Empowerment, Struggle, Work Freedom

There’s No “LinkedIn” For Moms

Moms have a super tough job. There’s no on-boarding process, there’s no manager to tell you if you’re doing it right, and everyone is a critic. It’s all volunteer, you won’t be paid. You don’t go to get a four year degree to help you understand your new job, and there’s no prior job-skill experience for motherhood. It is something that we choose and then the weight of it gets thrust upon us in our most vulnerable moments. It is a thankless job and one that never really gets the credit from society that it deserves. Why is that?

As a mom, I struggle with the fact that there is no concrete tangible reward for what I do. When I go to work, if I do a good job, perform well, and put in the effort, I will most likely move up and be promoted. I will maybe even get a raise. My superiors might even tell me that I handled a situation well — there would be appreciation and thanks. But when I’m at home and clean up a dirty diaper, there’s no fanfare. When I finish what seems like the 100th load of laundry, no one is doing “the wave”. It’s simply expected as, “this is what you do”, “this is motherhood”.

In the working and professional world, we have something called LinkedIn. It’s a great networking tool that helps other professionals to connect and observe others’ skills. They can list all the places they have worked, projects they have been involved in, and recommend others for certain positions. But there is NO LinkedIn for motherhood. In a world where accomplishment and professionalism is so celebrated, why is it that one of the most tough and necessary jobs gets little to no recognition?

I think sometimes this is why moms have a hard time. They have a hard time staying home or working because they never feel like they are truly enough. The world says you need an impressive LinkedIn profile, you need ten degrees and glowing recommendations. So we find ourselves tired, burnt out, and feeling inadequate.

What’s the solution? How do we get the recognition we crave while also not neglecting our roles as mom/wife/employee? I think we start by making ourselves happy first. I think we start by understanding we are enough as we are. I think we start by recognizing our own self worth and letting the world see how necessary we are. I think when we start believing we are impressive, society will join us. By filling our cup, we can then show others our dexterity.

Photo Credit

Advertisements
Mom Life, New Motherhood, Work Freedom

THE Childcare Solution for Working Moms

📣I started with my list… every possible childcare center within a 40 mile radius of home/work. I wasn’t even looking at prices; I was just trying to find an opening, or even a possibility of getting an opening in the next 6 months for an infant.
This below… is how it went [you might want some coffee while you read, or calming music in the background ]:

 

“Soooo… if I want to get on the “list” for my 4 month old (at the time) how long would that be, sir?” I asked, hoping for the best… but realizing this was the TENTH call I’d made, I knew what would come next.

“Well our newest openings will be eight months from now for an infant, and then he’ll be a toddler, so that would be…”

I interrupted — “When he’s five? You might have openings when he’s five and in kindergarten?” I didn’t mean to be sarcastic and matter-of-fact but this really wasn’t my first rodeo with these folks.

“Haha, I don’t like to say never, butttt…we do have a pretty long wait list.”
“No I understand, there’s just not a whole lot available for infants these days. Just out of curiosity, what’s your weekly tuition rate?”

“For an infant, it’s about $250 a week, $230 a week for a toddler.”

“Hmm… that’s great, we’d get that big $20 off the weekly rate… and do you do partial weeks?”

“No we do not ma’am, unfortunately.”
“Haha, offff course you don’t. Thanks so much.”

“Have a nice day ma’am.”

“You too.”
Click… rinse, repeat.

After doing a lot of calls, consuming innumerable cups of coffee, and wanting to jump off my balcony a couple times, I regrouped. I had an epiphany, if you will. The childcare solution for a working mom may not be childcare. Here me out. The solution may not be an actual daycare.

Who knows of a retiree who loves kids and needs some extra income? Who has a grandma, and aunt or an uncle who could watch your cutie a couple days a week? I’m sure you do. In your community there are so many baby boomers who would love to watch a little person a few days a week for little or even no pay, just for fun.

Let’s face it. The traditional, brick and mortar childcare centers are super expensive. You don’t know what goes on there, you read the reviews, you hope it’s great – especially since MOST of your paycheck goes there. Maybe the government will come up with a new idea for childcare… ehh most likely not.

My solution to the childcare dilemma, the getting on the lists, the crazy mornings is this: find a trusted baby boomer and let them watch your children.  They are in your church, your community, your family; they may be your friends. But they are out there and definitely could use a new found purpose and some extra cash to fill a need that you desperately have.

