Surviving an Unpaid Maternity Leave

Stress is everywhere in today’s hectic society. From finding and keeping a job to paying bills on time to providing for a family, there are a million reasons to be stressed about money. And now, studies are showing increasing evidence that mental and physical health are linked — meaning our worries are wearing down our bodies.

The good news is that once people pay down debt and become more financially stable, they report feeling generally happier and healthier. Symptoms like muscle tension and digestive problems seem to lessen when people don’t have to worry about money. So start paying down debt and saving as much as you can — your mind and body will thank you. Not sure where to start? This infographic from Self Lender gives some ideas in the form of self care tips to help combat money stress.

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My motherhood duties required me to take two months of unpaid leave, and of course that dragged the inconvenience of staying without an income for awhile. I’ll be starting work in a week and I have mixed feelings about it, I’m glad because I love working and staying busy yet I’m anxious about leaving my daughter. I’ve actually considered quitting my job and being a stay-at-home-mom but part of me doesn’t want to accept that. Being on an unpaid leave came with stress which I mentioned earlier, here are some of the ways that helped me survive those months:

  • Saving Money

I mean it’s an obvious thing to say. I managed to save enough money to pay for my car installments for those two months.

  • Consider using paid off days

During my pregnancy days, I’ve been saving up my off days so I can make my maternity leave longer and get paid each month.

  • Ask Family Members for Help

I’ve depended on my husband for probably most of the things I needed, obviously financially. Don’t be afraid to ask family members for help whether you needed someone to help you babysit or lightly used baby supplies.

  • Take a Temporary Part-time Job

I like making friendship bracelets, they keep me busy. I decided to sell them on Instagram and it’s been helping me through the weeks thankfully.


What are your strategies in surviving unpaid leaves ? I would love to know what do you think.

 

 

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My Best Purchase in 2018

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First of all, I feel guilty that I broke my promise to only read written-on-paper books. I’ve always liked the smell of books so accepting this new device took some time. On November Amazon released the new Kindle and I decided to get it so I can read more instead of just paper books.

I ordered it through Souq instead since it’s owned by Amazon and in UAE which is next to Oman -my country- so it got delivered really fast. I never really used a Kindle device so the whole experience was new to me and I feel stupid that I didn’t research it enough to know it’s not your average tablet. The concept of the screen itself was new to me as I’m more used to colored screens so learning about E-Ink displays was very exciting to me. The battery of the device stays for about two to three weeks if I read 2 hours a day, the customization of your reading experience is pretty convenient and makes it more personalized. What I liked most about it is that, the screen doesn’t really strain your eyes like normal lit-type devices would. When I opened Kindle for the first time it offered me 6 months of free Kindle Unlimited subscription to try it out which was a great deal for me to refuse, it offered for me a large buffet of free books along with Amazon Prime ones that you can borrow for free as well. If you’re looking for an alternative to Kindle app that offers free Ebooks and audiobooks as well, I recommend reading this excellent post that explains Libby.

I consider Kindle to be my best purchase in 2018 because it sparked my love for reading once again and it helped me reach my daily goal of reading at least an hour a day.

 

Goodbye 2018

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I’ll pretend I didn’t disappear for a whole month … Seriously though, I felt that I needed a break from blogging while I start adapting to my new life as a mom of two. I promise you it gets easier, just needs a little bit of time and I’m planning to post about it in the upcoming weeks.

Like last year, I wanted to sum up 2018 in one post. This year, I began writing about parenting and videogames more than beauty related posts which I’m planning to get back to in 2019. I normally don’t focus on views and traffic but beauty posts did attract more views. Along with few guests posts that got published, I had my first sponsored post which was very exciting to me. It opened up new opportunities for me as a blogger and it motivated to work on my blog in more of a professional level.

I tried new subscription boxes:

Speaking of YumeTwins, I won’t be posting December box but I’ll post January box when I receive it and get back to blogging again.

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on December 9, I celebrated my 29th birthday marking 2019 to be the last year of my twenties. Not going to lie but thinking that I’ll enter 30 soon is intimidating and makes me feel old, but not in a bad way.

