Did you ever think you could literally go back towards your future? Sometimes taking two steps back helps you move forward. Let me explain.
Two years ago I took a leap of faith and accepted a job offer I couldn’t refuse. I was not planning to leave my current job that I absolutely loved. I had a flexible schedule, supportive co-workers, and I was valued there. What made me really appreciate my job was my family came first and upper management never questioned that. I was always provided a healthy balance of work and taking care of my son.
I was not looking for a new job at the time, but this new offer came to me so quick that I didn’t have that much time to think about it. This new job offered job security, a pension and opportunity to move up. I knew I needed to accept this opportunity because it would help my future significantly.
HOWEVER, I DIDN’T REALIZE SOMETHING THAT COULD BENEFIT MY FUTURE MIGHT NOT BENEFIT ME RIGHT NOW.
Leaving the job I adored was very hard for me, so I decided to not cut ties entirely and stay on per diem. I always knew I was welcomed back there if I ever needed to come back full time.
My new job was definitely an adjustment and I had a hard time getting into the groove of things. It took me close to a year to finally get a grasp on my position but as a result I spent less time with my son. Previously, if my son got sick at daycare I was only a 5 minute car ride away. With my new job I would have to take a bus home so I could get my car and then go pick him up. Sometimes it just wouldn’t be possible and my husband would get him instead. I was no longer able to drop him off or pick him up from daycare daily so my husband also took that on. As much as I appreciated this, I missed that quality time we had together talking about our day and what we plan to do when we get home. It was frowned upon when I needed to be home with my son whether he was sick or if it was a snow day so once again I would rely on my husband to do this. I felt guilty for not being able to take care of my son when I felt like he needed me the most.
A year later the pandemic hit and things became much more difficult for me as it did for every other parent across the world. I was working from home with a four year old who was used to going to preschool everyday. He needed my attention and it killed me not being able to give him 100% of me.
A few months into quarantine I got a call from two of my supervisors unexpectedly and it caught me off guard. They told me upper management was concerned with my productivity and they wanted to know why I was not meeting expectations. I started to laugh thinking it was a joke but quickly realized they were serious. I told them that my work environment was not ideal which caused some distractions, I never received proper IT support, I have a four year old who needs my undivided attention and WE ARE IN A GLOBAL STATE OF EMERGENCY.
None of my reasons were good enough and quite frankly they didn’t want to hear it. They proceeded to tell me my tasks are not hard and if they can get this work done so can I despite any barriers. I was then informed if I do not produce more work within next week further discipline would be taken. As they were telling me this my son was yelling from the bathroom for me to “wipe his butt”. I was able to keep myself composed despite the tears filling my eyes but as soon as I hung up the phone I lost it.
I have worked so hard despite my barriers and still was presented with threats and possible retaliation. I was never asked if I needed any support and they completely ignored the fact that I had a child I needed to take care of. After that phone call I worked in fear of losing my job. I spent less attention on Franco and became obsessed with my work. Despite all of this, I continued to be threatened of being disciplined and being transferred to an office 4 hours away if I couldn’t reach expectations.
I WAS COMPLETELY STRIPPED OF MY CONFIDENCE AS A WORKING PROFESSIONAL AND AS A MOTHER.
My self esteem declined all while being feared by the pandemic. Since March, I lost a family member, my psychiatrist dumped me and my husband lost his job. I was unable to cope because all of my focus was on my job. After 8 months of going back and forth I knew that I could no longer do this and decided to seek other employment.
I always stayed in touch with my previous supervisor since I still worked per diem and I opened up to her about how my job was affecting my mental health significantly. I always valued our relationship and her honesty with me. Ironically while all of this was happening my previous position had an opening. I was offered this position again but this time with more pay and benefits.
I wanted to yell ‘Heck yes!’ but I know it wasn’t a black and white decision. Although my salary would be significantly increased, was going backwards the right thing to do? Should I continue to go on interviews and completely start over on a clean slate? In all honesty, I wouldn’t be able to do that right now, not during this pandemic. I needed to go back to what always made me happy and value the mission of my work.
So that is what I did and it was an instant relief. I am able to take care of my son and efficiently get my work done because there is a healthy balance. Do I still struggle with guilt and feel like I am less of a person because I went back to my old position? I do, but in order to overcome this guilt I need to build my confidence and self esteem again.
If that means taking two steps back to help better my future then I will do just that.
Our weekends mostly consist of being outside all day long. If the sun is out so are we and it will be this way until the clocks turn back.
Studies have shown that all we need is at least 20 minutes a day outside. Nature came be healing and beneficial for the mind and body. Benefits include:
Improves mood — Researchers have found that nature simply makes us happy. Anxiety, depression and anger are notably decreased after spending time outdoors.
Improves focus — Studies show that both adults and children who have difficulties focusing or controlling impulses are better able to concentrate after being in nature. The natural world allows our brains to take a break from all that mentally drains us, and even reduces symptoms of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). (Source from Sharp.com)
Sometimes it can be hard to get little ones to go outside, so here are some fun ways to inspire them to ditch the electronics and get outside!
