I want to preface this whole blog post with the fact that I love my kids more than anything in the entire world. They are the reason I get up in the morning, the reason I do what I do. They are my everything.
However, running a small product based business, homeschooling two boys in different grades, running the day to day of our farm, keeping the house and trying to grow personally, whilst still maintaining my mental and physical health has proven to be too much for me at a number of different junctures in my life.
Don't get me wrong - I have help. I'm not sitting here writing this in hopes that you will start up the pity party and send it my way. My goal is to merely be real with you and help you to understand what is going on behind the scenes in my life. I'm generally always very forth coming, but when I'm struggling I tend to keep it all in because I don't think people need or want to see that side of me.
My business life starts to go a little crazy and sideways in September each year. It's the beginning of my busiest season. Last year life was already throwing lots of curve balls my way in my relationships with family and friends. I had to step away from some of them and realign with who I am and how I want to be. It's funny how you can be so shaded by the people around you and when you take a step away you can see things in a whole new light.
Doing that though, wasn't just as easy as it sounds. I struggled (and still do) with self doubt and confidence. I lost my self worth and sense of direction and most importantly, I lost my "why". I didn't know where I was going or what I was doing or why I was doing it. I was literally just trying to keep my head above water.
This was in regards to my personal life and my business, which are admittedly one in the same for me. My business is such a part of my heart and soul.
I have always been a bit of a hippie when it comes to "health", I remember a Naturopathic doctor saying this to me over 13 years ago "your health is your wealth" and that has stayed with me ever since. I say it to myself often, especially when I am being particularly hard on myself. If I didn't have my health I wouldn't have anything - including my kids or this business.
Going through all of this while trying to set a good example for my kids has been one of the most challenging things I have ever faced in my life and I'll be honest - I'm rarely winning. I have GREAT kids, the best in fact. They are kind, generous and mannerly. They are willing to help and they are sociable with other kids and adults alike.
With each other however, they are not so much. My oldest turned 13 in September of 2022 and my youngest just turned 7 in February of 2023. They are 6 years apart and while they are a lot a like in some ways they have two very different personalities.
My oldest loves to tinker with lawnmowers, four-wheelers and other small engines he also loves old trucks and mudding. He's growing out of the phase of his life where he plays with toys and he is turning into a young adult. With that, comes all the hormones and ups and downs of teenagedom! He loves to be sarcastic (no idea where that comes from 😅) and to talk, but only when he's ready. He gets the bulk of his energy later in the day making it difficult for him to get to sleep and resulting in him wanting to sleep in for most of the morning!
My youngest likes all the things his older brother does - of course - but in addition he is a true farm boy. He loves to help with the tractor, making the hay, plowing the fields, spreading manure. We call him the "little foreman", because he always has to have his say in how things should go. He loves to ride and spend time with the horses. He's up at the crack of dawn and ready to go for the day. He has big feelings and a huge heart.
They both go hard and love being outside. They are both intense in their own individual ways. Teaching them how to be decent humans is my goal in life. Second to making really cool stuff for horses! But, sometimes I get the two mixed up and that leads me to where I'm at today.
I have been trying so hard lately to level up this business, while dealing with the self doubt and criticism. I'm constantly "in training" if you will. I listen to podcasts on business and entrepreneurship. I do masterminds and workshops and calls with coaches. I consume as much as I can, as often as I can to a fault. I love anything business related. It sparks my fire, but it can also burn me out.
Striking the balance is where the difficulty lies. I feel guilty if I don't work on my business every day. I feel guilty if I don't spend time with or teach my kids every day.
At the beginning of 2023, I decided I needed to make a schedule for work and school to help me regain my equilibrium. In fact, it was my only solution for continuing on, I didn't know what else to do. It seems so simple, but this has really helped me. Mondays and Wednesdays would be my work days. I would have these days uninterrupted to make orders, updated my website, make my social posts, respond to messages etc. The boys would be with my mom on these days and they would complete any schoolwork there with her. Tuesday and Thursday would be homeschool days. These days I would do lessons with each of the boys and troubleshoot any issues they may have had while they were at my moms on the previous day. Fridays would be a free day, sometimes we would go out and do something fun, sometimes we would catch up on school work, sometimes we would do nothing and just be. Mostly, it's been working. I feel more focused and I have set days that I know I will be able to give my full attention to each of my passions. On the days when something comes up however, and our routine is disrupted I find it cumbersome to get back.
And that is what has lead me to write this post. Today is a Wednesday and was supposed to be a work day for me, but my mom needed to go to an appointment and so the kids were home with me. The appointment was last minute and so I didn't have time to re-adjust my day. I had my whole work day planned out, from the messages I would respond to, to the orders that I would make, to what I was going to update on my website and Etsy store. Then I had to switch gears and put on my teacher hat and get the boys set up and going. My oldest was struggling with his English lesson and my youngest just didn't feel like he wanted to do schoolwork at all! I just wanted to work and check off the tasks that I had in my planner. Needless to say, no one really had a productive day.
I feel that it is important to highlight the ups and downs of life - whether it's mom life, wife life, entrepreneur life, whatever - it is all LIFE. We are all struggling in our own individual ways to get through it the best way we know how. If you're struggling with something similar - I see you - you're not alone, you'll get through it. Keep your chin up and preserve.
Till next time