About Common To Moms

There are many common life experiences we share as women, and sometimes life is less than glorious. That’s when we need a little inspiration to get us through the day. Welcome to Common to Moms, where we find motivation for meaningful living on our every-day journey as women, wives and mothers.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Another week

Hi Blog world friends!

I am sorry to have to say this, but I am bailing on you again this week.  The past week has been exceptionally busy and I need an hour to rest instead of write a blog post.  I do believe that life will return to its' normal pace soon though and I will finally get to write one of the 502 interesting things that are currently rolling around in my head. 

Right now though, I need a nap.  After that, I have a lot of things to get done.  Life comes first! 

I would love to see you back on Monday though.

Blessings to you!

Monday, April 23, 2012

A Day Off

I am taking a little break from the blog world this week.  Just trying to unplug and refresh a little.

I hope you have a great week!  See you next Monday!


Monday, April 16, 2012

Inspire Me! Monday: Take Care of Yourself

I talked last week about cleaning... and wow! I guess the posts I found and the books I've been reading truly have been inspiring me. I have seen more change in myself and better results in my home this past week than ever before in my life.

I have made some simple changes that have led me to even deeper discoveries about myself. Here they are...

1. Grocery shopping on Sundays - What a blessing to let Christian take care of Melody and shop without distractions. This allows me to get more done during the week which makes Saturday day my "day of rest."

2. Laundry on Mondays- I love knowing that Monday is coming and I will KILL the laundry piles! Putting on a movie and folding laundry at the end of the night is actually fun! I smile at the pile of clean clothes growing on the couch all day since I know what personal "me" time I'm going to get at the end of the night:) Then I put everything away that night that I can and the rest gets put away the next day.

3. "Clean the House" on Thursdays- This day is for cleaning up before the week-end. My husband gets stressed in a messy environment. Now I can clean the house on a day when it counts to him. If the house is messy during the week, it is easier for him to handle since he isn't home very much. It is a great goal to be able to rest in a clean house (and maybe even invite people over!) on the week-ends!

4. Let the other days go! - Know that not every moment of my life needs to be filled with productivity. I am working to make some days REALLY count and other days have some give and take to them as I manage our home, motherhood and working 2 part time jobs.

I am breathing a huge sigh of relief because I feel I have FINALLY found a taking-care-of-my-home routine that works for me...


Although that is a post in itself, I needed to share that so I can also talk about what is happening in my brain now that I am freed up from (a little bit of) messiness in my house.

I have realized that in my usual daily frenzy, I try to tackle EVERYTHING, ALL THE TIME and therefore don't take care of the ONE THING that is most important... me!

The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Covey describes this as "taking care of your goose." He says that if you have a goose that lays golden eggs, what good are the golden eggs without the goose? You have to care about the goose (so it continues to lay eggs) just as much as you care about the eggs (i.e. the product or productivity).

If I don't take care of myself, of course my house will be in shambles... I won't have the energy for it!
If I don't take care of msyelf, of course my daughter will be cranky... She has a cranky mama!
If I don't take care of myself, of course my husband is more likely to be argumentative... I am probably not being so nice to him if I'm not doing well.
If I don't take care of myself, of course I feel like I have nothing to offer... Because the truth is, I really don't!

Here are the ways I need to do better to take care of myself...
1. Get more sleep. I know I need 8-9 hours to feel good but constantly stay up late anyway. I will never feel better until I change this.
2. Get fully dressed first thing every day. I am always afraid to call people back, run an errand or generally be in touch with the world when I have an "at home" day because I'm generally not ready for the day. (Did I just admit that to the world? On the internet? Oh boy.)
3. Use a monthly planner and a To-Do List. This just makes me better on top of things and less forgetful.
4. Take moments for God and moments for myself every day. I think sometimes I also procrastinate on work because I am afraid I won't GET to take care of myself. Talk about crazy. This FEAR totally perpetuates the CRAZY cycle. Worry I won't get to take care of myself, procrastinate work, work builds up, do the marathon for the work, wind up not taking care of myself, burn out... rinse & repeat... I think I need a therapist... oh wait! That's why I have you! ;-)
5. Eat 3 meals a day and drink water. I have mentioned before how sometimes this escapes me. Don't kid yourself... you do it too.

I admit I am not normal. Most people don't struggle with the most ABSOLUTE BASIC things in life (sleeping enough, eating enough, getting dressed in the morning... haha!), but I will bet there are things that you need that you aren't getting. We are women after all, and everyone else always come first. I'm not saying it's bad to put others first... just that we also need to care for ourselves.

So what is it? What do you need in your life to be better taken care of? More sleep? Time for stress relief each week? Each day? (I know some of you reading this have very demanding lives!) Exercise? More water?

This is not a "what could you to do to be a better person" type question. I want you to really think. Are you missing something in your life that is VITAL to your ability to function in your job or as a person? Think about it while you read these inspiring posts and leave a comment below. As always, I look forward to hearing from you! Happy Monday!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Inspire Me! Monday: Cleaning House


Just looking at that title "Cleaning House" gives me a bad taste in my mouth. Does it for you too?

Well, let's just take a deep breath together, shall we?

If the idea of "cleaning house" doesn't make you sick... well, say a prayer for those of us that it does! And be sure to add your tips in the comment sections.

