LOGIN
Home Current Issue Events Goods & Services Advertising Articles Where Do I Get It? Contact
Facebook Twitter Google Plus Pinterest

6 Simple Ways To Make Life Easier

June 9, 2017 at 7:08 AM • Posted in Mom ResourcesComments Off on 6 Simple Ways To Make Life Easier

As moms, we are always looking for ways to make life easier and more simplified. As our little ones continue to grow (and grow, and grow!), life doesn’t seem to slow down no matter how much we wish it would. If you’re like me, and you’ve been trying to find ways to get more organized, you’re in luck. Today, on the blog, iFamilyKC Mom Squad blogger Sarah shares some simple ways to make life easier and you happier along the way! Take a look…

make life easier

6 Simple Ways to Make Life Easier – And You Happier!

I am constantly looking for ways to make my families’ life run smoother. And from my recent round of Facebook stalking, I can see that everyone else could benefit from this as well. And what a great time to start getting in these habits—summer! So when school starts up again you are ready to go!

I have tried all the Pinterest posts about posting a calendar for the family, running a chore chart, and organizing to your schedule but something always happens—one of the kids spills something on her dress which sends us all into a code 10 freak out mode or the dog chews up my razor and I can’t seem to find the other two blades which means a code 10 call to the vet. Whatever the issue our best laid plans don’t always go on schedule, so I am sharing with you just a few tips and tricks that I have found helpful. Will these all work for you? No. Will you be able to use all of them? Probably not. But hopefully adding a few things will create just a few more minutes and feel free to use those minutes for you. Cleaning the dog slobber off your black dress pants or something!

1. Sunday-Funday

Or as I like to call it Sunday-Plan Day, this usually means an hour or so planning out the week. My family did well at this for a little while, then we stopped, then we went back to a few things. Basically when it all works we can organize several things in this hour: we plan the weekly meals, pickup schedules, clothes, and after work/school activities. It basically gets my husband and I on the same page so we aren’t making the 4:45 in the afternoon call as to whether or not you can pick up the girls.

2. Planning Weekly Meals

If you buy for the week you know that everything is defrosted and in the fridge instead of the moment of panic when you realize you forgot to take the chicken out of the freezer! It can also save a lot of money too; when you realize said chicken is not defrosted then you won’t spend additional money going through the drive thru on the way home! Everyone who knows me knows that I am huge proponent of the online grocery and pickup or delivery service. I can still find the best price and I trust the associates at my store to pick out the freshest items on my list. It makes me so happy that I don’t have to spend my weekend at ten grocery stores or drag the kids to the store only to strategically plan not to go near the candy or toy aisle. And you purchase right from your meal list no more and no less!

3. Planning Clothes For the Week

I personally can’t do this. I am what you can call an emotional dresser. I wake up and then decide what I want to wear; I get anxiety if I plan what to wear and then it doesn’t look right or it is just one of those days that black looks better! But for my girls I can still do this! I have learned to let them help with this planning, for anyone that asks it’s such a good learning tool to help them learn organization, days of the week, weather—but really? I can’t do the code 10 freak out when one is wearing a dress and the other wants to wear one too but that is not in their Monday box. Invest in 5 small plastic shoe boxes and a label maker and get to planning—make sure to include underwear and socks too!

4. Money Is The Root Of All

I am not the expert in financial planning. My husband and I have an “awkward financial discussion” about every month. So I refuse to give you tips on what works or what you can do. I will say that right along with that Sunday Plan Day is a Money Date. Communication and discussion about upcoming debits to the finances can save on many “AFDs” and this will help work into your budget as well. On our money date we look at the month, look at the budget and then always communicate in a non-judgmental and supportive way. We also take a look at last month and see where we need to improve. We can also look at any extra monies we may have coming in or going out.

I also may have an addiction to online shopping. Confession—there have been some months that packages have shown up on our door and I couldn’t tell you what they were! First of all take all those apps off your phone and disconnect the one touch buy on Amazon! When you have something that you just aren’t sure would fit into the budget this month and could be considered frivolous go ahead and add it to your cart but wait 48 hours before you click “buy”. If in that time you still feel like you need this then buy; most of the time though that 48 hours puts some perspective on if you really need the patriotic pillow covers!

5. Time Is Never On Our Side!

I am not one for clocks; I have never really been a fan of having them and especially not in the bathroom. I find myself checking everything and then hurrying and causing more chaos than it is worth. However, when my girls get up in the morning and are waiting for me to get ready I turn on a show for them, don’t judge me! Have you ever put mascara on while one is going in and out of your legs and keeps turning on the water in the bathtub to give the dog a drink? That morning I only put mascara on one eye—everyone at work thought I had pink eye! In any case I always put on a 30 minute show which means that I can time myself without having the use of a clock. Another tip along this same vein is creating a playlist for the time that you want to spend getting ready; once that playlist is running down you should be dancing out the door!

6. Outsource

Such a bad word in this day and age, maybe delegation sits a little easier.  It is okay to ask for help. A mantra that I am trying to learn myself but relying on your village to help with little things around the house or picking up something you forgot on your online grocery list is perfectly okay. Summer is the worst for things like this; even though it is summer break we are almost busier on weekends and in the evenings than we ever were when school was in session. My girls’ birthdays are both in the summer and from previous blog posts I am sure that you know I don’t go small when it comes to birthdays so planning and preparing for these starts in May. Right now I have my mom tying together silverware packets! Something that isn’t much but would have taken more time than needed to when I could be focusing on other things.

