For those of you who may not have known or new to following me I want to give you a little bit of my back story before going into todays blog post.
6 months ago (September 2017) I was laid off from a job I had been with for 10 + years. The crappy part? I was on vacation in Myrtle Beach when I received the news. Thankfully we were given a years worth of notice before we were actually let go from the company. At any time if we found a new job we could leave the company but I chose to stay until the end and help transition the work to the new home office in PA.
For the last 6 months I have been home and looking for work. Out of 100’s of applications, tons of networking and many “Thanks for your time but….” replies I am still looking for work. This past week has been really hard. I received a letter from Unemployment that I have exhausted my options and we do not qualify for any other assistance. So now we will be living off savings until the money runs out or a job opportunity comes available. Sean has been supportive and not giving up hope. He continues to keep encouraging me and telling me we will get through this. I know God is in control and he know’s what he’s doing. I just wish I could see the big picture. Normally I would not dare to share a personal story like this for the world to read but something inside says, “Krystle, you need to let it out. You need to share with the world what is on your mind, let people know what is going on. Don’t be afraid. It’s all going to work out. You wait and see.”
If you have been in this situation before or something similar know I am sending you a virtual hug. This is not easy and very stressful on everyone in the family. I try not to let Riley see me cry (annnnd here come the tears again..) but it is so hard when the slightest thought of losing everything brings up tons of emotions. Going from a 2 income family to 1 is stressful. Work does not come as easy as people may think. I am not writing this post for anyone to feel sorry for me or for a hand out. I just want to share our story and our current season of life we are in.
I do want to take some time and tell you some of the GOOD things this lay off has taught me. I am grateful for this opportunity of the lay off. I’ve been able to enjoy unlimited snuggles with Riley, learned more about myself and things that fill my soul. I’ve learned some things that I was doing that wasn’t benefiting our family and where I went wrong with my photography business.
What this lay off has taught me over the last 6 months:
- Stop living a rushed filled life.
After being laid off I had over 70+ hours of free time to my week that I normally didn’t have. I’d wake up every morning (after hitting the snooze a few time) and rush to get myself and Riley ready. I was lucky to have a baby sitter who loved dressing up Riley so all I had to do was pick her up, put her in the car and go. But I was still rushing to get to work. After work I’d rush through traffic to pick her up and go to an activity or head home to cook dinner before Sean got home. I was so exhausted each and every day that I would wait and do house work on the weekends. Dishes piled up. Laundry was untamable. Meal planning and grocery shopping for the next week. I was living life just rushing around trying to get it all done. It was insane and I never realize just how bad it was until I was able to slow down. I am grateful for this slow down because it’s showed me I do not like living a rushed filled life. My anxiety was always on the high end no matter what I did or medicine I took. I enjoy my slower morning. Each day I get up, make me a cup of coffee and go to my planner and fill out what needs to be done that day. I would see if we had any appointments and schedule our days around it. Even with being home I was still “busy” because something always came up that needed to be done but I allowed myself to do it at a slower pace. Which in return allowed me to stress less and be more happier. Nobody benefits from a rushed life. Take time to slow down. If you have over booked yourself then take some time to carve out what is important for you and your family. Then just say no to the things that do not bring meaning or joy to your life. You will see a difference when you become less busy and less rushed.
2. Extra time with Riley
At my corporate job I was given only 6 weeks of maternity leave. I resented the company and myself for only getting so little bonding time with her. As new parents we were still learning how to live this new life. Everything was rushed. Breastfeeding wasn’t working for us as my supply could not keep up and she had a horrible case of colic. Not to mention suffering from postpartum depression. I needed that extra time with Riley. God was listening. Several years later, I got that time. 6 months. Many days I would like to pull my hair out because she can drive me crazy. But for the most part this is what I needed. I love her so much and want to spend as much time with her as I can. She won’t be little for long and one day she will be a teenager begging for me to leave her alone. But right now, all she wants is Mommy time and I want to be there for all those moments that I can.
