I first began blogging in 2012 when my first daughter was one year old. By that time, we had a pretty solid nap schedule down - two two-hour naps each day - I could do anything I wanted (as long as it was at home). I thought blogging would be a really fun way to try new products and meet new friends, but I mostly just wanted to feel important in a "business" type of way.
I went from working a full time desk job to becoming a stay-at-home-mom in a matter of just a few months. This was almost like a culture shock in a sense because I now had all this free time on my hands and not a clue what to do with it.
When I worked my desk job I remember thinking that I couldn't wait to get home so I could do "X, Y and Z." Once I was home permanently, I felt the need to fill my time up with other things while the baby napped.
Things That Work-At-Home-Moms Say
My daughter wears headbands and hair bows every day. "I can totally make those!" - Etsy Shop Owner
With our new family budget, I can't afford to buy that fancy Restoration Hardware furniture. "I can totally copy that antiqued look." - Furniture Restorer
I do love trying new products and I do love freebies. "I'm going to start a review blog." - Mommy Blogger
My husband just bought me this awesome new expensive DSLR camera for Christmas. I can't wait to take daily photos of my baby. "These photos look great. I should start a photography business." - Photographer
I absolutely love this drink; and this makeup; and these clothes; and this jewelry. "I'm going to start a sales team - and all of my friends can join me!" - Direct Sales Rep
I'm already on the computer anyways. "Sure, I'll take a survey for $5." - Survey Taker
Most of my friends went back to work. "I can totally watch their kids all day." - Daycare Provider
"I want to work from home so I can spend more time with my baby."
"I want to be able to contribute monetarily to the household."
"I want to feel more adult in a world full of goo-goos and gagas."
"I want to be able to support my shopping habits without dipping into our normal funds."
"I need a project that I can do at my leisure."
"I don't want someone else raising my kids."
Sound familiar to any of you? Is this why you became a mommy blogger? Or a photographer? Or a daycare provider; Etsy shop owner; furniture restorer; survey taker; personal shopper; secret shopper?
Ironic Struggles of a Work-At-Home-Mom
If you want to be successful at anything in life you've got to put in the work. You can't do anything halfway or nobody will purchase your recovered sofas, read your reviews, buy your photos, order your headbands, etc.
The problem with doing work is that it takes time. Yes, time! Remember that thing that you thought you had a ton of?
I often find myself thinking...
"I wish I had more time to spend with my kids."
"My house is always a mess. I wish I had time to clean it."
"I wish I had more time to actually cook those recipes that I found on Pinterest."
"I would love to go on a work-free vacation for once."
"I wish I had more time to exercise."
... and then it starts all over again.
"I want to be the best."
"I need to step up my marketing game."
"I want to go on that blogger trip."
"I wish I had more money so I could go to an exercise class."
"I need to make more money so I can hire a housekeeper."
"Maybe I need a nanny?"
Balance - Is there such a thing?
Most of us work-at-home-moms talk about finding a balance between home life and work life. We have to balance a job, our husbands, our kids (because by this point we usually have more than the one kid we started out with), our house (which has been severely neglected), and still have to find time to take care of ourselves.
I've been blogging for four years and have NEVER found a way to balance working and real life. It's nearly impossible to split it 50/50 and I have just learned to take life day by day. If today, my house needs cleaning, blogging can be put on hold. If tomorrow, clients need their articles posted, the kids can play on the iPad and we can order a pizza. If the next day, my kids are really acting out for my attention or my mom-guilt sets in, I can take a day off for a family outing or craft day.
Though I have yet to find a true balance in life, I still hold onto the hope that the day will come where it will all run smoothly.
Continue to be the best version of you that you can be.