Saturday, April 6, 2013

Work-at-home mom, 2 babies, no maids

I just described myself.

I actually like having no maids. I've said that before and I'll say it again: Life is better without strangers in your house. Especially strangers you treated kindly, as part of your family, and then they go and steal P10,000 from you just like that.

Life is so much better. If you call a not-so-clean house and fast food meals a better life. Well, fellow blogger Tara of Chronicles of Vanity came by the house a couple of days ago and she said our house was clean. Hooray! I hope you meant it, Tara! And thanks so much for bringing us food!

To be fair to me and Vince, we do the chores and I cook as much as we can but our time is really divided between the kids and our work. Household chores can wait! And between chores and sleep, you can bet which one wins!

But life is so much nicer. The kids are happier. Their parents are happier. There's no pakikisama now. We have privacy again. We feel secure. We know what exactly is happening with the babies. Sigh! If only we didn't have to work! Seriously. If we had all the money in the world, we will NOT have household help. We'll cocoon ourselves, take care of the kids ourselves, cook, clean, everything! It's just that we have to work.

We really want to continue with this no-maids arrangement. Aside from what I said in the previous paragraph, we'd save a ton of money, especially with that Kasambahay Law, which is hard on the budget. Vince and I have admitted we do need a housekeeper who can clean maybe twice a week. Maybe a babysitter for some afternoons so Vince and I can work. But we can't find anyone who wants that arrangement! Do you know anyone who can come in just a few times a week?

Anyway, I was thinking that my word this year was simplify. To be very honest, my life wasn't getting any simpler. I'm busier now than I was when I was employed! And so many fabulous things are happening because of my blogs! My life was getting more exciting!

Then the theft happened. Suddenly I had no household help. Meetings were cancelled. Deadlines were missed. Work truly took a backseat. And you know what? Life is so much simpler and sweeter. Of course, I'm more tired. I can't even find the time to brush my hair. But I'm happy. Maybe this is how this year is supposed to be.

45 comments:

  1. kudos to you! ang hirap ng walang household help ha! i dont bring the yaya when we go out. and im soooo tired after. cant imagine taking care of two at the same time.i really admire you for that! :)

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    1. The husband is a work-at-home daddy, too =) So tig-isa kaming bata. Or isa sa mga bata, isa sa chores. Yun nga lang, we can only work when the kids are asleep. It helps that they are on a schedule! =)

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  2. Sorry to hear about that theft. :( It's tough really to get a good, reliable househelp. I am employed now, too, but I really want to go home-based and still be busy with some work. If you know what I mean. I hope it will happen to me soon. Ha ha!

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    1. I know what you mean! I wish you opportunities so you can be a WAHM, too!

      It's not easy, ha. For one thing, it's easy to work when you're at the office. Pag nasa bahay ka, the kids won't let you work! =)

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  3. Yes, WAHMness is busier than we realize, diba? But I am glad you got rid of the ungrateful house help. I know how it feels to let people go because of stealing :( Its happened to us, too. That's why we've not has house help the past six months!

    We do have the ironing lady come though, which is a lifesaver. If you need a once-a-week cleaning lady, I can put you in touch with one! Text/ call me :)

    And by the way: You're doing such a great job! Vince also. It's hard to be work at home parents but it's also happy, happy, happy times. You're with the boys. I can relate with the meetings 'n' events situation. Ako naman, I try to compound meetings so that I go out less; gastos din eh if I go out more than I should, and I try not to leave Vito so much, especially since he's homeschooled. Mahirap, busy, but happy.

    Thanks for your kwento, Frances! You're an encouragement to us all. Blessings galore on you and your blogs, too!!!

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    1. LOL I was scanning your comment and yung unang basa ko was, "If you need a once-a-week cleaning lady, call me!" And I was like, "Aww, Martine, you'd help clean my house! God bless you!" Yun pala hindi hahaha

      God bless you pa rin =) You are an inspiration to me!!!

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    2. Ah, er, can I just visit your house and NOT clean but bring you cookies (or pie)? Hahahaha.

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    3. Yes! Please bring healthy food! I've been feeding my poor darling babies McDonald's and Shakeys! =(

      Well, not all the time, not even every day. But often enough to make me feel like a bad mommy!

