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The weekend that has changed my life.

2015 October 26

I just realized that I have a real job.

This may not seem like a revelation to you, but for me it’s life changing! Being home all day with out a “proper employer”  has wreaked havoc on my brain. It’s been almost two years since I left my part-time, one day a week job. And about 8 years since my last full-time workplace. I fell prey to the notion that money matters most, and you are only worth the amount you can make.

Let’s start at the beginning… I’ve been working at home since my oldest was born. Graphic design projects here and there, working with my husband’s company, blogging and being a mom. For some reason, this has never been enough to make me feel like my “job” mattered. I’ve had countless discussions with my husband about this topic. Usually ending in tears. It has been a really big struggle for me. I’m a do-er, figuring if I try hard enough I’ll “prove” it’s a real thing. Trouble is, I was trying to prove it to everyone around me when I didn’t believe it myself.

But that all changed this past weekend.

I recently spent 3 days at BlissDom, a social media conference. I was by myself, with my own hotel room – and it felt very weird and amazing all at the same time. In the process of meeting tons of amazing new people (scary for me as an introvert!) and enjoying amazing evening parties, I learned about social media, writing and how to take better care of this blog. I also learned that I was not alone. It was really, really life-changing meeting lots of other people with the same “real job” as me!

Bloggers “get” bloggers.

Just like electricians get electricians and quilters get quilters. (And all of their acronyms!) It was so nice to be able to talk about things that matter to what I do everyday. There are jokes that only we get. Information that only we know how to use. It made me feel connected, like my work really matters. We went on excursions that began with an explanation of which hashtags we should use when posting our photos. We hash-tagged things to win prizes and to keep track of the weekend. (#BlissDomCA) I learned that Twitter is better than email. And that the Blue Mountain Conference Centre chefs make amazing pasta!

It was also really helpful that lots (dare I say most) of the other people at the conference had kids. The struggle to take good care of your home and kids, plus running a business is so real! Being a mom (or dad) full-time has a bad rep – though I am happy to see many more people talking about it in a more positive light. I am hopeful that the next generation will have a more realistic, positive view of staying home to take care of your family.

Moving forward…

I don’t want to just to tell you about my Blissdom experience, but also to hope that it helps any of you that feel the way I did. I’m hopeful you don’t, of course! But if you do, please know that you have an amazing job doing whatever it is you do! You are amazing. Put your heart into your work, but don’t forget to take time for yourself. The kids/dishes/cleaning can wait… (though I’m still working on that one!) Everyone around you will be better off for it and you will come back with renewed energy. Find people around you that do what you do – talk to them, go out for coffee! Talk about things that only you both “get”.

What do you think… What is your real job? What do you do to take care of yourself?

P.S. I’m not fixed yet. I’m writing this as a reminder to myself as well. I know when I publish this that I will have no more excuses and that helps too. Let’s work on it together! You with me?! #workinprogress

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30 Responses leave one →
  1. Laura E. permalink
    October 27, 2015

    Yes! I’m in! So glad the weekend was a success and now you can inspire me as well!

  2. October 27, 2015

    I completely understand your struggle – I’m the same, I have a ‘real’ job 2 days a week and the rest of the time I’m trying to build a sewing pattern business and care for my beautiful family – I can’t wait to become full time self employed, but in the meantime it can feel as though the sewing side isn’t ‘real’, because I do it at home, because it isn’t salaried, because it doesn’t have a regular monthly reliable income.

    My husband and I have had several conversations about exactly this thing (sometimes quite emotional), and we’re both now committed to the notion that I have two ‘real’ jobs, and that neither of them come before our family.

    • Jess permalink
      October 27, 2015

      Finding our own ‘definition of success’ is so tricky! Easy to put on paper. Then to really embrace it is so amazing!

    • October 29, 2015

      Thanks so much Eluned! I like that you have decided together to agree that both jobs are ‘real jobs’. I find that has really helped me feel better as well. Now only if I could convince myself to believe it all the time! :)

  3. Jess permalink
    October 27, 2015

    Lovely. I saw you at Blissdom. Smiled in passing I am sure, but as a non blogger I didn’t quite fit in with the crew.
    I have to just say that I have spent the last 5 years with that same struggle. THE “REAL” job. It’s a tricky thing to wrap your head around.

    Thanks for sharing.

    • October 29, 2015

      Thanks Jess. Too bad we didn’t actually meet! So good of you to read this. I hope one day we can finally convince ourselves we are doing it!

  4. Ann (no e) permalink
    October 27, 2015

    Hi Sherri,
    I am so pleased that you enjoyed the weekend ;) The photos are great, such a pretty location. I too have been through the ‘real’ job angst working from home/small, rented office after 10 years supply teaching. I published educational units and a newspaper for children. I have been working with my CPA husband for the last 11 years.
    Having said all that, I so admire your spunk! So admire your readers who are raising kids, keeping the homes fires burning for hubby and family and embracing the new world via technology. My take on a real job? You sleep soundly knowing that you have done your best for the day. Take care.

