I honestly believe there were options for traits, talents and experiences that we could choose before we were born. I imagine one choice for potential parents was labeled “Spend Your Life Running Around Like a Chicken With Its Head Cut Off: Line Up Here.” Another was probably something like “Living With Purpose and Having Your Junk Together: Line Up Here.” I don’t know if I was attracted to the chicken theme, the headless theme, simply illiterate, or just plain dumb, but I CLEARLY joined the wrong line!
Laura Hintze, our guest today, on the other hand, was far better at either choosing correctly or line jumping before it was too late. For all of us who feel like human pin balls, running from one fire to the next, only to feel at the end of the day like nothing that we wanted to accomplish had happened, Laura offers a way to find some order and peace in our lives.
Living each day with purpose and with a plan:
- You get your priorities done.
- You make sure the important parts of your day actually happen.
- Scheduling allows for free time AND family time to take place instead of getting shoved aside … again. This eliminates so much of the dreaded mom guilt that we all deal with!
EFFICIENCY is a key component for moms to consider if they want to live with purpose. When you can find the most efficient way to do all the jobs you HAVE to do, you have time to enjoy doing what you really WANT to do.
Here are three jobs that all moms have to deal with and Laura’s tips on the most efficient way she deals with them:
- Laura has a large master list of recipes that she draws from each month. She doesn’t like to calendar dinners on specific days of the month, because it feels too restrictive. Instead, she finds that keeping her pantry well stocked, with the master list in mind, works better for her. Each day after breakfast she makes her dinner plan for the day and moves forward.
- Cooking Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday dinner allows for leftovers Wednesday and Thursday. She keeps Friday and Saturday easy by preparing something easy like breakfast one day and pizza the next.
- Laura loves to find a friend that has a similarity in taste and family size and do a dinner swap each week with them. This is where she cooks a double batch of whatever she makes Sunday, Monday, or Tuesday, and delivers the extra batch to her friend who has done the same for her. Now Laura’s family has something for dinner on one of those nights she is supposed to cook that is different than what they have had before!
- Cooking or meal prepping while her twins are sleeping is another hack that Laura has found very helpful. Then she is available when the kids are home from school.
- Freezing food is my favorite tip of Laura’s meal planning hacks. She freezes as many things as possible to make meal prep easier. Her favorites include:
- Rice: Make a big batch of rice and freeze smaller portions in quart size bags. When it’s time to cook that rice, simply snip a slit in one of the corners for ventilation and cook in the microwave for 6 minutes. When it’s done you have perfectly steamed rice!
- Cookie Dough: No more needing to eat 12 dozen cookies at once! Simply freeze the dough and pull it out whenever you want a home baked treat. (Note: if you roll the dough into balls before you freeze them, you don’t even need to defrost before you cook!)
- Breakfast foods like waffles and pancakes can be frozen and then microwaved in the morning for a FAST home cooked breakfast. Baked oatmeal is another breakfast favorite of Laura’s that freezes and reheats really well. Here is a link to that recipe:
- Lists: These are a great way to take the thought out of all the to-do’s that are ALWAYS swirling in your brain and weighing you down. There are some wonderful apps that are available to help you keep lists ordered and at your fingertips. Whatever list making tool you choose, it’s most helpful when you can share lists with your spouse, check them off as you go, and keep different lists going at the same time. Here are some examples of lists that Laura has going at all times:
- Shopping lists at different stores
- Lunches list (She only makes 5 kinds of lunches for her kids. Each lunch menu is listed here so she doesn’t have to think about it each time>)
- Spouse’s to-do list
- Gift ideas for Christmas, birthdays, and other holidays.
- Here is a list of a few of the list apps available:
- Google Keep App (Android) https://keep.google.com/
- Notes, Reminders (Mac)
- Evernote (Andrea mentioned this one)
- Calendaring: We all know that trying to coordinate schedules between many busy family members (TEENAGERS!!!) can put you in the grave. Here are two calendars that are digital and sync family schedules into one cohesive calendar. These both serve their purpose well and are free:
- Google Calendar
- De-Junking: Laura talked about a brilliant concept called the “one touch rule” that has helped her to keep her home less cluttered. Essentially, the “one touch rule” means that you should only touch something one time to get it to its permanent home. An example is mail. When you take the mail out of its box it’s either dealt with immediately, put into a file, or thrown away. Apparently this would eliminate the “mail stack” all over my kitchen counter that comes from my present “300 touch rule”. I’m interested.
- Technology: Instead of answering texts and emails all day as they come in, Laura has a specified time each day where she sits down and answers both. This way, she is able to focus on the task at hand and be present in the moment. She finds that it is easier to text from a computer keyboard than from a phone and there are apps you can put on your phone to make that possible. Here are a couple:
- iMessage (Apple)
- Mighty Text (Android)
The key to keeping your home clean is to stay on top of it. If you don’t let it get too far out of control then it’s not such a big job. Here are a few tips that Laura uses to keep her home under control.
- Prevention is key. Doing things like having your family take their shoes off when they come in helps enormously to keep floors clean.
- Daily house pick up to keep clutter at bay.
- Laura assigns each of her kids a room to keep clean each day so that she doesn’t have that added to-do on her list.
- Each day Laura cleans 1 different section of her house. She puts a time limit on herself so it’s not so overwhelming.
- One load of laundry per day is Laura’s goal. A load consists of folding what is in the dryer and taking a new load through a wash and dry. Tomorrow that load will be folded.
Laura Hintze Bio
Laura is a mom who had 6 kids in 7 years, so she has worked hard to build in routines and schedules into her family to help manage some of the craziness. Her goal is to have six independent, kind hearted, hard working and courageous adults in about 17 years. Before she got her full time mom gig, she worked as a prosecuting attorney, where she spent her days in court sending the bad guys to jail. She still gets the same thrill laying the law down at home and sending kids to time out. She takes her job as a mom very seriously and tries to be very purposeful in her mothering decisions, which include a lot of fun activities and regular bedtimes.
BOOKS LAURA RECOMMENDS
ADVICE LAURA WISHES NO ONE WOULD GIVE:
Telling mom’s with little kids that they need to savor every moment because it only gets harder. We fully support Laura in this and think that good meaning people who say this should be publicly booed. It’s just cruel.
MOM SQUAD CHALLENGE
Take 10 minutes and look at your schedule. Think about what you would like to fit in that isn’t making it into your day. What things could go? Take some time to schedule things like a to-do list time and kid time. It will bring you peace and relief to know that those things are built into your life.
BETHS CROCK-POT CHICKEN RECIPE
1 stick of Butter
1 pkg Italian seasoning (dry)
4-6 Chicken breasts
1 can Cream of chicken soup
1 pkg Cream cheese
In a crockpot combine butter, seasoning and chicken. Cook for 4 hours on high. After chicken is cooked, remove and set aside. Mix in soup and cream cheese. Put chicken back in crock pot and let sit for 30 minutes. Serve over rice.
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