I have had the pleasure of reviewing Balancing Diapers and Deadlines by Lisa Tanner Writing. Lisa is one of our own Review Crew mompreneurs and she has written this online course to help moms juggle raising kids, managing a household, and running a business.
While I'm not running a business per se, I do work from home as a homeschool teacher for my two children. That's my "business"...and, trust me, that takes more patience and planning than I ever used when I was in the corporate world! But also, someday I'd like to spend more time on this blog and grow it to the point that it might bring in a little income. I think Lisa's course is helpful for moms just like me because she teaches how to streamline your home to make things run more smoothly so you are able to maximize your time and meet your deadlines.
There are 30 lessons in the program that are divided over 8 units.
The course offers some great ideas about setting goals and scheduling your time. You should write down your goals for your business (or homeschool, in my case) and share those with the family. Make sure you are all on the same page. Also, when dealing with kids and households, you have to be flexible. Rigid time schedules may not be the best fit because it is hard to stay on a time schedule when each day is different and so many things are out of your control. Algebra is just hard and some days my kid might need to spend extra time on that subject. Or a toilet overflows. Or we have a doctor appointment in the middle of the day and who knows how long that will take. Instead of trying to stick to a schedule laid out in 15 minute increments, come up with a plan for the day with a list of what needs to get accomplished and a suggested order of how the day should be proceed but allowing flexibility to cut or add things along the way, as needed.
I love that Lisa offers some great ideas for running a household by minimizing your decisions. She suggests letting each child have a day where they are in charge of certain decisions and they are the main helper in making things happen such as cooking dinner. Man, I like that idea. It's just one less decision I have to worry about! She also encourages a house cleaning schedule where everyone works together to focus on one room each day. Other rooms might need tidying up throughout the week but at least each room gets a good cleaning once a week. There is also a full unit just on meal planning.
The course also covers how to manage everything at a sustainable pace. It covers taking care of yourself like making sure you get enough sleep and finding time to relax. You also have to set boundaries and know when it is better to just pay someone for a service than to always try to do everything yourself. I should probably read this unit again.
There is a whole unit on Growing A Business With Your Kids Around. It covers lessons on kids at various ages and how they can feel included and even helpful in your business. There is even a lesson on managing your business with special needs children. Here is just a glimpse at some of the great ideas suggested for integrating kids of various ages into your business....taking pictures for your business, putting postage on mail, add affiliate links to your posts, scribe for you in the car, and straighten up your desk, just to name a few.
I have really enjoyed working through Balancing Diapers and Deadlines. I like the course is self-paced and that the lessons are short so I can complete a lesson while sitting in a doctor's waiting room (got to maximize your time where you can!). I like that it is all text-based so there are no videos or interactive pages to slow down my progress. I want to just read at my own pace. There are action step assignments that I can choose to do to implement the suggestions along the way and even printable worksheets to help me apply the lessons to my own
chaos life. Once I have completed a lesson, I just click on the "Mark Complete" button and the program will remember where I left off and show me a percentage of the course that I have completed so far.
I think all moms could benefit from this course even if they don't homeschool or run a business. It is full of great ideas for to just make a mom's day run more smoothly while cherishing time with their children and meeting deadlines too. I have already implemented many of the suggestions from the course and I can feel a difference in our day.
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