Monday, April 27, 2009

WAHM Going Back to Work

Hello everyone,

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.


  1. Wow, that is sure a powerful post. Your strength and determination sure come through and I'm confident that Storks and Berries will succeeed in its right time and yours.

    Have you exhausted all options. Could you perhaps take on a partner who could inject some capital into your start up? There might be a silver lining in this that you haven't uncovered yet.

    All the best,
    Spicelady Tamara

  2. Hugs to you! You sound determined enough that you'll be able to quit that job in no time! Good luck!

  3. Your not alone you and I have a very simular store and in fact we have a mutual friend too Adina. I work outside the home but only a few days a week and it is hard for me but my Son loves to go and play with the kids. Please feel free to message me if you would like to talk more. Maybe we can do some cross promoting of our businesses our stores are simular but not completely the same.

  4. Hi Dawn
    I read your blog and feel your frustration. Returning to work after mat leave, when all you want to do is be a mother to your child is so very difficult.
    To make my very very long story very very short....I was determined to be a Work At Home Mom and have the life I truly wanted. To be able to schedule my work around my family, still contribute to my family and in the end BE HAPPY DOING IT !!!
    Here is the very very short part.....I hated the job I was doing and knew I had to make a change. I worked full time and ran 2 small home based businesses (esthetics {i was fuly schooled many years earlier} and purse parties...the purses started from my home salon and grew INTO parties). I did this crazy routine for 2 years, doing clients in the evenings and parties on the weekends, back to my ft job on Monday. Any FREE time was with my family so my son still had a Mom ! I am not going to tell you that it was easy and I still wonder how I even did it! My life was literally organized in my day planner but during this time I had a GOAL and a FOCUS that kept me going.
    I left my fulltime day job last June 07 and now solely do my esthetics and my purse parties, both of which continue to grow and have fully replaced and more, my ft job.
    I pick my son up from school, supper is made, I can take a day off to attend school functions, if my son is sick I am still home with him even if I have clients. I contribute, I am a Mom and I am happy!
    What I want to say I guess is to not give up. If you love and believe in what you are doing with your business..then it WILL WORK. Determination is the key. Everything has a path and for now this is the path you must take....YOUR time will keep your focus and what your goal is and you WILL be home with your son doing what you love.....Being a Mom and running your business....happy
    I hope this helps you in some way.
    I will for sure check out your website and please note me anytime.
    This is a great avenue to share with others...I love it !
    I wish you luck
    Hugs X
    Sharon Rollins
    Bliss Boutique