Moms are Royal, too!

Dear Mamas,

I don’t know about you, but ever since I became a mom I developed this slight feeling that I was perceived as, well, a little bit… ishy. I had this notion that, now that I was a sleep-deprived, time-deprived, nursing mother, I was just an exhausted lump of flesh that was not beautiful. I was not attractive. I was messy, and sloppy.

The truth is, part of this presumption is somewhat accurate. I mean, let’s face it: after childbirth and months upon months of nursing, my body just didn’t look the same as it did before I got pregnant. When I was caring for my newborn, it was a miracle if I managed to brush my teeth and change my underwear that day. Hair and makeup? Forget it. Putting in my contacts every morning? I got glasses. Outfits? I just grabbed the crumpled t-shirt laying on my bed. I had so much less time and energy to devote to myself, that every time I went out in public, I felt a little insecure. I felt like I wasn’t worth much.

Have you ever felt this way?

I just read a really beautiful, encouraging blog post the other day, and it happened to talk about being royal. (The royal wedding took place today, by the way). If you’re like me, if you’re a frazzled mom, you probably don’t feel anywhere close to being royal, and certainly not exquisite or beautiful.

So I’d like to share this very timely and encouraging blog post with you. It will remind you where our true value and true beauty comes from. It doesn’t come from our new haircut or outfit style, or even our ability to birth and raise children. No, our value and worth comes from something much, much better.

Click here to read the blogpost “Royal Wedding” by beautybeyondbones.

The author of the post, who once experienced deep unworthiness while in the throes of anorexia, is now a vibrant, confident, Christ-centered woman who is dedicated to reaching out to others. She exudes true beauty, both inside and out. Her posts are encouraging, enlightening, humorous, and relatable. Read on, and enjoy!

 

 

 

How to Make Money from Home without the Internet

Making side income from home doesn’t have to be limited to clicking and typing. Taking surveys, serving as a freelancer, and even blogging have all become popular ways to make money online. But what if spending your precious daytime hours in front of the screen offers little appeal to you?

As a stay-at-home mom, my primary job is taking care of the children and the home. But I also appreciate the value of bringing in a little extra income for my family. In Proverbs 31, the Wife of Noble Character “works with eager hands… out of her earnings she plants a vineyard. She sets about her work vigorously… she sees that her trading is profitable… she makes linen garments and sells them” (NIV). In addition to managing her household, she also works to provide some profit, too. She shows us that it is honorable for a woman to raise a family as well as provide for them.

Unfortunately, I still have yet to discover how to make any money from building block towers and washing the dishes. I have, however, found a few ways to make a little extra income without opening up a web browser.

make money from home

Here are three ways to make money from home without using the internet.

Make Money from Home without the Internet

1). Offer Childcare

Remember when you used to babysit? Or perhaps you were the girl who marveled at your other classmates when they talked about how much money they made watching kids over the summer (that was me… I still wonder how those girls did it). Offering childcare is still a perfectly profitable option, even for moms. If you stay at home, you already have a safe, child-friendly environment available. Would you consider watching someone else’s child or children, in addition to your own?

Providing at-home child care lets you determine what hours you are available, the age of the children you would be willing to care for, and the number of children you’d feel comfortable tending to throughout the day. You can set your own boundaries as well as your charges.

Offering at-home child care allows you to make money while continuing to care for your own children. Plus, many parents seek out alternative childcare situations other than daycare. You might find that your services are in high demand!

2). Provide a Service

What kinds of services can be offered directly from your home? A few ideas are: music lessons, tutoring, sewing and altering, or language classes. A service is something that you can provide to benefit others. The options are pretty endless; you can be creative.

Here is a real life example. I provided beginner piano lessons at my home. I started with one young student and charged $10 per half hour lesson. Now, ten dollars a week might seem pretty minimal. But if you teach, let’s say, five students, than ten dollars turns into $50 dollars a week, or about $200 a month. That’s a wonderful monthly contribution toward your family’s income!

Providing piano lessons is just one example. Do you play an instrument or sing? Do you have a skill that could aid others? You might have to do some thinking. But if you get creative and determine what kind of a need you could fill, providing a service from home might be a great fit for you.

3). Sell a Product

This is perhaps my favorite option, simply because the options are so vast and varied. If you’re crafty, creative, artistic, or agricultural, this option is probably a good one for you. What kind of a good or product could you make and sell directly from your home?

Some ideas are (but definitely not limited to): artwork, paintings, knitted items, handmade clothing, chocolates and candies, handmade greeting cards, baked goods, natural soaps and beauty products, maple syrup, honey, fresh garden produce, floral bouquets, hand crafted home décor, jewelry, stories and poetry, handmade puzzles and games, and… a plethora of other options.

It’s likely you have purchased a homemade good from someone you know. It’s a great idea to learn from them about how much time they spend on their product, how they market it, and what the overall commitment is like. I’ll bet they would be happy to share their knowledge with you.

