CWAHM Devotional

Do Life DifferentDo Life Different
Work-at-home mom: take a deep breath and Do Life Different as you allow these devotions for work-at-home moms to fill the vacuum of your needy heart in the chaos of your busy world.
 
Order Your Copy!

CWAHM Video Devotions

Get Our Updates!

Join our monthly newsletter!

Archive for Family and Finance

Nov
06

Are you a happy CWAHM?

Posted by: | Comments (0)

Most of us know that we moms are the ones who set the tone of our homes (for the most part). Usually our husbands and children know when we aren’t happy.

But do you ever reflect on your own happiness? Or are you so focused on making sure that everyone else is happy that you forget to touch base with your own feelings. As moms it is easy to be continually giving to the extent that we sacrifice ALL, without taking care of ourselves. It is important that we consider our own happiness. When we take care of ourselves we are able to serve our families better.

There are times when I have felt trapped by the pressures of having children, working, cleaning house, and serving at church. I was giving, giving, giving but feeling negative about myself and my ability to get everything done.

In my reading I came found this acrostic in What Happy Working Mothers Know, which helped me put my own happiness in perspective.

Healthy – both physical and mental health

Adaptive

Proud of your family

Proud of your work because that’s who you are

Young at heart

 

Healthy

In what ways are you taking care of yourself physically? Are you getting enough physical activity? I have found that joining a gym keeps me accountable to remain active, when I do so my mind is clearer, I have more energy, and I feel better about myself.

Health carries over to what we eat as well. Are you getting the protein and nutrients you need to carry out our day? I caught myself falling into the habit of not making myself breakfast or lunch while I was feeding the kids because I concluded that they weren’t going to finish what was on their plates anyway, so I might as well just make my meal out of their leftovers which consisted of a few bites of oatmeal from one child and a few bites of honeycomb cereal from another, besides I reasoned that while spooning the baby his mashed banana and cereal, catching the spilled milk from the three year old before it engulfs the table, and reminding the older one not to blow bubbles in his milk, how was I supposed to eat anyway? I’m learning to make sure I eat something substantial as well. The spilled milk can wait, the baby can eat one bite and wait a minute while I take a bite, and does it matter so much that blowing bubbles in their drinks is so entertaining?

Adaptive

Life without children was predictable for the most part. I went to work and came home. It wasn’t a problem getting something done as planned but that doesn’t work anymore. I try to have a general routine for each day, but I never know when it may get interrupted by a refusal to take quiet time, missing children’s shoes when we are trying to get out the door, a urgent need for mommy to help dress a baby doll, and a myriad of other things. When these things arise I am learning to take them in stride, and not expect to be able to adhere to my plan complete but modify it for the day or the moment, just keeping in mind the definite goal of what needs to be accomplished each day. When I become too stressed about carrying out my schedule as planned I quickly become UNHAPPY. Read More→

Oct
24

Get Your Tickets

Posted by: | Comments Comments Off on Get Your Tickets

My children are obsessed with electronics, which is completely understandable in a digital world. Most of us carry powerful computers masquerading as phones in our pocket. Everywhere you look are screens, screens, and more screens. Even billboards are digital now. You know everyone who says they have to work or go into the office are really saying, ‘I’m going to go stare at a screen for eight hours.’ Even as a stay-at-home-mom, I am staring at a screen right now. The difference between us parents and the children is we can have some semblance of self-control, our children not so much. Enter tickets to earn electronics.

Go to Walmart (or any other store that sells offices supplies) and find the raffle ticket rolls. I got one roll per child. Alex gets red, Bri gets blue, and Rick gets white. I almost attempted some convoluted method of ticket distribution but decided it was better for all involved if we kept the ticket system simple. I like my sanity, what can I say? So the system is simple:

Do something right and get a ticket.

Go above and beyond and get a ticket.

Do what you are supposed to do and get a ticket.

A ticket gives you 10 minutes of electronic time.

The kids choice of which electronic to spend their time on: iPad, TV, video games, etc.

We do not take away tickets for bad behavior. The only negative from this system is if you don’t do it right, you don’t get a ticket.

That’s it. Simple. We don’t allow our kids electronics on school nights. We want this to be time for homework, chores, playing, and reading, so on Friday night after dinner the kids can start using their tickets. Once they are out of tickets, they are done with tickets for the weekend. It’s our money system. And my kids are going to be hurting this weekend because they have not done their chores properly at all this week and have barely earned any tickets. Their problem, not mine. They had plenty of opportunities to be responsible and earn tickets.

