5 Unexpected Things That Will Change Your Life This Fall

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stay at home moms who work

The biggest challenges I have in my life right now as an entrepreneur and a stay at home mom who works are: 

  • getting dinner on the table 
  • looking like a human being
  • finding me time
  • making friends 

Are these your biggest challenges, too? If so, get excited--because this post is packed with tips that will be like a breath of fresh air this fall! PLUS, there's a giveaway at the bottom that you won't want to miss. 

1. Meal Planning That Does The Work For You 

At 4:55pm, I'd rather face a chainsaw-wielding ghoul in a dark basement than my starving children. I usually have work I'm trying desperately to finish and frankly, I just don't have any mental energy left to create a healthy, wholesome meal for my hungry people! Especially when I've got a screaming infant or hangry toddler to deal with. 

PrepDish is an answer from the gods. 

Every week, PrepDish sends you an email with a shopping list and brief instructions for prepping your meals ahead of time. You can spend an hour or two on a Sunday or Monday aternoon, prepping your food for the week, and then VOILA. You have all your meals in the fridge FOR THE ENTIRE WEEK.

PrepDish has a gluten free track and a Paleo track, they use a ton of vegetables and seasonal recipes, AND they are offering readers a free 2-week trial to try it out!! You can go to PrepDish.com and use promo code STAND to get your trial. If you were using PrepDish this week, your family would be feasting on Brined Pork Chops w/ Sauteed Cabbage and Apples or Orange-Ginger Grilled Chicken w/ Veggie Stir Fry and Brown Rice.

And you would not have expended any mental energy on these things. NOT AN OUNCE. 

2. Plan to Rest

Grab your calendar right now, make a list of five things that fill you up (an afternoon reading, an hour at a coffee shop with a girlfriend, a bubble bath) and SCHEDULE THEM. If you don't plan rest, it won't happen. 

I talk about rest extensively in Equipped (including how to actually make it happen!!), but the short version is: you need it, sister. You matter. The work you do matters. Be kind to yourself and get some rest.

3. Cute Clothes That Happen Effortlessly 

There's a reason yoga pants are a thang, and while I'm not comfort and sheer survival, I think we all know the virtues of feeling good about how we look. A few extra minutes on cute clothes or my hair or makeup is a subconscious nod to myself--I matter, I'm worth making time for, I take care of others and that starts with me. 

BUT. When your size fluctuates dramatically (helllooo pregnancies) and you've sort of lost yourself as a person (thank you, motherhood), figuring out what to buy is stressful. What's even more stressful? FIGURING OUT A WHOLE WARDROBE. I've always been intrigued by having a uniform or a capsule wardrobe, but even those things are exhausting to plan! 

Enter, Allison. Allison is female entrepreneur raising her kids in the midst of growing a business (JUST LIKE US) and she created The Style Challenge. It is a first of its kind online style program that gives you the tools you need to build your own capsule wardrobe. Allison creates the shopping list, and you shop your closet, or your favorite stores, and you spend as much or as little as you want.

Here, Allison explains how it all works: 

The pieces on your list are then combined into daily outfit ideas and sent right to your inbox to make getting dressed the easiest thing you'll do all day!! There's no membership fee or recurring charge. 

There are different challenges for different seasons (and a few that are evergreen). This one has totally caught me eye, because it's such a fun mix of feminine style without being too glittery, if you know what I mean ;). 

It's clothes that actually make sense for the things that I do, like go to the park, go for walks, do Skype conference calls or school pick ups or meet a friend for lunch...and an occasional date night. I'm not spending tons of extra money on clothes I won't actually use. AND I GET AN EMAIL EVERY DAY FOR THE CHALLENGE TELLING ME WHAT TO WEAR. #praisehands

 

4. Coffee (Special Coffee, That Is) 

I think we all know that well roasted coffee has magical powers, but honestly one of the things I love the most about coffee is not just that it's delicious and a happy ritual--and Perky Perky coffee is delicious--but it's a rallying point for other women. You can watch founder Maruxa Murphy explain a little more here: 

I've started so many conversations with other women over coffee, laughed, talked about deep important things--Maruxa created Perky Perky to be a lifestyle brand that reminds women of the beautiful, strong, courageoussmart, unique, creative, powerful, brilliance that we each have within us, and build a movement of women that are doing more what they love in this world! 

5. Make a New Friend (Who Gets It) 

Being a mom who is an entrepreneur, or a SAHM who works is hard. If you want any kind of staying power in this business, let me tell you--you need to find your girls. This fall, we're launching community groups in our Stand For Mom Facebook group. If you're looking for your kindred spirit, now is the time to join

Kindred Mom Founder Emily Allen Talks About the Importance of Messes, and When She Stopped Working for a Boss

Emily Allen is mom of six and founder of Kindred Mom, a collaborative blog and podcast dedicated to helping moms flourish in motherhood. Emily is authentic, deeply heartfelt, and has a brain that moves fast.

