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Tag: mother

#MumisBest Guest Post – Rhian, From Tum to Mum!

#MumisBest Guest Post – Rhian, From Tum to Mum!

Welcome to another instalment of my new guest series #MumisBest!  #MumisBest is all about the ever-growing SAHM/working mum debate.  I really want this series to highlight that there’s no right or wrong way, but whatever works for you and you family.  If you’d like to take part do get in touch, I’d love to hear from you!  For now I will leave you in the hands of Rhian, From Tum to Mum!

 

Mum is best – Can we have it all?

When you get pregnant, you mentally make lots of decisions about how life might be with a family.

You may decide that you want to follow some kind of “written” guidebook of how life will be (the likes of Gina Forde). Or you might like the idea that you can fit the baby into your life and it’ll be easy to have it all.

Of course, you know it’s going to impact your life and there’ll be sacrifices, but you have no idea what they will really be until that little face pops out and drains every last smidgen of energy you have left. The chances are that the naive decisions you tried to make during pregnancy will turn out to have been a pipe dream.

For most mums I know, even though they may have been super ambitious prior to pregnancy, changes happen. Priorities change. Energy levels change. Work changes. They change.

Priorities

For some Mums, they continue their career path and choose to return to work full time. That’s fine. For a lot of us (me included) they seek a more flexible working pattern because their job is suddenly not the ‘be all and end all’ that it once was. That’s fine too. Many may not be able to change their work situations financially. Equally fine, although I’m sure they’d prefer not to. Whichever it is, that good old “Mum guilt” will go into overdrive.

I am self employed so I didn’t really take a break at all, as I’d work around the clock. I mean, I was up anyway, so I thought I may as well sneak a bit of work in whilst she was feeding. I now have a more organised structure working only during childcare or at night time if I need to.

Energy levels

Once your offspring is sleeping more, you’ll most likely feel more tired. You might now be doing those extra jobs you didn’t get around to during the day well after little one is down for the night. Or you may still be up throughout the night. In short, you’re still going to be knackered most of the time and that’s likely to influence whatever work situation you have.

Work

You haven’t been around for a long time, and in most businesses, a lot changes in a short space of time. So it’s likely that work won’t be the same place that you left.

So what does that mean?

It means that “having it all” might actually not be the easiest thing to achieve. There is a strong possibility that you’ll constantly feel as though things aren’t quite right and you could do something better. You will probably always feel as though you are letting someone down.

So here’s the thing… you’re not.

You’re doing something amazing.

Whether you’re back at work, a SAHM or somewhere in between, you’re showing your child the realities of modern life. It bloody hard and we think we can do everything. Very rarely do I say ‘no’ to much, hence working with a newborn, but seriously, it’s knackering.

There is no perfect solution that won’t make you feel as though you’ve done 10 rounds with Mike Tyson.

It’s an ever-growing debate, and there is certainly no right or wrong. You just have to do what is right for your and your family.

The way I work, I feel like my daughter knows that I am always around for then important things, but she also knows that Mummy works too. That’s her time to have fun with her friends at nursery.

So my advice is, don’t try to have it all. Try to have a good balance and continue to be uber awesome, because Mum, you are.

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#MumisBest Guest Post – Carly from Mom of Two Little Girls

#MumisBest Guest Post – Carly from Mom of Two Little Girls

Welcome to another instalment of my new guest series #MumisBest!  #MumisBest is all about the ever-growing SAHM/working mum debate.  I really want this series to highlight that there’s no right or wrong way, but whatever works for you and you family.  If you’d like to take part do get in touch, I’d love to hear from you!  For now I will leave you in the hands of Carly from Mom of Two Little Girls!

 

I am a Stay-at-home-mom. My husband works and, is the bread winner and head of our house-hold. I stay home, look after our daughters and keep the house running. 

Some feminists out there might look at my life at surface level and immediately label me a sell-out.

Call me what you like, but this is what works for our family.

All during my pregnancy I was adamant that I would return to work after four months’ maternity leave. Then in the 7th month of pregnancy and after months of us arguing about who would be suitable to look after our baby when I returned to work, I just decided that I had to do what was best for her. I quit my job.

