2,556 Days


400563_2734156908558_1507688759_n
Minutes Old! 

Late in the afternoon, one cold December day, back in 2011, Daddy and I finally got to meet you for the first time.  Up until that day, I could only imagine what you would look like. For months, images of your face circled my mind. Would you be tall? Would you have lots of hair? Would it be dark or blond? What would we name you? Would you like your name, is it cool enough for the awesome kid you’d grow up to be? Up until that point, I had only felt you move–wiggling and hiccuping. I’d also seen your features via a black and white ultrasound photo.  You were just this growing “baby A” and we couldn’t wait to be your parents.

You asked me tonight, as I tucked you in and sang your nighttime songs, for the last time as a 6-year-old, to tell you about the day you were born.  So I did, as I have done many nights and birthdays before. Daddy showed you pictures of your first minutes of life, you asked me if I was scared. As your parent, I sincerely try not to lie to you.  I’d rather be honest and teach you than to be dishonest and come up with a creative tale. So I said, “Yes.” I was scared, and that was the truth.

Truth be told, I am still scared. Everyday. I think that goes with being a parent, being your Mom.

You are insanely smart–like, in a year, you will far surpass my sub-par math skills. Okay, I’m lying–you already have. Jokes, aside, the scared, the worry in me only changes.  You’re about a head shy of being taller than me. How will I still pick you up and carry you when you fall? How will I teach you, when you actually surpass my skill level in math? So, yes, little man I was scared! I was scared, I wouldn’t feed you enough, I was scared I would feed you too much, I was scared you’d get hurt, that you wouldn’t sleep enough, I was scared I wouldn’t be able to help you when you caught a cold. I was scared you’d poop in the bath or puke on me (you’ve saved all those joyous nights for daddy) I was scared I’d miss your “firsts.” I am still scared, 7 years later– every day.

I’m not naive, I know that being scared as a parent kinda comes with the job–and I’m certainly 100% on board for the challenge but can we slow down a little? I went to sleep yesterday with an infant in my arms, you fit between my hand and my elbow. I was able to cradle you against my body with one had. I blinked and life, your life, our lives fast forwarded 2,556 days. You’re 7.

Always, know my little man, that Daddy and I will always be scared–but we’ll learn to adapt as you get bigger.  Continue to embrace and love reading, practice spelling, excel in math–you certainly are smarter than I could have ever imagined you’d be at 7.  Keep working on your stickhandling, hockey positioning and love for skating and playing your favorite game, hockey. Keep running, climbing and testing limits. I love that you and daddy have a mutual love for every sport, video games and ridiculous shows on the history channel.   I love that you still, want to snuggle with me every morning and read and sing together every night. Continue to test what you can do–continue to scare daddy and I. It’s what kids do best and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Happy Birthday, Little Man…You may not be getting a million dollars, a puppy, a cell phone or a computer for your birthday, but Daddy and I will give you everything else in the world that you could ever wish for.

XOXO,

Mama

Makeup Free and Top Knot Tight

I’m having a moment, a pinch-me moment.  You know the kind, where you’re not sure how you got here and is it for real? I legit live my life in yoga pants, typically with my hair up in some type of top knot style, most days make up free. I like to think I have a style, I certainly can put myself together when it matters most and have a love-hate relationship with my two favorite stores.  The love of it is, I can usually always find something, the hate of it is, I can usually always find something.

About a month ago, I submitted a piece of my writing to a blog that empowers women who work.  Let me rephrase, a blog that empowers moms who work and are making it work.  Here is a little snip of my story.

“I love working, I love my job. I honestly, don’t think I could ever give up working to some extent.  I love having something that is mine, something outside of being a mother that brings me purpose.”

Does that sound like you? Does my story resonate with you? Do you want to read more? Check out my post over at The Chaotic Commute.  Follow @thechaoticcommute on Facebook & Instagram and join them on the #ChaoticCommute through life! #momalliance

-Amy

An Open Letter to My Best Friend After She Died

Let me start by saying I wrote this piece in June as a submission to PopSugar, an online global media a tech company.  They, unfortunately, did not select my writing for publication. However, while it was being reviewed I couldn’t have it out on any other websites.

