Monday Motivation

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When I was in the 6th grade, I had to do my first science fair project. I had no idea what topic to choose. I didn’t care much for the science we were learning in school because I was more concerned about the science of the mind. So I decided to do a project about how the weather affected my mood. I was so proud of myself for doing that project on my own. I even got Honarble Mention. I didn’t know it then, but this display of independence would follow me throughout my life.

Even though the subject was different, even thought it wasn’t a traditional topic of science projects, and even though it wasn’t a grandiose display, it was what appealed to me. It was unique. I say all of this to say that choosing your own path is important-it is what makes life worth living.

Two years ago, if you had asked me about owning my own business, I might have sighed then let out a huge roar of laughter. I was in a very unhappy state, and that was unfortunate because I was also pregnant. I had no idea what I wanted to do. I talked extensively with my husband about alternatives to teaching. I just didn’t know if teaching was what I saw myself doing for the rest of my life. I loved my kids and I loved the impact I was making, but I wanted something more. I used to joke about me having to start working for myself because I couldn’t continue to take orders! I was torn between what everybody thought I should do and what I wanted to do.

I’ve come across so many women at Noah’s House and so many of them have that yearning look in their eyes that I had 2 years ago. The look of wanting more, or wanting to do something different. In light of the women’s march to demand equal rights, voice opinions, and acknowledge differences, I say–find a way to make it happen. If you can’t see yourself continuing in the state that you are in, take a leap of faith and make a change. It may not be popular, but it might be YOU. It may not be exciting to some, but it might be perfect for you. Whether it’s a new hobby, a new career, letting go of a career, or just letting go–Go do it!

I will leave you with the astounding and ever thoughtful words of my favorite poet, Robert Frost:

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The Cold Hard Truth about Success

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Five months ago, I was convinced that being me would win me a stellar business–a business that would soar to great heights almost immediately. I was convinced that kindness would seal the deal. So often I had gone to a store, a restaurant, a hotel, a kid gym that just wasn’t nice. They were down right rude a lot of the times. So often, I had to ask to speak to managers and write unanswered letters, fill out truthful surveys just to  continue to be unsatisfied with the prices and the customer service. I started Noah’s House with the belief that surely other Moms and Dads wanted to find a place that was clean, loving,and affordable just like I did. Yet, week after week that proves to be untrue. I have gotten to know so many families and though they enjoy our facility, The Cold  Hard Truth is that Noah’s House is not a priority–it’s a Last Resort. If it’s cold, if it’s too hot, if there is absolutely NOTHING else to do, the kids end up here. It has been a very eye opening experience! I have wasted so much money and so much time on being nice. Our prices–our offerings–our attitude are just not enough to be successful.

Everyday I go out to get lunch typically at McDonald’s or at Wendy’s as my son unfortunately is allergic to everything. Everytime I go to McDonald’s, the service is pretty awful! They over charge me, take too long to get my food, and never give me what I ask for. I mean, how hard is it to put more than 2 ketchup packets in the bag? Ketchup is the most inexpensive condiment, yet it is always a debate about how many I can receive! On the other hand, when I go to Wendy’s the customer service is outstanding, and the food is fresh! As a consumer, I have now made the choice to no longer patronize McDonald’s in Pasadena!

Recently, I had the unfortunate task of having to go there for my Dad the other day, and the line was almost out of the parking lot! I couldn’t believe my eyes. I waited for over 10 minutes and had my food thrown to me and the door slammed at the window, yet their business was booming. Why??? #idontgetit

The next day, I went back to Wendy’s, and I noticed that they were never really busy or as busy as McDonald’s, yet the food was better and so was the customer service. What was so great about McDonald’s and so bad about Wendy’s? I secretly felt a weird but honest connection to Wendy’s. I felt like we both had the same problem. After I went home that evening, I talked to my husband about it. He said well “McDonald’s doesn’t care about you because they know you’re coming back.” I was still puzzled. But then it hit me! Just like everything else in life–people don’t care about you when you care about them! They care when you don’t.