Make Money from Home without the Internet

As you can see, there are still plenty of money-making opportunities that don’t require any tech-savvy knowledge. Maybe one of these options would be a good fit for you.

If you are a stay-at-home mom or desire to be a work-at-home mom, consider one of these options. Pray about it, and discuss ideas with your husband and family. If you’re hoping to earn just a little extra cushion income or even a significant amount, there are ways to accomplish your goals.

And if working online is the best fit for you, that’s wonderful! But in case computer work is not your first choice, think outside the box and get creative. There are still plenty of ways to make money from home by offering childcare, providing a service, or selling a good. How has the Lord blessed you in order to help others?

What kinds of ways have you made money from home? What advice would you offer someone who wants to try it?

 

The Signs of Postpartum Depression

For many women, pregnancy is a time of joyful anticipation. For nine months, expectant mothers daydream about what their baby will look like, about cuddling and feeding the baby, about how wonderful life will be with the baby. I know I did. When I was pregnant with my first child, I thought about beautiful things every day. I couldn’t wait to hold my little bundle in my arms. Life was going to be perfect.

But once baby had arrived, reality unfolded a completely different scenario. Sure, I was overjoyed to meet my baby. But I wasn’t happy. I didn’t feel like cuddling. Each day seemed to go on forever. I didn’t… enjoy being a mom.

I thought things like, “Is this normal? What’s wrong with me? Why do other new moms seem so happy? What am I doing wrong?” I never seemed to feel better.

It wasn’t until I delivered my second child (and had a completely different postpartum experience) that I realized that my first postpartum experience was a difficult one. Although I was never diagnosed, I believe that I was suffering through postpartum depression.

If you are a postpartum mom and are feeling down, lost, uncomfortable, sad, hopeless, or just unhappy, you might be suffering through some PPD (postpartum depression), too.

Here are some signs of PPD:

According to the mommy-favorite book “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” signs may include:

  • crying and irritability
  • sleep problems
  • eating problems
  • persistent feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and helplessness
  • an inability or lack of desire to care for yourself or your newborn
  • social withdrawal
  • excessive worry
  • aversion to your newborn
  • feeling all alone
  • memory loss

This is a pretty large and comprehensive list. But what I’d like to do is share more specific, real-life examples gathered from my own experience. PPD is not easy to talk about. But if you’re reading this post, I’m glad you’re here. Here are the signs and symptoms of postpartum depression that I experienced.

  • When people would ask me, “don’t you just love being a mom?” I would say something like “oh yeah, it’s great.” But I didn’t really feel that way. In my head, I was saying things like, “no. I hate it. I don’t like being a mom. It’s hard. I can’t do it.”
  • I had no desire to cuddle with my baby. I don’t remember ever just randomly scooping up my baby just to cuddle out of love and affection.
  • I hardly ever smiled or laughed.
  • I was beyond exhausted – I was only getting broken sleep and was seeing hallucinations.
  • I daydreamed about putting baby in the car seat and just driving away – just “escaping” somehow.
  • I felt stuck. I felt like this day-in, day-out job of caring for baby was torturous. I didn’t enjoy it, it was just something I had to do.
  • I felt guilty. “What’s wrong with me? I’m a terrible mom. I suck. I don’t deserve this child.”

These are some of the main signs and symptoms of postpartum depression that I experienced. If you are feeling similar things, you may be suffering through some PPD.

So what’s the next step?

First, tell someone how you’re feeling. Tell anyone – your husband, mom, sister, grandma, friend. Let someone know what you’re going through. This the very first, most important step. Talk. Share how you’re really doing. It’s not easy! I know this, mama. It’s very difficult to talk about it. But be brave. You can do it!

Next, let your listener help you determine the next steps. Should you visit your pastor? Schedule an appointment with a counselor? See a doctor? Let your listener help you. They care about you, and will want to help you in any way they can.

During my PPD journey, I never took the next steps. I was barely able to share with my husband how I was really feeling, and I never spoke with a pastor, counselor, or doctor. Taking these steps would have helped me out; I am sure of that. Speaking out and getting help will be good for you, mama. Share how you feel. You can do it!

If it is determined that you are going through PPD, the next part in your journey will be learning how to cope and recover. I’d like to discuss that in another post. For now, I’d like to give you a hug and help you determine how you really feel. If you are experiencing any of the signs and symptoms of PPD mentioned about, talk to someone about it. Then determine what to do next.

Dear Mama,

I’m glad you’re here. I’m sorry you are feeling the way you do. I’ve been there, and I would never wish that on anyone else. May I pray for you? I will ask that Jesus would send you His love, peace, and grace. I will ask that He would help you find loving people who will listen and walk through this journey with you. I will pray that you will get through this. Jesus loves you, mama. I do too! Hang in there.

Feel free to leave a comment or contact me. Have you gone through PPD before? What were some of your signs? How did you step toward help and recovery?