Thank you to all of you who sent me questions last week! They were super helpful, inspiring and insightful – much more than I expected, so thank you! One of the most frequently asked questions (FAQ page, material) from last week and life in general is: What do you do with your day now that the kids are in school, what is “work”? And I thought since it is asked so often and I haven’t really answered it yet (I talked a bit about it here but also, not really) it sorta deserved its very own post even if it is a little dry ( I mean, super duper interesting and exciting), but hey I spiced it up with an over the shoulder photo!
For me personally, last year was a huge year of worry and a big year of change. The “WTH was I going to do with myself once both kids were in school full-time” stressy feelings totally took over my thoughts. It was a transitional, searching to find myself type of year (but in real life there were many more swear words involved). “What am I going to do?” was pretty much all I could think about and generally I tend think out loud (right, husband?). I had been home taking care of the kids full-time for the past almost 5 years and I wasn’t sure how I was going to bring in income or feel career/creatively fulfilled once they were both in school.
The last time I had felt stressed and maybe even a tad lost in the same sorta way was when we decided that I stay home with the kids, instead of going back to work full-time. Not that staying home to take care of the kids full-time wasn’t the best decision of my life. It truly truly was, but I also really enjoyed working, producing things and being creative. Not having that aspect in my day-to-day gave me some anxiety. And that’s about when I started this blog, Harlow was brand spanking new, I had a 20 month old toddler boy and a blog, things were good (crazy busy) but it seemed to help fill that gap and I felt less anxious.
Then a whole 4.5 years later, I fell back into the stressed, trying to find myself spot when both my babies (oh the emotions!!) first day of full-time school creeped closer and closer. I searched for part-time jobs, looked at child care and full-time work, but in the end none of it seemed to be the right option for us. I decided to wait (thanks to good advice from friends) and see how things went, send both kids off to school and see how the first couple months not having them home all day, actually was. I had this blog that I loved devoting my time and energy too which was thriving and already providing a bit of income for my family, I had a small column at hellobee, and I had started working with some apparel brands offering my years of experience in apparel design and development on a consulting basis (working in fashion is what I did for a living before kiddos, you can see a bit more on my about page).
I’m not gonna lie, the first part of the school year was stressful (or me), I felt guilty not bringing in more money. But things slowly started to work themselves out, every corner of my “work” life seemed to be growing, probably because I had more undivided time to offer to it? Maybe.
So right now that’s what I do (long-winded answer) I work from home – it’s a complicated answer to a simple question. I even have a hard time explaining it to my friends and family (it’s not you, it’s me). I have what feels like, 4 “jobs” that I totally love: this blog (plus my product collaborations), hello bee, design/product development consulting and dreaming (I feel like this deserves it’s very own category) – and things are really great!! I’m not rolling in the dough, but I’m busy (a good type of busy) fulfilled, I truly love how I spend my days and who I get to work with and I have a clearer picture of where things are headed and I can almost reach some of my long time dreams (almost).
This whole transitioning as the kids grow and finding or re-finding yourself is a huge complicated topic and one I want to try to tackle in a more useful way. I’m trying to figure out a plan to do this, put together something that I would have found helpful and maybe inspiring when I felt stressed and lost. Now, wanna tell me what you do? Seems fair!