Balancing Business and Family: Why I Work From Home

Hello everyone and happy Wednesday to you all! I believe Sarah is going to get our WWWW up later tonight so make sure to check back as we have a little “guest” polyvore for you, which I think you will enjoy! :) In the meantime, I would like to share a little bit of my heart with you all if that is ok? :)

A couple of weeks back, I shared my view on balancing business and family and what I did to “try” to make my home business jive with my loved ones here at home. I had several lovely comments from you and I enjoyed interacting with you! {BTW…that is the VERY cool thing about wordpress is the reply in the comments section, don’t you think?} I had several of you ask me if working for yourself and from home is so much trouble and still takes me from my kids some, why do I choose to do it? I thought it was a wonderful question and since it was one I didn’t cover much in the first post, I figured I should fill you all in on that! :)

So, why I choose to work from home… well, if you read my family blog, you might know that my family on my dad’s side has been self employed for over four generations now. My great grandparents were self employed, my grandparents were as well, and my dad was/is. Most of my siblings are self employed or do contractual work. So I guess you can say its in my blood, which I’m not sure is a good thing or not! ha. Needless to say, working for myself does not scare me like it might others. In fact, quite the contrary, I feel much more comfortable doing my own thing then following someone else’s playbook. Not that I am a rebel or anything {or maybe I am? ha!}, but for some reason God made me with the “can do” spirit and I much prefer charting my own course. It must be hereditary because bless my little Evy’s heart, but she is the same way. Determination does not run short in our blood stream. :) Anyway, I guess the first reason why I choose to work from home was that I was comfortable with it.

The second reason, and probably the main reason, why I work from home/for myself is because of my kids. I know that probably sounds strange as I still have to send my kids to day care and I still work a 9-5 job so don’t get to stay home and just “be” with them all day. But you see, being married to a minister {they don’t make much money, in case you didn’t know, ha :)}, I always knew I would HAVE to work. I don’t have an option, especially if we want to live in California and live a half way decent life. I have had many minister’s wive admonish me for this, saying, “God will always supply”. And they are right. He does. ALWAYS. But he expects me to do my part…so if I can do my part while still raising my kids while working in a flexible manner, I feel very confident that I fulfilling what He calls me to do. Although I am completely aware this is not for everyone…but you have to follow what you feel God is calling YOU to do!

* Side note: one of my Mentors, a pastor’s wife, said to me recently, “A youth pastor’s wife told me one time, ‘I work full time so my husband can be in the ministry full time. I am doing my part for God’s kingdom.’ That young minister’s wife has the right idea!” I LOVED my mentor for telling me that!!

Anyway, when I first had kids, I was so stressed out how I was going to work as a teacher, stuck in a classroom, and still raise my kids. I mean, what was I going to do if my child got sick? It is very hard to find subs on the dime like that, you have to book them the night before to get a good one. I pictured myself sitting in a classroom while my kids where at their school throwing up and I wouldn’t be able to get to them. I saw the nurse at the school taking care of them and this bothered me.. SO MUCH. I’m not sure why, as now that I look back, I realize it’s not that big of deal, I could definitely find a sub last minute, lots of people do it and it works out just fine, blah blah. But when I looked at my little baby boy during those first 6 weeks of maternity leave, I knew I personally couldn’t do it. No way. So I quit my teaching job. And I decided to stay home full time and help my husband with his side business. Now that I look back, the feelings I was feeling was just God preparing me for another avenue of work, not necessarily the way it really was. :)

But after a while, it became very hard working for my husband’s business. I was tied to the phone, couldn’t help my kids if they needed me, felt frustrated I wasn’t doing more. Needless to say, it just wasn’t jiving for me. Brandon decided to shut down the fence company in December 2009….and in January 2010 Evy’s Tree fell in my lap. And it was a perfect fit. But as it grew, I became frustrated with it as well. The kids would run around like crazy people throwing hoodies and material all over the house. I was up until 4 in the morning sewing and would wake up at 7 with the kiddos. I was tired. I was braindead. And I was a horrible mom.

But I felt confident that God had put Evy’s Tree in my lap, so I had to figure out a plan.

So I asked two girls  from my church, who were sisters, to watch the kids at their house. This was an amazing family, one that my husband has known for over 20 years. I felt comfortable with my kids being in their care. And they live close to me, so if the kids get sick? I would be there in 10 minutes. I loved that. Once I got some sitters, my day went quicker. I got more done, and when they would get home, I was more focused on them. I was a better mom and I was still fulfilling what I felt God had asked me to do.

With that said, working from home {or for myself} gave me a GIANT amount of flexibility. My kids were sick? No problem! I just keep the kids home on those days and cuddle up on the couch with my laptop with them. If the laptop is too much for them, I keep it shut. If they need me at school to help out, I could do it with no paperwork to fill out, no forms to turn in, no clearance needed. The school can call me the day they need me and I will do my best to be there. Family day? Sure thing! No family leave necessary, just hop in the car and do our thing. Of course ipads have made my life so easy, just do whatever work I can while in the car or in line for food, sitting on a park bench…whatever.

So despite the fact that my kids STILL have to go to the sitters or that I don’t have any of the benefits of working for someone else, I choose to work from home because that is where I feel the most comfortable as a mom. It’s how I feel I can be the best mom possible while still working.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think working at home is for everyone. I don’t think that my job is more superior than anyone else’s or that you are a bad mom if you do something different than me. We all have to choose our own paths while child rearing. Doing what works best for you is THE MOST important thing you can do as a mom. But with that said, this is best thing for me now. If God changes my path again, I am completely ok with that. If I work for someone again, I will do it with a smile…but for now, this is what God has lead me to do. And I am happy. Very happy.

