Brandi Riley is a mom that we at mom.life are proud to know and admire, and once you read her story and get to know her better, you’ll understand why. She is driven, an eternal optimist, a mom and a wife who loves fiercely.
Brandi is a business woman who helps empower other women on the daily. She is constantly encouraging other women which is why we adore her so much. She knows what struggle as a single mom looks like, and she shares how she has navigated that time on her blog Mama Knows It All. Brandi is never afraid to speak her truth, and she always encourages others to do the same.
Tell us a little bit about you.
I’m Brandi Jeter Riley, a Northern California mom who grew up all over the place. My dad was in the Air Force, so we moved a lot. It was not fun! My goal now is to create a stable life for my family. I am a blogger on the site MamaKnowsItAll.com, run a community for women entrepreneurs called Courage to Earn, and I’m a social media manager. In addition to that, I’m married to the most amazing man in the world, we have a 7 year old daughter, and a son on the way!
You set out to change your future on the eve of your daughter’s first birthday – tell us more about that.
I realized that no one cared about my daughter as much as I did, and I needed a place to sift through all of the emotions I felt as a mom. I was overjoyed, nervous, hopeful, and worried at the same time! I’ve always been a writer, so I decide to start a blog to work through all of that. It was kind of a therapy for me.
In our recent survey of 375 mom.life moms, they listed finances as a top stressor in their life. As a one time single mom, and a budget conscious mom in general, what advice or tips would you offer to moms struggling paycheck to paycheck?
If you’re struggling financially, don’t be afraid or too proud to ask for help. I was able get SNAP support for 3 months while I was on maternity leave from my full-time job, and I signed up for WIC after my daughter was born. At first I felt bad for receiving government assistance, but you know what? That’s why we pay taxes! Here’s more about my food stamp experience.
You found love and are now married and expecting your second child. What tips would you offer single moms who are hesitant to bring a new relationship into their lives and that of their child(ren)?Finding love as a single mom isn’t easy. My biggest piece of advice is to wait until you know you’re ready. You don’t HAVE to have someone.Click To Tweet
Finding love as a single mom isn’t easy. My biggest piece of advice is to wait until you know you’re ready. You don’t HAVE to have someone. I didn’t date anyone until I met my husband after my daughter was born, but a week or so before I met him, I said, “I think I’m ready for love again.” The universe put us together! Don’t rush it. Don’t force it. DON’T SETTLE. Focus on your children, focus on taking care of yourself.
What are the top tips you always offer moms looking to start something new in an effort to get out of the paycheck to paycheck lifestyle?
Right now is a great time to start a part-time business! You can sell things online, work as a virtual assistant, or even get a work from home job with evening or late night hours. Set your goal and figure out where you can sacrifice time to make it happen. Oh, and use GOOGLE! You can figure out how to start an online business step-by-step, for free, thanks to Professor Google! It’s really what I did.
You run a Facebook Group called Courage to Earn – tell us more about that.
Courage to Earn was created to help women entrepreneurs learn to talk about money. Too often women feel like we’re being greedy if we ask to be paid for our services or expertise. We accept lower payments than men, and end up working for pennies. Courage to Earn empowers women to recognize their value! The majority of the women in the group are blog business owners, and it’s open to anyone.
In our recent modern motherhood survey of 375 mom.life moms, we found that most of them work full-time, but a lot of them are fortunate enough to do some of that work remotely. For those who are still hoping to find WAHM opportunities, where do you recommend they start that search?
I’ve been so thankful to be able to work from home for the last 4 years. Definitely look for jobs on LinkedIn and Indeed.com. Use the keyword, “telecommute”. Also, make sure to let your network of friends know what you’re looking for. You’d be surprised at the jobs that are available that never get posted. More and more companies are offering that as a perk to workers now!
You talk openly on your blog about depression. We have a lot of moms who battle this themselves within the mom.life community, do you have any words of wisdom based on your experience?It’s so important for us to take care of ourselves as moms. Often, we feel like we don’t have time because we put our family first.Click To Tweet
It’s so important for us to take care of ourselves as moms. Often, we feel like we don’t have time because we put our family first. The thing is, you might have to call in some support so that you can do what you need to do to take care of yourself. Know that you are not alone.
Share your story on social using the #modernmomlife hashtag and we’ll re-tweet and re-share it. Are you a working mom, WAHM or SAHM? Can you relate to Brandi’s story? Share with us on social using the hashtag #modernmomlife.
Brandi Jeter Riley started her blog, Mama Knows It All, in 2010 when she realized no one else seemed to care as much about every single little thing her daughter did except her. She was pleasantly pleased to discover there were tons of other mothers like her, and that the internet was a safe place to overshare about motherhood. A former single mom, Brandi found love when she wasn’t looking, got married when she didn’t expect it, and is now living the life she only dreamed about. She lives in the Bay Area in Northern California with her adorable daughter and extremely handsome husband. A new baby, due in April 2017, will round out the Riley family and officially make Brandi the luckiest girl in the world.