To the disrespectful teacher in California

Dear sir,

Congratulations on your recent internet fame that you’ve inherited! I am one of the many members of the United States Armed Forces that you classified as a “dumb shit”. I’d like to share with you my life experiences, and why I decided to join the military a year after high school.

In high school, I was a part of the Junior Reserved Officer Training Corps (JROTC), probably the type of students that you favor in belittling in your classroom. At first, I didn’t want to join JROTC, but my mother convinced me to join anyway. Our compromise was that I would only have to do it for one semester, and I could choose to leave if this wasn’t for me. Turns out, I found my place in the world and decided to remain in JROTC for the rest of my high school career. I was so focused and dedicated to this class or club, that I ended up becoming the cadet commander of my unit. All of the valuable lessons I’ve learned, that I still reflect on to this day, were learned in this class as a leader… Can you believe, that me, a 16-something year old was commanding a unit of over 100+? Fascinating, isn’t it?

Unfortunately, I didn’t go to college right after high school despite taking classes that could’ve transferred over as college credits. Instead, as I’ve already mentioned, I joined the United States Air Force a year after graduating. To be honest with you, joining the Air Force, to me, is not a bad gig at all. Since I did 4-years of JROTC, I was already promoted to E-3 since joining the military (usually, people can receive this rank after graduating basic training/boot camp if they enlisted for 6-years), and because I was given the Congressman Herbert Advanced placement award, or CHAPA letter, I was able to chose up to 5 jobs in the military that I wanted to do. 10+ years later, I am still a medic and have not regretted my decision.

The military also treats me very well for serving them. I receive a steady paycheck, minus the occasional government shut-downs; however, there are many resources that are available to me that can help me out in times of need. I enjoy free education in the career field of my choosing. I’m sure technical training or trade school is probably not up to your standards, but if times get tough and there is an event where I have to leave the military, I still have my certifications to land me a decent job out on the economy. Also, I receive $4,500 per fiscal year for tuition assistance on top of the Post 9/11 GI Bill that I paid into. My family also benefits from me being in the military, in that their health insurance is free. They don’t have to worry about not being able to go to the doctors because coverage is too expensive. They also have a great community support system for those times that I have to leave for deployments or other necessary mission tasking.

Anyway, enough about me, let me also talk about some of the great officers I’ve met and have served under. I think you referred them as “not high level thinkers”. When I was deployed, my flight surgeon only had 6-months under his belt before he deployed. Before then, he had his own Family Health Clinic, but gave it to his colleague so he can join the military and support our war-fighters. My last squadron commander first enlisted into the Air Force, but was later picked up for Physician’s Assistance school. My last flight commander was also prior enlisted in the Army, but separated from the service to pursue her Nursing degree. She returned as a Nurse Practitioner, and now she is on the east coast for her doctorates. In addition to these three officers who are very important to me, there are may other officers in the healthcare field that have written and published articles for the medical community, proven theories, and most importantly, saved countless lives. And to make my last statement bolder, they didn’t just save our brother and sisters in arms, they have also gone on humanitarian missions to third-world countries and saved lives out there, too.

Sir, I know that, in this day and age, being in the military and having a sense of pride in one’s country is a scarce thing to come by; however, it is us that gave you the right to exercise the First Amendment of our Constitution – Freedom of Speech. I’m not sure if you know this, but being in the military, you don’t get to exercise this right, and you expected to “obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me”. Of course, we have the authority to disobey orders that we deem to be immoral, thus enforcing us to become those “high level thinkers” you think we are not. Either way, you are welcome for that right and the fact that myself, my husband, and my brothers & sisters in arms fight for that right to remain in this place.

Before I end this open letter to you, I’d like to leave you a quote from Gen George S. Patton, a famous General from WWII. He is currently buried in a military cemetery in Luxembourg, maybe you ought to visit his tombstone to pay some sort of respect to those that paved the way for your freedom you enjoy to this day.

Better to fight for something than live for nothing.

