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Thank you and Goodbye from Lullaby!

Dearest members,

After 2 years of connecting Indy families and sitters, I have decided that LullabySitters.com will be shutting down on June 30th, 2017. 

If you have an active account, you will no longer be charged a monthly fee and may cancel your account prior to June 30th. On July 1st, all member info will be purged. This will include billing info, profile pictures, and any messages you have sent and received on the site.  If you are still wanting to work with or reach out to any possible candidates, you may want to consider exchanging personal email addresses to ensure future communications. 

Although I am sad to say goodbye, I am proud of the community we built together and am excited about the possibilities that lie ahead.  During this past year, we found out that our son is on the Autism Spectrum. It’s been a trying year, but also one that has given me quite a bit of perspective and many unexpected gifts. I am so thankful for the support I’ve received and for the huge strides my son has made.  Which is why I’ve decided to shift my focus to advocating and contributing to the Autism community. 

Thank you for your support and letting LullabySitters.com be an option during your childcare search. This was my first startup and although it hasn’t been perfect, I enjoyed every second of it. From the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU THANK YOU!

 
Marie Maher
Founder of LullabySitters.com

Sitter Spotlight: Charlotte L.

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Charlotte L. is a 28-year-old Indiana native, college graduate and a full-time professional in Human Resources (HR). Charlotte is also an experienced sitter looking for occasional sitting opportunities because she loves kids and wants to spend time with them while also making some extra money.

We recently sat down with Charlotte and asked why she signed up for LullabySitters.com.

Charlotte: I’ve used other sitter sites before and I haven’t had very good luck with them. It’s hard to make that initial connection for some reason…you have to pay a certain price. Not only that, I’ll send an email to someone and I won’t hear back. It just doesn’t seem reliable.

But, with LullabySitters.com, I got a quick response back from the owner once I signed up. It was very easy to use. I immediately had someone that I was signed up and matched with. It was just a lot easier…and it’s local, so that really helped things a lot.

I was immediately getting matches. Whereas with the other companies, it would be weeks before I would hear any response back from them. Overall, LullabySitters.com was just more time efficient and got me what I wanted to do, ultimately watch kids.

What advice do you have for other sitters?

Charlotte: I like to tell other sitters to just relax and have fun with the kids. Don’t be afraid to be silly because kids LOVE that!

Charlotte also recommends parents and sitters sign up for Lullaby’s next speed sitting event!

Charlotte: I think it’s amazing. I put myself in the parents’ shoes and I would want to meet someone and get to know their personality and meet them individually before I introduced them to my children. So, I think it’s great! They get a little taste of our personalities and what we want and expect. Then the reverse, they get to tell us as well.

You can sign up at www.LullabySitters.com!

Reasons to get a babysitter

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Let’s be real. To be the best parent you can be, sometimes you just need a little outside help. Parenting is a 24/7, 365 job with no days off. So parents shouldn’t feel guilty for taking some much deserved ‘Me Time’ on occasion. Mom and dad come home recharged and kiddos got to spend a few hours playing with someone else… win/win! Other than date night, we asked parents for reasons they hire a sitter. Check out these top 10 answers… you can’t deny that some of them sound like parental bliss!

  1. 1. Grab dinner with friends and have adult conversation – Just catching up with some friends without discussing Minecraft or arguments about what’s for dinner. Also, not having to prepare a meal can be a nice break too!

2. Get a workout. – Exercise is a great stress reliever. Try a new workout class or get some yoga in… great for the mind and body!

3. Get some work done. – It’s amazing how productive you can be without interruptions! Responding to all those emails or making that deadline make hiring a sitter totally worth it.

4. Go see a movie. – Kids may have a hard time sitting through movies. They also will likely have no interest in seeing what you want to see. Spending a couple hours just sitting and taking in a matinee sounds like the perfect afternoon.

5. General sanity. – Real talk: Kids are demanding AF. Sometimes just a few hours away is exactly what momma needs.

6. Time for a mani/pedi, massage, or hair appointment – When you look good, you feel good. Can’t argue with that!

7. Shopping in peace.  – Target with no kiddos is a completely different and wonderful experience!

8. Take a nap. – “I’ve gotten a babysitter… then gone upstairs and napped! It was glorious!” – Megan.  (You are my new hero.)

9. Take a peaceful shower. – You may be able to shave your legs too!

10. Kids need a break too. – This is one of our favorite answers! It’s easy to forget that kids need a break from mom and dad too! Let them stay up late and eat whatever they want for dinner with the sitter. You want them to look forward to having a sitter over. Then you can truly enjoy your time away without stress or worry!

So what are you waiting for? Take some time to decompress and just focus on you and let the kids enjoy playing with someone else. Having a go to babysitter (or a team of sitters) should be fun for both the parents and the children. Sometimes you just need a few hours to yourself or to get things done. Either way, you’ll comeback refreshed and ready to take on the day! Sign up at LullabySitters.com and RSVP to one of our Speed Sitting events and meet your new sitter!

