On the topic of babies. You know that feeling when you first fall in love and you feel addicted to another person and in some ways it is almost too much, overstimulating and all consuming? When you see your baby for the first time or maybe the 10th time or maybe even before you actually see them, something in you changes, you fall in love with something that changes who you are at your core and that addiction, that overwhelming sense of perfection and belonging and beauty, it lasts forever. Even in the shit times when life feels overwhelming and exhausting and impossible. It is still there.
My brother recently asked me about having children, about how it is and what it is like. Staring at parenthood from the outside is like watching a free fall without a stopping point. As parents we know the chaos is there, we know it is all consuming, we know it effects those around us who we love and wish we could deliver a calm environment even when we can’t and we accept the reality that is before us, the reality of raising tiny humans. I look at my girls and I want them to have everything and in the same moment I am saddened by those things I never had and the two emotions bind this intense sensation in my stomach that makes me stronger, makes me get up every day and do it over and over again. I made a choice, I made a promise and I made a vow to myself, my partner, my children and the world that I will dedicate all of who I am (as much as I can give without losing myself) and I will make these tiny humans into incredible human beings.
One of my daughters teachers recently had a baby girl and she is terrified. It was unplanned, it was scary and it was not in her plan. I was thinking about her and what a life change that is when you are not expecting it and then I realized that even when you are, expecting it that is, it catches you off guard, throws curveballs and delivers you moments you never though possible. The reality of parenting is no different than anything else you tackle for the first time. Of course it is terrifying, you have no training, you have no way of knowing how it will turn out and you have never done it or attempted it before. The thing is that each of us has it in us, we just have to know where to look to find it and sometimes when we look at ourselves and turn over those leaves of strength we also find fear and anger, past experiences that challenge or hurt us and even disappointment in ourselves. So remember, life is not about what we have done perfectly. Life is about what we have fumbled on, what we have messed up and how we have risen to the occasion despite that.
I think COVID broke my mom setting
As parents we have many roles that we play each day. The simple concept of what we need to accomplish in a 24 hour period is almost laughable. I will not resonate with everyone on this topic simple because what we each do day-in and day-out is so different that there is no actual comparison. I will hope that the concept of what I am saying helps you to feel …normal? I really am asking you as my readers for advice here because sometimes even those of us who are so tuned in and so focused end up on the floor balling their eyes out in their in-laws house because their children are so loud, how are they this loud! So how do you do it? How do you wake up in the morning and look at those sleepy eyes only to fall in love all over again and yet know that come 7:30pm tonight your house will be a war zone. There will be shrapnel in the form of toys and pee soaked panties, sweatshirts used as napkins and unfleshed toilets, piles of sand on the floor, food on the counters and unforeseen water spills in the middle of the floor. That reminds me, there is spilled milk on the rug….I should probably tend to that. SO I am really asking you, my readers, to share their stories, their parenting woes, and wins and battles to the bedtime. Send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
HOW PARENTS CAN MAKE MONEY AND GET FIT WALKING DOGS
(Thank you to my guest writer, LACIE MARTIN)
If you’re a parent, you probably weren’t expecting that having children would slim your wallet and send you up a few pant sizes. As Lifehacker contributor Melanie Pinola observes, even dads struggle with gaining weight after having kids. And while you may have known that having children is expensive, recent estimates show parents spend an average $233,610 on child costs from birth until the age of 17. Many parents are unprepared for the costs of things like diapers and daycare.
Lately, the term “side hustle” has grown in popularity as people young and old alike utilize the gig economy to connect them with freelance work. Side gigs allow people to build a sizable nest egg on top of what they make from their 9-to-5 job. Parents can benefit from these jobs as they come with flexible hours that can be accommodating for the busy schedule associated with raising children. One side gig, in particular, can have the double bonus of helping new parents get back in shape while making extra money: dog walking. Family Factor presents some things you should know before accepting a dog-walking gig.
The Benefits of a Dog Walking Side Gig
Starting a Dog Walking Business
In order to start your own dog walking business, you’ll need money to establish a web presence, market costs, and insurance. You’ll also need to register your business with the state, though you can use formation services to guide you through the process. Also, keep in mind that if you intend to operate your business using a name that’s different from the one you registered, you’ll need a DBA name, which will require you to file more paperwork. Again, you can use online services to assist you.
As a business owner, you’ll also need to network. There are currently several apps with the sole purpose of connecting dog owners to walkers and caretakers. These apps are convenient for people just getting started because they do their own advertising and have already established a built-in clientele. Unfortunately, these companies also take a generous slice of your earnings.
If you have the connections and motivation, it is totally possible to start your own dog walking business without the help of an app. With your own company, you are responsible for your own marketing. The good thing is you don’t have to reach out to people nationally -- just to dog owners in your immediate area. Instagram is a great platform you can use to reach nearby dog lovers; people love scrolling through photos of cute, snuggly pups. However, it’s important to choose the right hashtags so your exposure is effective.
New parents can make extra cash while getting in some exercise by picking up an active side gig like dog walking. Not only can you make money while burning calories, but you also get the emotional and psychological benefits of being around dogs and spending time outdoors. When starting your dog walking business, you can either use a third-party app to connect with clients or do the work yourself. While apps make things easier, they also charge fees for every dog you walk. Meanwhile, starting your own business is a lot more work, but you have more control and it is more profitable in
I am a mother, not a wizard. I share what is hard, what is scary and what is real. The rest I leave to you.