Be Ahhhmazing

Are you ready for 2016? I can’t believe that another year has come and gone. It is crazy. As I reflect back on just a few of the things that happened in 15 I am astounded.

  1. Ran a 5k for the 1st time
  2. Generated money for children in need, global disease, ovarian cancer and breast cancer through ONEHOPE
  3. Had a little boy turn 2 and another little boy turn 1
  4. Started consulting for Rodan + Fields
  5. Taught a PR class at a local university

2016 hasn’t even started and I can already tell it is going to be another wonderful and crazy year!

Being a parent time seems to fly, but being a working mom creates a fast paced life that doesn’t always feel sustainable.

I have a lot of plans for 2016, but one of them is to slow down the pace of my life so that I can really focus on spending my time with the people that matter most to me.

Do you ever feel the need to slow things down? If so, let’s chat. The power of many affects change much faster than the power of one. Working moms working together, now that is something I can get behind!

Peace, Love and Cheers to 2016!

Kristen

 

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MommyWurk X7

polls_work_hard_graphic_2_4319_756578_answer_2_xlargeIsn’t that what life is all about. MommyWurk.

With all of the Wurk in my life it has been hard to find the time to write. Fortunately we have great guest posters who continue to provide you fabulous MommyWurk content. A little round of applause for all of our guest bloggers!

In a mother’s life work takes on a variety of different forms:

  1. Housework
  2. Full time job
  3. Part time jobs
  4. Childcare
  5. Personal shopper
  6. The list could go on…

It can be exhausting.

I once read an article that said to be financially successful you should have seven forms of income. I had just graduated from college and I cringed. The idea of working a full time job from 8-5 overwhelmed me. How could I add six other jobs into my life.

Being a little older and a little wiser, I better understand what the writer meant. Maybe one form of income is just a few thousand dollars a year, but all of those thousands add up to make big differences in your families bottom line and possibilities. Read more about creating multiple streams of income here. 

So that is what I have been up to. MommyWurking. My husband recently started a new job. I still have my full time job, I also teach as an adjunct professor once or twice a year, I do consulting work on the side, I am a skin care consultant for Rodan + Fields and I just started representing ONEHOPE.  All of these are great ways to bring in a little extra money and what goes better with great skin than wine. Especially a wine that gives 50% of the profits to charity. Now that is a vice I can get behind. One thing is for sure, no matter what extra streams of income you develop you need to believe in them. If you believe in the causes or products you enjoy  the business and it doesn’t feel like work!

Working moms, how do you work outside the home to provide for your family? Whether it is a full salary or a little extra income, share your success stories with us.

Peace, Love & Financial Success,

Kristen

My Spidey Senses are Tingling

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We have often heard it said that it would be nice if motherhood came with a manual.  Maybe you hvae uttered this comment yourself at times.  And while there are thousands (probably more like tens of thousands) of books that attempt to teach us how to raise our children, I still struggle from time to time.  So, I am forced to rely on my gut (or Spidey senses) much of the time.

Today’s post is inspired by Junior, who struck this pose as we were outside for a break when the kids got home from school.

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A mother’s Spidey senses come in many forms.  Sometimes its a weird feeling in the pit of your stomach or sometimes its a thought that won’t leave your mind.  But, whatever form it takes, it is often a sign or signal that should not be ignored. 

For example, our boys play outside in the backyard often.  Sometimes my husband and I sit out there with them, but most of the time we let them play independently.  But, we (I) always look out the window to check on them.  Every now and then my Spidey senses kick in urging me to go check on them…even if I just did.  And what do I find?  Sometimes a slightly injured child or sometimes, dueling brothers and other times, my checking is uneventful.  Nonetheless, I am always glad I surrendered to my Spidey senses.

How often have your Spidey senses saved the day? 

Until next time-

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;  in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. (Proverbs 3:5-6 NIV)

God’s best-

Alexis

Does Work-Life Balance Really Exist?

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I just read an inspiring article on LinkedIn about Merideth Gilmor and “her idea of integrating her work into her life–not balancing, not making her life work with her career”.

It begs the question: Should we demand more family-friendly policies in the workplace or just create our own workplace?

Read the article here and weigh in with your thoughts.  We love to hear from you!

Until next time-

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.
(Colossians 3:23-24 NIV)

God’s best-

Alexis

Image credit: jessicarector.wordpress.com

Mom! Stop!

