July 3

Welcome home dear housewife. You’ve found your tribe.

Page_1If you are (or dream of being) a stay-at-home wife and mom, you’ve landed in a magical place.  Welcome home dear housewife. You’ve found your tribe.  Think of this blog as an island where women who think and act just like you live, and we’ve been saving you a spot.  It’s nice here.  It’s unlike the rest of the world.

Here, your choice to be a stay-at-home mom (SAHM) is celebrated, not belittled.

Your choice to make your family and home your career is cheered.

If you adore taking care of little faces and helping little hands, you are not alone anymore.

If cleaning and organizing tips make your heart race with anticipation, you will swoon.

If loving and honoring your husband in a traditional role is what makes your heart happy, you’ve found your people.

If doing everything you can to be the best wife and mommy that you can be is your number one goal, you’ve stumbled onto something amazing.

You need not be a lonely housewife anymore.  We are a community to share your challenges and victories with.  A website made just for stay-at-home moms.

Welcome home, dear housewife.  Welcome home.  You found your long-lost tribe.

Please, introduce yourself in the comments below and tell us a little about yourself.  (If you are not new here, please do the same.  Even though I’ve talked with you before, others haven’t!)

For those feeling lonely and over-whelmed, let’s show each other how big our tribe is.   You will know that you are never alone.   You can always come here.   And always also to our Facebook page, Twitter feed (please take a moment to follow us there.), and group Pinterest board (request a join so that you can add things to that board!)

June 20

From Bored Housewife to Tranquil Domestic Goddess in 3 Easy Steps

Agonizing, bone-aching boredom.  Stay-at-home moms often report intense boredom being their number one challenge.  As a result, many become depressed.  Some get themselves into trouble.  Neither of those options is good, so let’s discuss ways to go from bored housewife to tranquil domestic goddess in 3 easy steps.
How is it possible to have so much to do and yet be so bored?  It’s simple.  The boredom does not come from having too much free time. Oh how we wish!  It comes from the repetitive nature of what we have to do every day.   The cycle of cook–feed–wash dishes is never ending, and the pile of laundry never shrinks.  It is easy to become overwhelmed with monotony and discouraged with hopelessness.   So how do we combat this tendency?     First by changing our mindset. Then by changing how we approach housework, and lastly by having goals that extend outside of the confines of our homes.   Sounds simple, right?  Well, it really is.  If you approach it one step at a time.  Let’s start with the mindset change.

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Why are you home in the first place?   I am not talking about the “because I can’t afford daycare” reason.  There is something bigger or you would have found a way to get an outside job.  Why have you decided to stay at home while your spouse goes off to work every day?  Grab a notebook and write down all the reasons.  Don’t over think it.  Just keep writing until you hit the one that gives you an “ah ha” feeling.  Write until you get goosebumps or feel giddy or maybe even get teary-eyed.  You’ll know when you’ve hit upon “the one.”    I am purposely not going to give suggestions here because it’s important that this be entirely of your own creation.   You have to find and know and believe that one reason to the level of conviction.  It has to be the one that resonates with your soul.  So go do that now, and then come back here when you finish.    Got one?  Good!

Once you have “the one,” write it on its own paper and post it on the refrigerator where you can see it and be reminded of what it is that you are really doing every day.   And it’s not about making beds or doing laundry.  It’s about that core value or conviction that you’ve uncovered.  That is what is going to carry you through those tough days.   When you are having a down moment, go over to your refrigerator and instead of opening it and looking in for something to eat to quell the boredom (for the twentieth time today), just read your paper.  Close your eyes.  Breathe.  Now you’ve changed your mindset.   Now we are ready to move on to the day-to-day things you can do to manage the rest.

So let’s talk domestic goddess.  What is that anyway?  Well I can tell you what it’s not. It’s not a woman who is perfect at everything to do with keeping house or caring for a family.   There are no perfect women.  (Just look what happened to Martha.)   A domestic goddess is a woman who has a pretty good handle on keeping her house and caring for her family AND has maintained herself and her own identity in the process.  That’s the woman that makes your husband’s heart melt.  And that’s the goal here.   Maintain your home, your family, your marriage and your self.

Let’s start with home.   Household chores become mundane when two things happen.  (1) We forget to be present in the moment, and; (2) We don’t do the chore with the intent to do it the best that we possibly can.   Typically when we are washing dishes, folding laundry, or vacuuming the floors, we are rushing to get it done and thinking.  We are either thinking about something that already happened in the past, or we are thinking about what we will do once we finish, or we are thinking about some other event coming up in the future.  We are almost never thinking about what we are doing right then.  That’s called not being present.  Much of life’s joy is robbed from us by not being present in this moment.

