Juggling the Many Faces of Being a Stay Home Mom and Business Owner
The beginning of it all....
The days were long, the work was even longer and time seemed to just fly. Having a new relationship, each person with their own child, was proving to be more difficult than imagined. As the time went on those children continued to grow as did the relationship. The weekends were filled with vacations and alone time while the week was spend running errands, working, cooking, cleaning and tending to everyone's needs despite the aches and heavy limbs. Despite it all there had never been a couple more destined to be together and more determined to make it work.
As the time drifted on the couple went through some very hard times. As most couples do they fought to keep a float, they worked diligently to keep a normal routine and make everything flow and they worked hard at their relationship, striving to make it better, to fix what was starting to break, to grow into the evolved, strong unit they knew they could be. Everything uncertain, changing and in flux all at the same time. Where do they go, what do they do and how in the world are they going to get there? New possibilities opened for them as they started to thrive. The couple had a routine, stability and were doing well. There was one thing that weighed on her mind every day. She could feel it in her core, she knew it had to happen, had to be. Her husband did not agree, but in there somewhere she could feel his hope and see the light flicker in his eyes. A baby, she said, she wanted a baby, she knew it was what they were missing. The love child made of half of each and to bring the family closer than it ever had been before. After years of it just being a pipe dream and numerous conversations and many tears, that dream was about to be a reality.
The Baby, The Change
Finally, the day had come! She was pregnant, giddy with pleasure she could not wait to tell her husband! A little scared but mostly excited she approached him with the news. His initial reaction was not what she expected, like a deer in headlights but a glimmer of happiness all at the same time. That night they sat together and talked about the changes that would unfold. It was a scary thought to not be working for the first time in her life. How would she handle it? What would she do? There were so many questions that could only be answered by living them.
It was not long before they were able to tell everybody the great news and celebrate with friends and what family was left. Suddenly the time came to see their baby for the first time on ultrasound, and it was the most moving, beautiful experience either one of them had. Even though they had done this once before with someone else, seeing their baby on the monitor together in this moment was the happiest they could have been. The months passed and her belly continued to grow. Her job causing mounds of body pain and stress which was triggering early contractions. She kept pushing forward and working until the day came of a choice; to have the water broken and see little baby soon or wait for her water to break on its own. She could feel in her gut that waiting would cause panic in the night and chaos so she chose to have her water broken for her. Many calls and arrangements were made to the couples' children's other parents so that they would not have to sit at the hospital all night waiting. Driving to the hospital, she was so nervous but not as nervous as he. The longest part was waiting; suddenly contractions hit and within the hour baby was born! In that moment everything changed.
The family was once four now has become five. Two girls and now a baby boy; the world they knew would never be the same again. All at once this woman was an unemployed mother of three. Not thinking about that, at least not for many months, she was elated to hold her new baby and to share this experience with her girls. The day came for them to come home. It was not as easy as she remembered but it was still a good feeling. It took some adjusting, some of which is still happening, but every family finds its flow eventually. Having a baby was new and exciting and full of new adventures. He was easy and difficult, regressions, tantrums, and things that she never thought were a thing, but through it all she and her loving husband endured the long nights together.
This is now
If you have read this far you probably figured out that this is my life. Today my kids are eleven and three and there is never a dull moment. So the moment you have been waiting for. During the time my son has been growing my husband told me to find a hobby, well that hobby has turned into a small home decor business specializing in weddings. I absolutely love what I do and though not consistent it does satisfy my desire to stay busy.
Over the years my husband and I have had to be each other's rock and confidant, critics and informants. So how do you manage having children, especially three, and working from home all at the same time? It is not easy that is for sure. There are weeks were we barely get to say two words to eachother, and there are times when we are so stressed that we harp at one another. The most important thing to remember is to come together at some point, talk, it doesn't matter what you start with just talk. Hug and make time for one another. If that means staying up until midnight a few times a month then do it. There is not a team if you are at each others throats and if you can't come together and reconnect somehow it will only get worse as the days go on.
I have to listen and give advice, be his rock; just as he does for me. We never allow ourselves to both be down and grumpy. If one is the other just naturally stands tall and waits for their turn to be down, it usually is not long, but we find it important to be there for one another.
The kids always and forever will have us on our toes. There is no manual and we do not have family or anyone here to help us through each phase. Talk about what you think when it comes to the kids and remember you both can be right but find the common ground and always be on the same page. It is super hard but important.
When I am feeling overwhelmed, I tell my husband and he takes the kids or at the least lets me go and have time to myself to unwind. I do the same for him. Taking you time is ever so important when you wear so many faces. You are you, how you parent is your way and how you handle things is just how you do. Everyone has their opinion and their way but that does not mean it will work for you. If you do not spend hours playing with your kids its OK, if you do not read to them every night, it is ok, and if you feel like you are failing, you are probably doing right by them. If they are not complaining about how unfair you are then they are not learning from you.
I am not a hands on mom, I take them to the beach and we go out but I hate playing toys, and pretend and so I don't. You know what, my kids don't think any less of me. For me business is just that and home time is home time. I am a mother and wife first but try to do things without them sometimes as to not lose myself in family life. I also want to point out that cleaning in our house does NOT fall on just me. Just because I am home all day does not mean that I clean, we ALL clean even my three year old. We all live here so we all pitch in. That leaves more time for fun. I don't plan out my days either, I just let the day happen. I pick kids up when I need to, work when I can, go do something fun and have a solid meal plan for the week so when dinner comes I already know what I am making. It is a lot less stressful than trying to do too much in one day, plus with kids nothing ever goes the way you want so just roll with it.
I won't lie, it is really hard sometimes to do it all; but when I feel that way I take the day off, I do what I want all day and let the kids be. My son will play and watch his show, the girls will play toys and video games and just do what makes you happy and what you feel like without thinking about what needs to be done. One day is not going to hurt. Your health and well being are much more important than whatever it is you think needs to be done right this second. The house is not always clean, laundry not always done but the kids are happy, I have orders lined up, which makes me happy, my husband gets to see us happy which makes him happy and we get to have fun too.
So compartmentalize when you can, it is the only way to wear all those faces that come with working, kids, husbands, money, and all the other things that come with being home. Errands get run when they do and when we need a moment to talk we take it. Communication with everyone, the kids too, is important to keep your sanity and theirs.