My First Month as a Stay-at-Home Mom

Posted in Family, Life, Parenting by
My first Month as a stay at home mom

Being a stay at home parent was something I never considered. That was up until last year. In my 20’s I saw nothing exciting nor fulfilling in the Stay At Home Mom role. I was never the one jumping in line to “hold the baby” and even though my daughter was the love of my life, there was no way I was trading in my heels for an all day affair of baby talk and diapers.

Then at 31 I was diagnosed with breast cancer. From that point it was all about treatments, surgery and simply surviving for the next two years. The emotional dust from everything started to settle around three years after my cancer treatments and after having my little miracle man.  I started to feel a mis-alignment with what I was doing and what was bringing me true joy.

Right around the same time, the company I was working for started going through some changes. These changes started seeping into my department towards the end of last year and unless you’re completely disconnected from your own reality, you pretty much know what’s going on. You just don’t know exactly when. My position was one of those, “not part of the re-alignment” and in March, this mama was home with her babies (16 months and 8 yrs).

While the title of this post says  Stay-at-Home, it should be more like Work-At-Home. Thankfully, I started doing some freelance work last year so when I left the company, I immediately started working on creating my own company.

I just don’t know how much work was actually done during my first month at home to warrant the work-at-home title.

 

Week 1 of my first month as a stay at home Mom went something like:

 

via GIPHY

No really, this is what I felt like! Plus, it was  Spring Break (lucky me). We visited some friends out of state and for once it was great coming home and not stress about preparing for the week ahead. Lunches? Nah, I’ll do those in the morning.

Positives this week: Everything

Negatives: Nada.

Week 2:

Still in the honeymoon phase, I was eagerly happy to be fulfilling all the house duties that I would otherwise be neglecting had I been working my 8-5.

 I’m not sure where the week went, but I only managed to do half of what I set out to do! Whatever! It’s early in my new role and I was still in the honeymoon phase. So I tell myself , “ It’s my first week, I’ll find my groove.”

The hardest decision for me this week was figuring out what to make for dinner.

Positives this week:

Waking up at 6am for some Mommy time, meditation, coffee and email check (ie. Facebook).

I spent time with my little man and I did school drop-offs and pick-ups. Some of you reading this probably loaf these duties but I’m new here, remember!?

The fact that I wasn’t coming home after 5pm also meant that the evenings were more enjoyable and my kitchen actually looked presentable the next morning.

Negatives:

Morning meditations ended here.

I wore workout gear almost everyday and while it appeared that I was headed to the gym after school drop-off,  I wasn’t.

I haven’t gone to the gym – even once.

Week 3:

I’m still kickin’ it with my little man and chillin’ in my workout wear.

By week three I remember that I actually have work to do. At least now I have a good reason for going to Starbucks almost everyday – Mommy gotta work!

Dinner time and evenings were a piece of cake.

Positives: EVERYTHING! THIS IS AMAZING!

Negatives: I missed a submission deadline for a site I contribute to and I can’t recall why.

Another week passed without me me practicing my morning meditations. Sigh.

Week 4:

Husband says, you need to come up with some sort of schedule.

Me  (completely on the defense):  I am! This is about the time when I find myself on YouTube watching routines of other Moms who stay at home and work. Don’t judge me! Some of those videos get hundred-thousand views, so I know I’m not alone in this.

In my YouTube ventures I find that many times their little one naps for 2 hours. I haven’t seen a 2-hour nap from my wild 19-month old the entire time I’ve been home!

I’m hearing it can take me as much as 4-6 months to find my schedule. Yes, I Googled that too.

Positives:  I’m alive and everyone is happy that I’m home more. However, this is starting to translate to: Mommy can do it all.

I’m making progress on my business and establishing a client base.

Negatives:

Little man now goes to Grandma’s 2 days a week so Mommy can actually get some work done. Is this a negative? I’m not so sure right now.

I’m on YouTube way too much.

My early 6am morning rise is starting to look more like 6:45 am or 7 am.

This month was everything and nothing that I had expected.

