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Life Hacks for Mediocre Moms
#3) Do Different

by Angie on October 3, 2013

Welp. Now that I have my priorities straight and my goal-oriented schedule worked out on paper, here I am on a trip/vacation- a couple thousand miles from my home and routine.

This is odd.
This is hard.
This is good.

life hacks for mediocre moms 300

It’s October 3rd, you know. We are only on day #3 of the 31 Days Challenge, hosted by El Nester.
(In my mind I always called her “Nesterine!” in a sing-song voice. It’s the name that my mind made up for her back when she was a secret agent man.)

We are exploring Life Hacks for Mediocre Moms every day this month.

In other words, I’m amazingly mediocre and ok with it. But I’d like to build some self-discipline, find direction, and kick my own butt into gear this month. You are walking that path with me. I’m excited that you are here. >>Let’s snuggle about it?<<

FYI, good buddies– I’m not going to give you 31 specific Life Hacks this month. That’s too much hacking for my real life mediocrity. I suspect we’ll cover somewhere between 15-20 decent Life Hacks/ Advice/ Tips. I’m actually attempting to apply those hacks in my own life, so from time to time, I’ll just fill you in on how I’m doing. We’ll fist bump each other, we’ll laugh at my failures and re-commit when needed.

Today’s Life Hack for Mediocre Moms is: Do Different

Today I’m in Salt Lake City at a corporate convention for a company called doTerra. I was talked in to attending this conference by my brother and my mommy. doTerra is an essential oils company. I’ve been playing around with their oils for about 18 months in secret, but haven’t told you about them because I have issues. More on that later. But the stuff I am learning this week is pretty much blowing my mind. And it’s annoying, because I was fine with the mind I had before it exploded.

Is there an oil that will repair blown minds? Hold up, I’ll go ask.


This isn’t a post about essential oils, sillies. I’m bound to write that post soon. This is a post about doing something different. It’s about breaking out of your routine and the power that comes from that change.

The effect of “doing different” has a magical effect on stubborn mediocrity.

Example 1 of how “Doing Something Different” is good for the Mediocre Mom:

Charlie has been very clingy on me lately.

Here we are, in the bathroom together, because he just really “needs” me to join him for that business:

charlie and mommy in the bathroom

“Hold me. Hold me. Hold me. I’n a hold you. I’n a hoooold you! Hold me!”

It’s enough to drive me nutsy. But for the two days before I left on this trip (as the looming separation approached), it was me saying, “Can I kiss you right now, Charlie? Kissing time! Can you snuggle my neck right now please, Mr.? Get over here and let me tickle your whole self!! That’s an order! Oops! I forgot something… I forgot to kiss your belly!” The anticipation of being away from him for a week completely erased my annoyance with his “hold you” phase. Guess what he kept telling me, at completely random times in response?

“I love you so much, Mommy! Can I marry you, pleeeaaase?”

And he also told me, “I like to say ‘poopy’. I just really like poopy, mom. It’s a bad word and I just like it!”

He also mentioned, “I wanna be black like Barack,” during one of our snuggle sessions. Honest.

But let’s focus on the “I love you so much’s”!! LOL.

Because I was leaving on the trip (something very different for our family), Charlie and I started to get worried that we would miss each other A LOT. We had a mutual love-fest in response. It was a good thing.

I’m hoping that The Manchild will be the lucky recipient of Charlie’s quirky love while I’m gone. That Little Mama’s Boy is really missing out on some fun Daddy time when he constantly yells, “I WANT MOMMY TO DO IT!” This trip is different, hard, and good.

Example 2 of how “Doing Something Different” is good for the Mediocre Mom:

A couple of weeks ago my in-laws visited us at our house in Virginia for about 30 hours. They hadn’t been to our house for a couple years and even though the visit was short, it was just the jolt I needed in my routine.

You can interpret that to mean I cleaned my house/finished projects/worked like a DOG for a week in preparation for them to come. It’s a daughter-in-law code. We all do it. You know we do. The Archibalds were coming off of the laziest summer ever, plus 3 weeks of sickness in the house. The house was a total wreck before they arrived! BUT NOW?!



