It’s the witching hour–when you are trying to get dinner made–and your four-year-old son is whining that there’s nothing to do. You walk with him to the playroom, only to find that he has dumped out every bin of toys, yet can’t seem to find anything suitable to hold his attention.
Unable to face the mess of Legos, cars, Magformers, and stuffed animals that are now strewn everywhere, you simply close the door to the playroom and pretend it doesn’t exist. You turn on the TV to keep your little man occupied, and you wonder, What new toy should we get him for Christmas that he will actually play with?
If this scene sounds familiar, this episode is for you. I invited Tana Parke, a mother of five children and a semi-professional organizer, to share three strategies for keeping our kids’ clutter at bay. Our discussion includes exciting topics, like:
- Why you should hide some toys from your children for a while
- Who might be happy to receive some of the little trinkets that your kids have collected (it’s not who you think!)
- How to teach your kids to think critically about whether or not they actually want a new toy or trinket
- Why The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up doesn’t work for children (and how you can modify it!)
- How to allow your children to have some “treasures” while also keeping them from being hoarders
…and much more!
“The prerequisite to all other parenting principles is to be in control of yourself as the parent. And this is the major struggle for parents. They feel like they are standing on the sidelines helpless, and their children are running rompus around them and all over them…But this can easily be changed. We should not feel like victims in our own households. We can find joy and delight in working in our own homes.”
Ralphie Jacobs is a mother to four girls, ages 3-14, and the founder of the popular Instagram account @simplyonpurpose. Her account has experienced incredible growth from when it started just a year ago because so many mothers are thirsting for her wise, compassionate, and positive parenting advice.
It was an honor to have her on the show, and in this episode she will teach us how to stop yelling at our kids by being in control of ourselves. But how do we do that, especially in the moment when anger is building? Ralphie explains how we must:
- Listen to the right story
- Use time to our advantage
- Model being happy
Listen in as Ralphie and I dive into these principles a little more deeply and give practical advice of how to apply them in your home.
As always, I would love to hear from you! Let me know in the comments which strategies stay with you the most and what works with your children.
“Children are great imitators–give them something great to imitate.” Joy D. Jones
Jennifer Brimhall, a mother of five and the founder of the website Raise the Good, believes that we can surround our children with good role models whom they will want to emulate. These aren’t superheroes with capes or celebrities with millions of dollars; these are unexpected heroes, and we will find them all around us.
In this episode, Jen goes into specifics about how we can introduce our children to…
1. Heroes in books and media
2. Role models in the world around them
3. Mentors in education.
Listen in to glean incredible wisdom from an incredible mother!
An outline and list of resources mentioned in the podcast is included below:
1. Heroes in books and media
- Books: Value Tales, Little House on the Prairie, Chronicles of Narnia
- TV Shows: Wild Kratts, Planet Earth documentaries, Mr. Rodgers on Youtube (ha!)
- Movies: Third Man on the Mountain
2. Role Models in the world around them
- Check out the Hero Spotlights on Jen’s website!
- Keep watch for news articles about “heroes” and share them with your kids
- Point out everyday heroes around town, at the grocery store, and in daily interactions
- Ask your children to list three things they are grateful for and who is responsible for that blessing
- “Coming of Age Celebrations” with treasured family and friends
3. Mentors in education
- Look into conferences, clubs, and personal mentorships (it never hurts to ask!) for your children to learn about their passions from experts in the field
- Rely on websites to teach your children
This week my little sister Laura Webb, a mother of two young children and a Chemistry and Math teacher–“not a writer!” she is quick to point out–will share her ideas for easy ways that we can fit record-keeping into our busy lives as moms.
Listen in as Laura details ideas for how to…
- Use technology to help us capture memories
- Find routine times or triggers to remind us to journal
- Remember that something is better than nothing when it comes to documenting our lives
What are your best ideas for keeping records of your motherhood experience? Please share them in the comments or on Instagram @3in30podcast. We want to learn from you!
How to Journal as a Busy Mom (Rachel’s article for Power of Moms)
Feature Image: Alexis Johnson Photography (Eagle River, Alaska)
Webb Family Photo: Brynmarae Photography (Denver, Colorado)
My experience was a little different than most mothers—I wasn’t the one in the hospital bed that night. I was standing beside my son’s brave birthmother as Noah came into the world.
After years of failed infertility treatments and adoption possibilities that didn’t go through, I was finally a mother.
Three years later, this time on a hot summer morning, we were blessed a second time. After going through Invitro Fertilization and an incredibly difficult pregnancy, my second little miracle was placed in my arms.
Sally Grace was bruised and battered from a posterior delivery, but she was here and she was ours.
And the focus of life just zooms in for a moment—for a day or two—and everything feels clear. There’s peace and perspective and happiness when a new baby joins your family.
But then the focus zooms back out, because it has to—because there are meals to make and families to support, and very complicated, very real adult challenges that come to us in life—
And even though you know that those babies in your arms are what you most treasure and what you want more than anything, there are moments when you wonder if you can really do this. There are times when you hardly recognize yourself in the midst of your discouragement or your yelling at your kids, and you mourn a little bit for the happy mother that you wanted to be—that still you want to be.
Motherhood is beautiful, magical, and good—but it is also very hard at times. We all have our own unique situations and struggles and heartaches.
The hard stuff will never go away completely, but what if we could minimize it? Manage it a little better? And what if there were simple things we could do as mothers to maximize the joy?
That is the premise and the goal of this podcast: to give moms like you and me practical, doable takeaways to try with our families each week—strategies that will help us create more meaning in motherhood.
Please listen to the entire introductory episode to learn more about being a part of the 3 in 30 Podcast community of moms!
Rachel’s writing on Power of Moms