Fifth P: Provider

About Meal Planning…

Dear Holly,I have 3 boys, ages 2 to 5, and the eldest is in kindergarten. I have another baby coming in the summer and I plan to homeschool next fall. I’m a little nervous that I will not be organized or able to do it at all. One of my biggest difficulties is FOOD!! Time and time again—after racing thru a busy day–4 o’clock rolls around and I am thinking to myself, “What should I make for dinner?” I’m a planner by nature–except when it comes to dinner! I am a last-minute Lucy. Luckily, my husband likes to cook, and usually bails me out–but I have realized that a failed meal plan is costly, and wasteful. Do you have a good recommendation for a healthy meal planner–one that is easy, and nutritious? Part of the problem for me is, I am not into processed or convenience food–so everything I make is from scratch which is very time-consuming. I probably need to spend one day cooking all day–preparing food/ lasagnas for example and freezing them– I am just not motivated to cook–I’d rather clean house all day than cook, but I know it’s important and I want my family to eat healthy. I am not happy with myself that I end up “throwing something together” at the last minute–and being under stress, when I should have planned a menu. I am the cooking procrastinator!! Please... read more

Too Busy, Too Tired and Too Far Away

Dear Holly,I am a mother and a wife and I live in South Africa. I need the best life for my children, but I always get home late and am very tired. I am working very far away and I am using public transport. I can’t play with my kids after work or read them a story book, especially my 7 years old daughter. I feel like I am neglecting her and also my 13 year old boy. He does not like me that much as he likes the father. Can you give me the tips on how to do the right... read more

Learning to Simplify

Dear Holly,It was so great to meet you this past weekend at the MCH Conference! Thanks so much for coming and sharing your time and gifts with us. We have been meeting for the past year to discuss each chapter of your book and support each other. It has been a tremendous help to me personally. When I first heard about your book from my friend, I was not interested because I had been implementing a schedule for a couple of years with my children. Then I read a review for your book on Spirit Daily and knew I had to read it. What I was looking for was in the last chapter or two of your book when you said God would come in the peace of my soul. I realized God cannot come when there is no peace. And to have peace, I needed more order. I had some order in my life, but not an all-emcompassing order that your rule proposed. One of the areas I need to grow more is in simplifying. I have felt in my soul over the last 6-12 months that God is calling me to simplify my life. I have tried to do this, but still feel I’m “floundering” in this area. I was hoping you might be able to “mentor” us a little more in this area or if you could recommend resources that may... read more

The 5 Ps, Homeschooling and a Home Business

Dear Holly,Thank you so much for your book. I’ve read and re-read it several times and it has been a true gift and inspiration.I have two children under 2 years old and have started a business from home. Although we live simply, we still need a second income to cover emergencies and a little savings. I work part-time, about 15-20 hours a week, in the early morning and during naptime, and if necessary, at night. I would like to homeschool as well. My question is, do you think it is possible to work from home part-time, be the primary caregiver of at least 2 children, and homeschool? I am wondering if this is realistic. How were you able to write your book and keep up with all your... read more

Nutrition & Diet & Meal Planning & Finding Time!!

Dear Holly,Your book is such an inspiration – thank you! Planning & preparing meals is a major stumbling block for me in my MROL. Everything seems to need to be planned around them in our household or things just fall apart. I noticed on your blog that you have eliminated dairy & wheat from your diet. I recently discovered that a lot of my kids’ problems, as well as my own, are related to similar intolerances. I have always been bad about over-using convenience foods & fast foods & such. However, now I don’t just want to change, but need to for my family’s sake. It is very hard to find more time to cook from scratch and even harder to find well-balanced meals the kids will actually eat when trying to take out our problem foods – so many of our favorites and our comfort foods contain wheat or dairy. And 2 of my 5 kids are very picky eaters. None of us are big veggie eaters. Additionally, we were told that it would be better to increase our variety to avoid developing more food intolerances. How did you manage & can you recommend some good ideas or resources for us? Thanks & God bless... read more

Night Shift and Sleep

Dear Holly,I am a single working outside-the-home mom on midnite shift. My daughter goes to Catholic school & my son just turned 3..I need to sleep during the day & don’t want to put him in daycare but am looking to perhaps put him in pre-school….any ideas on how to find time to sleep? My folks keep my children at nite, which is great & next Aug, my son will attend the same school as my daughter, but am having trouble just now w/my lack of sleep…any suggestions? Thanks in advance, I love your... read more

Where do I Start?

Dear Holly,My main problem is that my house is very disorganized, and I’m finding it hard to know where to begin to get organized. I know that once the house is organized it will be fairly easy to keep it that way, it’s just a matter of finding the time to do a major overhaul to get it that way. My husband works long hours and is also attending graduate school part time, so I can’t rely on him for too much help with... read more

Division of Labor with Mother's Rule

Dear Holly,I am presently working on my Mother’s Rule. I am a working Mom and my husband works in shifts. Now, I’ve made two kinds of schedules, one for his working days and another one for his days off. I kind of ‘assigned’ most of the housework to him on his days off (i.e. I didn’t write those things down on my schedule, but assumed he would look after them, as he usually has up to now). Do you think this is bad? On these days I sometimes need to work very late to catch up the hours I’ve missed because of kids’ doctors’ appointments etc. Especially then, and to be honest on ‘normal’ days as well, nothing would work if I tried to do it all by myself. There was some discussion about this on the web site, and I felt the general opinion was for a rather traditional division of duties. But if my husband is better at cooking and cleaning (and enjoys them more) than at doing house repairs etc. (my duties at the moment), I guess that shouldn’t be a... read more

A Rule for Working Mothers

Dear Holly,First of all, thank you for your wonderful book, and the web site. First I thought the book was going to be one of those very depressing reads that describe the perfectly-organised, perfectly-happy life of a home-schooling family. But when you got on to the five Ps and the problems you had had when developing your rule, I really got interested. I’d like to ask if you know of any working mothers who have successfully adopted a MROL? I would be very grateful if you have some ideas on getting it to work, or have heard something from your readers. It is very difficult to put the provider role in the 5th position when you’re workin eight hours a day and commuting one. And after work, there’s all the housework to do. Sometimes I really feel totally overwhelmed. At the moment it really isn’t an option for me to stay at home. My husband works too, but I’m earning twice as much as him and if I quit my job we’d be living on state benefits, which I believe wouldn’t be right either. There are nice arrangements here in Finland for staying at home with children under the age of three, but our kids are 10, 8 and 5. Our fourth child was stillborn in October last... read more

Frugality & Simplicity

Dear Holly, I want to thank you for sharing the tremendous gift of A Mother’s Rule of Life with us. Thank God! I need a rule! Do you have any suggestions on how I can be more frugal? We are a one income family and we need to save money anyway we can. Could you recommend a book or a website with some... read more
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