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Purposeful Parenting

I Don’t Know How You Do It



I Don't Know How You Do It | Chaos & Kiddos: Mommy's Survival Guide

It all started with a phrase. One I hear at least twice a week. “I don’t know how you do it.”

Truth is, I don’t, really. Most days, I’m hanging on by a thread, with barely enough energy left at the end of the day to make it to the bed, much less put on pajamas. I told my sister the other day “You know that duck that’s swimming gracefully across perfectly still water that looks calm and distinguished and like life is a breeze of perfect awesome, but just below the surface of the water, it’s paddling like an insane madman who is going to spontaneously combust and burn up in flames if it doesn’t paddle faster? Yeah, that’s me.”

I find myself at a particularly interesting point in my life. I’ve hit the 7-year stretch in my marriage, which quite frankly, is almost the longest standing relationship of my entire life (which is saying a lot for an obsessive-compulsive, self-sufficient hermit like me and…also says a lot about the patience and loyalty of my husband). I’m just over 30, so I’ve bid a not-so-gracious farewell to my youthful indiscretions and stupidity (I hope), I’ve got a great career at an awesome company that is just the right fit for me, and my growing years of professional experience have also empowered me to build a successful photography business that has opened doors I never even knew existed, much less imagined I’d be stepping through. Oh wait, I’m also part owner of a photography studio (WHAT?!) which is something I never imagined I’d be able to do and it’s still so new that I’m still pretty shocked at myself for having taken that particular leap. Add to that a 13 year old step-daughter who is the light of my life, but comes with a whole planetary system of blended family fun along with the general insanity that is pre-teen-dom, and oh yeah, 2 year old twin boys who are my little miracles of boundless energy and somehow inherited my strong-willed attitude and obsessive nature…yeah, life’s a hoot right now. When I’m keeping my head above water.

So. “How do I do it?”

Lots of little steps. Tiny flutters and readjustments to my sails that keep the ship on course and deter life from running aground. The simplest of disciplines, routines and marked efforts to reign in the overwhelming sense of chaos that comes when I step back and look at the bigger picture. Focus small, think big. That’s me. Oh, and a whole slew of counseling. Even if it’s just to hear my own voice talk out the thoughts in my head.

So. “What’s this blog thing?”

Off the cuff, it’s another thing on my insanely long to do list of dreams. And in the words of my husband “Really? Because you have so much free time on your hands.” Yes, really. I started this blog because there are a lot of people out there like me. People with families and jobs and aspirations and road blocks and people that are exhausted but still running the race. Staying in the game and trekking along, but wondering what they could be doing differently to slow down the pace, adjust the sails, catch the wind for a bit and ride it out. So here I am. To say, you can do it.

This blog will be a mish mosh of how I “do it all.” The good, the bad and the ugly. The moments when I’m considering paying someone to take my kids much less offering them to the highest bidder. The moments when they melt my heart and I’m dumbfounded that God thinks I am worthy of raising them. It will be a little bit small business, a lot of my parenting, and all the rest organization (because that’s me in a nutshell). All those little pieces of the puzzle that keep me moving. Not because I know it all or because my way is the right way, but because this way seems to be working pretty well for me and maybe something I’ve stumbled across can help someone else get a leg up on the crazy state of their own life. In a way, it will be a cathartic process for me to chronicle life with kids and all else, and a space for me to just talk it out.

It all started with a few shared Pinterest boards and now I’m here. “I don’t know how you do it all.” Well, now you do. 🙂


PS. If you’d like to take a look at the shared Pinterest boards, there is a parenting inspired one HERE and a small biz tips and tricks one HERE. These boards are collaborative efforts, so I welcome input from all varieties of thought and experience. If you’d like to join in, please let me know. I’m happy to have you! Hopefully, they’ll continue to serve as resource libraries for new seekers and can help us all keep the very best and most useful information close at hand.

PPS. Here’s my fam…the center of the universe. Miss E, 13 going on whatever age these days doesn’t require any parenting by their own admonition of their greatness and knowing of all things. Hubby, J, who is my polar opposite (thank God!) and keeps me sane, and J&B, my little miracle men who are not so little anymore. LOVE.

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  1. Suzanna

    August 29, 2014 at 9:21 am

    Well, I, for one, as a full-time working mom with more than a few things on my plate, including my own little blog, am very thankful that you started this blog. Thanks for sharing your ups & downs and your tips on how to “keep it all together,” haha.

    • Katy Blevins

      September 1, 2014 at 7:55 am

      Yay!!!! Love, love, love all my working mamas!

  2. Becka

    August 30, 2014 at 5:12 am

    🙂 I don’t think you realize just how super awesome you are. 🙂 Your a great blogger and I am so so glad you are blogging, my husband doesn’t understand either, he tolerates but doesn’t understand. Your family is beautiful. The way I do it is is fore go sleep because being rested and alert are just so over rated. 🙂

    • Katy Blevins

      September 1, 2014 at 7:52 am

      Awwww, thank you Becka!!!! You are too sweet and you totally made my day. So glad to have met you in the blogosphere!