April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month

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Can you believe it is already April?! Tomorrow marks the beginning of National Child Abuse Prevention Month.  For caregivers and parents, the safety of the child(ren) is always a priority.  The signs of abuse go beyond broken bones and bruises. Here are some other red flags to watch out for:

  1. Children are always watchful and alert. It’s as if the child is always waiting for something bad to happen.

2. A child shies away from touch or flinches at sudden movements. This can be a sign of physical abuse either at home or from another caregiver.

3. Children wear inappropriate clothing to cover injuries. This can include long pants and long-sleeved shirts on hot days.

4. Child is excessively withdrawn. A child who is fearful or anxious about doing something wrong may be experiencing emotional abuse. A child who is excessively compliant may also be experiencing abuse.

5. Acts either inappropriately adult or infantile. Examples include taking care of other children or rocking, thumb-sucking, throwing tantrums.

6. Shows extremes in behavior. The child is extremely compliant or extremely demanding; extremely passive or extremely aggressive.

It is a required Indiana law to report suspected child abuse or neglect.  The Indiana Department of Child Services operates a 24/7 hotline. Anonymous reports can be given by calling 1-800-800-5556. It’s important to calmly give the names of the parents or guardians, their contact information, names and ages of the children and what you observed or what the children told you. Also, remember to trust your gut! If you feel there is abuse or neglect happening, it is always better for err on the side caution.

Preparing for Daylight Saving Time

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It’s that time of year and daylight saving time is just around the corner. As we spring ahead, it can be difficult to adjust to losing that hour, for children especially. Here are some tips on what you can do to make the time change a little easier on everyone.

Gradually Adjust 

A few days before daylight saving starts, get your child into bed a little earlier each night. Try 15-minute increments.  Your child may not actually go to sleep until their usual bedtime, but the act of going to bed will encourage their body (and mind) to slow down and relax a litter earlier than usual. It may take a few nights, but eventually, this will lead to falling asleep earlier too.

Control Lighting

Another challenge during daylight saving is convincing kids that it’s time for bed when it is still light out. Luckily, at this time of year, it is starting to get dark around kids’ bedtime. This is more of a challenge when we fall back in October. If your child struggles to sleep in the daylight, try making the room darker with blackout curtains or blinds.

It can also be difficult to fall asleep after engaging the mind. To help start slowing down and signaling to your child’s mind and body it’s time for bed, try dimming the bedroom lights and shutting down electronic devices 30 minutes to an hour before bedtime.

Stick With a Routine

Children love routine and routines create signals for bedtime! Be sure to stick to whatever your child’s bedtime routine is during this adjustment. Keep the structure the same and try to be as consistent as possible. Parents, be sure to let your sitters and nannies know what this routine is as well!

Try to Get as Much Sleep as Possible NOW

The time adjustment is inevitable, so children AND parents should get as much sleep as possible now.  Well-rested children are much easier to put to sleep than sleep deprived cranky ones. And parents should enjoy their sleep now should their child be challenging during bedtime in the next few days ahead.

Be Patient

In the days following Daylight saving time, try to be more sympathetic and understanding if your child is extra cranky or moody. They may throw more temper tantrums or be a bit more difficult at times. But your patience and understanding will help them adjust a little better.

With all the focus on your child’s sleep, be sure to take care of yourself too! It is just as important adults are getting all the rest they need as well! And remember, these effects are short lived! Within a few days, everyone will be soundly sleeping at the new adjusted time with no problem. Hopefully, right? Well, good luck everyone, we’re all gonna get thru it! And don’t forget to adjust those clocks over the weekend!

A GREAT Valentine’s Day

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Make time for Valentine’s Day and all your other date nights!

One Red Cross poll found that 55 percent of parents surveyed decided to stay home because they couldn’t find a babysitter. We here at LullabySitters.com are urging parents to rekindle the romance this Valentine’s Day with a date night, while also ensuring their children are left with a trustworthy caregiver.

Whether parents use an online service like LullabySitters.com to find a sitter or ask someone else they know and trust, they should follow these guidelines to make sure their kids are in capable hands.

Be clear and up front with expectations.   Do you expect the sitter to prepare a meal? Do the kids have a specific routine every night that you want the sitter to follow?  Outline your expectations in advance to ensure you aren’t disappointed.

Ask lots of questions.  This is one of the most important interviews you will ever conduct.  Asking questions will help you become comfortable with the person you leave the kids with.

Research the sitter.  Ask for references and then CHECK them.  Look at their social media accounts.  Are you comfortable with what you find?

Request an expanded background check.  Most professional sitters won’t blink at this.  Why shouldn’t they have the same background checks that Indiana teachers have?

Have them meet the kids in advance.  This is the best way to see if the sitter and kids click.  Kids are great judges of character!

Trust your gut!  If you have doubts, listen to them!

