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Mother’s Day is quickly approaching! As a busy mom, Mother’s Day can sneak up on you with the chaos of end of the year school activities, home projects, and travel plans. Moms have a heart of gold and do not have expectations of presents, but we still love the gesture of gifting to make the day special and show our appreciation for everything she does for the family.

“We read a lot of articles and books about how to get through the engagement process, but no one ever talked to us about what it would be like the first year of our marriage. I wish we had known what to expect,” said one of the couples my husband and I mentor. This is a common comment, and if you find yourself having similar feelings, do not fret! You are not alone. The first year of marriage is fabulous, but it can also be difficult. Two people learning to become one does not happen overnight.

We all like to think we have good manners in marriage, but with the people that are closest to us, we can sometimes find ourselves slipping a bit. As stated by Cindy Grosso of the Charleston School of Protocol, manners are not about a bunch of rules. Manners are the outward manifestation of the condition of our heart. If we have a heart that loves, honors, respects, and cherishes our spouse, then these traits will show in how we behave.

Society is opening and people are resuming long overdue vacations. This is great news! I recently posted some tips on making your travels successful, but let’s focus on dos and don’ts of traveling with friends.

 

1. Boundaries: When traveling with others, set guidelines, boundaries, and expectations before leaving town. If you know you and your husband want one night to yourselves, express this up front. If a quiet breakfast in bed is necessary to start your day, see if this fits with the group’s schedule. 

The world is opening, and it is time to celebrate! One of the first things people are doing as they exercise their recaptured freedom is heading out of town to new destinations. I thought a few refresher tips on travel might be good for all of us.

Walking into the room, my husband pauses in front of the TV. Turning to me with a spoiler alert about my favorite Hallmark movie he says, “Hey Lisa…they get married.” And you know what? He’s right! The girl found her prince charming, and the couple has a happy ending, every time.

How many mornings have we left home in a state of utter chaos? Breakfast was late, children were crying, and we hurriedly throw on clothes from the night before only to realize how wrinkled we look. This mad dash makes for an unpleasant parting from our family and it is usually caused by a disorganized approach to our routine. So much of the bedlam we experience at the beginning of the day can be avoided if we are willing to implement a few tasks the night before.

The mamor (mother-in-law) and damor (daughter-in-law) relationship is meant to be beautiful and strong. In parts 1 and 2 of our series we learned why women in these roles might have certain feelings in their new family dynamics. Once we learned the “why” we then explored practical steps we can take to strengthen these special bonds. As we bring our series to a close, I want to impart some words of wisdom we all need to hear, and be reminded of, to ensure we create a healthy, life-long bond between the mamor/damor.

In part one of our series on the mother-in-law/daughter-in-law relationship we learned why the women who find themselves in these roles often experience emotions ranging from pure joy to hurt and sadness. Once we discovered the answers, our understanding of this special relationship came into focus. We had an “aha” moment which makes our path forward easier to navigate.

Do you remember the movie Monster-in-Law? It starred Jennifer Lopez and Jane Fonda in a romantic comedy centered around the tumultuous relationship between a bride and her future mother-in-law. If you have not seen it, you should. It will keep you laughing but, sadly, may hit closer to home than you would like to admit.

As Texas plunged into single digits with multiple days of a windchill below freezing, millions found themselves stranded with no power or water. Living along the Gulf Coast we have weathered hurricanes and endured power outages for much longer periods, but somehow this seemed different. Maybe for those of us close to the shoreline it was the unusual sight of snow we experienced as opposed to the natural disasters we usually face that arrive with rain, wind, and sweltering heat.

Our son and daughter (in law) were finally able to take a long-overdue honeymoon to St. Lucia in December. Cecelia interned one summer for a travel agent so naturally called the company to book their trip. What an incredible experience they had, and I was reminded WHY using a travel agent is worth the expense. Fees range depending on the service, but most charge between $300-350 to plan a vacation somewhere in the Caribbean Islands. 

Q: I will be a new mom soon, and I have been preparing for life “after” a newborn. There is a lot of information on raising babies, and how dads can support mom, but I cannot find much on how moms can support dads. A lot of my mental preparation has been around my marriage. Specific questions: How do I preserve my marriage? How do we embrace the changes? How do I maintain my husband as a priority when we have a tiny human demanding everything? How can I help my husband bond with our new child?

