Confessions From A Husband About Homemaking

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Confessions From A Husband About Homemaking

You may have heard – the Ultimate Homemaking Bundle is here. Even I’m excited about it! And why shouldn’t I be? For the past two years I’ve seen how it encourages my wife with its excellent resources and helpful tips. Homemaking is not a sprint, it’s a marathon and anything that can help keep a spring in my wife’s step deserves my appreciation.

I didn’t always think in this way. My early views on keeping a home were, well, cringe worthy.

As you may have learned by reading this blog, I like to keep things clean. When I was in High School I began keeping my room, my car, and my things meticulously. My first job was at a local grocery store and I relished the challenge of finding efficient ways to fill a grocery sack as the food beeped across the scanner. A few of you out there might relate but at this point most of you are probably pitying Caroline for ever having married me. Read on. : )

Sean and Caroline

Years later Caroline and I met, and for all of the wonderful things about our courtship it failed to disclose just how different she and I were in this area. That’s not to say that Caroline likes a good mess. It’s just that messes don’t speak to her the same way they do me.

Random stuff on the living room floor likes to jaw at me. It laughs at me; calls me names. I have to shut it up. To Caroline its saying, “Here we are, out of our places. No hurry though. We know you’ll pick us up when its convenient for you.”

So, of course she walks by as if it weren’t there. I simply can’t. Or should I say “couldn’t”. Six children does something to you in this regard. The stuff just kind of grins at me now – no words. I think I’m improving – don’t you?

Early marriage, though, was different. I can remember coming home from work and Caroline telling me that she had taken a nap during the day. “A nap?” I thought. Whatever for? I mean, it’s just you here, in this tiny house. You shop for groceries and you clean this house and you need a nap? (Are you cringing yet?)

There were days where she only had energy or time to tidy up one room before I got home. I’d walk through the door, size things up and quietly make my displeasure known, never mind acknowledging the work she did accomplish. This always hurt her a great deal. Ok, now I’m cringing.

“Yes you fool, she needs a nap. And no, she doesn’t need you guilting her into keeping the house clean!” That’s the me of today talking to the me of yesterday, or, at least that’s what I’d say if given the chance.

Starting a home based business really altered my thinking on this. You see, I was home more, and the more I was home the more I was able to see just how difficult, how complex, how thankless, how physically draining, and how mentally taxing homemaking really is.

Simplicity Quote on Motherhood

I quickly began to realize that not only did my wife occasionally need a nap to help her through the burden of the day, she deserved something eminently more important – encouragement. On a daily basis. From me.

I saw so many needs pressing upon her every day. I saw, with my own eyes, how the tasks she performed were critical to the overall wellbeing my home. To the casual onlooker, of course, these are menial, unlovely tasks not worthy of respect. The mother’s role in society is not exactly an exalted one, and my wife had long since come to terms with the way the world views what she does.

But what about the way her husband viewed it? Did she find honor and praise for her work from him? Something a wife simply cannot and should not be expected to endure is disrespect from within the home, particularly from her husband. He is, without a doubt, the best person to provide the encouraging words of appreciation she so desperately needs and legitimately deserves. She can endure the slings and arrows of the world’s harsh judgement if only he will affirm her work and bless her constancy.

I could have spared my wife a lot of hurt feelings if I would have made more of an effort to better acquaint myself with the demands of her work in the home.

Now I’m a true believer. My wife is irreplaceable. Her work is legitimately difficult. Most men couldn’t handle it. I mean it – they couldn’t handle it. It places physical and mental demands on her that I didn’t know even existed until I spent some time by her side.

Joyful Motherhood!

Too many men treat housekeeping like professional sports. The greatest athletes make what they do look easy to the point that in some of our more delusional moments we think we could actually do what they do. It’s just like that with our wives. They make it look easy, and we think, “Homemaking – nothing to it.” What nonsense. If that’s the way we look at housekeeping is it any wonder that they receive so little encouragement from us?

So that’s my little plug for not only the Ultimate Homemaking Bundle, but all forms of encouragement we can give our wives. Caroline gets excited about the bundle every year. It helps to keep her spirits up. It motivates and inspires her. I’m all for it. God knows she has a difficult job.

**Caroline here – I have to let you know my husband totally, completely surprised me by writing this. I didn’t ask him to do this, and I was deeply humbled by what he shared here. I love my husband so much, and am thankful for his encouragement!**

The Ultimate Homemaking Bundle ends Monday! 

button-buy-purple

Be encouraged and blessed by 100 resources, handpicked to strengthen the Christian homemaker. Over $1000 worth of resources for just $29.97!