The bottom line is that parents are the best judge of who the right person is to leave their children with.  By following these steps, you can know you’ve done everything possible to keep your kids safe.  Don’t feel guilty about going out!  You’ll be a better parent and partner when you get home.

MCM: Mindy Weaver-Flask, Women Writing for (a) Change, Indianapolis

As a mom it can be difficult to get time to yourself, let alone time to feel creative and expressive. Making that time and having the space in which to do it, specifically thru writing, can be so rewarding for yourself and those around you. On the blog this week for our Mom Crush Monday is Mindy Weaver-Flask. She’s a mom of 2, been married for over 25 years, and a teacher. When she’s not teaching during the day, she is providing a safe space for women to share their story thru writing. While living in Cincinnati, Mindy took a weekly writing class for women. She loved it so much, she decided to start a writing circle thru Women Writing for (a) Change once she moved here in Indianapolis. She has helped create a safe space for women to develop and cultivate their writing skills. Read on about how she went about doing this and maintains the important values of her family. I loved her answer to our #momwin moment, and I think you will too!

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Tell us about your family: 

I have been married for 25 years to my best friend, Rob. We met by total chance; he was lost and I gave him directions.We have two children; my son Austin is 19 years old and my daughter Ainsley is 16 years old. We also have a dog, Hobbes.

What made you want to be in your career or start organization? 

I attended college to become a high school English teacher. I love teaching and writing, but I also needed a community that supports my personhood. When I moved to Indianapolis, I longed for the writing community that I was a part of in Cincinnati. I realized that I couldn’t keep driving back and forth to take a writing class for women once a week. I reached out to the founder of Women Writing for (a) Change, Mary Pierce Brosmer, and inquired about starting a writing circle in Indianapolis. In 2006, I attended a leadership academy that trained me to lead a writing community for women. Women Writing for (a) Change, Indianapolis was established in the summer of 2006.

The mission of WWf(a)C has always been to provide a safe and non-competitive environment for individuals to develop their writing skills, cultivate their creativity and strengthen their voices. Women comment that the experience of writing in a community that respects boundaries allows them to grow as writers and as people. We encourage writing as a process of self-discovery and self-expression—a celebration of the individual voice.

I host a semester long class once a week, offer retreats, and have worked with businesses. I still teach the young women’s summer writing camp in Cincinnati, Ohio and would love to be able to offer that here in Indianapolis.

Describe your average day:

I teach full-time at Greenfield-Central High School. If I am not grading papers, I am walking the dog, attending sporting events, or writing. Our family believes in family dinners; we rarely eat out. Eating together at the table, even if it is late, is an important ritual in our lives.It allows us to slow down, discuss events, and share our lives with one another. My son is now in college, so when he comes home we make sure that we are connecting with each other. Family is very important to us.

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How has your life changed since becoming a mother?

Oh my. My sister-in-law always told me that when children are young that parenting is physically exhausting and that when they are young adults it is emotionally exhausting. I would agree. I have learned (not always with grace, I will add) to work on my interior “stuff” without projecting on my children. Being a mother is one of the most gratifying roles I will ever have and it is the hardest. I have learned to listen more, talk less, and slow down.

What does “balance” mean to you? 

Balance to me means to not put all of my energy into one thing or role while excluding others. When I put too much focus on my job, my family suffers. I don’t know that I have perfected this yet, but I am very aware where I am spending my energy. When I am taking care of myself, true self-care, I find that I am able to balance family, work, and self much easier. I have to make time for my self; this is not a selfish act.

What advice do you have for new moms who are beginning to balance family and work?  

All mothers are working mothers.Listen to your intuition. Find time for your self — this does not mean a night out drinking with friends or going grocery shopping by yourself. This is not volunteering in a classroom or on an athletic field. Those things are not self-care. Even if money is tight, find a way to do one thing that you love that allows you to see your talents, your gifts, your strengths. This is not selfish.When you invest in yourself, you are investing in your family.

What do you like to do during your “me time?” 

I need time to think by myself.I like writing, so taking the time to write daily is important to me.I love nature and spend a great deal of time outside hiking or walking.This nourishes my soul.

Where do you turn when you need help?

I turn inward.I listen to myself. I talk to my husband.I spend time writing, which is thinking on paper. If I need help, I ask people that can help me.

What’s your favorite parenting hack? 

This question makes me giggle. I taught my son to clean the toilets when he was in 2nd grade. That definitely made my life easier.Everyone in our house is part of our family community so everyone has to help out.

Dishes — a clean sink makes my life easier.Load it, wash it, the kids unload it.

Tell us about a #momwin moment, or something you’re doing really well right now:

That is an intimidating question. My daughter recently fractured her back in two places. She had numbness in her leg and the doctors were afraid of paralysis.I had to navigate the medical end of this. As we went through the process, I kept asking my daughter how she felt about it. What did she want to do? Which doctor did she feel more comfortable with? Giving her the opportunity to be a part of her own care and have a voice in the decisions we needed to make was a #momwin moment. I think that it also added a new layer to our relationship.

