I am on a journey to live a life I love and to fill my life with the things that truly bring me joy... my dream job, loving relationships, financial abundance, a healthy mind and body, and a deep spiritual connection with all that is. I am living consciously to create a life filled with all the things I love.

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Sunday, October 9, 2011

Working Mom vs. Stay at Home Mom?

This is the big question that all new mothers face. Should I go back to work or stay home and raise the baby? For some women, the answer is very simple. They love their job and want to go back to work as soon as their maternity leave is up. This is the rare breed of women who have already found what they love to do in life. For the rest of us, the answer is much more complicated.

Most women I know make a choice based on their finances. Some say they have to go back to work because they need their income to help support the family. Then there are others who think it's better to stay at home because all the money they earn is going towards a nanny/daycare/care giver anyway. They would rather stay at home than give up most of their pay check so that someone else can raise their baby.

The women who work full-time feel guilty that they can't be at home with their baby more. The women who stay at home start to feel like their brain is turning into mush and they crave non-baby related activities and adult interaction. And then there are those who have made it work by staying home part-time and working part-time. And still others who have somehow been able to work from home. What is the ideal balance? Is it even achievable?

I have always known that I wanted to raise my children and have a career too. Don't we all? But, I didn't want to just have any career. I wanted one that fulfills my desire to contribute to this world in a meaningful way. The bottom line is that I didn't get this far in my journey of searching for my dream job to end up settling for a job that I'm only working in for money. I left that all in the past. I learned many lessons on how chasing money is NOT going to make me happy, no matter how much I am making.

Here I am, just like any other new mom, trying to figure out the right balance of work and being at home. But, unlike other moms that are in corporate jobs or at home without any options, my goal has always been to create my own business. And by business, I don't mean a franchise or a saleswoman for a multi-level marketing company. I mean a business that I can start from scratch--one that uses all of my skills and talents that I've gained along the way. Most importantly, it has to be a business that fuels my passion and helps me fulfill my life purpose.

Life purpose? But, what is my life purpose? Wouldn't it be easier if we just knew what our life purpose was? But, that's not how it works. We have to go through life, living experiences, positive and negative, learning lessons, growing, evolving, and noticing what truly makes us light up. Things that energize us are clues to what our purpose is. The painful and challenging experiences in our lives are also clues that point to our path. What painful experience have you overcome that you can now use to serve others? Our life purpose is about service, after all. Impacting the lives of others in a positive way. Dig deep. Reflect. It's there and it will come out when it's ready.

I'm beginning to find my path. For so much of my life I have wanted to do so many different things. That's not the way to build a business. It's about focus. So, I am focusing my life now. I am bringing in all the aspects of myself and merging it into one. I am bringing in my different websites and consolidating it into one brand. One me. It is from that launchpad that I will grow my business.

My answer to the question of a working mom versus a stay at home mom is some combination of both. I tried the whole work-at-home mom thing. I don't know how moms do it. So little gets done. When the baby naps, I need to do dishes, laundry, and prepare some food for myself to eat. Or it's time to shower, clean up the house, or check my email. Unless I can outsource all of those things, I don't know how I'll have any time to work on my business. I knew things would just be put on hold indefinitely.

So, I decided to experiment with a combination of staying at home and working outside the home. This was not an easy decision because we are trying to make it work as a single income family and I felt guilty hiring a nanny when I'm not bringing in income to pay for it. But, I need some time and space to think and come up with a plan.

As the saying goes, you can't make money without spending money, so this is one area I decided to invest some money in. I have a nanny on an as-needed basis. I am trying to determine what the ideal schedule for me is in order to make the most of my free time. As much as I am feeling the pressure of the nanny payments, I am doing my best to focus instead on what it is I'm going to create. What kind of business will it be? What services and products will I provide? And what is my first step?

I decided to hire a business coach to help me through this process because I was obviously getting a bit stuck. I needed someone to help me get clear. Lucky me, I found the perfect coach! I found several people along the way who have also helped me define my business a bit more, but my business coach is showing me a way that has worked for her and her clients. So, during the next few months I'm going to be making some big changes to this website and will be working on coming out with some new products, all based how I wish to serve in this world.

I share my journey with you here to inspire you on your journey to finding your ideal career, your purpose, and a work/life balance that works for your family and lifestyle. This is my journey and I will share what works for me. Right now I am experimenting with hiring my nanny for 6 hours 2x/week. Although some of that time is spent towards pumping milk and getting organized, I'm hoping most of it can be spent coming up with a clear plan for what I want to accomplish for the months ahead.

I am choosing to create a life I love...one step at a time.

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