Motherhood Archives - FamilyFelicity.com

Angry Mother: How to Stop Being One in 4 Simple Steps!

If you feel trapped in the cycle of being an angry mother, you’re NOT alone! Moms all over the world every single day struggle with grumpiness, feeling on-edge, and have a rather short temper when it comes to parenting.

I believe this is due to one main cause. Motherhood requires us to be ON every moment (day and night) of our lives. Ummm…no other job requires that level of commitment! There are no days off in motherhood. And many moms are doing it all with virtually no support system in place.

The nature of being a mom requires us to go…and go…and go.

Even though all the experts tell us that multitasking is ineffective and puts a strain on our mental and physical capacities, the very essence of being a mom requires us to multitask every waking moment of our lives!

And therein lies the issue, we are doing too much ALL. THE. TIME. This feeling of being pulled in so many directions leads to feelings of overwhelm, anxiety, mom burnout, and fits of yelling at our kids.

This is why I always say that moms yelling at their kids isn’t the problem…it’s what’s underneath the yelling that should be our focus.

Getting angry and being short-tempered with our kids is always more about us than our kids. And that’s the best news because it means YOU can change the outcome.

And while I share many resources about how to become a calmer mom over the long haul, I’m going to share with you my S.T.O.P. Method that will show you how to calm yourself quickly when you’re in the heat of the moment.

In my Free guide The Calm Mom Formula I have a printable version of the S.T.O.P. Method that you can post up as a helpful reminder when you need it most.

So the next time you find yourself stressed and on-edge with your kids and feel like you might explode – try practicing the following four easy steps!

4 Simple Steps to Stop Being an Angry Mother

Step One – Say, “I Have a Choice”

When we feel our anger rising the first thing we need to do is interrupt our thought pattern by reminding ourselves that we DO have a choice in the matter.

This concept is a powerful truth that I go deep into in my Choosing Calm Toolkit for Moms. I’ll give you the cliff-notes version here. We are not held captive to react negatively to the things happening around us, including the behaviors of our children.

Let me say it again for the moms in the back…we are NOT held captive to react negatively to the things happening around us, including the behaviors of our children.

In other words, we have the power to respond thoughtfully versus reacting emotionally. And I don’t know about you, but when I used to respond emotionally to my children’s behavior – it was never pretty!

Taking two seconds to say to yourself or out loud, “I have a choice” is an example of a pattern interrupt which is an action that interrupts your highly ingrained ways of thinking. And chances are when you get angry you’re thinking thoughts about yourself.

You may be thinking how awful you sound when you start going into angry mom mode, how helpless you feel every time this happens, or the mom-guilt that screams you’re the worst mom ever.

Interrupting these negative thoughts with an empowering thought is extremely effective. How am I so confident that you’re able to make the right choice? Because God’s Word tells us this…

“Understand this, my beloved brothers and sisters. Let everyone be quick to hear [be a careful, thoughtful listener], slow to speak [a speaker of carefully chosen words and], slow to anger [patient, reflective, forgiving]” – James 1:19

Notice the word everyone. If we are given this command…we are also equipped to make the change with His help!

Step Two – Take a Breath

This second step rolls together with the first step. As you’re reminding yourself that you do have a choice in how you respond vs. react to the situation you are taking a moment to breathe.

Breathing in moments of stress, anger, or panic are vitally important because they allow our brains to think. When we’re suddenly overcome with negative emotions, our brains hop over into survival mode and rational thinking is suspended.

Taking a few deep, slow breaths allows our ability to think to be restored. And when we’re thinking, we’re making better choices. I don’t know about you but I have a real knack for saying and doing things I’ll regret later when I’m wrapped up in my emotions.

Step Three – Observe Your Feelings

It’s been said that anger is like an iceberg. What you see at the surface is yelling and anger but what’s hiding below the surface are the underlying feelings like hurt, shame, embarrassment, fear, exhaustion, insecurity, stress, worry, depression, trauma, and many more. 

When we feel overwhelmed by anger in the moment training ourselves to observe the feeling that’s at the root of our anger is very helpful in defusing that anger.

I’ll be honest, this step takes practice and discipline to resist the strong urge to let our anger blow its top like a a volcano all over our kids. And when you tap into its power you’ll get better and better at doing it.

Remember James 1:19 that I just shared above? This is where the slow to speak part really comes in. We quite literally need to train ourselves not to speak right away when we’re angry. That’s why this method is called the S.T.O.P. Method because we’re stopping our negative behavior and exchanging it for a more positive one.

You will likely realize that in that moment you were overwhelmed by a work deadline that was stressing you out, you were embarrassed by something your child did in public, you’re sleep-deprived, hungry, or maybe you just received some bad news.

Identifying those hidden emotions almost certainly works to fizzle our anger. That’s because none of us are angry with our kids on purpose…we’re simply in reaction mode. Leaving us feeling terrible afterward.

Step Four – Practice Grace

This last step is a powerful one because it’s two-fold. First, you’re offering grace to your child for doing whatever is causing your anger in the first place. And secondly, you’re giving yourself grace for feeling angry and letting yourself go through this process.

Grace is defined as unmerited favor. It’s the grace that Christ shows us! We don’t deserve it, yet it’s ours for the taking. Kids are constantly learning, maturing, and growing which means they need heaping scoops up grace every single day.

This doesn’t mean they don’t need discipline and behavioral issues should go unaddressed. It just means that we give them the benefit of the doubt, try our best to understand their side of things, and show them kindness along with our firmness.

And have you ever totally overreacted to a situation that wasn’t at all what you thought it was and you needed to go back and apologize for your own actions? These four steps help us avoid those situations and make room for building trust and making meaningful connections with our kids.

Try out this method for yourself and let me know how it worked for you! Grab your FREE copy of The Calm Mom Formula and get your beautiful printable sheet to post up as a helpful reminder.

Mom Anger: 3 Reasons it’s More About Us Than Our Kids

If mom anger was in the dictionary it could be defined as any moment of anger, yelling, or heated frustrated on the part of a mother in the midst of any parenting-related interaction.

Based on this definition, I think it’s safe to say that mom anger affects us all in some way. Why? Because let’s face it, motherhood is hard. And while there are many other more colorful adjectives we could use to describe motherhood, I feel like hard encompasses them all.

If you’ve ever lost your marbles with your kids, chances are, on at least one of those lovely occasions you’ve blamed the kids for your mom anger. Umm…my hand is up. Anyone else with me?

Here’s the problem with that – in many of our stressed-out, on-edge, ready to lose it moments the root of that short-temper started with us, not our kids.

The truth is, yelling at our kids is more about us and how we’re feeling in the moment than it is about our kids and what they’re doing in the moment.

In other words, we can do things on the front end to set ourselves up for calmer mom days and more connections with our kids or for more stress and frustration and blaming the kids for all our anger.

I lived for a really long time in that second mindset and I’ll be honest…it’s a miserable one.

I’ve made so many mistakes as a mom and learned so much over the years and I want to share that wisdom with you. This is a no-judgment zone, just me sharing what I’ve learned along the way and what really works to save your sanity as a mom.

Here are three surprising reasons your mom anger has more to do with you and your kids.

1 – Our current emotional state sets us up for calm or chaos

Here’s a short illustration of the power of our mindset…

Amy was up two separate times last night because her 6-year-old son has been having bad dreams and is always too scared to go back to sleep without her snuggling in his bed.

She’s been second-guessing herself all week on whether she’s making the right choice to give in to his pleading to go into his bed night after night. She read an article last week that doing this creates a cycle of dependence that could have bigger consequences later.

Amy is a mom to 3 children ranging from a teenager to a 2-year-old and she homeschools her older kids while still wrangling the baby. She also works fulltime from home as a virtual assistant for several clients because not working isn’t a financial option for her family right now.

Today she just got the news that one of her biggest clients had to make the hard choice to not use her services as his business had to shut down key functions as a result of the quarantine. That’s a major hit to her income and fear starts to settle in.

The spiraling force of what-ifs feel uncontrollable as she tries to just stay focused on keeping it together and feeling as normal as possible.

Suddenly, as she’s drafting her response email to her now former client, her 6-year-old starts laughing very loudly in the other room followed by crying shortly after.

She feels her heart beating from aggravation as she gets up to investigate. While turning the corner, her teenager starts pleading his case on why it was just an accident. Apparently he was giving his little brother an innocent tickle fight, which was all fun until he got a little too aggressive.

Instead of taking a breath, Amy lights up the room with accusations about how her teenage son is always playing too rough and how sick she is of hearing all this noise! She demands they both just go to their rooms until she says they can come out.

Her youngest, feeling attacked, starts crying and her teenager responds by storming out and slamming his door.

She now feels like a total jerk…the guilt is real.

Let me stop here and point out a few things.

Her kids weren’t “misbehaving” at all. They were doing very normal (loud and maybe slightly annoying) but very normal kid things.

I want to point this out because it’s so easy for us to tell ourselves that we yelled because our kids did something to deserve our yelling and angry response.

Let’s rewind really quickly and paint another picture of Amy…

Amy woke up from a full night’s sleep for five days in a row! That’s a record! She’s on a roll and ready for the day like a boss.

