posts in mom life

10 Essentials for the Work at Home Mom

Work at home must haves

{DisclosureThis is a sponsored post. I have been compensated for my time. All statements and opinions are my own. This post may also contain affiliate links.}

I've been working at home for a long time.

To be exact, I've been working at home since 2004, whether I was running my cleaning business, working for an employer, or doing what I do now - blogging and working as a social media manager.

Obviously, not all jobs require the same tools. 

As a cleaning business owner, I had to keep a lot of customer files, whereas as a call center employee I did not. Therefore, one job required a file cabinet and the other didn't.

No matter what work at home position I've held, there are a few things I've needed for all of them. These are my suggestions for any work at home mom.

Weekly Wrap-Up: The Week Found a New Home

new house

This is something I've kept under my hat for a while, but I've been looking to move.

Housing in my area has become unaffordable, to say the least. Experts claim the country is experiencing an affordable housing crisis because millennials, unlike generations past, aren't purchasing homes. 

They're just renting indefinitely.

The result is sky-high rental rates. At least that's the case in the Orlando-Daytona area, where I currently live.

Weekly Wrap-Up: The Week We Had a Hurricane and I Announced I'll Be a Grandma Again

new grandchildren

The Beatles Movie #TheBeatlesEightDaysAWeek

It's been a couple of weeks since my last wrap-up (or any posts at all). I have good reasons though. A little guest named Hurricane Matthew visited us.

So I'm actually wrapping up two weeks.

Although our Beatlemania week was a joyful time for the family, the following weekend was crazy-busy making preparations for Matthew. Fortunately, we went to Orlando, as well always do during these storms, to a friend's apartment.

Weekly Wrap-Up: The Week We Had a Beatlemania Experience and I Dyed My Hair Blue

Jacksonville, FL, USA

The Beatles Eight Days a Week #TheBeatlesEightDaysaWeek
The Beatles Movie #TheBeatlesEightDaysAWeek

I haven't written a weekly wrap-up in about a year. Seriously, I really need to do them more often - like maybe weekly - because I often want to write about what's going on in our lives, but don't want to bore you with my daily activities.

Yes, I need to just wrap up once a week to fill my own need to document our story. After all, this is the perfect place for my mom blogging.

I Am That Mom - The One You Can't Pigeonhole

pigeon on bird house

Reading this blog, you probably think you know a bit about the type of mom I am. (Fill in the blank here for whatever conclusion you've come to).

I used to run a mommy group online. It was a group about natural mothering (read: crunchy parenting). I'm sure those moms think they know the kind of mom I am. Crunchy, right? Total free-range mom!

My friends probably think I'm the no-nonsense mom. Conservative mom?

And my family. Surely they have assumptions (and opinions) on the way I do things. Too unconventional? 

They are all correct. And all incorrect.

The fact is: Only my kids really know the kind of mom I am.

I Am That Mom - The One You Can't Pigeonhole

{This post may contain affiliate links.}
pigeon and birdhouse

I am a crunchy mom.

I am that homebirthing, cloth diapering, baby wearing, breastfeeding, co-sleeping, attachment parenting, all natural mom who looks toward nature and natural medicine.

I believe in old-fashioned, simple living. I believe that traditional ways are the best ways. I believe kids should be kids.

But I'm not a free-range mom.

While I am 100% crunchy granola mom, I am not a free-range parent.

I do believe in letting kids be kids. I also believe in letting nature take it's course. I also believe we're imperfect humans and kids are, by nature, imperfect. They can't be left to their own devices any more than adults can.

All humans need an authority. God, parents, or whoever else that authority or chain of command may be, we need rules and regulations.

I'm not insulting free-range parents. Don't get me wrong. No doubt each of them has their own style, just as each homeschooling family has theirs.

But judging by my free-range friends and acquaintances, I don't fit the mold.

My daughter says, "You're the laid back, fun mom. You're also the dont-gimme-no-lip-do-it-NOW mom."

She's right.

I'm traditional in my beliefs.

I believe in traditional family roles. I believe in no dating until adulthood (and only chaperoned at that time). Teens don't date. Husband working. Mom raising and homeschooling kids. Yadda, yadda, yadda.

But I am an independent, single mom.

I am a self-employed woman and have raised five kids on my own for the most part. 

I do not date. I don't need - or even want - a husband or a boyfriend. (File romantic relations under #aintnobodygottimefodat.) 

My situation is what it is and I'm happy being who I am.

I prefer screen-free living.

As stated, I prefer all things natural. The great outdoors is where they should be, soaking up all nature has to offer. TVs and other screens should not be the focus in their day. 

In fact, until 2012, they lived without screens. (see my screen-free living tips and ideas)

But screens are where I work.

I blog. I work as a social media manager and brand ambassador. To others, it may seem like I live on screens! 

