10 JOBS FOR STAY AT HOME MOMS

I got several responses on my previous post about stay at hone mom vs working mom and most of the direct questions I had was finding things to do from home and still be able to get paid while doing it, looking after your little ones and finding that personal self-fulfillment through career and financial independence. You don’t want to be going to your husband every time you need a dime. Even if you have a joint account, you don’t want to be explaining yourself every time you buy something nice for yourself. So I have decided to share some few ideas of jobs you can do from the comfort of your own home while looking after your family full time. You don’t have to have an experience, a degree or accreditation. You don’t have to worry about childcare for your young kids.

1. Blog – This is one of the first choice for a lot of moms and my favorite, in fact there is the ‘influx’ of mom bloggers currently. I love this one so much because it not only provided me with little income, it has also become therapeutic for me as a full time stay at home mom. Sharing my thoughts and struggles has become so helpful and it made me a happier person and I made some connections that blossomed into friendship and I’m able to help other women. You don’t have to have any experience, you just have to enjoy writing and or taking pictures. However, you are not going to start raking in the money immediately. It takes time and patient so you have to love it. When I first started, I did not make a dime, I love blogging and making contents on social media. It is my creative outlets. I still can’t afford to do it full time even though that’s the dream (I live in Manhattan and that’s a pretty expensive dream) but at least I’m getting income now as supposed to when I first started. I can pay some of the bills with it.

2. Become an Instagrammer – Most people these days are already using social media, but there is a different way to use social media, become an influencer, content creator or creative director, whichever title suits you. One thing a lot of people don’t know is that you do not have to be a famous instagrammer or have hundreds of thousands of followers. So far you have good contents, at least a thousand followers and take good enough pictures. And your personality too. Brands look at how you connect to your audience. You are good to go. Be consistent. Your followers want consistency. You don’t have to post four pictures a day or even post everyday. As a busy mom even if you can manage 3-4 times a week.

There are macro, micro, medium and large influencers. Rome was not built in a day and remember even though we have big companies paying influencers with large followers, we also have small to medium companies using smaller influencers too. This days, even big companies are now appreciating the values of micro influencers. why pay thousands of money to just one influencer when you can have ten different smaller influencer promote your brand to a wide variety of audience. So don’t get discouraged because you have a few following. I remember my first gig with Google, I was like OMG! So big companies like that are noticing small contents creator like me? When I first started, I was very concerned about how I would be perceived. Show off, narcissist and being vain or needing validation were some of the things that came to mind. This is especially true for people from my culture and religious background. Even though I still struggle with some of that (I may come across as showing off and jokingly say it but that is so far from the truth), I know why I’m doing it. I love to share with the hope to inspire and encourage. If I wear this outfit confidently regardless of how I look, you too can. It’s nice to see clothes on regular people who are not models or perfect.

So be ready for that internal battle. But keep going anyway. Now that I get paid to create content, that feelings are not important to me anymore. I just remind myself, this is how I financially take care of my family. I’m doing it for my family. That’s who you are doing it for too right? So don’t worry.

And again, just like blogging, becoming a content creator takes time and patients. just keep on taking those pictures and creating contents in your area of interest. One day, you will have your breakthrough.

3. Become an Online seller – e-commerce is the way these days, I mean you buy things online right? people are selling through eBay, amazon and many more other channels of selling products. You don’t have to worry about owning a real shop, find out more about drop shipping, you don’t even have to have the physical products if space or start up fee is a concern for you. You can own a virtual shop and make money through it from the comfort of your own home.

4. Become an actor/model – gone are the days you had to look like a model to model. Thanks to inclusion and body positivity movements, anyone can virtually become a model, you just have to have the attitude and love for it. You can take acting classes (online if you don’t have childcare) And you can even take your baby along with you. I did a private modelling gig recently and I was lucky to be able to take all three kids with me and they were involved in the campaign too. More income and no worries for childcare. We had fun as a family and it actually made the final product better. Imagine using real families to play make believe families. Especially families like us that really have fun together and get along well.

