June, 2011

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The DON’T MISS Resource for Moms

Thursday, June 30th, 2011

There is one resource I hope every Mom taps – Focus on the Family offerings. This is a faith-based non-profit whose sole purpose is to strengthen the family world wide.

“Thriving Family” magazine is their free email subscription – $9.99 for hard copy delivered – full of timely encouragement for every age and family member. You can spend all day on the website www.focusonthefamily.com and not plumb the depths of insight from many expert authors.

I highly recommend the children and boy/girl teen magazines. These are paid subscriptions (a perfect gift to ask for from grandparents… hint, hint) that are geared to specific age ranges and interests. We all need folks to come alongside to partner with us in raising strong children. Sometimes when they won’t hear us, they will listen to the same thought from another source!

If you are struggling with a hard-headed son or daughter, reading Dr. James Dobson’s
The New Strong-Willed Child is like someone just threw you a life-preserver.

You’ll find out what makes the strong-willed child tick, how you can shape their will without damaging
their spirit, how to guide them successfully into adulthood, and… more.

Dr. Dobson is a child psychologist and the founder of Focus on the Family. This is a new version of the 1970’s classic that has sold over 2 million copies and helped many of us parents along the way. Check out the many resources on their website.

As I was surfing to write this article, I found a book I need now Setting Boundaries With Your Adult Children: Six Steps to Hope and Healing for Struggling Parents by Allison Bottke.

Thank you, readers!

Time Management Principles for Moms

Wednesday, June 8th, 2011

Since our condo has two bathrooms, Jeff and I split the maintenance. He cleans one and I clean the other.

Yesterday, my husband was cleaning his bathroom. He called out to me, “Martha, I don’t think I have said ‘Thank You!’ for all those years you kept our bathrooms clean. I didn’t know how much work that was.”

My reply – “That means a lot to me, Jeff. Thank you for saying so.”

Many times the majority of the work to maintain a home and a healthy family falls to women. We are nurturers, men are hunters. These are the main areas we see to:

Physical – Life Sustaining, The Big 3: food, clothing, shelter

  • Meal planning, food purchase
  • Laundry, Clothing purchase and repair
  • Housekeeping

Relational – The People Factor

  • Adult partners
  • Children to adults
  • Adult children to Adult parents

Scheduling and Communication – Taking Care of Business

  • Work
  • School
  • Extra-curricular (optional!!)

When you read through that list, do you get tired and wonder where you find the time to actually do all of those things? I do!

Is this helping you to see how valuable your time is? You have to guard against spending it too quickly or without thought.

I’d like to offer three time management principles that can help us wives, moms, and homemakers be more effective and efficient every day.


Stall if you have to when you are asked to do something. Say, “Let me check my schedule.” Then call back and say “Thank you for asking
me to _______________. I’m sorry, but I have already made a commitment that will not allow me to do that.” No further explanation is necessary.


Focus on one person or task when you can. To focus is to think about the same thing we are doing.

Management and mothering have a lot in common. These are two of the most interruption-rich jobs! Multitasking is sometimes necessary, but should not be our preferred operating tactic.

Looking at our child when he/she is talking is one of the most loving things we can do!


Don’t try to go it alone or be a martyr. Get the kids involved.
Ask your husband, or sister, or mother for some help. Let the person who is doing the job do it their way. Praise even small efforts.

How are you doing on the front lines? Ready to delegate instead of being the Lone Ranger?

Our Mom’s Summer Series is a place to start. Thursday, July 16th we will zero in on how to get children to help around the house. To succeed at using chores at home, moms must start early, train, have enthusiasm, and lavishly praise.

“All you can do is all you can do, but all you can do is enough.”

A.L. Williams

Simple Systems: So You Don’t Have to Think Too Much

Tuesday, June 7th, 2011

Example of a simple system

When I help a client organize a space in home or office, one of the things I try to do is establish one or two systems that will make maintaining order a snap. What do I mean by a system?

We all have systems. For any action we perform constantly, we find a way that works and then do it the
same each time, mindlessly.

Think about brushing your teeth. Do you:

  1. Wet your toothbrush, then put on toothpaste, or vice versa?
  2. Begin brushing on with your top or bottom row on the side opposite your dominant hand?
  3. Spend more time on the flat surfaces of molars or on the sides of your teeth that show when you smile?
  4. Do you floss once a day, or on the twelfth of never?

That is your system. For the most part, you don’t have to think about brushing so you use that time to think about something more pressing.

These are simple systems that can make your life easier:

  • In “A” months: Go through last season’s clothing , purge before setting aside ; inventory the new season’s clothing coming out of hiding. Then go shopping with your list of what to buy to fill in wardrobe. Sales are best during the “A” months before the general populace is in the “have to buy now” mode.
  • As a follow up to any new electronic purchase: Write down the words “NEW PURCHASE” and then the date on a 3×5 card. Below that, write “OLD RECYCLED” and the date 2 weeks from now. Make a commitment to give, donate, or dispose of the equipment that was replaced by that date. In Columbus, find your closest recycling center at http://ohiodropoff.com/ .
  • To keep paper piles down: Always open mail next to a trash can the day it enters your home/office. Only file for reference the information you cannot replace or will land you in jail if you can’t produce it. For papers that need action, choose one of 3 D’s: Do it, Delegate it, or Delay it – put on calendar for later.

These are just a few examples to get you thinking of systems as a means to keep “stuff” manageable.
When you make periodic purging and maintenance a part of your life, you will have more breathing room. Organizing less is so much easier!