Posted in family, momlife, parenting

Finishing up Quarantine Homeschool

This has been a crazy time for all of us hasn’t it? A lot of us have been working from home, kids have been sent home from school, businesses have been shut down, events canceled, no sports… 

I can honestly say that I have had it way easier than most of you, being that I was already a stay at home mom, not much really changed for me. Except, of course, that I had both children in my face…all day….everyday…no breaks. I try not to complain too much about it though, because again, I know all this Coronavirus Craziness is a million times harder for working parents who now have to find childcare for their children AND still find the time to help their kids with their homework after they get home from work… and God forbid spend any quality time with their kids after that or… *gasp* alone time by themselves. God bless you working parents; because you all really are some of the MVP’s of  coronavirus. 

However, us stay-at-home moms wouldn’t mind having a drink, or 6, with you sometime too… cuz’ man, are we sick of our kids… Well, I suppose I should only speak for myself. But I have a feeling, a lot of you are right there with me. Listen, I love these little monsters more than life itself… but all I want, seriously, is to be able to take a dump without someone yelling “mommy” or barging in and showing me something on an ipad or playing barbies at my feet. I mean… get away from me, ya know? …Too harsh? 

Anyway, what was this blog about? OH… finishing up homeschooling. That’s right…


So depending on your district, you may still have a few weeks left, our district wraps up at the end of next week so it’s crunch time here in the McDaniel house.

This entire homeschool thing has been a struggle for both me and Eli. I’m not a teacher. I don’t have the temperament or patience for this kind of stuff. The young kids are hard to get focused because since school was let out, most of them have switched to Summer mode. I totally get it. You’re not on your regular schedule, you’re not in a school building, not with your peers or teachers… I GET IT. But listen pal, I graduated the first grade about 26 years ago- I’m not doing this for me… I’m not just doing this for fun. So we’ve pushed on- through the tantrums, whining, complaining, the sloppy work, distractions- and here we are, the last two weeks.

So what can we do to really knock out these last couple weeks of school? Let’s see….


  1. Write out a delicious color coded homework chart for the week
    • Start with what time to start each day (earlier in the day, before they get too involved with Piggy from Roblox)
    • Include what assignments you want to finish that day and any videos or practices you want to go through that day as well
    • Add time for finishing late work. Let’s be honest.. no one’s perfect, we may not finish something in the time we allotted so if you have a day that may be a little shorter than others, use that day to finish up some homework that’s still incomplete.



  1. Next thing you’re going to do is take your schedule, crumple it, and completely disregard it because… Girl, you aren’t going to follow it anyway…
    • It’s the end of the semester, we’ve been homeschooling for 2+ months now…we know our kids don’t give a damn about our schedules. We are hanging on by a thread. A color coded schedule isn’t going to save you; but it does give you something to do when you’re bored having your morning coffee….


DO NOT OVERTHINK THIS

  • You are a parent, not a teacher (Well, some parents are teachers- y’all handle your own business though..lol.) We are not meant to operate like a school, no matter how much we try, our young elementary kids are not going to take us or the school work seriously- we are just not that specific authority figure.
  • Homeschooling is completely possible, but it takes time and consistency. Because this has only been for a few months… it’s basically just been a crap storm. If you were to do homeschooling for your kids full time, permanently, you would eventually fall into a rhythm and it could work out. 
  • Do not think you’re a bad parent because you’re struggling with this. MOST OF US ARE.
    • Your kid will be fine if you didn’t submit every single assignment
    • Don’t worry if you’re not submitting their work in on time- just try your best to get it done by the end of the semester
    • Your teachers are NOT judging you. They are having just as hard of a time with all of this as we are. They get it. 
    • Keep pushing because we’re almost done
    • The fact that you’re trying at all, is a testament to your ability and dedication to parenting.

None of us are sure what the future holds for fall semester with school, hopefully some answers come soon. One thing I do know… if I need to homeschool all Fall semester I may start putting away money now for my own personal Teachers Assistant.

Keep on pushing moms and dads because Summer is almost here! Then we can make our children be outside all day and hopefully we can all get a little bit more peace!

