Where Did September Go?

It’s October. Seriously, weren’t we just at the pool? Wasn’t I just doing back-to-school shopping? It’s pumpkin time. And you know what that means. Turkey day and then Christmas.

© Paul-andré Belle-isle - Dreamstime

© Paul-andré Belle-isle – Dreamstime

For me, September was gone in a flash. Freelance work-wise I like to think of it as The Great Recovery after a summer drought. Things picked up in a big way for me and went into overdrive.

I am grateful to have had several opportunities to combine my biggest passions: fun kids stuff, entrepreneurial/leadership material, writing and video.

To me, there is no better existence. (I have diverse interests you could say.) So, a little something for the kids, and a little something for mommy.

I did several science experiments at home with the boys and did a big article for Care.com.

oobleck

The boys loved playing with Oobleck (a slime-like substance that changes from a solid to a liquid) and creating “magic milk” by watching food coloring react with milk and dish liquid.

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Here’s a short video of the Magic Milk experiment:

Read the full post here: Kitchen Science: The 5 Best Science Experiments for Kids That’ll Blow Their Minds via Care.com

I also got to attend a mastermind session and a writing conference as a videographer with master leadership guru Ray Edwards, and I put together a video about what it means to be an entrepreneur. Watch that here:

God has put the most genuine, loving people on my path and for that I am grateful. I really get to do this thing.

I’ve also had several articles go up as of late, but I want to make sure that people don’t look at all of them and think, man she’s lucky that it’s all happening at once like that. Must be nice.

They might all be hitting at the same time, but make no mistake a ton of work went into getting every single project and article up. It’s a lot of spinning plates and a lot of behind-the-scenes pushing-a-boulder-up-a-hill, waiting for it to roll down while running a household.

It’ll roll down, but you have to work for it. How do I do it all? I almost never fold laundry.  That helps.

We’ve also made great strides to improve our health this month with healthier eating and exercise. I posted this Fitness Friday update to Facebook on where we’re at on Week 4. I’m down 8 pounds and my husband is down 13. Because of course. But we feel great.

September has also been busy with kid stuff. Lots of school and scout events, fall parties and my oldest proudly claims September as his “birthday month.” He gets September all to himself because everyone else in the house has a December birthday (not really very lucky actually.)

I made him a cake. It’s hard to find Digimon stuff so I ordered an edible image online to go on the cake. It came out beautifully with vibrant colors.

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But I couldn’t get the super-thin image to peel off of the backing, and I’m a competent baker. After trying several times, it started to wrinkle and tear in 3 places so I just cut neatly around the outside edges and slapped that sucker on top as is.

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It’s just like life. Sometimes you have to compromise and roll with the unexpected. He’s going to love it and that’s all that matters. It even has a sweet surprise inside, it’s strawberry cake with fresh strawberries between the layers. I think it’ll work.

So where did September go? It went to work, that’s where it went. 🙂 And I wouldn’t have it any other way. If you would like to see some of the other work I’ve published recently, I’ll share links below.

October is on track to be even busier.

I have a monster post coming up in the next few weeks. I’m nervous and excited all at the same time, but it’s really important subject matter that will make people stop and think. And that’s what it’s all about. That’s why I’m here.

So look out October! I’m plugging my nose and diving in. Stay tuned.

My other posts outside of RealHonestMom:

Having Kids Shows You Who You Really Married via Babble

Why You Should Have a Take Your Kid to Work Day (Even If You Hate Your Job!) via Guyvorce

Sit in the Driver’s Seat of Big Brutus in Kansas via TravelingMom.com

Kitchen Science: The 5 Best Science Experiments for Kids That’ll Blow Their Minds via Care.com

Why I Invite My Kids Into My Dream

I have been a stay-at-home-mom, I have worked outside the home, and now I work from home. There are pros and cons to every scenario, but regardless of where you are in life, it is so important to share your dreams and hearts desires with your kids, right where you are. Especially if you’re just getting started.

I worked in the fast-paced local news industry for 10 years before slowing down to be at home with the kids full time in 2013. I knew I wanted to be at home, but it was difficult to transition from a life that was very busy and structured, to a life with a very different pace and no income.

In those two years, I truthfully fought depression. In 2015, I decided that I needed to make a change. I wanted to continue my time at home, but I wanted to make an income with my gifts and life experience and my all-time hearts desire: writing. So I launched a freelance writing business from scratch.

I included my kids every step of the way. I told them what my dream was and how important it is to use our gifts when we grow up.

© Sebastiangh

© Sebastiangh

They are still young, ages 8 and 3, but they are plenty old enough to recognize when mom is happy and fulfilled. Which is a big difference from how I felt when they were a lot younger, which they hopefully won’t remember much. I functioned in the day-to-day, but I wasn’t living with passion.

No matter how you slice it, we are our children’s greatest example in life. That is both heartwarming and frightening, but we have the most influence in our children’s lives, and you can inspire them no matter where you are in accomplishing a dream.