5. Become a freelancer – Be it writer, photographer, proof reader or virtual assistant, you can sell your talents or knowledge on a part time basis for money and Still be in control of your time.

6. Become a product/services reviewer – get paid to take surveys. This is not sometime I particularly like although I have done it in the past, I find it quite time consuming and I do not naturally like filling out forms in real life and I get impatient answering questions over and over again. But if you are ok filling out surveys and answering questions then give it a go. You can also get store vouchers like Target for taking part.

7. Become a childminder – if you are home looking after your kids, why not add one or more kids and get paid doing what you are already doing anyway. Depending on your area and the rules and regulation of the state, you may be suprised that you can become a childminder from anywhere, meaning you do not have to live in the suburb with big gardens. When I was researching into doing this in New York City, I was pleasantly surprised that I could do it from my apartment and public parks counts as outdoor space too. No wonder I see kids all lined up walking to local parks. You can get paid as soon as you start with this one. Your kids get to have additional playmates. Start up cost is low because you already have toys for your kids and you have already childproof your house. There are grants too to help you with start up cost.

8. Partake in Paid research and studies – when I first heard of this I was thinking, “I am not becoming some scientist guinea pig” but that is so far from the reality. Some of the studies involve what you are already doing, someone will just come and be observing you interact with your family or a medication you are already using. I get worried when you are asked to take something new. Anytime you are asked to put something into your body, that should be a no. You don’t know if it has been approved or not and I am very protective of moms or primary care givers because God forbid something should happen to you, who will look after your kids. But if you are already using the medication or cream for example, then that’s great.

If you want to know how to find good ones, I was approached while waiting at the kids clinic by a teaching hospital in New York City. They also place adverts including Craigslist . Although I haven’t done any yet just because of time and other commitments but I was promised $250 by the university and for just 45 minutes of our time. I think that’s pretty good deal. Imagine doing just two a week for a month.

9. Become a teacher – you do not have to go to a teacher training college to become a teacher. Are you very good at making things, open a youtube Chanel and teach people how to do it. Teach people how to do makeup, style their outfits, bake, cook African dishes for the family (some non Africans are married to Africans and may want to learn). Start an online master classes and let them pay you to come and do what you know how to do all while looking after your kids. Create your own online course and people will pay you for it.

10. Become a photographer – You can start small, buy a decent camera (doesn’t have to be a new fancy one). Start practicing on your kids or pet or nature. Anyone can pretty much learn anything these days thanks to YouTube. Then start with friends and family portraits or events. Do you know that you can sell your pictures too? Stock photography. Or become a brand photographers. Small brands/companies are looking for small photographers to take pictures of their products for marketing. And they will pay for it. Have a portfolio of what you have done. Don’t let that scare you. Just have a folder of all the beautiful pictures you have taken, when you hear portfolio you immediately think they meant paid previouse job, who says it has to be paid. Tell your family and friends you are willing to do free shooting for them because you are building your portfolio. Go print them out and buy a photography folder and voila you are ready.

Lastly I want to encourage you to be patient and know this, you are exactly where you are supposed to be. It may not seem like it or make any sense but trust me when I say this and I say it with a 100% conviction, you are where you are supposed to be in life. I used to have anxiety over what to do while taking care of the kids. Something that doesn’t affect my values like becoming an escort, (you going to need childcare for that), or sell my kidney or my right arm. But joke aside, what can you do while still taking care of my babies. You start comparing yourself with your mates who started together or went to school together. That lady is building a beautiful house, she travels all the time. She wears expensive nice things.

My husband did not understand why I worried so much, money wasn’t the problem for us. But I felt like I was missing something. Even though I knew I made the right choice (I will never have it the other way) my anxiety was for the future (I don’t know why we worry so much about the future when all we are guaranteed of is just today). I always thought, what will I do when the kids are older and start school full time? After staying at home for some years, you lose your confidence. Will employers take me back? How about that “previous” employer issue and references. Do I need to re-train or go back to school just to catch up.

