Thoughts as a Work at Home Mom

Snow day (or rather, “Cold Day”) number 2 with the littles today!! Honestly, I am as giddy as ever when I see my babies will be home safe with me.  Being a former teacher, I have never outgrown the love a good day off from school.  I also have the pleasure (and stress) as being a work at home mom.

There I said it. Whew.  I think for so long I have been battling with this idea that I don’t really work…and in reality?  I really do a lot of work! Simply staying home filled my days with more than enough to do.  The laundry, dishes, cooking, cleaning, tidying, tending to, it’s endless, am I right? No matter if you stay home or work outside of the home, being a mom is hard work but someone’s gotta do it, and no one better than you mama.

I think I’ve struggled a little bit with coming to terms with working because I don’t exactly get a paycheck, nor do I get dressed up daily and go clock in somewhere.  It’s not the conventional way I used to ‘work’ when I was teaching full time and so I know that internally I had some things to overcome.

Sure I’ve done my fair share of side hustles.  I loved getting healthy with Advocare and with that, helping a lot of friends and family find a better way to live their lives as well.  Why did I stop?  Well, honestly some of the products just didn’t work for me the way that they once used to, or how I would have liked them to.  I still believe it’s a great company and I take daily supplements but my heart was not into devoting all the time and effort into that business.

As Bradley began crawling around, I saw the new up and coming jewelry KEEP and got super excited with that! I also felt that pull of needing to be a part of something. I reached out and did a ton of online parties, made some new friends and really had fun.  Which lead me to my next little venture with Stella & Dot.

Stella & Dot had been around for awhile and while I truly love love love their accessories, what I didn’t enjoy were doing in person trunk shows.  Sure you can still have a great business online, but at the same time as I was rocking with this biz, my husband and I changed the way we were running our real estate company.

Two years ago in March we decided to switch our business model from renting single family homes, to Rent to Own Homes.  This has totally changed the game for us, but as with any business, it continues to grow and evolve. We now have ten properties and a lot of book-keeping, marketing, advertising, taking calls, paper work, collecting money from all tenants…the list goes on.

What was once a small hustle, is turning into an empire.  My husband still works beyond full time and I refuse to raise Bradley differently than Brooke, in the sense that I don’t want to put him into day care and not be with me.  So?  Somethings have to give.  There is no ‘balance’ so I won’t pretend that I’ve found it nor do I believe one day I will magically feel all zen.   But I do believe that as we grow, change and become better versions of ourselves each and every day, we have to say goodbye to old patterns, habits and move forward.

All of my experience in MLMs or Direct Sales, whatever you’d like to call them, not only brought me the BEST of friends—hi guys!!– but also a huge sense of confidence in sales.  I now surround myself with other leaders, continue to read the best professional development books and know that when I have my down days, (and oh, do I ever!) It’s always important to pick myself up and keep going.  I also learned a ton about social media, how to connect with folks and as always the number one reason why we are on this planet?  To help one another.

So I suppose I share all of this because maybe you too feel a shift and want to change.  Perhaps there’s something new you’d like to try but maybe feel like you shouldn’t.  You are never too old and it’s never too late.  I went to school for a very long time; received a Bachelor’s Degree and a Masters Degree.  While these may just be pieces of paper to some people, to me I accomplished my goals, lived out some dreams and was able to teach some amazing and beautiful souls throughout my 8 years teaching English.  The best part?  I will forever have the knowledge I’ve gained, and if I decide to go back ever, I have a NYS certification.

As for now?  I will be parting ways come March with my fun little side gig of Stella & Dot.  It was sure fun while it lasted, but I feel that it is in my family’s best interest to focus on our family business and help grow what we have started to build.  Since realized that time really is the biggest and most precious thing on earth, I really value where I spend it and whom I give it to.

I think I’ve been nervous to admit that I do in fact work, partially because I wanted to be a perfect stay at home mom, making all the meals from scratch or at least semi-homemade.  Do all of the cooking, cleaning, organizing, shopping, etc…but if you are a successful person, you already know this: You cannot do it all.  With 24 hours in the day, it’s imperative to figure out what needs to get done and what and when to let go of things.  (Grocery pickup, I’m looking at you!!)

