Posted in Faith, parenting

Finding God In A Sugar Scrub

Life has been pretty busy for my family and me over the past few weeks. Our young adult group was in charge of our Pre-mother’s Day brunch that we had earlier this month.

I was in charge of logistics, praise and worship, the gifts ( did I say it was a busy week) and I was also in charge of giving a word of encouragement for the brunch.

Even though I’m used to speaking at church and church events. I didn’t feel particularly qualified to talk about motherhood to any of these women.

I’ve been a mom for a little over 8 years. Most of the women who would be at the brunch either had children older than my own, grown children or were grandmothers.

What could I possibly say to these women? What could I tell them that they didn’t already know? How could I encourage them?

I looked for scriptures on motherhood. I read about various mothers in the bible. Still, nothing resonated with me. God wasn’t leading me down any of these avenues.

What he did lead me to was one of the gifts I had made for the brunch, a jar of sugar scrub.

Finding Inspiration in the Ordinary

The theme for the brunch was, “A Time of Refreshing”. So I went with a spa gift theme. I looked on Pinterest and found several DIY recipes for sugar scrubs and shower steamers.

It’s amazing how God can take something so ordinary and show you basic biblical truths. It reminds me of the following scripture:

…but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong…

1 Corinthians 1:27

As I pondered over what to say the Lord kept bringing me back to the scrub I had made.

If any of you have ever made one before you know that it’s made of 3 simple ingredients: sugar(or salt), oil, and fragrance. You mix it all together and put it in a jar.

But how was this supposed to encourage these mothers that had seen the ups and downs of motherhood that I had yet to face?

A Mother’s Job

Before I can share with you what He taught me about the sugar scrub. You have to understand one of the core duties of a mother.

One of the primary jobs of a mother or as parents, in general, is to teach our children.

Before our kids start school they are already learning from us the ins and outs of life outside the womb.

They are watching and taking in everything we say and do.

We are out child’s first teacher.

As a Christian mom, one of our biggest duties is to pass on our faith to our children and grandchildren.

Paul in his letter to Timothy says,” I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well (2 Tim 1:5, ESV).

However, we cannot pass on our faith if we are not reading and studying the word of God.

As Christians, the word of God should be our main source of information even when it comes to parenting.

All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of the God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

2 Tim 3:16-17

So what does this have to do with that sugar scrub? Well, this is what the Lord showed me.

1.The jar

Before you make your scrub you have to have something to put it in. Most of the time a glass airtight jar is used to hold everything.

The Lord showed me that the jar is just like our bibles. It holds everything that we need to live a life that is pleasing to the Lord. However, just like the jar that holds the scrub, it won’t do us any good if we don’t:

  1. Open up the jar
  2. Apply the contents of the jar

2.The Sugar

Jar of Sugar

A body scrub can be made using sugar or salt. Despite what you use they are both put into the scrub to be used as an abrasive for our skin.

The abrasiveness of the scrub depends on what type of sugar or salt you are using. This helps to remove loose dead skin from our bodies.

The word of God is like the sugar it gently removes the sin(s) that plague our lives and keep us separated from Him.

I say gently, but sometimes the word of God is not so gentle. As mentioned in the scripture above the word can be used for rebuke and correction.

How many of us like to be rebuked and corrected by other people let alone being convicted and corrected by the word of God?!

For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.

Hebrews 4:12

But it is good and necessary for us to be able to live a life of righteousness before the Lord.

3. The Oil

Bottle of Olive Oil

The job of the oil in the scrub is to carry the sugar, comfort and nourish the newly exposed skin, and to soften those hard areas that weren’t removed by the scrub.

You can use coconut oil, olive oil, almond oil, etc to make your scrub.

Depending on what type of oil you use will determine the benefits it provides for your skin.

In the Bible, the oil often represents the holy spirit and the anointing of God. The job of the holy spirit is to comfort, guide, convict and lead us on our Christian journey.

But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance…

John 14:26

Just like the oil in the scrub is carries the word to the places in our heart that need it the most. It help bring the word of God back to our remembrance so that we may be strengthened and encouraged.

4. The Fragrance

Young Living Essential Oils

The purpose of the fragrance is to provide aromatheapy for the user.

This is usually accomplished with the use of essential oils that help promote the health and well being of the individual.

DIY body scrubs usually contain a mix of essential oils that are used to give the scrub a pleasing fragrance in addition to the health benefits that those specific oils are reported to have.

