A Peek Into the Lives of Two Work At Home Moms

work at home moms


My friend and mentor Kelly McCausey is running a Stretch Yourself Challenge Workshop for the month of October. This has been a great event for me to participate in as I tend to become paralyzed by fear and thoughts of not being good enough. This challenge has encouraged me to push myself out of my comfort zone. The encouragement that I’ve received from other participants has been a great help too.

As part of this challenge, I am taking part in a cross blog conversation with my friend Alicia Jay from newVAadvice. Alicia has been a big source of encouragement as well as a wealth of information for me on newVAadvice. I highly recommend you follow her for resources and encouragement if you’re just starting out!

We’ll be asking each other questions and posting our responses on our blogs. So be sure to follow newVAadvice to catch the entire conversation! If you have any questions, please leave them in the comments section and we’ll work it in the conversation for you.

Alicia got the ball rolling by asking:

“Marya, I’ve found that hearing other women’s stories about how they started their online business is often inspiring to those wondering if they can do it as well. What’s your “why” for starting your business? How did you decide that working from home was right for you? Tell me your story and what you do.”

I worked in corporate America for ten years, coming home to be with my family in 1992 after I had my first child. There never was a question about my staying home, even though it meant a big cut in household income which is tough in a place like New York City where the cost of living is so high. The only work at home options I could come up with back then were direct sales opportunities, which were not a good fit for me because I am an introvert!

I went on to have three more children, several of whom have special needs. Homeschooling and taking care of them consumed much of my time until recently. My two oldest have graduated, my youngest son attends public school, leaving me to just homeschool my 15 year old. I started to think about what my next act would be. As a special needs mom who also struggles with a chronic condition, going back to a 9-5 job is not an option for me. I am always going to be a caregiver and needed to find work that would give me the flexibility that I needed to be available for my family.

I launched SuncoastMomma a year ago. This blog is devoted to special needs topics, health and wellness issues and emotional/spiritual wellness for people who are hurting. I recently launched SuncoastVA. My specialties are freelance writing, social media management and support for bloggers.

The toughest part of this ventures has been learning to create a positive mindset and believing in myself that I could learn to do anything that I put my mind to. Then there is the part of believing in myself enough to market myself! I’ve found the community around Solosmarts to be most encouraging.

Alicia, can you tell us how you got started? What have been some of your struggles?

Standard Deviants Accelerate {a Schoolhouse Review}

standard deviants review

I’ve been a big fan of computer based learning programs for years for busy homeschool parents. I don’t think they should replace one on one interaction with parents but for situations where the parent has to work or has frequent outside appointments such as medical and therapy appointments, these types of programs can be a sanity saver.

As part of the Schoolhouse Review Crew, I received access to the Standard Deviants Accelerate Homeschool Course. They have a variety of coursework for 6th grade and up, and a few for elementary grades (Arithmetic and Fundamental Math). We tried out the math courses which turned out to not be a good fit for Rebekah (15). We settled on the Nutrition course which she’s enjoying and I have peace of mind knowing that she is getting some coverage of an area that we haven’t had the time to get to. I’ll probably give some of the other courses a try again later in the year. Please note that SDA is meant to be a supplemental course only. We used the program three – four times a week. Christian parents may want to note that the science contact is secular. This wasn’t an issue for us as we use a variety of materials for science.

Here’s a listing of the SDA courses:

standard deviants review

SDA is meant to be helpful to homeschooling parents by saving time as well as money. Most of the assignments are automatically graded and you can check on your student’s progress at any time through the parent account. If you need copies of the student’s work to add to their portfolio, a print option is available.

Rebekah’s thoughts:

I used Standard Deviant Accelerate’s Nutrition course. So far I’ve been learning about carbohydrates, protein, fats and vitamins. I like that they use lots of visual helps because that is really helpful to kids like me to keep engaged. I would recommend this program to anyone who is interested in Nutrition.”

Final Word:

We have enjoyed having access to Standard Deviants Accelerate and would heartily recommend this program to other families. You can try a free six month trial out right now. Very nice to have on hand when schedules or sickness can get in the way of homeschooling. I think it’s a great supplement for families of children with learning disabilities to investigate. The graphics, quizzes and videos will keep them engaged. Students will also enjoy the humor, the fastpaced editing and variety of teachers to help keep things interesting.

Standard Deviants Accelerate is very affordable at $99/year or $24.95 a month in comparison to other online learning programs.

A note about the promo:

*Must sign up by November 15th, 2014.  You must fill out the contact form and confirm via the automated confirmation email you receive to receive your free trial.  After you confirm, you will receive a follow up email listing all subjects we offer.  Reply with your subject selection, and your account will be created and login information will be emailed to you within the following BUSINESS DAY.

Be sure to check out the reviews from other Crew members!

Click to read Crew Reviews

standard deviants review

Why this Florida Mom is Voting Yes on Amendment 2

florida amendment 2

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My Florida Fall Bucket List

fall bucket list

As I wrote last week, you really have to do some planning and be intentional to experience Fall in Florida. It’s more a state of mind than an actual decline in temperatures..though around Tampa Bay at least the humidity is waning! Browsing … [Continue reading]

Christians and Halloween

Christians Halloween

  It just wouldn't be October without a discussion of whether Christians should participate in Halloween or not. Last year I decided to come out of the Halloween closet and shared the conclusion that my husband and I arrived at over the years … [Continue reading]

Fall in Florida With a New York State of Mind

fall in florida

I like to say that fall in Florida is finding the right mindset. Or, fake it until you make it. This is the time of year I scan through pictures on Facebook of upstate New York and New Hampshire. I long to go for a drive but something inevitably … [Continue reading]

{Review} The Critical Thinking Company

critical thinking company review

The following is a sponsored post from The Critical Thinking Company. I received a copy of Surfing the Net for our family's use and review. Opinions are my own. The Critical Thinking Company has been in around since 1958 with a stellar array of … [Continue reading]

eMeals Giveaway: Win a Three Month Dinner Subscription!


(This is a sponsored post for eMeals. I was given a one year free plan in exchange for reviews and giveaways. This post contains affiliate links which do not affect your eMeals price but enables me to receive a small commission. All opinions are my … [Continue reading]

A Reluctant Homemaker’s Norwex Microfiber Review

Norwex microfiber

My Experience with Norwex Microfiber As a person who lives with asthma and the neurological disorder dystonia, I've been interested in chemical free options for cleaning the house for several years. (Actually, my family does most of it now but I … [Continue reading]

#IAmYourVoice: A Social Media Campaign to Help Iraqi and Syrian Refugees


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HWoOwxKmwL8   For many weeks I've been watching the disturbing news reports coming out of Iraq and Syria. Christian and Yazidi families being given the choice of conversion, becoming a refugee and having to … [Continue reading]