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Blog and life updates, Family Finances, Motherhood

Employment Boundaries and Knowing Your Value

September 4, 2015
employment boundaries

Do you believe that money can buy you happiness? To a certain extent I believe that it does. Money certainly makes things easier. I would be more than willing to endure some unpleasant positions to make more money for my family. If someone told me that I could make 3 million dollars by shoveling out manure pits for the next three years, I would definitely do it. Most people probably would.

What if the same person offered you only $30,000 to shovel manure for the next three years? Unless you were homeless, unemployed, and starving the answer would most likely be a resounding NO. That level of physical discomfort just isn’t worth the meager paycheck. Everyone has their employment boundaries. They know when a project is worth the value or not for their time and effort involved.

This past week I learned what limits are and employment boundaries are as a writer. I did something that, three months ago, seemed inconceivable. I turned down a writing client for the first time.

After learning how to get paid to write for blogs, I have been hustling to find new clients, start new projects, and bring in more income for my family so that we can pay off debt. I’m willing to put in the time and the hours writing for free, doing guest posts, or getting paid low compensation to build up my name, my business, and my writing portfolio. Like Mark Twain is remembered for saying, “Write without pay until somebody offers pay.”

Until this week, my motto has been “any money for writing is good money for writing.” After contacting a potential client and writing a sample article, I was seriously low-balled in return for a writing project. I don’t want to get into the details, but let me just say that the time was not going to be worth the effort or the money. Compensation was going to be less than minimum wage. Significantly less. I turned down the client, letting them know that my time is worth more than they were offering, but thanks for the opportunity.

A project like the one in question would have made me crazy, the quality of my work would have been terrible, and my family would have suffered with me working so much…all for pennies. Although I am still a new writer, I know what my value is, and I know what my employment boundaries are.

I am so glad that I was able to say no. I love working from home as a contract writer, because I get to choose which projects I take on, meaning I enjoy my work and I get to be home with my kids.

I enjoy my work as a writer, and I enjoy my work as a mom. Any job that would make me unhappy with both of those positions is a job I have no desire or willingness to take. I know what my goals are as a writer, I know what my employment boundaries are, and I will only take on projects that will help me reach those goals.

What are your employment boundaries? Do you know what your bottom line amount is for the value of your work?

If one advances confidently in the direction

Before you go, here’s a roundup of some of my recent posts around the web:

Careers that Offer Student Loan Forgiveness

3 Fool-Proof Ways to Avoid Buyer’s Remorse While Shopping Online

10 Great Alternative Christmas Gift Ideas

3 Reasons Millennials Should Invest in Dividend Stocks

5 Reasons You Shouldn’t Put Off Your Bucket List until Retirement

Why Paying Off Debt is Like Losing Weight

 

Also check out these great posts by other bloggers

Why You Shouldn’t Let Your Spouse’s Career Hold You Back

10 Ways to Get Yourself Out of a Funky Mood

How to Check the Real Savings on Amazon Gold Box Deals

Life After Debt…Remembering Your “Why”

5 Simple Ways to Get Your Productivity Back

 

Have a great weekend!

Blog and life updates, Motherhood

Reasons I love Raising a Type A Kid

August 21, 2015
Reasons I love raising a type A kid

Our daughter will be 5 years old soon, and she already has the stubbornness of myself and the single-mindedness of her dad. When she gets it in her head that she wants something or wants to do something, good luck trying to dissuade her otherwise. She can be competitive, ambitious, impatient, aggressive, and fast talking. In short, she has all of the attributes of a type A personality.

My husband is also Type A, and our daughter is basically his mini-me. She not only looks like him, but she acts like him too. So between the two of them, there are quite a few power struggles in our house. I have to laugh, because many of the things that frustrate my husband when dealing with our 4 year old are really just miniature versions of himself.

Sometimes I would love to have her be less competitive, less ambitious, more patient, less-aggressive, and a little bit quieter. I honestly wouldn’t change her for the world, though. As much as it can be a pain to have a strong-willed child, there are several reasons why I love raising a type A kid.

