When we were doing the Watch Your Mouth Challenge, I got asked questions about for tips for keeping your cool. I want to be completely honest – I have a hot head, a short fuse, and a quick temper. The Lord is always working on me, y’all! I’m not in any way trying to act like I am an expert that knows what I’m doing here. But I am going to share what I know and have learned about myself. In my own personal life, there are two things that set me off… or should I say the LACK of two things sets me off! [Read more…]
I have written about meal planning before – and shared how I use this Meal Planning Printable I adapted from Jessica Fisher to make my life simple and more organized! I print a copy of this meal planning sheet EVERY week to do my meal planning. And I should add that my favorite saying is on this printable…
Feed the people, keep them alive.
I get a lot of questions about my meal planning routine and how I go about doing it. The real reason for the success of my meal planning method is actually a relatively new approach and it may come as a surprise to you! My new secret is that I actually ask the family what THEY want to eat! My new secret weapon to meal planning seems pretty obvious, but until recently I never did this! I just planned my menu based on what I wanted or what I thought they might like. Now, the day before I sit down to meal plan, I actually ask everyone… [Read more…]
There are three things I do every single day – even when it’s absolutely insane. I called these my homemaking anchor tasks. These are things I do so that whenever it’s crazy, I don’t feel overwhelmed and I don’t feel like I’m behind. And once things slow down, I’m able to pick back up the pieces and continue on with life.
These three homemaking “anchor tasks” are certainly not rocket science. Some of you might even think it’s a waste of a post to write about this. But I feel like its worth sharing because on busy days, these tasks keep me afloat, y’all.
In no particular order, here are my homemaking anchor tasks:
Working from home is very common now, but it didn’t used to be! Y’all wanted me to talk about where I find the time to be a work-from-home homeschooling mom who still manages to take care of her home and cook from scratch. For those of you who don’t know, Barry and I have always had an entrepreneurial spirit. I love to homeschool our kids, keep our home, and cook everything (or almost everything) from scratch. But in addition to that, I am also a Platinum leader with Young Living Essential Oils and Barry and I run Humorous Homemaking together. I get asked ALL the time how I do it all.
But the truth is – I don’t! I can’t be 100% a stay at-home mom and 100% working woman.
I have to do one or the other at a time in order to do either thing well. And y’all may recall that I have said I think trying to balance it all is kind of crap. I try to be giving 100% to whatever I’m doing at each time. When I try to do too many things at once – I am not a good mom and I don’t accomplish much as far as working goes either.
In the past, I felt guilty if my children saw me working.
When I first started blogging and working from home, there was actually a whole movement about, “Don’t work when your kids are awake!” And, “You’re wasting their best years!” But y’all – I think it’s good for them to see (and help) me work! If I am not working, I am bored. And the work I do brings me enjoyment! But I no longer feel guilty for working because my children are home WITH ME. And bonus, now that they are getting older, my kids can help me with a lot of the things I need to get done in a day.
Barry and I are working really hard right now. We have a really big goal that I am not sharing about on social media at this point, but just know it is BIG. It’s important for me to work really hard NOW, so that later, my family can see the amazing benefits from it.
I know some of you get up early and work before the kids and some of you stay up later after the kids go to bed. This doesn’t work for me! If I don’t get enough sleep, my health is DIRECTLY affected. When I stay up too late and/or get up too early – I am not my best self in all the ways! What do I do each day instead?
Our “normal” daily routine looks a bit like this:
Barry and I both wake up around 6:00 and exercise. I like to be showered and have my makeup on before the kids get up. I like to get ready because it makes me feel better about myself. It doesn’t matter what everyone else thinks about me – I feel better about myself when I look my best and I am ready for the day.
I feed my kids breakfast, clean it all up, and then I eat breakfast. I know people think this is weird, but let me set the record straight… this is not weird. It’s something I’ve learned over the years and it is awesome! I get agitated when I try to eat at the same time as my kids. I sit down and EVERYONE needs something. Whether it’s ketchup, more water, a different fork… you get the idea! While they are little, I’ve learned it’s better for me if they go ahead eat and then head off to play so that I can eat my meal in peace and quiet. It’s one of the simple pleasures in the life of a work-from-home homeschooling mom.
After breakfast, the kids and I do whatever chores need to be done that day and then we begin our homeschool.
Some days we have more chores than others – but it’s usually an hour or less. After chores, we begin our homeschool. We try to get all of our schoolwork out of the way before lunch. It’s been our goal since we started homeschooling for our kids to be independent learners, so that’s what I’m striving for. I make Annie a list of what she needs to get done each day in her lessons, work with her on things that require me, and then get her going. She comes back to me if she has questions or concerns. I don’t walk her through each lesson or assignment. But to be clear – I couldn’t get to this point until she learned how to read (and read well). Kindergarten and first grade were much more hands-on for her, and will be for all the others as they get there as well.
We still do some things together, like certain history lessons or science experiments. I get asked a lot about her math. Math is not my strong suit, and her lessons for math are on the computer. Thankfully, that means she doesn’t need me much. I just have to go check her work once or twice a week to make sure she is doing well and getting the correct answers. If she’s struggling, we revisit those topics one morning to make sure she grasps the concepts. And it’s not like I’m off somewhere! If my kids need me, we are all together in the same room (or close) – all they have to do is ask me for help!
Our morning goal is to finish chores and school by lunchtime.
