Product Review and Giveaway Part 2: M.O.M Calls Pending

This one goes out to all my fellow Civil Servant Spouses, who take on the majority of the household duties while the Other Half is out killin’ it and draggin’ it home.

Especially the LEO Spouses.

Something that makes a good cop is their ability to take control. They are strong and firm in their demands. They expect you to do what you’re asked, when you’re asked, and that is that. For them, it can be a matter of life or death. Their job demands perfection in the details, from reports that are written, to how they conduct themselves with the public.

It’s a demanding job. I can see the exhaustion on The Hubby’s face when he comes in the house, regardless of how my day has gone. He’s up and at’em at 0450 to be in line-up at 0600. As if the early morning wasn’t enough for a non-morning person, he’s often going from call to call, or traffic stop to traffic stop, always having to maintain the level of perfection that is expected of those behind the badge.

Sometimes, those calls stack up and are referred to as “calls pending”. In the restaurant biz, we called it “in the weeds”. Back in the day, I’d come to the aid of a fellow server who was “in the weeds” (or them to me) by refilling sodas, delivering food, or clearing a table. This allowed them to provide the level of service to their customers that was expected of them in order to earn their much deserved tip. (Tip your servers, people. Tip them well.)

Similarly, when The Hubby is workin’ a beat, and those calls stack up, often one of his partners will take the call. His partner won’t just “babysit” the call until The Hubby is cleared from his other details, they’ll handle it. Start to finish, as if it were their detail in the first place.

I have been known, much to the chagrin of The Hubby, to try to use work analogies during our fights heated discussions marital discourse. The Hubby HATES it when I do it, but honestly, I think I’m pretty accurate in my analogies! Running a home and raising children is very much like running a business and managing employees.

A while back, during one of our marital discourse sessions, I likened my workload at home to calls pending at work. When he comes in the door after a long day, I very well could have calls pending, and he gets to come in to jubilant squeals from his girls, sit on the john with his nook for 10 minutes and take a hot shower, uninterrupted, all the while my calls pending are getting backed up and my level of professionalism is taking a hit.

One of the things I love about the M.O.M system is that my calls pending are laid out for everyone to see. EVERYONE. I’m not an idiot in that I have thought, for the better part of a decade, that my Husband is a mind-reader. (Actually, I’m glad he isn’t. Talk about no privacy! The kids joining me in the bathroom is enough of that for me, thanks!)

Writing down even the smallest of tasks (getting the kids dressed. Duh) is helpful for so many reasons! And believe it or not, it’s not just about feeding my Type-Aness. I think non-Type-A people could benefit from this too! After all, things need to get done (making breakfast. Duh.)

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1) I can organize my tasks to my liking and prioritize (something I struggle with). I like to put them in order that go with the natural flow of my day. For example, I get up at 5:30am everyday (except Sunday. More later…) and know I can get my Bible Study/Devotional, pleasure read for 10 minutes, prepare breakfast, make lunches and snacks, plan for dinner, and tend to the dogs (food, poop, and water) before the kids get up. Those things are easier to do without them around.

2) By writing them down, I can do things “in context”. Our 2 dogs are lovable (usually) but they are a HUGE trigger for me. I get nutted up when they bark to go out, to come in, to eat, or for water. Even though I know it’s coming. It’s become just another chore for me to take care of their needs because I resent them needing water right as my butt hits the chair for a little “me” time. I resent that they eat at 5pm, the same time that I am trying to feed my 2-legged family. So, with this, I fill their food dishes early in the AM, fill their water for the day, and pick up poop when I let them out. I anticipate their needs because I know they’re coming, but I’m doing it all at the same time instead of it being another thing for me to do throughout the day.

3) The Hubby can help! One of my biggest gripes is that when The Hubby asks if I need help, I have to walk through the task with him, directing him in every direction. The man is almost 40. Figure it out. But then I end up redoing it if it’s not to my liking. And he feels defeated. My bad. Not only do I spend the time walking through what needs to be done, I end up feeling like a nagging wife (yuck) and he ends up feeling inadequately able to do what I want done. Not awesome. I’m working on not redoing what he’s done, and he’s been awesome at picking a card! You heard me! He sees my “calls pending” and handles it! I don’t have to mention it to him. I don’t have to direct him (if I care how it’s done, I make sure to do it myself or write specifics on the card). I don’t have to hand-hold (unless it’s because I’m so totally in love with a man who can clean and tend to kids). I don’t have to nag. Love it.

