Have you ever wondered how you can implement systems in your home to transform chaos into calm? In this episode, Camille welcomes Laura Hernandez, the owner of Mama Systems, whose aim is to help bring peace to your home through systems.
Laura shares how she handles motherhood in a household with 10 children and the different real-life examples of systems she’s put in place to create order in their home. She also shares the process of how she helps clients automate, delegate, and eliminate tasks in their homes.
If you’re looking to put in place systems for your own home to help with handling parenting and business, tune into this episode to hear Laura’s tried and tested advice on how you too can achieve calm and order in your household.
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LAURA HERNANDEZ [0:00]
And there’s something beautiful about that humility instead of rising up. And I feel like there’s the pride and we snap and we’re mean about it. And then, there’s just the humility that’s just like, “Hey, guys, I need some grace and I need your help.” It just creates a beautiful thing. It teaches our kids so much about asking from help from others.
CAMILLE WALKER [0:17]
So, you want to make an impact. You’re thinking about starting a business sharing your voice. How do women do it that handle motherhood, family, and still chase after those dreams? We’ll listen each week as we dive into the stories of women who know. This is Call Me CEO.
Hey, everyone. This is Camille Walker, your host. I am thrilled to have you here today because we are going to be talking about systems and creating a sense of peace in your life when there’s chaos all around. I have implemented some systems in my life and in my family, but sometimes I get lazy with them and I need a refresh or some different ideas to bring in calm. So, I know you’re going to learn some things today. Let’s dive in.
If there’s anything that any of us can relate to in all of the ways, it is chaos in the home. We all have something going on in our lives, places where kids need to be, food that needs to be fed, and messes everywhere.
And my guest today, Laura Hernandez, is the owner and developer of Mama Systems to help calm the chaos. So, we are going to dive into those nitty gritty areas that we all need help with. Laura, I’m so excited to have you on the show today. I know that we’re going to walk away with some major nuggets of how to keep soldiering on. So, thank you so much for being here.
Thank you so much for having me. I’m really excited to hang out with you.
Yeah, me too. So, before we get started or as we get started, please introduce yourself to us. Tell us who you are and how in the heck you run a household of 10 wonderful children. I am just in awe.
There are so many things, but we live in the Dallas area. My husband and I, we have 10 kids and 3 are adopted and 3 are foster care and those 3 have special needs. And then, 2 of our biological ones also have special needs. So, we have many experiences in this home and it’s not always calm experiences.
But the joy of putting systems in place is that you can calm the chaos and you can bring it down so many notches because there are things that are not children’s behaviors, but just things that need to get done on a daily basis. And when you can have those things flowing smoothly, all the rest of the stuff is easier to deal with because all of the mundane stuff is already taken care of.
Oh my goodness. I tell you. I feel like systems is the washing machine of our home universe. If you have a system, and this goes for business too, in place where the kids understand it and they know it and it creates a predictability, I have found in my own home that kids, their behavior is better and there’s less confusion and there’s a less of a sense of what’s happening next, which I feel like if your kids have that sense, that can cause a lot of behavioral issues because there’s a lack of security. So, I love that you’ve developed this and are sharing that with people because I feel like that’s where a lot of calm can come is that sense of what we can expect in the home.
Yeah. And I think that’s also the case for moms too because just if we know what’s coming, we have that predictability in our lives. Even if we’re people that like spontaneity and all of those things, we thrive on knowing what we’re supposed to be doing. And so, if we have a plan for all of the things around us that need to get done, we’re not as stressed out, we’re not as chaotic and we can respond and react in ways that we’re peaceful with our kids.
I love it. I can already tell we’re going to share some good nuggets here. So, no matter what you’re doing, please keep a little notebook or put notes in your phone as we’re listening because we are going to delve into some really good tips here. And so, please tell us. As a kid, did you imagine someday, I’m going to be a mom? Is that something you wanted? Did you imagine yourself having 10 children? Walk us through what happened. How did that happen with the 10?
Yeah. So, I have always wanted to have a lot of kids and it was like a ridiculous amount like 25 or something crazy like that. We’re not getting there. So, whatever point of ease, we’re not going to 25. But I always wanted a big family and I just loved kids.
