Monday, January 21, 2008

Life of a Single Mom

A Day in the Life of a Single Mom

This is a story about a typical day in the life of me, a single, working, studying mom, who has no time for herself, but wouldn't change her lifestyle for the world.
"Ring!" Alas, my day begins as it will continue - loud. The alarm jolts me out of a deep sleep, which I am convinced began only forty-five minutes ago. With my eyes still half shut, I make my way to the dresser to pulverize my alarm clock. I am not a violent person by nature, but some things just need to be put in their place, such as an alarm clock at 5:30 a.m. I am a morning person after about thirty seconds, but the initial, agonizing noise emanating from the far side of my room is too much for even the "happy camper" in me. Gradually, I make my way to the washroom and prepare for the day ahead. I have a quick shower, dry off fast, fix my hair and makeup as though I were on the pit crew at the Indianapolis 500, hurriedly put on my clothes, and as I am cleaning the bathroom (fast, naturally), I hear the sound of an alarm clock in the distance.
That is the first of two alarm clocks in bedroom number two, the one occupied by my two angels. You see, I have two sons, Stefan aged six and Alexander aged three, and while they are asleep they are my perfect little angels. Although many mothers claim to have angels, I really do. Well, at least at the beginning of the day, since I am a morning person, and they are not awake yet, they are angels.
As I make my way to the kitchen, I notice that the alarm is still ringing. Eventually, Stefan will turn it off, perhaps in time for the second one to sound. I prepare my breakfast and the boys' (three bowls of cereal, juice, fruit and tea, since there is no time for gourmet cooking mid-week).
"Ring!" Ah, there goes the second alarm clock. It is not a soothing beep, as the first. This second alarm is strategically placed across the room from Stefan and is so annoying in its tone, that he has no alternative but to shut it off.
"Mommy! Shut that thing off!"
Or, I could be wrong. I race up the stairs, shut off the alarm and try to raise the dead. By "the dead", I naturally mean my two angels, whose halos have just fallen. "No! No! No!" my three-year-old cries, in between the punching and kicking. I will state the obvious - he is NOT a morning person. "Five more minutes" I agree, knowing that we have not yet begun to fight.
Stefan is easier, although he does want me to dress him and carry him down the stairs. I have a daily choice. I can do his bidding and avoid a fight, convinced that I will be raising a "Mama's boy" with no sense of independence, or I can insist that he take responsibility, dress himself, and be a "big boy", to which I receive the response, "I don't wanna be a big boy. I wish I was a baby and you took care of me ..." There is nothing quite like a six-year-old whining to start the day off just right. Eventually, the two boys are miraculously dressed (I won't bore you with the kicking, screaming, punching, "I hate this stupid shirt" details), and are entering the kitchen.
We enjoy breakfast relatively problem-free, and then move on to the outer clothing. By this I mean the boots, hats, coats, scarves and gloves that take an excruciating thirty minutes to find and put on. On a good day this may take only twenty minutes. After exiting the house, re-entering, exiting, re-entering, and exiting again, I believe I have everything. Off we go!
The best part of the morning follows. We sing songs and play "what do you see" games on our way in. Provided the boys do not injure each other in the back seat, this part of my day fills me with contentment - not peace and quiet, but contentment. I take the children to the babysitters and I'm off to fight the traffic jam I didn't know about because I couldn't hear the radio in the car over the noise.
I arrive at work and do my job to earn my money to pay for my house (that Jack built). Oops! I digress. I do that often, ever since I became a mother, but "it keeps you young", I hear. My breaks are spent making endless lists of what to do, what to buy, where to go. My lunch break is usually spent grocery shopping or doing school work, although once per month, I attend a school council meeting at Stefan's school.
Home time! I leave work, get into my car, pick up the children, drive home (same games), and start preparing dinner. While the dinner is cooking, I hear about my children's day, get changed into sweats, and clean up the morning "mayhem" mess. We eat dinner. For most people, this would be a relaxing time. However, my children take approximately one hour to consume what I eat in five minutes.
The fight to get ready for bed is similar to that involved in getting ready for the day. Stefan wants to be a baby, and Alex wants to be a big boy. Needless to say, this takes time and a great deal of patience. Eventually, they are in their beds, we sing songs, hug, kiss and they go to sleep. They are my angels once again, halos intact.
Now I am downstairs on the couch, observing the mess. I drag myself off the couch (I am NOT an evening person), clean up the dishes and the toys, sit down to relax.
Maybe not. Eventually, I am back on the couch and relaxing for thirty minutes before it's time for Mommy to go to bed.
I go upstairs and peek in on my sweet angels. I hug them and kiss them and thank God for them. Then I go to my own bed. My eyes slowly close, as I drift off, with a smile on my face. I wouldn't change a thing!
"Ring!" ... Well, maybe one thing!

