Archive | June 2008

STRESSED! as a Work At Home Mother By Kelli Shand

by Kelli Shand

Our Milk

Since becoming…. a new business owner, a mother to 2 young boys and 
pregnant again, finding a way to de-stress has become top priority. 
The old ways of de-stressing no longer apply. Pregnancy no longer 
allows me to have a nice glass of wine, or a cold margarita at the end 
of a hectic day, no long hot baths, or relaxing in the steam room. 
Yes, going for a massage is good- but I can’t afford weekly sessions. 
So, I have been on a search for the perfect fix, and what do you know, 
I’ve found it!

I was a bit apprehensive at first. I was by far the youngest and even 
with my big belly, the thinnest. When I entered the pool, all 15 
ladies stopped and stared. I new I had entered into a close knit 
group, and did not feel entirely welcome. The first few classes, no 
one talked to me, they carried on with their mermaids and flutter 
kicks with no regard to my presence. But by the second week, when they 
knew I was committed, I finally gained acceptance and my de-stressing 
had begun. I had found the perfect fix. Water Aerobics! There is 
something about exercise combined with water that lifts the spirit 
while toning the body. It was relaxation and vigor all at the same time.

Four days a week, I take an hour break from work and head to class. 
Afterward, I feel invigorated and ready to take on anything that comes 
my way. I highly recommend water aerobics to all of you busy mothers. 
I’m pretty sure I’ll stick with it, even when I am able to enjoy that 
glass of wine.

Motherhood Fur-ever

As all of my blogs mention, I have been the proud mother of the coolest person in the world for approximately seven months now.  I’ve also mentioned my fur kids in passing.  Now, however, it is time for the spotlight to turn.

I have three fur kids-aka dogs in layman terms-and I am their mother.  I’ve been a fur mom for approximately five years now, and I wouldn’t give it up for anything.  These babies have been my life and focus for years before my ever-so-fabulous daughter came along, and I am always amazed at the reactions I receive when I display my emotion for my dogs.

The interesting flip of the coin is that nearly everyone seems to understand how important my non-furry daughter is.  The general public expects the gushing, the immense kissing and hugging, and the overall pride I take in my two-legged daughter.  When I mention the other three, however, shock seems to settle in.  I have apparently failed my position as a mother to a human by not instantly relegating my dogs to “pet” status, soon to be downgraded to “animal” status.  Umm . . . what?

My dogs were my children long before my daughter, and although this in no way takes away from the love and joy I feel for my baby girl, this does not mean my dogs have been or will be subjugated.   I have yet to find many people who truly understand my feelings on this subject although I frequently achieve reluctant acceptance in my audience.  Until, of course, my schedule comes up in conversation.  Example:

 Audience: How nice that you can work while your daughter is napping.

Me: Well, yes, but it’s rare that all of my kids are napping at the same time.

Audience: What do you mean?!?!?

Me: The dogs need attention too.

Audience: Don’t be ridiculous.  Throw them a bone; they’ll be fine.

Me: Can I do that for my daughter too?

And so the story goes.  I admit that my dogs no longer receive the same level of love and attention as before my baby was born, but fur kids are kids, and this is their forever home.  By choice and by default, that makes me their mom, fur-ever and ever.

*I understand that not everyone feels as I do.  However, just as every parent must make their own choices in education, religion, and displinee for their child, so must every parent make their own choices regarding their furry friends.  This is my choice.

My Summer Hibernation – By Nicole Perkins

By Nicole Perkins

I know, I know, I’m talking about the heat again, but it is killing me this year!

Temperatures regularly reach ridiculous levels like today – 114 degrees. And that’s just what it said on my hometown paper’s website. We all know the actuality is always more severe in real life, although I wouldn’t know today, I didn’t leave the AC!

It’s a strange paradox, my life – I grew up in Alaska, craving the warmth, heck, just craving the sunlight. But now, in Arizona, I shun it, hide from it, burrow deep inside my home with the blinds closed to keep any excess heat out, like a vampire. When people in other parts of the country are out enjoying barbecues and cute little outdoor treks with their family, I truly do hibernate in the summer.

