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Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Children don't "Owe" Parents

I was raised that I "owed" my parents.

Because I "owed" them they were able to manipulate me to act they way they wanted me to. If I didn't act that way, then they withheld love, yelled at me, gossiped about me because it wasn't about my life, wants or desires, it is all about them and theirs.

Even as an adult, this "owing" is still there. It's more important then my relationship with others, more important then our spouses, more important then our own children, more important then our jobs, friends .... everything.

Everything we do is suppose to be about them and bringing them joy, It's impossible to bring joy to someone who thinks I owe them and that my life is to please them and fulfill their dreams - which is an impossible feat.
When I became a mother I had this same thought process - even though I wasn't aware that I did or that anything was wrong with that thought process. 

As a mom I wanted Jason's life to be much easier then mine was. I worked really hard all the time, played with him, sacrificed for him and loved him. 

With my warped upbringing and state of mind, I felt because I had sacrificed so much for him that he "owed" me to be good, never make a mistake, do well in school - basically be perfect all the time.

It was a lot of pressure that I put on that little boy.

By the time Jason was a teenager he was rebelling all the time. I was so angry that he wasn't being "good" and being everything I wanted him to be - to fulfill my dreams. I felt he "owed" me to be everything I wanted him to be because I had sacrificed and raised him by myself. AND by golly he should be an obedient son and not give me any grief.

During a visit with my visiting teacher I unloaded my frustration at raising a teenager who wouldn't tow the line. I was being a miserable angry mom because my child wasn't doing everything to fulfill my dreams and expectations I had for him. 

She said, "Sondra, Jason doesn't "owe" you. Children don't "owe" their parents anything."

I was taken by surprise. She didn't agree with me, she pushed back. I didn't know what to say. I was kind of angry that she actually didn't agree with me and told me so. 

After she left I thought about what she said. Then a light bulb flashed on and I knew she was right. This is the wisdom I gained that day:
Why Children Don't "Owe" their Parents:

1. You chose to have children. You chose to get pregnant, follow through to the birth, chose to keep the baby. 

2. You chose to be a caregiver, to take the responsibility of providing for your child's physical, emotional and mental well-being.

3. Your children don't owe you thanks for your own decisions.

4. Children are not born with a burden to fulfill. They are born perfect children free of any responsibility to be part of the family and your life. 

5. They just don't "owe" you. They are here to live their lives, growing and learning in a way that makes sense to them. 

6. They are not here to meet your needs. They are not here to prove themselves to you. They are not here to be perfect. You are the person responsible for that child, not the other way around. 

7.  It's your job to meet your own emotional needs. It's your job to fill yourself with love. It's your job to care for your own well-being, give yourself the things you love or want and make sure you are happy - not theirs

8. Your children and no one "owes" you happiness, love, obedience or anything. 
I wished I would have had this light bulb moment earlier when Jason was a baby instead of a teenager. I think I would have been a better mom. I think he rebelled because I pushed so hard and wanted him to be perfect. 

Now that I am aware that I also don't "owe" my parents anything - I resist that unhealthy behavior and pressure they give me. I don't "owe" them anything .... it was their choice to become a parent - I had no choice to become their child. The same thing with my children. 
I am a much healthier person because I understand this truth. My children don't owe me anything and I don't owe my parents anything.

My children are free to live their own life the way that makes sense to them.

And you know what? I love them unconditionally. More now that I don't expect them to meet my needs and be the clone I thought I expected them to be. 

I thank my visiting teacher every day for giving me this truth. She was bold and she gave me the wisdom I needed. She changed my life. Without this knowledge, I don't think I'd be as happy as I am with life and with my children. 

I hope you also learn this truth - Children don't "owe" their parents anything.

“Love doesn't have to be earned. It either is or it isn’t. And it doesn't come with a list of conditions that say “I’ll only love you if…….”

Monday, April 27, 2015

Being a Single Mom

I was a single mom at age 22.

I was independent, had a good job and there was no way that I was going to give up my baby.

I always wanted to be a mother and was excited for the arrival of my baby.

I loved Jason so much! We had a lot of fun just the 2 of us. I loved him to the moon and back and would give anything to bring him joy in his life. 

I was so blessed being a single mom. There was never a time we didn't have food on the table, or that I was on the verge of becoming homeless. We were safe and had the things we needed.

Of course I struggled financially, but we always made it. 

Jason's dad was not in the picture and I didn't make him provide child support. Biggest mistake I ever did was struggle financially when he was off living his life without a care in the world.

I felt guilty that I got pregnant. He wanted me to get an abortion and walked away. There was no way I was terminating this pregnancy or giving up my child. Because of this, I let him walk away and didn't burden him anyway financially. 

