17 June 2015

The Whisper Technique

I've discovered a new parenting technique (new to me, at least).

We are having issues at our house as of late with a certain little girl not listening. If I want Miranda to do something, I have to ask her a minimum of five times and then threaten time out before she even acknowledges what I'm saying. This gets pretty exhausting after a while.

Well, I've been sick this past week and woke up today with no voice. I can squeak out some sentences, but if I really need to say something, I have to whisper. When I got up in the morning, I was dreading the day a little bit because I was afraid Miranda would use my lack of voice to her advantage.

Surprisingly, the day turned out a lot different than I imagined. Here are some of the positive things that happened today:

  1. Since I had to whisper everything, Miranda had to pay careful attention whenever I talked. Sometimes, I think Miranda is so used to me ordering her around that she tunes me out a lot of the time and doesn't even hear me until I've asked her to do something five times. Then, there are the times where she just flat out doesn't listen because, hey, who wants to stop playing to get ready for bed? Miranda wasn't perfect with listening the first time the whole day, but I did see a big improvement.
  2. I really had to choose my battles today. Unless Miranda was doing something she really wasn't supposed to be doing, I just let her be. The less I talked, the better my throat felt. Choosing my battles made for less frustration and a happier day for both Miranda and I. 
  3. I was a better listener. At dinner time, Lorin and I will often talk away about our days, and we sometimes ignore Miranda's demands until she yells at us to stop talking and listen to her. Well, since I couldn't talk, We were able to listen to everything she had to say. She was a happy camper. 

Now, I'm not planning on becoming some creepy mom that hobbles around, whispering to her child all the time, but this experience did make me think about how I approach Miranda when I need her to listen to me. If I really need her to pay attention to what I'm saying, I'll try whispering.
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01 June 2015

Mommas Making Moola #7: Yoga Instructor

Mommas Making Moola is a new guest-blogger series about the non-traditional ways  moms can bring income into their home (outside of the 9-5 job). In this series, I will be joining forces with Swag On, Momma to feature the experiences of our guest bloggers. If you are interested in being a guest blogger, please contact me for more information.
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By Megan Jackson

Hello! My name is Megan. I am a stay-at-home mom. My husband and I have four children six and under. Life is crazy busy….in a fun way. I have WAY more ambition than a girl should be allowed, so I like to do as much as I can to help save money by making stuff at home (i.e. laundry soap, snacks, home cooked meals) and by doing things outside of the home on occasion (i.e. Etsy store, yoga classes, and Mary Kay). I am currently not running my Etsy shop or teaching yoga classes for money. Our goal in our family is to build a home in the next year with a yoga studio on the side that I will be able to teach out of. I will be renting out the space to dance teachers or other yoga teachers when I am not using it. I will be teaching an adult yoga class on Saturdays, when Daddy is home, and through the week I will be teaching Kid's Yoga. I started teaching kids when I realized I wasn't able to do yoga the way I was used to before kids. This way I am able to spend time with them and also share it with other children. To reach this goal, I have become a Mary Kay consultant to share my passion for good skin care while making a good profit to set aside for our soon-to-be home/yoga studio. I have a hard time missing anything with my kids, so these three things have helped me contribute financially and not miss out on the precious time with our children. I would love to introduce you to Mary Kay if you currently do not have a consultant! We have an amazing company. Check out my site at Mary Kay.
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27 May 2015

Momma Makin Moola #6: Kim the Craft Blogger


Mommas Making Moola is a new guest-blogger series about the non-traditional ways  moms can bring income into their home (outside of the 9-5 job). In this series, I will be joining forces with Swag On, Momma to feature the experiences of our guest bloggers. If you are interested in being a guest blogger, please contact me for more information.
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Ever wonder what it actually takes takes to make money blogging? I know I do! Click HERE and head on over to Swag On, Momma to read the newest Mommas Making Moola post. This was a great post from Kim from Girl and a Glue Gun where she talks about the realities of making blogging your career. Go and check it out!
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18 May 2015

Mommas Makin Moola #5: Mother and Writer

Mommas Making Moola is a new guest-blogger series about the non-traditional ways  moms can bring income into their home (outside of the 9-5 job). In this series, I will be joining forces with Swag On, Momma to feature the experiences of our guest bloggers. If you are interested in being a guest blogger, please contact me for more information.
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By Breanna Olaveson

I’m 27 years old and have been building two different careers since college. But I still don’t really know what I am.