So here I am, at the height of the heat doing nothing but gaining weight because ice cream is the only thing that sounds appetizing. I am not that old, and am in decent shape, but every time I step foot outside, my body starts throbbing and my toes swell up like little sausages tucked in for nice nap beneath my sandals. I swear I gained three pounds of water weight this week just trying to stay hydrated!


But enough complaining! I had to go out last night for a couple hours and shoot an air guitar competition and I actually came up with a couple things I kind of like about our summers here while I was getting ready.

1. Forget makeup. What’s the point – your face is shiny 10 seconds out the door, as is everyone else’s, so I just quit everything except mascara and lip gloss. It saves so much time getting ready!

2. Same goes for the hair. Who needs more heat blowing in their face when you’re hair is dry 5 minutes after you walk out of the house -and then wet again from sweat in another 5. It’s futile to fight it. Air dry and ponytails – loves it!!

3. Summer clothes. Trying to wear anything with sleeves will immediately show pits, and shorts that are the slightest bit restraining and you end up with swass (sweaty a**). I live in dresses, tanks and skirts, and have recently discovered that a lot of my really long skirts, make really great dresses – just hike them up over the girls – too easy!

4. The food – light and cold. While ideally I should be losing weight from all the salads, the ice cream keeps catching up with me. But dairy’s still nutritious, right?

5. Hanging out with my kids. No school, no obligations, and no expectations because everyone else is hiding out too, or has escaped to cooler climates. We are really having fun painting, playing Barbies, reading and eating ice cream – oh wait, the ice cream again.

Now if only I can effectively explain to my daughter why her brother doesn’t have to wear a shirt, but she does.

Taking on a Friend's Baby by Jennifer France-Talvitie

Recently, a friend that my husband works with asked if I’d be interested in watching her 8 month old during the day. She knows that I stay home with my 8 month-old and figured it was worth a try.

When my husband told me of this proposition, my first response was no. The idea of someone else’s child being my responsibility and under my care made me a bit nervous. I don’t doubt my abilities. I feel I am a good mom to my little one and watch out not only for his safety but also for his intellectual and spiritual growth. But another mother’s pride and joy made me pause. After this initial reaction, I got to thinking about it. There are three essential pros to taking on her child.

#1 – Being around another child will be beneficial to Zander. It will provide him with a playmate. Someone to learn to share with; the stimuli of another child. This will also prepare him for a sibling which we hope to add in the not so distant future.

#2 – It will allow me to make some much needed income. My husband and I are so happy that I get to stay home with our boy. However, it has been a financial strain and this would help alleviate some of that.

#3 – I get to continue being with my son everyday! To be able to work from home is key for me and my family. I can continue to do blog writing for Motherhood Incorporated. I can continue to do periodic course testing for another company I work for (this is very infrequent). I can do this all while being home with my son and earing a little for getting the privilege of watching our friend’s son.

I begin this new adventure on July 14th. We’re going to give it a one week trial period. I will keep you all posted on how it goes as the journey progresses. If any of you out there have done this very thing, I’d love to hear from you.

