Welcome to the MomForce Podcast! Vanessa Quigley, mother of 7, entrepreneur and co-founder of Chatbooks, hosts this refreshing take on all things mom. Along with her 4 sisters, they’ll get into the nitty-gritty of real life parenting together, bringing you some tried and true tips and tricks to help make mom-life a little easier. And check out the #momforce by Chatbooks Facebook group where thousands of moms are sharing real mom advice.
Here's the Latest Episode from The MomForce Podcast by Chatbooks:
Do you make New Years Resolutions only for find yourself half way through January and you've already failed! You are NOT alone! In today's MomForce Mini, Shelly gives her opinion on goals and what she does to keep things manageable and to keep herself motivated! So long yearly goals and hello daily goals!
Is your never-ending to-do list sucking the joy out of your life? Pop culture has taught us that we can and should be doing and having it all. This epidemic of unrealistic expectations has left us stressed, exhausted, and feeling like a failure. We can’t be all things to all people!
If you want to have your all, you’ve got to stop doing it all. On today’s episode of The MomForce Podcast, Vanessa and her sister, Leah, are chat with lawyer, PR executive, award winning author, and mother, Romi Neustadt to discuss ways to live a less frazzled and more fulfilling life.
Priorities and goals are two different things. If your goals aren’t serving your priorities you’re not helping yourself. Throughout the episode, Romi teaches ways to “relentlessly edit” our lives in order to clear out what isn’t helping us be our best. We’re moms and wives and balance jobs and PTA and activities. We all have so much on our plates and are spread so thin. Learning to say no, identify our priorities, and set goals that will help us fulfill these priorities will allow us to take ownership of our hours and create the life we strive for!
Check out our MomForce Instagram page for more info on Romi!
Being present and showing up is important in every relationship, especially when it comes to raising our children. The best predictor of how a child turns out is their attachment to at least one parent. It’s not simply about being there when they come home from school, or showing up for each baseball game, it’s about making our children feel safe, seen, soothed, and secure.
On today’s episode of The MomForce Podcast, Vanessa is chatting with Dr. Tina Bryson, author of “The Power of Showing Up.” Tina, a therapist and mother of three, discusses the power of the 4 S’s and how they relate to “attachment science”. Whether you’re a working mom, a foster mom, a baby wearer, a single parent, or otherwise, these principles can help us be better parents, and help us be forgiving of ourselves when we make mistakes!
By showing up for our children, even when they feel strong emotions, become frustrated or overwhelmed, we are helping our children build mental models for what they can expect in new relationships. We are teaching them that they have value. When children feel safe, seen, and soothed they become secure in themselves and develop grit and resilience to face life’s challenges. And isn’t that what we all want for our kids?
Vanessa has always been a huge fan of Rifle Paper Co., and so when Chatbooks teamed up with the brand, it was truly a dream come true!
In this episode of The MomForce Podcast, Vanessa chats with Rifle Paper Co. co-founder, Anna Rifle Bond, all about growing a thriving business while growing a family. Spoiler alert--it’s all about managing time, turning work off when you’re not at work, and learning how to cope when you’re feeling overwhelmed or things don’t go as planned.
Also, as 2019 has come to a close, it is a great time to create a 2019 Year in Review Chatbook with one of our beautiful Rifle Paper Co. designer covers. You’ll have a hard time choosing which one! (And don’t forget to use PODCAST20 at checkout to save 20%).
Do your kids believe in Santa Claus? If so, at what age should you tell them the truth? Should we feel guilty about “lying” to our children? Vanessa shares her opinions about all things Santa on this MomForce mini.
New Year’s resolutions can be ambitious and overwhelming. We’ve all created long lists and set lofty goals only to fall short come February. Why does it need to be so complicated? It doesn’t. Today Vanessa sits down with Shawni Pothier to discuss simplifying your goals for the New Year.
Mindful. Guided. Discipline. Focus. Enjoy. Choose. Be Still. A resolution doesn’t have to be something that’s daunting. Make it simple. Pick one word to represent the coming year. It should be something that inspires you or helps you progress toward who you want to be. You don’t have to pick it today. Maybe it comes to you a few months into the year, or your goals change and you switch it up in time.
Want to help your kids set resolutions for themselves? Give them the framework and allow them to think of what they’d like to work on in 2020. Keep track of your progress and record your goals from previous years so you can look back together and witness their growth.