Before I met my husband, I dated all the wrong men–The Cheater, The Musician, The Thug, The Athlete, The Addict, The Controller . . . And the list goes on. What these men all had in common was that I cared more about them than they cared about me. And in a strange way, that made them more appealing. The same can be said of successful businesses. I took Noah to a popular kid gym as a baby. We paid $50 a month for the 1st couple of months, then $80 a month when Noah turned 5 months. That money only got us 1 50 minute class, which was really a 20 minute class since the other 30 was free time, 4 opportunities for open play at random and inconvenient hours, and nothing else. Every event that they had cost $10 even with the membership! We felt that it was highway robbery, and on top of that–the staff could care less about you! They hardly interacted with you–rushed you out when class was over, and barely remembered you or your child’s name–yet again . . .they were successful!

Noah’s House has not only provided a clean, safe, and loving facility with reasonable prices,but we’ve also helped other businesses and people –yet that help has gotten us nowhere!

I have spent much thought and much consideration on how in fact we will survive– but the only thing that comes to mind is Faith.

The Bible tells us to not grow weary in well doing for in due season we will reap if we faint not! The Bible tells us that God will supply all our needs according to his riches in glory! The Bible tell us that we should treat others as more important than ourselves!

Though it IS tempting to turn into McDonald’s . . .Though it is tempting to believe that this Dog eat Dog world will devour us . . . Though it is tempting to just join the many other rude and disrespectful businesses that JUST DON’T CARE, I have resolved that we will continue to offer reasonable rates, a clean facility, and a loving environment. Light is better than darkness any day. The Lord will provide but only if we continue to walk in Faith. God will send the right people and do the right things at the right time! We must be patient and willing to do what’s right and not what’s easy!

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To all my fellow God fearing business owners–success for us is not about how many clients we get or how many sales we make because the Lord gives and the Lord takes away, and there is a season for everything under the sun! It is about how many people we help, how many people we touch in a positive way, and how many people can see God in us! The cold hard truth is that caring about people is hard! Caring about people when they don’t care about you is even harder, but that’s the business we’re in, and I’m ok with that!

Every Moment Counts

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This month, by far, has been the most stressful one yet. We are low on money, patience, time, and energy. Everyone in the house has been ill at some point, and I’ve been having non-stop migraines. It just seems like I can’t catch a break. Between Noah’s behavior and trying to pay the rent, my own stress levels are extremely high. So what do I do?

I am no stranger to working hard or even being poor, but I’ve never had to endure either with a child. It’s hard to be happy all the time or productive for that matter. I consider quitting every other day. I consider throwing in the towel daily. I have never felt so stretched thin. There is never down time. I don’t even have time to take a minute to think. It’s just go, go, go.

So last weekend, I decided that Andre, my husband, and I would take Noah to the park. Yeah, it was 90 degrees and we were sweating by just standing outside, but you know, we needed a break. We needed a moment to enjoy our lives, enjoy each other, and marvel at the little bit of beauty left in the world. It wasn’t anything serious, but I enjoyed every moment! I enjoyed seeing Noah walking around unassisted. I enjoyed watching my husband watch us and smile. I enjoyed hearing the waves crash while we looked on. I enjoyed looking at the trees and smelling the scent of the flowers. I enjoyed the hot sun. I even enjoyed the sweat beads pouring from my body. Seriously. I REALLY enjoyed every moment.

Yet in my everyday life, every moment DOESN’T count. I don’t enjoy my environment the way I should. I don’t enjoy the moments that Noah is playing and having a good time. I don’t enjoy the times he’s cuddling with me. I don’t enjoy the tantrums. I don’t enjoy being a business owner. I find myself being obsessed with what could be better. I find myself feeling depressed about everything that is wrong! I even go to sleep and dream about what I have to do the next day, so I don’t even enjoy my dreams. Do you find yourself doing that? Am I the only one that worries too much?