Today is the last day you can purchase the Bundle and receive this special offer from Deborah & Co.

Cami Offer at Deborah & Co.

Forward your receipt on to Caroline@deborahandco.com and we will send you the coupon code to save $15 off your next $30 cami order!

The Ultimate Homemaking Bundle is an incredible source of information that only comes once a year!

 

 

A Mother’s Guide to Natural Remedies

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A Mother's Guide to Natural Remedies, learn how to treat common colds, flu, fevers, and more naturally!

When my children get sick, the very first thing I reach for are my natural herbs, essential oils, teas and tinctures. I’m not opposed to using medicine, but if something natural can help my child why not use that first?

Our 5th child was at the pediatrician’s office more than all the others, simply because she was my first child to have earaches her first year of life. The first time the doctor gave us the standard antibiotic for earaches and being an exhausted mom of a new baby I just gave them to her.

I honestly had not done much research on earaches, because my children had never had them before!

After another earache returned I knew I didn’t want to keep giving her medicine unless I absolutely had to. I started reaching for natural tinctures and oils that help earaches, and those seemed to work well!

While using natural products can work well, you have to know which ones to reach for and what is safe for children. Some moms never even try using them because they are overwhelmed and don’t know where to start.

I’ve been listening to a brand new resource that I’m excited to tell you about, because it has already been a help to me!

A Parent's Guide to Natural Remedies!

A Parent’s Guide to Natural Remedies, An Online Course for Parents was created by a holistic health coach and a holistic nurse (who was a pediatric nurse for a long time).

This course will teach you everything you need to know to safely and confidently use natural remedies at home.

Your Course Benefits:

  • Know how to reduce your child’s fever without using Tylenol.
  • Get rid of an ear ache without antibiotics.
  • Stop a cycle of never ending diaper rash, cradle cap, or reflux by looking at the root cause.
  • Soothe your child’s uncomfortable symptoms without hard synthetic medications
  • Stop feeling like you are taking a wild guess at which remedy to use
  • Avoid damaging your child’s gut flora by using antibiotics and cause reoccurring illnesses

I recently listened to the course on sleep and bedwetting  and I used some of the suggestions on my boys, who have a hard time unwinding at night and going to sleep. One of our boys will get up and sleepwalk in the middle of the night often. Both of them slept soundly all night long, without waking up!

Here is what you will receive in the course:

  • A a welcome e-mail that includes a link to the free “quick start” videos to get started with tips you can use right away.
  • Classes covering 14 topics! Each topic is delivered to you via a video recording that you can download and listen to on the go. A PDF with the slides for each webinar is also available for you to make quick reference to when your child is in need.
  • Bonus materials – the recorded expert interviews, the remedy recipes, and more. Check them out in details below!

This course is normally $99 to purchase, but through Monday April 23 you can get it for just $29.97 when you purchase the Ultimate Homemaking Bundle!

 

When it comes to alternative medicine you have to pick and choose what you feel comfortable using. I’ve never used homeopathy for several different reasons and it is promoted in this course. Even though I don’t use that, I still found lots of helpful information and ideas to use with my children. Take what will work for you and start using that!

You can get the Parents Guide to Natural Remedies ECourse, normally a $99 value for just $29.97 when you purchase the Ultimate Homemaking Bundle!

This course is part of 100 different eResources, all of which were put together to help you as a christian woman, wife, mom, homemaker, homeschooler, and more! Over $1000 worth of products (plus bonus items!) for 29.97.

Are you still undecided on if you should purchase this Bundle? Would a free flexi clip help?

Today only, the first five people that purchase an Ultimate Homemaking Bundle and forward their receipt to me at Caroline@deborahandco.com will receive a free flexi clip of my choice! This offer is good for the USA only. 

 Today Lilla Rose (my favorite hair products!) is having a sale because they released the May Flexi Of The Month early, so you can get one for Mother’s Day gifts in time!

May Flexi Of The Month from Lilla Rose! This might be my favorite Flexi Of The Month clip yet! So pretty and graceful looking.

Save 10% on the new May Flexi Clip, and save 20% on various items!

Lilla Rose hair products make great gifts for Mother’s Day!

 

Creating a Baby Nursery in a Small Master Bedroom!

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Even though we live in a small house, it was important to me that we make room for our new baby. I wanted to create a special space just for her.

Something I haven’t mentioned is that this time around we did something we’ve never done before and got an ultrasound and found out what we were having! We kept it a secret (not even our children knew) but when I put this nursery together they were pretty sure it was going to be a girl. :)

Do you have a small master bedroom, but need a nursery? It's still possible to create a baby nursery in your small bedroom.

