I know this post isn’t my usual style, but after over 15 years of marriage, I feel like I’ve learned a few things that would be worth sharing. Don’t get me wrong – there are plenty of couples who are way ahead of us in their marriages, but Barry and I are no longer “newlyweds”. We have been around the block a few times…15 times actually! So 15 blocks and 4 kids later, we feel comfortable answering some of your marriage questions. Readers submitted these and we decided to dive right in and do a Marriage Q & A: [Read more…]
Dear Stacy…. What do your nights and evenings look like? How do you do to relax? Do you have family night every night? I get asked a lot of questions about what the average evening looks like in the Myers house. Today, I’m attempting to answer them as a share the details of our family’s evening routine.
As you may know, we are a family of six and my husband works a traditional 8-5 job. It takes him about 45 minutes for his commute each way. Since he does not see the kids before he leaves for work, our quality family time takes place during the evenings. Our family time with him lasts from about 5:45/6 to 7:30/8pm. We have about two hours every evening as a family. This includes dinner and cleanup. In other words – our time together is pretty limited.
We have to be really intentional about our family time.
Our family time looks pretty similar almost every day. We have dinner together as a family, with no screens (phone, TV, iPad, etc.) allowed. When I finish eating, I start cleaning up the things on the counter and in the sink and the children clean off the table. The children are in charge of cleaning off the table, putting the dirty napkins down the laundry chute, putting dirty dishes in the sink, and sweeping the floor, while Barry and I do the rest of the dishes and kitchen cleanup.
After dinner what we do a family Bible time.
Right now we are working thru part of our school curriculum called Answers for Kids, which is from the Answers in Genesis folks. This probably takes is about 15-20 minutes. With little tiny kids, you cannot do long lessons together as a family or you’ll lose them. Let’s be honest – because of their age, you could even lose them if it’s a short lesson! It’s a little lesson and then scripture reading. Sometimes there’s a story or object lesson to go with it.
From there our night varies by the season.
If it’s warm, we are outside from dinner time until almost time for them to go to bed. If it is chilly or rainy, we will usually go downstairs and do our evening routine. Sometimes the kids want to play a game like Hungry Hungry Hippos. Which I will admit is extremely satisfying to play. Straight up. I get really, really into that. I think that probably if Barry ever caught me on video playing I would be really embarrassed if he ever posted it online.
Sometimes we will play on the Wii, like bowling or basketball. Sometimes we’ll even watch a movie. When I was first a mom, I felt ashamed to admit that I let my kids watch TV. Even though, when I was growing up, watching TV as a family was what we did after dinner. Home Improvement, Alf, Andy Griffith or something like that. We still don’t actually have TV service, but we do have a TV where we can stream content online or watch DVDs.
I have fond memories of relaxing and watching TV as a family and I think I turned out okay.
Most people think that a family time in the evenings has to be holy or super spiritual. It doesn’t have to be something that takes lots of planning or is a set schedule. That’s not what it’s about. Your kids won’t remember all that. What your kids will remember is that every night after dinner they had family time. It’s a time when we can all just relax and enjoy one another.
I know lots of people are super busy with sports, boy/girl scouts, church, youth group, and other activities that take you outside of the home. And I get that. But even 1 to 2 nights a week with dedicated family time after dinner will make a huge difference.
Try it out!
I promise it isn’t complicated! If it’s not simple and easy, I won’t consistently do it…and I bet you won’t either. You’re making memories without spending money or lots of time planning. And keep in mind that it won’t be perfect. Babies still cry, toddlers still throw tantrum… It is still real life! But it is worth it to consistently make memories together as a family.
If you try it and becomes a thing for you, please reach out and tell me. I would love to hear what works for your family. I get lots of ideas from y’all, so please share any thoughts you have.
It’s a beautiful Sunday morning and my family of six is nestled together in our church pew, listening intently as the pastor brings a good word from the pulpit. No more than five seconds pass and I look over to see my 3 year old has drawn a mural on the cover the hymnal and my 5 year old has torn his bulletin into about 800 tiny pieces. While I’m distracted by this, my one year old in my lap manages to tap her snack bowl in just the right spot to baptize the women in the row in front of us with a shower of Cheerios. Yep…church is hard right now.
Can I just say that again? Church is hard!!
Is work-life balance a real thing?
