It’s time for the Mother’s Day talk

I like to give myself a pep talk every year and I thought I’d share some of those thoughts with you too.

This is my 10th Mother’s Day and I’ll be completely honest with you – I have not had 9 fantastic Mother’s Days because I expected Dion to be a mind-reader.

Here’s a post I wrote when my twins were just under two.

I want you to have a great day, so here are 5 things I’d like you to consider in the days leading up to Mother’s Day:

  1. Get clear on your expectations

If you don’t know exactly what a good day looks like for you, think about it and get clear on exactly what you need/ want.

When my kids were young, there were a couple of years when I just wanted a 3-hour nap in the afternoon. No, it’s not selfish to ask for some time to sleep.

2. What are your love languages?

If you’re not sure, have a look at www.5lovelanguages.com and take the quiz. If you want to delve into the Love Languages some more, and you’re local, join me for a workshop on 7 September. Register and book your place now. If you’re not local, contact me for a Skype session.

If you think about your love languages, you’ll get a very good idea of what will satisfy you. My love languages are acts of service and words of affirmation, so I like tea in bed (so I can read for 30 minutes) and cards from the kids. And, of course, a clean kitchen once I get up. This year, I’ve asked them to come on a photo walk with me.

3. Ask for what you want

Your husband and kids are not mind readers. If you don’t ask them for what you want, don’t be surprised if you feel resentful during the day.

Some will say, “how boring to be so explicit”. That may well be but better boring and content, than surprised and resentful.

This might also be a good time to say what you don’t want. I said to my husband to please not buy me more pyjamas – I love pyjamas but all mine are still good πŸ™‚

4. Lower your expectations

I know I just said to ask for what you want, but still, lower your expectations. If you usually decorate the tea tray and make it beautiful, don’t expect that level of detail from your family.

Same with gifts – it will not be wrapped like you do, so relax about the details.

And last, but definitely not least…

5. Stay off social media on the actual day

Facebook and Instagram are good for many things but one thing they’re not good for are these sorts of holidays.

You don’t even like perfume but I promise you’ll get jealous of someone else’s perfume, etc. And don’t get me started on the “to my wonderful husband” posts πŸ˜‰

So… remember, stay off social media and you’ll be much happier.

Which tip resonated most with you?

Also, do share your love language(s) with me in the comments below.

Credit: Photos in this post were taken by Jeanette Verster in 2011 πŸ™‚

Some clever gift ideas in case you’re stuck…

There’s one week left til Christmas!

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If you’re still shopping or thinking about gifts, here are some ideas for you:

Give according to their love language

If you have someone with a quality time love language, for example, give them the gift of time with you – tea/ coffee/ cake/ lunch/ supper at a restaurant, or a game of adventure golf, a manicure, etc.

If your special someone has gifts or acts of service as their love language, take the time to think about presentation. A gift bag (can be recycled)Β or nicely-wrapped present with a gift tag is a must πŸ™‚

Give according to their interests

What is the person’s hobby? if it’s reading, give a book and a bookmark, or a gift voucher to Amazon or Audible.

For your soccer-loving kids, maybe a soccer ball or a soccer-themed annual.

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Give something to help with a problem they have

…but be careful πŸ˜‰

If your friend always says they can’t find their keys/ rings, etc., maybe a nice trinket bowl they can use in their entry way.

I’ve shared before how once a man phoned me to buy organising services for his wife, which I declined to sell him. That’s not going to win him any points. The wife herself contacted me about a year later and we worked together but the point was that she had to be ready for the help.

A voucher is a good idea if done thoughtfully

A gift voucher is better if paired with something really small. This way it looks like you actually took the time to understand your recipient.

I’ve given vouchers to homeware stores for foodies with a set of cloth serviettes. I’ve also given a mug with a tea bag and the gift voucher inside. The tag on the tea bag read something like this – enjoy a cup of tea while you decide what to buy for your new home.

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Give gifts that go together

I like to give babies’ gifts as sets – for example, a blanket and a teddy for bedtime, or a book and a blanket for snuggling and reading.

One of my favourite gifts of all time was a set of Christmas mugs and a packet of shortbread biscuits. We ate the biscuits that year and we are still using the mugs 7 – 8 years later.

What are some of your favourite gifts to give?

PS I’ve given gifts of music in the past and presently too, but I’ve since discovered that recipients have to belong to the same country’s iTunes store. So it’s been hit and miss, (and you don’t get your money back unless the recipient tells you they can’t access and you log a call for a refund) so this year I only gifted CDs to fellow South Africans with iphones.