And I remember reading one time an article, this is not fun to talk about, about the civil wars in Rwanda and about the war lords crucifying a woman and cutting the baby out of her belly. And just I remember at the age of 12, my heart just broke and I thought I want to adopt all the babies and bring them all under my roof so that doesn’t happen to them. And so, that’s where my heart for adoption came in.
And as my husband and I got married and we started having kids, we had our 3rd biological and he said, “We’ve got to hurry up and do this adoption thing because I don’t know if I can do any more than 4.” And so, we started foster care and we had Andrew. And he went back to his mom and ended up coming back with 2 more siblings a couple years later when we had 2 more kids.
And during that time, we went from having 4 kids to 8 kids in a 6-month period along with a cross-country move along with renovating this house and renting another house, and also another sibling in there for a hot minute of theirs for his 1st 2 months of life, he came to live with us. And so, it was chaotic. There was a lot of going on. We had 5 little people that were 4 and under all in diapers. And my gosh, it was just a lot.
We had people come in and out of our home all the time and just different case workers and therapists and all these doctors coming in. There were so many things that made our family so unique. And I had books and blogs and all the things trying to figure out what in the world do I do because I felt so overwhelmed. I remember giving myself pep talks to get to the end of the day, just thinking if I can just make it to bedtime and everybody’s in their cribs because all 5 of them were in cribs, so if I can just make it to bedtime, we’ll be good. That’s what I need in life is bedtime.
And I can remember thinking, I can’t live this way. I can’t just live in survival mode. There are so many things I want to do as a mom and ways that I want to show up as a mom that I’m not able to doing this. And so, reading all the things, couldn’t find anything that was fitting for our family, which is I know shocking to you. So, I had to figure out something that would work for us.
And so, I created a process of really figuring out what’s important to us, what really matters to us. And the rest of the things, we’re going to try to figure out systems for. So, I wanted to make sure that the things I really cared about were a priority in our life because at the time, I could say that something was the most important thing to you, but you wouldn’t know how we’re living.
So, that process was able to let me bring systems in my home and the systems brought peace to my home. And so, I’d be sitting on the chair at night with my feet up and the house would be clean and kids would be in bed. It felt magical because it just felt so counter what having a lot of kids should be like.
And so, finally I was like I really think that I could do this for others too. And so, I started helping friends and just seeing I have nothing other to call it than magic I guess transformation. Seeing the transformation of living so chaotically and not knowing what is going on, having peace and really enjoying motherhood. It’s just been such a blessing to me and to them. And so, that’s where Mama Systems got started and how I finally came to really thrive as a family.
That’s wonderful. So, what year was this that you created the system? I should say when did you go from 4 to 8 and when did you create the systems? How many years ago was this?
Yeah. 2014 is the year when we moved back to Seattle to adopt. And then, in 2015, we finalized adoption. And that was when I was like, okay, we’ve got to figure out something. So, in 2015 is when we really started putting things into play.
Okay, cool. So, you’ve been doing this for a while and helping a lot of people. I love that. Thank you for doing that and you have such a kind heart about you. Looking at your face and the way you talk about your family and helping other people, you just have such a wonderful heart.
So, I’m curious. Let’s dive into this a little bit. Let’s pretend that someone’s coming to you for the first time. They’re frazzled. They are feeling a sense of overwhelm. They just don’t even know where to begin. What are very common questions that people come to you with and what are first steps for getting a process of creating calm out of chaos?
Yeah. So, my first step is totally empathize. Just because I’ve been there before, I remember just the realness of all of it when they’re talking about the overwhelming and the drowning and the not liking motherhood and all of that. I’m like I get that. I understand that so well. And it’s like you could put me there yesterday. It’s just such a real feeling and having all those feelings while you’re trying to raise a family and trying to do really life-giving work, those two things aren’t really compatible.
And so, there’s empathy on my part. They’re just like I won’t fix everything. They don’t even know where to start. So then, my first step is to dig down a little bit with that and we really have to figure out what we’re doing in our life.
So, my first goal for them is to assess all the things that they’re doing, all of the things that they want to be doing. I think often as mamas, we live such reactionary lifestyles that we just go from thing to thing to thing to thing and we’re not even sure really where we’re spending our time or our energy or our day. So, that process of just calming everything and really assessing and taking inventory of all the things we’re doing is really helpful.