What are my plans for this blog in 2019 ?

Well I’m planning on going self-hosted and taking blogging more seriously. I’m also thinking to rebrand my blog theme-wise with a new header and icon designed by my favorite artists to fit this new persona.

I also want to thank my readers and followers for making my blog have a purpose and existence, thank you so much for the support and here’s to a new year of hopefully success and new lessons.

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Thoughts of an Introvert

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I’m not sure how to label myself at this point of my life. I’ve been the anti-social weirdo the majority of my existence, I’m not sure who to credit or blame for it but it’s just me. Being an introvert is my comfort zone, going to social events gave me anxiety. How many times did you hear someone says those exact words ? I’ve avoided going to weddings, gatherings, even funerals because I can’t handle it. I’ve mentioned it few times, I really can’t handle people for long time. I have my limit, I’ll pretend I have something to do when I reach my quota of “Social-ness”. I’m completely fine with being alone, it’s been part of my personality as long as I remember.

When I got married, I realized I’ll be living with my in laws and that terrified me because I don’t know if they’ll be fine with my personality. For the four years I’ve been living with them, I’ve struggled to fit in. I want to be accepted but it’s really hard doing that when my personality doesn’t really match their’s, it’s sad though because they don’t want to hang out with me or ask me to go out with them. I’m still fine with it, it didn’t really effect me. Is it bad that I’m okay not having any personal relationship with my in laws ? I just have small talks and co-exist in the same house.

Recently, I’ve been trying to better myself, try to be more positive and try to be more social. It’s been great honestly, I’ve discovered new sides of me. I was actually bonding with them which is something I didn’t think I was capable of, I’m not sure if I would consider it a happy period of time because it didn’t last that long. A conflict came up recently and the outcome of it was obviously a defeated shadow of the temporary me. It really blew up on my face and I lost that motive to even try again, I realized after this that I’m only trying to fit in. Forcing myself to fit in would be the right term.

I’m an introvert even if I try to get out from this bubble. I’m more comfortable in that bubble. I’m me in that bubble. I don’t expect anyone to understand it but I always hope of acceptance.

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Am I a Blogger ?

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I’ve been blogging for two years now, I don’t know when I started calling myself a “Blogger” but really who is a blogger ?

a person who regularly writes material for a blog

While some people wouldn’t consider it a real job, it actually generates an income. Because of the last part of the previous sentence, some people think it’s easy to sit home and post on their blog while money will begin to pour to their account. Obviously it’s not that easy but it’s doable, along with paid opportunities as well.

I started this blog as means of an outlet for my postpartum depression and I ventured from there to post about variety of topics, honestly I didn’t think of myself as a blogger. According to most articles you’ll read, they’ll focus on something called SEO and it’s like rocket science to me. I tried understanding it but I think I’m just slow. Because of that, I didn’t see myself as your typical blogger. I still used my blog as a personal space for me and I guess in the blogging community that would be called “niche” or more of my brand.

Being a blogger has been my self-improvement method, it requires me to be a photographer, a critic, a story-teller. Creating content is never an easy task, we bloggers constantly wondering if what we publish would be good enough or enjoyable for the readers. Sometimes numbers of traffic and views would make some obsessed or stressed and it’s definitely not healthy. I’ve fallen to this trap before and I’ve been trying ever since not to compare my blog stats with others, I write whatever I want without sticking to a niche for example calling myself a Mom Blogger who’s supposed to post about parenting and motherhood only.

My point of this post is, it’s okay if you want to blog without categorizing yourself to a label. It’s okay to try to take on blogging opportunities even if you think your blog doesn’t have that many followers or you’re not good enough. As long as you call yourself a “Blogger” you are considered to be a creative person since you create content.