As often as you can, begin to be present in what you are doing.   While washing the dishes, take note of the temperature of the water on your hands.  Look at the way the light reflects off the bubbles.   Note how the soapy water scents the air.  Suddenly you will find little moments of joy in the process.  You will be shocked at how peaceful and content this simple act can make you feel.   Do it with everything.  Sorting laundry, unpacking groceries, scrubbing the toilet.   Be in the moment.

Part 2, do the chore with the intention of doing the very best job of it that you can.   If you are going to clean that toilet, intend to do it until it sparkles.   If you are going to make that bed, do it so that any Army sergeant would be proud.   You will come out of your cleaning with a sense of accomplishment and pride and not a feeling of drudgery.

Part 3, develop a system for daily cleaning.  Have a “to do” checklist for what you will do daily and for what and when you will do your weekly, monthly, and seasonal chores. Having and following checklists also helps to maintain a feeling of accomplishment.  You can see all that you have completed, but more importantly, you can share your list with your spouse so that he can see all you have done as well.  This extra step helps combat the feelings of “thanklessness” by which some women report feeling plagued.

We’ll talk more about cleaning specifics and checklists as well as how to use them next week.  There’s more to a checklist than you think!  I’ll even include some printable lists for you to use.  Watch for them, but for now let’s move on to maintaining yourself.  (And your sanity).

The last step in combating boredom is to take steps to maintain your identity, your goals, and your self.  That means making time for yourself and your own interests.   That means that mom is just as important as dad and just as important as the kids.   You must schedule time for you and work the kids activities around yours.  You must.  It’s just like when the oxygen mask drops on an airplane and they instruct you to put yours on first.  You have to take care of you so that you are well enough to take care of the children.   If you do not, and your marriage and house and family falls apart, what good have you done?

Get that notebook out again and write down all the things that interest you.  If it’s been a long time since you thought about it, think about what used to interest you.  What hobbies do you have or did you have?  What things do you feel passionate about?   If you could do one thing to change the world, what would it be?   Start getting back in touch with who you were before you were wife and mom.   Here’s the thing.  That person who you used to be is the person that your husband fell in love with.  When he married you he hoped you’d never change.  He is just as interested in you maintaining her as you should be.   Make finding her again a priority.

The biggest challenge with pursuing your interests is going to be finding time.  Where there is a will, there is a way.  You can find snippets of time to delve into your hobbies and dreams, but to make it easier, this is where having a friend in the same situation comes in handy.   A babysitting exchange is incredibly therapeutic for all.   Work in an exchange of 3-4 hours of babysitting once every week.   During her time with the kids, do the things that used to make you feel alive.  Do NOT use the time to run errands, clean, or sleep.  If you feel that you need a block of free time for those things, schedule two babysitting exchanges each week–one for “work” and one for “pleasure.”

This is important too.  During your time to babysit, have a plan of an activity to do with the kids.   Make that time during babysitting a true quality time for the children.   Be sure that your friend does the same.   Here’s why.   You will not feel guilty about leaving the kids with someone else if you know they are having a fun time.  You will be free to enjoy pursuing your interests.    You will also not have guilt about your friend babysitting your children because you will know that you will be doing the same for her and her children later in the week.   It’s a win. win. win.

We’ve begun to scratch the surface of how to combat homemaker drudgery, and during the upcoming weeks we are going to delve further into these topics.  Feel free to leave a comment on your progress and your challenges.   I look forward to reading them!

p.s.  The photo attached was built upon one of my creations.  To combat my boredom, I write and I paint.  This one is called Waiting.  I chose him for this article because he looks bored.  🙂  I hope you enjoy it!  Oh, and also, don’t forget to Like our Facebook page.  You can just click on the “like” button over there in the sidebar ——>  or visit us on Facebook at Modern Day 50s Housewife.

 

June 17

15 Ways to Earn Money from Home (Part 4–How to Survive on One Paycheck 1950s Style)

Welcome back to our How To Live on One Paycheck –1950’s style! Series. Today, 15 Ways to Earn Money from home.

If this is your first time here, let me recap briefly what you’ve missed (and provide links if you want to check them out):

Part 1–for the die-hard “I want to live like a 1950’s housewife” woman only.  This post talks about getting your mind right around living in a husband-lead home, if that is the type of lifestyle you want to lead.  If you are just looking for tips and tricks, skip to Part 2.

Part 2–The basics.  Preparation for the switch to 1 income.  And How that 2nd income really wasn’t a second income, and why you shouldn’t worry too much about losing it.

Part 3–the first of many “Money Savers” posts.   We’ll be posting a Money Savers newsletter every few weeks outlining lots of different ways to pinch pennies and save dollars.  You don’t want to miss any of those so like us here:  https://www.facebook.com/ModernDay50sHousewife

And now Part 4.   How to earn a little extra cash from home.   This is not your “Babysit the neighbor’s kids” post.  We’ve researched and combed the internet and dug up lots of ideas that will be new and exciting for you.  So grab a coffee and a notebook and settle in!  Here we go.

