Workin’ It Wednesdays: Balancing Work & Home Life

It’s Workin’ It Wednesday.

On a Monday.

Because…March is just all sorts of screwed up in my little blog world.  Let’s just go with it though, okay?

The second Wednesday of every month (or sometimes on random Mondays), Erika and I host a link up where we talk about how we’re workin’ it in certain areas of our life (and then ask you to share your advice/tips/tricks on the subject too).

In January, we shared how we’re workin’ on our New Year’s goals and in February it was how we’re workin’ on keeping our marriages strong.

Well this month, it’s all about balancing work and home life.  I don’t know about you…but I could use some new tips and tricks in that department…because you know…it can be hard.

So…I can’t wait to read through the link ups and read your comments here.  It’s all a juggling act, right?!

Before we start…a little bit about what I do.  I was in the insurance industry for over 12 years.  I thought I would be doing that forever but somehow, over the years, I’ve stopped doing insurance and now, I do a random assortment of stuff.  I own and operate Mix and Match Travel Agency, I have authored four (almost five) cookbooks, I write this blog (and all of those daily recipes!), and I do a lot of other stuff too: I have speaking engagements, I write articles for magazines, I publish recipes in local newsletters.  My plate is always full with a fun mix of food, travel and mom life.

So, here are my thoughts/tips/tricks/struggles/randomness about my work/home life balance…starting with…

Confession #1: Sometimes, my biggest problem is focusing too much on keeping it “balanced” instead of just focusing on one thing and doing that well.

Sigh.

For me, “balance” between the two is ideal but sometimes, I’d be better off just putting one to the side a minute and giving my undivided attention to the other.  For the last 8½ years, I’ve worked from home and though it’s amazing and I wouldn’t have it any other way, it can be tricky because it’s hard for me to separate the two sometimes.

I started working from home when Kensington was born.  Before that, I had always worked in an office, but then when she came, I started working from home. Then, I had Smith right after her, so I stayed at home and worked with two babies…

Smith was like 10 days old here on my office floor watching while I did some work.  Sweet boy!

Before I had Kensington, I worked in offices all day long and would do my work, finish up, close my office door and easily transition into “after work Shay” as I walked to my car.  At that point in my life (with no kids) and an office job, it was easier for me to separate work and home life.  But then I had kids and started staying home and everything got all blurry and ran together into one.  I remember vividly sitting on the couch holding my brand new baby and looking around my house thinking “are there always cobwebs in that corner?”.  It was the first time that I had spent time in my house during the day and it was like a whole new world.  All of these chores, lists, projects, and things to do suddenly sprung to my mind and I dug in…with a baby…and a part-time work from home job…and that stretched me waaaaaaaaay too thin.  And almost nine years later, that’s still where I am.  Sigh.  That’s where the confession part comes in…instead of trying to clean the cobwebs and care for the baby and work at the same time, I quickly learned that I needed to focus my whole attention to one task and complete that instead of trying to do two (or three) because then everything gets done mediocre.  But, I’m not always good at this…

Exhibit A: Just this last Thursday, Kensington came home from school and said, “Mom, you forgot to put my sandwich in my lunch.”  Who?  Me?  No way!  But then I remembered…ahhhh…on Wednesday afternoon when I was taking the stuff out of the fridge for K’s lunch, I had also been talking to a client on the phone about excursions for their cruise annnnnd forgot to grab her sandwich.  Whoops.

Solution #1: Even though I clearly broke my own rule last Wednesday, I try, try, try, try so hard to stop working at 2:50 every day before I get my kids from school.  I turn my computer off, put away my laptop, and charge my phone in my bedroom so that I’m not even tempted to check it/look at it/pick it up…but I did not do that on Wednesday and therefore, my sweet second grader did not have a sandwich in her lunch. #momfail

So, clearly, I don’t get this work/home life balance thing right every time. #thestruggleisreal

That being said, I have picked up a tip or two of the years that have helped me with this tricky balance.