Depending on the fragrance it can help relax, energize or enhance your ability to focus.

The fragrance represents the presence of God that draws us to him. It is in his presence that we find peace, strength, fullness of joy, physical and mental healing, forgiveness, and love.

In short, the sugar scrub is just like the word of God it’s rough and abrasive because its job is to remove the dead weight or sin that keeps clinging to our life.

The oil represents the holy spirit that comes in and restores and softens those places that the word has exposed.

The fragrance represents the presence of God that draws us into him so that he can provide us with therapy for our weary souls.

Reasons Why We Don’t Use the “Scrub”

The gospel of Christ is simple and straight forward just like the ingredients for the sugar scrub.

However, just like the scrub if we don’t use it we won’t repeat any of its benefits.

There are 4 reasons why people won’t use the scrub(word of God):

  1. We don’t like the way it smells. The word of God can be a stench in our nostrils because it points out our sin, which pushes us away from Christ. Or maybe the way the gospel is presented turns us off.
  2. We believe that the scrub is to abrasive for our sensitive skin. There are many aspects of the Christian faith that people find hard to accept. Topics like the bibles position on homosexuality, abortion, etc can cause people to pull away from the faith or ignore those parts of the bible all together.
  3. We feel that the scrub is too oily. We won’t take the time to rub it in and let it penetrate our skin. Often when the word of God offends or convicts us we run away instead of letting the holy spirit do his job.
  4. Finally, we won’t use the scrub because we set it somewhere and forget about it. We don’t make the bible and the study of the word of God a priority in our lives. Our bibles sit in our homes dusty and unused except for on Sundays or during a midweek bible service.

And as parents, we need to get into the “scrub” so that we can be the godly examples that our children and the world need us to be.

That won’t happen if we are not reading our word daily and applying it to our lives.

More importantly, our children will not think that it’s important. If it’s not important to us, then it won’ t be important to them.

We need to ensure that we are passing on our faith to our children through our actions and deeds as women of Christ.

That is the legacy that we are called to leave behind.

Even though this post is written for mothers it can be applied to both mothers and fathers. If you don’t know how to read or study your bible you can read this post on ways to study your bible.

Final Thoughts

I know it may seem crazy, but God really can use the things that we use in our every day lives to speak biblical truths. We just have to pay attention to the lessons He is trying to teach us.

Jesus often used these kinds of object lessons with his disciples and when he was teaching the multitudes that followed him.

I wasn’t expecting to learn anything biblical from making a DIY sugar scrub for a mother’s day event. But I did.

Have you ever learned something about God from the world around you? Have you ever heard an object lesson that taught you a biblical truth? If so share it with me.

I’d love to hear how God has taught you something using simple objects.

If you enjoyed this post please don’t forget to like and share it.

Until Next Time,

The Crafty Afro

Posted in Family

Having These 5 Skills Can Make You A More Effective Stay At Home Parent

Woman holding a child.
Photo by bruce mars on Pexels.com

When most adults hear the word ” skills” we automatically start thinking about jobs and resumes. It’s not a term one usually associates with parenting.

But parenting in and of itself is a job that requires many of the skills that we use in the business world and in everyday life. Some of these skills we learn in school and some of them we learn through life lessons.

These are the skills that many stay at home parents need to call upon if they want to have an enjoyable experience as a stay at home parent.

I am going to share with you the top 5 skills that all stay at home parents need to master to be an effective and happy stay at home parents.

1. Money Management

Piggy bank with coins on the floor around it.
Photo by Skitterphoto on Pexels.com

I may receive compensation, at no additional cost to you, when you sign-up for some of the cashback services using the links I provided. Thank you for your support.

Unless you’re married to a billionaire or are fortunate enough to have your own personal accountant learning how to manage your families money is an important skill all adults should learn.

However, as evidenced by the amount of debt most Americans have it is a skill that most of us have not mastered. This skill is even more important when you are living on one income.

A few basic money management techniques that all stay at home parents should master are budgeting and couponing.

Budgeting

I don’t think I’ve ever met a person who was a big fan of budgeting. But budgeting has several benefits such as:

  • Allowing you to take control of your finances.
  • Help you keep track of your spending.
  • Help you save for family vacations, emergency expenses, and help pay down deb.
  • It can help you produce extra money.
  • It enables you to communicate with your spouse about finances.

