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Just when you thought the pregnancy was over, the work begins. No-one tells you about the work to come, when bubs is kicking and gurgling in your lovely tum-tum.

For many mums – pregnancy is glorious. The days spent on the couch, feeling a little kick will never be back once bubs is out. These mums walk happily in the schoolyard. They rub their beautiful round bellies, dreaming about having even more bambinos.

For other mums – it’s a hell nine months. For many, morning sickness is robbery. Then the giving up of wine, cheese, coffee and seafood feels like a major life sentence. Some mothers fret over the loss of their beautiful pre-baby body. They start investing in stretchmark lotions or any cream that can bring them back.
 
Others huff-and-puff in cars, rolling their eyes at people through the rearview mirror. They’re the new designated driver – to all friends and family in the neighbourhood. They get invited to sooooo many parties now. It’s weird. If they’re not driving, they’re the women, sitting on stools at parties in the kitchen. They’re avoiding drunk people. So they’re in the kitchen washing dish after dish and checking the clock. They’re desperate for the night to end.
 

Remember all those women who smiled and peered at your preggy belly at the supermarket?

It’s not until years down the track you do that yourself – as the experienced mum you’ve become.
 
It’s likely you are thinking:
 
Poor woman – she has no idea what she’s in for.
 
You realise all those beautiful smiles from other mums, didn’t mean what you thought they did. They may not have been the well-intentioned looks you thought they were.
 
Sure. Some looks were warm and fuzzy. Those were from Earth mothers who can’t get enough of kids. But the rest of those glances? Those mums looks were pleading. The rest of those mums felt sorry for you. 
 

They knew this:

 
You were about to gain a beautiful amazing adorable kid. Yes, an absolute fact. But, a new life of dishes, washing, chores, and damn hard work was about to swallow you up in a vacuum of domestic chaos.
 
I’m that second mum.
 
There’s alot of work involved in getting to what I call ‘blissville.’ Blissville is the ten or so minutes in a mum’s day. That part of the day you get paid – in cuddles. Worth it yes. But most days, you feel you deserve a promotion.
 
More cuddles, less work and a kitchen with a view of the ocean.
 
It’s a fact that, despite all the amazing help dads are giving out, mums are still overworked. Mums still do the bulk of work as chefs, taxi drivers, home administrators, cleaners and more.
 

Here’s a quick list I’ve put together of a few hats mum wear daily: 

  1. House CEO
  2. Chef
  3. Cleaner
  4. Taxi Driver
  5. Judge
  6. Hairdresser
  7. Police Woman
  8. Family Therapist
  9. Courier
  10. Laundry Worker
  11. Teacher
  12. Accountant
  13. Personal Assistant
  14. Art Curator
  15. Gardener
  16. Nurse
  17. Detective
  18. Lifeguard
  19. Daycare Worker
  20. Kid Stylist
  21. Personal Shopper
  22. Events Coordinator
  23. Cheerleader
  24. Sleep Therapist
  25. Story Teller
  26. Motivational Speaker
  27. Safety Officer
  28. Singer
  29. Tour Guide
  30. Taxi Driver
  31. Psychologist
  32. Mediator
  33. Tailor
  34. Interior Designer
  35. Bodyguard
There’s no doubt about this. As a Mum you put your life on the line for your kids. If you’ve ever woken to the beaming smile of a child jumping on you, you’ll know the day has begun – and not by your making.
 
My morning starts with a walk to the kitchen down a long hallway. I’ll pick up toys, towels and teddies on my way to the kettle. Coffee is next – because nothing happens without coffee. Shortly after that, it’s a shower, lunches, lost bags, notes, signatures and a fight for a park at the schoolyard. And that’s the abridged version of my typical morning.
 
Whatever your day holds, if you are a mum, you’ll know there’s isn’t a lot of slack left in the day for you.
 

Remember the old ‘you’ mum?

 
That woman who…
  • Who once did hair and makeup daily?
  • Who owned some things that nobody else touched?
  • Who could take a piss without people freaking out you left?
  • Who could get through a day without answering 50+ questions?
  • Who didn’t have to know where everything was at all times?
  • Who could live in a house without being hunted up a hallway?
  • Who could watch a TV show without lip reading?
  • Who could go for a drive that wasn’t a drop-off, pick-up or grocery run?
I could go on – but I know you don’t have the time to read a list this long.
 
Despite the above, so many mothers still feel they aren’t doing enough. They’re burdened with guilt. They feel they could always do more. Such as read or play more with their kids. They could get more involved with their school work. They could volunteer more often at working bees. They could inspire their kids more.
 
There’s yet another list that could go on and on and on….
 

So if you still feel guilty about not doing enough, here’s something to ponder:

 
Oneflare recently conducted a Household survey across Australia.
They went on a mission to find out how much housework mums are doing on a weekly basis.
 