Whatever you are doing right now (or not doing, as it may seem), it will prepare you for your next move. You just keep going. It will all make sense eventually. You can also combine these 10 ideas. You can blog, become a photographer, a model and have a YouTube channel for example. For security and personal reasons I will not (yet) disclose my new business venture, it is not on the list but one thing I learned and that gave me the confidence to assure you that you are where you are supposed to be was that, everything I unknowingly learned while ‘waiting’ is what has been helping me. My instagram knowledge about taking clean, pictures. Sending emails and negotiating contracts with brands that want to use my platform to promote their products. My relationship with my followers (I genuinely think they are all my friends and I love and respect them as such), is my customer relationship skills. Typing, writing and talking with other bloggers (team working). Everything has been useful to me.

When you are a full time stay at home mom, you are learning valuable management skills and that is priceless. You may not even know it. You are a master of conflict resolutions (if you have more than one kid you would have learned this skills). Negotiations skills (how do you leave both parties happy at the end of the day). Multi tasking (I finished working on my day business, kids are sleeping and I’m here blogging while enjoying a nice glass of wine and some Nina Simon playing) talk about multi-tasking.

The best skill for me is learning to work under pressure. As moms we just get on with it. No time to be moaning and complaining. We handle things even when we are freaking out or when we have no idea what we are doing. When it comes to our kids, we are lionesses. I have taken that into my entrepreneurial business and I must say I surprise myself sometimes. I deal with an issue and remembers when I had to deal with similar issue as a mom, wife or as a content creator and I smile to myself. I bring that knowledge into my business.

If I could go back and advise my younger mom self I would say “just relax Irene, everything will be alright. It will all turn out fine and you are on the right path”. I remember questioning my move to America and I smile because if I didn’t, I won’t be where I am today. I won’t have this joy and fulfillment I feel today. So I’m telling you the same. You are exactly where you are supposed to be. You made the right decision. You may not see it. But you did. Trust the process.

WHATS IN MY HANDBAG

After my second child I realized that I don’t actually need a separate handbag and a diaper bag. You can carry just one. And if you are a stylish mom, you can use your regular handbag and still carry your baby’s things. Here are top 10 things you should always carry with you in your handbag

1. Wipes – I don’t only use them for the baby, I could write a post on a thousand things I use them for, even for non-moms/baby related things. From makeup remover to cleaning older kids hands in the park before snack.

2. Diaper – I plan my outings most days and know roughly how long I’m going to be out of the house. I take just a couple of diapers. The baby’s diaper is changed just before leaving the house so two extra changes should be ok before coming back. That way I don’t over pack.

3. A bottle – milk bottle. Even though the baby now eat whatever I’m eating, I found out that she still finds comfort in taking her bottles especially before napping. This can make a great difference between a calm baby who allows you to enjoy a glass of wine while out and about with your friends or a fussy one.

4. Paracetamol- over the counter pain killer. As a solo mom I always advocate self care as priority. One day we went away for the weekend while on a business trip and I was in chronic pains. I could not move, I had these little kids looking up to me, including a young baby and I felt helpless. There was no one around that could help. Before dialing 911 my older daughter stepped up and thanks for meal delivery service that delivers to hotel room. I slept and vowed to never leave the house without some pain killers in my handbag.

5. Plasters/bandaids – because kids will be kids and they will bruise their knees on the playground. We could also cut ourselves shaving or some zit decides to pop, you never know.

6. Money – a few one dollar bills. Different from your regular cash in wallet. I used to be a cashless lady. I prefer taking my bank card with me. I mean with Apple Pay and everything being on direct debits I hardly needed to go out with any change. But as a mom with growing kids, when you are out and there might be a ride the kids want to go on in the amusement park and you that needs change to pay, it’s heartbreaking telling the kids they can’t ride because you only have your debit card with you.