It’s helpful for them to just open their eyes to it, but then it’s also helpful for me to see, okay, this is what you’re dealing with here. And I think that most of it, we don’t even have to be dealing with. You’re spinning your wheels on this and you don’t need to be doing that.
And so, our second step is to then figure out what is giving them life out of those things and what’s draining them. And the things that are draining them is what we deal with first because I think once we can even get a little bit of pressure off of that, at which it would be a little bit freer, and then we can really think about prioritizing other things.
And so, with the things that drain us, we want to automate, delegate, and eliminate as much as possible. And so, we start with eliminating and we go through relationships and people and stuff and all the things and figure out how we can make life a little less chaotic just by simply getting rid of some things and not getting rid of people like killing them, just to clarify that, but just putting boundaries around really draining relationships. I know there’s draining relationships we think about.
And so, if we can figure that out, it’s a really good place to start. And then, automating, automation is anything that just happens automatically. And so, it could be an automation of groceries being delivered or it could be an automation of a schedule that you fall on. And so, every Wednesday, you do this and that’s an automation you put in place to help you remember what needs to happen.
And then, delegating, I love delegating things out to people. And I think that’s really hard for moms to do. I think asking for help is really hard from other people, and then the lie that we are supposed to do it all and give things to our kids is really easy to grab hold of in our culture. And so, I have to debunk a little bit of that. But once we can create a team mentality in that home and start to ask for help from our spouse, from friends, even from babysitters and delegating out some of those things, oh my goodness, it’s lifechanging.
Yeah. Man, I listen to this and yes, every week, I am talking to busy moms and entrepreneurs especially that have a hard time of letting go and that’s why I help them to hire virtual assistants. That’s a big part of what I do. And I find that this idea of women at the wheel where we used to come together and divide up tasks and really lean on each other and help each other is lost on us because we have so many modern conveniences that make it easy to feel isolation and independence, even though we have a lot more convenience.
And so, it can feel tricky where we think, no, I should be able to do this all. I should be able to handle and hold and take care of and systematize. But sometimes you can’t, most times. And it's not supposed to be that way. So, I love that you say that, that taking an inventory of what it is that we’re doing and how we’re spending our time. And so, that really aligns with the values of the way you want your home to feel and the way you want your kids to behave or to interact with you or to support each other.
So, I wanted to ask you specifically, there’s some pain points that I know all of us can relate to. And the first that I wanted to dive into is meal time. That can be, oh my gosh, you guys, the witching hour of the day where you get to that late afternoon hour, the kids are tired from school, they want a snack right after school, and then they eat too much, so they’re not hungry for dinner. There’s all the things that everyone wants something from you. What are some systems that we can put into place for meal time that could help us to calm the crazy?
Yeah, I love that you brought up the witching hour because that’s my biggest chunk of the day where I’m like I see systems and I’m like yes, that’s where we need them because it can be so much. People need to go places to practice or whatever and you’re supposed to be feeding people and so-and-so needs to be put down for a nap. And you can only be so many places at once.
So, this is one of the places I feel really strongly that mamas need to have systems in because it’s so crazy. And so, for us, what we do at our house is we have 5 o’clock jobs. It’s very original in that it happens at 5 o’clock. And we have a timer go off on Alexa and on my phone and on my watch. They all go off. And so, everybody has something that they need to be doing in that time.
So, I go into the kitchen and start to cook dinner. And this is simply because I forget to feed my kids. It’ll get to 6:30 or so and we’re just having so much fun or we got so distracted doing this that I forgot to feed you guys and you need to be in bed in 30 minutes and whatever. So, it's a lot for me. I’ll go in there and start cooking dinner.
Kids all have assigned jobs that they’re supposed to do at 5 o’clock. And so, with those assigned jobs, they’re doing 3 things. They’re getting ready for school the next day, so hanging out their clothes, making their lunch, making sure everything’s ready for school, backpacks packed, whatever. And then, something for dinner, so they either help set the table or help me get food on the table or help with the meal or help hold the kid. Everybody has their assigned little thing that they’re supposed to be doing during that time.
