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Tag Archives: moms

  • How to Motivate Kids to Clean

    Posted on January 2, 2015 by Family Christian

    how to motivate kids to clean
    Are you looking for ideas to keep your home organized this year? Once you find the best routine for your family, the next hurdle is how to motivate the kids to clean! Trying to get the kids motivated to help can be frustrating, as it frequently breeds a case of the grumps. Here are six tips on dealing with grumpy kids. Before we get started on how to motivate your kids to clean let’s talk about having grace with yourself. It’s a new year and you are gung-ho telling yourself, “This year will be different!” The year starts of perfectly then *BAM*! Life throws a curve. Your routine is in a spiral and you never truly gain the previous momentum. This leaves the feeling of another failed New Year’s Resolution. This year start slowly and steadily embrace a new viewpoint for your old resolution.

    Adopt this philosophy: Keep the clutter moving and the laundry fluffed!

    how to motivate kids to clean 2
    You live in your home, so focus on keeping it fresh and clean. Striving for a model home when you live with kids will only lead to frustration.

    Motivating the Kids

    I have found two tools that help motivate kids to clean. One is using a point system to earn prizes from the treasure box. The other is a chore card. I’ll explain both!
    Point System
    chore cards pointsMy kids earn a Pohl Point (since our last name is Pohl) for every chore they complete.
    Download Point Printable here
    I give bonus points when they work with a positive attitude, without being reminded, or after helping a sibling. However, they pay me points for poor work and grumbling attitudes. At the end of the week and after they have earned X amount of points they get to choose from the treasure box. My kids are super motivated with this method and yours will be too!

    I wanted to fill our treasure box with meaningful and economical items. At Family Christian’s toy department I found a spinning rack with containers filled with perfect little toys that have a positive inscription. The tween area has small buttons, bookmarks, pens, and notebooks that are a great too. Also, I find great treasure box items in the clearance section of the store. I can fill the box for less than $20 and it lasts for weeks!
    treasure box
    Chore Cards
    A chore card an individual card with step by step directions for one particular chore. It’s ideal for kids age 5 and up. You can find the full Chore Card System Packet here. Like a mini laminated tutorial. Each chore in our home has a chore card. The chore cards for my younger kids include pictures. This saves me from becoming a broken record. In the morning I divvy up the chores my kids are to complete and clip them to their clipboard. Typically, I assign one to two chores per person daily. With the directions in hand, literally, my expectations are clear. After completion, the card is flipped over to the backside which says DONE! Then I know to check their work. I also made cards for their morning and night time routines.
    Keep the daily cleaning schedule simple. Set specific things you plan to accomplish each day. To catch the missed messes plan a deeper clean every few weeks. Remember, the idea is to keep things clean and fresh, not perfect. Keep the clutter moving and the laundry fluffed!

    Encouragement for Mom

    When my three girls were under six years old I did my best to keep up with our home. Having a preschooler, toddler and infant the mess would easily get out of hand. I refused to let anyone in my home unless it was perfectly clean. My uptight attitude changed one day when a friend showed up unexpectedly.

    I heard the knock at the door. Perfection turned my stomach into knots as I reluctantly opened the door and presented a warm hesitant smile. She leaned forward, expecting to enter. I opened the door further and through my smile said, “I’m happy to see you…. Would you like to come in?”
    I ushered her to our beautiful sitting area. A formal room we rarely used. Nevertheless, with little effort you could see the pile of dishes that covered the table, the toys that lined the hallway, and mountain of dirty clothes that flowed out of the laundry room. I swallowed deeply and offered her a freshly brewed cup of coffee with a slice of cake. She accepted. I served her the refreshments and plopped down next to her.
    She looked at me with grief in her eyes and said, “I was just diagnosed with stage four breast cancer.”
    I embraced her and silently prayed, “Thank you God for the wisdom to lay down my pride by not turning her away at the door.”
    In that moment I learned, God cares about my clean heart more than my clean house!