7. A pen – because there is always something to be signed for when you have kids. Especially in America! Since moving from London to America I have signed more papers than I can count.

8. A snack – because mommy is always hungry running errands and chasing after the kids. Just kidding the snacks are for kids but It won’t hurt taking one for yourself too. Helps prevent binging on bad food when you have sugar rush. Just a piece of banana or some nuts.

9. You wallet with your IDs and kids medical records. This is pretty self explanatory because you are always asked for those when you are running errands. There is a different health system here and you have to carry your insurance card with you at all times.

10. A little bottle of scent – I used to carry a small makeup bag before but after find a great makeup line that last all day. I don’t anymore and that has saved up a lot of space in my bag allowing me to carry less things and use a regular bag. I however carry a perfume because all the running around makes you sweat and most changing rooms don’t spell too great.

…iRene

STAY AT HOME MOM VS WORKING MOM

As an adult mom with responsibilities and purpose, there is this big question we ask ourselves as soon as we are even thinking about starting a family. Do I stay at home and look after my kids or do I go back to work, get someone else to look after the kids, earn a living to look after myself and the kids and achieve my own personal fulfilment?

There is no one answer to this question and no right answer too. Regardless of what you choose to do, that decision is perhaps the best decision for you. Here is my personal experience and how I came about choosing the best option for me and my kids. Our personal situations and experiences does impact what we decide to do about going back to work or not.

I am a stay at home (I work from home, I have my own small business I do from home) mom. When the two older kids were very young, after my maternity leave (England is better than America for that) I was working full time, schooling full time and parenting full. I had a live in nanny, their dad worked in the London branch of his company so we always leave home together in the morning and come back together in the evening. The kids were between 0-2 and the live in nanny also helped with cleaning. I never allowed anyone else to cook for my husband and kids and I took the kids for swimming and their activities. This was going on ok until my husband changed job. We all want financial stability. If you are an immigrant you would understand the honesty. We always joke, that we did not leave our countries for the English weather. So when an offer that almost triples his wages came up, it was unwise not to take it. However, such lucrative job comes with lots of sacrifices and challenges. One of it being that he traveled a lot, so he is often not around. When the kids were younger, we always traveled with him sometimes but the older they got, the more we wanted to create stability. We can’t have the kids growing up with both parents not around.

I was raised by a single teen mom so basically her immediate family raised me. My mom went back to school and started her own successful business. We were comfortable but we never sat around the table to eat together – she would come home late at night when I was already sleeping, hell we even missed so many christmases together. Probable why I love Christmas with my kids so much. I could go on about the emotional and physical abuse I endured as a child from closest family members who were more than happy to bully me because they knew my mom wasn’t around to hold them accountable and my dad was never around anyway. Although I am healed from it, but I never forget about it. This really affected my choice in raising my kids.

Call me traditional, but my philosophy is that at least one parent has to be at home to look after the kids. I cannot stress how important this is. Money is not everything. You will not allow anyone to look after your most expensive assets. why allow strangers or even family members to look after your priceless kids? I say even families because, I worked in social service for over six years and from professional experience, 90% of the abuse to children, comes from people closest to them. We warn them about stranger danger, the most dangerous people to kids are their primary carers.

My husband being a typical African man, even though he is British, took the job hoping I would automatically love to stay at home. Anyone close to me, knows how much I love kids. I literally love them so much and mine are not exception. I love being with them. I don’t love the work part though, the cleaning etc. When you are a working mom, you are still a full time mom but someone else do the hard physical part. But when you are a stay at home mom, you do EVERYTHING and that is exhausting and tiring, the aches and chills. I can’t remember the last time I don’t take 200mg of pain medicine at night. Unlike how I may come across, I am also very career oriented too. To be honest, not necessarily career, but I am financially minded. I have been hustling, selling things since I was a kid.So yes I am maternal but I am also a firm believer in personal financial freedom regardless of how blissful your marriage or relationship is. Have your own personal bank account and keep putting small amount into it. Me allowing my husband to go work in this new company without opposition wasn’t because I was a submissive or gullible wife, it was a calculated decision. One I did with the happiness and comfort of my kids in mind.

