Regrets of a WAHM
Do you know what most people say when I tell them I work from home?
“Oh you’re so lucky you get to stay at home and be with the kids and work when you want to.”
Well, yep I am. Except it’s definitely NOT luck.
The only time luck has anything to do with it is the mere fact that I haven’t died from the amount of blood, sweat and tears I’ve lost in the past 3yrs since deciding to give away over a decade of nursing to start from scratch in an area I know nothing about.
So many nights I’ve lay awake, stressing over income, customers, partners, sales, social media, reviews…. the whole shebang. Because there is SO freaking much involved.
And then I start to feel guilty.
Guilty because instead of going to a job that is 9-5 a few days a week, I work nearly all the time.
Which means I’m constantly switched on. Unfortunately for my husband being switched is definitely NOT the same as being turned on. Sorry babe. It’s pretty much the opposite.
Because when you are building a business, a brand, an empire (too far??), your brain is always working in the background, planning your next move, analysing past moves and drafting emails in your head.
Your business becomes another child that you feed, nurture and love. You created it, it’s your responsibility. It’s a little piece of your soul.
And then sometimes you just want to sit it in the corner for a good time out session to think about how it could behave better next time.
Good old mummy guilt – it’s never far away at the best of times.
You feel guilty because you’ve had to respond to emails while the kids played.
Guilty because while you were watching them bounce on the trampoline, your mind was going over your next promotion.
Because when you are feeding them at night, you stare at their chubby hands and automatically get a business idea, map the whole thing out, plan the press releases and launch it in your head before you realise that you stopped actually seeing the tiny person in front of you.
I’ve felt guilty for so long for being tired, because I’ve stayed up late to work and then regretted it the next day when my tolerance for tantrums is at an all time low.
And the dirty looks from strangers don’t help either when you’re out with the kids and you have to respond to a work email and they think you’re just on Facey hitting like on cat videos and ignoring the kids. (and if you do do that, then I won’t judge, honest).
But in the last week, I’ve come to realise that staying busy with my business was probably the only thing that helped me survive the hardest few years of my motherhood journey so far.
Without the distraction from being a mum 24/7, I think I would have drowned. Smothered by a role that consumes so much of your heart, your head and your body.
My mind switched to business mode as a coping mechanism, as a temporary reprieve from my role as primary caregiver, sandwich crust cutter, nappy changer, swing pusher, washing doer, dinner burnerer, bandaid applier, sticky kisses receiver and tantrum coordinator.
I’ve realised I love the thrill of kicking business ass, the challenge of new prospects, the ultimate satisfaction of seeing results.
Just as I love being able to pick the kids up from school, put the toddlers to bed at lunchtime for a nap and go to school sports days to watch them proudly throw their beanbag shotputs and foam javelins and look over to me to make sure I’m watching.
So even though over the past 3yrs, I’ve spent many a moment distracted and stressed out over my business, if I didn’t have it to turn to when motherhood got a little overwhelming, then I just may have gone bat shit crazy.
I might not have enjoyed my moments with them as much. My underlying anxiety and depression may have won out.
Do I regret spending so much time on my business when they were tiny babies? Yep.
If I hadn’t of spent so much time on my business when they were little, would I still have been happy? Nope.
The irrational mother guilt that takes up residence in your head when you become a mother is just that: irrational.
Because as a mother and an intelligent woman, I know I did what was right for me at the time.
So if you have regrets over how much time you spend growing your business while raising your children, just remember that it takes a whole lot of work to do either of those tasks.
And doing them simultaneously takes a crapload of organisational skills and abilities that you probably didn’t even know you were capable of.
Working from home, running a small business, working out of the house, not working. Whatever you regret or feel guilty for doing: don’t.
Don’t beat yourself up.
Embrace the PERSON that you are instead of the mother or worker you think you should be.
Then watch a funny cat video, hit like, scroll Instagram, connect on Linked In, Pin and Tweet that shit, take a photo of your lunch and write a blog, push a kid on a swing (preferably your own), play a game of hide and seek, go to the park, do a puzzle, read a book about farts and bums that make your kids giggle like crazy.
And then accept that all that stuff will probably take one week to achieve in reality. Don’t feel guilty and regretful of what you didn’t do.
Feel proud of all the stuff you did do.