But I don't. 
  • I don't use my phone while traveling around town on errands.
  • Except to post a photo to my Instagram, I don't use social media while doing activities with my kids. 
  • I don't use my phone while socializing with other people.
  • I have certain times/days I perform certain tasks online. Then I continue with my regular life.
It's about balance and not letting screens dominate my world. In other words, I'm paying attention to my kids and enjoying life in the moment rather than scrolling through my FB feed.

I love learning.

I enjoy soaking up all the information I can on any topic that sparks an interest. I can research a topic endlessly, taking breaks only to pee. 

Food? What's that!

Seriously, I can do the most tedious tasks without a break (I taught myself web design for no good reason other than I wanted to know.) 

There is no limit to the amount of time I will spend learning something.

But I am not a nerd. I'm a geek.

While I am a bit of a brainiac, I fall under the category of geek, not nerd.

Yes. There's a difference. 

Geek and Nerd. I could create a venn diagram, but I'm not nerdy enough to bother. Even though I share some traits of a nerd, I definitely lean toward the geek side of things.

Guess what I'm doing today. #geeks #whovians #ocalacomiccon
Posted by The Heart of Michelle on Saturday, June 28, 2014

I do enjoy learning, but I'm not all about academics. I research things madly, but only topics I'm interested in at the moment. 

That could be an academic subject or it could be dogs.

I love Star Trek. I stay on top of all the latest information about social media. I love Hunger Games and going to cons (like Khaotic Con, and AWACon). I'm a geek.

A few highlights from our geekend in Atlanta!#awacon #cosplayers
Posted by The Heart of Michelle on Sunday, September 27, 2015

Want to the know the difference? Check out this infographic.

I don't fit a mom type.

I could probably go on with this list of what I am but what I am not. The point is I can't be typed as a mom. I fit into plenty of categories, and yet I don't fit into any.

I'm like Claire Huxtable crossed with Lorelai Gilmore - with a dash of Roseanne.

How about you? Are you a certain type of mom?

Do you ever feel like that mom?
So do the bloggers at iHomeschool Network.
Click the image below to read more!

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Dear Mom Who Puts Things Off for the Perfect Time

Dear Mom Who Puts Things Off for the Perfect Time

Dear Mom Who Puts Things off for the Perfect Time,

You know who you are. 

You're the mom who waits for all her ducks to be in a row before taking action. You have many plans, many of them unfinished, and most never even started. 

You want better for your kids. 
You want better for your marriage, your house, your career, and everything else. 
want better, but nothing ever seems to get better, does it? 

For you, there is always an excuse for putting things off.

How eMeals Saves Me Time and Money

As a single mom, I'm all about saving money and time. As a person, I just hate meal planning. eMeals solves both problems. #frugalliving #mealplanning

How eMeals Saves Me Time and Money

{This post may contain affiliate links.}

I recently found myself irritated with how much time I spend in the kitchen. I only cook from scratch, but I don't always feel like spending half of the day focused on the process.

I also detest menu planning. I am always on the hunt for new recipes or menu ideas, trying to never serve the same thing within a two-week period. 

That takes time. A lot of time. 

By the time I gather all the ideas (including vegetarian recipes for Alexis), organize them into the menu, and create the shopping list, I've lost a lot of time better spent on other things.

I have resolved both problems with eMeals.

Mind you, I tried eMeals in 2009. While I enjoyed the concept, it didn't work for me at the time because the "classic" foods being offered on the menu simply didn't work for us. I'm southern and we just eat differently here. So I left eMeals behind.

Last month I gave emails a second look and I'm so glad I did.

How the eMeals App Saves Time

I no longer have to hunt for recipes. Each week a menu, complete with grocery list, is delivered to my email. I do save these menus to my computer, but I'm not big on printing, especially if there may be meals I want to skip.

Enter the eMeals app.

The app is the perfect solution for me!

30+ Awesome Gift Ideas for Geeks

Find the perfect gift for that geek in your life with this gift idea guide from

As the matriarch of a geek family, I'm often looking for great neat fandom gifts. Whether it's for a homeschool graduation party or some other event or non-event (because the best gifts are the random ones).

Here is my list of over 30 gift ideas for the geeks in your life.

I May Be a Single Homeschooling Mama, But I'm No Supermom

I'm no super mom

"I'm in awe of all you do!"

"Wow! I don't know how you do it all. You're awesome!"

People say things like this to me all the time. Because I work, homeschool and am a single mom of special needs kids, people are impressed. 

Now, I'm not saying I don't enjoy the boost of confidence from compliments. I do. Feel free to keep them coming.;-) But I also want you to know I'm not a Supermom. 

I want you to know that because I don't want you to doubt yourself.

It's easy for readers to look at mom bloggers and formulate conclusions based on our blogs. We can look so put together. 

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