Whether you’re a new mom, old mom, bio-mom, foster-mom, adoptive-mom… we’re in this together, because we’re all moms. We shouldn’t be perpetuating the cycle of guilt, by shaming other mothers. Join me in community with these mothers by reading their posts and showing them love and understanding.
In the comments below feel free to add a link to a mom-guilt post you’ve enjoyed.
Until next time,
For a great book to help you through your personal mom-guilt moments I recommend Introverted Mom: Your Guide to More Calm, Less Guilt and Quiet Joy. You can get your copy here.
If you’re looking for mom great reads you can find a list in this post too.
This post contains affiliate links. If you choose to make a purchase through the link, I’ll receive a small commission at no additional cost to you.
When Catching Zs Has Become Illusive
There have been several times throughout life when sleeping has been a challenge. These moments are often caused by stress, heartache, or babies.
Sometimes though, the reason for sleeplessness is because I can’t seem to turn my brain off. It doesn’t matter how tired the rest of my body is, my mind decides it is more important to run through all the things needing my attention–or that I feel need my attention, however erroneous that belief is.
With four kids in various stages of needing mothering, it is important that I shutdown as quickly as possible so I’m actual of some use come morning. That’s easier said than done, I know.
Below I share several of the tips and tricks I use regularly to ensure I get the rest I need to not only function, but to interact with people (my children included).
Sare’s Seven Tips For Sleeping Well
Nighty Night Valerian Tea from Traditional Medicinals. This tea is by far my favorite night time drink. It tastes perfect with local raw honey for a hint of sweetness. Even on the toughest nights this tea works wonders. They recommend drinking it 30-minutes before you plan to go to sleep. I often pair this tea with my next tip.
Read a novel. This isn’t the time to pick up a heavy tome that you want to concentrate on. Pick a frivolous read. Something fun that will take your mind off pretty much anything except what is happening to the characters. I’m reading a series of Christian thrillers (Titus Ray Thrillers) recently that are enjoyable. Of course if you’re doing this using an e-reader with you may want to do this earlier in the evening, because of the next tip.
Avoid backlit screens for at least one hour prior to going to bed. You can read more about why we should avoid electronics before bed, here.
Take a warm shower. I’ve heard different takes on this. Some people say to avoid warm showers before bed, but I find that it helps to relax a lot of the tension I carry in my shoulders and neck. When my body is relaxed, my mind is relaxed too.
Brain dump. This is exactly what it sounds like. Grab a pen and some paper (not an electronic!) and dump everything that is swirling around in that brain of yours. I often write out my ‘to-do’ list before I go to sleep. It helps me to not suddenly ‘remember’ in the middle of the night, something I need to do the next day.
Recite scripture and pray. I often find myself doing this along with my final tip for falling to sleep. God’s word is great any time of the day, but it is most helpful when my brain is hyper-worried. Being able to give those worries to God, and using His word to do it pretty much guarantees a great night’s sleep.
My final tip is my favorite. Snuggle a sleeping baby. Yep. Cuddle up with that little bundle of squish you’re nurturing and loving all day. Since my youngest still sleeps with me, this is a daily part of my day, and like I said, my favorite. There is something so relaxing about listening to their little hearts beat, their gentle breathing, and their happy sounds that help relax even the most stressed out momma.
These tips are just a few possibilities you can try. They may or may not work for you, and I recommend you consult your family doctor if you regularly have issues with getting restful sleep.
We’re all busy mommas here, so I’d love any tips and tricks you’ve used to help you get that much needed sleep. Share them in the comments below. You should also check out my post here, for tips on calming the chaos we all experience as mothers. There’s a free printable included too. 🙂
When “Everything” is Going Wrong I Choose Joy in the One True God
Then you will find your joy in the LORD…
Just a side note, this post became a bit longer than intended, and may end up becoming a series of posts in the future.
When Joy Is Hard to Find
2019 has been an intense year. There has been joy, but there has been a lot of “hard” too.