In short, we’re in love with this amazing work at home mom and what her life says about courage and trying something new.

Read the full interview below!


Stand For Mom: Emily, we’re so glad you’re here. Tell us about yourself.

Emily Allen: I am a homeschool mama, a serial entrepreneur, and a creative who constantly discovers new things I am interested in. I have six kids—three boys and three girls—who range in age between 1-11 years old.

Emily Allen Kindred Founder Interview

SFM: How did you become a work at home mom?

EA: In a manner of speaking, I guess I have always been a “work at home mom” in the sense that I’ve always had a variety of projects going on that are not typically seen as “stay-at-home” mothering.

This started most notably when I began my wedding and family photography business before my oldest daughter was born, and I went on to run that business for eleven years before closing the doors for new and different creative adventures as a homeschool mom and writer.

I had been homeschooling and running my business for several years, but as we added to our family, it was becoming more difficult to sustain the photography business.

The following roles are all things I have done at a professional or semi-professional level in the past 15 years. I have not held a paying job (with a boss, anyway) since my early twenties, and even those were part-time, seasonal, or summer jobs. So I guess to best answer the question about what I do: I am a mama who blazes her own trail.

Singer/Songwriter/Performer
Audio Engineer
Professional Photographer
Graphic Designer
Writer/Editor
Creative Coach
Business Strategist
Marketing Enthusiast
Podcaster

SFM: What have you learned as a work at home mom?

EA: I have learned that there is no one as motivated to make space for what matters to them than a mother who wants to be with and invest in her babies, but also has a string of other dreams that cannot wait for twenty years to be pursued.

Emily Allen Kindred Founder Interview

I have learned that I cannot define success conventionally, because some would see what I’ve accomplished and be unimpressed by the numbers. However, I am always learning, growing, and I would say that my family is thriving largely because I am creatively stimulated, showing them by example how to live education as a lifestyle, and all of the above has influenced my approach to motherhood.

I’ve learned that messes are necessary for the creative spirit, and courage means taking the next right step, not having every last thing figured out.

SFM: Where are you struggling right now?

EA: Most recently I have been struggling to not max out my internal/mental bandwidth. These past six months, I have been giving birth to an idea that is years in the making, strategically pouring every last ounce of “free” time and energy into a new online community (collaborative blog, podcast, Facebook group and beyond).

Emily Allen Kindred Founder Interview

Between that venture and my mothering tasks, it has been more difficult to spend time with friends, keep up on my housework (to a level I desire, anyway), and I would also say, I don’t have a great balance of rest time to work time.

SFM: What's your best piece of advice for other moms?

EA: Simplify anything that can be simplified. I have made simple systems for everything that needs to be done again and again around the house so I can spend a minimal amount of time doing the basics. I also have a habit of planning one day ahead.

I look at the upcoming 24 hours and make a list of every task I need to remember and do. This allows me to get through task after task without getting hung up on remembering what else I need to do.

-SFM

Emily Allen Kindred Founder Interview

You can find Kindred Mom here.
The Kindred Mom podcast, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook page. 
Emily's Instagram here

When motherhood MAKES your dreams | the Stand For Mom Show No.2

The Stand For Mom Show is a live ten-minute workshop hosted every Tuesday morning at 10am CST right here on our Facebook page

This week, we interview Jena Holliday, mama of 2, phenomenal artist, and creator of the #100daysofmotherhoodsof project. Jena shares honestly about the transition from full time working mom of one to work at home mom of two. She even opens up about her son's medical scare--and the resulting miracle. 

Links: 

Read the whole miracle story here
Follow Jena on Instagram here
Learn more about the #staythankfulchallenge here
Join Jena's #mothercreative tribe here

Love the Stand for Mom Show and want to see more? Make sure you subscribe so you don't miss an episode! 

Mom of Two Opens Coffee Shop with Childcare...basically every mom's dream

Shelly Weiser is a mom of 2 and graphic designer. In Fall of 2017 she will open The Hive, a coffee shop with supervised childcare, complete with wifi, coworking, coffee and snacks, and beer and wine. Basically, every mom and dad’s dream!

 

Shelly chats with us on the challenges of transitioning into work at home motherhood, starting a new business venture, and how to react when your preschooler talks about beer to her teacher.

Edit: The Hive's Startup campaign is LIVE! Click here to learn more--the first 48 hours are the most important!!! 

 

Stand For Mom: We are wildly excited about your new business venture, and can’t wait till every city has one. Can you tell us how you had the idea for The Hive?  