Just like last Sunday, I have to choose to enjoy every moment of my existence–the good and the bad.

I must enjoy the loud screeching cries that Noah bellows out at the most inconvenient times. I must enjoy the cuddling that turns into hour long breastfeeding sessions. I must enjoy managing a business even though I never took a business class in my life.

Yeah, there are clearly things that could be better, but there is so much beauty around me–so many beautiful blessings.

I must learn to enjoy EVERY Moment, because in this uncertain life, every moment counts!

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Loyalty Matters

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Recently, everybody that has heard of my story asks me things like, “How’s business going?” “I keep seeing Noah’s House all over Facebook, you all must be doing good, right?”

Sometimes I tell the truth and sometimes I deflect these questions. The truth is that no one ever thinks about how hard it is for me as a mom and a business owner. They see a few Facebook posts or a busy day and think that I’m living THE LIFE.

Well let me just be frank. No, I’m not living the life. I’ve spent lots of money on advertising, purchasing equipment, paying an employee to help which I can’t afford, and purchasing supplies constantly. We are struggling in real life. Things are not easy for my family right now.

Many people have commented that I need to do memberships and that would give me constant revenue and help us sustain ourselves.

But, here’s what I think. I think that as a full time mother prior to Noah’s House, I considered it highway robbery to be forced into a membership in which the cost kept getting higher and ultimately forced me to stop taking my son to that gym. (I won’t say any names). I paid $80 a month for a 5 month old. Needless to say, I don’t like the entrapment and exclusivity that comes with a membership. As a mom, I enjoy the freedom to choose and to come and go as I please. So Noah’s House will continue to be a membership free zone! Sure, we wouldn’t have to stress as much with a membership, but in my heart, I know that there are some mothers who believe that LOYALTY matters. Our faithful customers who come rain or shine will help us meet our goals.

As a new business, we are STILL growing our client base, and I know that we are doing exactly what we set out to do, give mothers a place where they feel loved and appreciated while providing a safe and fun place for kids.

During this famine season, though it is testing my faith, I want my faithful  customers to know that loyalty matters. Because you keep coming back, you are helping Noah’s House survive and thrive.

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It’s hard on me to do it all (be a wife, raise my son, and run a business), but everytime I see some of those loyal customers each week, I know that because of them, we will be okay. And most importantly because of them, I know I will be okay, no matter how hard it gets.

 

 

Super Mom

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I woke up late and Noah was not up yet either. He spent all night eating and whining. I literally starting sleeping a couple of hours before the alarm went off. I hurried around trying to get myself together. I knew that I could brush my teeth and throw on clothes without disturbing him as long as I put my warm pillow under his arm so that he would still think that I was there. It took me quite a while to learn that trick, but now I was officially a pro at it. As I brushed my teeth, I remembered that Dad wouldn’t be able to help today because he had a doctor’s appointment. I ran downstairs to start breakfast (being a tad overambitious) and I heard a slight cry, so I jetted up the stairs to find Noah sitting up and looking confused. I knew that I had to go through the routine of holding him, feeding him, letting him watch cartoons, and maybe even letting him play. All I could think about was the time. Now the clock read “8:45am.” I had to open the shop at 10:00am today! Somehow I managed to coax Noah out of the house at 9:15am, but I knew there would be hell to pay!

I had to hold my iPhone in front of Noah the entire 30 minute ride, so my arm was in massive pain. It was 9:45am, and we barely made it, and there were people waiting outside. I thought to myself, “Glad he didn’t poop!” I finally got everything ready and smelled the scent of death encircle my nose. It was a horrific scene. Noah squirming around while I tried frantically to wipe his behind before he managed to get poop all over his hands and clothes.

Once the doors were open, I felt myself getting extremely stressed out, because Noah was crying, and I felt unprepared. I absolutely hate feeling unprepared! It was hectic and crowded and for some reason, I felt like everyone was watching me . . .

On days like these, I feel like I have to be Super Mom–like I have to be perfect!

