MOTHER NEEDED! JOB DESCRIPTION: Long term, team players needed, for challenging permanent work in an often-chaotic environment. Candidates must possess excellent communication and organizational skills and be willing to work variable hours, which will include evenings and weekends and frequent 24 hour shifts on call.


The rest of your life. Must be willing to be hated, at least temporarily, until someone needs $5. Must be willing to bite tongue repeatedly. Also, must possess the physical stamina of a pack mule and be able to go from zero to 60 mph in three seconds flat in case, this time, the screams from the backyard are not someone just crying wolf.

Must be willing to face stimulating technical challenges, such as small gadget repair, mysteriously sluggish toilets and stuck zippers. Must screen phone calls,  maintain calendars and coordinate production of multiple homework projects. Must have ability to plan and organize social gatherings for clients of all ages and mental outlooks. Must be willing to be indispensable one minute, an embarrassment the next. Must handle assembly and product safety testing of a half million cheap, plastic toys, and battery operated devices. Must always hope for the best but be prepared for the worst. Must assume final, complete accountability for the quality of the end product.

Responsibilities also include floor maintenance and janitorial work throughout the facility.


Virtually none. Your job is to remain in the same position for years, without complaining, constantly retraining and updating your skills, so that those in your charge can ultimately surpass you.


None required unfortunately. On-the-job training offered on a continually exhausting basis.


Get this! You pay them! Offering frequent raises and bonuses. A balloon payment is due when they turn 18 because of the assumption that college will help them become financially independent. When you die, you give them whatever is left. The oddest thing about this reverse-salary scheme is that you actually enjoy it and this wish you could only do more.


While no health or dental insurance, no pension, no tuition reimbursement, no paid holidays and no stock options are offered; this job supplies limitless opportunities for personal growth and free hugs for life if you play your cards right.

HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY, MOM! Thanks for responding to the “AD!”
And thanks to my brother James who wrote this blog and is the one on Mom’s lap in the photo. He’s the pastor of Living Christ Fellowship in Chandler, and on the Board of Home on the Way in Phoenix.


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Jenny Riojas, our Family Placement Counselor, was chosen as Mom of the Month by a local blogger! Here’s the story!

I met Jenny a few years ago at a moms group at church.  She was unbelievably sweet.  She and her sister in law were just so open and considerate.

Our kiddos are the same age as mine and it’s so nice to see a mom handle these ages so great.  Especially with two boys.

Jenny is funny and kind and takes great joy in her boys and it shows all over her face!
She is very dear to me and reading her answers below you can see why.

Here is Jenny’s story…..

1. How many children do you have?

List ages and names I have 2 rambunctious yet loving boys.  Carter Preston is 9 and Chase Kelan is 7.

2. Your occupation: I am the Family Placement Director at Caring Nannies in Scottsdale.  I place nannies and domestic staff with families all over the Valley.  I love my job!  It’s a business I am passionate about and it gives me the flexibility to be with my children when I need to be.

3. What is your most strict parenting rule?

At the ages that my boys are right now, I am strict about back talk and disrespect.  To anyone.  If that type of behavior is displayed, an immediate consequence is given.

4. What is the best motherly advice you have received? From who?

My parents were all about “creating memories” when I was growing up.  I have very fond childhood memories of camping, RV road trips, BBQ’s, my Dad’s silly magic shows, family game nights, and so forth.  I think that was the best advice: to create memories with your children.  It doesn’t have to be anything extravagant but I try to do things that they will remember when they are older and will tell their children about.

5.What is the biggest challenge you face balancing yourself and being a mom?

The key word there is ‘balance.’  I’m like every other Mom with lots of things to juggle every week and sometimes I feel if I’m putting too much time and energy in one area, then things are falling through the cracks in another. More often than not, I don’t feel like I have it all together.  I just do my best to fit in quality time whenever I can.  For me, that may mean leaving the laundry and sticky floors for another time….and going out for a family bike ride.  Or putting away the work laptop so I can snuggle with the kiddos before bedtime. Every little bit counts.

6. Can you share any mom tips with us?

#1  Carve out Mommy time. It’s a natural thing for Moms to put everyone else’s needs first.  I believe it is also important to remember to take care of yourself and do some things that you enjoy so that you are a re-charged and happy Mommy.

#2  Don’t beat yourself up.  We all have bad days (or weeks) and it’s easy to go to bed at night and beat ourselves up for what we feel we did wrong in our parenting.  Let the bad days go.  Moms are their own worst critics.  The next morning, those little munchkins are still going to run up to you and give you a big hug, regardless of how the prior day went.