Sometimes we’re better mothers when we take some time away to reset and refresh and a weekend alone or a quick trip away with your girlfriends might be just what we need! And bonus, our partners may end up appreciating us a little more if they are home alone manning the ship.
Today Vanessa is joined by her sister, Shelly, on this episode of The MomForce Podcast to chat about their tips and tricks for prepping for a get away, so you can relax and not stress about everything at home! Who should be in charge of the kids? What do you do about meals, homework, or after school activities? How soon is too soon to leave a baby? How long is too long to stay away?
With tips like setting up back up babysitters, and surprising kids with a kind gift or note each day you’re gone, you can set yourself up for success so you can actually relax while you are away!
We all want to raise humble, grateful children but it’s so easy for kids to hit a “wall of entitlement”, especially this time of year. Creating opportunities for your family to experience the joy of service is a great way to break down that wall, but how do we get started?
On this #GivingTuesday, Vanessa chats with Kristin Andrus about creating a culture of service in your family. Kristin, the self-proclaimed “Chief Culture Officer” of the Andrus family, works hard to create a culture of service in their home and is sharing how, with 6 young kids, their family gives back all throughout the year.
Kristin's tips: Go to Justserve.org and see what needs are in your area. But don't get overwhelmed! Not all causes will speak to you and that's ok. Pick what you're passionate about and give or do what you can. Kristin also preaches the power of serving n your own family and neighborhoods. You don’t have to travel the globe to make a difference!
#GivingTuesday is a great way to kick off the charitable season, but let this just be the beginning. Kristin challenges us to make serving and giving back a family a priority year-round.
There are two sides of the aisle - decorating for the Christmas before Thanksgiving or NOT! On this MomForce Mini, Erika talks about why she decks the halls soon after Halloween. And she has science to back her up. Where do you stand?
While our moms may have been great about buying Christmas gifts year round and filling stockings months in advance, we aren’t all cut out for that sort of holiday preparation. But the season is upon us and whatever you celebrate, it’s finally time to start thinking about gifts!
It’s not hard to get our kids to share what they want. They presented us with a seven page (front and back) letter to Santa, after all. But Santa is on a budget, and we don’t want to fill their Christmas with more “stuff.” On today’s episode of The MomForce Podcast, Vanessa is joined by her sisters Kara and Shelly to talk about those “home run gifts.” The ones sure to get played with year round. Scoring the gift that stops them in their tracks doesn’t have to mean breaking the bank, either! The sisters share their tricks and tricks to finding the best toys at the best prices (while sharing what was a big miss, as well).
Gift giving isn’t always easy. Husbands, extended family, neighbors, and in-laws are sure to leave you stumped. Some of our favorite gifts haven’t been extravagant. Finish a project your spouse was never going to wrap up on their own. Personalize something they can treasure for years to come. Give them the gift of an experience they won’t forget. Help beautify the neighborhood, or make charitable donations on behalf of others.
Simplifying your shopping list will prevent you from making that panicked last minute dash to Target to load up your cart with stuff you don’t need. Being prepared will also allow you to put thought into gifts and make the most of your holiday season. After all, it can’t be the most wonderful time of year if you don’t enjoy it!
Chatbooks Holiday Cards (save 20% with Podcast20): https://chatbooks.com/photo-cards
Traditions show children that their family circle is a living link to a chain of generations. Research shows that much like displaying printed photos, practicing family traditions helps build children’s identity and family connection. But holiday traditions can be overwhelming! You don’t have to do ALL of the things in order to make your season magical.
Rituals and traditions can be as elaborate as planning daily activities for your Elf of the Shelf, or as simple as starting each morning with kiss as you send your kids out the door. In this episode of The MomForce Podcast, Erika and Leah join Vanessa to discuss the traditions they had growing up, the traditions they bid adieu to as they got older, and the compromises they made when their spouses brought their own holiday traditions to the family.
Whether you’re starting from scratch or hoping to carry on long lived family traditions, it’s easy to become overwhelmed. Schedule your activities, and be realistic about your expectations. Traditions shouldn’t be a burden. If your family doesn’t like Thanksgiving food, switch it up! If you don’t have time to set a storybook scene in your living room every night, maybe it’s time for your Elf to retire. Your tradition can be non-traditional. It’s ok to simplify. Big or small, elaborate or minimal, the benefit remains the same; traditions help us pass along memories and experiences we cherish to our children.
