Passionate About Fort Worth
and the Moms Who Live Here

Staying Home . . . Again

One of the most monumental pieces of advice I remember receiving from my grandfather was something like this: Choose wisely your faith, your spouse, your job.

Wise man . . . because we all know life can be one big heap of misery if you don’t.

Three years ago, I made one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I bought my own business, a FIT4MOM franchise. From the very beginning, owning a franchise brought (brings) me so much satisfaction. It allowed me to go to work with my children, make some extra money for our family, and also meet some of my very best friends, all while fostering a safe place for new moms (and seasoned ones). Countless times I have driven home from my “job” feeling no less than joyous.

On top of all of these things, having my own business helped me to keep my sanity.

Do you know what I mean? Having a little think tank in my house helped me NOT lose myself in the piles of laundry and endless Fresh Beat songs crowding the smart out of my brain.

And for two and a half straight, continual, non-stop years, I LOVED working from home; through the threenage years, and the toddler years, and the potty training, and the twin pregnancy, I loved it. And the thing is, I STILL LOVE IT!

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I love having something that is MINE! That I work hard at. Something with tangible, here and now, results.

And while I really 100 percent saw myself doing this awesome job for 10 years or something (before ditching fitness and buying a bakery, of course), all of a sudden I knew that it was time to take a step back and pass the baton . . . not because I want to (I do and I don’t) or because I have to (I don’t), but because I needed to . . . for me, for my children, for my husband. Maybe not quite forever, but for now, right now, in this moment. It’s time to refocus. It’s time to be 100 percent present. And with four littles five and under, owning a business doesn’t permit that right now.

So this is my story, from working girl, to stay-at-home mom, to business owner, to stay at home mom again.

This womanhood thing is HARD, peeps. I’ll never be able to quite use my words to explain our desire to both mother 100 percent and work 100 percent. It’s a thing: This is the tension we feel as mothers. I have rarely met a mother who is undivided-professing feminist or not. It’s hard.

I don’t write this to say that everyone should quit their job and stay home. Not everyone should. For two and a half years, owning my own business, was THE BEST thing I could do for my family and myself and my community.

I write this to say, maybe this is your journey, too.

What I AM saying, is we have lots of hats as women. In many ways, our (figurative) hat quantity out-numbers (by far) that of our husbands. And while we can keep those plates spinning in the air, we should. But when we start dropping them, it’s time to stop spinning and reevaluate. And sistah, I’ve been busting plates all over the burbs for a couple of months, now.

What I am saying is that it’s okay to pass the baton when it’s time. It’s okay to say to someone else, “In this season, I think you can do this better than I am doing it.” It’s okay to not balance all the plates and do all the things and be all the perfect. It’s okay to just stay home with your children — as if there was ever a JUST in front of staying home with your kids. You are not a failure if you pull the breaks on a job you loved. Or sell a business you bought before you had kids. Or don’t use your degree for now.

If I have learned anything in the last five years of mommin’ it up, it’s that life is about seasons. And if we do life well, we will embrace all of our seasons with honesty, bravery, and truth, making the best decisions for NOW. Sometimes that means closing a chapter that you loved, that you were good at, that was a good chapter . . . to turn the page to the next chapter.

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9 Responses to Staying Home . . . Again

  1. Joan January 16, 2016 at 12:16 am #

    Peeps, sistah? Be more offensive to our minority women who have real struggles in life. Not your white upper middle class suburban “problems.” Women like you bring us all down and help destroy what we feminists are fighting for. If you wanted to be a hard working successful full time businesswoman then you shouldn’t have had kids. How arrogant you are to complain about a problem you created. “Oh I had children and now I am too busy to run my business” Boo hoo. Quit trying to justify your own self made mess of having to quit your job because of your children. That was your choice. Quit bitching and get out of the way of us women who do want to use our hard earned degrees and be successful in our careers.

    • Emily S January 17, 2016 at 5:39 pm #

      Wow…you sound so bitter! Are you even a mom? I have been a SAHM and then was a Work at Home Mom and like this author, am now back to being just a full time SAHM. I, too, started a business from scratch and built it up and ended up selling it before my third child was born as I realized, like the author stated, “life is about seasons”. I found this article encouraging as it is similar to what I have recently experienced. I, too, have a hard earned degree and was in a very successful career that I loved, but worked many hours. When we had our first child, we chose for me to stay at home as it was the best for our family. We all have struggles…some are more “real” than others but Anna didn’t take on a woe is me attitude about this at all. No, this piece is not about coming back from homelessness or struggling to put food on the table – if you have a story like this I would welcome you to see if you could contribute an article as you might encourage someone in your same situation. As far as getting out of your way for those of you who want to use your degrees and be successful, I find it difficult to understand that you call yourself a feminist yet don’t support all females, after all isn’t that the definition of being a feminist? Supporting women in their choices (even if they might be different from yours)?