After getting her kid’s breakfast and their morning lessons underway, she checks her email and learns that one of her clients is increasing her workload. She feels a little uneasy about whether she can handle more work with everything she’s already juggling, but is very excited about the increase to her bottom line.

Later that afternoon, while she’s working she hears loud laughter coming from the other room. She feels tempted to tell them to keep it down but decides to enjoy the sound of her kids actually playing together. That is until she hears the crying!

As she gets up to investigate she takes a few breaths and reminds herself that she gets to choose how she responds to the situation. When her son starts to defend his actions…she listens.

Amy then attends to her crying son and he quickly admitted that it was just an accident. He moved his head at the same time his brother moved his elbow and is totally fine. Her older son quickly apologizes and all seems well.

She grabs a tissue to wipe her son’s nose and decides to get in on the tickling action causing him to revert back to laughing again. Her oldest asks if they can watch that movie he’s been begging them to rent. Sure, why not?

Ok this all may seem like a total work of fiction…and it is…but this story could have played out in any one of our homes! Just switch out the cast of characters and situations and there you have it.

The obvious point I’m trying to drive home is that the reason we feel so ready to lose it all the time has more to do with us and how we’re feeling than our kids and what they’re doing.

And even on those occasions when the kids really are doing they’re best to step on your very last nerve – when you’re at your best it sets you up for closer connections every single time.

Do you fall into this trap over and over?

There is a better way. Amy was using my S.T.O.P. Method that is featured in The Calm Mom Formula Quick-Start Guide. Want your own copy? Click the image below.

She reminded herself that she has a choice, she paused to take a breath, followed by practicing grace. This all resulted in a Win.

2 – Setting the right expectations is everything in parenting

We need to put our expectations to work for us in life and as parents. Unfortunately, there’s a dark side to expectations, which is why so many people treat them like the plague. It’s our fear of failure and disappointment that keep us from expecting good things to happen.

We rationalize that it’s better to have no expectations than to run the risk of being painfully disappointed when things don’t work out as we’d hoped.

Realistically, this is a tough one and it’s a struggle for most people, including myself, but here’s the truth. Most of us think we’re avoiding expectations all together when in reality, we’re just avoiding the positive ones.

Sorry to break it to you, but the whole time we’ve been using the power of expectations, only they’ve been working against us instead of for us!

You’ve likely been telling yourself a story that might sound something like this:

“I’m never going to get a handle on this parenting thing. I wish I could get my kids to listen the first time just one day.”

“I don’t want to be like my mother was, but as the years go by, the more I realize I have the same temper as her.”

“I thought I’d be a great mom, and yet every day I wake up feeling like there has to be more.”

Those negative expectations keep us trapped in a cycle of where we don’t really want to be.

So, if you’re already intimately acquainted with expectations, don’t you think it’s time to make them finally work for you instead of against you?

Here’s the point, both the Bible and science have a lot to say about the power of expectations and they both agree that what we expect to happen is likely what will happen. Ever heard of a self-fulfilling prophecy?

The reason is because we subconsciously work to make our expectations right.

So, isn’t it better to set the expectations we really want? I’d say so!

It’s time to spruce up those old, tired expectations and get some new ones. Try these on for size:

“Just because I’m struggling with a short-temper or anxiety right now doesn’t mean I always will if I decide to do the work I need to see the change I want.”

“No matter what it feels like in the moment, my children are fully capable of listening without me needing to yell. They just need consistency over time from me.”

“I am not alone and I can do all things through Christ who gives me the strength to do them.”

3 – Our boundaries are either working for us or against us

One of the biggest components of getting our kids to listen consistently, and thus keeping our sanity intact, is setting up the framework of boundaries and consequences.

This step is crucial because it’s essentially setting you up for parenting success. We all need boundaries in life, and both parties (in this case, parent and child) need to be crystal clear on what those boundaries are.

When we aren’t clear with our kids on what’s acceptable and what isn’t, it’s nearly impossible for them to get it right!

If you never take the time to set healthy boundaries, you’ll be stuck in a very annoying cycle of reminding your kids on the fly every time they do something you don’t like. That’s a recipe for insanity and ultimately blowing up at your kids on a moment by moment basis which isn’t good for anyone!

Just like you naturally steer your newly walking baby away from the fireplace to keep her safe, our kids need healthy and helpful boundaries to keep them safe at every age and stage.

Some examples of healthy boundaries could be:

“When we go inside the store, we don’t touch anything unless I give you permission first.”

“All your dirty clothes need to be put in the hamper in the laundry room in order to be washed.”

“You can only ride your bike to the end of our street and back.”

“Before you eat a snack from a box, you have to eat first eat something that once grew (AKA a fruit or veggie).”

These are clear boundaries that give your child a clear path to follow. And if and when they jump off the clearly laid path you so nicely provided for them – you offer natural consequences.

In our adult lives, we’re very familiar with natural consequences. They’re not punishments but a closely related outcome that either works for us or against us. This helps our kids learn in a real-world scenario versus simply grounding them or sending them to their room.

Not putting your dirty clothes in the hamper means you either do your own laundry or wear dirty clothes for a week. Riding your bike beyond the indicated stopping point means you lose your bike riding privileges for a time period.

The consequence should be related to the behavior but feel free to get creative here. Lol, The point is for them to learn that all behavior has natural consequences both good and bad. And it’s a lot more fun in life to create consequences that work for us!

Final Thoughts

As moms, there are so many things we can do to set ourselves up for success and make parenting a lot easier. Yes, it’s a lot more work on the frontend but it’s so worth it down the road.

When we learn to understand the power of our emotions and how to work with them, how our expectations either set up us to win or lose, and how our frontend boundaries raise self-motivated and better-behaved kids we won’t fall into the short-sighted trap of blaming it all on the kids.

The best part is, it’s never too late to start even though it’s clearly easier the younger your children are. Just remember that kids are resilient and are able to change and adapt much faster than us adults so keep at it and stay consistent.

Most importantly, deal with your children in a Kind and Firm way no matter what. They will respond positively over time. Do it little by little and step by step and you’ll do just fine!

The Best Mother’s Day Inexpensive Gift Ideas Kids can Easily Buy for Mom!

Inexpensive Mother's Day Gifts

Mother’s Day is a day I choose to take full advantage of every single year. I get showered with kisses, hugs, and snuggles all day – plus I don’t have housework of ANY kind!

What I also love about Mother’s Day is the thoughtful gifts I get from my kiddos each year. Some years they make something special, some years we do something fun, and others they save their money and buy me something creative.

Inexpensive Mother's Day Gifts

I never matters what I get, I’ll treasure each one of my gifts.

But this Mother’s Day will likely look pretty different! With most countries and states still limiting social activities and access to stores, it may be a challenge for families to go all-out for moms this year.

This post is meant to help all the dads and family out there who want to help your kids give the best meaningful gifts on Mother’s Day. These are all super simple, available on Amazon, and very affordable for kids!

And moms, it’s perfectly OK to leave this post open on your hubby’s computer! A subtle hint. 😉

Each gift idea is under $20 but most are half that! If you’re looking to go the homemade route, here are some DIY Mother’s Day gift ideas.

Cheap Mother’s Day Gifts From Kids

Butterfly SunCatcher

Always My Friend Necklace

ArtNaturals Bath Bomb Gift Set

What I Love About Mom Love Journal

Funny Bring Me Coffee Socks

Pretty Love Mom Bracelet

The Seaweed Bath Co. Whole Seaweed Detox Bath 

Mother Daughter Silver Key Chain

Mother Son Necklace

Rose Gold Mom Bookmark

Beautiful Essential Oils Diffuser Bracelet

Just Between Us: Mother & Daughter: A No-Stress, No-Rules Journal 

Amazing Books Mom Will Love for Mother’s Day

Mom Up: Thriving with Grace in the Chaos of Motherhood

Cat and Nat’s Mom Truths: Embarrassing Stories and Brutally Honest Advice on the Extremely Real Struggle of Motherhood

Mom Set Free: Find Relief from the Pressure to Get It All Right

Becoming MomStrong Bible Study: A Six-Week Journey to Discover Your God-Given Calling

Pressing Pause: 100 Quiet Moments for Moms to Meet with Jesus

This Is Motherhood: A Motherly Collection of Reflections + Practices

Looking for ideas for mother's day gifts from kids? This list is full of awesome and inexpensive Mother's Day gift ideas kids can buy for mom and Mom will love! #mothersday #gifts #momlife

7 Steps to Successfully Live on One Income & Stay Home with Your Kids

Get the 7 simple steps you need to take to see if your dream of becoming a stay-at-home mom can become a reality for you!

To say going from two full-time incomes down to one is a total lifestyle change would be an understatement. But working moms all over the world are choosing to make the switch from working full-time to be able to stay home and raise their children full-time.

Get the 7 simple steps you need to take to see if your dream of becoming a stay-at-home mom can become a reality for you!

There are also many families living on one income due to job losses or not enough income to pay for childcare. In either case, the decision to become a stay-at-home mom is one that comes with many costs and not just money… although that’s a big one!

Stay-at-home moms can feel lonely and disconnected from their friends and previous life, feel de-valued in their new role, and struggle to find joy in the often supermundane tasks being done every day.

I know this because I left the workforce in 2005 when I was pregnant with my first child and have been a stay-at-home mom ever since. I suffered through ALL of the above-mentioned issues! Being a stay-at-home mom is truly the hardest work I’ve ever done, but I honestly wouldn’t have made a different choice.