My advice to any woman who get pregnant, NEVER let them walk away without making them pay child support. NEVER! It's not fair to let them walk away because this child was made by both of you.  
 Jason just turn 10 years old when I had Brady and I was 32. I was newly married and it was a struggle to be everything to everyone. 

I went back to work 2 weeks after having Brady because I just started a new job after my previous job shut down their offices in Salt Lake City.

I was exhausted, but did my best to be a good mom and a wife.

It was harder then being a single mom to just Jason. There was a lot of pressure.
 My children were everything to me. I loved being a mom and wished that I could have been a full time mom and not worked. But not many people have that option, and I didn't - we needed my income to survive. 
My marriage was extremely hard and I became separated when Brady was 3 and divorced when he was 3 1/2. 

Again I was a single mom. 

But this time I made sure I received child support. It wasn't much, only $217 a month for the next 15 years. 

I don't know why I always felt guilty for asking for support from either of their fathers. Why I had to make it on my own. Although it was great of Brady's father to always pay his child support each  month ... he walked away financially when Brady turned 18. 

I love my children unconditionally. There is not a thing they could ever do that would make me cease to love them. They are the most wonderful people I know. Both are loving, honorable, smart and good men and it's been such a privilege to be their mother. 

I've lived a blessed life. Not a fairy tale, not the life of my dreams. But I haven't wanted for anything and was able to provide and give them a good home and good childhood. 

I often wonder why I was so lucky that we had the things we needed. We were never without a home, food, clothing or safety. I always worked hard to take care of my children and we did it.

They are both grown men now and I couldn't be prouder of who they are and what great people they are. 

It's easy to think about all the things I didn't have and how my dreams didn't come true. But, I refuse to get sucked into those depressing thoughts. 

I am grateful for my life! I am grateful I had been blessed with 2 wonderful sons. I am grateful for my ability to work and provide for them. I am grateful that I was able to purchase a home. I believe I am happy and have a happy life because I focus on all the good things life has brought me.

None of us live a perfect life. I don't believe any of us have every dream come true. 

The way to be happy is to focus on the good things in life - our blessings. 

When we have gratitude, we have happiness. 

When we grumble and complain about all the wrongs and how we had a tough life, that's when depression sets in and we live an unhappy life.

I choose to be happy and have a joyful life. I choose to count all the blessings I've had.
I believe this is why I have a great life .... it's because I know how blessed I've been. 

Friday, April 24, 2015

Garden: Seedling Update

The seeds I planted April 9th are growing!

The tiny Wave Petunia seeds are even growing - all the tiny leaves above.

Tomatoes, Zucchini, Crookneck, Basil and Parsley seeds are growing well too.  
 All 8 pots of Pea plants are looking great too. 
I can't wait until they start blooming and have pea pods growing. Yum!

I love having a garden and fresh vegetables!
They taste much better then what you can purchase at the store. 

I'm excited to see how the flower seeds turn out. 

Gardening makes me happy!

Life is too short to be anything but happy!

I absolutely love this quote! I don't know the author, but thought I'd share it.

....................................................................................

There comes a time in life, when you walk away from all the drama and people who create it.

Surround yourself with people who make you laugh, forget the bad, and focus on the good.

Love the people who treat you right.

Pray for the ones who don't.

Life is too short to be anything but happy.

Falling down is part of life, getting back up is living. 

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

I Need To Buy That, Don't I?


Every day I am bombarded with "great" ... "don't miss this sale" advertisements. 

There are so many great deals. Deals that make me want to grab my purse and keys then drive to the store and get that great deal. 
 This week I actually printed off:

20% off entire purchase at Michael's coupon.

$20 off $100 from Big Lots.

Double rewards points from Fred Meyers. 

I sat and dreamed of all the items I needed to purchase with those coupons. 

But then I sat and thought, "do I really, really need anything?"
 Every Sunday when I retrieve the newspaper from my porch I can't wait to open it up and see all of those Advertisements. I get excited about the savings I see. 

It's like an addiction. Shopping. Getting a great deal.

We've been brain washed to think we need to spend money all the time to get this great sale.
 It's hard to resist the pull.

Then I pull up my budget, my financial goals and have a reality check.
I don't really need anything. If I don't spend any money I can pay off more debt.
I have to give myself a mental shake. My financial goals are my driving focus right now. I don't want to purchase any luxuries that aren't needed.

I feel if I'm in debt I can't afford to spend money on those "great deals". I can't let a sale brain wash me and keep me in debt.

Take a moment ... don't rush to get your purse and your keys. Instead look at your financial goals which I hope are written down and your budget. Focus on that until you are free - financially free.

I'm am trying to change my thinking. I'm trying not to be brain washed by advertisers. I have a brain and I'm trying to use it and be wise with my purchases. For me, financial freedom is worth more than that "great deal". 

As for the deals I printed, I didn't use any of them. They will be recycled - because I took a step back and didn't do something that got my impulse electrons excited. My brain cells actually worked and I was wise and resisted. 

