Posted by LIZ JOY / Thursday, August 21, 2014 / 3 Comments /
NEWSPAPER FEATURE AND MY THOUGHTS ON MOTHERHOOD AND LOOKING IN
You can't imagine my excitement when I woke up on Wednesday morning and saw my face (along with little B) on the cover of our hometown newspaper! Of course I had known I would be in the paper, but seeing it in the flesh was really cool. The Stamford Advocate did a feature on how I turned my experience with motherhood into a launchpad to leave my job and start my own home business to have somewhat of a balance between staying at home with my son and working. I'm so fortunate to have been able to take a risk like that, and I can't go on without recognizing my husband and his un-dying support, and my family who have helped us in more ways than you can imagine. I obviously couldn't do this without them. Also, my dear friends and all my social media peeps who "like" and encourage me along this crazy motherhood/working girl path I'm racing on.
I feel very fortunate to have something I'm passionate about, or better, to have realized what it is I am passionate about outside the home. I LOVE graphic design, art, stationery, paper anything. I love hearing inspiring lyrics or quotes and turning them into an art print so others can be inspired, too, I love creating beautiful invitations that set the stage for the awesome party one is throwing for a joyful event. I love staying on top of trends and creating them in my own version on paper. I love painting. And most of all, I love sharing it all with YOU.
I truly believe we all have a passion, an energy that's inside us, that needs to come out. For me, it's this visual creativity that if didn't get out, would fester and probably turn negative and scary somehow. For others, it may be gardening, or cooking, or baking, or even crunching numbers. I feel that it's so important to look inside and figure out what your "thing" is, and if you can turn into a hobby, you're lucky, a career, you're GOLDEN.
Motherhood is amazing in so many ways, but it takes sacrifice and a lot of hard-decision making to get it right, or at least get it going on the right path. While on maternity leave, I was faced with a monumental decision. Do I go back to a job that I like, but definitely not in a passionate way, or say goodbye and try and make this passion I have work for me to make a little extra loot for our family. Again, with the support of my husband and family, I was able to take that risk, I obviously couldn't do it without them.
One year later, the reality of my balancing act is... it's always about to tip. I get a lot done while he naps, I work like a crazy freak. The laundry doesn't get done like it should, I don't cook like I used to, the house is more often than not a complete mess, but I do get to spend a lot of quality time with Brian. I've been there for him almost every minute of his first year of life and that is something I will cherish forever, and hopefully he will, too (probably not). There are days when it's hard, like when he doesn't nap, is miserable teething and I have customers emailing me like, "girl, where is my sh**, it's been two weeks". And the toddler, walking thing, holy SH*. Sometimes I call Brian and say, "I'm going back to work, I can't take this anymore" but he lovingly and generously talks me off the ledge. Sometimes when my mom comes over, I break down and cry to her. With that said, I'm extremely motivated to make this work and will keep at it as strong as I can to see where it goes. Bottom line, I love it, and I love being a mom so I feel like a hit the jackpot with the whole motherhood/career thing.
Also, side note, my mother just retired and lives literally a minute away so this has helped in a HUGE way. She is so great with Brian and babysits for me now, a lot. The business is able to function because she's there to help, and with a toddler running around, I don't know if I could continue without her help.
While I was being interviewed, my goal was to inspire others who were in a similar situation as me, facing the incredible life decision on what to do after baby. We live in such an expensive area (for Fairfield County readers), it's hard to get by on one salary, especially for young families who are just getting established. I would love it if some of the women reading the article took what I said to heart about looking IN (forget "LEAN IN" for a second) think about what you love, and see if there is a way you could try and make it work. Even if it's on the side, or during your lunch break at work, start exploring and get inspired!!!!
LINK TO ARTICLE (in case you feel like reading it after my really long post)
photos by Lindsay Perry for the Stamford Advocate
Thursday, August 21, 2014