There are things I’ve been able to do for all three of my kids over the years that so many of my mom friends wished they could like attending most of my kid’s field trips, class parties, and performances. I’ve had more flexibility than most parents I know. I’ve been able to personally witness all of their many milestones when they were babies and toddlers, and for that, I’m so grateful.

But let me just cut in here on all the puppies and rainbows for a second and tell you… my journey has been H.A.R.D.! Really hard.

Mostly because of lack of money which is really what this post is about – how to live on one income successfully. This is a super important point to consider. Sure, all the other issues I mentioned earlier were super hard too… but NOTHING compares to not having enough money every month!

The Reality of Living on One Income

I knew this going in, and actually had a money-making position ready for me to do from home. Yes, my husband and I actually couldn’t afford for me to quit my job and not work. And that’s the reality for some of you too.

I actually ended up making pretty good money until that opportunity completely dried up after about 3 years in. Yep, no more income! It was very scary and exciting at the same time because I really didn’t like the mindless work I was doing and it pushed me to where I am now… doing work that I LOVE!

Related: 11 Easy Money-Saving Hacks Families MUST Do!

And if you’re considering making the transition to becoming a stay-at-home mom and living on one income, you may need to consider ways you can earn a steady income from home upfront. And honestly (this makes me sound so old) there simply weren’t as many opportunities to work from home in 2005 as there are today!

There are so many ways to earn a side income and even a full-time income online. Some are easy but require you to actually work for that money day in and day out. When I first started working from home, I was literally tied to my laptop all day. Yes, it was stressful and hard but I was with my baby girl every day and for me, it was all worth it.

She’s now 12 years old and she’s growing into such a wonderful human being. She’s recently had to overcome some difficult challenges and she’s handled them with such grace and ease that I’m completely in awe as a mom. Proud is an understatement. And I truly believe that my ability to personally pour into her every single day as a stay-at-home mom has greatly contributed to the woman she is becoming.

Sorry, stepping down from my Mom Soap Box. Back to incomes… while many work-at-home opportunities are work for money jobs, others are passive. And that’s hands down the best kind of income!

This post is designed to help walk you through the process of deciding if you can live on one income. But also shows you how you can actually earn an income from home and maybe even match your income you previously earned working 40 hours a week!

Let me take you through the process…

1 – Be All-In Together

Before we dive into the steps to transitioning to becoming a staying at home mom, let’s talk about how to be “all-in” together. Having your spouse on board with your decision is probably the single most important decision of this entire process.

You may have already mentioned to your husband that you were thinking of quitting your job and staying home with your new baby. And he threw up a viciously quick objection. Remember, most if not all of these objections are rooted in fear, so don’t be discouraged.

Most men, if not all, need to see things on paper… to see the numbers work out. They need to feel secure too.

This is a life-changing decision so it needs to be handled with care, with prayer, and a whole lot of grace until you both come into agreement. Which you need to be in order to make this work.

Moving on to steps 2-4 will help you both see where you are and what adjustments can realistically be made.

Related: How to save HUGE on family vacations and entertainment

2 – Put All Your Chips on the Table

The first thing you and your spouse need to do is put all your money on the table and see what you’ve got. List out your husband’s income and any other income you may be receiving, and then subtract your current income to see what’s left.

I wouldn’t suggest adding any funds like your savings or investments to your income list. Those funds are reserved for your future or emergencies and should never be looked at as income for your day to day living. Putting savings away to use when you leave your job is a bad idea because that money will eventually run out and you’ll be left in a bad financial situation.

Only add in sources of new income that are coming in on a regular basis.

3 – Create a Realistic Budget

Here’s where the real fun begins. If you’re anything like me, you’re already starting to cringe at the word BUDGET. It’s OK, stay with me… this step is super important. #StayStrong

I realize that you may already have a family budget so that’s great! But when I say “realistic” I mean create a new budget that takes into account that your family is reducing to one source of income. For example, you may currently have $300 a month budgeted for family clothing. You may need to decide to reduce or eliminate that cost altogether.

Typical families also spend a lot each month on eating out and family entertainment. Those are also areas that can be trimmed to allow your new stay-at-home lifestyle. Remember, there is a cost for most families and money is usually at the top of the list of sacrifices.

And don’t forget to eliminate your current childcare costs which are usually extremely high!

You may be pleasantly surprised to see how much money you were able to gain back just in your budget!

Don’t get too scared at this stage with all the cutting. We’re going to talk about how to add in more income in just a bit, so stay with me!

Get some great budgeting printables here!

4 – Explore Alternatives

Depending on how things are looking in the first two steps you may be ready to put in your resignation and join the stay-at-home mom club today or you may need to explore possible alternatives.

By alternatives, I mean looking for an area of compromise like instead of going from a full-time position to no income at all, you could ask your employer about working a flex or part-time schedule first.

If you don’t have any flexibility with your current employer, you could look at getting a parttime position working at another company. I know a few moms who left their 9 to 5 positions and stayed home with their kids all day and got a part-time position working in the evenings when their spouse gets home from work. Retail stores and restaurants are perfect for this!

Related: Amazing money making apps that’ll save you money when you shop

5 – Decide on your Timeframes

Once you’ve looked at all your options, you’ll need to decide on when’s the best time to start your new lifestyle. You may decide that it’s best to grow your emergency fund for a few months first and that’s a really great idea!

You definitely don’t want to rush into this huge change. Take it from me, it’s much better to have a plan and be prepared for setbacks. You’ll thank me later!

Set a clear date and work together as a team to make it happen. Sometimes, you may decide to wait a year and work on your plan. But having a clear vision and date will keep you focused and on track!

6 – Look for New Sources of Work-at-Home Income

Like I mentioned at the beginning of this post, there is no better time to earn income from home! Here are just a few ways to earn a steady side hustle income from home:

Related: 21 Legit Work from home jobs that are perfect for stay-at-home moms!

7 – Stick to Your Plan!

When you finally do transition to being a stay-at-home mom you’ll likely be making sacrifices in order to make it work. My greatest piece of advice is to remember why you’ve decided to make this major lifestyle change. That way when temptation shows up to get you off track or feeling jealous of what another mom is able to do, buy, or have you’ll still maintain your joy along the way.

This stay-at-home mom life isn’t glamorous by a long shot! And you won’t be given a trophy or get looks of admiration from many people these days. In fact… probably the opposite. And that’s OK because you’re bravely stepping out to do the best thing for your family and I will applaud you now!

Don’t allow anything to get you off track and most importantly enjoy the season you’re now in as a stay-at-home mom.

Leave in the comments below if you’re a stay-at-home mom and how you’re able to handle it financially. Or if you’re wanting to be a stay-at-home mom and why you want to make this change.

Not sure how to live on one income so you can stay at home with your kids? Get 7 simple steps to help you get there!

7 Life-Changing Effects of Waking Up Before Your Kids & How to Easily Get Started

How to easily wake up before your kids and the 7 powerful effects that happen! Three simple steps to get you started! #momlife

I like to say that I’m a “sleep person.” Not a morning person or a night person… just a mama who really, really loves her precious sleep.

But a few years ago I came to a crossroad and desperately needed to make a change in my life and do things differently. There was just one problem – I didn’t have any wiggle room in my daily schedule to move things around.

How to easily wake up before your kids and the 7 powerful effects that happen! Three simple steps to get you started! #momlife

As moms, our lives tend to revolve around everyone else’s needs and schedules so I knew if I wanted more time, and time that I could have consistently, I was going to have to steal it from myself.

And that’s what I did.

I took baby steps and started waking up before my kids… and the results were life-changing. No seriously, waking up early changed my life.

And I won’t sugar coat it for you, it was never and is never easy. It takes tons of sacrifice every single day. Again, I really LOOOVE sleeping in.

However, I made a choice for myself that I’m so happy I did.

But before I share all the details of why I made this choice, I feel it’s necessary to cover a few points first.

The first is that learning to wake up early was a process that evolved over a couple of years. And the goal to start shouldn’t feel like a load of weight or pressure to do one more huge thing as a mom. Motherhood is hard enough and this is NOT the only way to do things.

In fact, read to the end to hear my full thoughts on this issue.

And second, motherhood is filled with so many expectations on what we should be doing and when. Only you can decide if this is the season for you to add on something new. And you’ll know inside when the time is right.

7 Life-Changing Effects of Waking Up Before Your Kids

However, waking up to the sound of children running around, whining “I’m Hungry”, and fighting over toys can be literally the worst way to start your day… ever!

Even if you decide to wake up a simple 15 minutes before your kids and steal a moment to soak up the quiet stillness of the morning, you’ll feel so much more ahead of the day instead of running behind.

This is the most obvious benefit of waking up before your kids. And it’s a BIG one!

But there are also more little-known and life-changing benefits of rising before your little ones and that’s what I’m covering in detail in this post. 

Related posts on living your best life as a busy mom:

6 Surefire Ways to Ditch Overwhelm and be More Productive Today

9 Ways to Rid Your Mind of Self-Doubt & Become a More Confident Person

The Secret to Working Out and Staying Fit as a Busy Mom

4 Positive Mindsets Shifts to Help You Live a More Enjoyable Life Right Now

1 – You Come to Know You are Loved by You

As women, we struggle with self-care and self-love. It’s not hard to see why with all the constant pouring out we do every moment of the day. We’re too often left bone-dry and feeling underappreciated.