To the Nuthouse and Back by Ally Loprete

 by Ally LoPrete, Our Milk

Yes, I was there. I was horribly embarrassed at first, but I’ve now come to appreciate the experience as one of my most favorite journeys. After all, when we OWN our experiences as things that make us who we are, what is there to be ashamed about?What brought me there was a breakdown resulting from extreme exhaustion. I’d simply forgotten to take care of myself.  I had not slept since 2007. I had lost a pregnancy, I wasn’t eating, my son and my husband were being neglected, and there was no end in sight.I certainly did not mean to end up in the hospital. I’d succeeded in launching, become a leader to more than 2500 businesses nationwide, and the promise of our impending growth was exceptional. As a new mother, I was raising a very demanding 2 year old, running a household and teaching musical theater 2 nights a week. I’d put these things in motion and sent them spinning so fast that I was unable to keep up with the pace. I hadn’t learned to set limits or manage my time, so it makes perfect sense that every corner of my life was deteriorating.In the hospital I did not have access to the internet or digital communication which turned out to be the best medicine. This forced my life to slow down… something I had not been able to do by myself. I had no choice but to rest, heal, and create some new boundaries for myself so that this would never happen again.I met several other patients who at first, I’ll admit, frightened me. I felt that I had nothing in common with them, and perhaps they picked up on this because on that first day when I arrived, several of them asked me “How are you crazy?” as if they weren’t sure I was crazy enough to be accepted into their club. Great. I thought. I am not even accepted IN HERE. I answered the question each time with a joke, “Being Crazy is part of my charm.”  It got a laugh almost every time. I began to feel like the female version of R.P. McMurphy. I also decided in that moment to spend the next 72 hours laughing at the absurdity of the situation, healing, resting and learning how to never end up in here again.I learned a lot. Infect, I might dare say that the experience was life changing. I learned that everyone is a little crazy, and everyone is a little sane. I actually began to make friends with some of the other patients, and I learned more about how they had ended up in a place like this. Some of them had come from such disturbing lives, it was no wonder they needed help. I had always appreciated my life and my family, but this experience taught me to VALUE it, in a way that I had not been doing. Perhaps the biggest lesson I learned was the actual physical and mental damage I had done to myself, my family, and my company. I had taken on too much and worked a ridiculous number of hours – close to 120 hours a week – for no pay. I worked every minute that I could during the day, and when my  entire family was sleeping peacefully at night, I took advantage of the quiet time to work, staying up until the next morning several times a week.  I didn’t know how to say “no” and agreed to just about everything anyone ever asked of me. A friend wanted to have a bake sale and of course, I agreed to bake…AND market AND shop. Anyone needed a ride to the airport? Sure, ask Ally, she’ll always say yes. It was hard for me to take a step back from this, because wanting to please others has always been a weakness of mine. But in the hospital, I learned how to give from a different part of myself without disturbing my “reserves”. I learned the importance of scheduling in the basics of living a healthy lifestyle: eating, sleeping and playing. The results were astounding. I gained control and became more productive. It seems so simple and yet when I ran out of time these are the things I tended to skimp on the most. It was no wonder I became sick. My machine was literally breaking down.  I learned the importance of taking time to do a peaceful activity for myself, such as meditating, making a piece of jewelry or doing some watercolor. I spent most of my time at the hospital reading, journaling and painting. This replenished me, cleared out my mind and helped me to empower myself. Now I schedule in 5 minutes each morning to meditate, and 2 hours a week to watercolor.Yes, I am grateful for my visit to “the nuthouse.” It woke me up. It taught me that without health and happiness, we simply cannot give to the things in our lives that we are ultimately living for. It taught me to laugh again, and that I can choose to laugh my way through anything at all. My experience at the nuthouse was a gift, and so I felt it necessary to leave a gift of my own. Before leaving the premise, I taped up a watercolor painting of the beach in the rec-room for all to see. It read, ” So what if we are crazy?  It’s part of our charm.”

The Outsource Revolution

What do you love to do?  If you’re smart you’ve already begun to make money doing what you are passionate about.  Even so there are probably times when you find that there aren’t enough hours in the day to do all of the things you need to do as well as all of the things you want to do.  When that happens it’s time to let the “Outsource Revolution” remake your life.


What do you really hate doing?  What are you really not good at?  Don’t be shy – there is no shame here.  You can’t be great at everything.  Are you bad at housekeeping?  Who cares? You have other talents.  But it’s time to stop beating yourself up about being a lousy housekeeper and outsource it!  As a rotten housekeeper you could spend 8 hours in a week cleaning your house and still not get it done right.  Why not pay someone to do it and instead of wasting your time cleaning you can focus your energies on the things you are passionate about. 


I guarantee you that you can generate considerably more money doing what you are passionate about than the cost of paying someone to get your house in tip top condition.  Imagine how you will feel at the end of the week, your house will be clean and you will have generated more income doing what you love.  This is the outsource revolution.


What are you ready to outsource?

El Mito Más Grande del Trabajo en el Hogar/ Refutado … Por Elisa Garcia

happy face courtesy of clipart

Mito: Si usted trabaja en su hogar, usted tiene todo el tiempo en el mundo.

