The Working Mother Warrior

 

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Finding out I was pregnant was definitely a shock. I’d just completed my divorce and was celebrating with a fleeting friend of mine, or so I thought, when I realized my life was about to totally change…again! I was told year prior that it would be very difficult to conceive with my fibroid and that I should give it a try for quite a while before expecting a child. Apparently my body had other plans. I had no idea what my body might go through over the next few months. I was concerned about the responses I would get from family, close friends, and even my partner at the time. Least of all was I worried about my co-workers and supervisor – they were all women and the talk of having a family had often come up in casual conversation. My workplace was the least of my worries…at the time.

After months of careful watch over my health and seeing that the pregnancy was progressing healthily, I informed my boss and coworkers of my pregnancy. I did not want them to be alarmed at my sudden illness or fatigue without knowing what I was going through internally. The initial reaction was excitement but after a while, I guess reality set in. I slowly realized the downside to being a working Mother in our society.

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Several comments were made about my size and inability to do some of my tasks. I was not far along before my doctor advised me to be very careful on my body because of complications. Even after relaying that to management, I was asked to move furniture. When I objected, I was snarled at and met with a comment about how women used to be able to do so much more when they were carrying children decades prior. Very inappropriate and I did NOT move one piece of furniture…I knew better. Even the day before I was to be induced, I was given an evaluation (stress much?).

The day I had my daughter was the most surprising and challenging experience in my life. After being home 6 weeks, it was time to go back to work. I had to repeatedly request private space for nursing and was still often interrupted. There were comments made about my reliability since I now required so many ‘breaks’. Thankfully, that position ended and I started consulting…with a baby on my hip. It was weird and uncomfortable at times but if Mommy didn’t work, there was no money for childcare let alone bills and food.

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I often received looks of confusion like, Why is she here? Can’t you get a sitter? Where is your family support? At the time I ignored it all and attended trainings, seminars, and networking events all with my well behaved little baby. And let’s not even get started on the nursing! I would be so stressed about the comments and looks I’d get in the office or public places that I started to lose my supply! It was AWEFUL! I was fully determined to nurse my child for at least 6 months but the pumping inconsistencies, toxic work environment, and stress of having to leave my child for 9-10 hours a day just left me inept. I was devastated.

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Many people have different ideas about how to raise their children. As a new Mom, I had to make a decision of whether to succumb to the fear of being embarrassed or simply continue to grind with by daughter in tow. Nowadays, I am thankful for my close friends who have generously agreed to watch my little one when I need the support. At the end of the day, however, I pray that I am able to pursue the kind of career that warrants me financial stability AND flexible time to raise my own child on my terms.

The next big idea should come from the vein of Moms being allowed to either work their same positions from home or having a community of employers who look to hire working Moms, welcoming their small children a space in the workplace or at least the personal office assigned to them. I’d like to see that progression…as well as the change in the culture’s view on nursing in public. ITS LEGAL IN ILLINOIS BTW! So leave these mothers alone and let them feed their babies how they want to! #Conquer2016

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What have been your concerns about being a working Mom?

 

~ladiSims

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Women Empowering Women

I have been thinking a lot about women in corporate America these days. Women comprised 47% of the workforce in 2010. Despite the growing number of women in the workforce, whenever I talk to friends or colleagues I hear the same theme. Women don’t support each other in the workplace.

Sheryl Sandberg recently wrote an article for the Wall Street Journal (Sept. 2015) where she discussed one of the main reasons more women weren’t in leadership roles. One of the key reasons is that women are often not mentored by senior organizational leaders, unlike their male counterparts. Without the peer support they need women often get trapped underneath the glass ceiling given more work and possibly even more responsibility, without the titles and pay raises.

For me this brings up the question, why aren’t women leaders mentoring other women? Shouldn’t women help women succeed and if they aren’t why not?

Time magazine reported as far back as 2012, that women DO NOT help other women for 3 reasons:

  1. Competitive Threat – another woman will be seen as more competent or better
  2. Collective Threat – the stereotyping of women that occurs will rub off on me
  3. Favoritism Threat – I will be seen as playing favorites for my gender (funny how men don’t fear this threat…)

What is even worse is that a study conducted in 2009 found that women bullies target other women 70% of the time!!

I hope you are as infuriated as I am!

climbing the corporate latterWhat all of this information tells me is that the current organizational system that we participate
in does not work for women. It prevents us from being able to use our talents and skills in order to achieve great things for our communities, the economy and our families. Women who succeed in this structure typically have to conform to a male constructed world where the pressure to push out other women in order to continue their own success is very strong. That type of negative environment sounds so draining.

We need a paradigm shift and fellow working moms I can feel it coming. Women are opting out of traditional workforce organizations and instead are creating their own vehicles for financial and personal growth.

Join the movement! 