Dear Best Friend,

Life certainly threw us a curve ball when you got sick. Benching our happy life plans for a moment. I said I would be there for you. To make you laugh, bring you cupcakes, to shop at our favorite clothing store and bring you gifts. To never judge your decisions or tell you what to do or what doctor to see. I said I would be there for your husband and daughter when you were too sick to care for them. I would always hold your hand and make you smile.

We both fell in love with our high school sweethearts, we were married two months apart and our bridesmaids wore the same dresses but in different colors. We made plans. We made big plans to celebrate our 40th Birthdays and our 10 year wedding anniversaries to travel the world together with our husbands. To plant our summertime flowers, to decorate our houses to raise our children together. To drink wine, lots of wine. We made big plans to laugh, we made big plans to get through life’s toughest moments together. We had plans to stay friends forever. I said I would be there for you always, as your best friend and confidant.

Life certainly threw us a wrecking ball when you died. Smashing our happy life plans into a million pieces. I said I would be there for you, always. I said I would be there for your husband and daughter. I hope, I am doing okay. Without you by my side. I am left to figure out how to navigate life as a wife and a mother without you–who else just knows what I am thinking. We held back nothing from one another.

I am here, with a mind of unsaid words and lists of plans that we will never be able to do together.
My friend, we had the privilege of 18 years together and during your fight with breast cancer, we were lucky to celebrate your time on earth twice. Your strength and determination to fight and stay positive as the ugly cancer overtook your body. I can honestly say, I have never seen you so tough. There were times when you just wanted to be in bed, you were so tired, but you would say, “I am going to get in bed and cry and tomorrow I will get up and fight again.” You appeared so brave. We never spoke of the what-ifs–even though I know you were thinking about them. You left your high school sweetheart and a beautiful little girl. It pains me that she will never get to know you, to know what an amazing mother to her you were for the three years you had together. You carried those thoughts alone.

You were a girl I knew since elementary school–you had the brightest smile.
You were a girl I worked with for two years–before we decided we liked each other.
You were a friend for years–before we were roommates.
You were my best friend for 18 years and I will speak of you only in the highest regards all the days of my life.

Thank you for being my very best friend.
I love you and cherish our friendship more than you will ever know.

-Amy

37 Days

I think I’m doing a pretty good job of being strong.  I’m a wife, a mother, a daughter, a friend and an employee.  I have to get through the days and I have been doing just that. I’ve wanted to write and post more about the loss of my best friend, Meg, but I didn’t want to taint the mission of my blog, which was to live life and ultimately achieve happiness. Certainly, my readers would be tired of the tears and as hard as it is to sometimes discuss, death is part of life.  A friend shared with me today, when I was discussing my concern over my post topics with her, said, “happiness isn’t static, there are always going to be ebbs and flows.” She encouraged me to continue with my post–and understood my need for sharing my feelings with a virtual community. “Maybe your post will help one person, maybe it will help two, maybe it will help hundreds but at the end of the day, writing and posting will certainly help you.”

–So grab a tissue, or two–

Written: January 21, 2018, Posted January 24, 2018

To Meg:

It’s been 37 days since I lost you. Since you left this earth for heaven. Is that where you are? Not a day goes by that I don’t think about you and as days do they have continued to go on.

Do you know what? The fear that I had, that fear that I wouldn’t know how to navigate life without you–it is still ever so present, except the fear is masked–the fear is hidden behind my smile, inside my head, inside the lie of “I’m doing okay,” which is what I tell others when they ask, “how I am?”  I thought for a moment that the fear was subsiding. That my grief of losing you was getting easier each day, it wasn’t getting easier it was just getting pushed down as life was creeping back in.  


The worst thing about death is just that, death. It’s final, there is no undoing. For the living, those that have loved and lost, we have to move forward. For us, the minutes and hours keep coming. They don’t stop just because we’re grieving.

I’ve had to move forward one minute, one hour, one day, one week at a time. Since as we know, even when someone dies, the moon rises and falls each day, the world still turns and rotates around the sun. We have to get up every day and cross things off our personal to-do lists. In my life, the past 37 days have been busy, I haven’t had time to fully process the loss of you. How do you do that when you have to be present in life?

