Tag Archives: parenting

How to Manage It All

I guess it is safe to say that I am a blogger. (I mean, I have a few years of blogging experience now so I think that qualifies me to say that I am a blogger.) However, when I started this process I had no idea how much time and effort it would take to maintain it all. I did not take into account the amount of time that I actually had to devote to writing. I seriously thought that because writing is like drinking water to me, that it would be easy.

I had no clue what I was getting myself into. I did not start blogging to become the next big celebrity blogger. I don’t even like attention like that so becoming famous was the farthest thing from my mind. I came into blogging with the idea that I was simply sharing my thoughts with others. More than anything I wanted to help people move through life with as much free knowledge as possible. I blog about real life and give real reflections so that others can learn from some of the things that I have experienced. I feel that some lessons can be learned vicariously.

Again, I was not anticipating turning my blog into a business. I just wanted a place to lay my words. Within my first year of blogging, I did not do any serious research about the process and what it entails. I was still oblivious to the fact that you could earn money blogging. My life started to shift and I actually took a couple of years off from it. When I came back to it, I wanted to do it differently. As I learned more about blogging, I learned how easy it is to convert my blog into a business. During this process, I also learned about time management in a new way.

I knew that I wanted to share my thoughts about various experiences and spread knowledge at the same time. I did not think about creating a plan to accomplish this feat. I figured I would just write as things happened. I soon realized that operating this way is not conducive to the blog I envisioned. I had to create a method in the midst of my madness.

I began researching plug-ins, automation, and content mapping. I wanted to know how to make this as easy as possible. Especially since I still have to be mommy to my three little people. All of this was overwhelming, to say the least. This is also when I learned a great deal of information about scheduling meals, daily activities, and even downtime.

The importance of planning was revealed. I had to designate writing time in order to post as frequently as I wanted to. In addition to that, I had to learn how to schedule my post so that they would post without me having to sit and write every single time that I wanted to share something. At first, I was still a bit ambitious and wanted to post long post 2-3 times a week. I later scaled back to 1-2 post per week. Each blogger has to decide they posting schedule. Checking analytics for my blog helps me decide which days and times are most popular to post.

When it comes to being a mommy, I will never get out of doing what needs to be done for them. I started making them individual frozen meals so that they can simply warm up some delicious home cooked food even while I am wearing my writer hat and preparing my posts. They like to eat quick meals, so I started making them their own version of “canned pasta”. I also include them in my planning so that they are aware of which days are devoted to writing. I make sure that they have engaging activities to occupy their minds.

Just as I had to schedule a time to write, cook, and prepare a post, I also have to schedule exercise and down time. I even have to schedule a time to mingle with friends and family. Scheduling and planning are a major portion of blogging and that was the part of my life that was still in disarray when I became a blogger. I was all over the place and all I knew was writing. That was it.

Although I have learned a lot of the course of the last few years in relation to blogging, I am certain that I will continue to learn more. I am looking forward to sharing my lessons along the way.

What are some important lessons that you have learned while blogging?

Dealing With a Deadbeat

There are so many women that struggle daily to provide for their children. Many of them struggle because they have children with a man who is a deadbeat dad. All men do not strive to be an absent father. However, there are some that are skilled at being absent and eliminating their parental responsibility. Some even go as far as to benefit from children that they are not involved with. As a single mother, I have had my share of experiences in dealing with a deadbeat. As a result, I feel that the knowledge that I have gained should be shared to help other women, and possibly men.

When discussing a deadbeat, we first have to define what we mean by that. Basically, it means that there is a parent that does not provide for or interact with the child. There are many parents in the world that walk away from their offspring with no remorse. There are some that are kept away for safety reasons as well. Nevertheless, some parents choose to be absent.

In my situation, the father of my children decided that he did not want anything to do with them after we agreed to end our marriage. This is baffling. The children were not the reason that the relationship ended. I will never understand how a person can walk away from their children. In any event, it happens.

As the mother, we are expected to keep it together no matter what. If the father decides that he wants to move on with his life and forget that the children exist, he is able to do so. The father is only held to the financial responsibility of caring for the child in most situations. When that is not even being done, what is a mother supposed to do? She is expected to smile, grind, hustle, be a lady, be a mother, be a woman, hold it down, and keep it together without complaining or crying.

The woman, in most cases, is the custodial parent. The woman has to adjust constantly to the demands of the children and the situation. Some women feel that they are mommy and daddy so they do not need anyone to help them take care of their children. Some women feel like they will do whatever needs to be done to provide for their children regardless of what they get. Some women feel like they have a mixture of the two all while they are still struggling. Women fight hard to keep their nose above water when raising children alone. Regardless of how successful that woman is, she should not have to accept or be content with raising children alone without the help of their father.

In the event that you are a single parent dealing with a deadbeat, I wanted to give you a few tips that I have learned along the way. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask. I would love to help eliminate as much of the stress as I can or at least provide some direction towards elimination.

