Blame It On The Baby :: Did I Stop Being An Entrepreneur When I Became A Mom?

I just got home from dinner with Alison, the owner of Two For Two Cakes in San Francisco. When I was still dreaming the dream of growing Wishcraft Design into a thriving small business, Alison was my confidante and partner in crime. We attended workshops and seminars together, worked alongside each other in our homes and coffee shops. We bounced ideas off each other and discussed exciting topics like pricing, marketing, competition, bookkeeping and how on earth we will ever be able to shop at Anthropologie again.

I crafted these for a Wishcraft Design client.

Then I got pregnant. Which was the perfect excuse for me to shut down my business and blame it on the baby. I prefer to tell people who ask me about my business that I decided to focus entirely on being a stay-at-home mom. Truth is, I didn’t have enough clients to keep the business going and I had run out of ideas for client acquisition. Disappointment and feelings of rejection took over and got hold of me. ‘Failure’ seemed to be written all over my dream. Thankfully, we didn’t invest a lot of money – besides sacrificing the nice salary I earned at an advertising agency. And I managed to pay off most of my startup costs with the projects I had.

A flower arrangement created by Mrs. Thrasher.

Today, as my friend filled me in on the status of her biggest (business) project to date – the opening of her own shop – I began to miss my entrepreneurial times and asked myself if I fought enough. Did I give up too easily? Did my dream die with my business?

Even though I love being a fulltime mom to Emma, I miss that recognition and affirmation you get from a signed client agreement and paycheck. When your client realizes that hiring you was a smart decision because you simplified her life. When you look at photos of an event and know that you created something your client truly appreciated and couldn’t have accomplished without you. When I traded party planning for naptime planning and event decor for nursery decor, I thought I had stopped being an entrepreneur. Suddenly, I realized that my desire to turn my passion into something people want (to pay for) was just buried under dirty diapers and plush toys. In fact, tt’s still in me. (Or why would I use about any occasion to (help) throw a party, coordinate or decorate something?)

Turning my passions into (paid) projects.

I just need to find out how I can live out my creativity without compromising my goal to be a great mom. Because no matter how much I long to create, more than anything I want to seize every day watching my little daughter grow up, guiding her, shaping her and praying that my efforts will be fruitful.

Advice, ideas or job inquiries welcome. Do you have the entrepreneur gene in you? Are you a working or stay-at-home mom? How do you feel about pursuing your dreams while striving to be Super Mom? Or is becoming Super Mom your dream?

Stay-At-Home Mom :: A Job Description

A not-too-serious job description. (Get yourself a latte – it’s a long read but worth it. Promise.)

The position
The SAHM is charged with the responsibility of

  1. the care and development of a brand new human being,
  2. the care of the family dog,
  3. the maintenance and staging of the family home,
  4. the beautification and maintenance of self.

Some major tasks include:

  • Feeding baby healthy and balanced age-appropriate meals including fresh breast milk – bottled or straight up.
  • Entertaining baby with safe, non-toxic toys that spark creativity, imagination and curiosity.
  • Protecting baby from harm, pain and disappointment.
  • Assisting with hygienic care including but not limited to diaper changes, hair and body wash, ear cleaning, teeth brushing, application of moisturizer, sunscreen, band aids and ointments when necessary.
  • Teaching Sign Language and German.
  • Cultivating German traditions.
  • Executing the following activities: Soothing, singing, reading, educating, making funny faces, laughing out loud, commenting, demonstrating, disciplining, cuddling, kissing, carrying, strolling and gently wrestling.
  • Facilitating attendance of swim lessons, ballet classes, soccer practice and piano lessons.

Other essential duties include:

  • Present baby and her progress during standing meetings with pediatrician.
  • Ensure baby’s mile stones are met in a timely manner.
  • Provide feedback on baby and her development to all family members, god parents and friends who care enough to listen.
  • Maintain an online photo sharing site, a mommy blog, a Facebook page, a Twitter and Pinterest profile for personal aspiration and in pursuit of own dream to write professionally.
  • Show every attempt to keep up with a handwritten baby memory book.

Additional duties include:

  • Nurture existing relationships with close girlfriends.
  • Pursue and build new friendships with like-minded mommy friends.
  • Implement and manage efficient household budgets and processes.
  • Leverage and enhance culinary skills.
  • Create a clean, cozy and well-designed home for the whole family using houses featured in Coastal Living, Martha Stewart Living and House Beautiful as examples.
  • Manage communications with landlord, property manager, vendors and contractors.
  • Manage supplies and utilities.
  • Coordinate and research opportunities for family outings, trips and vacations.
  • Develop and explore strategies for additional (legal) revenue generation.
  • Create warm meals for hardworking husband and serve with chilled beer upon his return from the office while offering an understanding and welcoming attitude towards him.
  • Plan, decorate and host parties and events.
  • Remember and celebrate child’s birthdays, Fathers Day and wedding anniversary.
  • Execute date nights and other marriage duties.
  • Stay up to date on CPR and emergency preparedness.

Success of the above will be strongly dependent upon the SAHM’s ability to:

  • Build and maintain a healthy, loving and trusting relationship with her husband, her daughter, MIL, own mother and self.
  • Understand the husband’s need for respect.
  • Understand the baby’s needs for love, food and attention.
  • Understand the dog’s needs for food, attention and more food.
  • Understand that she will no longer have any needs.
  • Manage every family member’s expectations and forget her own.
  • Obtain from feeling resentful should Mothers Day not be celebrated with breakfast in bed, extra sleep, spa treatments, a gift card for Anthropologie and handwritten cards by husband and daughter.
  • Provide clear, precise and properly detailed description of own feelings to husband.

