Saturday, October 10, 2009

Teenage Daughters

Oh Boy!! Living with Teens can be the most daunting but rewarding era as a Mum. In fact I feel like I live in a combat zone filled with snipers…..never knowing where the next shot will come from.

Lets start with 12 yrs of age. OMG! The hormones start and life as we know it…….ends. For instance, my daughter. She’s 12 and a half. For the last 6 months I have been the carer of a shrieking, temper tantrum chucking, disrespectful, wilful girl who acts like she’s 16 going on 20 yrs. I say I’m the carer because I’m certain that the beautiful pleasant daughter who I gave birth to, swapped bodies with an evil alien. It is only lately that I am seeing glimpses of my beautiful daughter again.

She has taken to wearing armour to school just to deal with peer pressure. Who would of thought, Year 8s wearing eyeliner, foundation, mascara just to fit in. Hair styles of course are big. so in comes the black hair with funky tips, Piercing is a plus in any girls accessories and they don’t mean ears. Facial & body piercing need apply. Clothing isn’t a huge issue…… long as its black with pink/purple highlights. Shoes, well she’s always had a shoe fetish since she could walk, she would give Melda a run for her money given the chance.

Boys, now theres a nightmare. I’ve noticed that boy/girl relationships start at a very young age. In primary school of all things. Now she is being asked out by 14 and 15yr olds. Of course there is hell to pay when I find out. And her brothers, well talk about protective. Needless to say her boyfriends don’t last more than a few hours. I have a few friends who are facing the new status of GRANDPARENT with the new mothers-to-be still at school. Are this generation taking us back to ancient times of parenthood beginning at 14yrs? Or has it always been this way? I am definately not ready for this so boys are a no no.

Aside from the alien abduction, I can also see she is beginning to fit into her new skin as a young woman. She’s an independant thinker and more than able to stand up for herself. She’s also learnt to use the washing machine, negotiate contracts for pocket money and that school doesn’t like individualism unless its academic/sports based.

Living in a combat zone will continue for a while yet, but at least I can see harmony in the future.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Living with Teenagers

Oh WOW!! What a nightmare! Why weren't we given a manual on raising children with a warning on cover 'WARNING! All babies grown into monster teenagers.'

Being a single mum of 3 teenagers, there are times when I dream of getting in my car and driving away to destination unknown. Lets face it though, DREAMING of doing something and ACTUALLY doing it are 2 very different things. After all....we chose to be parents (and don't tell me you didn't choose. You chose to have sex therefore you chose to be a parent). Our children are our responsibility alway were and always will be. Its our job to guide them and teach them courtesy, manners, good morals and most of all respect.

As a baby and toddler they look to us for care, love, nourishment and shelter. As they grow we teach them to walk, talk, and right from wrong. At school age they also learn from other students, teachers and mentors. It is still our responsibility to ensure they continue to know right from wrong and to have respect for theirselves and others. We still need to recognise their individuallity along the way and teach them independence.

WHY then, do some parents stop guiding their children when they become a teenager? Do we, as parents, become too busy keeping up with the Jones' or is it that our children are under pressure we never had to deal with at their age and we feel 'lost'?

Over the years, I've learnt to keep the communication open with my teens. I've also learnt to pick my battles. Patience is a virtue so they say. My house has also become a half-way house for other teens who's parents have told them to leave or they've runaway. My kids collect stray teens like others collect stray cats/dogs.

So WHY do babies turn into MONSTER teenagers? Hormones, peer pressure, alcohol, drugs, depression (usually from having to cope with things beyond their age), school bullying from both students and teachers. Rest assured though, the monstor teenager stage only lasts 2-4 years then you get your child back. :)

Friday, June 12, 2009


Either you are already on the path to becoming a Mum or want to be a Mum, either way are you really prepared emotionally?

Most parents find it is a joyful, exciting, scary and sometimes long anticipated event. Others find they are in a situation that is very unexpected and need time to decide whether its a welcome event or not. The emotional rollercoaster has begun!

Lets skip ahead 9 months. You have finally met your baby and the feeling of your heart swelling with love is unbelievable. It's love at first sight. A few days later and you and baby are home. Suddenly you fully realise..........

You are now responsible for a small person who is wholly and solely dependant on you for its emotional well-being, survival and safety for the next 20 years. Possibly even longer.

What if you do something wrong? You won't. Providing you love your baby unconditionally, feed your baby, change its nappy often and put him first (or very close second) you will be fine.

Trust your instincts. Anytime something doesn't seem quite right, refer to your doctor or paediatriction. Make sure your doctor is sensible and willing to listen to you, you do not want an arrogant, overbearing doctor only interested in their next dollar.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

How to budget

Are you stressed? Do you often wonder how to stretch each pay to make ends meet? I know how you feel. Let me help you cope with day to day living and free up your finances.

In many households, budget is a dirty word. It implys restrictions of finances and limitations on shopping. Oh what we'd give to be rich and not need a budget. Let me tell you now, the rich live on a budget. How do you think they became so wealthy and stayed that way? So lets get started on helping you become debt free!

1. Make a list of all your expenses eg rent/mortgage, loans, credit card, electricity, telephone/internet, school fees, uniforms, insurances, vehicle registration, extra school expenses - camps, bus fares, groceries,fuel, haircuts, medical, bank fees etc.

2. Make 6 columns beside the list. Mark them Week, fortnight, monthly, quarter, half year, year. Put in the amounts you pay under the appropriate column. eg electricity $300 each quarter, Mortgage pay $700 each month. Some bills vary, like electricity & telephone, put them in separately.

