Tag: Working Mom

Slowly Finding The Balance As A Working Mom After A Year

Today marks a year since I have re-entered the workforce and it has been a slow transition in finding the balance between my full-time job, being a mom and being a blogger.

When I shared the news that I was re-entering the workforce, I was filled with array of emotions as I had no idea how I was going to manage and to boot entering a field that I have never been in before; the construction world.

It is an industry that many of my family members are accustomed to as many of them are highly skilled trade workers. But one that I only saw from afar as it wasn’t an interest of mine…Until I became part of it. My job is on the administrative side of the industry but I have been immersed into much more where I am reading blue prints to doing site visits (that is my favorite part!). It is a fascinating world and I am learning so much each and every day.

My days start early and end late but yet there never seems to be enough hours in a day to get everything done on my checklist but then it is carried over to the next day (I love checklists). This has been the routine that I have adapted over the year and one that has helped me balance it all. I am fortunate to have some support around me to help when I am running late from work or have a special Momma Braga assignment to do. I can’t even thank my family enough for helping me care for my daughter when those situations arise.

The year as a working mom has been full of ups, downs and some really ugly moments (we do have our breaking times). But it was a year that has made me grow in abundance as my confidence grew each day as a professional, person and mother. But it was a year that I saw my daughter grow more independently and becoming her own person with her very own sassy personality. 😉

Our family reached milestones through my first working year after a three absence such as our ability to move into a home of our own; learning to let go; adjusting to longer commutes; and adjusting all our routines that best worked for us.

It has been a slow process adjusting our routine from a stay-at-home to working mom as I had one more work scope added to my life job description. I had to make sure that my time was managed well and to ensure that I did not forget the most important job of all and that was to be a mother to my daughter. No matter what I have going on at work or with my blog, my daughter always comes first. This is why weekends are extra special as it is our time together without too much of the hustle and bustle of the work week. We schedule our time with family and friends or we do fun family outings.

So how do I balance it all? I take it a day at a time (even though I sometimes feel that I can do it all in one day, but don’t we all?!). I use checklists to keep track of what is on the go at home, work and with my blog. I have also learned to ask for help when I need backup which is so hard for me to do as I am not one that enjoys asking for help. But it is a skill that is necessary to keep our sanity. I have also learned to better manage my time and try not to over commit myself which is also hard for me to do as I love helping everyone. But I remind myself that no matter how much I wish, I am NOT superwoman and I am ok with that.

I haven’t mastered our routine and am always looking for ways to improve the way we do things in our home. There is no such thing as perfect so our goal is to just make our daily lives pleasant.

Above all, I am truly grateful for all the opportunities that I have been given as a person, professional and as a blogger. It has been a great year and I couldn’t do it without my amazing village of family, friends and fans! Thank you everyone for reading along as you made 2017 the best year yet!

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

 

Best Investments for Work-at-Home Moms

Being a mompreneur is no easy business; it takes a mix of determination, creativity, and intelligence to manage to raise a healthy family and build a successful career. You’ve decided to work at home, so you would be able to create a better life for your kids while also staying around them. Entrepreneurship means a lot of work, but you shouldn’t let the perception of this lifestyle discourage you, because being a mom comes with many skills that are required in this line of work (e.g. operating on a budget, multitasking, problem-solving, and creativity).

If you have some funds that you’re thinking about investing, then you should know the best options out there. Investing is not reserved only for businesses, it’s something that individuals do as well. Work-at-home moms, take a look at these investment options.

1. Invest in yourself

Nowadays, all it takes to succeed is a good idea and an Internet connection. Don’t let your lack of experience stop you. With good time management and strong drive, you can do anything. Invest in experiences and gaining knowledge and necessary skills. Note down everything that frustrates you in your daily life, and find ways to address those inefficiencies. Also, don’t be afraid to network and meet experts that could help you. With each person you meet, you’ll gain confidence and shorten your learning curve.

2. Stocks

People usually invest their money in order to grow it, and one of the best ways to do so is to invest in other companies. It may seem like a strange concept to you, but once you get the hang of it, it can become a wise and lucrative investing decision to make. Purchase stocks or shares of a business that shows great growth potential – they’ll have the extra capital that will enable them to expand, and the value of your stocks will grow. It’s important to do a lot of research and find out everything about the company before you buy any of its stocks.

