I always wanted to work while being a mother. I’ve worked for myself since I was 4 months pregnant with Clayton and I love it. When I was 4 months pregnant with Clayton I walked through our front door with a bunch of flowers under my arm from my old, salaried, benefitted job, and went: “wow, this is it I’m on my own. Just me waking up in the morning and figuring out work.” It’s the biggest gift and also really something I’ve had to ongoingly figure out and re work over and over as life changes.
The Beginning of instagram + work
From the earliest days with Clayton I’ve known that – whether it’s running a paleo doughnut business for local coffee shops or writing a book – working has made me a better mother. It’s also now what our family runs on. In the early days I didn’t make any money, it was purely a passion and creativity product and a challenge I set myself to learn something new! Then quickly doughnuts close to replaced my prior salary, and I didn’t know Instagram would lead to supporting our family through many different avenues as Jared studied. Over time, what started as a passion project and creative outlet became a true job where there was much flexibility on WHEN I worked… but less and less flexibility on IF I worked, and also no childcare. No childcare out of choice and budget. A choice I’ve continued to re-evaluate and choose in each season.
Starting to re think working motherhood
About two years ago when we moved to England, I began to ask, “If I didn’t “work” in social media and the online world, what would I do?” It’s been an ongoing conversation for 2 years and the transition to 3 kids has changed my priorities in a way that’s been coming for a while. I want a little more space to parent. As Type A and driven as I am, as much as we have fees to pay, and as much as I live to break down gender and parenting stereotypes… I find myself wanting to lay the breakfast table the night before, set out school uniforms, read books, and slowly make meals with my kids.
Maybe you were expecting a line about being done with social media – I think at times I’ve expected that line from myself and a lot of people are there, but I actually won’t say I don’t like social media. To me it’s an incredible tool that is what you make of it.
You can use most things wrongly: social media, TV, a car, food, the gym, anything. It’s more about learning to use things for good all round than quitting, to me. That’s why for a long tome I’ve taken days off, and I’ve clearly known my goals and purpose.
I know why I post, I know why I scroll, and I know when my moments are for the different aspects of this form of media. Thankfully, Instagram isn’t something I’ve had a tough relationship with in that, I can sign out, I don’t have to check notifications all the time, and I don’t struggle to not be there at the weekends! I sign in and out with joy!
That said, there are only a certain number of hours in a day and so we’ve spent the last year putting life on paper and reworking a lot of things and I’m going to be giving less time to screens and working in this next season of life… and I’m so deeply excited.
Keeping instagram real
I never want to show something on social we’re not living in real life – even if I look a little less put together or like a less good human, I want to show the real picture. I don’t want to repost pictures of issues I’m not actually fighting for offline, and I don’t want to point to things I could be doing that I’m actually not – even if they’re all good. There are different ways to do social but I want a true portrayal of life behind the squares and stories.
I think of social media is a window on the house of each of our lives.Sometimes I think we can give so much attention to the window until there isn’t really as much house behind as the window implies.
And I want to make sure I have the house behind the window as my priority, but it might mean opening the window a little less. At times life has got so full that I’ve felt like my life is more real on social media than what’s going on behind it and I don’t want that. So, as well as more time to parent, I want more time to live the life behind the app.
What it looks like from here…
I’m not quitting anything! I still love my work and the community. I’m just reshuffling my priorities on where my time goes. I’m not exactly sure what it will look like but I know I’m moving into a different setup. Sharing part of our life is something I want to keep doing for the community and learning it brings, and what you’ve told me it brings you, I’m still the only earner in the family – and I still love it! But it’s just going to look more more focused around a dropping into your inbox with a blog each week, or the thoughts and things that helped me in the hope it helps you on the journey too! This journey is best done together. I’m also very much excited to continue serving the almost 1000 Beautycounter customers and team of 150+ consultants I’m SO lucky to get to work with in my role with that company. Leading that team and helping those customers – you – has been an incredibly fun part of the last 3 years.
A bit on my Beautycounter world
I never imagined adding this to my online world 3 years ago. If you haven’t been here for that journey, Beautycounter is a California based B Corp started up for the purpose of changing the unregulated cosmetics and personal care industry towards healthier options for people and planet. My kind of company! After Roey was born I was looking for makeup with better ingredients for my skin but also a company that was caring for people and planet the way I always want. As I shared my journey, so many of you opted for Beautycounter too and so I took on the role of consultant with them so I could help both with information and honest reviews but also financially in sharing my comission however I could. I have loved getting to have a foot in a B corporation for all the learning, growing, working and being able to share a product with ethics I believe in and help so many of you! And I’m excited to continue there. I didn’t know what it would grow to but I now manage a team of 150 men and women and it’s a role I LOVE pouring myself into and will continue with!
So this is where we are!
And so those are the pieces I know! There’s lots I don’t know but I’m trying to balance work I love, income we need, and also motherhood. So I’m scheduling my work and screen time to take 8 hours a week. Given what it has been, that sounds crazy to me – but looking at the places I want my daily 24 hours to go and what I want to be in role as a mother, I know it’s my way forward! So we’ll see how it goes but my instagram will be more sporadic, but pointed at the things that are core to this journey of caring for personal health, people, and planet – and there will be a weekly personal email, and my Beautycounter world. That’s the next season, and I’m excited to do it with you!