(You can interpret that to mean “tidy.” Clean is really hard to come by in a literal sense en mi casa. If you like to scrub floors and dust, I’ll pay you a million dollars to come do it at my house. Minus the million dollars.)

The biggest/nicest change occurred in our bedroom, where I had been seriously neglecting some things. I had left a stack of framed photos leaning against the wall for a couple of years. Never hung them. I had bought a big mirror to hang above our dresser last year when we were pretending to move, but never hung it. In fact, it still had cardboard packaging corners stapled to it and was sitting on the dresser. Also? When we remodeled our master bathroom last year I never caulked the baseboard trim or grouted the marble threshold tile I had laid. I didn’t have a night stand and really had wanted a nice chair for a “sitting corner” in the room. Done. Done. Done. Done. Done.

My room is freaking awesome right now. Not magazine-worthy. But peaceful, more complete, and happy.

Charlie walked in there the morning after my in-laws left and said, “Did you…. move your bed or something?? I love it in your room!!” Me too, little buddy. (Sorry I keep talking about Charlie. I haven’t seen him in a few days. I’m obsessed, apparently. My other kids are cool too, though. Hi, kids. Mommy loves you.)

Example 3 of how “Doing Something Different” is good for the Mediocre Mom:

If you run 5 miles every day, you are burning real calories, executing a healthy habit, releasing endorphins, and working your heart and muscles. Etc, etc, yada yada. But if you want to improve your speed, wake up your mind, and really lose weight, you need to RUN SUPER FAST once in a while. In intervals. Until your body feels like it’s going to explode and your mind is screaming, “I CAN’T DO THIS! STOP KILLING ME! I HATE YOUR FACE!”

But don’t be scared. Because once you complete that last impossible interval, you’re gonna jog/float home feeling like a freaking rock star! It’s true! You feel a brand new force in your life that only comes from doing something different and hard.

Guess what else might happen when you are bold and do something different and find great success/ see with fresh eyes? You’ll likely start looking around at your life and finding MORE road blocks/ hard things that you previously thought you couldn’t handle. Tackle them. Get ’em done. It’s sorta fun.

So… whatcha gonna do differently this week? Today? This month? Talk to mommy.

p.s. Charlie really did ask me how he can have a black face and cool black hair. (Be African America, he means. My 3 year old is not politically correct.) I gave him the bad news that he isn’t black and usually your mommy and daddy have to have black faces for you to also get your own black face. He was mad at me for having a “white mom face”. Then I kissed his not-black face a hundred times and smelled his “not cool black” hair. He’s not giving up though. Stay tuned.

p.p.s. Somebody please send Charlie to me. This is hard and different. The end.

life hacks for mediocre moms 300

Catch these other Life Hacks in my 31 day series:

#1) Roles, Goals, and Dreams 

#2) Bite Size Your Biggies

#3) Do Different

#4) Read Something Weird

#5) Exercise Yourself

#6) Zero Dark Early

#7) Manage Your Moods

#8) The Power of a Good Thing

#9) Church it Up

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Heidi October 3, 2013 at 12:58 pm

Aww, poor Mommy! Homesick for little ones is Hard!

So…”different”…I changed jobs! That counts, right? It STINKS! But it’s good. And maybe because of that? I finally cleaned off my dresser! I’ve been “meaning to” do that for about 2 years, and the fact that I did it coincidentally with this big SUCKY change, well, I think that’s pretty awesome.
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Cheryl @ The Creative Me and My McG October 3, 2013 at 4:19 pm

Ok – I haven’t done anything different lately…well not entirely true…I wanted some adult company during the week while the hubs was at work and the adult kids live their own lives…so I joined a bowling league…I haven’t bowled in over 10 years, but its fun and I find myself looking forward to it each week…I’m not the best bowler, but I don’t care – its the FUN that counts…

sorry you are missing your little ones…but it’s good for them to spend some quality time with Dad…it makes them appreciate YOU just a little bit more!!
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Kristy October 24, 2013 at 4:11 pm

Ok, I just found your blog and I never comment on blogs but omg! You are hilarious! I can relate to so much you’ve shared…so thank you, i know I’m not the only one who has picture frames on the floor “waiting” to be hung for 2 years;) I can’t wait to read more!! ;)


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