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Being a mom is one of the most fulfilling things I’ve ever done, but so is having a side hustle and working full time.
11 years ago, I finished my master’s degree in school counseling and starting working full time as an elementary school counselor.
After reading the book There’s a Boy in the Girl’s Bathroom as a young teenager, I knew I wanted to be a school counselor.
The main character, Bradley Chalkers was a terror to the 5th grade. He lied, picked fights with other kids and was no fun to be around. But the school counselor, Carla saw something in him that he didn’t see in himself. By the end of the book, I was in tears. I knew that I wanted to effect change just like Carla.
When I started my career, I was in a serious relationship that quickly turned to marriage. It was easy to balance work and marriage.
My third year as a school counselor, I transitioned from elementary school to high school. Balancing work and home life were extremely difficult. There were so many late nights (class night, graduation, financial aid night) and early mornings (AP testing, field trips, etc) that took me away from home.
The mom guilt was unbearable. I felt like I gave more to my school kids than my own child, so I made the transition to middle school.
Life as a middle school counselor was pretty sweet. I loved building relationships with hormonal (pre)teens as awkward as that sounds.
Helping them navigate such a difficult stage brought me such great joy. I was also enlightened about how vulnerable this age is. Talking to my students about online safety, family issues and self-harm thoughts made for some heavy days.
There were many afternoons that I met with parents about their children who had concerning mental health issues.
By the time I was working full time as a middle school counselor, I was a mom of 2. As much as I loved my job, I felt like I was still giving more to my school babies than my own children, especially when you add in a 45 minute commute.
Working late afternoons were tough because my kids sat in my office while I worked. I often shushed them while I made phone calls, answered emails, or finished paperwork.
For as long as I can remember, I knew I wanted to be a mom. But I also had dreams of having a career and being a writer. I didn’t know how to have a side hustle and be a mom.
Four years ago, I gave birth to this blog. It’s a combination of my love of counseling and helping people coupled with my first hand experience in raising biracial children.
Thankfully, I don’t have to choose between any of the roles I play, but some days balancing everything on my plate can be quite challenging.
If you have dreams of adding a side hustle or having kids and the just the idea of juggling it all is enough to break you out in hives, here a few tips to help you channel all of your ideas so that you can be the mom boss you were meant to be:
You know that old saying, Rome wasn’t built in a day? Well, it’s true! When I put my mind to something, I want my idea executed immediately. Waiting is hard for me. But you know what creates more frustration? Unrealistic expectations.
When I first started my blog, I also wanted to be a freelance writer. I hustled every night while my kids were asleep. I put out content consistently every week and looked for places to submit my work.
I was published by the Huffington Post the first year I decided to pursue writing, but when I look back at my old blog posts, I’m embarrassed. The photography was awful, I used too many different fonts, and some of my posts were just not fleshed out enough. I was trying to do it all and too quickly.
Had I taken the time to research what I really wanted and gone a little slower, I could’ve had more content that I was proud of, instead of content that I later had to go back and redo.
In order to gain anything good, there has to be some level of sacrifice. Most of my best work is done while my children sleep.
I’ve sacrifice many naps to write.
In the beginning, my husband didn’t get it. My newest blog posts would go live between 9:00-10:00 pm. In fact, he even asked me why I was working so hard for free.
When the kids went to bed, it was our time. Our time to catch up with each other and spend quality time before the next day. I was frustrated that I had to justify my passion to him.
When the campaigns, money and seeing my name and picture in print started to come, he quickly became a believer.
He started to understand why I was willing to sacrifice my time.
Sometimes family still doesn’t get it. I get made fun of for always taking pictures or for hiring a photographer.
But that doesn’t stop me from pursuing my side hustle.
When you are focused on a goal, not everyone will understand why it’s important to you. But as long as it remains a passion, their opinions shouldn’t matter to you.
Try New Things
Have you ever wanted to start your own YouTube Channel? Be a freelance writer? Own your own business? Now is the time to do it! The Internet can aid you in starting your dreams. There are very successful people who share their secrets online.
Nakisha Wynn is a single mom turned mom boss entrepreneur. She teaches moms how to make money online and even teaches a course on how to make a profitable You Tube channel! Want to learn more about her course? Click here.
Dreams are free, but big ones aren’t. If you decide to invest in your side hustle and make it a business, you will have some expenses. It can be easy to start spending money when you make it, but if you want to pursue a successful business, you will need to income to invest in new materials, head shots, business cards, etc.
I made the mistake of spending all the money I made the first year of blogging. Instead of investing a better looking website, business cards and making my blog look professional, I went shopping.
When I decided to get serious about my blog so that others would see me as a professional, I had to make money to spend money. I started listening to podcasts, reading books, hiring coaches & making boss moves. I’ve linked two amazing books below. I’m currently reading Boss Up, and man is it speaking into my life!!
Lindsay Teague Moreno brings you some real practical application in such an easy to read, comical way. I’ve had to take a few breaks to digest the advice (and tea) she’s giving.
Last year, my brother gifted me the book Influencer, by Brittany Hennessy. The coolest part about my book is that it is signed, but this is hands down one of my favorite books. Brittany gives you practical, easy tips to follow to grow your social media following and how to truly grow a brand.
If you are ready to dip your big toe in social media marketing, then this is a MUST book for your collection.
Setting aside a budget is the smart way to seeing your business grow over time.
Mama, you truly can have it all, but not without some hard work. People may not understand why you are hustling so hard, but the payoff will be so great if you stick with it.