Featured Slider

Mom Confession Series: Why I decided to be a Working Mom?

I often get asked by friends and now family with my younger sister expecting her first baby in July about how I decided to go back to work after having each one of my children. I wasn't an easy decision, especially when I became a first time mom with my son Amari. At the time, I was the primary bread maker for our little family of three. I had no choice but to work. If I didn't work, we would not have had survived.

Trevor still had six months left of school and only worked part-time at a local grocery store and I had completed my undergraduate degree and was employed at the college full-time. I took off four months of work and I enjoyed every moment of my time at home with my son; however, financially I needed to get back to work because we needed the money.

As a new mom, you are always going to feel anxious when you return to work for the first time. You also feel guilty about it. This is completely normal. I felt it with Amari. I felt it with Talan. And I felt again with Aurora when I went back to work. Thankfully, my husband's work schedule allowed him to be home with the kids during the day. It helped ease some of the stress and anxiety that I felt those first couple of weeks when I returned to work.   

Anxiety. It's a bitch but that shit is real. I was anxious my entire pregnancy worrying about each of my babies and making sure that they were healthy. When they were born, I worried about whether or not something bad was going to happen to them in their sleep. I prayed every single night and still to this day pray for their safety and their overall health. I don't think anxiety as a mother ever goes away. When I went back to the office on the first day I was a nervous wreck! How was I going to balance meetings, paperwork, data entry, outings with youth, and most importantly pumping my engorged breasts for a total of three times throughout day and keep the milk cold? Some how I managed, after a about two weeks I had shit figured out and time management became my best friend.

Guilt. Feeling guilty is normal. Don't let guilt keep you done. You are doing the right thing for you and your family. Do my kids know I love them? Am I giving my kids enough attention and time when I am home? Do my kids see me enough during the week? Am I scarring them by not being home? 

These are probably only a handful questions that you've asked yourself and yeah, I asked myself these questions throughout the day when I went back to work. Yes, your kids know that you love them. Yes, you are giving your kids enough attention and time when you are home. Yes, you're kids see you enough. And no, you are not scarring them by providing for them. You are showing them what hard work and dedication looks like and are dismantling any misconceptions about gender roles in our society. And did I forget to mention that our children are part of Generation Z, which means they think they're entitled to anything and everything? Showing them what hardwork is never hurt no body. As Mom's, we work our asses off. Own it. You're a rock star and your kids need to see that. 

Adult conversations. Like I mentioned earlier, I loved every single moment of being at home with my kids; however, I missed having adult conversations. There is only so much talk you can take when it comes to things like Bob the Builder, ALWAYS dealing with poop (whether its changing stinky diapers or wiping it clean from off the wall when your toddler decides to finger paint with it!), and doing conflict resolution with bickering brothers over their newest toy. I remember being the happiest person alive when I got to have a conversation with one of my colleagues or youth. It was wonderful. I felt isolated at home only having my children and husband to talk too. I craved conversations with adults that had nothing to do with my children.

You're not alone. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, 70.5% of the workforce are working mothers. You are not alone. Don't ever feel like you are alone because you are not. Being a mom is hard. Being a working mom is hard too. I know I constantly second guess myself. Sometimes I feel like I am not doing enough for my children. Sometimes feel a little greedy when I want to further my education by getting my master's degree or moving up in my career. I have always been an ambitious person and worked incredibly hard to change my circumstances.

I have to constantly remind myself that it is not greedy for me to want to make my children's lives easier. I have to remind myself that their lives are WAY different from mine ever was growing up. I never want them to have the life that I had. By showing them what hard work, dedication, and most importantly, education looks like; it only instills values into them that they need as Generation Zer's

As a mom, remember that anxiety and guilt come and go when you decide to return to work but you are never alone.

I enjoy being a working mom. What I love most about it is that I get to provide for my children financially and sometimes they get to spend a working day with me and my mentee's or go to one of our work events. I think its a good for them to see what mom does on a daily basis when they are at home with Dad during the day.

So whether your currently expecting and trying to decide what is best for your family or a SAHM who's thinking about heading back to work after a couple of years, I hope that the information that I provided is helpful to you for making a decision about why I decided to be a working mom and helps ease some of stress you might be feeling. From the beginning it was financial stability but over time it became much more. 

Thanks for stopping by the blog. Have a wonderful weekend. 

