Hey friends! If you have noticed I haven’t been very active on my blog in awhile. For those who have followed me, you are most likely aware I began suffering from health issues a few years ago. I have the worse luck, so of course my health issues got worse and worse. Back in May, I was diagnosed with a tumor in my brain, along with a few other locations. As you can guess, that was a hard pill to accept as a Mom of 3 young kids. Part of me felt relief though in finally learning why I have been so sick, for so long. Testing brought out more and more problems. Too many to list. It has been the hardest time of my life and so incredibly frustrating as there is no end in sight yet. I plan on sharing what I’m going through as that has been advised to help me through this. It’s hard to share on bad days though, and for me, most days are that. There is so much hurt and struggles in the world, I hope that if anyone else is going through a dark time like I am, you know you are not alone and to just keeping hanging in there!! That’s truly the best thing you can do!! Thank you all for being on this journey with me and may you have a blessed summer!! I will see you soon!!
Balance is important for every single person! Especially as a parent, when you are pulled in multiple directions. Add on also working from home, and dealing with a chronic disease, and you might feel like you want to pull your hair out some days. Welcome to my life! It’s chaotic, a giant mess, always a rush, but filled with so much love! I’ve been a stay at home/work from home mom for about 7 years now and while it’s not easy, I also wouldn’t trade it for the world. It gives me balance, a career for myself, allows my family to be debt free and have a wonderful life, plus I never miss a moment. It does take some figuring out, so I’d love to offer a few tips. Now of course keep in mind, what works for me and my family, might not work for you. Sometimes you have to try a few different things.
The Secret To Balance
I first learned how important balance was 9 years ago when I decided to finish my college degree, with a newborn. At first, it wasn’t so bad as he slept a lot. Plus, I got him on a good sleep schedule early on. I’m a planner, so for me, I needed something to allow me to balance Mom Life and being a full time student. So imagine my surprise when I learned I was pregnant with baby number 2. Not part of the plan, but definitely such a beautiful blessing!! My oldest two kids are 16 months apart. One huge key to balance is knowing what you can, and can’t handle. Because I know that about myself, I decided to take 2 semesters off from college. I was bummed BUT I knew if I exhausted myself, I wouldn’t be able to be a Mom, or a student. Know yourself, know what you can handle, and know when something is just too much. Notice I didn’t quit, I’m very big on not quitting at things as we want to set an example for our kids. I took some time off, and still was able to graduate early!
After I finished college, I decided to get certified to be a personal trainer, and then a certified sports nutritionist. The key for me, was balance! With 2 young kids, it was hard, but not impossible. I had a few days where I did house work while they napped, and the rest of the week I used that time for school work and studying. Also, when they went to bed at night. I didn’t watch TV for about 2 years, but it allowed me to accomplish my goals. Plus, the TV was there when I finished. Sometimes we need to be willing to make a short term sacrifice for a long term goal.
When I decided to work in marketing from home almost 4 years ago, I found myself struggling for that balance again. Now I had 3 kids, a thriving fitness business, a spouse who worked full time and went to college, plus I began having serious health issues. This time around, the balance was VERY hard. I had to have a little chat with myself and decide what was most important to me. It was being around for my kids. I knew it would be exhausting and hard to find balance, but my kids are worth it. The life I want them to have is worth it. The short amount of time my kids are little, it’s worth it not to miss out! One of the keys to finding balance is deciding how badly you want it to work. My dreams of a wonderful future with my family, is much more important to me then a little TV time, relax time, reading or the other things I was doing in the evenings when my kids went to bed. I knew what worked best for me was devoting a few hours and giving my self a schedule and a list. I blocked off about an hour/ hour and half 3 evenings a week once my kids went to bed. Yes, I was a little tired, but that set schedule and time allowed me to hit my goals.
My schedule did not stay the same. The thing with balance is sometimes you have to try a few different things to see what works for you. As my business grew, I needed more normal hours and not evenings. My kids were 5, 3 and 1 so not very quiet during the day. My husband was off work and school on Wednesday, so I switched to that being my work day. I worked that entire day and found it made things less stressful for me. I did lose time with my husband as that was his only day off, but it was only for about 6 months! By the time summer came around, my income was great and I was able to transition to a few hours in the morning and evening again. I also hit the income goal I needed, so less stress on me and my family. As you can see, a short term sacrifice can pay off big time!