If you would like to learn more about budgeting you can read my post on budgeting and the different kinds of budgets here.

Couponing

I’m sure I’m not the only person who’s watched extreme couponing and wished that they could buy $500 worth of food for .30.

Besides paying for a place to live your monthly food bill probably takes a huge chunk of your paycheck. A family of 4 can easily spend $400- 500 a month on food.

Couponing is a great way to help you reduce your family’s monthly grocery expenses. You can usually find coupons in the Sunday paper, but you can also get and print coupons online.

MoneyPantry has a list of 61 sites that offer free printable grocery coupons.

If you’re not sure how to use your coupons to get the best savings check out The Krazy Coupon Lady. She compiles all of the best deals and shows you how to combine your coupons to get the most savings.

Coupons are not just great for saving on groceries, they’re also great for saving on clothing and other nonfood related items.

Cash Back Apps

Cashback apps work just as well as coupons and can be used with coupons to help increase your savings.

Popular Grocery Cash Back Apps

There are several different grocery apps that you can use to get cash back on your grocery purchases. My favorites are Ibotta and Checkout 51, but there are several other cashback apps out there.

Popular General Cash Back Apps

There are also cash back apps that can be used on general purchases such as clothing and gas.

You usually have to link these apps to your credit card so it can track your purchases. My favorite general cash back apps are receipt hog and ebates.

  • Receipt Hog– gives you points for uploading receipts every week. These points can be used to redeem gift cards or cash.
  • Ebates gives you cash back on items you buy from select stores like JCPenney, Amazon, Kohl’s etc
  • Dosh cash back on purchases made in select stores online and instore
  • Paribus– monitors price drops from stores that you’ve made purchases.at and gets you a refund on the adjusted price.

All of these apps can help you save money on your everyday purchases and help you keep and maintain your family budget.

2.Time Management

Red clock sitting in the grass.
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Another important skill that we all need to brush up on is our time management.

As a stay at home parent, it’s tempting to think that you have all the time in the world to get the things you want to do done.

I know I did when I first started my stay at home journey. I didn’t take me long to realize that trying to get things done with 1-4 kids running around the house was a lot harder and a lot more time consuming than I thought.

Your time is a valuable asset and we should use the time that we have during the day wisely.

One of the best ways to make sure that we are using our time wisely as stay at home parents is to create routines and find ways to keep organized.

Routines

Before I became a stay at home mom I didn’t really give a second thought to creating or sticking to a routine because my day was already planned out for me. Work, home, food, bed, repeat.

It wasn’t too long into my transition as a stay at home mom that I realized that not having a daily routine was not going to help me keep my sanity or keep my kids alive.

Every family can benefit from having a daily routine. Having a daily routine will:

  • Help you be more productive during the day.
  • Help you break bad habits (like procrastination).
  • Improves your mental health by providing you time to relax.
  • Allows you to decide how your day goes.
  • Benefits your kids.

Some people like to schedule every minute of the day and some like a more flexible schedule.

I would suggest creating a schedule that works best for you and your family. If you have smaller kids a more flexible schedule might work better for you, then a ridge one.

Here is a peek at my family’s morning routine:

5:00 AM- Wake-up/Read the Bible and Pray

6:30 AM Wake-Up Kids & Get Ready for school

7:45 AM Drop off kids

9:00 AM Work-Out/ Baby Nap Time

10:00 AM Clean up

11:00 AM Cook Lunch

12:00 PM Pick Up Kids/Lunch

As you can see there are some big gaps in parts of my schedule, but that just gives me some extra time, just in case things don’t go as planned.

If I could emphasize one thing about creating your daily routine it would be to schedule some “Me” time during the day. Even if you can’t manage it every day at least shoot for once a week.

Dealing with kids all day can be fun and stressful. You need that time to just get away and relax, even if it’s just for 10 minutes. Trust me it will make a huge difference.

Organization

I will admit that being organized is something that I struggle with a lot. When I taught high school I was that science teacher that had piles of paper all over the place. I liked to call it organized chaos.

As you can imagine some of my organized chaos habits spilled over into my home life, which when your only living in your house from 4-9 pm every day it’s not really that big of a deal.

But all of that changed once I started being home all day. I went from spending 5 waking hours in the house to 16 waking hours in the house. A very cluttered small house.

