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How to be a Stay-At-Home Entrepreneur Mom

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Before I begin to share my stay-at-home entrepreneurial journey, some of you may be wondering, “Is this author a millionaire? Is she equipped to give advice? How come I haven’t seen her on television? Has she gone viral?” To answer all your questions, the answer is…I am just Tess, a stay-at-home entrepreneur mom who was crazy enough to dream and have insurmountable visions.

I have chosen to write this book because I am an expert in my experiences, and I want to share with you what worked and what is working for me. However, I am still on my journey. Please note: I stayed at home with my children and niece for nine years, and now my children and niece are in school and much older, ages 25, 19, and 12.

Here goes!

Walking away from my job in 2006 was tinged with the feelings of fear and excitement all at the same time. I had been working for three years as a middle school language arts teacher when I became pregnant and decided to leave and take care of my newborn, son, and niece.  After speaking it over with my husband and finally making the decision, it was hard to find a narrative to tell myself.

The stress of juggling the complications of work and family life are a source of stress for many women. Whether you work outside the home or are a stay-at-home mom, there are troubling emotions to deal with. Either choice will leave you with something to worry about.

You will most likely get on blogs or social media sites that make being a stay-at-home mom seem like one easy ride of Martha Stewart baking, Yoga and Pilates classes, and Pinterest-inspired crafts, with their well-dressed kids and immaculate houses.

CHILD, PLEASE!

This is hardly true. Every mother has breakdown moments. Every mother has days where just putting lip gloss on while the teething baby is clinging to her desperately is a feat.  There will be many times in the upcoming years you’ll yell, “I just want to pee alone!” Yes, I used that word. Man, I am still singing that tune! So, you must redefine what you feel “success” is. For me, success was a day where my house was not a disaster at the end of the day. I got to engage in one social situation throughout the day (playdate, gym conversation, lengthy phone call, whatever it was, I took it). With all that was going on, I made sure my appearance was always intact. Couldn’t lose myself. No sir or ma’am.

If you are a working mother outside the home, sometimes you feel guilty for not being home with your children, for not being available for school activities, and for not waiting with open arms when the school day ends. Mothers who stay at home sometimes feel self-conscious for not being able to contribute financially, for not challenging themselves more intellectually, or for lack of competency as a mother. I was able to experience both worlds. Most importantly, I loved being a stay-at-home aunt/mom. It allowed me to get to know my children and niece in an educational and recreational setting. Priceless!

Overall, most moms are looking for the same thing: to do what’s best for their children, their families, and themselves.

A critical or defensive tone often surfaces when working and stay-at-home moms get together. I am not sure why, but it happens. From my experience, stay-at-home moms feel the need to defend themselves by insinuating that their choice to stay at home is the better one. But could there be one right way? Why do mothers feel so uncomfortable with each other? Why is there a controversy in the first place? What does a ‘good mom’ look like?  Unaddressed envy, comparison, and insecurity can make anyone critical of something they don’t have but might want.

I have observed and been guilty of criticizing other moms because their motherly strategies didn’t align with mine. Girl, stop! When I realized that I was doing that, I changed my outlook immediately because there are no perfect ways of being a mom or raising children. There is no one RIGHT way!

As you take this journey with me, open your hearts and minds to my version of being a stay-at-home entrepreneur mom.

The Royal Experience Curriculum…Everyday Etiquette & Modern Day CourTESSy

Teacher’s PETS Inc. is committed to excellence in teaching, inspiring, and empowering children and young adults to succeed in life through character development, leadership skills, and etiquette training. Children need to learn proper manners and social skills now more than ever. It removes the anxiety of offending others and enables them to partake in social situations with ease. In today’s charter, public, and private school system, there is a strong emphasis on the 3 ‘R’s. But educators must consider adding an “E” to this alphabet – Etiquette. Teaching children to make smart choices will help them to become compassionate and loyal individuals, and can significantly reduce future problems they may develop or encounter. Moving way beyond the proper usage of forks and knives, twenty-first-century etiquette offers a blueprint for weaving the fabric of our future society.

Along with increased self-confidence and the ability to relate to others, students of The Royal Experience Curriculum will develop social skills and experience far less anxiety when handling peer pressure. The potential for school violence can also be reduced by practicing the responsible behavior stressed in etiquette education. According to the article on Culture and Youth Studies, pre-teens and teens have quite a few things to say about manners and etiquette. (December 2013)

  • 91% of teens say that civility, manners, and etiquette are “important” in their lives.
  • Most Frequent uncivil behavior (rudeness, bad manners, etc.),
  • Classmates at School. (47%)
  • Family at Home” (6%)
  • Strangers in Public Places” (27%)
  • Friends and Followers on Social Media” (20%)
  • 70% of teens feel society, as a whole, displays more bad manners than good manners.
  • 62% of teens do not feel that chivalry is dead
  • 87% of teens claim they personally practice civility, good manners and polished etiquette
  • 92% of teens say they feel social media, e.g. Facebook and Twitter, is making us a less civil society
  • 97% of students learn their manners from home
  • 57% also said they learn manners and civility from their place of worship
  • 43% named the school as a positive influence on their manners

Teens ranked “Family Upbringing” as the #1 factor for its impact on civility–education level coming in second followed by socioeconomic status.