//Signed//

A Staff Sergeant in the US Air Force

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Is being a stay-at-home parent a real job?

I got the “inspiration” to write this post while I was trying to prep for tonight’s dinner and my 6-month old was in the background screaming his head off… Who would’ve thought that babies were so needy? I say that as a joke, of course.

I’d like to give myself the title of “part-time stay-at-home mom”, but I feel like I’m stealing the title from true stay-at-home mommies and daddies. Truth be told, I have no idea how stay-at-home parents do it! I barely have enough patience playing stay-at-home mom on the weekends. And I know that stay-at-home parents get a bad rap, I hear the complaints all the time at work. Honestly, I don’t think its necessarily fair for the “working” parent to complain about their significant other staying at home all day with the kids. Yes, it is a choice, but its also a big role to fill.

Why do I say that? For one, I seriously do need time away from my munchkins. As much as I absolutely adore them, it is such a pain to try and entertain a 6-year old AND a 6-month old combined. Oh yeah, and don’t forget our two fur-babies, who are special cases in their own ways. It seems simple to make sure the kids are fed, they’re well-groomed, and well-behaved, but what about the time in-between those tasks? Honestly speaking, being a medic is way more easier, because I know what to do with my down time while I’m on the clock. Being with my kids? Well, I know there’s a lot of activities I can nab off of Pinterest, but that could involve money, messes, and going places.

I’ve also mentioned it before in my first blog post (read it here) that I absolutely hate leaving the house on my own with my kids to corral. I mean, its somewhat of an easier task than, say, a mom of twins, because I just have one infant to lug around in a bulky car seat. My 6-year old is mobile, and for the most part, independent when to comes to going out in public. Anyway, so you have this problem – most stay-at-home parents actually stay home while the other is away at work. The only times I leave my house during the weekends when my husband is working is for coffee at a drive-thru Starbucks. I get cabin-fever very easily!

And because most stay-at-home parents choose to stay at home while their significant other is “getting the bread,” there is literally minimal “me-time” for them, if anything. Of course, I’m sure things get easier for them when their kids are school-age and they have a little bit of time to clean or do whatever. However, I know that some parents choose to home-school their kids, like my sister… I seriously have no idea how she manages that, while I struggle to remain calm when trying to help my 6-year old with his math (BTW, what is up with this core math stuff?!?? Its the bane of my existence!). She tells me she gets somewhat of a break on Mondays, when all the home-schooled kids in her area meet up to have some sort of socialization time with the other kids. Most of the time, I see her with her kids still. So, I’m assuming she doesn’t care about what little personal time she has to herself? I suppose you just get used to it, but by the time my husband gets off of work, I’m already shoving the kids in his direction. I know, thats totally unfair to him because he just got off of working 6-8 hours in retail. I try my best not to do that to him often since I know that I’d get an attitude if and when he does that to me.

Another expectation that I hear from working spouses for their stay-at-home spouses is that the house needs to be clean. I don’t think most of them truly expect to come home to an immaculate house, especially those with children. However, I know the expectation of a somewhat organized house is there. First off, my house is nowhere near where I want it to be, in terms of cleanliness. I mean, our house is clean in ways that the dishes aren’t piling and there’s not dried up poop from the dogs in random places of the house. Our house isn’t clean in terms of organization – we still have things packed up in moving boxes and we moved to Colorado in September… This kind of goes back to the fact that stay-at-home parents don’t have enough time to themselves, and that’s including cleaning up. It used to be a hassle for me with my 6-month old because he started getting antsy whenever someone put him down in his bouncer. He’s somewhat mobile now and we got a walker for Christmas, but I still have to keep an eye on him in case he decides to put his hands in the trash… I know stay-at-home parents do their best in finding ways to clean about the house or do little chores here and there. I just haven’t found those ways yet!

