Family Looking Up

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Herding Cats: Routine ideas that can help a mom’s craziest time of the day – Guest Whitney Archibald of “How She Moms”. Episode 54.

Mornings,  after school, and bedtime— these are by far the hardest times for moms to navigate.   Help is here, Mom Squad! On today’s show we bring you one of our favorite mom helpers out there: Whitney Archibald from “How She Moms” (  If you are not familiar with her website, then just know that your life just got better. Whitney’s motto, on the website, is “Different moms solving the same problems.”  The premise is that all parents have the same problems we are trying to solve, so why not look at each other’s ideas as potential solutions for our own? Whitney came on Family Looking Up to talk about her blog post “Routine Experimentation” which delved into different moms’ ideas on how to deal with morning, after school, and bedtime routines. One thing that I loved about this interview was that the ideas covered a wide spectrum of what works for different kinds of moms.  If you are a “by-the-book-no-frills” kind of mom, we’ve got you covered. If you’re a “snuggly-huggy-lovey-dovey” kind of mom, we’ve got you covered. If you’re somewhere in between bear-hugs and high-fives we’ve STILL got you covered!

Whitney described figuring out what kind of routine works for you as “mom detective work”.   Look at problematic areas in your day to day routines with your kids and start trying to solve those problems by implementing different routine ideas to see if they help.  So many of Whitney’s ideas were pure genius! Our very favorite idea solves the never-ending mom problem of sorting socks and having socks that never have matches! She implemented a terrific “sock dispenser” that she keeps in each child’s cubby in the mud room. Listen in to hear the full description of how she makes this brilliant little contraption work!  Here’s a visual to give you PVC pipe envy:

Listen in for  so many more genius ideas!   In addition to all of that terrific material, listen to hear Beth, Andrea and Camille talk about skinny girl problems… it’s actually more like Camille and Beth throwing Andrea under the bus because of our insane jealousy of her metabolism.  If you haven’t figured it out by now, Andrea is a SAINT for what she lets Camille and Beth say! And most of all, you do not want to miss Whitney telling us about her brilliant Mom Fail, which she calls, “Street Pizza”!  It’s one of the best I’ve ever heard!

Links to books we talked about:


Mom Squad Challenge: Pinpoint which of these three times is the hardest for your family and then pick a specific problem you can solve.  It may take 3 or 4 experiments to try to make that pain go away,  but persist until you resolve that problem.

We want to thank Whitney for her terrific insight, her friendship, and her help in the motherhood challenge!

To learn more about her and to read her amazing blog, visit


5 Comment

  1. My whole world literally stood still at the sock dispenser moment. Woah ! Genius. Brilliant stuff.
    And yes some sort of badge of honour shld be awarded if u manage to get some jeans on. Haha.
    Thanks for the laughs and great advice gals.

    1. Daaaang girl! You’re funny! The sock dispenser was such a spiritual moment of seeing pure genius. Thanks so much for writing in and contributing! We love our Mom Squad.

  2. Here is a great email we received from Sara Stephens, one of our Mom Squad:

    An idea for the kitchen clean up after a meal

    6 kids
    After dinner everyone puts their own dish in the dishwasher.
    Child #1. Clear and wipe table
    Child #2 unload dishwasher
    Child #3 load any additional dishes
    Child #4 sweep floor
    Child #5 quick mop of floor
    Child #6 wipe counters and stove

    When the kids started having sports mom fills the missing parts.
    They do this job for a week, then move to the next job. I created a chart on paper that outlined the three months and put it on the fridge.

    For cleaning the downstairs before bed we had three capable big kids
    Child#1. Maid service (pick up everything off the floor and couches)
    Child#2. Sweep hard floors
    Child #3. Vaccum rugs or carpet
    Child #4. Quick mop of hard floors

    It was so great to come down every morning to a clean home. We did this for about four or five years… those four claim to not remember this at all. I loved it! I know they did it, and they are all excellent cleaners at college.

    Look forward to hearing you every Tuesday!!! Thanks for being so real!!!

  3. I love you ladies! Why did I not come up with the genius idea that a chocolate milkshake is a beverage and not dessert?!?! Because of an earlier podcast (I don’t remember which one), I have been trying to do more dinner prep while the older kids are in school and the youngest is napping so that I have time to be present with my kids when they get home from school. This makes a world of difference! Also, I thought it was a normal thing to have breakfast together as a family. I guess that’s because that is what I have always known? I get breakfast on the table as close to 7 as possible. It works for us because nobody has to be gone before then and everyone is awake by then. I can’t sleep much past 6 most mornings (darn body), so I have enough time to do my morning routine and have a hot breakfast ready by 7. I also have the slowest eaters in the world, so we have to start breakfast by then or certain children would never make it to school on time.

    1. Rebecca, Andrea is beyond relieved that she has an ally in the beverage department! I’m so happy that the dinner prep in the middle of the day has made a difference for you! It’s little tips, such as that one, that make a world of difference in moms lives. I’m so happy we found someone functional enough to have breakfast together as a family!! We were beginning to think that it was a dream within a dream to even think of pulling that off. I would like to know your “unicorn ways” for pulling it off, as it seems to us to be very hard! 🙂 We can’t thank you enough for writing in and giving us hope that such things are possible if we want them enough!

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