Though, if I’m honest my family has been in a rough season since 2017 when my husband left Active Duty. It appears we’re not quite ready to reap the harvest yet.
If this past weekend is any indicator, we’ve got quite a bit more sowing left in this season.
To those who know us personally, it isn’t a surprise to know we’ve been struggling. The move from Active Duty to civilian life has not been an easy experience. There have been more bumps in the road than either my husband or I ever expected.
Life without the security of the Marine Corps is a constant act of faith.
Never have we been what you would call financially “well-off”, but we’ve always been able to provide for ourselves and our children without too much struggle.
Until we no longer could.
When we moved from Washington State to Virginia, we left nearly everyone we knew.
My children left their friends and Sunday school teachers they loved. I left my sister, my cousin, and my childhood best friend.
We also drove away broke, because of a paperwork error that took months to straighten out before the Marine Corps would release my husband’s final paycheck.
Driving across the country nearly penniless, heading to a state where we still hadn’t found a place to live, could have been terrifying.
Instead, there was joy.
Okay, there was some fear too, but whenever the fear would claw at me I’d remember that everything comes from God. That He would provide in His way and His time.
So, I gladly accepted the joy He provided.
I shared adventures with my favorite people as we explored amazing sites, both created by God and made by man; the joy of giggles and drinking too much caffeine; staying in questionable hotels that would be safer if they were condemned; and cramming three kids, a cat, a dog, and two adults as well as everything we thought we might need, into a minivan.
With excitement like that, who had time for fear?
Joy in God is Accepting Help
After arriving in Virginia things became more complicated.
We needed to find a place to call home.
What should have taken only a couple of days turned into a two-month ordeal.
During this time, God once again provided for us, by opening the hearts and home of our dear friends.
Looking back, I believe God led us to explore Classical Conversations in Washington simply so we could connect with Rachal and her family, because once she moved to Virginia He led us away from CC and in another direction with our homeschool.
When Rachal and her husband offered us a place to stay while we looked for a house, neither our family or theirs expected it would be more than a weekend affair. So when place after place fell through and we were led to purchase a home instead of renting, my heart was filled with such gratitude and love when they welcomed us with open arms.
Let’s just say, there are times I think they deserved a medal (and possibly a parade) for that alone.
Having never needed to rely on others, accepting that my husband and I couldn’t do this on our own was difficult.
Especially since he was in a completely different state going through federal training.
Joy in God Comes When He Provides Family
Rachal and I weren’t close when we lived in Washington. We were friendly, and she was always willing to swing by and get my kids when I was dealing with rough moments during the pregnancy with my youngest daughter; we just didn’t spend time together outside of CC or our small-group Bible study.
God Knew What We Needed
Suddenly my kids and I were part of her family. We did pretty much everything together for those two months. My eldest daughter celebrated her 10th birthday sitting at their dining room table. She finally had older brothers, and she was thrilled to be there with them.
When I discovered I was pregnant with my youngest, Rachal and her husband were the first to know. In fact, they knew before I did, since they were convinced I was pregnant before I ever considered it. Later she was there holding my hand during the early morning hours as I gave birth to my youngest son.
Through every hoop we had to jump through while purchasing our house, to being hit with a stomach bug while pregnant, God filled me with joy.
There was joy in little things: having a second set of hands to snuggle my youngest daughter; someone to love on my “spirited” and struggling son, a church that had everything we were looking for. Things that would often be taken for granted just kept leading me right back to God, and the joy that comes from knowing He is taking care of each and every one of us.
God always provides, and my joy is always because of Him.
I Chose Joy in God Anew This Week
On Sunday as I prepared the kids and myself for church, I received a phone call from my husband. He’d been in an accident on I-95 and his car was totaled.
As the kids and I drove to pick him up, I sang praises to God. My husband’s car was totaled, and I thought I knew the hardship that would cause, but he had walked away from it without physical injury.
My children didn’t have to visit their father in the hospital, and I didn’t have to explain to them why their daddy wasn’t coming home.