A penny saved is a penny earned and I earned lots of money just from being wise. 

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Cleaning: Stove Burner Pans and Cookies Sheets

If you are a Pinterest user you've probably seen a lot of "cleaning tricks" to clean a cookie sheet.

The trick I've seen most often is to use baking soda and hydrogen peroxide. 
 Every time I see these types of "cleaning tricks" is just roll my eyes. They use the most time consuming tricks that also need a lot of elbow grease / scrubbing to get it clean.

I never let my cookie sheets get this bad because I clean it sparkling clean every time there is burned on oil/food. 

Unfortunately my cookies sheets never are bad, so I don't have one to show you how to clean a dirty cookie sheet but I can explain it. 

All you need is an SOS pad. That is what they are made for. 

It makes me laugh that the younger generation hasn't been taught basic easy cleaning with products that have been on the market FOREVER. 

These are the times I feel my age when I see silly "cleaning tricks" on Pinterest. 
 This is an SOS pad. It has soap in it - so all you need is water and an SOS Pad. 

I cook a lot so my stove burner pads get cooked on spillage all the time. Here are a couple of my stove burner pad to show you how bad they get.
 An up close look. 
 Wet the SOS pad with water.
 Start scrubbing away. It really is a gentle clean and an easy way to clean metal pans AND cookie sheets. 
 After a FEW MINUTES the pan is clean, rinse and dry and see the shine again.
 It really is such an easy way to clean. Please don't spend your time using silly "cleaning tricks" when there has been an easy solution out there for FAST cleaning (since I was a little girl and I'm about as old as dirt - LOL!). 
Ahhhh ... beautiful and shining stove again.

Your cookie sheets will be beautiful and shining too in a few minutes. Try it, you will never use these silly Pinterest "cleaning tricks" again.

The miracle of an SOS pad. 


Saturday, April 18, 2015

Ways I Make Extra Money - Swagbucks

Swagbucks - an easy way to earn money.
I've had a Swagbucks account for a while now, but never knew how to use it and make money.
It just sat there unused and I never utilized the money making potential it had.

That was until I saw a tutorial on what to do daily to earn Swagbucks.
If you click HERE, you can see a Homepage Walk through - great tutorial! 

This video is helpful to know what is a Swag Buck.

I've earned $170 in Amazon gift cards so far in 2015. WOW!! It's easy and a real way to earn extra cash. I prefer Amazon gift cards, because I do a lot of shopping on Amazon. 

With my Amazon money, I use it to help my budget to purchase no-perishable grocery items, Some of the items I've gotten for free via Swagbuck money are:
 paper towels, shampoo, lotion, toothbrushes, make up etc.
It's really helped my budget to have free money for every day items I use instead of giving up the money I have in my purse or budgeted for groceries.

Once you earn Swagbucks you turn those points into gift cards:
Paypal
iTunes
Walmart
Visa
To name a few.

My first gift card I redeemed my points on was for a Visa. It's a virtual Visa, you don't get an actual card. They give you a virtual card number, date and code to use it on line. However, I couldn't purchase anything with it because most on-line stores only let you put in 1 credit card number. There isn't anything I could purchase for the exact amount of $25 and it kept getting declined at checkouts. For me, it was unusable. 

I ended up purchasing $25 Amazon gift cards with the VISA, so that I could use it. 

I love the Swagbuck program and find it easy to use and an easy way to earn money.
 Everyday I always complete the 4 main "to-do list" on the front page: Daily Crave, Swag Button (just logging on everyday you earn a point), Daily Poll and NOSO - No Obligation Special Offer. These 4 items equal 5 Swagbuck points. My personal goal is to try and get 30+ points per day.

When I'm online I always have an extra window open playing Swagbuck videos in the background:
 news
entertainment news
music videos
movie trailers
health news
food recipes
home and garden
fashion
pets
 I always have a window open playing videos while I'm working on-line or searching.
For ever 10 videos you earn 3 Swagbucks. It doesn't seem like a lot of Swagbucks, but it adds up fast. 

You earn points for searching the web - so all my searches are through Swagbucks.
Everytime I purchase ANYTHING on-line I go through the Swagbucks shopping system and earn points for every purchase I make. This one thing is a HUGE money maker - like cash back on every purchase you make. Unfortunately I didn't take full advantage of this while Christmas shopping.

Taking surveys is a huge way to make lots of points. Although it can get frustrating when you don't qualify to take the survey. Especially after spending time answering questions and when you don't answer a question they way then want you to - they disqualify you. Some of the length of time to take a survey can be as long as 30 minutes - which feels like forever. If I'm bored and don't have anything pressing to do I usually spend my time taking a survey to earn extra points which equals money!

I love swagbucks and encourage you to join to make real money. If you are a member already I encourage you to not let another day go by when you don't have it working for you while you are on-line anyway. 