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  4. So can relate! Good thing Vince works from home too at least you can share the chores. Had to give up my part time online work before since juggling that with two young kids plus the house while being pregnant was sooo taxing!

    You live in a condo right? Try asking with your admin if they can recommend any cleaners. Or ask the janitors if they want to sideline after work or on their rest days. There are professional cleaning services too.

    Finding a sitter on the other hand is trickier. It's hard to leave your kids with a stranger. Good thing my mom doesn't mind baby sitting for an hour or two a week.

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    1. That is an excellent idea! There IS a cleaning service here. I just totally forgot about it! =D Thank you!!!

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  5. We have 2 boys too, but we live in Hawaii so having no yaya or maid is nothing new. we do everything ourselves. our families are both in Canada so it's just me and the hubby. after my first son was born I went part time, we're both nurses so I worked 2 twelve hour shifts a week and hubby worked 5 eight hour shifts. someone was always home, daycare here is $800 a month so I'd rather work part time than pay someone else to take care of my boy. we didn't have family time though so after my second son was born my hubby went part time too working 3 eight hours lol. so it's like living on one pay cheque, but I can say we're so much happier. our eldest goes to preschool which cost $800/month but we just have to be smart with how we spend our money and making sure there is savings. good luck I know you guys can do it.

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    1. Yeah, my American mommy friends keep sneering at me, "Spoiled brat!" LOL

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  6. Hi Frances,

    I salute a WAHM like you because I speak for my self. I have 2 kids as well no yaya no helper although were staying with my in-laws I do all the work for my small family laundry, cleaning the room, ironing, baby sitting, fetching my son in school and swimming class, cooking for everybody in the house, washing the dishes and my double job work one for Singapore based company and Australian company.The work was flexible both are very considerate but I need to be professional and work on there demand as well. Mind you every weekday I am super tired but I am happy to do all this for my family and I dont see myself hiring a househelp or yaya until I have my own house. Sorry to hear about the theft story but really that is really one of the thing I want to avoid if I will hire my own helper since i am staying with the in law. Another pakisama for me for the nanny. And just late last yr my in laws helper was caught stealing stuff from them that even makes me think twice.
    Hope you will be able to deal with your new role as all around mommy. Sure indeed having privacy and without a stranger is a big thing. Everything is light, simple and happy. Happy weekend.

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    1. Okay, I will not complain anymore after reading your story!

      I'll still hire a yaya, though. Or a cleaning lady. Our work is really suffering! Well... we'll see. =)

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  7. I became an official WAHM only this February. And boy, I'm loving it! My son became closer to me as well and I was able to supervise our helper and of course how he handles my son. By the way, our helper has been with my hubby's family for 15 years before we got her and she's been working for us for 4 years now so well trusted talaga.
    Anyway, since we have a home office, I always tell my son that mommy needs to go "the office" and needs to work. He respects my work time and I just check on him from time to time.
    Cheers for WAHM like us!!

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    1. I need an office! =) I actually do have a work space. I'll blog about it. It's very cozy =) But my baby is 11 months old. He kinda doesn't cooperate when I say, "Mama has to work!"

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  8. Hi, Frances!

    I believe this is my first time to comment on your blog. Relate much kasi ako. :) I'm a not-so-domesticated SAHM with a 17 month old baby girl, no house help for 9 months now. Mahirap kasi my husband and I need to take turns in doing household chores. Sometimes he cooks pa before going to the office, I can't cook kasi eh. Hehehe.. :D But we're much happier now compared to those times na may house help kami who stole my baby's clothes and walang ginawa kundi mag-talk and text maghapon, magdamag. Plus the fact na siya pa ang pinakamalakas kumain sa amin. Minsan kami ni husband salted egg ang ulam, siya daing na bangus. Kinaya ko lahat yan kahit inis na inis na ako. Natatakot kasi akong pagsabihan siya, baka saktan si baby ko kapag wala kami. Though 1 hour lang naman ang pinakamatagal na iniwan ko sa kanya si baby, ayoko pa din magtiwala ng lubos. Our 2nd house help, grabe naman sa pagka-chismosa at parang kabute, lulubog-lilitaw. Hindi kasi siya stay-in kumpara dun sa una. Masipag lang siya pumasok kapag malapit na sweldo, nung pinagsabihan ko hindi na bumalik. Nakakaloka! Sa ngayon, someone's coming over here na lang to do the laundry and pressing of clothes every 2 weeks. Everyday disaster ang eksena dito sa bahay pero LIFE IS INDEED MUCH HAPPIER. :D

