I’ve been a stay at home mom for the past 3 1/2 years. It’s the only thing I ever wanted, but it’s a lot different than I imagined. It’s not bad or disappointing, it’s just different. I imagined a much more active life with more showers, cuter clothes, and better behaved children. I’m definitely the mom that started out devoting all of my time to my first born. I wasn’t ever the mom that made my kid play alone ever. Maybe it’s his personality, or maybe it’s his age, or maybe I trained him this way but 3 1/2 years later he is terrible at playing alone and I’m trying to teach him with very little success. My second born, at 20 months is better at playing alone, but his attention span is quite short still at his age. My third born, coming in September will be all consuming for quite a while, but I’m imagining something more. I’m trying to figure out how to be at home with my kids, have them, play with them, do things for them and still have myself and my time.
The longer I cater to children the more thirsty I get for something more adult. I don’t mean like a night out with the girls to just renew my grown up status or even a vacation without my kids. Like something permanently more. Since I was a teenager I wanted a home accessories retail shop. I always imagined someday it would happen, but it can’t be someday forever. Eventually someday will turn into today right? That’s where I am now. I want Today so badly!
I’m stuck because being a stay at home mom was my only plan. Not a very good plan simply because I didn’t know my 30 year old self when I was 18. I want all of the stay at home mom stuff with a little extra responsibility that doesn’t involve children. I’m kind of sick of cleaning sticky stuff off the walls and pee off the floors. I LOVE my children with all of my heart and leaving them, even for a few hours, can be difficult and heart breaking. In the big picture though, it’s better for them if I do leave them sometimes. Maybe more often than I do. But 3 1/2 years is a really long time when you’re talking about changing your daily routine.
I think about what it would be like to be a working mom, like 40+ hours per week and sorry, but no thank you. It has nothing to do with how my children would be cared for or anything like that, but I feel like I’ve got too much going on at home that would never get accomplished and the mess that we currently live in (that drives me insane on certain days) would be so much worse. My kids are really sweet and adorable, but total terrors and honestly, embarrassingly, I let them run completely wild. I’m starting to regret that and wondering how I can change that going forward. Part of me thinks that if I had a job (using the term very very loosely), I would bring more structure into our home. Not every day would be a loosey goosey “what should we do today?” kind of day. I love being “free” to do basically whatever I want whenever I want, but how long can you spend your life going to Marshalls and Target and the playground? How long can my children do the same thing? What are they learning? Well, they’re learning a lot for sure, but their horizons need to be expanded too.
I want my own business. I want my own hours. I want a very very flexible schedule. How does one accomplish that with 3 children, very little extra income, and the obvious need for child care? Well, I started with direct sales. Some call it network marketing. I like to call myself an Independent Skin Care Consultant. I work with Rodan + Fields and I make money. Some money. Good extra money I guess, but I still want more. It’s partially about the money, but more so about the actual activity that I’m doing. I will never give up Rodan + Fields, but being an Independent Skin Care Consultant is not the same as surrounding myself with all things home decor.
Pretty and interesting decor pieces. Refurbished furniture. Beautiful chairs recovered in unexpected fabrics. Sure, I’d have clients but they’d be shoppers, not people who are afraid to paint their walls pink, but prefer a safer beige option. I don’t want to decorate your home, although it’s probably all I think about while I sit in your living room, but I do want to contribute to your decor with something unique you won’t find anywhere else. I want a place where people who make unique and interesting things can showcase their work.
Sure, there are options like actually opening a shop on the corner of Wisconsin and Main, but that requires regular hours, a large investment, and the sheer hope that somebody will walk by, come in, and actually buy something. Risky!
There’s the all time crafters standby, Etsy. Eh. I guess that’s how I feel about it. While providing a place to sell, it’s not really giving me what I want. I want the store shelves decorated beautifully. I want to stand behind the cash register. I want the fun French cafe music. I don’t want to make everything I sell. I want to get out of the house to do it.
There are craft fairs. I suppose you get a form of store shelves, but I feel like it’s overdone. I feel like if you can’t get into the big ones in the area, the rest are just to stay busy. Maybe sell something to the stay at home mom looking for something interesting to do with her kids for the day. I am her. I do that. I’ve never bought anything.
There are those bigger shops where you rent a space so it’s kind of like a permanent craft fair. I did that once. Great idea for those people that are really about making their craft and want to leave it up to somebody else to sell it. Just drop it off, display it, and get the hell outta there. If I had a shop, I’d need people like that to stock my shelves, but I don’t want to be that person. It circles back to my first example that it’s still a permanent location that may or may not get business.
It can be compared to those that want to start their own business, but have a day job. Just because I don’t have a job doesn’t make it any easier for me. It’s still a challenge to give up what I currently know for something unknown, to spend money I’m not making, spend time working on it outside of my regular “work” hours, and hope that this thing takes off and doesn’t flop.
So, I have an idea. It may be a crazy idea. It may fizzle as I continue planning how to make my dream come true, but for now I’m excited. I must start somewhere though and so instead of starting to shop for inventory or old furniture pieces to refurbish I’m going to start with me. I’m going to start with a 30-day challenge for myself. Something that gets me to a little bit more of a functioning adult and less of a pajama wearing mommy who cleans her house and crawls around on the floor all day. Stick with me as I talk about what my 30-day challenge will be and how I think it will make a huge difference in my life and my kids in a very short amount of time.