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Ultimate Bundle Challenge Check-in Number One – Momming Through Tough Times

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Well, here I am to check in on how my Ultimate Bundle Challenge is going.  This being my first check-in, I am obviously still feeling pretty enthusiastic about the whole thing.  To bring you up to speed, I chose one ebook (actually turned out to be a podcast instead, but I will get to that in a moment) and one online course to take from the HUGE number of resources that came in the Ultimate Homemaking Bundle.  So, first, the ebook which was actually a podcast:

Sorta Awesome

I listen to the Sorta Awesome Podcast all the time.  I love it.  They speak my language.  They are positive but realistic. This turned out to be a special, bundle-only podcast.  And it was all about mothering through stressful situations, which seems meant for me.  I mother on my own quite a bit.  I also have a DD who had a heart transplant and has ongoing health issues because of that.  I also have a pretty stressful job.  My job is also emotionally draining since I’m dealing with students all day and often providing them with emotional support.  And that is what this podcast was all about.  There really isn’t a “challenge” to go along with this one, but here are some of my favorite takeaways from this one:

  • Make easy meals, but MAKE meals.  This isn’t something new to me, but it is something I struggle with constantly.  This week, we went to Costco and I insisted that we buy real food and plan to eat at home this week.  We’ve done good so far (two days).  Tonight, my husband sliced up half of a pork loin into pork chops and smoked them, we sauteed mushrooms (so good, so easy) and smoked some corn on the cob.  We ate vegetables and no one complained.  It was amazing.  My husband’s friend came over to eat and we still have a ton of leftovers (no mushrooms left – those went like hotcakes).  In all honesty, none of this was difficult.  Sometimes cooking feels like it is just TOO much.  But, really, it is isn’t when you have the right food and a clean kitchen. There were lots of good recipe ideas on this one!
  • Freezer meals CAN happen.  The episode is so on target on this one for me.  She says, “No one listening is going to say they’ve never heard of freezer cooking.  Knowing this is not the problem.  The problem is freezer meal myths.”  It is so true, although for me it isn’t even really myths for me, it is a pure lack of motivation AND that I can’t figure out how to freeze things well (without freezer burn, etc.).  And you know what?  THEY SAY THAT!  One of the other hosts say, “do they taste like freezer burn?”  That is what my problem is and then they cover the things that will work for freezing and reheating.  They also say things that are so funny during this conversation that are just REAL!
  • Kids need structure.  So very true and my husband is not a structured sort of guy.   The show talks about the need for structure, especially when you have some unpredictable schedules happening.  Considering that for the past four weeks, either I or my husband were out of town for a week at a time and as soon as one of us got home, the other was leaving.  The other night I came home from my late night at work at 9:20 (early for that night) and there sat my DD on the couch in her clothes still, watching something on the computer.  My husband was sitting in his chair on his computer.  The living room was a disaster.  Even if my DD doesn’t need structure, need structure!  They talk about having structured mornings and structured evenings.  They talk about having white space in solo parenting (something I often fail at when schedule things).  So, I have had these crazy days in the past when I literally start at 7:30 a.m. in the morning and go until 10 p.m. at night.  But, I’ve been better about NOT scheduling things that way as of late.  I’m still very much someone who suffers from FOMO, but I’ve been trying to be aware of that and change my view of things to make life a little more simplified.
  • Use and share a calendar.  My husband is not a calendar person at all.  I tried doing a shared schedule for a while, but it didn’t work.  But, I think I’m going to try again based on this podcast.  His schedule is more complicated than it used to be and maybe he’ll see it as being helpful for him as well now.
  • Minimally do the “3 D’s” each day.  Such good advice here.  Taken from the Humbled Homemaker, she advises you make the minimum – Dinner (plan for it and cook it), Dishes (do them and put them away) and Do Laundry (a load a day). The last few weeks has been proof positive of what’s absolutely NEEDED each day.  I don’t often think of this.  But, laundry has been a bear around here lately.  I got it all done before leaving for Wisconsin and it is all piled up yet again.  Dishes are piled in the kitchen right now from last night’s cooking at home effort, which makes tonight cooking at home thing harder.  It is really key and being laser focused on these three things makes them DOABLE and makes the next day better automatically.
  • Care for yourself or you won’t be any good to others.  This is a weakness of mine.  I often don’t eat right.  I often don’t sleep enough.  I often don’t do the things that recharge me.  Part of the discussion on this is just about those types of things, but part of it is about being an introvert.  I do not consider myself a total introvert, but I am definitely someone who needs alone time.  I also need time when there are no demands being put on me.  Sometimes that is just vegging in front of the TV watching Murder, She Wrote.  But, other times, I don’t realize how much I need to journal or read or some quiet activity.  This is especially important to being successful at mothering AND teaching because both require me to be emotionally available to others and that is hard if I don’t recharge that emotional reserve.  I don’t think about that much and I really should think about it more.

I think this was a really valuable hour spent listening for me.  None of it was mindblowing, new information.  I am a self-help dropout, after all, so I’ve heard most of this stuff before.  But, what I really love about Sorta Awesome is that they make it REAL.  They don’t sound like self-help.  They sound like a friend, reinforcing what you already know and motivating you to grasp the truth and do what needs to be done!  And now, I own this so I can listen to it whenever I need that extra reinforcement or motivation.  Definitely a great get!

So, first resource is in the books for Ultimate Bundle Challenge and so far, so good.  I’m going to get up and wash dishes and finish the load of laundry I started earlier and prepare for dinner right now as a “Do Now” from this resource!  Action step taken!

Next resource I’ve chosen is the Ten Day Course “Stretched Too Thin” from Jessica Turner who blogs at The Mom Creative.  Why?  Because I am a working mom who has definitely felt stretched too thin as of late.  I am also going to do another of the ebook choices while pursuing the ten days of learning from the video courses.  For that, I’m choosing Finlee and Me Self-Care for Mothers Workbook because I’m in need of some Self-Care instead of Self-Help!  I’ll be reporting on these in the coming days and weeks!