I think I’ll get up at 5am, go for a run, make breakfast for everyone, get showered and dressed (in a great outfit with heals and makeup), pack lunches, drop my kids off at school, go to work for 10 hours, meet the kids at their practice, handle the parents who are complaining but not volunteering for the team, come home, cook dinner, clean up, monitor homework, get the kids showered, spend some quiet time with each of them while I tuck them in bed, then open up my laptop to do some more work until midnight because I couldn’t get it all done at work, sleep for about 5 hours so that I can do it all again tomorrow.
Laundry. Cleaning. Groceries. Pets. Getting the kids where they need to go. Healthy meals.
We expect women to raise kids like they don’t have jobs, and work like they don’t have kids. Mothers didn’t just enter the career world, they signed on for two full-time jobs and then some.
The allure is strong…yoga pants instead of corporate attire, tending to a load of laundry when you need a quick break from your computer, and chopping some veggies at lunch to throw in your crock pot.
But before we go any further, please allow me to check my privilege at the door so you don’t have to make assumptions: I am a white woman with a college education. I am married. I live in a small Normand Rockwell-ish town and I have a career I genuinely like. #grateful
Here’s the stark reality
Universities train students for the dream of a corner office…but at a certain point, women, especially mothers, begin to recognize that working a 9 to 5 outside the home is a constant source of fatigue and frustration.
“Having it all” can mean different things to different people, and this is especially dependent upon your “stage” in life.
I’d like to think I’ve had some exceptional work “accomplishments”, I worked a 9 to 5 for the first 10 years after college, in fact at the time, I worked my way up the corporate ladder and made more money than my husband did.
But then life changed in an instant. My mom became very sick, I was pregnant, and I knew that working remotely was not going to get me a 6-figure salary. At least not in 2006!
Fast forward a few years after freelancing and starting a blog while my kids were napping, answering emails with puke in my hair, no time to breathe. Trying to at least make enough money to pay our taxes because my husband is a teacher and supporting 4 of us now. I am a strong woman and I have it all. I got this.
Um, Livin' the dream…right?
When my kids were finally ready to go to school, I was ready to leave the unpredictability of freelance work and get back to a regular salary. But something strange happened. A loyal friend had seen some of my work creating websites and online marketing plans, and asked me to come work for him, in an industry that I knew nothing about.
I put in countless hours outside the home, doing a job that was only partly what I signed up for. I worked for 12 hours a day while he was on a tropical vacation with his family. I was lucky if I got to hug my kids while they were awake before bed.
Does this sound like you too? If so, let me know in the comments below.
When I walked in the door after a 12 hour day, my husband pleasantly asked “what's the plan for dinner?”
I scream: “Shit!! I guess we’ll just have eggs and toast tonight.”
Calm down. Take a deep breath. Everything will come together.
I truly believe he helps out more than the average husband.
I’m not working a minimum wage job. I’m not disadvantaged in any way…except that I am a working mother in the United States.
So, about that opportunity to Start a Mom Blog so you can Work from Mome?
What I’m saying here is that we need to start changing some social norms…especially the notion that blogging is not a “real” job. It’s like we all said hey, let’s change the narrative for women, #womenempowerment, but lets not change anything else. Like it doesn’t matter if your 22 or 42 or 62…it’s not too late to start a blog and make money from it.
It needs to be truly okay for women to opt-out of working outside the home and realize that starting a blog from the comfort of your home IS A CAREER, WHERE YOU CAN EARN A LIVING. Not just like “oh, you started a blog” but behind your back everyone thinks you don’t have a “real” job or you’re wasting your potential.
This whole “having it all” thing has been grossly misinterpreted by American society. The fact is, you CAN have it all, just not all at the same time.
Here’s what Starting a Mom Blog looks like…
Women need to join together to provide support for ALL women, regardless of color or income level. Because there is enough space online for all of us to thrive. Women who support other women are truly magical.
The CMO at a company is no more entitled to paid maternity leave, job security, and adequate childcare than the waitress who works long hours at the only restaurant in town. Working is not a luxury or a choice for the vast majority of us, so we need to stop acting like it is.
Why are we even calling this a “mom blog”? Just because you're a mom and you're starting a blog, it may or may not be on the topic of your children, the childrearing process. That's ok. Your blog doesn't have to be about your children to be a “mom blog” although it certain can be! I consider myself a mom-blogger, yet I blog about business. Anyway, here are the facts about starting a blog (or a mom blog!) so that you can decide if it’s something that will fulfill your need for choice.
It takes just as much work to make a blog profitable (ie: Make Money with your blog) as it does to be good at any other business. It doesn’t happen instantly and if you think you can write a blog article here or there and then the social media fairies will automatically send people to your website to read it or pay you for your opinion then you’re mistaken.
If you’re contemplating giving up your corporate job to work from home, here are a 3 realities to help you transition smoothly:
1. Master the Mindset
It sure is nice when you don’t have to rush everyone out the door in the morning. You might envision a morning walk, yoga, or even just a quiet cup of coffee before the kids wake up. When I left my corporate job, I was initially thrilled at how the morning changed. I actually planned a morning run after the kids went to school. But until I got back, showered, had something to eat and sat down at my laptop, half my day already seemed like it was gone, and I still had to get to the grocery store. Before you know it, the blessing and curse of working from home becomes a reality. It take work to build a business, so if you treat it like a regular job and stick to some goals and a routine, you’ll be much more productive!
2. Ace Time Management
This one may seem obvious, but when you’re a new mom with a baby who runs the show, and a home-based business owner, it isn’t always a walk in the park. You’re used to being in control of your time, and with a baby, time management looks a little different for everyone. Babies thrive on routine, and so do adults, so don’t be afraid to do what works for you and your family, even if it’s different from what everyone else is doing or suggesting. A consistent mealtime, bath time, play time, going for a walk time, or whatever it is that works for you can also be factored in to the time you spend building your business. Give yourself some grace if it takes a few extra weeks or months to nail down your routine.
3. Plan for Distractions
Sometimes, I feel like I have a hundred things to do before I open my laptop. Other times, I’m in an incredible groove, only to be interrupted by my kids bickering about nonsense. Even if I’m in a room with the door shut. It’s 3:30, they just walked in from school, “Mom, what are we having for dinner, I’m starving” is all too familiar, maybe I should have used my Sunday Prep-Day a little more wisely. I’m better at being a mom when I’m prepared for the week. Often on a Sunday I just want to sit down on the couch with a cup of coffee and a book and relax, but instead I make a list for the grocery store and plan dinners for the week because that is more productive. Then Sunday night rolls around and I think I’ll finally get out that book until my daughter says “can we make s’mores with the neighbors because it’s national s’more day after all”.
GirlBoss Secret: Don't Stop Until You're Proud!
Bloggers who work from home might not experience the glamorous happy hours and spa retreats that some of our corporate counterparts do, but I’ve learned that owning your own business is certainly better than working toward someone else’s vision.
The moral of the story is, if you don’t set some goals for yourself and take risks, you’ll always work for someone who does.
It’s challenging building a business from scratch, but is it worth it to get more flexibility and less stress? Damn straight it is! Take my Free Quiz and I'll send you a Free Blogger Getting Started Guide!
Now the fun part…let's find out what your Blogger Personality is!