need a fresh start? now is the perfect time!

Do you need a do over, Mom? We usually need one on a daily basis.

In one way or another, we both screw up something with our kids every, single day.

Most of the time, it’s nothing particularly serious. We forgot that stupid form that the school has sent home five times for us to sign, again. Fed our kids chocolate chip cookies for breakfast. We give into weariness and let them watch way, way too much TV. Run late to yet another appointment.

But sometimes. It is serious.

We’ve ignored red flags that we wish would just go away. And they don’t.

We’ve let serious behavior problems get out of control.

Or been too hard on a kid.

The list is really endless in our heads.

What’s a mom to do? Can moms really start mothering from scratch?

Yes! Especially now.

Well, we have a great offer. It’s actually an amazing offer. Mothering From Scratch: Finding The Best Parenting Style For You and Your Family is on sale …

For 99¢!

So how do you know if this book is for you? Well, let’s see …

* Do you want to be the best mom for your kids, but aren’t sure how to do it?

* Are you afraid that some of your parenting mistakes are just plain irreversible?

* Are you confused about what mothering “formula” to follow or what advice you should listen to?

Would you like some hard-won wisdom and encouragement from two moms who have been in the trenches — from toddlerhood to teendom?

If you answered “yes” to one or more of the questions above, then …

Mothering From Scratch

What do you have to lose? Only 99¢!

backcover2

We wrote this book for you, mom. For those moments when you feel like your mistakes can’t be redeemed. When you feel like you just can’t get it right.  

Go get this great resource and enjoy a practical, encouraging pick-me-up when you most need it.

This book is for you. Right now.

MKsigssmaller

Mothering From Scratch

grabbing your new school year by the horns

how to grab the new school year by the hornsA new school year brings with it so many opportunities. However, it can feel like one of the bulls that run down the streets of Spain every year. 

We have some choices, moms. We can let that sucker run down the streets and get out of its way, or use the opportunity to show it who’s boss. The crazy bull of a new school year can be tamed, and you don’t even have to put on a spangly suit and wave a red cape.

Here’s how to really grab the new school year by the horns and get a grip on even more:

1. Assume nothing:

Starting from square one with just about everything that has to do with a kid’s school year is really the best option to get the maximum results from this time. A fresh start always feels different.

That’s right. Just because the kids have always put their lunch boxes and backpacks in the hallway after  school doesn’t mean that they will remember it this year. You may have required them to use a chore chart last year that they loved, but this year, that chore chart may seem, well, so last year.

2. Fix problems:

Ask yourself, “What was the number one issue your family struggled with last school year?”

Around here it was getting to bed at a decent hour. That hour varies from family to family, kid to kid, but the effect is the same. The earlier, the better. It’s like a universal truth for school age kids. Find me a mom that wakes up on any given school morning and says, “Wow! I should have never put those kids to bed so early! They are so chipper and alive!” From the age of Pre-K on, bedtime is KEY to having a great morning, to having a great day, week and year for a child.

3. Create new good habits:

As children get older, they need new habits to help them mature.

A good example of this would be picking one more task that your child could be responsible for this year that you did for them last year. I know a mom who insists that her child’s ENTIRE backpack gets emptied out every night on the dining room table. This is middle schooler who was having trouble keeping up with slips of paper and such. By doing this each day as a habit, they were able to combat the issue.

4. Raise a couple expectations:

Do you have a great student who doesn’t struggle much in school? Or do you have a struggling student who can barely keep up? Either way, we do ALL of them a great service by raising a small expectation of them every year.

If and when they achieve it, their self-esteem boosts and the next hurdle doesn’t seem as high. Something small, or example, like leaving the house at 7:25 instead of 7:30 everyday can give them a reasonable goal. Reward them immediately for achieving the set goal and you’ve built in a great system for later, more difficult ones.

So, congratulations! The new school year brings the grand opportunity to wrestle with some of the tough stuff of parenting.

But YOU CAN DO IT!

Grab your new school year by the horns, ladies. This is the time to gain some control and establish great patterns for their whole lives. 

Of course if you need to get a great spangly, tight-fitting suit to wear to help you feel more powerful, I’m sure the kids would greatly appreciate the entertainment.

Just don’t forget the red cape. It works with the outfit perfectly. 

Kathy Helgemo

 

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to the mom balancing too many plates

to the mom trying to balance too many platesTo the dear mom who’s balancing too many plates….

Sometimes balancing too many plates can hurt complete strangers. How do I know? I was a recent victim.