Tip #1

I wake up so stinkin’ early every day of my life.  Sigh.  It’s like the worst suggestion ever…but it really will change your life.  Part of keeping things balanced and helping me focus is being able to work when my family is asleep.  At 4:20 in the morning, my kids are asleep, my house is so quiet, my phone isn’t ringing and I’m not getting text messages (because hello?  It’s too early!).  It’s such a great time to accomplish a ton of stuff!  I get so much more done at that time of day than any other.  When I’m focused, I can fly through work…

…coffee is required…

…I bought this sign years ago for my office.  #truth

So for me, carving out time when I can stay focused and uninterrupted is one key.  Another time of day where I really focus my attention on work is while the girls are napping.  Right now, my girls nap anywhere from 2½ to 3 hours every afternoon and during this time, I work, work, work and barely look up.  Because when nap time is over, I’m done with work for the day.

Tip #2 

I ignore my phone when I’m with my family.  Or at least, I really, really, really try.  Now, I clearly have my phone with me here because I took a picture of my kids as we left the park that day to walk home from school.  I typically always have my phone for things like this for safety reasons and in case I want to take a picture, but I put it on silent and try not to answer calls.  I don’t want them to grow up and think mom was on the phone all the time.  If we’re playing at our house, I’ll try and just leave it inside and not even bring it out (or I’ll leave it off to the side in case I want to snap a picture or something).

I know I’ve said this before, but my Apple Watch has really helped me look at my phone so much less!  You know how your phone beeps and pings a million times a day and every time, it’s tempting to check and see was that ping an email from a doctor you’ve been waiting to get back to you or was it a ping from a Gap email telling you baby stuff is on sale?.  The Apple Watch makes it so simple to just glance at my wrist and see that oh, it’s just another Gap email, not need to look at my phone.

Tip #3

I ask for help.  Gosh, sometimes, I have a lot on my plate and I’m always quick to ask my favorite people for help because I can’t do everything by myself, and sometimes, you just have to bring in reinforcements.  Now, the person I lean on the most is this guy.  Thankfully, he owns his own business that is only one light away from our house and has an office at home…so, he is available to help a lot of the time!  I could not do half of what I do without Andrew Shull.

And sometimes, I’ll ask my pretty mama too.  My parents live about an hour away so they can’t really help with day to day stuff (like drop off/pick up at school/running kids to dance/etc), but my mom is super helpful and will just come over and take a kid or two to lunch, a movie, etc while I get some stuff done during the day.  She’s great at this and it’s always so appreciated!  And of course…

…my girlfriends.  We switch kiddos all the time.  One day, I’ll have an extra kid and then another day, someone will take one of mine…we’re all just helping each other out as we balance all of this home life/work life/ busy life stuff.  My friends are such a good support system!  And bonus, my kids love going to their house and their kids loving coming to mine. #winwin

So, listen…my tips aren’t amazing or anything but they’re solid and work for me: I try not to do everything at one time, I get up early, I put away my phone and I ask for help.  At the end of the day, I just try to remind myself that I’m not perfect but I’m doing the best that I can.  God knows my heart, my family and friends know it too…and when things fall through the crack (sorry about that sandwich Kensington!), it’s just a reminder to me that I need to slow down and focus on just one thing.

Okay…what do you have to say on the subject?!  Please comment and share!  This is tricky stuff to navigate!

If you blogged Workin’ It Wednesdays today, make sure you link up below!  Next month, our topic is how we work at spring cleaning and then coming up this year…

Link up, comment and share please!

And one last thing…I have winners from Friday’s giveaway!!  If you missed this…

…my Spring Things Giveaway, you can see all of my favorite spring things HERE (like this romper and this dress that were post favorites!).  Well, five lucky winners will each receive a $100 Nordstrom Gift Card AND a copy of my newest book, Kids in the Kitchen.  The winners are…

BARBARA FOLAN
TIFFANY MEI
LIBBY KIEFNER
CHRISTY HAVERTY
DEBBIE DUNBAR

Congratulations!!  I emailed all five you of you this morning, so please email me back ASAP to claim your prize!

And speaking of claiming prizes, we announced the winners of our Blardigan Blessings on Friday too.  If you won, please email me ASAP so we can get the blardigan out to the person you’re honoring.  Email the winner’s name, mailing address, blardigan style (long or short) and size to me at mixandmatchmama@yahoo.com.

