Aside from blogging and being a mother, I also run a small food artisan business and I am in the process of building a website dedicated to hands on learning for children of all ages. I am constantly being asked by friends and strangers how I manage to do it all. Well here’s the secret:
I don’t do it all, I don’t accomplish all of my goals, I don’t have a spotless house, I don’t keep a level head all the time. Sometimes I miss out on things with friends, sometimes my kids don’t get to go to birthday parties. Sometimes I wear dirty jeans because I haven’t had time to do the laundry. Sometimes I curse in front of my children. Sometimes the dishes don’t get washed until the next day. Sometimes I get overloaded and breakdown because I feel like I’m just not good enough.
But here’s what I try to do:
I do my best to make my family a priority.
I try to incorporate my kids into everything I do. I work from home so I can be there for them, but that doesn’t always mean I am not working when they are home. I’m blessed in that my food business is one that my kids can be a part of. They can tag along to festivals and shows, and they can help do things like label jars and pack the car. It may be “work,” but they love being able to help out. I spend time with them in the kitchen during meal preparation, or by sitting beside me and reading while I sort out laundry. My youngest (Chooby) is at home during the day, and her favorite thing to do it “makeup” me while I work on the computer. My kids are part of the taste testing team for new product flavors. I encourage them to explore ways to start their own businesses, and help them figure out if they can make money with their ideas. I always eat dinner with them, and talk about their day. My seven year old loves to sit beside me while I format blog posts and webpages, and thinks it’s amazing how changing a number in the coding results in a different color on the site. We go together to pick fruit for making our jellies, and they help get everything washed and sorted out into bags. I turn down events that aren’t absolutely necessary so that we can take a day to just be together and have fun.
I may work for 10 hours on a Saturday, but when I’m done we’ll get a movie and some treats and spend the rest of the evening lounging around together.
I can’t do it all, but I do the best I can. When my kids are asking me if they are going to see me this weekend, then I know I need to step back and spend some extra time with them, because they are obviously missing me. I listen to them when they talk, and I constantly teach them about what I am doing while I work. Actively communicating with my children at all times keeps them in the loop and lets them know that they are important.
We teach our children that we are a team, and that every single one of us are vital to our success. That we all need to work together to be the best family we can be. That none of us are perfect, but that’s okay. That we all just do the best we can, and work through problems when they arise instead of just giving up.
Is being a stay at home mom and work at home mom easy? No. And it never will be. And I’m okay with that. Because I’d rather be home with my family and busy, than work 40+ hours a week outside the home and miss out on my kids growing up.