Here are reasons my kids can earn a ticket:

They put their lunchbox and backpack away.

They did their normal daily chore right, without being told.

Their room was clean.

They didn’t leave their stuff downstairs.

They picked up after themselves.

They cleaned something without being told.

They helped each other.

They finished their homework.

They are passing all their classes with no low graded assignments.

I caught them doing something nice.

 

The options are endless for them to earn hours and hours of electronics. But it’s up to them to take the initiative and earn their favorite free time activities.

Now recently, I went to do a load of my daughters’ laundry and was annoyed to find I couldn’t walk into the laundry room without stepping on stuff. Clothes, shoes, and other random stuff was all over my beautiful laundry room floor. I spent a lot of money at Ikea to get the laundry room of my dreams and my kids were messing it up! On top of that, in the laundry basket I had to dig out hangers, books, toys, and clean folded clothes just to find the dirty clothes to put in the wash. I had enough. Now my kiddos have to wash their own clothes between Friday and Sunday. They have to wash, dry, fold and put away their own laundry and it costs them two tickets for the use of my dream laundry room. They think I am mean, but I don’t care. They were mean to my favorite room, and I was done. This wasn’t a one-time offense, this was a constant daily struggle. Now I can walk into my laundry room and walk on the floor, not stuff.

Parents have many jobs as a parent. The most prevalent is teaching your children to be an asset to society and not a drain on society. Moms, we need to make our children so independent that we put ourselves out of a job. Because someday our children are going to be all grown up and they are going to need to take care of themselves. That’s the job, to teach our kids to take care of themselves. Hopefully having to earn their electronics, and pay for the privilege of using my laundry room, will help my kids be a step closer to becoming independent children who will become independent adults.

Comments Comments Off on Get Your Tickets
Sep
12

Waking up on the Wrong Side of the Bed

Posted by: | Comments Comments Off on Waking up on the Wrong Side of the Bed

Friday morning, (there was a light at the end of the school-week tunnel) my twelve-year-old son woke up about twenty minutes early of his own accord, and now the whole house would pay for his lost sleep. My girls had to leave for school thirty minutes before Rick and yet he decided to hog the bathroom. He screamed at both of his younger sisters for having the audacity to get in his way. Rick squawked at me for asking him to take out the trash. Even the dogs got yelled at for being under his feet. Ensue the parental lecture, from both mom and dad, about not ruining everyone else’s day because you ‘woke up on the wrong side of the bed.’

Let’s backtrack a couple of years. I had a nephew come to visit for the summer and he woke up every day with a less than sunny disposition. He said he could not control his mood, despite me lecturing him on how your attitude is your choice. He called me out, and rightly so, for claiming and acting like I was not in a good mood until after my first cup of coffee. Side note: let’s face it though, coffee really does make morning time better.

I made a promise to start waking up with a much better temperament. Took me a couple of days of training myself, but I changed my attitude in the wee hours of the morning to a less cranky presence.

Move back a few more years to when my middle child was about a fourteen months old. She woke up grouchy every day. Her foul mood made the mornings and afternoons quite frustrating for me and her older brother Rick.

I complained to a friend who asked me a life changing question: “Why do you allow her to wake up grouchy?

Of course, I balked at her query. I was young and naive still and did not realize disposition was a choice. She suggested not letting Bri out of her crib until she had stopped yelling and carrying on. I was still to change her diaper but not to let her out until she was willing to more agreeable. I agreed because, honestly, I was at my wit’s end waking up to a cranky baby.

Four days was all it took for Bri to wake up happy.

The first day was hard for both her, me, and Rick. Not one of us wanted to listen to her whining. I went in, changed her diaper, and told her when she could be nice, I would let her out and we would get breakfast. She looked at me like I was crazy (and I felt like I was crazy). The second day I think she was louder and more insistent, but I help up my end of the bargain to not let her out and until she improved her mood. She had a point to prove on day three. She thought she was more stubborn than me and could use her little squeaky voice to force me to do her bidding.

Read More→

Comments Comments Off on Waking up on the Wrong Side of the Bed
Aug
21

School is in Session

Posted by: | Comments Comments Off on School is in Session

School is in session for many of our families. When did school begin starting in August? Maybe only where I grew up, in New Hampshire, did school start after Labor Day. Either way, here in Texas, school starts in the middle of August. Time for school supplies, new clothes, and new teachers.

