Tag Archives: work at home mom

Eat More Leftovers!

Let’s face it. You meal plan so you don’t waste food. You make a grocery list so you don’t overspend, as much. You meal prep and pre-package school lunches and after school snacks so the whole house doesn’t get eaten within 36 hours of purchase.

Give yourself a break!

Eat more leftovers! I actually put ‘Leftovers’ on my meal plan for the week. If I haven’t been feeling well lately I may put it on the list every three days. There is nothing wrong with expecting your family to reheat yesterdays dinner. Sometimes you can reconfigure it into a different type of meal but sometimes you can’t. Trust me, they can suck it up and it will save you all the stress of ‘witching hour.’ Take it a step further and serve it on paper plates. That way you’ve saved yourself from having to cook dinner that night and do the dishes. Voila!

Another thing I do to make sure suppers don’t go to waste is pre-package them for future use. My family is more likely to eat the leftovers (or take them to work for lunch) if I go ahead and cut portions to place into plastic containers. That way they are easy to grab and pop into the microwave. Sometimes I don’t even tell the hubs that leftovers are in the fridge. I just mix the containers in with his prepackaged lunch items and he automatically just grabs whatever. Let’s face it, most men don’t look anyway. Toddlers, on the other hand, are tiny health inspectors. They should be paid by the Food and Drug Administration. Nothing slips by a toddler. Nothing. If yours is anything like mine, he’s so paranoid he literally smells everything single thing before it goes into his mouth. Drinks are no exception.

So give yourself a break Mama. It’s Monday. Let them eat leftovers.

Saving you the dishes,

Your Mediocre Mom

Verse of the Week: Isaiah 40:11

Mommin’ ain’t easy – and we need all the encouragement we can get. Sometimes the encouragement only comes from above. And we should be okay and expectant in that because He is all-sufficient for us. Focus on this verse this week as we tend to our ‘flocks.’

“He tends his flock like a shepard: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; He gently leads those that have young.” Isaiah 40″11 NIV

Amen. …”He gently leads those that have young.” Please and thank you, Jesus.

 

In His Name,

Your Mediocre Mom

 

The Cock-Block Toddler

Hi there. If you’ve kept up with my blog you are already aware that I am a mom of two toddlers. They rock. Sometimes. Other times they down right suck. But in this post I will share with you 5 ways they are so very thoughtful.

  1. Sexy Time – Nothing says, “You’re welcome mom,” quite like ALWAYS ruining a little romantic time with the hubs. The little one is going through a bit of a sleep regression…thoughtful, I know. And the older one has a habit of wanting to sleep in ‘momma bed.’ No matter how many times I take him back to his room, he always ends up back in our bed. And when he’s not, his sister decides it’s time to party all night. I love how they rescue me from the same old excuses. He may actually believe me if I say I have a headache. Wink wink. So thoughtful.
  2. Answered Prayers – For years I have prayed for patience.  Since having children I have learned that they hear my prayers and have decided to help me with them. You see, they thoughtfully create situations that would allow me to practice my patience. Lots and lots and lots of situations. As a matter of fact, I should be the most patient person that exists. So thoughtful of them.
  3. Tidiness – This is one of my favorites. The kids ever so thoughtfully throw their toys about the house to give me more practice in tidying. They are really good too. Like, when I pick up an entire set of Lincoln Logs and put them away….I find one piece at a time in several areas of the house- the dirty laundry, the toilet, the kitchen floor, on the train table…anywhere but in the box where it belongs. So sweet that they were thinking of me. They see me constantly tidying and thought I would like a few more to do. I enjoy it so much. So thoughtful!
  4. Uneaten Meals – I regularly let them both sit on the kitchen counter as I am preparing and cooking meals. If it’s a step they can handle I let them help. Add ingredients, stir, pour, etc. They enjoy watching and participating. I also heard that getting them involved makes them more likely to eat it or try new things. I call bullshit on that one, but they enjoy the process. They are so sweet to think of me when they leave an entire meal that they just asked me to fix sitting uneaten. They know how much I enjoy cooking, and just wanted to allow me the opportunity to get into the kitchen for a little ‘me’ time. So thoughtful!
  5. Reminders – I never would have thought my children would be so smart and thoughtful with this one. I mean, my husband hasn’t even figured this one out. When we are low on diapers and/or wipes and I need to remember to go buy some they have 9 poops between the two of them….in one day.  They normally poop once a day, each. And as soon as I buy them they return to normal.  But when mama needs to be reminded of that to-do list they are eager to jump in! So thoughtful!