Posted in weight loss

A Mom’s Transformation

Happy Mother’s Day everyone!

Since my last blog post was a transformation update on my kids and their development, I figured this week I should update everyone on my own transformation progress!

As I’ve mentioned in a past blog, with the help of my doctor, I’ve been working on a serious weight loss journey. 

When I started my antidepressants after my daughter was born in 2017, around 2 ½ years ago, my energy started decreasing and my weight started increasing. Last summer I was the heaviest I have ever been at 194lbs. Since January I have lost around 30 pounds.

I have been taking Phentermine for several months now to help boost my energy levels and decrease my appetite. So what am I doing aside from just taking a “magic pill”? Let’s do a quick run through… 

Foods

I have stopped drinking pop (soda to my readers reading from outside the Midwest,) I eat very little carbs, sodium, and sugar, I also try to avoid processed and prepackaged foods. No pasta, or potatoes. A few days a week I skip lunch and opt for meal replacement protein shake. Of course I also have my cheat days (like today…way too many carbs for Mother’s Day…)

Workouts

I work out about 30 minutes a day, usually about 6 days a week. My workouts are low impact cardio routines. I follow workout pages on Youtube that I play from my laptop right in the middle of my kitchen. Since gaining the weight, I have a lot of lower back stiffness and frequently reoccurring bursitis in my right knee, so there are a lot of workouts that are still hard for me to do like lunges, running, too much up-and-down routines in a single session. I am hoping that with some more weight loss I can lessen the physical limitations and really push myself to my full potential soon!

one of my workouts I recorded in my sister’s backyard in the end of April

Yoga

I’ve also discussed before that I have started doing yoga most nights. I actually started this to increase my mobility and flexibility. It has helped my lower back issues a little. At the end of my yoga sessions, my lower back feels much better, but the next morning it’s back to being stiff with low mobility. One thing that I have noticed since starting yoga, is I have a lot more awareness in my body, how it works, and how I can control it. I do my yoga at night after I’ve put the kids to bed. This allows me to do it in peace and quiet so I can really focus and relax. I find that doing it before bed does usually help me sleep better since I’m stretching my muscles and relaxing myself. 

Despite making all these changes and improvements over the past few months I am a little discouraged that I’ve only lost 30lbs. I know that probably sounds crazy to most of you… 30lbs is a LOT of weight and I am very proud of myself for the weight I’ve lost so far and the lifestyle changes I’ve adapted; but I feel that given the extreme changes I’ve made I should have seen more of a loss. Then again… that is probably just the depression and self-doubt that I still do constantly battle within myself. 

I do think that the antidepressants that I have been on are playing a major factor in my weight. I started gaining most of my weight after I started them and I think it could be part of the reason I’m not flourishing with my weight loss right now. The next step with my doctor is to work on finding the right antidepressant for me. My end goal is to be at a place where I can get off antidepressants completely; but if I am being completely honest here, I don’t think I am ready for that yet. I can see yoga and meditation being a good help for me when I do start to wean off of them, and that is something I never thought I would say. I never would have pictured myself being a yoga/meditation person.

I have never been an active person. I’ve never worked out for fun, I’ve never been super motivated or committed to something for so long. I cannot express how proud of myself I am and how grateful I am for the support I’ve been receiving from friends and family. 

If you’re interested in following my weight loss transformation, follow my Instagram account @transparent.transformation 

Posted in family, momlife, parenting

A Parents Quarantine Guide

Hi friends!

How are we all doing during Quarantine? 
Going insane? Kids eat all the snacks already? How many times have you watched Frozen II on Disney+ ? Running out of things to do with your kids? 

If you’re like me and answered yes to all of the above, let’s work it out together. 

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Dump screen time rules!

Honestly… when the kids are inside the house 24/7 for an undetermined amount of time, it’s unrealistic to slap a weak time limit on something that occupies our kids so well. Sure, we can put together a whole list of daily activities, but we all know that no matter how much you plan for your kids during the day, there’s always going to be a ton of boring downtime. So screw it. When we’ve exhausted all our other ideas… just let them go and enjoy your alone time. Look at it positively…. If your child gets down a Minecraft tutorial Youtube rabbit hole, you have time to watch an entire movie- uninterrupted. 