Happy Workin’ It Wednesday or Monday or whatever.  Just have a good day. xo

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60 Comments

  • Reply Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog March 20, 2017 at 4:55 am

    That picture of the cat with the cookies though… that’s me everyday after I get home from work!

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog
    http://charmainenyw.com

  • Reply Sarah March 20, 2017 at 4:55 am

    This is so hard for me, too!! Loved reading your work/mom story 🙂 I recently quit my job to stay at home with my girls and blog full-time (as full-time as I can, anyways!). Before quitting, my older girls (ages 4 and 3) had preschool five half days a week. The rest of the time they were with my while I worked from home. My 5-month old was with my 24/7. It was pretty tough, to say the least, which is why I quit!

    Now, I blog in the morning while they’re at school and the baby is napping. Like you, I turn my computer OFF when I go pick them up and don’t turn it back on until my husband is home or the kids are in bed. I’ve only been doing this recently, but it has made SUCH A DIFFERENCE!!! My kids get my undivided attention – as they should 🙂

    I’m also not against technology if I need to do something urgent 🙂

    Can’t wait to read everyone’s tips!!

    -Sarah http://www.thefrugalmillionaireblog.com

  • Reply Erika Slaughter March 20, 2017 at 5:06 am

    Yes! Yes! Yes! Great tips today! Thanks so much for teaming up. I love our Workin’ It Wednesday posts. Even on a Monday. 😉

  • Reply Megan March 20, 2017 at 5:16 am

    It’s so refreshing to hear that other moms “forget the sandwich” sometimes. I 100% agree that the Apple Watch is life changing and helps take my focus off of my phone so much. Happy Monday!

    http://www.lettinginthelightblog.com

  • Reply Sheaffer Sims March 20, 2017 at 5:16 am

    I woke up at 5:00 today, and I wanted to cry. Like I wanted to cry real tears. And then that picture of baby Smith made me want to cry again!

  • Reply ELizabeth March 20, 2017 at 5:19 am

    This is so hard for me too! Great tips though – I’ve always tried to be a morning person, but… maybe one day!
    Xo, Elizabeth
    http://stripesandsolitaires.com

  • Reply Angela Ellingson March 20, 2017 at 5:25 am

    Such great tips!!! So simple and yet often challenging. Thanks for hosting!

  • Reply Susan Jeffries March 20, 2017 at 6:07 am

    I am a nurse, but now work at our business with my husband. We agreed that we always wanted one of us home with our daughter. She is 16 now and we still make that our goal. But that means working some crazy and long hours. My main tip is to stay organized and ahead of the ball game (if possible) – and I get up every day before 5am to get started. Sometimes we work Saturday nights, Sunday nights, Christmas Eve, etc. But we have never left our daughter(: Thanks for reminding me that we are not the only ones who do this.

  • Reply Jenny L March 20, 2017 at 6:17 am

    Love this post!!! Great, simple, practical tips. Question for ya….is the book promo still going? It slipped my mind on Friday! Have a great day,’Shay:)

    • Reply Mix and Match Mama March 20, 2017 at 6:40 am

      Yes!! If your order a copy now and send off proof of purchase, you get another book free!

  • Reply Sarah March 20, 2017 at 6:23 am

    I also work part-time from home, and I prefer to work in my bedroom on my bed instead of at a desk in my office. When I’m in crazy, deadline mode, I hire our high school babysitter to come over after school a couple of days/week. I don’t leave – just stay up in my room – and she’s in charge of entertaining the children (6,4, and 1) downstairs or outside. They love her, and I can get 1.5-2 hours of extra work in. I also work during the baby’s afternoon nap, but as you know, that’s not always enough. Working from home can be a wonderful blessing, but it’s not without its own set of stressors. Sometimes, I think it’d be way easier to go to an office! But I love the flexibility of being a SAHM and all the extra time with my littles!

  • Reply Tara G. March 20, 2017 at 6:30 am

    We have chosen not to do it all. We say no and protect our margin. That sounds simple, but it isn’t always – especially when my kids would like to do a lot. Also, I stay off or limit time spent on sites that might feed my own unrealistic expectations. There are seasons my floors haven’t been mopped regularly, my shower hasn’t been scrubbed weekly, etc. – giving oneself grace & knowing “this,too, shall pass.”

