A big thanks to the team at JORD Wood Watches for the wrist upgrade, and for sponsoring this post.
Halloween has come and gone,and the holiday season is officially here – according to retailers and advertisers. As a prequel to the holiday prep that is soon to come here on the blog and elsewhere, today I’m taking a moment to talk about the best gift we can give to each other, all year long: the gift of time.
You see, sometimes I get so focused on task lists, places to go, and whatever Google calendar says I need to get done, that I forget to slow down and savor the moments. Yes, even my #366 project, designed to help me stay in the moment, turns into a chore at times.
Case in point: A few weeks ago, my husband and I took the family to our favorite pumpkin patch. The weather was miserable, the ground was super muddy, and the place was crowded. I found myself rushing the kids through our traditions: running through the maze, picking out the perfect pumpkin, and of course, the requisite photos. When we got back to the car with our finds, I felt guilty. In my selfish effort to get past my own discomforts and cross the task off my checklist, I’d rushed everyone through the motions. I declared a do-over.
This year is our 12 year wedding anniversary. In those 12 years we’ve lived in two homes, had three kids and shared hundreds of laughs, tears and memories.
#momreality giveaway! + combatting the social photoshopping of life
Hi Everyone! I’m Jen from Jen Snyder Photo, and I’m excited to be guest posting here today sharing something I’m very passionate about: #momreality.
We have all heard time and time again how the overuse of Photoshop is ruining our definition of beauty– warping it to something unattainable. Just like the way Photoshop skews our perception of beauty, I believe social media is skewing our perception of motherhood. We are all led to believe that our houses should be spotless, gourmet meals cooking, while making intricate crafts with our children. All the time.
This is supported by countless photos on social media of freshly baked bread, clean kitchens with happy kids making crafts in them, and other life-is-perfect images.
But what we see is not always what is real. We aren’t seeing what went into making the photo. We don’t see the mess that is just out of frame. After all, it’s what is just out of the frame where reality rests.
For example… I took a few photos with my iPhone. The photo I would have posted to social media, and the reality behind it.
This summer is the first summer I’ll be at home most days with the kids since I started my freelance adventure last fall. My 6 and 4 year old are bright, exuberant kids and I knew I’d have to add structure their days if I wanted any sanity. However, with my freelance work I don’t have the ability to be there every moment to guide their day (and who would want to?). It’s also great for fostering their independence as well.
I went to work trying to find chore charts, but none of them were quite right. My 4 year old can’t read the text chore charts, and many of the picture charts were geared toward very little children, or had unattractive graphics.
After doing some research I landed on four requirements:
I wanted a photo chart that my four year old could understand and interact with on her own;
I didn’t want to spend much money;
I wanted the flexibility to change their days up, but I also didn’t want to have to print a new one each week; and
I needed something I could mount to the fridge somehow – I didn’t want a chart that required wall space.
I landed on the concept of a magnetic chart with two categories: “Doing” and “Done.” I saw a few examples that I liked and got to work emulating those based on my needs. However, I needed clip art. It was SO hard to find cute clip art that would work for this! That’s when I stumbled upon Audrey Schilaty‘s blog. She had the exact chart I wanted – for free! Really, it’s the nicest free resource I’ve found. She offers both personal care and chore images, and I used a small combination of both (sad but true: I forget to have my children brush their teeth all to often).
I made it my own with a few modifications:
I drafted my own simple “Doing” and “Done” text document and used just the images I needed from her selection, so it would all print on one page, saving me money.
I printed it on a glossy sheet of photo paper that I had on hand, and then just placed it on an 8.5×11 sheet of adhesive magnet. You can buy packages of adhesive magnet sheets at office supply stores, but I found the most inexpensive option for heavy sheets – I got mine for just $3.59. I cut the small pieces to size, added them to the fridge, and voila – a clean, easy and inexpensive chart.
The kids woke up the first day and had moved two magnets over before I had a chance to remind them about it! So far, it’s been a great success.
I encourage everyone to check out Audrey’s great blog. And, if you’d like a copy of the 1-page version of the printable I used to create my chart using her images, just click the image below!
There you have it – a chore chart for just $3.59. What are your tips for keeping the kids structured in the summer? Let me know in the comments below.
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