I was reaching to get a plate at a breakfast buffet for myself when it hit me. On the side of my ankle, from about 4 feet in the air. Donk. Crash.

“Oh my gosh! I’m so sorry. This is what happens when I try and multitask for my children. See, Honey? I’m a disaster!, ” she said as she let out a huge, heavy sigh. She almost looked like she was going to cry. You see, she was on vacation in Orlando, trying to show her kids fun. Her husband didn’t look like he was having much fun at this point.

I glanced over at two mouse ear-clad kids, about 8 and 10 years old. They weren’t shocked. Something told me that they have had this little scenario play down a few other times. Mom was losing it— all in the name of taking care of them. Neither of them was holding anything. No juice glasses, no muffins, nada. The woman they were used to holding everything was there holding nothing but a deep sense of resentment.

“Are you okay? How is your ankle? Oh, I’m so sorry.”

I just put my arm around her. She was one of so many moms, me included, who had come to the realization ….

We were trying to hold too many plates. One’s going to break. It’s just a matter of time, and who going to feel the most impact. This time it was an unsuspecting stranger.

Here’s a few questions to ask ourselves to find out if we’re trying to hold onto too many plates:

1. How many plates can I hold?
2. Is anyone being hurt because I’m holding too many plates?

And the most important question of all….

3.Am I holding someone’s plate who should be holding it themselves?

Ouch. Yeah. That plate. Or plates. Those kids staring at their mom in the hotel breakfast line looked to me perfectly capable of holding their plates. That’s not an unloving observation, it is the reality that I have faced myself many times.

Our kids can only learn hold their own plate by dropping a few. They have to understand the force of gravity. They have to learn the “two hands” rule. All of this can’t be prevented by us throughout their lives. Plates have to be broken. The pieces have to shatter, they have be cleaned up and they have to learn to carefully move on to another plate.

So, to the mom who’s balancing too many plates, put them down. Give them to whom they belong. Brace yourself for a few crashes and know that it will be okay. 

Because, you really don’t want to hurt some unsuspecting stranger’s ankle in a breakfast buffet line one day. They may blog about you the next. Kathy Helgemo

 

 

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7 ways to turn Planned Parenthood outrage into action

planned parenthood outrageHis coffin was a shoe box.

A tiny boy with beautiful, dark curls like his father’s.

Teenage newlyweds, the couple was financially supported by a respected family member, who thought they weren’t ready to start a family.

She pressured the young mother to end the pregnancy. Reluctantly, she agreed. But she tearfully insisted on giving him a proper burial, humble as it might be.

That couple was my grandparents. The curly-headed boy in the shoebox, my uncle.

At least he received some small measure of respect and burial — even if it was in a shoebox.

As we’ve seen over this last few weeks, tiny bodies, just like his, are being drained of life, then torn apart and sold for profit.

That horrific reality was laid bare in the recent videos documenting Planned Parenthood executives casually negotiating prices for body parts and discussing “less crunchy” ways to extract babies from the womb.

Like me, you were probably outraged and sickened by this chilling, evil tragedy that is playing out everyday in clinics across America.

But what can we do besides being outraged? How can we do something that is real and tangible? How can one person make a difference?

The task of righting this wrong is enormous. It seems overwhelming. However, if our efforts save even ONE human life, help one struggling pregnant mom or ease the pain of one woman who is suffering with the aftereffects of abortion, wouldn’t it be well worth it?

Here are seven ways we can turn our Planned Parenthood outrage into action that has impact: 

#1: Pray

I know that seems like a passive activity, but prayer is the most important and powerful place we can start. It releases the Holy Spirit to work in ways that we can’t. It invites him to work in the hearts and minds of our government representatives, clinic workers and young women. It causes us to rely on Him for the love, wisdom, insight and compassion we need as we interact with others regarding this sensitive, highly charged issue.

praying hands

#2: Support your local pregnancy center

I have an excellent center in my community called Pregnancy Solutions. They offer free counseling, pregnancy tests and ultrasounds. They also provide young mothers with free diapers, baby clothing, formula and other essentials as they complete the center’s “Earn as You Learn” parenting education program. Post-abortion counseling is also available free of charge to those who are struggling with the emotional impact of abortion.

Many centers like Pregnancy Solutions exist all over the country. But, unlike Planned Parenthood, they don’t receive any federal funding. They are entirely dependent on the donations of the public. They can use your financial support and donation of baby items.

