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motherhoodThis guest post on motherhood is from Catherine Alford at Budget Blonde. After you read her post, head over to her website, where I'm guest posting today.

Having and raising children is expensive, and I should know because I got a two for one special with my adorable boy-girl twins. In fact, by some counts the cost of raising a child to adulthood can be around $245,000 not including college! That’s insane!

Even though I don’t feel that raising a child actually costs that much for most families, mine included, having children is still a big financial burden if you aren’t adequately prepared for motherhood.

Because I’m a planner by nature and like to have things as organized as possible before I make any big, life-altering decisions, I approached motherhood with that same attitude.

I asked everyone I knew how to get prepared financially for motherhood and now that I’ve been through it myself, here are my top 4 ways to do so: ...continue reading

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Yesterday was Mothers Day. You all know that. I don't live near my mom, so I was sad I wasn't able to take her out for breakfast or spend the day with her, but I'd love to honour her today by sharing some life lessons that my mom instilled in me.

life lessons from mom

I've only mentioned it on Twitter and never on here, but my mom discovered my blog.

I thought I was being so sly, covering up my tracks and being little miss anonymous. But not so much. When I went home for Easter, we sat out on the back porch sipping wine and giggling over our pups when she told me she had to tell me something. I would have never guessed that the next words that came out of her mouth would be "I know about your blog".

I burst into tears (yeah, dramatic) and asked her if she was mad. Yes, I asked her if she was mad at me. I thought she'd be upset with me for keeping my blog - my proverbial "baby" - a secret for almost a year and a half. She told me she wasn't, and that she was proud of me, and we moved on.

I thought having somebody so close to me know about this little internet nook would be detrimental to it's success. It hasn't been. Nothing's changed, really, except that every night I ask the universe to spare me from people I know finding out about the blog before I'm ready.

I digress. The real reason I'm writing this post is to share with you a few things that my mother taught me in life, in light of mothers day. She'll read this, probably, and I hope she does. 'Cause she's my hero.

When I was young, my parents divorced. This left my mother with two young children, in a small town with limited financial resources. My mom commuted for three hours to get to her job every day, struggling to make ends meet with a mortgage, her kids (one of them being a growing boy who ate more than one can imagine), and not enough time on her hands.

She was super mom to the extreme. My mom was my team's soccer coach, and a girl scout leader. She was our personal chauffer, bringing us to (at any given time, and usually all in the same week): figure skating, soccer (both of us, different teams), boy scouts (him), girl scouts (me), dance class (2 separate types, 2 separate nights - me), karate (him), swimming lessons (both of us, different classes), art lessons (him),  skiing and snowboarding (both), basketball (both of us, different times), track n' field, and obviously play dates, school functions, craft fairs, bake sales, field trips, birthday parties, volunteer work, school plays, and the like.

All while working full-time. With a three hour commute.

This is the same woman who - with all of this, doing it by herself - managed to go to the gym almost every day and never missed a soccer game, a dance recital, or a karate tournament; always had a healthy dinner on the table for us and kept a clean, comfortable home.

She managed to raise two pretty awesome kids (if I do say so myself 😉 ) and taught me a lot of important life lessons.

  • Work Hard

My mom obviously had a really good work ethic and passed that down to both my brother and me. She led by example, never complaining that she didn't have enough time to do something that she valued. She always told us to work hard and go to school so we could have a good life when we were grown up.

  • Be Independent
My mom was, of course, a very independent woman. She couldn't rely on a partner so she relied on herself. She always encouraged us to be independent. I was always a pretty independent person, but my mom gets the credit for that. She encouraged us to get jobs as soon as we were able, so we could have the independence of money. She let us choose our religion (if any) by refusing to push us into believing anything we didn't feel was real. She taught me to be a strong, independent woman. 
  • Be Healthy
Growing up, we were only allowed to have cereal like Fruit Loops or Captain Crunch (those with a lot of sugar in it) on Christmas day. She always made balanced meals and never fed us fast food or pre-packaged food. She grew fresh fruit and vegetables in the garden, and tried to push us into exercising and being outside as much as possible. As I grew up I rebelled against being  healthy, but now that I am older I'm definitely seeing the value in healthy eating.
  • You Can't Bring Money With You
My mom may not have been amazing with money (every time we went to Future Shop we left with an impulse technology buy - haha!), but she taught me that money is not what is important - it's people that are important. She taught me to use money to do the things that I enjoy doing and buy the things that I value, but not to put too much value on money itself.
My mother is the best out there (I may be bias), and I appreciate her every day!
I hope all of you moms out there had an awesome mothers day!