I take my daughter to work with me…

I still pretty much consider myself a stay at home mom, but I somehow picked up nannying along the way. It started out as a mutual favor to a friend, but along the way I have somehow maintained my job. While I am now with a different family, I still find myself nannying part time to make a little extra income and also stay with my daughter. I never looked for work, but work found me. For a season, it has been good, and I still get to be with my daughter every day.

making awkward faces 
When I had Lillian I knew I wanted to do whatever I could to stay home with her. I have lots of good friends who went back to work. Some of them didn’t want to, and some of them did. I just knew if I went back I would be sitting in my office crying, or that I would take any excuse to get off early to be with Lillian. I could tell I would be a horrible employee and that my heart would always be torn. I knew I would resent my employer and paycheck, always wanting back my time. I have very limited family where I live, so finding childcare would have been tough. And half of my hard earned money would have gone straight to her childcare.

I remember watching the movie Spanglish many moons ago and laughing even then, because I remember thinking that if I had a daughter I would probably be a lot like that mom. I loved how she just took her daughter to work with her. She had to make money as a single mother, but she also got to have her daughter with her. 
My daughter has learned how to be flexible. While other kiddos sleep in their own cribs for nap time, my kiddo is the one sleeping on someone’s couch. I have felt bad time to time, carting Lillian around on account of someone else’s schedule. Yet, I am sitting across from her now watching her sleep deep during her nap on a couch. It doesn’t phase her. She isn’t needy. She is just happy, honestly. 
Nannying has taught me many things. It has taught me tons of patience. It has taught me how difficult it is to have to care for more than one kid. It has taught me that there is nothing more priceless than the face of a kid or parent when they see each other after a long day of work. It has taught me that a caretaker is a very important role. I feel blessed to be able to work with the little girl I nanny, who also has a rare genetic disability. She teaches me love, acceptance, joy, and curiosity like no one I have ever met. 
Having my daughter around another little girl has also taught her many things. She has learned how to share before she has a sibling. She has had the blessing of being around a little gal who faces challenges daily due to her disability, and Lillian needs to be patient with her, too. Lillian has learned that while she is a big part of my world, she is not the center of the world, and that other people matter and have feelings, too. 
I don’t know how long I will nanny for, but for the time being it is so good to me. I never expected going from an office job where I wore heels and drank coffee with my marketing co-workers around a table to spending my days wiping butts and giving kisses on boo-boos, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world. It is literally the hardest job I have ever done, but one filled with so much silliness and laughter and goodness. 
Sometimes I feel like my world has turned upside-down. I find that I am surrounded by so many strong, successful, career-driven women. I chose to ditch that life when I said goodbye to my career and hello to being a stay at home mom. Sometimes I feel less than worthy that I am making a little above minimum wage when my resume could get me back in a corporate job, tomorrow. I often have found myself saying I am “just a stay at home mom”. Now, I am “just a nanny and kind of a stay at home mom”.

But I am over all that. Thankfully. I am now beyond grateful for this season of time God gave me to humble me. I have been blessed with a beautiful daughter and with precious time with her (which I should never take for granted), and also another precious little girl to care for. What a fun gift. I have learned to stop justifying what I do or shrinking back in my decisions for my life. I chose to do what I deemed best for my family. Yes, it was one of the scariest decisions in my life. It is really hard to say goodbye to a paycheck and live on one income. But I did it, and I won’t apologize anymore, and shouldn’t. (Plus, no one wants to hear it). I love what I do. It is my favorite job I have ever had, one that I get little praise or feedback for, but that I love to do with all my heart.

mood swings, bee stings, and arguments over baby gates

As I sit here sipping on my iced coffee in silence, I have a few moments to write.

The kids are napping (I nanny, in case you are wondering if I magically popped another one out overnight). 
The dishes are clean. 
My miscellaneous projects are done. 
I can just sit. For a few minutes.

Lately I have really been digging this book to help me simply record one thought a day. It has become my favorite way to journal. I can write one memory a day. With a big journal, I feel like I gotta fill up the whole page, and sometimes I start to ramble about the same dang thing. Or I just stop journaling because it feels like a chore. But this little puppy has made it easy to keep track of a few things. 
Like, on July 9th, when my daughter told me, out of the blue, “Mommy, I wuv you soooo much!”. That was a good moment. 
…speaking of keeping memories, I am currently working on Lillian’s baby book. I have decided to go with Mixbook. Anyone else have good experiences with them? Anyways, I am 36 pages in and only on her third month of life. Lord, help me. Which reminds me, Snapfish is having a killer deal for photo prints, and I need to order some.

