Heather traded in her job as a civil engineer for a stay-at-home mom role and is now carving a new creative career as a blogger, working from home with two toddler-aged boys underfoot in the suburbs of Houston.
You could say I was a stay-at-home mom after the birth of my second child.
Stuck-at-home mom was a more accurate description of how I viewed my job role with the addition of my second child. Of course I am extremely grateful that I have the opportunity to care for my two children full-time, but it is a challenging role in itself. The transition from working full-time to caring for a new baby full-time was a big transition when my first son was born. So I assumed that the transition from caring for one child full-time to caring for two children full-time would be a small transition. But when it happened, it felt like I was tethered not only to my children but to my house with a never-ending “to do” list where dishes and laundry never get crossed off as completed.
I recognized that I was feeling a little deprived of some “me time”, which was resulting in a negative attitude about my daily duties. But the reality was that I had to give up that “me time” to take care of everyone, and my family wasn’t in the financial position to outsource any of my responsibilities. I was feeling more and more like just a keeper of the kids and house and less and less like the smart and creative woman I used to feel like when I was immersed in full-time work with free time dedicated to exercise and hobbies. My brain felt like it was in a fog, and I worried that I had lost the critical thinking skills I used to possess as I focused all my energy on my children and keeping the house running smoothly.
How did I free myself from being a stuck-at-home mom? When my youngest son turned 2 months old, I started a new routine. I got out of the house with my children almost every morning to exercise. I joined a StrollerFit class for a one-hour class at a local park with a group of other moms and their kids. It was a wonderful way to help me feel better physically and mentally, and my boys love going to the park and cheering me on. What is my message to other moms? Exercise is the best investment you can make in yourself because it improves how you feel physically and mentally. Find a way to incorporate exercise into your daily routine with your children by talking a walk or a jog around the neighborhood, going to a local park, joining an exercise class or a local gym. Make your workout your “get-out-of-the house” motivator.
How did I help myself sail out of the brain fog? I began a new hobby to engage my brain and to have a positive affect on our growing monthly budget for consumables. I started to focus on saving money at the grocery and drug store by taking full advantage of sales, promotions, coupons, and rebates. This new hobby was practical for me because I could do my research a little bit at a time as I had the chance throughout the day, and it was helping me spend less money on our normal purchases. What do I want to tell other moms? You have to make time for yourself and pursue a hobby that you are passionate about. I know how challenging it is even to carve out a small amount of time for yourself, but it is an important way to nurture yourself and express your creativity. Choose a hobby that you can enjoy in small chunks of time and that doesn’t require a large investment of money.
My new couponing hobby led me to discover an amazing amount of free sample offers. It was exciting to find out that companies that I was familiar with wanted me to try their products for free and send me coupons. I wanted to share my freebie finds with my mom friends. So, I started sending out an email. Well, my mom friends had to share with their mom friends too and my email soon started reaching over 100 moms across the country. I received encouragement to start my own website. I wanted to, but felt that there were too many barriers because I had no website design experience, no money to pay a website hosting fee, and no idea how I could pursue such a grand project all by myself. Well, with some nudging and steering from my friends I discovered blogging. This gave me a way to have a free journal-style website so that I could share my freebie finds with even more moms. My hobby became a business as I started making a small income from advertising revenue. All of a sudden I found myself telling people that I had found my part-time dream job. I was truly my own boss, and this enabled me to work from home on my own schedule.
What do I want to tell other moms about blogging? You already have the skills you need to start blogging about any topic you choose. Whether you want to create a personal blog about your kids as they grow up, or you want to blog about a hobby you are passionate about, I encourage you to get started today! I think you will find it an empowering way to connect with others who share your interests, and it might even surprise you by turning into your dream job.
I never thought it would happen for me, but here I am helping other moms get freebies on my blog at http://www.Freebies4Mom.com.
Please take this opportunity to share your thoughts and feelings with me.