Monday, May 3, 2010

Everyone should have a "side-gig"

I worked outside the home for many years. My first job when I was 15. The alarm clock started my day for 18 years after that. At 33, I came home from work to become a stay-home-mom. Little did I know my alarm clock would now wake me up several times a night, and "clocking-out" would be a thing of the past. My new job was a 24/7 round the clock gig. I wouldn't trade staying home with my 2 girls for anything, but there was definitely something to be said for being able to get dressed up and have adult conversation.

I remember one day in the winter, one of our rental properties needed the ice which had frozen on the top of the flat roof broken so the drain spouts could work. I hauled my truck and ladder down to this property, put on my rain gear - (rain and snow were blowing sideways it was such a blustery winter day), I climbed on to the roof with my shovel, breaking the ice and shoveling snow off the roof. My phone rang, I noticed it was my husband so I climbed down off the roof and went into my car where it was easier to hear him. I could hear in the background the sound of a nice restaurant, complete with water glasses and clinking ice, soft jazz music and conversation. I remember being frozen to the bone, soaking wet and thinking "I used to go to those nice lunches with clients...". My lunches now came in a paper bag with a a toy. I couldn't remember the last time I had my water in a real glass with ice and a lemon for lunch. I missed the "schmoozing". No one schmoozed me anymore. Safeway wasn't taking me to lunch to get my grocery business. The dry cleaners weren't bringing me doughnuts on Fridays as a way of saying "Thanks for your business!". My "nice" clothes now were ones without mac and cheese stains on the sleeves. I felt fancy when I put my velour matching sweat outfit on. I never thought I'd miss pantyhose, but thinking about a skirt or pantsuit with accessories, a little perfume and high heels made me miss the working world.

Another time I started to miss the working world was when I went to Palm Desert with my husband for one of his conferences. All day, hundreds of people were in this conference while I enjoyed a little quiet time by the pool. It was great for the first day, but soon I found myself missing the motivation. I used to leave conferences like that so motivated! My brain and soul would be re-charged and I would be ready to climb the ladder of success! Mom's don't have those kinds of conferences. No one gets you fired up to do another load of laundry or more efficiently fill that dishwasher.

Coming home from work and raising kids, maintaining a house and feeding your family can be a thankless career. We all know this. There will be no award show for "Best Mom or Cleanest House". We sit in our velour sweatsuits watching the beautiful people reward and stroke themselves for jobs well done. So what would it take to feel like you have bigger goals and dreams than to just get caught up on the laundry and ironing? It's easy to lose yourself in a world where you spend serving others. It's all about them - happy children and husband. Clean house and food on the table. Even when you are seemingly caught up, you turn around and find someone spilled juice on the floor or left fingerprints on the stainless fridge. Toilets need scrubbing, showers need cleaning, floors need mopping and sweeping, the carpets need vacuuming, the weeds need pulling, there is dust on the dining room table and more dishes are piling up in the sink. Let's not even look at the garage.

For me, starting a home based business was not just about the money, it was about me. It was an opportunity to get out a few times a month, to a get together with other women, dress nicely and have some adult conversation. I would use the money I earned to hire a house cleaner every couple of weeks. This gave me such joy. There is something musical about hearing your vacuum running, and knowing you are not behind it. When she leaves and my house sparkles, I want to cry. This is my win-win. If nothing else, earning the extra cash just to be able to have my house deep cleaned a couple of times a month is SO worth it.

I would encourage every stay-home-mom to find a home based business. Mine is Scentsy. Yours might be make-up, jewelry or even Amway. Whatever it is, find something you are passionate about and go enjoy yourself. Do this for you!

1 comment:

  1. I came across your blog through Our Suburban Cottage. Great post, very inspiring. I'd love to have my own business, it's helpful to see that determination pays off.