#3 Don’t compare.  It’s great to get advice from fellow Moms but if your child isn’t reading and conjugating verbs by the age of 3 like your friend’s kid is, don’t feel like you’ve failed as a parent.

#4 Be spontaneous sometimes.  All moms need structure and routines to their days or they’d go insane; but many, many times things do not go as planned in mommyhood.  When that happens, throw the plans out the window, be spontaneous, and make the most of it.  A lot of times those turn out to be the best days.

#5  If you have more than one child, plan special one-on-one Mommy dates with each child.  My kids really look forward to this and I’m always amazed at the special conversations that take place when I am focused on them one at a time.

7. What is the hardest part about being a mom?

Moms worry a lot.  That’s a given.  We want the best for our kids.  When they are hurting, we are hurting.  We want to always protect them and shield them. But we can’t.  That’s the hardest thing.  And seeing them grow up so fast!

8. What is your favorite part about being a mom?

I’m one of those people who dreamed about being a Mommy when I was a young girl.  I’ve always loved kids, especially babies, and I simply could not wait to be a mom myself.  It’s the most rewarding yet challenging job!  I love that my kids melt my heart and keep me laughing everyday.  I love how forgiving they are of me.  I love that it is ever-changing.  Once you think you’ve mastered one stage, you’re on to the next.  I love experiencing things through their eyes.  I love that they teach me just as much, if not more, than I teach them.

9. Tell us a story….. it can be something funny your kids did, it can be an embarrassing thing that happened to you as a mother, it can be your proudest moment, the moment you felt like you were  a good mother…anything you want.


Whenever I am away from my kids or I’m traveling, I’ll leave prizes hidden throughout the house for them to find each day that I’m gone.  I’ll call with a clue that will help them find the prize. So once when they were gone for a few days and I was home alone, they surprised me by hiding notes and prizes for me.  I was cracking up with what they came up with.  One note said, “Mom, I know you are going out with your friends.  Here is a piece of gum.”
Thank you Jenny for sharing your story with us today!
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As I drove with my three youngest children in the back seat, I put them through their Spanish vocabulary words. When they didn’t get the right answers, my arm flew back involuntarily as if to wop one of them in the back seat, but of course I hit the bucket seat next to me. “What just happened?” I said to myself, stunned by what I had just done. “Was I going to hit one of my kids because they didn’t know a vocabulary word? Was that me?”

I’m not a yeller, not a hitter, not an angry person. So what triggered that crazy action? It never happened again, but I began wondering about my bottom line. Was I a needy Mom? Was my kid’s job to make me look good? I slowly began to realize that my significance was enmeshed in: 1. How well they did and 2. How good they looked. When my youngest moved out, I shifted to finding my self worth in my business.

In the movie Chariots of Fire, an athlete was going for gold in the 100 yard dash. “Why are you working so hard?“,  he was asked. “When that gun goes off, I have 10 seconds to justify my existence,“ was his reply. “I want to know that I’m justified being here. I want to know that my life counts, is worth something, that my existence is justified. The gold medal he wins is his justification. It makes him feel validated, worthy, accepted.

A newspaper reporter interviewed movie producer Sydney Pollock  just before he died in 2007, and although the grueling movie making process was wearing him down, he couldn’t stop working.  “Every time I make anoher picture, I earn my stay for another year or so”, was his explanation. What’s he saying? The same thing as the runner. ‘I feel I need to earn my stay. Here’s why my life is worthwhile, acceptable, valid.’

A writer, feeling his career wasn’t progressing, and wondering what value his life had, shared in a newspaper article, “When I look at my two little daughters, then I know that my existence is justified.”

There are parents, a lot of parents,  who look at their children and think, “There really isn’t anything I do that makes me feel valuable, that justifies my existence. My life is worthwhile because of them. I’ve always said: “I’m writing five books.” Meaning, my life is all about the five kids I’ve raised.

Parents who make their children the focus of their lives will be disappointed. Their passion for their children’s success is basically selfish. Children will disappoint us. This misguided focus is actually one of the causes of child abuse. We need something bigger, higher to give us significance.

But this is the “default mode” of the human heart. Our computers run in default mode automatically unless we deliberately program them to do something different.

We habitually and naturally look to outside things to justify our significance and give us security: work, approval from others, power, influence, possessions, children, marriage. We may think we don’t, but on a deeper level these things are the foundation of security and significance. Therefore, we’re driven by fear, a lack of self-control and anger.