While I wanted to put together a nursery that was girly, I also didn’t want to spend a lot of money, or purchase a lot of items that could only be used for a girl. If we have a boy in the future it would be nice to use some of these things again.

The nursery really started with the scripture print. We found it at Hobby Lobby and both Sean and I fell in love with it. While you always pray over the health and safety of your baby as they are growing, we prayed extra hard for Sophia. This scripture brought me comfort, so I really wanted it on her nursery wall.

Scripture print found at Hobby Lobby for a girl's nursery.

I looked on Pinterest for nursery ideas and really liked the gray chevron look. Since that can be neutral, I went with gray colors and chevron where I could.

Chevron lamp and Thirty One organizers for a baby nursery

I had been looking and looking for a lamp that would match. Everything I liked was expensive, so I just held out hope I would eventually find something. Shortly before she was born a sweet reader blessed us with a $50 gift certificate to Diapers.com as a baby gift (the kindness and love you all show me just blows me away! I was almost in tears over the gesture!).

I found the lamp base on Diapers.com and found the matching lamp shade on Zulily that I purchased with credit. It was unbelievable that the exact company happened to be on Zulily right when I was buying the lamp base!

The little Snap Bins by the lamp are from Thirty One and I use one for her socks and the other holds her headbands.

Chevron Changing Table Cover

I found the chevron changing pad cover at Target for around $15. Sean liked this one because the chevron part is actually washable. That has proven to be helpful already!

The bunny is super special and it’s actually mine, because it was my mom’s (she passed away several years ago). I’ll admit, I slept with this bunny once or twice during a really difficult time in my pregnancy. It was like getting a hug from my mom, which I really needed.

Thirty One Totes are wonderful to hold baby clothes!

The beautiful gray bins are from Thirty One. I have some of their tote bags, and we use them for library bags but I had never seen their bins. They don’t just look pretty, they are really sturdy and I see these lasting for a long time!

Thirty One Bins to hold diapers

I use the longer Your Way Rectangle size bins to hold my cloth and disposable diapers.

Thirty One Totes to organize clothes I have the Junior Cube bins that are full of clothes in the baby changing shelf. The first one holds the current size clothes and the one in the back holds clothes that she will grow into.

Thirty One Large Bin

I didn’t get a picture taken of this one, but I have the above square storage bin sitting beside the changing table and it holds the baby blankets and my baby wraps and carriers. It is a huge bin, and will work good for toys when she gets older!

We did move our bedroom around to fit the changing table in. The bed had to be moved right up against the wall, and the two dressers we have are side by side. We also have an Arms Reach Mini Co-Sleeper by our bed, so it’s a tight fit but it works.

thirtyonelogoR

Thirty One has generously offered to giveaway a Your Way Rectangle bin and matching lid of your choice! *USA giveaway only*

*Thanks to Thirty One for sending me the above items to use in the nursery!*
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How To Organize A Small Kitchen And Stay Sane!

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The kitchen is really one of the most important rooms in the whole house. Whether you have a larger family or not, having a small kitchen brings challenges, and it can be hard to organize a small kitchen and stay sane cooking there!

The kitchen is really one of the most important rooms in the whole house. Whether you have a large family or not, having a small kitchen brings challenges and it can be hard to organize a small kitchen and stay sane cooking there!

When we moved to this rental house, I left a fairly good size kitchen with a nice big island and plenty of cabinets. I grew up living in smaller size houses, so I knew the challenges that would lay ahead.

The kitchen we have is 75 square feet, and has one strip of cabinets and countertops.

One small strip of countertop space makes it hard to keep this kitchen clean. It's imperative that I don't put a lot of  kitchen tools on the counters and leave them as open as I can.

We have lived here two years now, and I remember crying once as I was cooking, trying to get dinner on when the dishes were dirty and there was literally no place to do anything.

I’ve come to the conclusion (and thankfully my husband agrees with me!) that it is almost impossible to keep this kitchen super clean looking.

We have moments where the dishes were just done, countertops wiped down and everything is put away. But with 8 people in this house, a dirty dish will almost instantly pop up on the counter, a meal will need to be started and there goes your clean kitchen!

Homemakers that have larger kitchens struggle with that also, but when you have a small kitchen the mess is just magnified.

I’ve learned a few things over the two years we have lived here.

1. Patience is a must when cooking in a small kitchen.

When you are trying to cook a nice dinner from scratch you have to be flexible and patient on how you will pull that off. One time I put my cutting board on top of a stack of dirty dishes and cut the veggies I needed for dinner! The goal is to get dinner on the table and still have a smile on your face when you sit down. I don’t always manage to do that, but I try.

