Face it, you are not the person that you used to be.
Ever since you became a parent, you have a hard time recognizing yourself. Perhaps there is a bit of sadness because you’ve lost your own childishness, but there is no denying that you’ve developed a maturity that has absorbed itself into every fiber of your being.
You’d been in love before, but when you children came along, this love encompassed you in a way that you never could have predicted. This metamorphosis might have even been painful for you, but only because the intensity of this love was so vast and unanticipated, perhaps even astonishing.
Becoming a parent has driven you in ways you never thought possible. Parenthood has made you more devoted, more committed and more determined to succeed in providing for your family.
For some of you going back to work was never an option. For others, working for someone else to get that steady paycheck seemed like the only option. It doesn’t matter what kind of parent you became.
We understand your devotion to your children and the intense fervor you feel to provide for them.
Our Milk Money is an Organization that was built for parents like you.
But we are much more than just another business directory. We are an organization that provides a support network for parents who have chosen to stay home with their children, and we do what we can to encourage each of our members to make their purchases from each other- keep the money we are already spending “in house” because it’s more valuable to families than it is to large corporations.
We believe that we have a chance to make a difference, but we must all work together.
Our concept will succeed if everyone does their part. No other group has taken on a task so great, and the reason WE WILL SUCCEED is because we all have one thing in common: Our devotion to our children. We must not fail them.
You don’t have to be a member, or even a parent to participate in this concept. If there are children in your life and you want to make a difference, we welcome you to take part in Our Milk Money. Link your site to us.
We are not just another business trying to move up the ranks. We are an organization dedicated to parents who need support their children. If we all commit to this concept, we all have a better chance of rising up TOGETHER.
Imagine the possibilities.
We’ve started a campaign that will educate consumers on the value of purchasing from a mom or a dad. We believe that in time we will have created a mini-economy, and a better means of survival- especially during this recession where every dollar counts. We want parents to feel that they can make their own choices in how to raise their children, provide for them, and how much time they spend with them. Not be a slave to a job that promises a paycheck, or a boss that represents keeping that job.
Join the Our Milk Money Organization, and you will know immediately that you are contributing to a good cause, because it’s your own.
My wife and I are either crazy or stupid or so self loathing that we feel we deserve to be punished. It must be that, right? How else would you explain it? Why on Earth but for any of the above reasons would anybody want to go through this again and so soon after the first time? Oh by the way, my wife and I are expecting our 2nd child. Thank you. Yes, it is very exciting. We’re thrilled.
It is said that the body and mind are able to block out memories of pain and misery. That must be true. If it weren’t, all families would only have one child. We would be a “single child” society. Maybe the Chinese are on to something after all. My wife is in the last weeks of her 1st trimester. She’s miserable, fatigued, nauseous, hormonal, oh and trying to raise a toddler on top of all that. It only gets better from here on out. Soon will come the heartburn, the restless nights, and the various physical ailments that accompany a pregnancy.
My wife will go through some of these symptoms too.
Then it will all culminate in that “wonderful day” that I described in a blog a few months ago. Oh, but wait. There’s more. Just when we trained our first child to sleep through the night, here comes baby # 2 to carry the sleep deprivation torch. It’s time to get spit up on again and time to look forward to another 2 years of changing diapers. Now once the baby comes, our little boy will be 3 years old so I’m sure he’ll be able to take care of himself by then, yes? No, you say? In fact he’ll require even MORE attention so as not to incite any sibling jealousies? Oh great. So I have THAT to look forward to as well.
We’ll be finding out the sex. I’m not sure I understand the “we want to be surprised” philosophy. There are enough surprises on the day your baby is born anyway so why not knock as many of them out as you can before hand? My wife and I want a girl. We would be happy with a healthy baby no matter what the sex … but come on. Neither of us can handle another boy running around this house. We’re just barely able to keep this one from burning down the neighborhood, why would we want to unleash another Y chromosome onto the world?
Our little boy sees the potential though. The toddler Sith Lord needs his apprentice and knows that together they can rule the galaxy. He has stated very plainly that he wants a little brother. He has also made it clear that he wants us to name the baby “Braden”. We have assured him that while it is a beautiful name, it is also his
name and things could get confusing around the house if we duplicated it. So, while we would love a little boy just as much, my wife and I are hoping for a girl. And then we’re hoping she’ll magically turn into a boy when she reaches high school. At least I am.
So why do it? It’s not like it was forced on me. My wife didn’t suddenly leap across the bed and ambush me as I innocently read a book. (Believe me I would have loved it…) No, we actually tried to conceive another child on purpose and succeeded. In fact I am very proud to say that THIS time, we didn’t need any help from the medical industry.
All me, baby.
A solo slam dunk with no time left on the clock.