    Good luck sa inyo ni hubby mo. Don't worry, kaya niyo yan! :)

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    1. I know this will anger the pro-poor but I hope they hear me out: If these poor people really need the job, then why don't they do a good job??? Why must they be lazy, arrogant, feel entitled, be untrustworthy? Pareho-pareho lang naman tayo nagta-trabaho, right?

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    2. I agree, Frances! I also do not intend to be mean but I don't get why they are even more 'tamad' than us when they are the ones who need money the most. My husband and I have never employed a maid due to trust issues too but I employ people who are in the informal settlers group and have had so many problems with 'katamaran' and 'dishonesty'. They are actually my stressors sometimes. I would say there are people who work hard naman. I'm lucky to employ 15 people who are doing well at work...most of the time. Haha!

      Rory

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    3. And I'm not being anti-poor kasi mahirap din kami dati. I'm against this attitude of laziness, entitlement and ingratitude =(

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  9. I'm a WAHM too with a one year old and the dad with a work out of home job. We didn't have help for almost three months because our previous nanny gives us a big headache all the time so we thought we could do without any help at all. We loved the first month because we get to do things our way and we love the privacy but eventually we got burned out and started to fight all the time about chores and other things that we decided its best for us to hire a new one. We just hired a part time helper who would do all the chores while I focus on the baby and work. So far its been smooth sailing for us. I hope you find someone that could help you the chores so that you won't get stressed and too tired. Goodluck! :)

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    1. Thank you! Yes, we're really enjoying this arrangement. We're also thinking of adjusting our work schedules so that we really won't need maids =)

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  10. This was our issue with living in Manila last year. I am a first time mother and I have always wanted to be as hands-on as possible. We were looking for part-time help, but hardly anyone is interested because they all wanted a stay-in, full-time position. We lived in a condo, and we love our privacy. We are now living in France where child-care is subsidized by the government, so we send our daughter to a baby-sitter in the morning and the state basically helps us pay for it. I think part of the problem in the Philippines is that you need to have a nanny or a maid, or have a lot of family around. One example is doing chores - in developed countries, most households have dish machines, washers and dryers, a lot of electronic equipment, etc, and electricity does not cost an arm and a leg. Also, in a lot of big cities, grocery stores make home deliveries. There is even online grocery shopping. In some cases, you can even have laundry delivered. So there is barely a need of having a maid or a nanny. Do I wish I had a maid or a nanny? Sometimes, because I do need a break. My daughter is *ehem* very expressive with her wants and wishes and my husband works a lot. I have not had "me" time in 13 and a half months. Our closest family is 8 hours away by train. I wish we were neighbors, we could definitely try to make an arrangement. Good luck with finding new help! You have a lovely family!

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    1. Actually, with that Kasambahay Law, which makes maids expensive now, I think the result will be this: Not more employment and benefits for the poor, instead households will invest in machines to help with the chores. Like in first world countries. I've definitely been looking at top-of-the-line washing machines, hot pots and all sorts of machines. If machines means no more maids and no extra cost and extra stress, then give me machines!

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  11. Hi Frances! I've been a lurker for more than a year now. I am a WAHM with a 5-yr old son. I can only imagine how you manage your time to do housework, finish work and take care of two kids. I only have one (2 if you count the husband LOL) and he is so energetic. At the end of the day, I'm just exhausted. Ever since he turned 3 we didn't hire na a yaya/maid because I find it also tiring to keep training household help over and over again, then they'll just leave =( My husband works full-time so he takes care of the lil one only once he is home from work. I do the cooking, dishes, tidying up and homeschooling most of the time. Laundry is something na hindi ko na talaga kaya so we take clothes to the laundromat. Most of the time I love our situation (there are easy days too), but sometimes (those days I don't have time to brush my hair) I wish there was reliable service here in the phils, so I can just call and someone can do household work for one-day. I'm a bit paranoid with hiring people to clean the house because my aunt had a situation wherein the cleaner was pilfering bottles of lotion, soap and shampoo. nothing compared to the 10k stolen from you, but you never know what some people would do kasi...