Dishes piled up

This is what the kitchen can really look like after a meal has been prepared! 

2. Only keep the essential items you need!

Thankfully we have a storage area in the attached garage that is downstairs where I store my large crockpots and really large pans. The main set of cooking pans I use are stored under our stove in the pull out drawer.

We use Corelle dishes (love them!) and I only keep 8 large dinner plates, 8 small plates and 8 bowls that we use on a regular basis. I don’t have room for a lot of dishes here, and it forces us to wash dishes on a regular basis and not let them sit for long.

When you have a small kitchen it's best to keep your dishes to a minimum.

Our large plates were being washed when I took this picture, but you can see they go on the bottom. Having the plate stacker is helpful when you are trying to use small spaces wisely. We have some plastic plates and bowls for the little children.

I also have a set of nicer dishes from Mary and Martha, and we use those when I manage to make a fancier dinner. 😉 Again, we have just enough and no more.

3. Limit your helpers in the kitchen! 

Three of my children are always asking to help me in the kitchen. While I want to encourage my children to cook there just isn’t space for all of them in there at once! So we rotate helpers, and I normally try to just have one helping me. This isn’t a hard and fast rule, and we don’t have an organized schedule set up. But the children know that I often just allow one child in at a time for meal prep.

There are even times where I’m in a hurry and I just tell them nobody is allowed in the kitchen while I’m getting the meal ready. The children all help set the table, so they come in at the end to get the plates, utensils, and drinks.

4. Don’t clutter up your countertops.

Even when I had a larger kitchen I learned to keep my countertops as simple as possible. I would rather pull out the kitchen item I need (like a grain grinder, a toaster, a waffle maker) from a cabinet instead of it sitting on my countertop.

Small kitchen countertop space!

When you have a smaller kitchen you need to be jealous of the limited countertop space you have. When you actually have those moments where all the dishes are done and the countertops are sparkling, you will appreciate the space!

The exception I make to this rule are the items I use almost daily. I make a yogurt shake often, so I keep our Vitamix blender out on the counter. My Bosch mixer is used for making bread and cookies, and it is really heavy lifting out of cabinets, so it stays on the countertop. We also keep our butter dish out, and that is it.

5. Stay on top of the dishes!

Don’t let yourself get days behind on dishes. While we don’t do dishes after every single meal, they are done at least once a day, oftentimes twice. We have a dishwasher, but it was broke for a few months last year. That was when I broke down crying, because I felt like I was never caught up on dishes and I was spending my life in the kitchen washing dishes constantly!

If you don’t have a dishwasher, seriously look into investing in one! They even have portable dishwashers for smaller kitchens that don’t have the space.

A dishwasher is a huge help in a small kitchen!

Our oldest child helps with the dishes often (that is his morning chore) and I pitch in and help once in awhile. If you are a mama of only little ones and struggling to keep up, hang in there! When your child gets old enough to help with the dishes you will feel like shouting Hallelujah! :)

6. Don’t feel guilty about using paper plates.

There is no shame in buying paper plates once in a while. When I know I’m going to be extra busy, or I don’t feel well for extended amounts of time I will make sure that we have paper plates in the house. When I was pregnant and sick we purchased the large packages of paper plates from Costco. Other times I just grab a cheap package at Aldi’s. If your dishes are really piled up and you just can’t get caught up, use paper plates until the kitchen gets under control again!

Once a year you have the opportunity to receive a wealth of information on homemaking for mere pennies per resource! The Ultimate Homemaking Bundle is always a huge source of encouragement to me, and this year is no different!

The Ultimate Homemaking Bundle is an incredible source of information that only comes once a year!

This incredible resource is worth over $1,000, but you can get it for just $29.97! It is only available until Monday, April 27th, so don’t put delay!

Controlling-the-Spin-Within

There is a whole section of ebooks on organizing your home. I love the Controlling the Spin Within ebook, such practical, helpful tips by an older mom who has already been through my season of life!

Don’t forget about all the bonus offers available, including a free scarf from Deborah & Co.

Limited time offer, receive a free scarf from Deborah & Co. when you order the Ultimate Homemaking Bundle!

Forward your receipt of purchase on to me at Caroline@deborahandco.com and you will also receive a $10 off $25 coupon to Cowgirl Dirt, only when you purchase the Bundle through this link.

Cowgirl Dirt is giving away $10 off $25 coupons when you order the Ultimate Homemaking Bundle through The Modest Mom Blog!

 You don’t have to be feel alone and unqualified as a homemaker, there are resources out there to help!

*Affiliate links have been used in this post, thank you so much for your support!*