Remember that at least one of the parents always has to be with the kids. How I chose who that would be was a simple calculation. Who earned the most? Unfortunately a lot of men still earn more than their wives. This means a lot of women HAS to be the ones to make the decisions to stay at home. I would love to be the one working but his wages was more than enough to cover all our expenses. If on just mine, yes we might have gotten by but it won’t be enough for holidays or anything else. That was how I allowed him without complaint.

You have to be pragmatic about these things. Yes we live in a more sophisticated world were women rule, girl power, feminism and all that, but this is your family we are talking about and you have to make the best decision ( not political decision) for your family.

Despite choosing to stay at home to look after your own kids yourself, you can still make some income. The truth is that it may not be self fulfilling or financially rewarding as if you were 100% committed to working outside the house. But it is something. My only consolation is when I see the kids striving. I am not talking necessarily about education alone but in terms of the values you wanted them to have. The bible says “raise up your children in the way they SHOULD go”… Your children, the mandate was to you the parent(s), no one can truly want the best for your kids as much as you do. There is also a way you might want them to grow. What value do you want them to have. No amount of detailed written down routine for the carer can instill that into them. Sooner or later the kids will say, you are not my parents why are you asking me to do this or do that. Which is true. We tend to listen to our parents more than our carers.

One thing I also remind myself when I feel like I made the wrong choice is that these years, are investments. They will not be kids forever and by Gods grace, once you get it right with them, you will never have to pay for therapy for them to undo years of abuse they may have suffered. Don’t get me wrong, kids who were raised by at least one of their parents are also messed up ( we are all messed up one way or another), there is just a good messed up and a not so good messed up.

I cannot over emphasis how important it is for you to look after your kids. I know some of us may not have the choice to make, especially if you are already a single parent or you honestly just don’t have it in you. I respect people who know themselves and are true to themselves. You have to do what you have to do. If this is your case, by all means do not feel bad about having to make the decision to go outside and work and have someone else look after the kids. Have that conversation with them, kids are not stupid, they will probably not like it but they hear you. I cannot attend this and that because it is only mommy that has to work so we can have food to eat, house to live and clothes to wear. Even be able to buy you that toy you wanted.

I tell my kids this when I have deadlines and yet they want me to do something (despite working from home, we also get guilt tripped so don’t worry). I also want you to know that by reading this, asking yourself the question of what is better for my kids, you are already an amazing parent. You won’t bother if you didn’t care. You want what’s best for them and sometimes that is good enough.

If you are 50/50 about it, you should know that there is also the option of taking temporary or lesser roles. You may not have as much money as you would have, but at least you will be able to spend more time with the kids. I have seen moms changing careers to become teachers or nurses so they can have that flexibility.

Lastly, that “life – career balance” is a myth. You can not joggle those two things successfully. One has to give. I hate seeing women on newspapers and social media, “mom of three running a Fortune 500 company, or when they say “she combines motherhood and running a successful business etc” Yes the fact is that she birthed three kids but the silent message that she’s a hands on full time mom and still able to run her business is all BS. The truth they don’t tell you is the amount of help, nanny(ies) they have, their mom and sister who regularly take the kids for piano lessons and swimming. Forget the one they had to pose for the camera for, their husbands who is fully involved. Their possible cook and cleaner.

They come back from work tired but the nanny is there to give the kids their bath. But the few days they do it they capture it for the camera on social media so that they can prove they do it all and are involved. If you truly do it all by yourself then you will know that the reality is that you don’t even have the time to get a camera to take a photo when you are busy giving them a bath, helping the older ones with homework, making dinner, reminding them to brush and floss oh let’s not forget you. You have to take off your makeup and drink your water and moisturize. It never ends. These are all staged photos. I am a blogger and and instagramer and that is the truth. When you are in the moment of motherhood, you don’t have time for photos.