Submitted by: Jacqueline Crosbie *

Now I REALLY understand this lifestyle. I am up at 5:30 a.m. (try to be) and most of the time I end up just flipping my hair up by saving time so I don't have to use the curling iron. Both of my kids are just like me. However, my daughter has taken an extra trait of mine and put it to use. She now talks in her sleep... LOL........ Yes, I have been known to talk in my sleep. They both sleep hard and HATE mornings. Sure, I'm a morning person.... Around 4:00 p.m. LOL. Seriously, I am a late night person.

So, kids are getting dressed.... My daughter wants to wear just jeans and a t-shirt and my son is the same way. Sometimes I can convince him to wear a dress shirt. But my daughter wants no part of that.... I really can't wait for the girly girl in her to come out.

It's race to the kitchen and offer something quick. Most of the time my daughter will grab a breakfast snack I have and take it with her. My son, on the other hand, can't wait to get to Grandma's house so he can eat her AWESOME breakfasts that she makes.

Now it's time to FLY to work, just to go through another day of being treated like dirt. For very little pay. And not making a difference in what I am doing. There is no satisfaction in what I am doing and did I mention very little pay??? LOL

Then it's leave work and pick up my kids and head home. Hopefully I have no pit stops along the way. I HATE shopping. For food, clothes, everything. Well once upon a time I used to like it. But the kids seem to think I am a walking ATM machine and that I should buy them something from everywhere I go...... LOL

So it's race home.... Get dinner started, while the kids play. Run upstairs and do a little work (my home based business) while dinner is cooking. (I have found that making my roasts, stew, chili the night before saves time on a busy schedule). I also try and make up for the lack of breakfast cooking I do during the week by making 1 breakfast at night . And I always make nice breakfasts on the weekends. (tee hee).....

We all sit down at the table and eat together. I have always been a believer in that. Trying to catch up on the day that everyone had and just share what's going on. Then it's off to the homework.... Check homework.... Get bathes ready.....Tuck kids in bed.... And back to work I go.

My days are not exactly like this every day. But you get the idea. I am a single mom. I have two wonderful kids. I have found a legit business that allows me to
work from home, be here with my kids, while getting paid.

See, awhile back I considered working in the evenings doing something... Anything.... Cleaning, working at a store, anything. But after I pay a babysitter to watch 2 kids and the gas to get there, I was not going to make a cent. It was not acceptable. It was not even worth it.

I am blessed that I found a real
work at home opportunity that does pay and does work. That allows me to be here at home with my kids. I am not having to pay a babysitter and dish out the gas money. When I am working, I may not be spending the quality time that I want with my kids, but I am here. That's the point. I am here. And I can stop and tend to them when I want. I am not restricted.

So just know that if you are where I am, and you are considering
working at home, you can do it. I am !!!! Please feel free to email me if you would like to know more.

Or visit my personal website:
or business website:

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

The Job Interview.....

Well I had an interview for a Quality Inspector position. The interview itself went pretty good I must say. However, there was this one part where I could not hold back how I really felt. Have you ever been in a moment where you have to put on a straight face as you are listening to something difficult ? Well, that was me. LOL

The guy seems pretty impressed with my history in quality and what I know and the certificates I achieved in the classes that I took. So he is showing me around the plant and then we go back into the office. He sits across from me and lets me know that they are hiring for first shift... I breathe a sigh of relief. First shift is the only shift that I can work. He explains that the hours are from 6:00 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. I immediately think of my daughter and daycare. I was not even sure what time the daycare opened in the mornings. And then I began thinking about her starting kindergarten next year. It's weird how they have kindergarten here. The kids go 2 whole days and 1 half day. Would this new job be flexible with me and my kids ? Then he tells me about the possibility of traveling to different plants and how I may need to be gone for a night or two. I feel a little uneasy with this information but I do remember my old boss having to do the same thing. I just tell myself that it does not happen often and that I will deal with it when it happens. And then comes the big foot that just crushes me.... He then tells me that I would be on call for 2nd and 3rd shift as well. That if something happened at the plant and they needed quality there, they would be calling me to come in and straighten it out. My heart sank as I tried to swallow back the lump in my throat and play it off like it was nothing. But I know he could see the hesitation on my face. That was something that would be extremely hard. To find a babysitter at the last minute during 2nd or 3rd shift.

