Parenting again: "I like this, this is fun, this feels good"

imageMotherhood doesn’t have to suck, or be the hardest thing you’ve ever done. I’m having fun these days, like I am enjoying staying at home and being with my kids.  

All parts of it, and I can’t believe that only a year ago I had sworn off having any more kids.

There is this whisper in the back of my head

“I like this, this is fun, this feels good”

But I’ve been too afraid to say it out loud for fear that it won’t be any more, that suddenly things will change and it won’t feel easy, breezy and fun.

The truth is, that I KNOW it will change, it won’t always be this way, but for right now I’m enjoying what is.

Becoming a parent again allows the chance to do things differently.

I was CA-RAYZEE, the first go around with my son, and I say that lovingly because I didn’t know what the hell I was doing.

None of us do, and no matter the millions of mothers before me who had all sorts of opinions about how I should parent, I had to figure things out for myself.  

First time motherhood is not everyone’s challenge, for some it comes with ease and grace, I’ve seen people do it.

For some of us it is a challenge.

And for me, I had to learn by doing and experiencing.

I believe some things in life you have to experience in order to know. There is no escaping the pain of going through something challenging, the reward is in the wisdom you gain of having to go through it.   And yet there is still this drive to want to spare people from making the mistakes we made by providing them with all sorts of advice.  

“Don’t do what I did…..”“Don’t buy that…….”“10 things I wish I didn’t do when….”

Shortcuts are nice, and other people’s mistakes giving rise to practical advice can be helpful, but what about our own missed lessons to be learned if we just follow someone else’s path all the time?

If I had not had the experience of being a mother already and making mistakes that I made, I would not be the mother I am today.

I can rationalize and say that R was a more challenging baby, or R didn’t sleep, or R was like this or that, but what I realized is that I’m different this time because I am choosing to be different.

This time I am parenting by instinct, this time I’m giving myself a break, making time for myself, accepting help, getting out of the house and sharing responsibilities

I am not reading other parents blogs, expert sleep books, or filling my mind with “should's” of being a parent.

What works for you and YOUR LIFE, is what you ‘should’ do.

I don’t know if what I’m doing is right, but I know that this time I feel better, I’m less irritated and more joyful.

“I like this, this is fun, this feels good”

That whisper gets louder everyday

Breaking up with Debt

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When I was about 7 or 8 my parents opened up a bank account for my sister and I at our local bank. We both received a pleather brown bank book that would record our balance. I remember feeling excited about depositing my allowance or gift money into my account because it meant taking the walk with my sister and dad to the local bank and seeing my number in my bank account go up.

This memory is so visceral, I can still feel the carpet under my feet as we walked in, the feel of the bank book in my hand, the smell of the bank and the sound of the machines electronic stuttering as it printed out my new balance. I loved watching that number grow, but more than that I loved the adventure, the experience, and the bonding with my family.

This memory has come up because I have been exploring my money habits and tendencies. I have some big money goals in the coming years, and one of them is to get back to the spirit of that little girl who loved saving, who thought money represented joy, adventure, and love.

Over the years I have had different relationships with money, in both a functional and dysfunctional way. I still relate to the having of money as joy, adventure and love but on the other side I have also associated the not having of it as sadness, dull, and being alone.

The latter association has caused me to learn some hard lessons and somehow along the way I forgot about that little girl who loved to save her pennies.

Getting clear on my money story and being brave about facing my finances has been both hopeful and also terrifying. I find that as I tell myself the truth about my money, and really see what money I have or don’t have I feel less shameful and more and more like that little girl with her brown pleather bank book.

I felt a little of that childlike glee today as I made a final payment to my credit card.

Did you hear me??  Today I am PAYING OFF my credit card, that has carried a balance since 2003!

When I imagined paying this debt off, I thought it would feel amazing, I thought I would celebrate and jump for joy, but while I am happy to be ridding myself of this burden I cannot help but feel humbled  and gratitude for what this debt over the the years has taught me.

Weird to say, but I can remember what those dollars in debt have allowed me to do and at times saved me from serious hardship.

But just because I am grateful does not mean I need to perpetuate that old money story.

It’s time and I’m ready to create something new, to re­-define my money identity of someone who finds the joy in creating, having and enjoying money. Someone who sees the value it brings to my family, relationships, my business and creative pursuits. And creating and conquering goals that support this. This has me motivated.

Debt free may be on the goals list for a few years to come, but tonight I’m popping a bottle of champagne and celebrating the end of a relationship that I am finally saying goodbye to.

In case one of your goals this year is financial in nature here are a few money resources I’ve found inspiring and helpful.

The Art of Money with Bari Tessler: http://baritessler.com/

The Art of Money Podcast: How to make more money and overcome underearning http://baritessler.com/2016/01/episode­2­how­to­make­more­money­and­overcome­underearnin g/

Raise Your Hand Say Yes! podcast interview with Amy Robles on money: http://tiffanyhan.com/amyrobles/

Mint.com: Love this for tracking money and setting up budgets.

Here are a few on my list to explore and research, I may give a review in the future

You need a Budget: http://www.youneedabudget.com/

LearnVest: https://www.learnvest.com/

What are your money saving secrets? Financial wins? Motivational tactics, books, podcasts?

Would love to hear from you!