I quickly came to realize that staying at home with kids is much harder than any 8-5 job. At the same time, I realize that I never (ever) want to go back to the corporate world. It will take some major mojo, self-discipline and hustle for me to be able to stay home as I grow my business.

The second month gets even more interesting.  I had my first Mommy breakdown, started second guessing my decisions and my self-assurance was tanking. Stay tuned.

First month as a stay home Mom

I share tons more stories about my imperfect parenting here!

June 14, 2017
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Dear Bandit – A Letter for You in Heaven

Posted in Family by
Ownerslettertodog

Dear Bandit,

Hey big boy, it’s your mama.

The night is setting in and you’re not here. This morning I caught myself  scooping up 2 servings of food  As much as Mia would have liked that extra serving, I know she would rather be eating breakfast with you. I wonder what you’re doing right now? How is doggy heaven? I’m sure you are running with no pain and eating endless amounts of cheese. 

Having to say goodbye  to you yesterday was harder than we could have ever imagined. You don’t know this, but I’ve only seen your Dad really cry – twice. You may think it was on our wedding day or the day the kids were born. However neither of those are it. One of the times was yesterday.  The day we had to say goodbye to you. 

Years ago your Dad and I  talked about what we would do when “that” day came. He said there was no way he could be there while you sleep into your  heavenly home. He didn’t want to see it happen. Then one day at work, a friend and I were talking about our fur babies and somehow the subject came up. I told her how he felt unsure about being there during those last moments.  The next day she gave me a poem that I shared with him. It was from a dogs perspective regarding his Last Battle. One of the lines said: 

“….Only, stay with me till the end
And hold me firm and speak to me
Until my eyes no longer see.”

 

 

Yesterday, we honored you and our responsibilities to you. Nothing would have prevented us from being there with you. We held you, kissed you and whispered in your ear. I’m not sure if you remember your head on Daddy’s lap. Your paw in my hand. And my face nestled over yours.

Bandit, you gave us so much in the last 14 years. And while you could have gone to another home, you came into our home. We were a couple of barely 20-something kids who just bought a new home and wanted a fur baby. You grew up with us and even though our hearts are broken, we will honor you.  We promise to love again and take in another dog with either no hope or home. I’m not sure they will lick Mia’s ears like you did, but they can have  breakfast together.

Goodnight Muffin. WE LOVE YOU.

 

 

 

The Last Battle

If it should be that I grow frail and weak
And pain should keep me from my sleep,
Then will you do what must be done,
For this — the last battle — can’t be won.
You will be sad I understand,
But don’t let grief then stay your hand,
For on this day, more than the rest,
Your love and friendship must stand the test.

We have had so many happy years,
You wouldn’t want me to suffer so.
When the time comes, please, let me go.
Take me to where to my needs they’ll tend,
Only, stay with me till the end
And hold me firm and speak to me
Until my eyes no longer see.

I know in time you will agree
It is a kindness you do to me.
Although my tail its last has waved,
From pain and suffering I have been saved.
Don’t grieve that it must be you
Who has to decide this thing to do;
We’ve been so close — we two — these years,
Don’t let your heart hold any tears.

    – author unknown

 

 

 

 

 

May 17, 2017
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Last Minute Mother’s Day Gift Ideas from Kids and Adults

Posted in Family by
last minute Mother's Day gift ideas

Just because Mother’s Day is a week away doesn’t mean you still can’t give her something great for Mother’s Day. I’m a total last-minute shopper so these unique and last minute Mother’s Day gift ideas are somewhat self-serving.

 

 

UniqueMothersDayideas

 

 

  1. The Boss Cup & tons of other cute options from Amazon that you’ll get in time. It’s an entire collection that fits all types of Moms.
  2. Wrap bracelet for the boho Moms from Boho Betty. Get 20% with special code: REBELSOULMOM.
  3. Flowers (and reasonable price from Amazon) – Prime and One Day Available!
  4. Wall Art
  5. Mom Chalkboard Wall Art  – This is currently on sale as of 5/7/17 & has one-day shipping!
  6. BOHO Betty Earrings – For the minimalist
  7. Dogeared Going Places Disc Chain Necklace – There are other options with different theme’s, such as “One in a Million”, (also Prime)!
  8. Edgy Wrap Bracelet –  For the modern and edgy Mama.
  9. Spa Gift Sets – There are affordable options that start at $20 and qualifies for Prime and One-Day Prime!