I quickly realized that I needed to get organized and quick. One of the best techniques I’ve used for organizing and decluttering my home is fairly simple.

Step 1- Pick an area to declutter.

Step 2- Create three piles (you can use bins if you want) keep, toss, donate

Step 3- Set a timer for 30 minutes – 1 hour (depending on the size of the room)

Step 4- Organize and put back everything in the keep pile.

Step 5- Get rid of everything else ASAP!

The last step very important. If you don’t throw away or donate the stuff in those piles it will slowly make its way back into your house. Trust me I know.

Declutter and organizing your home can be very overwhelming. That’s why I think it’s important to start small and set a time limit. Even better you can enlist the help of a friend or your family to help with the process.

If you don’t finish in the time limit you can either keep going or start again later. Don’t expect everything to be perfect, but having an organized home makes cleaning and finding things easier.

I don’t even want to imagine how much time I wasted searching for keys, book bags, and coats because everything was all over the house.

Once you’ve managed to get everything organized you should make decluttering a regular part of your cleaning routine. If not you’ll find yourself back in a state of organized or not so organized chaos.

3.Communication

Woman texting on a cell phone.
Photo by JÉSHOOTS on Pexels.com

The next skill that we will need to brush up on is our communication and networking skills.

Setting Expectations

The transition from financial independence to dependent can be a hard one for both spouses. It is important for both spouses to learn how to communicate clearly, respectfully and openly with each other.

You should both sit down and discuss what your expectations are for yourself and for each other.

I can tell you for a fact that most stay at home parents set unrealistic expectations for themselves and other people set unrealistic expectations on them.

Despite the fact that being a stay at home mom is a choice that many women and some dads choose to make it is still clouded in negative stereotypes and false beliefs about what it is a stay at home parent does all day.

Most people think that we just sit at home baking cookies and watching Netflix all day. That raising kids is easy and since you’re not doing anything all day, then you must have ample time to cook, clean, fold laundry, and save the world.

The fact is that being in the house with kids all day is hard work. Cooking, cleaning, folding laundry, picking and dropping kids off at their various activities, going to playgroups and arranging playdates, grocery shopping, managing the household budget all take considerable time, effort, and skill. *steps off soapbox*

It is not easy by any stretch of the imagination especially when you’re first starting out. So dear stay at home parent if you are feeling overwhelmed please communicate this with your spouse. And both of you set realistic expectations for each other.

Social Networking

If you are an introvert, like me, social networking is a hard skill to manage. This is the part of parenting that requires you to make friends with/ or at least talk to other parents.

If you were a social butterfly in high school, then this process will be a bit easier for you. Better yet if you already have friends with age-appropriate kids that’s even better.

Making friends as an adult is just as complicated and awkward as it was when you were in school. Honestly, I’m not even sure how I made friends in high school or as an adult. I guess it helped that I was an athlete so I had some form of social skills.

Still, my idea of a good time is sitting at home with my family watching anime or Netflix. Going to birthday parties, play groups, and other social functions kids might attend is way outside my wheelhouse.

But I love my kids so I make an effort to get out there and try to make grown-up friends or at least to be friendly.

Maybe you’re socially challenged like me here is a great post about making parent friends. Apparently, there are also apps to help you make mom/dad friends.

4. Basic Homemaking

Person moping the floor.
Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

Every stay at home parent should brush up on all the basic homemaking skills: cooking, cleaning, and sewing. The main reason we became stay at home parents was to spend time with our kids. So my philosophy is that we should work smarter, not harder in these areas.

Cooking

Earlier we talked about budgeting and how your food budget is usually your largest expense. This is especially true if your family eats out often. The average family of four can spend anywhere from $20- 30 on take-out per meal.

So if you go to McDonald’s for lunch and Burger King for dinner you’ve easily spent $40 on food alone. If that happens once a week that can easily add up to $160.00 for the month.

Making meals at home is cheaper and healthier for you and your family. It can also be time-consuming.

Meal planning can be an effective way to save time and money on groceries every week.

Thekitchen.com has an excellent post on meal planning called beginners guide to meal planning.

I’ve only tried meal planning in a very limited capacity. My family does theme meal days. For example, Monday is Meatless Monday. Tuesday is Taco Tuesday, and Thursday is Takeout Thursday.

While I don’t know what meal I’m making for dinner I do at least have an idea of what I need to buy for those meals during the week.