Required skills:

  • Seeking God, worshipping Him and praying to Him.
  • Previous experience in Motherhood & Parenting is not required but beneficial.
  • Degree from the Martha Stewart School of Everything is not required but also beneficial.
  • Knowledge of best (grocery) shopping deals, couponing and bargaining are highly preferred.
  • Strong comfort level on the phone, excellent organization, communication and interpersonal skills, to include networking, friendship building, small talking at social gatherings, play groups, and family functions.
  • Works well independently.
  • Is capable of working overtime with limited opportunities to feed self, sleep or rest.
  • Strong project and budget management skills to ensure that family activities and events are implemented on time and within budget.
  • Demonstrates gratitude towards husband for providing for the family so she can be a SAHM.

Benefits:

  • Spending precious time with baby, watching her grow up, never missing a mile stone, being present when she sits up, pulls herself up, cruises, makes her first steps, says ‘Mama’ for the first time or witnessing every other tiny new thing she does.
  • Strong attachment to mother instead of nanny or babysitter.
  • Feeling proud of what she does.
  • Most rewarding investment of her skills and knowledge as she teaches and raises her own child.
  • Opportunities for craft and DIY projects (pending nap schedules).
  • Flexible schedule (pending nap schedules).
  • Health insurance through husband’s employer.
  • Vacation without child and/or husband negotiable.
  • No sick days.
  • Choice of fuel efficient SUV with bluetooth and navigation system.

Compensation:

Contact:

Please send your resume, references, checks, words of wisdom and encouragement, prayers and offers to babysit to thrasherhomeblog [at] gmail [dot] com.

Opening Hours

I got some great feedback on my recent post about my revelation of being a stay-at-home mom. (Thanks to all my readers who leave comments! I appreciate your opinions. A lot.)

I guess my previous post about Spending More Time With Your Baby was more about my obsession with the internet. While I already managed to cut down my time in front of the computer, I’m obviously still doing other chores like cleaning the house, laundry and cooking. I’m just not doing that ALL day anymore. My priority nowadays is Emma.

However, I’m still getting sucked into this black hole called internet way to much. Therefore I’ve decided to introduce opening hours for myself. Let’s pretend Thrasher Home was a business. It wouldn’t be a drive thru nor would it be open 24/7. It would be like one of those small mom & pop stores in a small beach town with a lovely front door, a cute bell and a chalkboard sign reading:

Emails may be answered a day or two later. Gasp!

Open for Business

Mon-Fri: One hour while baby is sleeping in the morning and another hour while she is napping in the afternoon.
Possibly an additional hour after dinner.

Sat:  One to two hours while husband takes care of baby. Business may be closed if family outings are happening.
Sun: Dedicated to the Lord, not the Internet.

Every now and then said sign may read:

Back in 5 or 55 minutes.

Or:

Closed for family fun.

That said, in an effort to streamline all the tasks that fall under my job description as a stay-at-home mom and my attempts to open my own Etsy shop, I will only be available online for a limited time during the day. Shudder! Gasp! Crazy idea, huh? I believe this will be the solution to keeping track of the time I spent blogging, researching, writing for SIMPLE, tweeting, Facebooking, answering/writing emails, chatting, and creating Google documents for everything else.

As part of a major family project – which we will reveal soon – I am looking into sacrificing the data plan for my iPhone. Not a done deal yet but a serious consideration.

What do you think? Would ‘opening hours’ or scheduling the time you spent online improve your day or keep you from getting stuff done?

Stay-At-Home Mom :: How Much Time Do You Really Spend With Your Baby?

So, I had another revelation over this past Labor Day weekend: I am a stay-at-home mom. I mean, realizing that wasn’t a major break through. What I’m trying to say is I am a stay-at-home MOM, not a stay-at-home blogger or (graphic) designer or crafter or house stager or maid. Just as if I had a job outside my house in an office somewhere, I wouldn’t be able to blog or answer personal emails all day either. Or do laundry or clean all day while Emma chills in her play pen all by herself.

"Mama, Mama, come and play with me!"

Since I am incredibly blessed to be able to just be home with my baby and not having to work – neither from home nor part time anywhere else – I believe I should honor my husband and give back. He works hard and sacrifices a lot so that Emma gets her mommy all day. I don’t think Mr Thrasher envisioned for me to stay home but not spend lots of time with our daughter.

Instead of hiding my face behind my computer all day to write, blog, research, design, IM or browser window shop and then spend the rest of the day cleaning our house, I’ve come to realize that my daily activities should look something like this:

  • chase Emma crawling through the living room
  • make up songs whose lyrics make no sense whatsoever
  • make funny faces that would make you look ridiculous in photos but cracks your little one up every time
  • clap your hands a lot
  • play ball
  • explain what you do while you do it
  • make meal time fun and exciting
  • cuddle
  • go for a walk with baby and dog
  • cuddle some more
  • play music and sing along
  • give her plenty of opportunity to learn new things
  • talk a lot with her
On that note, I’m gonna log off now and get down on the floor to boogie with my baby.
What do you think a SAHM’s responsibilities are? Do you think she should max out the day with as much fun and play time with baby as possible? Do tell – we don’t judge!