I started my Mompreneur journey 2 years ago and it is time for me to share a little bit about how I ended up here - a virtual marketing strategist & social media expert. It has been fun, fantastic, exciting, exhausting, stressful, terrifying and overwhelming all all at once!!
Shortly after my daughter was born I was faced with a really difficult decision - return to work or stay at home full time. I realize that having the choice was/is a luxury and I do not take that lightly.
I know many moms would do anything to be home with their littles while others can't imagine not returning to their work. I was pulled in both of these directions. Fortunate to work at place I loved, with people I loved, at a job that I enjoyed and was actually quite good at so the thought of quitting, even if it was to stay home with the two people I love the most in this world, was incredibly difficult.
I was happy where I was professionally and was sacred to step out of the workforce for fear that it would take years to make-up for the time I was home. I was actually surprised by the pull I felt to stay home as I was not the little girl that dreamed of being a mom. I dreamed of a career (think SJP from Sex and the City). My dreams changed though when I met my husband. I no longer only dreamed of a career but also a family.
Being a mom is hard. And when you are home by yourself all day (and sometimes night) it can be isolating and lonely. Don't get me wrong there are amazing perks to being home but I missed work. I missed my friends, going out for lunch, dressing up and having adult conversations. Hell I even missed my commute! But when I was deciding whether to go back to work or not I felt so much guilt. Guilt on both sides.
Moms are supposed to want to stay home and raise their babies, right? I let societies expectations and everything I was seeing on social media get into my head. I was making this choice based on what I thought was "right". Not only did I feel the guilt about NOT wanting to stay home but I also felt guilty for WANTING to stay home! Such a catch 22!!
I felt so much pressure to go back to work and use my education. I was told not to "blow your whole career up and stay at home for the next five years because it is so hard it is to get back into the work force after being a stay-at-home mom."
I knew that staying home meant my family's life would be easier for my family. No more using vacation or sick days when our children were sick. No more deciding whose job is more important today. I would be the one "raising" my kids (which is such bullshit!) I was so torn and conflicted that it took me a long time to decide - just ask my girlfriends!
But I took the time I needed, listened to my heart and focused on what was right for me. The one thing I did know, was that if I made this choice based on what I thought I should do vs what I wanted to I was not going to be a great mother - stay-at-home or not!!
It wasn't that I didn't want to be at home with my kids, it was that I wanted something that was mine. I will say that being a stay-at-home mom is the biggest and hardest job I have ever had but there was still something missing.
I knew that I needed something for me. Something that was all mine. But what does that look like? What do I want to do? What will fill my cup up? Am I doing this for me or because I think I should? SO many questions!!
When I made my choice I still didn't have that clear answer I hoped for but I knew that I wanted the best of both worlds. I wanted to create a life that worked for and supported my family but I also wanted something that was stimulating and interesting to me.
So I took a chance. Left a job I loved to start building the life I love.
It's hard but I really am proud of what I have built over the last two years. I enjoy the work I am doing and I love that I am able to spend so much time with my kids.
Now don't get me wrong, there are definitely days I want to throw in the towel on this whole entrepreneur thing. I will say that I work more now than I ever have but I am doing what I love and it's all mine!
It took me a while but when I made my choice I jumped in with both feet and here we are today!! I don't pretend to have it all figured out but I can honestly say that I have no regrets!!
I also learned that there are no right or wrong answers when it comes to raising our babies as long as we do what is best for ourselves and our families.
Thanks for reading friends! If you can relate let me know! I'd love to hear your story.
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My name is Melanie Stoppler and I am a mompreneur! I am passionate about many things in my life including being a wife, mother, coffee connoisseur, wine lover & a social media marketing strategist.