4) I can see how much The Hubby helps already. One of The Hubby’s *things* is to bathe the kids. He’s been doing the majority of that since Big was Little. Once they are big enough for the tub, he’s on it. He also is typically the one to physically take the kids to bed and read them their bedtime stories. He gets them dressed for bed after baths and combs their hair. Sadly, it wasn’t until I saw that he was handling the calls pending of his own volition that I gave value to those things. I had taken for granted that he did those things as part of his daily routine. Seeing the things he’s currently doing makes me feel less like a slave and more like a homemaker.

5) When my kids complain about how much they have to do, I just point to the cards that are left. ‘Nuff Said.

6) I actually get a morning off. The Hubby has 3-day weekends, and I usually let him sleep in on his days off. But now I request one morning for me to sleep, especially possible since Little eats solids now. More often than not, I wake up thinking of all the things that aren’t getting done while I am “sleeping”, and have to take care of those things even on my “morning off”. Well, now I can lay out what I would like to see done before I emerge from the bedroom (feed kids, tend to dogs) for me to feel like I’m not playing catch-up all morning.

Now for the fun part!

I was generously given a copy of M.O.M (information from the Power of Moms website here) to GIVEAWAY to one of my readers! If you love order and organization, this is a fantastic system! If you lack order and organization, this is a fantastic system! If you’ve been searching for the system that is the whole package, this is a fantastic system! (are we sensing a theme here?)

There are just a few things you need to do to enter. Leave a comment ON THE ORIGINAL POST for each one you do and earn multiple entries!

1) Leave a comment telling me why you need to get organized or what is your biggest challenge you face in organizing?

2) “Like” My Daily Bread Crumbs on Facebook.

3) Share this post with at least 10 people.

4) Follow @MyDailyCrumbs on Twitter and RETWEET

5) Comment with your favorite inspirational quote, a prayer request, or a praise report!

**NOTE**

Comments submitted on this post will NOT qualify for the Giveaway! You must go to the Original Post to comment.

Entries need to be submitted by Friday, May 4 @ 12pm (CA time). I will post the winner before 11:59pm that same day.

This post may contain affiliate links. When you use them, you support My Daily Bread Crumbs. Thank you!

Product Review and Giveaway Part 1: M.O.M

About 2 weeks ago, I happened upon an article titled Your Children Want YOU! on The Power of Moms site. This is a statement that I continually tell myself, and not always silently. I am forever needing to be reminded that my kids are my priority and not a clean bathroom or clean sheets. There are a few things that I get hyper-focused on (Facebook/Pinterest, cleaning out *insert location here*, and couponing are just a few examples) as a way to escape my real-life responsibilities. The result is me feeling like a slug of a Mom and stressing out at 4pm about what dinner will be served at 5pm. Then there are some things that I let slide (this blog is a great example of that) when I feel overwhelmed. Then I feel depressed. Like I’m not only letting my family down by being stressed-out Mommy, but that I let you guys, my readers down, and letting myself down because I *should* be able to do it all.

I lack balance.

I feel like I need to do everything, at the moment I think of it, or at the very least tack it on to an ever-growing laundry-list of things I imagine I should be able to do if I had my schmidt together. And most would say I’ve already got my schmidt together!

Enter a great tool offered on The Power of Moms called Mind Organization for Moms (M.O.M for short).

Lemme ask you this:

  • Do you ever resent your spouse for “not pulling their weight”?
  • Do you find yourself forgetting things, thereby adding precious minutes to completing the task because you have to go back a few steps?
  • Do you ever feel like your spouse doesn’t *really* get how hard it is to tend to the house and children?
  • Do you have 1000 projects on your plate but feel like you can’t do any of them?
  • Do you lack balance?
  • Do you wish you could spend more time with your kids, but your “adult responsibilities” seem to take over?
  • Do you ever feel like you are in a never-ending cycle of clean, errand, clean, cook, clean, poop-out?

I can answer a resounding YES to all of those questions.

Upon first look, it’s an intimidating e-book (23 pages is the “short” version, 70+ is the long) of how-to build your “machine”.

Curious what the “machine” is?

I’m not gonna tell you. You’ll just have to sign up for the Giveaway for your chance to win to build your own Machine!

What I am going to tell you is that the high-intimidation factor (even for this girl who gobbles up all things “organizing”) is completely and totally worth following through on.

Your Machine will require gathering some supplies you already have or purchasing them if you don’t. I gathered what I could that I had (office supplies mostly), and made a list of what I needed to buy.

I had a $12 Reward Credit at Staples and bought a small clipboard that could fit in my diaperbag/purse and 100 tabbed folders. I spent a whopping $0.33 out of pocket!