Aren’t they awesome? I just love a considerate thoughtful child.  Tell me, how are your kids ‘thoughtful?’

Grateful,

Your Mediocre Mom

The Ultimate SAHM Checklist

Maybe you have one child. Maybe you have six. Maybe you are pregnant with your first, but already know you will stay home with the baby. Our tasks are never ending, and our homes are never spotless. Let us pause for a moment and give praise to God for the blessing of being at home with our babies. It doesn’t matter if your family makes enough money so that you are at home and comfortable or if your family makes great sacrifices, we are all blessed to be able to personally witness each and every milestone our children make. Maybe this is not an “ultimate” list.  Nonetheless, it is a list of things I deem necessary to keeping a happy home, and my sanity, as a stay-at-home-mom.

 

1. To-Do Lists

This is a given, but let’s evaluate it’s importance in the home. Currently, I have a dry-erase calendar on my fridge, a small pocket calendar in my purse, and written to-do list on my kitchen counter. The dry-erase calendar is, by far, the family’s communication hub. Let’s face it, we are way too busy. Even on the days when we don’t leave the house we are just busy. I will often forget to tell my husband about plans made or upcoming events. This way, we can all see what’s planned and what’s coming up. He has often said, “I see we have such-and-such on Wednesday night, do I need to ask my mom to keep the kids?” Having everything in one central place allows us to keep tabs on helping one another. Also, don’t be afraid to put common household items on there. One or two, or four, weeks of house cleaning have gotten away from me, before. When that happens I will literally pencil in “CLEAN HOUSE” on a day we don’t have anything planned. That way we actually make a plan to get it done.

My pocket/purse calendar is just a carbon copy of the main calendar. The only reason I keep it is for when I am out and about and make an appointment. That way I can just transfer it over to the fridge when I get home.  It has also come in handy when I am out of the house and my husband calls to ask if we have plans for a particular date. I can quickly check to see….with the disclaimer that, “I will double check the fridge when I get home, but my pocket calendar says No.”

The written to-do list is already a household basic. My life revolves around lists. I have literally made a list of all the lists I need to make. With that said, be sure to take a few moments to mentally organize what you would like to accomplish for the day and WRITE IT DOWN! I find that the best time, for me, to do this is at night right before bed. Writing the list before bed helps me do two things: include items that I didn’t complete the current day; and empty my ever-running mental to-do list before going to sleep. I don’t know about you but there are always items that I never had the time to do and cross off my daily to-do list. I usually evaluate if it’s something I really need to do, versus just wanted to do. If it’s something I actually need to do I will put it on the next days list. (Side note: Don’t be afraid to put small detailed items on your list. If you were supposed to call your best friend three days ago to catch up, make it a priority and put them on the list! I always get too busy and forget to make tea. When that happens I’ll put it on the list. You get the point.) Making the list at night really helps me sleep better. Have you ever lay awake at night thinking of all the things you need to do the next day? You, too? For some reason, I have found that writing those things down helps tell my mind that I have prepared to tackle them and can now not think about them. It seriously eases my mind. I highly recommend making your to-do lists before bed.

