who actually knew what they were doing to help me.

I met Dr. Michael Nichols after attending a webinar he did. I loved his message and after speaking with him my hubby and I decided that this was the right move. That was several months ago, and it’s still one of the smartest decisions I’ve ever made.

I’ve learned a lot, I’ve grown so much and one thing that keeps coming back to me is that I am a leader now and I was a leader even when I was just a stay-at-home-mom.

Now I don’t keep saying just a stay-at-home-mom to be condescending, I say so because whenever someone used to ask me what I do for a living I always said, “oh, I’m just a stay-at-home-mom.” And the truth is, I wasn’t giving myself enough credit, and I’m sure you’re not either.

Once you change your mindset, a whole new world opens up. I’m sure you’ve thought of yourself as a leader in different situations, but how can you change your mindset to live like a leader even as just a stay-at-home-mom?

When you’re deep in the trenches of diapers and snotty noses and bad attitudes, it can definitely be hard to see through all the muck and realize that you are doing eternal work — and this is for ALL moms whether you make an income or not. Being a mom is important and you are a leader. I say all this because it’s time that moms realize this. My business coach is not just that, he’s a life coach. Someone who has not only guided and encouraged me in business decisions, but we started with my heart. We started with my husband and my family and in creating a life plan to make sure that no matter what choices I make down the road, they all line up with what truly matters to me.

Through all this, I realized how helpful this would have been even while being a stay-at-home-mom. What if I mapped out my life priorities and everyday I was working toward those goals, if everyday I did just a little something to move myself in the right direction, what could my life have looked like? Would that mean less frazzled days because I knew what the goal was? That I could relax a bit and spend more happy times with my children because I knew the big picture?

I want to encourage all of you… moms, grandmothers, sisters, daughters… whoever you are and no matter what stage in your life you are in today, you are a leader in some way. If you’re not leading today at some point in the future you will be.

So Mom, remember… you are a leader, you are doing eternal work that matters in a big way.Mom, You Are A LeaderMom, You Are A Leader


 

For a very limited time, my coach and friend, Dr. Michael Nichols is offering a free video series walking you through the “5 Phases of SIMPLE Leadership.” He shares the same tools he shared with me to eliminate complexity and chaos, to find more margin, build deeper relationships, to be more fulfilled, and be more productive. I cannot tell you how excited I am to share this with you! You will not regret tuning in for this FREE series.

  • October 14, 2015