It is 3:30 AM.
A.M as in ante meridiem a.k.a too early in the morning. Why am I awake?
My name is Crystal and I am a mom of two beautiful, albeit rambunctious, boys and wife of an incredibly hard working man. In a world full of chaos, I have somehow managed to persuade myself into going after my wildest dream.
Conversation with self late 2014, early 2015:
Psyche: You’ve been a stay at home mom for nearly 3 years. What have you got to show for it? Sure, your boys are smart and you mastered the slow-cooker, but isn’t there more that you want?
Me: I am literally watching my family form into something beautiful. What else could there be? I mean, sure, I’ve put a few things on the back-burner, but doesn’t everyone?
Psyche: No, silly girl. You’re 25 and not getting any younger. You’re living on one income and there are things you can be doing at home. What are you waiting for?
And then it began. For years I had pondered on ways to start my own business that simultaneously benefited the community & environment and then it hit me: a not-for-profit. I had grown up around not-for-profits my whole life. Before my mothers tragic passing. she was a key founder to a middle school, ran the campaigns for the city mayor, actively participated in the Junior League, organized tons of youth events and activities for local community centers, and completed university with a Masters in Computer Science- all as a single mother of three. I had a name to live up to.
Before I knew it, I was doing research, making budgets, googling grants, launching a website, and planning fundraisers. But all of this amidst running my home.
Now, I know this isn’t a new thing, starting a business as a SAHM (stay at home mom), but it poses its challenges. My schedule is crazy. Trying to make important phone calls is one of the most defeatist tasks as its always impossibly timed with a tantrum from my 1 year old who dropped his Thomas train and has become too lazy to bend down to pick it up. Or during an e-meeting to brainstorm with associates, a scream-a-thon about the unfairness of life because my 3 year old has to share an entire box of 50+ crayons with his brother.
Its not nearly as glamourous as I had imagined. Ideally, I imagined:
- 6:30-7 Breakfast with the kids (hubbys at work)
- 7-8 Learning with kids
- 8-9:30 Kids do art activity (coloring, painting, playdo) while I work
- 9:30-10 Break time- snack with kids
- 10-11 Work while kids play (outside w/ laptop if weather permits)
- 11-11:45 Cook and eat lunch with kids
- 11:45-12 Work while kids read a book
- 12-2:30 Work while kids nap
- 2:30-3 Break time- snack with kids
- 3-4 Work while kids sing/dance educational songs/show
- 4-5 Cook dinner and clean while kids play
- 5-6 Playtime with kids
- 6-6:30 Dinner with family
- 6:30-7 Clean up the house
- 7-7:45 Bed time routine (bath, brush teeth, etc..)
- 7:45-8 Kids fall asleep
- 8-6:30 AM SLEEP
THAT IS NOT HOW THIS WORKS. That is the dream schedule! That schedule is definitely one of my goals for this year, but as of now, it is simply wishful thinking.
I love my kids. Sure, they aren’t very schedule-able, but they do keep things interesting. I do know that once I get my organization up and running, multitasking will be second nature.
So again, why am I awake at what is now 4 in the morning? My 1 year old is teething, 3 year old having bad dreams, and I have an application deadline coming up for a grant that I haven’t finished.