I have been doing a lot of body pump. Have you ever heard of it? I am obsessed. I have actually stuck with it for over 8 weeks. I try to go twice a week. I hate the feeling of putting on muscle at first. I makes me feel fat! But I have to keep reminding myself it is better to have muscle than fat. Why, why am I such a moody woman who cares about this stuff? Well, last night was the first night I caught an awkward glimpse at my body in the mirror and felt a little proud of myself. I was sweating my butt off and I saw a little muscle. Heck yes. Eight weeks of crying over gaining a few pounds of muscle finally paying off. (Please, don’t be like me). 
In other news. My husband and I have been arguing over the dumbest stuff in history lately. Last night was the second argument over a baby gate. You heard me right. I won’t go into the details. Let’s just say after an emotional two hours and some sobbing on my part, we made it to bed in good favor with one another. I think it is time for us to get out of the house and spend a little alone time. I just bought this e-book for a fun challenge to spice up our marriage. I love our little one, but sometimes I just feel like I am in a rut and bad mood I cannot get out of. Thank God for my morning devotionals, otherwise I would be a mad woman. 
Last, my sweet daughter got stung by a bee this morning. That was a big bummer. Because this is her second unfortunate bee sting in her short life. She took it like a champ. Major cryfest ensued for a few minutes, then she held her leg, and with the biggest pout mouth and giant tear rolling down her cheek, she said, “I’m OK Mommy!”. 
Talk to you later, friends. I am off to finish up that baby book! 

Let’s Be Friends #76 blog hop is now live- come link up!

Welcome to the Let’s Be Friends Blog Hop!

A blog hop is a set time frame for current or aspiring bloggers to find new blogs and quality content. It is a great way to make new friends and find inspiration! It is also a fabulous way to promote your own blog and posts.

Dear Friends,

What a day to celebrate! This is the 76th week of the Let’s Be Friends blog hop! Thanks for joining us on this special day. Chelsee and Tiffany are extremely delighted to see the way this hop has grown and love to see your faces each week! 

Join us every Tuesday at 7am (MST). This blog hop focuses on content. LINK UP YOUR FAVORITE POST from last week in this fun content-sharing blog hop! I love the idea of blog hopping, but I love the idea of reading posts and quality content on new blogs I’ve never been to even more. Instead of simply linking up your blog button, you are now able to link up your favorite post you recently wrote. Have a delicious recipe to share, DIY tutorial, or heartfelt post? Share it with us! All hosts and co-hosts put up some unique and fun content from the past week. Make sure to check them out. P.S.- you may still link up your blog button and blog name, but it is encouraged to link up your favorite post instead. You will get more page views and interest if you do so! Some of the most successful blog hops I have participate in focus on content rather than just exchanging follows. You never know who will become a loyal follower or pin that delicious new recipe you posted!

The BEST part of this blog hop? Each week there will be a WINNER! That’s right, each week we will choose one lucky blog to feature from the previous week’s hop. This hop receives thousands of page views every week, so your blog will have the chance to be center stage for free. You must follow all the hosts and co-hosts in order to win. Only those who link up a specific post are eligible to be featured! *You must follow all the hosts and co-hosts in order to win.

The last exciting change is that the co-host spots will now be available to all sponsors of  The Dwelling Tree or Southern Beauty Guide. If you are interested in co-hosting the blog hop, email Tiffany or Chelsee about sponsorship opportunities and how to co-host the weekly hop!

There are a couple of great giveaways going on right now at Southern Beauty Guide and The Dwelling Tree. Go check them out! 🙂

Let’s Be Friend’s Blog Hop Guidelines
1. Link up your favorite post from your week.
2. Follow your hosts and co-hosts.
3. Grab the button and post it on your blog so we can share the love.
4. Visit 3 other blogs and follow them along!
5. Tweet about this blog hop, using #letsbefriends
6. Pin the button on pinterest so we can spread the news! 

***Once a week, one blog will be chosen to be the featured blogger from the previous blog hop. 

Meet your hosts: 

The Dwelling Tree: Blog, Bloglovin’

Southern Beauty Guide: Blog, Bloglovin’

The co-hosts:

Elizabeth @ Nom Elizabeth
***This weeks featured post from last week’s hop:

Hi everyone! This is Tiffany this week. Thank you all once again for continually linking up at our blog hop. It is such a fun time and I am so impressed each week with all the amazing posts. Please continue to link up an actual post instead of your blog. We want to keep reading your content and it makes it more fun to pick a winner! 

… onto the winner! 

As I scrolled through all the delicious posts my eyes caught this one. Perhaps it is because I have always been interested in fostering a child, but I wanted to read the post. What I would soon discover is that this little post would leave me almost in tears. Jennifer, the writer of this post, did a magnificent job of uncovering many of the stereotypes and assumptions of the kinds of homes foster kids come from, and gave me a new perspective and grace for all those involved in the foster system. This was a deep, heartfelt, and loving post. If you are considering fostering, adopting, or know a family going through the process, read this post. This is a very interesting and lovely perspective of the power of love. 

The blog is filled with inspirational and real posts about life. Bookmark it for posts that will lift up your day. I am so excited to have a new daily read! 

Keep posting awesome content! You make it so fun for us to read all your posts! If you can, please link up a specific post. It makes it easier for us to come and visit! 

*Remember YOU can be next weeks winner! 🙂

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