Then I went to Ikea and bought the Kvissle Wall Newspaper Rack ($14.99) and the Flyt Magazine Folders ($1.99 for 5), spending $18 and change.

Lastly, I rounded up some used cardboard boxes and made my cubby system.

I probably could have pieced together something from the various organizing things I have in my house, but I wanted to stick with it, and I knew if it looked thrown together, I’d be inclined to change things up. This way, my brain is calmed when I look at my machine.

Before I spill too much about the Machine, let me get to the fun part!

I was generously given a copy of M.O.M (information from the Power of Moms website here) to GIVEAWAY to one of my readers! If you love order and organization, this is a fantastic system! If you lack order and organization, this is a fantastic system! If you’ve been searching for the system that is the whole package, this is a fantastic system! (are we sensing a theme here?)

There are just a few things you need to do to enter. Leave a comment for each one you do and earn multiple entries!

1) Leave a comment telling me why you need to get organized or what is your biggest challenge you face in organizing?

2) “Like” My Daily Bread Crumbs on Facebook.

3) Share this post with at least 10 people.

4) Follow @MyDailyCrumbs on Twitter and RETWEET

5) Comment with your favorite inspirational quote, a prayer request, or a praise report!

Entries need to be submitted by Friday, May 4 @ 12pm (CA time). I will post the winner before 11:59pm that same day.

If you don’t want to enter the giveaway for a FREE copy of M.O.M, (crazy talk. Who doesn’t like free?) you can buy a copy by clicking here.

This post may contain affiliate links. When you use them, you support My Daily Bread Crumbs. Thank you!

Order In The Chaos

I woke up on the wrong side of the bed today. Not really sure why, but nothing I did, including asking my kids to pray with and for me, helped. We were having one of those there-is-always-someone-crying-fighting-fussing-yelling-stomping kind of days. It felt like the whole world was conspiring against me. Even my eggs that burned themselves had it out for me!

I.hate.feeling.that.way.

I took Big to school. One less kid should mean one less stress, right?

WRONG.

I put Little down for a nap. Two less kids should mean two less stresses, right?

WRONG.

I kept snapping at Middle, and was SO frustrated with myself!

So, I went to my happy place…

(No, not Target).

I picked up a broom and started sweeping our long neglected side yard. Then I gathered all of our yard tools that get left all around our yard and organized the garden shed. I couldn’t stop there! I emptied my self-watering planters that were home to some very comfy weeks, and rinsed them in preparation for our veggies I’m growing this spring hoping to not kill this summer.

Good. I got dirty. I felt better. (I looked pretty ridiculous cleaning my side yard in my nice(r) jeans and red patent leather flats.)

I went into the garage, and despite having already planned to do it on Friday (I was going to do this awesome pictorial blog post, too! For loving photography so much, I sure do suck at pictorial posts.), I set out to organize the kids toys.

Now, I’m not the kind of parent that lets every single thing my kids bring home stay here. I try to do a regular purging for broken, neglected, and just ratty toys to show my kids it’s ok to do completely for my own sanity. I did my last purge before Christmas, but things had already gotten out of control again!

I took out 4 large plastic bins and designated them  :1st”, “10th”, “20th”, and “sell”.

I grouped all of the kids toys (and I mean ALL of them) into categories.

  • Creative
  • Dress-up
  • Fort-making
  • Dolls
  • Music
  • Learning

In each of the numbered bins, I divided the categories up. In 2 of them, I put a couple of dolls, some doll clothes, some dress-up (one bin has princess dress-up, the other has dance dress-up), and a few of the learning materials. In the Dance dress-up, I put a couple of musical instruments so the kids could play for each other. I think I’m diggin’ the “fort-making/camping” bin the most. It has all their exploration things, like binoculars, and magnifying glasses. But, really, I tried to make sure there were interesting items in each of the bins, so it would keep them excited.

They also get to keep out their Leapster games, books, and coloring books for use all the time because those get used all.the.time. There would be more fights over the absence of those than anything else in the boxes!

My plan is to rotate the 3 bins throughout the month. The best part is that everything fits in the toy box and we’ll actually get to the bottom of the toy box once every 10 days (theoretically).

Now, I did this while Big was at school and they have YET to pitch a fit about it (they’re in bed already). I’m not really sure why I didn’t think to do this before!

I’m one of those people that breathes easier when things are in order and have a place that makes sense (that part is always a work in progress, as life is too!). So while my day may have started off in a less-than-awesome way, I feel calm and capable.

Thank God.