Monday, November 29, 2010

Work at Home Helper Blog Carnival: An All-American Work at Home Mom

When my first child was born, my husband and I made the tough decision for me to stay home with the baby. It was what I had always wanted, but cutting our income in half was going to be an adjustment. I had just finished my Master’s degree in education, and that, paired with my National Board Certification gave me two additional salary bonuses that I would only benefit from for a few months if I left. I was at the top of my professional game, but I had been teaching other people’s children for 14 years, and as an “older” mom and after years of infertility, I was ready to spend some time enjoying my newborn. The first year was wonderful but tough, as it is on all first-time parents! We were so lucky to have an “easy” baby, although I don’t think we realized it at the time (it wasn’t until our son was born that we realized how good we had it with our daughter). One of the things going on at that time was all of the recalls for the lead-tainted Chinese products. I was very committed to buying high-quality safe products for my daughter, and I really preferred to buy American-made, but it was so hard to find at the time! The Made in the USA products were out there, it was just a challenge to pull everything I needed together. I figured that other parents must be feeling the same way, and I wished there was one place I could find everything! That is when the idea for All-American Baby was born, and my husband and I began the planning process for our very own business!

It has been a wonderful adventure, but certainly one with a lot of challenges, and both successes and failures along the way. At one point we had our own retail space, but the amount of extra time and effort was not worth it. The online store was growing much faster and sales were stronger, so we backed down on the retail location to focus on the website. The biggest challenge for me has been striking the balance between work and home, since work is at home! I have to made sure I schedule time away from work…having my work at home makes it harder to get away from it. And honestly, being in retail, especially children’s retail, does make the holiday season that much more hectic. But having the flexibility to be at home with my children every day (even if part of that time I am “trying” to work) is so worth it. I get to enjoy the everyday joys of raising my children. I am able to set my own schedule and can be completely flexible when things come up, such as a sick child, or just a beautiful afternoon when we want to get outside for a picnic! My advice to any parents beginning the “work at home” adventure is to be prepared to work hard to strike the balance that is right for you. It is not as easy as it seems!

This post is part of the blog carnival "Share Your Work at Home Success Story" at the Work at Home Helper.


BabyDeals said...

I completely agree. While working at home is great, there are plenty of obstacles that can get in your way.

Now following from . PBK giveaway going on now, hope you'll stop by!

Amber@Nater Tot said...

Thanks for stopping by today! I'm following you back. Looking forward to reading more about you, your business and your little ones :)