We often fight feelings of guilt, failure, and not being a good enough mom. I believe in many ways motherhood is the great equalizer for women, who all experience these feelings in their day to day mom life.

With all those negative feelings stewing around our amazing qualities, our unrelenting love for our families, and all the great things we do every day can become dull and unnoticed.

Why? Because motherhood is expected and simply a part of your daily life. Moms don’t get awards for doing an amazing job… it’s expected.

But when you suddenly decide to make a sacrifice and do something for you… something unexpected happens. You start to notice that YOU matter too. That YOU are still there. And YOU are loved by you.

And when that self-love kicks in, you start thinking, doing, and acting differently. You wear better clothes, you take a shower every day or most days, and you begin thinking about those old dusty goals from your pre-kid days.

2 – You Become Stronger

If you know anything about working out you know that when you first start… your muscles are crazy weak. And after you work them they revolt and make you walk around in serious pain for a few days.

Walking around like a duck after a great leg day is the best. 😉

But after you keep showing up and working out those same muscles they hurt less, grow bigger and stronger, and help to burn all that suffocating fat that surrounds those sexy muscles.

That process of growing stronger at the gym is the same process that happens when you stick to your goal of waking up earlier than your kids.

It gets easier and you start to experience an inner strength rising up inside that’s the best kick starter for your day.

3 – You Gain More Confidence

Confidence is something I’ve always struggled with in my life. I spent so much of my energy comparing myself to everyone around me which always left me drained in self-confidence.

That was partly because I never gave myself the space to think my own thoughts, create my own ideas, and even set my own goals.

When you never give yourself the place to stretch yourself and only rely on doing what everyone else thinks is best, your mind starts to believe you aren’t capable.

Yes, waking up roughly three hours before my kids allowed me to see that I don’t have to just take life as it comes to me, but I have the power to write my own story as I want it to be told.

Here are some amazingly helpful self-confidence tips for moms who struggle with low self-esteem!

4 – You Learn to Trust Yourself

No one likes being stood up, especially on a continual basis. In fact, if one of your friends constantly invited you to meet up for coffee and catch up but left you hanging again and again, you probably wouldn’t be friends for long.

That’s because that’s rude and disrespectful. It sends the message that you don’t matter to them. But it also brings into question their integrity. You simply can’t trust a word they say.

Now let’s talk about how many times you invited yourself for a quiet run in the morning and stayed in bed instead. Or a million other times you told yourself you’d be somewhere, doing something and decided your Netflix account was a better friend than you are.

Here’s the real danger in not keeping your word to yourself. Studies on cognitive dissonance show that when people’s actions and beliefs don’t line up, they usually change their beliefs to match their actions.

You’re actually telling yourself you don’t matter and don’t deserve the time you’ve tried to set aside for yourself. And learning to stick with your early rise goal allows you to start trusting yourself again.

5 – You Become a Master

Malcolm Gladwell shook the productivity world when we said that it takes 10,000 hours of practice to become a master of anything.

This can totally feel overwhelming but it’s also strangely encouraging because there’s a clear number… a clear goal to be attained.

Now, whether or not you believe this 10,000-hour rule or not (and many do not) the fact is, the longer you do anything the easier and better it gets.

And I’m not talking about trying to become a Pulitzer Prize-winning writer if writing isn’t your thing. We’re talking about doing something you’re already passionate about and already doing or wanting to do on some level.

When you set aside a consistent time to write, read/study, sow, design, build, workout or whatever it is, you will gain your own kind of mastery!

6 – Your Purpose Comes Alive

When moms sacrifice their precious sleep it’s got to be for something that really matters. Something that’s deeply personal and inspiring to their soul.

And in most cases, that thing is closely connected to their passion or purpose. And when you give yourself permission to pursue your passion, over time it starts to evolve and come alive.

Things that don’t get watered and fed wither and die. When we feed our passions they get stronger and begin to thrive.

I believe we as moms all have a unique God-given purpose outside of motherhood. Our purpose may even be closely related to being a mom but motherhood is a ministry and a season of its own.

Giving time to your gifts and giving yourself time to have quiet time with God is so important to your personal growth.

7  – You Become a Better Mom

Finally, and not at all the least, is that you actually become a better, happier mom. Didn’t see that coming, did you!

When you make time for you and just you, something powerful happens… you loose mom-resentment. You know those thoughts that creep in and tell you how you could do this or that if you didn’t have a house full of kids… or one kid.

I know, I know it doesn’t feel right when we think those thoughts or even when I just talked about them but all moms think them from time to time.

But here’s what happens when you give consistent time for you… all you. The resentment fades, you feel more fulfilled as a person outside of being a mom, and you actually feel more tuned in to your kid’s needs.

We need to be filled up so we can be adequately poured out for our families. And that’s what happens in those quiet, early hours.

3 Easy Steps to Start Waking Up Before Your Kids

Before we dive into these super practical steps to waking up before your kids. I need to share the absolute importance of you knowing your “why” intimately.

After you start you’ll want to quit this new wake up time many, many times down the road. And when that spirit of quit jumps all over you in your comfy bed, you need to know why you want to wake up so early in the first place.

Is it to have some quiet time to connect with God and study your Bible to grow stronger spiritually?

Is it to have consistent uninterrupted time to write or work on your business?

Is it to work out and lose 50 lbs and stay healthy and active?

Is it to drink a cup of coffee and stare out the window in the blessed quiet for 15 minutes before your crew wakes up?

It doesn’t matter what your reason… that belongs to you alone. And your reason doesn’t have to be super significant in the eyes of the world… only you.

Without trying to sound like a cliche hair dye commercial… you are worth it!

Just know your “why” and get started. Here are the easy 3 steps that any mom can start right now.

Step 1 – Roll Back No More Than One Hour

If you’re an overachiever like myself, you may be tempted to roll back your clock at least a couple hours. DO NOT DO THAT… yet.

Roll back your clock by 30 minutes increments if you’re really not a morning person or one hour if you really feel you’re ready. But no more until you’ve been waking up at this new time for at least 3 months.

Shocking your body into a drastically early wake-up time can cause your body to revolt and we don’t need your mind and body plotting against your new goals! Slow change is lasting change.

And be sure to get to bed early enough to not loose your recommended hours of sleep!

Step 2 – Gracefully Reset Every Time You Sleep In

This process really isn’t as hard as you may think. The biggest obstacle to lasting change is failure. Failure to get out of bed!

You WILL hit snooze, cover your head with your pillow, or throw your clock across the room some mornings. Especially, if the baby was sick or your toddler starts hating their bed for the 100th time this year.

#MomLife is full of sleep stealers so when you just can’t get up, cut yourself a much-needed break. Don’t let frustration linger and reset tomorrow.

And repeat this process as long as needed.

3 – Play Hide and Seek with Your Alarm

This final step is one I actually had to add into my wake up routine when I started snoozing my phone in my sleep repeatedly. I’m so sneaky in my sleep!

I would wake up so frustrated because I felt like I had no control. Until I decided to be sneaky with myself!

I would lay my phone in different places that required me to get up and move to turn it off. It worked like a champ!

What To Do When You Can’t

You may be reading this and for some reason, you can’t wake up early or you feel like staying up late would work better for you.

Let me be super upfront here, this post isn’t to put pressure on moms who are already doing too much. Or the mom who just had a baby and now is feeling guilty that she’s too exhausted to try this new goal… yet.

Here’s one mom’s honest story of why she doesn’t wake up before her kids.

This is for the mom who is ready and wants to stretch herself in a new way but needs a little push and a whole lot of support and inspiration.

And finally, if you are a classic night owl then honestly do what works for you. I used to stay up late when I was younger and it worked fine for me.

Productivity studies actually show that people are more productive at the times they “think” they are most productive. Mind over matter, I guess.

The whole point of this article is to help you find time for you. And anyway you get it is a win in my book!


Have you already been waking up early? What’s your best early rise tip? Or your biggest early rise question? Share in the comments below.

How to easily wake up before your kids and the 7 powerful effects that happen! Three simple steps to get you started! #momlife

Waking up before your kids has many life-changing benefits. Here are 3 simple steps to start waking up before your kids. #kidsandparenting #momlife #motherhood

3 Things That Prove You’re Already an Amazingly Good Mother Right Now

good mother

I know every mother has asked herself this question at least once, “am I really a good mother?” Or maybe you’ve mulled over that question many, many times.

The thing is, it isn’t an easy one to answer. That’s because there isn’t a mold of a perfectly “good mom” for us all to fit into. We all make mistakes and fall into many of the pitfalls of motherhood only to find our way back again. Rinse and repeat.

But over the last decade and then some of raising my three children, I’ve grown tremendously and learned a lot. I’ve come to identify three things that if you live by, you can rest assured that you’re already an amazingly good mother!

Sure, you and I both have things we need to work on, stop doing, and get better at but this is a really good foundation to stand on.

And the good news is, this list isn’t focused on outward things like how early you put your kids to bed every night or how many vegetables you serve with dinner. Whew!

These are total heart issues and things you can pray about and work on a little bit each day.