Valuable tips

Intercepting Taxes – In the event that the non-custodial (NCP) parent is in arrears, when they file taxes the IRS will interrupt the payment and put money towards the arrears. It could take anywhere from 30 up to 120 days to receive the payment. However, if that NCP is in bankruptcy at the time, the child support agency will return the money to them. Regular payments cannot be included in the bankruptcy, but involuntary payments cannot be made on their behalf either. If they are married, their spouse can stop the interception by filing a claim stating that the debt is not theirs and they do not want to be responsible for it.
Disability – If the NCP files a disability claim, any involuntary payments that could be made to the custodial parent (CP) are not paid. No action can be taken on a child support case while there is a pending disability claim.
VA – If the NCP is a Veteran, it is possible that they could file for VA benefits as well. In the event that they file for disability benefits and have proof that they are the biological parent of the children, they will receive benefits for all biological children in the award. As the custodial parent, you will have to file an apportionment claim to get the funds sent directly to the children that are being claimed. It could take multiple months to receive a decision. It is also possible that they could deny your claim because it does not benefit the NCP.
Congress – In order to get claims expedited with VA, the CP will need to write to their local Congress person. They will follow-up on behalf of the CP to see if VA can process the apportionment claim faster. This is the only way to get a claim processed faster. This process could still take months.
Felony – If the NCP has arrears of over $10,000 it is considered a felony. In most cases local lawyers will not attempt to help with this, if you want to have it looked in to, due to the fact that it is a federal matter. Many lawyers are less inclined to work on this and more inclined to work with you on the child enforcement side.
Assistance – In the event that times get so hard for the CP and they receive government assistance, the child support payments could be affected. If the CP receives temporary assistance for needy families, they will only receive a portion of any child support payments that are submitted while they are receiving assistance. They will only receive that portion, IF the NCP is in arrears. Otherwise, they will not receive child support while also receiving this government assistance. Even if the assistance is less the child support amount. Food stamps are not typically affected. However, receiving food stamps could increase the amount of time that you have before you can file for a modification.

I hope that this information opens the eyes of any parent that is struggling to make it and those that are opting out of involved parenting. Either way, you are not alone. There is help available. I understand that everyone’s situation and circumstances are different, but the knowledge is universal. The more that we are educated, the more we are equipped to deal with various issues. If you have additional information, please share your experience.

The ‘talk’ begins

A few days ago my son asked me, “Mom, where do babies come from?” In that second I was instantly warped to the moment that most parents dread. I was also hoping that my answer would be sufficient. I told him that they come from their mother. I have no idea why I thought that would be enough but I tried it. He did not let go that easy and asked for more insight.

I told him that I would be more than happy to let him read about it and answer any questions that he has and he reluctantly said. “ok, fine.” The next day came and he asked to read the literature that I have on where babies come from. I was not thinking that he would be ready to read it that fast and I was not prepared with the literature. So I told him that I would get it to him.

I went online after taking all the kids to school the following morning and researched the best ways to tell kids where babies come from. Most of the information was about the type of approaches that work best for various age groups. Some information discussed the time that is best to have ‘the talk’ with the child.

Since this is the year that I will have 3 pre-teens I think we will need to have a group discussion. I complied some information for them to read and for us to discuss. I went through my psychology books, websites, and videos to get as much detailed information as I could. I wanted them to be able to read and know that what I am telling them is more than just ‘mom talk’.

I am thinking that this approach will work well for us….we shall see…

Less is not always more

There are times when people test the good will and good nature of others. A person that is sweet, kind, gentle, giving, caring, loving, etc. often gets taken for granted and mistreated. It is so difficult to see these type of people treated in a manner that is less than what they deserve. I have been on the receiving end of poor treatment plenty of times. It is not a place that I like to be. I do not care to have my good deeds and good intentions misguided or misrepresented. Genuine people are so often made out to be less than that.

It frustrates me when people seek to take advantage of good people. There are so many women in the world that would love to have the father of their child or children play an active role in the lives of the child/children. Fathers are leaving mothers to do the work of both parents with no remorse. There are women that leave and force the father to play multiple roles in the child’s life as well. Either way, it is not what was intended for us.

Then you have women that seek to kill and destroy the men that are not interested in being in a relationship with the mother and the child simultaneously. The man can be a father to the child without being a lover to the woman. It is not fair to the children that we bring into this world to neglect their needs and their rights to have both parents. The parents do not need to be together to be great parents. It is ideal to have both in the household, but with today’s society that is not always the case nor is it always an option.

Doing good is an effort that goes unacknowledged and unrewarded more times than not. It is amazing to see people help one another with no expectation of reciprocity. Random acts of kindness change the day of the person that encounters it. Be influential in the lives of others by sharing the good. We must continue to live a life full of courtesy, respect, dignity, and genuine care for others. Once we lose that, we lose who we were made to be.