It’s what every parent wants: a clean, well-organized, happy home. Problem is, most moms and dads are under a lot of stress, and keeping up with the house often winds up on the bottom of the never-ending to-do list. Kathy Peel, author of over 21 books and the creator of Family Manager, has created a brilliant brand that helps families remove the chaos from their homes – and lives – and helps bring happiness and order to Home Sweet Home.
I love this whole idea of a Family Manager. Let’s talk about how you came up with the concept.
I began collecting management strategies, and then adapted and implemented them for my own family. It saved my sanity.
When there is organization in the home, there is definitely less stress and chaos.
Right! I would categorize tasks and then my family and I would have task force meetings when we were cleaning out the garage, for example! After having so much success with my own family, I thought I could start helping other moms reduce their stress and raise creative kids, too. It was then that I wrote and sold my first book, A Mother’s Manual for Summer Survival. It sold 15,000 copies in just nine weeks!
You took your idea one step further and created Family Manager.
I had great success and a happy home life, and I wanted to share that with other women. Women can learn how to become a better family manager and make their home life less stressful. They receive education and training on how to apply good organizational and management techniques that work for their specific families, and how to build strong relationships. When women work with a Family Manager, they can identify their priorities and find out what are the points of contention in their family. It might be that getting your family’s schedule together is getting you crazy, or it could be getting dinner on the table each night. Women are given an action plan filled with solutions that the family can use immediately to make home the best place it can be.
And women can become their own boss by becoming a Family Manager, too. I designed a way to train women to become Family Managers with the Family Manager University. FMU is a state-of-the-art online training program, and it’s been very successful.
What would you say to parents who are new to this whole idea of family managing?
Most moms today have been out in the workforce. We ask them to think of strategies wherever they have worked that worked well. They have to think of skills they already have that can be adapted to their homes. On the site, there is a free document called, “Who’s Responsible for That?” This document has saved marriages! [laughs] It lists of all the tasks that have to be done in order for there to be a modicum of order and cleanliness in the home. We tell moms to schedule their meetings when everyone is fully present and be sure to have a good snack or dessert on hand! You go through the list and ask your family what they think. The most important thing is to listen to each other.
In today’s society, there seems to be a shift in parenting. Moms want to do it all and do it well. You don’t ascribe to that type of thinking, then?
Not at all. It’s important for kids to have responsibility around the house. It makes them more self-confident, too, if they are participating. The family is a team; we built this team mentality from when our children were very little. In our family, we are committed to helping each other succeed in life. It’s a huge job; running a home and raising children. You have to do it as a team, so it’s not fair if one member (in this case, the mom), is doing it all herself.
What is one tip you would offer other parents to get their home lives in order?
My passion is helping busy moms create a happy and organized home environment. After identifying what robs you of your time or gets you frustrated, you can take immediate action to fix it. One of my favorites is the “7 Minute Nightly Clean-Up Sprint” with my family. Every night, we would set the alarm for 7 minutes, put on some great music, and race around the house doing small tasks. It might have been to throw out the garbage, or wipe off the counter, but we would do it together as a family. It’s a fun nightly ritual. And the most important thing I tell moms is that nothing is ever perfect. Your house is never going to be perfect, but doing things together as a family team is.