Work at home Mom:
A mom who works from home for a living, who's also in charge of keeping her kids alive, the house clean, food cooked (and edible), and still keep her sanity while taking care of her own needs too.
Both of my parents are business owners and Lord have mercy, I knew when I was growing up I would never ever subject myself to that kind of torture. My father has owned a water well drilling and sinkhole investigation company for the whole of his adult life, and my mother has been in skincare and health for close to two decades now. Neither looked like was easy, fun, or something I wanted to do. It was HARD. Both worked themselves down to the core and it was just about painful to watch.
When teachers asked me what I wanted to do when I grew up, my only response would be that I didn't want to work for myself. (followed with something like MERMAID or NYMPH)
I started my work at home mom journey when my oldest was a few months old. I knew I would do anything that I could to make sure that I was home with him. I ALSO knew that it would be hard. But I had friends that would help me and I didn't NEED to make much beyond grocery money and money for extras at the time. It was naive of me to assume that it would stay as a few hours a week, when it's convenient, kind of thing.
Somewhere in the span of these last four years, I blinked and now am knee deep in a sea of Mox. Our family grew since we started, bills increased, and life has grown out of the life that we once had when I began this WAHM journey. I am now responsible for 2/3 of our funding to keep the family where it needs to be. Now it's not only something that I like, but also something that is needed.
I will say that I do honestly love being a WAHM. Personally, I'm an all or nothing, passionate kind of girl. And that is the perfect personality (and frankly one of the only that will survive) for this industry. We work 12-16 hour days some days and it's just normal for us now. Several days can go by before I realized that the only reason I've left home is to get my 4 year old to and from pre-school.
Sometimes we even work for free, even if it means that we know we won't benefit from it, if we think that it will help grow our business.
When I tell people that I'm a work at home mom, people often tell me how nice and relaxing that must be. These people are clearly mislead, blessed with the ignorance of not having to try and work with their emotionally attached 2 year old in their lap and begging for attention.
I want to give you guys a real and unfiltered small look into my business journey:
In December, just a few short months after rebranding, I went on anxiety medication (I have talked about my anxiety journey in a previous blog). I was stuck in a rut after completely upheaving my whole life to try and better my family. We had just moved from a run down 800 square foot trailer to a 2k square foot townhouse, rebranded and pulled away from the company I had invested my heart and soul into for the 3 years previous, and I was already dealing with some severe anxiety issues before all that. It was needed. It helped tremendously. It got me out of the funk that I was in and back to where I wanted to be emotionally. After about 6 months of being on this medication, I made the decision that my marriage, life, and support system was perfect for trying to get off the medication and try and deal with the anxiety in more natural ways. What I failed to realize is that going off of SSNRI's (I've never taken a medication like this before) is that you will get withdrawals. No one warns you of this. Not your doctor, not your family, not your friends who've been on it. NO ONE. Blindly, I weaned off of it very slowly, thinking the worst would I'd deal with is a little anxiety. Boy was I shocked when I was not able to function at all for a week after completely stopping. Sick as a dog, can barely breathe, see, or eat kind of not function.
When you run a small business, you don't have sick days, PTO, insurance, or someone who can cover your shift for you. Stuff just piles up and customers email you relentlessly when you stop making progress. You feel guilt for not being able to work, but there's nothing you can do and telling customers that you are going through unexpected medication withdrawal isn't really a viable option. So, you do as much as you can, while any other person would be resting, and pray to God himself to give you strength to make up for lost time when you are feeling better.
This week, to make up for the week before, I have produced almost twice what I normally take on for myself so I can get things out and moving again. Because knowing it's not fair for your customers to wait because you've been sick, and then making up for lost time is about 60% of WAHM life.
My youngest, Kai, and myself working while dealing with being sick this past week.
There's an unspoken rule when you become a small shop owner. Never take on more than you can handle and make within your set turnaround time. Customers hate it and will abandon ship as fast as they became obsessed with your product. They don't see our end of things, how hard we work and try, or what we are going through. And honestly, they shouldn't have to. It's a contract and promise you give your customers. When you don't live by this, your customers can't respect you. This means lost income and loyalty. When you know and respect this rule to the best of your ability, you work 24/7 until everything is done. If not, it haunts you like your 2 year old that somehow knows you snuck into the bathroom to eat chocolate you didn't want to share.
When this happens, you seem to somehow gravitate to your work room every free second you get. Mom guilt is magnified to a crushing level. It doesn't matter how much you try, you will always be lacking.