Instagram Roundup - January & February

Not all of you follow me on Instagram, so I thought that I would start doing an Instagram Roundup for the blog each month. My feed is pretty random. I mostly post images of my children being kids, a few beauty things here and there, some home decor, and some fashion.

Simply Durant Blog (SBD) started off as a Mom Blog where I mostly documented life as a new mom so I wouldn't forget any special moments as a new parent. Over the past two years I have been working hard to brand my blog and reach a larger audience, and most importantly post more frequently.

Follow us on Instagram: @simplydurant  

Nesting House from Hearth and Hand by Magnolia here | Pallet Wall Shelf from Jane.com | Pendleton Midnight Blended Sign was a gift | Succulent from Marshall's  

Basket from Ecocentric Mom here | Teeth Whitening System from Smile Brilliant here

Velvet Bomber Jacket from WhoWhatWhere sold out but found similar one here | Similar Boots here

Similar Sweater *here* | Similar Jeans *here* | Bag from Coach *here*

Watch from Jord here.

Coffee Cup Rack here | Kuerig here | Tea Towel here

Fleece from Crazy 8 (2016 season) similar on sale for $3.29 here |

Original post of Ipsy Glam Bag Review *here*

Scarf originally from Target similar *here*

Lipgloss in shade Tokyo by NYX here

Journey to Constellation Station book here | Book Shelf from Target here

Yellow Rain Boots by Hanna Andersson similar here

Equality Tee by Nike here | Big Slide at Nike Campus Headquarters in Beaverton, Oregon

Coat from Hanna Andersson but sold out similar vest here

Scorpio Mug here

Velvet Underwear from Pink | Sign-up for Flex here and use code DURANT3 for a discount!

Thanks for stopping by the blog today. Did anyone else feel like February just went bye so quickly but January felt like forever? Comment and let me know which image from my Instagram feed is your favorite. My favorite, hands down, is the big slide at Nike Campus. It was so much fun. I went down that thing like four times! 

Have a lovely day friends.

Monthly Finds - February

Happy Friday Friends! I am glad you're here. Last month I thought that it would be awesome to start sharing some of my frugal finds that I find at local thrift shops and stores in our area as well as some of my favorite things. As I have mentioned before, I am a very frugal person. When you grow up living in poverty, you learn to value money and make it last. So, at the end of each month I am going to share some of my favorite things that I found. It will be a combination of fashion finds, home decor, beauty, kid stuff, and food depending upon the month.

For the past few months I have been hitting up a couple of thrift stores in our area in search for inexpensive pieces. I have been on a hunt for a small side table for in my daughter's bedroom as well as a coffee table to redo for our living room but I haven't had much luck. Instead, I find the unexpected; like items I wasn't really looking for but ended up buying because I couldn't pass it up. I have found wall shelves for in our bathrooms that were brand new, faux greenery for around our home, lots of beautiful wicker baskets to store blankets, cozy throws and pillows, and other things.

I have come to love my bi-weekly thrift store hauls. I usually allot myself anywhere from $15-$25 to spend on those trips. Sometimes I am successful and then their are the times when I go home empty handed. I had a lot of success this month and thought I would share my haul with you.

IKEA Finds for the Home 

Vivian Curtains in shade Gray

Metal Tin

Package of 100 votive candles

I always find something that I need when I make a trip to IKEA. Although I wasn't planning on buying anything for our home, I ended up finding curtains for our master bedroom. I have been wanting to replace the old dark brown curtains that we bought when we first moved down to the Portland Metro Area almost six years ago. I have looked at stores like Home Goods, Ross, and Marshall's but haven't found any curtains that I liked. I wanted something simple. I was very happy with this purchase from IKEA and you can never pass up a pack of 100 votive candles for less than $4 either.

Goodwill Finds for the Home

Kitchen Aid Mixer (Brand new and still in the box)

Rae Dun Tea Mug
$1. 99

Okay, let me tell you. My intent of being at Goodwill this month was because I was looking for a black sheet for a project I was working on for work. I finally ended up finding the sheet I needed. I happened to be browsing the aisles when I spotted this adorable Tea mug. I checked the bottom to look at the seal and almost squealed with delight. It was Rae Dunn! And who doesn't love Rae Dunn Mugs? I grabbed that mug with the quickness and happened to spot the Kitchen Aid box on the shelf. *insert deep sigh* I looked at the box and was so excited to find a brand new mint hand mixer inside! Yup, the mug and the Kitchen Aid ended up in my cart.