If you are not a member already, please use "happycleanliving" as a referral, because I'll earn points from that too. And when you refer someone, you'll earn points too.

Swagbucks ..... the REAL way to make money on-line. It's not a scam. 

Friday, April 17, 2015

When Money is Tight - Part 2

Six things I learned when money was tight:
1. If I budget and know what my income is verses debt/bills - I have much more left over each month.

2. Budgeting and accounting for every cent eliminates a feeling of nervousness and and I don't have anxiety because I REALLY know what the situation is. Every day I pull up my budget spreadsheet and look at it. Every purchase is logged on the spreadsheet.  

3. Don't keep paying higher prices for insurance. At least once a year compare with other companies. It makes me upset that I continued to pay those higher prices when same coverage from another company was available at drastic reduction - just by checking around. When I called to quit - then they wanted to try and reduce their price - but it was too late - I wasn't playing that game with them for screwing me for years. 

4. Don't go to the store without a list. Don't impulse purchase items. If you feel like you need it and it's a good deal, wait a day or two to think about it first.

5. Make a meal plan. You can't grocery shop if you don't have a meal plan. Wasted food is wasted money. Don't waste food. If I have something going bad, I either put it in the freezer (like fruits and veggies - I cut them up first). Leftover meals can be put in the freezer for a quick meal that requires only to be heated up and it doesn't waste food. 

6. Conserve energy by turning off lights, lowering the thermostat, running dishwasher when full, doing a load of laundry only when there is a bigger load, drive less, close blinds/curtains at night, open in the daylight, make your meals from scratch. 

I know that I am in a better place today with less income then I was in August. Even though it has been painful, I gained a new level of wisdom by buckling down. I only wished I would have done this when I was in my 20's. I'm sure if I was this diligent then as I am now I would be debt free and have a huge savings. The past is in the past and I can only go forward. 
If you are young, start now managing your money. Budget, budget, budget! Pay cash. Don't get into debt. Life is so much better without all that stress. 

It's also a mistake to work hard every day and when payday comes along, you have no money to show for all the work you've just put in. That's what happens when you are in debt and every cent goes towards bills. 


It's so much nicer to have actual money in your pocket from all the hard work you've done when you aren't in debt. Then you'll be able to save money, increase your wealth. 

You can't do that if you are in debt. Keep a hold of as much cash as possible, it's the only way you will be wealthy and change your life for the better.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

When Money is Tight - Part 1

Last August 2014 when I returned home from vacation, I had a huge budget hit.

In my cleaning business, I have 2 customers who make up more then 50% of my income. One of those customers had to quit because they were having some financial problems. They quit when I returned from a vacation costing several thousand dollars. Not only quitting, her check bounced from the last cleaning I did. 

Not only was that bad, the other customer told me that they were getting a divorce. 

Within a week, I found out that I was going to lose more then 50% of my income. 

I started working hard on getting more customers added to my business, to replace the 1st customer who quit. I also have been looking at other ways to earn money.

I still had several months until the other customers divorce was final.

That first month was a huge struggle. 

To be able to pay each bill I had to buckle down and make a very detailed budget and I had to watch ever cent that left my purse. 

I looked at all of my debt and tried to figure out how I could pay it off with the situation I was in.

I was really struggling and was sad that I wasn't working harder on becoming debt free before then. 

Over the years I've started and quit several budgeting programs. I haven't done terrible. 

In the past few years I've:
 Purchase 2 cars with cash
Helped Brady with college - Brady is a junior now and we've only borrowed $2000 in student loans
Furnished Brady's apartment
I went on a great vacation to Puerto Vallarta, first vacation in years and first time using a passport
Bought a new Kitchen table
New patio furniture
Helped my children out financially when needed
All done with cash

My debt has gone down 50% during this time, but it isn't down enough to make me feel comfortable to lose 50% of my income.

I found 2 new customers, but lost another one because she went into a nursing home. I'm not where I was in August financially, but I'm doing OK.

I have really cut back on as much as possible. I've eaten off of food storage. I checked around on my car insurance and was able to reduce it from $217 a month to $133.50 with the same coverage. I was able to reduce my health insurance going to Obama Care instead of a private insurance. I've cut where I could.

Since August, I've reduced my debt another 50%. I've paid off 3 debts and only have 2 left. I am putting everything I can toward paying off those 2 credit cards before my other customers divorce is final. 

I'm hoping to have those completely gone in a couple of months and have no debt besides my house.

My goal was to be debt free before I lose the customer getting a divorce and they sell their home and part ways. I may have longer then I thought - hopefully until this fall. Anyway, I'm praying for that. 

I'm still trying to build my business, but if I don't I'm in a better position to being able to make it.
At least I won't be financially ruined, which is a great thing.

Part 2 here

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