Chatbooks Holiday Cards (save 20% with Podcast20): https://chatbooks.com/photo-cards
The first of a new series! Vanessa and her sisters are going to take turns giving their own "unpopular" opinion on a trending topic/debate/question. We love the diversity of our Facebook group, The MomForce, and want to share our thoughts and opinions with our listeners! Do you have a question or topic you would like our take on? Let us know - DM us on our instagram page, @themomforcepodcast
Are you frazzled at the mere thought of traveling with your children? Jessica Gee, mother of 3 from The Bucket List Family, has chosen to embrace it all and as a family they’ve visited over 80 countries!
Vanessa chats with Jessica in this episode of The MomForce Podcast to chat about her tips and tricks for traveling with kids--everything from how to acclimate to time changes and introduce new cultures and foods, to what her favorite kid friendly destinations are and how to travel on a budget.
And if you've seen any of The Bucket List Family's pics on Instagram or videos on YouTube, you know that documenting their travel is very important to them. Jessica also shares her tips for capturing those fleeting moments and the easy way she holds on to them forever. With our new Bucket List Family travel Chatbook you can hold on to your travel memories also!
Check out their Chatbook HERE for 20% off your purchase!
Also, be sure to follow us @themomforcepodcast. We will be posting more about Jessica's best travel tips!
Not everyone is fortunate enough to have a great relationship with their Mother-in-Law, but Vanessa says she hit the jackpot! In today’s episode of The MomForce Podcast, Vanessa (a new MIL herself!) chats with her Mother-in-Law, Bonnie Quigley, about the success they’ve had fostering their in-law relationship. It's all about space, support, and respect.
The conversation continues as they discuss raising well mannered children, and how things have changed and stayed same since she was a young mother. And she shares Grandma Bebe's Golden rules for raising well mannered and delightful children.
As a special bonus, Bebe shares the gifts that she, as a Mother-in-Law, has cherished most (and don’t we all need help with that!).
Wanna follow along with Vanessa? You can find her at @vanessaquigley on Instagram.
Also - be sure to follow @themomforcepodcast on Instagram for more tips and tricks - as well as fun stories and highlights.
Don't forget to check out our MomForce Facebook group! It has thousands of like minded women, helping each other to navigate the good and the bad of life! And use code podcast20 for 20% off your next order from Chatbooks! That code works for CARDS too! Order your holiday cards and send them our to all your peeps! They will LOVE it.
Moms everywhere are overwhelmed: driven to tears, hyperventilating, rage cleaning, or perhaps hopping in the car and driving away. Caring for an entire family is challenging. Often we ask ourselves, are we doing enough? Are we fun enough, compassionate enough, patient enough? No wonder we are feeling overwhelmed!
Good mothers have bad days. The newborn stage is hard. The toddler stage is hard. Teenagers are hard. Heck! Even our adult children are hard! On today’s episode of The MomForce Podcast, Leah joins Vanessa to talk about how they handle the weight that motherhood places on your shoulders. They discuss recognizing your own needs and taking action. Alone time doesn’t have to mean jumping on the next flight to Bora Bora (though it would be nice). Sometimes just a few minutes alone in a quiet bedroom will do the trick. Turning to your support system when you need validation (or just a good laugh) can do wonders for your mood. And even something as simple as cracking a smile (even if you’re faking it) or giving a good 8 second hug can help… there’s science behind it!
Deep breaths, Mama. This too shall pass. You’re just the right person for your kids, and we promise, they love you more than any mom out there!
Chatbooks Holiday Cards (save 20% with Podcast20): https://chatbooks.com/photo-cards
The oldest child in the family is often the guinea pig, but by the time it comes to establishing a curfew for the younger kids, parents are worn down and the rules become a bit more relaxed. Whether it’s your first time dabbling into the world of curfews, or you’ve been there done that, determining the appropriate level of freedoms to give your kids is hard!
Whether you’re going to follow the letter of the law or allow your child the flexibility to make their own responsible choices, you have the right to know where they’re going, who they’re going to be with, and how they’re getting home (even if they roll their eyes at all your questions). On today’s episode of The MomForce Podcast, Vanessa and Erika talk about their own curfews growing up, how they enforce curfews for their own teens and tweens, and share some brilliant advice from the MomForce Facebook group.