Shortly after she was born we moved to be closer to my family. Life went on, and then I fell pregnant with my second baby.

By this time, life was very hard for us. We were living in Zimbabwe with a declining economy. My husband was working with my dad and they were doing well, but the income we were relying on fluctuated monthly. I couldn’t take the stress and uncertainty anymore and we decided it would be best if my husband went back to working for a company in South Africa.

When my baby was 5 weeks old we moved to South Africa. Hardest thing ever!

The visa I am on here is a Spouse permit which allows me to live in SA, but not to work. My permanent residence application has been pending now since November 2015 … “Never rush a good job” as the saying goes. I’ll just leave that right here.

My husband works in construction on large road building projects so we move around quite a lot, moving to where the work is, up till now. This will stop soon as my eldest is starting Grade 1 next year and we don’t want to uproot her and move them once she starts formal education. Not if it is avoidable. Me not working has also given us the flexibility of being able to ‘follow’ my husband around wherever the work takes us. Whilst it has its own set of challenges, I am grateful to have been able to do this.

In around August last year, I was feeling low and frustrated with life. I felt I had no purpose. My husband’s job was going great, the kids were thriving in school, we were done with babies, nappies, bottles, and had moved on to the next stage of kids – out of the toddler zone! Whilst I love being a mother and I love my girls, “motherhood” the job was not satisfying me and I thought to myself that there must be more than just this. I decided to start my blog.

It has been almost a salvation to me. It has given me a purpose, something to own, a creative space and an outlet for all my emotions. I get to interact with adults online and share ideas and learn about other ways of life. I am committed to sharing the reality of my mom-life. The highs and the lows, the ups and the downs. #thisisreallife. We are not an Instagram Perfect family. My home is a place where we can be ‘normal’ – whatever normal is. I can be quite sarcastic and ranty on my blog, but if I’m not letting my personality out on my own blog, where can I? I like to think I can be quite funny too if you get my ‘dry & sarcastic’ sense of humour.

Our days are pretty standard and routine. My husband is gone from 05.00 until 18.00. I get the kids up, take them to school, then run around doing all the chores, blogging and everything I can whilst they are at school. Afternoons are spent ferrying them from one after-school activity to another, swimming, dancing, tennis, football – to name a few. We try to eat at the table as a family most week nights. This is our time to just be together, catching up with each other. Then it’s tidying up, bath, a little bit more TV, and then bed. When the kids are in bed I get to chill and can usually be found with a glass of wine in hand watching Grey’s Anatomy or some other Shonda Rhimes addictive series. 

We often talk about if whether I should go back to work or not, and the reasons why I don’t are always the same:

·        I am available for the kids and my husband 24/7. This is important as we do not have any family support at all.

·        I don’t speak any other language other than English so living in a very Afrikaans area of South Africa, the chances of me finding a job that was worth sacrificing all the perks of me not working are very slim.

·        We don’t need the money – any income I will earn will be used to pay someone else to do all the jobs I do around the house, plus more will be needed for after-school-care for the kids. It really does not make any sense.

·        My sanity is no longer in too much jeopardy now I have my blog. I’m grateful my husband recognises this and supports me.

So, yes, whilst I am a SAHM, I’m so much more to my family. It’s not fair to them yet for me to go back to work. Maybe when they’re older … isn’t that always the answer. Not too sure what my husband will do if/when I go back to work, but I’m sure the kids will be fine when the time comes.

You can see more from Carly here:

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Working from Home – Three Lessons I Learned the Hard Way

Working from Home – Three Lessons I Learned the Hard Way

Working from home is the perfect set up for my family and I.  Doing so has so many positives for us. As is often the case though, things don’t always go according to plan. Here are three major lessons that working from home has taught me the hard way!

Life likes to get in the way –

I’m the queen of organisation. I have a diary and a set schedule that I try my hardest to stick to on a daily basis. I never have enough time, so the hours that I do get to work are valuable. The trouble with working from home without childcare is that I can plan and schedule as much as I like, but life always gets in the way! Being at home means I’m almost always the first port of call. Even if Dad’s at home, finding peace outside of nap time is a rare and wonderful occurrence! As I type this, I’m on a plastic phone to Peekaboo from the Twirlywoos. You get the picture.

