I can't tell you how wonderful it was to be given the chance to review an item from a fellow Review Crew member. I needed some encouragement on how to "do it all", so I jumped at the chance to review Balancing Diapers and Deadlines by Lisa Tanner Writing.
Contrary to the title, you don't have to have a child in diapers in order to learn from this course. I certainly don't, my youngest is 9, and I have still been able to put some things that she talks about into practice. I wanted to know what the whole things was about, so I read through the entire course. I will be going back and spending some more time on some of the areas that I need to concentrate on.
It is an easy read and it is split into small, bit-sized pieces so a busy mom can read through a section in just a few minutes. I know that sometimes all we have is a few minutes, so this was a blessing.
Talking about blessings, this truly was for me right now. I was feeling overwhelmed with everything and trying to keep my head above water. I'm trying to balance working full time from home (teaching English to Chinese children online), running this blog, homeschooling our 4th grader and 9th/10th grader, keep the home in decent order, cook meals, go shopping, and just being a wife and mother. We all have our plates full, don't we. I think that I do a pretty good job keeping everything going and staying organized, but I still needed help.
Balancing Diapers and Deadlines breaks things down and helps you see where you can have some time and how to manage what you have to do.
Here are the Main Sessions of this course:
* Welcome to Balancing Diapers and Deadlines
* Building Your Foundation with the Basics
* Minimize Your Decisions
* Minimize Your Decisions: The Annual Meal Plan
* Sustainable Growth
* Growing a Business with Your Kids Around
* Boost Your Productivity
* Closing Thoughts
Within these main sessions, there are smaller lessons to help you in this area. I really liked that there are "Action Steps". These are things that you can do right now! I started writing these down so that I can refer back to them. Here are some of the Action Steps:
* What is your goal for your business? - This caught me off guard. I have goals for my business, but what is my main goal? This made me have to think hard about what I want to accomplish.
* Make a list of meals that your family enjoys and that are easy for you to prepare. - Our family has some favorite meals. Sometimes I feel bad because I seem to cook the same things, but we love them! This made me feel better for not creating gourmet meals every day.
* Learn what relaxes you, and make it a point to do that on a regular basis. Even if you just start with five or ten minutes a day, do it. You’ll walk away feeling refreshed and ready to tackle the world again.
There were also some great reminders that helped me keep the balance in my life:
* Working like crazy will let you accomplish great things, for a short period of time. Then you’ll have to take a break to catch up on sleep and to rest. - I have to be reminded of this from time to time (who am I kidding - all of the time!)
* Taking a break is good for us. Studies have shown that it’s harder to stay focused when you work for long periods of time. (I just did this today. Today was supposed to be my "work at my desk" day. I ended up taking a break and playing a board game with our 9 year old.)
One of the ideas that was brought up was to have your kids help you with your business. I do this already with some things. Our oldest, 14, is computer savvy and has great ideas about YouTube. Our youngest is very creative and has great ideas for some posts. She said to let them help with your business and it will help with any resentment that they might have about the business if they are involved.
This came into play last week and I thought of what Lisa said about it. Here's the scenario, we were at the library with my parents. The boys were checking out what DVDs they wanted to borrow when my 9 year old said, "Hey Mom! I have an idea for your blog. You should make a Thanksgiving board game." It overwhelmed me to think about putting together a board game as I have never done it. A few days later, I decided to take Lisa's advice and ask him more about it. I included him in making the game and it was so much easier than me coming up with everything on my own. Thanks, Lisa!
Another thing that I have put into practice is to use my thinking time into more of a productive time. When I'm making dinner, I can't really be typing or writing. So, last week, when I was making dinner, I had my youngest make the grocery list on the app on my phone. I told him what we needed, but he was able to type it all in. He even helped look through some of the grocery ads to see what was on sale.
I highly recommend Balancing Diapers and Deadlines by Lisa Tanner Writing. It has helped me keep things in perspective and how to find more time to do the things that need to be done, without sacrificing family.
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