 

Shelly Wieser: I’m a mom of two young children, and a graphic designer from home, and I just never had anywhere to go if I had a last minute project, or a deadline. So, I figured there’s got to be other parents that need this, even if it’s not to work, just to visit with friends or take a break.

 

My goal when I have parents or grandparents or whoever needs help with their children, I hope they will walk into The Hive and take a deep breath of relief, and then think to themselves, “let’s do this!”

 

SFM: Have you always wanted to open brick and mortar shop, or is this something you never imagined yourself doing?

 

SW: Definitely the latter. I had no thought whatsoever growing up or even as an adult to have a brick and mortar, so I’m quite terrified! I just saw the need there, and I thought somebody has to do this, so why can’t it be me.

 

I come from a family of self employed people. My dad owned a company for 35 years and had 25 employees so I saw it done and i saw what goes into it, what it takes, the nights and the weekends, so I’m prepared for that. I saw the need and the possibility there at the same time, so providing that for other parents is such an amazing thing to be able to do!

 

SFM: Let’s talk motherhood and kids and becoming a work at home mom. What was it like for you?

 

SW: My kids are 4 and 2.5. I was a freelance graphic designer when they were born, and I was lucky enough to be able to keep working and not to have to transition from a full time office job.

 

I had been set in my ways for a long time. I was 35 when I had my first! I was self-employed for ten years when she was born.

 

You know, I had my day to day routine down: I went to the grocery store at 10am because nobody was there, and then I worked from 11-2, and then the babies came, and it wasn’t grocery store at 10 because it was naptime! There was no way to schedule anything. The babies don’t really care about your schedule, they’re going to nap or not nap, or cry or not cry, and I really had to learn to live on their terms and not mine. What they needed vs what I needed. I had the ability to adjust my life and my schedule around that, thankfully. I also am super blessed to have amazing parents who are here for me a lot.

 

It wasn’t so much the daily transition as much as an emotional transition and having to give up part of yourself. I am very driven and very type-A and I think that was my part of the transition, having to learn to adjust to the fact that my babies were more important than my checklist.

SFM: What do your kids think?

 

SW: Owen just wants to play with his trucks and be held. Annie somewhat gets it. I tell her “mommy’s starting a restaurant.” When I’m starting a phone call and she wants me to play puzzles, I have to tell her “mommy has to get on this call real quick and then I can play puzzles.” So I’ve started to explain why we have more calls and meetings than we used to.

 

Actually, we are going to have beer and wine at the restaurant, so she told her teacher the other day that mommy’s starting a restaurant for kids and beer. I had to explain to the teacher!

 

 

SFM: Do you worry about being a mom who works?

 

SW: One thing my mom brought to my attention was concern over how it would affect my children, and the fact that I wouldn’t be there as much as I am able to be there now. I thought long and hard on that, and I struggled a little on that. I know the first few years will be tough, and self-employment is always a 24-hour job, but I think there’s a benefit to both my children. Especially my daughter, to see her mommy be strong and do something, to show her the strength of women.

 

My dad was self-employed, and we were up there weekends and we put all the time and effort and saw his drive, and saw what it took. Now both of his children are self-employed. I truly think my children will benefit from experiencing their mom do this. Plus, they’ll be able to be at work with mommy and play!

 

SFM: Where is your biggest struggle as a work at home mom?

 

SW: I struggle to fit it all in one day, and fit it all in well. You try to do everything to the best of your ability (I want to say “perfectly,” but I’ve had to realize it’s to the best of my ability). You still do the daily grind, but you’re adding so much into it every day, like learning about septics and going through thirty-seven page leases, while at the same time being a good mom and going to the grocery store and planning a vacation and doing all that stuff that’s stressful already. So that’s my struggle, fitting it all in and fitting it all in well. My kids go to Mother’s Day Out from 9-1 and fitting 16 hours of work into 4 hours is really hard! My four hours a day, every single minute is important, they can’t be wasted. It’s just hard to organize it all and fit it all into one day. And to stay sane at the same time! And sleep.

 

SFM: I mean, how do you sleep and stay sane?

 

SW: The question is, do I do that?! That’s my goal...you know, I guess sleep is just out of pure exhaustion at the end of the day. That’s how I accomplish that. I can’t guarantee that I accomplish the sanity 100%! That one’s a crapshoot every now and then.

 

SFM: What do you do when you get discouraged?

 

SW: I am lucky enough to have a handful of really strong women that are girlfriends of mine that I can call and say, “you must meet me at Maudie’s for a margarita!” They’re so supportive, and from day one they’ve been a sounding board and a reminder that I’m not crazy (which I sort of need on a daily basis). They believe in my cause and want it to happen as badly as I do, they know that it’s a wonderful thing and needs to happen.

 

Are you as in love with Shelly as we are? You can follow along with The Hive on Instagram, Facebook, or better yet--join The Hive’s mailing list here.




 


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