I usually say I’m a stay-at-home mom. I stay home all day, where I snuggle babies and change diapers and clean bathrooms and make dinner and fold laundry like any other mommy. I have the stretchy pants. The SUV. The works.

But I still don’t completely fit in with many of my mommy friends, because I also write articles, meet deadlines, edit photos, send emails and answer to bosses. I am frequently published online and in magazines and I recently published my very first book.

I anticipate there will be more to come. More babies. More books. More laundry. More deadlines. More time spent balancing priorities, more early mornings and late nights spent working and more afternoon play dates.

I am two halves of a whole. I am a stay-at-home mother. I am a writer.

I am both.

Becoming a writer

I've tried to identify exactly when I chose this life, but I can’t. All I know is that I always wanted to be a writer and always wanted be a mother. Fortunately for me, the two are not mutually exclusive. (This work/home balance would be impossible if I were, say, an astronaut.)

I played “Publisher” as a child while my friends were playing “School,” but I also played “House” sometimes. I read voraciously and also loved to bake cookies. I practiced my signature for the inevitable book signings in my future. I also wrote down names for my future children.

So I naturally looked toward both as I built my foundation in college. At the end of every internship, I discussed working remotely in the future and learned how to submit my pieces as a freelancer.

When I met my husband, I shared my dreams with him. As the son of a mother/business owner, he was completely on board.

I closed no doors and burned no bridges. Every door and window was left wide open.  

Becoming a mother

Some girls are born nurturers. They love babysitting and usually grow up to own day cares or teach in elementary schools. I was never one of those girls.

Never, that is, until November 13, 2011.

My Lyla was born when I was 23 years old. I’d had five different writing jobs, been married for three years and endured one heartbreaking miscarriage. I wanted that baby, loved her, prayed for her and adored her. I became a baby person when I met mine.

As it turns out, babies sleep a lot. When Lyla was born, I had no job other than caring for her and our tiny apartment. She was a dream baby who took good naps and slept well at night. Vacuuming our entire place took about 15 minutes. Even with shopping and cooking and everything else, I had a lot of time on my hands. Even though I loved my new job as a homemaker, I found myself cranky and bored more often than I liked. I needed something more to do.

Becoming both

That’s when I dusted off my childhood dreams and got started on my first book. In between research sessions at the library, I wrote little blog pieces or news stories for people who hired freelancers. I sent emails to old contacts and took any writing job that paid. The extra couple hundred dollars every month or two helped with groceries and brought the thrill of the deadline back into my life. I became myself again—only better this time, because I was a mother as well. As both mommy and writer, I became a fuller, more complete, happier version of myself.

Every year since 2012, my freelance business has grown. Word of mouth and happy clients led to more jobs, which led to even more jobs. I spend a vast majority of my time caring for my two small children, my husband and our home. I also work on the side.

Admittedly, it isn't always an ideal situation. Every day I wonder if I spent enough time with my kids or enough time on my writing. Some days my husband plays with the girls at the park while I finish up a piece on a deadline. Sometimes I don’t touch my laptop for days, just because I need more mommy time.

True to his word, my husband has been my biggest support and best friend. He helps me care for the children some nights, and I help him supplement the family income. We both have our primary jobs, and we help each other in between.


I still don’t know what to say when people ask me if I stay at home or if I have a job. I guess I’ll just tell them the truth: I do both. 
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12 May 2015

Mommas Makin Moola #4: Abby the Mary Kay Queen


Mommas Making Moola is a new guest-blogger series about the non-traditional ways  moms can bring income into their home (outside of the 9-5 job). In this series, I am joining forces with Swag On, Momma to feature the experiences of our guest bloggers. If you are interested in being a guest blogger, please contact me for more information.
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Swag On, Momma has this week's post. Read this inspiring Q & A  about how Abby found a job that worked around being with her kids during the day. Along the way, she has earned a free car through Mary Kay and tripled her income. Amazing, right?

