A Note To My Young-mom Self

June 26th, 2015

I letterhave a teenager now. And another child in the double digits. (Okay, he’s 10. But still.) When I started CWAHM, I had 0 kids. Zero. Zilch. Nada.

As CWAHM grew, my kids grew. And I grew – as a person, as a business owner, as a mom.

Now I watch my months-old niece regularly and find myself reminiscing about what it was like when my kids were small. I find myself telling my (amazing) sister-in-law little things I wish I’d known. She’s most likely tired of hearing them…But I’ll keep telling her, because it’s important that we moms remind each other that it’s going to be OK someday.

Frankly, I find myself wishing I could write my young-mom self a note to encourage her and to let her know that there really IS a light at the end of this tunnel. Here’s what it would say:

 

* This WILL end. Whatever it is. Terrible twos, terrible threes, frustrating fours (So. Many. Questions.). Temper tantrums. Potty training. Diapers.

This season will end. And you’ll move on to the next one. And it may be better. It may suck worse. But it will end,  too, and there will be a new season. And another and another.

 

* Breathe. It’s ok, even normal for your kid to get on your nerves sometimes. It doesn’t make you a bad mom. It doesn’t mean anything other than that you’re normal. Welcome to motherhood. :) Thank God, every morning is a fresh start.

 

*  It’s ok for your child to do their own thing some of the time. You are her mom, not her playmate. You can read or clean or stare out the window for a little while and your child will survive. They may even learn to become independent. ;)

 

* Choose your battles. Oh, if I had figured this out sooner what a quieter home we would have had in those early years. This one applies to marriage to. Not every battle needs to be fought. Not every frustration needs to be aired.

Take a walk, have coffee with a friend, find a healthy way to manage the stresses of motherhood and marriage. Continue reading A Note To My Young-mom Self

Five Steps to Get Your Priorities Straight in Business and at Home

April 21st, 2015

jackie-solo1Operating a successful home-based business is a time-consuming endeavor. This is doubly true as work-at-home moms in that we are responsible not only for the success of our business, but for our family as well. We must be self-reliant, self-motivated, and discipline ourselves in order to attain success in both areas.

When running a business from home, it’s easy to let the phone calls, emails and paperwork keep you tied down, making you feel that you don’t have time to take a break or to spend quality time with your family. Maybe you’ve noticed that you spend a little more time than you’d like in front of your computer or on the phone. Maybe you see your kids acting out, trying to gain your attention. Perhaps you are seeing that this isn’t the work-at-home dream you envisioned. You started out with such noble intentions, but maybe the excitement of success in your business has caused you to lose sight of the REAL reason you do what you do each day. It happens to so many of us, but don’t worry, help is on the way.

Below are five ideas to prioritize your life and business:

1. Be Honest – You probably didn’t start your work-at-home career to climb the “corporate ladder” of your at-home business. Chances are that you started your business with the best of intentions – to be able to be at home with your children, to contribute financially to your family, or simply to have a little spending money of your own.

Take a moment and honestly ask yourself how you’ve been handling the time commitment of owning a business:

  • Are you spending too much time on the phone, the computer, etc?
  • Are your kids spending more time than usual in front of the TV?
  • Do you snap at your children because of the stresses of your business?
  • Do you worry about your business – to the point that it distracts you when you are with your family?

2. Make A List – Sit down and write out a list of things that you see that you’d like to change. This can be a list of things you can do differently to limit the time you spend on your business; or a list of ways you can “de-stress” so that you can deal kindly with your family. Continue reading Five Steps to Get Your Priorities Straight in Business and at Home

Is it Possible to Work from Home?

February 1st, 2015

2dRRjXVHave you ever wished that you could work from home? According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, over 19 million people worked from home (either part-time or full-time) in 2001. It’s a growing trend in our society with the number steadily rising as many people are leaving the workplace in favor of a work-at-home career.

There are four main ways to make working from home possible:

1. Telecommute For Your Current Employer – Many employers are beginning to see the benefits of allowing their employees to work from home. If you have a job that would be possible to do from home ask your employer to consider it. More and more employers are allowing employees to telecommute. This is an easy way to work from home while maintaining the security of a stable career. You must realize, though, that working from home may limit you in terms of advancing in your company. It’s important to think through the sacrifices that you may need to make in your situation to work from home.