3. Next, total each bill for 12 months. eg Weekly amounts x 52, Fortnightly x 26, Monthly x 12, quarterly x 4, etc. Put total per bill in Year column.

4. Now divide the Yearly totals by the number of paydays you receive each year. eg Fortnightly = 26. If you receive income from different sources on a regular basis, use your main income payday.

5. Add the new amounts together. This is the amount to be deducted each payday BEFORE spending. You can either transfer into a separate account, withdraw total and place in separate marked envelopes or see if your bank offers a Bill Pay account. There are pros and cons for all so chose the best system for you.

If you feel that you will dip into your budget, then perhaps a bill pay account is best. Personally I like Bill Pay as the bank transfers the budgeted money automatically from my account into my Bill pay account. Everytime I receive a bill,the bank will pay it, whether I have enough money in that account or not. It all works out over the year and is totally stress free.

6. Are your expenses more than your income? Obviously you need to cut costs or find extra income. I will go into this more on a different post.

7. Is your income more than your expenses? Well Done!
The next step is to put 10% of your income away for a rainy day (retirement). This is never to be touched.

8. Still have money left over? Awesome. Then put 20% of your income away in another account. This is your emergency fund. Unexpected incidents happen in life and we are not always prepared. Now you are.

9. Any income left over is yours for luxury items, extra savings, whatever you want. You can even pay off your loans/credit cards earlier and save on interest by paying extra each week/month.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Managing Time

Its week 2 of a new year at school. We are starting to settle into the new and more rigid daily routine.

For my daughter beginning Year 8, its learning the routine of lessons in different classrooms rather than 1 classroom all day. AND getting up early to catch the bus. Thats a toughie at times.

For my son and myself, its being self-disiplined and motivated to start school at a reasonable time each day as he is being home schooled through Distance Education. Yes I'm his tutor. We have good days and bad. I am sure there are plenty of others out there in similar situations. I really would love to hear how you manage. Speaking for myself, I know the housework and my home business have been getting a back seat in the last week which is not healthy. As today was a bad day, I started re-doing my time management schedule. School holidays had thrown that out of wack and now its time to straighten up.

All in all though, I love home schooling my son (Year 9) and would also like to do the same for my other children should they choose. Time management is definately the key to keep the everyday chores up to date and to run my business. Some days I feel like Supermum and others I'm definately not. More not! Hopefully after today this will change.

Woo Hoo!! So far so good! The housework is up to date, the business is back on track and we are still keeping up with the school schedule. Being able to manage my time more efficiently even allows time to relax and just enjoy life.

I'll let you in on a secret to easy Time Management.

Colour Code your day.

List everything you do each day eg bathe, breakfast, go to work, business activities, cook meals, housework, kids activities, family appointments etc.

Now allocate a colour per group of activities. eg green for bathing, breakfast, school run, going to and from work, kids bedtime. red for kids sporting/extra curiccular activities, blue for family appointments, you get the drift, now do the same for your business activities.

Your diary or calender will look like a rainbow making it easy to see whats on at a glance.

You can even fit in those little "things to do" that you've put aside for 'when you get time'.

Let me know how you go.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Why Work from Home.

I love my home business, in fact you could call it my bliss.

After my marriage ended, I was looking for a way to supplement my income. After all being the sole provider for 3 school age children on a pension doesn't leave alot for the basic 'luxuries' most average families enjoy. eg. takeaway meals, dvd hire, occassional trip to cinema to see latest movie, regular clothes shopping, just to name a few.

Initially, I took on regular domestic cleaning to help pay the bills. Not my ideal form of employment but it allowed me to be home for the kids before and after school. It did not allow me to stay home when they were sick. No work, no pay. But hey, we were coping.........just.

A few months later my superannuation report arrived. What a reality check! For the first time in ages, I looked to the future and realised that I would be still living on the pension, there will not be any retirement travel either in Australia or overseas. What a sad sad future to look forward to.

After some consideration I decided to get back into office work. I managed to get some Temp work which was full-time. 3 weeks later the job ended and we all heaved a sigh of relief. The kids hated after-school care, the costs of working full-time in daycare and fuel took care of any extra money I earned. In short, it just wasn't worth the pressure and stress to my already emotionally fragile family. Time to look at other options.

The computer! You hear of people earning an income on their computer, why can't I? I answered a pop-up offering information about work at home. Then forgot about it.

A week or so later I received a phone call. A few in fact. Regarding my request about working at home. I was the lady from hell. I ignored all initial messages, told majority of people that I didn't have time to listen etc etc. Only one lady managed to get my attention long enough for me to listen. What I heard made sense.

What did she offer?

  • The opportunity to earn an income
  • help the enviroment
  • improve my family's wellbeing
  • online support and training
  • a proven successful business system
  • non-toxic everyday household products
  • full money back guarantee within 90 days
  • no locked in contract
I knew this business would work. Maybe not overnight, but it would work and I certainly wasn't looking for a get rich quick scheme. I joined up, ordered my products and began my training.

Woo Hoo!!! Christmas has come early, my products have arrived. I tested those products on every house, surface etc I could find. They out-did themselves. Not only did my house smell clean and fresh, my bathroom and kitchen were sparkling. I was amazed. And I didn't have a raw throat or burning eyes from cleaning the bathroom.

The business has proven itself over and over. We have been able to afford the little luxuries I mentioned earlier as well as the occassional day trips and the first decent vacation we've had in years. Yes I took the kids to the Gold Coast and treated them to Movie World and Dreamworld as well as the Australian Zoo. We had a ball. We can't wait for the next holiday............mmmm where to go and what to see? So many places.

The best part about my business? I get to help people around Australia improve their health and finances. Who said you couldn't have a career and be a full-time mum too.