My Special Talent And Why It Hurt to Hear It

There is nothing quite like a gut-check from a 3 year old to start your day off right.

Our conversation from this morning:

Me (to the little who): Do you know what your special talent is?

Little Who: {smiles} No

Me: I think it’s making people laugh. What do you think my special talent is?

Little Who: {without missing a beat} Working.

 

OOF. That hurt.

In that instant, I was brought back to my senior prom when my mom couldn’t help me get ready because she had to work. Even though I still felt like a princess (due to my date’s wonderful mom dolling me up), I wished I could have shared that experience with my mom. With the Little Who at such a young tender age still, I hoped that I could get a few more years in before she had those same feelings. I thought I could effectively play the role of stay-at-home mom and work-at-home entrepreneur at the same time without letting one side merge into the other.

Not so, as I was reminded by an observant 3 year old today.

In fact, I wonder if my working at home seems to be more impactful than if I were to enroll her in full-time daycare and spend my working hours away. She could be free to play and not see me trying to juggle my workload around mealtimes and playtimes.

And oh, can I just say how much I love daycare? She attends daycare twice a week to practice social skills and she always has a fantastic time. I love having several hours to think clearly and focus on some tasks that need my full attention. However, if I were to put full-time daycare on the table, she would prefer to stay home with me and I’d prefer to stay home with her. (I blame it on our laziness. Who wants to get up and be dressed by 8 am?)

Consequently, she has had to learn how to play well on her own amidst my DMO (daily method of operations.) She accompanies me on Power Hour meetings, sits in seminars, can be heard in the background of all my phone calls and even loves to send Voxer (walkie talkie) messages to my team. I like to think I’m showing her that you can satisfy simultaneous passions in life. But it’s only natural to wonder if the lesson you’re trying to teach is actually the message you’re getting across.

In the back of everymom's mind is (1)

(the little who and I at a Prevention Plus seminar)

I still stand by my belief that being a stay-at-home mom and building a career are not mutually exclusive. I love being able to clear my schedule for  a day at the park or taking an impromptu trip to the bookstore. But man, that little conversation this morning really made me ask myself, “Are you trying to fit your career into motherhood or the other way around?”

 I’ve gotten into the habit of scheduling work appointments first and then adapting our day around them. I’m going to flip it around next week by scheduling our play-time/pre-school activities first and then adapting my work hours around them. I’ll let you know how that goes!

And to keep it positive, let’s assume she was just really telling me that I’m pretty darn special at what I do! That’s what I’m going to tell myself tonight :D

So, it’s your turn. How do you balance your desire to stay at home with your kids but still fulfill your career goals?

4 thoughts on “My Special Talent And Why It Hurt to Hear It

  1. Pam – Such a great discussion topic for work at home/stay at home moms. Balancing quality time with my little one and quality time to get work done is a daily struggle – or rather adventure – for me. So far, I’ve decided that there isn’t a perfect formula. We just do the best we can each day…some days/weeks I feel like my work is suffering because my little one is demanding attention, and other days/weeks I feel like I have spent too much time on the computer and not enough time with my daughter. And, yes, I have had a few of those “that hurts” moments too. Last summer, while in the middle a troublesome sales transaction, my daughter was taking a bath and I was on the phone or computer (probably all day too) and she grabs my attention and plainly tells me (at age 2) to put my phone away and play with her…ouch, that hurt. Working from home and being a stay at home, I find it hard to separate work time and family time some days. My little one goes to daycare twice a week, too, and that is helpful for both of us. As my businesses grow, I wonder how long I can manage this current balance. I love being home with my little so much, and I love working and having meaning outside of the home as well. It’s funny how even though the balance of these can be difficult and stressful at times, I wouldn’t want it any other way. So to all the work at home/stay at home moms… You are rock stars! You are making a difference in your children’s lives and in the lives of others. I would to here how other moms “do it all.”

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    1. Thank you Kristin!! It’s so nice to know we’re not alone! You explained it perfectly – it really is a day-to-day, fluid struggle. Some days, I’m like “I’ve got this in the bag!” and other days I think, “WHAT am I doing???” hahaha Thanks for the virtual hug. I’m so glad we can understand each other’s struggles! And you’re right. We are all rock stars!! :)

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  2. I just asked my 9-year-old daughter what she thinks my special talent is and she said I have too many, she can’t just pick one. So sweet!

    I recently read (I think in Overwhelmed – Work, Love, and Play When No One Has the Time by Brigid Schulte) that women who work part time, and especially those who do it from home, are the most stressed out workers because they don’t feel like they can adequately fill either role. It’s just too much.

    But, I think it’s important to show our daughters that we can be moms and pursue our dreams, though at times one gets more attention than another.

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    1. How sweet of her! My little one isn’t quite there at the sweet comments yet (haha!) But yes, I can totally agree that work-at-home part-timers could be the most stressed out. I find myself distracted by work when I’m playing and then feeling guilty for working when she has to play on her own. Achieving that balance is a constant pursuit of mine. :) But I, too, think it’s important to show her that she can achieve her dreams, even if it isn’t always smooth sailing.

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