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How to be a Stay-At-Home Entrepreneur Mom

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Before I begin to share my stay-at-home entrepreneurial journey, some of you may be wondering, “Is this author a millionaire? Is she equipped to give advice? How come I haven’t seen her on television? Has she gone viral?” To answer all your questions, the answer is…I am just Tess, a stay-at-home entrepreneur mom who was crazy enough to dream and have insurmountable visions.

I have chosen to write this book because I am an expert in my experiences, and I want to share with you what worked and what is working for me. However, I am still on my journey. Please note: I stayed at home with my children and niece for nine years, and now my children and niece are in school and much older, ages 25, 19, and 12.

Here goes!

Walking away from my job in 2006 was tinged with the feelings of fear and excitement all at the same time. I had been working for three years as a middle school language arts teacher when I became pregnant and decided to leave and take care of my newborn, son, and niece.  After speaking it over with my husband and finally making the decision, it was hard to find a narrative to tell myself.

The stress of juggling the complications of work and family life are a source of stress for many women. Whether you work outside the home or are a stay-at-home mom, there are troubling emotions to deal with. Either choice will leave you with something to worry about.

You will most likely get on blogs or social media sites that make being a stay-at-home mom seem like one easy ride of Martha Stewart baking, Yoga and Pilates classes, and Pinterest-inspired crafts, with their well-dressed kids and immaculate houses.

CHILD, PLEASE!

This is hardly true. Every mother has breakdown moments. Every mother has days where just putting lip gloss on while the teething baby is clinging to her desperately is a feat.  There will be many times in the upcoming years you’ll yell, “I just want to pee alone!” Yes, I used that word. Man, I am still singing that tune! So, you must redefine what you feel “success” is. For me, success was a day where my house was not a disaster at the end of the day. I got to engage in one social situation throughout the day (playdate, gym conversation, lengthy phone call, whatever it was, I took it). With all that was going on, I made sure my appearance was always intact. Couldn’t lose myself. No sir or ma’am.

If you are a working mother outside the home, sometimes you feel guilty for not being home with your children, for not being available for school activities, and for not waiting with open arms when the school day ends. Mothers who stay at home sometimes feel self-conscious for not being able to contribute financially, for not challenging themselves more intellectually, or for lack of competency as a mother. I was able to experience both worlds. Most importantly, I loved being a stay-at-home aunt/mom. It allowed me to get to know my children and niece in an educational and recreational setting. Priceless!

Overall, most moms are looking for the same thing: to do what’s best for their children, their families, and themselves.

A critical or defensive tone often surfaces when working and stay-at-home moms get together. I am not sure why, but it happens. From my experience, stay-at-home moms feel the need to defend themselves by insinuating that their choice to stay at home is the better one. But could there be one right way? Why do mothers feel so uncomfortable with each other? Why is there a controversy in the first place? What does a ‘good mom’ look like?  Unaddressed envy, comparison, and insecurity can make anyone critical of something they don’t have but might want.

I have observed and been guilty of criticizing other moms because their motherly strategies didn’t align with mine. Girl, stop! When I realized that I was doing that, I changed my outlook immediately because there are no perfect ways of being a mom or raising children. There is no one RIGHT way!

As you take this journey with me, open your hearts and minds to my version of being a stay-at-home entrepreneur mom.

Think Bigger

Our fears of ch16 - 1ange, success and failure can make thinking big very difficult to do. We worry about what lies in the future, we stress about not getting things right, and we concern ourselves with worst-case scenarios. People judge what they don’t understand or can’t comprehend. Your BIG ideas and solutions can help change your life, can help change someone else’s life, and as far as you are concerned, they can also help change the world. Not everyone will see things your way, and not everyone will believe what you see; however, this shouldn’t stop you from thinking big and bigger than ever before about your life conditions and circumstances.

In the article “3 Ways Warren Buffet Wants You To Think Bigger”  Warren advises, “You have to be prepared to hear a ‘no’ 99 times and get a ‘yes’ on the 100th time.” THINK BIGGER!

 

 

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Overcoming Fear

Jumping 3Fear keeps us in the background. It convinces us we can never accomplish our dreams, tells us to keep quiet, and separates us from the ones we love. Fear has an unparalleled ability to freeze us in our tracks, and limit what we are willing to try. Fear makes us lead a smaller life.

The things that we are afraid of may be different, but our reactions to fear are usually the same – our palms sweat, our mouths get dry, our stomachs churn — and we would do anything, make any sacrifice, just to make it go away. How many times have you turned away from an opportunity or even a relationship because you were too afraid to go for it?

We all have grand dreams and plans for our lives, but more often than not we find ourselves falling off the wagon on our way there. Do not let your goals and dreams fall by the wayside. All successful people have experienced problems at some point in their life.

The first step in achieving your goals is that you have to really want to achieve the goal. Napoleon Hill, famously said “The starting point of all achievement is desire. Weak desires bring weak results, just as a small amount of fire makes a small amount of heat.”  If you cannot picture yourself achieving a goal, chances are, you won’t.

People who have made it understand that setbacks are a necessity for growth. Setbacks are not the same as failures. How you handle setbacks determines a large part of whether or not you end up successful. You cannot always be ready for what life throws your way, but how you react to different situations is entirely up to you.

We all know success doesn’t come overnight. You must be persistent. It might take time but it will ultimately pay off. Always finish what you start. Starting a new project is good; finishing it is better. Do not get into a cycle of starting new things and leaving them unfinished. Remember to congratulate yourself on your small successes along the way because it helps you stay motivated by recognizing your successes.

Start by setting a few small goals. These should be goals that are slightly, but not overwhelmingly, challenging. Think of these goals as “early wins” that are designed to help boost your confidence. Taking one small step at a time will help build your confidence, keep you moving forward, and prevent you from getting overwhelmed with visions of your final goal.

Dr. Henry Cloud, counselor and author, in his article “Overcoming Fear,” recommends several active steps we can take to battle the fear that controls us – connecting with others, creating structure, learning relaxation techniques and developing a spiritual life and face your fears.

Guess what? You can write your daily goals in the My TESStimony prayer journal :). Purchase one today! 

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My TESStimony Journal