    Good luck and I hope you find reliable househelp!

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    1. When I was younger, I always wondered why women cut their hair short when they become moms. I thought it was, like, a thing, you know, a mommy club rite of passage haha. Now I see it's because we just don't have the time to brush it =)

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    2. Haha funny that I also wondered the same thing when I was younger and I vowed to myself I'll keep the hair length that I want and not because I can't maintain it anymore. But a few months after giving birth, kinain ko ang sinabi ko and sported a shorter cut.

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  12. I have two maids now - a yaya and an all around who cooks, cleans, does the laundry. Everyday test of patience sya, my yaya keeps forgetting what the baby needs, does things wrong pa rin even if i have trained her many times. She's kind naman and plays with my daughter and kahit papano trusted na. I work nights so i just really need someone in the morning so i can sleep. My all around naman i tamad, mahilig magpalusot and has broken so many things at home. Sigh. They are both leaving na end of the month to study in the province and i am both worried and relieved. When my hubby and i used to work abroad life was simpler kasi we just had a cleaning lady come in 2x a week. But now with the baby we really need help! I feel you frances, i've been reading your blog and i know how nice you are to your maids. Makes me think now ano ba dapat ang approach sa kanila? Sa totoo lang mas challenging pa mag manage ng maid kesa mga staff sa office.

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    1. Thank you for thinking I'm still nice despite having gone through 7 maids in 2.5 years! I am in despair! Tama ka kasi—ano nga ba dapat ang approach sa kanila? Dapat ba parang nanay? Kaibigan? Boss? Kasi I tried all na (except cruelty and abuse!) and abusado pa ri sila!

      Yes, you're right. Our real reason for having maids is so we can sleep! =)

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  13. I can SO relate to this, Frances. I have three kids and no maids or yayas as well. Good thing that I am a WAHM too so I can juggle tending to my hubby and kids with working from home. It's not easy. The juggling act thing is hard and tiring! But in the end it's all worth it.

    To make things easier in terms of chores, I try to schedule only one major chore per day. One day could be major cleaning of the house, another day could be doing the laundry, etc. Also, I send the "pang-alis" clothes to the laundry shop so that I don't need to iron, because I hate that! Haha! Hubby and kids help out with the chores too whenever they can but I could still use a twice-a-week cleaning lady too since things are starting to get busier work-wise.

    Good luck to you! WAHM-ing is great! Having no maids is great too! You can do it. :) I never thought I could but here I am, happy and surviving. :)

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    1. One major chore a day. That is an excellent idea!!! Although kami kasi ni Vince. we're trained by our moms to clean a little every day so that the chores don't pile up. It also helps! =)

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  14. I feel for you. I now leave my son in a daycare. We were hesitant at first because we are over-protective (took s a long time, 9 yrs, to have a child). However, due to financial reason, I have to work more. Our daycare is part of the hospital that we work with and the staff are very good. All of them has early childhood education training. Some has Master's degree even. Most of them work with Mercy for more than 20 years. Most of our co workers who are in their 50s and 60s placed their children in the same daycare and they are very pleased by the care. Most of their children are now professionals-- doctor, social workers, lawyers, etc... I feel comfortable now and I plan to increase my hours at work. My son has interaction with children his age of different races and backgrounds. I feel so lucky. It is expensive. 40 dollars a day but worth it. My husband told me it is tax deductible. Anyway, the daycare set up is like a school. They serve meals that is prepared by hospital dietary team. They have crafts, story time, nap time and play time. This summer, they have field trips. I feel so lucky to have access to such good childcare. My only regret is not utilizing this service earlier.

    So our childcare thing is fixed but our house is a mess. No maid. No cleaning lady. Just us. I just let it go. As long as the dishes are clean. Laundry is caught up. The toddler is bathed, I am content.

