A few months ago I decided to use my love of decorating and organizing to create a business where I would help others in their own homes become more organized, happy, and peaceful. My hope was that once the kids all went to school this fall, I would begin this new adventure full time. It was called You + Me At Home. All four of our kids will be in school this fall. The little boys are starting kindergarten which means, for the first time in eleven years, I will have more than two hours to myself as a stay at home mom. Feeling like I should do something while they're all gone, I decided this would be perfect! Far different from my former job as a teacher, this would bring out my creative side and allow me to make some money doing something I love.
During the spring and summer, I voluntarily helped a couple friends with their homes, to see if I even liked decorating other people's homes. Guess what? I didn't like it as much as I thought I would. Turning my love of decorating and organizing into a job made it feel like a job, not something that makes me feel fulfilled and peaceful. The stress of wondering if my clients liked my work, or were willing to go with my suggested changes was taking all of the fun out of it. Sure, I love helping friends with design dilemmas, but I don't want to get paid for it.
I hastily created a business and a brand for myself at a time when I was stressed, tired, and feeling like a burnt out mama. Have I mentioned before that I tend to do this when things get tough? My favorite example of this was right after Mila died. It was only a few months after her death, still up to my eyeballs in grief and completely erratic emotions. I went to a multi level marketing party at a neighbor's house where a mom like me was selling beauty products. She made it look so fun and easy! I was at a time in my life where i needed fun and easy. I needed to feel normal again after surviving the most tragic thing a mother and family can ever experience, the death of our child and my own near death. I signed up, paid for my start up kit full of products, and had a party at my house. I went to a team meeting to learn the business and sat there thinking, "What the hell am I doing here? I just lost my daughter and I can barely make it through the day as it is. What makes me think I can sell beauty products?!"
I laughed with other bereaved parents about that one. Grieving parents like me, who did things like sell their home, buy cars, get divorced, all in the early days after losing their child. Grief is wild and unpredictable. It is wise to not make any major life decisions when you are going through deep grief, take it from me.
You + Me wasn't exactly hasty. It has been a brand and a vision I've had for a few years now. Whether I was selling essential oils, home design tips and services, or parenting advice, it still is something I love and want to use in some way, some day. But the day I decided to create a business page on Facebook and start selling myself as a decorator was a tough one. My kids were driving me nuts. I felt overwhelmed, undervalued, and stuck caring for my kids when there is more to me than just being a mom. I wanted to be anything but a stay at home mom. I wanted to escape. I still feel overwhelmed, but I realized jumping into a new business, or back into teaching, or into anything more than a yoga class here and there, is just too much right now.
I'm grateful for the time I've had this summer to appreciate my children, to notice the times when I feel overwhelmed, overstimulated, and undernourished spiritually. I am coming into a new season, I can feel it. A season where I find Laura again. Laura the mother. Laura the teacher. Laura the creative. Laura the yogi. Laura the sober friend. I think that's enough for now.