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    You’re Doing It Wrong: What Mother’s REALLY Want For Mother’s Day

    I remember when my brother and I were kids and our mom would always tell us that she didn’t want anything for Mother’s Day. Not listening, we would always gift her with some piece of jewelry she never wore, some gadget she never used, or some book about how awesome of a mother she was that I never saw her read. Now as a mother and wife, I get it. Nothing is exactly what we want.

    Prior to retiring from corporate America, I was spent–literally. I woke up, got my eldest daughter ready. Nursed the baby. Got her ready. Made sure my husband was up so he could get bottles together for day care. Try and grab a shower while reviewing my mental checklist for things like show-n-tell and ballet and bills and more. After getting them out the house I would rush to work and spend my day catering to the needs of clients, co-workers, managers. I would then pick the girls up, take them to do some kind of activity, make dinner, feed them, bathe them, give the eldest to my husband and do our bed time routine of nursing, fighting with diaper changes, etc. After that was completed… OK, well you get my point. When this is your every day, the one day that you get honoring you for all that you do you literally want to spend it doing nothing.

    Ready to give the mom in your life what they really want? Read more at www.thecrunchymommy.com

    If you’re a man reading this, take heed to the following and if you’re a mom, pass this on to someone who is celebrating your motherhood (I got you!).

    How do you give someone nothing? Here are some suggestions:

    • Let her sleep in. Once the kids wake up, grab them up and take them out for breakfast, an adventure to a bounce house, something. And when you come back, have coffee (or tea) in hand along with a delicious breakfast. Deliver it to her along with the remote and let her enjoy watching her trashy reality shows on Hulu.
    • Treat her to the spa. In Atlanta we have Jeju where you can spend 24 hours there for $25. This is a favorite among my friends and I. And if we’re being totally honest (which I am), I’m actually fine going by myself and sleeping all day in different rooms. But let her go and have the day to herself. Reassure her that you and the kids will be fine. Send her the occasional picture message of you guys doing something silly.
    • Drop the kids off somewhere and pamper her. My husband gives me the best nurturing in the world. He’s also one of the people that I enjoy most in the world. I love hearing his thoughts on things, listening to his laugh, seeing him smile. I love when he can just hold me or we can just be husband and wife uninterrupted. My favorite thing is him rubbing my feet. Cater to your wife or child’s mother and make her feel like “she’s the only girl in the world”. Yes–RIhanna was on to something!
    • Clean the house or have it cleaned. I recently had our house cleaned for the first time and it’s truly wonderful! Having your home cleaned allows her to focus on other things that matter and relieves so much stress while allowing her to do nothing in a clean space.

    Being a mom is wonderful. It is. I love it. But on Mother’s Day, there’s a pretty big consensus that the gift we want is a break from the job that we love most. That and a red Keurig.

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    Welcome to the World Livvy!!!

    This beautiful little girl was brought into the world a couple of days ago. This quilt she’s wrapped in was made by yours truly.

    As a mom of two, I’ve always been rather particular about what I put my girls in–especially going home from the hospital. It’s just something that’s in us moms to be particular about. So when her aunt asked me to make her first niece a quilt I was honored. She just sent me this picture and this is Livvy heading home in the quilt. I’m so moved!

    Welcome to the world baby girl! Many blessings!

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    DietBet: Tony Horton’s Game

    Those who know me know that I’m the very definition of a gadget girl. I love exploring new apps, new toys to play with, and anything that will help me shed this baby weight (my waistline has been replaced with an equator). One of the new apps that I had discovered while I was still working was DietBet.

    There are two timeframes that you can bet on–6 months or 28 days. I’m not sure how much weight you have to lose in the 6 month games but in the 28 day games you have to lose 10% of your body weight. There’s a buy-in for each game. Some of the fees are as low as $20 and some as high as $150. Why the fee? Everyone who loses the 10% shares the pot. Yes, money. It’s paid out via PayPal.

    Why DietBet?

    A higher rate of success with weightloss. Studies have shown this people who do things as a group when losing weight are more successful because of the accountability piece. This has yet to be true for me but I’m interested to see how it will work out because I’m super competitive. The aspect of virtually doing it with a group is appealing as well given my lifestyle.

    There’s a potential to make money. Yes, I’ve left my job but not because we’re balling out of control. Financially, emotionally, mentally it just makes more sense for me to stay home. But that also means any chance I get to bring in some more income is certainly welcome.