So why go through all of this again? The answer is simple. Why the hell not? I can’t go out anymore anyway, so I might as well raise another kid and get them all out of the house at the same time so I can go back to enjoying my life.
Okay that’s only part of it.
The truth is our little boy needs a sibling. He has friends, but he needs to be a big brother. He’s only two, but we can almost feel his loneliness. On a recent trip to the park he slid down the slide, looked around and shouted “Hello?!” to an otherwise empty playground. It was if he was saying, “this is only fun if I can share it with someone.” It’s heartbreaking to me when he wants to play with his toys and doesn’t have a playmate. Oh, shut up, I play with him plenty, okay? I just don’t have the energy of a 2 year old. I have the energy of a 37 year old that’s raising a 2 year old which amounts to… not a lot of energy. There are selfish reasons for having another child too. I got a little teary-eyed when I took his crib down and put him in his “big boy” bed for the first time this past month. It’s only been two years but I get very nostalgic when I look at pictures of my boy as an infant and how small he looked in my arms. I had been warned about how fast they grow up and while my son isn’t exactly borrowing the car or moving out of the house, I do feel like those early stages of life are past him. I’d like to experience them just once more. I’ll savor them a little longer this time.
Then we’re done. Seriously. I don’t care how fast this one grows up. I’m not doing this any more.
There is Much Power in Numbers, So Let’s Commit to Supporting One Another.
By Ally Loprete
Lately, I’ve really been fascinated with numbers.
This fascination has grown recently, I imagine, from creating my own internet-based company. The infinite numbers to be comprehended are literally incomprehensible — and fascinating at the same time. These numbers give me enormous amounts of optimism and frighten me at the same time. In fact, this number game is what ultimately what led me to create the concept for my business, OurMilkMoney.com.
It must have been about seven months ago that I was lying awake one evening after my family had gone to bed. I imagined that there must be zillions of parents across the country who were thinking the same things that I was. Perhaps zillions had also left their corporate day jobs to discover that staying home was by far the better way to go. Maybe zillions of new moms also took that leap of faith, spoke to a zillion husbands and said, “I am going to start my own company and work from home so that I can stay home with the kids,” which prompted a zillion panicked faces on a zillion different men. These zillions also were soon to learn that it would be twice as much work as they’d ever expected, but would vow to make it work for the sake of their families.
If there really were zillions that lay awake the same way I was, going through the numbers over and over again like it was some kind of riddle to be solved, then that was at least a zillion connections I wanted to make. Were zillions of us really choosing to take but a fraction of our previous income for double the amount of work? Yes, this was THANKLESS work, with no sick pay, no paid vacation time, no group health benefits, and no company lunches paid for — and yet, we’d chosen this new role as if it was the greatest opportunity we’ve ever had for ourselves, and it made us feel a zillion more times at home. Were we all just insane?
It was thoughts like these that made me realize the power in numbers. If there truly were large numbers of parents out there just like me, I could certainly use their friendship and their support. In exchange, I’d be happy to lend mine. More than that, I wanted to make a pact with all of these parents: “I’ll buy your stuff if you’ll buy mine.”
Easy enough. Now where would I find these parents? It shouldn’t have been difficult to find them with zillions of pages of information available at my internet fingertips, so I decided to begin looking each time I made a new online purchase. I searched. And searched. And searched. Every time I made any purchase online, I put in an extra keyword “parent” to narrow my search and pull up a vendor who was working from home to afford the opportunity to stay home with their children. I became more and more shocked at how difficult this was, and it frustrated me. I KNEW there were parents out there who would love to sell me their shampoo, just as much as I’d love to buy it from them! It shouldn’t be so hard to find them!
That is when it hit me like a ton of bricks. If there was no such search directory, I was going to create one.
So that is what I did. I have created a way for a zillion parents to support one another, and I feel a zillion times better. One day we’ll all be zillionaires! Or at least we’ll have made a zillion new friends in the process.
Ally Loprete is the Co-Founder of OurMilkMoney.com, an online directory of self-employed parents across the country. Ally’s focus is to help expose parents working to create a better life for their families and her mission is to educate consumers on the value of purchasing from the small business owner. Ally is passionate about inspiring parents to connect with one another, and will often write about the brilliant ideas that seem to come to her only in the shower or while blowing her hair dry.
Written by Guest Blogger, Chris Mancini
Let’s face it, it hasn’t been a good year for the dollar. From being gouged at the gas pump to the financial markets all put collapsing, it makes me want to go into a large corporation at random and punch a CEO right in the face and then smother him with an actual golden parachute.
Then when you have kids, every time there is a food price increase due to higher fuel costs, it hits you exponentially. But there’s all that money you’ve put away for retirement, right? Right?