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Purposeful Parenting

Self Care Tips for Working Moms



Self Care Tips for Working Moms

Being a single working mom of twins and a teenager means I often put myself at the bottom of the to do list. Whether I’m playing chef, chauffeur, bandager of boo boos or homework advisor, the hat I put on least often is woman. As a married working mom, I practically forgot I was a beautiful woman and wife. As a single working mom, I struggle to embrace myself as a confident available woman. Focused mainly on carrying my family through the days, I forget that taking the time to focus on myself every once in awhile ultimately makes me a better parent. Here are some fun self care tips for working moms that could spark that little feisty woman you know is in there but haven’t seen in forever.

Self Care Tips for Working Moms

 1. Boudoir Shoot: Yup. I’m certain a great many of you just went “Yeah, right. Thanks for nothing.” WAIT! Seriously…I know this is what I do for a living, and I’m not listing this one at the top of the list as a shameless plug. I’m listing it at the top of the list because of the why behind what I do as a photographer. Our tagline at Modern Femme Photography is “because you deserve to feel beautiful.” A boudoir shoot is a fabulous way to celebrate and embrace your unique journey as a woman, be pampered, but most importantly, be reminded that you are beautiful, just as you are. And because it’s important to practice what you preach, I hopped in front of the camera a couple of weeks ago as part of a two-session process I’ve planned to reclaim my confidence and self-worth as a newly single woman.

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2. Support Group: We have a great online community growing at Working Moms United that gives support and encouragement at those low points where being a work mom chips away at your energy, self-esteem and willpower. It’s a wonderful resource for moms on-the-go who need a pep talk but can only pop online here and there or might not have available time to meet up with others. I’ve also recently joined a local church and have been attending their quarterly women’s brunches. They provide child care for a few hours while I sit and chat with other women, feel refreshed and feel supported in prayer as a woman of faith. I’ve also identified a few key accountability partners in my life. Girl friends with similar life circumstances who can serve as trusted encouragers and keep me on track.

Working Moms United | Proud Member | Chaos & Kiddos

3. Learn Something New: Switching up the routine and enjoying something fresh and new can be a great way to recharge. Recently, I booked a makeup lesson with Dhalia Edwards of The Bride’s Corner. Dhalia is not only a dear friend of mine, but she’s incredibly talented both in her technique and her warm-hearted care of her clients. She patiently took 3 hours of her day to sift through my old, dated make up, repurpose old tools for new styles and teach me proper application techniques for everyday looks. Not only did I feel pampered and pretty when I left, but I felt rejuvenated and more confident in how to achieve a flawless look on my own.



4. Schedule Quiet Time: Spare minutes are a hot commodity for the working mom. Every second of every day feels tied to a never-ending to do list that typically revolves around everyone other than yourself. You need to make a choice to declare a bit of each day for yourself. Whether it’s 5 minutes, 20 minutes or the luxurious full hour, diligently schedule quiet time. Take the time to breathe in the quiet, write in a journal, pray, speak out gratitudes, do a few yoga stretches…whatever your peace may be. Do not allow yourself to skimp on this part of your day.

Self Care Tips for Working Moms

Remember, the first step towards being a better mom is being a better you. That better you needs some TLC! It may feel overwhelming or even scary to put any of these self care tips for workings moms into practice, but trust me, you’ll be glad that you did. Remember the positive, reclaim your beauty, refresh your soul and recharge!

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Purposeful Parenting

Year-End Money Tips for Working Moms and Female Entrepreneurs



Money Tips for Working Moms

I don’t know about you but the end of the year brings two thoughts…well, three thoughts for me. One, CHRISTMAS!!!!! Two, fresh start on January 1st! And three, holy cow, what’s my money situation? Taxes are coming.

A big, big thank you to Kristen Robinson, SVP of Women and Young Investors at Fidelity Investments for taking the time to develop these year-end money tips for working moms and female entrepreneurs!

Money Tips for Working Moms

2 Tips for Female Business Owners / Entrepreneurs:

Keep Your Future in Mind with the Right Retirement Account for Your Needs

  • Look into the different plans available to business owners, such as a 401(k) for Small Business, a self-employed 401(k), SEP IRA or SIMPLE IRA.  You may need to appoint a plan administrator- someone who takes care of administrative responsibilities and ensures the plan is operating according to the Plan Document.  Learn more about these different types of accounts here.  
  • Contribute to your account. The deadline for depositing employer profit-sharing contributions for the current calendar year is generally the business’ tax-filing deadline, plus extensions (for unincorporated businesses, this date is usually April 15 of the following year, plus any extensions).

Business Succession

  • If you own a business, have you considered how best to plan for the future?  If you plan to keep it in the family, consider creating a structure that makes it easier to transfer the business’s assets to other family members, such as a family limited partnership or a family limited liability company.
  • There are many options; your attorney or tax adviser can help you select one that is appropriate for you in light of your specific situation.