    Because I need help. This is probably the hardest to admit because in truth, I love working out and being healthy. The transition from one to two children has been more taxing on my energy than I anticipated and I need some help getting back to where I was.

    I’m excited! The game that I chose starts tomorrow and I’m ready to get it on and poppin!!!!! 

    Want to join me? Click here!

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    Chasing My Dreams

    “Mommy, can I work for you when I grow up?”

    This was one of the greatest compliments I’ve yet to receive and it came from my mini last week while we shopped for fabrics to create some of my products. It’s also one of the reasons I’m leaving my job in corporate America.

    Since graduating college, I’ve worked as a teacher, claims adjuster/supervisor, HR generalist, meeting manager/conference planner, banker, bank manager, account manager, business analyst, and operations specialist. I’ve encountered overt racism, being passed over because of my eclectic nature, layoff, boredom and insane confusion as to why I’m hustling hard for others in positions that don’t utilize my strengths and they reap all the benefits. Instead of enduring it anymore while my girls are essentially raised by someone else, I’m chucking my deuces and staying home with my babies to build my own business.

     

    I’m a little sad. Literally a little though. Throughout college and grad school I had the visions of me in some posh corner office doing something important making a lot of money. My reality is a perspective that was shared with me by one of my Spelman sisters: why continue to hustle hard for them when I can do it for myself and make more money doing what I WANT to do? This makes so much sense to me. But letting go of my vision of the sleek business woman was a little difficult.

    My definition of success has changed. Not only has becoming a mother made me softer (thugs cry too), but random trips to Italy to go shoe shopping on a whim are no longer part of my definition of success (ok, maybe a little bit). I’m a mom of two little girls I love with all my heart and a wife to the most wonderful man in the world. Making a home for them IS part of my definition. Leaving a legacy for them is also part of this.


    I don’t believe in being hypocritical. I always tell mini to chase her dreams and that she can be whatever she wanted to be. I want her to know that even the sky is the limit for her. But children see your actions and that’s what they follow–not your words. I want her to be great and walk with the confidence that she can do anything and everything. So that means I have to set the example. I can’t tell her to dream big when I’m over here settling for a check and complacency.

    I’m tired of being basic and ready to be great. Let me be completely honest–I don’t matter at my job. My job doesn’t have any great impact on the greater welfare of the world. I’m not inspiring or helping anyone. It’s basic. I’m over it and ready to accomplish great things. I want to help and inspire and train and do more and be bigger–on my terms.


    That’s what The Crunchy Mommy is for me. This is my platform to do what I want to do to help and inspire others. Being able to go full time with this and my family means the world to me. I have so many ideas and want to do so much. By the time my girls are old enough, there will be jobs for them if they want them. For the first time in my life my thinking isn’t “but what if I fail”.

    All I can think about is flying!

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    6 Family-Friendly Benefits Companies Need to Offer

    I remember in the early 2000’s where companies were focusing on work/life balance. I had joined corporate America but honestly, at this time this didn’t really matter to me. I was single and fresh out of college. Having trouble adjusting to life out of school, my only concerns were making money and spending it and that was my work/life balance.

    But now that I’m a mom of two and wife, work/life balance looks very different for me and I think most of corporate America is failing at it. With the number of women in the workforce being comparable to the number of men, you would think that some of the policies would change so that balance could exist but nope, there’s still much work to do. If I were a CEO attempting to show my employees that there happiness and balance is important to me, here are 6 benefits that I would offer:

    1. Family Time Off

    I feel like this one is a no brainer. Most of us have loved ones whose care we’re somewhat responsible for. Whether it’s an older parent, grandparent, or child, there are times that we have to take off to take care of them. Just this year alone, I had to take time off to care for abc with a stomach bug and double ear infection. Mini didn’t get her annual birthday sickness from Mother Nature so she’s been good. But then I got sick. By the time that I got sick, I’d gone through a good amount of my time off. So that means I had to come to work not feeling well. Now that I’ve gone through all of my time off caring for others and one day to get myself together, I have no more time left for vacation. I’m sure I’m not the only person this has happened to and it’s left me feeling tired and burnt out at work and home. Companies need to allot certain hours to take care of our families. This way we’re more present during the day for our work and we’re able to still take time off to refresh.