No matter where you land on your curfew, it’s important to let your expectations be known and stick to the consequences, should it come to that. Sometimes that’s easier said than done, but remember what they say… “Nothing good ever happens after midnight.”
Check out our instagram page @theMomForcePodcast for some fun extras!
Wanna connect with us? Join our MomForce facebook group.
Grief is something we may all be faced with one day. There are varying degrees of grief, but it’s always complicated. Time heals, but grief never fully goes away. Rather it evolves and manifests itself differently over time.It is human nature to want to help those we love through difficult times. Sometimes our actions are helpful, sometimes our words are meaningful. But other times even the best intentions leave us with our foot stuck in our mouth.
In this episode Vanessa sits down with Keenan, one of Chatbooks’ original MomForcers and a mother who has experienced heartbreaking loss. Five years after the death of her daughter, she reflects on the lessons she’s learned, the healing she’s experienced, and provides insight on how others were able to help her through her darkest moments.
From discussing death with children, to showing friends and neighbors support, and the importance of being selfish as you heal, this episode covers some of the often overlooked aspects of grief. Everyone’s rock bottom is different, and many people may never discover theirs. But all grief is valid and should be treated delicately.
Check out our instagram @chatbooks as Keenan is going to be doing a takeover and answering your questions. And then head over to our MomForce Facebook group, where you will find lots of advice and resources from moms all over the world.
It's recommended that 4th graders get 10-12 hours of sleep per night. But kids activities are often built around adult schedules! A night time routine is imperative for happy, healthy kids...but its hard! Younger kids have this built in FOMO that leads them to believe that everything good is happening right after you put them to bed for the night! Older kids are just so busy these days that it's hard for them to get to bed before midnight! Today Kara and Vanessa discuss their evening routines and share the tips and tricks they use to help their big and little kids get the sleep the so desperately need! They agree...you have to set a time to officially wind down for the evening. When you can, have a family dinner at a consistent hour and use that time to reflect on the highs and lows of the day. Allow children to wind down by reading or listening to an audiobook. But sometimes you might just have to trick your kids into an earlier bedtime, or give everyone an occasional "sleep gummy". HEY...whatever works!
Screentime. Devices. Social Media. Oh my! Our MomForce facebooks group is full of questions about raising children in a digital age. How old should your kid be before you allow them to play on an iPad? When is it appropriate to have a smartphone? What about a social media account?
It’s a tech heavy world. Kids are practically born with the ability to work devices. Teaching online safety is just as important as teaching fire safety these days. Stop, Walk, and Tell should be taught right alongside Stop, Drop, and Roll. On this episode of the MomForce Podcast, Anna MacFarlane of “Kids are the Worst” joins Vanessa to share her expertise on all things social media.
It’s not IF your kids are going to see something bad online, but WHEN they’re going to see it. When kids come across something they’re not comfortable with, they need to feel like they can come to you about it. You can limit kids exposure, but the best defense is good communication.
Check out our shownotes for links to Anna's social media guides. And then head on over to our MomForce facebook group. We will be reposting a LIVE that Anna is going to do, answering some of your most pertinent questions.
Kids need anchors and families and connection. With so many in the world hungry for those things, something as simple as a printed photo is a way you can nurture and feed your children's souls.
Motherhood and childhood go quickly. Looking at a photo and taking a moment to reminisce is an antidote to the daily pushes and pulls and stresses and anxieties of life. Not only is that magic... it's science! Today Vanessa is joined by developmental psychologist and University of Utah professor, Dr. Trisha Weeks to discuss the research conducted to prove printed photos strengthen families. Vanessa knew there was power in putting photographs in the hands of her children, but we wanted to test the science behind it!
Our study (comprised of focus groups and over 15,000 survey respondents!) illustrated how physical photographs build a sense of identity, increase self esteem, lower behavioral issues, and enhance the connection between family. Looking at photos and conversing about the events captured is a shared experience - something you simply can’t gain scrolling through pictures on your phone by yourself. Documenting our family’s story makes us feel like good moms… and it turns out we really are doing good for our children. It’s science!