Life continues, birthdays come, holidays come, the year ends, a new year begins, new jobs are started, school begins again, sports start again, carpools, playdates, work trips, personal trips, manicures, eyebrow waxing, grocery shopping, tv, date nights, target runs–the daily grind.

I tried to add in some happiness, a staycation in the city for NYE,  Tot Shabbat and Ice Skating with your family, date nights with hubby, and family game nights.  Caleb lost his third tooth and I majorly #momfailed the tooth fairy game. The joy of every day is slowing creeping its way in and I am welcoming it with open arms. But, as quickly as the good comes in, is as quickly as it went out. More death and sadness loomed for our family as hubby’s uncle passed away suddenly, as did my mother’s best friend. I was thrust back to the cemetery where we buried you just 35 days before, and to face head on that attending a funeral for a dear friend of my mother’s and our family, who also lost her battle to cancer, was just too soon.

In a few days, I’ll be celebrating my birthday. It will be the first one in at least ten + years that we won’t celebrate together.  That I won’t get a call from you.  That we won’t go out for a girls night. That you won’t post one of your photo collages on my Facebook Page.  

This, unfortunately, is life. This is the dirty, ugly side of life that people don’t talk about or post about on Facebook. This is real. This is the reality. So I write this message on the 37th day, saying the things that people don’t talk about. I promise I’m not sad all the time. Caleb and hubby need me, they need to see me healing and happy. I pray that 37 days from now, life will begin to feel a bit more balanced and maybe just maybe a bit more magical.

XOXO,

Amy

You’re Six!

Dear Caleb,

Today is your birthday. You’re six! HOW?? did that happen? It seems like just yesterday daddy and I were going to the hospital to get ready to meet you.  You were a week overdue and you were perfectly happy staying warm in my tummy. I have to remind myself that day wasn’t yesterday it was six years ago, six years!

You sometimes wake up before me now.  Something that has started to happen more over the last few months. You used to always jump in bed with Daddy and I, do something silly (or annoying) to wake us up.  When you were smaller you needed us to turn on the TV, now you can do that all yourself. How independent you’ve become. Morning snuggles have turned into IPAD arguments to turn off YouTube, and calm quiet mornings have turned into the hustle to get you out the door for Kindergarten. I miss those silly, annoying moments. I miss the morning snuggles.

This morning at breakfast you told me to throw your last official spill-proof sippy cup in the garbage.  You said you’re too big for that now.  I obliged.

I’m not totally and completely sad for you to be six. You look the same as you did yesterday, except today you show your age with an additional finger on a new hand. I think that you are the most awesome kid, I think that you are even more awesome than when you were five or even three.  You can do more now, you can understand more now and you are certainly way more fun now.

You have two adult teeth and a wiggly one, you love to play basketball and are on the brink of mastering dribbling between and around your legs, you’re obsessed with hockey and working so hard to master the art of stopping, you play goalie like a boss.  You can’t get enough of your hot wheels, Magna tiles and play stix, racing and building the most interesting designs.  You are a master artist, reader, and mathematician.  You’re so smart, so silly and like to wiggle your butt every chance you get.  You love your stuffed animals and find comfort in having every animal in your bed.  You chase after your kittens but call them your sisters even if they only let you catch them every once in awhile.  You really are the best thing that daddy and I have ever done. You love us fiercely, your friends and your family too. Everyone that meets you thinks that you are just the best.  

Happy Birthday Baby Boy, My sparky, My Baby, My Shmaleb, My C, May you accomplish everything you want in life, and may you one day follow your dream to invent a shot that doesn’t hurt.     

I love you,

Mama

For Hire: One New Best Friend

I’m so angry with you my friend. I don’t even know where to begin. So I’ll start where I think that it all went bad.  I’ll remember that day for the rest of my life. It was August 29th.  I was away, on a road trip with my family and you had the audacity to text me that you missed me and made me feel bad that I wasn’t there to get dinner with you. That I was the one who was in the wrong because I went on a driving trip for 10 days with my parents.  Then to make matters worse, you texted me with some startling news. Why did you want to ruin my trip with something important? Something I had to start focusing on the minute you told me. Why couldn’t it wait to be discussed until I was home, It was only a few more days until I returned. So yes, I’m certain, that’s where we started to go bad.

