Hi friends, when I refreshed the whole look and feel of this blog a little while ago I had the hardest time deciding on my 'subtitle'. Before the new look, it had been 'Furniture refinishing. Home decor. Life happening', so I was torn on whether to change it up or keep it the same. Actually, the only change I was considering was removing 'Life happening.' because I never really get into that. It's not that I don't have anything to share about Life, it's that I don't think it would be interesting. Even though Life here is full and moving forward for better or worse, (depends on the day), I just assume that anyone would find that stuff mundane.
But, a very sweet repeat client who I wish I had more time to see amidst Life happening sent me a dear email to inform me of her newest little one on the way. After sharing her exciting news, she told me she missed seeing my family on here. I used to share more pictures and talk more about them, but for no reason in particular, I've gotten away from that. It touched my heart that she cared about them and enjoyed seeing them now and then on my humble blog. (Thank you MY.:) I didn't tell you how much that meant to me) So, I've pondered that quite a bit. Why do I keep Life and this business so separate?
The funny thing is, just as I don't talk much about Life on Chelsea's Garage, I also don't talk about Chelsea's Garage hardly at all outside of this context right here. It sometimes feels like I'm leading two lives. Herein lies the identity crisis. Am I a stay at home Mom raising our three little ones to the best of my abilities, (around the clock)? Or am I a (very) small business owner with dreams and goals and aspirations? Is it okay that I enjoy being both? Even still, when friends ask how I'm doing, I always, 100% of the time, answer according to how the kids are doing, (i.e. "I'm good! The kids are all healthy, we're having a good week together....you know..." OR "Ugh, I'm okay. So-and-so were sick so we were up at this time and that the last few nights...you know..."). I rarely mention anything regarding my business, no matter how fantastic or awful things may be. In the few cases I've brought it up, the responses have been a bit confused. I think it's a hard concept to understand! I have a very small handful of friends who I feel comfortable talking about it with; the friends who are a few chapters ahead in life than me. But with my peers, it's a bit uncomfortable to talk about these dreams and hopes I have for something that isn't directly related to motherhood. Motherhood, (in my short experience thus far), is hard and funny and confusing and raw, so I'm so grateful to have friends to swap stories and experiences with. We laugh, we cry, we read, we pray, we encourage.
But where does Chelsea's Garage fit in? That's also a part of my life; a part that is really good, exciting, challenging, sometimes funny, (and sometimes not). Yet, where does it fit in with stay-at-home motherhood? If I talk about it then will people assume I'm neglecting my children? Or that I'm selfish? Or ungrateful? If you call yourself a stay-at-home Mom, does it mean you can't work on projects unrelated to motherhood? What if you're a stay-at-home Mom who loves her children to the deepest depths of her core, but finds it difficult to actually stay at home? Are you in the wrong field?
I'm not going to pretend that I've mastered the balance of owning and operating a small business alongside raising our three kids here at home. It's very, very hard. But, it's a choice I still stand behind after 2.5 years. My babes are growing up around a creative business and are an integral part of it themselves. They help me pick pieces of furniture. They help me pick paint colors, (and I listen to them)! They even help me with first coats of paint now and then. Our oldest, the twins, are starting preschool this fall and I'm so grateful to have had these years all together before school begins to share this business with them. Who knows, when they're older it may be something they want to be a bigger part of! If not, that's okay, too! The point is, it's been our adventure together and that's irreplaceable.
So, about this identity crisis. I'm not really sure how to fix it; all I'm sure of is that Life will continue moving forward and Chelsea's Garage is nothing without my family.
My hope for this post is to create a bit of discussion. Any thoughts to add? Please feel free to share in a comment and/or email me! I'd love to hear what you have to add from your own experience, mother or not, business owner or not. All are welcome to speak up!
Thank you so much for reading what's been on my heart.
This post was originally published on Chelsea's Garage, now affectionately known as StyleMutt.