For stay-at-home and work-at-home moms, the start of school means free time (for those of us who are not homeschooling – by the way to you homeschooling moms, I have a lot of respect for you. I homeschooled for a spell, and there is no job more challenging). The problem is how to use your free time productively. Turning on the TV while folding laundry suddenly turns into binge watching Netflix and before you know it, the kids are home, and you have only folded one load of laundry and mopped the living room floor.

Like New Years, we stay-at-home-moms convince ourselves this is the year we are going to start our workout routines now that the kids are in school all day. Our house will be the cleanest on the block, and we are going to lose ten pounds and find a job working online that will bring in a steady income. Well, ladies, let’s make this the year. Let’s pick a goal and not let life and laziness get in the way. I am going to set myself a schedule and make a real effort to accomplish some of my domestic goals this year. Now, if any of you have any tips, I am all for hearing them. So far pinning organization idea’s on Pinterest has not lead to much fruition.

This year my kid’s school hours have changed. I have two elementary students who will be starting school at 8:05 am and one middle schooler who will be starting school at 8:55 am. Which means my girls need to be awake at 7:00 am to be ready and to school on time. My son will need to be up at 7:45 to be ready to hop on the bus at 8:30. Which means I have from 8:25 until (hold on checking the school website, as I have no idea what time school is out) 3:50 in the afternoon to do all the grocery shopping, cleaning, exercising, writing, and meal planning.

I was thinking this year I will try working out once the girls have left and only my son is home, as he is in middle school and mostly self-sufficient. I will already have his lunch made when I make the girls lunch, so I can tell my boy to brush his teeth from a yoga mat just as easily as I can from the couch.

With that settled, I am going to set up a schedule for cleaning with one major room per day:

Monday – Grocery shopping and running errands. Monday’s are already annoying might as well get the annoying stuff out of the way and be prepared for the week.
Tuesday – Living room and dining room
Wednesday – Office and front entry
Thursday – Bedroom and laundry
Friday – Bathrooms Read More→

Comments Comments Off on School is in Session
Jul
19

1913 Marital Advice

Posted by: | Comments (1)

I oldcouplehave this book called “Don’ts for Husbands, Don’ts for Wives” written in 1913.  I thought I would share some of the advice given.  I’d really like your comments on them too, so feel free to leave them!

Don’ts for Husbands:

Don’t look at things solely from a man’s point of view.  Put yourself in your wife’s place and see how you would like some of the things she has to put up with. (p.5-6).

Don’t condescend; you are not the only person in the house with brains. Don’t omit to bring home an occasional bunch of flowers or a few chocolates.  Your wife will value even a penny bunch of violets for your thought of her.  Don’t rush out of the house in such a hurry that you haven’t time to kiss your wife ‘good bye’.  She will grieve over the omission all day. Don’t belittle your wife before visitors.  You may think it a joke to speak of her little foibles, but she will not easily forgive you. (p.11)

Don’t forget your wife’s birthday.  Even if she doesn’t want the whole world to know her age, she doesn’t want you to forget.

Don’t for Wives:  

Don’t take your husband on a laborious shopping expedition, and expect him to remain good-tempered throughout.  If you want his advice on some special dress purchase, arrange to attend to that first, and then let him off.  Men, as  a rule, hate indiscriminate shopping.  Don’t allow yourself to get into the habit of dressing carelessly when there is ‘only’ your husband to see you.  Depend upon it he has no use for faded tea-gowns and badly dressed hair, and he abhors the sight of curling pins as much as other men do. He is a man after all, and if his wife does not take the trouble to charm him, there are plenty of other women who will. (p. 137-8) Read More→

Jul
18

Random Acts of Happiness

Posted by: | Comments Comments Off on Random Acts of Happiness

Finding Simplicity as a SAHM by Adrina Palmer Now we all know the best part of waking up is coffee in our cup, but the second best part of waking up is sweet notes from our children, spelling errors and all. My vanity table in my room has a note from my son and one from each of my daughters. The note from my youngest says, “I love you mom,” with a smiley face. The one from my son says, “I hope you get a perfect coffee and you are fun, loving, caring, and an overall good mother.” My son’s note is signed anonymous, which cracks me up! Like I don’t know his handwriting and would sit there for hours trying to figure out who left me such a thoughtful note.

