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New Tool for Decision Making for Moms

Moms, how many decisions do you make in a day? A while back, researchers at Cornell University* found that people make more than 200 decisions about food alone. Just. Food.

How about an average mother on a daily basis?  Yep, I am thinking the same thing. Some mothers put forth so much effort into everything that they exhaust themselves. Why do we do this?

Decision-making for moms…stress strategies

Suppose you gave yourself an early Mother’s Day Gift—simplify your efforts and your decision-making with the DEF Scale. DEF stands for Daily Ease of Functioning.


This stress strategies scale may seem basic—but everything in life can be based on it. A score of 1 means that the amount of energy, effort, and time required is minimal. A score of 10 represents the highest possible level of complication.

Everything you do falls somewhere on the DEF Scale

The only question is where. Which bank should you use? Which pants should you buy for your 5-year-old? What should you serve your guests for dinner on Friday night?

These are all examples of decision-making for moms that can be addressed using the DEF Scale. Pick the bank that you’re going to drive by all the time anyway, not the one across town. Buy the dark pants that aren’t going to show stains that you’ll have to work to get rid of. Grill some flank steak, instead of trying out that complicated homemade sushi recipe for the first time. In other words, whenever possible, choose tasks with DEF scores of 1, 2, and 3 rather than 8, 9, and 10.

I’m not saying that you shouldn’t recycle, or you shouldn’t go out of your way to make a fancy birthday cake if that’s your preference. What I am suggesting is that you can consciously and smartly choose to free yourself from some of the stress of motherhood—if you use the DEF Scale for decision-making. It’s a way to strategize and smartly reduce your efforts to help make the most of your time.

My friend, Marnie, and I challenged each other to use the DEF Scale. Marnie said it made her life a little easier.

The DEF Scale and Score is a unique way of taking care of yourself, and it isn’t just for moms. After a while, this kind of thinking becomes automatic. I have received tons of positive feedback from others about the scale. Users report it is a major stress reduction tool in their lives. Of course, you could use it in other aspects of your life as well.

Try it and see what you think. Let us know your results.

Take care,

Cherilynn Veland is author of Stop Giving It Away, a self-advocacy book for women. Stop Giving It Away is the product of 20+ years of social work and counseling individuals and couples. Cherilynn also blogs about home, work, life and love at

Follow Cherilynn on Twitter. Connect on Facebook too. Buy the book here.

*Reading resource: “Mindless Eating: The 200 Daily Food Decisions We Overlook” by Brian Wansink and Jeffrey Sobal (2007)

New Tool for Decision Making for Moms

Cherilynn Veland, LCSW, MSW

Cherilynn Veland, MSW, LCSW, is a counselor and coach based in Chicago. She has been helping individuals, couples and families for more than 20 years. She is author of Stop Giving It Away, a book about developing healthier relationships with yourself and others. The Stop Giving It Away movement aims to stop the detrimental level of self-sacrifice in which many women live and work. Winner of the 2015 National Indie Excellence Book Award in the Women's Issues category - Stop Giving It Away.

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APA Reference
, . (2018). New Tool for Decision Making for Moms. Psych Central. Retrieved on June 6, 2020, from


Last updated: 26 Jan 2018
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