Check out the rest of our research at chatbooks.com/printed-photo-report
“There are no hacks. These kids don’t listen. This is your life now. God Speed…” Ok… it isn’t that bad, but it sure does feel that way some days with kids are running around looking for the cleanest dirty shirt and scrambling for school lunches. And with little ones are waking up way too early and big kids that won't get out of bed! It's enough to turn the sweetest and most patient moms into a desperate to a crazy person. But it doesn’t have to be that way. In today’s episode of the MomForce Podcast, Vanessa and Leah dish their greatest hacks for having a better morning. Check out our Instagram page @themomforcepodcast for recipes, tips and more tricks. Then head on over to the MomForce facebook group for more great ideas on how to tame your mornings!
Kids grow up. It’s a fact of life. One day we’re all gonna have teenagers (or even tween-agers) and with that comes certain rites of passage; make up, shaved legs, and pimples. Kids are self conscious, and it’s our job to make this tricky stage of life as easy on them (and and ourselves) as it can possibly be. Plus, none of us want to live in a house that smells like a locker room. That’s why today we’re talking all things kid hygiene.
Vanessa and her sister, Erika, survived their own teenage years as well as those of their children. They understand the unique challenges that come with raising teens. On today’s episode of The MomForce Podcast they tackle everything from stinky boys to girls eager to dive into their own make-up routine. They discuss the trials and tribulations of their own hygiene milestones while sharing the lessons they learned along the way.
We want to make our kids feel good about themselves while allowing them to take the lead when it comes to their personal hygiene. Sure, these conversations can be a little awkward (for everyone) but in the end, your children will be grateful you communicated with them. We all want to do our part to protect our children from the world. If you don’t tell them about the need for good hygiene, someone else may. And that could much harder.
Bonus! Tune in for tips on easily preserving school memories year round and for a special code for 20% Chatbooks and then head over to our show notes webpage for the links the sissies talked about in the episode!
It’s official! We’re back to school! It comes with some mixed emotions, but for the most part we are ready to get back on a schedule. While we’d had dreams of a laid back, chill summer, the reality was we still had so much to do! Each week was spent scrambling for something to occupy the kids (hello camps!) while we got some work done. Now that school is back in session, we have the chance to finally get back into a routine… even if we’re just starting to ease into it.
Maybe your kids are homebodies who need a push to try something new. Or maybe your kids want to do anything and everything and you have to lock in their downtime on a calendar. On today’s episode of the MomForce Podcast, Vanessa and her sister, Shelly, talk about creating a schedule that will work for any family. Limiting the number and type of activity each season and remembering to schedule days off (or even family dinner!) will keep everyone - not just the kids - from burning out. Finding a way to sync the family calendar lets everyone know what’s on the horizon.While some families live by the rule that you don’t need to start activities right way, others see the benefit in exploring interests at a young age. Whatever approach you choose to take with your kids activities, it’s important that no one feels stretched too thin! Being on the same page will help getting back into the groove this school year enjoyable for everyone.
The term “Influencer” can get a bad rap. But, we’re all influencers. It doesn’t take 100,000 followers and a pristine, perfectly lit, white living space. You can use your own influence for good, even in your own home. In today’s episode, we throw out the timer as Vanessa sits down her dear friend, a very down to earth real mom (and yes, she’s also an influencer), Jenna Rammell. Together they discuss everything from back to school, vulnerability, and maintaining your sanity as a parent. They dive deeper into learning your children’s individual personalities and parenting each child accordingly (and the many challenges that come with doing so).
There is no one size fits all parenting. Today, we have so many tools at our disposal to help us see our children individually and to help them grow as beautifully as they’re meant to be. Parenting with an eye to the individual is a gift to them. It builds self confidence, self worth, and allows the child to recognize the strength of being themselves. That doesn’t come with simply checking off a few parenting boxes. Many times, we’re still working on this as adults.
Check out our episode webpage for all the links mentioned in today's show!
Every now a special moment reminds us why our photos are so important (a preschooler shedding tears over treasured pictures of his class, for instance), but often times we don’t realize how much they mean to us until we don’t have them anymore. In this second part of our podcast dedicated to photos, Vanessa and Erika discuss organizing, sharing, safeguarding, and printing your photos… and why it’s so important to do so.
From deleting your blurry outtakes to make your camera roll more manageable, to taking advantage of shared albums and FREE photo storage, this episode shares simple hacks to ensure the moments you swore you’d never forget don’t get lost. Our goal is to strengthen families, and we feel there’s something powerful about putting photos in the hands of children (in fact, it’s science!).