Here’s what they unveiled:
  • 54.2% mums are spending a whopping 8-24 hours on housework every week.
  • 39.3% mums have a home with more than four bedrooms
  • 34.8% mums put off oven cleaning as their least favourite household chore.
In short, mums wish that they could do more. They feel there isn’t enough time in the day to keep a perfectly clean home. They struggle to balance housework with spending quality fun time with the family.
 

And here’s what I have to say about this:

 
In life, we work with:
  • The best of what we have
  • Using the resources at our disposal
  • Based on the life experiences we have had

To all well-meaning beautiful mums out there:

 
Lose the guilt.
Promote yourself.
Work less.
Stop for more cuddles.
Sit by the ocean.
Life is short.
Enjoy the moment.
 

Here’s a way you can skip housework altogether!

 
Thanks to the awesome world we all now live in, outsourcing tough cleaning jobs is a real solution for mums.
 
Here are some even more awesome stats from the Oneflare survey:
 
51.4% mums said “heck yes!” to wishing to hire a  reasonably priced cleaners ($33/per hour).
 

Do it with this discount:

 
Outsource your cleaning and spend more time with your loved ones. Click here to get 50% on your first clean if you book with Oneflare Now.
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Just because I’ve made a career out of penny-pinching, doesn’t mean that I don’t occasionally get swept up in the fantasy of a luxury lifestyle. If you’ve ever made the rookie error of signing up for one of those supposedly “secret” hotel websites, you probably know what I mean. It’s easy to be lured in by their daily e-mails and spend hour upon hour scrolling through photographs of exclusive beach resorts. I sometimes imagine what it must be like to indulge in a frosty cocktail while enjoying the ocean view from a private pool. I’ve even been tempted by the advertised prices to click through to read the details of the “deal.” Sigh! But you know me. I haven’t fallen off the thrifty wagon yet.

JanClaus / Pixabay

Fantasy shop ‘til you drop

In a similar vein to my imaginary holidays, I like to do something I call “fantasy shopping.” That’s when I meet a girlfriend in one of the more shi shi areas of town and, after a congenial lunch or coffee and cake, we take in the window displays of some of our favourite boutiques. Sometimes we even allow ourselves to meander inside and coo over high thread count Egyptian cotton sheets that we can’t really afford. Once or twice I’ve even splurged on some unnecessary (but, to me, affordable) indulgence, like $8 rose-scented pillow spray. Other times we might feign interest in some really expensive designer makeup until an obliging saleslady offers us a collection of small samples.

Spare the budget, spoil yourself

If you’re a loyal Savings Room reader, you might recognise (and even practise) this “how to be rich” fantasy technique. While a huge amount of fun (especially with the aforementioned girlfriend or girlfriends), in all seriousness, there is very much a method to this madness. And it is this: saving can’t – and shouldn’t be – 100% about self-denial. You’ve got to keep living, and above all, enjoy yourself. While I’ll never be on the Forbes rich list, I’ve learned that by letting myself have little luxuries, I really don’t feel like I’m doing without. If anything, those minor splurges keep me playing the long game.

Chrispikeuk / Pixabay

Buy vintage for both style and price

You can even give yourself occasional permission to fulfil an actual big ticket item fantasy. There are always ways to buy luxury brands for less if you are willing to put in some extra time to look for deals. The savings can be particularly good if you don’t mind an older model. People who buy luxury brands tend to take good care of them. If, for example, you’re into Tissot watches, go vintage but don’t pay the hefty price tag. You’re still getting a quality product that has years of life left in it. Not only that, but your find is sure to spark interest. The same principle applies to fashion. You simply need to find a consignment shop in the right neighbourhood and your dreams of a Gucci or Prada purse can be a reality without the thousand dollar price tag.
Of course, if the price you find is still too dear, turn on your imagination! Fantasy vintage shopping, anyone?

Free-Photos / Pixabay

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Owning a boat is effectively the same thing as flushing your money down the toilet, but if you buy a boat you have the luxury of funding the boat mechanic industry before it goes down the drain for good. Of course, owning a boat does provide you with endless opportunities to create lasting memories with family and friends.
The process of buying your first boat is an exciting process which can cause you to overlook some major expenses involved with owning a boat. The most commonly overlooked boating expenses are boat taxes, moorage fees, having a marine survey, and hiring marine electric services to fix electrical issues.
When you buy a boat in Australia you will have to decide if you are going to sail it locally, or take it on the open waters. If you sail your boat to other countries you must understand that some places have extremely high boat taxes. In some U.S. states, you will be taxed as much as 10% of the value of your boat. To avoid these costly fees, you should thoroughly research your destination before you set sail.
One of the most overlooked expenses is finding a marine surveyor to perform an inspect on your boat before it hits the water. To hire an inspector to look at your boat will cost between $22-30 an hour. Keep in mind that an inspector is not a mechanic and will not be able to fix the damage they report.
There are a handful of mechanics that have dual credentials, but they charge between $95-125 an hour. If the surveyor reports that your vessel is unfit for the water, then you will have to fix all the required issues or risk a several-hundred-dollar fine for bei