Mom Help: How to Stop Being The Finder of All Things

Amber is obsessed with providing mothers simple and realistic tools to guide them toward a happier, calmer mom-life. Her approach includes helping clients clarify their unique combination of values, lifestyle, priorities, and family dynamics reinforced with a solid commitment to self-kindness and self-honesty.

Ready to outsmart your overwhelm?

Are you the “finder of all things” in your house? (Probably because you put it away in the first place, right?!)

Do your kids (and maybe your husband) look around the house for YOU… instead of looking for whatever they need themselves? They pass right by the very thing they’re looking for on their way to find you, am I right?!

A few weeks ago I realized how much time I spend looking for missing shoes, scotch tape, math worksheets and cell phone charger cords. 

Ummm….I don’t remember ever applying for the job of “FINDER OF ALL THINGS ANYBODY NEEDS AT ANY MOMENT OF THE DAY.”

Here’s the truth though – I kind of like that I can solve the mystery of the missing “x”. I kind of enjoy being the one who “saves the day.” And, I kind of feel like it proves that I do SOOO much and what would they all do without me dammit!

But, I asked myself, while it’s annoying and a time-suck for me, is this even a good thing for my kids? Are they going to grow up expecting some magical fairy will always know where their stuff is? How much will their future partners want to punch me in the face??

I realized not only is this job NOT fun, not worth my time, it was also NOT encouraging a sense of responsibility and independence in my boys. Maybe, I thought, it’s my job to TEACH them how to be more independent. Maybe I could take PRIDE in that (AND create more free time and less annoying interruptions to my days!)

I made some changes. 

Here’s my devilishly genius super-stealth plan to relinquish your title of “Finder of All Things.” 

This is THE GENIUS SUPER-STEALTH METHOD TO RELINQUISH YOUR “FINDER OF ALL THINGS” JOB example:

Dylan: “Mom, do you know where my blue swim shorts are?” 

LEVEL 1 – If you’d typically stop whatever you’re doing and find the swim shorts yourself…. 

Try THIS instead: Say, “I think they’re in the basket next to the dryer.”

LEVEL 2 – If you’d typically tell Dylan exactly where to find the swim shorts…

Try THIS instead: Say, “I’d probably look in the dryer, in the backpack by the front door, and in the back of the minivan.”

LEVEL 3 – If you’d typically tell Dylan a few places to look…

Try THIS instead: Ask, “Where have you already looked?”

LEVEL 4 – If you’d typically ask, “Well, where did you look already?”…

Try THIS instead: Say, “Hmm, I don’t know.”

BONUS LEVEL:

The next time YOU cannot find something, instead of looking in all the right places and finding it yourself… 

Try THIS instead: Say, “Dylan, would you please find the scotch tape and bring it to me?”

A Side Note on Husbands: I recommend trying THIS instead… Ask, “Would you like me to stop what I’m doing and find that for you right now?” **This is a great one because we often assume that’s what they mean. Then we feel annoyed. Maybe resentful even. But, MANY times it’s not what they mean at all. Clarify. But, clarify without a snarky attitude if possible. Snarky won’t get you anywhere good.

Every couple of weeks you can move ONE step closer to the BONUS level! You’re not only training your kids but you’re training yourself too. I’m SO excited for you. 

Are you the “finder of all things” in your house? (Probably because you put it away in the first place, right?!)

Do your kids (and maybe your husband) look around the house for YOU… instead of looking for whatever they need themselves? They pass right by the very thing they’re looking for on their way to find you, am I right?!

A few weeks ago I realized how much time I spend looking for missing shoes, scotch tape, math worksheets and cell phone charger cords. 

Ummm….I don’t remember ever applying for the job of “FINDER OF ALL THINGS ANYBODY NEEDS AT ANY MOMENT OF THE DAY.”

Here’s the truth though – I kind of like that I can solve the mystery of the missing “x”. I kind of enjoy being the one who “saves the day.” And, I kind of feel like it proves that I do SOOO much and what would they all do without me dammit!

But, I asked myself, while it’s annoying and a time-suck for me, is this even a good thing for my kids? Are they going to grow up expecting some magical fairy will always know where their stuff is? How much will their future partners want to punch me in the face??

I realized not only is this job NOT fun, not worth my time, it was also NOT encouraging a sense of responsibility and independence in my boys. Maybe, I thought, it’s my job to TEACH them how to be more independent. Maybe I could take PRIDE in that (AND create more free time and less annoying interruptions to my days!)

I made some changes. 

Here’s my devilishly genius super-stealth plan to relinquish your title of “Finder of All Things.” 

This is THE GENIUS SUPER-STEALTH METHOD TO RELINQUISH YOUR “FINDER OF ALL THINGS” JOB example:

Dylan: “Mom, do you know where my blue swim shorts are?” 

LEVEL 1 – If you’d typically stop whatever you’re doing and find the swim shorts yourself…. 

Try THIS instead: Say, “I think they’re in the basket next to the dryer.”

LEVEL 2 – If you’d typically tell Dylan exactly where to find the swim shorts…

Try THIS instead: Say, “I’d probably look in the dryer, in the backpack by the front door, and in the back of the minivan.”

LEVEL 3 – If you’d typically tell Dylan a few places to look…

Try THIS instead: Ask, “Where have you already looked?”

LEVEL 4 – If you’d typically ask, “Well, where did you look already?”…

Try THIS instead: Say, “Hmm, I don’t know.”

BONUS LEVEL:

The next time YOU cannot find something, instead of looking in all the right places and finding it yourself… 

Try THIS instead: Say, “Dylan, would you please find the scotch tape and bring it to me?”

A Side Note on Husbands: I recommend trying THIS instead… Ask, “Would you like me to stop what I’m doing and find that for you right now?” **This is a great one because we often assume that’s what they mean. Then we feel annoyed. Maybe resentful even. But, MANY times it’s not what they mean at all. Clarify. But, clarify without a snarky attitude if possible. Snarky won’t get you anywhere good.

Every couple of weeks you can move ONE step closer to the BONUS level! You’re not only training your kids but you’re training yourself too. I’m SO excited for you. 

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