Photo by kulinetto

3. Mutual and exchange-traded funds

Sticking with mutual or exchange-traded funds is a wise decision if you’d prefer for someone else to manage investments for you. As a mompreneur, this may come handy as it will leave you more time to focus on your children and have an industry expert make investment decisions for you, but at the same time you can decide on the level of growth versus risk that you’re happy with too.

4. Home office

Because you work at home, your work area needs to motivate and inspire you. You need to create a good working environment, so you should invest some money in setting up your home office. Choose a designated area for it (a spare room with at least some level of privacy), make a list of the most important home office necessities (computer, fax machine, cabinets, tools, etc.), get some proper lighting, and establish office hours. This way, you’ll feel more productive, organized, and won’t strain your neck and back while working on your couch.

Photo by fancycrave1

5. Your children’s education

The last, but the most important investment of them all is your children’s future. Their education is a big, long-term investment that requires you to plan and start saving well ahead on time. There are various ways of saving money for your kid’s college education, such as educational savings account, Education 529 plan, and UGMA/UTMA account.

If your child displays great ambitions at an early age, and is on their way to become a lawyer, an app developer or a doctor, for which they will need to take the Graduate Medical School Admissions Test (GAMSAT), as a parent, you need to be ready to support them with your investments in the best ways possible. It is important to invest in your children’s education to provide them the right grounding for their future careers. The earlier you start saving, the less you’ll need to save per month. Life can be demanding, and you have to be aware of the future cost of quality university education. There’s nothing more important to a parent than to cultivate their children’s talents and see them grow up to be strong and independent.

What you invest is not just money, but also time, patience, and energy. Give up on finding the right life-work balance. It may seem impossible to get everything done, but you just need to change your definition of what balance is. Be comfortable with changing directions frequently and quickly, and believe that everything will pay off in the end. Focus on the positives, like how your children are learning to be self-reliant and independent with you as their role model.

Learning To Let Go

“A BIG mess!” – Nikki, age 2

Before starting my new job I had the normal butterflies in my stomach as anyone would at the start of something new. My biggest worry wasn’t about how I was going to transition but how my daughter would be without me by her side during the day.

The Attachment and Fear

When you spend day in and day out with your little one it is natural to be attached to each other. There were days were I yearned for some “me time” and on the rare moments that I would get this time, I would feel incomplete without my toddler attached to my hip (she literally never leaves my side and when she does she is screaming, “Mommy”).  Now many of my immediate family members can attest to this as they have tried to take care of her but as soon as she notices that I have left the room, she starts to cry “Momma.” So you can say that I was really worried on how she was going to adjust without me.

Even though it was my mom who was going to care for her, it didn’t mean that the adjustment would be easy since Nikki hasn’t stayed with her for long periods of time. Now many people have asked me why I haven’t left Nikki with her grandmother and my answer is always the same to everyone who keeps asking. Before my mom retired, she worked full time and I know how hard her job was physically on her. She would get home after 5pm from work and I didn’t have the heart to leave my energetic toddler with my mom who was so exhausted from work. Then on the weekends is when we would designate family time as that was the only time we had with my husband so timing was difficult to find.

But I had to put all fear aside and just jump right in!

The Preparation

Even before getting confirmation of a job offer, I started the preparation. I did this by having conversations with Nikki on what was going to happen once grandma retired. Every day I would tell Nikki that soon Mommy had to go to work to make money for our family. I further explained that while I was at work, she would be with grandma who would be taking really good care of her. Then I would ask her, “Where is mommy going soon?” She would respond with, “Work Momma.” So I knew the message was getting across and thought that this could possibly help with the adjustment to grandma’s house.

The Big Day

The night before the big day, I prepared Nikki’s bag with everything that she may need on her first day. By doing this prep ahead of time made the morning a lot easier to navigate. My morning started at 6:30 AM and of course Nikki was fast asleep. As she enjoyed her beauty sleep, I got her dressed and ready for grandma’s house. She slowly started to wake up as I strapped her into her car seat and I whispered, “Today is the BIG day! Momma is going to work and you are going to have so much fun at grandma’s house.” She smiled and said ok.

I arrived at my mom’s house and a sleepy Nikki came to my lap and hugged me tight. We went inside and as I hugged her good-bye I said that I would be seeing her really soon. As I was about to leave, she grabbed onto me and said, “Love you Momma.” Heart melted at this point. Off I went!