    Momma, your day to day tedious tasks make a difference in God’s Kingdom. Contrary to our cultural belief, home is our first ministry, an important one.
    Taking care of our family takes diligence and a willingness to be flexible. It is both rewarding and challenging. Smack dab in the middle of the chaos, diapers, hand-me-downs, temper-tantrums, adolescence, and school – it is easy to be drained and lose sight of the big picture.
    I am often encouraged by, 1 Timothy 5:9-10 NIV.
    No widow may be put on the list of widows unless she is over sixty, has been faithful to her husband, and is well known for her good deeds, such as bringing up children, showing hospitality, washing the feet of the Lord’s people, helping those in trouble and devoting herself to all kinds of good deeds.”
    First on the list, of life time achievement deeds, is bringing up children. That has always brought me peace and continues to bring value to my ministry as the care taker of my home. I hope it does for you as well.
    Keep in touch! Let me know how you’re keeping the kids motivated to clean.
    Written by Michelle {at} Blooming With Joy {dot} com

  • FulFill: Most Likely to Succeed

    Posted on September 4, 2014 by Family Christian

    Recently a former high school classmate posted an old issue of our newspaper. There was my photo, complete with big glasses and feathered hair, Most Likely to Succeed.

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    At the time, it seemed like an honor. Now, it felt more like an indictment. Because in the intervening decades, I haven't become a doctor or a lawyer. I haven't been elected to public office. Sure, I taught school for eight years, but then I fell into the career black hole known as "justamom."

    Justamom is an uncomfortable place to be for the former kid who wanted to jump right in to each school project the day it was assigned. It's not what you'd expect from the kid who wanted to make a visual aid for each section of the social studies book (my teachers always talked about visual aids. Was that a '70s thing?). I wasn't a member of the Walnut Street Go-Getters 4-H Club for nothing!

    Being justamom feels like ... I'm not accomplishing all I need to. It feels like I'm not, perhaps, fulfilling my destiny.

    In the Bible, I read:

    The LORD will fulfill his purpose for me; your steadfast love, O LORD, endures forever. Do not forsake the work of your hands (Psalm 138:8)

    I can relate to fulfilling things! But then I notice, it's not me doing the fulfilling in this verse. It's the Lord. He is doing all the work here.

    I kind of like that.

    Because, even for the overachieving kid now in grown-up skin, sometimes life gets hard. Yes, God is good and we're all so blessed and yadda yadda yadda -- and still, there are days when I'd like to step off the merry go round and just rest a while.

    The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still (Exodus 14:14)

    That sounds so ... freeing. Perhaps we can simply be, and let the Lord do the fulfilling for us. I think I could succeed at being still today. How about you?

    *************************************************************************************************************************************************

    Susan Barnett Braun is justamom in northeastern Indiana, where she is also a freelance writer, church organist, and piano teacher, when she's not taking care of her three daughters and the family rabbit, chinchilla, and hedgehog. Her books are available at Amazon, and she blogs each weekday at Girls in White Dresses.

  • Peace I leave with you

    Posted on August 18, 2014 by Family Christian

    John 14:27-Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

    Storytelling is something I really enjoy. I hope you enjoy my short feature.
    with god

    Gazing out my window I see the slight movement of the leaves as they dance back and forth upon their branches. The sun is shining but that slight breeze causing the leaves to sway back and forth is providing the perfect sense of relief. It was a stressful day and all I could think about were the tasks at hand and the obstacles I was to overcome. Overwhelmed with the stress of the unknown. Fear was setting in, but that tiny brisk breeze blowing in through my window was enough…enough to relax me for just a moment. A moment long enough to take my mind off of the fears…the unknown.

    Suddenly I was starting to see things in a different light. My mind was turning and as the light shown in through the window onto the wall in front of me I knew…I knew there was a light at the end of my dark tunnel. At that very moment it hit me that I was no longer in control of my situation, I never really was to begin with. How quickly we forget that we are not in control. How quickly we forget that even when it’s dark and all doors seem to be closing, there is always a bright light. We just need to wait in the hallway and open that door when the time is right!