This is what I did. I have two boomers watching my son during the week. They divide up the task and do a great job. Not only do you avoid the “lists” the mayhem, and get personal care for your babies, but you also get some knowledge. Odds are your boomer has been a parent before, they know stuff. They know about eating solids, the blowout diapers, putting cereal in bottles, etc. And their knowledge and sharing parenthood with you can be so helpful and rewarding.

It really does take a village, and that’s okay. So moms, avoid the lists and find your boomers.

 

** Don’t forget to join our mom community, we need each other for the laughs and tips! Click here: http://eepurl.com/c8NEOb. **

Business, Career, Talents, Work Freedom

Menial Help, Menial Pay

I think one of the most important work issues and probably one of the least understood, is regarding how team members are paid. This problem of how to pay and what to pay seems to really bother both employers and team members alike. There are so many facets to it: how much can the employer afford, what are the skills worth, how long has the person been on your team, etc. But paying properly can really make or break a team–and a business.

When I thought about it more carefully, I considered, does it really matter that much? If your needs are met and you enjoy your job, then what does the pay really matter? Of course, most people want to earn as much as they can for various reasons, mostly quality of life, and I completely understand and can relate. But I wondered if there was even a deeper reason why we want to be paid well.

I heard it once said by Dave Ramsey, and it’s well-put, “Paying people what they are worth is a sign of respect”. Wow. When I heard that statement, it really hit home to me. It’s not all about the items we can acquire, it’s not about the titles–it’s respect. And part of respecting your team, means paying your team what they are worth.

It’s not about asking for something unrealistic if you have low skills. Low skills equal low pay grades. The Wendy’s worker should not be paid the same for those skills as the digital marketer. It’s not that the Wendy’s worker couldn’t one day learn those skills, but at Wendy’s they are only valuable as the hamburger preparer. Therefore, there shouldn’t be so much pushback in why they are paid accordingly, because their value in the marketplace is just not equivalent to the digital marketer. The more you learn, the more value you add to yourself, the more you rightfully should be paid. Now whether the employer you’re with is willing and/or able to do that, is another matter entirely.

If you are not paying properly, eventually, your team will leave. People need motivation. There are some ways you can do that on your team, but a big and obvious way is by paying properly and having incentive programs. I worked on a team once that did this well. There was a clear path to raises and bonuses, and seeing that, to know it was coming, was very motivating. I’ve also had the opposite be true. I’ve had employers that myself or my friends worked for who thought they were “saving” money by cutting back for their team. Big mistake. Without your team, you are nothing. They are your most valuable resource and to keep a good team, you must respect them enough to pay them what they are worth and to create opportunity for growth via incentives. If I see nothing to work for, no bonus for helping the company, I’m less inclined to produce for them. “Saving” money on your team–doesn’t work and isn’t an investment.

Conclusively, build your team. Create a clear path to grow and realize that they are an investment in your company. Without that sign of respect in their pay, they may leave–and they should.

Business, Career, Change, Empowerment, Work Freedom

Why Transitions Are So Difficult

I recently went through a transition, a change. I’d been in a certain employment position for almost 4 years, I’d started the Monday after I’d graduated college. When I’d started, I’d thought that I’d found something I’d being doing for a long time. But what we don’t realize, is that as we grow, we change, our desires and what we want out of life changes…Here’s the good news; that’s totally okay! It is 100% okay to not fully enjoy what you are doing and to find what you like more. It’s okay to leave a friendship that isn’t right for you or a job that doesn’t fulfill like it used to. Sometimes, it’s God’s way of saying, there’s something better. 

Now this doesn’t mean that at the time you’d started on a particular path, that it wasn’t right for you then. Life, like nature, has seasons. There are so many lessons we learn from each experience that we take with us, people we meet that shape us, and a greater understanding of ourselves. But when that season is over, and you haven’t moved on to fall because you enjoyed summer so much, you end up missing on the next part of life, the richness fall could bring to your life, because you’re holding on to a season that is over.

The reason why I think transition and change is so hard for us, is because we like the familiar, the old, the comfy and the perceived “safe”. I have a family member who has a particular chair that is falling a part, but he won’t part with it, because “that’s his chair”, he’s always used it so why would he pitch it? We assume all change is bad, it’s going to be worse, because as our survival instincts kick in, they tell us, “stay safe”, “don’t try something new”. Even at certain restaurants that I frequent, I have a hard time trying a different menu item, because I already know what I like. We all get accustomed to our habits, and creature comforts.

