Eight years ago, I was a full-time employee of the Federal Government working for the National Park Service in Zion National Park. I was an Emergency Dispatcher, and enjoyed dispatching for Law Enforcement, Search and Rescue, EMS, and Fire resources. I was a member of the Search and Rescue team, and had navigated my way through all of the slot canyons that Zion had to offer. I have worked on multiple park fatalities, ordered helicopters for technical rescue, and went on a handful of fire assignments to other states. I loved my job, the people I worked with, and the environment I belonged in.
But, I knew this chapter in my life would end when I made the decision to start a family. I ended up resigning from the park service in May 2007 when my first child was born. I officially became a stay-at-home mom, and opened a new (and scary!) chapter in my life. I also started my first blog at this time.
I was happy staying at home, and not working for about two years. Then I just realized that I wanted a little more out of my day, and wanted a feeling like I accomplished something other than changing diapers, wiping up after every mess, and the general duties of caring for a small child. I was expecting my second child, and I knew the responsibilities that would come with a newborn in the home again, but I just had a desire to do something more.
I knew that I didn’t want to work out of the home, and found myself drawn to the blogging world, and as I blogged more and more, I also had a desire to know how to change things on my own and how the blogging world worked on the back end. This is how my start began as a Custom Blog Designer. I started working with Blogger and then migrated to WordPress. Starting charging a little, and migrated to charging more as my experience and expertise grew.
I feel so lucky to be able to work from home.
It’s nice to be able to contribute to the family income AND enjoy what I do at the same time, and from the comfort of my home as I raise my beautiful children (now three children with another on the way with a debut of January 2014).
Working from home has its drawbacks, though. My main struggle is that I can’t disconnect from work. I think about it all. the. time. If I receive an email from a client that is disappointed or discouraged, it trickles down into my home life and can affect my interaction with my spouse and children. I know that it shouldn’t, but as a people pleaser, and not wanting anyone disappointed in me, I find that it still happens. Unfortunately.
Any spare minute, I am drawn to my computer like a fly to fly paper. I try to work each day from 1-4pm, but to be honest, I find myself sitting down to work here and there a lot throughout the day. A new idea hits, and I need to hurry and get the idea on the screen so I don’t forget it. Or, the solution to a coding problem will come to me out of the blue, so I have to sit down and fix (or finish) the coding to move on in a project.
I was recently hired by a client (currently in the middle of the development process) that writes about the benefits of living Hands Free. She encourages her readers to let “go of distraction, disconnection and perfection to live a life that simply, so very simply, consists of what really matters”.
Moving forward, I am going to adopt a lot of her thinking, and remind myself daily of the important things in life, and let go of things that aren’t as important.