    2. Childcare Program

    When I worked from Wells Fargo Bank, there was a childcare network with Bright Horizons. We would get discounted back up care for $10/day if something happened with our normal day care. This was a great benefit and took a lot of the stress out of finding someplace for mini to go when I had to work if her normal care was closed. I think this needs to be a benefit that all companies offer. My friend’s wife’s company actually has a day care by their building that is affiliated with the company and offers them childcare at a way discounted rate. This is also something to consider. Either one of these options would make new moms and dads more comfortable in returning to work. I mentioned this to my CEO after telling him my last day was coming up because paying for childcare just didn’t make sense financially. Let’s hope he considers this.

    3. Better Insurance

    I can barely calculate the amount of money that I spent last year on healthcare. Between paying for prenatal care and delivery and the normal stuff with having a child, I was left wondering what I was paying for out of my check. It would be nice to have good insurance that didn’t cost my entire paycheck and then some.

    4. Paternity Leave

    And I mean paid—like Maternity Leave. I think it’s necessary for father’s to bond with their babies as well. I felt bad when my husband had to go back to work so soon after abc was born. I bond with her during our nursing relationship and snuggles and such. I spent 11 weeks home with her. We bonded. But with the hubs being at work all the time and doing a lot with mini, he didn’t really get a chance to bond with abc early on. Plus, I know I would have loved the help around the house.

    5. Merit Increases That Were More Than Just Cost of Living Increases

    The last time I checked, the annual rate of inflation was 4%. The last couple of “raises” I’ve received were 3%–not even cost of living. But these were supposedly merit increases for a job well done. L This needs to be better especially since in most cases companies are having 1 person do the job of 2-3 people.

    6. Better Flextime/Telecommute Policies

    I don’t work in a customer-facing role yet I’m still required to come into work. Both my co-workers and I feel like this is definitely counterproductive. They have to pay more for us being in the office than if we worked from home. And yes, our jobs can be worked from home. Working from home would free up the funds that I’m having to pay for daycare. As would flextime. Again, because I’m not in a customer-facing role and it’s rare that I have things to do that can only be done during 9-5, a lot of my work can be completed in off-peak hours.

    I think that these benefits are important. Maybe if these were employed, I would stay in corporate a little longer—but probably not. What additional family-friendly benefits do you think companies need to offer?

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    I Appreciate You

    The hubs and are getting ready to conclude our first year of marriage. In this first year of marriage we’ve had a new baby and have been parenting our 5 year old daughter. He’s gotten a new job. I’ve started a new business. Needless to say our first year is nothing short of transitional. We generally don’t fight or argue. Disagreements are rare. But he puts up with a lot and I appreciate him.

    Right now i’m having a serious insecurity trip about my body. When I stepped on the scale at the doctors office when getting checked out, the numbers seriously disappointed me. If i wasn’t already in tons of physical pain, I probably would have burst into tears on the spot. I feel huge. Fluffy. Pretty, but there’s a lot more of me to prettify now. My clothes don’t fit. My list of critiques are seemingly endless.

    But all my husband sees is me being beautiful.

    I appreciate how he doesn’t do double takes at other women.

    I’m not so insecure that I think he’d cheat but I’m sure that if I caught my husband who’s eyes i wanted to keep on me looking elsewhere, that sting would feel more like a California forest fire. But he doesn’t look. He doesn’t even seem to see other women.

    I appreciate how he always looks at me as if it were his first time seeing me.

    I’ve never seen him look at anyone the way he looks at me. Sure, he tells me i’m beautiful. He tells me he loves me just the way I am. He tells me a lot but the most telling thing to me is the look in his eyes when he sees me get out the shower. Or when he’s watching me with our girls. Or just period. It’s as if his eyes were only meant for me.

    I appreciate how no matter how much I beat up on myself, highlight all my imperfections am hard on myself, he disregards what I see and continues to see me through his lens.

    He doesn’t seem to care if my waistline returns from vacationing in Cabo or not. He still loves me in dresses and skirts and heels. He thinks I’m beautiful in the morning when I smell like sleep or the evening when I smell of milk and baby.

    It’s not easy being a new mom and wife but it certainly can’t be easy supporting that woman. And he is my rock on all levels so I certainly appreciate him. He is warm, kind, loving, and caring in the midst of all that he’s dealing with as well.

    The relationship between a husband and wife is sacred and should be held close to the heart daily. Anniversaries, holidays, birthdays, etc., are all great days to celebrate and appreciate your love the best day is today.

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