You’re always at work –

There’s no break from work. I don’t get to leave the office on a Friday afternoon for a well deserved rest and I don’t get to shut the laptop, letting things wait until Monday. Don’t get me wrong I love what I do, but it’s definitely not for the faint hearted!

Having a work from home profession also means that a whole day can pass before I realise that I’ve not stepped out of the front door. For that reason planning a jaunt is essential, otherwise I really am always at work!

Early nights become a thing of the past –

Working from home whilst bringing up two young children, means that the majority of my working hours occur after they’ve gone to bed. It’s rare that I go to bed any earlier than 12am and if truth be told I could always fit a few more hours in. Luckily I accepted that sleep was a thing of the past when I had children. It’s amazing how our bodies adjust, that’s not to say an early night and a lie in wouldn’t be nice though!

 

 

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#WorkshopWednesday – How to Beat Writers Block

#WorkshopWednesday – How to Beat Writers Block

Welcome to #WorkshopWednesday, my weekly feature with a focus on all things blogging! Each week there’ll be tips, tricks and advice on how to get your blog running like a well oiled machine!

 

As a blogger and a freelance writer, I’ve had more than my fair share of writers block. There’s nothing worse than sitting down to work and having words fail you. I’ve even found that writer’s block can hit when you have topics in mind. Often we have a million and one ideas whirring around in our brains, but none of them seem to land on the page!

Fear not! I’ve developed some great ways to get the juices flowing when writer’s block kicks in. No more staring at a blank page and no more procrastinating on social media, hoping that inspiration will hit. Here are my top tips:

Take a break –

This might seem really obvious but when work has been hectic, taking a break can make all the difference. When I’ve had a busy week, it’s not unusual for me to run of words towards the end of it. Even if it’s just a stroll around the block, it’ll give you time to clear your head. Everyone needs a break sometimes, taking one will have you back on top form before you know it!

Change where you write –

If you’re usually cooped up inside when you’re working, why not move into the garden? If the weather is rubbish maybe try a local cafe. Taking yourself away from the norm can give your mind the freedom it needs to explore, a bit of people watching is good for the imagination too!

Get your inspiration from Google –

If’ it’s blog post ideas that you need, there are numerous title generators that can be found through a simple google search. The algorithms aren’t always on point, but they can help to kick-start your thought processes. Even a search for ‘blog post ideas’ can get you going. The internet is full of content that can be inspiring to writers and bloggers, you just have to find it!

Quote yourself happy –

I’m a huge lover of the quotes that circle the web. There are some really inspirational and motivational memes out there that people love to share. Do a quick search and have a read, some of them really give you the kick up the bum you need to get cracking!

 

Don’t let writers block hinder your progress, get typing!

 

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#MumisBest Guest Post – Pam’s Bake and Baby Blog

#MumisBest Guest Post – Pam’s Bake and Baby Blog

Welcome to another instalment of my new guest series #MumisBest!  #MumisBest is all about the ever-growing SAHM/working mum debate.  I really want this series to highlight that there’s no right or wrong way, but whatever works for you and you family.  If you’d like to take part do get in touch, I’d love to hear from you!  For now I will leave you in the hands of Pam’s Bake and Baby Blog!

Be yourself, Be happy.
When I got married at 24 I didn’t want a family, but as I approached my late 20’s I felt a pull to be a mother. Now at 32 I have a 3 year old son and a 1 year old daughter. For a while I couldn’t quite believe that this was my life. In fact shortly after having my second child I freely admit I had a ‘what the hell have I done’ moment!

I went back to work after 9 months maternity leave both times. I work in the rail industry and the option for flexi time or part time hours wasn’t an option, so I went back full time – 48 hours a week. I work 12 hour shifts days and nights and although it sounds horrendous it actually means that I get a lot of time off and more time with the kids than if I worked a mon-fri job. It means that we need less childcare as I work weekend and evening so husband is able to cover a lot of it.