  • Reply Narci Dreffs March 20, 2017 at 6:34 am

    Such great tips, girl!! And, baby Smith is so precious…oh my goodness!

  • Reply Ruth March 20, 2017 at 6:44 am

    Thank you for today’s post Shay. I was wearing the worst mum in the world crown today. I forgot it was sports day and my son wasn’t wearing his sports uniform plus we forgot his swimming gear for the sports lesson and a whole bunch of other things happened which meant I could start a blog called mumfails24/7 I was late for work….like super late and blah blah blah. Xxx kisses for you for making me feel less bad!!!!

  • Reply Sharon March 20, 2017 at 7:17 am

    I have learned to say no. I used to say yes to everything, had a bit of fear of missing out or hurting people by saying no. Then due to family circumstances, my mom and husband both getting sick in short order, I had to say no to a few things and realized that the world kept moving! Now, I say no a lot more than I say yes and instead of dreading another event/play date/work commitment, I look forward tothe ones that I am really excited about and not too exhausted to attend. . It is liberating!

  • Reply Stacy March 20, 2017 at 7:17 am

    I so needed this !! I think my biggest struggle is I’m a nurse – I work 3/12 a week and I work in the hospital directly for neurologist– there are a few other people who have the same job and on our off day my phone buzzes with work and I answer 🙈 My goal this spring is to stop answering because after just working the weekend I just want be with my baby not at work — so my Apple Watch I’m going to put to use like you do!!! I also just started Rodan and fields and my goal is going to be to get up early —goals right 😉

  • Reply Laura March 20, 2017 at 7:17 am

    Thanks for sharing! I am not a mom yet, but I have a demanding job and a long commute. I have been struggling lately as I am ready to “slow down”. I finished my masters degree a year ago and a huge certification this month, while working full time. I am ready to slow down (possibly focus on having a family) but struggle what people may think if I take a step back in my career.

  • Reply Diana March 20, 2017 at 7:28 am

    Great post! Getting up early will be a bit hard to implement, but thank you for the inspiration.
    Also, “Erika” link is not working for me.

    • Reply Mix and Match Mama March 20, 2017 at 7:38 am

      That’s so weird??? Fixing it now!

  • Reply Justine March 20, 2017 at 7:48 am

    Now did you have to train yourself to wake up that early or have you always been a morning person ? So many people have talked about waking up before the kids to get things done but my body finds it very difficult to do so 😬

    • Reply Mix and Match Mama March 20, 2017 at 12:41 pm

      I’ve always been a morning person…but as my mom would say, “4:20 is not the morning, it’s the middle of the night” 😉 ! Ha! I’ve trained myself and now, I’m addicted to the quite time :).

  • Reply Kristy March 20, 2017 at 7:48 am

    This could have totally been an April fools joke! When I first saw the post and saw that it said Wednesday I thought I had slept in two days worth! Looking forward to reading some of the tips and suggestions as well. Don’t think I could ever do the 4:20 AM wake up however! Good for you! Have a great day Shay!

  • Reply Jenna March 20, 2017 at 7:51 am

    Balancing it all is such a constant struggle. I love your advice about ignoring your phone. This can be so hard but also so rewarding. I like that you charge it in a completely different room. Great tips throughout! Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply Kelsey March 20, 2017 at 8:13 am

    Have you ever shared how you also keep your house cleaned?

    • Reply Mix and Match Mama March 20, 2017 at 12:40 pm

      I have! Once I started my travel agency, I hired someone to come and help with the big cleaning (dusting, mopping, etc). Such a life saver!

  • Reply Chrystianne March 20, 2017 at 8:16 am

    This is really random, but it is about your eyebrows. They are always so perfect and I am currently going through an eyebrow crisis. Do you wax/pluck/thread them? Do you shade them in also when you do your makeup? Any tips? Thanks! 🙂

    • Reply Mix and Match Mama March 20, 2017 at 12:40 pm

      Hahahahaha! Thank you! I just pluck them and add a little makeup. I don’t think they’re spectacular at all, so this comment made my day :).

