Articles for busy moms

This week’s featured busy mom is Dawn Morris of Moms Inspire Learning.

dawnmorris

How do you keep your children’s schedules together ?

It’s not easy. There’s a lot of juggling; but when my husband and I can’t manage, there’s always a friend we can turn to for help. I don’t like to ask for help too often, and when I do, I’m sure to return the favor. Parents need to support each other!

Do you use a particular day planner ?

No, I just use a very simple one that I picked up at an office supply store. I also make a lot of lists, and use sticky notes to remind myself of important events.

Do you own a blackberry?

No, but now that everyone else in my family is texting, I will have to upgrade to a cell phone that makes it easier for me to do so. I’m not in a rush, though, since I’m online much of the time anyway. It’s easier to catch me through email than it is by phone!MIL

What is your most used ‘time saving tip’ when it comes to running your house?

I would have to say that it’s asking for help with daily tasks. My children help out a lot in the kitchen, and my husband does the laundry. Actually, my husband likes to cook as well.

If we all work together, it also saves more time, and makes activities, like cooking, so much more enjoyable.

Do you have a favourite quick meal for your family?

Sometimes, we’ll have tuna or turkey sandwiches if we’re really short on time, and sometimes we’ll even make breakfast items, like eggs or pancakes, for dinner.

I also like the idea of “make your own” taco or salad nights, which can be quick if you already have the ingredients. I recently wrote a post about family salad nights

My favorite quick breakfast is muffins (made ahead of time, of course), and you can find two of my favorite muffin recipes here.

Tell us the truth ? What would we find in your car right now ?

I don’t keep a lot in the passenger area, other than reading materials. You’re bound to find a children’s book or two, because I’m constantly at the library.

As for the trunk, it’s all about the sports equipment. There are fold up chairs, a basketball, a football, my son’s baseball bag, a first aid kit, etc… Oh, and I keep reusable shopping bags in there.

What advice would you give to other moms who feel the pressure of trying to be ‘super mom’?

I’ve been there, and eventually I came to realize that there is no such thing as a perfect mom. We all have our strengths and weaknesses.

I would say the most important thing is not to compare ourselves with anyone else. If we focus on being the best role models we can possibly be for our children, that’s really all we can ever ask of ourselves.

What is your number one goal for the year ? How do you plan to reach it ?

I’ve been working on my blog full-time for almost 7 months now, and I’d like to free up some of that time to work on other projects.

To reach this goal, I will devote certain days to different projects, and keep better track of the time I spend on each.

Dawn Morris is an accountant, a teacher, a parent, and an avid reader who has a passion for children’s literature. She started the blog, Moms Inspire Learning, in order to share her knowledge, and to inspire a love of learning and reading in people of all ages. Dawn also contributes to the free online magazine, Literacy Lava, and is a guest blogger at DreamBox K-2 Math.

You can read Dawn’s Tweets by following her.


Before you go check out This DeClutter and mom organization Resource. Click Here

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family calendarsThis evening I get to start my back to school shopping. It seems all three of my children have grown more then 1.5 inches this summer which means even after pulling out the stored clothing totes I will find myself shopping for more then school supplies, shoes, and jackets for September.

Of course trying to balance what I need to purchase against my budget is always a juggle. This year I decided to purchase some back to school basics online. Of course I also did some local shopping. It is important to support our local merchants !

My biggest obstacle this upcoming school year will be scheduling. My oldest son is heading into Jr High so I will have two schools worth of events to keep track of.

I purchased a large ‘desk calender and plan to reorganize my ‘family control center’ next week.  I have also started moving around every-one’s bedrooms – bringing my office upstairs (right next to the family control center. Hopefully the changes when they are all done will help keep us more organized and save time.

I have to admit I am counting the days down until school starts.  No more hot cranky kids at the end of the day and I am craving the morning routines.

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Guest article by Cathy Bates

The Simple Pleasures in Life Rediscovered

The recent downturn in the economy has created some very positive opportunities to live more simply. Families are eating at home more, finding creative ways to entertain themselves, and refocusing on the importance of relationships. Try some of these simple ideas:

• Get the family involved in planning and preparing meals. Each family member gets to pick a night, plan the menu, and help prepare the meal. You might even get an economics lesson in by setting a budget for the meal and letting them shop.
• Pack a picnic and head to your favorite hiking spot or to the beach.
• Plan a family game night. It can just be for your immediate family or invite another family.
• No vacation budget? Campout in the backyard or plan a mini-getaway.
• Do a service project together. You will create lasting memories together and the family will realize how blessed they are even in tough times.
• Need service a little closer to home? Do projects around the house together, like cleaning out the garage or organizing a room.
• Check your local newspaper, library, craft store, or home improvement store for free activities and events.

Cathy Bates is owner of Practical Solutions Professional Organizing and they can help you gain control of your surroundings and life, rediscovering the simple pleasures in life. Contact Practical Solutions for more information at 909.810.3719 or go online to www.psorganizing.com.

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Organized Families is excited to share tips with you from a real mom. Melinda blogs at Coming Clean: Confessions of an Imperfect Parent read on to learn how she keeps it all together as a busy mom.

mldHow do you keep your children’s schedules together ?
I’m a big list maker. For my nine-year-old, I have a list of basic things for him to do when he comes home from school, including homework, putting away his laundry, putting his lunchbox on the counter (so I’m not searching for it frantically 10 minutes after we were supposed to leave) and setting the table if it’s his night.
For my daughter, who is 12, I’ve learned that rigidity with pre-teens just doesn’t work, so my requirements for her are a little more basic. (I have more important battles to fight!) Before she can be on the computer (her favorite thing), she has to finish homework, tidy her room and read a little bit from a devotional book.
I don’t give my kids a lot of time to unwind after they get home from school. It doesn’t work for us. They get off track and then it’s a homework battle at 9:30 at night when my patience and energy levels are on empty. Plus, they both have sports practices, so they really need to get homework and other responsibilities done right away.

Do you use a particular day planner ?
I use a planner called “Hot Chocolate.” I buy all their notebooks, too. They are so fun and funky that I’m more likely to make lists and keep on top of my schedule. I need all the incentive I can get!

Do you own a blackberry?
I don’t. Although my daughter told me today that I “need” to get one. She claims my current cell phone is “so lame.”

What is your most used ‘time saving tip’ when it comes to running your house?
I’d say, “Don’t procrastinate!” Leaving dishes in the sink, for example, makes them so much harder to clean the next day. The more you let things pile up, the longer it takes to dig out. I don’t always follow this, but when I do, it makes my life so much easier. Read More→

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I am not sure where to start when describing how incredibly busy I will be this week.

I am starting a series of mom interviews to feature bloggers and get some of their great tips for organizing and time management for their families this week. All of which will be posted here at Organized Families.

If you are interested in being interviewed please drop me a note through the contact form.

I also have a client blog to complete, an aupair training manual to write for Rod’s new aupair (my boyfriend for those of you who are new to my crazy life blog), another client who needs help getting started on twitter to promote their blog, a fence to finish staining, invoicing, and you know the daily life of being a single mom with three children !

Read More→