Long gone are the days of being bound by 24 exposure rolls of film (36 if you splurged). We aren’t lugging around giant SLRs as often anymore, and there simple alternatives if you just can’t find the time to catch up on your scrapbooks. But despite technology improving so drastically (and making things SO much more convenient) we still aren’t always capturing the moments we’ll treasure when we look back at photos.
In the first part of this two episode podcast, Vanessa and her sister, Erika, chat about their tricks for taking the photos they’re going to love forever. It’s not always the perfectly posed kids in coordinating outfits that they look back on with the greatest sense of fondness. Sometimes it’s the real life moments; the piles of tiny shoes left by the back door, the child’s name written in crayon (even when it’s across the furniture), the stubbornness of a pre-teen not thrilled about having their photo taken, or the change of background that would have otherwise gone unnoticed that sparks the happiest memories.
Photographing life’s everyday events can make us more mindful of what’s happening in that time, sparking a feeling of gratitude that may have otherwise escaped us. In the trenches of motherhood it’s easy to overlook the magic of the moment. Looking back on a photo allows you to see the greatness. As a rule of thumb, if it makes you smile, snap a photo of it!
Head on over to our episode webpage for a fun printable that will get your creative photographic juices flowing. And don't forget to use code podcast20 to get 20% off your Chatbooks order! Let us help you print your pictures!
Also, be sure to join our thriving and entertaining MomForce Facebook group! Let us be part of your village!
Parties are a fun chance to explore your creative, crafty side. But they can also bring the pressure to create this once in a lifetime experience that doesn’t always go as planned.
On today’s episode, Vanessa and Leah sit down to talk about birthday parties. Maybe you’re prepared to make throwing a Pinterest-worthy party a part time job. Or perhaps you don’t possess the time, money, or mental capacity to host 20 kids at your house. Doing what works best for you will result in everyone being much happier! And the same holds true for your kids. While one child may plan their next party all year long, a movie and ice cream date may be the other child’s speed. Do you!
Today’s MomForce Podcast covers everything from party favors and picking out birthday presents (taking my kid on an open-ended Target run in the toy aisle? No thank you), to combining parties and what to do when you simply can’t invite the entire class. It’s filled with creative ideas, smart solutions, and helpful advice on making things run as smoothly as possible. Whether you’re in the market for a birthday blowout, or want to stick with just a few meaningful traditions, the goal is to make everyone feel happy and appreciated.
For a lot of us, summer is already wrapping up and the days of counting the pool as a bath are coming to an end. Getting kids to practice good hygiene can be a battle, but none of us wants to send our kids off to school with dirty nails or “teeth sweaters.”
This episode of the MomForce Podcast is dedicated to kids and hygiene. Vanessa chats with her sister, Shelly, on what’s worked, what hasn’t, and the experiments that have gone awry. There are a LOT of confessionals on this episode. The truth comes out about personal hygiene shortcomings growing up (do germs really boost your immune system?) and the unusual methods we’ve resorted to to clean our kids up in a pinch. And once again, the MomForce comes through with some great hacks that will hopefully save you some dental bills down the line.
Heck, sometimes it’s just easier to get in there and do the work for them. Truth is, we’re all trying our best. The trick is consistency! Share your tips and tricks in the MomForce Facebook group. We can use all the help we can get!
Also, use code podcast20 to off your next phonebook at Chatbooks.
It never fails. You prepare a home-cooked meal and your “starving” child is suddenly too full to eat. Getting kids - especially those picky eaters - to eat healthy can be a challenge. Every parent has faced obstacles when it comes to feeding their families, but we can’t be expected to be short order cooks. Children have to discover the wide, wonderful world of flavors!
All of us can benefit from more fruits and veggies, but it’s hard to get those on to kids’ plates. In today’s episode, Vanessa and Kara tackle picky eaters. Maybe you have a non-eater. Or perhaps your kid is turning the color of their favorite food (true story!). Getting over the hump of disliking certain foods is key to helping your family gain variation in their diet.
It’s not all about eating, though. While it can be so satisfying for a mother to see her child eat all their dinner, we’re not talking about the clean plate club here. We want to teach children to listen to their bodies, to be open to new foods, and ultimately, to take the pressure off mom!
Also, use code Podcast20 for 20% off Chatbooks!