As far as 24 hours?  I saw a quote that said, there’s 24 hours in a day.  You deserve 1 hour to do whatever you want with it.  Or something like that. Basically, it put me into tears because so often I find myself turning into ‘all work no play’ and then turning into a potato at 8pm and scrolling FB/Insta because I never gave myself one small morsel of the day to spark joy, inspire myself or heal.

I need to write more, so that’s back up at the top of my list.  Working out.  Spending quality time with the kids and Joe.  Dating my husband.  Re-establishing and even creating new friendships. Cooking.  Building our real estate empire.  Playing with our dogs.  Being in nature (when it’s not a Polar Vortex!) Yoga.  Meditating. Networking with other leaders/girl bosses. Giving back to our community. Reading.  Walking. Being.

As I continue to lean into this year, 2019, the year of SIMPLIFYING, as long as this month seemed to be, I could not be more clear or driven on my purpose and reason on this earth.  I pray that we are blessed with better health in the coming months and that by Summer time, all these seeds that have been planted, will bloom.

Real Estate Investing: A Mini Rant

I would like to say that as I get older, I have truly started to mature.  I try to not let things get me all fired up as much as they used to.  I try to think before I speak and not let my emotions cloud my voice.

The more we grow our real estate company,  more people have started to come out of the wood work.  Now, I get it.  Rent-To-Own totally has a bad wrap in some cases.  There are bad people who take advantage of others in difficult situations.  I’ve heard horror story, after horror story, of money taken, houses sold out from under tenants etc.

Well, I’m here to say that our business is nothing like that.  If you know me (or my husband) you know our hearts.  You know we would help anyone in need and go above and beyond to take care of others.  Unfortunately, in this field we really have to state our intentions and prove ourselves, over and over and over again.  It’s okay, we totally get it and understand.

Recently we had a “Team Leader” of a local real estate agency write us.  She was concerned that one of her member’s clients were truly excited about our program and that we would be taking advantage of them.  My husband responded to the message and upon reflection, I can’t help but be disgusted by her tone.

“I sell high end properties. I don’t need to be paid for a client finding their dream home at this level.”

Yes, those are her words exactly.  As if anyone below a $500,000 home isn’t worth her time? Money? I’m not sure, but either way that kind of character is appalling.  I completely understand reaching out, checking in to see what kind of business we run etc, but to use words like that?  I’m sorry but I was raised to treat every human, just that: a human.  I don’t care what you do for a living, but when you start acting like you’re better than others, that is where I have a problem.

Interestingly enough, upon a quick Google search, it wasn’t but 5 years prior this same woman was in fact selling homes in the price ranges that we deal with.

So here’s the thing, every person’s dream home is completely different.  We tend to buy nice homes in nice areas, but are they $200,00+ homes? No.  However, we do our best to ensure that our houses have character, charm, even a cozy factor.  A nice backyard, perhaps a garage.  A fenced in yard.  Good schools. Safe environments. We create visions for families to move from the inner city or apartment buildings, to their very own homes.

While it almost could sound too good to be true, we really are here to help people.  Isn’t that what God put us on this earth to do? At the same time, yes, we are a business not a non-for profit but I can assure you that my hands get dirty, and that mine and my husband’s blood, sweat, and tears go into these homes.  The stress, the frustration, the money aspect, it’s a lot to juggle! Not to mention we do it all while he works 50+ hours, battling Crohn’s disease, and I am home raising a 3 year old and 5 year old, taking care of two dogs all with zero help from family, only paid help from sitters.

So no, maybe our homes aren’t worth a million dollars, but we are certainly making dreams come true.  From the bottom of my heart, I know what we are doing is changing lives.  As my mom put it, we are making magic.

I’d love to ask this lady if she can say that she feels the same?

Girl Code {Book Review}

TGIF lovies!!

I don’t know about you, but this week tried to kick my butt.  Seriously.  I am super glad Friday is here so that we can get to the weekend! It continued to snow all week, nothing stuck but my booty is frozen from trying to get the puppy to go outside and I’m so over it!

I am extra excited that our first book club meet up is tonight.  We are hitting up the wine bar around the corner from my house and I’m sure that it will be awesome to get out for awhile, chat bout #momlife, girl talk and I’m pretty dorky so I’m sure that we will talk about books too!