And then finally, everybody has a zone that they’re in charge of. And it can either be a whole room depending on the situation, depending on the kid, depending on a whole bunch of things, it can be a room or it can be an item. So, my son Sam’s in charge of picking up Legos and that could be anywhere from Legos downstairs to Legos upstairs. Legos are his thing. And so, if I see Legos on the floor, i know who to call out for that. But if I see them and I’m like, “Hey, Sam, there’s Legos over there,” he’s not allowed to come back and say, “I didn’t make that mess,” within reason.
Our goal here is teamwork. So, even if he didn’t make the mess, I expect him to clean that up. And so, I’m like, “We’re all just pitching in as a team.” And the joy of that is that while I’m in there cooking dinner, everyone is doing what they’re supposed to be doing and we’re all working together. And the beauty that happens because of that is I don’t feel bitter. I don’t feel ticked off that they’re in there making a mess after I just cleaned up that room and I’m trying to feed them. And this is evil, what’s going on inside my head.
Not evil. This is so relatable. Are you kidding? Yeah.
I agree. I know that it’s typical, but I’m like, hmm. So, just the feelings of resentment and bitterness have dwindled down so much. And so, we can all be working together as a team. And it’s just really beautiful.
I am stealing this idea today. I love it because I have done systems in the past. I’ve done weekly chores. And let me just say, I feel like there have been times where my kids will be really good at doing a system, and then either I get tired or sick of bored of it and we just have to reshuffle things.
But I love the idea of 5 o’clock jobs that the alarm goes off, everyone pitches in and it’s a time that’s this community teamwork effort where everyone is doing something to help. Can you give us a few more ideas of what other 5 o’clock jobs your kids are doing during that time?
Yes. So, my 3-year-old is putting the forks on the table and we have two Roombas. His job in the morning is to start the Roombas and his job in the afternoon is to find the Roombas and bring them back to their chargers. If they get charged or not, that’s a different question, but that’s his job is to go find the Roombas.
And then, I have another one that puts drinks on the table and make sure water bottle’s filled up and everybody has a drink. My daughter helps watch the baby for me so that I can do what I need to do. And somebody unloading dishes so that we can load dishes once dinner is over, take out the dog. I have a kid in charge of picking up toys in one room, straightening up the cubbies in another.
I batch work their lunches. And so, they’re all already made and in the freezer, but the kids are then in charge of grabbing them out of the freezer and putting them in their lunchbox and putting it in the fridge for the next day. So, shoes, glasses, clothes, everything needs to be by the door. That morning time is very dependent on our afternoon time if we can make that happen. So, having shoes by the door, having glasses and the appropriate clothes like a jacket if they need a jacket, having all of that right there is really helpful for not only them, but for me.
I love it. So, what do you do about cleanup afterwards? How do you make that a team effort for after dinner time?
Yeah. So, three of my people instead of a 5 o’clock job of getting ready for dinner, they have it as an afternoon job or an after dinner job. And so, one wipes down the table, one clears it and puts away food, and then the last one does the dishes.
And how do you keep this all straight so that everyone knows what they’re doing?
We keep it the same. Consistency is key here because what happens is as moms, we forget who. We switched jobs last week, “I don’t remember what you were doing this week. Okay, fine. Go play. Just leave.” It just quickly falls apart if we’re changing it too much. It’s too much for us to remember. The kids start to argue about who’s job is what, “I did it last time. It’s your turn this time.”
We’re not doing that. We’re keeping it the same and we have at least a semester or school year or summer time that we’re keeping it the same. So, it’s not like every other week, we’re switching or every other month, we’re just keeping it same. And that just helps so much with our decision fatigue as well.
Yes, I love that. Do you have it written on a board or something so you know who does what from the get go or how do you start that system?
Yeah. So, for my kids and for my clients and stuff, we create little charts that just have very clear expectations of the kids. It also serves as a contract of, “Hey, this is your responsibility as being a member of this family. You eat here. You live here. Everything is provided for you under the sun. Everything you can possibly want and need, everything. So, this is what we expect of you.” And for the most part, it’s not strenuous stuff. We’re not doing child labor here. The stuff is a lot of hygiene things that I need them to be able to really have down before they leave for college.
Yes. So, okay, we covered meal time a little bit. What about meal prepping and meal planning?
This makes me so happy. I want to tell you about this app that I have and I need to start getting paid for them or buy them because I’m telling everyone about it. I think it’s the greatest thing in the whole world. It’s called eMeals and it absolutely changed my life. It’s amazing.