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04 May 2015

Mommas Making Moola #3: Opera Singer

Mommas Making Moola is a new guest-blogger series about the non-traditional ways  moms can bring income into their home (outside of the 9-5 job). In this series, I will be joining forces with Swag On, Momma to feature the experiences of our guest bloggers. If you are interested in being a guest blogger, please contact me for more information.
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By Marlise Ahuna

I guess on a continuum of “working” mothers, I’m just a hair above unemployed. I don’t have a set part-time job; rather I've developed a love of performing into something that earns enough to sustain itself.

I grew up doing children’s theater, choir, and instrumental music.  In fact, those were my main after-school activities all the way up to high school graduation. I continued to take voice lessons while in college, but I didn't study seriously at that time; it was mostly for fun.

Fast forward a decade, a husband and two kids later, and I was a stay-at-home mom living with my family in a tiny apartment a few blocks away from Waikiki.  Even though being at home was important to me, I also felt I needed something of my own to work on and to progress in. I checked out some community theater, but the rehearsal schedule was too intense for that time in my life.  I met another mom at church who was in the Hawaii Opera Theater chorus and she convinced me that it was manageable schedule, even with a young family.

So I auditioned for the chorus and got in. The opera theater was celebrating their 50th anniversary with a concert by the chorus and they threw me into that.  Suddenly I was singing in Italian and French (luckily no German) and wondering what the heck I got myself into. Several months later I was in my first opera, La Boheme, and I was hooked. I had never even seen an opera before and here I was, onstage with a small army of performers, all of us singing at the top of our lungs, in front of a huge set, no microphones, and a symphony orchestra accompanying us. There was a maestro leading us in a concert hall with over 2,000 seats. There were people in the dressing room specifically there to put on our make-up, our wigs, and our costumes.  It was huge and lavish and crazy all rolled into one. And I LOVED it.

I continued to do one to two operas a year with the Hawaii Opera Theater, but I also branched out and did some community theater.  I was in a local production of Phantom of the Opera when the costume designer gave my name to a local singer/songwriter who was producing his first children’s musical.  I met with him and ended up auditioning for his show.  Up until that point, all the performing I had been doing was unpaid, even the opera chorus. But this new show, Honu By The Sea, was a paid gig AND it was an opportunity to do something few performers in musical theater get to do: originate a role.

That was several years ago.  I've continued to work with Honu By The Sea and the Hawaii Opera Theater, both in their chorus, their Studio program, and in their Opera Express educational program. I've also sung in numerous concerts as a soloist and in more community theater. I don’t always get paid to sing, but increasingly, I do.  I wish I could say I’m earning enough money to significantly help my family, but in reality, developing as a performer can be expensive. Almost all the money I earn goes to pay for voice lessons, music, promotional material, etc. I also depend on (and am forever indebted to) my parents and in-laws for helping with my kids while I am performing (two kids in school, two still at home).

Although my family and friends are very supportive of me (hubby is my biggest fan), at times I worry about taking time away from my husband and kids to do something that is not contributing significantly to our budget. But I suppose everyone has time he or she spends in recreational activities; binge-watching Netflix shows, playing video games, participating in adult sports leagues, watching football, doing scrapbooking, or crafting. Me? I perform.

Sometimes I think about all the money parents spend on their kids for music lessons, dance lessons, sports organizations, etc. Why do we spend years chauffeuring our kids around from one activity to another?! Do parents really expect their children to grow up to be a professional dancers or pro athletes?  If their children don’t, is that money wasted?

As a parent, I want to provide my children with enriching experiences that will help shape their character.  So why don’t we parents do the same for ourselves? What better way to teach your children that learning doesn't stop at a certain age or with a certain degree? Everybody needs that one thing that is their own and that keeps them learning and growing.  Everyone needs a balanced life.

I love being a mom and I love being able to stay at home with my kids. I love that I have the time, the support, and the ability to earn enough to continue singing and performing for others.

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27 April 2015

Mommas Making Moola #2: Amber's Childcare Business


Mommas Making Moola is a new guest-blogger series about the non-traditional ways  moms can bring income into their home (outside of the 9-5 job). In this series, I will be joining forces with Swag On, Momma to feature the experiences of our guest bloggers. If you are interested in being a guest blogger, please contact me for more information.
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We are back for our second post in the Mommas Making Moola Series! Take a peek into Amber's experience with running her own childcare business. She gives some great insight on what it takes to run this type of business. You can read Amber's post on Swag On, Momma. Click HERE to read her post.
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