My crazy kiddos, getting ready for bed. Glad I don’t have to miss this. :) and ignore the mess on the ground. I had yet to vacuum that day. :)

And dropping Jake off at his first day of K4 {more on that to come! :)} Boy I look like my mom in this picture. ha. I guess the older I get the more I look like her! :)

So do you work from home or for yourself? Why do you do it? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Thanks for listening and happy Wednesday everyone!

xoxo

13 thoughts on “Balancing Business and Family: Why I Work From Home

  1. 1
    Chrystyna Johnson says:

    Side note before I answer your question… I don’t think I ever realized how long your hair is!!! OK, back on topic ;) I just accepted a full time job offer out of the home. I was in Corporate America until I got pregnant. I planned on going back because that’s just what you do (right? Ha). I had a bad pregnancy, got put on leave in October (she wasn’t due until April mind you), and by the time she was born I couldn’t even imagine going back to work. I stayed home with her until she was 2 1/2. Then her preschool asked me if I’d consider teaching there. My gut instinct was to say no. I kept saying no over and over and stalling on filling out the resume. I didn’t want to go back to work. I was enjoying being at home. And if I went back did I want to make peanuts (it’s a Christian preschool, so you know where I’m coming from I’m sure)? Wasn’t I better off just hanging out and enjoying the peace and freedom those few hours she was away a couple times a week?? The director kept asking though and it was like God was knocking me over with the signs. I went on the interview and got the job. It was great to be where she was and know I was giving back to the church and helping these kids learn more about God. Then this summer hit. I got a call about a job in my previous “life”. I laughed and said no. My husband found out about it and was in shock that a job basically fell in my lap and I just said no without a single thought. He thought I should see if the job was still available (about a week later at this time). It was. My stomach was sick. This wasn’t right. I work at the church/school. I’m not in Corporate America. My life revolves around the kid not the timeclock. I kept saying it wasn’t meant to be, but everything kept falling into place. I agreed to send in my resume telling myself that if God didn’t want me there they wouldn’t call. They called. Then the interview and same “if God doesn’t want this chat” with myself. Interview went great. Job offer came all while I’m still telling myself this isn’t what God wants. One night my husband finally said “How many times does God have to smack you upside the face before you realize this IS what God wants for you?” UGH! I walked away mad at him, mad at God, mad at life. I didn’t want to go back. But, he was right. The signs were all there. So, here I sit 3 weeks into the job trying to make myself realize this was the path I was meant to take ;)

  2. 2
    Dear Lillie says:

    I feel like I am reading my own life when I read your blog! I wish I could write like you do – this is so perfectly put, Amy!

    And you look so adorable! I never realized how long your hair was either. It is so beautiful!

  3. 3
    Kathryn says:

    I was a full time teacher the first three years of my daughter’s life and when we moved, we decided that I could be home with her. It has been the most amazing two years! I have loved every minute of being there and being the room mom. You are right about teaching and subs. If she was sick at 7:30 when I went in to get her… I was up a creek! Now that she will be starting school full time next year, I am trying to start my own photography business. I love taking pictures! It makes me happy and I love to see that I make others happy. I haven’t jumped forward yet as I am afraid, but I do pray that I get enough courage to do it and make it work for our family!

  4. 4
    Amber says:

    I was a SAHM mom with my firstborn and loved it. Kinda. I loved being with my son, but once he got older, I got bored. I was used to working and missed being out of the house. Fast forward 7 years and I’m working in Corporate America, and become pregnant with my 2nd baby. I initially had NO PLANS to go back to work after she was born, but had this “feeling” that I just had to. So, once maternity leave was over, I went back to work and my hubby became a SAHD. Our schedules work out because he works nights and weekends (as a preacher–haha) and I work during the week. Unfortunately, right after I went back to work, he was invited to preach a revival 4 hrs away from where we live. I had to stay, not only for work, but because Jon was in school. He took Ella. And that church basically adopted her. The ladies in the church cared for her (spoiled her rotten) while he preached and she has a second auntie and uncle (the pastor and his wife). I was stressed to the max about this…but it really did work out. My daughter is healthy, happy and still loves me madly. :) Eventually, I will be a SAHM again, and I cannot wait, but I am also glad to know that God has the ultimate best timing and He has it all worked out.

    A great post Amy!

  5. 5
    Heather G. says:

    Great post, my friend! I work from home, although it is part time, since my little business is so small. When I was pregnant with Leila I had an amazing job with the Convention and Visitors Bureau that I loved. I was looking forward to going back a couple of months after I had her. But then — she came. I knew there was no way I’d be able to go back and miss out on precious moments with my girl. I knew me not making any income was not a possibility (Tony wasn’t yet a firefighter) so Angel Face Designs was born when Leila was just a few months old. Now with two kids and a busier business it is definitely hard, and I do the majority of my work when they’re napping or sleeping for the night – when I’d like to be enjoying some ME time, but I don’t regret it for a single second.

    Great post, friend!

  6. 6

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  7. 7

    This is a great post…I am a SAHM with an Etsy shop as well, and I love it! Thanks for sharing your experiences!!! xoxo

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