Continue Reading…

Blog and life updates, Budget, Family Finances, Motherhood, Self Suffiency

Learn How to Get Paid to Write for Blogs

July 7, 2015
How to Get Paid to Write for Blogs

This post is a part of the Get Paid to Write for Blogs Course Launch! Get Paid to Write for Blogs is a brand new course created by Cat Alford of Budget Blonde. Cat makes a full time income from writing for blogs and her course will teach you how to do the same.

Six months ago I saw an advertisement on my Facebook news feed for a course on how to get paid to write for blogs. After discussing the cost, both my husband and I knew that it was something that I needed to do. I had been feeling stagnant at home without professional aspirations and without any sort of creative outlet. Knowing that taking the course would be an investment in my future, I took the plunge and paid for the first month of the course.

Taking that first step was exactly what I needed to feel like I was grabbing life by the horns again. Creating a website from scratch, deciding on content, and putting myself out there has helped me to grow in unimaginable ways. I have a platform for telling my stories, sharing my knowledge, and inspiring others.

Six months ago I was a mom and a wife. Today, I am a mom, a wife, a blogger, a freelance writer, and a woman who has professional aspirations again. I am making money while getting to stay home with my kids! It’s a win-win scenario. Learning from Cat how to get paid to write for blogs was the greatest investment I could have made for my future.

Here are 12 reasons you should learn how to get paid to write for blogs:

1. No previous experience necessary

People of all backgrounds can learn what it takes to become a paid blogger. Taking a course on freelance writing will teach you everything you need to know to get started and to become a successful paid blogger.

2. Work in your pajamas

Who doesn’t love earning money while wearing yoga pants? Some of my best writing is done late at night, in the comfort of my jammies.

3. Blogging is a creative outlet

As a mom especially, I tend to put my needs on the backburner while I take care of my family. Committing to becoming a paid writer has forced me to set aside time for myself and my career. As if that wasn’t enough, blogging serves as an outlet for all of my unused creative energy, because I’m able to pursue my interests and passions through writing.

4. Location flexibility

Anywhere that you have access to Wi-Fi, you can get paid to write for blogs. You can work at the local library, the coffee shop, sitting in airports, or even on the beach. You can side hustle as a paid blogger from anywhere in the world.

5. Extra Income

Wouldn’t it be nice to have a little bit of extra money to save for vacations, pay down debts, put aside money for your kids’ college funds, and to build a nest egg for retirement? Extra income earned from being a paid blogger will help you achieve whatever financial goals you set for yourself and your family.

6. Create Your Own Workload

Paid bloggers set their own writing hours, so you can work as often or as little as you choose. Depending on what your writing and financial goals are, you could write just two articles per month, or you could continue taking on clients and writing jobs until your schedule is full.

7. Schedule Flexibility

Researching for and writing articles does not have to happen on a typical 9-5 business hours schedule. You can work whenever you want to or have the time. Some people make blogging their full-time job and others just write at nights and on the weekends.

8. Learn new skills

Six months ago I knew nothing about website management, SEO, pitching to clients, or affiliate marketing. An entire world of knowledge opened up to me through learning what it takes to become a paid blogger.

9. It will help provide new opportunities

Sometimes a bad credit score is the only thing holding you back from applying for the job of your dreams, getting approved on a loan for a home, or getting the bank assistance you need to start a business. Extra income from your writing for blogs will help you pay down debts and improve your credit score, giving you a second chance to fulfill your dreams.

10. Make new friends

Bloggers form a very close-knit community. By joining in as a fellow side hustling blogger, you will make great and lasting friendships with like-minded people.

11. Have a backup plan

Extra income from becoming a paid blogger can help you build up an emergency savings fund. You could also utilize blogging as a safety net career to fall back on if you were to lose your regular full-time job.

12. You’ll Have a Support Network

Life is unpredictable at the best of times. It’s even more so when you have kids. Fortunately, the freelance blogging community is filled with parents who understand that sickness, ER visits, and broken bones are par for the course. Your online community will be there to get you through family emergencies by covering your deadlines. Then, when you’re able, you’ll be there to help someone else out as well.

Why wait to get started? Get hustling!