I have my list of books I’ve read so far in 2018.  This book, Girl Code was book 11 of 52!

I have the hard copy that my girl Lindsay gifted me, but I just never made an effort to pick it up, so I decided to try it on audible and I LOVED it!! I am so glad that I have the hard copy honestly, so that I can go back through from time to time.

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Clearly the author had me at her blog/brand, “The Champagne Diet.”  You know I love me some celebratory bubbly and if you’re a girly girl like me, her verbiage will speak to you too.  She is witty and cleverbut it’s not all glitter and champs.  She really is a fantastic business woman; there is something powerful about a female entrepreneur. She is also a Master Life Coach and just has so much valuable information to share.

 

What I loved most about this book were the interviews with other leading ladies.  Each gal had her own little story to tell and it’s nice to know we girls are never alone.

As per usual, the English teacher in my comes through and I had several quotes speak to me.

The first quote was, “Her success is not your failure.”

Whoa.

She was referring to those moments where we scroll through social media and find ourselves getting mad or jealous when we see other girls living their best lives. You know, that girl who promotes to the highest level in her company.  The bombshell who is flaunting her perfect body on a beach in the Caribbean. Whatever your trigger is, realize that just because she succeeded at something, doesn’t mean you’re a failure.

I guess I had not thought it through like that, but yes!  Sometimes I do find myself feeling awful, simply because she’s making a dream come true and I’m probably in day old sweats, 4 day hair and cleaning up poo.   Maybe I’m not exactly where I want to be (literally or figuratively!) but that doesn’t mean I’m a failure!

Each of our journeys is so unique and it’s super hard and tempting to compare ourselves to others on social media.  The highlight reel is great, but it took a lot of hard work, sacrifice and dedication for these people to get to show off their rewards.

“Why be envious when you can have the same, or not more?”

I feel like that kind of piggybacks off of the first quote.  Jealousy comes in all shapes and sizes, but instead of sitting there hating on someone, turn it around and really think about it.  What’s stopping you from having what she has?  Couldn’t you even have more? There is no limit in life.  We can make as much money as we want, there’s certainly enough to go around.  Most of these #bossbabes are most likely not choosing #netfilxandchill, so if that’s what you find yourself doing on a weekly basis, maybe it’s time to switch out some habits.  That’s what I tell myself when I start seeing posts and feeling less than.

“They don’t serve champagne at pity parties.”

Which leads me to my next favorite quote from this book.  Sure, you have a moment where you’re down and not feeling super fabulous.  I try to tell myself, it’s ok! Feel what you are feeling, but then get over it.  Sitting around moping and crying and doing the whole, “whoa is me” thing doesn’t get us anywhere.  Misery loves company, so you’ll attract that low vibe energy and miss out on some amazing opportunities.  I love me some champagne, so if I wanna be poppin bottles, I can’t cry too big of a river.

The last thing I took from this book was really what Oprah would call an “Aha moment.” The concept of a “Seasonal purpose vs a life purpose” really resonated with me.  Sometimes I get all caught up in “my purpose” and start a freak out session.  I dwell on the fact that thousands of dollars were spent on an Undergraduate and Masters Degree to teach here in NY.  I taught English for 8 years, but don’t really any desire to go back into that teaching world now.  I know that raising our babies and staying home was/is my purpose.  As we are nearing the end of that ‘stay at home’ period, I’m starting to really develop a new vision of where I want my life to go and what I’d like to spend my time doing.

This idea of a seasonal purpose just makes so much sense to me.  We are evolving creatures and the more we learn, the more we grow.  Our minds can take us anywhere and if we place all this pressure on ourselves to only have one purpose, it just sucks the fun out of life.  This is my opinion at least; I love knowing that I can keep developing into better versions of me and that as I grow older, my life’s purposes will too.

I haven’t read her other books yet, but I am definitely keeping them in mind! I love a quick listen, and this was a great one to hear.  If you’re in direct sales or in business for yourself in any fashion, I highly recommend this book.  If you’re not into champagne and some of the couture glitz and glam, I think you could still get something out of this book, if you have an open mind. It clearly spoke to me and I will be flipping through these pages again and again!

 

Happy reading my friends!