I stumbled upon my WordPress app today and realized it has been a year since I wrote a post. So this year I have decided to make at least one post a week, and hopefully get some viewers who are interested in my thoughts, opinions, and stories.
As the name of my blog suggests, I am a dog walker. So there will definitely be some funny dog walking stories to come. I also am a single mom of an amazing 2 1/2 year old son, and I would love to share some stories, parenting ideas, struggles, etc.
First things first, I will share some of my goals for 2017. Maybe some of you share the same. I do not like using the word “resolution” because for me resolutions are not only a bit cliche, but they feel like they are destined to be broken. I prefer to start with some basic goals, that I can break down into achievable steps. My two main goals for the year are financial responsibility/stability and learning to love myself and be my own person.
When it comes to finances, I have discovered that most people, no matter what their situation, are never quite satisfied. Whether they struggle to have enough money to get by, earn enough but spend poorly, or have plenty of earnings, but still want more. I am not saying everyone falls into one if these categories. I do have some friends who are able to manage their money well and live comfortably without overspending.
My situation currently falls into the “struggling to make enough money” catagory. Which is partly due to recent health issues that caused me to have to give up some of my work responsibilities. So now here I am, a single mom walking dogs to try to get the bills paid, and feeling pretty helpless. Until I can get financially stable, I can not get my own place for my son and I and be able to provide him with everything he needs. We currently live with my parents, which is a situation I will save for another post.
I have decided to start my road to financial stability with three simple steps: make a budget to prevent overspending, find a way to earn extra money, and save at least some money from each check. I know for many of you these are basic things that are obvious. They are obvious to me as well. The problem is I fail to follow through. I have some good friends and my boyfriend to help keep me accountable. So we will see how I do!
The next goal I have for 2017 (and beyond) is learning to love myself and be my own person. I used to think this was easy, and I thought that I did. I have days where I feel productive or have a good hair day where I can honestly say “I am a pretty great person.” But I also have too many times where I blame myself for everything, doubt my capabilities, and feel like I don’t measure up. Some days my head is filled with thoughts like this:
“If only I could have her body. How the hell did she have a baby 2 months ago? ”
“That mom has it all together. I bet she can get her toddler to sleep without a problem.”
“Why can’t I manage to find and stick with a good 9-5 job like every other normal person?”
“I should have a week’s worth of crock pot meals ready to go in my freezer like she does. Then I would be super mom.”
The list goes on and on. I spend too much time worrying about my shortcomings that I forget about my strengths.
The two steps to improve my self love start with something you may be familiar with: the serenity prayer. It goes like this: “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”
Not only do I plan on accepting the things I cannot change, I plan to embrace them. For example, I have stretch marks. Lots of them. I have spent 3 years hating them, hiding them, and envying women without them. Well guess what? I earned those stretch marks when I made a wonderful little person. I gained an excessive amount of weight during pregnancy which I felt meant I was weak. I ate so much to keep my mind off of smoking, drinking, and the medication I could no longer take. Could I have chosen a better way to deal with the withdrawals and cravings? Probably, but I didn’t. It’s too late to dwell on that, but instead I can be proud of myself for putting the health of my child over my own wants. So many gorgeous women have stretch marks, whether from pregnancy, weight gain, or just being a woman, and it is time for us to stop being ashamed of them.
The next step in the serenity prayer is having the courage to change the things I can. This one is a difficult one. Sometimes it is so much easier to pretend that I cannot change things. That it is out of my control. The best example of this in my life is what I mentioned earlier in this post about my health. I have some health problems that make some work related things more difficult. I stepped down from my manager position at work because of it. I have struggled with depression because I feel that I am not capable of handling any other jobs. Which becomes a vicious cycle. Depressed because I am not working enough, not working enough because I am depressed. I know that there are things I can do. I am still in control of myself and my success. I am intelligent, creative, caring, and responsible. I may not be cut out for your typical 40 hour set work week. Who cares? I make amazing beauty and household products with essential oils. I have business skills. I am good with people. I am great with animals. So I can still do my dog walking that I love, but I can find other ways to make money while still spending time with my son. They key is to just step out if my comfort zone and go for it! Courage is the operative word in this situation. It is too easy to let the fear of failure hinder us from living our life and achieving our dreams.
I hope you didn’t get bored to death with my 2 cents worth. My goal with this blog is to be transparent and in doing so I am hoping I will have some readers who do not feel alone, but can laugh with me, cry with me, and enjoy the perspective of a single mom WITH STRECH MARKS who is a dog walker living with her parents. I can’t be the only one, right?