Taking a course to learn how to become a paid blogger could be the decision that changes your life. Don’t feel stuck in a job you hate, stagnant without a creative outlet, or struggling to live paycheck to paycheck. Side hustling as a paid blogger can help you achieve both your family and your financial goals.

Are you ready to invest in your future? Learn how to become a paid blogger so that you can pay down debt, build up an emergency fund, and start truly enjoying your life again.

Get Paid to Write For Blogs is a comprehensive online course that teaches you everything you need to know about getting hired to write for blogs. With 29 videos within 8 modules, this course covers every single step to start a successful and lucrative writing career online. Click here to get 15% off your course!

Motherhood

Parent Time Out: How to Escape the Kids

June 22, 2015
Parent Time Out: How to Escape the Kids

 

Happy Monday! I hope you all had a great Father’s Day weekend. I had a fantastic weekend visiting with family. Staying in a house with at least three other adults meant that I actually got a break from mommy duties! I had at least 3 cups of coffee without once having to re-heat my cup! I even got to take a shower without little ones banging on the door. It was marvelous.

I love visiting with family, because they take the kids and I get to just be. I don’t have to do anything at all except sit there, drinking my cup of coffee. Unfortunately, our closest family lives 2.5 hours away, so those moments of silent, childless bliss are few and far between.

I love my kids to the moon and back, but sometimes I need to get away for a minute, clear my head, and refill my energy tank. Days when my kids pester with their never-ending demands and Oscar worthy tantrums can leave me wanting to pull my hair out. When family isn’t there to entertain the kids, I look to my husband to watch the kids while I escape for a moment to regroup. The problem is, on the particularly trying days, he may not be willing to take on the angry kid monsters by himself. So…sometimes I may stretch the truth to sneak away. I don’t normally advocate for dishonesty in a relationship, but here are 7 ways to pull one over on your spouse so you can escape your kids for a few blessed moments of silence.

7 (little white) lies to tell your spouse:

1. I’m answering an important email

When the kids are especially rowdy (think pre bed time), leave the kids with daddy to “answer an important email.” Shut yourself in the office and give yourself a 10 minute time-out to watch cat videos on YouTube. Hang on to those feelings of fuzzy contentment when you head out to endure the endlessly painful “I need a story, song, and glass of water” bedtime routine.

2. I need to go look for something in the car

To sneak in 5 precious minutes of time where little children can’t bite, crawl on, hang off of, or generally harass you, use the pretense of going to your car to look for your wallet, phone charger, or important piece of paperwork. With a little bit a forethought, you can actually leave something important in your car, knowing that you’ll need to eventually return with evidence in hand. Utilize this tactic in early spring and autumn, so you don’t roast or freeze to death in the car.

3. I have diarrhea, I’m going to be a while.

For this to work, you actually have to be able to shut the bathroom door and lock it before your kids realize that mommy has to “go”. Distract the kids with dad, and make a break for it. Make sure to stash a book and a candy bar in the bathroom ahead of time.  Flush every few minutes and moan for effect. This tactic can buy you a solid 25-35 minutes of alone time. When you decide to leave your haven, be sure to spray some air freshener, turn on the fan, and say “trust me, you don’t want to go in there for a while.”

4. I’ll be in the basement (or attic) trying to find…

If you are feeling especially evil, set up a messy craft that your kids adore that will keep them occupied for at least 30 minutes (like finger paints, bubbles, or Legos etc.).  As soon as your little Da Vinci’ are occupied, leave your spouse in charge and “go look for…” whatever. It doesn’t really matter. Just mumble under your breath about needing to find something and then don’t return until they are all done with craft time. Make sure not to post or like anything on Facebook during this time, or you’ll be found out. Using your kindle app for some quiet reading time is a safer bet.

5. Dinner isn’t done cooking yet

While your spouse fends off the hangry hostiles, surreptitiously sip some wine while you cook dinner on a lower heat for longer. You’ll give yourself an extra 5 minutes for the wine to take effect before your food flinging chimps kids descend upon the table for dinner.

6. Don’t let them in here, there’s cleaner on the floor

This one takes an ounce of effort, but it’s worth it. Leave your spouse to deal with the kids, and lock yourself into the bathroom with a mop, cleaning spray, and some rubber gloves. You may actually have to clean the bathroom, but once you’re done, enjoy a hot bubble bath in your freshly cleaned tub. If your spouse knocks and asks if you’re done yet, just shout, “Don’t come in here! There’s cleaner everywhere, and I mopped myself into the corner.”

