The Honest Mommy

Uncensored thoughts on parenting & more

Daily planning for the SAHM December 31, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — lotsofopinions @ 1:01 am
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The last few weeks have been very active for me in terms of decluttering and re-committing myself to GTD. I have been putting a lot more effort into ubiquitous capture, and one result of that is a very different feel to my days. It is hard to describe but I guess I could say that when I have a thought worth capturing, instead of ruminating on it and worrying about it and so on, I put it on paper (or even on my shower wall) and then move on to have even more thoughts.

A thought I had yesterday was: How useful would it be to me to go over a series of questions every morning?

Questions such as:

  • What’s for dinner? (a la FlyLady)
  • What items are on our schedule (appointments, preschool, etc.)?
  • Which child needs a bath today, and when will this bath fit into our day?
  • What time to the kids need to go to bed?
  • Are there any errands that I can, should, or need to run today?
  • Are there any phone calls or emails that I should take care of today?

I suppose this is sort of a daily planning session for the SAHM. Ideally I could also scan through my Next Actions to catch things that are especially important.

Does anyone else use a checklist to help plan their day?


Thoughts on getting a child to clean his room December 30, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — lotsofopinions @ 3:05 pm
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My oldest child, Adam, is 4 1/2 years old. I want him to learn, however much he can given his age and personality, how to tackle a mess. Fortunately, his room is a great learning tool, especially in the last few weeks since I put in a “craft tower” for him (a stack of drawers for markers, crayons, glue, paper, googly eyes, pipe cleaners, and so on).

It is very tempting for me to go in and “help” him (or just do everything while he’s away at preschool) but I feel it’s important for him to 1) learn how to clean up a mess, and 2) experience the effects of his previous choices (e.g., to leave scraps of paper all over the floor).

I find it’s important, and also fair, to be specific when giving him instructions about cleaning his room. This morning I instructed him to clean off his table/desk by way of picking up an item and deciding where it belongs, then putting it away. If he doesn’t know where some things belongs, I instructed him to put them in a specific corner of his room, for us to work on later.

By following this procedure, I hope he will learn to take responsibility for his things; get reinforcement in the idea that most of his belongings do have a specifc place where they, well, belong; and get practice in focusing his attention over a period of time.

It’s not uncommon for Adam to pout, huff, or otherwise throw some sort of little fit when he’s instructed to do a particular task. Being the old-fashioned mom that I am, I generally do not accept that behavior. This morning he has twice been sent to lie down for 20-30 minutes at a time, as a consequence for his fits (during this “time-out” he is not allowed to talk, look at books, etc.).

Without a doubt, it is a lot of work for me to oversee his work and to follow through with discipline. I am not always up to the challenge, and I try to give myself, and Adam, some grace on those days. But all in all, I believe that it is worthwhile to put effort into this. I believe that if he is expected to follow directions without “giving attitude” and to take responsibilty for his belongings, that will help prepare him to be successful student, friend,  adult, husband, and citizen.


Thanks for the kudos, Rosemond (Part II) December 17, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — lotsofopinions @ 4:49 pm
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I had a nice little surprise yesterday when I opened the email from containing John Rosemond’s latest column. Once again, a “story” that I written to him was featured in his column (the story from “a mom in Minnesota”).

The column, dated 12/16/09,  is shown here. This column will be available for about a month; after a month, it will be available only to members.

I believe this is the third time that one of my stories has been featured in his column.  I blogged about the second occurrence here.

As a parent, I am far from perfect, but I do consider it an honor to be considered column-worthy.


Decluttering, one decision at a time December 12, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — lotsofopinions @ 12:33 pm
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Decluttering is such an interesting process, for one because it involves a lot of thought and emotion. One of my many dilemmas is: what to do with various packages of markers that I have from before I had kids. My children are ages 4 and 1. The 1yo is too young for markers, and the 4yo has a number of Crayola washable markers. I myself don’t use markers all that often; these days, much of my creativity is expressed in a digital manner (

I always say that the only markers that make it into my house are washable. It makes things so much easier and less stressful, knowing that the marker will come out of almost anything.

The markers that I have from before I had kids are not washable. I want to hang on to them because they are perfectly good markers, but I think I will get rid of anything that’s not of particular sentimental or “art” value. Yep, that settles it. Out they go!