As human beings, we don’t “do” change. But I’ve found that the more I give in to what lies ahead in the future, the less I cling to comfort, the more happy and joyful I become. I’ve given in to what my talents are, I’m not trying to make myself something I’ll never be. There’s a distinct role that we all play in life, and the world needs you to play your part. A screw driver can’t do the job of a wrench, not one is better than the other, they don’t compete for who looks more prestigious. But when you need a particular tool, you’re so glad you have what you need and that they don’t all become wrenches! In the same way, if we fight the changes in life, the seasons that are meant to center us, to bring us back to who we truly are, then we miss out. We truly miss out on our joy in life, because only our distinct gifts will truly fulfill us; living in the talents we were given.

Family, Female Entrepreneurs, Impact, Life Balance, Work Freedom

To the Young Working Woman: Here’s Your Dilema

It never really occurred to me, just how much different women have it in the workplace, especially when they drop the pregnancy “bomb”. Now before I lose you because “you’re not a feminist”, here me out. I am the type of person that’s very skeptical of bandwagons, or labels. I don’t subscribe to an area of thought without putting a lot of reason with it, and considering real facts, and not just some inflated numbers to prove an ideological point. However, as I’ve observed my own environments, and those of my peers and friends, I’ve noticed some very troubling news. Yes, there is such a thing as discrimination in the workplace, and no I don’t think it’s everywhere. But it is around more than it should be, and to the young working woman, you should be aware.

This piece isn’t a whine-fest, because I don’t believe in that. I want results, answers, something that I can offer a young woman, a piece of advice. The bottom-line is, you starting a family is not helpful to your employer and literally, invokes fear. It concerns and worries them that you might do the following: leave, get sick, take a longer leave, be disinterested in your work, or not “focus” enough after you’ve come back from said leave. Now, all off these fears are irrational and not based on facts, but they are commonly thought to be true from an employer-business perspective. And for a long time, I saw some merit in thinking that way. For example, how is a business owner to keep maintaining their client base, their project management flowing, and all of the other office duties when you are gone for one to three months? I could see how that would impact a business owner, how that might not be helpful. But then I thought again. What if my male counterparts, had knee surgery, got hit by a bus, or decided to take a month-long vacation? Would they be looked at with the same disdain and disapproval? I wondered…

I think the reason why that’s treated so differently, or at least not as feared by employers, is because pregnancy is such a tangible thing. You have an employee who’s body is changing on a daily basis; it’s concrete you can see that. You can’t as easily see your other staff making life changes, that could just as easily happen. And for male or non-family planning women, it’s just more acceptable. Even if they aren’t as solid an employee, well at least they aren’t going off, growing humans…  They make an assumption based on tangibility and years of connotation regarding women and having a family. But let me tell you something, young women, both professionally and personally, you’re so critical.

What if these same employers looked at what happens to society, when women don’t have the ability to properly bond and raise their children? What employee, after laboring for days, bleeding excessively, getting a major surgery performed on their insides, would ever be expected to reasonably go right back to work? Can you imagine the level of medical trauma and acrobatic skill your body and emotions endure through this process? Do they consider who raised them to be so successful? Women, you give life. And you do it every day whether you’re a mom or not, it’s part of your divine design. Whether you plan a dinner party, a wedding, forge a project or product launch at work, you bring life a vibrancy to the table with a natural poise and grace that cannot be matched. You are needed, necessary, and cannot be duplicated. Side note to mothers everywhere: You are all rock-stars.

Society suffers, when you are cast down. You’re own health and your child’s is at risk when you aren’t able to properly take your leave. Mothers who return to work so early are plagued with depression and less likely to breastfeed their children. Their children can suffer developmentally, the feature notes. Researchers have even found a correlation between the amount of leave a new mother takes and infant mortality rates (Huffington Post). We have a major problem, and it’s bigger than paid leave and day-care costs. Our culture has lost the value of family. We work longer hours, buy more crap than we can enjoy or afford, and have little joy left over. We are tired, stressed and unhappy. Our children, our families suffer the effects. We don’t have family dinner, we rush to the drive-thru for our food and wonder why things are such a mess. I don’t think things will change for women, for children, for families, until we value family again. The government can’t wave a magic wand to make employers care. It’s a cultural value system change, a heart change.