I certainly didn’t tell you that I was upset at you when I returned.  It wouldn’t have changed the outcome. The next few weeks seemed regular. We shared our days, as usual, typical day to day discussions, not speaking of our text conversation while I was away.  You told me you were seeing our doctor.  Then you called me to yell.  You were so angry that the doctor, with whom I loved, wronged you.  The doctor who didn’t read your chart before she called you and broke your news in a not so professional manner. I was astounded! How could you be voicing such negative feelings for someone who was just trying to help you?  To give you the courtesy “heads up”  that something was wrong.

And that’s when it really went bad.  That’s when the next 17 months became all about YOU!

Here is best friend, in black and white, the reasons that I am mad at you.

  1. You are selfish: It’s always about you.  I have to check in every day with you, to see how you are doing.  You never return the favor.  What kind of one-sided friendship do we have here?
  2. You are just a roller coaster of emotions: One minute you’re up, the other you’re down. I can’t keep up.  Pick a feeling and go for it!  It may be liberating.
  3. Vanity: You felt the need to have body work done,  I don’t get it.  You are beautiful as you are.  Your smile lights up a room.  Why you felt the need to shave your head and change your body is beyond me.  Can we also talk about your need to wear hats? It’s like the ladies we’d make fun of all the time who wore sunglasses indoors–take off your hat.  You shaved your head, now show the world your handy work.
  4. Communication: We used to talk on the phone, we used to spend hours together just being silly. Now you’re too tired to even text.  Some of us also need a friend.  See #1
  5. You left me: What did I do to deserve you abandoning me? Our friendship? The moment that life took a turn for the worse you vanished.  Did you think it would help me if you weren’t there for me? You didn’t teach me how to get through life’s everyday moments without you.

The top five things above, best friend applicant who is considering applying for the job, are things not to do.  It’s really hard work and frankly, draining to be mad at a friend.  So if we can stick to the tasks below on what I’m looking for in a new best friend, that would be appreciative.  Oh, and best friend, if you’re reading this from wherever you are, just remember what you’re giving up by leaving.

  1. Someone that won’t be selfish:  Even in your worst days, you found the light.  You’d say, “I’m going to get in bed and cry and tomorrow I’ll get up and fight again.” That is something I need in a friend.  Someone that will Rise Up. To rise up to the challenges that life throws our way. To be strong. To not let one bad day define you.
  2. Show your feelings: I need to be able to read you, like to know what’s in your head so you don’t even need to tell me.  I need to be able to tell you my secrets, things that I can’t tell anyone else.  You need to be able to do the same. We need to have jokes and laughter between us about those feelings.
  3. Vanity: You need to be able to be yourself with me.  Not to be scared to show me your war wounds. To trust that I’ll love you with or without makeup, with one-boob, a clean house and above all, having your shit together.
  4. Talk to me, talk with me, and listen to each other:  I have a ton of grand plans and I need my supportive friend to talk me down when I’m proposing something crazy or to lift me up when you see me on the brink of greatness.  To trust that at the end of the day, I’ll be there for you.  We’ll be there for each other. To just sit and have wine and talk about nothing, to speak about everything.  Judgment free zone.
  5. Don’t ever leave me:  I recently lost my best friend and my world shattered into a million pieces.  I don’t know how to navigate life without her by my side and I need someone new that can show me the way.  

 I don’t know why best friend, that shitty things happen to good people, but I’m so mad at you for going away. I’m grateful for my friendship with you, but right now I am just so angry. I hope to one day rise above the tears and the sadness and to heal from how you’ve wronged me by leaving in the prime of your life.  You left a million things undone and unsaid.  It’s not like you not to try to have everything in its place, to organize chaos, to tidy things that you could control.

Don’t worry my best friend, you’re not replaceable. You had big feet and an even bigger heart. I’ll never find someone to fill your huge shoes. I can’t just walk down the street and find someone like you. I’ll never find someone to get through the teenage angst, to get through our quarter-life crisis with again. To grow together from young silly girls to young silly women. To be mother’s together and navigate raising a young child again.  I’ll never find someone that loved their partner as much as we individually love ours–since we were girls.  

