2Q: “Just” a Parent, and Money Perspectives (Episode 330)
Are you "just a stay-at-home parent", or otherwise struggling with seeing your value when you aren't bringing home a paycheck? Time to pay attention.
As a relationships coach and unschooling mama, I am no stranger to answering questions. And, I have to say...I love it. I love the challenge of Q&A and sharing insights and resources that I've personally found helpful. So as we hit our second of the "Two Questions" episodes (dubbed 2Q for short), we're going to touch on finding value beyond a paycheck.
So, let's dive in!
2Q: Two Questions
I absolutely love answering specific questions about what's going on in your world, and how you are working toward cultivating the life where you and your family are truly thriving.
I want to hear from YOU, dear reader and listener. So reach out - what are you tolerating at home? What are you feeling overwhelmed by, or stuck? What are you curious about?
The first question comes from Roxanne, who is a member of the 48 Days Eagles Community. This is an awesome community of "dream-activators", who are working to cultivate the lives they love by getting intentional about their work, their dreams, and their impact.
48 Days is my father's company, and I've been involved with it pretty much my whole life in some capacity or another! As the "Chief Inspiration Officer" of the company as well as a relationships coach, there is a lot I'm involved in. I'm also the "Dean of Family/Relationships" in the 48 Days Eagles Community.
Every Monday, we host "Monday Mentor Lift-Off Calls" where we bring in speakers and fellow community members to talk about growth mindset and business strategies. Right now, we're going through our "Flightpath To Success" course.
"Success" can look very different for people, and we're not really fans of the cookie-cutter approach to life. Goodness, my tagline is "The uniqueness in each of us strengthens all of us." So when our team created this course, we looked at stepstones for success that are more personally directed, prompting questions to ask yourself to create your own picture of success.
The first of this "Flightpath to Success" series was one I led, and I focused on two key areas - knowing yourself, and knowing your purpose.
Q1: "I Need To Earn An Income"
Back to Roxanne. She is an Eagles member who has absolutely rocked it by moving forward with her dream of writing a book. And I have to say, I love her book, and I'm so excited to share it JUST released!
This is a fascinating story of Roxanne's grandmother's adventurous life from Poland to America in the early 1900s, and the ups and downs of finding her own way. I got sucked in to the story and didn't want it to end. I know there are some more books just waiting to be birthed from Roxanne's creative mind!
Here was her email to me:
I wanted you to know how much the discussion you had on last week's Monday Mentor Call had me and my husband (who listened to the replay with me) discussing many things we realize about not only ourselves but how we interact with each other. For example:
As baby boomers Chris and I are the "nose to the grindstone" mentality. After I had lost my job in 2020, and decided to start writing my book, nobody was paying me a salary. I gave up the security of a paycheck to pursue my dream. However, when I started we had an emergency fund and savings, and Chris has a career he likes (driving a tractor-trailer for UPS) and gets paid well to do it.
This meant although I didn't have to worry about creating a paycheck, I struggled with not earning an income during the process. Sure, I could have gone and got another job after COVID, and had more money in the bank now, but I would have never written and had a book published. The funny thing is, we have more money now, doing the things we want to do, even though I am not earning a paycheck.
Yet I still struggle with the "I need to earn an income" mentality.
At least now I have a book to sell and I know I want to create more books, courses, speaking events, and other residual income. But sometimes I feel I am not letting myself enjoy the journey because I get focused on "what's next."
I had many more a-ha moments, but I wanted to share that one personally with you.
Author of "Catherine's Dream"
I feel you with the "need to earn income" deal. It's important to address what your purpose for money is. We can get trapped in that "need to produce" simply as this skewed American model of what success looks like. It's important to pull back and assess the why behind our actions. Doing something just because others are doing it doesn't mean it's a good fit for you. Here is a curated list of money-focused podcast episodes that may be helpful. Sometimes it's valuable to bring our awareness to our thought patterns and if they are still serving us well.
When you think of success, what does that look like for you? For your legacy? For what you and your husband want to create, and how you want to live? Talk with your hubby on that and get clear on what true success looks like. Maybe you've already achieved it. Remember what all I talk about - "one day" to enjoy your life and sit in the goodness you've worked hard to create and cultivate still doesn't happen unless you get intentional about it. You can go your whole life hustling to "one day" enjoy it and you not only miss the opportunity, you wouldn't know how to if you had the chance because you're so out of practice. Look for what "wealth" you have in your life...and no, that's not all financial.
Look at all the ways you exchange energy for a robust, healthy, and wealthy life. Beyond the finances, how else do you invest and see the fruit? Don't underestimate what all you've stirred up with your Polish groups and raising awareness about your book and how people can be an "authropreneur" and more!
What Is Your Purpose?