Now, my kids are in school during the day so my work schedule is a little easier on me. For those parents like me with kids gone, make sure you treat those hours you have alone as work hours. I do enjoy going for a walk and having lunch with friends, but I also make sure I have plenty of time to get my work accomplished. I don’t turn on the TV, do laundry, clean the house etc. I treat my at home job, the same as if I worked outside the home for set hours. I also don’t make excuses, that aren’t REAL. I always see people make crazy excuses and my first thought is, “would that fly in a 9-5 job with a boss, or would they laugh at you and fire you?” That is so helpful for me! I respect myself too much to make silly excuses. Now, being in the hospital, having pneumonia, having surgery, those are all things that you would be excused from at a job outside the home. Being tired, wanting to relax, going to the gym, catching up on tv shows and housework….those are not things you could say to a boss as an excuse for not working. It may sound silly, but this mindset was very helpful for me. The great thing is an at home job gives you flexibility, but you have to EARN it. You can’t take off for weeks, when your business is in the baby stage. Once its solid and at a place that is steady, then you have earned that flexibility. But in the beginning, you have to put in the work consistently, find balance to make it happen, not make excuses and treat it as a real job.
You will notice a few things from these tips. You have to decide how much you want to succeed. I can give all the tips and help in the world, but if people don’t want it bad enough, they will make an excuse. The hard truth is we all have the same 24 hours in a day. Some of us are busier than others, but right now, someone MUCH busier than you is chasing their dreams. Why? Because they want it more than you do. Have that discussion with yourself, your family, friends, support team. Figure out if this truly matters, and if it does, you CAN find a way. I’m living proof of that. In the past 4 years, my life has gotten MUCH busier. My kids are all in after school activities, my husband is in an accelerated program to be a Nurse Practitioner, I’ve had multiple hospital visits and procedures, my business has grown like crazy, yet through everything I have found a way. The reason being, because this is very important to me. It allows my kids to do those activities, for me to not miss a moment, and my husband to chase his dreams, while we stay debt and stress free. This week, my kids and husband have fall break and we have so many fun activities planned. I get to be there with my family making memories. I have no stress or fear of being able to afford things. I don’t worry about putting something on a credit card (We don’t have any actually ha!) or paying a bill. We just get to have fun together!! And that right there, is why I worked hard and found a way to balance! It’s worth the hard work to never miss a moment!!!
motivationnoun mo·ti·va·tion \ˌmō-tə-ˈvā-shən\ 1. a : the act or process of motivating Some students need motivation to help them through school.
motivating: to provide with a motive : impel questions that excite and motivate youth She was motivated by a desire to help children.
b: the reason or reasons one has for acting or behaving in a particular way.
Motivation is so incredibly important and is necessary in life to reach certain goals, and yet it seems some people have it and some people don’t!
Why is that?
For the almost 10 years I worked in health and fitness, I saw it all the time. Some people have it, and some don’t. But the great thing is, you can teach yourself to be motivated!!
For me personally, I’ve always been pretty good at motivating myself, but the truth is I usually have a reward for myself at the end! That helps me stay on track, but for others they might need a different way to motivate themselves. They may need a friend to check in and push them or a detailed plan on what happens when they reach their goal. Sometimes, my motivation is gone too when I don’t feel good. I struggle with an autoimmune disease that is pretty severe, and on the bad days where I can hardly sit up, its VERY hard to stay motivated. What helps me on those days to stay motivated, is the hope that sharing my struggles, might help someone else going through the same thing.
Each person is different, so one of my best tips is to find what motivates YOU!! The same thing does not work for everyone, but once you find what works for you, it will help you stay motivated and reach your goals. No matter if they are career related, education related, health related….motivation is needed for everything. And as a parent, it’s something you also want to teach your kids. Here are some of my best tips on staying motivated
1. Write down your goals. Goals and motivation go hand in hand. If you write them down, you can look at them over and over when you lose your motivation.
2. Tell your goals to a friend and ask them to help hold you accountable. You are 78% more likely to stick to your goal if you tell others about it. Plus they can call you out if you lose your motivation.
3. Write down how your life will be better when you hit your goals. This was big for me! If I found success working from home, my kids could take their first ever family vacation! Or do extra coricullar activities! That’s pushed me as it was things my kids would be able to do if I stayed motivated.
