Overcoming Being A Work at Home MomMar 26, 2018
Being a mom of a teenage girl, lately, I’ve done a lot of thinking myself at her age. Defiant, proud, spontaneous, and stubborn. Believe I knew the way, and it was my choice and only my choice to make. I remember feeling sure my caregivers and adults in my life knew nothing about what my future would be, and so I stood firm on someday showing them a woman who took fate into her own hands and traveled the world.
Turns out, what I thought the world looked like at fifteen isn’t really what the world was like and things seemingly were a lot harder, a lot truer to these loved ones whom I felt knew nothing. Adventure and travel became camping trips and visiting family, not the backpacking through Europe pictures I had in my head. I became a mom (hence the soon to be fifteen years old) and a wife to another human who had defiant, proud, spontaneous, and stubborn dreams of his own.
It’s funny how that all seems to happen in a blink of an eye, right? One moment we’re young women seeing this future that only we can see. Excited, bright, longing it! We taste it a bit, and then what was comfortable and also what feels right happens. We’re given two roads. The one less traveled and the one most of our girlfriends from high school traveled. Neither are wrong. Neither is less desirable for most. It truly just happens. A beautiful blessing of belonging and in many ways not belonging.
Do you ever find yourself sitting and wondering where this “stay-at-home” mentality came from? I’ve asked myself this a lot lately. On one hand, I pride myself on saying, “See I am able to do both be a wife, mom and have a career!”, and on the other hand, I think to myself, “Is this truly where I am best serving my purpose, my light, my dreams or is becoming a mom and wife a way of forfeiting that?” I don’t know, but I think about that and think about how am I parenting my teenage daughter to not feel that way ever.
About three years ago, as some of you know, I got the opportunity to be a part of and help develop the direct sales program for Sseko Designs, currently the Sseko Fellows Program. With under 500 sales representatives, they are at the start of their climb to being a stay-at-home career opportunity unlike any other in the industry. It was that first year when my defiant, proud, spontaneous, and stubborn husband said, “you need to go.” Now, he didn’t mean kicking me out of the house, he meant that I needed to truly get out of the house, out of our town, and eventually out of the country. He knew my soul was a “wonderer”. Not to be confused with a wanderer. No, a wonderer is someone who seeks wonder and he has known since our first date that my soul was meant to see new places, things, and people. That first year in 2015, with a 9 and a 12-year-old at home, I got on a plane by myself and headed to Portland, Oregon for a full seven days. It was the best and most terrifying travel experience I had ever had… I was a wife and mom - and I was alone.
Let me ask you, as a work-from-home woman were you a stranger to travel before you had kids or got married?
If you didn’t travel much prior than this might not speak to you much. However, if you were like me and adventured further than your own state several times, on your own, independently before being a wife and having kids, then I hope you’ll share with me how you can relate to these feelings I have had and discussed with many women over the past three years building my business and working from home.
Feeling #1: “I’m not sure how to be on my own with no one needing me. What will I do to have fun by myself?”
This was a real question for me when I started traveling for my work-from-home business and eventually for leisure self-care. I seriously wasn’t sure what I enjoyed by myself anymore. What would I do if there was a moment that someone wasn’t asking me for a snack, or needing to go to the bathroom at the most awkward time? I was afraid to have fun just for me because I was unsure how to do that after years of creating fun, joy and important moments for others. I soon realized that even though it took some time, I discovered that young girl again. One determined to seek wonderment and traveling from home was a way to remind myself I needed me too.
Feeling #2: “Will my kids survive this? They are already sad about me going, and my husband doesn’t really get the routine down very well when I go on a girls night. How is he going to do without me for a whole week or two?”
Yes, I thought this. I thought, “how will they survive without me”. Like I’m god and should I leave for a few days all hell will break loose and my children would be lost to the flames of another parent providing for them. My husband is an amazing father. He was the dad who did pigtails for preschool and builds soapbox derby cars that win the race. Why I thought my children would perish under his protection is beyond me, but I thought it. And if I’m honest it’s because I wanted that control. I wanted to believe that if I left everything would fall apart. I’m sorry to bust our bubble gals, but it won’t. Life will go on, we’ll be missed, dinner will be eaten in the living room, and bedtimes will be fudged but they will survive and be better for it.
Feeling #3 “My husband keeps pushing me to do this, to go. Why is he wanting me to leave?”
So this one might just be me because my marriage has a rough past. But I’m going to put it here because I don’t believe I am alone here. I have questioned my husband supporting me leaving our “nest” and following my wondering soul for adventures for my work-from-home business. I’ve questioned why he is so excited for me to be away from our family or why he is so willing to take off work to drive me to the airport when he never wants to take a day off otherwise. Like I said, it might just be me. But time and time again, I’ve seen this is one of the ways my husband loves me. He gets excited to encourage me here because he gets to see that girl he fell in love with, and he gets to be missed in a different way than ever before.
This mentality that women stay at home because of the kids, because of marriage or because they can work from there I believe it’s truly a stereotype. It’s one we are used to and accustomed to but it’s not a reality. I stay at home because I can. I stay at home not because of religious views but because of trauma I know my triggers and home is my safe place. I stay at home to work because I’ve earned and built that opportunity. However, stay-at-home doesn’t mean I never adventure or wonder. It means I have the chance to adventure and wonder more.
What other feelings have you felt in this struggle of staying at home and feeling like you always need to be at home regarding our work-from-home business?