So this will be another great job that will not work for me. I will not be pursuing this. (feeling very frustrated) but will keep on moving ahead.....

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

More Child Support Drama.

A couple of continuous visitors have emailed me asking what is the status on the child support I have going on. So here is the update:

My daughters donor did show up for court, (contempt of court, due to unpaid child support).
For some reason, the court gave him MORE time. Unbelievable !!! The last payment received was back in April of 2007. No wait, he did make 1 payment in August of 2007, because Child Support was going to suspend his drivers license.

So here it is January, 2008 and his drivers license are suspended anyway and he now has until March 15th to pay $250.00 (purge amount). If he does not pay that amount, they will issue a warrant for his arrest. He has already been reported to all the credit agencies and the balance he owes is about $3,600.00. Now I know that $3600.00 is not really that much. But just think how it would affect you if you were missing that much from your income. That could have helped with Christmas, daycare, (is not cheap by no means), clothes and everything else. And what upsets me is that I would have never imagined him being this way. If I had suspected him to be a walk away Joe, a non-caring parent, a deadbeat, I would have never looked twice at him. It's funny how you really don't know people. And no matter how hard I try to keep that image of (deadbeat) away from her, I know the day will come when she asks about him. And she will feel hurt and take it personally that she was not important and that he did not love her. How do I answer for that ?

She still only knows my sons father as daddy. There is not a day that goes by that she asks about him, wants to see him, wants to talk on the phone, wants him to pick her up from preschool instead of me. ( I walk in all happy to see her after my day at work and she looks at me and says "Why didn't daddy pick me up" ? LMAO. I just think to myself how lucky my little girl is to have so many people that care about her. But I do have this hidden fear that this relationship that started between my little girl and my sons father will stop..... Slowly disappear. And that will crush her. So I just sit here and pray that I did the right thing by letting them establish a relationship and allow her to get this close to another man, that she believes is her daddy.

On another note: I have a job interview for this Friday. This full time job is much closer to home, more pay and in a field that I really enjoyed. So I will be following up with them and keeping in close contact. As long as the hours are what I need, I will be haunting them with follow up.... LOL At least I learned that much from past experience. LOL

Sunday, January 6, 2008

4 Tips to Help You Motivate Yourself to Work When You Just Don't Feel Like Working

For some people, working from home is the ideal situation. But for others, especially those who work for themselves, working from home can be a constant battle. With all of the distractions at home (snacks, internet, housework, kids…) you might find it's really hard to motivate yourself to actually get down to work. If you are self-employed, then take into account the fact that you aren't accountable to anybody for how you spend your time - it can make matters even worse! If you are like the majority of people who are self-employed and work from home, then you know you could use some extra motivating factors in your life to help boost your productivity! This article will help you find what works for you, to help you make the most out of your stay-at-home job or business!

Tip #1 - Set Goals Set daily, achievable goals. Sometimes when we work from home, it can be quite overwhelming. You need to decide exactly what needs to be accomplished each day in order to reach your ultimate goal. Think about why you are working from home. Is it to spend more time with your family? Is it to purchase a new car or dream vacation? Dream big, and then work backwards. If you need to make $10,000 in 6 months, break it down - how much do I need to earn every work day to meet this goal? Figure out what tasks will get you to that goal. Write down your "big" goal, and then your daily goals. Next, make yourself a daily task list. If you have a plan to achieve your dreams, and you can see yourself making progress towards an ultimate goal, then you are more likely to stick to daily plans. Not knowing what you need to do every day is a recipe for disaster and procrastination!

Tip #2 - Be Accountable Make yourself accountable! Set up a system where you are accountable to someone (even yourself!). If you have a friend that you can check in with daily, that is ideal. Either over the phone or through e-mail, share your plans for the day (in a few short minutes) then check in at the end of the day to report to each other. You can even hold a contest with fun prizes for the one who accomplishes their daily goals. Often, though, even the thought of having to report to somebody is enough to push us to do the things we said we would do. If you don't have someone to report to, or if you can trust yourself, then set up your own reward system of accountability. For example, if I accomplish my task list, then at the end of the day I can do something I really enjoy (watch a favorite TV show, enjoy a favorite snack, have a bubble bath etc.). If you don't complete the work you were planning to do, then you have to forfeit your favorite show, snack, etc.