When the world found out that Beyonce had three nannies for just the twins, there was a lot of gossiping. I loved her honesty. How do you think Kate Middleton in the royal palace does it? They don’t tell you the amount of servants they have and when people who are honest do, they crucify them. I think it is important that people know the truth. That because you do not have time to go to the gym and loose that baby weight doesn’t mean you are lazy, that because you didn’t get that promotion doest mean you didn’t put in the hours (what hours when you got kids). No one can have it all. Do not set yourself up to fail. Know your own situation and work with what you got. Putting the children first, choose what’s best for your family.

$200 GIVEAWAY!!!

So I had the pleasure of chatting with one of my favorite mommy friendly fashion brand – Pink Blush and it was fun!

You can read all about it here. We are also doing a giveaway of $200 to one lucky person to shop on their website (think that lovely dress for up coming valentine at no cost to you!) click here to enter. Competition closes 1/27/19 midnight.

Good luck lovelies!

FAMILY WINTER BREAK – HOTEL

My daughter turned 9 this week and we asked her what she wanted to do. She said she wanted a pool party but that anything will be fine with her. Last year we took the family and few of her friends to the American Girl in Manhattan for lunch and she got to pick the doll of the year. I was 9 month pregnant then and it was very hassle free. Just what I needed. They got the cake and gift bags for all the kids. All we did was to dress up and show up.

This year, although I am caring for a baby and two young kids, I am in a little bit of a better situation to plan something. We do not alway do big elaborate parties for the kids anyway. I never see the point. It is all about the kids, what they want, making memories for them and what the parent can afford – both financially and mentally. Over the years, I have found out that instead of having just a party, we can use one stone to kill two birds ( I do not believe in killing birds 🙂 ) so we plan our family vacations around our birthdays, that way, we get to go away for holidays and we get to celebrate with our closest and dearest. No better time to visit new places, meet new people, learn new culture and try different food like during your birthday week.

I have been wanting to go away for a little while this winter but because we have only just done a major move (hubby says no major holiday for a while), kids needs to settle properly in their new home and environment and most of all, I have a baby who I’m currently putting on a routine. we would have loved to go skiing like we did two years ago ( I was heavily pregnant last winter and we did the move from London to New York City), but I cannot expose the baby to such strong amount of cold high up in the slopes. So we decided on having the best of both world. Go away to somewhere not too far away, stay in a lovely hotel that has everything inside it, that way we won’t need to go outside into the cold with the baby. After all, all I really wanted was just a change of scenery. I don’t chase sunshine for holidays. It is all about the experience and scenery.

We settled for Atlantic City. It is just 2.5 hours drive from Manhattan so it was close enough. Atlantic City is popularly called the Las Vegas of the East coast. It is know for its beautiful beaches, broadwalk, casinos and high-rise hotels. I wasn’t necessarily looking for any of that (other than the high rise hotel), I just wanted somewhere beautiful to spend quality time with the kids and celebrate my daughters birthday. This led me to choose Ocean Resorts Casino. With beautiful indoor pool that overlook the Atlantic Ocean (5 pools), spa, shopping, casino (not that I need to play but it was nice to see) game rooms like pool, golf, several different restaurants and above all amazing views overlooking the Atlantic! All the rooms are sea-view but to get the most of it, I requested a top floor.