7. I’m not done here, I’ll text you when I’m on my way.

Embrace that elusive chance to get errands done sans children by taking as much time as you please. Push the grocery cart slowly up and down every aisle, let one or two people ahead of you in line at the bank, and stop at a coffee shop on your way home. Circle the neighborhood one or two times to finish your drink while it’s still hot, and crank up the radio with your own music. Relish the fact that you’re in your car without having to endure painful torture listen to the soundtrack of Frozen for the 8 millionth time.

Try one or two of these, and you’ll get at least a 5 minute time out from the kids. Enjoy the silence, relax, and regroup. You’ll be a better parent for it. You deserve a few minutes to yourself. Don’t feel bad for taking advantage of your spouse every now and again. I promise, they do the same thing to you when they can.

Do you ever take advantage of your spouse to get some alone time? Does your spouse use any of these tactics for getting quiet time away from the kids?

Motherhood

The Organized Chaos of Parenthood

June 5, 2015
Chaos is the score upon which reality is written. ~ Henry Miller

My kids are a bustling jumble of messy rooms, constant commotion, and unbelievable antics. They don’t just cause chaos, they are chaos. My son tried swinging from the chandelier today. I wish I was kidding.

My four-year old is precocious and endlessly entertaining. I love listening to her stories and hearing her songs that she makes up as she goes along. My 15 month old is such a sour-patch kid (one minute he’s sweet and the next he’s sour). Right now I love his cuddling, sticky fingered hugs, and messy kisses, but I can’t wait to watch his own little personality grow.

Although my daily reality with the kids is typically chaotic, and a little bit stressful, I try to think of it as an organized chaos. Muddy clothes in the hamper means that they got to explore outside and learn about nature. Popcorn in the couch cushions tells of family movie nights. Crayons and bits of paper all over my dining room floor speak to my daughter’s endless creativity and her constant drive to build something new. Every bit of chaos is testimony to lessons learned, projects completed, and memories made.

The past few months of trying to move forward after the miscarriage have made me truly appreciate my kids. I have been trying so hard to not get swept away in the stress of daily life. It is so important to stop and remember the precious moments that may seem inconsequential at the time. I never want to forget the feel of my baby boy’s pudgy toddler hand as he reaches up for me. I never want to forget how it feels to have my daughter cuddled into my side as we read stories together on the couch. I want to savor each and every moment of this chaotic life of parenthood.

And truth be told, I love the chaos, because in exchange, I receive untold devotion from these tiny people who call me mommy. I have the unbelievable privilege of helping to raise, teach, and love my two precious kids. I don’t mind the endless hampers of dirty clothing, the food in the carpet and couches, and the constant mess of toys. I don’t mind because one day too soon, they will be going off to be on their own. I will look back on this time of my life and yearn for the chaos of their childhood. The quiet will be more overwhelming than the noise is now. Right now, chaos is my reality, and I choose to treasure every moment of it. 

Gardening, Motherhood

Peace in the Garden: Recharging When Life Stresses You Out

June 1, 2015
Finding peace in the garden

Life slows down for most people this time of year with the kids getting out of school, getting ready to go on vacations, and enjoying Saturdays by the pool. I wish that was the case for us, but life in the Muse house is full steam ahead.

My husband works three weekends a month, we home school year-long, and our vacation is not until mid-November this year. I have been hired to write for two different websites Shoeaholic No More and Retire by 40, which is amazing and so exciting. Having this opportunity, to write professionally and expand my resume, is a welcome kind of stress, but there has definitely been a bit of a learning curve with finding “my work from home mom” rhythm. Taking care of the kids all day and writing all night means that I am pretty tired most days.

IMG_8406

I have found that I am less likely to unravel if I start my days by doing something I love to do. Most days that means tending to the garden.  In a fast and stressful life, I love that I have a place where I can find peace and quiet. When life becomes crazy or feels just a little bit overwhelming, spending a quiet half hour tending to the garden recharges my emotional batteries and gives me the peace I need to face another day. I love that you can’t hurry a garden. You have to give it light, water, nutrients, and time. It’s a process that can’t be rushed. It makes you slow down.

