From the Mailbox: Help for a Homeschooling Mama!

ASlobComesClean.com - From Our Mailbox

 

I don’t homeschool, but I know many of you do. I thought this email conversation I had with one of you recently might encourage some who are in this unique situation that presents its own challenges. My favorite part is seeing how focusing on the basics naturally produces energy and inspiration to tackle the bigger things!

P.S. I’m behind on email. If you’ve emailed me and I haven’t responded, I’m so sorry. Life has been crazy lately!

Subject: Help for a Homeschooling Mama!

Hi Dana!

I ordered your 2  eBook set a while back and finally read 28 days of Hope for Your Home. And yes, I laughed at the end because I read through the whole book when you said to go back to day one and do the dishes! :) Anyway, I’ve tried a lot of things. They worked, for a time, but I just got too overwhelmed by it all. I’m a homeschooling mama of 5 (3 in school, ages 8,7,5,4,3) and so, being home all day presents its own challenges. I started reading your blog from the beginning, I guess 2 days ago now, and read whenever I can. I’m sure you hear this a lot but from one slob to another, it’s really encouraged me that I can change my ways. I’m definitely a natural messy, and just reading your book and blog, it’s like I’m writing it!
Anyway, all of that to say, What advice would you have for someone in my position who is home all day with 5 children? They help me pick up (they have their own ‘chores’) but then in 20 minutes, it’s chaos again. I’m actually going to order your Teaching Kids to Clean eBook too since you’ve been so encouraging to me! I’m sure you get a lot of emails, so if you don’t have time to respond, I understand! Thank you for sharing your story and being so honest. Again, it truly gives me hope that I too can be deslobified!
Nony’s (non-earth-shattering) Response:
Honestly, focus on those basics. The more natural they become, the more you can then move on and figure out other solutions for things that make you crazy!  And work in more 5 minute pick-ups if you can. Maybe between each section of your homeschool day? Those 5 minute pick-ups are like magic!
A Few Days Later:

Thank you! I have been doing that this week and I can’t believe the difference! We’ve scratched ‘chores’ for the kids this week and I set a timer for 5 minutes and everyone just helps clean up! It’s working like a charm! Last night I was sweeping after the kids went to bed. My husband was looking at me all funny and he said “I don’t think I’ve ever seen you sweep before…..” I just laughed! Thank you for your inspiration! I’ve even tackled the kids rooms this week and gotten rid of 5 bags of clothes! :O Our bedroom is next… I can’t wait to make it a haven instead of a place of chaos! Thank you again! I’ve really been enjoying reading your blog backwards. :)

--Nony
Share

How International Bird Rescue Partners with Dawn

Disclosure: I’m a paid brand ambassador for Dawn and am sharing a series of posts this fall highlighting their commitment to saving wildlife. All opinions and experiences are my own, and I truly have loved learning what goes on behind the scenes of organizations who are committed to saving wildlife!

Dawn partners with International Bird Rescue to release birds back into the wild.

A release by International Bird Rescue on World Animal Day. Photo credit – Susan Goldman

I’ve always been an animal lover, but it wasn’t until I was a married woman that I had my own furry friend. My parents successfully remained resolute through my tear-filled childhood speeches detailing all the reasons I needed a puppy.

But I did have birds. Zebra finches. Their names were Prettyboy and Prettygirl.

Super-creative, huh?

And my chosen Girl Scout Camp Name was Ducky.

While I’ll take four paws on my lap any day, I have a special place in my heart for birds, and I’ve always loved seeing the images of oil-covered birds being washed in Dawn.

When I was in California last month for Dawn’s Day in the Wildlife event, I heard the director of the International Bird Rescue speak. I loved learning what really goes on behind the scenes of those commercials and images we see.

Things I learned:

It’s loud. While we see images of sweet, sudsy birds and hear calm music in the background, the volunteers often can’t hear one another speak over the squawking.

Birds don’t understand they’re being helped. They often fight the volunteers because of their own survival instincts.

With certain birds, volunteers have to put sheets or towels between the birds and themselves to avoid “imprinting.” You know the cartoons where the baby bird hatches and bonds with the first person it sees? Volunteers work hard to keep this kind of attachment from forming because it will make the bird’s release back into the wild more difficult.

The washing process takes one hour per bird. The biggest job the IBR has done was in Capetown, South Africa where they washed 20,000 birds. Do that math!

Dawn is a huge supporter of the International Bird Rescue. The director explained that Dawn mobilizes to get them what they need all over the world. While only the huge oil spills make the national news, there are smaller ones that they deal with on a regular basis. These volunteers stay busy.

How did Dawn get started in its commitment to saving wildlife?

In 1978, unbeknownst to Dawn, “International Bird Rescue founder, Alice Berkner, secured a Chevron grant to test all major dish soaps for cleaning birds and discovered that Dawn worked the best, cutting the oil faster than any other soap.” The organization had tried all sorts of other cleaning methods before this, and nothing worked as well as Dawn.

In 1988, Dawn officially began its partnership with IBR and has since branched out to support other wildlife organizations like The Marine Mammal Center I visited.

For more information about the Dawn family of products and how to get involved in helping save wildlife in big or small ways, visit Dawn’s website. You can also share your own experiences by tagging #DawnDayintheWildlife at www.facebook.com/dawnwww.twitter.com/dawndish or www.youtube.com/dawndish.

I love this video that shows a day in the life of an IBR volunteer:

(Click here if you can’t see the video.)

 

 

--Nony
Share

My Favorite Way to Avoid Clutter Guilt

No script today. You can totally do this one without even opening your mouth.

Just take the box of clutter, stick it in your trunk, and drive over to the nearest donation place.

Basically, it’s the Declutter Now, Answer/Avoid Questions Later approach.

Click here if you can’t see the video.

I have had WAY too much fun doing these videos this week. Y’all have helped make it fun with your responses, but the very best moment was when my oh-so-cool almost-thirteen-year-old laughed out loud (several times!) when I made him watch them.

I’m brainstorming another video series for later this fall . . .

If you can’t bring yourself to just donate without letting the gifter/guilter know first, check out my other posts from this week with strategies to help you move past that point of paralysis:

Help! Please Save Me From My Stuff!!

It’s Not You, It’s Me

The Playing Dumb Approach

When All Else Fails (If Snark Is Your Style . . . )

And here’s a podcast about Clutter Guilt.

--Nony
Share
--Nony

© 2009 - 2013 A Slob Comes Clean All rights reserved. | Blog Header and Button design by Many Little Blessings.