In all honesty, the hotel was not very family friendly in my opinion, I say these with a cringe because I really really love it and despite that we will be definitely be going back. The reason I say that it wasn’t very family friendly was because of the following reasons. After hauling kids from a long trip, when you get inside a hotel, you want to see the lobby – reception first. where you would be welcomed by friendly staffs who would point you to the direction to go and offer assistance. However, on entering the Ocean hotel, we were a little bit confused, it is so hug and magnificent but there was nothing like a lobby in sight. Although there were signs and directions everywhere I think the disappointment of not walking into the lobby immediately, couple with the long drive and kids, was a little overwhelming. Luckily enough we saw a guest who was leaving and he directed us to were to take the elevator to the lobby – take an elevator to the lobby?! I have been to so many hotels all around the world and this was a first for me, but anyway we took the elevator just by the corner, to a different floor of the hotel where we saw the reception. On getting to the floor, we had to walk, what seemed like a mile, all the way to finally find the reception. Luckily they had pretty good views to take your mind off it and the kids were well behaved (the baby had just woken up from a nap so she was well rested) so there wasn’t a lot of anxiety for a solo mom going a trip with her kids. It would have been nice to have the reception on the entrance floor and have staffs around to help with your luggage. But they made up with the aesthetics of the hotel. The pictures did not do it justice. One of those places you have to see with your own eyes. It was indeed beautiful. Even staffs who have been working there for a while told me they secretly take pleasure in the sights. I bet!

The hotel room was beautiful, cozy but a little dusty. I don’t want to use the word dirty because it was obviously very clean and it is a new hotel but there were a lot of dust on the back of the bedside table (the kids and I have mild dust allergies so this was worrying for me) the wires on the lamp shade was a little dusty and few other places too. But because it was a new hotel, it was generally clean on the surface, just a little dusty. I could use a wet wipe and give it a quick clean to be honest, I hardly make a fuss about something small or human error, especially if I really love the place. Like I mentioned, I would love to go back. The main reasons I won’t be necessarily going back just yet is mainly because there was no bathtub. This was the biggest problem for me. I will not blame the hotel for it however because they did not mention that they had one in the first place. I just assumed that a 4.5 star hotel will at least have a bathtub.

There was a gorgeous spa like shower and beautiful bathroom just no bathtub. This is very import for babies and toddles who cannot use a shower yet. The older kids loved it but not the baby. I was glad she was small enough to bath in the sink, but the sink will be too small for a toddler or chubby baby.

Finally, the worst thing I really did not find to be family friendly was that there was no kettle for hot water (think making baby milk or food I had to use the coffee maker to boil hot water), there was no courtesy bottled water or milk for those midnight thirst but there was a vending machines on each floor. They had a few coffee from starbucks and a little sachet of creamer (only two pieces), I must admit I was really disappointed in the in-room facility. If I was coming with adults or older kids, it would have been perfect.

But the kids did not mind. They were excited, happy and busy having fun and making new friends – as kids do.

It was very relaxing. We slept well. For a place with one of the best casinos in town, night club and shopping mall, it was relatively quiet at night. Maybe it was because we were on the 46th out of the 48 floors.

We spent the evening watching sunset from our hotel room window.

You could order a crib but I co-sleep.

The kids and baby slept well. I spent the night just being in the moment and taking it all in. I realized how far I have disconnected from reality. I was having one of those moments where you want to go traveling and living off grid – only lasted a minute. But it was a lovely feeling.

The older kids had fun in the pool (my daughter finally had her pool party) and they are saying that they want to go back. I won’t mind going back too because the hotel was just so beautiful. I have never seen a hotel as beautiful. It is so big, there are little gems in every corner. Like this giant lampshade

A motor bike here, classic car there, a grand piano. The interior design was out of this world.

There are several shopping outlets in Atlantic City and you can make a day trip out of it. But we never got to go outside the hotel environment until it was time to leave. Check out was super quick and easy.

We are looking at planning a weekend getaway there again because it was indeed a lovely hotel just with minor quirks. Nothing is perfect in life and we should show the children this value. We can’t just write off a place for little things. That is not real life, in life we make room for human error. It is also nice to remember the good deeds. Like when I requested a robe and was given two even though they only gave rooms that were suits. Or when I needed to almost ‘rent’ the whole pool for my daughter’s birthday party and put in a giant unicorn float! Some other places may not allow personal floats let alone such a huge one. So I could look past a few dust issues.