Another tip that I read was to use your kid’s school lunch menu to help you plan your meals.

If you have kids that don’t go to school you can easily use the lunch menu to plan what you kids at home will be having for lunch for the rest of the month.

Cleaning

Like cooking, cleaning is another basic skill that we could all brush up on. The best way I’ve found to keep my home clean is to set up a cleaning routine.

My personal routine involves cleaning one spot in the house daily for 30 minutes. On Saturday I spend an hour cleaning and decluttering a specific area in the house.

Monday-Bathroom

Tuesday- Kitchen

Wednesday- Hallways

Thursday- Bedrooms

Friday- Living Room

Saturday- deep cleaning 1 area

Saturday cleaning usually doesn’t take to long if I’ve stuck to the weekly schedule.

If you have older children it is important to remember that they can help keep the house clean as well. Don’t be afraid to put them to work.

Some other cleaning routines that you might want to check out:

Sewing

While sewing is not a necessary skill I do think it’s a worthwhile skill to have when you have small children. My youngest son is constantly getting holes in his shirts and pants.

Learning how to patch the holes in his jeans and how to sew closed the holes in his shirts has helped extend the shelf life of his clothes.

You don’t need a fancy machine for basic sewing all you need is a needle and thread. It will definitely come in handy one day.

5. Research

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Locating Free Resources

Every city has a host of free resources at your disposal. The question is whether or not you know about them.

Being able to locate these resources will come in handy when you need to find things to keep your little ones entertained during the day.

Check the following places for information on free family-friendly activities:

  • City website and facebook page
  • Local recreation center
  • City Parks
  • Local library
  • YMCA

All of these places should be able to direct you on the right path. You can also find free parenting classes, money management classes, and health and nutrition classes.

Final Thoughts

Before I wrap up my list of skills there is one more important skill that I forgot to mention above. The final skill that all stay at home parents need is having a sense of humor.

Sometimes as adults, we take ourselves too seriously and we forget the reason why we even decided to become a stay at home parent.

This a time for us to enjoy our children and to spend time with them. So if the house is still a little messy that’s ok. If the routine gets thrown off because the kids put yogurt all over the floor, don’t stress.

Just take a deep breath, relax and enjoy the messiness and silliness that is our kids.

They say that laughter is the best medicine. So remember not to take yourself too seriously and to make plenty of time for laughter and smiles with your kiddos.

Whether we are stay at home parents or working parents we could all use some brushing up on at least one of the five skills discussed today.

In my opinion, no skills are more important than the others and we need all five of them to make our journey as stay at home parents a positive and effective one.

Is there one skill that you think is more important than all of the rest? Do you have a particular routine or organization strategy you like to use? Or maybe you think one of these skills makes you more effective than the others.

Please share your thoughts in the comments section. If you thought this post was really helpful or insightful please feel free to share it.

Until Next Time,

The Crafty Afro

Posted in Family, parenting

What Not To Do When Your Child Says They’re Ugly

rear view of a boy sitting on grassland
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

You’re beautiful, my sister is beautiful, my brother is handsome, and I’m ugly…No, parent wants to hear their child utter such words. But this beautiful morning my 7-year-old son did.

I was taken aback by his statement. Why would he say such a thing? Who had told him he was ugly?

As a mom, my brain went on high alert.

How do I fix this? How do I convince him that he is not ugly?! Better yet, what child do I need to yell at for saying such a thing to my child?!

So I asked him,” Why do you think you’re ugly?”.

“Well mom my teeth are crooked and my face looks weird”, he said.

“Your face isn’t weird. You’ve got two eyes, a nose, a mouth, and two ears. And everybody’s teeth are crooked at this age. ” I replied.

It’s easy, for an adult, to tell a child not to worry about what other people think. Even though most adults are constantly worried about the same thing.

Sadly, we live in a world that constantly puts pressure on adults and children to be like someone else.

Yes, we are becoming more accepting of different body types, and skin tones, but at the same time still promoting an ideal of physical perfection.

When was the last time you’ve seen a model with acne or movie star with crooked teeth? (That wasn’t part of their character).

Perfect skin. Perfect hair. Everyone needs to have a boyfriend/girlfriend or some unrequited love.

Whether we realize it or not, our children feel the pressure to conform just as much as we do.

In a previous conversation my son told me he didn’t want to be alone.

He needed friends and a girlfriend.