    I know how it feels there in the Philippines. I grew up with maid problems. It was a relief when my siblings grew up. I wish Philippines will deal with the need for quality childcare. It is needed. It is good for the economy. It is good for the future. I don't think I will be able to leave a baby to strangers who are not background checked and not trained. It takes a lot of patience and knowledge to take care of little ones. Most abuse happens because of lack of education on child rearing. Child rearing is the most important job as what happened in your childhood affects the rest of your life.

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    1. Yes! My kids are lucky pa nga because even though they have yayas, their parents are usually at home so we don't really leave them with the yayas. Kami pa rin talaga kasama nila. The yayas only take over when we need to sleep or we have to work a few hours.

      You know, because of your comment, I'm beginning to think of opening a daycare!

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    2. Please, open na, tapos put a branch dito sa Subic. :)

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  15. YES! Your house is clean and I saw it when I was there! :) Thank you for welcoming me to your home to play with your babies and for letting me sit on the floor with them. One of the truly brightest moments I had of late.

    Thank you Frances and hope to play with the kids more! :)

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    1. Thanks so much for saying that =D And thank you talaga for the food. It saved me and my kids from going hungry haha

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  16. My all around girl (chores and takes care of my 9 year old) for almost two years will be leaving end of the month to help out in the province. I have a new yaya (for my toddler) who's a college grad and has been with us for a month pa lang. I know she has plans to work abroad so we don't really keep our hopes up na she will stay. She is our sixth yaya na. My husband has given up on looking for a replacement for the all around. Says that it has been stressful to always train and then helplessly wait for another replacement when they leave. Hindi naman din kami masamang amo. Maluwag nga kasi may wifi access din sila, we shop for them rin whenever we go to the mall. Kung masama naman kami e di sana hindi nagtagal yung isa ng almost two years. We have talked about me giving up my job but after having worked for the past 16 years, parang katakot, what with the finances and all. Tapos iniisip ko rin how I can manage taking Ate to school and bringing her home (school is just 10 minutes away), or taking the laundry up to the laundry cage, or cooking? Ayoko naman iwan yung toddler kahit tulog and mahirap din naman kung isasama ko sya pag sundo (I had to carry the big trolley bag upto the third floor where our unit is) at pag sampay ng damit sa 6th floor. I'm really getting stressed out over this situation. Pero escited din to finally be a SAHM.

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    1. I spent the entire year (and more!) crying over this, too! I was a career woman all my life. It was all I ever wanted to be! Then the kids came. That kinda decided it for me! Try being a SAHM lang for a year or two (with your hubby's agreement, of course). Yun din lang naman ang plan ko. The kids won't need me forever so I don't plan to stay home for long! =)

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  17. i feel your situation right now is bittersweet. Masaya na nakakasama nyo kids nyo, yet super pagod. Plus of course you do have to get some work done. Hirap magconcentrate with two kids vying for your attention. =) It's wonderful that both you and Vince get to work at home and earn a lot at the same time =)

    Btw, how did the theft happen? did I miss the kwento? I tried reading past posts but I can't seem to find it. tsk tsk... from you past posts ang bait mo na ngang amo, tapos abuso pa din?? hay naku? did you get your yaya from an agency? did you report it? what did they say?

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    1. I haven't made kwento. I was so mabait to them when they left but to everyone I made kwento, they all told me, "Sa sobrang bait mo, naging tanga ka! Dapat pina-pulis mo! Dapat inisa-isa mo ang gamit! Dapat ganito ganyan!" Ugh. So I decided not to share na lang on the blogs.

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  18. My husband and I are working full time and we don't have a maid/yaya. My mom takes care of my 4-year old daughter. She comes to the house everyday before I go to work and we take her home at night. She also does the cooking and some of the house chores. This has been our setup for more than 2 years now ever since 2 or 3 yayas left consecutively. Parang nakakasawa na lahat sila pinapakisamahan mo and then without saying a word bigla na lang aalis. So at weekends, we do the cleaning and all household stuff. We have a labandera that comes by once a week. It's true that it's tiring but I have a sense of peace in my mind knowing that I don't have a stranger at home whenever I'm at work.

