Home Organization, Hope Wissel

How to Conquer Laundry Mountain

Happy Monday!  If you are a busy mom, I’m sure the weekend included some (or many) loads of laundry, right?  I am always amazed at home much laundry we have in our house when there are only TWO adults.  Some days I feel like there is more than when I was a single mom with a baby.  3aeec5f983d285791643424c2a8aa6d5

Do you have piles of clothes around the house? Are you constantly feel overwhelmed by the never-ending cycle of keeping clean clothes in the dresser drawers?

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Most of us know our family needs clean clothes but we also hate doing laundry so we procrastinate. And procrastination makes doing laundry even more unpleasant so we continue an ugly cycle, and unfortunately it’s not the spin cycle.

Here are 3 tips to put a stop to the cycle….

#1 – Create a Routine

Let’s face it, kids produce a lot of laundry, right?  No matter the age, it seems like they product PILES of laundry.  The easiest way to stay on top of the endless mounds is to make laundry a regular part of your schedule.

I used to do the Monday, Wednesday, Friday routine when it was just Belinda and I.  Now, I do the Monday Friday Method.   Some may need to do the Once-a-Day method.  Whatever the need, put it in your routine.   Start a load first thing in the morning, move it to the dryer after breakfast and fold it in the afternoon.  When I worked outside the home, I would start a load as soon as I came home from work,  move it to the dryer after dinner and fold it before going to bed.

I will admit my current Monday Friday method would get lost, if I didn’t write it on in my planner.  cmemhkbu8aasmif

#2 – Organize the Baskets

I know you don’t believe laundry could be pleasant, right?  It is when you have control over it.  Let’s be honest, picking up the dirty clothes then sorting them is an effort BEFORE you even begin the washing/drying process.  The Peaceful Mom suggests gaining control by designating baskets for each type of laundry load you do. Of course, the toughest part could be getting everyone in the house to follow the rules.

The 3 Basket Method works like this: darks (colors might bleed), lights (colors will not bleed), towels (washcloths, rags and towels need to be washed in hot water). If you have a lot of white clothing you may want to add an additional basket for those clothes.

Another way to organize laundry is by child.  Each one gets his or her own basket for dirty clothes, then wash a complete load of only his or her clothing.  When the drying is done, the child can take the basket of clean clothes to his room, fold it and put it away. Okay, I can hear the skeptics now.  It takes practice.  Of course you also take the risk of clean clothes not getting put away and dirty clothes being thrown on top of clean.  What is your best solution for this struggle?

#3 – Recruit Help

I will admit I was not very good at this.  Belinda didn’t do laundry or put her clothes away.  I tried it for a little while BUT the result was more trouble then it was worth.  As a single working mom, I picked my battles and laundry was not one of them.  The downside, when she went to college she was clueless on how to do laundry.  Opps, I squirreled.

The truth is teenagers can help but even Toddlers can help match socks and fold small items like washcloths and their own pants or shorts. They can then carry the clothing to their room and put it away in a drawer.

Children as young as 4 or 5 can fold towels and clothing. The clothing may not be folded according to your standards but the point is to get your children involved.  It will teach them responsibility and hopefully work yourself out of a job.  Believe me, no one is going to open your linen closet and judge you for a few sloppily folded towels.

Children between the ages of 10 and 12 can start washing their own laundry. Post a written list of the steps and provide lots of supervision until they get the hang of it. (‘No, we don’t add bleach to the load with jeans.’) Then leave them on their own.

I challenge you to pick a laundry system. Since it takes time to develop a routine or a habit,  write a note to remind yourself or set an alarm on your phone or put it in your planner.

Which system do you prefer to use for laundry –  once a day or once a week?  Share with us your best laundry tips.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

Personal Causes

How It All Began – The Bullying Story

On March 29th, 2013 I started my blog journey.  It was a challenge by Vanessa Coppes as a way to grow my business.  I didn’t get it.  How could blogging grow my business?  But I was up for a challenge.  Here is my first blog, one that touched the heart of many of my readers.

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I just wanted to share how “bullying” can be hidden by our children. It doesn’t mean you are a bad parent, it just means that you may have taught your child the coping skills they need deal with the bullying from school mates. Bear with me as I share some background information..