So, I used to do theme meals. So, I’d have Tuesdays is taco night. Monday is crockpot night, just depending on our week and what I felt like we could do as quickly as possible. And I would go through my arsenal of meals and it would just help narrow down, it gets rid of that decision fatigue and I could meal plan from there. And that made life super easy.
But what I love about eMeals is that it’s this amazing app that hooks up with your grocery ordering app. So, for us that’s Walmart and I’ll get on there and they’ll have 6 meals for me to choose from for the week and I’ll pick which ones. I’ll look up what I think my kids will like. And I pick those and all the ingredients are automatically uploaded to my Walmart app. And if I have it, it doesn’t upload them, but all the ingredients are already uploaded. And so then, I just check out at Walmart. So, within 10 minutes, I’ve meal planned for the week and have grocery shopping done. It's amazing. It’s absolutely amazing. So, I think everybody needs to check it out.
Yes. First of all, grocery delivery alone has changed my life. Any time we take my kids back to the grocery store, I’m like how did I ever do this for all those years? It’s such an incredible service. And I know about digital meal planning and there are many options out there, but I haven’t been utilizing them.
So, I love that you’re reminding me of that because I think I do get tripped up in I need to choose something that at least I know one of my kids is going to eat and take turns going through them and who will eat what, but maybe you have an arsenal of things that you like. And do you connect it with Pinterest too or do you manually put these recipes in there?
No. The recipes are already provided. So, it’s really just this magical thing because the recipes are already provided. All of them, my kids have loved, which is shocking that every time they’re like, “This is so good.” And sometimes, I’m putting it together and I’m like, gosh, this is going to be the one they really don’t like. And every single one, they just loved the meals, which is really surprising to me and I feel like with that track record. Anyway, I’m sorry, I’m just going to show you my app, but that’s not helpful right now.
You know what we’re going to do for the people listening is I would love for you to send me 5 links to recipes you like, and then we can just put those in the show notes because I want to see. I think that’s awesome, yeah.
Okay, perfect. So, we’ve gone through mealtime. We’ve talked about meal planning. Let’s talk about family teamwork, getting chores done, getting things done around the house. Walk us through it. That is something that is a heartburn for all of us, I’m sure.
Yeah. So, there are several things that I would like to say about that. So, I think teamwork is super important in that mamas do not need to do it all. The chores are good for our kids. The studies all over the place show how great it is for our kids not only for now, but for future references and just the belonging and the feeling needed that comes from creating systems around chores and having your kids really feel like they belong and that they’re needed.
And I think having those conversations of, “Hey, we need you to unload the dishes because without you unloading the dishes, no one can load the dishes. So, you really need to get in there and load the dishes,” and they get to see how we’re all interconnected. And that’s very much how life goes in everything. When we have a job that if we don’t show up and do our part, then nobody else can do their part.
And so, drilling in that lesson very early on I think is important. I think setting clear expectations and having appropriate expectations I think are very good things. So, appropriate expectations being that I’m not going to expect my 3-year-old or even my 5-year-old really to make a bed that looks like a hotel. I mean, none of my children do I expect them just to be abundantly clear, but to have a hotel bed made. They’re just not going to do that. So, my expectation for them making their bed is that all the blankies and everything will be on their bed. That’s it. I don’t care if it looks like the Hilton. It just needs to be picked up and on their bed.
And so, I think having those appropriate expectations and figuring out where your kids are. So, I have a kid that’s 9, but her mental age is more like 4. And so, what she’s capable of, what her emotions are capable of after a long day of school, we can’t expect too much of her. We’re just putting water bottles from the counter to the table. That’s it and that’s pretty much all we can expect. And I can also probably expect a fit every time I ask her to do that. But I know that in time, she will see the benefits of that and that she’ll see that rhythm and routines that we’re putting in place.
So, setting really clear expectations with them I think requires us sitting down and having a team meeting of, “Hey, guys, this is what we’re doing. This is our new system that we’re putting in place. Here are the things that you’re going to be in charge of,” and really making sure that they understand what they’re in charge of and to what extent they’re in charge of it.
