When we sold our house and went through 14.5 years of stuff, I was looking for an easy win so I started cleaning out a coat closet.  In my old painting coat pocket, I found something that made me cry – my boys’old pacifiers. 

Working Mom Guilt

Let me explain.

I started my painting company before I had kids, and then we got pregnant really quickly. I felt torn. My business was accelerating and went to six figures in the first year. It was rockin’ my friends.

But I was so conflicted. On one hand, I had three beautiful babies who I adored. I felt like I should be staying home giving them my every second.

And on the other hand, I had this really great, lucrative business that I didn’t want to give up. I had hired a team of painters so I was only away from home for two short days a week. But even that made me feel guilty.  

So, I put a pacifier from each of my boys in the pockets of my coat as a reminder to me that my real job was at home.  It reminded me to work very intentionally so I could get home where my real work was–with my babies. 

I didn’t even know where I fit in.  I was very insecure about what God was calling me to do because I didn’t see any other women doing what I was doing. They either worked full-time or they stayed home full-time. It was a lonely season for me.

I pretended for a long time that I didn’t even really work on my business much.  People knew I had a painting business, but I played it off as a little thing. They had no idea how lucrative it was and that I was working while I was at home with the kids. That’s what a work-at-home mom does. And the reason I played it off as a little thing was because I felt very judged by the full-time, working moms. I can remember a couple of my working friends hammering me with “So what DO you do all day?”. And I also felt judged by the stay-at-home moms because I wasn’t home or available 100% of the time. I DID work. (Perhaps none of them were truly judging me and I was just insecure.)

Gosh, I wish I had realized something sooner.

I was feeling incredibly guilty that I was working while raising my kids but I now firmly believe that kids need to see their moms passionate about SOMETHING other than just them. You are not taking away from them by spending nap times working or by putting them in childcare for a few hours a week. 

“Nothing has a stronger influence psychologically on our children than the unlived life of the parent.”

(In my podcast, I chat with Brian Dixon and he gave me that quote from Carl Young. You can listen to Episode 47 here – it’s a really good one!)

I’m convinced there are many women who are sitting home during the day with their kids — crazy bored and lonely out of their gourds. They’re probably feeling terrible about it, knowing they should be grateful instead. But they’re slowly dying inside because they really do want more.  

Listen, it’s ok to want more. I have often said that for some women that very thing they are painting, making and diy-ing is saving their life right now and they should notfeel guilty about that!

Said another way….

Your passion, your hobby-that creative, tangible output- is probably giving you purpose, drive, and excitement … and making YOU a BETTER YOU.

It’s ok to have passions other than just your family. It’s ok to have a side hustle that uses your talent and your brain. It’s ok to have a full-time gig that you love and enjoy. And you can still be a great mom in the process!

Your kids need to see you do big, hard, and scary things. How else are they ever going to figure out how to do it in their own life?

So, mommas, I encourage you. Embrace the call God has on YOUR life. Whether it’s part-time, full-time, WAHM, SAHM or somewhere in between…. be all there. And be proud of it.

#OhAva (my third child) helping me paint because I felt guilty being away from my kiddos those two short days every week.

If you found this helpful, I have a couple more articles and podcasts I’d like to share with you, the working mom:

I hope this blesses you and encourages you in your journey. You’ve got this! And you are NOT alone.

XOXO, 

Jen

PS – Get on the waitlist for the Inner Circle here – start growing and scaling your business no matter what stage you’re in!


GET MY BIZ Emails

If you’d rather listen: