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A blog to support, encourage, and mentor at home moms in all aspects of home making and family life.

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Thursday
Apr212011

Holiday Allowance

Family holidays are a great way to spend time together, but invariably, the kids want to "get something".  Whether it's toys, clothes or candy, you can find yourself being constantly pestered for this, that and the other thing.

When the girls were younger we started giving them, "holiday allowance."  This was a little holiday windfall for them to add to whatever other money they had managed to saved up for the trip.  They could do whatever they wanted with it, at whatever point they decided to spend it.  They knew it was all the money they would get, and that when it was gone, it was gone, and that was it.

I had actually forgotten that I had even mentioned this idea to a friend, until she told me recently, that, that's what they did this Spring Break. 

Each of their two kids were given a holiday allowance.  Their youngest, a 9 year old girl, had it all planned out.  What she wanted, where she was going to buy it, and how many things she could get.  My friend told me that her daughter stuck to her budget plan with religious fervor and discipline.  But that her oldest, a 12 year old boy, had his spent almost before they left home.  I asked her if he complained during the trip that his money was gone.  She happily replied, "Nope"! 
 
And that was our experience with our girls too!  They were so excited to have "found" money and the complete freedom to do whatever they wanted with it, they were happy.  But the funny thing is my girls were the same as my friend's kids.  Our oldest waited and planned, weighing all her options through out the trip, and then when the time was right, she went out, and in one felled swoop, bought all her favorites.  While our youngest, saw something she liked, bought it right then and there, and was perfectly happy.
I honestly think that the ones who spend their money straight out of the gate don't complain later, when it's gone, because they're so pleased with what they've bought, and with the fact that they didn't have to wait to get it!  That it keeps them satisfied through out the trip.  They're the "instant gratification kids. "

While the more disciplined spenders enjoy the anticipation of what they're going to buy, and the process of calculating out exactly what each thing is going to cost, and how many items they can get, almost as much as making their actual purchases.  They're the "planners."
 

Giving them the freedom of managing their own spending money caters to either personality type.  Neither is frustrated and you don't have to hear a word about it.

It worked well for us, and for my friend.  And if it makes your next family vacation a little happier, why not!?

Sunday
Apr172011

Overloaded

You're exhausted, you're trying to make everything wonderful for your family, but you just want to cry. 

There are times when being an at home Mom can be so tiring, so demanding, so relentless.  You're children need you, your husband needs you, there's a home to be managed, errands to be run.  You're crazy busy trying to meet everyone's needs or feeling guilty that you're not. 

Or, maybe you're resentful that you're expected to meet this herculean load of physical and emotional needs while no one seems to be too worried about yours.

So where does that leave you?

I'll tell you where it leaves you. 

It leaves you right here.  Right where you should be.  In the thick of it.  Running you're family.  Managing your home.

Just remember this is your time.  You are the lynch pin.  You are the cog within your family's wheel.  And for right now.  It's your time to be selfless.

Now I know that might sound a little harsh or insensitive. 

I'm sorry. 

But it's the truth.

These are the years when you are the giver.  And you will most certainly be exhausted.  But they don't last forever, and the effort you put in now, not only with your children but with your husband as well, will pay dividends like you can't imagine! 

The busyness of these years doesn't last forever. 

Read that again. 

The busyness of these years

doesn't

last

forever.

You will get a full nights sleep again.  You will have time to read again.  You will feel sexy again. 

Believe it or not, if you choose to remain a full time, at home Mom, there will come a time when, during your week, you can get your laundry done, clean the house, grocery shop, make all the meals and still have time to meet your girlfriends for lunch, work out, or go shopping. 

I realize that right now that feels like a million miles away.  But these are the years when you need to buck up and invest.  Invest in your family's future.  If your children are becoming rude.  Train them.  If your house is a mess.  Clean it.  If you got up at 6 am and are still going, and have yet to sit down at 9 pm, know that you're not the first, and you won't be the last.

Your day will come.  There will be girlfriends' weekends away, summers when your kids are at camp, trips for just you and your man.  But that is not now.

Now is when you work. 

If you try and rush ahead to those days when you will have more free time for yourself, you will be short changing your family.  They need you.  To train them, to look after them, to remember a romance with them.

Look after yourself.  Go to bed early.  Eat well.  Talk to your mother, she's been there too.  But understand, this may not be your time for selfish play, but that this is, your time.  You will never again be so needed, so important or have the opportunity to make this kind of life long impact on the people you love.  These are the years to lay the ground work.  The foundation of your children's characters.  These are the years you and your husband will look back on and say "Remember when Johnny used to......"   Don't you want those to be memories of a happy, peaceful time?

