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With the beginning of the new year, I decided it was time to introduce balance and patience into my life and our family. Things have become so crazy with our wacky schedules and I end many days feeling like that fun and happy person I used to know is gone! And so I did some soul searching and decided it was time to find solutions to the problems that continued to be bothersome for our family. They were all small things that needed easy solutions; it was just a matter of sitting down and figuring them out! And I had a little help from the new Walmart Family Mobile Plus Plan too.
Are you ready to hear them? I’m sure they are the same problems that many of you face, just in different circumstances. And as we have implemented these easy fixes, I’ve noticed some real differences in how I’ve felt which has affected the rest of the family too (if Momma ain’t happy, right?).
Solutions for Your Spouse
My husband has two jobs. He manages our family business and then teaches guitar in the late afternoons and evenings. It’s not always easy to stay connected with him. And he doesn’t always have the easiest time playing his music apps in his lessons. Both problems cause some frustrations and headaches for us.
Thankfully, we found the new Walmart Family Mobile PLUS with Unlimited Talk, Text, & Data which includes up to 10GB of 4G LTE plus a free movie on VUDU every month, per line for $49.88. With the unlimited talk and text, we can call each other on breaks to catch up, text information for family events and pictures from the day, and email bills and important documents for the family to each other so nothing falls through the cracks! And that brings me to my first tip for your spouse.
Have a system of communication in place. It sounds simple but it works! Before we started doing this, things were scattered. We would talk about a bill, for example, in a phone call and then the information would be written down and lost. Or sensitive information would be sent via email and result in us panicking! So we decided to streamline things into a plan. Phone calls are for catching up if we have the time and discussing the sensitive details. Text messages are for sending pictures and videos back and forth of the kids, adding details about events and family, and small reminders. And then we use email to forward nonsensitive information, bills, and larger pictures and files. It’s helped keep me so much more organized!
Find apps that make their life easier. For my hubby, he needs apps for music to use in his lessons. He has students asking to learn new songs every week, sometimes on the spot, and he loves being able to whip out his phone, pull up the app, and start teaching the song (a lot of times by ear!) or find the sheet music. The 10 GB of data on our Walmart Family Mobile Plus Service Plan has given him peace of mind, knowing that he’ll never have to think twice when pulling up his web browser to find that new song.
Solutions for the Kids
Most days, I’m ready to put my kids to bed by mid-afternoon! My oldest is only in school for half a day and my youngest has preschool just a few hours a week. I seriously feel like I’m the leader of a circus and everyone expects me to entertain them! Not long after picking up my son from school, he begins asking questions like, “So, what are we doing today?”, “Where are we going today?”, “Are we doing anything fun?”…
It’s exhausting! I want them to have fun but they have really needed to start learning the value of having to work hard and then be rewarded, rather than constantly being entertained with little expectations.
Have a reward system. Each day, they have certain chores that need to be done before they can have any kind of entertainment. Because they are still young, these chores aren’t difficult. For my oldest, it’s helping with the dishes, making his bed, doing his homework, and cleaning his room.
The privileges they earn are their favorite forms of entertainment-TV and playing games on my phone! We have required chores that earn them a certain amount of time on the phone once they are completed. There are also bonus chores that earn them extra time with no more than an hour a day. They love flopping down on the couch with their LG G Stylo we picked up from Walmart for $179 (on rollback from $199). The screen is the perfect size for playing games or watching some of their favorite cartoons.
Use learning apps to enhance their studies. The great thing about technology now is that we have a lot of resources available to enhance learning. I love it! While we’re sitting at a doctor’s appointment in the waiting room, in the car picking up big brother, or sitting at a practice, I can pull up one of our apps and practice letters, reading, math, and even singing! We know that we have enough data to play no matter where we are. The games make learning fun and we’ve given the kids goals to work towards in their learning. For our littlest, he’s working on learning all his letters and their sounds. Once that’s done, he earns a special date with Daddy!
Solutions for You
I would say that figuring out how to find balance for myself was a hard one. What I found that it really came down to was getting everyone else on track and that in turn helped me stay the course too. In addition to taking care of the family, I do keep busy as a blogger and social media influencer-I’m constantly on my phone! I found that I was constantly checking my phone, to the point that my kids would tell me to put it down. Talk about a role reversal!
Set your own limits. For me, I had to set limits for when and how long I was checking things on my computer and phone. I had to be sure to be present in certain situations and learn my family’s expectations too. For example, my son really wants me to watch him while he’s in his gymnastics class. They have a big window for parents to watch and he got upset with me on a few occasions because I missed something he did while I was one the phone. The reverse is true as well. I made sure my family knew certain times that it was expected I would be working. If we have that communication, it really helps because we are all on the same page!
Find time for yourself. If I don’t have time for myself every day, I can feel it. The following day, I’m more on edge and not nearly as relaxed. As a mom, it’s hard to find that time. Usually, it’s after the kids have gone to bed, though I do have a few hours a week while the kids are in school. Those are the times that I craft, read, or do some extra work on the computer. I love pulling up my music on my phone and allowing the relaxation to set in. And wearing a comfy pair of pajamas is a must! The music is especially helpful if I end up needing to do some housework during my “me time”. I also use this time, if it’s not too late, to talk and connect with people. Sometimes it’s my husband and other times it’s my mom, sisters, or girlfriends. With unlimited talk, I can call as many people as I’d like and not worry about cutting a conversation short. The social connection is vital and absolutely necessary!
Finally, solutions for the entire family
Find fun and quality time together. Again, it seems so simple but it’s not always easy to find things to do together. Our favorite activity is a family movie night. We’ll all get in our pajamas, pile on the couch, and choose a movie that we’ll all enjoy. With Walmart Family Mobile, we can enjoy one free movie from VUDU (new release rental, $7 value). I can use the Chromcast feature on my phone to play the movie on our TV or hook it up through our computer and project it on a screen for a backyard movie night during the summer. It’s better than a drive-in!
Other ideas are playing a favorite board game, taking a walk or scavenger hunt, planning a service project together, baking, or even just laying next to your kids while they fall asleep at night and talking to them. The important thing is making that connection every day to create stronger families and keep a good balance.
These tips have really made such a difference for us and it’s only been about a month since we started implementing them. I can’t wait to see the results at the end of the year. How do you help your family find balance?
Disclaimer: All prices for phones and plans included in this post are accurate as of the date of posting; however, these prices are subject to change. Please refer to Walmart Family Mobile PLUS or your local Walmart for current pricing.