Does your family have any online streaming services? We made the switch a couple years ago to go from satellite TV to online streaming only. Currently, we have Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, and Disney+. Basically the options for my kids are endless; which means, more distractions for them and more alone time for me (hopefully).

Forget the toilet paper… Get those chips!

No matter what age child you may be stuck at home with during this time (or even an adult manchild for that matter) snacks are a MUST. When kids are in school we pack only a snack and lunch for them, but for some reason when kids are home they need to eat every 30 minutes. Load up on everyone’s go-to snacks. Now I’m not saying be that asshole that goes and clears the shelves at Walmart or Meijer of all the bags of Lay’s potato chips… but feel free to get yourself a few bags. Both my kids are on big fruit kicks right now, which I love, but obviously fruit doesn’t have a long shelf life, so make sure to stock up on your kids favorite non-perishables because trust me, they’re going to eat them. 

Pinterest is your new best friend

Running out of ideas to keep the kids occupied? Prepare to get lost in a Pinterest Black Hole. Now, I’m not saying turn into a “Pinterest Mom” Well, by all means… do your thing. All I’m saying is, there is no better place out there to get inspiration for literally ANYTHING other than Pinterest. I set aside a good 30 minutes the other day and pinned a bunch of indoor activities for children and wrote down what supplies I would need. Now that I have all/most of my supplies I am going to start testing out all the ideas. Since we don’t know just how long this quarantine is going to last, I’m going to do one Pinterest activity a day. That way I don’t use up all my ideas in 1-2 days. 

Time consuming activities

Nothing fancy or creative here. Just good old fashion time-consuming fun. Line up some activities that will occupy your kids for longer than 30 minutes Yesterday I wanted to clean the house while my daughter was asleep so I told Eli to go in his room and make Batman town out of his Imaginext playsets. He took it one step further and said he will do an Imaginext town and a Lego town and have them Battle. He was in there for almost 2 hours. Win for me. I got 3 rooms cleaned and my car vacuumed in peace. 

Try these:

-100+ piece puzzles

– Lego Challenges: assign them certain designs to create, it will take longer than just tinkering

– Make a book: I have premade empty booklets (pictured below) or you can always DIY a book with paper and a stapler! If your child can’t write the words themselves yet have them draw the pictures and you can write the words for them!

– Outside Time: Spring is coming! Depending where you’re reading from, the weather may be starting to perk up. Sun is starting to shine a little more, the air is getting a little warmer, the snow is starting to melt, so kick those kids outside! Plan an outdoor nature walk, scavenger hunt, ANYTHING. Get them some fresh air and get yourself some space.

School is in session

Oh…that’s right…we’re supposed to be homeschooling our own kids during this quarantine. I almost forgot. The good news is, there are a lot of online options to help you out. 

ABC Mouse : New sign ups enjoy one month free. It seems after that it is $10/mo, cancel anytime. We have used this in the past and my son really did enjoy it. A lot of the activities are very play based but also have great educational bases

ABCYA : My son actually told me about this site. It is the one they use in computer class at his school. This website can be used for free, or you can upgrade to the PRO version for $10/mo
Teachers pay Teachers : If your child does better with pencil and paper learning, check this out. I saw some teachers recommend this to someone on facebook the other day so I checked it out. There is an endless amount of printable activities you can do with your kids. Certain items do require payment but there are also a lot of FREE options available too!
-Reading time: Whether your child is an independent reader, non-reader, or an inbetweener, try to set aside some reading time. When school was in session Eli had to read a new book for class every night (short easy stories) that we always did right before bed. To be honest we did slack off on this. After I was done spring cleaning and organizing his room I stocked his room with books so we can start back up with our nightly story times!

No matter what your plan is for this quarantine, you’re sure to go insane regardless. As much as we love our kids, my god… being trapped in the house with them day in day out is exhausting. Just remember to give yourself mental and physical breaks from your kids and your responsibilities. It’s fine if you’re not actively parenting or teaching every minute of the day. It’s fine if your living room looks like a bomb went off. The day isn’t ruined if the morning dishes are still in the sink. There are 24 hours in a day and we have no idea how long this quarantine could last, so as the flight attendants say- secure your own mask before assisting those around you. Your mental and physical health matters too!