1 –You are attuned with your child

What does it mean to be attuned with your child? Let me give you this quick illustration. Remember, when your now big kid was just a newborn and you would lay them peacefully across your lap and just stare into those sweet little eyes and try to get them to smile?

You were in that moment connecting with your baby and very little could break you away from that moment. Feelings of sleep deprivation and the overwhelm of being a new mom didn’t keep you from soaking in every adorable drop of your newborn.

Somewhere along the way, though, our desire for connection becomes less urgent and we become more focused on “getting it all done” and keeping everyone alive. And that happy mom can sometimes fly right out the window.

Being attuned with your child will look a bit different for every mom and family, but here are some general examples:

  • you show genuine interest in what your child loves… even if you don’t love it yourself.
  • you frequently check in with how your child is doing as it relates to their world.
  • you ask questions to hear their responses to constantly get to know your child.
  • you prioritize regular one on one time with your kids individually very frequently.
  • you focus and affirm the positive behaviors of your child more frequently than the negative ones.

Even though you may struggle like I do, to get your kids out the door on time for school every morning, placing the highest priority on a heart connection with your child proves you’re a great mother.

That’s because you know deep inside that having a quality relationship with your kids is vitally important to their overall health and well-being. Children who have grown up feeling unloved by their mothers often report this as feeling “unknown” by their mothers.

Being attuned simply means paying attention to the changing needs of our children. And being willing to make those changes along the way. What our toddler needs from us now isn’t the same as what she’ll need as a growing teenager.

2 – You humbly set an example of being imperfectly perfect

Our kids do NOT need a perfect example of what it means to be human by never making mistakes. That’s because it doesn’t exist. And if we try, we simply come across as a hypocrite.

If you do your best but make a real mistake like forgetting your son’s preschool graduation and having to show up really late (I did that), or getting so mad that you accidentally break the glass top to your stove (I did that too) it’s most important to own up to your mistakes the right way.

If we never show our kids how to recover from our worst and even most embarrassing mistakes, how will they ever learn for themselves? If we don’t take ownership for our bad choices we teach our kids to blame others for their mistakes in life.

It may seem strange that making mistakes is a point of being a good mother. But I believe that it’s important that moms know how perfectly normal it is to make mistakes and have terrible days. It’s all about how we move forward from those bad moments that makes us good mothers.

It’s how our kids know it’s OK to make mistakes and that beating themselves up or blaming shifting are damaging ways to deal with our own poor choices.

In the end, you’re actually making your kids stronger and more emotionally intelligent by watching you walking through life imperfectly.

3 – You understand your true value as a mom

Motherhood is literally one of the most important journeys we’ll ever embark on in our lifetimes. However, raising children is often under valued by society and has been for hundreds of years.

Moms can feel like their careers and dreams make them more valued and important in the eyes of everyone around them. This is a sneaky trap and one that I personally fell into as a new mom. I struggled to see my significance and true value as a mom.

This led me down another path of a tired and burnt out mom who never fully understood the gift right in front of her. I felt pulled in opposing directions because I allowed my ambition to come before my kids.

It’s not that ambition and working a fulfilling career doesn’t mix with motherhood. Not at all! In fact, many amazing moms (including myself!) are also successful at many fulfilling careers at the same time.

But when you understand your true value as a mom, you’ll never feel pulled because your family always comes first. It’s never easy but in the end it’s always the right choice.

Being a mother is a gift and if you truly see that, you are already an amazing mom.

Final Thoughts

Being a good mother isn’t about whether you bake the best cookies with your kids or how many books they read over the summer, it’s always about the heart.

Our kids are looking to see if we really care about them, if they can trust us with their heart, and if we succeed at winning it we’ve won the prize of a lifetime!

When your kids are grown, they’ll likely not remember all the stuff they learned in math class but they will remember stuff like when that batch of cookies you both made failed miserably and you laughed and ate them anyway or when you went for that bike ride in the country and got lost but stopped to watch the sunset!

It’s the little things, sometimes the weird things, and mostly the heart things they’ll remember!

The Ultimate List of Productivity Hacks for Work-at-Home Moms

Work at home mom productivity hacks

I’ve been a work at home mom for over 11 years now so I’ve learned a few things about productivity hacks!

I know because I’ve raised 3 babies and even homeschooled my two older children for 2 years; all while working from home. I’d like to say I feel like Superwoman, but sleepy from the 7 Dwarfs is probably more accurate most days. But I’ve learned a few tricks along the way and many productivity hacks to keep me working and the kiddos happy and busy.

Work at home mom productivity hacks

There have always been early mornings and late nights, but it’s always been worth it. And you won’t find me complaining about it – ever. This life is one that I chose. I can choose to do anything else if I want to – but for now, I’m right where I want to be.

But one issue I struggled with early on was productivity. It’s HARD to be focused on your work or business when you’re raising a little person (or several) who basically need you for EVERYTHING – at least in the beginning. So how do you keep from being ineffective as a mom and business owner?

You learn along the way and take advice and help from others also in the trenches of work-at-home motherhood. So, I’ve decided to put together the ultimate list of all the BEST productivity hacks that I could find from other business moms like myself and share them with you!

Productivity Hack #1 Get up early

Getting up early is essential – since the kids don’t wake up until 6:30 or 7… getting up at 5 allows me to get at least 90 minutes of work completed before everyone’s feet hit the floor.  I’ll admit that I find it hard to get up at that time, but it feels so much better to know that I’m ahead of the game before the day even begins.

Couresty of Sheryl at TheCentsableshoppin.com

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Productivity Hack #2 Dress for Work

When you work from the comfort of your home, you can wear anything you want. I often have friends tell me, “I’d love to work at home in my pajamas.” Being clad in flannel may make you comfortable, but it can be detrimental to your productivity. It doesn’t provide the transition that you need to move from sleep and relaxation to getting things done. Getting dressed provides the kick in the pants your brain needs to get into the work groove.

Action step: If you’re still in your pjs, go freshen up and get dressed. You don’t have to wear office attire, but putting on a nice shirt, jeans and shoes will help you feel ready to tackle the day. It’ll also be much less embarrassing to answer the door for the UPS deliveryman. Trust me.

Courtesy of Donella Crigger at GlueSticksandGumDrops.com

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Productivity Hack #3 Work When You’re Most Productive

To do this, you need to be aware of when your high-energy times are and try to schedule time blocks during these times. Then, make sure you’re working on the most important things on your to-do list during these times.

First of all, it’s always so much easier to work on something important — or difficult — when you’re able to think clearly.

Also, if you’re working on stuff when you don’t have a whole lot of energy, you’re more likely to make mistakes. And it’s always more time consuming and costly to fix something later than to prevent it from happening in the first place.

Pro-Tip — I split my to-do list between high and low-energy tasks. This way I always know exactly what to work on during my high-energy times as well as my low-energy times, so I’m not having to go back and fix mistakes the next day.

Courtesy of Annie Mueller at SpikedParenting.com

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Productivity Hack #4 Set Your Daily Tasks with Quadrant Planning

   

Courtesy of Kristi Hines at Justina’sGems

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Productivity Hack #5 Turn Off Notifications

If my phone or computer is beeping at me all day, it’s hard for me not to check out what’s going on. I get distracted, I get nothing done, and then I get stressed because I got nothing done. So I eliminated the blinking and the beeping, and it changed my world.

Courtesy of Ashley Fehr at TheRecipeRebel.com

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Productivity Hack #6 Make Time for Self Care

I hesitated before using the term “self-care” because it’s such a worldly buzzword right now. But the fact is that the need to recharge is real.In fact, God, who made us, also commands us to to rest  one day each week. How can we rest? By meditating on His word.

Taking a walk in His creation. Going for a swim in His oceans. Or just sitting with the family He blessed us with and enjoying their company.

When we run ourselves into the ground without taking the time to recuperate and rejuvenate ourselves, we can not live the full lives that we should live as stay-at-home moms. So make rest a priority.

Courtesy of Amy at TheGoodOldTodays.com

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Productivity Hack #7 Create a Routine for Your Kids

Like us moms, kids need routines to feel accomplished, too. An intentional routine can also cut back on the amount of times we hear, “Mom, I’m sooo bored.” By creating a routine for our kids, we are teaching them early about productivity and setting and accomplishing goals.

I suggest creating a monthly calendar that is easily accessible for the whole family. This will hold all of the events that are going on for everyone in the family. Then, create a list of things that need to be completed on a weekly basis. You can break this down into tasks for each day and assign a particular person for each.

Courtesy of Jillian at LiveLoveJillian.com

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Productivity Hack #8 Don’t Forget Your Stop Time

It’s also at this time that I plan my stop time. The time in which I will stop work for the day. This is an extremely important habit to have. You need to have a stop time as a work at home mom. Otherwise before you know it, you’ve worked for 16 hours a day for 4 days straight because you forgot to stop working each day.

Courtesy of Crystal at MommyisaWino

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Side Hustle Blueprint

Productivity Hack #9  Set Realistic Goals

A sparkling clean house, a successful home-based business, and a five-course dinner on the table every night looks great on Pinterest, but it’s not reality. Trying to do everything yourself — and all at the same time — is a recipe for disaster.

Courtesy of Sarah Brooks at ThePennyHoarder.com

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Related: 12 Habits of Highly Successful Goal Setters for Moms Like You!

