How I Make Money While Staying at Home with my Little Kids

Sister Walk

    I love kids. I adore being a mother and raising my kids. Perhaps this is every modern mom’s dilemma: how to balance paycheck and mommy-ing? It manifests differently in each family (and I’m not here to judge how it looks in your family!). Let me tell you how it’s worked out for us in the past couple of years. It could change! But this is our story so far: Jon and I married young and didn’t have kids for 10 years. Now we’re pretty settled in Nashville, TN, after having moved all around the country and done lots of different jobs. I taught preschool and kindergarten, did office work and nannied (yup, I love kids!). We found that we like to work for ourselves and set our own schedules. One of our favorite things is to eat meals together. We sit around the table and practice asking questions and discussing things. Granted, with our kids currently at ages five, three and 10 months, many of those meals are filled more with NOISE than conversation, but we get glimmers of hope! For us, it’s really important that the clearest voices in our children’s lives be dad’s voice and mom’s voice. I have a friend who always asks “What can only you do?” Do what only you can do. Only I can be the mother of my children. Only I can nurse them. I love that they have other amazing adults in their lives, but I am their only mommy. We value …

LauriHow I Make Money While Staying at Home with my Little Kids

Daily Connection

Laundry call

When home all day every day with small children, it can be tempting to escape into Facebook to search for adult conversation.  Sometimes that will “scratch the itch”, but lately I’m trying to remember that talking to a real person is far more satisfying. Even if I can’t leave my home, I have this neat gadget called a phone, which enables me to talk to anyone, anywhere, anytime! So my challenge for myself is to call someone I love every day: perhaps a local friend, or long-distance family member, or even an old college roommate!  Even ten to fifteen minutes is restorative. In reality, I don’t make my phone call every day, but if I shoot for making it daily, then at least every few days I do remember to reach out. Now, it can be difficult to schedule time for a phone conversation, but having a hands-free kit makes it so I can fill my social / emotional tank while I do a brainless task, like folding laundry or tidying up the living room.  It’s a win-win! Something a seasoned mom taught me: Teach your children phone manners.  Teach them to be quiet when you are on the phone, and practice warning them that you are about to make a call or answer a call.  Then they will know what is expected, and you can actually have a conversation (barring emergencies, ha!). It really is amazing how much more grounded I feel when I’m living in community, talking regularly …

LauriDaily Connection

Hooked on Cooperative Games

Forbidden Island

​I love board games.  I grew up playing Scrabble and MonopolyYahtzee and Tri-ominos.  Classic games.  But I’m awfully competitive and emotional, quite a wreck of a combination!  I remember my mom saying she cried when she’d lose, but I’m pretty sure it was actually me who cried.  A lot.

I still hate losing!  Early in our marriage, we tried playing chess together, but I couldn’t enjoy the game.  Too much pressure, too much tension (and I think I always lost). I also remember teaching Settlers (a great game!) to some friends, but the competition was so intense that the game wasn’t even fun.  Thankfully, we’ve stumbled into Cooperative Games!

Cooperative Games require players to work together to beat The Game, rather than each other.  Perfect!  

LauriHooked on Cooperative Games

Building Community


Our generation, the social media generation, longs for connection, for community and for interdependence.  However, we often don’t seem to know how to go about building connections in real life.  We buzz to and from work without knowing our neighbors.  Lonely, we seek out friends on Facebook and live there instead.

Let’s meet our neighbors! They’re delightful, quirky people just like us.


LauriBuilding Community

Creative Connection Nights!

Pencil shavings

​Once or twice a month, I love to host a “Creative Connection Night”.  I’ll invite artsy friends to come join me and bring a project to work on for the evening.  It’s so fun to see what people bring:

    LauriCreative Connection Nights!

    A Funky Day with a Priceless Gift

    Radnor 3

    “What do the simple folk do?

    ​To perk up the heart and get through?”  -Camelot

    I hear Julie Andrews singing these words from Camelot in my head.  And indeed, the other day I was desperate for some relief and some way to perk up my heart and get through.

    Everything seemed to be off: cranky two-year-old, heartbroken four-year-old, things off with my dear husband.  Just off.  So while I cried in the bathroom, I texted several close friends to please pray for me.  I was a mess.  Hormonal, probably, but still just a mess (and who wants it suggested that they’re hormonal, anyway??).

    One friend offered to come over, to help however she could.  She even suggested that I slip out and let her keep the girls a while.  Could I really let her into my mess?

    LauriA Funky Day with a Priceless Gift