Ask @TheYoungMommy:

How do you figure out how much to charge for your freelance writing services? Is there an average pay for beginners/intermediate/advanced?

Freelance writing pay varies widely from publication to publication. If you're writing for the Huffington Post, for example, your pay would be $0 per article (read: they don't pay). Other publications might pay you anywhere from $10 (yes, really) to $200 per article. Some are higher. Print tends to pay more (a magazine might pay you $1-$2 per word) but it's harder to get in the door. Harder, but not impossible.
It's important to focus on your bottom line. If it takes you two hours to write a post that's paying you $10, you're not going to be able to eat off that, no matter how you do the math. As you continue to write, you'll be able to command higher rates, but don't start yourself off too low.

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As a married young mom, how do you find the motivation or inspiration to continue striving for excellence and financial independence (entrepreneurship)? I'm a SAHM, married young mom who's comfortable staying at home, despite my husband's push to work and finish school.

My drive to succeed is really internal, but getting laid off 3 years ago showed me how precarious our financial situation could be if left up to someone else. No one else would/could care about my family's well being as well as I could. So I knew I had to make it a priority and grind hard to get my family to the point where we are debt-free, living within our means, and have enough in our savings to do what we want.

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I left my job to take care of my son and now I want to earn some money through blog or some small scale business. I started a blog 11 months back but it is not getting the traffic as it should (inspite of good content). What to do now to increase the traffic? Thanks!

Can't tell you unless I look at your blog. Email me at tara@theyoungmommylife.com or shoot me a link to your blog on Twitter (@TheYoungMommy). I'll take a look and see what recommendations I have.

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My child's father uses materialistic things to appeal to the public eye that he does his job as a father, however the hard work that goes on behind the scenes (late nights, buying necessities, childcare, sacrifices, etc.) goes unnoticed for me. Why does something so petty seem unfair?

It seems unfair because it IS unfair. It is hard to see someone taking credit for being a good parent, when you are shouldering the brunt of the work and responsibility.
However, don't let it harden you. Your child will understand what's going on soon enough (if he/she doesn't already). You just focus on being the best parent you can be. Keep doing what you're doing.

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I have been thinking about working from home but I can't find the confidence. I know that I could but can't find that thing to put me over the edge.

I didn't have the confidence either until I had no choice (i.e. got laid off). But knowing what I do now, I wish I had made the leap earlier. It definitely fits my lifestyle and the flexibility is great.
Make a plan. Think about what YOU really want to do. What do you want your life to look like? Is working at home a big part of that? If so, take small steps to get yourself there.

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What encouraged you to inspire young moms around the world? Why did you become so passionate? I admire you in so many ways and you help me make way and find relief mentally when I feel pressured. Thanks!

First, thank you!!!
I set out to create more welcoming spaces for young mothers after dealing with a lot of isolation in my first few years of motherhood. As a result, I didn't understand how common some of my issues were. I wanted to create a community of women who could talk to each other and get advice, because that's what I was lacking.

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I'm really skeptical about sending my child to daycare for the first time? What are some suggestions to get over separation anxiety? Less worrying? Most importantly how can I find the right childcare center?

I think everyone is nervous about their baby's first time at daycare. I remember freaking out in the parking lot after I dropped my daughter off for the first time. And that evening, when I got back and she was happy and in one piece, it was the happiest I had ever been.
So I would say to make sure you are comfortable with the center. Know the staff and let them know you're a little nervous about it. They deal with nervous parents all the time and they know how difficult it can be. Some daycares will let you do a gradual entry, where your child will stay a couple of hours at first to see how they adapt (and it gives you time to adapt as well!).
In terms of finding the right center, ask around to see what other parents had to say. Most states also have a rating system that lets you know how the center ranks with regard to educational policies and you can search inspection reports online (usually at the department of job and family services website).

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How did you gain such a loyal online following? How long have you been doing this?

I've been blogging since 2005, blogging at YML since 2008. I think it is much easier to launch a successful site today than it was five years ago because more people are online and there is an expectation of success. Many more tools to help you succeed.
From the very beginning, I approached YML as a virtual community. That meant that we had a diverse group of people who could come together and talk as sisters. No hostility, no name-calling, just a supportive circle of friends who understood each other. And that's what happened.
Not sure if you're a blogger or not, but if you're looking for advice, I'd say that you get more people to pay attention to you if you pay attention to other people. Help people solve their problems and they trust you.

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At what point is a young mother not considered a young mother anymore? Or do you think that title always stay with her?

I do think the title always stays with her, just like with "older" mothers. Think about it: if a teen had a baby at 15, when her son is 20, she's only 35, which puts her ahead of her peers, who might have babies or elementary school students at home. Some of those same challenges/issues are there and stick with you.

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How did you balance school and motherly duties in college? I am a junior in college with a sweet 10 month old baby girl. My family helps me out during the semester by keeping her and we rarely get to spend time together.

It's not easy by any means!! So I commend you for pushing forward and making it work for you.
I'm not sure if you live on campus and your daughter lives with your family or if they just watch her while you have class, but either way, having that support system is great! One thing I'd like you to focus on is that while you might not be getting as much time as you like (because you are working to improve your future), your baby girl is getting lots of quality time with people who love and care for her. That's always a good thing, right?
One thing that always helped me was bringing my daughter with me to campus (if your school allows it). I don't mean bringing her to class (although I did that too), but to just walk around with her and be in that space where you know you are doing what's best for her. Introduce her to a professor or two...don't feel like you have to hide your two worlds. Being a student-parent is challenging, but take it one day at a time. Honestly, that's all you can do.

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Often times I find myself making excuses for the faults and absence of my child's father...what would be the appropriate way to address him to let him know I would like him to be more present and active in his child's life?

I think you can make the request ("[Your child] would love to see you more often") but ultimately it is on your child's father to act and make the effort. You can do your part (sending him emails about your child's school events, inviting him to the playground, etc.) but don't feel like YOU have failed because he doesn't get involved in the way you want him to.
If your relationship has been rocky in the past, try to offer him a fresh start. I like how you called him your "child's father," rather than your ex. If that's how you truly see him, then great! The relationship is about your child now and requires both of you to be on the same page with that.
You want to make sure your child doesn't see their father's disinterest in parenting as a reflection on them. Continue to be a loving, caring, supportive mother and be available to talk to your child when/if they have questions.

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How does one become a family life educator? Are there facilities for that or is it freelance? It sounds awesome :)

I just graduated in May with my Master's in Family Studies. Basically, it means I've studied how families operate and what makes a family strong. You don't need to have a degree in family studies, however. Here's more info on what it means and how you can become one: http://www.ncfr.org/cfle-certification/what-family-life-education

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