So what can women do in the meantime. What can you do now? I say you realize that you can’t have it all, all at once. You need to take seasons in your life to work, and to also be a mother. There is a time to climb the executive ladder, and a time to enjoy your family. But it can’t happen all at once. You have to make that choice. And I think the best thing for women? Entrepreneurship. Take your talents, skills and abilities, and create something to offer the world. You already have it in you, why not give yourself the gift of freedom and choice? You set your hours, your goals, and call the shots. Sure it’s not easy, but I think it’s the best option for women and gives them the ability to be themselves. And when you do become a business woman, hire some females. Give the same grace to them that you’d want from an employer. Change the culture and reply back, that women working and being able to raise families, they are important callings. Don’t let a boss determine you’re worth, that job is for you only. Don’t lose sight of your power, your skills and your heart.

You have the power to invoke change, don’t forget that.

Photo credit: www.moneycrashers.com

Female Entrepreneurs, Growth, Life Balance, Passion, Uncategorized, Work Freedom

The Importance of Passion

My best friend had a cliche phrase that she would use sometimes; many of you are familiar with it. “Follow your heart.” As a child, I remember hearing my mother say “follow your heart, sweetie”. These phrases always sounded a little foolish to me, because the real world doesn’t care much about your passion… or do they?

When you operate in your gifts and talents, you bring an extra dose of energy and pzazz,–there’s a spring in your step, a note in your song. Not only are you happier and more joyful, but your customers take notice, as do your boss and co-workers. Everyone notices a difference. It’s what makes a ho-hum day, not so ordinary. You’ll be willing to work late, and arrive early.

So if you have all this extra “go-get ’em” when you are operating in your passions, than why wouldn’t your boss care? If you will work harder and more effectively, you’ll be a better employee. If your passionate about your family, you’ll be a better parent, a better spouse. It spills into other areas of our lives, like a new perfume others can tell.

So that phrase “follow your heart”, isn’t so crazy after all.

Female Entrepreneurs, Growth, Life Balance, Uncategorized, Work Freedom

Taking a “Time Out”

So this week was more stressful than most. This week we moved into our new town home, which is great, but also comes with a lot of stress.
I was packing weeks prior, getting paperwork in order, doing taxes… you know, life.
The old me would have kept pushing, not taking any down time, and eventually “snapped” at someone, leaving us all off in a worse situation.
But the new me said, “no”; we need a time out. So I did just that. I went to my local Walmart and sat in one of those massage-y chairs at the salon and just sat, drank coffee, and enjoyed.
About five years ago, I would have said “those people”, the ones who enjoy things, are nuts, because they should be going at full speed ahead—all. the. time.
But no, these are the people who understand, within balance and reason, that enjoying things, taking a break, it’s necessary.

And you know what I realized that night, after I did such a simple act of taking a “time out” for a pedicure? That whole night went differently. I had just as much work on my plate, but everything went smoother; I felt more relaxed, and recharged. It was $30 well spent and a half an hour in heaven.

So I’d ask all you ladies in particular, to give yourself permission for an adult “time out”… because you NEED it. ‪#‎timeout‬ ‪#‎relaxation‬‪#‎rechargeandrefresh‬ ‪#‎womendoitall‬ ‪#‎businessboutique‬‪#‎moneysavingmom‬.

Female Entrepreneurs, Life Balance, Personal Development, Work Freedom

Why Females are meant for Entrepreneurship

It never really occurred to me until I got out in the professional working world, that women and business truly make the most sense. Let me explain.

The Power of Choice

Women are the perfect fit for business because it let’s us keep our ability to choose. They give us freedom, time, and a sense of self-worth, no matter what our passion is. With the need for a better work-life balance, and managing family and professions, business gives that freedom back to us. No longer do we need to choose our families or our jobs but we can do both, with balance.

The Ability to Chase Passion

With all of today’s resources with social media being free or create easy websites via WordPress, it’s impossible not to find a way for young, working females to find a side gig online. If your passion is writing, knitting, or a guru, you can find a way to express your passion online and in a business setting.

A Deeper Sense of Freedom

When you have perfected your side hustle, or have gone full-time entrepreneur you have created a life for yourself that you dictate. Win together, fail together, it’s all you, babe. And this can be a really good thing. You dictate how hard you work for you and what that work should look like. The successes you build are yours for the taking. And likewise, if you want to take a 2 week vacation in March, then it’s up to you to decide what needs to get done and in what time frame, to make that happen.

Women are fantastic for businesses, most importantly, their own! Message me on the contact page or on Facebook to set up a consultation on how I can help you reach your business or life-balance goals.