  • Reply heidi March 20, 2017 at 8:22 am

    I worked in insurance too for 10 years and worked for the government when needed as a sign language interpreter. I decided to stay home after I had #1 then I blinked and had 3 kids in 4 years. I was overwhelmed just trying to get through the days. Now I blinked again and my oldest is 13.. they have all been in school full time for a couple of years now and this year was the first year that I thought ‘ what now’? What should I do, there is only so much cleaning I can do. I volunteer as much as I can but what now. I feel a little lost , I live in the middle of no where so that’s also a factor. I said to my hubby if I lived in the city I’d home at home sense ( canadian version of home goods or PB just to work with people each day. I’m feeling like the 42 yr old me has no idea what to do lol
    So I’m on a mission to learn what’s next

  • Reply Tara @ Mommy in a Nutshell March 20, 2017 at 8:35 am

    You do a lot lady! Whatever shortcomings you may be I hope you cut yourself some slack because you seem like you’re doing a great job. Thanks for hosting!

  • Reply Alynne March 20, 2017 at 8:58 am

    I find work life balance to be one of the biggest struggles I face. I am a mom, work full time and then some as an accountant, and help out my husbands business as well. I think my key advice is to be present in everything you do. If I am at work, I am focused because the more I get done during the day, the less likely I will have to work after the kids go to bed. I designate time each day where my kids get 100% of my attention. I am fully present, not running around getting chores done while we talk about our day, or on my phone half listening to them. It is truly my favorite time of the day.

  • Reply Patty March 20, 2017 at 9:20 am

    I think an important part of the working mom thing is to bless yourself and ALL you do! It’s so easy for women to feel guilty but try not to. Delegate to your kids too. Maybe Kensington or Smith can check lunches before they go in the backpacks, etc. sharing responsibilities at home is good for all family members. I would tell the kids on a day off from school, “if we want to play, we all have to pitch in and help,” and they did.

    Anyway, Shay and all you moms, you’re doing a great job!

  • Reply Marvy Gallegos March 20, 2017 at 9:29 am

    Loved the post. I have been thinking for a couple of years about opening a home based travel agency. I don’t know where to start. Do you have any suggestions? Your input would be greatly appreciated. Thanks

    • Reply Mix and Match Mama March 20, 2017 at 12:39 pm

      Feel free to email me, Marvy!

  • Reply Katie March 20, 2017 at 9:36 am

    Random question…is the purple robe by Barefoot Dreams? I was just looking at them online at Nordstrom last night and deciding between the purple and indigo color. Loving the purple in your pic!

    • Reply Mix and Match Mama March 20, 2017 at 12:38 pm

      I have the indigo one and LOVE it!! The purple one is older and not carried any longer, but I love my Barefoot Dreams robe!

  • Reply Carla March 20, 2017 at 9:47 am

    😫 I love that romper/ dress!!! I went to go order it and it’s not available!!!!😭 Great tips thank you. I wish I had tips to share but I’ve just learned to focus on one think at a time and everything will fall into place and not stress over it so much. That’s my problem I tend to stress a bit much sometimes. Have a great week Shay.

  • Reply Corbie March 20, 2017 at 10:05 am

    I work from home too and play the balance game. The thing that gets even more crazy (if you can believe it) is when the kids get a bit older and are playing multiple sports with multiple hobbies (cheer, band, etc). It is enough to make you lose your marbles and theirs too. That is when you as a parent need to step in and teach them the balance game so that they too understand how to not over stress themselves and start saying no to things. It sneaks up on them because kids want to do everything and don’t understand how to limit themselves and before they know it they are in meltdown mode. It is a great skill to model for our kids and then to teach it to them for themselves. 🙂

  • Reply Amie P March 20, 2017 at 10:10 am

    So how do you choose how many or what activities your kids do or don’t do? It kind of seems like that is what makes life so hectic but you want them to do what they enjoy…ugh! It just seems to get way overwhelming at times. It’s so hard!! OR is that a post for another day? haha

    • Reply Mix and Match Mama March 20, 2017 at 12:38 pm

      It’s tricky! Right now, we try and do as much as we can on Thursdays, so that one particular day is insane but the rest of the week is not.

