This is the first DIY Project I’ve done in a while and I love how it turned out. I took a simple vase I had around the house and spray painted it and added some new flowers all for $20. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to add special touches to your house. As I revamp my house I’m excited to share all the special projects along the way.
Today I found myself Google searching how long PPD last. I have been having a rough day and found myself with a lump in my throat, a pain in my chest, and tears streaming down my face. What triggered all this you ask? Being stuck with no car!
I’m currently in Maryland spending time with my child’s father and his family and I’m stuck at his families house with no car. I have to say being without a car is one of my pet peeves. I wanted to go get a mouse for my laptop so I could work without struggling to use the built in mouse. There were a lot of files I needed to have open and I needed to be able to easily swipe back and forth without the screen size shrinking and expanding! Unfortunately, when I finally made up my mind to get a mouse I realized nothing was within walking distance. Somehow all of that triggered what felt like a midlife crisis.
I found myself blowing up my mom and sisters phone to vent. I was upset that I was stuck, hungry, aggravated, cold, and emotional. I felt like my child’s father didn’t appreciate what I did on a daily basis or the discomfort I had to deal with to stay here for a week while I had to work. I was so distraught that I had to take the rest of the day off.
I eventually calmed down, but these extreme highs and lows aren’t something I experience before the baby. I realize that a lot of my problem is that I like to be in control but after the baby I felt like I was no longer in control. I now realize how important it is for me to go with the flow. It’s important that I realize that it’s okay if plans change, it’s okay if I can’t control every little aspect of my life. The important this is that I’m healthy and on my healing journey and that I have a happy and healthy baby.
I have literally been sleeping on Big Lot’s but baby let me tell you. I went recently and now Big Lot’s is one of my absolute favorite stores for home décor. They have a lot of home décor needs. I purchased my bedding, pillows, and some holiday décor and I could not be happier. The price was right and the pieces look beautiful in my house. I can’t wait to share more of my favorites with you.
- As you start your new life please know I’m still down for whatever. If at any time anything goes wrong I’m only a phone call away.
- I hope he fulfills your dreams and spoils you! Hopefully he does the cooking. “I don’t cook I don’t clean but let me show you how I got this ring!”
3. I hope you remember the moment you walked down the isle forever and I hope you remember the moment he told you how beautiful you were. May you always feel that beautiful! (It made me cry like a baby!)
4. I pray he listens to you when your down and does everything he can to put a smile on your face.
Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.
— Mark 10:9
5. I pray he understand what the bible says about love and makes you the happiest women in the world because you deserve it. “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-5
6. I hope he reminds you everyday how beautiful you are and I hope he shows you with daily acts of kindness and love. May he always be patient, loving, and understanding. (If he doesn’t I’m a phone call away! Don’t worry I know the address I dropped a pin while I was there.)
7. I hope he supports your dreams and pushes you to reach new heights.
8. I hope he loves your flaws and imperfections and embraces them.
9. I hate to be replaced but I pray he becomes your best friend, your shoulder to lean on and cry on. I hope he supports you in the good and the bad times and never lets go of your hand.
10. Most importantly I hope he understands I’m not going anywhere. I hope he knows that if he ever hurts you that you have an army prepared to go to war for you, with you, or about you.
I am beyond proud of you Dr. Conley and I pray God blesses your marriage and every aspect of your life. From undergrad school to careers, babies, and marriages I plan to be by your side through it all.
I hope everyone on this get out of debt journey with me is doing well. I’m not doing as well as I would like but by the end of March I will have paid off roughly $6,000 in debt. I’ve managed to save an additional $2,000 that stays in my savings account. I do have other savings and investment accounts that I recommend you do as well. One way I have been keeping track of my payment history is by using an excel worksheet like the one below. I also have a calendar that list every payment that needs to be made until the end of the year. I find this extremely helpful. I have automatic payments set up for all my bills but now make every payment as soon as I get paid. This has just been what works for me. I encourage you to experiment and figure out what works for you.
The good news is that so far I have paid off one credit card. One thing I wish I would have done is followed Dave Ramsey’s advice and used the debt snowball method. The debt snowball method in a nutshell is when you list all your debt in order from smallest to largest and commit to paying it off in that order. As you pay off the smaller debt the money freed up then goes toward paying those larger debts. Typically with the debt snowball method you pay the minimum amount on all debt and put any extra money you have toward paying off the smallest debt. If I would have used that method I would be done paying off three credit cards instead of one.
The route I chose is someone like the debt snowball method. I committed to paying off the smallest debt first, but I also tried to get as much as my debt as possible below half the credit limit. I’m not sure if that was the smartest thing to do, but that’s what I did. I recommend doing some research and speaking with a financial advisor.
One of my personal goals for 2020 is to be completely debt free. Please keep in mind I am not including my student loans in this. I know for those of us who have student loans they can be a huge burden. I recommend tackling any other debt you have first and then addressing your student loans. Typically the interest rate on your student loans is significantly lower than any credit card(s) you have. If you address the credit card(s) or other loan debt first it will be easier to tackle student loans at a later date. Please note when I say later date I DO NOT mean do not pay on them now. If it is in your budget make sure you’re on some type of payment plan or pay the interest every month so you’re not shooting yourself in the foot.
I’ve always enjoyed writing out a budget but I’ve never stuck to them. The first time I saved more than 5k is while I was pregnant with my little one. Something about having a kid motivates you to get it together. Yes, at almost 30 I finally became somewhat financially savvy. I say somewhat because I have a long way to go as I’m sure many of us do. But I digress, lately I’ve been using the budget below to help me get it together.