I’m thinking to myself,” Where is he getting these ideas?”

I for one am not a fan of kids having boyfriends/girlfriends in elementary school.

Crushes, sure. But being in a committed relationship at 7 or 8. No, thank you. Let’s just be kids and have innocent fun.

But at the age of 7, he is already wrestling with the ideas of loneliness and what the ideal boy looks like.

And as far as he’s concerned it doesn’t look like him.

I don’t even remember being concerned with those things at that age. I don’t even think I started to really like boys until I was 10/11.

As you can see I jumped head first into this conversation. I will admit that there are plenty of things I should have done differently.

Here are my top 5 tips on what NOT to do when your child says they’re ugly or expresses any other kind of negative self talk for that matter:

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

1. Instantly Correct Their Negative Self-Talk

I think this is probably the hardest part for parents. Nobody, wants to hear their child talk negatively about themselves. Our first instinct is to jump in and reassure them that their negative perceptions are wrong.

However, this is the wrong way to solve this problem. Instantly, correcting their negative self talk sends a message to your child that how they feel is wrong and their perceptions of themselves (whether you believe it’s true or not) are not valid.

2. Take Over the Conversation

The instant my son shared his feelings with me, I began to take over the conversation. Telling him what he was and what he wasn’t. Providing justification why my opinion was right and he was wrong.

This is hard to do, but as parents sometimes we just need to keep our mouth shut. Instead of trying to talk, we should focus more on trying to listen.

Ask your child open ended questions about why they feel or think that way. Let them do the talking for a change.

3. Downplay Their Feelings

As grown up’s we know that children can and do overreact to things. However, that is not a valid reason to brush off or downplay what they are feeling.

In a time where more kids are committing suicide because of bullying and feeling isolated, we as parent’s can’t ignore out children’s emotions.

Children usually don’t come to their parents or adults about bullying and other harmful situations because they think that we will just brush them off or tell them to toughen up.

I know I have been guilty of this with my son, but I’m trying to do better.

4. Refuse To Share Your Own Stories

When your kids are small they believe that their parents are superheroes and most teenagers believe that their parents have never struggled with anything.

After you’ve listened and validated your child’s feelings, then it’s time to share your own stories. Our kids need to know that grown up’s struggle with or have struggled with the same issues that they face.

Low self-esteem was something I struggled with as a child and even as an adult I still struggle with it sometimes.

As I grew older I became more accepting of who I was and my body image. I could have shared my story with him, but I didn’t. I should have.

5. Forget To Lift Them Up

Now is the time to tell your child what you think of them and how you feel about them. Remind them of how great and awesome you think they are.

If you are a Christian provide your child with Biblically based affirmations.

My son decided to give his life to Christ when he was about 5.

As Christians, our self-worth and our self-esteem should be based on Christ not on the world’s standards. 

…I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.

Psalms 139:14

I reminded my son, of Psalms 139:14,”… I am fearfully and wonderfully made…”.

God has made each and every one of us unique. We are like a piece of art made by the almighty creator.

Some people will think it’s beautiful and some just won’t get it. But to God, we are beautiful. We are his masterpiece. The work of his hands.

Final Thoughts

As a parent, it’s hard to see your child struggling with these issues, but the best thing we can do is be there for our children.

Oh, and don’t forget to give them a big hug and a kiss ( if they’ll let you).

I would love to hear what other parents have to say about this issue. I have 3 more kids that I’m sure I’ll have to go through this with. So any advice is welcome.

If you can think of more tips or things that I could have done differently. Please share them in the comments below.

If you enjoyed this post please don’t forget to hit the link button and share it on social media.

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Until Next Time,

The Crafty Afro

Posted in Family, Lifestyle

6 Pieces of Advice for Stay At Home Moms

If you had asked me what I wanted to be when I was 7 it definitely wouldn’t have been a stay at home mom. (I would have said a veterinarian, which I didn’t become either.)

However, I also wouldn’t have said that I wanted to be a high school teacher( which I did for 10 years).

Both of my parent’s worked when I was growing up. So when I decided to become a SAHM my parents weren’t exactly on board with the idea.

I think my mother was a little more accepting of the idea than my father was. Even now he frequently asks me what I’m going to do and if I’ve considered doing Uber or Amazon Flex.

I’m not really sure why he’s not totally on board. My grandmother was a SAHM so maybe it’s more of a personal reason for him.