I was a single mom for 14 years who worked full-time trying to provide all of the things that I had when I was growing up and more for my daughter, Belinda.  Isn’t that every parent’s wish – to give their child more?  I moved to a double wide trailer in a trailer park in an area that had a good school district, lots of children my daughter’s age and it was affordable.  My daughter was involved in a lot of activities outside of school – first competitive gymnastics, then field hockey then all-star cheering. This was my way of making sure Belinda stayed away from the “wrong crowd”. She went to public school until she was a Sophomore in HS when she asked to be changed to a private Christian school where our Pastor’s family taught and her friends went to school. Her reasons made sense so we juggled the budget and Belinda graduated from Pilgrim Academy – smiling, happy, ready for college & still living in the trailer park. Belinda traveled 13 hours to go college – Western Carolina University. I was heart-broken that she was so far away but after the first semester, she excelled – graduated with honors in the Honors College program.

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Here is when the “clueless mom” found out what had really been happening…My daughter is a social worker that loves working with troubled kids. As she was preparing her applications for grad school for her Masters in Macro-Social Work, she had to write some essays as to why she felt she would belonged in this field. Since I am a grant-writer, she asked me to review her essays (like she usually did) to check grammar, etc. This is when I found out the “horror” of my daughter’s school years….

Belinda recounts many tales of verbal abuse from school mates because we lived in a trailer park that as the years passed became like the “projects” of the Township. She only invited her closest friends back to our house for sleep overs, parties, etc. I never really thought about it since I was working, juggling her activities and making sure that her homework was done. The truth was very few parents wanted their children to come over because of where we lived – not necessarily our home but the neighborhood. Belinda talks about how people used to call her “trailer trash”. The outside sports activities along with my example of what a strong woman could do is what she attributes to her success. Some called her a “snob” because she was involved in outside sports.  Then when she became active in church, more verbal abuse came.  Some of her friends from the trailer park fell into the lives that people expected – sexually active, lots of unsupervised parties, drugs, alcohol and more. I was blessed, Belinda didn’t do any of that. 

Many believe that if I was clueless about the verbal abuse, I would be clueless about everything else…My daughter and I had and still have an amazing relationship. When I asked her why she never told me, her response “I didn’t want to hurt you because I knew you were doing the best you could. The material things didn’t matter because you were always there for me”. My daughter has amazing attributes – self confidence, speaks her mind (sometimes without tack) and is forever looking to help the underserved youth in her community.  She tells me on a regular basis how she hopes to accomplish all that I have both professionally and personally. 

I wanted to share this to let people know that bullying isn’t always visible, it can happen to any child. As I travel back to our old hometown, I look around and ask my husband – was I that “clueless” about what life was like. His response is always the same – “You did what you had to do to make sure that Belinda had everything she needed even if it wasn’t always what she wanted. As a result, she is a bright, intelligent & confident woman who wants to take on the world to make it a better place”.

Since signing up to be a part of the Family Wellness & Beauty Day (event is over) for Kickin’ It Kids AntiBullying, God has pressed on my heart to share this story. This is an amazing cause and I truly believe that children who are visibly and “in’visibly” bullied can benefit from this type of program.

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Have a ThirtyOne-derful day1

Business Tips and Tricks, Family, Hope Wissel

Balance and Self-Care

 

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It’s Friday! The FIRST official weekend of the summer, right?  The kids are out of school.  You have already heard “I’m bored” more times then you can count.  You are trying to figure out how to balance (or juggle) your business, personal commitments and enjoying life while the kids are home for the summer.

Who said that having your own business was less stress?  Did you think that once you made the decision to be a Work at Home Mom that the “work stress” would just magically disappear?  Are you wondering at times, why did I leave my JOB for this?

The problem is not your business – the problem is YOU!  You have let yourself fall into the trap of being indispensable. It is time for a CHANGE!  You need to decide that you will have a balanced life; not just wish or want it.  Take a moment and visualize what that would look like.