"Don't do it! - Confessions of a Work At Home Mom" - Kari, who owns AdrianAlexander
"Running a business from home with 4 toddlers is like taming circus animals."- Bee, who owns SpillTheBeans Etc
This photo describes a mom's life. It's HARD being a mom!
I made some revisions for the fellow work at home moms:
Hats that I've taken on as the owner of Mox Show Room:
Product Development Manager
Manager of our Employees
Customer Service Manager
Social Media/Advertising Manager
Quality Control Manager
and so on and on and on.
Now that you have seen that side of the coin that surrounds WAHM life, let's talk about how wonderful your work at home mom life can be!
In the four years that I've been working for myself, I can honestly say that my life is so much better. It's hard, yes. But it's also amazing.
My oldest, Kayden, when he was just over one, loving on the fabric.
It's almost as if colors are brighter when you are a hardworking, passionate work at home mom. You know how hard it takes to work for your life and you appreciate it more fully. You stop taking for granted everything, and work more for the life you want to live.
THE CONTROL IS IN YOUR HANDS. You can be super successful if you need to be, or you can be super casual if you want. You decide how you stand in the matter.
MSR is responsible for 5 seamstresses, two to three material preppers, four admins, and close to 50 brand representatives. These people have become my family. They step in where is needed, they share my passion for the work at home mom life, and they eat and breathe all things Mox. And that is my dream and goal. To be able to support moms who want to be able to make a living at home while being with their babies.
Kayden, when he was younger. This feeling of being able to support your family and still carry them is the best, and worth every ounce of effort it takes.
Never in a million years did I ever think that I would have the support and love that I do now. Almost all of my friends are people who love and support my passion for my business. Hell, my very best friends have come from my work at home mom journey! Friends I can't imagine my live without. People start supporting and showing you love, then become a part of your life over time, simply through buying from you. My husband thought of it as a hobby long after it was paying most of the bills, but has now adjusting his thinking. Instead of being upset and jealous about it, he's become even more of a supportive husband and father. He helps with the kids when I'm rushing to try and make up for lost time. He helps cook and clean with me instead of expecting me to do it all myself because I'm "just home with the kids all day". And our marriage is better for it.
"I love being able to work around the needs of the kids, it's a healthy thing for all of us and the financial benefits I can bring into the family without being away are very rewarding." - Heather, who is an MSR seamstress
Shortly after my youngest was born. Being able to meet your family's need and focus on your baby's needs at the same time!
One of my favorite parts is the care and passion that we pour into our shops and to each other. We know how hard and what an uphill battle it is to create new and inventive ideas to give our customers, and make sure we are providing for our family at the same time. I've met so many passionate, caring WAHMs that I love and work with to help boost each other up and spread the word about our hard work. Collaborations are one of my very favorite things to do. Besides, who doesn't want the perfect matching handmade outfit/products?!
"Being a work at home mom is the sure fire way to learn how to multitask efficiently; juggling family life along with work tasks is challenging at an extreme level!" - Jillian, who owns PaxBaby
"Being a work at home mom has been absolutely exhausting experience that has allowed me to provide for my family financially and support my husband through an entire bachelors degree all while never stepping foot in a daycare." - Amber, who owns RockerBye Destash
Kayden taking an interest in the trade.
The HARDEST part of being a WAHM is having a schedule and sticking to it. It's misleading when you start working for yourself. You justify watching your TV show first by saying "I've got all week to get it done and it's only Monday. Loads of time!" WRONG. Pacing yourself, setting a schedule and sticking to it is the only way you will make the time you need to and get everything done and still have your sanity. I've recently started getting up at 4am every weekday. I finish at least half of my sewing that I need to do before the kids are even awake and it's one of the only ways that I've found that works for me. I have no one messaging me, email me, and so much more that I do during the day to distract me.
"The excitement of having your life at your own pace, while trying to continually self manage your time." - Amber, who owns LuLaRoe with Amber F
"It's the only way I could make money, but it's got challenges such as never really leaving work. Or your house that also needs work." - Jessica, who is an MSR seamstress
"Creating a schedule has saved my sanity" - Jillian, who owns JustBe.Designs
"You can't do it all in a day, so save your sanity and do what makes the best and happiest you in that moment." - Cassie, who owns Classy Cassie Collections
Being a work at home mom has opened doors that no other job could open for me. I'm able to work around my autoimmune disorders, around my kid's schedule, make time for my marriage, and make time for other things when I need to. Is it hard? YES. Is it worth it? YES.
"I feel like being a work at home mom gives me purpose, especially since it makes life better for my family." - Amber, who owns Galaxy Gear