The truth is that Super Mom is just as fictitious as believing that life is made of candy drops and milkshakes. Life is HARD. And being a mommy is even harder. Trying to balance your needs and your family’s needs is difficult. We want to do it ALL. We want everyone to think that we can take on any challenge that comes our way without even a strand of our hair being misplaced. We want to be SUPER MOM! Right?

When my day finally came to a close, Noah had cried most of it. I had a migraine, and we had barely made our minimum for us to have a “good” business day. I was disappointed, and I wondered if the other mothers realized that I didn’t have it all together and that I wasn’t so super after all. I sighed with sadness, but as I watched the water fall to my feet in the shower, I thought to myself, “You tried, you showed up, and you did what you had to do today.”

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To me, that IS SUPER! 🙂

 

 

 

 

A Sacrifice Worth Making

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imageDeciding to resign from teaching was a heart wrenching decision. I cried for weeks over the kids that I loved so dearly. See when you teach severe disabilities, those kids love you like their own mother. They show you how precious each moment of life is because those kids, no matter how hard it is for them, love life! Even now, thinking of some of them brings tears to my eyes.

After having Noah, I suffered from PPD, something I would never be able to prepare myself for in a million years. I suddenly felt useless, helpless, and fearful of separating from my son. I needed my support system, but they didn’t understand me or what I was going through. They thought it was the painkillers. I was completely unwilling to return to work and decided to go on leave. After my Csection wound finally healed around 6 months, I physically began to feel better and suddenly I felt like my thoughts were no longer filled with fear. In fact, this was the most adventurous and sure of myself that I’d felt in years.

I told my husband how I hated feeling like I had to choose between being with Noah and having a career. He insisted that maybe this was my time to start my own business. I wrote two self published books during Noah’s first 6 months  to help keep myself sane and to give my emotions an outlet. Unfortunately only a couple of my friends bought the books. Though I absolutely love writing, I figured that this wouldn’t be a mutually beneficial career. So I brainstormed with my husband about what business we could do. I had so many ideas, and my husband helped me streamline them into Noah’s House. He put up all of our savings to make this happen, and he really has no idea how much that means to me. My husband is a beautiful man, but he didn’t only do it for me, he made this sacrifice because he believed in what Noah’s House stands for.

This place is for all the parents that are looking to connect with other parents. This is for all the parents who feel trapped and need a loving place to go. This is for all the parents  who want to have fun with their kids without the added stress of too much routine. This is for all the parents who want to know that their kids are in a safe space.

Noah’s House has been a sacrifice worth making.  One that I’m super proud of. Being a parent is no easy gig, but I find that it is really easy to make sacrifices for my son. It comes naturally! I want every parent to know that every sacrifice you make for your child is worth making so I wrote a little poem for you 😉

I know it gets hard sometimes! But don’t get yourself down! Parents and the sacrifices we make are what makes the world go round

Up at 5, no time to shower and sometimes you can’t even get an hour . . . Of peace

No one said this would be easy. Nothing worth having is . So go ahead and keep smiling because parents have to handle the biz.’

A late night feeding, a morning scream! And you haven’t even had time to dream.

You are superhuman they say. Or maybe not human at all. You take care of everything and yet you still have energy to play ball.

You are a parent, those most wonderful one in the world. For your kid, you make life worth living, a reason fo them to twirl.

From 5 minute showers, to working long hours–they’re all sacrifices worth making. ❤️

Be blessed. See you at the Grand Opening on May 7th 12-6pm.

Grand Opening!

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The big day is here! We are opening on Saturday May 7th. Come out from 12pm-6pm to help us celebrate. You can sign up for classes, meet the owners, sign up for camp, and explore the facility. Most importantly, your kids can play and have fun! We are super excited and can’t wait to see you! If you have any questions, please email us at info@noahshousellc.com or call 410-255-2096. Last but not least, download our app from the AppStore or googleplay store so that you can stay connected. ❤️

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