Peace, Love & Empowering Each Other,

Kristen

 

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

 

10 Side Jobs to Make money & Help Pay Off Debt

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There are times when we have to realize that our paychecks will only go so far. After penny pinching to make you budget work, you still might be living paycheck-to-paycheck. This type of lifestyle is bearable for a time but not ideal long-term. In order to accelerate your financial goals, additional income may be the resolution you need. But who has extra time? My response to those who approach me with such an inquiry is to ask them about their daily activities. If you missed one episode of your favorite show or had lunch at your desk twice a week instead of out with friends, could you commit 1-2hours/ week to get financial free? Let’s do it!

Seasonal Retail Jobs – Pet Sitter/Dog Walker

These two are self explanatory! My suggestion, sell where you shop and watch the animals you like best (cats vs dogs). You can even search for positions online!~

Image from getrichslowly.org

Home Health Aide

This position can also be called a Patient Care Technician an often require no training or experience. What is the ideal person great for this job? If you are looking for a flexible schedule and are patient enough to assist the elderly and/or disabled with everyday tasks, you can make this position work for you! There are a variety of companies that often post for these jobs and rightfully so! Many people who get these jobs, because they do not require training or experience, are not necessarily interested in working in this field long term…and their attitude on the job shows it! Get your attitude and patience in order, make sure you can lift a small person, and keep your personal vehicle serviced in order to pull off this type of employment.

Referral Programs

Companies such as Ebate, Liberty Tax, and ADT Security Systems offer programs you can join for no/low cost in order to make some extra money. They actually pay you promote their services with fairly easy to use tools and instructions. That means, you’d take the time to sign up and discuss what they have to offer to a potential customer – a neighbor who just suffered from a break in, has collectibles in their home to sell, or recently divorced without a clue on how to file their income taxes. There are other services that although you may use them for discount shopping, travel, or managing your health, if you were to refer 5 other customers you’d get your own service for free each month. This could provide you with automatic savings monthly which can add up very quickly.

Tutoring

You do not have to me a Math whiz or finance major to make some extra money as a tutor. We have to thinking of entrepreneurship as a way to help others do what you know how to do naturally. Tutoring is a good example of that. Are you bilingual? Are you aware of the many organizations looking for YOU? At times companies exclude other required skills like a degree and experience in order to hire someone with the language skills their industry requires. Offer tutoring first through your contacts in your industry or even businesses you frequent in order to build a great resume for tutoring. Not sure of how to get started? I obtained an English degree because I thought I’d be teaching high school English in the Chicago Public School system. Obviously my plans changed but I continue to offer my proofreading, editing, blogging, and content management services as a consultant.

Home-Based Business

There are many options for home-based businesses to choose from. My advice would be to look into possible opportunities that come natural to you. Are you into making other women feel beautiful? Research Direct Sales companies such as Avon and Mary Kay. You can often get started for under $50 without requiring you to purchase equipment or stock. Are you a coffee lover who’s health conscious? Do you have a network of business owners and entrepreneurs? Are you looking to lose weight? Want to offer an innovative way for your church to keep in touch with contacts? Do you enjoy traveling and saving money while you shop your favorite stores? Believe it or not, you can promote all of the above products and services under one company! Join my team for my consistent support, training, and the possibility of residual income.

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Virtual Assistance

Although I’ve dabbled in virtual assistance, I did not know there was an actual term for it! These skills are for those who have a knack for customer service, email management, document management, organization, and the typical office duties of almost any company. I would suggest offer to ‘help’ and organization with an upcoming project and set an hourly rate that you would expect to work on the project with a projected end date for the client’s needs. This could be arranged based on your financial needs or the requirements of the project in question. You can then ask the client to be a reference and continue to build on your resume. This make cost you extra time on the phone, the need for a home office, or additional an additional data plan for your smart phone.

Virtual Garage Sales

Ebay has an interesting option for those seeking to get rid of the clutter in their home. Of course, their system is proven and shipping is attached to the entire process which makes it easier than ever to sale items online. There is no need to necessarily ‘market’ your product. Instead, just posting a picture detailed description can be enough for a customer. Another avenue is to join local Mommy groups on facebook where Moms trade, sell, and purchase items all the time. Some groups are sponsored by a local hospital, medical center, social service agency, church, or nonprofit. There have been times when a co-worker of mine was selling an item I was interested in for my daughter and the only way I knew was from her post online! We do not always have time to discuss everything we need or everything we have with everyone around us – this is where these groups are extremely helpful.

Image from kidspot.com

Etsy & Flea Market/Community Farmer’s Market

If you have a skill for making things that other people could or just find completely enjoyable, this option is one for you! Although many crafty people I know attend Flea Markets, they lack an online presence. Etsy is another option for posting and sharing your products and many customers are already waiting to buy crafts and unique gifts. This is also good for people who are not so social media savvy to get a full website together. It is also a great way to involve family and friends who are not local but still want to support your business – just send out the link to your Etsy page!

Well there you have it! My top 10 side jobs to make money & help pay off debt. Let me know if you pursue any of the above. I’d like to get your feedback at ladiSims55[at]gmail.com to celebrate with you as you pursue your financial goals!