  • Reply Jessica March 20, 2017 at 10:28 am

    I just started reading your blog your last week (the binge read old posts over the weekend), and totally look up to you! I find so many similarities between us, and it is so nice to have found such a grace-filled and warm hearted woman like yourself to look forward to as I start to plan for my own family hopefully soon! Quick question — what time do you go to bed at night with the 4 am wake up call?! Also – do you have an old blog post on how you wind-down for the night in order to get enough sleep for that wake up time?! If so, could you please link? If not, I think that would be a great one:) . Can’t wait to keep reading and for all the inspiration I know will come from you!

    • Reply Mix and Match Mama March 20, 2017 at 12:37 pm

      Thank you so much for reading Jessica!! I appreciate it so much! Well, I typically go to sleep between 10 and 10:30. And reading is always how I wind down :).

  • Reply Emily March 20, 2017 at 11:37 am

    Ahh, it is hard. I started working from home after my maternity leave with my daughter, and it wasn’t as difficult then because she was four months old and still slept a lot. Fast forward a year, she’s now 18 months and I’m pregnant with our second, so I’d like to use her nap time to sleep, but that’s when I need to work. It’s a struggle some days, not to mention I still need to take care of things around the house! I make it a rule not to work when she’s awake (not that it’d be possible with a busy, busy toddler anyway!), and if I do have things left to do after her nap, I will work after she goes to bed or on the weekends.

  • Reply Kelly Chen March 20, 2017 at 1:08 pm

    Hi, Shay – longtime reader here! I know you’ve been a morning person for quite some time now. As much as I want to be, I’ve struggled. I can manage for a week or so, but the weekends throw me off. My boyfriend and I do long-distance, so weekends we are typically out late with friends. How did you manage in college? Did you still go to bed at 10?

    • Reply Mix and Match Mama March 20, 2017 at 2:27 pm

      Oh gosh, I’m old and can barely remember college ;). I always took early classes and worked out before class, so I was waking up early even then. I probably was going to sleep around the same time even back then.

  • Reply Jennifer March 20, 2017 at 1:59 pm

    This is really random, but what kind of diaper bag do/did you use and what type of purse?

    • Reply Mix and Match Mama March 20, 2017 at 2:26 pm

      Back when I had babies and used diaper bags, I loved Skip Hop!!

  • Reply Maria D. March 20, 2017 at 2:21 pm

    Okay…I don’t know how you got my picture …..lol….I am that cat in the pjs with the plate of cookies….I have got to get over that….lol…I applaud you for all you do while trying to balance 4 kids and a husband…it’s a lot!

  • Reply Caroline March 20, 2017 at 2:53 pm

    I think I am the opposite– I prefer working later at night. I run a monogram business from home and that work/life is so tough. I am also teaching preschool 2 days a week but I have chosen not to go back next year because I want to be more focused at home.

    I like working after the kids go to bed– at LEAST for an hour. My kids are almost 4 and 7. They go to bed between 7:30-8. I like to work until 9:00-30 answering emails, placing orders for supplies, etc. I feel really focused and like I can catch up on what all has happened during the day when I was with my kids. Then I can message people/answer emails and typically have an answer from people the next morning. I have work hours 2 of the days I’m not teaching so I especially try to focus on this night time routine on those nights before so I can have some answers from customers when I work the next morning (9:30am-12:30pm).

    My husband leaves the house at 8am and doesn’t walk in the door until 7pm. So I LOVE spending my evenings with him, but I’ve found there are things he needs/wants to get done (either stuff around the house, budget, sort mail, etc.) so he does all that stuff when I work. Then we catch a show or 2 before bed. (TRY to be in bed by 10:30). Also I am able to sleep until almost 6:30am so I don’t feel like a total zombie!

  • Reply Allison March 20, 2017 at 4:19 pm

    I just read an article in a magazine about this topic. It was an interesting perspective because the main takeaway was that “balance” doesn’t exist! There will always be a time when work requires more attention than usual or when you need to back off work slightly to give your family attention. For a perfectionist like me, this was super helpful! The article encouraged women to just “be” instead of always trying to make sure everything was perfectly balanced.

