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Mother of the Year Goes to.... Not Me

Every morning I go to the gym to exercise. I love it because I have a lot of friends there (it's my adult interaction for the day...hahah...but seriously...), endorphins are released, I feel powerful and strong....etc. Fast forward to about 10 minutes after I arrive home.

Kids are fighting over who grabbed the box of cereal first.

Tears are rolling down cheeks from, "Cameron looked at me in a mean way."

Fights are breaking out between who has to be the flippin' monkey in the middle...

You get the idea.

So pretty much all the good I do at 5:30 in the wee early morning hours gets completely undone. (Perhaps I should schedule my workouts to after the kids leave for school instead?)

Anyway, today was no different. The kids actually all got ready on their own really well without any fights. They had a good 20 minutes to kill before we had to leave for school. They decided to play a game (but not the blasted Monkey in the Middle game...No! No! I banned that game [and 'jinx&#…

Quitting isn't always bad

I'm a mom to 4 beautiful, healthy children. I'm a wife to an amazing, and HANDSOME, husband. We dont have debt (besides our home), we live within our means, we live in the coveted land we call "Zion" (aka Cache Valley), and we have an overall great life.

Picture perfect, right? Not always...

You see, being a mom is something I've always dreamed of. When all the kids in high school were figuring out what the heck they wanted to be, I usually just went with everyone else, but in the back of my mind my thought was, "I just want to be a mom." (Ironic, considering I used to pray to be barren when I was younger when I learned how babies were made...More on that another day...)

I'm not saying I don't enjoy being a mom, but somewhere along the way I find myself getting "lost" in the mundane things of motherhood: laundry, cooking, cleaning, running errands, diapers, chauffeuring kids around, breaking up fights, etc. Motherhood isn't exactly the most glamorous. (And if your friends on social media are always talking about how INCREDIBLE being a mom is and how they just love every single moment. Dont believe them for one second. [We all have that ONE friend who does this] Just know that we ALL have our ups and downs).

Sometimes I just want to be done. Sometimes I want to do something different--something challenging. Sometimes I just want to be known for something more than just being a homemaker. You got me?

A few years ago I started working from home selling makeup for a direct sales company. I ran my business successfully for almost 4 years, then decided to let it go. At my prime in this company, I was making about $3,000-$4,000 a month. I earned trips, cruises, incentives, bonuses, etc. I loved that! We were finally able to do lots of things for our family that we couldn't before--vacations, new cars, new toys, eating out, etc. Who wouldn't like that, right?

But the more successful I became, the more my kids/family got pushed back. I found myself constantly telling my kids, "Just a minute," and then that "minute" turned into almost an hour. After the kids would go to bed at night, rather than spending quality time with my husband like we used to, I'd sit on the computer trying to make more money. I became a little obsessed.

I wasn't always so nurturing and loving during this period. I was quick to anger, and thought more about myself than I did about my kids. (Mother of the Year, right?)

Something had to change. This wasn't a decision that was taken lightly. I expressed my concerns to Matt, and he was so supportive-- no matter which way I decided to go.

In the Direct Sales world, if you quit, you're considered "lazy" or "giving up." I didn't want to be known as a quitter.

It took me about 6 months of praying and thinking about giving up my business for me to finally decide to be done.

I missed the extra income it provided. I missed feeling "important." I missed feeling like I was successful.

But there were also some things I didn't miss:

I didn't miss being fake. I didn't miss pretending to be someone/something I wasn't. I didn't miss feeling like I was pushy or salesy to my friends. I didn't miss constantly being on the computer, and feeling the need/pressure to sell something to hit my rank at the end of the month. I didn't miss the pressure of posting X amount of times each day. I didn't miss the anxiety over all the notifications I'd get, and the "to-do" lists I had.

And while there were a lot of pros and cons to my decision to quit, I found I had gained some useful skills from my home business as well:

1. I learned the ins and outs of social media. I knew when to post, what drove sales up, what got reactions, algorithms, etc.
2. I learned how to feel comfortable sharing on social media, and not being ashamed of it. (This has helped me to be more confident in sharing my testimony this way)
3. I learned how to apply makeup--and will be able to help  my own kids use it appropriately when they're older
4. I learned how to draw people in, and make them want to see what I was up to.
5. I honed up on my skills of being a leader/public speaker--through training videos I made, and speaking at group events.

All in all, I gained a lot of useful traits that have since helped me with church callings, working with other people, and developing myself into the person God wants me to be.

There are times when I still miss my "work from home" job, but I so enjoy relishing in my kids' happiness even more. Rather than forcing them to grow up quicker, I'm trying better to enjoy their small time in childhood.

I still have those "motherhood mundane" days. I still want to be "successful" and "important." And the world would tell you that there are more important things to be doing. But for now I've come to understand that I'm doing exactly what God wants me to be doing at this stage of my life. There will be plenty of opportunities when my kids are older for me to go back to work. But right now I'm doing the most important work I can: I'm raising a family in the gospel of Jesus Christ. And there's no other work that can even compare to that.


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