Before I had children I would complain about the shifts, about how tired I was working such long hours. Now I don’t have days off. I have two children and a house to look after but much less time to deal with everything. I won’t lie it can be a struggle. And after my first child I took a while to get into a routine. There were tears, arguments and struggles. But now me and hubby are on the same page. He is super supportive of my choices and pulls his weight at home (most of the time!). I can’t stress how important this has been and understand this is not the same for everyone.

I shock a lot of people when I tell them that I enjoy working. When I was at home on maternity leave I felt like a huge part of myself was missing. I struggled to find a happy place and (this still makes me cringe to say but) I felt unfulfilled. Being a stay at home mum wasn’t for me. There I’ve said it. It is the hardest job I can imagine. There is no salary, no bonus for meeting targets and no appraisals to let you know how to improve.

I recently wrote a piece about ‘mummy guilt’ and what everyone thinks about everyone else. Working mums tend to look at stay at home mums with envy. They falsely believe that the mums at home are in their pjs until lunchtime, watching telly then doing incredible crafty, fun mum stuff with the kids every day. They are jealous that the stay at home mums get to attend school events and can seemingly do what they like. Stay at home mums look at working mums and are insanely jealous of their freedom. Freedom to have  a break, go for a pee in peace and get an actual lunch break. They would kill to be wearing something other than mum gear and to have something else on their minds.  Then you have the part time working mums. They have a bit of both sets of guilt. Guilty that they feel they aren’t able to give their all at work in the hours available. Guilty they aren’t doing enough at home. Guilt is a bitch!

We are also bad at hating on each other. In the last year I have heard stay at home mums say they can’t believe that a mother would want to work full time – why bother having kids? Is a statement I hear a lot. Working mums are similarly as bad at dishing out the insults, branding stay at home mums lazy. Why can’t we respect each other more!

Last year I had a breakthrough after I admitted that I enjoyed working. Instead of apologising for doing what was best for me, I am embracing it! Being a working mum makes me happy. But I have also came to the conclusion that we will never ‘have it all’. Whatever you choose then chances are you will have to sacrifice something. And that can be ok as long as you accept this.

To the working mums out there, feeling torn in two I salute you. To the stay at home mammas rocking motherhood, I salute you. To the mothers not having many good days with the littlies, they will get older and leave home someday so I salute you. To the mums waddling though with their eyes half shut I salute you!
There’s no need to be superwoman – that role is old! Be yourself, be happy.

Bio.

Pam Lorimer
32
Wife of 8 years-been with hubby for 15 years since i was 17,my first love!
Mother of a 3 year old boy and 1 year old girl.
I work in the rail industry and have done for 11 years now. Previous jobs include a chemical technician in a cheese factory, a mental health support worker and a waitress.
I started blogging last year as a way of getting some writing out there. I have written on and off since I was a teen but never seem to have enough time lately (never dedicate any time to it!) So the blog has been the perfect platform to express myself and I have met so many supportive men and women through it.

You can find more from Pam here!

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BusyLizzy Family Club, Baby and Toddler Classes with a Difference – FREE CLASS

BusyLizzy Family Club, Baby and Toddler Classes with a Difference – FREE CLASS

What do you think of when you hear ‘baby group’ or ‘toddler class’? Does it send shivers down your spine as you picture the chaos of old school groups, where none of the toys are working and the tea is tepid at best? If so, then I have the answer to your prayers! This week I’ve teamed up with Busylizzy Family Club, to showcase their new and revolutionised baby and toddler groups for the under 4s.

 

What’s on offer?

Busylizzy split their classes into three different groups; baby classes, mini classes and active tots. Each group offers the correct level of activity for the age group. therefore bringing out the best in your little ones from the outset!

Baby classes – these classes are specifically designed to provide a calm and supportive atmosphere for you and your little one. You can choose from a range of music, baby sign, baby massage and yoga among others. With so many different activities to try out, there’s no chance of tedium setting in!

 

 

Mini classes – these classes are aimed at children in the early stages of toddlerdom. You and your littles can choose from a variety of classes including mini Monet art classes or mini explorers with obstacles and excitement galore as well as many more. All of these classes are designed to teach colour recognition, counting and coordination. All in a fun and multi-sensory environment!