Worries, Stress, and Choosing to Be Positive
Each day since the accident more and more obstacles have been placed before us. Some of them God immediately removed.
When He answers a prayer, the only thing I can do is praise Him and focus on the joy flooding through me.
Monday was especially rough, because my husband was trying to process what had happened, and I was as well.
The first wave of adrenaline and relief had past.
I woke up to a panic attack that only God could calm as I prayed, and prayed, and prayed some more, until finally the panic subsided and I was able to sleep again.
My husband was frustrated and bitter, and all I felt was an overwhelming sadness and heaviness of heart.
It didn’t take long before I was irritated with myself and decided to give it all to God.
I wrote out my prayers, my concerns, my frustrations, and my overwhelming belief in God. I wrote out my praises to Him.
Then I spent time in the study of Isaiah.
Isaiah 41 reminds us to stop lamenting and to return to rejoicing. That God provides for all our needs even during our struggles.
His testimony is that He will never forsake us.
We are to trust God as our shepherd and allow him to do it in the His way.
God Trumps Fear and Worry. Every Time.
While I immersed myself in God’s word, the fear and worry began to fade. Nothing had changed about our situation, but I gave that stress to God and accepted the peace and joy that replaced it.
Today things are still “bad” and there are no answers in sight. We don’t know where the next days and weeks will take us.
What I do know, is that I have joy.
Not because of any physical or material thing, but because I know joy in God.
The joy only experienced when you know God is in control, and that this isn’t our forever home.
Joy isn’t just a feeling.
It’s a knowledge that you’re never alone, and Our God is bigger than any problem we will ever face on Earth.
The Perfect Poetry Tea Time Cucumber Sandwich Recipe
Poetry Tea Time: A Family Favorite
The term “Poetry Tea Time” isn’t something I came up with myself, but discovered through the Brave Writer creator, Julie Bogart.
While my family’s tea-time rarely looks as artistically displayed as other families’, and we don’t spend much time on actual poetry.
Generally we read just one or two poems before we jump into other books we’re enjoying; and the tea is often replaced with hot chocolate, chocolate milk or smoothies, the feeling is the same.
It’s a time when we put away the stresses of the week, come together as a family and enjoy good literature and a special treat.
Once in awhile we will invite another family to join us, and the tea setting will look much more sophisticated. That’s half the fun of having others join us. It becomes more of a party atmosphere rather than a cozy time with each other.
Family Favorite Tea Time Treats
When it comes to the special treats at our tea-times, we change it up regularly. Sometimes we eat muffins, or donuts. Occasionally I’ll bake cookies or a cupcakes; once in awhile though, we go all out.
Today’s treat was a full spread. We loaded our plates with freshly sliced strawberries, deviled-eggs, and the easiest cucumber tea sandwiches.
We still didn’t dress up the table; none of our cups matched, and we still drank hot chocolate instead of tea–but those sandwiches were pure sophistication!
8 slices bread of choice–we used our basic honey wheat sandwich bread
8 ounce cream cheese softened
approximately 2 Tbsp parsley flakes
one thinly sliced cucumber peeled
In a medium bowl place cream cheese and allow to soften.
Add parsley flakes and mix.
Peel and thinly slice one cucumber, set aside.
Lay out eight (8) slices of bread. Spread cream cheese mixture on each slice.
Layer cucumbers on four (4) of the slices, then cover with the remaining four (4) slices of bread.
Sprinkle salt and pepper to taste.
Using a sharp knife cut into triangles (because nothing says sophisticated tea party like miniature triangles!)
Enjoy with your favorite beverage, or just shovel them in your mouth when no one is looking. They’re that simple and that tasty.
I almost feel guilty sharing this as a recipe because it is such a super simple treat. It’s perfect for children or when you’re looking for something different for lunches.
Another great recipe for tea time is hard-boiled eggs or deviled eggs. You can check out the instant pot “recipe” for perfect hard-boiled eggs here.