From iFamily to Yours,

emailsignupforblog3

Why We All Need a Mentor and How to Find One

January 28, 2017 at 8:02 PM • Posted in Coping, Mom FunComments Off on Why We All Need a Mentor and How to Find One

Happy Weekend, Kansas City! Our Mom Squad Ambassador, Sarah, has some great advice on the necessity of having a mentor. I think a lot of us can agree that life really does take a village, and Sarah has some great ideas on not only why we need a mentor, but how to find one. Check it out…

Why We All Need a Mentor and How to Find One.

 

Why We All Need a Mentor and How to Find One

 

Do you ever wonder how someone else would handle this situation? What other parents would do to combat the crying child in Target? Maybe you just want to bounce ideas off another person at work; someone who won’t judge or criticize you for badmouthing the guy who keeps stealing your lunch! I think about these things all the time. With my best friend 3 hours away and my Mom, Aunt, cousins and other wonderful women a phone call away, it is really hard to get that much needed face time with them; unless you actually use Facetime, which we all know can sometimes freeze if we go into bad reception!

The human resource department in my office is always about us getting this person that we can talk with; the biz calls these people mentors. As I was listening to another presentation about how we all need one of these I started thinking about all the “mentors” in my life and the fact that I have needed several and at different stages.

To begin, let’s define what a mentor is so we are all on the same page. According to the dictionary a mentor is 1. Experienced advisor and supporter, usually older and more experienced who advises and guides a younger person. A counselor, guide, or teacher. 2. A trainer, a senior or experienced person in a company or organization who gives guidance and training to a junior colleague. So why is it that we need mentors…?

…At age 20?

 

What an age! Think about it you are going through so much. It could be college and then getting a job, finding love and having babies. And that isn’t even the order most of us go in! Those 10 years of your 20’s are so dynamic. And you can argue with me till you are blue in the face but everyone is going to change during this time. What a perfect time to have a person that maybe has been there before, or someone going through the same things that you are.

…At age 30?

 

Thirties stink! And I would have never said that in my 20’s. I was positive that when I got to the big 3-0 that everything would change. My colleagues at work would start to treat me as an adult instead of a crazy, drinking-all-night, coming into work hung-over 29 year old. I would be married by 30, have kids at 31 and 33 and we would be a perfect family. Ha! I am not too concerned with the timing of everything; it is how all of those things changed me yet again. Living with someone who saw me pluck my eyebrows and bleach my upper lip was a huge thing to get used to. Pretty sure I wore makeup to bed the first few months of our marriage. I won’t go into how kids changed me (we will save that for another article!). Work was still the same, only now I had this pressure of what I was going to do in 5 years and I had no way of knowing. This is when I was blessed with a wonderful boss who actually realized before me that I was floundering and talked to me about it. I hated crying in her office; but it was a breakthrough. She became my mentor that I still talk to today about everything. And she still has the best advice and “open door” policy. Does it matter that she is in an entirely different point in her life? No! She has been through what I am going through, she has had the arguments and heard the comments from the corner office, she has been at the point of force-feeding her kids (not really, but close!) and I get all the benefit from it! I get it, you still know it all in your 20’s so you don’t need someone to help you through; but take this advice—get a mentor in your 30’s!

…At age 40?

 

Made it through! A few more wrinkles, maybe a little extra weight that creeps in, a strange ache in your head after just one glass of wine—welcome to “over the hill”! If you have kids they are probably doing things on their own now or at least spending he majority of their time in their rooms! In any case you have a little more time on your hands. Maybe work takes up a little more of that time; and now that you have the time to devote are the options still there? This mentor (and maybe it is a totally different person than at age 30) will come in handy to have those conversations with about a possible reentering of the workforce. In your 40’s you are starting to get to that place in your life where you are taking care of two generations and possibly under the same roof! You still may have kids in the house but as parents get older they are going to need a caretaker as well. This is going to require some counseling and support from someone who has been through it before.

…at age 50?

 

Welcome to an empty nest! Oh yeah and for women that amazing time of body changing called puberty in your 50’s aka Menopause. And for men, these changes that are coming with this full 180 are going to change him as well! Kids are probably out of, or close to being out of, the house and now it’s just you and your spouse. You have been dreaming about this for years and what you would do! But on day one you are sitting on the couch just staring at each other! Most will run and hide, some may find a hobby, those still in the workforce start burying themselves in work. All these activities may seem to help for a while but it isn’t going to last long term and in actuality most people don’t want it to. Start having coffee once a week with your mentor and talk these things out. It gets you out of the house and gives some direction to the changes going on in your life.

So here are some of the things that I am sure you are thinking.

 

“I don’t need a ‘mentor’ I just need to talk to my best friend.”

 

Ever heard the term “It takes a village?” We need mentors (counselors, guides, teachers—whatever you want to call them) at every point in our lives. Best friends are great and are needed just as much, but they know what happened in the village before it became a village. In other words, they are too close to the situation in some cases. A true mentoring partnership typically is someone older who has been there and can be that unbiased opinion.

“No one is calling to mentor me!”

 

“I checked my email, made sure my cell was on and still no one is calling me to ask to mentor me!” Yeah because it is up to you to make your village! No one is going to probably knock down the walls to try and get in and vice versa. You are going to have to ask to let people in. Trust me, this gives me more anxiety than anything, but a great place to find these people? At school drop-offs, playdates, at work cafeterias or PTA meetings, you have a room of men and women who are there just like you with shut doors so they can’t get away! I would have to guess that most will be more than happy to talk with you. I probably would advise not starting too in depth but eventually getting up to that point. In the long run this relationship and friendship will be worthwhile.

 

From iFamily to Yours,