 

 

Active tots – these classes have been created with the older toddler in mind. Busylizzy have an amazing range of classes including languages, music, drama, ballet and yoga to name a few. All of these classes give you the chance to join in with your little ones and it gives them the perfect opportunity to let their wonderful characters shine through!

 

Mummy Fitness

Postnatal fitness is a great way to regain your confidence in the months after giving birth. That’s why Busylizzy offer the bee’s knees in mummy fitness classes! Depending on the type of workout you’re after, you’re free to choose from aerobics, yoga, pilates and buggyfitness to name just a few. The best bit? You take your little one along with you! There’s no need to worry about childcare and it offers perfect bonding time for mum and baby.

 

How are Busylizzy different from the rest?

The beauty of becoming a Busylizzy member is that is offers an incredible amount of flexibility when it comes to choosing classes. Your schedule does not have to be set in stone, one week you might enjoy a little ballet and another hip hop might tickle your fancy. Busylizzy offers a unique approach to attending classes, allowing you and your family to pick and mix at your leisure!

As parents themselves, the guys over at Busylizzy also appreciate that life doesn’t always go according to plan where children are involved. For this reason they give you the option of cancelling and rescheduling your classes up to as little as two hours before it begins. This also means that paying for classes whilst you’re on holiday is a thing of the past!

As well as all of that, Busylizzy gives you the chance to meet and socialise with like minded parents. Having a baby can be a daunting time, but surrounding yourself with friends can make you feel much less alone!

 

Do you fancy trying out a Busylizzy class completely FREE of charge? Find out where your nearest class is HERE and claim your spot today!

 

 

*This post was written in collaboration with Busylizzy Family Club.

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How to Maintain Drive and Ambition when you’re Self-Employed

How to Maintain Drive and Ambition when you’re Self-Employed

Self-employment is the dream of many. You get to work when you want, stay in bed until brunch and still earn enough money to keep you and yours in the lifestyle you’ve become accustomed to, right? Wrong! To become a success in the self-employment game you need drive and ambition by the bucket load. There’s no staying in bed and often working when you want means longer hours than you did before.

The beauty of being self-employed is that it often means you’re doing something you love. It’s making your dreams a reality, so the extra hours and workload are more than worth the effort to build your empire. The difficulty with being your own boss is just that. You don’t have someone watching your every move, making sure you’re meeting deadlines and hitting targets.

So what can you do to maintain the drive and ambition you need to rock at self-employment? Look no further!

Set realistic goals –

Setting yourself goals is vital to continue to achieve. Think about where you are now and where you want to be in the future, even if you can only see as far ahead as next week. Think about the steps you need to take to reach your goals and how you’re going to implement them. Write your ideas down if it helps, but make sure they’re realistic. Setting unrealistic goals often means you won’t reach them. This will knock your confidence, meaning your drive and ambition to stay self-employed will suffer, along with your work.

Set yourself deadlines and stick to them –

With no boss to keep you in check, it’s up to you to set yourself deadlines and make sure that you stick to them. Setting yourself deadlines means that your workday will have structure, you know what needs to be done and when.  Every time you meet a deadline you’ll feel satisfied in your work, fuelling your drive and ambition to achieve! Having no deadlines and therefore no structure in your work life is a recipe for disaster!

Don’t be too proud –

Often being self-employed can mean you’re working from the ground up. Just because you’re now your own boss doesn’t mean the work will automatically start flowing in. Don’t be too proud to start small and take the little jobs as you build up your business and reputation. Completing projects whatever they are worth, puts you one step closer to the bigger jobs. Rome wasn’t built in a day and work is work when you have bills to pay!

Allocate yourself time off –

Give yourself a break. Self-employment can be all-consuming and after a while this can take its toll. Allocate yourself time off to rest, spend quality time family or see your friends. Doing so will see you refreshed and ready to tackle what the world throws at you when it’s time to get back to work!

 

 

 

 

 

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Sleeplessness, Dancing and Buckets of Rain

Sleeplessness, Dancing and Buckets of Rain

Today has been a miserable day.  Hubs headed back to work after a few days off, leaving me to solo-parent two under two.  The rain has been torrential and the littlest of my brood refused to nap, not even a wink!