Growing up with sisters meant a lot of fights. But it also meant you had a tight knit group of built in best friends. While not everyone grows up in such a big family, friendships of any sort are important. Moving away from family and transitioning into different phases of life has reinforced the importance of creating and maintaining meaningful relationships as adults.
We threw out the timer for this All-Sissy episode of The MomForce Podcast. Vanessa, Leah, Erika, Kara, and Shelly are together to chat about the value of friendship, the importance of girl time, and meeting people in this busy phase of life. Between playgrounds, play dates, and preschool, it was a little easier when the kids were young. As the kids get older, making friends and fostering relationships takes more effort.
Whether you’re looking for a way to meet new people, advice on recharging with your gal pals, or need help staying connected, it’s good for us to be a friend and have a friend. No one wants to feel like the girl at the party with no one to talk to! Even if you “married your best friend,” girl time is important!
As moms, wives, and working women there is a certain expectation that we’re always reachable. Having a phone is not only important, it’s almost required! But that doesn’t mean we have to be addicted to our phones. The trick is getting them to work for us in a way that allows us to be more productive, less stressed, and happier!
In today’s episode Vanessa visits with her sister Leah, who shares all the brilliant ways she uses apps to maximize her phone’s potential. Setting alarms (to wake up in the morning or remember to get your kid from school), using reminders to create checklists (so satisfying!) and shopping lists that automatically pop up when you arrive at the store, adding images to your calendars and record keeping right in the app, shared notes and keeping important information handy - Vanessa and Leah have hacks for each of your native apps that will blow your mind (we’re talking way more than the basic functions here!).
Your phone can be a tool to make you more cheerful, you just have to know how to use it! Our goal is to always be present. Using technology to organize our lives gives us the opportunity to enjoy the good stuff.
With 11 siblings and 7 children of her own, it’s safe to say Vanessa has experimented with a range of possibilities when it comes to allowance. Whether it’s getting paid for simple household chores, getting a job, or being paid for good grades, teaching kids the value of a dollar is hard!
Let’s face it… we may feel like it’s privilege enough to live in our homes, but kids need money - especially as they get older! In a follow up last week’s Chores episode, Vanessa and her sister, Erika, sit down to discuss the challenge of wanting their kids to have fun without handing out money for nothing.
In our Allowance episode, Vanessa and Erika chat about the different allowances (and reasons for them) they received as kids, and how they’ve used money to reward (and sometimes penalize) their children as they’ve grown up. From splitting the costs of non-essentials, to emphasizing the importance of money making skills, we’ll cover what’s worked, what hasn’t, and all the reality checks along the way (you’ll want to hear about the time Erika’s son, Jett, hit the jackpot with his Lemonade Stand).
There’s always more conversation on the MomForce Facebook Group Page. Follow us there as we continue the discussion by talking about ways to teach value to younger children and those not motivated by money.
Let’s face it, your house isn’t going to clean itself. As families grow, so do their messes. If you want to keep your home from looking like a tornado struck, you’re going to need everyone to do their part. But that is easier said than done.
When it comes to kids and chores, we all get “the WHY,” but “the HOW” is another story. In today’s episode, Host Vanessa Quigley sits down with her sister Erika (aka Rikki), to discuss how kids can help with household chores. Between the two of them they’re raising 14 children and have tried lots of different things--from chore charts and assigned zones, to party style family clean ups--they dish on what has worked and what has failed miserably and share some hacks from members of the MomForce that are worth giving a go.
The bottom line is that these are important life skills to teach (sometimes for the sake of their future roommates and partners) and it’s not a one size fits all plan. Your 5 year old may love being rewarded with high-fives, but that may not work in their teenage years… trust us! But in the end, a job done by a kid is better than a job not done at all. We continue the conversation about never ending laundry over in a Facebook live in the MomForce Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/288060834871331/
There’s something about summer that seems to make kids hungrier. And with kids home all day, there’s an added challenge when it comes to meal planning. Gone are the days where you can send the kids off to school with a slice of toast in their hand then swing by the store to grab groceries for that night’s dinner. Now you’re responsible for breakfast, lunch, and dinner (not to mention the snacks in between) all while juggling a hectic summer schedule.
In today’s episode, Vanessa and her sister Shelly discuss little steps you can take to make summer meal planning easier. Summer is a wonderful time of year, but brings added obstacles when it comes to the daily routine. Sometimes simply getting (and keeping!) food in the house is half the battle!