Hecho: Si usted trabaja en su hogar, su tiempo es su el propio hasta que sus clientes exijan de otra manera. Entonces, impactantemente, usted tiene apremios apenas como todos.


Jackie programó la nueva instalación del plato basado en los satélites este último fin de semana.  En la mañana de lunes, como una pareja buena y cariñosa, ella recolectó todas nuestras cajas de la televisión por cable de Comcast y telecontroles y alambres y las lió cuidadosamente en mi coche. “Puede usted funciona éstos por el centro de servicio y les da vuelta adentro?” ella pidió. “No quisiera que nos cargaran para otro día.”

Pocos minutos más tarde ella entró en la cocina con su blusa verde y favorita.  Movía de un tirón simultáneamente los huevos, jugo de colada, y shooing un perro entusiasta con mi pie. “Usted piensa que esta camisa esta muy arrugada?” ella pidió acentuado. Por supuesto dije que no era. “Quise realmente usar el negro,” Jackie continua, “pero es sucio. ¿Usted le piensa puede lanzar quizá en una carga de la ropa oscura hoy? Y cerciórese de utilizar las suspensiones derechas.  Esto colgaba en la clase incorrecta.” Nomas suspiré y acabo de sacudo mi cabeza, pulpa anaranjada y los pedacitos de la tortilla de huevos en mis pantalones.

Después de aclarar los platos, de vestir Alina, de caer del correo, de llamar al doctor, de estrallar por el almacén, de volver los cables, de subrayar, y de poner Alina abajo para una siesta, finalmente abrí una sesión a la computadora.  Ése es cuando noté una tarjeta de visita del agente de seguro en mi escritorio junto a nuestro último análisis del fideicomiso de la hipoteca.  Llame por favor el agente para una cotización hoy, dijo la nota de post-it manuscrita de acompañamiento adornada con una cara de sonrisa.  Y llama a Wells Fargo también, por favor, Jackie había escrito.

Grité prácticamente hasta que recordara que Alina era (agradecidamente) dormida. ¿Jackie no sabía que hacía frente a un plazo de la audición de la voz superpuesta, un capítulo corrige, y seis postes del blog? ¿Ella no sabía que también necesité prepararme para una videoconferencia Y cerciorarse de Alina era alimentada, feliz, limpia, y estimulado intelectual? Por supuesto ella hizo.  Pero, como mucha gente desconocedora con los intrincaciones del trabajo en el hogar, ella acaba de asumir mi horario autoimpuesto permitido naturalmente para la flexibilidad infinita. ¡Y ella vive conmigo!

Flash de noticias: El trabajo en el hogar trabaja solamente si usted puede trabajar realmente.  Lanzar una carga en la arandela mientras que usted escribe (o diseñe o registre o venda o pinte o lo que) no es realmente ninguna gran cosa.  Lanzando una carga en la arandela, clasificando suspensiones, las diligencias corrientes, cocinando la cena, tendiendo a un niño, y escribiendo la copia sólida de las propiedades inmobiliarias antes de un plazo del 5:00 están al lado de imposible. 

Realizo que, como bendicen a las madres del trabajo en el hogar, nosotros más allá de creencia para tener la oportunidad de combinar negocio y a la familia.  Acaricio mi flexibilidad inherente y la tecnología que produce esta mezcla, y disfruto con el hecho de que puedo programar las citas del doctor y los playdates y los entrenamientos sin preocuparme.  Pero junto con las gratificaciones viene, bien, el trabajo.  Y para continuar permaneciendo casero y haciendo el dinero, necesito tanta hora de trabajo como la muchacha en el cubículo de la oficina.  Necesito que otros respetan mi tiempo tanto como yo les respeto … para realizar que no hay tiempo para el negocio personal durante las horas de oficina.  No me atrevo llamada mi trabajo fuera de los amigos caseros ocioso para charlar en el 2:00 el días laborables, y cuento con iguales a cambio.

Más adelante que noche elaboré mi propia nota de post-it (adornada con la cara de sonrisa) y puesto le al parabrisas de Jackie.  Era nuestra lista de la tienda de comestibles.

Por Elisa Garcia