What’s your favorite way to spend a date night?

Ok, I am going to have to admit this, we don’t have these often enough.When we do, I love listening to live music. My husband is a terrible planner, so I often have to suggest or state what I want to do. It works for us though.

Want to learn more? 

Visit www.indywomenwriting.com.   Next class starts on February 1st. Check out their FaceBook page Here.

MCM: Cassie Perry, Owner of Haus of Huntress and Pure Barre Broad Ripple

It’s Monday and you know what that means! Mom Crush time! Let me introduce you to Cassie Perry, a modern day mom with a sense of self, health, and business. Cassie is a single mom to twin girls (Ellisyn and Gracyn) and her son, Jack.  She’s successfully started an interior design company, Me&3 Designs LLC, which later paved the way for a custom accessory division called Haus of Huntress. And as if thats not enough to keep her busy, she is also in the process of opening a Pure Barre studio in Broad Ripple early 2017! Thats right, she can help decorate your home AND get you into shape! We all need to become BFFs with her immediately. This may sound exhausting to some, but to Cassie she just calls it a typical day. There’s no such thing as standing still, and she makes it look so fun! Read on about her honest and sweet take on how she tackles everything while doing the most rewarding job in the world, motherhood 🙂

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Tell us about your family:

I am a single mama of 3—twin girls Ellisyn and Gracyn (7) and my favorite guy on all the planet (who is smaller than I am however just by an inch these days)-Jack (10). I was raised on a farm in northern Illinois (outside of Chicago) where my parents still reside. I have two amazingly talented brothers who between the two of them can either build an entire home or photograph wildlife professionally-maybe both together. We all share the “sit still for a bit? Wait whaaat?” gene.

What made you want to be in your career or start your company? 

I have always been interested in interior design and creating cozy, yet gorgeous living spaces in either my home or another’s. Many a wine night has been known to evolve into me rearranging a friend’s bookshelves, entry table or basement diving for lost treasures to redesign or reinvent and use in a creative/unique way. I gained invaluable experience while initially working for a custom home builder in Carmel. Soon thereafter I found myself envisioning design services which were centered around the mission of re-purposing items one already had to avoid the often overwhelming expense an entire facelift of the home.

Soon my initial interiors company Me&3 Designs, LLC gave birth (in a most glamorous fashion of course) to a custom accessory division fondly named Haus of Huntress-for my german roots and my ever insatiable quest for the creation of unique pieces for the home. Clients would soon be able to have an all inclusive design service for their home that included the use of one of a kind accessories and decor to adorn their spaces. Often times I have used items I have salvaged from local barns, taxidermy auctions—oh deer—and even items designated for goodwill in a client’s own home that simply begged for some spray paint and a creative spin.

Over the years I have participated in several local Vintage Marketplace shows, Holiday Mart and various pop up events. In addition to being the lead designer  for locally based Kit Magazine, I was also given the honor of dressing several women’s groups as a key note speaker. This has allowed me to meet so many wonderful people who entrust me with the most personal of all material possessions-their 4 walls.

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Describe your average day:

Typical morning is like most other parents I’m sure-rushing to get the kids fed/clothed, knots combed out of unruly hair, using the breath-a-lizer test to make sure slimy teeth are actually brushed (yeah-nice try kiddo-back upstairs you go..gah-ross), screaming out the door “put your hat back on” while motioning the “I’m watching you” signal and finally skipping into the house after the glorious saint of a bus driver carts them off to school. From there I begin to catch up on emails, social media marketing and start my day. Skillfully, I close my eyes as I walk past the laundry pile that has taken on the shape of the abominable snowman and escape to my car. From there it is various appointments, meetings and soon will be instructing Pure Barre classes once again as I am in the midst of another entrepreneurial dream of opening a new location in Broad Ripple this January (see above—sit still? hmmmm).

How has your life changed since becoming a mother?

Gosh where to start?! I think the most humbling moment began as the nurse handed my son to me 10 years ago and how the mix of raw emotion/awe yet overwhelming sense of “losing control” took over like a switch. Here was this tiny little red faced mini human staring up at me with big eyes which seemed to say “well…now what?” and for my whole life before then I could easily have used my type A personality to come up with a plan…a schedule…and follow through with it. Suddenly I realized I didn’t really  have a clue what I was doing, all “plans” went out the door and packing up to leave the hospital was the last moment I ever felt truly organized since. The control over what was my former life was *poof* gone in an instant-and so was who I was when I walked through the doors. Instead of a swollen belly the size of three watermelons, I left with a heart 4x that size. Instead of a perfectly clean house designed like that of one I created for the magazine I worked for I now had toys, crumbs, crayons, lego parts and barbie shoes, and pieces of my sanity (in no particular order) all over the floors and countertops. My life is nothing short of crazy between managing three kids, two businesses and attempting to find some downtime amidst it all to enjoy the amazing family and friends I am blessed to have in my life-however I truly can’t imagine it any other way.