3. Having a flexible schedule has made me realize just how precious life really is.
I’ve been able to attend Riley’s activities, enjoy some quality time away with Sean and be there for them when one of them is sick. I haven’t had to ask for permission and pray the time off request would be approved. Or if I called it to work the fear of being guilt tripped when I returned for calling in. I’ve even been able to help friends out when they are in a bind. I can run errands and make time for our family. We don’t get much time on this earth. Having the flexibility to be there for them when they need it the most is so important to me. I don’t want to miss these moments or feel guilty I have to choose.
4. I wish I had taken the time before being laid off to really build my Photography business with a solid foundation.
This is a BIG one. For the last 5 years I’ve been winging my photography business. I never really had a plan on how I would grow the business. It was more like a hobby I tried to make a few extra dollars from while doing something I loved. I’ve decided to take a step back and build a strong foundation for my business so I can be a better business owner and photographer to my clients. I started working on the legal parts of the business, creating a business plan and creating a strong plan to grow the business. I want to be able to provide a quality experience for my clients while being able to support my family. What if Sean or I encounter another lay off situation (news flash: Sean was told about a month ago he too was being laid off from his job within the next year.) I want to be able to have a solid business I know will be able to keep this family running. Isn’t that why people become entrepreneurs in the first place? We have a craft that we love and want to share it with others but also be able to support our families. You get one shot at this life. I want to work hard so I can play hard!
5. Home improvements are NOT my thing.
Yes, I got bored some days and decided to go on the DIY pinterest home improvement rampage. I do not recommend this unless you know what you are doing! Let’s just say I gave *most* of them my best try. I highly recommend hiring a professional to do the work for you. It’s just not my thing. I can say our house is more “homey” feeling with the renovations. After 3 years of being in our home we have freshly painted walls, more inviting and comfortable spaces, and tons of pictures hanging on our walls. You can even spot a few plants I’ve managed to keep alive 😀
and last but not least..
6. Being a stay at home mom is NOT easy.
There.. I said it.. I’ve now been on both sides of the park. A full time working mom rushing to do all the things and a SAHM with plenty of time to do all the things.. Or so I thought… Shout out to all child care givers out there. Sure.. SAHM moms have ALLLLLLLLLLL day to get things done, or do they? In a perfect world Moms would wake up, make the kids breakfast, kiss hubby out the door, clean the dishes, make lunch, do the house chores, dust the cabinets, grocery shop, watch tv, chat with their girlfriends, have dinner ready on the table when hubby arrived, bathe the kids, read them a story, put them to bed and spend quality time with hubby before bed and start the routine all over again. But wait.. In the mist of all of that you forgot the tantrums, the 100 clothes changes through out the day, the “mommy play with me” moments that happen every 5 minutes while your just trying to load the dishwasher. Bonus points if your even able to check your email or social media account to get a little away time. You can’t even go to the bathroom without them following you in there needing something. A shower? HA FORGET IT! Oh wait the dog got sick and you need to rush them to the vet. Yet your child is screaming they want to stay home and refuse to put on any clothes. SAHMs are exhausted and cannot get barely anything done while kids are wrapped to their legs all day. SAHM moms barely get a break. If you’ve never watched an episode of Cat and Nat on youtube, go now and watch! When one of my best friends was a stay at home mom she would tell me about her being home and still not being able to get it all done. I was like how come? And then when I got laid off and became a SAHM for these 6 months I got a good experience of exactly what she went through. No matter if you work full time or stay at home there is never enough time in the day to do it all. Try running a business in the mist of all that?! Everyone needs help regardless if you work a 40 hour week or stay home full time with kids.
I am keeping my head up and doing everything I can to help support my family. We will get through this rough season in life. A BIG thank you to everyone who has helped us along the way, continued to support us and been here when we need you the most. You guys are heroes and I am forever grateful for each and every one of you. We will get through this rough time. If praying is your thing, please add a little one in there for us. <3