Most are also in need of volunteers to counsel the women who come into the center, scared, confused and in need of compassion. Most centers provide a multi-session training program for counselors. If you are willing to learn, full of grace and passionate about the God-given value of human life — both the baby’s and the mother’s — then you most likely have what it takes to be a center counselor.

#3: Support pro-life organizations

On a national level, Save the Storks is an incredible pro-life group. According to their website, Save the Storks “provides state-of-the-art, innovative mobile medical units to local pregnancy resource centers across the United States.” Their ‘Stork Buses,’ under the direction of the pregnancy resource centers, are equipped with a sonogram machine and volunteers who are able to administer pregnancy tests and offer sidewalk counseling.” For more information and to donate, visit their website.

National Right to Life has been fighting for the cause of the unborn since 1968. They accomplish this through education, legislation and political action. NRL provides research, educational materials,  information and leadership training. They also sponsor legislation to advance the pro-life cause and support public officials who defend life. You can visit their website to make a donation

#4: Organize church-based initiatives

Last spring, our church organized a “Celebrate Life!” Baby Shower to benefit our local crisis pregnancy center. For several weeks, women from the church brought in donations of diapers, strollers, car seats, pacifiers, baby wipes and other necessities.

Then, we invited the director of the center to our “baby shower” where we had cake and punch and she educated us about the services the center offers and how we can support it and get involved. We sent her away with a van-load full of much-needed baby items for the center.

Our church also periodically offers a class called Surrendering the Secret that is specifically designed to provide healing and support for women who have undergone abortions and are still carrying the pain, guilt and scars, perhaps even decades later. At the end of the first class, the leader shared with me, “This was one of the most incredibly healing, powerful things that I have ever been a part of. I was blown away and humbled that I got to participate in what God did in that group of women.”

Baby Shower

#5: Speak out with knowledge and grace

When we are passionate about an issue, especially something as important as the value of human life, it is easy to let emotion lead our words. We have to be careful to speak passionately and still speak with grace (that where prayer comes in!).

We also need to be educated regarding the facts about abortion. Abort73.com is a wealth of detailed information about abortion.  You can learn more about Planned Parenthood and their statistics by reading their Annual Report, According to their 2013-2013 report, Planned Parenthood performed 327,653 abortions and made just 1,880 adoption referrals.

Does Planned Parenthood provide things like breast screenings, pap smears and other worthwhile services? Yes. But there are organizations that offer these services without funding abortion and selling body parts.

We need to know and support these alternative resources so we can point women to them. The American Cancer Society is a good place to start. They can often direct you to organizations and centers in your area that provide free or low-cost health services for women. Catholic Charities is also a valuable resource. You can also contact your local hospitals and clinics, ask for their community information and find out if and when they provide tests there at low or no charge.

These alternatives are usually not nearly as well funded as Planned Parenthood. However, we can change that by our donations. In addition, if the funding (more than $500 million of your tax dollars each year) are directed to these organizations instead, they would be able to serve a far greater number of women.

#6: Call your congressmen and donate to organizations that support pro-life legislation 

I just got off the phone with two of my Senators’ offices, expressing my support for a bill being voted on to defund Planned Parenthood and instead give those funds to organizations and centers that provide services to women without providing abortion. It seems like a small thing, but we have to make our voice heard. It can make a difference.

The American Center for Law & Justice is a fantastic resource regarding the latest pro-life legislation being voted on. They give detailed information about which legislators to call and what to say. They also give accurate information about where various lawmakers stand in regards to pro-life issues. The ACLJ fights for the cause of the unborn daily in the courts. You can donate to them here. The Susan B. Anthony List is also a great pro-life organization and resource.

Planned Parenthood

#7: Be prepared to offer hope for the hurting

Only the Holy Spirit can change hearts. But we have to be prepared and bold enough to share the truth of the hope and grace we all have in Jesus Christ. We need to be willing to help the mother who has decided to keep her baby, as well as the woman who is in pain because of the decision she made to abort hers.

We must be THE CHURCH — the body of Christ that is willing to help the hurting. Our failure to do that in the way the Bible commands us to has led to many of the social ills that we have today. We must be willing to be inconvenienced and get out of our comfort zones. I’m talking to myself as much as anyone who may be reading this blog.

I am deeply convicted of my own failings and challenged to fight for the dignity and value of every human life and to be open to every opportunity God puts before me.

We owe it to the baby in the shoe box and so many others who have lost their lives.

Eyes have been opened. People are listening. Now is the time to act. 

What are some other ways that we can make an impact? 

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