Posted in momlife, motherhood, parenting

Common Misconceptions of a SAHM

  1. I’m sure you could work if you really wanted to….
  2. The military must be good money if most wives don’t work.
  3. You don’t do anything all day.
  4. I wish I had your life.
  5. Your life is so easy

These are some things I have heard since I became a stay at home home mom 7 years ago. None of them bother me. In fact, I’m sure I probably say similar things about moms with other family dynamics. Since being a stay at home mom is something I know a lot about… let’s examine some of these frequently said claims, as they pertain to ME.

1. Could I work if I really wanted to?

-Well, yes and no. My life the past 7 years has always been….unstable (and no, I’m not talking about my mental health lol.) Being a military family, we have moved more times than I can even count. I generally don’t stay in a place long enough to hold a decent job. Before Eli started school, he did 20 hours of ABA therapy a week and an hour of speech and occupational therapy a week, then moved on to a 3-hour a day preschool. To hold a full time, or even a part time job for that matter, I would need to hire a full time nanny to be home for therapies and be able to get my son to and from school.

Now that my son is in school full time, I was left at home with my daughter. Could I have worked then? Yes. And I did apply to jobs, unfortunately I didn’t get them. Currently, Eli is in school full time and Camille just started special ed preschool that is 3 hours T-F. So here I am again with more time constraints. I bring my son to school at 8, head back to school to drop my daughter off at 1130, then go back to pick both kids up at 230. Are there any jobs hiring Tuesday- Thursday between the hours of 12-2:30pm??

Furthermore, if I did get a job at any point in the last few years, without a Bachelor’s Degree, any entry level job I could would probably pay pretty closely to what my cost for childcare would be. At that point, is it worth it?

2. So how good IS military pay?

-To put this as vaguely, yet informatively, as possible… no, military pay doesn’t live up to the hype. Listen… if you were to look at the numbers before healthcare, rent, and taxes are taken out, sure, it would look pretty damn good. Then again, that’s true for everyone’s paychecks! I think two of the biggest misconceptions of military pay are: (1) we get free healthcare and rent (2) Military members get paid very well. Both of these are false.

Healthcare, for the member and their family, is taken out before the money reaches the member. Same is said for rent. If you are living in military housing, the rent is taken out of your paycheck before it reaches the service member. I’m assuming this is where the idea comes from that these things are all free? Healthcare coverage depends what plan you’re on and your location. Sometimes everything can be covered 100% with no copays and no deductibles. Currently for my location and the plan that I am on, I pay both.

In all, the military pays decently- not horrible, not fantastic. My husband makes enough to support his family, but the sad truth is… there are a lot more stable and safer careers out there that make far more money. The military definitely doesn’t pay enough for the work and the sacrifices made for the job. Of course, the higher you go, the higher the pay. likewise, if you enter the military with a college degree, you start out with a much higher salary than lower enlisted, and rightfully so.

So if military pay isn’t all that, why are so many wives stay at home moms (or just stay at home wives)? Well… it’s hard. Realistically, service members generally move every four years and can deploy during that four year time too. Having a lot of short lived jobs on your resume doesn’t look the best, nor does having long gaps either. A lot of military towns are saturated with people, making job prospects minimal and hard to come by. A lot of wives probably choose not to work for convenience, and some probably do it because they don’t have any other options!

3. What do I do all day?

-Depends on the day. Back when we lived in San Diego, a typical day for me would be 4 hours of ABA therapy, pick up and drop off at a 3 hour special ed preschool, cooking, cleaning, evening speech and occupational therapy appointments, laundry, homework, blogging, and bedtimes. Lately, an average day for me has been: bring my son to school at 8, come home and work out, bring my daughter to school at 11:30, clean the house and run errands, pick both kids up at 2:30,  snacks, blog, computer work, dinner time, homework time, bedtime, then reclean the house. Is anything I do physically demanding? No. Do I have it easier than most people? Yes. Am I at the complete mercy of my children 24 hours a day and am slowly losing my mind? Also, yes. 

