A letter to my mamas, from your doula

Dear Mama –

Thank for allowing me to server you and your family. I was your doula and I’ve always thought that, if I did my job well, then you would only remember how amazing YOU were when it was time to birth your baby.

Birth is hard work and I hate how our culture presents it as a nice, tidy little inconvenience.

But you went against that cultural norm and chose to birth your baby with the help of a midwife, with all of the pain, bodily fluids, doubt, and triumph that come along with choosing that path.

You were beautiful. I know, I know … you hadn’t showered for two days and you threw up six times … but when you got to 8cm, there was a beautiful glow in your cheeks. … and beads of sweat on your lip.  I put a cool washcloth on your forehead, knowing that you were near holding your baby, knowing that there might still be a ton of work to do, and knowing that every moment would be worth it for you.

You frantically looked around and gasped “I can’t do this anymore.”

And I looked you in the eye and said, “You can do this. You are doing this. Don’t be afraid!”

And you believed me, as well you should have, because I was telling you the truth.

I knew the baby would be moving down with these powerful contractions as your cervix melted away.  And I told you “You’ll feel a lot of pressure, like you have to poop a bowling ball.”  And then, when that happened (the pressure, not the bowling ball!), you had a brief moment when the recognition of “Oh! This is what she was talking about!” passed over your face as the contraction faded away.

I didn’t tell you to push because your body knew damn good and well when it was time to move your baby from your womb to the outside world. And a few contractions (or maybe a few hours) after you’d been pushing, you said, “I think I’m pushing.”  “I know,” I said, “Just keep doing what you’re doing. It’s perfect.” If you were a mama who I did actually tell to push, know that there was a good reason for that.

You may have been in the water, or you may have been on the toilet, you may have been on your hands and knees, or the birth stool, or on your side, or standing up, or flat on your back.  If I look in my birth log at the day of your birth, I’ll remember which of these positions you were in and I’ll remember if it was because I asked you to get in that position or because that is where you instinctively went.

It matters to me where you were when your baby was born.

I remember that moment when we could clearly see the head. I love that your baby’s daddy thought that the top of the baby’s head, when we could see about three inches of it in diameter, was the whole head … and that as the rest of the head emerged his eyes were filled with tears and big as saucers. I remember after your baby’s head was born whether or not your baby turned to the left or to the right. I remember if your baby didn’t turn and I helped straighten the shoulders. I remember your baby coming fully into the world and the look on your face … I remember that in that moment, you became a mama – whether it was for the first time or the ninth time – relief and joy and sweat and sometimes tears intermingled.

I remember if I missed your birth, I remember if I was there three minutes or three days. I remember if we went to the hospital. Believe me when I tell you that I remember all of it.

I handed your baby up to you and just stepped back, always keeping an eye on the two of you. I tried to keep my mouth shut and let you discover your new little person on your own. I’m sorry if I chatted too much.  I sometimes am just so proud of mamas that I can’t contain myself. But I try hard to honor your space and the sacred-ness of new life.

I remember what your immediate postpartum was like, too. Really, I do. I talked to you about how babies process things about six times slower than we do and urged you to keep that in mind as you loved on your baby. And after a few hours, I tucked you into bed and went on my way.

You were beautiful and strong and tired and, I hope, proud.

I got to see you many times over the next six weeks. And after that last appointment, I got in my car and cried. I was so proud of you and so honored to have gotten to be a part of your life that I cried tears of joy, knowing that I may never see you or your precious baby again … but, for these brief months, I hope that I was all that you needed and dreamed of because YOU were all that I dreamed.

And my prayer for you as I drove away that day, “Oh Lord, please help her to remember that she CAN do it, that she IS doing it. Please help her to always remember that her doula said, “I was made for this”

Because I’m a doula, I revised it from the original version from Carrie Blake, CPM, LM

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Wednesday Wow! Hey WFHM, that babysitter is deductible!

“I’m a work from home mom and I hire a babysitter for meetings at home and away.I want to know if those expenses are deductible.”

QC Tracy and qcsm

Short ANSWER: YES! Keep your receipts and file them for ChildCare  at tax time. In fact, you may qualify for $3,000 in tax credits for one dependent, and a maximum of $6,000 for two dependents or more.