You don’t always have to prepare a big, fancy dinner. You know what your people like! Use these tips to be ready on the go, learn to cut corners, and use your resources. Make summer meal planning easy on yourself!
Check out our website for Show Notes, links to recipes, the watermelon hacks, as well as our meal planning printable.
Our MomForce has spoken and one thing on many summer bucket lists is camping! Whether your idea of camping involves being deserted in the wilderness or you consider a hotel room full of kids roughing it, family camp-outs are a great way to foster memories.
In this episode, host Vanessa Quigley is joined by her sister, Kara, co-founder of Raising Wild Swimwear and mother of 4, to discuss the highs and lows of braving the great outdoors. While they agree that camping may not be for everyone, there are ways to recreate the experiences they so fondly remember without requiring expert survivalist skills. And hey, everything tastes better by a campfire, right?
Vanessa and Kara discuss tips for the hotel camper and the nature lover alike. One thing holds true: when it comes to camping with family, compromise is key. While it may not be the most relaxing or rejuvenating trip, that’s not why you do it. And remember… one night won’t kill you. Happy Camping!
Visit our website for a fun camping printable and this episodes Show Notes.
If you just discovered our podcast, you might be asking yourself, “Who are these people and why another mom podcast?” Well, let us tell you!
In this episode, we introduce Vanessa Quigley, entrepreneur and mom of 7 kids ranging from ages 24-11 (plus a new daughter-in-law!). Along with her sisters (and co-hosts) they have 30 kids… YES! 30! That’s a lot of mommin’!
Together with her husband, Nate, Vanessa runs a company called Chatooks. In the early days of their business, Nate and Vanessa would work late into the night personally responding to customer emails. As the company grew, so did their need for helping hands. They hired remote, part-time employees to jump in and help with the workload, all of whom just happened to be moms! And with this, the MomForce was born!
A group was created, and friends and family were invited to join. What started as a team of women using Facebook as valuable parenting tool became a growing community where moms could find advice on everything from getting their kids to sleep in their own beds to sneaking veggies into the dinner menu. Today, The MomForce Facebook Group is a sisterhood of over 6,000 women sharing their best parenting hacks.
There was just too much good stuff to keep trapped on Facebook. So, with the goal of strengthening families, we introduce to you the MomForce Podcast! Quickie 15 minute episodes that cover all the crazy ins-and-outs of momlife and get you on your way!
Create your Summer Bucket List or help your family tay on the same page with a Summer Calendar. You can find these fun printables on our web page.
Don’t forget your Chatbooks Discount Code: POD20
And join us on the MomForce Facebook Page
Babysitters are the lifeline of a Mother’s sanity. But let’s be honest, there are several tiers of babysitters. In the first part of this two-part episode, we discussed the many roles a babysitter can fill. In today’s episode, Vanessa and Leah break down what happens when things don’t go quite as planned, how to get past the awkwardness of the pay conversation, and what you can realistically expect when you invite someone into your home.
Hiring babysitters is all about allowing yourself to be a better mother! Whether you returned to a tornado of a house, or your (likely well paid) sitter made it possible for you to come home and slip straight into bed, you’ve got to ask yourself two questions: 1. Is everyone alive and happy 2. Was it worth it.
We’re continuing the conversation on our MomForce Facebook page, where we’ll be chatting about older sibling babysitters! Listen to the episode, and join us there: The MomForce
There’s no one size fits all when it comes to babysitters. Whether you’re looking for a mini camp director or are simply in need of a warm body that can dial 911 in case of emergency, babysitters are a crucial tool for remaining a sane mother.
In Part 1 of this 2 part episode, host Vanessa Quigley is joined by her sister, Leah, as they discuss the different (and creative) roles a babysitter can fill. From the Mother’s Helper who is in charge of cleaning up the Slime mess and touching the yucky stuff at the aquarium to the sitter who can handle “witching hour” while you enjoy a much needed Early Date with your spouse, the right babysitter will keep you from losing your mother-loving mind this summer.
Join us as we discuss tips and tricks for keeping the “television babysitter” at bay and answer all of your babysitting questions on our Facebook MomForce page.
Are you looking for real life, tried and true, tips and tricks to help with all the nitty-gritty stuff of mom life? Well this podcast is for you.