August 10, 2020

Motherhood at a Glance: Balancing Life as a Working Stay-at-Home Mother

It brings me so much joy to publish this twelfth feature article. Twelfth! It has been such a pleasure getting to know these women better and to read about their strengths. Doing so has lifted me up in so many ways.  And, I'm thrilled to introduce you to today's writer, my sister-in-law, Capria Fullerton! 

Capria (or Capi for short), is living in Southern California with her husband, Kevin, and their two adorable babes, Kaleo and Ezra. She is an entrepreneur and small business owner working from home all while raising their boys. She loves spending her time with family, especially at Disney Land or the Safari Park! Capi is quite literally one of the sweetest, purest souls I've ever met and I'm so grateful she is my sister and friend. I know you will find so much inspiration from her feature today and hope you apply her steps on how to better balance your life as a working mama!

When I was very young, every night at 8 o’clock I would let my parents know I was headed to bed. My mind and body knew exactly what I needed and when, and it was as simple as listening to what those were. Nowadays, I’m not so good at daily schedules but I do still like having a plan and sticking to it when possible. 
When I was 16, I thought I had my life mapped out for the next 10 years. Teenagers seem to just know everything about life like that. As soon as I could drive, I knew my plan: transfer to a Charter school, get a job (or 3), finish my high school courses, go to college. Check. Check. Check. Somewhere along the way I’d find a loving husband and maybe start having kids by the time I was 25. That was my idea of the typical and full life that I wanted.

Fast forward to today. I’m 23 years old, a college graduate, running 2 small home businesses, happily married (to the PERFECT man I might add), and we have two small kids. Not so far off from what I imagined as a teenager! On paper, I’m just checking off life boxes. In reality, I’ve truly struggled with finding a balance between my own independence and becoming a mother. I’ve struggled with finding the line between self-care and selfishness. It’s a constant push and pull but each morning I put together a little mental checklist to help me prioritize what needs to get done.

First, I consider what kind of day my kids had yesterday. Was it full of fun activities or was it more of a laid back and watch TV kind of day? I truly try to limit the amount of screen time the boys get but we all know it can save our sanity occasionally. I try to keep it educational mostly, makes me feel less guilty. 

When it all comes down to it, I just want them to have a good day. Even if we have a rough day here and there, which is inevitable, I at least want us to end the day on some sort of good note. Whether it’s a little ice cream we share, a quick tv show, or even just a big hug to let them feel my love. 

Then, I analyze where MY energy level is at. What is practical for me to do today that won’t overwhelm me? Becoming a mother has really pushed me to my limits. Between carrying babies full term, losing sleep, nursing my babies, and trying to keep up with them is exhausting! I deeply cherish the bonds that I have with my boys and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I love being able to be a stay at home mom for them and help them learn and grow! 

The reality of it is though, I’m not going to have the same energy everyday and that’s okay. My boys don’t need someone who is high energy every single day. What they need is a happy momma who they feel is a safe place for them. I’ve come to realize that if I put too much on my plate, I get crabby. Who doesn’t? Knowing my limits has really helped me stay consistent with my energy and be that safe place that they need me to be. 

This one, to me, is actually my favorite. But not in the way that you may think! I have 2 at home businesses; A baking business and a 100% real nail polish strip business. Two completely different areas but I love them both! It is stress relieving for me to spend all day baking a wedding cake in a crazy hot kitchen. It is equally stress relieving hoping on my social media to do a live sale of nail polish. This was the part of me before becoming a mother, that I couldn't part with.

It gives me an opportunity to think creatively and have conversations with real adults outside my immediate family. This is what allows me to reconnect and be the best version of myself for my husband and children. I have to give a huge shoutout to my husband in this section because I literally could not do this without his help. He is so supportive of me and my businesses, he knows what it means to me and he does everything in his power to make sure I’m at my best for our family and my customers. We make such a great team and I truly wouldn’t be where I am (mentally, emotionally, physically) without him, his love and his support! 

Lastly (and my least favorite), I assess my home and what chores need to be done. Chores to me are daunting because they never cease. There’s always something that needs to be done and we never have enough hours in the day to do it ALL. We came back from a long vacation recently and it’s taken me nearly a week to get all of our laundry washed AND put away. Let’s not even mention the dishes that are piling up in the sink right now. 

I will always pick soothing my child over finishing those dishes because he needs to feel that reassurance from me. I need him to know that no matter what, I will stop what I’m doing to take care of him. There is nothing more important in my day to day than making sure these boys know, without a doubt, that their feelings matter to me. That they are my everything. 

I’ll ponder these four things at night for the next day, or in the morning, to try and map out our day. It is important not to push myself too far because I know I will get crabby with my children and that is NOT something I want them to remember about me from their childhood. It is a day-by-day balancing act on what I’m able to accomplish as a mother, wife, entrepreneur, daughter, friend and sister. 

We have so many hats that we are blessed to wear, but it is always important to take a step back and really find out how many we can balance on our head without every one of them toppling over. At the end of the day, I just want my family to feel the love we have for each other and be truly happy. Dirty dishes and all!

Thank you so much to Capi for sharing her insights on how to better balance your life as a working stay-at-home mother. It really does all come down to tackling life day-by-day, litte-by-little. She truly is an inspiration and such a hard worker - that shines through this piece! As a recap, here are the four steps she takes to ensure she can have a successful day:

Consider yesterday and evaluate how that affects your priorities for today

Analyze your energy and offer yourself grace on the low-energy days

Review your schedule to prioritize the things that need to get accomplished first

Access your home but always put your children first

1 comment:

Nest Behavior said...

A great lesson on prioritization and on knowing and respecting your limits! Thank you for sharing!