I have been asked this numerous times during tax season and by mothers that have decided to work from home. So I figured if I placed it here, moms could verify it against what the IRS says, save me time from repeating myself and I bring more traffic to my humble blog.  (Yes, who doesn’t love them THREE’fers)

Okay, so how to get the credit: 

The credit has a number of technical rules. For instance, in cases involving divorce, the custodial parent can take the credit, while noncustodial parents can’t, even if they would otherwise qualify to treat the child as a dependent.

Requirements 

In Charlotte and looking for a certified sitter? Contact The Big Sister! CLICK HERE!

In Charlotte and looking for a certified sitter? Contact The Big Sister! CLICK HERE!

 

To claim the child and dependent care credit, you must meet these requirements:

  • You and your spouse must usually file as married filing jointly. (See Filing Exceptions below.)
  • You must provide the care so you (and your spouse, if married) can work or look for work.
  • You must have some earned income. If you’re married and living together, both you and your spouse must have earned income. However, one spouse might be disabled or a full-time student at least five months of the year.

Even if you’re not married filing jointly, you and your spouse might be able to claim the credit. You must meet both of these requirements:

  • You paid more than half the cost of maintaining a household for the year. Both you and the qualifying person must have used the home as your main residence for more than half the tax year.
  • Your spouse wasn’t a member of the household during the last six months of the tax year.

You must provide the name, address and Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) of the person who provided the care. The taxpayer ID number is either a Social Security number (SSN) or an Employer Identification Number (EIN). Ask your care provider for the number.- KP Tax Service

Qualifying persons

To claim a credit for qualified expenses, you must provide care for one or more qualifying persons. (See Qualified Expenses below.) Qualifying persons include:

  • Dependent who’s a qualifying child and under age 13 when you provide the care. Usually, you must be able to claim the child as a dependent to receive a credit. However, an exception applies for children of divorced or separated parents. In those situations, the child is the qualifying child of the custodial parent for purposes of this credit. This applies even if the noncustodial parent claims the child as a dependent.
  • Spouse or dependent of any age who’s both of these:
    • Physically or mentally incapable of self-care
    • Has the same main home as you do when you provide the care

Qualified expenses Child-Care-Inforaphic

 Don’t forget those expenses that cover household services, such as housekeeping, while you work or search for work, also count toward the credit if the services were necessary in part for child care.-KP Tax Service

Qualified child- or dependent-care expenses are those you incur while you work or look for work. The main purpose of the expenses must be for the well-being and protection of a qualifying person.

Qualified expenses include:

  • Expenses for care provided outside the home. This applies if the qualifying person regularly spends at least eight hours each day in your home.

If the qualifying person receives the care in a dependent-care center, the center must comply with all relevant state and local laws. A dependent-care center is one that cares for more than six people for a fee.

  • Expenses for in-home care. This includes expenses for:
    • Cooking
    • Light housework related to the qualifying individual’s care
    • The care itself
  • Gross wages paid for qualified services, plus your portion of:
    • Social Security
    • Medicare
    • Federal unemployment taxes
    • Other payroll taxes paid on the wages
    • Meals and lodging for the employee providing the services

These expenses don’t qualify for the child and dependent care credit:

  • Transportation costs to and from the childcare facility
  • Overnight camp expenses
  • Expenses for the education of a child in kindergarten or higher
  • Expenses for chauffeur or gardening services

The cost of before- or after-school programs might qualify if the program is for the care of the child. Education costs below kindergarten qualify if you can’t separate those costs from the cost of care. This includes nursery school.

  child careCalculating the credit

The credit is equal to 20%-35% of qualified expenses. The percentage you can deduct depends on your adjusted gross income (AGI). The maximum amount of qualified expenses you’re allowed to calculate the credit is:

  • $3,000 for one qualifying person
  • $6,000 for two or more qualifying persons

Complete Form 2441: Child and Dependent Care Expenses and attach it to your Form 1040 to claim the credit. For more details,  check out KP Tax Service. It’s mom owned and ran. With over a decade of experience.

FOR BABYSITTER/NANNYS HOUSEKEEPERS I’ll share more details on how to file your taxes and keep your business legal next week. In the mean time, here’s HOW to file your taxes-> READ THIS- HERE

www.bankrate.com/finance/taxes/avoi…

www.4nannytaxes.com/faq/

Hope this helps!

Kelle, QC Supermom