Hope this helps at least spark some last minute ideas. Yes, these are affiliate links to items that I think make great gifts for  all the amazing Moms out there. This has the official Rebel Soul Mom approval. Happy Shopping!

 

Extra Tip: Check out this post on how I get EXTRA cash back on these purchases through Ebates. 

May 8, 2017
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35 Lessons I’ve Learned in 35 Years

Posted in Inspiration, Life by
35 Life Lessons

Last week I turned 35. Thirty-five. That means I will now be checking the 35-40 box. With that new check mark comes many experiences and lessons. I decided to write about these lessons so I can look back a few years from now and either laugh or roll my eyes.

For now, these are my 35 lessons I’ve learned in 35 years.

  1. The misfits, troublemakers, square pegs, weirdos and creative kids can change the world. I’ve been called “weird” many times growing up and even into my adult years. My husband still calls me weird from time to time. It’s the best compliment he can give me.
  2. Family is always first. I spent too much time in my teens arguing with my parents. Then in my 20’s I was consumed in my relationship, college antics and partying. If your parents are still alive – spend time with them. Call them often and don’t hold grudges.
  3. Self-love and acceptance do get stronger as we get older.
  4. Don’t just take the pictures, get in front of the camera. Mom’s don’t have many pictures of themselves with their kids. I was trying to find a picture of myself with the kids and I had to go back almost a year! Pretty sad considering how many pictures I take.
  5. Get in the pool, swim in the ocean and play, play, play. While you are busy trying to cover up, your kids are having fun. They won’t remember your stretch marks or jiggly arms. Stop hiding and go make some memories!
  6. Not everyone who is in an executive position is a leader. The words vice-president, senior vice-president or even manager do not make someone a leader.
  7. Qualities of a good leader – visionary, listens, motivates, speaks with conviction and has contagious energy.
  8. If it doesn’t scare you or make you uncomfortable, then it’s too easy. Pick the harder class. Find another job if you’re not being challenged. Be the first to present.
  9. The world is a much cooler and happier place when you view it through the eyes of a child.
  10. Your parents are always right. This once annoying quote proves itself to be true more times than you care to ever admit.
  11. Confidence and kindness is always sexier.
  12. Your health isn’t always in your control. Control what you can – don’t smoke, limit drinking, exercise and limit stress. I can’t tell you how many health conscious women I’ve meet that got a devastating diagnosis. Do what you can and leave the rest to God.
  13. Guys are awful at mind-reading. If you want something, tell them. PS. I still haven’t mastered this at 35.
  14. When in doubt, always wear black.
  15. The biggest learning opportunities come from failures.
  16. Invest in a good mascara, foundation and face cream.
  17. Adopt a pet versus “buying” one or getting one from a breeder.  There thousands of animals that are homeless.
  18. Say yes today because tomorrow is never promised.
  19. You know that whole thing about starting to save early? I hate to say it, but it’s true. Thank goodness for early 401k options at work.
  20. Performing acts of kindness boost your mood and ultimately makes you happier.
  21. Viewing the world through the eyes of a child brings kindness and creativity into the soul.
  22. I have yet to see a perfect relationship or marriage. Every relationship has their secret battles and comparing     your relationship to others is a detriment
  23. 22. Gossip. It’s easy to fall into and it can be just as easy to kindly walk away.
  24. It’s ok to not belong to any one group. The more you try, the more disappointed you will be. Welcome to the land of the misfits!
  25. If someone you love is struggling with a hardship, addiction, or mental illness, approach them with love and compassion. Disappointment and anger are imminent so do your best to control the bad energy.
  26. God always provides.
  27. No one thinks about you more than yourself.
  28. Gratefulness brings peace and happiness to life.
  29. Every hard-working girl needs to buy an expensive pair of jeans and handbag.
  30. Moms really do love to talk about their kids.  I’m one of them.
  31. Say one thing you are grateful for, every day. The car, house, family, and clothes on your back are things we take for granted.
  32. You really can marry your best friend.
  33. Being diagnosed with a disease or illness will make some people around you uncomfortable. Many will pull back and disappear. That’s OK.
  34. You can never kiss, hug or cuddle with your kids enough.
  35. Being open to experiences, people and philosophies allow you to grow mentally and emotionally. It makes you someone who people actually want to be around.

