Yep. Those are big shots. Wait until you hear the price tag…

The nurse thought I was crazy when I looked at her and said, “Hey, wait a minute! I want to get a picture of this!”

She gave me a sideways glance and said, “you’re kidding, right?”

“Um, no” I said totally poker  faced. “You don’t know what I’ve had to go through to get to this. I HAVE to blog about it.”

She moved away so I could take the pick giving me what I like to call the “Whatever” face (I see it on my tween often). I moved into to get a good shot. She was looking at me kind of suspiciously but I didn’t care. I had gone through hell to have this and I was going to enjoy every minute.

Why yes, that's $4,500 of Xolair. No, I'm not kidding

Why yes, that’s $4,500 of Xolair. No, I’m not kidding

For those of you that missed the drama from last year, I had three different jobs, four different insurance policies (including a $6,200 stint on COBRA) and I had a hard time getting approved for the medication that you see pictured above. The interesting thing is for more than seven years, I stopped by the allergist for three shots every two weeks (I’ve often joked that if I’m ever left for dead and my family needs to ID my body, they can do so by the injection scars in my arms. Proof that I’ve read way too many mysteries) so there was medical history that supported the fact that I needed the shots. Unfortunately, every time we’d get an insurance company to approve me, I’d go through a lay off and switch policies again. So, we spent the year paying thousands of dollars for coverage that didn’t allow me adequate medications to help my asthma.

Long story short, I spent the latter part of the year, coughing and hacking. Gasping for air. Five rounds of Prednisone left me bloated, fat and crabby. I spent lots of nights staring at the ceiling and when I was able to sleep, I had night terrors and sweats. Needless to say I was crabby (thank God after 40+ years of drugs I can control roid rage). I couldn’t play tennis and in December my body completely fell apart and I caught every kind of secondary infection that had to do with the upper respiratory system. My body shut down.

A couple weeks ago, I got the call that I was finally approved to get my shots (Hallelujah!). However, there was a small problem. Xolair costs $4,500 a month and on my new insurance (yes, policy #5. My previous employer changed plans for 2013), my co-pay would be $454 a month. When the pharmacy told me that I thought I was going to fall out of my chair. But I held onto the arms and told them we couldn’t afford the co-pay. Once again, I was not going to get my shots.

But there was good news! My asthma is so serious (okay that wasn’t it) that I qualified for financial assistance from the drug company. This brought the co-pay down to $90 a month. I would have my injections after all!

When I went last week, everyone at the front of the doctor’s office was so happy for me (I have a 20+ year relationship with the practice and I think they felt bad watching me suffer all year) and I was elated. It was a long year off the drug that I was going to pause and take a picture of the shots. And, I didn’t care what the new nurse thought. I was looking forward to a healthy 2013 and the injections were the start!

 

 

 

No excuses Moms! Charge what you’re worth!

I seem to keep having the same conversation over and over again with other Mompreneurs. At first, I found it kind of frustrating (and I blogged about what I felt moms were worth a couple of weeks ago), but now it’s kind of pissing me off. It goes something like this:

Me: “What do you charge for your service?”

Other Mompreneur: “$XX. I think I could charge more but I am just getting started (or I have a lot of competitors or that’s what I’ve always charged or INSERT YOUR OWN VERBIAGE HERE.)”

Me: “You do know that it’s not enough, right?”

Other Mompreneur: “Yes, but some money is better than none, right?”

Guess what? No, it’s not. I do think that when you start a business that you have to charge less than when you have been around for years and have a solid reputation. But, I don’t think you have to give away the farm.

This gal just asked for $100 an hour and guess what? She got it!

This gal just asked for $100 an hour and guess what? She got it!

First, let’s be clear about one thing- everyone wants something for nothing. It’s the old “can I buy you a cup of coffee and pick your brain” conversation. If you find yourself drinking a lot of lattes and not charging for your expertise by the hour you need to stop NOW. You cannot make a living giving free advice. Think about it. You pay your CPA and financial advisor for theirs, right?

