Another Exhausted Mummy…

Dear Holly,My question is…How do you establish a rule when you feel as if you have no energy to stick to the rule? I desperately feel like I need order to my day, but my baby (8 months old) wakes every 1-2 hours per night leaving me feeling extremely sluggish, and unorganized the next day, and I literally feel as if I’m running on fumes. I would like to think that this will pass soon, but his sister who is three now was the same way and still gets up often throughout the night. Besides this, he is extremely demanding during the day, and so is his sister. This leaves me having to take my day as it comes in bits and pieces. My 9 yr old daughter is left homeschooling herself at times, but that hasn’t been working out the best either as she tends to start cutting corners. I don’t feel like a good Mother doing things this way, but don’t seem to have a choice. Your book is wonderful, and it has the schedules that I dream of. I really want to try something, but don’t know what that...

Husband's Upset, Mom's Fatigued, Baby's Awake Again

Dear Holly,This morning, my husband yelled “Well maybe I’ll just leave!”. He was referring to our incessant issues with our 11-month old little boy’s sleep troubles. He wakes up about every 1.5 – 2 hours to nurse, and he has done this for pretty much his whole life. I’ve just brought him into our bed, and normally my husband is okay with it but I guess it’s gotten really cramped for him. I am capable of functioning with much less sleep than would be optimal, but my husband has a very stressful job and really needs his sleep. On some nights I’ve just been sleeping on an air mattress in the basement with my child. I’ve read all of the sleep books, and my pediatrician and friends have recommended “cry it out” which I’ve tried a couple of times. Whenever I’ve let him cry in his crib for longer than 5 minutes or so he literally vomits the entire contents of his stomach and I feel terrible. I’ll do whatever you advise. I’m at my wits end. If necessary, I’ll just sleep in the basement permanently, which seems like a drastic scenario of placing the 4th P before the 2nd P in some ways because my husband gets sad when he has to sleep...

Feeling Too Overwhelmed to Start…

Dear Holly,I am wanting to start a schedule and get some order in my life and my children’s. The problem I am having is that my children’s ages are 4, 3, 2, and almost one. So my schedule for them can’t be too complicated. Also I am not very creative and have a hard time thinking of things for them to do. I could stay busy if I applied myself but I tend to put my attention where it doesn’t belong. For instance I will spend too much time on this or that and not pay attention to kids. I have tried to work on this to no avail. Also my husband is working nights for about another week and a half and then will be having knee surgery, and then I am sure he will be home for a couple weeks and then back to working nights for probably atleast a couple months. So I have fallen into staying up too late and getting up way later then I should be and feel guilty every morning when we are eating breakfast at 10:00. So I want a big change but it is overwhelming where to start and how to incorporate this with 4 children under 4. So any advice you could offer would be wonderful. I ordered a little schedule book to help and will continue reading your book but I would like to start this for Lent. I know one thing I want to do is Stations of the Cross every Friday. So there is a little...

Too Little for Much Independence

Dear Holly,I just finished reading your book, and am still at the stage of needing a radical home transformation before I can move into “upkeep” mode. While I am working on home organization, I have a 2 1/2 year old child who really needs some new interests and challenges. I honestly think she’s totally bored. She is an only child (so far), so I have no little helpers to play with her or otherwise occupy her. I am really trying to get her involved in things that she is capable of doing, but I still need her to sometimes be able to do something quietly by herself, which I am having a real problem with. So far, she doesn’t even like to color! I can’t seem to find anything that holds her interest for more than a few minutes, except for “watching”, but I don’t want her watching whenever I need some time to make dinner or whatever. She has always kind of ignored toys, except to spread them around the house and then leave them alone, and unless I am actively involved in another activity with her, she just doesn’t know what to do with herself, and I frankly am not sure what to do with her either. If you or your readers have some ideas, I would be most grateful. I’d like to see her be happier during the times when I need to have her occupied...

A Perfectionism without Priorities is a Problem!

Dear Holly! Your book was just recommended to me by my homeschool curriculum consultant whom I speak to several times a year. What a change it has brought to my life. I found that I had already implemented so many of the practical suggestions–my home has order, routine, a place for everything, etc. But I didn’t have the 5 p’s working for me. Being a scheduler, a perfectionist, a neatnik, without those P priorities in order–hopeless. The girl who appeared to have it all together burnt herself right out. Self reliance looks good, and it works for a while, but it fails. Even my prayer life flopped, because I was out there trying to control everything myself, instead of turning it over! Your prioritization of the 5 P’s was something I resisted for some time. I was in this trap: Provider (doing my jobbies first), Parent (interacting with my children, full of resentment), Partner (can he be serious!), Prayer (better sneak some in before I get blasted by lightening) and Person (aren’t I just the most selfless creature you ever saw?). So that part, the ordering of my life with God at the top, followed by my person and then my husband’s person, gave real spiritual life to all my schedules and lists and Rubbermaid...
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