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YumeTwins – November 2018

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Let me be honest with you, it took me a long while to write this post and it’s not because I was busy, it’s because WordPress implemented a new editor and I was absolutely lost in it. I really tried to like it but I couldn’t so I finally found the button to switch back to the old editor, now I’m back in my comfort zone. Now on to the main purpose of this post …

YumeTwins is a monthly kawaii box which includes 6-8 kawaii items ranging from plushies, squishies, practical goods, kawaii stationery & more. For November theme, it focused on “Twinkling Transfomation”  (get $5 off your first YumeTwins box).

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Costume Pet Plushie

The plushie of this month is an adorable dog wearing a duck costume with a hoodie. It’s confusing my son, he’s not sure if it’s a dog or a duck which I found hilarious.

Sailor Moon Cleaner Cloth

First of all, the packaging of this cloth is very creative, I didn’t even want to open it. I got Sailor Mercury cloth, instantly kept it in my bag so it would be easier for me to clean my glasses from time to time.

Sumikko Gurashi Peg Set

When I saw these pegs, I had an idea of using them to hang photos of my kids at my office when I’m done with my maternity leave. The characters on these pegs are so adorable and I can’t wait to use them.

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Sheep Microfiber Cleaner

I’ve always wanted something to remove the dust off my laptop’s keyboard easily and I finally got it. This adorable sheep got microfibers that helps remove the dust plus it contains bamboo charcoal  which absorbs unwanted scents, that yet to be tested but otherwise it looks so cute.

Kawaii Mini Mini Memo

This is a super tiny memo pad that I doubt is going to fit anything more than 5 words per paper. It has a design of Mochi Mochi Panda but those penguins in the cover are too adorable for me to not notice.

Kawaii Changing Pouch

Now the feature item of this box is this changing pouch .. wallet ? And I got Rilakkuma which is my favorite from San-X. It’s big enough to hold my phone and my daughter’s diapers -of course not to put both at the same time- It’ll be very useful for me to keep items I need without letting them get lost in the black hole void of my bag.

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Overall, I wouldn’t say it’s my favorite box because I feel it could’ve been better. My favorite items would be the changing pouch and the sheep cleaner because I know I would be using those more frequent than the rest of the items.

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5 Things To Do While Breastfeeding

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It’s 3 a.m. and I’m sitting as straight as possible so I wouldn’t have any backache after I’m done feeding my child, I’ll still doze off few times. I try to reach my phone sometimes just to keep my eyes open while she’s done but that doesn’t always work, I always find myself dozing off all the sudden. Since feeding time is getting longer, I thought of ways I can keep myself occupied while breastfeeding and maybe keep me awake at night.

  • Watching YouTube and Netflix

Probably the easiest thing to do, open the apps from your phone and just watch a random video on YouTube or catch up with your favorite TV show on Netflix. I started watching Chilling Adventures of Sabrina recently and I’ve been enjoying it during feeding time, since the episodes are an hour long, I continue watching the episode throughout the day.

  • Reading a Book

I thought of setting for myself a goal to read at least 15 minutes every day because I stopped reading ever since I cancelled my subscription to OwlCrate, so I downloaded the Amazon Kindle app on my phone and got few free books since I have prime. I’m currently reading Suicide Forest by Jeremy Bates and I’ve been enjoying it so far, I highly recommend it if you’re into horror novels.

  • Talking to Friends

In my first pregnancy,  I went through postpartum depression and I’ve gave myself the label “Isolated Parent” because I’ve kept myself isolated under heaps and heaps of house chores, neglecting myself and my well-being. This time I’m keeping my social life, chatting with friends online or giving them a call. It helps releasing some stress, also venting and complaining with other moms.

  • Gaming

This one is tricky as I found gaming using a laptop would be hard when you play a game using keyboard and mouse because one hand would be free for gaming but the other one would be supporting the baby, so I’m suggesting a controller for this and using a nursing pillow to help support the baby and also help you keep your back straight.

  • Feed Yourself

Being a mom can be hectic, taking care of babies, cooking, cleaning and doing laundry, and like me you might forget to eat. While feeding the baby, how about feeding yourself as well and of course drinking plenty of water to stay hydrated throughout the day.

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