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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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Mommy's Time. The 4:30 Sanity Break

Years ago, when the girls were small, my wise mother-in-law gave me some wonderful advice.  Here it is.

"At 4:30, sit down, put your feet up and have a cup of tea.  You still have another 4 hours before your day is done and you don't want to be exhausted when your husband gets home."

Too simple?  


Too busy at that time of day to even think about sitting down?  I know!  But trust me!  I began making a point of it, and you know what!  She was totally right!!

4:30 seems to be the witching hour when you're home all day with kids.  You're all a little tired from your day, hungry for dinner, but there's still a lot of evening left.  Dinner, dishes, bathes, stories, etc.  Here's how I carved out a little sanity break for myself.

 I realllly needed those 30 minutes to myself to be able to be "nice Mommy" for the rest of the evening.

Play dates had to wrap up by 4:30, the girls either had to be home, or their friends had to go home by then.  Dinner was in the oven, ("Lunch Time Dinner"), and I would put on a show for the girls that was 30 minutes long.  Then came my speech...

"Okay girls, Mommy is going to have a quite time in her room.  I don't want you to knock on my door or call me because Mommy might talk to you in an angry voice and I'm not angry at you, I just need a quite time.  I'll be back when your show is over, but don't come to talk to me, I'll be back then." 

Funny I know, but they were quite little and my husband was traveling a lot and I realllllly needed those 30 minutes to myself to be able to be "nice Mommy" for the rest of the evening.

I would go in my room, shut the door and take a bath.... read a book.... talk to a girlfriend on the phone... whatever I wanted for a whole 30 minutes!!  It was heavenly!

At 5:00 I would be back in the kitchen and back with the girls.  Much happier and more relaxed.  They would sit up at the island and talk to me while I finished getting dinner ready.

I know it sounds simple. But I think you'll find like I did, that by giving yourself this little bit of time to recharge, it allows you to have a better evening with your family. 

Consider this a little hug from me to you :)


Follow Through. Expectations & Consequences

Last week, in "Follow Through, Realistic Expectations of Little Ones", we talked about being fair to little ones, now let's talk about being firm with them.

So long as you're sure you've set fair and realistic expectations of your child, don't be afraid to be firm with them.  If your clean up time is devolving into a gong show I hate to tell you, but.... they've got your number!  This isn't good.

Try this.  Before you begin a task tell them what you want them to do, ask them if they understand, and if they have any questions or input, then tell them what will happen if they don't do what you've asked. 

For example.  If they've been told to tidy up their toy room. "If either of you start arguing or not helping, you will spend the next half hour up in the kitchen, sitting in the corner, and then after that you'll have to come back down here and finish tidying up.  Mommy's not going to give you any warnings, this is your warning, if there is any trouble you're going straight to the kitchen and into the corner." 

And actually follow through.
No yelling.
No pleading.
No warnings. 
30 minutes on the timer, no negotiating.

When 30 minutes is up, take the naughty child back down to the toy room and calmly tell him, that now he will finish what he was told to do in the first place.  If he's still causing problems take him back to the corner.  30 minutes on the timer, then back down to the toy room. 

The first time you implement a new discipline they will test you.  You may have to go back and forth between the punishment and the task several times before the child actually realizes you mean business and your will is just as strong as theirs.  Don't make a drama out of it.  No yelling or whining at your child.  You are in control, you have the power.

At the beginning this is an exhausting process, stick with it.  The next time you sit them down and explain exactly what you want from them and what will happen if they don't co-operate, they will believe you.  They might test you again, but over time they will come to realize that it's just not worth it, and will learn to obey your requests without so much fuss.


Follow Through. Realistic expectations of little ones.

Miranda!  What a fantastic question!  Follow through is so important through every phase of parenting!  Let's start off by talking about following through with little ones, namely preschoolers and under.

The reason follow through is so important is it lets your children know you're in charge and gives them a sense of security through routine and consistent expectations.  Follow through is made up of many parts, but today I want to talk about realistic expectations.

If you set a rule that your child needs to always put their toys away before dinner, and everyday at 4:30, you tell him you'll be in to help him clean up in five minutes, then come into his toy room, all happy and chatty, visiting with him while you help him tidy up, and telling him what a good job he did when he's finished.

It's a realistic expectation your child will think of in a positive manner and will just come to expect it as part of his daily routine.

If you set a rule that your child needs to always put his toys put away before dinner, and five minutes before you're ready to sit down to the table call to him in a frustrated tone that "Those toys had better be put away!"  You're little one is going to panic! He'll probably start crying, and if he's able to do what you've asked at all, he'll certainly do it poorly and come to hate the idea of tidying up!  Avoiding it at all costs!  Forcing you to nag, harp, threaten, etc.

Small children almost always need help with their tasks.
They need plenty of time to complete them.  They need really clear, really specific, instructions on exactly what you require from them.

They can't remember a "to do list", give them one task at a time and let them finish it.  And they need to be given a patient and understanding environment to learn what you want from them. 

If you're having trouble following through on what you've required of your child (aka, having to tell you're child to do something 10 times before they do it), maybe you're just asking too much of them. 

Ask yourself, if he's really capable of doing this, at this age.  If so, then preserver, but make every effort to make the experience a positive one for them.  Pretty soon they will begin to enjoy the routine of their day and stop fighting you on what you've ask them to do.

Our "Clean Up Song" from when the girls were little;
Everybody, everywhere, clean-up, clean-up
Everybody in your underwear, clean-up, clean-up
Everybody here and there, clean-up, clean-up

I know, silly, but we liked it!  ;)


Hi! Come on in!!

Hi!  Come on in!  Welcome to my blog for Full Time Moms! 

We all want a peaceful, happy home, that's tidy, where there's a warm dinner on the table at 6 o'clock.

Where our kids are happy and respectful, with their homework done, and faces washed.  A place that our husband is happy to come home to.

And in addition to all that we ourselves want to be happy and well rested, and to still feel like "ourselves".

Is this too much to ask?  Some days maybe.  

But over all,
it's not. 

There is no reason your home should look like, and feel like, a war zone. For that matter you shouldn't look like and feel like you've been through a war zone either!

I have just finished spending the last 20 years as a Full Time Mom, and I loved it!  And I want you to love it too!  I want you to feel like your children and husband are getting the best of you. 

If you don't feel that way, let's talk, I'd love to help by telling you about some of the things that worked for us and help you avoid the things that didn't.  Let's make your home a place your family can't wait to get back to at the end of the day, or a place where you and your little ones spend your day happily together.

I'm looking forward to getting to know you,

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