According to the Culture and Youth Studies, “Bad Manners”  are learned from

  • Media, books, and movies: 69.3%
  • School – classes: 65%
  • Friends: 61.5%

Being rude to service people:

  • 38.9% of teens rank being rude to cashiers, waiters, or other service people as their biggest pet peeve

Teacher’s PETS Inc. will serve an economically, academically, and ethnically diverse student population. The range of what is available to our students in terms of economic and educational background is broad and it is this heterogeneity that provides our strength as a community and nation. Attending to the academic, social, and personal needs of every student requires an intense focus on differentiation and coordination. Every learner has a fundamental right to understand what success feels like, and the fulfillment of this promise is dependent upon a high level of personalization and a wide range of tailored learning opportunities that allow all learners to master challenging standards-based curriculum.

TREC requires that teachers know their students well enough to understand their specific talents and interests; know student caregivers well enough to appreciate their students’ background, and know how to analyze data to understand the impact of their instruction on individual student learning. High aspirations for all students must be backed up by strong support systems that are informed by deep levels of personalization and responsiveness to individual learner’s needs and capacities. The Royal Experience Curriculum is coordinated and integrated horizontally across the grade levels to ensure students are supported as they go from class to class, making connections and adding to their knowledge base as they go. The Royal Experience Curriculum is also coordinated vertically to ensure the successes, talents, and knowledge of students that will be built upon as they matriculate through East End Preparatory School.

Students will:

  • Master content knowledge in manners and etiquette
  • Understand the life lessons and real-world applications of their learning
  • Know how to respond to essential questions that ask them to think critically about how all knowledge is interconnected, and they will develop crucial questions on their own
  • Develop enduring understandings that connect prior experience to the construction of new knowledge
  • Develop the tools necessary to form their essential questions and engage in rigorous inquiry in all subject areas
  • Understand the value of persistence
  • Become advocates for themselves, their peers, and their communities

 Here are some of the qualities you can expect students to exhibit:

  • Greater confidence and self-esteem
  • More empathy for others
  • Improved etiquette and social skills in the classroom
  • Pride in showing their parents what they have learned at school
  • Better manners in everyday life outside the classroom

Download your free sample here: TREC Sample

 

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Overcoming Fear

Jumping 3Fear keeps us in the background. It convinces us we can never accomplish our dreams, tells us to keep quiet, and separates us from the ones we love. Fear has an unparalleled ability to freeze us in our tracks, and limit what we are willing to try. Fear makes us lead a smaller life.

The things that we are afraid of may be different, but our reactions to fear are usually the same – our palms sweat, our mouths get dry, our stomachs churn — and we would do anything, make any sacrifice, just to make it go away. How many times have you turned away from an opportunity or even a relationship because you were too afraid to go for it?

We all have grand dreams and plans for our lives, but more often than not we find ourselves falling off the wagon on our way there. Do not let your goals and dreams fall by the wayside. All successful people have experienced problems at some point in their life.

The first step in achieving your goals is that you have to really want to achieve the goal. Napoleon Hill, famously said “The starting point of all achievement is desire. Weak desires bring weak results, just as a small amount of fire makes a small amount of heat.”  If you cannot picture yourself achieving a goal, chances are, you won’t.

People who have made it understand that setbacks are a necessity for growth. Setbacks are not the same as failures. How you handle setbacks determines a large part of whether or not you end up successful. You cannot always be ready for what life throws your way, but how you react to different situations is entirely up to you.

We all know success doesn’t come overnight. You must be persistent. It might take time but it will ultimately pay off. Always finish what you start. Starting a new project is good; finishing it is better. Do not get into a cycle of starting new things and leaving them unfinished. Remember to congratulate yourself on your small successes along the way because it helps you stay motivated by recognizing your successes.

Start by setting a few small goals. These should be goals that are slightly, but not overwhelmingly, challenging. Think of these goals as “early wins” that are designed to help boost your confidence. Taking one small step at a time will help build your confidence, keep you moving forward, and prevent you from getting overwhelmed with visions of your final goal.

Dr. Henry Cloud, counselor and author, in his article “Overcoming Fear,” recommends several active steps we can take to battle the fear that controls us – connecting with others, creating structure, learning relaxation techniques and developing a spiritual life and face your fears.

Guess what? You can write your daily goals in the My TESStimony prayer journal :). Purchase one today! 

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My TESStimony Journal