Now that we have that out of the way, let’s deal with another big issue- Mommy guilt. Doesn’t matter how old our kids are we all have it and guess what? You should use that to your advantage. Working takes time away from your family and kids. Valuable time. Shouldn’t the price tag that you charge compensate you for the guilt that you feel when you’re late in the pick up line due to a meeting across town that went long?  Absolutely.

The other phenomenon that I see is moms who take a hobby and turn it into a business. Guess what? Once you do that you have to get paid for your work, right? So, you have to figure out what to charge. God bless the internet. It allows you to do some research, find out the industry standard and base your rates off your Google search. Create a rate card and stick to it (BTW this also applies to corporate defectors as well. You got a paycheck for your job before, right? You need to get one now too). Do you negotiate with your hair dresser each time you go? Hell no. Why negotiate all the time with your clients?

Don’t let fear get in your way. You have to put a proposal out there and just ask. You don’t know what someone can afford (or what they feel the service is worth) until you put the price out there, smile real big and pray that they’ll say yes. Don’t second guess what their response will be. You may be pleasantly surprised.

Finally, be secure in the fact that you are awesome at what you do. While you may be in a business that is filled with competition, there’s only one you and that sets you apart. And, if people like you, trust you and feel that you are an expert, you’ll have no problem getting their business (and having them pay what you’re worth too)

Moms, do you feel you charge what you’re worth all the time?

You can sit on the couch until you’re sorry Missy (or why I can no longer send Rosie to her room)

Yep. That's how my kid perceives time out. One big party.

Ah, I complained when Rosie was eight that I couldn’t find a way to punish her that worked. Now that she’s twelve, I try and take away all technology and cancel play dates (actually they just “hang out”). Still if you ask me, I’m not mean enough. My kid would tell another story. This was […]

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Lessons Learned on the Playground

Adolescent Girls Riding Slide

My blog has changed since I started writing on The Star’s mom2momkc.com site in 2008. Back then, I wrote a piece each week about our lives. Rosie was in 2nd grade, had no cell phone, no Instagram account and no interest in what I was writing. Now that Rosie’s a tween, I can’t be as […]

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As moms, what are we worth?

Infographic created by DegreeSearch.org http://degreesearch.org/blog/working-moms-infographic

As mothers I’m not sure that we pause to think of the economics behind everything we do (and I don’t think it matters if you’re a SAHM or one that works). We’re the ones that get up with our kids in the morning and drop everything to rush to school when they’re  sick. Many of […]

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Well Hello There Snarky…

Dear Sherry (aka Snarky in the Suburbs), While the world wondered who you were you ranted about everything in the burbs that irked you in a way that made some readers incensed but the majority entranced. Blogging anonymously (which I’ve never had the luxury of doing since I wrote for a newspaper first), gave you […]

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Yep. I caved. But the Jump Convention was awesome!

Season 1 SYTYCD winner Nick!

The last dance convention we attended, Rosie was seven or eight. I dropped her off with the rest of her team at the Westin Crown Center and wasn’t encouraged to stay because there wasn’t enough space. Picking her up at the end of the first long, grueling day it was clear that she was completely […]

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New Year’s Revolution

Graphic courtesy of dictionary.com

“Hey Mama are you going to make a New Year’s Revolution?” Rosie asked from the front seat of the car barely looking up from her cell phone. I chuckled as I said, “It’s ‘resolution’ Rosie and no I’m not.” “What’s the difference?” She inquired? “A revolution is where you overthrow a government,” I said not […]

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Neiman Marcus at Target? For me it’s a miss

Yes. It's beautiful. And, it's Marchesa. At Target. !

“Oh, Mama” Rosie squealed. “Come look at this dress. It’s beautiful!” Since we were at Target I didn’t have very high expectations of the frock but I thought “what the hell” and turned to get a look. I expected to see a brightly colored, highly flammable dress with sequins and some kind of large bow. […]

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