My best friend, we’ve been together for 18 years or “Chai”. In Hebrew, Chai is literally translated to mean “life” and to those of us who believe in the teachings of our faith, we are guided by general principles kindness, thoughtfulness, selflessness and remaining good natured, both morally and ethically during life on Earth. My best friend, those general life principals sum you right up. It may sound cliche, but you were so kind, that even the last day I saw you alive, you told me I looked skinny.  Over the years we’ve certainly gained life’s weight and you knew what I needed to hear before you left me.    

So for now, if you’ll accept that I’m angry and upset with you for leaving me, for letting that ridiculous cancer take the best parts of you from this earth, then I’ll call off the search for a new best friend. It was silly of me to think I’d ever find someone to replace the bond that we built. It was silly of me to think I could ever replace you.

 

Rest peacefully my dearest friend, under the shade of a tall tall tree.  

I love you.

 

GETTING BACK AT IT

My sister, Julie, called me up the other day, a typical occurrence now that we’re all back to our regularly scheduled programming, and shared that I must listen to this podcast.  “Podcast?” I asked— She was pleasantly surprised that I didn’t listen to podcasts.  I didn’t really give them much thought, to be honest, my social circle doesn’t discuss the podcasts they listen to, which is odd now that I think of it since the more I bring up this podcast, the more my friends all tell me that they LOVE podcasts! Julie says, “You should listen to this one episode from the “The Lady Gang, it’s all about social media, and I think you’d get a lot out of it.” “Cool, I respond. I’ll be sure to check it out.”  Sure enough, after a number episodes, a few additions to who I follow on Instagram, a couple downloaded recommended photo editing apps later, I’m hooked on “The Lady Gang”.

The most recent guest was Hillary Kerr, owner and founder of Who, What, Wear and countless other brands—a self-made #ladyboss, she knocked my proverbial socks off.  This was an insightful hour—I started my blog and website in the Fall of 2016. I wrote 5 blogs and then…it was the death of my blog–cue death theme song here. My best friend was diagnosed with breast cancer, I was juggling two social media clients and pitching others in between carpools and playdates, taking marketing courses at DePaul at night—I was left with ZERO time.  Life legit took over, and at the end of the day, or the end of the few hours I had alone each day, I was more focused on the companies that were keeping my closet stocked with the latest from Evereve and weekly manicures than my #sidehustle.  Hillary shared during this episode that for anyone looking to become a #ladyboss, “you must treat your side-hustle with the same energy as a full hustle.”  This my friends and/or two or three readers will be my ultimate goal this year.

To be honest, I think I’m almost killing it at my marketing company gig.  I’m down to one awesome client, which over the past year has evolved from just social media with a side of marketing to additional hours and a crazy amount of opportunity to help them grow their brand.  Not only am I the little boss of their Facebook and Instagram pages, I also took over as the first responder for all the leads that come in.  Something that I was hesitant to undertake because I really wasn’t interested in selling again; however, super excited that I did, because I’ve witnessed firsthand that the changes I’ve helped to weave into the company’s processes have led to increased new home contracts.  #winning

I set off last year to start my blog, sign 4 clients and, continue my happiness journey. Well shit happens, I let my blog lapse, I signed two clients that consumed my child free time and continued to be happy. Today I have one amazing client, that wants me to work for them exclusively, a restarted blog and smiles.  I’ll take this as a major career win and steps in the right direction to reach my goals.  I’m off to focus on my #sidehustle and figure out what’s next. For my readers out there, it’s never too late to get back at it. Whatever getting back at it means.  Sometimes all it takes is listening to an empowering woman to knock you back into orbit.  What do you want to get back at? It doesn’t have to be a work-related goal, it could be getting up earlier, being more patient with your spouse and/or kids, cooking dinner one more night a week.  Whatever your goal—reach for it. GET BACK AT IT!

 

Comment below on your how you’re going to get back at it, favorite podcast or happy thoughts about winning at life!