This budget is simple and easy! Click on the link provided and you can fill in all your expenses and change it from month to month. What I like about this budget is that it easily shows you your income, expenses, and what you have left over. Don’t panic if your expenses are more than your income. Look at the budget again and cut some expenses. Be realistic! Eating out may not be in your budget, nor may entertainment, clothing, shoes, or beauty expenses. One thing Dave Ramsey always says that has stuck with me is, “You don’t need to see the inside of a restaurant unless you work there.” Those small purchases really add up so keep track of every dollar you spend. The draft budget I filled out includes some red boxes that help me customize the budget to my needs or remind me of certain things. Please do the same with yours.
One of the next things I did was start reading books and listening to podcasts. I would also recommend finding sites on Instagram or Facebook that encourage you to stay on course. Having a community that holds you accountable is extremely helpful. Leave a comment or send an email if you would like me to create a community where we check in on each other’s progress and hold each other accountable.
The internet can be a beautiful thing if used correctly. One person that has helped me out a lot is Dave Ramsey. I’m sure most of us have heard of him, but may have never paid any real attention to his methods. I encourage you to read some of his books. Here are a few of his books that may be helpful: Financial Peace Revisited, Smart Money Smart Kids, The Money Answer Book, Complete Guide to Money, The Total Money Makeover Workbook. Please also take advantage of his YouTube channel. He is giving out FREE advise and it just might help you!
Disclaimer: I feel like this has to be said I am in no way a financial advisor, I’m just sharing what I’m doing in hopes to help someone else. Please do your research and do what feels comfortable to you. Food, water, and shelter are things that you cannot live without make sure your basic needs are met and credit cards are not tools to live on! I hope some of my journey and some of what I’m sharing can help you or motivate you to take control of your finances in 2020.
A Message to My Baby’s Father
I cannot stress enough the importance of having a father in your child’s life. I often feel like I hear people say a women can’t raise a man, or boys need their fathers. In many ways there is truth to that but I’d argue that fathers are equally as important in their daughters lives. My Father is the first man I ever loved and was the first man to love me. My Father loved me long before I even loved myself or could comprehend what love was. My Father showed me how a man is suppose to treat a woman; and I don’t mean wining and dinning a woman. What my Father showed me is far more important then that. He showed me how a man is suppose to respect a woman, love a woman, provide for a woman and their children. My Father made sure we had what we needed, not wanted. I have few memories of him being ideal or allowing the weight/stress of family life to lie solely on my Mother’s shoulders. At an early age he ingrained in me values, skills, and principles that I carry with me until this day.
I wouldn’t say a woman chooses a man based on the type of man her Father was/is, but he definitely plays a part.
I’ve never met a man with my Fathers even temperament, work ethic, knowledge, and genuine love and respect for the people around him. My Father is by no means super affectionate, but he’s there when you need a shoulder to cry on, when your boyfriends been cheating with Keisha from around the corner, or when the weight of the world seems to be tearing you down. In my life seeing how my Father treats me and responds to me has made me more aware of how my Heavenly Father feels about us, loves us, and wants to see us prosper.
I say all that to say Fathers never stop loving your daughters! Even if they marry the man you said was no good, or have a baby with the man you told them would break their heart. As a parent I don’t think you ever really know the impact you have on your child’s life, but I have to say love and emotional support help your child be able to face all of life’s obstacles. I can distinctively remember one particular time in my life where my Father came through in a major way. Not to get too personal there was a time in my life (really one of many-once you learn to love yourself they decrease) when I made some bad decisions. I felt alone, depressed, suicidal, and a plethora of other emotions. By the time I took it to my parents I was at my wits end.
Moms are so in tune with their children that my mom knew right away what was going on and when I finally broke down gave me an emotional response. (As child I don’t think we realize that the decisions we make often affect our parents. I recommend reading Stormie Omartian book, “The Power or Praying for Your Adult Children. That book really gives you some insight into what parents go through.) I’m not sure what my mom said to my Father or what his first words were but I do remember him holding me and letting me cry and telling me everything was going to be all right. That is a moment that has really stood out to me. There was no judgement, no harsh words, just unconditional love.
Thank God for both my parents because they balance each other. What I get from my Father my Mother could never give and vice versus.
I say all that to say to my unborn child’s Father, you are going to play the biggest role in your little girls life. She’s going to see how a man should treat a women through you. You will be the first man she loves and you will be the first man to show her unconditional love. That is a huge task, a task I feel comes naturally to most women, but something a man has to work towards daily and has to pray to God to help him perform right. She’s going to look at you and want to imitate you! She’s going to pick up on your words, your actions, and your speech. May God give you the strength and wisdom you need! ♥️
6 And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart
7 And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.
8 And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes.
9 And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates.
True health starts within. People often discount the mind body connection; to be truly healthy and happy you have to take care of your mental health. My mental health journey began when I was 6 months postpartum.
Postpartum depression for me involved having a lot of anxiety, panic attacks, mood swings, crying spells, and a disinterest in life. My career no longer appealed to me. I hated getting up for work every morning and had little to no focus. I can remember being in the shower on one occasion and my little one walks in the bathroom in her walker and just sits there and screams and cries at the top of her lungs. I think that is one of the lowest points I’ve had as a new mom. I leaned my head on the shower wall and cried as well. I cried because I wanted to be away from her, cried because I felt bad for feeling that way. I cried because her father wasn’t there and because I just wanted to leave this earth. I’ve never had suicidal thoughts but I have had thoughts of feeling like I’d be better off if I wasn’t here or if I never had her. It hurts to say that because she my biggest blessing and greatest achievement. I just struggled with feelings of hopelessness, worthlessness, irritability, shame, and guilt. At times I still struggle with these feelings.
Postpartum depression is the main reason I decided to go to therapy. In the short clip below I elaborate on why I go to therapy.