Confessions of a Work at Home Mom
I couldn’t believe it. Only a few days before, I had given birth to my fifth baby and I was going live to teach about photography.
I knew people thought I was crazy. I should be resting and soaking in every moment, but I couldn’t. I was only live for 15 minutes, but those few minutes renewed me.
I showed up that day because I had something to prove. Not to my followers, I didn’t have that many. Not to my business partners, they were moms who would have understood. Sounds selfish, I know. But, it was as if I had to prove to myself that I was still in there. That after nine months of stretching and growing and dealing with exhaustion and pain, I needed to feel like me: the girl with passion and drive. I needed a reason to get up and put makeup on. I needed my business so that I could be a better mom.
(Here’s a flash back of being a new mom to 5)
Sometimes this is hard to say out loud. Afraid of the judgment and the stereotype. I don’t have to work, I want to. I realize that is a luxury that not many people have and it brings its own type of guilt. I try to work when my kids are at school or sleeping, but sometimes it seeps into other times, especially last week.
Last week I’d been preparing for a big speech and busy with my brand new mentoring group, so I’d been feeling a little guilt-ridden. Then I read a Facebook post about a mom who was mourning the fact that her 10-year-old girl was growing up too fast and asking where the time had gone.
Those posts always make me sad. Sad because of the years going by so quickly, yes. But also sad because I don’t wish my kids were little again. I love this stage of my kids’ life the most (I say that every phase) and I remember the really hard days and nights pretty clearly. And honestly, I’m a better big kid mom than baby mom. That might make me the worst. Probably does.
As I was feeling all the sadness, I quietly asked God, “why did you make me this way?”. Not really expecting an immediate answer, but getting one anyway. It came by way of a picture in my mind. It was an image of two young children holding hands and leaning away from each other, spinning with delight. They were able to lean back because they were holding on. Then the whisper came, “the pull brings the balance.”
If one of those girls let go, they’d both fall down. When one pulls too hard, the other topples. The pull brings the balance. When I don’t create, I fall. When I don’t mother, I fall.
The pull brings the balance.
My form of creativity is building businesses. Yours might be cooking, baking, sewing, paper airplane making, kung fu fighting or whatever. Honestly, I don’t think it matters at all what form of creativity we choose, but I do believe that the search for it is a sacred one.
I’m meant to do what I’m doing. I’ve had too many experiences to deny it and yet, I still waste my time feeling guilty and belittling myself because I don’t feel like “other” moms. What does that even mean? “Other moms”? We all mother differently and that is a really amazing thing.
I wonder if we all joined hands and pinky-promised to embrace the pull instead of spending time second-guessing and judging. What could we accomplish together?
So, let’s do it. Hands up and pinkies out. I promise, you promise?
What does that look like? It will be different for each of us, so no comparing. What fills your heart? What brings you joy? Whatever that is, you should do that.
I’m not saying give it all up and join the circus, but I am saying that you should make space to create in the way that brings you the most joy. Maybe you love organizing, first come to my house and work your magic on my files, second carve out some time during the day to organize, even if that means, heaven forbid, your child watches a movie for an hour. Maybe you love to bake cakes, do that. Google cake tutorials (or head over to my friend CakebyCourtney.com, she’ll get you started). Thank goodness for YouTube. You can learn whatever you want to learn. So, get to work.
And the last thing, we need to be a little more kind to each other. I’ve gone back and forth whether I should post this or not. There will be some who judge me, but I’ve had to let the potential for good be stronger than the possibility of judgment. We are stronger together, friends and we need every one finding happiness by doing what they love.
So, ready now, pinkies in. Let’s do this. (Leave a comment below to let me know you’re with me.)
I love love love this so much!! I’m also not a baby mom, and I LOVE that my kids are getting older. When people say to me, enjoy this baby phase of holding and cuddling, I want to strangle them. Some people really enjoy that, and I say, more power to them. Truly. But not me. I love that my oldest is walking and talking and learning and exploring. But I really need to work and have time away from them. I feel like it makes me a better mom, but I had so much guilt over hiring a sitter so that I could work a few mornings a week. Thanks for posting this! You’re not alone!!
Solidarity sister! Especially with your two so super close, you for sure don’t need anyone guilting you about anything. Having something that is all yours makes you a better mom. My mom used to say, “Everyone needs something that gets them out of bed in the morning and laundry isn’t it.”
I love this so much. I am also not a baby mom. I mean I love snuggling my babies and they are so sweet, but I love when my kids can feed themselves and clothe themselves and I love watching them learn and grow in school. I have always had a desire to do something on the side of motherhood and have always felt guilty about it. Why wasn’t I satisfied with just doing the mom thing when so many around me seemed to be? I’m still not totally sure what my thing is yet, but I also love businesses and am looking for my next thing. So thanks for sharing and helping me know I’m not alone!
You are not alone, that is for certain. I think the sacred path to figuring out “your thing” is not a straight one. It twists and turns and that’s okay. I’m so thankful to have you brought into our path.
Love this. I’m also not a baby mom but I’m optimistic about my teen mom skills.
The future looks bright for you. Your teenage mom skillz are on point.
I have felt like my parenting has improved as my kiddos have gotten older and so when I recently found out I am pregnant-well-I’m still trying to figure out how to deal with it. Fortunately, I have learned one lesson loud and clear from my other three-I am such a better mom when I have some sort of a side hussle. So. Much. Better. When my first three were really young-they were it for me-and looking back-that resulted in a really depressed mama. I am excited to know coming into this stage again-there is a way for me to more fully enjoy this stage-and it is by having a business. I’m so grateful to be freed from the chains of a belief it is all or nothing and that motherhood is a one size fits all. It is such a blessing to know motherhood comes in as many varieties as there are mothers. Here is to a “round two” with littles. Hopefully-a much happier round.
Whitney, this time around is going to be so great! Yay for babies!! It takes time to figure out exactly what makes you, as a mom, happy and fulfilled. This time around will be much easier.
My kids are grown up now but they watched me start businesses and have all developed a sense of entrepreneurial spirit that has brought them great joy. They aren’t afraid of trying new paths. They cheer me on as I learn in a whole different business world, from the corporate world I grew up in. A Great composer has written music about the whir of his mother’s spinning wheel, and many famous painters have left us pictures of their everyday lives. The more women sense power in leading their children, the less they will worry about comparison with others.