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There was a time that if you wanted to earn money while being a stay-at-home wife and mom your options were few.   You could babysit.  You could sew.  Maybe you cleaned other people’s houses, and while those are all still very good options, we’ve brought this list up to include Modern-day options as well.   There may be some that delight you, and others that surprise you.   Please note that we have not tested these, so we can’t give personal feedback, but if you do, please feel free to let us know how they worked out!

1.  Offer your random services:  Do you have a talent like sewing or teaching drum lessons that other people might find useful?  Or are you available to offer your services to people who need them?  Like walking a dog? or secretarial services?   Google this type of thing.   Zaarly.com and www.u-exchange.com/barternewengland connect people who need services with people who are offering them in different areas of the country and there are similar website all over.  Check them out.

2.  Do you like to write?  There are websites like Examiner.com, thebarefootwriter.com, and ProBlogger that pay people to write things like reviews or blog posts.

3.  Do you like trying new products?  You could become a paid product tester.  Some companies offer free samples or discounts. Others will actually pay you.   Look up some of these companies for info:  Houseparty.com, Shespeaks.com, Vocalpoint.com, Crowdtap.com

4.  Teach English.  Or some other language.  There is a high demand for people who can teach English using websites like Italki.com (an online classroom).  Anyone can offer lessons (and set their own price).  The average is $15-$20 an hour!

5.  Do you love taking photos?  There are lots of websites that need photos of anything from every day objects to conceptual ideas.  Each site works differently but here are some to check out:  Crestock.com, BigStockPhoto.com, and iStockPhoto.com

6.  Make a quick $5 doing almost anything.   Fiverr.com is a crazy site.  People need things done and it could be anything.  Take a pic holding a sign.   Make a phone call.  You have to just go check it out.

7.  If you are creative, crafty, or artistic, make something!   Then sell it on sites like Etsy.com, Zazzle.com or CafePress.com  (You can even design things right on some of those sites.)

8.   Do you have great administrative skills?  Offer your services at virtualassistantjobs.com

9.  Do you enjoy doing research?  Or are you a bit of an expert in a certain area?  Sites like ChaCha.com and LivePerson.com need people like you to help them by being a virtual question answerer. 🙂

10.  Problem solver? Be an at-home customer service agent.    Many companies like JetBlue Airways (as one example) hire staffing companies who have people who work from home as customer service agents.  You can even make your own schedule.   Some companies to check out are:  www.arise.com, www.workingsolutions.com, and www.alpineaccess.com

11.  Rent out your car.    If you are still holding onto that 2nd car, at least earn some money from it.  Check out RelayRides.com

12.  Open a full-on home daycare.  This is a big commitment, but can be a very fulfilling one.  Every state has different licensing requirements.  Be sure to research this one before you jump in.  Check out all the pros and cons.  For some, it’s a God-send.  For others, not so much.

13.  Like to shop? Be a professional Yard-saler.   You get to shop and find great buys and then sell them on Ebay.com, Craigslist, at your own yard sales, or even on Amazon.com  (BE CAREFUL with this.  You have to remember that you are shopping to buy low and sell higher.   You are not shopping to keep!)

14.  Start your own part-time business from home.   I have an art company Blue Hasti (you can find me and like me on Facebook right here:  www.facebook.com/BlueHasti and I’d love you forever and ever.)  I paint pet portraits and custom art.  Sometimes I do murals.   What do you love to do?  Can you turn it into a business?   Be sure to check out your local licensing laws.

15. Do odd tasks that machines can’t do.   This one varies greatly in pay.  You’d have to check out for yourself if it’d be worth your while.   This is a program through Amazon called Mechanical Turk.  Find it here:  www.mturk.com

and lastly but certainly not leastly:

16.  Become a Direct Seller.    There are hundreds of kinds of Direct Sales companies.  You can open your own home-based business promoting anything from mascara, to children’s toys, to home goods, to candles, to body wraps, or 100s of other products and services.    The start-up costs are usually very low, and everything is provided for you.  It’s a business in a box.

If you want to see the list of all the companies, DirectSelling411.com  is an AMAZING resource.   They have all kinds of information about finding a good company and how to get started.   Also be sure to check out the Direct Selling Association at dsa.org for important information.  ALWAYS be sure to research your company.   With over 15 million people working in Direct Sales, you can be sure that it’s a business model that works if you do!