So, last night we pulled up to Super F’s T-ball game and as we were getting out of the car, I went to give him a quick hug and kiss to wish him luck before his game. Suddenly, he said “Mom! No, don’t kiss me!” I asked him why and he said he didn’t want me to give him a kiss or hug in public. Ugh! I knew this day was coming, but I thought he would be older than 6 when it did.

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Luckily he still lets me give hugs and kisses at home, so I’ll just have to try to sneak a few more in to make up for it! My sweet little boy is growing up and I’m happy that he is becoming more independent, but it makes me a little sad too. It feels like the end of an era, and one of the last little boy things I’m losing as my son becomes a “big kid”.

Have your kids asked you not to hug and kiss them in public, and what age were they when it started?

Briana

 

image credit: http://www.photosearch.com

Us vs. Them: Knowing Our Place in Society

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In my professional experience, I have had the pleasure of meeting and working with people from all walks of life – from politicians and business owners to the homeless and underemployed. I have also sat at discussion tables with many groups where we were able to discuss community concerns and issues regarding public assistance, transportation, the potential increase in minimum wage, job search, entrepreneurship, and education. Most of the time, I remained silent – since that is the way you absorb the most information. I would often times wait for the right moment to provide my input. I like to listen to others about their concerns before offering a point of view or possible solution. There are plenty of opportunities to do so within the Social Service and Workforce industries if you look hard enough.


Image from conversationagent.typepad.com

After much conversation regarding what’s wrong with our society, no matter who I was speaking with, we often came to an Us vs. Them scenario. Most people feel comfortable with me and trust my judgment since I took the time to actually listen to what they had to say – I took the time to try to understand their side. This is ironic because it would not matter from what side of the tracks they were from, they wanted to be heard and their experience valued…and then they often times wanted me to pick a side! Personally, I would NEVER stand on one side of the fence or the other when it comes to community issues because we ALL can learn from each other! Our financial status often separate us into the privileged and underprivileged but we have more in common than we often think.

 

Image from cuddlesandrage.com

The privileged often seem to feel as though certain circumstances cannot touch them. They are intelligent and hardworking. They have expectations of their community and do not consider themselves privileged but realistic. Not sure if this is you? Two parent home, at least $65,000 coming into the home annually, college educated, two vehicles, family vacations, etc. Should you be ashamed of your status? Not at all! But recognize that just because your experiences in life are different, doesn’t make you better than those who are less fortunate. Be thankful not prideful. What can we learn from them? Higher expectation and optimism. We can learn to expect more from authority figures who are supposed to serve and protect us, expect from teachers who are to teach are children certain subject matters, get involved with our churches and community leaders to learn what we can do to make a difference and also to make sure our concerns are being considered. Learn to want more out of life because there is a life outside of your neighborhood. Be more optimistic about our future and our children’s future while seeking information about how we can excel.

 

Those that are living paycheck-to-paycheck are often inside single parent homes where there is limited education and income. The opportunities seem extremely limiting and my client who fit into this category were seeking assistance with choosing a career path and learning the potential careers available in our small town – or at least the companies that would hire with a decent hourly wage and/or benefits. The upbringing of these individuals often times included abuse, neglect, and a lack of experience with success, entrepreneurship, or stability. When you never see it, how do you know to duplicate? Our upbringing is very important to the way we see the world. I once had a business owner tell me that there was no need for food stamps or a high minimum wage – that people should just use the food pantries and find another job that pays higher – as if it were a simple thing to do. But in his experience it was that simple. However, when you have limited education and access to resources, you have limited expectations and options. What can we learn from those who are not as privileged in our society? That there are systems in place that keep valuable opportunity and resources from those who are less fortunate. We can learn that there is work to do in our communities that will require all of our participation. We can also learn that no one is immune to devastation, poverty, or unemployment. We can learn to treat each other better and remain humble.

 

Because the privileged work hard and make it, they assume the ones less privileged must not work hard, care as much, or invest enough time into their family and future. Because those less privileged seem to constantly work hard and stress over their situation in life, they assume that the privileged must be born into their circumstances and therefore not need to work for what they have. It all seems so unfair for both circumstances! When will we be able to come together at a meeting of the minds?!? Many people suffer in this economy. What I saw in my experience in social services and workforce, were the two groups coming for services believing they deserved more than the other group. I would have a person who worked 15+ years at the same employer, owned a home, raised a family and because of the change in employment they were sitting in front of me asking for assistance in upgrading their skills by going back to school or assistance with their job search toolbox – resume, cover letter, job search techniques, etc. I would then have a meeting with someone who was never able to complete school because of lack of funds but worked for minimum wage most of their life receiving public assistance and dreaming about a career, not just a job. My job was to assist them in discovering their strengths and assist them with the financial means to pursue their goals. Each has a slightly different story but wanting the same for their family…but would not even speak to each other in the lobby because of preconceived notions.