And I think this is also a really great time for us to be vulnerable as mamas and just to communicate, “Hey, guys. I love you like crazy, but I can’t do it all.” Just the humanity of that and the vulnerability of that I think is a beautiful thing, yeah.
And so, our kids can really step in and not that we’re relying on our kids for emotional anything, but just them seeing that vulnerability from us because what we do when we try to do it all is we’re teaching our kids not to ask for help and to sacrifice everything for the good of the family. And in my opinion, that’s not really a healthy way to approach life.
I love that you talked about the vulnerability because anytime that I have opened myself up, even in was of parenting of saying, hey, this is hard for us. Being a teenager is hard or being a 3 year old is hard and I’m doing my best right now and I’m new to this just like you are. And I think especially in household tasks and cleaning and cooking and all of the things that if we can be vulnerable, it’s magic for our kids to hear that.
Yeah. And there’s something beautiful about that humility instead of rising up. I feel like there’s the pride and we snap and we’re mean about it. And then, there’s the humility of just like, “Hey, guys, I need some grace and I need your help.” It just creates a beautiful thing. It teaches our kids so much about asking from help from others.
That is so beautiful. And what a lesson to be vulnerable and share to say, “I can’t do it all. I need help.” That’s such a gift to our kids too to feel like they can do that in return. So, we’re talking about jobs and who does what and how do you do this. What about bathing? Is that something that you work into your systems as well?
It is. And I don’t know what people are going to think of me after I tell you this, but with 10 children, we’re not bathing every night.
Neither do I. I have 4. Listen, it’s not even good for kids’ skin to bathe them every day, okay? Yeah.
Exactly, perfect. I’m glad to have that bit of information in there. I say this once and people are like, “Oh my gosh.” So, we have shower night three nights a week. And if they’re sweaty and gross, then yes, they take a shower. But those three nights are when we pile people through and make sure everybody’s clean because having that designated night helps me not let any kids slip through the cracks and the bathing process.
So, they all go bathe on their own. But I have some boys who will do a really good job of just wetting their hair and I took a shower. I don’t know if you have any of those, but yeah. So, I think it just helps me with keeping track of everyone in their bath time routines and their bathing.
Yeah. Do you take Saturdays no as a big cleaning day for the family or I’m curious how you do that if that’s something? Because you’re doing so much daily upkeep, what do the weekends look like?
Yeah. Normally, we try to either do service somewhere. I love picking up trash on the side of the road with my kids. That sounds really funny I think, but it’s just a great way to clean up our community and help them. There’s not a lot of things that a lot of my kids can do in an actual service setting.
And so, this is something easy that we can all do together. We can all walk the road and even my 3-year-old can go with us and it’s just not even a thing. So, we love doing that, and then really just hanging out and resting is what we do. So, we’ll have a cleaning day during the week when I have a whole system for that as well, but we try to keep the weekends as free as possible.
I like that because I know that for some families, it’s Saturday mornings, and then you go play or my sister-in-law does Mondays. Mondays is the day that everyone pitches in and they know Mondays are cleaning days recovering from the weekend.
And I think that there’s something really beautiful in that, like we said in the beginning, if it’s a system that works for your family and it’s predictable, then it’s just the way it is. You don’t have as much back and forth of why are we doing this or this isn’t fair, which can be a common thing that kids that try to get away with I feel like.
So, my goodness, the ages of your kids, I’m not sure what they are now, but I’m curious if you have a system in play for technology because that seems to be something I get asked about a lot as I’ve been doing a parenting and family blog for over 10 years. That’s a question that comes up a lot. How do you handle technology in the home?
Yeah. So, our little buddies, pretty much all of them except my oldest who is 16, none of them have phones except my oldest. And our goal is to really limit as much technology as possible and how we do that is we have a ticket system that we use and this whole system is created to lessen entitlement and have them actually have to work for their technology.
So, hear me say that our kids can watch shows at night and whatever, there’s times for that. But it’s just not an all-day gorging of all the screens all the time. It’s not a right for them to play Xbox. And so, for us, they have to earn it. They have to have tickets for it. And it makes the whole process so easy because they can ask me to play Xbox and I can say, “Do you have tickets for that?” “No.” “Okay, you don’t play Xbox.” It’s just a very simple they know the rules, they know what we’re doing. You don’t have tickets for it, you don’t get to play.