Filling Your Cup: Mom Approved Ideas for Daily Self-Care
Mothers Need to be Serious About Self-Care
As a momma of four, self-care is something I’m focusing on in my own life. It’s a habit I’m not always great at, but I keep trying.
I’m a work in progress.
Motherhood is a full time job; only unlike full-time jobs in the corporate world there aren’t vacation days, sick leave, or someone leaving donuts in the staff lounge.
The hours of motherhood are long–so very long– that finding time to go to the bathroom without a little one cheering,”Go Momma! You tinkled in the potty!”, is nearly impossible.
For these reasons, among others, mothers desperately need to make time for ourselves.
We need to carve out pockets of time to take care of ourselves, because we can’t take care of our little ones (or our husbands and homes) if we have nothing left.
“You can’t pour from an empty cup.”
Someone really smart
How to Make Time For Yourself
One of the hardest parts about taking time to recharge ourselves, is finding the time in our lives.
Between co-op, Awana, and Homeschool PE–not to mention planning and cooking healthy meals, cleaning the house, enriching the lives of my children through good books, and making sure those same children don’t suddenly decide they’re Superman and can fly from the roof of our house; there isn’t a lot of time left for me.
Especially when I still have a one year old who needs his nap-time snuggles, and to be perfectly honest, I need those snuggles too.
Things Were Getting Crazy, and By Things, I Mean Me.
For years the only self-care I was getting were from my daily home work out programs. I remember patting myself on the back thinking, I’m so smart taking this time for myself. This self-care stuff is simple.
There was a small problem with my thinking.
Self-care is more than just working out.
It’s more than a thirty minute sweat session. Especially if during that thirty minutes your mind isn’t focused on the moves, but on something else. It also doesn’t work if your children break your focus every few minutes.
I was getting into shape because I was working out daily, and I was paying attention to what I was fueling my body with, but I wasn’t feeling any more filled.
My mind and body felt depleted all the time, and I was not filling my children with loving attention.
Something Had to Give
When I finally realized I needed more in my life than a daily fitness routine, I started looking for other things to enrich my life. The problem with this was that I still didn’t have any extra time.
So, I started by cutting out extraneous things that didn’t bring me joy.
The first thing to go was Facebook. Suddenly I had a lot of extra time that I didn’t have before, but I wasn’t done cutting things out yet.
I’m quite a perfectionist, and that is a time consuming personality. In the last year I’ve focused on letting things go, of getting rid of this time eater. I’ve done this in small ways like: not worrying so much about the toys in the living room, or the unfolded blankets on the couch and chairs.
These little things led to other things that have made time-management easier. Like the printable in this post.
What Can You Cut Out of Your Schedule?
Before you go any further, take a moment to list the things you do throughout the day. This includes running errands, making meals, being a taxi, and scrolling through social media.
In case you were wondering, the time you spend binge watching Netflix also counts.
Once you’ve listed the things you do each day, decide what things you can cut out or at least down.
It’s important for us as mothers to make the time, not just wait for it to appear.
I know mindlessly scrolling through social media may help us check-out for a few minutes, but trust me, you’ll thank yourself if you cut it back so you have time for some real self-care.
Sare Approved Self-Care Ideas
Below is a list of just a handful of self-care ideas that are possible in short amounts of time. Things that have personally helped me to better focus on filling my tank, so that I can better fill my children and husband with love.:
Time in the Word.
Reading personal development books (Here are a few recommendations)
Reading a great novel
Enjoying a cup of tea or cocoa on the porch
Get moving (at home workouts bring a personal trainer straight to you, and for a time that works for you!)
Get a massage
Get your nails done (or do them yourself)
Take a long shower or bath
Stretch your body daily
Drink at least half you body weight in water daily
Try a new make-up technique
Wash your face
Crank up worship music and praise God
Enjoy a special treat. We have an amazing cupcake bakery near us, and I love going there and indulging in a gourmet cupcake.
Get enough sleep (this one is super important)
Eat a balanced diet. Remember fat is NOT bad for you. Stay away from things that claim they’re “low fat”.