I work free-lance. I don’t really have a 401K. My wife, however, is a normal person. She does. Or, she did. Before our eyes we saw our balance that we… I mean my wife, worked very hard for years and year so it would hopefully grow into something we could use when we retired. Or at least blow on something stupid like a yacht painted with the slogan “Gas, Grass or Ass, No One Rides for Free”.
My wife and I knew very little about money and the “markets”, “401Ks” and “investing.” We really didn’t. So we learned the hard way, by making mistakes. Not a good way to learn.
Our generation learned nothing about money from our parents. “Put money in a savings account” was the long and short of our financial planning advice. I remember once my father asked me what a stock option was. Then I told him. He looked at me like I just tried to explain quantum physics.
But then I asked my father how his pension was doing. “Fine” he replied. “I don’t trust the stock market so all my money was in fixed.” Whoah. Stop right there. It was the wisest thing my father had ever said. That wily, wily son of a gun.
Obviously now this whole “knowing nothing” about money and the economy was all a ruse. My father was a financial genius and saw this coming a mile away. His money wasn’t in the market. He was safe. And since he’ll be retiring soon, he doesn’t have to worry about working another 100 years, like the rest of us. This of course made me both impressed and resentful.
But who do you turn to? Financial planners? They are nothing more than glorified bookies. We had one that was so moronic he actually got us into more debt. Thanks, I could have done that myself and saved $500.
So we had to learn about money on our own. But more importantly we have to teach our kids about money. We just have to. Things are too complicated and unstable. They have to know. Right after they get their $5.00 allowance tell them if they hold on to it for a year and keep it in the market then they’ll only have to pay capital gains taxes on it. Their response will probably be “But I just want to buy candy” which is certainly valid as well.
Recently our 401K (I can say “our”, we’re married) went down to a 30% loss. At least that’s something. Right now all you can hope for is a smaller negative number. But when my father comes to visit this Christmas, he’s buying.
Chris Mancini is a comedian and author. His first book “My Life is Over, A Handbook for the Freaked-Out New Dad” will be out next father’s day.
By Ally Loprete
They call me “supermom”.
That is because I am a mom, and I have super powers. How else would I be able to manage the chaos in my life and handle everything with a smile on my face without breaking a sweat?
Don’t believe me?
See for yourself: I have a very demanding 2 year old, and another on the way. I am the co-founder of a national organization that caters to 4500 recipients in 80 cities nationwide, and the CEO of a handmade jewelry company that I design and create. I am a leader, a motivator and a people mover, giving public seminars, volunteering to teach improvisation to inner city children, planning community events, writing guest blogs and articles to over 25 news sites, not including my own. I participate in my son’s pre-school twice a week, teach musical theatre and performance to 9 year old girls at a local dance studio, and still find time to run a household, go grocery shopping, prepare 3 meals a day and sleep. I do not have a nanny, rely on daycare, nor do I have any family close by (or even in the same state for that matter) to rescue me or my schedule.
That is why I am known as “supermom”.
But like any superhero, I have a secret identity. Behind the mask is a woman who struggles to maintain the balance of it all, has broken down on more than one occasion, exploded with Niagara Falls, water works hysterics, has turned to one too many bottles of wine in the middle of the day, screams at her husband “how DARE you ask me if you can hang out with the guys tonight???” and has made several “parenting” mistakes such as putting off a dirty diaper change to finish a blog- which resulted in a diaper rash for her infant son. Even as a superhero, I wonder how others are able to pull it off.
Is anyone really pulling it off?
What is this term, “supermom” really doing to our society? Does the term inspire, or intimidate? Does it put added pressure on the women of today that are trying to do it all?
The truth is I am no supermom.
I don’t have any super powers, and I certainly have a breaking point. The more women I speak to, the more I realize we are all very similar. Mothers today are simply amazing- but then again we HAVE to be. Of the women that I know that are working full time- or even part time- and raising a family and maintaining a household, none of them are doing it just because it’s fun for them, and they were looking for MORE in their lives. Most of us are doing it because it’s what is necessary for our families to survive in today’s world. Our families need us to try and bring in a supplemental income because one income is not enough from our husbands- not even those with college degrees and higher educations. It’s not their fault, and we certainly don’t blame them. It’s just the way it is these days.
Before you choose to let someone who seems to be able to do it all overawe you and minimize what you know you are capable of doing, LOOK CLOSER.
If there are days that you feel you are barely staying afloat, take a moment and look at the others in your very same pool treading water. Perhaps they are looking at YOU and wondering how you got YOUR superpowers. All the things that you accomplished today? You seem pretty amazing to me. I’d love to know your secret…
…or your secret identity. I think I might relate better to the woman behind the mask. The real person who falls down often, forgets to eat, lets the laundry pile up, and cries from the overwhelm. It feels better to unveil myself, come clean that I am not actually able to “pull it off” and laugh about it with others who often feel the same way I do. It’s a relief to know I don’t have to save the planet all on my own.