I struggle with my need to make my own big-girl money. Being a stay-at-home-Mom is never what I had envisioned for myself. There's no paycheck for it, and a paycheck is something that has always brought me a sense of self worth. Maybe that's shameful of me, but it's true. Since before I could drive a car, I had a job. I could pay my own bills, buy my own clothes, and I didn't have to ask anyone for anything. When my oldest son was 6 months old, I landed what I thought was my dream job AND it paid me about twice as much as any other job I'd ever had before. I thought I'd made it big. Then I spent the next 6 and a half years working 12 hour shifts while someone else watched my kid. My son was 7 and I'd missed most of it. This is when most people would have had a serious reality check. And I did, but not in the way that I should have. I planned and saved big time before giving my notice at that job, and did so with a grand vision. I could work from home, be my own boss, make my own hours, start my own business from the ground up, and do it all while being with my kid.
That was 2 years ago. In those two years I did exactly what I set out to do. I started a business from home. And it took me the entirety of those 2 years to have another reality check. I was being selfish. My husband and I had done the math. It was going to be tight, but we could afford for me to not work. My sole responsibility could be my kids. And I started a business anyway. I spent most of our savings on it. I went twice to out-of-town craft shows that both cost me more than I made. And I sacrificed time with my family for an unnecessary, and quite frankly, pretty miserable paycheck. My oldest son is now 9, and my youngest turned a year old in July this year. I feel like I get a do-over now if I quit while they both still like me.
This was not a decision that was made lightly. My husband and I have been batting ideas about this back and forth for many months now. We've played devils' advocate with each other, discussing the pros and cons of different scenarios. What if we cut it back to only Etsy sales and wholesale, and no more farmers markets or travelling to shows? What if we cut it back to just one or 2 products? Would it even be worth it then? What if we went back to printing our own labels? Would it work then? Ultimately the answer was No. No, it's not worth it for us. For someone, it is, but not for us. There have been many hysterical crying fits about wasted money, loss of a business that I worked so hard to build, and honestly, loss of my identity as a member of the workforce. But I really just needed to get over myself, and be OK with having a job that didn't pay me with my name stamped on an official paycheck.
I am still planning on attending the Queen City Craft Bazaar as a vendor in November. I'll keep my Etsy shop open through the Holiday season, or until all current inventory is sold. After that time, House 54 LLC will cease to exist, and the New Year will mark the official commencement of operation stay-at-home-mommyhood.
Thanks for stopping by,