4 Tips for Single Moms:

Get Involved in Your Family’s Finances

  • It’s important to have a full picture of the family financial situation. At minimum, know what accounts you have and with whom. That includes banks and investing accounts, life insurance, mortgages, and loans. Having a handle on this information is an important foundation as you plan for the future, and can bring greater peace of mind.

(EDITOR’S NOTE: Yes! Yes! Yes! I am still getting a grip on my finances after the divorce. I realize now how little I knew before and how problematic that can be.)

Money Tips for Working Moms

Save for Retirement

    • Retirement is not a destination but a journey, and it’s never too early – or too late – to start putting away savings for the future.  Along the way, there are myriad opportunities to get off the path—and back on it.  And at virtually any turn in the road, there are possibilities to speed up your progress.
      • Make it a goal to save 15% or more of your income each year. If that’s not reachable today, make sure to make it a priority to carve out what you can. Even smaller amounts will add up over time.
      • Aim to have no more than 50% of your take-home pay go toward your “must-have” expenses.

Try to Save Three to Six Months of Essential Expenses in an Emergency Fund.

Look for Growth Potential from your Investments

  • Knowing your financial personality can help you determine the right mix of stocks, bonds and short-term investments that match how comfortable you are with risk, and have the growth potential to meet your life’s needs, be that when you want to retire or when you want to send kids to college.
  • If you’re not sure where to start, read up online, or reach out to a professional.  There’s never a fee to come into Fidelity to talk to a financial planner, but we do recommend you reevaluate twice a year. Just like you take care of your physical health by visiting the doctor and dentist, think of this as taking care of your financial health, which is vitally important as well.

Protect your Legacy

  • In order to ensure that what you’ve accumulated is distributed to your children, family and causes you care about most, it is important to name beneficiaries and create a will and health care proxy. Yes, it can be uncomfortable to think about the ‘what it’s,’ but it’s important to be prepared for the unknown. Do you really want someone else making these decisions for you?



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Purposeful Parenting

Be Kind To Yourself: Words of Wisdom from Alyssa Milano



Be Kind to Yourself | Alyssa Milano | Sprout Mom-Bassador

I had the opportunity to chat with actress and working mom, Alyssa Milano, last week as she celebrated her new role as “Mom-Bassador” for the Sprout channel’s 10 year anniversary. I had the opportunity to ask her a few questions about her life as a working mom and her answers always centered around one fundamental rule: Be Kind to Yourself.

Be Kind to Yourself | Alyssa Milano | Sprout Mom-Bassador

I thought this was especially powerful, because as mothers, we so often overlook self-care as we race around taking care of everyone else around us. Her words rang true as she reminded me that I can’t be my best mom if I’m not my best me. So what does motherhood look like for Alyssa Milano?

Things are Always in Motion

You have to be able to shift and make changes, go with the flow! Just when you think you’ve got a routine down…there it goes. Having kids will always keep you guessing and send you moving in new directions into uncharted territory. Be flexible and allow yourself to embrace change. Don’t hold too firmly to what you think you know – Change will always be in process and something’s got to give in order to keep moving forward. You are a great mom and you are doing the best you can right now in this moment. Be kind to yourself, releasing the pressure to be perfect and releasing the guilt when you inevitably fall short of that unnatural expectation. You are a great mom.

Healthy Mom = Healthy Childhood

Alyssa Milano clings to two “must-haves” in her daily routine as a busy, working mom. This type of consistency helps her be her best self, which makes her the best mom that she can be for her children. By being kind to herself, she keeps her mental health sacred so that her children experience the best childhood possible. What are the two “must-haves” Alyssa Milano can’t live without?

  • Break a sweat. She puts aside 45 minutes to an hour every day to get moving. Whether she goes to the gym for a workout or simply takes a walk, she focuses on taking care of her body and keeping a level head with some healthy movement each and every day. If she has busy weeks with jobs, meetings or events, she schedules it into her day like it’s part of her job or another appointment. It’s not optional.
  • Keep the bedtime routine solid. The children go to bed at the same time every night. The routine is solid, it’s something they expect and she sticks closely to it. After 7:30PM each night, it’s time for her and her husband. Quality time that is kind to both of them, keeping their marriage strong and setting a solid example for their children in love and commitment. Carving out time for her husband with a regular routine makes sure that life as a busy working mom doesn’t accidentally let her marriage slip away.

When was the last time you were kind to yourself? What simple changes can you make in your perspective as a busy, working mom to focus more on self-care and less on burn out? It’s encouraging to see working moms like Alyssa Milano step up to the plate to send a clear message to society – Being a mom means so much more than trying to be everything to everyone all the time. Being a mom means taking care with yourself, making sure you are equipped with the love and energy to pour into your family in a meaningful way. You’re doing a great job, mom. Yes, you! Go ahead, pat yourself on the back.

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