Busy Mom Tara Reed on Organized Familes
This week’s featured almost always organized mom is Tara Reed. Mom, artist, and designer. She recently launched a new website as well !
Here are Tara’s interview answers and tips for moms to get organized:
How do you keep your children’s schedules together ?
My household is a family of 2 – me and my son. I’ve been divorced for 5 1/2 years now, run my own business out of the house and my son just got his driver’s license… some days it’s a tad busy!
I have a combination of schedule managers but use a write-on-wipe off calendar on the side of the refrigerator for anything that is on my son’s schedule or that will affect my son.
For example, it doesn’t really matter to him if I have meetings, appointments or conference calls while he is at school – those don’t make the fridge. But if I’m speaking or have a teleseminar that is in the evening, it is there so he could see it.
Of course, he is a 16 year old boy so verbal repetition and texting seems work a little better than my calendar system. :) At the beginning of the week I’ll do a litte, “Here’s what I have going on, here’s what you have going on… anything you haven’t told me about?” (There often is.)
Then each morning while he’s getting ready for school I’ll remind him of anything that day. Then when he doesn’t remember after school, he texts, fesses up that he didn’t really listen, I tell him for the 5th or 6th time and it sinks in. (They say people need to hear things 7 times to really hear them, in my experiencethat is extra true for teenagers!)
Do you use a particular day planner or mom planner?
I have a Mac and recently discovered this wonderful system called “Daylite”. It may be more than an average mom needs but if you are a mom that is also working from home in any way – check it out!
It has a calendar, contact list management, connects emails to people automatically, politely reminds you of upcoming events… it does everything but clean the bathroom! I have it on both my iPhone and Mac and they sync very nicely – so if I make an appointment away from home I just hit “sync” and don’t have to retype everything.
Daylite has helped me save time, find communication threads and remember when to call people back, send in art for consideration and more. I truly can’t say enough good things about this software!
Do you own a blackberry?
No. As an artist and avid Mac lover, I went from a basic phone to an iPhone. Now I couldn’t live without it!
What is you most used ‘time saving tip’ when it comes to running your house?
Don’t obsess over dust. If you have a choice between dusting and relaxing with your kids, spouse, significant other or a good book – choose the latter. (Do dust sometimes of course!) I often feel like I’m ‘falling down on the job’ if my house wouldn’t be ready for a white glove test or photo shoot with a home interiors magazine but the truth of the matter is, we live here. I work here. Kids hang out and play guitar here. It can’t be 100% clean all the time. So save time by dusting 1/2 as much as you are compelled to and spend a little more time having fun!
Tell us the truth ? What would we find in your car right now ?
If you asked my sister she would say ‘dirty floor mats’. As well as some stray leaves and bark dust, you would find crackers, a bottle of water, reusable shopping bags across the back seat, a book, umbrella and I think if you went under one of the seats you might find some McDonald’s Happy Meal toys… (I go for the Happy Meal when I break down and crave fast food.)
What advice would you give to other moms who feel the pressure of trying to be ‘super mom’?
“Give up the ghost!” Who defines what a ‘super mom’ or ‘perfect mom’ is or does anyway? I never got the handbook which makes it that much more confusing.
Especially after I got divorced and started working full-time plus building my business, I quickly discovered that there was no way I could do everything “perfectly” by myself. So I made choices about what was important and at what frequency (dusting, being a prime example) and how to balance being a mom, a business owner and let us not forget, myself.
I think that sometimes mom’s think they need to look like they can do everything seamlessly for their kids – never let them see that you get tired, burnt out or any other negative emotion. And while it is important to provide the safety and security that comes with being consistent and there for your kids, it’s ok to show them that some days, you just can’t do it all! Think about how much better they will feel when they have a day like that too!
I guess my real point is “Super Mom is a myth. Being a Real Mom is a gift you can give your kids – talents, strengths and weaknesses all rolled into the mix.”
What is your number one goal for the year ? How do you plan to reach it ?
This year I hope to really spread the word about my latest project – PrintYourOwnBunco.com. My main business is art licensing – I create art that manufacturers license to put on their products. (Fabric, rubber stamps, dishes, gift wrap, coasters, etc.)
The majority of my end-consumers are women. Loving to play with business ideas on the internet as well, I started my “Bunco” project in October. Over 7 million women in the US play regularly but unless they are very crafty and creative, they haven’t had a way to get fun, themed party supplies. I am now offering that and working on connecting with the Bunco women everywhere through social media, the website and blog, affiliates, traditional press (coming soon I hope!) and more.
Tara Reed is an artist, author and speaker who creates ‘art that will make you smile!’. Her art can be found on hundreds of products in retail stores as well as online. Learn more about Tara and her work at www.TaraReedDesigns.com