I'll make my comments on cleaning house pretty succinct (I hope) since I have written a lot about this subject here at Common to Moms. I think it's a subject that's always on our minds though, since we always have to do it, right?

Again, let me start with this: I pretty much stink at keeping a house. BUT I am also stubborn. I am not giving up. I am working hard. I am praying hard. I read a lot and try new things. What I lack in consistency, I make up in creativity and some way or another, things get cleaned every-so-often... and that is the important part.

Since my last post, I have received all ten of the books I ordered for my birthday! So far the one pictured above - Absolutely Organized- is one that is really getting me excited about getting things under control in my home.

One of the things about being a right brained person is that I don't typically come up with a solution that makes total sense. Just because I organize something, make files or clean up doesn't mean that it is a solution I will keep coming back to. The solution might be pretty, but it doesn't mean it will function in the best way. This book, however, gives you choices, options and ideas for how to get things organized (from someone I am assuming is fairly Type A- but not judgmental in any way), and it is already making me think about some improvements I can make to my home to make things less chaotic.

I am realizing as I read this book and as I am doing my taxes this week, that getting organized to someone who has never really been organized before is a process. Little by little we will make systems for ourselves that we use. We will improve them until they work! (My taxes are getting easier since I make my systems for keeping tracks of things better every year!) Rome wasn't built in a day... but it was built. The process is what we cannot give up on. We have to keep working at things and enjoy them as we go, sharing ideas and encouraging one another on.

Here are some fun links to ideas and encouragement to help you (and me!) when it comes to keeping our homes in order.

What do you do to make cleaning fun and effective?

Happy Monday!

Love, Rachel

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

More about Birthdays

On Tuesday, I declared that after making a birthday cake for myself, the birthday festivities would be complete... But I mis-spoke. I forgot that Christian and my best friend Kristan made birthday plans for me!

On Thursday this week, I will be getting a manicure, a massage and maybe even a hair cut! While I am out pampering it up, Christian is taking the day off to take care of Melody so I can have some very rejuvenating Rachel-time.

I can't wait!

Speaking of not being able to wait... I am currently expecting some books in the mail that I cannot wait to get my hands on. The birthday money my mom sent me this year went completely toward books. I don't think it would have mattered how much money she (or anyone) gave me, I probably would have spent it ALL on books.

Here's what I'm waiting on getting from Amazon.com and Christian Book Distributors:

No Mom Jeans by Melissa Fiendell

Rocking the Roles: Building a Win-Win Marriage by Robert Lewis

She's Gonna Blow by Julie Ann Barhill

Ashley Stockingdale 3 part series by Kristin Billerbeck

Miserly Moms: Living Well on Less in a Tough Economy by Jonni McCoy

The Art of Making Dances by Doris Humphrey

Absolutely Organized by Debbie Lillard

It's Hard to Make a Difference When you Can't find Your Keys by Marilyn Paul

When I mentioned in this list that I had an affinity for books... I wasn't lying! I request books for holidays, birthdays, any time I can! I guess I owe my love for reading partially to my Aunt Joyce for always giving me books at Christmas and partially to my mother who always tended to escape the reality of three children by keeping her nose stuck in a book. (If you are reading- Love you Mom!)

This will be my last post this week, since I will be enjoying Birthday festivities and then Easter week-end with Christian and Melody. I hope to see you soon though for Common to Moms' new series Inspire Me! Mondays and some (hopefully) money saving tips on grocery shopping next week!

What books have you been reading?

Monday, April 2, 2012

Tackle it Tuesday: Birthday Cake!

I was excited to find this meme (blog term for link up parties that happen every week... NO idea how you pronounce that...) on 5minutesformom.com.

It is no secret that I have serious motivation issues when it comes to getting things done, so I am excited to be linking up with them whenever possible!

This week though, I decided to tackle a task that has been a bit overdue and is more on the fun side of things... I made myself a birthday cake. A Coca-Cola Cake to be exact...

Oh! The rich yummy goodness!

This cake is so rich and decadent I actually don't know how much I will be able to eat of it. So if you are a friend of mine... please come over and ask to eat a piece of this cake.

Why did I make my own birthday cake you might ask? Well... as I have mentioned, we had a pseudo joint birthday party for Melody and me. Melody has a white flour sensitivity/allergy and cannot have regular birthday cake. So we got her an ice cream cake instead.

Ice cream cake is fine- don't get me wrong. But thanks to my mother... birthdays = chocolate cake.

So four days after Melody's birthday, when it was time for me to enjoy my day at home, I fully expected a birthday cake to appear somehow. My "birthdays-aren't-such-a-big-deal" hubby didn't realize I would want a cake after our party on Saturday and assumed my birthday celebration was covered. So I declared that the birthday celebrating would not end until I made myself a chocolate cake.

Here it is again... Oh! The Yummy Goodness!

To be fair, Christian did get me flowers and Ferraro Rocher candies. (I had a great birthday even without cake!) But now, I can rest easy knowing the birthday festivities are complete!

So that's what I tackled for Tuesday. Ending the lack-of-birthday-cake madness while watching the Voice and then cheering on UK as they crushed Kansas to win the NCAA basketball tournament.


What are you tackling this Tuesday?