Then place rack inside pot to prevent eggs from bumping and cracking.
Place eggs on rack, making sure they’re not stacked on top of each other.
Seal InstaPot, turning the pressure valve to the closed position, and set for 6 mins. (Depending on your pot you may want to play around with this a bit. I’ve seen times between 5-7 minutes. Six minutes makes perfect eggs for me).
After six minutes, manually release the pressure (open that valve).
Immediately place the eggs in an ice bath, or as I do, remove the inner pot and place it directly under cold running water.
Recently I stumbled across and interview Eva Mendes gave where she stated that the end of a marriage can be directly related to the wife wearing sweatpants.
If you want to read the original article that led to this posting click here.
Normally, I don’t pay a lot of attention to what celebrities talk about.
I especially don’t tend pay attention to celebrities who feel qualified to give marital advice when they’re not married.
However, reading many of the comments linked with these articles on social media made me reconsider.
In Society Today, Beauty is Only Skin Deep
There are a lot of women–too many women–who feel Eva Mendes is correct.
They believe in this day of Photoshop and plastic surgery what a wife wears is the true key to the longevity of their marriage.
I need to clear this up.
Or, at the very least, for the people who read my weekly ramblings.
What We Wear At Home Should Not Be a Deciding Factor in the Strength of Our Relationship With Our Spouse.
Marriages are a contract, yes, but they’re a contract that should be tied to a deep and abiding love and faithfulness– to not only our spouse, but to God.
When I got married, I distinctly remember the minister mispronouncing my short name, but getting my husband’s long, long, long name correct. the words, “for better or for worse” among the words my husband and I repeated.
I’m sure there are people who will smirk and say, “For better or for worse doesn’t have anything to do with bad style choices.” I disagree. Completely.
If my husband’s love for me were directly tied to the way I looked, our marriage would have ended years ago.
I may not wear sweatpants, but I also don’t wake up each morning before my husband so he doesn’t see me without my ‘face’ on.
For that matter, I rarely wear make-up, so there’s that.
He’s seen me with bedhead, fighting the stomach flu.
I’ve had chronic migraines, that have done nothing for the way I look; and long ago, he saw me when I drank too much.
None of these sights were pretty, and they’re all a heck of a lot worse than him seeing me in a pair of sweatpants.
Love Isn’t About the Way You Look, It’s About the Connection You Have With Someone’s Heart.
Love is the butterflies you get in your stomach when you know you’re going to see them; it’s the comfort their presence brings you, without them saying anything.
It’s knowing that you don’t have to doll yourself up all the time to impress them, because they’re impressed with the way God created you.
“Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes.Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.”
1 Peter 3:3-4
They don’t love you because of the adornments you use to be fashionable or beautiful for a materialistic world.
I understand what she ‘might’ have been trying to say.
Women Should Take Pride in Themselves.
The biggest problem with associating this with a type of pants, is that people miss the bigger picture.
Pride in yourself is fine–as long as you remember everything you have is God’s.
Be careful about having too much pride in your good looks, your perfect body, or the clothes you wear.
All of those things are fleeting.
The beauty God created inside you–your heart and soul–those are where the true strength of your marriage will come from.
So, ladies if you feel like your husband (or boyfriend) will leave you if you don’t look your best, walk away.
He’s not the one for you.
Don’t sell yourself short for someone only interested in the outer trappings.
Find that person who will love you even when you’re looking your worst, because he’ll see the beauty God created.
Besides, no one wants to be worried about their hair or make-up at two in the morning–when they’re in labor.
Start Your Day Right: Strawberries and Cream Oatmeal Recipe
Fuel Your Body With This Oatmeal Recipe
Most days the first meal I eat includes a warm bowl of oatmeal. The recipe might differ some, but in general, oatmeal is my go to.
I know many people begin their day with veggies and protein, and I’ve done that too. However, I’m a creature of habit and my habit includes oats.
There is something comforting about eating a hearty bowl of creamy oatmeal.
