Overwhelmed with life?
She was too, and…
This mom of nine kids…she took that overwhelm and did something with it. She rubbed 2 pennies together to make a dollar. Sounds like a miracle of biblical proportions, right? Maybe…but…maybe not.
Have you ever heard Jennifer Roskamp’s story?
She’s a wife, mom to 9, homeschool mom and the woman behind the successful blog, The Intentional Mom.
No matter the circumstances, if you’re overwhelmed with life, her story is definitely one that will inspire you.
I recently caught up with Jennifer and today I’ll be sharing more with you about her story. You’ll read Jennifer’s own words, plus, I’ll give some practical insights into how your overwhelm can actually help you too.
Overwhelm With Life Started With a Text
Jennifer was standing in the Apple Store waiting in line at the Genius Bar, when she looked down and read a text from her husband;
“I just lost my job.”
Her husband was halfway through nursing school and had been at his employer for almost ten years. She had just found out she was pregnant, she was homeschooling their kids and was blogging.
Life was tight, but they were managing. That day life just stood still.
The Most Surreal Experience
Jennifer described what happened this way:
“I was waiting at the genius bar and my name was just called when I got the text. I was walking up there, reading the text, and the guy at the genius bar literally sounded like he was talking from inside of a tin can.”
“It was the most surreal experience I’ve ever experienced. I’ve never experienced anything like that before or after.”
She recalled having the guy at the counter saying, “What seems to be the problem today?”
And because it was that exact question, she just didn’t know how to answer, how to even comprehend how to answer that question.
She just turned around and walked away.
Feeling Overwhelmed With Life
My conversation with Jennifer was really profound. As we talked more about the feelings of overwhelm, I really felt like it would help you to be included in the conversation.
So here’s a behind the scenes exclusive!
Sonya: So, as you began to process things, what were some thoughts you had at the time?
Jennifer: Really the main thought I think is, at the time we had seven kids and my first thought was, “We have seven kids and I’m just pregnant and I don’t know how to do all of this.”
It was literally just overwhelm.
Honestly, my initial thought was, he’s going to have to drop out of school. I just felt stuck. My mind couldn’t even comprehend what to do next. It was kind of paralyzing for a little while.
So I don’t think I had really any thoughts besides panic, I think. Overwhelm is probably still the best word.
Sonya: I can see how that kind of overwhelm would be paralyzing. How long did those feelings last?
Jennifer: They really only lasted a couple of days.
Sonya: Well that’s encouraging to know that it was somewhat limited.
Overcoming With a Plan
Sonya: So, how did you decide what to do next?
Jennifer: So it was actually my mom, obviously I had talked with my mom and she knew what was going on.
My mom actually said something to me, I’ll never forget, I remember where I was driving. I remember where this happened exactly.
My mom said, “If anybody can deal with this, it’s you. You have been equipped for this. You’ve always lived smart with money. Out of anybody I know, you will be able to make this work. You probably didn’t realize it this whole time, but this is what you have been trained for and this is what all of your struggles prepared you for this moment.”
And that pretty much snapped me out of that paralyzing place.
That was that boost that I needed to be like, “Okay, I’m going to figure out how to make this work.
She Knew She Wouldn’t Fail
So this part of our conversation I found surprising and oh so encouraging. I’m so grateful for Jennifer’s willingness to be transparent.
In case you don’t know much about Jennifer…here’s a few more things to note.
She makes a full time income blogging and…to name drop a little…she has been featured on Fox 17 West Michigan, Country Living, Woman’s Day, Buzzfeed, and Money Saving Mom.
So…she’s not just a mom who decided to blog in her spare time. She’s really good at blogging…and…she reveals something that totally surprised me.
Sonya: How did others respond to your decision for your husband to stay in school and for you to support your family with your blog?
Jennifer: I think my family didn’t think it was possible. I didn’t really…
On the Strength Finders test, positivity is number 34 for me so that’s my absolute lowest trait.
While I knew I wouldn’t fail because I would work and do whatever I needed to not fail, I knew in my head it didn’t really seem that logically possible to be able to support our family on my own.
So I think my family looked at it from that side of it too.
You know even my dad at that point still, for years thought actually for a couple years thought I “played on the internet”, right?!
That’s what I did.
Sonya: Wow! Thank you for sharing your fear—that you didn’t think it was possible to support your family with blogging. And…that you made up your mind to do it anyway—failure was not an option. That is so encouraging, Jennifer.
Overwhelmed With Life Again
Sonya: Was there a moment when you started to finally feel like everything was going to be okay?
Jennifer: No. There really wasn’t.
I think there was just always that fear, probably my lack of positivity played a role in there.
But I think also too, the whole thing, it felt like the rug had been pulled out from under us and so I think when that happens…to some extent there’s that uncertainty that anything is possible and nothing is guaranteed.
So I never really felt like things were going to be okay. I was glad that they were, but every month was a huge sigh of relief.
Sonya: Did the feeling of being overwhelmed with life creep back in again? What did you do about it?
Jennifer: Yes! All the time, only because of my lack of positivity.
But I have always just changed the conversation because I’m a person who just rises to the challenge.
So when those thoughts would creep in, I’m very good at recognizing that and so I would just take control of my thoughts back and just keep pushing them out anytime they came in.
Rubbing 2 Pennies Together to Make a Dollar
Sonya: At one point, I’ve heard you say that you were living on 20K a year income for your family. Okay girl, let us have it! How did you do THAT?!!
Jennifer: Oh my gosh! I have an entire 24 module money saving coaching program about this.
There is no way to easily sum that up. Other then to say, we remain focused on our goal.
We have always been very goal oriented. We made it our goal that we wanted to be completely debt free by the time we were 40. I know how to pull the belt tighter.
I know how to rub pennies together and make them a dollar.
We didn’t buy anything extra. I still feed my family for $450 a month and there’s 11 of us now.
Over the years, I have just learned everything I can learn about saving money and when we were living those years, we did every single one of those things.
I mean that’s what we did and that was what we lived.
There was nothing extra, it was every trick in the book. It is everything I teach people, it’s everything that I teach clients to this day.
Sonya: I love hearing you describe that journey—how you really figured out what worked—and that now you are helping to coach other people using those same strategies.
Jennifer! I am so encouraged by everything that you shared today, thank you so much for letting us see a little behind the scenes in your story.
If you want to check out Jennifer’s Money Saving Coaching Program—for FREE—check out Thriving On a Dime.
Overwhelmed With Life Equals Opportunity
Jennifer’s story is so inspiring….
Being overwhelmed with life is the very thing that helped her figure it out.
When it came down to it, she knew how to rub 2 pennies together to make a dollar…and…overwhelm can reveal what that opportunity is for you too.
Even when you’re the mom who feels overwhelmed with everything.
What’s Your Opportunity?
It may not be rubbing 2 pennies together to make a dollar…but…
You know something, girl!
And…it is something that is pretty miraculous. Being overwhelmed with life is an opportunity for making that something known.
So what is it?
What is that thing that overwhelm is trying to show you? How can you use your overwhelm to your advantage?