The value of a work-from-home mom is so much greater than the paycheck that she earns.
Last year, I wrote about my decision to quit my full-time job and embark on a freelance, part-time, work-from-home career. Since then, I’ve experienced a lot of highs and lows, personally and professionally. I welcomed my second child in June, adding another layer of difficulty in achieving the elusive “balance” of work and home. I’ve felt challenged, frustrated, and more than a little harried. To find peace with this stage in my life, I’ve had to do a lot of deep reflection on how I got to this place and why I want to be here.
My sainted mother barely worked outside of the home, and as I grew older, I felt disappointed that she didn’t use her many gifts to their full potential and share them with our broader community. I didn’t see the magnitude of her influence on family and friends. As a know-it-all teen, I minimized her impact, and I vowed to do things differently.
And then, reality happened. I had my first baby at 29, still firmly planted in “young professional” territory and hardly a corporate prodigy. I was more a gopher than a rock star, and my salary and inflexible schedule reflected that. The end of each workday left me feeling drained and without much to show for my efforts. My time with my toddler was extremely limited, and knowing that I was about to have another child, I wanted to soak up every moment with her.
Yet, I was ashamed that I was not fulfilling my expectations of myself, and I wasn’t ready to relinquish my title – both my position title and the title of “working mom.” As I reflected on the source of this shame, I began to realize that I was calculating my personal value based on my earning potential and my job description. When those fell short, my confidence wavered.
I want to serve as an example to my children of a strong, independent, and capable woman. I can only do so if I am confident in my own worth, regardless of my salary or where I go each day.
As I continue to spread my professional wings and grow my work portfolio, I need to remind myself that while my pace of growth may be slower than I want it to be, it is exactly the pace that it needs to be for me to honor my priorities in this season of life.
We are all born with inherent value as human beings. It’s so easy for me to see that in others, especially my precious children, but still difficult to internalize that truth for my own life. I am very proud of every single dollar I earn for my family, but I constantly need to remind myself that my value to my family, to the world, and most importantly, to myself, is not strictly defined by my earning potential.