Posts Tagged ‘motherhood’

Investing in My Children’s Future with #UFundDreams

I partnered with Fidelity & MEFA in support of the U.Fund Dreams Tour. As always, all opinions are my own #UFundDreams.

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It’s hard to believe that 2016 is almost over and that I’m only seven weeks away from my due date! This pregnancy has been anything but smooth sailing and has me incredibly eager to meet baby! To the dismay of many family and friends we aren’t finding out the gender this time, which is a bit unusual for me since I don’t like surprises! Like many expecting parents, the arrival of another baby has me over the moon excited, nervous and a bit overwhelmed. Babies are wonderful little creatures but there is a ton to plan and prepare for and now that we’re in the final stretch I’m anxious to get everything in order before he/she makes their arrival. What’s weighing heavy on my mind these days? Money and savings. How to make the most of what we’re bringing in and investing in our children’s future so we when we say sky is the limit, we truly mean it.

Being a parent for 11 years (!!) now I’ve navigated saving for the future a few different ways and as life changed my methods have too. One thing is for sure, I could do a better job! And with another baby on the way, it’s imperative I create a solid savings plan and stick to it. But, as many of us know, it’s easier said than done. There are unexpected expenses, medical expenses and everything in between that can deplete a comfortable savings account in no time. This has happened to me multiple times and I’ve often felt like a deer in headlights, unsure of what to do, where to invest and how best to leverage my income. It can be a lonely road and my little money tree in my kitchen windowsill just isn’t cutting it!

With one baby due in February and another in fifth grade college really isn’t that far away. Man, I think I just fainted thinking about my baby and future baby entering college! I’ve joked with my daughter that wherever she plans to go, I’ll be right there with her! Not that I don’t trust she will excel and make smart decisions, but because letting go is hard, and I suck at it. Part of equipping my children for success starts with building a solid foundation for them to go out into the world and become whomever they dream of becoming. For my daughter, these days that means a singer, rockstar, chef and veterinarian. And I’m her biggest cheerleader and remind her daily of her greatness.

So whether I have $5 or $100 I’m saving it. And that’s the key – start saving! The Massachusetts Educational Financial Authority (MEFA) agrees with this sentiment. The earlier parents and guardians can start saving pennies and dollars toward higher education, the less families have to be burdened by paying back student loans and worrying about how to afford the many expenses associated with college. Will it be easy? Define easy! But, we’re not alone in the journey and there are countless other families wondering the same questions we have – how to save on a limited income? How much do I need to save? What is the cost of college in state? I need help! I am so there. Think of MEFA as a helping hand and resource for you and your family as you navigate savings. You don’t have to do this alone! With their support you can create a customized plan based on your needs, that’s right, there is no one size fits all plan with MEFA. You create a plan that makes sense for YOU and your circumstances. That way you can ensure your success. Just one small step today makes all the difference in the future.



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The Rain Won’t Last: Picking Yourself Up When You Feel Broken #loveurself

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I’ve been the skilled captain of my own seemingly sinking ship for as long as I can remember. Expertly navigating through one storm after another without completely falling apart, but taking in more water than I’d like, moving slower and growing more tired. I’ve felt like life was a storm I could never pass – that I was forever stuck under a dark cloud feeling like happiness was only found in the movies or for people who deserved it. I didn’t think I deserved it; I was too broken, too fucked up. I thought my daughter’s smile and free spirit could save me from drowning under my mistakes and ridiculously high expectations of myself. I had to be great, amazing even, and I wasn’t living up to the woman I wanted to be, and therefore I was a failure. A complete failure, stuck in the rain.

My whole life I’ve been resilient, I don’t think I’ve had an option to be any different. I’ve had to be a strong and independent woman often without a tribe to lean on during my darkest days. I’ve had a difficult relationship with my mother and my estranged father passed away a month ago bringing to light many childhood feelings I’ve worked so hard to store away. I’ve struggled knowing my worth and thinking I could achieve anything worthwhile, trying hard to define success for myself as a woman and a mother. Guilty that my role as a mother just wasn’t enough to fulfill and nourish my soul. As I’ve gone through one storm after the next I’ve repeatedly asked myself: what will I become? What will I become? I’m often too scared to make a change and have tiptoed around my life worried I was just going to make more of a mess of everything.

All of this doubt and fear has left me emotionally drained and socially isolated wanting nothing more than to put a do-not-disturb sign on my door and lay in bed. Still. Hoping if I did so life would be OK and I’d dodge another storm. Worried if I faced another storm I wouldn’t survive.

I’ve tried hard to cover up my unhappiness with an empty smile and simple conversation. I’m the Queen of deflection. But last Friday someone saw through the façade and saw I was hurting more than I was able to process. I felt exposed, I felt naked. But more than anything I felt relieved. Holding all these emotions in has consumed me, and I was finally able to breathe and be OK with knowing that I’m not OK right now, that I need help. And that started me becoming truthful to myself and those closest to me. I was so afraid to be anything less than stellar, but in the process I was killing myself.

I’ve spent entirely way too much time beating myself up over decisions I should have made and mistakes I regret, telling myself that my life wasn’t going to change. I wasn’t worth it. No wonder I wasn’t on my way to finding happiness, I was literally talking myself out of it. In the midst of the rain I was crying and not moving, sure that nothing good was going to come.

The first step in feeling better and moving forward is being honest with yourself. This often means acknowledging you need help and that you aren’t OK. As someone who has suffered from depression I know it’s easy to sit back and let your emotions consume you. But this isn’t the legacy I want to leave for myself or my daughter. I know happiness isn’t something that is going to happen overnight and I have to learn to accept that there will be more storms, but I will overcome. I have come so far already to give up now. But I can’t go along this journey alone so I’m seeking out help to be a better person, to me. I owe myself that much.

So let the rain fall, accept it’s time in your life. But sail forward. You’re worth it.

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Loving My Mother Though The Hurt

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I have always been slightly confused and jealous of friends who have functional relationships with their parents. I grew up without my father around and watched a severely depressed woman raise four children in fear. Her children were supposed to obey her and be polite. Over and over in my childhood I heard people tell my mother how well behaved her children were because we used our manners, didn’t talk loud and called our Mother ‘ma’am.’ We were the kids on the block that were called inside before it got dark and were always put together. We were beat with a belt or fists when we did something that she didn’t approve of…like the time I asked a friend’s mom at school for money for an ice cream. First she flung me across the room, then she made me return the money. All my mother wanted to do was be a mom, one would think she would have showered her kids with love – I would have grown up a different woman if that was the case.

I wish the memories I had as a child were ones that included our family going to the park, doing arts and crafts together or in the kitchen baking. Didn’t you have a good childhood? my friends and daughter ask. Did I? What I remember is my mother giving me my first bloody nose. I remember her leaving me a birthday gift on my bed and telling me she was at her boyfriend’s house. I remember her being at her boyfriend’s house. I remember a quiet empty house. I remember being alone in a suburban town and feeling like an outsider. I never did discuss with my mother how I felt, how sad I was growing up because in our house we didn’t talk about our feelings. It’s no wonder I have such communication issues in my love life.

So I shouldn’t have been surprised that she got annoyed when I asked her to drive me and my two-day-old daughter home from the hospital nine years ago. I shouldn’t have been surprised that as soon as I laid my newborn daughter in her crib I heard the front door slam, her truck start and zoom off to her boyfriend’s house. I shouldn’t have been surprised that the first night at home with my daughter my mother decided to be at her boyfriend’s house.

Read the rest of “Loving My Mother Though The Hurt” over on The Young Mommy Life.



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