It's been twelve years today since my daughter was born. I know it's cliche to say that time flies, but I honestly don't now where the years went! I can still remember her as the cheesy little cut-up always grinning and charming her way out of trouble when she was a toddler. And that sassy little six year old girl still grinning and charming her way out of trouble. I guess old habits die hard cause six years later she's still grinning and charming her way outta trouble... or trying to anyway...
I think this journey with her has been very bittersweet. I've been a working mom (outside of the home) for the vast majority of her life. And the times I was at home I was either a very focused University student, or mothering a very demanding baby boy. I've been so proud watching her grow and become her own person-- but I'm very sad it's been mostly from the sidelines.
The main reason I've chosen to pursue a homemade business is to allow me more time with my children. The irony is that instead of spending more time with them, I am getting to spend more time telling them why I can't spend more time with them! (Does this sound familiar to anyone?) The reality is that I am physically more available to my family, but it somehow comes with a higher stress level as I mentally juggle around my agenda to make sure everything gets done-- home, family, and business related-- while also constantly reevaluating current priorities. Telling my child "not today, Mommy has work to do" always weighs especially heavy on my heart.
So where does this magical balance lie? Or is it as fictional as the TV family of the 1950s, living only in the dream world of the overwhelmed housewife? We can find many success stories and read many blog posts about the joy of staying home with the kids while running a Cottage Business, but Internet is just another form of mass media where the lines of truth often become quite blurred.
I'm not giving up, though! Call, me a hopeless romantic, or an optimistic fool, but I just can't believe dreams don't come true. At times working at home has been incredibly successful for me-- in that I get my work done for the day and then have some great quality time with my children. But as the children get older, their demands and expectations change. The toddler boy has hit a phase of "give me what I want now, or else", and the pre-teen girl has hit a phase of " you BETTER give me what I want now, or else". I can't even begin to tell you how challenging and frustrating this is, as a mother. But as a business owner, it's devistating. I keep reminding myself that this too shall pass and make a real effort to go with the flow... I'll let you know how this works out once I know myself! I catch an occasional glimpse of daylight at the end of the tunnel, and I swear the road is getting shorter. Now I just have to be patient and believe that everything I'm working towards will be worth the blood, sweat, and tears!