The truth is that we’re valuable just because we are.

Change comes as people realize their own value and worth. Knowing their inestimable value gives remarkable status–one that power and money and even family cannot give. One thing that makes an object valuable is being one of a kind. Each person is unique. There’s no one on the planet like me, even if I’m an identical twin.

Consider the love we have for a newborn–an infant who brings us endless work, sleepless nights and the loss of thousands of dollars. They poop, pee, eat, cry, keep us up all night and don’t contribute in any way to the household. They haven’t performed a sonata or won a scholarship to Harvard, yet our hearts are amazed by the torrent of joy and love we feel.

You are that beloved infant.

We don’t need work, children, or marriage to give worth. Knowing our own intrinsic value will restructure our motivations and identity. A child-centered world view puts unhealthy pressure on  children to play the role of being the perfect child and it destroys them. Children aren’t going to always make wise decisions and will inevitably disappoint us. Our unspoken expectations push them away.

With the truth of his own value centering him, a parent has a winsome, peaceful attitude, because he no longer needs the child to give him meaning and worth.

A single, pregnant Jewish Mom in New York was about to put her signature on a rental application, when the landlord mentioned, “By the way, you’ll be glad to know we don’t accept Jews here.” She quietly put down her pen and said, “Actually I’ll take my business elsewhere.” She resolved then that if she had a boy she would name him Yehudi, which means “The Jew” because she wanted him to be proud of his heritage. Yehudi became one of the greatest violinists of the 20th Century. When asked how he played such beautiful music, he answered, “To play great music you have to keep your eye on a distant star, something beyond yourself, something transcendent.”

Reach for the heavens, as it were, keep your eyes on something bigger than yourself, something bigger than a star, than a child. You’ll make beautiful music in your home.

It’s all right if your child is the center of your universe. All children are the apple of their parent’s eye. But while you’re responsible for your child’s happiness, your children are not responsible for yours. You need to love them for who they are, not because they  complete you.

Are You a Needy Parent? Take this Free Test  and see how you rate!

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Having fun with our families and creating priceless memories together is one of the best ways to build teamwork, develop closer bonds, and makes us all healthier. Watch this funny  video of Chad Morton, a stay at home Dad in Atlanta, that has gone viral with over two million hits.

Here are 8 great ways to get your family to laugh more and have fun together.
1. Be silly. Impersonate a ballerina or Dora the Explorer or their favorite Superhuman cartoon character. Act like a chimpanzee or a silly monster.
Pretend to fall off the couch, onto the coffee table and roll across the floor. Make silly faces, like exaggerated grins.
2. Start a tickle-fight. Wrestle together as a family. Get everyone involved down on the floor.
3. Make up your own silly song. Use familiar lyrics to a children’s song but add your own silly words.

4. Create a silly prank when no one is expecting it. Pretend there’s a bug and you’re scared of it, or a mouse and you’re standing on the chair. Or play hide ‘n seek all over the house.
5. Children love being chased. Clear an area and tell your child you’re going to ‘get her’.
6. Get our your old ‘knock-knock’ jokes and silly riddles.
7. Share a funny story from your childhood. When Dads share self-depreciating humor, stories of how they  failed  when they were younger, its endearing to children.
8. Watch Mr Bean videos. Dads, have your family watch this funny video of Mr Bean who tries to use the kids slide at the pool and when he gets chased off, he tries the high dive and is too scared to dive.

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Picture this: Your Nanny walks through the door in the morning with her cup of coffee and a new library book. Your little munchkin runs right past you as your’e moving towards the door, and throws himself into her arms.

She laughs and scoops him up and they start breakfast. He doesn’t even bother to say goodby to you. Sound familiar? Outside of your immediate family, your caregiver is probably the most important person in your network, and nearly one-third of Moms say they have felt jealous of their Nanny.

How do you cope? First, realize you’ve found the right person for your child. Your child’s strong bonds with others will never diminish his love for you. Having good relationships with caregivers actually acelerates other healthy relationships in his life. Your Nanny is one more person who loves your child.

Secondly, create daily rituals between you and your child, like breakfast, bathtime, reading at bedtime, playing with duplos, or going out for a family breakfast on Saturday mornings.

Knowing there’s something special that just the two of you do will help you get through those moments when you feel replaced.

One Mom frequently came home with a new toy because she felt shaky about her child’s affections. Her Nanny was able to reassure her that no one could ever take her place in his life, and homecomings became much calmer.

You are irreplaceable in his life, and always will be.

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