4. Make a weekly plan on how to hit your goals. Break down what you need to do, and it helps keep you on track. I make a plan every Sunday night.
5. Reward yourself along the journey. When I hit small goals, I give myself a reward. For example we went on a fun animal Safari we never could have afforded before I started working from home…that was my reward for a job well done.
6. Watch motivational videos from others on a similar journey to yours. I love seeing other people on the same journey as me, and finding out how THEY were able to stay motivated. It also inspires me when I hear of people who have the odds stacked against them, still able to succeed. It motivates me by reminding me that if they could do it, so can I!
7. Ask others to support your goals, and help remind you of them. Involve all your friends and family. The more people who know about your goal, the more to help keep you on track! They can remind you it’s worth it, and why this is so important to you.
8. Lead by example. As a parent, I won’t let my kid quit no matter how hard things get…so I set an example and don’t quit myself either. Yes it’s hard, life is hard, but our kids learn from watching us and one of the best life lessons we can teach is not to quit when things get hard!
9. Take a break…not a month break, but I always take a day or two off where I do nothing but recharge and have time for me. You don’t want to exhaust yourself so you need to have time off! Just don’t make it too long as it can be hard to start again.
10. Believe in yourself. No matter how hard it gets, you deserve to succeed and you can if you keep going and don’t quit. Believing you can reach your goals is one of the best ways to motivate yourself.
And never ever quit!!! That sets you farther back from where you started and sets you up for a cycle of quitting things when they get hard! Stick with it, ask others for help, and try and find new ways to motivate yourself, Your goals are worth all the hard work!
Christmas is my favorite time of the year, but for many people it can be very stressful! Christmas for kids is much easier, as all they worry about is presents, HA! But for the adults, they worry about buying presents, will the kids like the presents, will they play with them, what if that present sells out etc etc etc. When you ask people about the Holiday’s, stressing over finances and presents is one of the first things that comes to their mind. I’m guilty of it myself! I forget the real reason for the season and worry about what to buy my kids!
Christmas For Kids
This Holiday, I decided to do things a bit differently! My kids are 9 1/2, 8, and 5 so they understand the fun of Christmas. The truth is though, they have tons of toys. They have toys in each of their rooms, toys in the living room, toys in their playroom, toys in my office, toys in the basement, toys in the garage….toys EVERYWHERE. We have a large family, that prefers to sends gifts over presence, so there are just way too many toys!! I decided they could get one toy, and then we were going to focus on things they needed, things to wear, things to read and crafts! Luckily my kids love crafts and I don’t buy them toys all year round so getting just one or two, was ok by them! My favorite is to get them a MEMORY. Like going to a museum. Hitting up Snow Mountain (here in Georgia, we only get fake snow haha!!) Going to see a movie. Things we can all do together!
Christmas for kids should be about more than just toys. If we teach them young, it’s much easier!!! Don’t get me wrong, getting toys is great, but I want my kids to know it’s also about the birth of a baby, family and friend, being together with those we love, setting fun traditions and excitement of this time of year!! The joy on their faces when the tree goes up. Or when we drive around to look at lights. The excitement when we watch the parade and they wait for Santa to come. The happiness when we bake cookies and take them to friends. Those are things they will have FOREVER. The memories and traditions! We also started going through old toys, and picking things we don’t play with as much. Giving back to others this time of year is such a great lesson for everyone!!
This year I encourage everyone not to stress over presents. The truth is most the time kids play with them for a few days then forget about them. But the memories you create, the fun you have, those things will last a lifetime! Christmas for kids should be about memories and a lifetime of feeling loved! Have a blessed and Merry Christmas this year!!!
As a busy Mom, I’m always looking for things that will help my kids but are quick, easy and fun. Education.com is one of my favorite sites as they have so many tools to help our kids learn, but do so in a fun way! I’m that Mom that makes my kids do a little learning work each day, even during long breaks and summer. Because of that though, when the school year starts, my kids normally test ahead of their grade level!!! They also love learning and seeing their own progress get better and better! Here is a great worksheet to try, provided by the awesome team at Education.com! Enjoy!!
Free Worksheet For Kids!
Word tracers are a great way for kids to practice their letter formation and word recognition skills. This one from Education.com includes number words, so it gives parents an opportunity to also work on counting. For even more educational resources that your kids will love, check out Education.com.