What does “balance” mean to you?

This question really hits home because it is something I am constantly seeking. I think a lot of parents-working or SAHM/D’s wake up every January 1st with the intention of “New year-new me. I am going to worry less about the things that won’t matter in a year from now and focus on the ones that do”. And we do. We try. And then life takes over. We are raising our hand to volunteer on one extra committee or head up one more project while seemingly raising our stress levels (and in my case my voice as I step on another stray lego exhausted at 11:18 p.m.) because we haven’t figured out a great way to say “no”. No to one more travel sport, playdate, birthday party or work obligation guaranteed to catapult us to “greatness”. We often go non-stop and fight guilt if we DO get precious downtime-or try to justify why it’s deserved (and needed). I’ve found that if I let that emotion go and be present in the moment I worked hard to enjoy that I will eventually make more of an effort to “schedule” in time for me and place as much importance on those moments as I would both in my career and family life. It’s a constant work in progress-stay tuned. 🙂

What advice do you have for new moms who are beginning to balance family and work?

Someone close to me once said “Cassie-life is like a circus and you will be juggling a lot of balls in the air at times. Some are rubber and can bounce back if you drop them..ie: a job, a perfectly kept home, material items, etc. And then there are those that are made of glass – relationships, the childhood years, and memories created when you aren’t too busy looking up to make sure all that you have in the air is in perfect motion. Those are the fragile ones to pay close attention to as they cannot be fixed the same once broken.” This bit of wisdom makes more and more sense to me every day I live…so I hope to say “No” more often and “Yes” as a result. Go easy on yourself and don’t be too proud to ask for help as you adjust to your new normal. I often tell my new Pure Barre instructors to imagine where they were 3 months ago and so overwhelmed with where to even start to memorize tons of choreography, specific technique cues and all the while making it look effortless to our clients-and then look where they are today as we get ready to cut the red ribbon and open our doors within weeks? It takes time, effort and patience to adjust to something new and former life altering. It takes support and help from those around you that WANT to help (and I wish I myself would have not been too proud to beg in those early days) so be open to it. Change can be scary-however just like when you left all control of your life within those hospital walls when they were born-you eventually learned to find a new normal and hopefully a happy one.

What do you like to do during your “me time?” 

Wait…what’s that? jk. I love to read as it allows me to escape into someone else’s world and be an intimate observer of their “life”- be it fantasy or non-fiction. I also love to listen to country music – old and new-and make it a point to get to any and every concert in the summertime that I can (filed under “finding balance” above!) I also love going to movies, curling up and renting one, whatevs…just to space out and give my mind a break-laugh, cry or otherwise.

Where do you turn when you need help?

I am so lucky to have such an amazing support network of close friends and family. They allow me to vent, somehow laugh at my sense of humor and never fail to have wide enough arms to catch me when I am about to stumble. Admittedly there have been many times along my journey of raising three children as a single parent I could have chosen to crash and burn if I lost sight of how important I am not only to the little peeps— but others as well-because they allow me to feel special just as I am…flaws and all.

Tell us about a #momwin moment, or something you’re doing really well right now:  

I kept the kids alive this week?? Seriously though, I love this question! However it’s harder to answer than I thought?! Maybe it’s because we are constantly critiquing ourselves and counting daily “losses” instead. I think if I evaluated my win column I would have to say I am really trying to be present and in the moment at least once or twice a day with each child individually. As I go to sleep I want to be able to recount something I shared with them that day I can stash away for when those “Gosh I wish I would have________when they were ___age” regret slideshow starts reeling in our minds. Whether it is not allowing my mind to wander during story time before bed, staying off of Instagram during family movie night while we watch Frozen for the 8,456th time or simply taking in the scent of their freshly washed hair for one extra millisecond because soon enough those moments are gone. Are they replaced with different and just as awesome ones? I sure like to think so…but for now I want to live in these just a little longer.

What’s your favorite way to spend a date night?   

Between the two of us my boyfriend and I have 6 kiddos. 3 boys and 3 girls—and yes, we are taking applications for an Alice Brady so please feel free to send them my way! This being the case date nights are super important to a healthy relationship in my opinion and often it’s hitting a favorite restaurant Salty Cowboy in Zionsville for a much needed margarita after a long week to catch up or hanging out in front of the fire watching our latest HBO obession-Westworld. Bottom line is that it doesn’t need to be anything over the top or fancy as it is the quality of time spent with someone whose company you enjoy and taking the stress out of the rest of life for a bit. Wine helps too. A lot.

Anything you want our readers to know about your amazing businesses???

