work-from-home territory. Or I’m a stay-at-home mom who has her own side gig going. I went from not knowing how work life and mom life would intertwine to playing both of those roles simultaneously. I’ve never been a full-time freelancer, but then again, I’ve got stuff to devote time to outside of motherhood. In some ways, I’ve got the best of both worlds; in other ways, boundaries are really blurry and it can be tough to balance.
But I think there is another piece to my choice, one that I maybe don’t give myself enough credit for. It’s the inspiration behind working outside of motherhood, when I don’t necessarily have to. That comes down to choosing work you love. I love all of my work: I love being a mom, and I also love being a writer. Sometimes I have to draw a line between those two identities, but often times I get to draw a line around them both—this is who I am.
This year, my husband also created his own business; and let me tell you, it’s a big deal when both adults of the family are suddenly working for themselves. There are a lot of hard, scary, confusing moments. There are late nights, sitting side-by-side on the couch, typing away. And we’ve had to accept all of the ways our careers mean we don’t look like traditional families do.
Still, for us, it was choosing life first. For every late night we might have, there is also an afternoon where we can pick the kids up from school together. We can spur-of-the-moment decide to escape for the long weekend, and invest that time into our family. Not only that, we’re able to focus that work time on the things that we love, and that makes us feel happier, more whole—even if we have to sort through difficult stuff too.
I see this phase of our life as a luxury in so many ways. I imagine that it won’t always look like this; and when the time comes where we shift into a more traditional gear, probably the pros will outweigh the cons. When that time comes, to make that decision will still be to choose life—the life that makes the most sense for our family and the one where we can give our energy and time to something that we love.
The point is, no matter how tough, when you’re staying true to yourself, when you’re dreaming big and making the most of current opportunities, when you’re pouring into your family and your identity, it is worth it. It is worth it to find yourself there and to grow up together in those moments, whatever it looks like for you.
(Thank you, Sarah Noel. Image by Héléne Delmarie via Design Sponge)