"Stay In Bed Mom"
Hello, readers. Every six months I like to write a personal blog post rather than one about our projects, decorating, etc, just to let you know what is going on behind the curtains at WTbM.
There have been A LOT of good changes in the past 6 months to the business. I will be sharing them with you shortly. But first I want to share a personal experience to let you know why and how these changes came about.
Here at Window Treatments by Melissa, we understand the importance of families and the import role a mother plays in children's lives. I have hired a team of women that work from their own work rooms in their homes wherever they are in the country so that they can stay at home with their children. For me, I work while my children are at school and some evenings and weekends.
I am a very selfish mom in that I like to sleep. Wait, wait. If I'm being honest, I L.O.V.E. to sleep. I'm also a selfish mom in that I should probably be saving up for my kids college expenses instead of saving up for my vacation home in Europe. . . I paid, errr am still paying, for my college so they can pay for theirs! Right?! amiright???
Let me tell you what's been going on in my heart and my mind this past year. Let me preface by saying that I think self esteem is stupid and fake and made up by therapists. (I know I'm inviting some controversial comments with that one, but I do feel that way). I think self esteem is just another way to focus on ourselves and how I feel, how everything around me affects ME and makes ME feel a certain way ME ME ME ME! I think if we focus outward on others we are too distracted to think about we feel. So rather than saying "self esteem," I'm going to use the word "value." I've never felt like I held much value as a mother. I'm sort of introvert, so I really don't care for large groups and play dates. If I never sing "The Wheels on The Bus" again, it won't be too soon. I can't make bread. In my community, homemade bread is the mark of a good homemaker. ;) I try to teach my kids good morals and values and have never felt like anyone is listening or absorbing anything. I had been feeling like I was of more value to the family if I brought in an income rather than being the provider of emotional support, life lessons and maker of the peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.
A few times this last year, I kept telling myself not to give up just because I thought my kids weren't absorbing anything I said to them. Both of my kids had experiences that demonstrated they had learned something from me.
My son is the least confrontational person on earth. Ever. He told me one day he was having some trouble with a boy on the bus stealing his mittens and gloves from him and turning them inside out and bunching them up so he couldn't use them. I told him the important thing to do would be to forgive him and remain friends with the boy because people change and you might want him to be your friend later. And how would he know if he changed and got better unless you forgave him and continued to treat him as a friend? Recently I asked who he sat next to on the bus and he told me the name of the boy who was picking on him. And he said he was glad he had a friend now to sit on the bus with. I was very proud of him for not wasting time and a perfectly good friendship over being upset and hurt about something that had happened in the past. I've taught him something very important that I have learned this past year: to live in the present. I told him to ask himself when he is feeling hurt by what they did, "Are they doing it right now?" And if the answer was, "no," then he could just play with them or whatever they're doing as if it never happened and just be friends.
My daughter is in pre school. She was asked by her teacher what her favorite thing to do with her mommy was. Her answer was that she liked to lay down in bed with me under the covers and have "talks" with mommy. It never even registered in my mind that this was a significant thing. Every evening we go to my bed and for about 5-10 minutes I ask her to tell me about her day and she'll tell me some things that happened at school and we talk about them and talk about how she can be a better friend (while her brother doesn't like confrontation, I think she welcomes it ;)). It's just a tiny little thing we do and I never realized it had any significance at all. But I realized that she probably learns more in those 5-10 minutes than any other time during the day.
I started to realize in these past few months that I do have more value to my family than bringing in an income. Even if I can't make bread and refuse to take my children to play dates ;). I am finally starting to appreciate what it means to be a stay at home mom and what it means to be a mom altogether! (Wanted to be clear, I think if I were a working mom outside the home I could still have value as a mother).
I've never been confident in my skills or abilities as a mother until recently. I don't feel too much mom guilt as I am more of a "live in the present" kind of a person. When I make a mistake I just learn from it and move forward and dwell on the fact that it happened. So a few months ago I decided to accept the fact that I probably did a lot of damage to my family while I felt like I had no worth in the unit except financially. I decided to make my worth and value in the position I'm in in the family and to move forward.