    But how do I know when the time is right? How do I know when I’m going to feel that peace, that sweet peace that overcomes my body and leaves me with the most serene and calm feeling? When will I be overcome by peace? And then my mind started to wonder…

    But it didn’t take long for that breeze to sweep in through my window. It catches my attention and leaves me thinking…wondering…mind in motion…

    In an instant…a sudden instant, my fears, my worries…they seem to disappear, because it is in that instant that I realize I haven’t truly given my worries to God. For had I given my worries to God I wouldn’t be struggling to understand the things that just don’t make sense. And in that moment I hit my knees and I was overcome with peace…sweet peace.

    When life is just to hard to stand…kneel.

    I pray that you find that peace. I pray that you are overcome with a peace and understanding. I pray that you can be the bright light to others that are struggling with finding their peace.

    John 16:33 "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."

    This post was written by Mandee Suchland. Mandee is a very busy woman! She has 5 BOYS and is writer and owner of the websitmee www.raisingmy5sons.com, a site all about Mandee's life as the only female in a house full of males. She says life is Crazy, Hectic and LOUD, but it's always full of love and laughter and she wouldn't have it any other way. As if that isn't enough to keep her busy, Mandee is also the owner of www.sheblogsit.com, a site where she shows a little more of her writing talents and shares her faith with others.

     

  • Peace: Unreasonable doubt or incomprehensible peace (scripture to combat mommy guilt)

    Posted on August 7, 2014 by Family Christian

    Bekah writes for  I Prefer My Puns Intended, a blog that explores the fact that life can be punny.  Her articles span topics like faith and family as well as education, wellness, and dapper infant style.  The titles of her posts may be cheesy, but the content gets feta.  Sorry. Better.

    I thought I was doing pretty well this morning.

    Little bear woke me up at 6 a.m., he ate at 6:30, and we played from 7:00 until 8:00.  He has gotten strong enough to sit up with the boppy and play with his toys.  It was an exciting playtime for this proud mommy.  I looked at the clock and thought, ‘if I leave now and run at my fastest pace with the stroller, I can be back in time for his nap time.’  It was a good plan.  I could, realistically, tick all of the boxes off of my very full mommy planner before our playdate.  Then, we could have the day free to do anything. No mid-afternoon sweltering run; just a nice, cool morning jog to start our day.

    Combatting Mommy Guilt

    Well, unsurprisingly, I didn’t hit my goal pace of 10:00/mile with the Bob.  I was struggling with side-stiches, which has been a new thorn in my side during my postpartum training. I was about a minute over my pace and six minutes away from home; my run had crossed over into nap time.  Most mommies know what happened next.  Little bear began to cry and fight the sleep he so desperately needed.  I felt horrible. There was nothing I could do but keep going and try to make it back home, ignoring the irritating pain in my side and devastating pain in my heart.

    And then, another runner passed by.  She was a tall, slender woman who looked to be in her mid-forties, and perhaps two miles into her run.  She glanced down at my little bear, and up at me.  I smiled, but she cocked one eyebrow up and pursed her lips.  It was a momentary glance that stuck with me the rest of our run home. ‘I bet she thinks I am such a selfish mom; I am sure she is wondering why I am out running when I should be tending to my baby. Am I selfish?’

    Little bear is asleep now.  He went right to sleep as soon as we made it home. No harm, no foul.  He will probably sleep for another hour or so.  So why do I feel so guilty?

    My mother-in-law once told me, “motherhood is guilt.”  Oh, how right she was.  My typical worries span the length of the day:

    Did I let him talk too much in his crib before I got him up for the day? Was he uncomfortable in his crib because of his dirty diaper and I waited too long to change it? Is this diaper rash my fault? Did I feed him enough? He threw up, did I feed him too much? Am I making enough for him to grow taller? Should I take him in to see his dad while he gets ready for work, or will that bother his morning routine?  Did I wake up his dad? Should I make myself breakfast? Should I just play with him and wait to eat when he takes a nap? Should I put him on his tummy now or will it upset his tummy? Am I interactive enough? Did I hold him too much? Did I hold him enough? I checked my phone.  I remember that article about checking my phone too much and missing out on time with my kids.  Will I teach him bad habits if I keep checking my phone?  I care way too much about how many people read what I have to say. The TV was on.  Bear saw the TV and watched it for a few minutes.  I remember those articles about how screen time ruins little brains.  Did I scar him for life? Did those two minutes of screen time delay his speech development? His eyesight? His language acquisition? Did he exercise enough? He is rubbing his eyes, but it isn’t nap time. Should I keep him up? If I keep him up too long he won’t sleep and then it is my fault for not putting him down soon enough.