Now usually I rock parenting two so young. I’m no expert and far from perfect, but over the past two years I’ve had a lot of practice.  I’ve become adept at entertaining two children at once and I’m the master of diverting attention, to derail a tantrum hurtling towards me at full speed.  Please don’t get me wrong here, I’m not saying my children don’t throw tantrums, just that I’m a quick learner and I’m all for saving myself.

Today though I found my patience wearing a little thinner than usual.  My lack of a nap time breather due to said child who doesn’t need sleep, meant I found myself mentally running for the hills.  We’ve all been there, those days when bed time feels like it won’t ever arrive.  Instead of running for the hills though, I scrabbled to get them in the car before the rain soaked us all to the skin, to get the older of our girls to dancing.

My daughter loves her dance classes, mostly because parents have to get involved.  So she’s able to laugh at my two left feet, moving incredibly un-rhythmically across the village hall. My by this point overtired and irritable second child, sat in the wings cheering us both on with her wails of displeasure at being confined to the pushchair to watch.

It’s become apparent that having two toddlers in the house means bickering is a given.  Even at their young ages they have found ways to wind each other up, they can go from best friends, to mortal enemies and back again in record time.  So our subsequent supermarket dash, saw the littlest repeatedly trying to kick her sister in the head from the trolley baby seat.  Wonderful.

However, despite the sleeplessness, dancing and buckets of rain I can’t help but feel content with our little life.  Hubs and I have created two perfect little devils, for every argument there are twice as many laughs and more love than you can measure.  As they say, the days are long but the years are short.  Things won’t be like this forever and when they change I know that there’ll be so much that I’ll miss.

If I take anything from today, it’s that being on the ball 24/7 just isn’t possible.  Raising little humans can be incredibly trying and all we can do is our best in any given situation.  I’m not going to advise that cherishing every moment is the way forward, that would definitely make you superhuman.  What I will say is that if you look hard enough, there’s often a little good in most situations and focussing on that might just get you through.

 

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Freelancing – Earning a Living as a Stay at Home Mum

Freelancing – Earning a Living as a Stay at Home Mum

It has been said a million times, but it’s true, being a stay at home mum is more work than a full-time job, and your shift never really ends! However, many of us still feel unsatisfied in regards to our careers, or are simply a bit short on cash, and crave something to help with both. It might be simply impossible, or you may just not want to go back to a job, which would mean leaving your kids with a childcare professional (and therefore adding an extra expense) while you are at work. However, it is possible to make money from working, on top of taking care of your family. Freelancing offers work that fits around your schedule, and as much or as little as you’d like. Perhaps a few adjustments will have to be made to give yourself some time, which is not always easy- but since when was motherhood ever easy? Here are some tips on why, and how you can go freelance.

Going freelance is a good idea, specifically for full time parents, because it enables you to choose exactly what type of work you want to do and how many hours you are willing to work. Instead of a 9-5 job that often requires sitting at a desk all day, a freelancer has complete control to choose how her (or his) career goes. The more experience gained, the better and higher quality projects come around. That means the responsibility and money earned is completely dependent upon the determination of the freelancer. It is also means that no workday will look the same.

If this seems like a good idea for you, you should take a moment whilst the kids are sleeping in the evening, or while they are watching TV to go onto your laptop and have a look at what is out there. If you are reading this article, chances are you enjoy reading blogs and sharing ideas, and there are some really useful sites such as blog Jobrapido, which offers realistic and professional advice on all aspects of job searching.

You’ll find many different freelancing options, for all different job types with different companies. For example, take freelance writing. Many blog owners will hire freelance writers to write articles on their blogs. If you enjoy writing and being creative, but are also willing to do the research to create quality articles, this is work that is high in demand. Or there is website design. If you love design and are familiar with Photoshop, you can take these skills into the freelance space. Learning the goals and personality of the website owner can help you create one of a kind pieces on your own time and earn some money along the way.

Working as a freelancer can have a very positive affect on a mother’s life. Having the ability to make money and keep the career-motivated part of you satisfied helps those who are interested, stay more balanced and happy overall. Overall, freelancing/doing what you love and being a stay at home mum seems pretty close to balancing the best of both worlds.

 

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*Published in partnership with Mary Johnson.

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