I am sure I am not alone - but I can't help but feel that way sometimes - this week especially so. I am facing the dreary realization that I will soon have to leave my wonderful little 10.5 month old son to go back to work at my "job". Perhaps it would not be so distressful, so anxiety-provoking, if I liked my job more; if it wasn't so stressful, so back-breaking, so exhausting (emotionally and physically). I like what I do at a basic level (I help people when they are unable to help themselves) ... but I hate the politics, the physical strain because there is always a shortage of staff, the inability to get a day off, the thought of missing my son`s second Christmas and birthday, the stress of always worrying when I answer the phone that I will be told to drop everything and be at work in 30 minutes ... what will I do with my son when this happens?
I have struggled for 4 (almost 5) months to make Storks & Berries a successful business while I have been on mat leave. I have, essentially, succeeded. I am not losing money. The problem is that I am also not making enough to win the argument with my husband that we can afford for me to stay at home with my son and run my business. This is a grim moment for me as I generally always win arguments :)
I have been told it takes 5 years to have your business show a profit. 5 years! ... my son will be in school already ... Storks & Berries will have to do better than this. My goal is to run a successful business from home that I believe in, selling products that are environmentally responsible, so that I can contribute to my family`s income AND watch all of my son`s special moments. I have determination, a very strong-will, and motivation on my side. I am a Capricorn, and true to my zodiac sign, I tend to be successful when I set my mind to something. My mind is set - Storks & Berries will be successful (I have lots of ideas and plans to make it so!). I may not have had enough time to make Storks & Berries profitable yet ... but I will ... before the end of my next maternity leave.
I strongly believe that life is too short to spend much time doing something you dislike. I have a family to think about now though ... up and quitting my job at my whim no longer seems like as viable an option as it has in the past - my family needs a (safe) place to live, my son needs a backyard to play in, we need to eat. I will go back to work (for now), and somehow find the time necessary to continue to grow my business, so that my family can afford to have me stay at home with my son and run a business that I believe in and am proud of. I am, however, heartbroken at the thought of missing a day of my son`s life ... for a job that I get nothing out of except a paycheck.
What will I miss when I return to work? Will my son finally learn to say "Mama" when I am not home to hear it?
How will I continue to grow my business (something which I actually quite enjoy doing) to the standards that I have set for Storks & Berries ... standards that my customers have come to expect? How will I keep everything running smoothly (translation: perfectly ... as I am a perfectionist)?
I truly enjoy running my business, interacting with my customers, making Storks & Berries my very own - it is very rewarding - a great personal-growth experience. I love watching my son grow day-by-day, learning new things along the way ... that face when he finally gets something he has (apparently!) been contemplating. It doesn't seem right that I have to sacrifice moments with my son and my business to leave them both and do something I find so much less rewarding.
I write this for those who may be in a similar place in their lives and who may be reading this. I know I am not alone - there are other new moms (even some new mompreneurs) who are going back to work but who would rather stay at home with their babies. At this moment, however, as I prepare to write my "return-to-work" letter, I do feel alone ... even somewhat abandoned and unsuccessful. I know these feelings are emotional (perhaps even childish) with no bearing in reality ... but for this moment in time ... they are the feelings of a struggling new mompreneur, of a mommy waiting to hear that first "Mama", of a woman who wants to do it all perfectly but knows that even she has limitations.
Thanks for reading.