Girl, Stop Apologizing.

So, I touched base on this a little bit on my personal Instagram but they limit characters and well, I’m KIND OF a wordy person, so I wanted to have a more in depth conversation about this in a way that doesn’t limit me.

So, yesterday I decided to finally sit down and start reading “Girl, Stop Apologizing”, admittedly I’m not much of a book reader these days although and well, I was busy making excuses for why I wasn’t reading it yet (irony, I suppose). I sat down and started reading this and there’s an entire chapter on Rachel Hollis feeling ashamed and guilty for loving being a career focused mom and having a nanny to watch her kids because the internet ripped her apart for it.

I see this all the time, super hero moms on Instagram advocating that mom life like it’s the best thing on the planet and I fully understand that there exist many a woman who cannot have children too - both of which make me feel guilty when I feel like I’m not “mom’ing” as the expectation of women says I should be or better put: that I don’t want to be.

I’m going to be open here: I’m not a soccer mom. And although I work from home, I am also NOT a SAHM. (Although hats off to SAHM’s because I totally forgot what it was like having a kid at home during the day and it’s a tough job…)

I have three kids and my kids are involved in: drum lessons, piano lessons, football, cheer, dance, gymnastics, bowling leagues… I mean, you name it and on top of that I also have a toddler who’s into: everything. I allow my kids to participate in all of these things because I don’t want to limit their individualism for the sole reason of me not really being about that life. I actually would rather work, in fact: I ENJOY work. I love it, even. I do not love carpooling to events, I have a super hard time not pulling out my phone when I get an e-mail in the middle of a game… I don’t like crowds (unless it’s a wedding, because I’m used that kind of crowd), I’m not that mom in the bleachers with her son’s jersey on yelling at him to get his head in the game or whatever it is that they yell – I know NOTHING about football, actually.

And I have felt the worst guilt about this. I’ve felt like I suck as a mom because I am career focused. I’ve felt like I’m not enough because I spend long hours on the computer, because I use nap time to come work and not to clean my house or pick up after my family and when my fiancé comes home from work, I don’t want to visit or cook dinner – I want to exit and start my work day. Not because I don’t love my family but because if I have things that need to get done, I feel it is my duty as a business owner to get them done… and more importantly: I like it.

I’ve been labeled a “work-aholic”, I’ve been told I put my business first too. I don’t see it as putting my career first, I see it as LOVING my career and providing it equal space in my life. Yes, I love interacting with my clients, I love giving back to them through my portraits, I love learning knew skills and acquiring a savvy business sense but I legitimately downplay it all because I feel ashamed I’m not a good mom because I enjoy my job.

I actually WANT day care but cannot justify spending that much a week on it. I am looking forward to preschool even, in fact: I can’t wait for preschool. I love my children unconditionally and I work my schedule around every single event that I can, including taking off Sundays and designating them “family day” after the first year I could not attend games and they will always come first BUT, I just don’t think we should shame woman for being career driven and wanting to hustle for their family.

Without my career, my kids would NOT have the things they do. They would not have this roof over their heads, they wouldn’t have those gaming systems in their room, there’s no way my kid could have a cell phone at 12, or family vacations or even the same amount of food on the table.

I don’t think we should shame the female goal getters, the female bread winners, the females who “bring home the bacon” or the females who work their rear end off learning the skills necessary to kick major butt at their field.

So as cheesy as it sounds, I’m done apologizing.

So, let’s reintroduce ourselves.

Hi, I’m Crystal – I’m a mother of three who absolutely loves her career and does not think it’s a detriment to her children. Actually, I hope it teaches my children to independently crush their dreams and goals – to reach higher, to never belittle themselves under the expectations of others and that we can love our tribe unconditionally whilst fiercely following our hearts and not being ashamed for being who we are. I have stupid big goals – I want to write a book. I want to reach a HELL OF A LOT more people than just small town Iowa. I want to help other people. I want to learn how to achieve exponential growth and then tell you how to do it too – that’s my dream. Those are my goals and I cannot achieve them by caring if other people think I’m parenting the wrong way.

You HAVE TO feel yourself out, you have to know what makes you tick and what doesn’t. You have to understand that you are capable of whatever you want – EVEN IF that includes being a SAHM, if that’s your dream  - you can make that happen too and I am certainly not shaming you if that’s what sets your soul on fire simply because it doesn’t mine. No, that’s the beauty of things: we are ALL different with our own set of ideas of the perfect life for us – there is not a wrong way, okay…

And lastly, ladies: it is WE who are still catering to these expectations of women. It is WE who are comparing, contrasting, and shaming other moms. We have all the power in the world to turn our opinions in to something good, to use our individualism to support one another instead of bringing one another down. You don’t have to like my lifestyle, you don’t even have to agree with me but wouldn’t the world be a stellar place if we accepted one another for our differences and said “Hey, I support you regardless.”?

Yes, it would!

Happy Monday – be good!