After about eight hours I returned to pick up my little Nikki and as soon as I opened the door she screamed with excitement, “MOMMY!” After that she was stuck on me like glue and made sure I didn’t leave her side (hehe). My mom told me that she did great and had a lot of fun which was such a relief for me to hear. When I asked Nikki what she did at grandma’s house she said, “A BIG mess!” Got to give her points for her honesty!

The First  and Second Week

The first and second week had some bumps along the way where Nikki would cry as she wanted mommy but my mom was so great at distracting her with fun activities that it helped Nikki forget all about me. Nikki survived but my heart didn’t hearing her cry as I left for work. So you can say that Momma Braga had some emotional bumps along the road too. We are slowly learning to adjust and adapt to our new routine. It has been good in the sense that Nikki is adjusting well with grandma and the bumps have been trying to get a routine down that will work for our family.

The changes have disrupted Nikki’s sleep patterns (more than usual as she has always been a horrible sleeper since Day 1) dramatically as her naps have been really late which in turn has made bedtime much later than this working mom wants it to be. But it is what it is and we have to see what plan/routine will work for us. We just have to keep going and adjust as we go along the way.

Overall, I can’t complain as I am very fortunate to have my mom watch over my daughter while I help my family financially.

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The Love’s

I have loved the way my daughter gets excited to see me and the extra tight hugs that I get. I love how my daughter wants to talk on the phone with me. I love the daily reports that I get from my daughter on what she has done that day. I love the “I Love You” that she tells me every day. I love being able to work outside the home and contribute financially to my family.

So all these love’s outweigh the sleepless nights and I remind myself of that when the zombie feeling creeps in. The lesson here is that I learned to let go a little. I was my own obstacle in my fears as clearly my daughter was much more ready then I was. The adjusting is going to take some time and that is perfectly ok. We will continue taking it one day a time and enjoy this new adventure together.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

– Momma Braga
2017 Blogger of the Year by The Baby Spot

Momma Braga’s First Work Week

“The beauty of working in a brand new field and job, is the opportunity to learn in leaps!” – Momma Braga

It has always been in our family plans that I would go back to work one day as a second income in our household can help us financially breathe a little easier. With my mom’s retirement this month and with her plans to take care of my daughter. It was time for this momma to re-enter the workforce.

I have not been in the workforce for two and a half years since I had my daughter. At the time I did have employment which I unfortunately was laid off from prior to the end of my maternity leave. But I am a strong believer that everything happens for a reason.

During my two and half years I always stayed in touch with everyone that I knew as networking is so important in today’s world. I was fortunate enough that a few of my connections always mentioned that when I was ready to go back to work to let them know as they would have an opportunity for me.

So that is exactly what happened and I am so fortunate. I got a position as an Executive Assistant with a growing construction company in Toronto. This field is very different from my fundraising and social services background but that’s what makes this so intriguing to me!

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Most of my time we will be in the office doing the behind the scenes coordination and organizing with the daily everyday business. I am the owner’s right hand in ensuring that everything is getting done and in a timely fashion. There are many other pieces of my new job that I will slowly be learning and doing which makes each day feel exciting! I also have the opportunity to visit the sites to check in with our projects too. It is such a diverse role that appears to have been made just with me in mind. 🙂

My first week went well and I enjoyed every day of it. I guess when you really enjoy what you are doing, it makes the week go by really quickly.

I learned so much already such as linear and square footage; different types of trades and their responsibilities; invoicing; quoting; etc. There is so much more but it would make this blog post way too long to read! But you will have to tune in to Momma Braga to read about my progress in the construction world as I am sure there will be so much more this year!

I think my favorite part of my first work week was being able to visit some work sites and see what the skilled trades do (I also get to wear awesome safety boots which are super comfy! They sure beat wearing high heels for 8hrs). It is simply amazing the work that goes into making a home. Much respect to them who despite the weather are working hard to ensure that deadlines are being met.

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So week one is now complete with a lot of settling in, learning and just feeling great about myself. It really felt great to be working again and contributing financially to my family. Looking forward to seeing where this adventure takes me and to make my own mark in a whole new world!

Even though I will be working full-time and fulfilling my duties as a mom, I will still be here as Momma Braga. I am working on some exciting new articles and my next one is how my daughter has been transitioning from being with mommy 24/7 to being with grandma.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

– Momma Braga
The Baby Spot 2017 Blogger of the Year