I love our crazy, chaotic life. I wouldn’t trade it for the world, but I am grateful to have a quiet retreat where I can go to unwind, do something I love, and find some peace at the beginning of the day.

How do you unwind? Do you start your day doing something you find peaceful?

Motherhood

Life Lessons from J.K. Rowling and Finding Joy in Chocolate Creme Pie

May 4, 2015
dementor chocolate

Physically, emotionally, and mentally, it has been a hard week. Just exhausting. Yesterday was one week since I started actively losing the pregnancy. I was having a rough day in which I kept breaking down into tears. I sat on the couch to watch the news, when a diaper commercial full of beautiful newborns and toddlers came on TV. It left me hysterically crying.

Going through this miscarriage has left me feeling drained of joy. I have a wonderful life with an amazing husband and two beautiful children, but this past week has been filled with physical pain and emotional despair, and I am just exhausted.

Shortly after that commercial left me sobbing, my daughter asked me to come play tea party with her. When I went upstairs to the playroom, I saw that she had obviously spent a great deal of time setting up cups, plates, toy food, and flowers. It was beautiful and she made it just for me. I told her thank you for setting up such a wonderful party for us to share. She responded, “I love having tea parties with you, mommy. You’re the best mommy in the whole world.”

I broke down into more tears, because at that moment, I didn’t feel like a great mommy. I felt like a mommy with her head barely above water, drowning in the emotions that come along with experiencing a miscarriage. Affirmation from my four-year old, telling me that I was doing something right, was enough to make me lose my composure completely.

After playing tea party, I decided that she and I were going to do something together that brings me joy. She had seen enough of my tears, and I wanted to do something with her that would make both of us smile. So we made pie. Chocolate creme pie with a chocolate graham cracker crust and vanilla meringue topping. I don’t know what it is about chocolate that makes the world seem a little bit brighter, but it does. As Professor Lupin from Harry Potter once said, “Eat it. It helps. It really helps.”

I find so much joy in baking. The process of creating my own recipe from scratch just puts me in a happy place. Most of the time, I bake just for the joy of it, and I give away the sweets. So for three hours yesterday, we mixed, stirred, and measured out our very own recipe for dairy-free, chocolate “creme” pie.  Natali had two pieces while it was still warm. I’m not going to lie…half of that pie was gone before my husband got home from work.

Did the pie fix my depression or make all of my problems go away? Hardly. It did give me a moment of peace though. In a horrible day of emotional turbulence, the process of baking a pie helped me to find my joy again. Chocolate creme pie can’t help me work through the pain of miscarriage, but it did give me an afternoon of memories made with my daughter. It put a smile on both of our faces. Chocolate creme pie made me a happier mommy for just a little while, and it helped me get through another day.

One thing that miscarriage has taught me is that when you feel like you are drowning in your despair, you have to hang on to the little things that make you smile, or you are going to get swept under. Whether it’s going for a run, reading a book, or making chocolate creme pie, you have to do things daily that bring you joy and help you feel fulfilled. Those small moments of joy may seem inconsequential to the greater pain you’re feeling, but they are so unbelievably necessary.

So if you are reading this and happen to be going through something terribly trying, I urge you to find your joy. Do something completely frivolous that puts a smile on your face. And eat chocolate. “It helps. It really helps.”

IMG_8025

Motherhood

Don’t Lose Yourself to Parenthood

April 24, 2015
Don't lose yourself to parenthood, reinvent yourself

It’s really easy to forget that my identity extends beyond that of  wife and mother. Only hearing, “Mommy, mommy, mommy” all day can make you forget you even have a first name. Days when the telephone rings, and the person on the other end asks for Kristi, I have to break out of that mental bubble of “mommy” to coherently reply, “Speaking.”

Before kids, me-time involved working out for hours at the gym, taking classes, kayaking, camping, reading books for pleasure, and maybe even getting my hair done on occasion. My interests have changed pretty significantly since then.

