On Monday I posted my challenge, Can You Handle Being a WAHM?
One of the questions I posed was whether or not you can handle the stress of being home and running a business.
This year I have had first hand experience dealing with the stresses of life and work colliding.
My Stress-Filled Year
2013 has been one of the hardest years I have ever experienced. It seemed that everything in my life decided to collide at the most inopportune moments and I was not prepared for this to happen.
Let’s start with one of my most important roles, being a mother.
I am a mom of a tween and teen right now. If you believe the “terrible twos” are the most challenging of the motherhood years, think again. Having a 12 year old girl and 14 year old boy is, well, life sucking. I say “life sucking” because they drain you mentally and physically.
The few years after being 11 are the times when a young person is starting to practice their independence but they don’t quite have the skills to do it just yet. So their bodies and minds are getting ready to become adults but they still depend on parents. This is a clash waiting to happen. My 14 year old son, of course, knows everything. And my 12 year daughter cries if we look at her wrong. (Gotta love hormones.) So, of course, he thinks it is funny to tease her and she yells. And whenever we instruct our son on any subject his response always seems to be “I Know.” No, you don’t know.
I love my children more that life itself but they are a handful right now. They challenge and question so much, as they should. They want independence from me and their father but cling when they need something. When you think you have this parenting of a teen down, they throw in some other challenge, like wanting to drive. (My son will be 15 soon and is itching to drive. This is stressing me out more than anything.)
The facts is, 2013 is just the beginning of me parenting teens and stress is building as I type.
Life’s a Box of Chocolates
Life at “my age” (I had my son at 26 years old, you do the math) is certainly a box of chocolate, you really never know what you are going to get. To say the least, my body fights me every step of the way. I swear, every time I work out I am sore the next day or really tired. I eat well and right and I am a great sleeper but my body seems to fight me.
And boy, there is just this feeling of finality. Oh, you are in your 40′s better be sure your past life was fulfilling and your future is set. It’s like your 40′s are the time to reflect if you have done well or not. Well, I was a stay at home mom for years. I have a bachelor’s degree I have never used and have never earned a full time income. For a long time I was very hard on myself thinking I was just failing at life. It took my husband to snap me out of it to reassure me that I was a great mom, wife and friend. And that I have accomplished things to be proud of.
Let’s just say I struggle. I am not where I wanted to be at my age when I planned all this out in my 20′s and I struggle with this. I always have to tell myself how silly it is to live according to my plans from my 20′s, life changes and so should I.
And speaking of chocolate, I eat plenty of it these days. Life threw my a box of chocolates so I’m eating it up.
My blog turns 3 years old this month. And I have not reached the traffic or popularity I wanted it to be. It’s all my fault. And this has weighed heavy on me.
There are many factors to why it has not reached its goals but I can say I did a lot of things wrong and spent 2013 fixing the last 2 years.
I also work with my husband on our business, Coyote Networking Inc. We are small so I do the books, I am HR and I am his assistant if needed. And a little marketing too.
On top of that, I work an after school program for my friend her in town.
I am busy. And not until 2013 did I realize how busy I was.
I crashed. Everything collided, which felt like all at once. Kids, work and life. Stress sets in when this happens.
I am not an isolated case. Many moms (and dads and women and men) feel the same way I do.
We are at the last half of 2013 and I wish I could forget the first half. But I really shouldn’t, it was a test and lesson for me. I found I can be strong and handle stress. But I needed a plan and solutions to do this. I think every mompreneur should.
Working from home, starting and running a business, maintaining life relationships, raising kids and life in general can all catch up with you and create stress in your life. I’m curious to how you handle it.
How do you maintain your sanity?
I found simple but very effective ways to stay sane, most days. As you know, I do explode every so often.
My Stress Solutions
I want to first say, life has stress. Period. It is never gone. I have found healthy ways that help me deal with it. I would love to hear your ways also.
When I feel a stressful situation approaching or I am stressed in general I do think about the great life I have. I have a good marriage, healthy children and I am healthy. We live comfortable and I have not only what I need but many times what I want.
This brings me down sometimes and I have to laugh at how silly it is to get angry over burning toast or gaining weight or my son challenging my decision.
I have a great life. And I am thankful for it.
My husband was once my punching bag. He was on the receiving end of my anger due to the stress I was feeling. Can I just tell you how wrong this truly is. Nobody should be treated that way, especially the man that has supported my blogging even when he believed it was silly and made no money. He still encouraged me to go forward with my dream.
I learned the hard way, through trial, error, arguments and discussions, that he is my support system. I talk to him when I feel stress and he helps me.
This didn’t come easy but I feel it was well worth it.
Get a hobby
Ok, it doesn’t need to be a hobby per say but something you enjoy that takes your mind off of work, life and stress everyday, every week or even every month.
I run. I just took up running this year and I have found it to represent strength and freedom for me. For just 20 minutes to an hour I feel nothing but me getting stronger mentally and physically.
I have friends I go out with. In the winter I crochet a bit. I listen to my music really loud and dance in the kitchen when it’s just me and the dog at home. And I eat chocolate every day.
I know that sounds counter productive but getting work done helps stressful situations. And I don’t just mean paid work, getting my housework done takes a huge stress off my shoulders and allows me to relax on a Sunday afternoon. (Speaking of Sundays, I love watching NFL. Nothing like yelling at the TV to relieve stress.)
I also delegate. I have my kids do chores around the house and my husband helps also.
How Do You De-Stress?
I want to know. And your answers would really help other mompreneurs.
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