    • October 29, 2015

      Yes Ann! It’s so true! Thanks for the encouragement :) It is strange, but knowing there are others out there with the same struggle is very encouraging.

  5. Nicole permalink
    October 28, 2015

    Ahh! I’m so happy to hear that you had a wonderful and inspiring experience! We all know you are awesome, and i’m glad you’re starting to believe it too!

  6. October 28, 2015

    Your post (I don’t even know the correct jargon to use – dinosaur here!) moved me to tears. I am so proud of all you younger mothers who are doing work that makes you deeply happy. I am a retired teacher who wanted to be a sewing and quilting guru, but never did it, because of life happening, but 850 days ago I started my own business, importing beautiful and unique fabric from South Africa to Canada. I still have those internal monologues about a “real job” and earning a “real income” while I have an AMAZING supportive husband who is my cheerleader and scolds me regularly with “Take yourself seriously” lectures. I have shed those same tears you speak of many, many times and I know all about needing to work on that inner voice.
    Your honesty is so encouraging. You are an inspiration. Well done you!

    • October 29, 2015

      Céleste… I don’t know what to say except that I am so grateful that you took the time to let me know. I have worked with you and you are amazing!! I love that your husband is supportive – that my husband been a great encouragement to me as well. We will do this together. Hopefully knowing there are others out there that feel this way will help as well. Thank you.

  7. mom permalink
    October 29, 2015

    All this from a gal who, with her great husband, does an awesome job of raising her beautiful girls. PLUS doing a fantastic blogging job! JOB! We are only slightly predjudice! But you are a beautiful gal doing a great job. We are so proud of you.

  8. October 29, 2015

    I love this so much Sherri! That has been the center of my overwhelm – trying to ‘prove’ it was a thing. It is a thing!! A very gratifying, valuable thing! So glad to have met you and can’t wait to watch your site (and hopefully finally thread my machine)

    • October 29, 2015

      Thanks so much Shawna! You are doing an amazing, amazing thing! :) Maybe we need a poster for that! (Offer stands… Send me a photo of your machine and I’ll make sure you can thread it!)

  9. October 29, 2015

    It was so lovely to meet you Sherri, and I am happy to hear that you had a good time! I’m looking forward to following your blog – and totally jealous of your sewing skills. And your hair. Pink is my favourite colour and you wear it well! I struggle with the whole balance too of keeping the house running vs blogging and I find it does help a lot to be around like-minded people. xo

    • October 29, 2015

      PS I forgot to tell you how gorgeous your photos are! Also, send some tarts over!!!!

      • October 29, 2015

        Ha! Yes… I really, really, really need more of those tarts! :) So glad you like the photos!

    • October 29, 2015

      Awwww…. Thanks so much Tara! Yikes, keeping house vs blogging – that is a huge one! Yes! I felt such a relief hanging out with everyone because we all have the same struggle!

  10. October 29, 2015

    Great post and wonderful to meet you! It took me a bit to actually admit to myself that I had a “real” job, and with that job I actually could rely on it to deliver! Good luck to you on your journey!

    • November 1, 2015

      Thanks so much Julie, it was amazing to meet you as well! So encouraging to hear that it works :) It really helps to hear from others that have experienced the same thing!

  11. October 29, 2015

    Hey Sherri,

    Great post. I am struggling with the ‘real’ job myself right now and enjoyed reading your post. It’s nice to know others feel the same way. While at Bliss I got the sense that it wasn’t anyone’s ‘real’ job and that left me a little disheartened. Thanks for sharing!

    • November 1, 2015

      Thanks Rebecca! So good to hear that it helped! We will all journey together it seems – and learn from the ones that have figured it out!

  12. October 30, 2015

    It was so nice to meet you! I’m enjoying your blog and look forward to reading many more. Oh and these photos rock!

    • November 1, 2015

      Thanks Carin :) I’m so glad you like it! Yay! I’ll see you around :)

  13. November 6, 2015

    We were super excited to have you in our Thursday session. Looking forward to your future success.

    • November 9, 2015

      Thanks so much Dan! I learned A LOT and am excited to put it to use – probably in the New Year after some planning and a busy holiday season :) Much appreciate everything you shared with us.

  14. Linda Doyle permalink
    November 21, 2015

    I always told myself – what could be more important than raising the next generation of humans. And then, this fall my last one headed to college. And guess what?! I still feel young (actually younger as I am not running after kids) and can throw myself into a new phase of a work life. There is still plenty of time and I got to really enjoy my family – which wont come around again. So you can have it all – just not at the same time!! Hope maybe this helps…

    • November 24, 2015

      You’re right Linda. It’s hard to do everything at once and making conflicting choices! I love the separation that having both kids in school has given me, and I think there will be more changes in the future to help with that as well.

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