Last week I quit my job. Well, technically I quit my job about a month ago but last week, I had my final day. It still feels bit unreal, but I couldn’t be more excited for this new adventure - to have more time with my children and my husband, and to make Little Castle Designs my main gig. I’m still grappling a bit with what to call myself. I don’t feel like stay-at-home-mom quite fits, as I will still be working, but my new boss is… ME! Should I call myself a work at home mom? Self-employed mom? I suppose the label doesn’t matter because I know what I’ll be achieving in practice - the ability to work for myself while also having the time to slow down a bit, instead of moving through life at an exhausting, breakneck speed.
For the past year, I had been working full time while my husband has been working a non-traditional work schedule including evenings and weekends. While he is awesome and helps out with childcare and housework as much as possible, the nature of his work schedule meant that I was going straight from work to being the sole caregiver of our children in the evenings and all weekend. There was no time for a break to go to the gym, or to go to the store by myself, or to even sit down for five minutes because I was always working or solo-parenting.
At the same time, I was also trying to juggle my sewing business and often sewing until well after midnight only to wake up a couple of hours later to start it all over again. Fun fact, you CAN add more hours to the day as long as you’re willing to entirely cut out sleep (I don’t actually recommend this). I suppose I could have cut the sewing out, but it often felt that this was the only thing allowing me to sustain this pace - a bit of time to myself in the wee hours of the morning, the hope that maybe this side-hustle would eventually turn into an avenue toward financial freedom, a creative outlet for my stressed and over-taxed mind.
Throughout all of this, I was struggling with feeling like I wanted more quality time with my kids, rather than only spending time with them while trying to do 10,000 other things, like making dinner, answering emails, cleaning the house, doing homework (the list goes on). Meanwhile, my husband and I had absolutely no time together, our schedules allowing for no days off at the same time. Add to this my rather inflexible work environment that was less than understanding of the inherent challenges in coordinating full-time childcare, and it was only a matter of time before I said, ‘Enough!”
Despite all of this, making the decision to leave regular employment in favor of taking my sewing business fulltime was one of the toughest decisions I’ve ever me. It was the subject of months of long discussions between my husband and myself weighing our family needs, our budget, and our happiness. The conclusion at the end of each conversation was that transitioning to staying home and running my business would be the best decision for us as a family, and for me personally. (It helps that my husband is my number one fan!)
After getting past the initial shock that I did it – I actually did it! – I am beyond elated to start this new adventure. While I know that it will be a lot of work, I can’t help but feel I’ve been fortunate to find a solution that is the best of all worlds. I will have more quality time with my children, but still have the ability to work, to explore my creativity, and take my career in a new direction, but I will also have the flexibility I’ve always craved to set my own hours and to figure out a schedule that works with my children’s needs. I won’t work any less, or less hard, I will just work differently – breaking away from the traditional workplace to build a schedule that allows for work, quality family time, and even some time to relax!
So stay tuned for more fun, whimsical, and sustainable creations – I can’t wait to see where this new adventure leads!