Parent Hacks: Mini Camp starts tomorrow

You know about Parents Hacks right? Only one of the best sites out there giving you hacks parents have created to make their parental lives easier.

Well those bloggers have written a book called Minimalist Parenting. No, they don’t tell you to throw out all your possessions and move to a hut. This is from their site:

We’re in the midst of a parenting climate that feeds on more. More expert advice, more gear, more fear about competition and safety, and more choices to make about education, nutrition, even entertainment. The result? Overwhelmed, confused parents and overscheduled, overparented kids.

In MINIMALIST PARENTING, Christine Koh and Asha Dornfest offer a fresh approach to navigating all of this conflicting background “noise.” They show how to tune into your family’s unique values and priorities and confidently identify the activities, stuff, information, and people that truly merit space in your life.

The book begins by showing the value of a minimalist approach, backed by the authors’ personal experience practicing it. It then leads parents through practical strategies for managing time, decluttering the home space, simplifying mealtimes, streamlining recreation, and prioritizing self-care. Filled with parents’ personal stories, readers will come away with a unique plan for a simpler life.

Tomorrow they are starting their Mini-Camp—the companion workshop to Minimalist Parenting. No, you don’t need to buy the book. For two weeks, they’ll email you one doable task per day that will help you simplify and streamline your home and life. We focus on the topics most of us find challenging: time (we need more!) stuff (we need less!) meals (we need simple and healthful) self-care (we need a moment for ourselves)

Plus: you’ll earn MERIT BADGES. It’s free and I’m doing it.


Presents…We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Presents

badly-wrapped-presentI was getting the bath ready for the girl, when the boy asked, “Momma, what am I going to do while she is in the bath?”

I replied, “I dunno.”

He replied, “Oh, I KNOW! I could wrap presents for her!”

I stopped mid-((whatever I was doing)) and smiled.

“Yes, yes you can wrap presents.”

So they both wrapped 3 presents for each other, and I wrapped none. Sure, they look like Martha Stewart’s anti-christ presents. But who cares.


Take Action

So I’ve mentioned I am my daughter’s girl scout leader. Sure, I complained about it. Who needs another project to do with all your copious free time, right? Except on nights like last night when the girls impress me so much, I go home on cloud nine.

Girl Scouting has changed. It’s not just about badges and camping anymore. Now it’s about Journey’s—specific theme-based projects where you learn valuable life lessons about yourself, your community, leadership, and communication. Oh, and you still earn badges.

Our girls decided to do the Get Moving! journey which talks about the environment, global energy, recycling, and our own energy. We talked about different kinds of energy—electricity, solar power, wind power, and our own bodies way of making energy. We had to tie this into our Take Action Project—a project where you do a community service, but take it a step further by working within your community to solve a problem and see if you can design a solution that continues to flourish after we finish. Yeah, to say I was panicking about how we were going to accomplish that, is an understatement.

This is where I don’t give these little girls enough credit because they weren’t panicked at all. They decided to piggy-back on “Bike Rodeo” day here in town. Why not put signs up all over town advertising to take in your old bikes? We could wash them, pump up their tires, and donate them. There is a guy near here who takes in old bikes and refurbishes them. How do we make this project continue on without our help? We make signs and ask permission to place them at school, on the well-known bike path, or at the playground. The signs would alert people to donate their used bikes to the used-bike guy.

I know. The solution seems simple, now that it’s down on paper. And they did it all themselves. But seriously, I was really anxious about how I was going to coach them through, what I thought was, an amazingly daunting task. They took the challenge, shrugged, and spit out a solution as easy as if I asked them to explain to me how to tweet.

These are the moments that make leading a girl scout troop an amazing honor.