Love Your Family: How to Put Them First

A challenge to help you simplify and put your family first.

Sometimes it seems like the most important rule in our culture is “the busiest person wins.” Our society calls us valuable when we accomplish something in every single moment of every day.

This makes us think we need to do the same thing in our family to be a successful mom. We need to involve our kids in sports and music. Art and public speaking. We need to go to the library. Bring them to every children’s museum. We need to never stop.

We think our kids need to become the best soccer player, the smartest student. They need to practice 5 days a week and spend hours doing homework. Our culture glorifies putting all these other things first. Putting anything but our family first.

But I say we need to stop. Continue reading “Love Your Family: How to Put Them First”

How to Be Intentional and Accomplish Your Vision

An intentional parenting challenge. Let every action bring you closer to your goals and your visions for your family.

 “If I step on one more Lego, I’m throwing them in the garbage!” I shouted before I could stop myself. But I would never do that: throwing away Legos is like throwing away gold.

I’ve also hissed, “You better listen to me, or we’re going straight home.” But when we drove 45 minutes and spent $80 to get into the children’s museum, I wouldn’t leave after 5 minutes.

Or the ever-lovely, “Why can’t you guys sit quietly for once.” Like they owe it to me.

These empty threats are not my proudest parenting moments. Continue reading “How to Be Intentional and Accomplish Your Vision”

How to Stop Wasting Time and Love the Little Moments

Stop wasting time 5 easy ways in your everyday life.

My 3-year-old asked for help while I prepped dinner the other day. I stepped away to transform from chef to superhero to solve the problem of the moment.

After a second, I was back to the original task. When I swiped the screen to get back to my Pinterest recipe, a little red “5” beckoned me to the bottomless void of Facebook. I’ll just check my notifications. Then I had to reply to a few comments, answer messages, and browse the feed.

A new email popped up and lured me over to my inbox. I deleted spam, read a few non-urgent messages, and realized I was wasting time. I turned my tablet off and put it away so I wouldn’t be tempted to use it again. Continue reading “How to Stop Wasting Time and Love the Little Moments”

8 Easy Ways to Get More Trust in Your Life

Daily steps to learn when and how to trust and become a trustworthy parent.

“Mom, what are you eating?” my 4-year-old daughter chirped as she peeked around the fridge door at the crinkling wrapper in my hands.

“Uhhh… um, nothing,” I garbled past the chocolate I knew she could smell with her super-candy-sensor nose. “Go pick a game and I’ll be right over.” Her narrowed eyes darted back to my closed fist before she stepped away to set up her game.

I finished chewing to get rid of the evidence and walked over to play a round of Candy Land. The game pushed the incident out of my mind until I lay in bed that night and stared at the ceiling. Continue reading “8 Easy Ways to Get More Trust in Your Life”

6 Awesome Ways to Rock Your Compliments Like a Boss

The ultimate list of things to avoid when complimenting your kids and what to do instead.

My 4-year-old daughter slipped into the shimmering dress-up gown and twirled. “I’m beautiful! Mom, am I beautiful?” she asked.

“You are so beautiful!” I affirmed, smiling as she danced around the room. She received compliments all day long about how wonderful she looked, and I couldn’t peel the dress off of her when it was time for bed. I didn’t push it.

The next morning was another story. We had a playdate to go to. She needed new clothes.

I pulled out jeggings and a t-shirt, for comfort and ease-of-tumbling. But as soon as my daughter put them on, she panicked. “I can’t wear these, Mom! I’m not beautiful.” Continue reading “6 Awesome Ways to Rock Your Compliments Like a Boss”

Want Healthy, Happy Kids? Learn How to Love Yourself

A step-by-step guide to better self-esteem for us and our kids.

“What the heck is my problem?!” I snapped, as I chucked my salt-instead-of-sugar cookie dough in the garbage.  “I’m such an idiot. I just can’t do anything right.” I threw the dirty utensils in the sink and speed cleaned the kitchen.

A few hours later, I heard my daughter shout from the other room, “What is WRONG with me? Why do I always do everything wrong?”

I ran to stop her from berating herself and found her with her elbows on the table, fingertips pressed against her temples. Paper shreds all over the floor. Continue reading “Want Healthy, Happy Kids? Learn How to Love Yourself”

Give Your Kids the Most Important Gift: Learning

The ultimate list of toys that will help your kids learn.

He sat on the floor and stared at the shaking truck with glazed eyes. It rumbled and lurched forward for a moment, only to stop and blast out a few shouted phrases and some rock music before taking off again. Flashing lights followed it forward and backward until the timer stopped and the truck halted. It left the room in gaping silence.

He just sat there and waited for it to do something else. His eyes darted away, then back. Away, then back. He leaned forward and pushed the button again. It restarted the cycle and he settled back to watch it again.

He’s not playing.

He is using a toy, but he is not playing. Continue reading “Give Your Kids the Most Important Gift: Learning”