Having been a stay-at-home momma for a year now, I feel qualified to say – it is one of the most difficult jobs anyone can do. It is also a job that doesn’t bring in income. It is because of this I believe you see an influx in the number of people becoming a part of multi-level marketing companies or making things from home to sell online. I admire work-at-home mommas and dads and give you props if you can find time to start a business or make an income while staying at home with the children.
Every now and then, I would like to feature a work-at-home momma on my blog. Becca of Austin, Texas inspires me. She inspired me to start a blog, she inspires me to cook, and overall just be much cooler than I actually am. Thanks for that Becca!
I met Becca through work several years ago. Becca has one of those personalities that makes her super likable. Thankfully, she took some time to answer some questions in regards to motherhood, blogging and being a work-at-home momma. Becca runs the blog Dash of Texas (https://dashoftexas.com), a blog featuring amazing food, stories of motherhood and some amazing photos. Not to mention, her husband makes some pretty amazing looking furniture! Thanks for being a part of this conversation Becca!
Question: When did you decide to become a blogger?
Becca: I started blogging in 2014 to have a creative outlet. I had always loved to bake – my first jobs in college were in bakeries, and I was bit by the baking bug from the get-go. And I’ve also always loved writing, so blogging was a natural marriage of the two. My husband actually encouraged me to give it a try. For several years I created solely food for the blog and absolutely loved it. It was such an adventure of learning about new dishes, delving into photography, building my traffic, and creating a community in the blogging world.
After about 3 years or so, I lost steam, so I took about a year and a half break. I always thought I’d pick it back up, but with a new focus that reflected what life looked like now. Earlier this year, that’s what I did! While I still share food on my site, I have more of a focus on motherhood and lifestyle. Since I had my daughter, motherhood has changed me so, so, so much, and I’ve found talking and sharing opens up amazing conversations with other moms. And I already had a platform to do it, so I just blended it all together into one neat package that represents me a lot more, and it fuels me creatively again.
Question: What are your inspirations/favorite blogs/writers?
Smitten Kitchen – Deb Perelman is the “godfather” of all food blogs.
Bev Cooks – She is hilarious and witty, and her view of motherhood with her twins is life-giving
The Elliott Homestead – Shae lives in the foothills of a Washington mountain range on her literal farm with her husband and children. I don’t know how she manages to slaughter her own chickens and make homemade bread and raise four children while still looking so stinking cute.
Pinch of Yum – Lindsey Ostrom is a bit of a trailblazer with making a blog a job, and she and her husband have created amazing resources for those who want to take their blog to the next level. They also lost their son to premature birth a while back, and she has been beautifully candid about her journey through her grief, and they recently welcomed a healthy baby girl into the world. I can’t get enough of rooting for her and her husband.
Rachel Hollis – Like every other woman on the planet, I’m obsessed with her and her new book, Girl, Wash Your Face. Every chapter is like an NFL-locker-room pep talk. I love how she encourages women to chase their dreams. She’s a lot more naturally motivated and bit of a drill sergeant to herself than I will ever be, so I have to read it with a grain of salt. Nonetheless, I adore her and her work.
Question: What is the hardest part of being a work-at-home momma?
Becca: Every mom is different, but for me, it’s knowing when to turn it off and on. There are no office hours when you’re a mother, and I have had a difficult time figuring out what time to designate to myself or to my work when I’m not focused on my child. It’s a balancing act, really, and a lot of it depends on the day. If my kiddo goes down for a nap and I’m feeling particularly drained, I know I need to take some time to refuel myself and not expend more energy than I have to. If she goes down for bed and I’m ready to pour a glass of wine and work on the blog, I go for it.
I think it’s easy to say, “just suck it up and get it done,” but that isn’t healthy for me. I have to balance how much of myself I give to my child, to my work, and to myself. Otherwise, I get thrown off balance and go a little crazy.
And when you work for yourself from behind a computer screen, you miss out on a lot that you used to get in an office setting. There’s no banter between coworkers, there’s no supervisor giving your feedback, there’s no lunch break, there’s no water cooler to gossip around… You are your own little island. So all of the pep talks and feedback has to come from you. It can be isolating and lonely, and it’s easy to lose your bearings.
Question: What is one piece of advice you would give to a momma out there who is scared to step out and work?
Becca: If you have the financial flexibility to work by choice, I’d say this – choose something you love. Think, dig deep, and figure out what kind of work is life-giving to you. What kind of work will refuel you and inspire you when you’re away from your child? What kind of work will make you feel valuable, intelligent, and creative? Maybe that’s freelance design a few days a week, or going back to a marketing firm full time. Maybe it’s blogging during the daily naps, or it’s teaching kids in China over Skype at night. Whatever it is, I encourage you to step out and do it, and let it fill you in a way that you may have missed out on while being a full-time stay-at-home-mom.
Question: What would you say to a momma worrying about feeling guilty for working instead of focusing their time 100% on their child?
Becca: I’ve tried focusing my time 100% on my child, and it was awful. So awful. Especially in the beginning, we put so much mom-guilt on ourselves if we spare one thought on anything that’s not our child. I remember talking to my doctor about the postpartum depression I was dealing with, and he asked an incredibly poignant question: “What kind of time are you getting away from your baby?”
The answer was none. But he encouraged me to try and get away from her a couple of times a week, whether that was for a run, a coffee shop work session, a walk, a grocery trip, what-have-you. That advice was a game changer for me. When I spent time away from her, I found myself able to offer my baby far more patience and presence of mind when I came back to her. Plus, it’s so important to have that time to yourself so you can reconnect with who you were before you became a mother. Chances are she’s still alive and well, and she’s ready to come out and play like the old days.
Question: When do you find time to work on the blog?
Becca: I am fortunate in that we have family nearby. And I’m even more fortunate that they want to spend time with my baby! So twice a week my mom comes over to play with my daughter for a few hours, and often that’s when I will escape to a coffee shop to get a little time away and focus on the blog and whatever article or post I’m working on. When she’s unable to watch her, I try to get as much done as I can during nap time, or after she’s down for the night.
Question: Any final thoughts?
Becca: I love being a mom. I adore my baby with the fire of a thousand suns, and a lot of my time and effort goes toward being the best version of myself for her. However, I also want to be the best version of myself for me. It took some time to realize it, but having a purpose outside of her is paramount to being the best version of Becca. Something that channels the work I did before I had her, and the work and life I miss now that I’m not in an office anymore. So even if my blog doesn’t reach a bajillion views or every article I write doesn’t get accepted to the site I want, I have a creative purpose that fuels me. And that brightens my soul a little bit every day!
Photo Credit: April Mae Creative, Austin, Texas