 

XO,

Amy

Peanuts, Pilgrims and a Mayflower Ship

Before I embarked on my new journey to self discovery and happiness, I worked full time. When Caleb was little and I was at the start up, I was awake, out of the house and on the train headed to Chicago before he woke up.  Luckily with the help of my husband he was able to tackle mornings.  I treasured my nights with Caleb and it gave me something to look forward to all day.

When he was really little, night time was the bewitching hour.  It wasn’t always easy to get him to bed.  Nonetheless, as Caleb got older bedtime became easier with our nightly routine and this time was always Mama time. If it is a shower night, our nightly routine would start here. If it is not, we tend to play a bit later than we should. We work our way up to his bedroom, sometimes still playing. Usually it takes a race where I lose to get up stairs. He loves music and reading and sometimes before bed we break out into a little dance party, other times it is an extra story.  His mind starts to shut down and that’s when my favorite part of the day comes alive.

Have your kids discovered Peanuts?  Last year we took Caleb to see the new Peanuts movie and he has been obsessed with Charlie Brown and the rest of the Peanuts gang ever since.  With the holidays upon us, old Peanuts movies have come to life again for us to enjoy with our kids.  Around Thanksgiving, one of the TV stations played,  A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving  and Caleb learned about the Mayflower.  Do you know how hard it is to talk about the English Separatists (Pilgrims) coming to America on the Mayflower Ship to an almost 5 year old?  He learned about this from Charlie Brown.  I am thankful for this because now we have a new interest but geez…I have to pull up Wikipedia to answer his questions.  You know, he still thinks I know everything.  I better enjoy this while I can.  I digress, what does this have to do with bedtime. So the other night he was in the shower and I was trying to multi-task by putting away laundry and all he wanted to do was talk about the Mayflower ship and the people coming to America. “Mama! He would yell, did you know that people got sick on the ship? ” I’d respond. ” Mama! He would yell, did you know that the waves were really big and came on the ship? Why do the waves come on the ship in the ocean? How did they get so big? ” <—-Mind you this has now detoured to a topic about weather and water currents. This lasted almost until he got in bed where he wanted to watch some videos about the Mayflower ship but changed his mind last minute to read a story. (good choice kid.)

Ending 1:

So Bedtime is my favorite time of the day because after the silliness, the stories and the snuggles we tend to get a bit serious.  He and I have great conversations before bed. When his mind is relaxed and open for discussion.  I on the other hand, curse myself for not paying more attention in history class and copying off my best friend in science class.  Tell your kids now to pay attention in school because maybe they won’t need this stuff for a job but they will need it when their kids are preschoolers and their favorite question to ask is WHY?

Ending 2:

So Bedtime is my favorite time because this kid is finally going to be asleep; and man, he is so cute when he is sleeping and still<—- Yep! I think that too. But in all honesty, I love bedtime because it brings out a different side to my kid that I don’t get to see all day because his mind is going 100 miles an hour the other 11 hours he is awake.  My advice, for what is worth, is slow down and take time to listen to your kid(s) thoughts, if you don’t do it already.  It’s pretty amazing the way they see and process the world around them. You too may find a new love for bedtime, just for a different reason.

Signed a Mama who is ready for a WHY free day, (Just Kidding)

-Amy

Setting Intention

This morning I went to Hot Power Yoga.  If you have ever taken a Yoga class you’ll know the instructor typically starts class by suggesting you set an intention for your day’s yoga practice.  I typically attend Yoga to relax, to help stretch my body from more aggressive workouts and for exercise. Without thinking about it, my intention for class is typically for my body to feel better.  Today was different, when the instructor asked us to set our intentions for class I didn’t have a reason different from the norm, so she actually offered a suggested intention which was to put myself first.  For the rest of class I did just that. I thought about myself, my strength, my balance, my purpose and what I want for myself in that moment and for future moments.  I needed today’s class to bring me back to my balance.  As it has gotten lost with the hustle of life.

