Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Thoughts of a Work at Home Mom

If anybody ever asks me what I do, I always answer "stay at home mom."  Always.  It's just easier than telling people what's really going on.

But to be honest?  That's not the truth.  In all honesty, I'm a "work at home mom."  Which, in my opinion, is a completely different ballgame.

This all started years ago, before I worked at home at all.  Many of you know the story behind Sweetie Baby's Designs.  I hated the premade designs available for blogs when I started Lamberts Lately, so over the course of a couple of weeks, I learned how to design my own.  A friend saw my design and asked me to do hers as well, then another friend - and I realized I might have something here.

I opened up shop in the spring of 2009, and since, I've designed over 500 blogs.  The business has grown and evolved over the years, but it still lights that fire under me that it did when I started.  I get to express my creativity and help others share their story - who wouldn't want to do that? This blog has also grown into a job of its own too.  I talked about that a little bit more here.  It, like my blog design, has evolved.  But it, like blog design, is still a passion of mine - I absolutely adore sharing our story and things I love.

I kind of consider my lifestyle a hybrid between being a working mom and a stay at home mom.  In some ways, I get the best of both worlds.  I get to be with my daughter all day - which, by itself, makes doing all of this totally worth it.  I get to set my own schedule.  Decide what I want to do and not do.  It really is the perfect scenario for us right now.

But, I do see some of the not-so-fun parts of both worlds too.  There are definitely times that I have the mommy guilt and wife guilt of working.  I don't always pay as much attention to Emmie or Noah as I should.  It involves working some weird hours sometimes, including times that I probably should be spending quality time with my family.  Sometimes it can kind of feel like I'm never off-duty.  I don't want anybody to take this as complaining, because I'm definitely not - I wouldn't trade what I'm doing right now for anything.  But, like anything else, it's not perfect - it's life.

Over the past few months, my responsibilities for both the design shop and this blog have grown to the point where I don't think I can handle them during nap time anymore.  I typically spend 3-4 hours a day designing blogs, answering emails, maintaining the etsy shop, writing blog posts, submitting blog post drafts, and planning future posts.  It's organized chaos, I promise, but there are a lot of "behind the scenes" duties that some might not realize.  All of this doesn't leave a lot of time to cook, clean, meal plan - things I should be doing during nap time.

Thankfully, once again, the seasons of our life just kind of worked themselves out.  Emma Ramey is going to be starting a Mom's Day Out Program in the fall that will give me several mornings a week to work.  We were planning on doing this anyway to give her some time playing with other children and learning from other adults.  But, this way, I can work while she's gone and I can dedicate nap times to running our household, so I can spend nights/weekends where I should be - with my family.

I am beyond thankful for the opportunity to stay home with Emma Ramey and still provide for our family.  It really is the best scenario I could have dreamed of!  Even though it continues to grow and change, and it's not always perfect, I still love this life more than I could express.