Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Top 10 Mom Hacks



Road trips:

Pack your food - I pack all our snacks as well as a light meal. I also pack all the supplies I need for the trip. I've taken a box of diapers on a trip just so I didn't have to buy it when I got to my destination. When kids are not hungry they are happier. When I'm not hangry, everyone is happier :)

Potty at Cracker Barrel - you will find clean bathrooms with great changing tables. The kids and I take a break from the road by sitting in the rocking chairs and playing their giant checkers game.

Daily life: 

Simplify transitions - when all my kids were tiny, I noticed that the TV was making our transitions difficult. They would be watching it and it would be time to go somewhere. It was challenging to get their attention from the TV to our next activity. I decided to simplify our transition by turning off the TV. Obviously, the kids still watch TV. It was smart to simplify our transitions instead of being frustrated with their natural tendency to linger.

5-minute pick up - I used to be extremely frustrated with toy mess until we started implementing the 5-minute pick up. We work together for 5 minutes. I set my cell phone timer so it feels like a game. The kids love it thus far and everything is back in order quickly.

Food 

Find your staples - and love them hard! My staples are rice and black beans. I also make banana bread muffins often. Finding my staples has simplified life quite a bit. I can cook large batches and freeze my staples for busy nights (like last night). I can also come up with multiple uses for them.

Do what works for you - there will always be an internet celebrity trying to sell you the latest and greatest food gadget, item, you name it. It is important to do what works for you. Fads come and go. Your own family will determine what works for you. Follow their lead and save yourself some major frustration.

Reading

Go to the Public Library - I tell my kids that readers are leaders and leaders are readers. We've been visiting the public library since the kids were toddlers. I enjoy their programs, the summer reading challenge and the variety of resources available for families.

Read out loud - a few years ago, I was convinced of the benefits of reading out loud to kids who can read for themselves. Reading out load allows us to bond around a storyline. It gives us topics to talk about as well as inside jokes. It is fun when the kids bring up the books when we're out and about doing other things. I'm a fan of reading. I also know everyone is busy. I might spend between 5-15 minutes reading out loud on a regular basis. It is worth every precious minute. I allow the kids to be kids (wiggly, playing with other things) when I'm reading to them. The older ones are now stopping and listening attentively. I also have one who crochets while she listens. Whatever it takes, we're reading together.

Faith 

No secret agents needed - my faith in Christ is very important. So important that I don't allow myself to be a "secret agent for Jesus." I live my faith out loud during the week (cause Sunday is the easiest day to be a Christian). I make sure the kids see me reading the Bible, praying, etc. I actively look for opportunities to encourage them to seek God for themselves. You bet I already told them what my end goal with all of this is. I want them to know God, to walk with Him and to teach their next generations about Jesus.

Bible study - I'm not a fan of going through studies with my kids. I teach the Bible using the Bible itself. Everyone holds the Bible and we take turns reading and studying. I'm not trying to make them scholars or "super kid Christians." My goal is for them to know and love the God of the Bible. I tell them the best way to know the God of the Bible is to read His book. We are very organic in our study. The kids tell me what they're interested in and we focus on that. Sometimes it is a topic, sometimes a book. I don't make them memorize Scripture simply because that's not the way I was taught the Bible as a child. Memorization came as a result of my exposure to the words of truth. Until this day, I'm not the best with "addresses."As it turns out, in the marketplace, I'm not quizzed on my Bible knowledge. What matters outside of the church is the life I live. Studying the Bible with kids is organic. It is interesting and it is a normal part of life. So normal, one of my kids volunteered to take their Bible on a family trip. I pray they will love God and His word always. 

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