  • Reply Julie George March 20, 2017 at 4:42 pm

    You do an amazing job balancing with 4 kids and working from home! I would encourage you to let Kensington start packing her lunches. My twins were in 2nd grade when I went back to teaching part time, and they took the job of packing their lunches from me which was a blessing! As long as I had lots of healthy choices, they were much more creative with what they packed and it got eaten better too since they had packed it. Maybe Smith would be interested in doing it too if Kensington is. Thanks for sharing all your great ideas!

  • Reply Lizzie @ This Happy Life March 20, 2017 at 8:51 pm

    I so need to be better about turning the phone/computer off during the day. These are great tips!

  • Reply Sarah Altman March 20, 2017 at 9:11 pm

    I work from home as well with Young Living essential oils, and homeschool my littles, and for me it is really helpful to be intentional with my time. Like you said, work during work-time and focus on family during family-time. Going to bed consistently so that I have energy the next day is huge as well. I have also learned that its okay to have kids join in on live videos or to help me teach classes. My five year old can tell anyone about essential oils! Some days you just have to roll with it.

  • Reply Shan March 20, 2017 at 11:18 pm

    I keep asking the Canadian questions lol I never know which offers/raffles apply to us here and which are excluded but does the current free book promo work for us ? Thanks Shay !

    • Reply Mix and Match Mama March 21, 2017 at 11:20 am

      I just checked and yes, it’s open to our Canadian friends too :)!

  • Reply Melanie V March 21, 2017 at 4:08 am

    Hey shay- I was wondering if you would ever do a post on earning an income from a blog/ profiting from a blog. I think there are a lot of moms out there that really aren’t aware that this is possible (myself included). Of course some of the big name fashion bloggers certainly do earn their fair share, but maybe a quick post on this would share some insight and the possibilities for moms.

  • Reply Amy Johnson March 21, 2017 at 12:50 pm

    Great post! I certainly need to be more mindful of the time spent on my phone when my kiddos are around. I work outside the home every day from 7:30am-3:30pm and have 3 kiddos ages 5, 3.5 and 1 with another on the way due this July. I know in those days when I’m feeling like I’m drowning that I need to get better at asking for help when I need it. I’m so excited for the days when everyone sleeps through the night regularly so I can make early mornings a thing, as those 3:30am mornings of insomnia while pregnant tend to be the ones when the house looks spectacular haha

    My biggest successes as far as days is to involve my kids in our daily tasks and chores. I don’t shy away from doing laundry or dishes or sweeping the floors or cleaning the counters in front of them or engaging them to do simple things like stack the plates or sort the laundry, because I really want to raise them with the understanding that these things don’t just happen on their own and that it takes a lot of work to make a home run smoothly.

    I fully agree that you can’t be everything to everyone and do it all well. MANY nights I go to bed with dishes in the sink, because sleep is more important to me than clean dishes. My kids have definitely gone to daycare or school in some interesting outfits as a result of us falling behind with laundry. Until they reach an age where that suddenly matters (in which case, they can then be in charge of their own laundry), it’s not hurting anyone. But it’s DEFINITELY a team effort with my husband and I to keep things running somewhat orderly. When he’s not around (he helps his Dad at the farm with planting and harvest), the whole family notices.

    I need to get better at building a better village, though. It’s a severely untapped resource that I know myself and friends of mine would benefit from – especially my farm wife friends.

  • Reply Natalie Clark March 21, 2017 at 2:27 pm

    I love the last graphic on this post! I looked in the mirror today when I was done at the gym and had to run into work/run a million errands and thought, “Oh my, I wish I had some make-up in my bag and a brush,” but oh well, I had to lower my standards and get stuff done like a hot mess!

  • Reply Laurel March 21, 2017 at 7:56 pm

    I really liked a lot of these tips! Question, when do you have time to make dinner/ play around with/test recipes, either for your family or your books?

    • Reply Mix and Match Mama March 22, 2017 at 4:52 am

      My entrees, i work on every evening (because that’s what we eat for dinner), and then anything sweet/other is made on Fridays or Saturday morning. Those are my dedicated days for recipes that are non-entrees (desserts, breakfast recipes, etc).

  • Reply Shan March 21, 2017 at 9:21 pm

    Awesome, thanks for checking ! I just placed an order for kids in the kitchen and emailed your publisher ! Cannot wait to receive both books and cook up a storm with the kiddos 🙂

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