 

35 Life_Lessons

            Viewing the world through the eyes of a child brings kindness and creativity into the soul (Lesson #21)

April 28, 2017
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Easy and Fun Easter Crafts for Kids

Posted in Life, Parenting by
Easy_crafts_cross_easter

If you’re looking for easy Easter crafts to do with the kids, you’re in luck. I’ve compiled a list of my favorite Pinterest craft ideas. While I love creating fun artwork with the kids, I don’t like anything complicated or too time-consuming. Well, I trolled Pinterest and found some really great easy and fun Easter crafts for kids that I wanted to share.

The 5 Easy Easter Craft ideas below been approved for the following criteria:

1- Must be good for toddlers as well as older kids – I have a almost 2yr old and an 8yr old. Both must be equally entertained with the same craft.

2- Minimal mess required – Even the most minimal activity can turn your table into a hotness express, so nothing here involves water, lots of small objects or more than 4 materials

3- For the love of unicorns, it MUST be fun for kids

4- Common household items – We have no time for impromptu store runs.

Most of these crafts require the same materials, which makes it easier. Let me add that there are some honorable mention links at the bottom of the page. Ok, let’s get to it!

Five Easy and Fun Easter Crafts for Kids

Easter Egg Collage

I really liked this idea from Toddler Approved – You can use practically anything to make this Easter egg collage.  We had tons of puffy stickers and fabric scraps to use up. You can also use stamps, feathers or buttons. Both my 8 and 20month old liked this one. I like setting aside a small amount of stickers, buttons, and fabric scraps for them to choose from. It’s super simple and you can “control” the mess.

Get instructions: Easter egg Collage 

Easy_Easter_crafts_toddlers

 

Pom Pom Easter Egg

This next one from Crafty Morning has to be one of my favorites! It’s Pom Pom Easter egg painting and it’s easy-peasy. If you don’t have Pom Pom’s you can use, cotton balls or cut up a sponge. Use bright paints and even add some sparkle with glitter. The glitter  does violate rule #4, but who doesn’t like a little sparkle?

Get instructions:   Pom Pom Easter Egg Painting

 

fun easter craft idea

   Picture Via: Crafty Morning

 

Q-Tip Painted Easter Eggs

I love this next one from No Time for Flash Cards. It’s a great opportunity for toddlers to discover colors and develop motor skills. I love this since it’s a quick yet interactive activity for kids of all ages. We are learning colors, so I stick with the basic red, blue, green, etc.  As they older you can incorporate different colors and even incorporate numbers into the egg design.

 

Get instructions:  Q-Tip Painted Easter Eggs

Easy_Easter_crafts

 

 

Easter Cross Craft

Here is another easy and fun Easter craft for kids from Happy Home Fairy that is super simple. This one uses paint but you can use crayons or chalk. However,  it will require you to make sure your little one fills the page completely so that the cross really stands out. Get the older kids involved and have them share what the cross symbolizes with their siblings.

Get instructions: Easter Cross Craft 

Fun_easter_crafts_kids_easter

All these crafts are simple and fun. These Easter crafts can make a great gift for the Grandparents or other family members.  I’m the one who usually throws the craft play dates for the kids so I enjoyed creating this post. These crafts can be an opportunity of learning, exploring, and getting messy (a little).

 

If you enjoyed these ideas, you may want to check out my Home/DIY posts for more fun!

 

April 10, 2017
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