1000 Hours Outside
1000 Hours Outside is a global movement designed for any age child (or adult) and any environment. The entire purpose of 1000 Hours Outside is to attempt to match nature time with screen time. They provide challenges, trackers and activity ebooks for the whole family.
The Best Homemade Bubble Recipe
Just realized you are out of bubbles? No need to worry with this easy recipe with ingredients you most likely have on your home already! Head to Caitlin Houston Blog for this recipe!
DIY Children’s Garden
Create a garden for your little one that includes a ton of imaginative play! While growing plants of your choice, your little one can decorate with rocks, stones and figurines of their choice! Head to Mid Morning Mama to see how they did theirs!
DIY Backyard Binoculars
This fun craft is an oldie but goodie of The Robins Nest! We made these last year and were a hit when we went outside. They are even great for rainy days and want to do some hunting your home.
Go On A Nature Walk Scavenger Hunt
Don’t forget these printables on your next nature walk! You have the choice of drawing your own finds or circling the images you see on your walk. It gives your little ones a reason to look around them while on their adventure.
Watercolor Painting Outside
Create a mess free masterpiece while getting inspiration painting outside. These watercolor paint pens are ideal for your kids painting outside! Check out The Very Best Baby Stuff for more info!
DIY Glow Jars
How cool are these fun diy glow jars from Our Tiny Nest? This easy activity is great for little ones who enjoy warm nights outside.
Our Tiny Nest is also sharing these awesome seed bomb diys. Just in time for Earth Day these little earth seed bombs will plant into beautiful wild flowers. Go check it out!
Yes you are reading that right, last minute Easter ideas because it is only a few days away!
Don’t ask yourself how this happened and how to it! I am sharing some easy last minute Easter ideas to get your little ones excited for this spring holiday.
They are easy enough that some of these activities can be done at home, or for very cheap! Check them out below.
1. Easter Bunny Footprints
Print out this free template and carefully cut out the bunny feet to make a stencil. Place stencil on the floor and sprinkle powdered sugar. Do this a few time to make a trail.
2. Free Spring Printables
When you sign up for my newsletter, you will get a set of spring themed printabbles including Easter pennants, toppers and coloring pages.
3. Naturally Dye Eggs With Onion Skin
Coloring eggs has never been this fun! Head to my previous post on how to color eggs with onion skin!
4. Easter Bunny Bait
Mix some dried oats, colored sprinkles and anything else you want to add to sprinkle for the Easter Bunny when he comes at night.
5. Dollar Store Easter Basket
Head to your local dollar store and stock up on the ultimate Easter basket! Everything you see hear is from Dollar Tree or Target Dollar Spot. You can add snacks, bubbles, Playdough, sippy cups and more! Also how cute are these sunglasses? I decided to glue some letter beads to customize them.
6. Jelly Beans in the Toilet
Throw some jelly beans in the toilet and even add some green and purple food coloring. Add the note for the Easter bunny saying they forgot to flush!
Pin This for Later!
Some blogger friends and I are teaming up to share some fun Easter Basket ideas! Follow our blog links for more inspiration!
The work landscape has changed dramatically this past year and more than ever, companies are hiring people to work remotely. According to FlexJobs survey, 65% of respondents report that they want to work fully remote post-pandemic, and 31% want a hybrid remote work environment. As a total 96% desire some form of remote work.
It has been reported that with working at home there are fewer interruptions, more focused time, quieter work environment, more comfortable workspace, and not being involved in office politics. Another benefit is that people who work are realizing that they have more real estate choices and opportunities.
As full time working parents, working remote has provided my husband and I flexibility while taking care of Franco. It is not easy, but we are thankful to have that option. The layout of our house is not ideal for remote work since there is a lot of open space and not much room for an office but we do our best to make it work.
I was talking to my husband the other night and we talked about what we would do if we were to buy a house today. We talked about how we would want more office space and more of an ideal location than where we are now. We used a mortgage calculator to compare and and get a better estimate if this is something we are seriously considering. According to Home Ownership Matters buyers want enclosed or flexible spaces within their home that can serve as a private home office. Homes that offer an additional bedroom or a finished basement or attic space are often in greater demand.
Because of working remotely, we are spending more time in our homes and it’s changing the way we look and the criteria we use when we shop for a new one. I have had friends move to another state this past year because their job would allow it. They finally got the dream they always wanted by leaving Upstate, New York and moving to the beach in North Carolina.
According to flexjobs.com these states have the most work-from-home-friendly counties:
The pandemic and remote working went hand-in-hand in changing the way people conduct business and live their lives. The pandemic didn’t force us to embrace remote work; it accelerated our embrace of being a remote worker.
As more companies decide to extend remote work opportunities in the coming months, and as more people realize they’re not tied down to their locale for their jobs, the residential real estate market is likely to continue its shift. If you’re ready to hit the road, do your due diligence to make sure moving is your best all-around option.
My name is Nicole and I am a full time working mom to my toddler Franco. I love creating and sharing ideas. You can find me rummaging at estate sales, binge-watching The Golden Girls while chugging Diet Coke, listening to old school hip hop, supporting small businesses and being an advocate for maternal mental health.