My middle child made me a giant card out of purple construction paper that says I am the world’s greatest mom (mind you she has limited knowledge, as I am her only mom). Inside the card are pictures of me flying, drinking coffee (big surprise right?), and a poem about how I am her hero. One time for Mother’s Day at school, my daughter was given a list to fill out about me, and the part that had me rolling on the floor was, when asked what food I cook best, she chose salad. At some point maybe I can take a chance and put together a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, or maybe make some toast!

This morning I woke up to a note from my youngest telling me I am a sweet mom, along with a ticket for a coffee. Let me tell you these notes fuel my life. When I walk into the the laundry room and find shoes on the floor along with dirty clothes preventing the door from shutting, or their rooms are a mess again, or their mess is trickling down the stairs, I begin to wonder if my children hate me. Then I get these notes and know my little ones love me and just need more training and practice. They do love me; they are just little heathens.

Parenting is hard. Adulting is hard (I do enjoy this new trend of turning nouns into verbs). Do not miss the moments that make all the rest of raising children worth the time and energy spent. The notes are great, but I love when my kiddos give me hugs and kisses. I am not much of a cuddler, but I do love affection. I adore when my kids share freckles with me (I have none, they have plenty). All of these wonderful moments of random happiness are the sand that fills the jar. Read More→

Comments Comments Off on Random Acts of Happiness
Jun
08

How to Make a Difference in Your Community

Posted by: | Comments Comments Off on How to Make a Difference in Your Community

Do you want to make a difference in your local community? Unfortunately, there are many people who struggle in life and need your help. As well as this, many people want to improve their neighborhoods and make their locality a safer and more enjoyable place to live in. Below are some of the ways you can help.

Work as a Public Administrator

The residents in your local area need people they can rely on to represent them and individuals who want to address any local social and economic problems that exist. If you believe you have the personality and skills to do this work, becoming a public administrator could be the job for you.

You can start by getting involved in local projects and attending community events. However, to really advance in this area and become an effective public administrator, you should consider enrolling in an online master in public administration degree course or a similar type of program. Once you have completed a course such as the online MPA degree from a recognized university like Norwich University, you will possess the skills and knowledge required to work in local government or in a wide range of non-profit organizations.

Help Senior Citizens

People are living longer, which means there are more seniors who need to be taken care of. In many cases, these older citizens simply need some company and support. In other situations, you may be able to help these senior citizens by helping with home deliveries or providing your services at a local senior center.

Become a Coach or Mentor

Many of the social problems that occur in a city or town come about because of the neglect of younger members of society who have not been guided in the right way in their formative years. By becoming a coach or a mentor with a local team or youth organization, you can act as a role model for many of these children and teenagers who might otherwise go down the wrong path in life and enter a life of crime. Read More→

Categories : Family and Finance
Comments Comments Off on How to Make a Difference in Your Community
May
16

Tutu Much Money

Posted by: | Comments Comments Off on Tutu Much Money

teen girlsMy daughters, Bri and Alex, have been in dance classes for a few years of their lives. Bri was in both ballet and Irish dance before requesting no more dance. She said she couldn’t keep her arms straight; when in ballet she was supposed to use her arms, and in Irish, she was not. She asked to stop, and I reluctantly agreed. Who does not want to see their little girl with a bun, tutu, and ballet shoes? Some moms don’t, but this mom did. Then baby number three took dance for three years, and I have decided ballet for number three is not cost effect.

Alex loves to be the center of attention and in a beautiful costume or dress. Dancing is not her passion. How do I know dancing is not her passion? She does not dance around the house, she never practiced her dance routine at home or anywhere else, and she doesn’t talk about dance. Oh, and she needs constant reminders to get ready for class on Saturday mornings. I am not suggesting my child live and breathe dance. I am saying she should care enough about dance to put forth enough effort for the class to be cost effective.

I warned little miss that if at her recital she had shown no effort on her part to learn her routine (I do my part of telling her to practice, up to her to do the work), I would not pay for another year of class. Here’s the math:

$70 a month for nine months for class
$25 leotard and tights
$150 recital and costume
$48 tickets to recital
$30 one dance picture
$20 program for recital
Total – $903 a year for dance

The cost would be completely worth the price if my daughter were gaining useful skills such as practicing skills, or patience, or anything beyond looking cute in a costume and occasionally moving her feet. At the recital, Alex had to spend the entire two minutes on stage looking over her shoulder to watch the teacher show her what steps she was supposed to do next. She did not in nine months time learn anything except where she was supposed to stand when the dance started. Children younger than her knew all their steps. Actions speak loudly.

