From the time I open my eyes until the time I lay down, there is always something or someone that needs my attention. This is especially true because my youngest is a year old and that's a very needy stage. My little one is never far from me. Aside from the constant nursing breaks throughout the day, there's the silly songs, dances, and playtime. There's picking up the same toys over and over again because she throws them right back on the floor as soon as the last one is put where it belongs. There's refolding laundry because she yanked the clean piles down before I could put it all away. There's washing dishes with her hanging onto my legs screaming for attention. There's using the bathroom with her on my lap because she's found her way in and will unravel all the toilet paper if I set her down.
One of the biggest struggles my husband and I have encountered because of the decision to keep me home with the kids is finances. It is extremely hard to survive on one income when you have 6 kids. At the end of one very stressed out day, where my daughter had been exceptionally fussy and I felt like I hadn't gotten much of anything done, one well meaning friend said "have you thought about going back to work". My response came out of my mouth before my brain had the chance to stop it; "go to work, I can't even go to the kitchen for goodness sake". No, absolutely not. The answer does not require me to leave my baby. There's no way I can accept that solution.
The answer we needed did come though. Yes I did need to work, but I was presented with the opportunity to work from home. I became an entrepreneur. I have this new business and I'm pumped. Here's our ticket to financial freedom. I'm ready to rock, we are gonna crush it. I started out strong, but then the baby started teething. We weren't sleeping at night so my productivity faltered. I couldn't make phone calls because she would fuss every single time I picked up the phone. I used Naptime like I always had, to get my house work done, and she made it impossible for me to work while she was awake.
The one thing I was able to participate in was the live broadcast. I could hook it up to the speaker and listen while I took care of my home and baby. The message I kept hearing, from actually a few different sources was "don't let your reason for doing this to become the reason you can't do it". Logically I get it, I truly do. My kids are the reasons I want to push so hard to become successful. I want to give them the best life possible. They are also the reason I can't get anything done or anywhere in my business, right? I actually got angry for a time. Every live I heard was hosted by a male. They just didn't get it. Of course they can tune it all out, their wife is in the other room taking care of the kids so they can take care of the business.
It took awhile for me to see this struggle clearly. I was making excuses. I was using every thing I could think of to explain why I couldn't, instead of why I can. Honestly, how do I know what goes on in anyone else's house? I don't. I do however know what is going on in my house and when I stop and think about solutions instead of excuses, the answers always become crystal clear.
Why does the baby hang onto my legs screaming while I do dishes? It's the same reason she wails at the top of her lungs when I try to make phone calls. Attention. She craves my attention. She needs it. It's both comforting to her and how she learns about the world around her. Bingo. The light bulb goes off in my head. I'm doing this to create a better life for my children. What better way to ensure their success than to teach them how to create it. So instead of trying to separate work and being a mother, I need to combine the two halves.
So my days have changed a little. Yes we still have playtime and naptime. But instead of putting on a movie to try to take her attention off of me while I work, I gather my tiny entrepreneur into my lap. She gets her own notebook and pen. And we work together thru the afternoon. She has a toy phone she uses when Mommy is making phone calls. My housework still gets done with her running around destroying my progress, but I've accepted that. For some reason this particular child insists on showing me the beauty of choas. Yes there are still moments that I call Mommy emergencies. Those times when I truly do have to put my work down and take care of something. My attitude about them has changed tho. I no longer say "I'll get back to it later." Later is a time that doesn't exist therefore it never comes. Instead I tell myself "I'll go back to this at 6 or after kids go to bed, after I change the diaper". The point is I give myself a definitive time to return to the task.
Since changing my mindset, my productivity has skyrocketed. I no longer fill myself with excuses or false promises. And I have been rewarded. I love knowing that I'm giving my little ones an example that will take them far in life. And busy afternoons curled up in our chair together working, is such a comforting experience that I know will be one of my most treasured memories.
Katie Kephart is a wife, mother of 6, author, and a work from home entrepreneur. She's survived many major challenges in her life and has overcome great things. She is now committing herself to sharing her story and lessons with the world and we feel blessed and priviledged to have her as a valued author within our midst.
You can follow Katie on Facebook Here and Visit Her Primary Blog, where she shares her story in a compeling and thought-provokingly gripping way Here