2. Have-Done List

Don’t tell me you haven’t heard of this. Actually, scratch that. I hope you haven’t heard of the have-done list. That way you will have learned something from this blog. I’ve already mentioned how much I love lists.  The have-done list is my very very favorite. No matter how much I support and understand the to-do list, the have-done list will be the one that saves my sanity at the end of the day. My husband is amazing. He works so hard so that I can stay at home with our children. I try, but let’s be honest, I could never repay him for that. Yes, I sacrifice a lot (my time, my multiple degrees, my career, myself, etc.) but I cannot put a price tag on this season of being home with my children. But…I am willing to bet that your spouse has come home from a long day’s work and ask you “what you did today.” Nothing would get under my skin more, than this question. I immediately wanted to respond with, “What did I do all day?! Keep your children alive, clean up spill after spill, fight a kicking and screaming child while changing their soiled diaper, watch Elmo all-freaking-day, etc. etc.” But I choose not to. Instead, I would usually respond with, “Oh, you know, I was a mommy all day.” After a while of wanting to claw my husband’s face off, in response to this daily question, I started realizing that he was just being polite. He was just asking me how my day was. It’s not the way I prefer he ask, but still.  Why was I being so defensive? Why didn’t I have a list of things that I felt were significant enough to tell him? I think it’s because I didn’t feel like the torture of watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse ten times in a row was enough to satisfy his request when he had been at a “real job” satisfying a boss and leading a team as a manager. And to be honest, I couldn’t remember what I really did all day…..I mean, what DID I do? So one day, I quit letting my to-do list stare me in the face, at the end of the day, with only one or two items crossed off.  Instead, I put a sheet of paper on the refrigerator and started writing down everything I did. I still had a to-do list to help guide me throughout the day, but I found that the list of what I was actually doing was MUCH longer than the list of things I had planned to do. I think my first have-done list had almost 25 items on it.

My husband came home that afternoon with his usual question and, with a smile on my face, I got to point him to a list. I can’t describe to you the feeling of hearing him say, “Are you serious? You really did all this today? While watching the kids?” Success! It had some really silly stuff on it, like : made tea, unloaded dishwasher, loaded dishwasher, wiped down all door knobs and light switches, changed diaper geanie, organized children’s books/puzzles, etc. Looking at a list of what all kept me busy throughout the day was liberating. No matter how insignificant it was. It gave light to “what I did all day.” I will never spend another day without a running have-done list. I highly recommend you make it part of your daily routine. Speaking of routine…

3. Schedule-Schedule-Schedule

I have a confession to make. This is my current weak spot. God blessed us with a beautiful new tax deduction a couple of months ago. She is simply amazing. Since she was born I have yet to get back to a permanent routine. I am trying. But, for purposes of this blog, I cannot express how important a schedule is. Children thrive on them! You don’t have to be so regimented that they panic at the slightest off-set. As a matter of fact, I recommend routine non-routine days in your schedule. Pick a day of the week where you and the kids all know there is no time-flow to their activities for the day (with the exception of things that always need to be at a specific time- meals, naps, bedtime- whatever applies to your family). Think of your day like a kid’s school day: there is a specific time they need to wake up in order to be ready and at school on time, they have specific times for certain subjects/activities, there is a specific snack time, more subject time, lunch time, play time, nap time, go home time, snack time, homework time, chore time, reading time, family time, bedtime. You get the idea. Having a schedule keeps your days from slipping away from you.

There have been plenty days that I have looked up at the clock only to see that it’s 3:30 p.m. and my kids are still running a muck in their pajamas, with appropriate bed-heads. Ugh. Thirty minutes ago it was just 9:00 a.m. When I first started scheduling my day, I quickly learned the art of setting alarms. They didn’t include the sound of an obnoxious morning alarm clock, but instead sounded like a pleasant reminder that it was time for a change of scenery. (Tip: Scroll through the many alarm sound options on your phone and choose one that is pleasant.) After I started setting alarms for my schedule I figured out that I needed a warning alarm, with a different sound, to help tell me that it was time to wrap up what we were doing, because the next item was just 5-10 minutes away. Some kids actually need this transitional warning. It’s like hearing a teacher say, “In five minutes we’re going to the lunch room, be sure to start wrapping up your projects.”

 

……Okay, HUGE confession time here. I wrote everything you just read back in February of 2016. Almost an entire year ago. And I’m here to tell you one thing.

You. Need. Alcohol.

List complete.

 

Love in the real world,

Your Mediocre Mom

Update on the Move: I’m over it!