4. I wish I had YOUR life.

-Well, I wish I had YOUR life. The grass is always greener folks… If your hair is short, you have the urge to cut it. When you cut your hair short, you impatiently wait for it to grow back out. There are obviously a lot of appealing parts of being a stay at home mom: seeing your kids more, being there for all of the firsts, yadda yadda. I think a big part of being a stay at home mom that often gets overlooked is that- when being a SAHM becomes a part of your identity, different parts of your identity get forced out. I’ve given up a career, my independence, my freedom. I am at the complete mercy of my children and their lives, so much so that I struggle just to find my purpose and passion in life beyond my kids. I often feel like just a shell of a person, with nothing in my life at all outside of raising children. Don’t get me wrong, I’d make the same choice again and again if given the opportunity. Just know, when you choose to stay home or work, there will always be a little part of you that yearns for the other choice.

5. My life is anything BUT easy

-Am I chopping lumber every day or performing lifesaving CPR on a patient? No, but my life is pretty mentally and emotionally challenging. My routines are repetitive, my freedom is nonexistent, my social life is limited. I am surrounded by kids nearly 24 hours a day. I struggle to finish a single task without being interrupted by a child. Trying to find time to work on my computer, clean an entire room, or even take a shower is a struggle. So sure, being a stay at home mom seems like a pretty easy gig, and it is in a lot of ways… but it is a lot more draining than people give it credit for. 

This blog isn’t to try and say how hard working I am or make my life seem harder than it is. I’m not arrogant enough to think that I work harder than a working mom, another SAHM, or anyone at all for that matter.

A lot of people tend to have this perception that stay at home moms just sit on the couch all day watching real housewives all day eating snacks…don’t get me wrong… WE DO THAT.. we just don’t get to do that ALL THE TIME. There’s a lot more to this life than people think. There is a lot more mental exhaustion and loneliness than people think.

My favorite times of the day as a stay at home mom is the first thing in the morning when it’s dark and quiet and I enjoy my first cup of coffee in uninterrupted silence and at night after my kids have gone to bed when I enjoy a bedtime snack and do some yoga. Those two times are the only times during my day that are all mine. I still may not be able to do anything that I want to do, but at least I get that peace and quiet!

Posted in family, momlife, motherhood

Not-That-Hacky, Mom Hacks

This was the longest Christmas Break of my life. My son missed the last two days of school before break for high fever. He ended up laid up in bed for 5 days straight with a constant headache and fever. At night he was hallucinating to the point where I was almost convinced he was convinced and I swear I almost kicked him out of this house. This mama does not play with angry spirits. No thank you. He cleaned up just in time for Christmas, however, immediately after baby #2 got sick. She was laid up in bed for 5 days with no solid food during that time. She was admitted into the hospital for IV and tests (which came back pos for influenza B).

Alas… a week into January, my son is back in school, and my daughter is feeling better and back to normal. Time for mama to get back to her pre-crapchristmas routine. I am back on the phentermine, working out, and drinking smoothies. The house is cleaned, de-christmased, and sanitized. So let’s get back to work. Let’s talk mom-hacks. I’m sure we’ve all seen the cute no talking, hand demonstration life-hack videos on social media. Spoiler alert, these are not as good as those videos.

My mom hacks may not be a fit for everyone, after all I’m working with a non-verbal autistic 2 year old over here. Honestly, who knows. Just scroll and find out!



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1. Toilet “lock” If you know me personally then you may know that I am broke and stingy. I hate spending money on things. My daughter had so much fun with her water table last summer, even though all she did was dunk her barbies in the water for 6 hours straight. Now that it’s winter guess where she dunks her barbies now….. For a while I had intentions of ordering a toilet lock so keep her barbies dry and sanitary. But because of who I am as a person, I just never ordered it. So when its time for me to get in the shower and she won’t allow me the luxury of a closed door, I grabbed a fresh roll of painters tape from the laundry room and threw a strip on a side of the toilet lid. Voila! Toilet lock. It’s also easier than a toilet lock for my 6 year old. Don’t need to show that guy how to unlock a piece of tape!