I’m not saying run out to the store and buy a box of overly processed, sugar filled instant oatmeal. Not only is that not healthy, but it isn’t filling either.
My experience is those little packets tend to cause more snacking and over eating than a recipe made at home using plain quick oats you can buy in a large canister.
This oatmeal recipe is great, because it has very little sugar added, and can be tweaked to taste.
It’s also filling, and pairs great with eggs or sausage if you really feel you need to add protein to your early meal.
1/4 cup Plain Quick Oats
3/4-1 cup Hot Water
1 TBS Ground Flax Seed
1 TBS Brown Sugar or Sweetner of Choice
1 TBS Butter
Approximately Six (6) Fresh Strawberries sliced
Splash of Heavy Cream
Pink Himalayan Salt to Taste
You can make this recipe in the microwave, or on the stove-top, but I prefer to just boil water in my electric kettle and pour it over the oats in my bowl. If you don’t have an electric kettle, might I suggest this one. Isn’t it adorable?
I begin by turning the kettle on so the water heats up while I prep the rest of the ingredients.
Scoop the oats out of the container and into a heat-safe bowl.
Add the ground flax seed, brown sugar, and butter.
Slice your strawberries, removing the stems. Set aside.
When the water is ready pour the desired amount of water over the oats. Depending on your preference it may be less or more than I use.
Mix together until combined and the oats are soft. If you are using quick oats this should take about one minute.
Top with strawberries and a generous splash of heavy cream.
Sometimes I even add a little nut butter to the oatmeal before topping with the strawberries. It’s really quite delicious.
I hope you enjoy!
Be sure to check out my recipe for full-fat tea. It’s a great way to start your day without a heavy meal first thing.
It had been a horrible, rotten, no good, very bad week in our home, and this particular day was working out to be the worst one. I was almost positive motherhood wasn’t supposed to be this hard.
The kids had been at each other since they woke up, I was hugely pregnant with our youngest son, and someone decided to pee on their bedroom carpet…again.
The carpet that was less than three months old.
In the house we’d just bought.
My husband was still out of state at FLETC, and I was trying to balance everything, including my children’s socialization (because obviously, homeschoolers have to worry about socialization–but that is a soap box for another time).
I was a Momma on the edge, and no amount of chocolate was helping.
Prayer is Always the Answer
If at first you don’t succeed, try turning to God.
When the chocolate didn’t work, I did what I should always do first.
It’s possible I might have begged, actually.
Which is totally okay, because God loves us regardless of how much whining we do.
He’s amazing like that.
So, if at first you don’t succeed, try turning to God.
Things didn’t magically change overnight.
In fact things got harder before they got better, (and some days are still down right hard)and when that happens people often decide God isn’t listening or doesn’t care.
That couldn’t be further from the truth.
In fact, God is closest to us during our struggles.
Providing we allow Him to be.
God is always listening to our prayers, and He always knows what is going on in our lives. The problem comes when instead of turning to Him, we turn away from Him.
Often times people will quote the saying, “God won’t give you more than you can handle”.
That is a falacy.
It mght sound good, but it isn’t how God works.
He will most definitely give us more than we can handle, because He doesn’t want us to handle it. He wants us to turn to Him.
We need to turn to Him.
Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.”
The Motherhood Struggle: Dishes
Recently our dishwasher turned in its pink slip in the middle of a cycle, and since that time I’ve found myself standing at the kitchen sink a lot more than I’m used to.
This is just one more thing in the long line of, well, things that have become my new expectation of owning a home.
These moments are the times I miss renting, but only for a few minutes.
Anyway, back to the sink, and the dishes.
This is the Chore That Never Ends…
It seemed that when we had a dishwasher to rely on, there was often a sink full of dirty dishes waiting to be loaded.
Or a load waiting to be started, because there weren’t quite enough dishes in it to warrant turning it on.
One thing I’ve learned about motherhood, is that dishes are a quite necessary and often irritating part of raising children.
Kids want to eat, and when they eat they use dishes and glasses.
Often several at a time.