 

Image from excelle.monster.com

We have to do better! If everyone had the opportunity to obtain the finances to pay their bills, feed their children, obtain education, and learn a trade/business for future success, savings, and investments, we would have a better society, right? But I am sure that we can all agree that having finances is not enough, we need to know what to do with them. Having good credit, an emergency fund, a general savings, and distinct discipline in our stewardship over our money would have us at least in the same playing field. If you are living paycheck-to-paycheck OR living comfortably, we can learn from each other and we can make our money grow to work for us. Let’s grow together!~ 

ladiSims

So, You Wanna Be A WAHM?

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First of all, what is a WAHM?  A WAHM is a work at home mom. 

Many working moms desire to be WAHMs because they believe this particular work arrangement will afford them the opportunity to have more flexibility and the ability to spend more time with their children.  There are two types of WAHM moms: the employee and the entrepreneur.

As a WAHM myself I want to shed some light on the reality of this type of work arrangement.  I am actually an employee, so my experience is different from that of an entrepreneur.

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First, let’s tackle the misconceptions:

1. That you’ll have total freedom and flexibility

2. That you’ll be able to keep up with household chores throughout your work day

3. That you’ll have dinner ready when everyone returns home each day

4. That you’ll be more productive at work each day

5. That you’ll be able to catch up on your favorite soap operas or tv shows

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And now, for reality:

1. If you’re employed, you still have a boss.  And with that comes specific expectations and responsibilities.

2. You will most often not have time to tackle dishes and laundry during your workday.

3. You probably won’t have time to start dinner until your workday ends and everyone is already back home.

4. It is easy to become distracted by the thought of household chores and other responsibilities.

5. It can be a little lonely without co-workers nearby to bounce ideas off of and chat with.

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But, don’t despair!  There are some pros to being a WAHM:

1. No daily commute

2. No wardrobe worries

3. No meddling or nosy co-workers

4. No cubicle confinement

5. Flexibility to take a break when needed

6. Can listen to loud music for motivation

7. Close to school if kids get sick and need to be picked up

8. Flexibility to take kids to doctors’ appointments

Like anything in life, there are pros and cons.  Deliberate carefully before making the decision to become a WAHM.  It is not for the faint of heart. 

I would love to hear from entrepreneur WAHMs to compare notes about misconceptions, reality and pros.

Until next time-

She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks. (Proverbs 31:17 NIV)

God’s best-

Alexis

Image credit: http://www.littleheartsbooks.com, http://www.toptipsfeed.com, http://www.denvervirtualoffices.com,
elev8.hellobeautiful.com

unnerving

I am Raw

Warning: Today’s post is not an upbeat working moms can conquer the world post. Today’s post is raw, sad, and just not fun. I am sorry, but this is how I am feeling now and I think the topic is important. So here we go….

As a working mom, nothing is more important than trusting the people or facility that is taking care of your children. When things don’t go right it is unnerving.

Yet, here we are in the US of A with numerous recent stories of children dying in day care facilities:

There are more, but I couldn’t read any more of the articles. These deaths aren’t fluke accidents, These are deaths contributed to by negligence. It is criminal. In a day an age where our country even profits off of fetal tissue (see Planned Parenthood story – this is the stuff of nightmares), I guess I shouldn’t be shocked, but I am. Our government even funds this gore.

I know that not all child care facilities have these issues, but do you really know what is happening with your child? Despite working, I try to be very involved with my kids’ day care. Fortunately, it is close to my work. They have all the proper licensing and even extra accreditations, but that doesn’t stop things from going wrong. Recently, I have noticed that Baby C2 was not being fed regularly. This very basic function was not occurring as it should. In the span of just one week, they fed him breakfast over an hour late. They only fed him 4oz of milk between 8:30 and 1:00 (it was also bad milk because it had been sitting out for more than an hour). He normally consumes 12 oz. in this time frame and he did have enough milk to meet his required needs. They also completely skipped a bottle on another day. I ended up feeding it to him an hour late because I realized that they did not give it to him. There have also been other incidences that have left me questioning decisions and care lately.