Ok if you insist! I am actually really thrilled to share the news about the grand opening of Pure Barre Broad Ripple as it has become the focus of my passion and extra energy these days. I absolutely fell in love with the technique which provides the fastest way to change the body in record time, challenge your mind and create a sense of community. I was so excited to have stumbled upon something so many others I have met in my journey share an obsession with and honored to be extending the opportunity to a new community! We have a pre-opening special offered right now which allows new clients to try it out for 5 weeks unlimited for $99. It truly is a great way to see if Pure Barre is something your body (and spirit) is craving.

You can also check out Pure Barre Broad Ripple’s FaceBook, Instagram, and Twitter.

You can find more info about Haus Of Huntress here and here.

MCM: Katie Quinn, Certified Health Coach

As Thanksgiving is approaching, we tend not to want to think about our diets during this time of year. I mean, who wants to say no to all that yummy food?! But health is something we should all make a priority. Especially after becoming a parent and having children depend on you. But that can be a difficult task when you are constantly putting yourself last. That’s why we are totally crushing on Katie Quinn, this week’s Mom Crush Monday! She was in a rut and decided to get real with herself. What started out as a moment of frustration in an Old Navy dressing room turned into a life altering decision. Katie decided to DO something with that frustration and channel it into something positive. She began working with a health coach then eventually became one herself.  She has shared her journey with over a thousand others and helped them accomplish their health goals. By doing so, she and her husband have been able to pay off  $200,000+ in debt together! And once you meet Katie, you just love the energy she exudes! It absolutely magnetic! She truly wants you to succeed in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. And she’s done all this while raising her son, Kevin. Read on to learn more about her journey, you’ll see exactly what we’re talking about 😉

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Tell us about your family:

I have a two-year-old son named Kevin, a three-year- old Border Collie named Luna and a husband I love more now than I did when I married him almost five years ago.

What made you want to be in your career?

About two years ago, I sat crying in an Old Navy dressing room, in disbelief that I was three jean sizes bigger than I had been before giving birth. I felt defeated, exhausted, and disgusted with myself. I had traveled the world, given birth naturally, and didn’t understand why I couldn’t figure out how to lose weight. I reached out to a friend who was a health coach, and with her help, I managed to lose 24 pounds in two months while also maintaining my milk supply. I had energy, fit back in my clothes, and felt empowered. I started sharing with a few of my friends and family about what I was doing. Before I knew it, I was helping a couple people get healthy and loved everything about it. I’ve now assisted over a thousand people to health and created true financial freedom for my family. Together, my husband and I have paid off over $240,000 in 20 months and will be completely out of debt by the end of 2016.

Describe your average day.

Each day is a little different for me, but I usually wake up around 7. I eat a healthy fueling, get ready for the day, and take five minutes to pray and center myself. I then get my two-year-old out of bed, feed him his smoothie (he calls it mush 🙂 ), and watch him play with his trains. We then either continue to play, go for a walk with a friend, or attend a playdate. During that time, both my son and I will grab a healthy snack, and then he goes down for a nap around 12:30. Once he’s asleep, I pick up toys, connect with clients and coaches, and take about a half hour to relax and eat lunch. Once he wakes up from his nap two hours later, I fix him lunch, spend time crafting or writing while he eats, and then we have play time until his Daddy gets home around 4:30. We eat dinner as a family around five and then go for a family walk at the park. Between 7 and 8, I usually do a few check-in’s with clients and coaches, and then take a short break to say prayers with our little guy and kiss him good night before resuming work until 9. At 9, my husband and I turn off all technology, spend about 20 minutes at the gym to elevate our heart rates, and then take our dog for a half hour walk. At 10, he makes us a snack while I tidy up the house, and we have one-on-one time to connect and talk about our days before going to bed at 10:45.

How has your life changed since becoming a mother?

There are so many ways my life has changed, but the most important is that I’ve become more patient and have started focusing my time on what really matters instead of just talking about it or thinking about it.

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What does “balance” mean to you?

For me, balance means infusing my career into who I am as a person; I don’t compartmentalize my life. I help others to realize that health doesn’t exist in a vacuum and that health is as much about mental peace and financial freedom as it is about physical well-being. I also do my best to time block my day so that I’m able to really be present with the people I’m serving and not constantly distracted by my phone.

What advice do you have for new moms who are beginning to balance family and work?

Give yourself grace and be careful to not live in comparative reality. The allure of social media can be tempting, but it’s important to live the life you desire and not one you think someone else leads.

What do you like to do during your “me time?”

I love to read, write, and craft. I’m always looking for ways to grow as a person, so I’m constantly reading or listening to podcasts to do that.

Where do you turn when you need help?

My husband is always my first resource. He’s kind, loving, and a great listener.

What’s your favorite parenting hack (something that makes parent life a little easier)?

When my son is having a meltdown, I repeat this quote by L.R. Knost in my head, “When little people are overwhelmed by big emotions, it’s our job to share our calm, not join their chaos.”


What’s your favorite way to spend a date night?

My husband and I love to have new experiences, try new things, and learn about new places. The more extreme the better!