My Yoga practice today is no different than my new journey.  To be mindful of putting myself and my needs first.  It’s really hard to do, put your needs first.  Some may judge my situation and think I am being selfish.  That while putting myself first, I am not leading my family-taking care of the needs of my husband and son.   I disagree, by putting myself first and taking care of me–I can be a better wife and mother.  I can be proud of my choices and what I am starting to build for myself. I believe that you put out into the universe what you’d like to get back. I think I am starting to see the positive energy circulating back in the form of new business relationships and happiness at home.

I invite you to take a moment and set your intention for the day.  What would you do for yourself to make a small change in your lifestyle, the way you think? Do you think a small shift in an intention can eventually  lead you down a different more true-to-you path? Take my instructors intention, focus on you and maybe being present in the moment is just what you need for a little re-boot.

Namaste,

Amy

 

 

 

Happiness Journey

I write today to share a part of my happiness journey.  Before I do, I must provide a shout out to my amazing and supportive Hubby. Without him, I wouldn’t have had the ability to leave my past job to start working at uncovering my dreams. It is with his hard work and dedication to Caleb and I that I can work to fulfill my dreams of entrepreneurship or being a mamapreneur (more about this later).

On October 24, 2016, I completed the first of many integrated communications courses that I am taking over the next year. Since I left the startup job in 2014, I knew I wanted to go back to school. It has been a long-time goal of mine to continue to enrich my mind in the world of online marketing and communications. I was lucky to discover that DePaul University offered a certificate program through their continuing education business school, the topics of which are totally in my wheelhouse of what I was looking to study.  The best part about them, aside from a night off from mama duties, is I choose the courses that interest me and there is no course work, just a final project.

certificate-practical

My website and blog, was my final project for my first course, practical internet marketing. I presented my work to my classmates and received a certificate!  I learned so much during that course not only from my instructor but from my classmates as well.

In fact, a few classes ago, we were discussing blogs and I shared with a classmate what I wanted my blog to be about—and she gave me the idea that no matter the title—I should include happiness in it and so Life, Kids & the Pursuit of Happiness was born.

Today, I spend my days juggling motherhood, playdates and driving my son to his activities, building my personal brand and identity as well as providing marketing coordination for a couple of small business owners.  To be honest, being a stay at home budding mamapreneur parent is not easy, it has been a stressful transition for me—someone who has been working full time for so many years to suddenly not have that full time professional outlet, where I am in the throes of client meetings and endless emails.  I miss (a little bit) having people to respond to as soon as I wake up and see the red circle count of emails on my phone.  I miss (a little bit) having conference calls and proposals due.

I wouldn’t change my situation; I enjoy getting Caleb off to school and picking him up a few days a week. I am lucky Caleb has an amazing Grammie who has dedicated every Monday to caring for him and wonderful support system of friends who I can count on too for the drop off playdate!  I enjoy that Caleb is happy to have his mama at his activities and to watch him interact with his friends at playdates but I think I was a better mom, when I was working full time.  How many parents out there get to the end of the day and by end of the day I mean 4 or 5 o’clock and just want to hide from your kid(s)? By the end of the day, he is exhausted and I am exhausted from the endless nagging and reminders of being a good listener, to wash his hands and overall trying to teach him to be a good tiny human. Let’s be honest, I am only entering month four of being a stay at home budding mamapreneur and I am sure as we develop a better routine it will be easier as time goes on. I constantly think about how much more patient I was when I had almost full time help and I had my head focused on both my son and my work.  I wanted the best of both worlds and I sure got it!

To bring this post back—I am happy—90% happy, maybe 89%. But, I am working my way towards that goal of feeling settled with my SAHM status, relationship with my husband and budding marketing consulting business.  Fulfilling bucket list items of continuing my education and focusing on ME, taking one day at a time. If you could relate to one thing in my post, then I feel accomplished at my goal of providing some relief or inspiration on your personal journey.  Over the next few weeks, I’ll connect with other stay at home budding mamapreneurs in my community. It’s actually going to be an ongoing theme in my blog. Come along with us to learn about their highs and lows to their life of managing their families and their personal businesses. Above all, providing each woman with a place to have a sense of self and balance of raising their children and fulfilling personal dreams. You’ve uncovered a supportive community at Life Kids and the Pursuit of Happiness. I am happy to have you along for my journey.

Yours in Happiness,

Amy