Beauty Finds

Nyx Soft Matte Lip Cream in Shade Tokyo

Nyx Soft Matte Lip Cream in Shade Sao Paulo

E.L.F. Bronzer Palette in Shade Deep

I love finding inexpensive beauty products that work. Nyx and E.L.F. are two of my favorite store brands that I love. I needed to replace my bronzer because I ran out and decided to try the bronzer pallet. I purchased it from Target. I really like it, although most of the shades I won't be able to use until summer time. They are a little too dark for my complexion at the moment. I am absolutely loving the lip cream from Nyx. I wanted a soft pink shade and a rosy shade for spring. I picked Tokyo and Sao Paulo and love how they look on my lips. They are such pretty colors and really pigmented.

Food Finds

Lotus Tea 
$6.00 at Hong Phat Market

Leaner Creamer in Mocha Flavor 

I wasn't planning on sharing food/drink finds but what the heck, I have been loving the Lotus Tea I found on an outing with one of my mentee's. We split the bag in half and I drink two cups a day and absolutely love it. I don't know the brand, but the next time I pick up a bag from Hong Phat Market, I will make sure to update this post.

My other favorite find happened via Heartbeat as an Influencer. They ended up sending me Leaner Creamer in the Caramel to try. As soon as I tried my first cup I purchased another creamer from the company. I also like that they send you free samples of their Leaner Creamer Coconut Sugar to try with your purchase. If you're lactose intolerant like me, I suggest you give Leaner Creamer a try. My stomach has not hurt in weeks and I have officially cut diary (cheese, yogurt, and ice cream) from my diet.

Children's Finds

Wall Book Shelf from Target
$20.00 via Goodwill find

I have been wracking my brain on how I was going to display books in the boy's bedroom. I tried a bookshelf but they would climb on it and I was worried about it falling on top of one of them. I tried baskets but Little Missy went on a rampage and ripped them apart. For the longest time I stored them in a box in the boy's closet but they couldn't access them. I happened to stumble upon this shelf at Goodwill but had seen it a lot in the kids decor section at Target. I just didn't want to spend $40 on it. Although it was a thrift store find, I bought it brand new and hung it above my son's desk. Now it stores the boy's favorite books and its a simply but adorable way to display their books.

These are my monthly finds for February.  Thanks for visiting and have a wonderful day. Next month, I'll have photos of all my hauls.

Books We Love: Journey to Constellation Station by Lindsay C. Berry

This post has been brought to you by the Author of Journey to Constellation Station, Lindsey C. Berry. I was not financially compensated for this post; however, received a copy of the book Journey to Constellation Station to read and review with my children. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

As a child, I had an over active imagination and the desire to escape reality by diving deeply into the imaginative world's that literature had to offer. Through reading, it allowed me to get away from all the drama I endured at home in my early childhood years and helped build a fondness for reading and collecting books.

Now that I am Mom, I often find myself looking for unique books to read to my children. We actually are starting a new library from scratch...because about a year ago, my daughter decided to go on a book-ripping-rampage and destroyed many of the picture books that I had collected over the years for the boys. Our new library, although small, has books again and our latest addition is Journey to Constellation Station by Lindsay C. Berry.

“Journey to Constellation Station is the rhythmic story of an interstellar train ride that will whisk you into a special part of space―the magical Constellation Station.” - as quoted from the site 

For my children the book encompasses a few of their all time favorite things. Trains, space, stars, and similarities to their all time favorite book and movie, The Polar Express.

Journey to Constellation Station takes the reader on a grand adventure through intercosmic space allowing them to learn about various constellations in a fun and rhythmic way. Not only does the reader get to go on an adventure, but they get to learn about the constellations in our galaxy. The illustrations are absolutely breathtaking and the rhymes roll right of your tongue as you read it out loud to your children.

If your child is space/train lover like my three children are than I highly recommend that you get them this book and add it to your collection of literature. It has become one of our favorite bedtime stories. To purchase your own copy of Journey to Constellation Station, click here.

Journey to Constellation Station 
by Lindsay C. Berry 

Special thanks to Lindsay for gifting and allowing our family to read and review your book. My children love the personalized message from you. Journey to Constellation Station has become one of their favorite books.

Thanks for visiting the blog today. Have a wonderful rest of the week.