2. Telecommute As An Independent Contractor – There are many companies that hire independent contractors to do work such as data entry, transcription and customer service from home. This can be an incredible opportunity as long as you’re willing to keep track of your own taxes and aren’t relying on the employer for insurance and other perks There are many benefits to the company also, such as lower wages, not needing to provide insurance, or being able to offer a commission based position. The company may also choose to hire home workers so that they do not need to pay for space to house an office full of employees. Continue reading Is it Possible to Work from Home?

When Calling In Sick is Not An Option

August 12th, 2014

feverThe phone was ringing and I couldn’t find the energy to answer it. I knew I should answer, needed to answer, but couldn’t summon the strength necessary. I’d been fighting the discouragement and frustration of a lingering illness for months and didn’t see any end in sight. Doctor’s said I’d see an improvement within six months of beginning this new medicine, but a month in and nothing felt different, in fact, I felt worse. I couldn’t imagine how my business was going to survive if something didn’t change soon.

Dealing with sickness as a mom is always challenging. When you add in the responsibilities of a business it can feel downright impossible. As I dealt with my health problems over the course of the last year, I’ve found a few ways to keep my business afloat while I’m healing.

Schedule your time in small chunks.
During the toughest weeks of my illness, I would set daily goals like “work for one hour” and “work on laundry.” By giving myself small goals like these I was almost always able to achieve them. It is amazing how crossing things off from my to-do list helped me to feel productive. My efficiency was a far cry from what it normally is, but I felt encouraged by these accomplishments.

It’s also imperative to schedule specific times to rest. Despite the fact that I was sick, I felt guilty for feeling so tired all of the time. By penciling in fifteen minutes or so at a time to rest, I was freed from the guilt. It became one more item to check off of my daily to-do list.

The extra benefit was that scheduling it in helped my three-year old to adjust to these short nap times. I would lay on the couch and rest and he would sit with me and watch a movie or play the Wii. This way I always knew where he was and he knew I was there for him if he needed me.

Outsource as much as possible.
My virtual assistant (VA), without even being aware of it, was crucial to me during this time. She was able to take on some of the tasks that I do on a regular basis. What a relief to know that I could count on her to do the things that HAD to be done. Even the weeks when I was at my lowest I knew the necessary tasks were taken care of. Continue reading When Calling In Sick is Not An Option

Review: Snack Girl to the Rescue!

June 17th, 2014

snackgirlLisa Cain is the found of Snack-Girl.com and her newest book, Snack Girl to the Rescue is full of tips tricks and recipes to help you lose weight without losing your mind. With 100 recipes under 400 calories included in this book, it’s the perfect way to kick-start your weight loss goals. This book is much more than just a recipe book. It’s filled with Lisa’s own stories of weight loss: what worked for her, what didn’t, and how she eventually overcame.

Snack Girl to the Rescue has recipes for breakfast, lunch and dinner and it’s broken into two parts. The first part is full of encouragement and guidance while the second part is chock-full of recipes. If you’re looking for something fresh in the weight loss arena, check out Snack Girl to the Rescue!

Review: Where Will You Go From Here?

May 19th, 2014

I have come to love Valerie Burton’s book. Her attitude and the way she conveys her message of hope have helped me in so many ways during the last few years. Her newest book, Where Will You Go From Here is no exception. This practical book is short, but gets right to the point. Burton covers topics such as: The Five Commitments that propel every successful comeback; guidance for restructuring your life; strategies to find the courage you need for any situation; words and ideas to combat negative thinking; and practical exercises to help you deal with adversity.

This is truly a practical, helpful book that I will recommend to my friends.

Review: How to Love Your Crazy Family: 52 Quick Reads for No Ordinary Days

May 7th, 2014

52crazy

About How to Love Your Crazy Family:
Are you wondering how to love your crazy family without going crazy yourself? You’re not alone. Family relationships are rarely neat and tidy. Life amid the messy complications of imperfect people living in an imperfect world leaves us weary and unsure of how we will love families with the genuine love of Jesus. If you’re tired of trying to love on your own, stop and allow these devotions to fill your heart with the truth that Jesus redeems our lives, even through the crazy, painful times and has the power to transform us from the inside out.

Review:
I have always enjoyed Angela’s writings, so I knew I’d enjoy her devotional book as well. And I was right.

