The plan was never to be a work at home mom. When I got pregnant with Pacey Claire a mere year after we had gotten married, we pretty quickly decided I would stay home. I wrestled with the idea of no contributing financial for a while, but – as you’ll hear me say often – I am married to one of the greatest men to ever live. He quickly pacified those concerns by reminding me of how valuable being home with our child is. About 6 months after Pacey was born, I started my wedding planning business. The business did pretty well, better than I had expected. But I need to make an internet confession – I never really worked very hard at it. I took in the brides that came to me through referrals, but that was about it. After Elliot was born, literally laying in the bed in the hospital holding her, I heard God tell me He had something else planned for me apart from wedding planning. So right there, with a few hour old baby, I closed my wedding planning business.
Two months later Magnolia Ink was born, and my passions were lit on fire. How had I come so far without knowing how much I loved helping others build their business and achieve their dreams and goals? Where had this unreal (and completely legal) high been all my life? Between Magnolia Ink and officially re-launching myself into the blogging world, I’ve honestly never felt so fulfilled in my life. But then came the guilt. Guilt about prioritizing business work over house work some days. Guilt about pulling my laptop out in front of my kids. Guilt about working late nights while Jeremy watched TV next to me in bed. So I started searching for a balance. Trying to figure out how to successfully do it all, which is impossible and left me even more frustrated than I was when I just felt guilty.
And then one day, amidst the chaos, I just said this is dumb out loud. This is so dumb that I’m making myself crazy like this. No one expects me to be able to do it all but myself. It was a definite turning point, but it took some more digging to really root out the lies I had let get embedded. So later that night I pulled out a notebook and wrote out the things I felt guilty about. It was a longer list than I had been expecting. And then I went to war. Some of them were easy to combat, but some took some prayer and stopping and listening for truth, and even inviting Jeremy in to help me figure out where I needed to land. I want to share some of them now:
Lie: I am a bad wife for choosing getting work done over dishes/laundry/cleaning/etc.
Truth: My dreams matter too. And my dreams are not completely comprised of the above. They include contributing financially and building a business and having a voice. My husband did not marry me to have a maid. He married me because I am driven and capable and fiery. He is fully capable and willing to help pick up the balls I drop in pursuit of my goals.
Lie: I am a bad mom for working in front of my kids.
Truth: My kids are lucky to get to watch me work. My children will grow up with a mother that didn’t let having children stop her from getting out there and getting what she wanted. My girls will grow up knowing that they are capable of an imbalanced balance and that they deserve to be married to a man that helps. It is good for children to be able to self-entertain, and I am able to know when enough is enough and spent intentional, precious time with them.
Lie: This isn’t a legit business.
Truth: Well, first of all, the taxes I pay would like to disagree. Secondly, who decides if a business is legit or not? You do. And you know, I’ve decided this business is legit. I work really hard, even if it’s in hour long spurts spread through the day. I have real life clients that I make an impact on with my work. I bring in a small but effective income. Yeah, I’m going to go with legit.
These were the three that I realized topped the list in the struggle. That I felt beaten over the head with daily. And some days I have to pull that notebook out and remind myself of the truth in light of the lies. But the most freedom has come from just letting go. Letting go of the bar I believe I’m supposed to measure up to that no one but myself set. Letting go of the lie that I don’t deserve this, that my dreams don’t matter, that I’m just here to pick up after everyone. That’s a bunch of bull, and sister – if you’re reading this, and that one stung a little, then it might be time to do some digging of your own. No one’s dreams look the same as the person’s next to them, so the path there isn’t going to look the same either. We’ve been talking about goals and dreams a lot in my instastories, and I just recently recorded a podcast about it that will come out on Thursday, and this blog just serves as another installment of the Blake Tour of Reminding You Your Dreams Matter. Whether your dream is to run a marathon and that means time away from your family to train, requiring your husband to pick up some slack; or going back to school which requires late nights on your laptop studying; or your dream looks like mine, and it looks like dropping a lot of balls to run a business while your crazy children climb all over you – IT MATTERS. Okay, I’m sorry I yelled at you and that this blog is longer than I meant it to be, but man I am fired up about this lately. I would say I’m done talking about it, but that would be a lie.