~be blessed

Let me know how I can improve your world~

936

n0936
That’s the number of Saturdays we get with our kids between birth and when they turn 18. Less than 1,000 Saturdays before they become adults. Since I work full time Monday through Friday, my weekend are pretty sacred to me already. I had never thought about how finite those weekends were until I saw another mom mention it. It’s amazing how fast those Saturdays go. Now that Super F is 7, we only have 572 left! It got me thinking about how I’ve spent those first 364 Saturdays, and whether I’ve made the most of them. We have definitely had some fantastic Saturdays in those years, but I’m sure some were squandered away. Now that I know the number, I’m going to do my best to fill those Saturdays with some awesome memories for him to carry with him after we hit the 936th one.

Briana

 

photo credit: http://maanumberaday.blogspot.com/2013/01/936.html

Birthday Traditions

So, Super F recently turned 7! When he was first born, everyone told me how fast the time would go, that I’d blink and he would be all grown up. At the time, changing diapers, round the clock feedings, and typical parental exhaustion seemed never ending and I often thought those people were crazy. The days seemed like they dragged on and I couldn’t wait for Super F to reach each new milestone. I’m here to tell you, they were right!

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Anyway, I wanted to share our birthday tradition with you. I always take his birthday off work to spend with him and my husband. It’s a family day and we start out by going out to breakfast, followed by a trip to Toys R Us so Super F can get his birthday crown and balloon! He gets to pick out a new toy and then we head home so he can play. I’m sure this tradition will come to an end at some point – he’s not going to want to shop at Toys R Us forever!

Do you have any birthday traditions in your family? How do you celebrate your child’s special day?

Briana

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Hey, Hey, Hey Goodbye!

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Have you ever had one of those days or weeks that you couldn’t wait to be over, to say goodbye to?  This week has been just that for me.  I don’t feel like I accomplished much this week…at home or at work.  It was just blah, as far as I am concerned.

So, I am glad to say…

Hey, Hey, Heeeeyyyy…goooooodbyyyyyye!!!

I plan to have a better weekend.  I hope you enjoy yours, too!

Until next time-

Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I  do,  forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:13-14 NKJV)

God’s best-

Alexis

That Sucks…

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Kid Flash says the darndest things!

Hubby is taking the boys swimming tomorrow afternoon.  Kid Flash asked me, “Mommy, are you coming?”  I quickly replied, “No, I have to work.”  His response, “That sucks!  You need a job where you get summers off.” 

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Image credit: blog.dearmissj.com

As I started to contemplate his brilliant thought I realized that I enjoy my current job and the flexibility it offers.  While I don’t  get summers off, I do get:

● to work from home

● to travel (just enough to avoid cabin fever) periodically

● to create my own schedule

● to help physicians make important career decisions

● to meet and work with great people

● to earn a great salary

So, in my opinion, my job does NOT suck just because I don’t get summers off.  There are tradeoffs in life.  And I would much rather work during the summer if that means I get to experience a job I enjoy.  We have to learn how to make the best of every situation or change it.  But, complaining is not an option.

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Image credit: wopico.blogspot.com

If your job sucks, what are you going to do about it?  Or how can you make the best of your job situation until you find something better?

Until next time-

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. (Philippians 4:8 NIV)

God’s best-

Alexis

D.R.E.A.M. Big!

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Image credit: http://www.sportingnews.com

Harriette Thompson, a 92 year old resident of Charlotte, NC, made history yesterday as she ran and finished the Suja Rock ‘n Roll Marathon in San Diego.  When I heard her story on the news last night all I could think was, “Wow!”  I pray I just make it to 92, let alone be able to run a marathon.  I can’t even run a marathon now and I’m only [cough]. 

I was also inspired because she is a living witness that you’re never too old, or too anything for that matter, to accomplish a goal or see a dream come true.

Have you been looking for a new career, a better job, a higher-paying job, a more flexible job, or just a job period?   D.R.E.A.M. big!

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  Image credit: http://www.huffingtonpost.com

Discover your gifts, talents and passion.
Research your options.
Explore the available opportunities.
Apply yourself.
Make it happen!

Remember, it’s never too late for a new beginning!

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Image credit: info.codingcamp.us

Until next time-

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, (Ephesians 3:20 NIV)

God’s best-

Alexis

What Does Freedom Look Like?

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    Image credit: thoughtfulwomen.org

As we honor those on this Memorial Day who gave their lives for our freedom, I would like to give a shout out to all of our military moms.  Thank you for your service!

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               Image credit: mom.me

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          Image credit: http://www.allyou.com

I am also reminded of the many working moms who seek freedom in their careers.  Holly Reisem Hanna shares “99 Work at Home Career Ideas for Women” on her blog TheWorkatHomeWoman.com. 

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Happy Memorial Day!

Until next time-

To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples.  Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:31-32 NIV)

God’s best-

Alexis