I always want to assist others to health. If you or someone you love is interested in the gift of health, you can reach me at katie.quinn520@gmail.com or by going to my website.

MCM: Elizabeth Friedland, Foster Mom & Director of Communications

You’ve heard the saying “Not all superheroes wear capes”, well not all moms give birth. Meet Elizabeth Friedland. She’s single and recently decided to become a foster mom. I came across her Instagram account several months ago and was instantly drawn in. She mentions her blog, so naturally I had to check it out. In her earlier posts and pictures, its about her travels, career, fabulous friends, and fantastic food. Then she sprinkles in posts about becoming a foster mom and getting ready for her first placement. Then BAM! She gets a call and is the foster mom to a 2 month old she lovingly calls Baby Girl. She documents and posts (she keeps Baby Girl’s identity confidential) how her life has changed instantly and dramatically, because thats what parenting is. But she’s so clever and honest about it, you just relate to her. She gives you a glimpse into what the next 3 months are like for the two them, the good, the bad, the not so fun parenting moments. Then she takes you thru the heartbreak of having to say goodbye to her foster child once a forever home has been established. Foster parenting can be a difficult decision to make because of everything that comes with it. Elizabeth’s vulnerability to her very unique experience is just beautiful. Read on to find out why she chose foster parenting, how it’s changed her life, and how she handles whatever is thrown her way. You’ll be crushing on her too!

**This post was written before Elizabeth welcomed a newborn baby girl, into her home over the weekend 🙂 ** (admit it, your heart filled with a little joy reading that.)

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Tell us about your family (or your household now and in the past.)

Right now, I’m in single woman mode – I’m between foster placements, so it’s just me and my grumpy old man cat, Gus. Over the summer, my home was filled with the giggles and cries of a newborn baby girl whom I was lucky enough to care for from two to five months old. Check back with me in a few weeks and I’m sure the household will have shifted again!

What made you want to become a foster parent?

My career actually led me to become a foster parent. I’ve worked in public relations both in Indianapolis and New York for the past 12 years or so, and I’ve gotten to know several foster care agencies that have been clients of mine. I was always fascinated by the idea of creating this instant family, and of course my heart went out to these children who don’t have anyone to love them – through absolutely no fault of their own. I knew I didn’t want children of my own for various reasons, but I adore kids. Fostering seemed like the perfect way to experience motherhood “temporarily” while helping these amazing children.

But even though my heart felt pulled to foster parenting, I didn’t think I was actually up to the challenge. First, I’m a single woman. Caring for a child is hard enough with a partner, nonetheless doing it all alone – and how in the world would I date with a baby? I also worried about juggling my career, which often requires travel, with motherhood (I’m the Director of Communications for Appirio). It just didn’t seem possible. Yet last fall, I started thinking about it more and more seriously, and I realized my situation was actually perfect: I had a spare room just waiting to be transformed into a nursery and my job offered the flexibility to work from home, somewhat set my own hours, and cut down on travel.

Around last Christmas I committed to the idea and began the (long) journey of obtaining my foster parent license. This past May, I was officially licensed and welcomed my first foster daughter – the most gorgeous two-month-old baby you could possibly imagine.

Describe your average day (now and when you had Baby Girl).

I’m hesitant to describe my average day now – back when I was a mother to Baby Girl, I would be annoyed to hear about all my free time! Between placements, I’m your average young professional: I work through the week, and have dinners with friends, cocktails on Mass Ave., brunches, and travel for fun. (I know, I know – don’t kill me!)

But of course it was a different story when I had Baby Girl. Being a single mother is all about surviving minute to minute and getting though to the next day. I’d try to wake up before the baby (5:30 a.m.) so I could get ready before her day started. Then it was a bottle, play time, and packing her bag for either day care (she went two days a week so I could get to the office – I worked from home with her the other days) or dropping her off for supervised visitation with her biological mother.

In the evening it was more bottles and messy first foods, bath time, playtime, bedtime stories, and bed time. Before she woke up for her first night feeding, I’d try to clean up the house, catch up on laundry and chores, prepare bottles for the next day, hop online and do some more work, and try to get a shower in myself! Occasionally, a friend would come over with dinner and wine and I’d get in some much-needed adult time. Then baby and I were up every three hours for night feedings until the alarm went off at 5:30 a.m. – and off we went again.

Occasionally she would have a visit with her biological family on the weekends, and I’d use that time to run to the grocery or do other errands. Otherwise, we’d go for walks along the Canal, visit with friends and family, or do the important work of tummy time at home!

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e-friedlandHow has your life changed since becoming a foster parent?

First, I have so much more respect for parents, particularly single parents. It is more exhausting and isolating than you can even put into words – and I only do it for a few months at a time!