If you’ve been reading this blog for any time, or following me on IG, you likely know I suffer from anxiety.
A sink full of dishes adds exponentially to that.
The day the dishwasher died, I decided I wasn’t going to allow this new adventure to cripple me.
So, this time I turned to God and asked for peace about the situation.
Then I made a plan.
Sare Verses the Dishes
Several people I know, including my husband, are much more laid back than I am when it comes to chores and getting things finished.
To them, the longer they put it off the happier they are.
This doesn’t work for me.
If I put something off, like the dishes, that responsibility will follow me all day long.
My shoulders will become stiff with tension, my neck and jaw will ache, and my temperament will suffer.
To combat this, I don’t leave dirty dishes in the sink.
I don’t wait to do the dishes.
When I drink my pre-workout drink in the morning, I clean the jar and place it on the rack to dry. If I have a snack, I clean the dish and put it away.
Yes, this does mean I spend time at the sink more often, but it prevents me from missing out on time with my family if I’m washing an entire day’s worth of dishes after dinner.
If You Can Carry a Dish, You Can Help
After a meal, those who are old enough clear their personal places at the table and then wash their own dishes, placing them in the rack to dry.
This allows every one to take responsibility for the use of their own items.
It also helps this Momma to not spend hours at the sink scrubbing caked on food.
We are a family, and as a family we eat together and we work together.
No one has ever died from cleaning up after themselves, and my children will leave this house knowing how to take care of themselves and a home–regardless of their gender.
The Motherhood Struggle: Raising Productive Children
Ever since my eldest daughter was old enough to help pick up her own toys and place her blanket on the side of her crib, I have given my children age appropriate chores.
This is a big deal, sisters.
The other day I was volunteering with a group of third and fourth grade girls and discovered more than half of them don’t have chores.
Motherhood isn’t just about keeping a little person alive until they’re eighteen.
It’s about raising them and teaching them.
It’s about guiding them and giving them boundaries, balance, and skills to not just survive, but thrive when they’re no longer living within the walls of our homes.
What Are Age Appropriate Chores?
If you do a quick search on Google or Pinterest you’ll find all kinds of colorful charts listing chores by age group.
My eldest daughter (11) has a wide variety of chores including
Cleaning the bathroom she shares with her brother
Taking the dog outside
Feeding and caring for the cat
Helping with the dishes
Taking the trash and recycle to the street for pick-up
wiping down the counters in the kitchen
setting the table
helping with meals
doing her laundry
keeping her room neat and picked up (this includes bed made and art supplies stored away)
helping weed the yard and gardens
My eldest son’s (6) chores include:
Feeding the dog
putting away his laundry
making his bed
putting his toys away when he is done playing with them
wiping off the table
cleaning the toilet (with supervision and help)
helping to set and clear the table
bringing his dirty laundry down on laundry day
My youngest daughter (3) helps where she can. She:
Picks up her toys with help
carries the vacuum cord while I vacuum the main floor of the house
brings her dishes to the sink
puts away the step-stool after shes’ used it
Not all of theses chores are done all the time, but all of them have been done. Some of the are done weekly or daily.
Family Chore List
To keep things running smoothly (since our family thrives on routines), we have a laminated list of daily chores on the fridge.
Each chore has a name beside it, and that person is responsible for getting their chore done right after breakfast.
This includes Momma.
Once the chore is finished we cross it off and go about our day.
Since we try to do more together on the weekend I keep the chores down to a minimum on Saturday/Sunday. This allows for relaxation and play.
I wish I could take credit for coming up with this list, but for some reason I’d never thought of it until Stephanie over at A Simply Dunn Life shared how she took some of the struggle out of housework and motherhood.
Since my kiddos and I began using this daily chore list, there has been less stress, more team work, and an overall change in the attitude of our home.
Don’t get me wrong, this doesn’t fix everything that causes stress and anxiety, but it definitely helps.
For that reason, I’m including a free download of the chart we use.
Just print it out, laminate it and you’re ready to go.