My little miss does not care about dancing; she cares about dressing up and being on stage in front of an audience. Not worth the cost for dance class. In the car on the way home from the recital, my attention seeking third child ask how she did at her recital, and I was truthful, because who am I helping if I give her undeserved accolades? I was tactful but honest. “Alex, you did ok, but you did not try very hard, and you did not practice, which showed because you had to keep looking at your teacher or classmates to know what steps to do.” I told her I wanted her to be proud of herself and did she think she had put enough effort forth to be proud of herself. She said she guessed not. Then she changed the subject and moved on. She only cared about being in a costume. I am not just going to praise her because she wants me too, because in the real world you have to earn praise. Read More→

Comments Comments Off on Tutu Much Money
Apr
21

Easy Steps For An Easy Move

Posted by: | Comments Comments Off on Easy Steps For An Easy Move
moving

Image: Flickr

Moving house is one of the most stressful things most people ever go through. That wonderful feeling of knowing you’re moving to a home that you’re absolutely in love can quickly be snuffed out by the awful realization of all the stuff you actually have to get from A to B. However, by applying these simple tricks, you can take a huge amount of stress out of the whole process.

Account for the Essentials

When the big day comes around, you don’t want to have to run from box to box, rummaging through all your stuff looking for a runaway phone charger. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and no family home was unpacked in a couple of minutes, so do your best to make sure you have all the essentials close to hand. A day or two before the move, pack an overnight bag including fresh clothes for everyone, any electronics you’ll want, their chargers, and the toiletries you’ll need to get through the day. Some snacks and drinks can also be very handy, especially if you’re not even close to having a functional kitchen in the new place!

Don’t Strain Yourself

One of the most common moving mistakes people make is assuming that they’ll be able to move any big, bulky item as long as they have one extra pair of hands. However, when you and your partner try to get a heavy washing machine out of a cramped kitchen, you’ll quickly find yourself wishing that you had asked for a more comprehensive service from the movers you spoke to! If you’ve gone the DIY route and simply rented a moving van, the one tool that can be a total lifesaver is a sack truck. These will save you a lot of time and physical strain, and will also stop you from getting your fingers trapped in any doorways! Aside from large appliances, they can also be helpful for moving around awkward stacks of boxes. You just need to secure these to the sack truck with some strong bungee cords, and you’ll instantly save yourself many more trips to and from different rooms.

Mark your Boxes

So, you’ve packed the whole home up, got everything to the new place, and you’re ready to start the unpacking process. The only issue is that you’ve got a load of identical boxes, filled with all kinds of things from your old home, with no certain way of knowing where each box is meant to be going. You can make the unpacking so much faster by staying organized through the packing process. Get a nice, bold permanent marker or some colored tape, and mark each box that you pack with an indicator for the room it’s meant to be going to. This way, you can save hours of remembering where this remote or that ornament was, and swiftly get all your things to where they need to be. If you pack in a hurried, disorganized way, getting settled in the new place can be even harder than the move itself!

Comments Comments Off on Easy Steps For An Easy Move
Apr
20

Caring For The Blind

Posted by: | Comments Comments Off on Caring For The Blind

I don’t talk a lot on CWAHM about health or specific health conditions. Some of you may remember that I have a thyroid disease from past posts where I’ve discussed it.  However, I try my best not to “live my diagnosis.” It’s part of my life, and it certainly affects my life, but it doesn’t consume my life.

In our culture we hear a lot about staying fit and being healthy.  However, we don’t often talk about keeping our eyes healthy. Not long ago I came across the Foundation Fighting Blindness (FFB) and it touched my heart.  My husband’s family has several members who either are legally blind, or who have become legally blind as adults.  So, I was excited to hear that FFB is working every day to educate people on how to keep their eyes healthy and to help them find resources that are available to them if they are struggling with sight issues.

If you’d like to learn more about FFB, you can download a packet that they have put together.  It’s all free and you don’t have to give your email address to be able to download the packet. It’s simply a public service announcement and education tool.  You can download the PDF packet here: http://bit.ly/2nAezey

Comments Comments Off on Caring For The Blind

About CWAHM:





** Disclaimer **
The views expressed by the bloggers on this website are not necessarily the views held by CWAHM.com or it's owners. Please see our Statement of Faith for details on what we believe.

About Us | Privacy Policy