Hi there. As you sit where ever you are, I am still living in a tiny two bedroom apartment with my husband, mother, and two tiny children (a two-year old boy that is 100% Pentecostal and a 7 month old little princess). It’s a cute apartment that is fully furnished- that’s a huge blessing.  But there is one window unit pumping AC and it’s located across the unit in the dining room. That means we all burn up at night in the bedrooms. My toddler currently claims 80% of the bed he shares with his Memaw at night. And my husband and I are held hostage each day by the napping/sleeping baby in an uncomfortable pack-n-play in our bedroom. The washer and dryer are a called a “thin twin” combination, meaning it washes three towels at a time. The dryer vent hose that usually runs to an exterior wall of the home doesn’t. It has some weird vent cup on the end of it and it sits on the bathroom floor. That means all the heat from the dryer is blowing into the bathroom….which doesn’t have a fan, only a tiny window in the shower that opens. With 5 people living here you can imagine how hot it stays in there from having to constantly run it. The appliances are so outdated they don’t cook properly. A bag of microwave popcorn takes 4 minutes to pop half the bag. The corn that actually pops is scorched. Something is weird about the outlets in the kitchen because they make the appliances we packed cook hot and fast. Strange. All I can think about is how we had the electricity switched over into our name early so the movers would have AC. So I’m paying electricity for a home I don’t own and I’m sitting over here hot. Ha! Oh, but these are the days that memories are made, right? Ugh. I am always the one that tries to keep everyone encouraged and tries to keep everything in perspective….but even I am struggling.

We are so tired of trying to keep the children busy and entertained. I have spent a small fortune on cheap disposable toys and what was supposed to be “travel toiletries.” We didn’t plan on being in this position for very long so everything we need on a regular basis is packed away and stored in a house we do not own. Yep, you read that right…..we’ve already moved our belongings into the home. Don’t get me wrong, that was the biggest blessing we’ve received so far. And I am extremely grateful for that. But our “stuff” was moved here so soon because we were told a bum closing date. The seller has been back and forth about letting us move in early and frankly I’m really uncomfortable moving in early, at this point. Heaven forbid my toddler break something before we own it. People seem to be more worried about the dog. They have no idea! She’s the laziest sweetest thing that exists. Have you ever met a lab that never chews or digs? If you’ve met mine you have. She never did, even as a puppy! People should be worried about my toddler, not my dog. She is much more well behaved than my kid. Seriously.

Another thing bothering me is that I pulled my mother into this. She cares for my elderly grandfather. She even lives with him back home. She agreed to come stay with me for a month to help me with the kids while I try to get unpacked and somewhat settled. It would allow for Donnie and I to travel to nearby cities to purchase any furniture we needed, etc. But now that this is all dragging out, she’s spent her time in this hot apartment being held hostage to a toddlers nap and bedtimes. She doesn’t have a single space to her own to regroup at night. She’ll still have to go back home towards the end of July.

And then there’s my fur baby. Since she’s not allowed to stay in the apartment or the house that we are paying AC for, I had to stick her in an unbelievable kennel. It’s horrible. I packed her up, drove her 9 hours, and dropped her off at a kennel. I can’t even get them to call me back so I can ask about her. I feel so bad for her. I just know she thinks I’ve abandon her. She wasn’t supposed to stay but just a few days. Now it’ll be almost two weeks. Ugh, that makes me cry. For those of you reading this that think I’m over reacting, she’s not a typical pet. She and I used to travel a little and do dog shows. And she would win! I still have her ribbons and photos packed away somewhere at the new house. This all just sucks really bad.

Our original closing date on the house we are trying to buy was July 5th, I believe. It has been pushed up and then back so many times that I cannot remember the first time they told us to prepare to be here. I think it was July 21st? And we’re still here awaiting a closing date. Just this morning we were told to expect the original July 5th closing date- this coming Tuesday. And less than 30 minutes later were told to push it back to possibly Wednesday. Unbelievable!

So, here we are. Still sitting in this hot apartment, sweating in our sleep, driving by the house we love with all of our stuff sitting in it, hoping my dog is okay, and trying our best to make the most of it. But I would be lying if I told you we weren’t over it. We are so over it.  I’m trying my best to remain optimistic, but at this point I’ll believe it when I see it. And I want my damn dog back. Today.