Want to set your children up for success? Then look no further than the habits of successful people you know, whether that be in the corporate world, media, or within your own circle of friends. Experts agree that there are certain common traits all successful people possess. This is great news because it means we can emulate those leaders that have come before us. 

Many of us grew up learning multitasking was a hallmark of a productive person. While sounding good in theory, this practice has proven to be incorrect. Studies now reveal that multitasking is nothing more than switching back and forth between tasks and it lowers our productivity. Below are 5 points that deal with the facts behind project hopping and the lack of performance that occurs when we allow seemingly innocuous interruptions to occur in daily life.

  • Missy Roe

A Mom with 3 Little Ones: Entertaining vs. Hospitality

Updated: Oct 30, 2020



For those of us who consider ourselves extroverts, the last several months have been far from socially fulfilling. As a mom of small children, both my kids and I could really use some more entertainment and hospitality. So recently, I decided I should be the one to get the ball rolling and host a playdate!

First thing to remember, “entertainment” will be provided by your children and the little ones coming to your home. Now you are halfway there! All that is left is hospitality. As you already know, hospitality is far different than entertaining. It is funny, because I do not think I really understood the difference between entertaining and hospitality until about 18 months ago. Hospitality does not need frills. It is really about fellowship. And fellowship involves getting to know one another. What better place for someone to get to know you than in the comfort of your own home.

“I can’t do that. This place is a wreck!” This used to be the first thought that came to mind about having people in my home. I would think about my desire to have social interaction, how I would actually look forward to cleaning up the house, and then realizing how quickly the toys would spread across the room within hours of my tidying. It was overwhelming. But that is just the way things go in a house with little ones, right!?! Always being one to believe I can accomplish more than is realistic, I decided to just commit to gather with friends, and make it happen the best way I could!

Be willing to make the invitation and put it on your calendar! I have found there is a lot of good that comes from just committing. I now have something to look forward to, and I get to tell my children about an upcoming play date where they will make new friends. And, secretly, it gives me a reason to focus on some of the things I have been letting go around the house.

I have only had the honor of being called “mom” for about six years, but one of the most liberating parts is understanding that other mothers know EXACTLY what challenges I am facing and they are not there to judge me. If you approach hosting a play date with this in mind, it is far less intimidating.

I recall a couple visits to friends’ homes that made me realize we can entertain friends and still feel alright with having people over amid our “real life” living environment.

When my first-born was just old enough to interact on play dates, we visited a friend whose two daughters were ages 3 and 5 at the time. On other visits I had with her, the home looked like something out of a magazine. Everything was beautiful and in its place!! This time, I walked into her spacious foyer and past a dining table piled high with freshly washed clothes. Her kitchen island was covered with boxes of dry goods purchased at Costco the evening before, and there were dishes in the sink. It made me feel normal!!

Another experience I had did not even involve kids. It was a meeting of four neighbors to plan an event. During this late morning gathering I arrived to find my friend had taken everything on her kitchen table and shoved it to one end, making space for us to have our meeting. I was a little surprised at first. I have spent years racing around my house the last few minutes before guests appeared, stuffing things under cabinets and into drawers. But it was so freeing to know that she did not mind letting us see her true state of being. She had opened her home, made some coffee, and set out muffins from the grocery store. It was perfect! She was not going to let a few projects the kids were working on stand in the way of us gathering. That is true hospitality!

What stands out most in my mind is neither friend apologized for “a house imperfect”. In fact, neither referenced the areas at all! I loved it, and I decided I should focus more on what matters: fellowship, not the obstacles in the way!

I share all this in hopes that you will not stress before having another family into your home. At the same time, I work best with a deadline and it is often a great motivator for me to tidy up. I think the glory of it all is finding a balance where you are comfortable.

I love having people over! And perhaps I still run around picking up toys in the walkway and moving sofa pillows from the playroom back to the couch. But I no longer put off the opportunity to spend time with others because I do not have everything in perfect order. Enjoy entertaining but stay focused on hospitality. There is a difference!

Missy Roe