In order to accomplish making my roll as mom more valuable in my family, I had to decrease my work load significantly. The thought behind this is that I hope to have lots more 5-10 minute moments throughout the day with my kids rather than using those 5 or 10 minutes to answer email or do quotes. So I added to the team!
THE WTbM team!
Heather is a mom of three and a military wife! She has been with us since late spring this year and makes our Flat/Classic Roman Shades and is eager to learn to create other items in our shop.
Heather is very talented and also makes doll clothes and clothes for her children. We're lucky she's on our team!
Becky has been on the team for two years! She is a mom of one and the wife of Bryan Gentry who created our website. She is able to make almost every window treatment we offer, but currently makes all varieties of our curtains.
Becky is loyal, trustworthy and takes a great deal of pride in her work. In two years of work she has never once had a complaint! I always know I can count on her! It's very comforting to have a team member like Becky!
Trena has also been with us. . . forever. . . . She's a mom of two and also a nursing student! She is very talented and can make almost anything! She currently makes our pillow covers, poufs and window seat cushions.
|image provided by Trena ;)|
She is a perfectionist and I am very lucky to have her on the team.
Karyn is a mom of one and came to us at the recommendation of my sister in law. I'm very glad my sister in law recommended her because she has been a tremendous asset to the team. She currently makes our Flat/Classic style Roman Shades.
Still waiting on Karyn's pic ;)
I never have to worry about anything I put in Karyn's hands. She is very skilled and professional and I am glad she is on the team!
Kelsie is a friend of mine from college. She waited patiently for a job with WTbM as she wanted to be able to work from home and stay at home with her baby. We had a short wait list for positions and Kelsie submitted her work to us for consideration during the training process and it was stunning! She is talented and makes many other things like her own clothes!
Kelsie's pic coming soon.
Kelsie is reliable and professional and I am so lucky to have her on the team!
Jeanelle is a friend of mine here in town. She is just fantastic at everything she does! She is a mom of four boys! Hats off to you, Jeanelle! :) When I trained Jeanelle, the thing I admired most about her work is that she was very patient and took as much time as it took to make it right. She also is very talented at making her own clothes and other fun things like Halloween costumes!
Jeanelle is a wonderful asset to the team and I am luck to have her!
While I still plan to improve on and progress in the business, I will be delegating most of the production end of things to my fabulous seamstresses who, let's face it, probably make better products than I DO!
I have started to make some goals for myself to be a better mother. We started by making a family goal book. They are our "goal-den" plates. ;) That's for our Mormon friends. For our non-Mormon friends, you can learn about The Golden Plates here.
Every Sunday night we start the week off by making goals for the upcoming week. Then the next week we revisit the goals and make new ones for the next week.
My long term goal is to realize that my "Stay in bed mom" status can change and that I can learn to appreciate and embrace being a mom and what that requires of me.
I've always considered myself an artist. I have been blessed with many talents and am able to do many things. But these past few months I have realized that I am the artist and my children are the art, the clay ready to be sculpted.
I have thought often these past few months of a friend who was struggling with remaining with the church. He asked me what I do, commenting on my not fitting the typical "mold" of members of our church. I told him on several different occasions that you have to do something you know is right even if you aren't good at it. I've thought of this many times these past few months.
I sleep in and let my kids fend for themselves in the mornings with gogurts and dry cereal. I've talked on the phone with my sister right through having to pick up my son from the bus stop. I can't make homemade bread. I have threatened on many occasions to trade my kids for magic beans. And my son will tell you I'm the best mom because I let him have peanut cereal for lunch even though he just had it for breakfast! I'm not the best mom in the world. But I am a mom. And the value of that roll is based on my efforts. I have to keep doing it even if I'm not good at it. If you're a mom, you're a mom and that's the bottom line. If you're a mom, be a mom!
I have decided to delegate more work to my wonderful, amazing seamstresses so that I can focus on being a little better as a mom. It's only been these past few months, watching my children interact with other people, that I have seen how much influence I have on them to be good people and assets in society. I am going to be spending more time improving myself so I can improve them. I'm going to keep trying even if I'm not good at it.