As homemakers, whether we work inside the home or outside the home, the work-life balance struggle is real. It’s something that y’all ask about quite often. For years, I struggled to find that balance, I have read books, listened to podcasts, and done research online. I was trying to determine if am I giving enough to my family, my work, my friends, my church, my neighbors and my community, and myself, personally?
And you know what? I always ended feeling defeated. I felt like I was bashing my head against the wall. Like a total, complete, utter failure.
What even is work/life balance?
I need to give a disclaimer here: my oldest child is eight. That means, I am coming at this teaching kids to do chores thing from a different perspective than someone who has fully grown kids and grandkids.
I hesitate to talk about this because people are aways like, how does she even know? Her kids are all little – what does she know about teaching kids to do chores?
Here’s what I know:
I have been taught, and have learned things over the years, from a couple of mentors who are far ahead of me in this journey, and have offered me advice and help. Some are mentors that I know, some are mentors who I wish I knew in person, but even more are mentors in my head, in books, and on the internet. I haven’t invented this idea about teaching kids to do chores on my own. And I don’t think that I am the smartest women in the world. I’ll admit that I thought I was pretty smart until I had children…and then I realized I was pretty dumb indeed.
What are my tips and secrets for teaching kids to do chores?
I’m often asked, “how do I work without my kids interrupting me?”
The answer is simple, y’all… You don’t. Nobody does.
If you have kids, they will interrupt you. As a stay-at-home, home-schooling mom, I am with my children pretty much 24/7. This means there is virtually never a time when I am NOT interrupted. Ha! My children may need a snack, want to give me a booger, and sometimes, when I’m lucky, want to bring me a flower or some other token of affection. Each and every day, there is always some crisis I have to resolve. But I don’t let that stop me from doing my work! My kids have interrupted me about 4.5 million times. No, I haven’t actually counted, but I think that’s a pretty fair estimate 😉
But I don’t let those interruptions keep me from getting my work done!
What I do, is plan my day knowing that there will be interruptions. I know from the moment I wake up, there will be poop, fights, screaming and/or crying at some point in the day. How do I handle it? How do I get work done when this keeps happening? I just go with it.
If I am baking on Kitchen Day and one of my kids starts hollering for Mom, as long as no one is injured, I will keep on doing what I’m doing. I’ll say, “Hold on, and I’ll be right there when I get to a stopping point.” I may say this 10 times while making one batch of Bacon Cheese Muffins.
Does it get annoying?
People ask me all the time why I get ready for the day even when I’m just going to stay home.
Before I dive in to my answer, let me just say that for some reason this topic is a touchy subject to some women. I don’t know why, but let me be the first to say, I am not trying to offend anyone! This is my take on the topic and it’s worth what you pay for it. Which is funny, because it’s free. You pay nothing for this gem.
Why do I get ready for the day even when I am just staying home?
Do you ever feel like nobody else is helping in your home? You have to cook, clean, do laundry and more, but you literally feel all alone…so alone, that you’re not sure how to proceed.
How do you manage your home when you feel all alone?
I realize that what we’re going to talk about today can be a bit of a sensitive topic, but please know that it is not my intention to offend or hurt anyone. I am going to give a couple of tips today that I hope you will take as an encouragement. My goal is always to encourage you. [Read more…]
When Annie was first born, Barry and I came up with a really simple idea for how to celebrate our kids’ birthdays: The Birthday Crown! I know I’ve talked about it already on social media, but I thought a formal post about it may be helpful as well.
Barry and I decided that whoever in our family was celebrating a birthday would get to wear a birthday crown and would be our King or Queen for the day.
On their birthday, the king or queen gets to choose what they want to eat, where they want to go, what they would like for us to do to celebrate. Maybe best of all (at least while they’re young), they get to wear the birthday crown. [Read more…]
There are a few moments in time permanently etched in my memory. This was one of those moments.
Annie and I were at her eye doctor appointment. I was doing my normal thang – using my cell phone, looking important, getting so many things done while waiting on that doctor that takes fooooooooooooooorever. Annie was talking with me about something, but I obviously was NOT paying attention. She was nervous, but I had things to do, man.
“Mom, why is your nose always in your cellphone?”
Ya know, she’s said something similar to me before. But I wasn’t ready to hear it. But that day – that day – I heard her. And I felt like God had smacked me right upside the head. [Read more…]