In my opinion, the best place to start with them is at the bottom, when you’re starting to build something. And here’s why:

1. They Can Cheer You On

Kids are great at this. Anytime I have a win, I am enthusiastic when I share it with them, and we all clap and cheer and yell “Yay mommy!!!” and it’s the greatest feeling.

I keep a list of goals taped to the outside of the pantry door in the kitchen, and we cheer when I highlight another goal reached. Even my toddler knows that’s “mommy’s homework” and we all look forward to the yellow highlighter.

Even if you have a teenager that is less than enthused to hear it, it’s still important to show them. Deep down, they will hear you.

2. They Can See What You’re Working Towards

Dreams take time to achieve, and if you are working hard, invite them to sit next to you and see what you’re working on. I show my kids what I’m writing as it’s in progress, and after it’s published.

Take a break and spend a little quality time with them and ask them what they think about it or what they might want to achieve when they’re older, and truly listen. Their gifts might be different than yours. But get those gears grinding early.

3. They Feel Included in What’s Important to You

It means so much to a child to be included in what you’re doing. Our work lives take up a lot of our time. Even if it’s something they don’t grasp or understand in the moment, making them a part of it will mean a lot to them and is something they would always remember.

4. They See a Strong Female Climbing the Success Ladder

I’m not leaving you out, dads you certainly matter too. It’s important for kids to see either parent working hard to achieve success, but even more so for mom.

You can never have too many strong female role models. It’s also great for kids to see that you have another identity and other passions.

5. They Feel Encouraged to Chase Their Own Dreams

This is why I think it’s so important to include them in the drawing board stage. If they see a real-life example in their environment of someone that took nothing and made it something, they will know that there is a huge world of possibility out there when it’s their turn.

There has never been a better time to create an income based on your natural talents, and it just opens up the world and makes it bigger and brighter.

6. It Will Come Naturally to Support Their Own Family’s Dreams

Not only will they know that they can achieve great things, it will come naturally to them to support their spouse in the same arena. My husband has supported me every step of the way, and that is also another important example for kids to see.

It will also drive them to encourage their own children down the line and show them the ropes as they were shown when they were young. That’s a great legacy to leave with so many possibilities.

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I think I’ve found a great balance in working from home. I am here for my family, and I get to live in my gifts.

Mom gets to have a little something for herself now, and that makes all the difference. As I fill my own cup, I am able to positively fill theirs, and we all win.

I don’t know how far I will go up the success ladder, but I will tell you that having the support of my family is very empowering. They saw it happen from the very beginning. I’m passing on hope and possibility, and even if I never rise any higher than where I am now, in that I count myself a success.

Related posts:

How I Juggle Freelancing and Parenting (and Stay Motivated in the Process) via Horkey Handbook

How I Made $1200 Working Part Time as a Freelance Writer via Horkey Handbook

Failed New Year’s Goals

Well, it’s February.

I’m guessing that by now there are more parking spots at the gym, and a lot of fresh produce has probably found its way back onto the shelves at the grocery store.

Right around now is when people start slipping back into old habits and losing traction on new ones. It has happened to me too.

I know what it’s like to start retracting your head back into your safe, secure turtle shell as you start slipping on your goals.

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Life happens. Your child is sick so you can’t make it to the gym. The engine blew on the car, making you hyper aware of the cost of those healthier foods, so you start to scale back. Or something unexpected happens and puts life on hold.

Challenges make it hard to stick with what we intended.

But there is one particular New Year’s goal of mine that I don’t want to add to the “Failed” list. I think there’s a lot of value in public accountability, so I’ll share my progress…

I went to a party recently and I was congratulated many times on how well I’m doing with my writing ventures, and I took every single compliment.

I share my wins on Facebook anytime I get into a new publication or have written something I’m really proud of. And I post those victories because I’m working my ever loving ass off for them.

Anyone that has ever tried doing something from scratch knows all of the behind-the-scenes. It’s messy back there. Especially as a writer, because it’s 85% rejection. It’s hard to stick with it. So you better believe I’m posting victories on social media.

So from the outside, you might just see a highlight reel. But there’s a lot you don’t see.

You don’t see me writing for hours after the kids go to bed and before they wake up. You don’t see me pouring my heart into something and watching it get cast aside or ignored. (It’s not personal, it’s just a very competitive field.)

You don’t see me spending hours crafting something creative and meaningful and something that (in my mind) is a slam dunk, only to have it rejected, and then the very next day scroll through that publication and find an article about how to walk a cat on a leash (That really happened.)

You don’t see me sending out my writer’s resume 100 times a week and scouring leads, or jumping on job listings for writers soon after they’re posted, to try and get ahead and stand out amongst the hundreds of other freelancers that are doing the exact same thing.

You don’t see the fear of failure (and success) and the heartache. When you watch your peers get book deals and do better than you. When you want something so bad and you’re working so hard, and some days you just lay your head next to your laptop at the kitchen table in tears.