Imagine working your business for a few hours every day.  Imagine that once the work is done, you spend uninterrupted time with family.  Imagine that you are NOT constantly checking your email or Facebook accounts.  Imagine that you turn OFF your phone for just a few hours every day for uninterrupted family time or self-care.  How does that sound?  Like Heaven, right?

Isn’t it strange the double standards that we use when we talk about the digital world.  How many times have you yelled at the kids to put their cell phones away during dinner?  How many times do you go out to dinner and banish the digital world so you can talk to each other?  Where did our kids learn this?  Believe it or not, they are just following in your footsteps.  Think about how many times you answer the phone or check email/ Facebook when you are out with the kids.  The “this will only take a minute” turns into hours or you “hushing” them so you can talk.

I speak from experience.  I was a single mom with my own business – guilty on all counts.  At 27, my daughter will tell you “mom was always working”.   The first time she remembers me turning off my cell and NOT answering it was our first cruise.  I was at every team practice and every game/ competition.  I was the mom who shuttled kids around for busy “working moms”.  BUT I seldom turned off the digital devices and I was definitely a multi-tasking woman.  Proud of and willing to boast that I was a GREAT multi-tasker.  The truth was that I was a stressed momma who longed for balance.

Believe it or not, the BEST way to lead a balanced life is committing to SELF-CARE!  I know you are saying, when do I have time, right?

Ask yourself this, Are you taking care of yourself so that YOU will be a better employee for YOU?!  If you are like me, YOU are always on the bottom of the list.  The truth is the better I take care of myself, the more motivated I am and the more effective I am when working.  As a result, I can be present with my family.  Making sure that time for you is on the to-do list will definitely help with getting and keeping some balance in your life.

Women are the core of the family; we cannot fully give to our family and our business if we do not take proper care of ourselves.

You need an action plan. I am sure you have heard “If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.”  It is time to find some new skills to put into action and make a commitment to change so that you can reach your goal of having a balanced life.

I challenge you to do some self-care today and then CELEBRATE it!  What will you do?

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

 

Hope Wissel

Happy Mother’s Day

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Mother’s Day has many meanings for me, for I am blessed to be a daughter, a step-daughter and a MOM!  This year will be a little tougher as I am working and the miles will keep me from the ones that I love.

To my mom, we have had our rough spots over the years but I think every mom and daughter do. You have stuck by me through thick and thin, good times and bad with LOTS of great memories along the way. As a child, you were there to guide and support me.

Growing up, mom was the one who opened our house to the neighborhood. You know the place where all of your friends wanted to go while you were secretly hoping to go somewhere else.  Just because it was YOUR house and YOUR parents. I wasn’t a rebel kid or anything but I just wanted to be somewhere other than in my parent’s range of vision. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVED that they let this happen – I mean we always had a house full. Breakfast for 300 plus after Junior Prom served by my parents with mom leading the charge. House open to friends after basketball games and the frig was always well-stocked. Then there was my graduation party where anyone who drank got to crash on the floor of the rec room – no questions asked.

Fast forward through some growing pain years as I ventured to Atlantic City. I probably was not the ideal daughter but despite my craziness, mom stuck by me. I didn’t always want her help but I always knew she was there. She supported me emotionally and financially (when needed) for many years. I have to admit, I probably took advantage of her giving nature. She was believed that “that is what parent’s are for” so she very seldom said no.  I am sorry for the hurt that I caused you and the strain that was placed on our relationship.

Fast forward again to becoming a grandmother. I admit, my pregnancy as a single mom was  hard for her but once she saw her granddaughter’s smiling face – her heart melted. I know that I don’t say things often enough and we still have our struggles – I mean what family doesn’t, right?

She taught me about strength. She taught me about kindness. She taught me how to be a good mom. She taught me about cherishing my family. Mom, thank you for all of the lessons you gave me. I may not have always appreciated them at the time, but I am grateful for them now as an older, wiser and more mature woman.

I am who I am today because you allowed me to grow and struggle through the bumps in the road. I am who I am today because you loved me when I didn’t love myself. Thank you…..Happy Mother’s Day to the BEST MOM in the world. I love you!