People can stress so much about what their purpose in life is. Mine is easy - to be love and show it. To be a light of kindness and joy and bring it out in others. To help others step into their greatness with empathy and awareness for a lasting impact in this world.
Notice that nowhere in there did it pigeonhole me to a profession or even making money. Purpose goes beyond a paycheck, and is more about the lasting legacy you want to leave. As Nathan says in the podcast above, he'd like to remember his father for more than just his net worth.
So who are you, really? Beyond a job or a parental role? What qualities define you? What are your core values?
Why are you here? Is it just to create money? What will people say about you when you're gone?
Q2: "Just" A Stay At Home Mom
Our second question falls right in line with what we've just addressed:
"I'm a stay-at-home mom, and I'm struggling with feeling like I'm not doing enough. My husband works long hours, and my kids are now busy with school, so I have some time on my hands. I like hobbies, but I feel guilty like I should be doing more."
Ah yes, that feeling of being "just" a stay-at-home parent can really wear you down...and often it's the opposite case of having zero extra time on your hands!
Welcome to the beautiful seasons in our lives. There are times when being a stay-at-home parent is an absolute full-time job. When our girls were younger, it seemed like it was constant activity. The older and more independent they've gotten, the less they need us every step of the way.
Now I'm in a season where they may all be pretty occupied during the day doing their own projects, and, just like you, Mandy, I've had more time on my hands.
What I found was I could always fill my time with "busy" - the things that really could stack up as "busywork." Yes, I could clean the house and do the laundry and fix the meals and just maintain the household, yet the reality is...they are old enough to contribute and help out - it's not even on me anymore.
So when "down-times" would occur, it was a wonderful opportunity for me to assess my own personal growth.
When was the last time you sat down and read a book? Listened to a podcast? (hint hint, there's one on this page!) Challenged yourself to learn something new?
For me, I picked up fun and mindless art projects. Little things that brought me joy to create, and I could gift to others or decorate our home with.
I started prioritizing time in the mornings to add reading in (and was thrilled to see my family follow my lead).
In this episode, Nathan referenced a parable from the book "Buddhist Bootcamp" that really struck a chord with both of us. He compared life to cake batter, emphasizing that it's not just about the material possessions or the external achievements we accumulate.
Life is about blending together all of the different ingredients to create something truly fulfilling. Just like how you need the right balance of flour, eggs, sugar, and other ingredients to make a delicious cake, we need to find the right mix of experiences, relationships, and personal growth to have a truly fulfilling life. It's not just about what we have or what we do, but about how we live and the impact we have on others.
Who are you beyond being a wife and a mama? When you connect with your family, what insights are you sharing with them? What have you learned? How were you challenged? Where did you find joy today?
The kicker is, this is a HUGE contribution to the family. You're adding to growth for everyone when you share about your own. You're inspiring others to find their own joy, you're coming to them excited and refreshed instead of overwhelmed and exhausted.
One of the most overlooked contributions of parents, especially, is their own self-care. This is not only something that adds to your family, it's your responsibility to recognize your impact. Not caring for yourself and not fostering growth in your own life doesn't only limit you - it can bring down your whole family as they continue to meet you where you're at.
Where do you go from here? What are you feeling stuck on in your home?
We hope you found our answers insightful and inspiring. We're committed to serving our intentional family community, so we would love to hear from you!
Please reach out and ask us your burning questions related to intentional families, alternative education, relationships, or anything else that sparks your curiosity.
As a relationships coach, I often see individuals who have dedicated so much of their time and energy to being a stay-at-home parent or fulfilling societal expectations (earning an income) that they start to question their own value and purpose beyond those roles.
It's common to feel stuck in a cycle of constantly trying to meet cultural expectations and feeling guilty for not doing "enough." Many stay-at-home moms, like our listener Mandy, may feel guilty for not contributing financially or for taking time for themselves. And this guilt can be compounded by the pressure from husbands or partners who also feel guilt about not being home enough...or, even worse, negate the importance of home life.
Recognize the constant responsibility and mental load that comes with being a parent. Being a stay-at-home parent doesn't mean you have "time off" or that you should feel guilty for taking breaks.
It's important to prioritize self-care and invest in emotional currency by building strong relationships and getting to know your children on a deep level. There are seasons to our lives, and those greatly impact your relationships - so being willing to continually reassess is so valuable.
The key here is recognizing and appreciating our contributions and accomplishments, even the seemingly small ones. It's not about measuring our worth solely based on what we do but appreciating the impact we have in the world beyond monetary means.
True wealth and richness come from the non-monetary legacies and ripple effects of our actions.
So, whether you're a stay-at-home parent, pursuing your passions, or going through a major life transition, remember that your value and purpose extend beyond traditional roles. Embrace your own individuality, invest in emotional currency, and create a life that is truly fulfilling beyond financial measures. Remember, the uniqueness in each of us strengthens all of us!
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