Collaboration

I have had this blog for a couple years and have been inconsistent at best about writing posts.  However, I am closing my personal blog this fall to give more energy to writing here.  Since most of my personal  life revolves around this transition I have made from homemaker to working mom in the last few years I figured it was time I put more of those thoughts over here where they really belong.  To that end I finally did something I have been meaning to do for a year, I fixed the subscription button so that my posts get emailed out.  Many of you probably forgot you even subscribed to this blog since you have never received an email from me.  Hopefully as you begin to receive emails you will enjoy my thoughts.

Enjoy your first email on the topic of collaboration.

Life is a bit of a solitary sport.  At the end of the day you have to make your own choices, live your own life, follow the path God puts before you be accountable for the choices you made.  We learned in high school that following the cool crowd isn’t as much fun as it looks and we learn to be more independent minded as we age.

Sort of.

We crave approval from others.  We need help in life.  We were not created to be alone.

I figured out years ago that I work best with others.  I have a lot of great ideas on my own but I need another person to talk out my decisions with, help me refine an idea and give me the courage to pursue my dreams.  I am not afraid to do my own work but sometimes I need a little push to take that first step.

When I was a homemaker that meant joining MOPS to meet other homemakers, it is why I volunteered at church, read lots of books, joined the Y and loved to meet friends at the mall.  I not only need validation in my work but I also love the collaboration.  Spending time with other moms talking about meal planning, organization, parenting helped me refine who I was as a homemaker and gave me the courage to step out and take action in caring for my family and my home in new and better ways.

As I began pursuing a career it felt like that was going to be more solitary.  It is my career and I think in my mind a career was a selfish thing, not bad selfish but none-the-less, it was about me.  It was easier to seek help and guidance to be a better mom, wife, homemaker because those things were for other people.  Being better at my career, that is about me.  I made this choice, I had to deal with it.  And, if I am honest, I knew that if I asked for help from someone they might want something from me be it money or time.  And I just didn’t think I had anything to give.

However, it is lonely to sit alone at your desk and try to figure everything out yourself. Especially if you are starting a business.  Is the world out there?  And knowing there is so much more you could be doing if only you knew what it was!  Some people are great at finding all those hidden answers.  I am not.  I need someone to get me on a path.  Tell me the ideas.  I can then weed through, take what I like and don’t like and even jump forward on the path without help.  Just someone, anyone, point me in a direction.

This year that is what I have been doing.  I joined a real estate team which doesn’t pay me per se but has pointed me in a direction that has allowed me to make far more money so far this year than I did all of last year.  A step very much in the right direction toward being able to fully support our family when John starts Grad school in another year.  I truly could not have figured it out on my own.

And I am slowly finding friends who are also working.  Nobody else is working exactly like me but nobody else was a homemaker exactly like me either.  Transitioning from homemaker to working mom still has the same challenges whether we are in an office 40 hours a week, work from home, work part time, need the money to support the family or just to save for a family vacation.  How do we get the same amount done in less time?  How do we get our kids and husband to help out more?  Do we really have to start grocery shopping during the busiest times of day?  And the never ending question, “what’s for dinner” takes on new meaning when you come home asking it as well.

We are working together talking about meal planning ideas, giving each other permission to say “no” to volunteer opportunities we are asked to be part of, or just listening while we talk out a problem at home or work.  It has made all the difference to just have a couple people I can turn to for work/parenting/meal planning/house cleaning/life problems who I know understand the crazy schedule I lead.

Do you have someone to collaborate with as you transition from homemaker to working mom?  How about sharing some of your thoughts, ideas and questions with me so we can collaborate together as we all continue to become working moms and homemakers.