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Welcome to Ask Kate! If you have a question, I'll try to have an answer for you. Email me and I'll post your question and my answer here! Please put ASK KATE in the subject line of your email. (kate@kateplusmy8.com)

Ask Kate

July 19, 2013

1. Q: What was the outcome of ur two seater car issue?
-Maggie

A: My TT (4 seater, btw) had gone in for regular service and….after that was never the same! In the end it all worked out okay because the dealership worked with me and replaced it with a new A4. It’s a more practical car with four doors and can better fit my kids (who now have much longer legs)…In the end, all’s well that ends well, right?

2. Q: Are you still considering a dating show? I’d watch that.
-Al

A: I still think it would be SO much fun to do a dating show. And, of all people, my kids keep pushing me to do that show! How crazy, right? It’d be a great way to meet people that I’d otherwise never have the chance to meet… So let’s wait and see.. Would you watch?

3. Q: Kids and Chores: What age is best to start and how do I “make them” do them?
-Nadine

A: I started with my chore chart officially when my youngests were five years old. At that age, they couldn’t sweep the floor very well and could barely reach the table to wipe it, but the job itself wasn’t the most important part at the start. Teaching your kids at a very young age that a loving family involves ‘team work’ is important. Teaching responsibility at a young age will help your kids become more responsible adults as well. Back at the beginning, I focused on encouraging them to do a good job, pointing out how they could sweep or wipe better and praising them for a job done to the best of their ability.
Now, my kids taken over after dinner… We are a huge cleaning crew so that no one person is in the kitchen all night cleaning up! We all helped make the mess so we all help clean it up!
They know their jobs and are old enough to do them well. I’m really proud of them and their willingness and capabilities!

4. Q: How do you handle picky eaters?! I have 5 kids, at least 3 complain every night about something on their plates?
-Holli

A: Well, I typically ignore any complaints and don’t allow them. I once had a rule that if you complain about the meal, you get MORE of it on your plate, and you have to eat it! ;) So, complaining didn’t last long here. I also find that certain kids just tend to be ‘meal complainers’– they just have to “say” they don’t like what’s for dinner, but in reality, they do. For example, every single time we have scrambled eggs for breakfast, Hannah will say “oh I don’t like eggs!” and then, she eats them AND asks for seconds! I think her complaint is interpreted as “I am really in the mood for cereal and wish we could have that instead.” By hearing what your kids are REALLY saying, changing what’s on the menu often, constantly making new recipes and involving the kids in planning (some) of the meals — ie: asking what meals the things they are hungry for, and not allowing them to CHOOSE what they eat and don’t eat on their plates, you can have a big impact on the picky eaters in your house!
For LOTS more helpful ideas on this topic, you can preorder my cook book LOVE IS IN THE MIX.
You can pre-order it here on my website. It’s set for release in September! Sooo exciting!

5. Q: Kate do you ever feel down? I feel overwhelmed with mom duties so much. Any tips to help me out? Thx in advance…
-Kerri

A: Hi Kerri. Yes! I do and I am sure that ALL moms “feel down and overwhelmed” from time to time.. So at least we know we’re normal, right? :)
It’s easy to get bogged down with ALL that needs to get done at any given time — summer reading projects, school shopping, making dinner, things that need to be added to the grocery list, the house is a mess!, that toilet that needs fixed, the weeds outside in the landscaping, the bees nests that need to be sprayed, oh the laundry, and the list goes on… I try to make a daily list and prioritize it constantly. I cross stuff off the list when it’s done and it makes me feel accomplished! Remember that we all get overwhelmed at times and just do your best each day. No mom is perfect and has it all under control all the time and there’s always tomorrow to finish that never ending list. Let your LOVE for your family guide you through! Oh, and stop and take a break and rest for YOU once in awhile– a happy (somewhat) rested mom is always a better mom!:) Good luck!

6. Q: Can you give me any tips on how to take time out for myself during the day???
-Lauren

A: Hi! Well, I can’t necessarily give you an exact “how to,” but if you’re a mom especially, I think it’s really important to shed the “mommy guilt” once in awhile and make sure “me time” gets written down and scheduled. Everyone’s “me time” is defined differently. Mine is time to run, time to read or time to sleep. Doesn’t have to cost money and is best defined as whatever helps you to unwind and relax for even just ten minutes! So, all that to say, my best advice is SCHEDULE time for yourself and like any other important “task,” make yourself DO something that will help you regroup! Good luck!

7. Q: What do you think will be most challenging and rewarding when raising 8 teenagers?
-Wendy

A: Hi Wendy. That is a great question, yet is definitely one that I answer with great trepidation. I certainly think that keeping track of my kids and monitoring their safety, navigating life decisions and helping them through those teenage emotions will be more challenging than I can even comprehend right now. I’m specifically worried about teaching eight kids how to drive! I’m a good driver, for sure, but I don’t feel overly qualified to teach them all how to be responsible drivers — and essentially they will be learning all at ONE time! Now THAT is scary! On the rewarding side, I look forward to the days when I have older kids! Eight teenagers who laugh, hang out, eat more of my homemade pizza than I can crank out in a night, and make fun memories together…. They are all so very bonded already, so I can’t wait to “know” my kids as they get older. As they grow into their teen years, their own dreams will start to come into focus–dreams that I can hopefully have a positive impact on guiding and helping to make come true! The future is sure to be exciting…I’m ready…I think anyway….

XO
K8

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