At age 23 (and before the pee stick of 2015), I was working in Corporate America, using my degree in Public Relations. Despite the stressful hours, I was feeling pretty smug about my career path. I was a ripe-from-college newlywed (hello, 2014!) and was pleased with the way life was adhering to my life-plan (I’ll admit it - control freak alert!).
I’m sure you all know where this is going. It turns out “just this once” has a way of turning into a positive pregnancy test, quickly transplanting you from the newlywed category and into the expectant mama ranks. Ready or not, congratulations! I’ll admit to you mamas that I didn’t feel at ALL ready to be a mom. Slowly, I packed away all my size 2-4 pant suits and cute dresses, got used to nothing looking or feeling good, and eventually had to quit my job because the stressful hours did not agree with pregnancy exhaustion. I gained 60-70 pounds with pregnancy (I stopped looking at the scales after 60), didn’t recognize myself in the mirror, and completely lost my identity. Who am I withoutmy job, my looks, my title, my latest project, my ambition?
From Everything to NOTHING
I knew I looked good on paper (before baby I’d never been turned down in an interview), and so I tried to get a few part-time jobs late in my pregnancy. But no one seemed to see me anymore. They just looked down at my stomach and gave me the shortest interview of my life.
So from months 5 to 9 of pregnancy, I was a stay at home mama with no babies. Finances were tight. I felt guilty about being home while my hubby worked overtime, but was at peace about letting God take control of my life. I spent my time just a growing a baby and growing a love for a tiny little hiccuping girl that had yet to arrive but had already completely changed mylife.
From nothing to EVERYTHING
When Ava was born, life began for me. You moms know - there is nothing like holding them against your chest for the first time. The first three months of her life were so precious and again, unlike my former ambitious self, I had no desire to work in or outside the home. Her very breath was and is my everything. Time at home was surprisingly wonderful.
But at 3 months postpartum, I wanted to work. My MIL wanted to watch the baby, I was losing weight and energy was coming back - it was the perfect arrangement. The only problem was that despite trying multiple brands, Ava refused to take a bottle from anyone and would only breastfeed every 3 hours.
Putting Yourself out There
So I began looking for a job that would hire me to work just two hours at a time. I did not want to sell products to my friends, so this job hunt quickly felt IMPOSSIBLE. Determined, I applied for so many jobs outside of my qualifications and degree…and was rejected. All employers could see was a baby on my hip - and they didn’t think motherhood was an asset. It was pretty discouraging.
I started praying about it, and said, “God, you have given me the desire to work for some reason. So you’re going to make it happen.” Since I knew this, it gave me the confidence to put myself out there. Repeatedly. And in a million different ways. I was going to work from home, so I called myself an entrepreneur, started a blog about how to make money from home, and then did whatever it took to make money from home - even if it was clearing out my closet for pennies. Those pennies added up and I made $1,000 in my first month from home, with no job.
In the meantime, I had started applying for remote positions. I would come up with business ideas while breastfeeding at 2 a.m. I began trying my hand at DIY/Etsy-type ventures. I listed myself as a piano teacher with a home piano studio (I had a piano, had played for years, but never taught - why not start!?). I even tried to create a book for babies out of the diapers andonesies Ava had grown out of (it looked TERRIBLE). Basically, there was nothing I wasn’t willing to try!
Getting the Job!
Long story short, after a lot of putting myself out there - I was offered not one, but two remote consulting positions with PR/Marketing firms within the same week. Moms are the #1 consumer and decision-maker of purchases. Both companies view my being a mom as an asset and are willing to work around my breastfeeding schedule. They also let me work as little as 10 hours a week and would love me to ramp up my hours when I’m able. In the meantime, my piano studio took off after listing it on Facebook Yard sales and I was teaching 9 students a week. I had to start turning students down because I was too busy. It was starting to look an awful lot like I had my own business! Not so impossible after all, eh?
My Business Today
This is my story today. My baby is 6 months old (when did that happen?) and we’re just starting her on solids. I’ve lost 50-60 pounds (again, not really sure about the starting weight) just by changing the way I eat (but as I write this I’m munching on popcorn - oops!). Between the hours of 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. I work ~20 hours every Mon-Thurs with PR consulting. I’m an Account Manager for Spanish Marketing and an Operations Manager for Women Entrepreneurs. I teach around 4 hours of piano every Mondayand Tuesday night. I give myself off on Fridays to run errands/do appointments and play with my baby. I blog on Saturdays. I’m seriously thinking about starting an LLC. I. love. my. life.
Stay tuned... because tomorrow we are going to release this stay-at-home-working-mama's HACKS, on how to work from home and make money doing it....