That’s what’s behind the curtain. That’s what’s behind the highlight reel. That’s why I celebrate wins.

I considered not telling anyone I was going to stretch into full time in case it failed. But too late, it’s go time, baby.

It’s early February and I’m still doing this. I want to lay on my death bed and smile deeply on the inside and out because I did it. I really went for it and I didn’t quit.

I’ll even tell you my goal for this month. My childcare costs are now $500 a month, so my goal is to make that back plus a thousand dollars profit. So $1500 for February. I am on track to do it and I’m working hard to beat it.

It’s scary to publicly declare your goals because then you feel the pressure to meet them.

But Audra, you write a parenting blog, what the heck does this have to do with parenting?

Well, it essentially has everything to do with parenting. Because the way a parent feels about themselves trickles down directly to their little people. When I use my gifts and really try, I feel really good about it. Like, spring-in-my-step good about it.

And even if I don’t make my goal, I’m out there trying, and I share my hopes and dreams with my kids so they see first hand how possible and how important it is to follow your passions. Believe me, this is not just for my benefit.

I feel like I literally looked down at the date and time, then looked up again and it was two weeks later. I apologize for my sporadic posts lately. I’m really working this.

So I hereby declare, this will not be another failed New Year’s goal. I’m forging full steam ahead, and if you have something in your heart, I really encourage you to do it too. It matters. And you can.

xoxo,

Audra Rogers
Professional Writer/Blogger

The Thing About Fear

By the time you read this, it will be 2016. A brand new, sparkling shiny year. A time for beautiful new beginnings and quite frankly, a time of fear for many.

I’m at home with my family right now, and it’s New Year’s Eve. My sons are gathered around my husband’s laptop and they are watching Star Wars videos on YouTube. The rockin’, bashin’ New Years Eve something-or-other is on the television in the background.

I am sitting here with the tap-tap-tapping of the keyboard, wondering aloud what is just around the bend in the new year. I am waving the white flag, and I am scared.

I am taking a big leap of faith. I am investing in full-time childcare for my youngest, and I’m taking the plunge into freelance writing full-time.

I will need to make enough to cover the cost of the monthly tuition, plus a lot more to be profitable. I have safety net money in a savings account, just in case.

© Craig Ikegami

© Craig Ikegami

But a favorite old friend of mine has stopped by to visit (or camp out on my head), which I think is the case with a great many of us trying something new this year: Fear.

It is something that I’m used to navigating now, so it isn’t so intimidating. But it’s always there in some form. Fear. Fear of failure, fear of success. Fear of mediocrity.

Though failing is hard and very trying on the mind (and soul), I think it’s sort of the easy part. If you fail at something, you can run back to your old comfort zone and hide out at a level you were at before and regroup. Comfort zones, I can handle.

I have a lot more of a fear of success. It’s a good problem to have, no doubt. But there are a lot of things that go along with it that concern me.

What if I reach success? Then what? Would I ever be able to top it? What if it changes me? Would I still be able to make sound decisions and respect the boundaries I have in place for myself and my family? What if it gets to a point where it becomes more about money than writing?

What if it goes beyond my wildest dreams? Am I ready for that? Will I be a good leader? Will I truly believe it? Will I forget my why? Will I become a target? What if I lose relationships because of success? Will people think that I think I’m better than they are? (Rest assured on that one, friends. I definitely don’t think I’m better than you.)

Writing full time is my dream. I’m doing this. It’s what I’m made to do, and I cannot be swayed. But I think doubt naturally starts to creep in when we enter new territory.

I think that’s what fear is. Stepping out into the unknown. There are so many variables that could change your course dramatically. But the thing about fear is… what if those changes are for the better?

I took a personality test once. I tested very high in critical thinking, and very low in liking surprises. So I am essentially stepping out into the entrepreneurial world not liking surprises. Oh, the irony.

But the things we don’t like grow us, don’t they?

I’m doing it, regardless. It may seem like the natural progression of things, as I have found success in writing part time. But it isn’t easy for me.

Something I saw a few days ago really drove the point home for me. I was having lunch at a small cafe, and I could see a cemetery close by. There was a graveside service happening under two tents and I couldn’t stop watching.

I’m not morbid and I don’t pleasure in anyone’s pain. But I kept thinking about the person laying in the casket. Did they do everything they wanted? Did they sit on the sidelines because they were scared? Or at the end, did they sit on their deathbed satisfied, knowing that they did all they could, using their gifts in life? I don’t want to have regrets.

I think being vulnerable and humble and pointing out fears is a nice way of disarming them. And I plan to tell those fears that they have a reasonable place, but they can also just shut up already so I can get some work done.

Is there something you want to do but you’re scared of doing it? Stick your toe in the water. Even just a little bit. It’s probably cold. But what if it takes you an amazing place?

Happy New Year.