This morning my six-year-old son, Holden, was crawling around our kitchen, pretending to be a spy, in hopes that he could scare his father. This was going on as my five-year-old daughter, Beau, was trying to assert her independence (as she should) by carrying her full glass of orange juice from our kitchen island to the table, as I busied myself bringing our twin toddlers their breakfast.
Suddenly my son heard footsteps, as my husband approached the kitchen. Holden stood up and ran while looking back behind his shoulder, running right into Beau. Orange juice went everywhere and Beau was dripping head to toe.
I screamed “Holddddeeeeen!!!” Then two things followed that shouldn’t have.
First, both Holden and Beau started to panic, saying “sorry, sorry, sorry!” While they each had a look of sheer terror in their eyes. The next was something broke inside of me. I didn’t loose it, like my kids thought I would, and were far too used to. I didn’t cry either.
Remember when the “islands of personality” start to crumble in Pixar’s Inside Out? I felt like a part of me inside crumbled, and I thought to myself, “I can’t do this! I hate motherhood!”
For the last couple of weeks I have been struggling with increasing anxiety. A heaviness on my chest that I have not been able to shake. It may have started with a snarky comment I received from a mom on my You Tube channel…
I’m confused! :-/
You are a blogger, but do you get paid for that?
Your oldest goes to school, then Beau goes to daycare, and you most days have a nanny for the twins?
In this vlog, it’s spring break, so all of the kids go to a full day of daycare, while you go shopping, get ready, and have lunch with friends?
Do you ever just spend a day with your kids, playing, and hanging out!?
I’m a mom to 5 kids beautiful children(18,16,13,12, and 7)
and when they were younger, I was a single mother, who also started a blogging website and worked a full time job.Weekends were spent with my kids and I didn’t blog at all! Since I worked 60 hours a week, I didn’t get a lot of quality time with my kids, so the weekends were all about them!!!
I just don’t get why, if you’re a SAHM, why your children have a nanny and or go to daycare all of the time!? I understand we only see 10-20 minutes of your life, but it seems as though, you get rid of your kids as often as possible!
I rarely feel like I have to explain myself, or respond to mean comments. But this one shook me to the core. This mom had seen tiny snippets of my life in my “day in the life” videos I occasionally make. She didn’t have the whole story. Here was my response…
Hi there. Yes, I do get paid. I worked for a long time unpaid and now I am creating content for three websites. At this point it is a full-time paid job which has added a second income. For a long time I worked while my kids napped, or in the evenings and the other two were in school. In the summer (video 1 you are referring to) we had a part-time nanny for a couple of months, which didn’t work out. I worked for 3 months without childcare and now have our twins in daycare 9 AM – 12 PM each weekday, with occasional full days (depending on deadlines).
I most definitely spend a lot of each day and all day every weekend with my kids.
I rarely use my “work time” to go out with friends or run errands, but when I choose which day to film a day in the life, I will often pick a day with a lot of variety so that the video isn’t just me typing at my desk.
I did the SAHM thing when my first was born, for three years, and it wasn’t for me. It sent me into a depression. It truly is the hardest job, and I knew that I needed to find a balance that not only suited me, but my family too.
So, although I am at home all day, I am not a SAHM shipping my kids off. I am a hard working WAHM.
But this comment, my recent work-load and tomorrow’s launch of my new website and rebranding, has really had me thinking lately. What am I doing? I am now lucky enough to say that I, as a blogger, am bringing in enough paid work each month to work full-time. Yet, why am I paying for childcare and still trying to do so much of the SAHM thing during the day, while working my ass off again at my computer most nights?
I am a people pleaser. Or maybe I can finally start saying, I am a former people pleaser. This is something that I have struggled with since childhood. Initially I was pegged as the peace-keeper, but as I grew, my wise mother started pointing out that I was people pleasing too much, and needed to stand up for myself more.
I have come a long way, but even now as a grown adult, I am finding myself people pleasing once again, especially while trying to carve out my path as a full-time working mom, who happens to have her office based out of her home. I am constantly allowing myself to get distracted with lengthly personal phone calls from family, and occasionally be persuaded to meet friends during work hours.
Yesterday I spent the whole afternoon cleaning out my car. The sun was shining, I saw the opportunity and I grabbed it. Last week I went grocery shopping twice, worked out and showered daily, and went shopping for my kids, all during work hours. I am pretty sure if I had a 9am – 5pm office job with a boss, I’d be fired by now.
But when my kids get home from school and daycare, I am stressed beyond belief and a short-tempered ogre, watching the clock, wondering how early is too early to get my kids to bed so I can get back to work?
What the hell am I doing?
After spending days being too distracted to enjoy or complete anything, because the running conversations and arguments in my head were just too loud, I asked myself, “what do you want?”
The truth is, I am completely jealous of the Sheryl Sandbergs and Marissa Mayers of this world. No one questions them about just spending a day playing with their kids. Okay, maybe we all questioned Marissa Mayers’ statement about “taking limited time away” and “working throughout” her twin pregnancy, for a minute. But we applaud them as hard-working women, who also happen to be mothers.
Why have I been creating this massive grey area when it came to me working?
What I really want is to create clear lines. I will be a mom certain hours of the day, and be 100% focused on work, for the other parts. I will stop muddying the waters.
Don’t get me wrong, I will still be the parent who adjusts their schedule when a child is home sick, or has a pressing appointment. That is, at least until I become Mike’s sugar mama.
This will take time to figure out what I let go of, because I know I can’t have it all, and how to adjust my schedule and create stronger boundaries. But at least I have a goal and know what I want.
So to all of the moms out there, who love their kids, but know they want that career, especially as an entrepreneur… it’s okay to stop people pleasing and put your foot down. It’s okay to completely switch hats instead of wearing two at once all of the time.
Let’s drop the guilt and carve out our own path.