Angela has a practical, no-nonsense way of looking at marriage, parenting and the world and I appreciate. Her book is so authentic and rich, it will meet you right where you’re at, no matter what your family looks like. Angela has a heart for families that comes shining through in her writing. You’ll be inspired by her down-to-Earth, practical ideas for loving your family.

Five Steps to Get Your Priorities Straight in Business and At Home

April 25th, 2014

Operating a successful home-based business is a time-consuming endeavor. This is doubly true as work-at-home moms in that we are responsible not only for the success of our business, but for our family as well. We must be self-reliant, self-motivated, and discipline ourselves in order to attain success in both areas. When running a business from home, it’s easy to let the phone calls, emails and paperwork keep you tied down, making you feel that you don’t have time to take a break or to spend quality time with your family.

Maybe you’ve noticed that you spend a little more time than you’d like in front of your computer or on the phone. Maybe you see your kids acting out, trying to gain your attention. Perhaps you are seeing that this isn’t the work-at-home dream you envisioned. You started out with such noble intentions, but maybe the excitement of success in your business has caused you to lose sight of the REAL reason you do what you do each day. It happens to so many of us, but don’t worry, help is on the way. Below are five ideas to prioritize your life and business:

Be honest – You probably didn’t start your work-at-home career to climb the “corporate ladder” of your at-home business. Chances are that you started your business with the best of intentions – to be able to be at home with your children, to contribute financially to your family, or simply to have a little spending money of your own. Take a moment and honestly ask yourself how you’ve been handling the time commitment of owning a business: Are you spending too much time on the phone, the computer, etc? Are your kids spending more time than usual in front of the TV? Do you snap at your children because of the stresses of your business? Do you worry about your business – to the point that it distracts you when you are with your family?

Make a list – Sit down and write out a list of things that you see that you’d like to change. This can be a list of things you can do differently to limit the time you spend on your business; or a list of ways you can “de-stress” so that you can deal kindly with your family.

Log your time – Buy a notebook or create a spreadsheet that you can use to log the time you spend on your business each day. Make a column for each day across the top and a row of half an hour increments down the side. Every time you sit down at your desk, write “IN” in the box that corresponds to the time and day. Every time you leave your desk (or complete a task), fill the appropriate box with the word “OUT.” At the end of the week, total up the hours each day that you have spent on business tasks. Are you surprised or is it about where you thought you’d be? This can be a real eye-opener and show you in black and white if your priorities have gotten off track. Take special note for how much time you spend on e-mails and things that aren’t billable. Continue reading Five Steps to Get Your Priorities Straight in Business and At Home

Get Inspired: Exercise

April 4th, 2014

No matter the weather, exercise is still possible. Take a swim, go for a run or walk the kids to the park. Get those endorphins going and enjoy God’s beautiful creation. Go!

How do you get inspired?
Share your ideas in the comments below! 

An Interview with with Bekah Hamrick Martin, author of The Bare Naked Truth

March 31st, 2014
Bekah Hamrick Martin
Bekah knows about waiting–for the right guy, for high school to end, for her boobs to come in (two out of three ain’t bad).
Bekah lives with her best friend and husband, Ethan, and their Tiny Human Zoey Bree, in between speaking and writing for teens. (And getting at least five minutes of sleep every night whether she needs it or not.)
About The Bare Naked Truth:

The Bare Naked Truth by Bekah Hamrick MartinThe Truth About Sex and Waiting … Uncovered Purity. Sex. Boys. Waiting. There’s something about those words that makes everything complex in a heartbeat, and raises more questions than answers. Is there something wrong with me if I don’t kiss a boy after a date? Or am I doomed if I DID? What if waiting is just a one-way trip to life as a crazy cat woman? And what if I tend to, um, think about a certain boy in a certain way?

It seems that the lady at church and your friends have two very different opinions on the subject. And ‘Your Budding Womanhood: Staying a Beautiful Flower for Jesus’ just isn’t cutting it. Bekah Hamrick Martin knows the waiting game isn’t easy or straight-forward. In The Bare Naked Truth, she lays everything on the table—including some embarrassing moments—as she explores the honest, naked truth behind what God means by purity. With additional entries from popular authors, you’ll see the bare naked approach to waiting isn’t always easy, but it’s worth the risk.

The Bare Naked Truth takes a satirical stab at the lies girls believe about sex–lies like, waiting is for wusses, or you must be something wrong with you if you didn’t kiss the jock, or you’re a failure because you did kiss the jock.