I haven’t been kayaking or camping in six years. I’m lucky if I get a professional haircut once a year. Instead of getting a haircut or my nails done, I’d much rather spend the alone time getting my nails dirty in the garden. I still love working out, but my workouts now involve running in our neighborhood with a running stroller, instead of doing an hour-long Pilates or kickboxing class. I have always and will always love reading. That will never change. It’s just that now, it takes me about 4 months to finish a book, whereas before it only took me about 4 days.

So where does that leave me? I’m still Kristi, obviously, but my priorities are completely different than before. My kids are young and really dependent at this stage in life. While it can be exhausting to have to meet the needs of others 24/7, it also makes you appreciate time to yourself in a new way. After kids, you learn to cherish the small moments. You go to bed late, just to have a few blessed hours of silence and alone time. Grocery shopping, while the kids are home with daddy, may take about 30 more minutes than it should. You linger just a few moments longer in a piping hot shower, before getting out to face the day that will inevitably be full of poopy diapers, snotty kisses, and mushed bananas.

I’m working hard on remembering to introduce myself as Kristi. Not just a wife. Not just a mom. Kristi. So, I will start here. My name is Kristi and I love to garden. I love getting my hands dirty on a project all my own. I love hiking. I love fishing. I love staying up into the wee hours of the night reading and re-reading Diana Gabaldon books. If given the choice, I’d rather ride in the car in silence or listen to only classical music. I love cooking from scratch. I love baking, but I have a horrendous sweet tooth and absolutely no self-control when sweets are in the house. I love collecting antiques that are still usable. I grind my daily coffee beans in a hand-turned coffee grinder from the early 1900s. It belonged to Kevin’s great, great grandmother.

Becoming a mother doesn’t have to mean losing yourself to motherhood. It just means reinventing yourself in this new role in your life. You don’t stop being you once your kids are born. At least you shouldn’t. Try to find ways to meet your wants, needs, and interests with your kids. Show them your interests, and get them involved. Have them help you in the garden, bake with you in the kitchen, and go for family hikes. Having kids doesn’t mean the end of all things enjoyable. It just means you have more people to enjoy those things with you.

Family hiking selfie

Family hiking selfie

Motherhood

Moving Forward After Miscarriage

April 20, 2015

pregnancy silhouette

March 1 my husband and I found out I was pregnant.

I called the doctor, and my first appointment was set for March 31. It was the longest wait of my life for that first appointment. An even longer wait in the waiting room. They were running behind, and I had to wait an hour after my scheduled appointment time to see the doctor. The doctor started the ultrasound, and I immediately saw the look of concern on her face as she scanned and scanned some more. I could see what she saw.  Two babies. No heart beats.

My son had a twin. It died before 12 weeks and I miscarried the one baby. When I went in for the first appointment, they saw the same thing as the most recent pregnancy, two babies and no heartbeats. I had to go back two weeks later, which is when they saw my son’s heartbeat. They gave me a 50% chance of carrying my son to term. I was on bed rest for three weeks, but my son survived. He is a healthy and thriving toddler today, full of mischief and joy. Because of my history with my son, the doctor wanted to see me again in a week. She made it clear that, although they wanted to see me again, she didn’t think that this pregnancy would have a happy ending.

One week after that first appointment she confirmed that the pregnancy had ended. They gave us three options.

  1. Dilation and curettage
  2. Take Cytotec to induce quicker miscarriage
  3. Wait it out naturally and come back if I hemorrhage

I had to have a 12 week D&C with my second miscarriage. It was traumatic, painful, and not anything I ever wanted to replicate. Cytotec, while used often by obstetricians, has a frightening and not nearly discussed enough history of uterine rupture and maternal death when used on pregnant women. It’s just not a drug that I am comfortable using, when given the choice.  That left me choice number 3. A choice I am still waiting for an outcome from.

And so I sit, staring at my computer screen, dead babies still inside me, trying to find the right words. I want to write something meaningful, something that will bring other women peace or understanding. But, I don’t think that there is anything that truly can be said after a loss.  Miscarriage carries a special kind of grief that only a woman who has had a miscarriage can understand.

