Work-At-Home Momma: Tricia

We are a month in on featuring work-at-home mommas on the blog. I am absolutely loving getting to share these ladies and their businesses with you! I hope you are enjoying it!

Tricia and FamilyThis week, we are featuring Tricia. She is the creator of Christmas Dove, which is a gospel centered kit that helps families focus on not just being good, but doing good during the Christmas season. Tricia and her husband Caleb are parents to four beautiful children and they live in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

Tell us a little about what you do for Christmas Dove.
As the owner of a small business, I do it all – process orders, handle advertising/marketing, eat a lot of chocolate, manage the website and social media platforms, order all the supplies needed for each kit, eat a lot of chocolate, package every order, work on brand expansion, eat more chocolate…. basically every aspect of this gig has my chocolate-smudged fingerprints on it.

When did you decide to start working and why?
Tricia: My business was born out of a need I had with my own kids. As a new mom, I was really struggling with how to balance faith and fun at Christmas. Many of the fun things were going to distract from the focus of why we celebrate, and I was feeling so much internal pressure to get our family started on the right foot. I searched for a fun gospel-centered alternative to Elf on the Shelf, but nothing really jived with me, so I created my own alternative: Christmas Dove. I tried it out with my kids in 2016 then began offering it to other families the next year. I happened to be eight months pregnant with baby #4, the
other kids were ages 3, 2, and 1, and we had also just moved five states away for my husband’s job when I launched Christmas Dove.. so I am clearly insane.

Christmas Dove Prayer CalendarWhat is the hardest part of being a work-at-home mom?
Tricia: For me, it’s a weird teeter-totter of feeling guilty for choosing to squeeze in work time when I feel like I should be engaging with the kids,
and then also being frustrated and annoyed when I’m trying to get stuff done and they are crying/pawing at me/needing more goldfish/whining because Netflix froze/eating my chocolate/flooding the bathroom/dumping sand in the sink, etc. In summary, I struggle with feelings of guilt and equal parts annoyance.

What is one piece of advice you would give to a mom out there who is scared to step out and work?
Tricia: I would say to not wait for the “right time” because it doesn’t exist. If you feel the Lord is leading you in a direction, then trust in Him! It was definitely a wonkadoodle time to start a business when I did, but there was no doubt in my mind that this was something I was being called to do. It hasn’t been easy, but it has always felt right. There is peace in that.

Christmas Dove Book

What would you say to a mom worrying about feeling guilty for working instead of focusing their time 100% on their child?
Tricia: I’ve already admitted that this is something I struggle with, so I wish I had an answer! Whenever I am feeling guilty or that my parenting is inadequate, something that has helped me is that I ask myself, “Are they loved and are they safe?” The answer is always yes. It’s easy to get in a tizzy over in-the-moment details, but it helps me to step back and look at the big picture some times. 
Also, the more kids I’ve acquired, the more I’ve realized that they need to be the “Captains of their Entertainment Ship” instead of relying on me to be their “Cruise Director.” Once I let go of the idea that I need to occupy them 24/7, they have become more independent in 
their imaginative play, and I’ve been able to get more done with my work.

When do you find time to work?
Tricia: Mainly at night when they are all asleep. It’s hard to find the time.

What do you find is your biggest obstacle as a work-at-home mom?
Tricia: Probably finding time to do the work I need to do. When they are all asleep and all my chores are done, I just want to relax and
hang out with my husband. I feel like when I work on things during the day, I’m sacrificing time with my kids, and when I work on things
at night, I’m sacrificing time with my husband.

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