A year and a half ago, my husband’s job was transferred to northern Wisconsin. In the middle of July 2009, we lived in a hotel for six weeks. Doesn’t sound like it would be too awful and we tried to make it seem like an extended vacation, but with four kids ages 6 months to 14 years at the time, they weren’t buying it and wanted to go home…wherever that was going to be
(we hadn’t found our house yet).
You know those changes in life that can be anywhere from minor but it’s change so we don’t like it, to unbearable and you aren’t sure you will get through it, to life altering which everything flips upside down and you don’t know what to do, let alone even realize you should be doing anything.
For me this was a change, minor really, and eventually would be one of the
smartest spur of the moment decisions we made.
Financially we would be in a better place; we love the area and could easily picture raising our kids here with plenty of outdoor activities to participate in. Of course I checked out the local farmer’s market and it was amazing. Locally-owned coffee shops, two locally-owned natural health food stores – not bad for a town of 8,000. It’s an area where life automatically slows down, no one seems to be in a hurry and most are very kind and polite. I have always worked outside the home and could never really picture being a stay at home mom – not that I didn’t want to, we needed both incomes. Our daycare provider was our next door neighbor and absolutely amazing, which made going to work that much easier. This move was going to allow me to stay home with our kids. I was really excited because I would be available for them – to play, run them to whatever they were going to be involved in, get organized on all levels but especially with finances, meals and grocery shopping, I would be less stressed, and maybe the house would stay half way clean. Ha! And I’m sure my husband thought the same thing. Did I mention we live within 20 minutes of hundreds of lakes and my husband’s passion is fishing? This is the hardest “job” I think I have had and was really struggling with the changes.
A year and a half later,
I’m still not as organized as I had hoped and meals get planned but still do the grocery shopping on a whim. This of course does not help you save money. With a two and three year old, the house is chaos most of the time and there are days I swear they purposely try to drive me crazy. J One going this way, the other going that way, a mess picked up here only to turn around and there are five more…I love my life! And then those cute little smiles I get when they know they are in trouble…gets me every time. I would not change it for the world other than I wish I could have had this opportunity when my 8 year old and 15 year old were at this age. They love that I’m home after school and we can talk about their day and I’m available to take them where they need to go or just home so they can have friends over. At those ages, that is what is important to them.In this process of dealing with change, I lost a big part of who I was. I was now just “Momma”…and love it very much but I needed something for me. Not that my work defined me, it was just what I did but I had close friends
I worked with and shared things with…had adult conversations which
I found out is very important after a couple of months of being a SAHM. A year ago, pretty much exactly from now, I looked around and came up with my “hobby” –making 100% natural skin care. This was what I was going to do for me, those couple of hours I had in the afternoon while the two youngest napped. Something I had dreamed about doing for a few years. I researched endlessly, something I’m a pro at, and was going to start with what my family used the most, body butter and lip balm. One of the great things about it was I would be able to get high quality natural ingredients that were organic, wildcrafted and/or unrefined to make these items and it was cheaper to do it myself than buying the natural and organic products I had been buying for my family of six. Bonus. Long story short – I made the products for my family and we enjoyed them so much we shared with extended family and close friends.
After positive results and comments, I decided in April 2010 to open a shop on Etsy and a few local businesses were willing to sell my products. During this time, I expanded products to include body butters, lip balms, body scrubs and lip scrubs.My three year old no longer takes naps and hasn’t for, well about the time I started this chapter of my life but we have great conversations while Momma’s “working” and her brother is not pestering her. This opportunity has also allowed me to dive deeper into my passion…helping others choose safer and healthier skin care products, beauty products and personal care products that are affordable. The project I’m working on now is a presentation for teenagers on choosing safer and healthier skin care products, beauty products and personal care products and why it is important that they do. I’m not reinventing the wheel but adding my own spin and experiences and have permission from Judi Shils, Founder and Director of Teens Turning Green and Project Green Challenge and Mia Davis, Organizing Director of Campaign for Safe Cosmetics to use some of the great information they already have available. Why teens? Short answer – They use more products because they are experimenting with all the different options available and their bodies are still growing/changing which can make them more vulnerable to the chemicals, toxic ingredients and byproducts in these products. Overall, even though accepting change is hard, I’m extremely happy with the way everything has turned out…I would not be making my dreams come true if it were not for the move, my supportive, hardworking husband and my kids.
Isn’t she inspiring? Change is very hard but she has made the best of it and opened her own shop on top of it all. From the moment we started working together I have looked up to her and her drive.
Her products are amazing. Be sure to stop by and check out her Shop!