    …and that is just a typical morning in our home. Imagine what your mind can do when your baby cries in public places; on a plane; in a restaurant…the guilt is unbearable. The doubt is unreasonable. Instead of looking to the real heart of the issue (i.e. baby is tired, hungry, or needs to be changed), moms tend to put all of the blame on their shoulders.

    In Psalms 38:4, David talks about guilt;

    My guilt is like a heavy burden.  I am sinking beneath its weight.

    Any moms in this boat? Pun intended.

    Some days, I find myself sinking in this endless sea of guilt.  Guilt, however, is stumbling block to righteousness and real relationship with Christ. If you aren’t a Christian, it is simply an obstacle to a fulfilled motherhood.  Instead of praising God (or celebrating the fact that we kept our baby alive through the night), we replace our joy with worries.  For Christians, this robs us of our witness.  For all mommies, this guilt gives us anxiety.  Here are a few scriptures that I use in order to replace worry,  doubt, and that ever-present “mommy-guilt” with joy and peace in the Lord.

    1. Take away my guilty thoughts.

    “Scrub away my guilt.  Wash me clean from my sin.” Psalms 51:2

    Am I sinning when I worry too much? Yes. Anything that takes me away from giving the glory to God is a sin.  I need to remember to let it go.  God has equipped me to be the mother that little bear needs. And that is enough.

    2. Remember the goodness of God.

    “You have forgiven the bad things your people did.  You have taken away the guilt of their sins.” Psalm 85:2

    It is so important to remember that God doesn’t keep a tally of our sins.  Or, if you want to think about it practically as a mom, he takes away our mommy-mishaps.  He promises to “take away the guilt.” We just have to let him.

    3. Direct us in how to “let it go.”

    “For my yoke is easy; my burden is light.” Matthew 11:30

    God has given us the power to leave our worries with him and take on a much lighter load to carry.  We just have to praise him in all that we do, and seek him first. Don’t seek to be the “perfect mom.” That particular role is elusive and impossible to attain. We are not gods, after all.

    4. Become healed from guilt.

    “Heal me, O LORD, and I shall be healed; save me, and I shall be saved: for you are my praise.”Jeremiah 17:14

    No where in that prayer are the words, “my children are my praise.”  Parenthood is oh so important. We are tempted to believe that our children are our everything, however.  This is not the case.  God promises to heal our worried hearts and save us from the sinking ship of guilt if we focus on him.

    5. Release the guilt given to you from other people.

    “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” John 14:27

    I once read a Buddhist fable about a man walking up to Buddha and criticizing his teaching, sincerity, and intelligence.  Buddha said nothing and the man walked away.  An onlooker asked why he didn’t respond and Buddha simply said, “when someone offers you a gift you don’t want, you throw it away.  I refused to receive the negativity the man was offering, so I didn’t respond.”

    That really stuck with me.  God has promised us peace; the world gives us anxiety.  I would much rather choose peace; and yet some days I am riddled with guilt.  This particular scripture is so important when it comes to mommy-shaming, or even those sideways glances when you’re a few minutes from home and your baby starts crying.  Mommy guilt is real, but God’s peace is a much greater alternative than bearing it all on your shoulders.

    6. Live in the abundant peace that surpasses understanding.

    "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” Phillipians 4: 6-7
    Paul suggested that the people of Phillipi live a life filled with the peace of God that “transcends all understanding.” All mommies want to know if what they are doing is best for their children.  Somehow, God beckons us to live each day apart from the full satisfaction of knowing whether or not we made the right choices moment-to-moment.  Living in the worry of our guilt will never bring us satisfaction.  As our children grow, the guilt will only carry higher stakes.  The sooner we release our anxiety to the one who rescues, the sooner we can live a life separate from our guilt, and full of the presence and peace of God.

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