After lunch, I am able to work off and on for about 3 to 3-1/2 hours. During this time, the kids are downstairs playing quietly or watching a movie, and if they want it, taking a nap. This timeframe is when I typically churn out the majority of my work. A dedicated quiet time for them is a welcome break for us all. Plus, let’s be honest – the kids love getting a chance to watch a little show. At some point, when the kiddos start to get antsy to do something else, and if the weather is nice, all of the kids will go outside and play for the rest of the day. They only come inside for a dinner break (and then they usually head right back outside).
After dinner until bedtime is family time.
In the evenings, I very, very, rarely work. I will occasionally have to answer calls or texts during that time, but not often. This is also Barry’s only time during the week to spend with the kids, so we try to make the most of this time to be together. Once the kids are all asleep, Barry and I finish up the rest of our work: mailings, easy projects, outside or yard work, etc. Our goal is to be done and ready to relax by 9:00. Then we relax and unwind together – usually staying up until about 10:00 or 10:30 pm. And that’s a day in the life of Stacy!
This is where we are at right now, but life is always changing!
The seasons of life are full of trial and error. You figure out what works and what doesn’t. You have to be flexible when your seasons of life change. I realize my approach to being a work-from-home homeschooling mom isn’t for everybody. But no matter what stance you take with your family – embrace it and ignore the naysayers. Don’t let someone make you feel bad about your choices. You need to figure out what works best for you, your family, your financial situation, your profession etc. You’ve got this! And as always, I’m just a message away if you need me!
When I first started as a homemaker, my goal was not a healthy laundry routine. My goal was a CHEAP laundry routine. I was looking for the cheapest way to do laundry possible. I didn’t look at ingredients. I didn’t care about brands. All I wanted was cheap laundry detergent that I could buy for rock-bottom prices (usually using coupons).
That’s when I realized I could save even more money by making homemade laundry detergent.
I went thru several different recipes before I found one that worked for us. One of the reasons I tried so many options was because my son Eli has extremely sensitive skin. Not only did I want to save money, but I also needed to find a more healthy laundry routine. We have to be so careful because he has a reaction when he gets around anything synthetic, harsh cleaners or chemicals, etc. He couldn’t handle store-bought detergents or even some of the homemade detergent recipes I tried. I finally found one that wasn’t bothering him, but then our washing machine seemed to stop working. Barry decided to take it apart and clean it out to see what the problem was.
When he opened it up, I was mortified.
A while back, I asked you guys to submit questions you’d like me to answer about being a work-at-home mom, and you had LOTS of them. It has been fun to sort through them all and see how to encourage you through what I’ve learned over the past several years. I have been a work-at-home mom since Annie was 9 months old, when I started teaching local workshops in the evenings and on weekends. I taught about frugal living, living on a budget, and how to use coupons – which I don’t do anymore. This blog actually grew out of that. And it grew and grew and grew – which was a surprise to us! From there, we became distributors with Young Living where we are currently a Platinum team. So currently, we run two businesses from home, in addition to Barry’s day job and our four kids. #busypeople
I really enjoy being able to be a work-at-home mom.
Quick Note: This post is part of the Watch Your Mouth Family Kindness Challenge. It’s completely free to join this challenge, so check it out and see if you would like to participate! We’d love to have you – it’s not too late. I am sending out a weekly email, doing a Facebook Live every Monday and we’ve also got a Facebook Group for extra encouragement and discussion over the course of the challenge. Not to mention there is an amazing prize bundle for the family who wins. And huge thank you to Clay Clarkson and Our 24 Family Ways: A Family Devotional Guide for giving us brand new copy to give to the Grand Prize Winner. The giveaway includes both a book and a coloring book. Oh and they’ve also included another great book in our giveaway… Desperate: Hope for the Mom Who Needs to Breathe.) [Read more…]
I’ve been struggling with lies. I don’t mean little white lies…For years, I’ve struggle with believing lies I tell myself.
Have you ever faced this? Do you ever catch yourself believing lies about yourself? I used to feel like I had an inner voice that tells me things… you know that one that says, that girl! you rocked that! you’re awesome!
Then there’s the other voice. You know, the one that tells you LIES. “You’re a failure.” “You’re the worst mom.” “You’re not a good wife.” “You’re terrible.” “What’s the matter with you, Stacy?” “Why are you doing things like that?” “You’re not pretty.”
I always thought that voice was my friend.
Goal: Speak to your family with KINDNESS. Speak words of LIFE. Edify. Compliment. Praise.
I heard my kids speak to each other. And it wasn’t kind…it was UGLY.
I didn’t like it. But then I listened to how I was speaking to them – they were just repeating ME!! How did this happen?!
Barry and I decided it had to change. So, we wanted to work on it this summer. But we wanted to make sure everyone could benefit. Come learn with us this summer, over the next two months, as we lift up and edify each other!
And at the end, there’s something fun for someone!!! It will be worth the hard work! [Read more…]
Today’s post might be considered a tough love conversation. Not everyone thinks change is good thing! I’m sure this is one of those topics not everyone will like. That’s how it is on Sunday sometimes. When are sweating in the pew and can’t wait to get out there…it’s just a sign it was probably a good sermon you needed to hear!
I think there is this overwhelming sense that we as women have that there is a certain, right way things should be. And we are often hard on people who do things differently – when we shouldn’t be. The reason I started thinking about this was because lately I feel like a lot of women feel like they need to apologize when things in their life change.