To my daughter, Belinda who makes MY Mother’s Day so special. They say you never know what it means to be a mom until you have a child – I agree 100%. I now understand why my mom put up with everything (the good, the bad & the ugly) all of those years. My daughter is my heart. It was “you and me, kid” for most of your life and I wouldn’t change it for the world. Being a single mom had its struggles but with the love and support of family and friends we made it.  As a child, you were a challenge – having your own opinion and questioning everything but you helped me to grow as a person too.  You have grown into an AMAZING woman that I am proud to say is “my daughter”.

To those who have lost their moms, cherish the memories. To those who have a strained relationship with them, reach out, re-connect – bless and move on – for you don’t want to live with regrets when they are gone.

Happy Mother’s Day to all of the moms and those who have been like a mom to so many.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day.

Hope Wissel

Bullying – The Visible vs the Invisible

I just wanted to share how “bullying” can be hidden by our children. It doesn’t mean you are a bad parent, it just means that you may have taught your child coping skills to help deal with the bullying from school mates. Bear with me as I share some background information..

As a single mom for 14 years who worked full-time trying to provide all of the things that I had when I was growing up and more for my daughter, Belinda. Isn’t that every parent’s wish – to give their child more?  I moved to a double wide trailer in a trailer park in an area that had a good school district, lots of children my daughter’s age and it was affordable.  My daughter was involved in a lot of activities outside of school – first competitive gymnastics, then field hockey then all-star cheering. This was my way of making sure Belinda stayed away from the “wrong crowd”. She went to public school until she was a Sophomore in HS when she asked to be changed to a private Christian school where our Pastor’s family taught and went to school. Her reasons made sense so we juggled the budget and Belinda graduated from Pilgrim Academy – smiling, happy, ready for college & still living in the trailer park. Belinda traveled 13 hours to go college – Western Carolina University. I was heart-broken that she was so far away but after the first semester, she excelled – graduated with honors in the Honors College program.

Here is when the “clueless mom” found out what had really been happening…My daughter is a social worker that loves working with troubled kids. As she was preparing her applications for grad school for her Masters in Macro-Social Work, she had to write some essays as to why she felt she would belonged in this field. Since I am a grant-writer, she asked me to review her essays (like she usually did) to check grammar, etc. This is when I found out the “horror” of my daughter’s school years….

Belinda recounts many tales of verbal abuse from school mates because we lived in a trailer park that as the years passed became like the “projects” of the Township. She only invited her closest friends back to our house for sleep overs, parties, etc. I never really thought about it since I was working, juggling her activities and making sure that her homework was done. The truth was very few parents wanted their children to come over because of where we lived – not necessarily our home but the neighborhood. Belinda talks about how people used to call her “trailer trash”. The outside sports activities along with my example of what a strong woman could do is what she attributes to her success. Some called her a “snob” because she was involved in outside sports.  Then when she became active in church, more verbal abuse came.  Some of her friends from the trailer park fell into the lives that people expected – sexually active, lots of unsupervised parties, drugs, alcohol and more. I was blessed, Belinda didn’t do any of that. 

Many believe that if I was clueless about the verbal abuse, I would be clueless about everything else…My daughter and I had and still have an amazing relationship. When I asked her why she never told me, her response “I didn’t want to hurt you because I knew you were doing the best you could. The material things didn’t matter because you were always there for me”. My daughter has amazing attributes – self confidence, speaks her mind (sometimes without tack) and is forever looking to help the underserved youth in her community.  She tells me on a regular basis how she hopes to accomplish all that I have both professionally and personally. 

I wanted to share this to let people know that bullying isn’t always visible, it can happen to any child. As I travel back to our old hometown, I look around and ask my husband – was I that “clueless” about what life was like. His response is always the same – “You did what you had to do to make sure that Belinda had everything she needed even if it wasn’t always what she wanted. As a result, she is a bright, intelligent & confident woman who wants to take on the world to make it a better place”.

Since signing up to be a part of the Family Wellness & Beauty Day for Kickin’ It Kids AntiBullying, God has pressed on my heart to share this story. This is an amazing cause and I truly believe that children who are visibly and “in’visibly” bullied can benefit from this type of program.