As any concerned parent, I have had numerous discussions with management, the teachers and anyone who will listen about my concerns. I follow up with them. I check on both boys. I stop in more often, but is it enough?

So that is why today, I am raw. I want to take my children and run home, but if I did we wouldn’t have a home to run to for long. Like many of our working mom readers, my salary is needed. So here I sit, my children’s names on waiting lists for other facilities wondering if any school will ever be good enough to take care of even the basics. These days it is always about how they can teach them to read by age 3 and add or subtract by age 4. Those are great bonus attributes, but I don’t need my children to be geniuses. I just need you to keep them alive. You know, the basics.

Peace, Love and Being Raw,

Kristen

Image Credit: Youtube.com Lava Kayaking

The Real Deal on Debt: Whose Fault is it Anyway?

Image from www.socialsongbird.com

On my journey to financial freedom, I often wonder how I ended up with so much debt to begin with. As a single woman, I had ambition and secured my future by pursuing my education before entering the workforce. Why? I had the TIME. Now I am thanking the heavens above that I did that because as a single mother of an infant, there is NO WAY that school would be on the agenda! Between the doctor’s visits, the nap/feeding time scheduling, the career, and the little time I have to shower, eat and nap (no sleeping, just napping), I would not think to commit to a degree. But even in having a degree, was it worth all of the debt I am in now?

 

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I think about the times I could have taken on contracting projects during school or accepted a higher paying office job instead of committing to graduate studies. I could have been working full time and paid off debt while living in my cousin’s basement! Shoulda, woulda, coulda, right? Wrong! Sure I could have sacrificed a nice apartment and tucked away funds but the truth is, I probably would have spent every dime on a shopping spree or workout DVDs. Yes, we live in a country where there is the temptation to fall into debt every second. But it is ultimately OUR responsibility to just say no!

 

Image from www.versusbattle.com

For instance, our society tends to expect college graduates to obtain employment quickly, buy a home, start a family, lease 1-2 vehicles, and retire at some point. The reality however, is that there is an unbelievable divorce rate separating families within the first 5 years after the overly expensive wedding/honeymoon; college is much too costly for most to pay off within 10 years of graduating; the car(s) and home could be taken due to late payments; and just when you are ahead, there is either an unforeseen emergency OR you receive numerous offers to obtain MORE debt (ie. Credit cards, loan offers your mail/email). What should you do? Say NO! Believe it or not, you do NOT have to keep acquiring debt. You can build good credit just buy being consistent on a couple credit cards, a lease here or there, and a small loan…that’s it! With the instant gratification of our society, we are often gluttonous in our consumption and shopping (including food). Take a break, slow down, and reevaluate your needs as a household and as a person. Do you really need another workout system when you don’t regularly use what you have?

 

Image from laurenlyonscole.com

Each decision we make is our own and therefore the consequences are ours as well. Sure we live in a world where money seems to talk – everyone wants it, many more want you spend it on what they have. From big box businesses, to accelerated “training” programs, EVERYONE wants you to invest in their big idea by buying from them – but are you investing in yourself? Your family? Your future? Before committing to another pyramid scheme, or investing in a depreciating toy to show status or impress family members think about what the long term costs will be. Talk to your spouse/significant other about your financial plans – that way you are not in the battle alone! Interested in starting a business or pursuing a new venture, do it as a team! No sure who to ask, recruit a finance accountability partner – someone with sound financial advice that wouldn’t lie to you just to make you feel better. Have a spiritual compass? Go to God in prayer…on EVERYTHING! You do not have to make these decisions on your own – and in this way, if you get stuck; you will know how to ask for help so you don’t have to face the debt alone either.

 

~ladiSims

This Could Have Been Us

On Saturday, the Facebook page Kisses for Kycie posted the news that she died at 5 years old, six months after being diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. She was diagnosed while in Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA) just as my son Super F was. The difference was that Kycie was diagnosed in a more advanced state and suffered seizures and brain damage as a result. She spent months in the hospital while trying to recover from the severe injuries to her brain and body. We were fortunate that Super F didn’t suffer these terrible complications, though he spent several nights in the PICU when he was diagnosed at 2-1/2 years old. The symptoms for Super F came on suddenly, and had we waited much longer to get him into the doctor, we might have been the ones to lose our child.

If anything can come from the death of Kycie, I hope it is to spread awareness of the symptoms of Type 1 Diabetes so that no other child will die from a missed, or late, diagnosis. So, please, if your child experiences the following symptoms, please get to a doctor right away and request a blood glucose test.

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Briana