    Kudos to you, Frances. I must say that you're doing a good job. :)

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    1. Thanks! Times like these I wish my mother were still alive to do what your mom does! Oh wait. My mother didn't like kids below 18 nga pala! She used to make palo my nieces with a wooden spoon when they were makulit! So... Anyway! =)

      We're good. Hubby and I are work-at-home naman! We will make this work! =D

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  19. hi! I'm so glad to read about your blog. I'm a full-time mom who has an eight month old son, and just 2 days ago i found out that I'm pregnant. I'm really scared of getting a helper because my sisters and I have been physically assaulted by our yayas.And so my challenge begins now, I'm taking care of my son while prego with baby 2. I really thought I'm the only one who does not want to get helpers at home considering my situation.you just encouraged me.thanks and God bless!

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  20. Hi I really can relate with you. I have two kids, a toddler which is 1 year old and a 6 month baby. We hired two yayas before because my husband and I goes to work. One of my yaya asked our permission if she could go back to her province and continue her studies. Since I am a school teacher and summer break is coming which means no work for me we allowed her. So which leaves us with one yaya. I said to my husband we could do about with our daily lives with only one yaya because it is school break. I can help around the house and do other chores. We also plan to hire a replacement but it would be a month before the school starts. Just 4 days after the other yaya who went home to province, the yaya who is left with us suddenly leave without any permission. Just disappeared...just that. We only discovered in the morning that she left at night while we are all sleeping and oblivious of her plans. She then texted us that she went home to province also. We said, if she wants to leave then say it properly and we will graciously allow her, just don't leave us hanging. the next few days was crazy...my husband and I will divide the kids. He will bring the older one to work and the small one will stay with me. There are times I have to borrow kasambahay from my parents. Lolo and lolas will visit us to help babysit for awhile. Days and nights are longer and everything was so exhausting. But after it, we got the hang of everything and I say things are more predictable.

    Remember the yaya who went home to province to study called us if we already have house help. I said, no luck yet. She said if she could go back to us and study in Manila because we was not able to enroll in the province. We lovingly accepted her. After that we heard a news from the other yaya who just left us and would want to come back to us. Yeah right! after all the inconveniences she had cause us.

    We are now praying for an additional yaya. And I can say right now we are more experienced in selecting one.

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  21. Thanks for discovering this blog about nannies problem. I can really realy relate on this and I want also to share my bad experiences with my nannies. I have 3 kids 1 is 3 years old and my twin who are now 2 and 1/2 years old, my twin are pre-matured so we hired 2 nannies and with in than period for 2 and 1/2 years I got already 10 nannies and out of 10 only 2 stayed 1 year with me, the rest only 1 month, 3 months, 5 and 6 months. each and every one of them has different dillema's. I have nanny who steal my kids clothing, some of my stuff and worst even my kids diaper and some of my groceries she send via courier to her home....haisst.... Before I used to be open to them, being so kind, and everything na pakikisama I did because I want them to treat my kids as their family also,thats why I treated them as a member of my family but the worst thing is, they abused me. the 2 who stayed with me for one year I am the one who send them home with bonus and free airfare because habang tumatagal parang sila na ang amo, magdadabog pa kung di masunod ang gusto. WOW! sabi ng kapatid ko sobrang bait ko na daw kaya ako ginaganyan, but my reason is ayaw ko silang magalit baka anak ko ang gantihan kapag wala ako. siguro nga tanga ako at bobo mag isip noon. Now I realized that not to trust 100% to anybody. I have the latest worst one, they are sisters that I hired because I thought if they are sisters some conflicts can be avoided and they will help each other on the household chores but the result is worst....Now I have trauma and I want to personally take care of my kids because I felt so sorry when I know from my neighbors that they spank and hit my kids of hanger or slippers if im not around. I dont want anymore to discuss some other stupid things they did because I dont want to remember it any more, but its really worsts. :( :(.....Now I want to try hiring my distant relative from province Im not sure if this one will work out but I make an agreement that after 1 year I will send her to college because she is high school graduate. Sana tumino ito, Im not also losing hope na makakatagpo ng matino kc meron naman na maayos, kailangan nga lang talaga piliin ng mabuti. as of now I resigned to my work and prefered to become a full time mom for this time.

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This is all pretty new to me so please feel free to share your mommy wisdom!