I never meant to be a stay at home mom. I was never that girl who dreamed of becoming a mother. At 13, I very seriously broke the news to my parents that I never planned to have children. I thought I would be really driven in a career and that would be my #1. I quickly learned life sometimes has other plans and after a cross-country move while pregnant, I realized people really don’t like to hire pregnant ladies. So there I was, staying home and pregnant.
After the baby was born, things got harder. I felt lonely and isolated away from all of my friends and my family. I had a baby who screamed pretty much all the time. I struggled with postpartum obsessive compulsive disorder (yes, that is a thing), which meant I was haunted by scary, anxious thoughts that kept me from leaving the house and showering, spending a weird amount of time checking and double checking all the locks in the house.
I forgot about having a career for awhile, but once I came out of the fog, I knew I wasn’t going to find fulfillment changing diapers, making homemade baby food, and throwing Pinterest-worthy birthday parties (major props to the ladies who love this). The next few years were spent searching for legitimate ways to make money from home. If you’ve ever done that before, you know there are some seriously weird things out there. I tried surveys, answering questions via text, blogging, a MLM, a handmade sewing business, and cold calling sales, all with varying levels of success, but never making much more than $1000 a month.
I also applied for jobs again. Everything I found either didn’t pay enough to cover daycare costs, or they sent me a “we had many qualified candidates” letter. If I had a dollar for every time I got a letter like that, I’d make more than I did in any of my little at-home side gigs!
I have a master’s degree, y’all. Not that I’m too good to work – definitely not the case. You just don’t expect these to be your options when you go off to grad school. And when you have loans from grad school staring you in the face, you really hope to be able to earn more than the minimum payment each month.
About 3.5 years ago, I finally put my master’s degree (in counseling) to use and created my own opportunity as a life coach for women. I was driving down the road, listening to a business development podcast that was interviewing a therapist who had become a life coach, and built this incredible online business with multiple coaches. I immediately pulled over, looked her up, and emailed her to see if she was hiring. She was. She brought me on her team, trained me to coach, and gave me a steady stream of clients. The more I coached, the more I realized my passion was helping other women create their own opportunities that married their passions and skills and *actually* made real money. I decided to start my own business helping moms build online businesses, and now I’m making more than I ever made in my pre-baby 9-5.
I want you to know that all of this is possible for you. I want to encourage you that you don’t have to settle for something. Every single weird little job I had in the past 10 years was a stepping stone and I learned something from every single one – but don’t feel like you aren’t worth pursuing something you truly LOVE. Don’t feel like you can’t be successful doing it. You can.
I used to believe that success wasn’t for me, that it was only for people with “Woo” in their top 5 on StrengthsFinder, or that it was only for people with large networks, or that it was only for people who were willing to call everyone they knew with a “fantastic opportunity.” I used to think that $1000 was all I could ever make in a month, from home, with my kids. And I used to think that having kids had meant accidentally throwing away my opportunity to have a career I loved, that fulfilled me, and made me lots of money.
All of those things are lies. If you’re holding onto beliefs like those, yours are lies too. Making money, from home, doing something you absolutely love and are fantastic at is within your reach too. Let’s do this, sister.