My husband was completely on board with the idea and that was really all that mattered to me.

At the time I didn’t really know any other SAHMs. The few I did know I wasn’t really close with so contacting them for advice was pretty much out of the question. After about four months of trial and error, I have learned many things.

However, I have 6 important pieces of advice that I think all SAHM’s whether they are newbies or pros should know.

1. Schedules Are Your Friend

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One of the biggest things that helped me be more productive while I’m at home is developing a schedule or routine that I follow every day.

At first, I didn’t have a schedule because I thought I could manage my time well without it. (FYI: I put the PRO in Procrastinator.)

Instead, my husband would come home daily to a very frustrated wife. It seemed like I never had enough time to do anything or get anything done in the house during the day. Why? Because I wasn’t using my time wisely.

Thus a schedule was born! It took me a few tries to get it right, but once I did I became less frustrated and managed to get more thing accomplished during the day.

I still haven’t figured out how to work blogging into that schedule yet, but it’s a work in progress.

2. It’s Ok If Everything Doesn’t Get Done

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Even though I do my best to stick to the schedule I have created sometimes things just don’t work out the way I planned. Life happens.

The baby is fussy, my sister in law needs a ride to the doctor, or I lose the keys and waste 20 minutes looking for them (this happens a lot, I should probably find a solution to that).

And that pile of laundry I wanted to get folded goes undone, the elaborate dinner that I wanted to make doesn’t get cooked, that blog post I wanted to work on doesn’t get started.

It’s so frustrating when your well laid out plans don’t work out. I would look at my to-do list and just shake my head in frustration and defeat.

My husband had to remind me that it was ok if I didn’t get everything done and to remember to just take a deep breath.

Eventually, the laundry will get folded and that elaborate dinner I planned will get made, just not today.

And I had to accept the fact that it was okay to not get everything done. Just breathe and try again tomorrow.

3. Keep In Contact With Your Old Coworkers/Friends

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I am an introvert by nature so staying in contact with coworkers and friends can be a bit of challenge. I have managed to stay in contact with one of my former coworkers, which has been a blessing.

It gives me another adult to talk to besides my husband and it keeps me in the loop about what’s happening and changing in the educational field.

That way whenever I decided to go back, if I ever go back, I’ll at least have some idea of what I’ll be getting myself into.

They are also a good source of adult conversation. No need to talk about Doc McStuffins and Elmo with them.

4. Make SAH Friends

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Don’t become a shut-in with just you and your child(ren) existing in your own tiny bubble. Your old friends aren’t gonna want to hear about how cute Charlie was when he sat on the potty this morning.

It’s important to get out and make some mom friends. Many cities have free playgroups that parents can take their kids too. This is an excellent place to meet other SAHMs or SAHDs.

Then you can have that one friend that totally gets it when you talk about how your toddler shoved a bead up his nose and you were at the emergency room all night.

They are also a great source of parenting advice and provide support for those tough days when you just don’t or can’t muster up the strength to be Super Mom.

5. Make Time For Yourself

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As women, we tend to sacrifice our own health and well being for the sake of others. Being SAHM is no different.

You get so caught up in taking care of the kids, keeping the house clean, arranging playdates, etc. That you forget to take time for yourself.

It doesn’t have to be anything elaborate like going on a girls night out. Maybe splurging on a mani/pedi is your thing.  Personally, a few hours of quiet time works for me.

I like to crochet or just go to the local Barnes and Noble and read through a few books. It doesn’t matter what it is as long as it’s something you enjoy.

6. Make Time For Your Spouse

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For most of us, the reason we stayed home was to take care of the kids. So our focus tends to be on making sure the kids have what they need and that they are taken care of. We tend not to focus on our spouses and they get pushed to the back burner.

I have been guilty of this issue and I have to keep reminding myself that my husband works 10 hr days and overtime on the weekends to keep a roof over our heads.

The least I can do is put the kids to bed early and just make some time for us to be together without the kids.

Try to call a sitter and schedule a date night once a month. Even simple things like making his lunch for work are simple ways to show your spouse that you care.

Being a stay at home parent is a hard job and as your children get older the challenges of parenting change with it.

Hopefully, these 6 tips will help make your life a little easier

Did any tip stick out to you as the most important? Or maybe you have another one to add to the list?

Share it with me in the comments section. I’d love to hear what you think.

Until Next Time,

The Crafty Afro