Lastly, the biggest complaint I hear about stay-at-home parents is that they don’t do their fair share in bringing in some type of income. This one really irritates me because, 1) if you really had such a problem with your husband/wife staying home, why didn’t you have that conversation yet or why haven’t you been on them a little more about getting a job, and 2) they’re actually saving you money… Well, I know there are some stay-at-home parents that blow their partner’s paycheck (trust me, I know that situation all too well with my ex-husband), but that is definitely a deep and personal conversation to be had. Anyway, its true, stay-at-home parents do save some money. First, by providing a baby-sitter for your children (with both kids, we fork out about $800 per month for daycare services). Second, most are apt for the meal-prepping and cooking home-made meals (no need to figure out what you’re having for dinner or even having to spend money on take-out!). And finally, most are extreme couponers! My sister is one of them, and I still have a lot to learn from her! In terms of couponing, the most I ever do is Ibotta or the Target app. Extreme couponing actually saves a significant amount of money, and you sometimes get great deals!

If you’re a stay-at-home parent, I seriously commend you for all my reasons and more! If you’re spouse is a stay-at-home parent, make sure you let them know from time to time that you appreciate their efforts and let them have their own time alone! They are truly something special in their own rights and ways!

Ways to help you focus on blogging (and MAYBE profit off of it)

Well… I already broke down and paid for the Premium service that WordPress offers its’ users. It cost me $96, or $8 per month. Hopefully, this blog will be my blog that I stick with and potentially make a profit.

I know that I previously made a post about how you’ll probably not profit off of blogging/vlogging (read that post here), but I’d like to also say I’m optimistic and think I could fulfill my dream of owning a successful blog. So here are some of the ways I’ll keep myself focused and hopefully convert my dream into a reality. Hopefully these tips will also help you keep focus and own a successful blog too!

Realize there’s no such thing as instant success or fame – Okay, I know that there are ways to achieve instant success/fame, considering things can go viral within minutes on the interwebs; but the reality of that actually happening to me doesn’t seem at all possible. Unfortunately, I’ll probably have to put in a ton of effort to achieve a well-known status.

Don’t limit yourself on what you can blog about – I know I mentioned in “Why you probably won’t profit off of blogging/vlogging” that, in order to have a successful blog, you need to be interesting. While this is true, don’t limit yourself to what you can blog about. I mean, this blog doesn’t really have a purpose other than the fact that I like to write about random non-sense. If its important for you to even make a blog about, I’m sure someone else in the world will be interested to read what you have to say.

BLOG like its your J-O-B –  I did put down $96 in order to maintain this blog. My justification is, if I routinely post on my blog, I pretty much wasted my time not investing in my blog. So here’s to hoping that I didn’t waste another $96 in blogging. This is also like investing in a business – you have to put some money down in order to start a business. You know its true! In order to join up any independent consultant business, you have to put money down by ordering their “new consultant kits” or “starter kits”. I know the same goes when you want to start up a shop with Etsy… I think I’ve made my point with this. If I want to make money off of blogging, I’m going to have to create some sort of schedule to keep going. I mean, you don’t get paid at any job if you don’t show up or do anything!

Stick to your word, and keep to your schedule! – As mentioned in the point above, I need to maintain some sort of schedule. I figured that if I pay attention to my blog 30-minutes to an hour each day, and post something for the days that I’m off of my actual job, I should be okay. The problem with my last blogs was that I just lost interest or the motivation in continuing the blog. I have so many great ideas to post, but writer’s block gets in the way or I just don’t get it past the draft blog. I think its time to stop making excuses and starting doing.

If writer’s block gets to you, find some inspiration – Honestly, my inspiration comes from FaceBook (lol). You know there’s a lot of discussion going on in social media websites, and it doesn’t have to be about politics, current events, etc. Buzzfeed is also an EXCELLENT source of inspiration. They’re always up to something that’s interesting to talk about, or maybe even re-enact.

Here’s to hoping that I actually stick to my plans and not ditch them!! Do you have some ideas on how you stay motivated in your blog(s)? I’d love to hear them, and drop off your blog in the comments as well! I’d love to hear what you’re interested in!