Productivity Hack #10 Using the Batching Method

I write a list of everything I still need to get done before Monday and then a separate list of things that can wait until the following week.  I also spend some time thinking about how my schedule will be laid out and which tasks I can batch to save time.  That way when Monday morning hits I know exactly what I need to be working on.  These planning times are so ingrained in my schedule that I don’t even have to think about them!  They are a daily and weekly habit that makes my life run so much smoother and really helps with my productivity.

Courtesy of Erin at SunnySideUp.com

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Productivity Hack #11 Create Systems and Processes

This is one of the single most important parts of being productive. You need to be organized and know what needs to be done when. This means starting with creating systems, processes, and workflows. Every part of your business should have a process.

Courtesy of Amber Kristine at NeonPineappleDesign.com

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Productivity Hack #12 Be Present with Your Family

Try your best not to work in front of your kids so when you’re with your kids, you’re fully present. Don’t stick around on your computer or answer emails when you can be outside playing with them. Limit the use of your phone and especially social media which is a time suck and distraction from being present (I myself need to work on this!). Close the office doors and do not go back in until they’re asleep during nap time and at the end of the day.

Courtesy of Jessie at TheMiamiRose.com

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Related: How I Keep My Family First While Running a Thriving Business

Productivity Hack #13 Be OK With Not Getting it All Done

Somehow we’ve developed this idea that having it all means having to do it all. Or that it means having it all at once. It doesn’t mean either one of those things! And believing that we have to have it all at once or do it all equally well is just setting ourselves up for epic failure. At any given moment my bathroom vanity is messy, I have a number of unfinished projects around the house, and I still need to get in my 30 minutes of daily exercise. Over time I have learned to be okay with things getting done in their own time. So many of the deadlines and ultimatums we face as working moms are self-imposed. One of the best gifts that we can give ourselves is room to breathe and space to just not get things done.

Courtesy of OneBigHappyLife.com

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Productivity Hack #14 Build Margin into your Day

 If there’s not enough time to get everything done, then there’s nothing you can do to change that other than to eliminate things from your schedule and to-do list. Which things on your to-do list feel really important but aren’t actually all that important?  It’s okay to do less, and if you really can’t eliminate anything on your to-do list, then it’s time to hire an assistant to help you!

Courtesy of Mandi Ehman at TheArtofSimple.net

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Productivity Hack #15 Talk to an Adult… Outloud

We love our children dearly, but talking to them doesn’t count here. If your kids are the only humans you speak to all day, you might start saying things like “No no” or “that’s mommy’s drink” to a potential client, which could be embarrassing, or possibly even cost you the job.

So call your mom, call your friend, or pick up the phone and call a client instead of shooting them an email. They will appreciate the personal connection, and you get to practice maintaining your social skills. It’s a win-win.

Courtesy of Susannuh at HelloGinger.com

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Productivity Hack #16 Set Up A Support Network

There will be days when you need to be at your most productive and distraction-free. Seek assistance from other stay-at-home moms. If there are a few of you who work at home, consider pooling money together to hire a babysitter to watch all of your kids for a few hours. Having that additional support will mean you can focus your attention on your work knowing your children are being cared for.

Courtesy of Catherine Malone at Knote.com

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Related: How to Successfully Balance Your Passion and Your Business

Productivity Hack #17 Get a Good 8 Hours of Sleep

There are seasons of life when it is tempting to burn the midnight oil.  I always regret those late nights the very next day It’s so much better for our bodies, minds, and spirits to hit the sack by 10:00 at the latest. That sleep before midnight is the best, so grab it whenever you can.  By 6:00 the next morning, you’ll be feeling like a million bucks, and you’ll be able to energetically and enthusiastically accomplish so much more.  (And a cup of coffee doesn’t hurt either!)

Courtesy of Natalie Klejwa at KeeperoftheHome.org

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Productivity Hack #18 Set Aside Time To Do Chores

I’m not about to tell you to avoid doing anything around the house during the workday. Heck, having your work breaks (you need to take a break anyway!) double as time to get chores done is one of the #1 benefits of working from home. The trick is to not become distracted by all that needs to be done around the house. What helps me is to set aside 5-10 minutes every 1-2 hours to take a break from work and then I use that time to take a break from my computer screen and throw in a load of laundry, chop up some veggies for dinner, or tidy up a bit.

Courtesy of Christina Tiplea at EmbracingSimpleBlog.com

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Productivity Hack #19 Create a Workspace

Without a designated workspace, I am distracted by the dishes that need to be washed or the dust I glimpse on the television screen or that one little thing that will just take five minutes. Before you know it an hour has gone by. My article still needs to be written, and I haven’t called my source to interview them. Even if it is just a corner, creating a work space signals to your brain that it is now time to work.

Courtesy of Rosanne Bowman at BrilliantBusinessMoms.com

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Productivity Hack #20 Celebrate

Finally, at the end of every day (and there should be an end), feel good about what you were able to accomplish and celebrate. There will always be more work to do so don’t fret about what you weren’t able to complete. Simply clear your desk and prepare for the next day.

Courtesy of Ashley Sisk at DailyMom.com

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Wow! This was an awesome list straight from the mouths and hearts of moms who are in the beautiful trenches of work-at-home motherhood. I hope these tips and tricks helped you in your quest to become even more productive amidst the sounds of little feet running by. 🙂

Please leave a comment below and share your productivity hacks for how you stay on track with your business goals and still rock is as an awesome mom. Let’s keep this list growing and growing in the comments below!

These work at home mom productivity hacks and tips will have you working and feeling like a Mom boss in no time! #Momboss #productivity #goals #Goals2018 #goalcrusherLooking for a work at home mom schedule and tips to stay productive even with kids at home? Get inspired with this list of 20 productivity hacks from other mom boss bloggers! #momboss #mompreneur #bloggersgetsocial #blogging #blogger #productivity

Working from home with kids can feel like a three ring circus with you getting nothing done! But it doesn't have to be that way. Get 20 of the best productivity hacks from other work at home moms like you! #productivity #blogging #workathomemom #momlife

The Truth About Mom Guilt and How to Stop it From Running Your Life

The truth about mom guilt and how to stop it from running your life

Mom guilt is the Achilles Heel for mothers! It hits us almost every day and without fail sucks the fun and productivity right out of whatever we’re doing. I don’t know about you but I hate mom-guilt.

We feel guilty when our child struggles with anything. I mean, it’s our fault, right?

We feel guilty when we discipline our child. This hurts me more than it hurts you, we think as tears flow and pouty lips emerge.

The truth about mom guilt and how to stop it from running your life

We feel guilty when we know we’re enabling bad behaviors in our child just to allow a moment of quiet or get more sleep at night.  I’m totally ruining my kid! Why can’t I just be stronger?

We feel guilty when we have our own kind of meltdown and yell at our kids. What can’t I control my emotions?!

We feel guilty when we give time toward our work, goals, and dreams that require us to sacrifice time and energy away from our family. Whether or not we love the work we do or are simply required to work for income. Guilt still finds its way in.

We either regret the things we’ve done or the things we wish we’d done. And the truth is, the cycle continues and won’t stop unless we stop it.

As a mom, you have the hardest job on the planet hands-down. And you should be free to do what you believe is right without having a monkey hanging on your back the whole time. And I’m not talking about your climbing toddler! 😉

When I first became a mom, I was under attack EVERY DAY. I was so frustrated because I never felt free to really enjoy being the mom I always wanted to be. Every mistake was magnified – every failure was all my fault.

Related: How to Set Realistic Expectations When Motherhood is Hard

And because I’ve always been a working mom – I’ve had high functioning guilt for many years. But I’ve learned the truth about guilt and now I’m no longer working because I have to but because I love to. I’m free to enjoy my life!

Mom Guilt is Common but Not Normal

At times I felt like I wasn’t made for this mom thing. I mean, I never had any other moms come to me and say they were feeling the same way. So, I kept my feelings to myself because I already felt under-qualified for the position of mom.

We don’t always talk publicly about what shames us and chronic mom-guilt can leave you feeling broken and frustrated as a mom.

But I now know the truth!

My children have had their fair share of cold viruses and infections over the years and I’ve picked up a phrase I’ve heard doctors use when giving a diagnosis – it’s common but not normal. This means, whatever you’re experiencing affects a lot of people making it common. But the fact that it’s a condition your body isn’t supposed to “have” makes it abnormal.

That’s exactly what mom guilt is – common but not normal.

I’d venture to guess that millions of moms deal with some variation of mom-guilt every day. But just because it’s so common doesn’t mean we should take the attitude that it’s just par for the course.

We have the power to say no to all the labels our society throws around about raising a family. They say your child has to turn terrible when they reach two, will become a hormonal mess when they hit puberty, and angst is the typical attitude for a teenager. Basically – deal with it.

Related: 4 Surprising Signs You’re a Burnt Out Mom and How to Get Out

4 Steps to Getting Rid of Mom Guilt

We don’t have to go along with what’s common. How about we decide to go with what’s normal – the ways it’s supposed to be. So what is normal? In the context of my previous diagnosis example – normal is someone without any physical or mental disorders.

Abnormal is when there’s something going on that’s not supposed to or intended to be there. So again, just because a lot of moms struggle with mom-guilt doesn’t mean it’s supposed to or intended to be like that.