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2. Easy store Legos- My son has moved on from the nice and big Lego Duplos to the annoyingly small regular Legos and boy did we get a lot for Christmas. I’m too cheap to buy him a Lego table so finding an open hard service to work on was difficult. Not to mention, every single night when I come in to announce bed time the thing I always hear is “MOM IM BUILDING SOMETHING I CANT CLEAN IT UP” BAM- easy solution. I gave him my beloved bed tray. It gives him a hard flat work area, and when its time for bed, the pieces he wants to keep intact or the pieces that are works in progress stay on the bed tray, and the rest of the loose pieces go back into their storage bins. When we get back to business the next day he pulls out his tray and picks up right where he left off.


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3. This one isn’t exactly a DIY hack, but it is something that I highly recommend for our babies that struggle with language. If you’re a Netflix subscriber, I highly recommend the show “Word Party”. The main characters are baby animals, they speak in correct English and also some relatable baby talk since they are learning new words. Much like how Mickey Mouse and other characters ask children to answer questions, this show asks very early age appropriate questions. While watching this show, my non-verbal 2 year old had repeated words, answered questions, sang songs, and danced. All of which she does NOT do outside of watching this show. It honestly blows my mind. Today she sang Happy Birthday from memory of the b-day episode of Word Party, but still can’t call me mama. This show is some kind of magic for my daughter!



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4. Easy-Grab Bubbles- Ok I’m not gonna lie here…. I stole this one….but it’s genius. Fine motor activities can be challenging; not only for delayed children, but all kids in general. Plus whoever thought that putting a 2” too short stick inside a skinny bottle filled with soap was just asking for trouble. I saw a mom online open the bubbles for her kids, grab the wand, put a chip clip on the end, then put it back in the bottle for her kids. The stick stays inside the bottle to reach the soap, but the chip clip keeps it from going all the way back in the tube. Seriously. Genius.



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5. Subliminal toy selections- Now that Christmas is over…how much crap did y’all get? This year for my daughter I only picked out learning toys. You can’t feel guilty if the toys are teaching her something, right? She needs work on her fine motor skills, so I got a lot of toys to help her harness those abilities. Of course we still told people barbies too because hers are disgusting from being dunked in the water table and toilets every day. Plus a girl needs friends, ya know? Learning toys aren’t just Vtech toys, they can honestly be anything.  Examples: 

Toy Story 4 race track– During speech therapy we were working on actions and reactions (saying ready set go then then a reaction of tickling her) so I got the racetrack to give the ready, set, go idea to a new reaction. 
Chomp & count Dino– Equipped with light and sound buttons, a spinner on the top, and a pull string, this toy is great! The best part is it has a piggy bank style mouth where you feed the dino colored discs.
The Learn With Me Color Fun Fish Bowl. Cute, small, piggybank style fish tank. You insert the plastic fish into the slot at the top and once they’re pushed down into the bowl, it tells you what color the fish was! Perfect for fine motor and color identification. 




6. Car storage- Ever go somewhere and your toddler (who you don’t pack a diaper bag for anymore) shits through their pants? Maybe you think giving your kid strawberry donuts in the car is a good idea but when you get to your destination their entire shirt looks like puke. I keep a zip up tote bag in my back seat full of extra clothes, diapers, wipes. There are side pockets that I fill with my sons water bottles, an empty sippy cup, and extra snacks for both kids. After I use something I fill it up so it’s ready for the next disaster. Id like to say that this helps keep my car more clean and organized, but alas it still looks like a cheez-it bomb went off back there. 

When I had the idea for this blog I swear I had a lot more hacks than 6. haha. That’s it for today, they may not be much but hopefully I helped someone out there!

Posted in momlife

Finding Financial Independence

Whenever somebody asks how I’m doing these days I always give them the classic-
“…Just living the dream” answer. Of course we all know that saying is complete bullshit. Do you really want to know how I’m doing Brenda? I’m tired, my back hurts, my children are animals, I am drowning in debt/laundry and I’m broker than all get out. 