    • Bree January 18, 2016 at 2:12 pm #

      I’ll start by saying I don’t normally comment on articles that are based purely on opinion or personal experiences. Because, well, everyone’s are different. But because I am one of those women whom the author has encouraged and supported through her previous job, I felt compelled to speak up. I don’t know Anna extremely well, but I question, simply through your choice of tone and your cutting words, if you truly build women up as she did, and does. Are you kind, and supportive, and honest, and encouraging to those whose paths you cross? Regardless of their demographics or season of life? Because this woman whom you are tearing down is.

      And maybe you are too. I don’t know. But your unkind and critical comments speak volumes.

      Owning a business and having children is hard. Bottom line. Saying that it is hard doesn’t mean that one is “bitching” and it doesn’t mean we don’t love it. Every job can be difficult at times, yes? Anna’s words were her feelings about this transition. An opinion. An emotion. An encouragement for others who may be feeling this same way (which, like it or not, is probably a lot). Everyone is entitled to those wouldn’t you agree? And if this piece didn’t resonate with you, or didn’t fit with your line of thinking, no big deal. But I’m pretty sure this forum is a place for moms to be supportive of one another, not belittling and caustic.

    • Britni January 18, 2016 at 6:07 pm #

      Joan, as an African American woman pursing a career in medicine (doctor, in fact) and a self proclaimed feminist, please let me inform you of a more enlightened way of thinking. I’m 26, unmarried and with no children, but I hope that will change one day in the future. If that is the case, because I worked hard for my career, I will highly likely not be one of those women who stays at home with their children. However, women like Anna and Emily who make that CHOICE are some of the strongest and bravest women I know. Sacrificing their careers for their children and spouses is not “a mess” or “arrogant”, its selflessness. I’ve seen these women in action, and they could probably take care of their family and do your job better than you could. Part of feminism is cheering on your fellow woman, not tearing down their ideals. And I don’t know if you are a minority, but if you feel that the use of a general colloquial term is considered racist, then take those giant chips off your shoulders and don’t try to speak for an entire people group. Anna is one of the most socially accepting people I know and an advocate for any person, no matter their race, gender or upbringing. It is more racist of you to assume that minorities automatically are more likely to have “struggles” than non-minorites than for Anna to use a term of familiarity. So take your anonymous soap box and troll some other blog, sistah 😉

      Mad love for you Anna! You know you my down b*****!

      • Cate
        Cate January 18, 2016 at 8:10 pm #

        BOOM! Mic drop!

  2. Anna Harrison January 17, 2016 at 5:01 pm #

    I’m so sorry to offend you with my story. I’m not complaining at all about quitting my job or about having children. I hate that it came across that way to you. I am also sorry of offend with my vernacular. I am also a feminist and I don’t think that staying home with my kids and feminism are mutually exclusive. For a season, I ran a business that supported and empowered women. When I could no longer do it well and was unable to meet the needs of my clients and children well, I sold it. I found a woman who could do it better than me and I think that’s good. Life is about knowing when to say yes and knowing when to say no. I loved owning my business and I equally love not owning it. I also love to see it flourishing under new ownership, as she helps to support her family. Isn’t that what feminism is all about? Supporting each other and paving the way for other women to succeed? Calling my children a self made mess is NOT feminism, nor is it kind. There is a time for me to work, and it’s not now, and that is fine with me. But as I said above, this isn’t everyone’s story. Working moms are my heroes. Single mothers are my heroes. Military wives are my heroes. Everyone has a different story. This is mine. I can only hope it can speak to other mothers who are feeling conflicted between work and home.

  3. Cate
    Cate January 17, 2016 at 7:32 pm #

    Joan, I find your comment very disheartening. Clearly we have gained very little ground in the war of feminism as seen by your limiting opinion. Women can only be feminist if they put their natural desires aside for a big time career? How one-sided is that? Isn’t that the whole problem with the 50’s — telling women they can only do one thing in order to achieve happiness and satisfaction? Your comment also makes me sad because it shows that we have a long way to go in the world of woman to woman equality. Have we not been pushed around and beaten down enough by the world? Do we really need to knock each other out too? Have we not been told enough that “we can’t” simply because we’re women that we have to do it to each other too? We don’t rise up in society by knocking others down.

  4. alaina January 18, 2016 at 10:01 am #

    Thank you for this article!! Knowing your balance and what you can handle is so important!!

  5. Jennifer January 21, 2016 at 10:50 am #

    Pretty sure Joan’s comment was made just to troll people, and it looks like it worked. It’s best just to ignore people like that instead of giving them the satisfaction of seeing people upset. Have a great day everyone 🙂

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