Update:  Mr. C and I were customers of Evolv Health and fell in love with these anti-inflammation products so much that we became distributors.   If you would like more information about these all-natural products or about joining our team (and being coached by us) please visit:  http://hollyconnors.myevolv.com/#/Home 

Alright, that’s 15 to get your started.   Did you find some that work for you?  Keep us posted on the things you try and how they work out for you.   Sharing of information is key in helping each other succeed.    Good luck!

June 13

Part 2–How to Survive on One Paycheck–1950’s Style

Ready to take the next step to being a stay-at-home mom or spouse living on one income? Here is Part 2–How to Survive on One Paycheck–1950’s Style

Or maybe you already have gone from two incomes to one due to layoff or illness?  Either way, the idea of living on one paycheck can be daunting.  For the purposes of this article I am going to assume that the decision has already been made, one way or another, that this is going to be the case, and you just need to know What now?  If you’ve read Part One, we’re ready to move on.

First, take a deep breath.   Yes it’s scary, but it’s really not as bad as you think.  People all around the world find themselves making this transition every day, and they survive and often thrive!   Obviously, if you aren’t thrust into being a one-income family due to job loss, illness, or injury, it’s easier because you can plan for the transition.   So let’s talk about that first.

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1. When possible, plan for the transition to one income.  Ideally you will have time to plan ahead and if so, there are things you can and should do before leaving your job.  First, talk to you financial planner and tax professional.  Tell them your goals and ask them the best way possible to make the transition.  Second, start living on one income immediately and use the second income in whatever way your financial planner suggests.  That may be to pay off debt.  It may be to invest and build up an emergency fund.  It may be some other option.  Only you and your planner will know that answer.  Make a plan and stick to it.


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The remainder of this list applies to all families who are making the transition, be it planned or otherwise.

2. Know your “Why”.  You have to not only know why you are making this change, you have to believe to the level of conviction in the reasons why you are making this change.  It is those reasons that you are going to think about when you are having a tough moment.  Your Why will get you through.   Some common reasons are:

1.  You want to raise your own children (or be there to help with grandchildren).   There is much debate about whether putting children into daycare at a young age is harmful or beneficial, but you don’t want to take any chances.  You want to be the one to witness all of your children’s “firsts” and you want to be the one imprinting strong life values into their little brains.

2.  You want and need to be home to care for a sick or aging parent or relative.   Their quality of life is paramount, and you want to wait as long as possible before you have to place your loved one into an institutional setting.

3.  You or your spouse has suffered illness or injury and you must make this change.   On the list of life’s most stressful events, this is up there with death of a spouse.

4.  You or your spouse are starting your own business, and it will take time to turn a profit.

5.   You and your spouse have decided to live traditional gender roles, or you’ve decided to reduce your impact on the environment, or any other values-associated reason.

Whatever your reason, you must frame it in your mind in such a way that the importance of it is greater than your desire to run from the challenges of living on one income.

3. Learn to live without comparing yourself to the Joneses.   You will need to learn how to be content with less.  You will need to learn not to compare your home, clothing, cars, vacations, meals, and anything else to anyone else’s.   But don’t worry.   You will soon discover that less really is more.   When you remove the stress and chaos of trying to keep up with the Joneses in the first place, you may discover that you find joy standing in its place.

4. Understand that you aren’t really losing an entire income.   You never really had that full income in the first place.   Who had it?   Travel costs (bus, car, fuel, tolls), daycare costs and “guilt gift” costs (those toys and treats you buy because you feel bad that you aren’t there all the time), career-related wardrobe and dry cleaning, the daily coffee on the way to work, purchased take-out lunches, the afternoon vending machine pick me up, outside gym costs, higher grocery-related costs (because you don’t have time to cook from scratch), convenience take out dinner costs (because you’re too tired to cook), parking fees, higher insurance (due to mileage to work), health-related costs (due to exposure to more illnesses), landscaping company fees (because you never had time to do it yourself), the dog groomers, and so on.   All of this and we haven’t even discussed the fact that a second income may even be taxed at a higher tax bracket than you realize.

When it comes down to it, there are a number of different statistics but just the expenses related to having any job can account for up to 30% of your income, not including daycare and all of the other extra convenience expenses you accrue along the way.  Add those in and you are likely spending upwards of 50% of your income just to maintain your job–before the additional tax exposure due to a second income.

The savings associated with one spouse staying home doesn’t stop at these either.   Often the expenses related to the remaining working spouse reduce because there is someone home to make that morning coffee, prepare and pack their lunch, clean and iron their clothes rather than send them out for dry cleaning each time.   Even simple things like eliminating late fees because someone had the time to pay attention can add up.

As you can see, the impact on your family is not going to be as dramatic as you expect.   Plus there are ways to save money that we haven’t even begun to discuss.

Now don’t miss Part 3–Money Saving Ideas   or Part 4—15 Ways to Earn Money from Home

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