Our family is a single income household. My husband is the sole provider for our family. I am merely the dependa. (If you’re unaware of this title, google is your friend.) Is our family dynamic by choice? Kind of…..but also kind of not. There are many reasons why I don’t, or am unable, to work. Excuses, excuses, excuses! I know, just save your judgements for the end of the blog, ok?

Any of my working parents out there can attest to the outrageous price of childcare. Now before I discuss this further, just know that this isn’t a slam against daycare providers, at all. It’s all about the numbers, baby. They need to pay staff, pay rent, insurance, supplies. I get it. 100%. However, for two children, good affordable childcare is out of reach. If I get a full time job, my paycheck would basically pay for childcare with no room for much else. 

There are definitely some income eligible options out there.  Our town has a great Head-start program for those who meet the qualifications. The wait list is long, however, and often unobtainable. For the first time ever, I was told my family makes too much money to qualify. Let’s all laugh about that together. Now… I’m not blind, I know that there are many families out there that are in worse financial situations than myself. They should get help before me, I know that. But, a lot of families out there find themselves in the same situation as me… too broke for private daycares, yet too “rich” for federally funded free daycare. My only way out, is to find a job that pays more than the cost of daycare. In a small town, that can be hard to come by. There is still the difficult conundrum much like the chicken and the egg. Which do you get first? The job or the daycare? You either scrape the money together to cover daycare until you find a job, or you get a job and have to scrounge up babysitters until you can get into daycare. 

Moving on. If you’ve read my past blogs or know me personally, then you are already aware that I have children who require therapy. My oldest is now in school, so his therapies are during school hours (for the most part.) My youngest, however, does speech once a week. I would like to get her into ABA (applied behavior analysis) therapy. BUTTTTTT, if you’re unfamiliar with that- it is a very intensive, time-consuming in-home therapy. So, do I sacrifice having a career, financial independence, and a life outside of my children by helping her develop, grow, and learn in an in-home therapy that could ultimately help her the most. Or do I put my financial situation first, and hope that a daycare environment will be enough to teach her all the things she needs to learn? 

I have so much hesitation and “rock and a hard place” decisions to work through when it comes to me working. I am constantly stuck between putting my children first, and needing to help my husband support this family. Don’t get me wrong, the military pay is decent. For a family of four, though, it just aint cutting it. My husband does not get the credit he deserves for how hard he works and financially supporting his wife and two children. I want to have the chance to get out there and take some of the weight off his shoulders.

Before I got married I worked and supported myself. Ok… I mean fine, I was on my parents cell phone plan longer than I probably should have and my dad paid my car insurance basically until I got married. BUT YOU GET THE PICTURE. At one point in my earlier days I was working two jobs and going to college… LIKE A BOSS. Yet, here I am, 10 years later, relying on someone else to pay my bills and give me lunch money. I am 30. Years. Old. It is time for me to get out there and regain my independence. Financially, emotionally, physically. My depression and anxiety constantly tell me, “but if you get your independence, you’re a shit mom for throwing your kids needs on the back burner.” I know this isn’t true, that’s the dark beauty of depression folks. On the flip side, when I tell myself I’m doing the right thing by staying home with my kids and working on getting them the help that they need, that dark beauty comes back and says, “Nah girl, you’re a piece of crap because you’re broke and have nothing in your life for yourself. You need to start making money for yourself!” This inner voice contradicts everything I try to do. No matter which decision I make, my depression always tells me that I’m wrong. It is a constant battle that I have with myself. 

I try different things to balance it all out. I became a consultant for Usborne Books & More. I work from home, throw parties online where people buy the children’s books (which I honestly love, and that is NO LIE, these books are adorable.) Some women make a full time living off of it. It helps me, but does not cover true expenses, for me it’s more play money.  I’ve done a lot of surveys online with Swagbucks. Again, just play money. I most recently got approved to start doing closed captioning work online. This I’m sure will be, again, play money. None of these at- home solutions have turned out to be a long term fix. 

It’s time to break through my inner voice and finally do something. I KNOW I will not be a bad mom for working out a daycare/job situation and start putting myself first. I KNOW that I am not a loser for not working. I need to stop letting myself feel guilty for these decisions I need to make, not only for myself, but my husband and my children. No matter which solution I pick, I know that it will be what is right for our family.