It’s also interesting to straddle two worlds. When I have a placement, I’m a “Mommy” like any other mother: I constantly have spitup on me, I’m sleep deprived, I’m finding random pacis in my purse, I’m worrying about whatever developmental milestone is coming up next. Then when I’m between placements, my “Mommy” identity disappears, which feels weird. I want to give the mom at Target with the screaming child a sympathetic smile, even though I don’t have a child with me, or I want to keep offering (solicited) advice on my Mommy Facebook group. But it feels weird to keep up the Mommy side when I’m childless for the moment. It’s a strange thing to go between those two worlds.

What does “balance” mean to you?

My first reaction was, “HA!”

When I’m in Mommy mode, I don’t really have balance. I just have to make sure everyone is happy, healthy, and safe – and if I can get in some “me time,” that’s  an added bonus.

But the great thing about foster parenting (one of the many great things) is that its inherently balanced – you’re in full-time Mom mode when you have a placement, and then when you don’t have a placement, you can go back to your “normal” lifestyle. That’s a part of why it was so appealing to me. I fully admit that I’ve been spoiled by essentially doing whatever I want to do, whenever I want to do it for 34 years – which is why I recognize I cannot and do not want to be a permanent parent. I consider myself a sprinter – that is, I can handle the demands of single motherhood for a short amount of time (the average foster care placement in Indiana is just about a year) before I’m able to take a little break and recharge myself to do it all again.

What advice do you have for new moms who are beginning to balance family and work? 

I was so reluctant to accept help at first – when people would offer to babysit or run an errand for me or come over with dinner, I felt like I was burdening them if I said yes to their offer. Launching myself into single motherhood was my choice and my responsibility, and I didn’t want anyone else to “save” me. My boss and our HR department practically begged me to take parental leave when I first got Baby Girl, but I was stubbornly wanted to look like Superwoman and do it all – so I was taking meetings while giving a fussy newborn a bottle. In retrospect, I should have taken at least a few days to give myself some time to settle in and get a routine going.

Soon I realized that most of the time when people offer to help, it’s because they actually want to help. They enjoy watching the baby and giving me a break. While I’m still not great at accepting help, I really try to put my ego aside and do it – because especially when you’re doing the motherhood thing on your own, it’s the only way to survive.

What advice do you have for those considering becoming a foster parent?

Do it, do it, do it! I won’t lie – it’s hard. Not only do you have the daily struggles every parent faces – lack of sleep, no alone time, etc., but the added burden of the foster care system makes it worse.  Your experience will be filled with frustrations. Your heart will be broken when you hear the stories of what these children have gone through, and when you have to say goodbye to the child you’ve loved for weeks, months, or even years. But it’s also filled with SO many joys. You get to show a child how to love and be loved. You get to watch them grow and learn and develop. You get to know you’re serving an important need. And also the children help you as much as you help them – you learn you have depths you didn’t realize.

I wish foster parenting was the first choice for people to grow or start families. There are so many children – including perfectly health newborn babies – right here in our city who don’t have a home. It’s such an amazing way to create your own family.

What do you like to do during your “me time?”

I like to do little things that make me feel more put together. I kept up my bi-weekly mani/pedis no matter what! Even if I had bags under my eyes and spitup in my hair, I felt human if my nails looked nice!

Where do you turn when you need help?

I have a very small family, so unfortunately that’s not really an option for me. I used a small army of babysitters and night nannies to get me through. (Seriously, the night nanny changed my life!)

What’s your favorite parenting hack (something that makes parent life a little easier)?

See above – the night nanny! It’s not cheap, but it’s so worth it. Since I was doing night feedings on my own and having to work full time, I needed to bring in some overnight help for my sanity. A lovely woman came into our home two nights a week, and from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m., she handled night feedings, middle of the night diaper changes, and rocking the baby back to sleep so I could catch up on my rest. It felt a little weird at first, but both Baby and I were happier people for it!

Tell us about a #momwin moment, or something you’re doing really well right now:

Like many moms, I felt extremely guilt for utilizing day care – as if I had a choice. I was worried that Baby Girl would forget about me during the day, or think I had abandoned her. When I picked her up, she looked at me, took a second, and then a giant smile spread over her face. I actually choked up. It was awesome to see that she was bonded to me, recognized me, and was happy to see my face at the end of the day!

What’s your favorite way to spend a date night? 

I’m actually looking for someone to spend a date night with, so if you know any eligible bachelors, send them my way!

You can read Elizabeth’s blog here. If you are interested in becoming a foster parent, can you learn more here.  Got a mom you want to nominate? Tell us about her and we’ll get her featured! Comment below or email us at Hello@LullabySitters.com.

Other Blog Posts

Thank you and Goodbye from Lullaby!
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Sitter Spotlight: Charlotte L.
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Reasons to get a babysitter
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As a college student, Lullaby Sitters was a great way for me to get involved and get a job in the Indianapolis area. I am a student with a full course load and just wanted an occasional way to make some spending money. This was the safe and easy way to do that in a new state! I’m babysitting for a family that is also new to the area, so it was great for both of us!

- Emily (Sitter)