We have the power to choose whether we go along with the masses or to blaze our own trail. I kind of like doing my own thing, so trail-blazin’ I go! You with me?!

Give Yourself Permission To Do What You Believe is Right

The first step in the guilt ridding process is to learn the art of giving yourself permission to do what you believe is right. If it’s homeschooling your child versus sending them to traditional school – don’t allow the guilt of what they may be missing out on creep in.

If it’s not allowing your son to attend a sleepover because you just don’t have peace about it in your heart – know that your decision to obey your heart could be a matter of life or death for him. And don’t feel guilty just because he throws a fit.

If it’s picking up extra shifts at work to pay for them to go to a safe and quality school don’t allow yourself to feel guilty for the missed time together. As long as you’ve made a prayerful, quality decision you must know your toughest decisions are most often your child’s greatest advantage in life.

We have to make difficult decisions every day and second-guessing every one will simply steal your joy. Owning your decisions gives you the power to say no to guilt.

Yes, I said it. You have the power to say no to guilt. You do this by standing firm in your choices as a family and letting peace be your guide and final say. It’s our self-doubt and second-guessing that invites guilt right into our lives. Remember, be firm and confident!

Related: Reversing the 4 Mindsets that are Stealing your Enjoyable Life

Give Yourself Permission to Live in the Moment

The other side of giving yourself permission is to choose to live “in” the moments of your life. That means if you’re a work-at-home mom and you’re rocking your fussy baby back to sleep for the third time in one nap session and you’re tempted to dwell on the work time you’re missing out on – choose to be in that moment.

Instead of holding her in your arms and being frustrated in your mind – stop. Look at that sweet baby of yours and take in the moment. Remind yourself that your baby won’t be this little forever. Don’t allow these unplanned moments to be a mental complaint session but instead to become a bonding moment.

Give yourself permission to be fully in the moment of whatever you’re doing. If it’s a shower, turn up the music, lather up some aromatherapy suds, and stand under the water longer than you should. Basically, live it up!

If you’re in the park with your kids – play with them! Don’t just sit on the bench watching like all the other parents.

If you’re sitting down completing a work project – stay focused and don’t get distracted (unless it’s the kids, of course.) 😉 Don’t let the attraction of social media, for example, pull you away from your precious work time.

When you make a conscious choice to stay committed to the current moment – it’s like kicking guilt in the face and right out the front door. And that’s where we want it to stay!

This happens because you’re making the choice to not be swayed between two things – this or that. Instead, you choose this. And to take it even further you decide not to just go through the motions but to soak in every drop of your life.

Related: Why Every Mom Needs to be Intentional About a Quiet Time Routine

Give Yourself Grace

And finally, in those times when you didn’t do what was best, you must give yourself grace. And there will be plenty of these times to practice. That’s because you’re not perfect and will never be. When you miss the mark you need to forgive yourself.

In the same way we give our kids grace when they don’t make the right choices, we must do the same for ourselves. If your child made a simple mistake because of a poor choice – you may be disappointed or upset – but you’d never give up on them or write them off as a horrible kid.

So why do we so easily write ourselves off as horrible moms? We need grace, too. From ourselves.

Related: How to Get Your Kids to Listen Without Yelling

Make a Plan for Your Choices

The final way to get rid of mom-guilt forever it to make a plan for your choices and how you spend your time. So much of those guilty feelings come as a result of being overextended and having all the many areas of our lives blend together like a really bad stew. Yuck!

Our lives desperately need boundaries. It’s not so much about balance (don’t have time to get into that here) but more about having healthy boundaries for the things that are most important to you and your family.

If you take the time to create a plan for how you actually want to spend your time you’ll gain a lot more peace and experience less stress and anxiety. You can then give yourself permission to live according to your plan and can make daily adjustments as needed.

Comment and let me know how you handle mom-guilt or maybe share your biggest struggle with it. Let’s share and kick this guilt out of our lives forever!

It's really hard not to let the trap of mom guilt take over every situation in our lives. Here's the secret to breaking the cycle of mom guilt forever! #kidsandparenting #kids #parenting #momadvice Mom guilt can be really vicious and can really run all our decisions if we let it. Get the secret to ditching the mom guilt and finding your freedom! #momlife #momadvice #adviceformoms #kids #parenting #kidsandparenting #parentingtips

Struggling with mom-guilt? Here are 4 simple steps to lead you out of the trap of mom guilt and into much needed peace! #Motherhood #momguilt

51 Ways To Be A Fun Mom Even If You’re Stressed or Tired!

51 easy ways to be a fun mom

Would your kids call you a fun mom? Think about that for a second… are you way too consumed with adulting to notice that your kids really need a mom who is happy and fun?

Look, I get it. I can be as uptight as they come! I spent my early years as a mom focused on getting all the things done and doing what I called “putting out fires” every day.

I missed sooooo much when my girls were little. And the funny thing is, I’ve been a stay-at-home mom since my first daughter was born. I’ve been with my kids from the very beginning and it’s crazy how disconnected I was sitting right next to them. Being a fun mom didn’t come naturally to me… I had to learn how to become a fun mom and enjoy my kids.

51 easy ways to be a fun mom

I started this intentional journey when my son was born three years ago. I made a decision to become the mom I really wanted to be and soak up all the good stuff. To be intentional about being present with my kids and not just their disciplinarian, dinner maker, and chauffeur.

I mean, I’m still all those things but I want to be more!

How to Have More Fun With Your Kids

I want to become the fun and happy mom I know my kids really need. It’s not just about feeling happy and being fun all the time but about building the foundation for a life-long relationship. Sure, I’ll always be their mom, but we don’t get a guaranteed ticket into their heart. And that’s where I want to be for a lifetime… in their most intimate place.

In this crazy upsidedown world, I want my kids to never hesitate on coming to me with every question, issue, and fear they experience so I can lovingly help them through it.

Let me tell you, your kids won’t be rushing to you as the uptight, super strict, and always shouting mom. Heck no!

And I’m not talking about doing things to become your child’s friend either. Nope! You are their parent and should be respected as such. But we can be nice and welcoming in how we relate to our kids.

Sure, we all have days when our precious little ones just get on your last nerve and you feel like snapping and are miles away from “fun-town.”

Just try doing these things little by little and I promise you’ll see a difference. And you and your kids will be so grateful you did!

Let me just give you one disclaimer first. The younger your kids are the cooler these activities will seem to them. The older your kids get, the more they’ll act like you’re embarrassing them or you’re being lame for trying.

Let me encourage you that this is just a facade and even your tweens and teens secretly love it when you make an effort to be interested in them even when you may actually be embarrassing them! So give these a try even if you don’t get the reaction you were hoping for.

Here are some Learning Activities for Your Toddler!

51 Ways to be a Fun Mom and Enjoy Your Kids

  1. Have random and undistracted conversations about whatever they bring up. Ask questions and actually be interested in what they say.
  2. Read a book aloud. This is great to do even as your kids get older in the form of a mystery or adventure novel. Here’s my complete kid book recommendations list.
  3. Make slime. Yes, it’s messy but they love it.
  4. Work on a fun activity kit together. These activity crates are my kids’ new obsession!
  5. Go on a scavenger hunt style nature walk. Make a list of things you want to see and score them by difficulty and keep score on the walk. Offer small prizes based on how many points earned.
  6. Race your kid at the park. The faster you are the cooler you appear to be.
  7. Make a craft.
  8. Go swimming.
  9. Play their favorite video game.
  10. Have a contest to see who can do ______ better, faster, neater.
  11. Let them miss a day at school to go to the movies. My husband actually did this one!
  12. Do what they love. If it’s soccer, play soccer with them. If it’s dance, learn the steps with them.
  13. Invite them to run errands with you and stop for ice cream.
  14. Cook a meal together. Here’s a kid’s cooking class that’ll your kids will love.
  15. Play Would You Rather. Here are some questions to get you started. 
  16. Tell jokes.
  17. Watch a Netflix movie marathon complete with buttery popcorn.
  18. Go on a bike ride.
  19. Bake your favorite cookies and turn them into ice cream sandwiches.
  20. Go to a painting class.
  21. Keep a shared journal that you write in separately to share your thoughts. I love this journal! This one’s perfect for boys.
  22. Take a kid-friendly fitness class or enroll them in a kid’s fitness gym. My kids love this one.
  23. Work out together at the park.
  24. Visit a splash park in the summer.
  25. Read kid magazines together and take all the quizzes.
  26. Do silly pranks on each other.
  27. Make your kid laugh with a tickle fight.
  28. Have a silly face contest and post the winner on your social media or just laugh at it.
  29. Make a crazy milkshake.
  30. Have a spa night. My middle daughter loves this!
  31. Play superhero. My son equally loves this!
  32. Write a book together.
  33. Share an art journal if your child loves art. This is such a cute one!
  34. Have a dance party.
  35. Have a totally electronic device free day.
  36. Order books from a monthly subscription service for kids. This makes reading a fun and gift-like experience. My family loves this book subscription service that sends all their books wrapped like birthday gifts!
  37. Have themed dinner nights.
  38. Read a devotional together and work through the activities and questions. This fun devotional combines God and Science in a really fun way.
  39. Play their favorite sport at the park.
  40. Create an obstacle course in the backyard and race to complete it.
  41. Invest in the things they love. My daughter is a brilliant artist so I’m always surprising her with new sketch pads or other art supplies.
  42. Fly a kite.
  43. Have a slumber party in the living room.
  44. Let your kids get really messy. I personally don’t like when my kids get messy, but this is a sacrifice on my end to let them have fun.
  45. Have a water balloon fight.
  46. Put on a full drama performance complete with scripts and costumes.
  47. Have a pajama day during the week.
  48. Build an epic fort in your living room.
  49. Have cuddle time with the child who will still let you. This is great for those kids whose love language is physical touch. Get 50 love language ideas for your kids here!
  50. Add glow sticks to your child’s bath and turn off the lights!
  51. Always give them your full attention no matter when they need you.