Waiting for the pregnancy to physically pass, I’m left with a hole in my heart for the babies that I will never hold. But it’s more than just the physical and emotional trauma of loss. It’s first words never spoken. Birthdays never celebrated. Graduations never attended. It’s the hope and joy and expectations for a life filled with memories of the beautiful child growing inside of you suddenly ended. No explanations. No reasons. No warning. Just over.

It has been two long weeks of waiting. Two weeks of anger. Two weeks of sadness and depression. It has also been two weeks of realizing that in the midst of personal tragedy, I am blessed beyond belief.

Two days after the doctor confirmed the miscarriage, two huge, beautiful bouquets of flowers arrived at my door from three friends that I love dearly. Their thoughtfulness, their recognition of my loss, their simple notes of “We love you and we are here if you need to talk” left me in a puddle of tears. Just knowing that other people knew about, and cared about, my babies that will never be has made the pain bearable.

I have had two weeks of cuddling my two beautiful children, whose presence makes bearable, but doesn’t take away, the pain of miscarriage. But because of them, I keep going. They need me, and for that I am forever thankful.

I have had two weeks of seeing my husband’s strength, as he holds me while I sob uncontrollably. Even though he too is grieving the loss of the babies. Emotionally, he feels the loss of the pregnancy just as much as I do.

Two weeks of trying to figure out where and how to go on from here. How do you move on after something like a miscarriage? It’s something I am learning how to do each and every time it happens. What I have learned is that you can’t move on from a miscarriage. The sadness stays with you always. It just becomes less acutely painful over time. You can only move forward.

You learn to live with the memory of what could have been but will never be. You find ways of keeping their memory alive, and you live. You just have to move forward.  One day at a time, one step at a time. I am so blessed to have the support system I have. I am able to lean on family and friends who love me and will help me through my loss.

After my first miscarriage, I had baby feet tattooed onto my right foot. I felt like I needed some sort of physical proof that my baby had existed. Though they lived only a short time inside of me, I wanted the memory to stay with me forever.

After the second miscarriage, and the loss of my son’s twin, my husband and I planted two apple trees in our front yard. I wanted to have something beautiful that would bloom and give back to the world year after year.

I haven’t yet decided how I will move forward after this miscarriage. I probably won’t decide until it’s officially over. I still haven’t had the time to process it like I need to. I haven’t moved on, but I am moving forward.

Motherhood

Budget For Quality Time With Your Kids

March 26, 2015

I recently wrote about prioritizing your partner by setting aside both the time and money for a date night. While spending quality time with your partner is important, I also believe that parents should try to spend quality time with their kids as well.

Family time is important too, of course, but there is something absolutely invaluable about spending one on one time with each of your children individually. It allows you to focus on them without distraction and to talk to them about their lives without interruption. Giving your child your complete and undivided attention tells them that you love them, they are worth your time, and you enjoy them as unique individuals.

Talking with my husband, I realized that I had not spent any time alone with my daughter since our son was born. He is 13 months old now. I felt terrible with the realization that due to circumstance, the nature of my husband’s job, and a million other excuses, I had not spent any one on one time with my daughter in 13 months. For 3.5 years she was an only child with my undivided attention, but I needed her to know that even though she has a sibling now, she is still important to me.

Find the time and money for kid time

To remedy the situation, I set up a mommy and daughter date afternoon. We budgeted for an afternoon matinée to see the new Cinderella movie, complete with a fountain drink and candy. Her daddy bought her a new dress up Cinderella dress. I painted her nails, did her hair in an up-do, and let her wear a little bit of glitter and my colored Burt’s Bees Wax lip gloss. She was so excited to dress up and get to spend some special time with me. She practically glowed with her excitement.

On our way to see Cinderella together

On our way to see Cinderella together

Our “Date” Budget

All said and done we spent $20 on the dress, $10.50 for both of our tickets, $8.50 at the concession stand, and $5 to spend in the arcade before the movie started. $44 spent. We are on a really tight budget and can’t be spending $44 willy-nilly, but this mommy-daughter date was special. It was a one time extravagant memory being made together with my daughter. She will never forget the time she got to dress up like Cinderella and go to the movies, just her and mommy.  It was $44 I can’t imagine having spent on anything else in the world.