A little end-of-year update

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My one big goal for November is done.

I did my Spanish exam. I’ll find out whether I passed tomorrow evening but I did say to friends that I have done my absolute best – I have never in my life practised this hard for anything and I’m proud of all my efforts.

I also had probably 5 times as much fun as I did in the June exam which is all good.

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But moving on…

On Saturday 19th I host this year’s 5 love languages of children workshop and I can’t wait. My prayer is that those who have signed up will leave having a deeper understanding of what makes them and their kids “tick”.

When I first went to a workshop, my mind was blown because I had insights about me, D and our kids! It’s so fun.

It’s not too late to sign up and yes, you can pay on payday if things are a bit tight now πŸ™‚

Email me!

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What I actually want to talk about are two things:

1. word of the year

My word of the year is joy and I’m not sure if it’s because I have this word, or the circumstances require that I had to have this word to cling to but 2016 hasn’t felt very joyful on the whole.

There have been joyful moments, sure, but my joy level has been lower this year than in a year with another guiding word.

Just when I was about to give up on this word and choose another (in August!), I received a gift (framed printable word art) from a friend with the words “choose joy”. That made me smile, I can tell you.

So I’m choosing joy.

But I’m already thinking about a word for next year. I’ll confess that I feel like I need to set the bar reallllllly low πŸ™‚

I will write another post at the end of the year properly summarising JOY but for now, please tell me about your word for the year.

Has it been a fitting word for you? Have you wanted to abandon it too? Is your word still guiding you?

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2. 2016 goals and intentions

My monthly goals have been going really well though despite unexpectedly buying a new house.

I think it’s because I’m focussing on only a few main life areas instead of all 7 or 8.

So I’m getting really excited about analysing (!) this year and doing my extensive reviews (aren’t you glad you don’t have to read all of that?!) and planning for next year.

Clean slate and all that jazz πŸ™‚

How are your 2016 goals looking? Are you ready for a clean slate too?

(I need to write about planners/ diaries/ bullet journals for next year soon!)

PS if you’re not following Organising Queen on Instagram, you might want to take a look. I post there daily and it’s really fun!

{Live intentionally} Why I date my kids

At one point many years ago (isn’t that funny? I say that and yet the kids are only 5 and a half!), Dion and I decided that it would be a good idea for each of us to spend 1:1 time with each of the twins.

To be honest, in the early days it was just more practical to divide and conquer errands, but a lovely by-product was that each twin was much better behaved when they were with just one parent than when we were all together as a family.

(this is still true today)

Why I date my kids | www.OrganisingQueen.com

Then I attended a love languages workshop, LOVED the concepts, and put them into practice with both kids.

The results have been so amazing I went to get myself certified πŸ™‚

I’m holding two love languages workshops this month – one on Thursday 19th from 7 – 9, and one on Saturday 28th from 2 – 4 pm, and you are invited to attend.

There are 5 love languages: words of affirmation, acts of service, quality time, gifts, and physical affection.

Read more here and sign up if you’re interested.

Do you know your top two love languages, and those of your spouse and kids?

Why I date my kids | www.OrganisingQueen.com

The one-on-one dates enable me to engage with my kids in the ways they need me to show them love.

They’re different (obviously) as your kids are different so they need to be shown love in different ways.

How this plays out for us:

  • I put these two habits on my goals list every month: date with Kendra, and date with Connor
  • That step ensures I get them done.
  • Sometimes we have definite things we want to do, sometimes they say “Mummy, next time we have a date, can we do ____?” but mostly I discuss it with each of them.
  • We decide on a date for the date πŸ™‚ and we make it happen

Interestingly, sometimes we might go to the same place for our date but I engage with each child differently depending on their love languages. It’s such a part of life for us now that it’s completely automatic.

If you’re not currently spending 1:1 time with your kids, I know you might be pushing back (some people would say I don’t have enough time), but just give it a try.

Some tips to date your kids:

  1. adjust your mindset of quantity vs quality – yes, it will take longer to “get things done” but you and your child will both enjoy connecting so much more
  2. you don’t have to spend any money – my kids like to craft, bake or cook with me
  3. ask your kids for their ideas – one of mine often suggests a walk around the neighbourhood
  4. use events like Easter/ Christmas/ Valentine’s to do themed dates – another of my children always suggests that we make pancakes for any special event πŸ™‚
  5. if you have to shop for some clothes for that child, make it into a date by tagging a cup of tea/ milkshake/ juice onto the end of it

Do you date your kids?

What are your love languages?

Can you guess what mine are? I’ll post them in the comments πŸ™‚



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