They grow quickly.  Your playtime will come.  Don't squander these important years wishing for frivolity.  Embrace them.  Immerse yourself in them.  Thrive on them.  The more you put in, the more you will get out.  You can't over invest in your family.  Everything you do for them is valuable.  Life is made up of the smallest moments, the softest touches, the most tender glances.  Make time for them.  Don't rush it.  Take the time to make it wonderful.  When you're sitting, talking over lunch with your girlfriends, wondering how they grew up so fast, you'll be so glad you did.



Friday
Apr152011

Just a sec'

Hi Apron Stringers!

Sorry to have missed posting today.  Out alllllll day and traveling tomorrow.  It's 99% finished and will be up asap.  

:)
Shonna

Friday
Apr082011

Group chat on "A Love Letter to Motherhood"


Hi Apron Stringers!

I wanted to include you all in the great get together we had this morning!  Here is the worksheet from our group discussion.  As always I'd love to hear your thoughts on this topic! 
Hugs,
Shonna

A Love Letter to Motherhood
Group Discussion Notes, April 8/11

"Start with the end in mind."

"Be the C.E.O. of your own life."

"Live life on purpose".

With these quotes in mind.  Fast forward to "the end".  To the day when your children are raised, grown and are leaving your home.  Start with the end in mind.  Be your future self, look back over the years and fill in the blanks. 

Things that were precious to me.


Things I'm glad I taught them.


Things they gave me.


Things I know now.

Here are mine;

Things that were precious to me:
1. Kissing them while they slept, from birth right up until the night before she got married.
2. Hearing them say "I love you" to each other.
3. Having them get so excited when I came in in the morning to get them out of their cribs, having them snuggle in bed w/ me, even when they were teenagers.
4. Taking them along on errands in their stroller.
5. Choosing their outfits.
6. That they got so excited simply because I told them that something was exciting, like making play dough.
7. Sending them out in to the world for their first independent experiences, preschool, swimming lessons.
8. Watching them be kind to their friends.
9. Seeing them mimic things I do without realizing it.
10. Watching them fall in love

Things I'm glad I taught them:
1. That Jesus loves them.
2. That Daddy and I love them.  Forever.  No matter what.
3. That the boy you marry should treat you as well as Daddy treats me.  And you.
4. Proper table manners.
5. How to dress appropriately for occasions.
6. That it doesn't matter how pretty you are, if ugliness comes out of your mouth - you're ugly!
7. Good nutrition.
8. To say thank you, to say I love you, to say I'm sorry.
9. That our home will always still be their home.
10. That they were the best things that God ever gave us.

Things they gave me:
1. The fulfillment of my life long dream to be a Mommy.
2. An even deeper bond with the man I love.
3. Three months of complete and utter sleep deprivation.
4. My funniest moments.
5. My most touching moments.
6. Upon seeing them reach adulthood, enormous pride in the women they grew up to be.
7. The pleasure of getting to know them as adults, with their own unique personalities, skills, interests and dreams.
8. Moments of complete and utter contentment and joy.
9. A C-section scar and bad hips.
10. The promise of grand babies.

Things I know now:
1. That each new thing they tried and each new experience they had was character building.  They didn't have to be good at softball to have benefited from it.
2. That swimming is a life skill.
3. That from 0 - 5 you teach them.  From 5 - 10 (or 12 for boys), you enjoy their childhood.  From 12 - 16 you diplomatically re-teach what you taught the first 5 years.  From 16 - 19 you watch them drive away and hope they learned it well.
4. That you don't get very many "instructional" years with them.
5. That they will never learn what you tell them, only what you model for them.
6. That the things that I found most frustrating in my children, were my own faults being mirrored back to me.
7. That they will make mistakes.
8. That you never get do-overs.
9. That I was raising my future best friends.
10. That it was all worth it.


Now, with "the end in mine", live your life in a way that will give you the ending you envision.  Don't just hope for it, plan for it!  Be the C.E.O. of your own life!  Make the most of every moment, because life is just the sum total of those moments.  Live your life on purpose.

Get out there Mumma!  And live with the end in mind!  :)




Monday
Apr042011

Get Together

Hi Everyone,

Our next get together is.....
Date:              Friday, April 8th
Time:             10:00am - 11:30am
Where:           Life Church/WRCA, 2265 - 152nd St. Surrey
Little Guys:    Child care is provided

All Moms are welcome!  See you there!
Shonna