For 17 years I was a full-time working mom and for some reason in October I got a hare-brained idea to start my own business and work from home. Partly stress and the long commute but for some reason after all these years it was the right thing to do!
In November I was excited, in December I was so busy with Christmas I forgot about it. January 3rd I was home, alone, kids in school, 4 dogs at my feet. The first couple of days I set up my desk, the next couple of days I got up, got dressed up like I was leaving the house and sat at my desk, the next couple of days I called and emailed everyone I hadn’t had time to email, the middle two weeks of January I watched movies in my jammies, the last week of January I alternately worked and cleaned the house.
I couldn’t decide if I was depressed or if the domestic motherhood thing was really all too much and over my head. Just think of the years I spent laughing at mothers who actually stayed home and complained about “house” work when I managed a large department and came home to do “house” work.
Sufficiently humbled I was finding it hard to work, clean, let the dogs out every hour, make lunches, make dinner, run back to the school with forgotten items, keep kids uniforms clean, keep the floor clean, shovel the snow (from the largest snowfall in ten years, thanks for the timing) and help with homework.
Still with a new company to launch www.planetarystreams.com, an internet communications community which gives people their choice on what they listen to and what they watch on internet, I had to keep going. Yet I had to find a way to survive in this “stay at home” women’s world.
I decided to organize my time. I would get up work out, shower, make the kids’ lunches and breakfasts and then drive them to school on time. I would volunteer once a week at the schools. I would always have delicious, nutrious snacks prepared after school.
I tried this, am still trying this. Somehow it never all fits in or works and then I get the eviel eye from neigbor hood women who seem to have made it to school with a shower. Sure my kids hair wasn’t come and twice I forgot their lunches and more than once they were late. It is hard to get their uniforms on them, and then wash them and put them on again. Half of their uniforms were already swallowed by the washing machine black hole, along with their matching socks.
Do you know how snotty those PTA mom’s can be? My goodness, they are rude, overly organized women, who seemed to be in my face since I started. Criticizing this and that about my children, housekeeping, my dogs in their snow-filled so who cares yard! Had they been doing this all along and I was at work so I did not hear it OR was it just me.
If you couldn’t trust other moms. laboring over the same tasks, who could you trust? Why is it like that? Why are we so competitive when we could really use each other’s help. I know how hard it was to compete in a man’s world, I’ve just written a book on that, out to the editor on February 5th. But how in the world was I going to survive this snotty women’s world?
I called a friend who said, “There is nothing you can do about all those women. Forget about them, I have your back.” I said, “Really? Are you saying that no matter what they say about me you will stick up for me? NO matter what you see me do or not do you have my back? That is a pretty big committment!”
Even as I asked I wondered if that could ever happen between women. We seem to irritate each other so well . . .
She said “Yes, no matter what I’ve got your back!” And I said “Me as well! No matter what I’ve got your back!” And this from me to her is a hard promise as she is tiny, cute, organized with five kids and a gorgeous house with several businesses so women really do hate her!
So we agreed. Still . . . couldn’t figure out how to do it all. Have hosted a daily radio show at noon for years www.healthywealthywow.com and well talked to thousands of women who don’t know how to do it. Still this women thing gnawed at me.
Finally one day, still in jammies but upset with the 16 pounds i had gained since I decided to stay home, I decided to take up watercolor instead of eating. I opened the water color kit my husband gave me last last year for Christmas and started painting. I set up in my bathroom, being prone to spills, and fiddled around.
As I sat there, out of the corner of my eye, I saw the glass bluebird a friend had given me when I was down. A Bluebird of Happiness. The sun (first sun in weeks) glinted off of it and I thought of that great friend who “had my back” dabbed my brush in blue and created a bluebird.
I then painted two and wrote underneath them. “We’ve got each others backs!”
I felt silly but gave it to my friend, the cute one who had promised she had my back! She loved it, and then because we are on the radio every day and have connection with thousands of women, we decided to create the Bluebird Sisterhood. A group of us who have each others backs . . . no matter what! And we decided that in honor of my ‘work at home” depression we would share bluebirds with women like us . . . women who need a little lift, a little reminder that we are lovely just as we are. For me that means, in working in jammies with my kids late too school. The Bluebird Sisterhood means I get credit for deciding to stay at home and trying to work and make the world a better place while also trying to make my kids a nutrious meal! I get credit for that and my sisters are going to stick up for me when the snotty PTA ladies get their dander up.
What do you think? Are you one of us? We’ll get your back if you get ours . . . and we will send you a lovely bluebird watercolor from yours truly to remind you or your promise to your sisters . . . . in case you see my in my jammies in the car pool lane and are tempted to roll your eyes!