Working from home was not an idea that I had ever entertained.
Isn't life like that though? We have all these plans and ideas and then everything changes...usually for the better.
I always wanted to be a stay-at-home mom since forever. Motherhood was all I could see in my future.
And I have been very blessed to have been given that opportunity. My three children are some of my greatest treasures.
However, while I do stay at home with them, I also work. I work from home running this blog and now a second one: Raising Kids Making Money.
And yes, it is a real job. It takes real effort and gives me a real income.
I started working from home in February 2017. When I started I never knew what it would turn into. But, here's the thing...
Working from home has saved my motherhood.
Before I started this blog I was drowning. Overwhelmed with the responsibility of raising two little humans, shoulders heavy with the beginnings of postpartum depression.
While of course, there is more that got me out of that stage than just work, it was still a big factor. Below are the reasons why.
1) It Gave Me a Creative Outlet
Humans are creative creatures. It's just the way that we were made.
We all create differently. Some do it with abstract paintings, while others serve up gourmet food.
I have personally always loved to make beautiful things. I can sew, cook, decorate, organize, etc, etc.
The problem I had with most of those was that they all required income. In order to create, I had to spend money and that wasn't always practical.
My answer was to start this blog.
I started it for two reasons. Firstly, it was going to be a complement to my Youtube channel. Funnily enough, two years later my Youtube channel is on hold while I give my full attention to this blog.
The second reason was to earn an income.
I went into blogging with the intention of earning money.
All blogs are different. There are different niche's, styles, tastes, and personalities. For that reason, what is involved in running it can be different for everyone.
For mine, however, it includes a lot of writing, networking, marketing, photo editing, and graphic design.
My personal favorite of that list is graphic design and then almost equally, photo editing.
The creative in me loves to try new things and improve upon what already exists.
Working from home gave me the opportunity both creatively and financially to be able to design and dream.
2) I Found a Community
There are seasons to life and seasons in motherhood.
One of those seasons that is often challenging is the season of loneliness.
With little ones, life is busy and yet the hours still seem to drag by. After having Annie, I felt so isolated and lonely.
Part of it was because of postpartum depression, and the other part was just what comes with being so busy looking after everyone that there wasn't time to go out and socialise.
We also live a good hour away from friends and family, so it wasn't practical to have playdates very often.
I was lonely.
And then I started my blog. Just a few months into it I was invited to join the Babywise Blogging Network.
It became so much more than just a group for bloggers. The women in the group have become my best friends and we talk daily.
Of course, we're all different but we started with a common thought in regard to how we parent.
I never thought I would find such wonderful friends via the internet and blogging world, but hey, here we are!
Sure, there are times when I'm still lonely, but two years later I have never felt that same loneliness since. I now have a community that have both helped me with my work and my personal life.
3) It Was Possible to Set Measurable Goals
I had an almost 2-year old and an infant.
Life was overwhelming.
The baby slept well and so did the toddler for the most part. Yet, nothing felt right or good.
I felt accomplished at nothing.
Ask me what I thought of myself back then and I would have likely cried trying to explain that I didn't feel as though I was good at anything.
Not a good homemaker, not a good mom, and definitely not a good wife.
Retrospect shows me the truth, but at the time I couldn't see it.
Motherhood is beautiful. It molds us and makes us stronger, but there are times when you need more in order to help you do better.
It can be difficult to set measurable goals in motherhood because there are so many variables.
You can't set goals like:
- The baby will nap well
- The toddler will whine less
- The house will be tidy
Firstly, all of those are basically unrealistic, and secondly, none of those are entirely in your control.
Because I was so overwhelmed and depression was clouding my judgment, working from home actually helped me tremendously.
I was able to set goals that I was able to control.
I could see immediate results and feel the satisfaction of completing a job in full.
Working from home was never supposed to encroach on or replace the job of raising my children. Instead, it is there to complement it.
4) It Broadened My World
You know what its like. When you're sleep deprived and the house is a mess.
Your baby isn't napping well and you can't get anything done.
Your world gets small.
Little issues become big problems and nothing seems achievable.
You become so focused on your own problems that it becomes impossible to see the needs of others.
You don't intend to become isolated and self-absorbed, but it happens nonetheless.
My blog and the community that came with it helped to pull me out of that hole.
At first, I started it for myself for the reasons I mentioned above. However, I never anticipated the immense blessing that would come out of helping other women.
I don't think I'll ever get over the sense of joy I feel when I woman contacts me and lets me know that she finally felt validated because of something I wrote.
Or, the thankful mom that says a huge 'thank you' because by following my recommendations her baby is sleeping so much better.
I don't pretend to have all the answers. Gosh, I'm so far from perfect.
My blog is simply made up of my real-life experiences. The fact that those experiences are helping others is just the best thing ever.
Working from home helped take the blinders off my eyes during a time when I was unable to focus on anything but what was right in front of me.
I was able to not just better serve my family, but also serve those outside of it.
5) It Gave Structure to My Day
You know the week between Christmas and New Year when no one knows what day it is?
I don't like it.
I'm a creature of routine and I struggle when there isn't one.
It's fine for a day or two but after that, I'm done.
Before working from home I did have a routine during the day simply because my kids had one. However, there were time slots that weren't being filled productively.
Working helped to solve that.
It's not that I filled all my spare time with work. It's definitely still balanced, but it gave me the push that I needed to effectively schedule my day.
I became more efficient with my time and figured out when I work best.
Procrastination didn't happen as much because the work HAD to be done.
Household chores aren't as difficult because there's a certain time of the day that is dedicated to them.
I'm Thankful for Work
As I mentioned before, there is more to the story than just starting to work from home. However, working gave me a ladder to climb when I was stuck in a hole.
Two years ago I would never have dreamed about where I am now.
While it hasn't been easy, my postpartum experience with Charlotte has been much easier than it was with Annie.
I've always had a full and rich life, but now I'm in the headspace to actually be able to see it and feel it fully.
Working from home isn't possible for everyone, but I am so grateful that I have the opportunity to do so.
Until next time!