Thursday, January 12, 2017

On Staying Small in a World of Go Big - Notes on FMM in 2017

Being a work at home mom really is amazing and I am aware of how lucky I am to be able to stay home with Claire and follow my dreams of creating healing jewelry for amazing people....I know not everyone can do this and I am thankful that our lifestyle allows me this opportunity. However, this choice also comes with its flaws. It is HARD guys, truthfully it is. Towards the end of 2016 I hit my wall and was officially burnt out. My husband works so hard to support Claire and I - and sometimes I feel such guilt over it. So I pushed myself to be the perfect mom, the perfect wife, and the perfect small business owner. As demand for my products grew so too did the pressure I put on myself and my stress. It became ironic that the very healing items I was making to support others, was in turn, causing me stress and strife. Why? Because I put work first. I felt it was only logical to grow bigger, that the demand meant success, and that I needed to push myself harder to keep up with my growing clientele base. Thing is, no one woman can do that and still be an involved mother, loving wife, and have time for herself.

So what did I do? Well I stopped doing the things that made me happy so I would have more time for work, child, and husband. That was WRONG. Enter burn out, exhaustion, frustration, and sorrow. I realized that the answer for me as a small business owner is STAY SMALL - and that is ok. I am honoured that my creations are so loved and worn all around the world however I am choosing to say no more so I can say YES to what matters. I am going back to the roots of what it means to be a small business owner, an artisan, because to do otherwise means I would have to farm out my work to be mass produced...and that just is not the vision I have in mind for Full Moon Mothering. I want to be able to continue to offer you all artisanal quality creations, made in small batches, infused with my love - because doing so truly does bring me great joy! I love the beautiful photos you send me of your precious children adorned in my necklaces and I am honoured by the stories shared with me during the custom design process. Creating in this manner fills my cup and allows me to fill the cups of others so we can all lift each other up.

I stopped filling my own cup and instead was too busy trying to be the perfect small business owner. I put emails, jewelry design, and social media management before myself and my own health. I started to suffer from migraines, jaw pain, and became irritable and stressed. Yoga, one of my greatest loves, was put on the back burner because I felt I couldn't take an hour out of my day when I had so much work to do. So I stopped doing Yoga, and that is when I really hit my wall. Why am I writing so publicly about this? Because I get a LOT of emails from stay at home moms wanting to find a way to work from home. The number one piece of advice I can give is that it is HARD to be a WAHM (work at home mom) and a SAHM (stay at home mom) at the same time. We as a society forget that being a SAHM is a full time job in and of itself...we don't assign a high value to women's/mothers work and so we in turn as mothers don't assign a value to what we do. We feel guilt. We feel pressure. We feel the need to be perfect and do it all, because it looks so easy on Instagram after all! I am here to tell you that it is not easy, but it can be done. Set boundaries, practice self care, and don't stop doing the things that bring you true joy. What you do as a SAHM does have value, it has immense value. Know that.

I knew my work load had gotten too big when I stopped doing the things that I love, the things that bring me joy and are just for me. Mothering brings me joy, cooking brings me joy, running a loving home brings me joy, creating healing jewelry brings me joy...but all of these things are done for others. SO I sat down and wrote a list of all of the things that bring me joy, for me, myself, and I

Watching Documentaries
Hiking in the woods
solo coffee dates with myself

I looked at this list and realized that with the exception of gardening and reading I had let everything else fall away. I talked a lot about self care, but I wasn't taking very good care of MY self. So I have scaled back on my little shop, making it even more little, so I can focus on some big personal changes for me. I am strictly working on custom design services, and will not be doing any HUGE shop updates in the foreseeable future. Instead I am going back to small batch, love filled, artisanal creations...and I will no longer start answering work emails before I have even brushed my teeth or drank a hot cup of coffee. Since coming to this realization I have watched 4 documentaries, crocheted 2 hats (working on a 3rd), and have started a regular yoga practice once more. I can honestly say that I feel happier, lighter and ironically MORE productive when I sit down to work. I am more in touch with my intuition and healing side, and am able to bring that positive energy into the custom creations I make. In short scaling back and going small has brought BIG positive changes to Full Moon Mothering.

So whats my point? Write a list, just like I did. Write down as many things as you can think of that make you happy but you haven't done in a long time. Pick three of those things and aim to reintroduce them this month. Then see how you feel.

Its ok to put yourself first. Its ok to say no so that we can say YES to what matters more.

Don't feel guilty

You deserve it

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