Tip #3 - Visualize Getting back to your goals/dreams, decorate your work space with things that remind you of your big goal. Are you hoping to go on a holiday to Hawaii? Cut out pictures and post them around so you can remind yourself what you are doing is worthwhile - a means toward a fabulous end! Anything worth having takes time and effort, and the satisfaction of a well-earned reward is unlike any other! When you have constant reminders of your goals, it is easier to visualize yourself accomplishing these goals, and thus easier to motivate yourself each day!

Tip #4 - Clear Your Mind Have healthy, delicious snacks prepared in your house so you don't have to go far to boost your energy. Keep some washed, cut-up fruit, whole-grain crackers, cheese and cut up veggies and dip handy, so when you need a snack, you can easily eat something that is delicious and healthy. Healthy snacks will help you to be more alert, and have more energy! It's much easier to work when you have energy and a sharp mind! If you find your mind wandering and are finding it hard to focus, go outside for a 5 minute walk. A little fresh air and a change of scenery for a few minutes does wonders to clear your mind! Don't forget about getting enough sleep too!

To summarize, the best way to get yourself to work when you don't feel like working, is to have a plan and then make yourself accountable (usually with a buddy). Set up your workspace so that you are constantly reminded of why you are doing this, and don't forget to take short breaks to clear your mind. When you include these components in your daily business activities, your success will skyrocket! Be prepared to review and revise your goals and plans as needed.

Ultimately, when you have moments when you just can't bring yourself to work, take your 5 minute break, grab a healthy snack, and imagine that you are going to make the right choice for today. Picture yourself at the end of the day, having put in the kind of effort that you wish you did every day. Remind yourself that this day is going to end, whether you have put the effort in or not. As you finish your snack or break, remember the good feeling of a day's work well done, and get back to work!

By Jill Mowser

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Happy New Year !

Wow ! Here it is 2008. I remember when I was a kid and thinking about the future.... Years, like 2008 seemed so far off, like they would never get here. OMG, and it's here.... LOL

Well I am looking at the new year as "My Year"....... That's the great thing about all of us. We all have the ability to dream. Just imagine for a minute that you could not dream. What would that be like? You could never feel hope, feel inspired, anticipate.... How incredibly sad.

But see, we can dream. And I do. Dreaming is what gets me motivated as well as other things. I look forward to my future and to change. I may get a little nervous but I try to embrace it.

So I have blasted my resume out to everyone. I am looking for a different full time job. I need out of where I'm at. I no longer feel excited to go to work. I know I am not using my full capabilities and I don't feel like I am making a difference there. Plus, I know I am worth more than I am being paid. It seems that my draw back for a position that I am looking for is that I don't know Word or Excel. I've used them, but not enough for me to get around on my own.

I think something happens as we get older. At least for myself. If you were to look at my resume, you would be pretty impressed. I'm impressed when I see it... LOL I have to stop and really think to myself, "Did I really do all that" ? And I know it's true because my old boss is the one that created my resume for me.

So here are bits and pieces of my resume.....

Experienced in offline Collections, Insurance Disputes, New Account Application Process, Change of Address on GLBA Privacy Notices and Returned Credit Card Mailings

Proficient in customer credit card account research, debit/credit reconciliation’s, chargeback processing and all file maintenance

Maintained customer satisfaction through courteous and efficient resolution of disputes, complaints, and discrepancies

Assisted Team Manager with escalated customer complaints

Knowledgeable in the handling of third party merchant complaints on MasterCard accounts

Approached by fellow associates and assisted with their questions regarding correct procedure to use when handling a customer complaint on an account

Excellent problem solving skills, ability to work with minimal supervision and make sound business decisions

Skilled at data entering new account applications via Onbase Imaging System

Microsoft Windows NT & 2000, Microsoft Office 97 Excel, Word & Outlook, Total Systems, I-Notes, Onbase Imaging System and Internet Training

Certificate for completion of Account Service Representative Training for Sears Credit, Diversity, GLBA Privacy Laws, Fair Lending Credit Act, Affirmative Action and Civil Treatment

And this is for one background that I have. I also have a strong background in Quality Assurance/Technician. But I won't get into that right now.

So all of the above sound really good when I look at it. Yet, I still feel like " Did I really do all of that" ? And maybe that uncertainty has shown in the past when I looked for something else. But this time I know that I can't let it show. I also know to follow up on jobs that I applied for.

If there are anymore tips you can give me, I'll be glad to hear them . It's time for a change and I'm ready.