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Be Our Guest Fridays {20}: Mom’s Got Mail from Just One of the Boys

Welcome to Be Our Guest Fridays!

Be Our Guest Fridays is a weekly feature where I feature guest posts by my favorite bloggers and authors. I started this feature as a fun way to give back to the blogging community. I are excited to share with you these creative, inspiring and knowledgeable bloggers.

I’m happy to have Ginger from Just One of the Boys as my guest today. A fellow mom of 3 boys, this woman does it all. She homeschools, is a military wife, does home renovations, is a bookworm and writes beautifully from her heart about her experience with divorce and falling in love all over again. She hosts a wonderful blogging series called In Her Shoes where she features women with different stories to share. I was honored she asked me to share my story having an invisible illness and I am thrilled she agreed to be my guest today. I give you the lovely and creative Ginger…

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Mom's Got Mail. How creative parenting and a Family Mailbox Saved My Sanity by Guest Blogger Just One of the Boys.

Mom’s Got Mail

by Ginger from Just One of the Boys

 

“Why do you have a mailbox in your kitchen?”

This question from surprised friends always brings a smile to my face when people come to our house.

Oh, that? Let me tell you about our family mailbox…

One day I’d had it up to *HERE* with the tattling, fighting, and brotherly pestering that was going on in our house. As much as I wanted them to learn how to work out their grievances amongst themselves, I also knew that sometimes a mom has to step in to settle things. The problem comes when I can’t stop what I’m doing – often helping someone with fractions, fixing dinner, or making a phone call – every single time there was a LEGO or light saber dispute.

What I needed was a personal secretary, but since that wasn’t in the family budget, I had to come up with something else.

What would help the boys know that I valued what they had to say, even when I wasn’t able to sort it all out right at that moment? It’s not like they could send me a text message. Hmmm….

Hey, Mom, the mail’s here. Can I go out to the mailbox to get it?

Message… Getting the mail… Mailbox…

*Lightbulb moment*

That’s when we took a trip to Lowe’s. I searched the mailbox aisle, and was thrilled to find one sporting a clearance sticker. The package was opened and worn, and it may have been missing screws, but it was perfect.

My Beloved is no stranger to my crazy ideas, so he measured where to place the screws and anchored it to the red wall just inside our kitchen. Then I turned to the boys and explained how this would work:

If a brother takes your PokΓ©mon card while I am cooking dinner…

If you make up a funny joke while I’m on the phone…

If you realize that you’re almost out of toothpaste while I’m in the shower…

WRITE IT DOWN.

Write down your complaints, tattles, questions, and requests – and I promise that I’ll read through each one just as soon as I can.

In a house of three boys, it wasn’t long before I had my first piece of mail!

Mom's Got Mail. How creative parenting and a family mailbox saved my sanity by Guest Blogger Just One of the Boys
Photo from Just One of the Boys

This little mailbox saved my sanity over the last few years. It has allowed the boys to feel heard, while allowing me time to check my messages and meet with each boy individually. Many times the grievance is no longer an issue by the time I get to it, but it’s important to them that I know what is going on in their lives. Our littlest boy used to draw pictures of his tattles before he felt comfortable spelling on his own. Other times I find a sticky-note with a funny face on it or a note saying, “Hi, Mom!”

I don’t know how long our family will use the mailbox in our kitchen, but I will always cherish the little boy handwriting on the notes I find inside it!

What about you? Have you found a creative way to handle skirmishes in your family? I’d love to hear all about it!

About Ginger

Joanne-Funk-Photography-picture-of-Ginger

 Ginger is wife to her Beloved, mommy to three boys, bookworm, survivor of a broken heart, and Kansas girl! Her Yellow Brick Road has led her through deep valleys of loneliness, betrayal, incredible heart ache, divorce, illness, and searching. She has also encountered the glorious paths of motherhood, friendship, rapture, butterflies – oh the butterflies, promise, hope, healing, new beginnings, and a love that she had never known possible. She would love to share with you how it came to exist in her very own not-so fairy tale at justoneoftheboys.com. You can also find her on Facebook,Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram!

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I absolutely LOVE this simple, creative and brilliant idea from Ginger! How many times do I have a little one that just has to have something while I’m in the phone, in the bathroom or cooking dinner? Too many to count! Thanks for sharing with us Ginger. 

This post linked up with Motivation Monday.

Tell us your creative ideas to help settle sibling skirmishes! 

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21 Comments

  1. I LOVE that idea! My kids are fighting daily about little stuff that I feel as though they could work out among themselves, but at the same time I don’t want them to feel like they are not being heard. I’m going to try this idea. I know at first it’s going to be full of mail, but I hope it continues to work over time.

    How long have you been doing this?

  2. How fun is that? I think that’s a brilliant idea. My own 3 boys are all mostly grown, but I wish I’d thought of something like this when they were younger. #SITSSharefest

  3. Hi there Tanya, such a creative, clever idea to saving your sanity. I’m a letter loving gal to start with but this mailbox in your kitchen takes it to a whole other level. Lovely to meet you.

  4. Wonderful idea! As the mom of 3 boys I can so relate to all the tattles, problems, and arguments that plague our children. I think I might have to try this. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Love this idea!! Though I’l have to wait a few years until my girls can write (and talk). LOL! Right now the little one just wants to be held and the other one…well…she’s all over the place. I’m going to stick this idea in my back pocket.

  6. This is such a fantastic idea. I’m not sure about having an actual mailbox in the kitchen but I might consider a jar or something (like you see a suggestions box). We tried the tattle ear (a picture of an ear on the back of a door) so the kids could “tell it to the ear”. This was something my son’s preschool did, but my daughter is 10 and a bit old for that concept. Also I wasn’t hearing the grievances they had, writing them down is a great idea, and should go a long way to helping my 6 yr old improve his writing and spelling. Thanks for sharing Ginger. And thanks, Tanya, for having such a great guest today!

    1. I thought it was a fantastic idea too! I love you can customize it for what works for you. I have a jar that would be perfect for this and you can see it filling up and needs to be answered. That’s a cute “tattle ear” idea but yea 10 might be too old for that. Thanks for commenting Helen, hope all is well with you!

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