I love that too. I’ve done a system like that. And admittedly, I’m currently where I don’t have a system like that in place, but in the past when I’ve done that, I love that it’s for us, we don’t have tickets, but if they ask, I’ll say something like, “Did you do your jobs?” or I’ll say, “You have to do two jobs before you get open screen time or play time with friends or whatever.”
And so, I love when it’s just not a yes or no. It’s almost like you can ask it back to them where it shows that they have control of that privilege. One thing I love to say to them is I’ll say, “You know I love saying yes to you, but you also know what question I’m going to ask. So, can I say yes to you?” And it flips back on them. And they’re like, “No, but I really want it,” or whatever the thing is.
And I think that can be really annoying for them at times, but also it builds a sense of responsibility and ownership of that privilege of I guess if I really want that thing, I have to do the thing that I know I needed to do in the first place. And it creates a sense of ownership, which I think is really beautiful, especially in the time of quick gratification that kids have these days where at a swipe of a finger, they can be entertained for hours.
So, I think that that’s something as parents now for our generation we’ve been given the challenge and the hurdle of overcoming that quick gratification where in many circumstances, it can be so easy for us to want to lean on that where sometimes, it is more work to put the system in place. But once they’re in place, the return is so great.
LAURA [ 32:48]
Yeah, I couldn’t agree more. I have a very techy husband. So, he’s put a lot of those things in place for me where let’s limits on some things and there’s limits on what they can do, when they can do it. So, pretty much any time they want time on their tablet, they have to come ask us, which is so annoying. I’m with you a million percent that it’s so annoying to have to come ask every time, and then pull up my app and give them time. But I think it’s a must. I think our kids’ safety and wellbeing and exposure to things is so important And we’re in charge of protecting them from that, but it’s definitely a must.
Yeah, I completely agree. And it’s interesting as the conversation has changed with my 6-year-old to now my nearly 15-year-old where there are certain challenges of not only overcoming that unsatiated need for constant entertainment, but also practicing using imagination.
And if they say, “I’m so bored and there’s nothing for me to do,” I’ll say, “Whoops, that shows me that I’ve been lazy. I haven’t let you flex your imagination muscles and they’re weak right now.” And I’ll say that where I’m like, “That’s okay to feel that way, but it looks like you’re out of practice. So, we just need to get comfortable with being uncomfortable until you get strong with your imagination again.” And they’re like, “Oh my gosh, mom.”
I love it.
Yeah. We do all the technology stuff too. Any time my kids want extra time on any app or Xbox or the Switch or whatever, it’s a request and receive situation, which again can take effort to set up, but it’s so worth it. And I’m so grateful for those mechanisms that we have now to put those in place.
This has been amazing. I feel so richly fed by you. And my goodness, I’m sure there are so many people who are like give me these systems right now. Tell everyone where they can find you and connect with you more.
Yeah, www.mamasystems.net is my website and @mamasystems on Instagram and Facebook.
Very cool. My friend, this has been so wonderful to talk with you. Thank you so much for sharing your time and squeezing us into your day. We had this scheduled before. And can you imagine her entire family got COVID? And we know that that derails everything. So, thank you for rescheduling and I’ve just really enjoyed learning from you today.
It’s been so fun. Thank you for having me.
Oh my gosh. I loved that episode so much. Thank you, Laura, for being a guest on our show. And she has a free guide for us called The Self-Care Guide. It is linked in the show notes below. It is a free way for you to check in with yourself and make sure that you are taking care of you so that you can run all of these amazing systems and help take care of your family.
Also if you’re running a business, make sure to reach out to me because I can help you with hiring a virtual assistant. If you are feeling overwhelmed, that is what I help you come in with is creating a team and a sense of systems within your business so that you can grow.
Also, if you’ve enjoyed this podcast episode, please share it with a friend. Any social share or link or comment or review, rating helps this podcast so, so much. And it means so much to me from the bottom of my heart. So, thank you for being here today. And I look forward to seeing you next week.
Hey, CEOs. Thank you so much for spending your time with me. If you found this episode inspiring or helpful, please let me know in a comment and a 5-star review. You could have the chance of being a featured review on an upcoming episode. Continue the conversation on Instagram @callmeceopodcast. And remember, you are the boss!
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