Wow! That’s a lot of fun for you and your kids. Are you ready to put this tips to good use? Your kids will thank you for it!

Did I miss an awesome fun idea? Please, share your favorite fun activities in the comments below.

Are you lacking in the fun department lately? Snap out of your mom funk and try these simple ways to be a fun mom! Your kids will thank you! #parenting #kidsandparenting #momlife #motherhood #momadviceWant to go from grouchy and tired mom to fun and energetic mom? It's easier than you think! Get 51 simple ways to be a fun mom everyday! #parenting #kidsandparenting #momadvice #momgoalsGet 51 Super simple ways to be a fun mom and really connect with your kids every day even when you're stressed and tired! #parenting #kidsandparenting #momadvice #motherhood #momgoalsEven though it's hard being a mom, our kids don't need more cranky moms. Here are very simple ways to be a more fun mom even when you really don't feel like it! #kidsandparenting #parenting #kids #momadvice #familyFind yourself going through the motions as a mom? Try these super simple ways to bring the fun back into motherhood! Become the fun mom your kids need! #motherhood #kidsandparenting #parenting #momlife

5 Strategies to Kick the Mom Funk and Find Your Peace

I love being a mom but I certainly don’t love every minute of motherhood. And I don’t know a single mom who does! Though I truly believe that motherhood is a gift, that gift also comes with many struggles.

These struggles commonly show up in the form of sleepless nights (at all stages!), overwhelm, mom-guilt, stress, confusion, anxiety, and even uncontrolled anger.

Whether you have a toddler, a school-aged child, a teenager, or all three like I do – motherhood is likely to be the hardest thing any of us will ever do!

Not because we’re bad mothers or aren’t fully devoted to our families, but because we care and love so deeply. 

We sometimes forget to lean on the One who gave us these blessings and consequently stay up all night in worry, forget to cast our care upon the One who cares so deeply for us, and neglect to fill ourselves up to our designated fill lines leaving our souls bone dry.

With the mission of motherhood, we get the good, the beautiful, the miraculous, the scary, the messy, and the downright ugly all wrapped up in one gift.

So how do we cope? Or better yet, how do we thrive on this epic adventure called motherhood? How do we find and live in this thing called peace?

That’s what I want to share with you now. My proven strategies for getting out of the mom funk so you can claim the peace that belongs to you. The mom funk can be anything from feeling “over it” and wanting to quit, to being too exhausted to do more than what keeps the authorities from knocking on your door. Been there!

Or maybe you’re not feeling super low but just want to keep your peace tank filled up. 

“Peace – a state of quiet or tranquillity; freedom from disturbance or agitation; Heavenly rest; the happiness of heaven.”

These highly effective strategies will help you avoid these hard places and bounce back if you’ve found yourself surrounded struggles, so you can get back to loving on those blessings without all the toxic baggage weighing you down. 

Why All Moms Need to be Intentional About Self-Care

5 Strategies to Get Out of the Mom Funk Fast

positive parenting techniques

1 – Look for The Root

I need to start here because we can’t do much to change a pattern of behavior or a toxic emotion from creeping in if we don’t know what’s at the root.

If you notice anxiety or constant anger and yelling creeping in, it’s vital that we take the time to find the source. This requires both courage and patience as we do the work to learn why we keep feeling this way.

What I’ve learned over the last few years is that negative emotions are most often caused by internal issues and not the external ones visible on the surface.

This means when your kiddos start fighting over the TV remote in the other room and you feel your blood boiling or feel a panic attack coming on, it’s likely not your kids causing you to feel this way.

There’s something else going on under the surface. When we leave negative emotions unchecked and unmanaged, it makes us react like a ticking time bomb. It’s like the science experiments we did in school. When certain chemicals are sitting calmly in the beaker, all it takes is the right pour and BOOM!

And many times our kids (and spouse) just have the worst timing. To break the cycle, start to train yourself to evaluate what was happening in the moments leading up to your blow up. 

Were you stressed about something else? Did you feel embarrassed about something? Did what happened trigger fearful thoughts?

If you avoid the temptation to ignore those emotions and do the necessary digging, you’ll be amazed at what you discover.

Surprising Triggers that Cause Mom Anger

2 – Have a Peace Plan

Peace in our hearts and homes is something that doesn’t get talked about a lot these days. But peace is something that every heart on this planet craves and desperately needs.

A lot of the wrong we see around us in the world today is a result of a clear lack of peace.  

Creating a plan for our peace means that we’re choosing to show up with intention for our peace. We’re essentially giving peace a place. That’s huge!

The first step in creating your peace plan is to create a vision of what having peace looks like in your day. Write down what you want to look like, sound like, and behave like when your triggers show up. We must fully know what change should look like if we ever want them to become a reality.

The next step is to create borders and intentional routines to help you achieve your vision. For example, if you find yourself getting more stressed or frustrated at a certain time of the day, it may be because you aren’t taking enough breaks. 

A simple 15-minute break to have tea, curl up on the couch, or read a book can do wonders to reset your mood. As moms, we are masters at being creative and “making it happen” when it comes to our kids. We need to employ that same craftiness when it comes to our own well-being. 


Simple Ways to Take Good Care of Yourself

The final step is to practice these borders and refine them as needed. Change never happens overnight – it happens in the commitment to persistence. 

Allow yourself the grace to mess up and fall back into the path of least resistance. Just don’t give yourself permission to stay there!

3 – Activate the 3 P’s

These are a powerful trio for sure. If you want to jolt yourself out of depression or a feeling that your joy has left the building, your answer is to activate the first P which is Praise.

When we offer a sacrifice of praise to the Lord, that means when praising or feeling joyful is the LAST thing we feel like doing – we do it. We open our mouth and praise God because no matter what is going on, He is always worthy of our beautiful praise. 

The Bible tells us that our praise is our weapon against the spirit of heaviness!

“To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.”

Isaiah 61:3

The next P is Prayer. Prayer is simply talking to God and our way to have a personal relationship with the Creator of the universe. So often we treat prayer as a last resort when nothing else is working.

Prayer should be our first resort. But life (for ALL of us) can distort our understanding of prayer causing us to forget again and again. I fall into this trap quite often. The Bible says that the prayers of the righteous make much power available!

The final P is God’s Presence. This simply means that you make time to spend quality time with the Lord. We can do this, of course, through prayer and praise but also by just sitting in a quiet place and inviting Him to be with you.

Put on some worship music and enjoy that moment…no matter how short it may be. Ha! You can also spend time with God by reading a devotional or a chapter in your Bible each day. 

I love taking long quiet walks and talking to Him as I walk through His creation outside. You do whatever feels natural to you. 

When we place Christ smack-dad in the middle of our day, our mess, and our sometimes crazy chaos of motherhood – He is happy to be right there with us. 

How to Start a Quiet Time Routine that Works!

4 – Choose and Practice Joy Every Day

Honestly, this can be a hard one. Especially if you aren’t naturally bent toward a cheery disposition. I know I can easily fall into the trap of pessimism and complaining. I’m actually really good at it. 

But the truth is, it’s as bad and nasty of a habit as chewing your fingernails. It erodes our joy and brings a dark cloud everywhere we go.

The good news is we have the power to choose joy! Just like love isn’t an emotion but a choice we make everyday…joy is too.

Science even reveals that we can train our minds to feel happier by doing things like smiling, writing down things we’re grateful for, and intentionally celebrating your successes.

It’s also helpful to find activities that you enjoy doing just for you. As moms, we tend to forget the things we love. Reclaiming those old hobbies and dreams will add joy and satisfaction to your days, replacing many of those funk feelings.

How to Find Your Joy in the Everyday Moments

5 – Adjust Your Expectations

We often become frustrated with ourselves, our spouse, and our kids because our expectations are through the roof.

Do we blow up when our kids are doing totally normal and healthy kid things? Do you get disappointed in yourself because you never got the satisfaction of crossing a single item off your to-do list at the end of the day?

Spend some quality time evaluating whether you’re simply shooting too high.

It’s totally healthy to take a closer look and rein in our own enthusiasm for excellence. Maybe what’s needed more is to take baby steps instead of leaping.

Giving yourself the grace to make mistakes and miss the mark is like a soothing balm to the soul of a tired momma. 

You are doing better than you think you are! This I know for sure. And using these strategies again and again will help you to find and keep your peace as you continue down the crazy path of motherhood! 

What are your strategies for getting out of the mom funk? Share them in the comments below!

Want the Simple Pathway to Calmer Days with Less Blow ups and Frustration?

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