Seven months ago I made one of the biggest risks of my life. I am not typically a risk taker. When I make decisions I play it safe and if there is money involved I am especially careful with my choice. I had my first job at 12 and have had one if not two jobs at a time since then. When I was in the last few months of pregnancy with Delilah I was cut down to a day or two a week at because I worked at a resort on the beach which was slow in the fall months. I wasn't getting a paid maternity leave and thought about having to return after having her and dealing with the constant fluctuation in pay due to the occupancy of the resort. I did get paid well for the job I did but it wasn't worth it when I could work 5 days one week and zero the next. I decided to take a risk that could be a financial disaster for my family and officially quit my job. To be honest we had nothing in savings but since the busiest time for my online shop is always around the holidays I knew I would have to forego spending the first month of Delilah's life with her in my arms every second and work my ass off to create a savings for us to pay my portion of the bills out of for the next few months.
Delilah's due date was November 25th and I planned a deal to sell my personalized Santa sacks on Very Jane November 9th. I asked my sister-in-law to help sew the bags and knew I could get friends and family to help if I needed them to. Originally I planned to bust out the orders and try to get the sewing done before Delilah arrived - yes each bag was sewn by us (my sister-in-law and I), and add the personalization afterwards. That plan went out the window when I woke up on November 14th in a whole lot of pain. I called the doctor and asked to go in for a visit and when we got there she said she was going to do an exam and depending on how low the baby was she might induce me at the end of the week. While doing the exam she was shocked at how low the baby was and said she wanted me at the hospital that evening. I did not plan this since Wyatt was born on his due day and I was induced a week after Mason's due date. Of course I knew this might happen though, so I would just have to hold off sewing the bags for a few days until Delilah and I were back home. Then as some of you know Delilah had respiratory issues after birth and had to spend a week in the neonatal intensive care unit. That surely wasn't something I ever expected since I had a normal pregnancy and all the tests and check ups went perfect. So here I was with 250 sacks to finish from Very Jane not counting the ones that were flying off the shelf in my ETSY shop (about 200 more). There was nothing that could stop me from spending every second I could by my baby's side. After we made it through we were blessed to bring her home the day before Thanksgiving. After spending the entire day cuddling her I knew Black Friday would be the first day spent filling orders.
From Black Friday to December 17th my life revolved around filling orders and snuggling my baby girl as much as I could. I barely slept because I was up with the kids during the day finishing whatever I could when they were keeping themselves busy or napping. When they were asleep for the night I would really pour myself into getting orders done. I would be up past 3 a.m. most nights with a pot of coffee or Mountain Dew. I would get a few hours of sleep and wake up around 6 or 7 to do what I could before the kids woke up. I wish I could say I was only getting a few hours of sleep because I was up with my newborn, but she slept like a champ. I can honestly say I walked around delirious for those three weeks of my life, didn't get any Christmas shopping done, had Delilah in the moby wrap 80% of the time, was eating out or making my husband cook dinner but I was paying bills and making enough to pay some of our bills for a few months to come. It wasn't just me either - I had friends and family working for me too. My sister-in-law sewed half of the sacks, my husband was putting the personalization on, my dad came over one day and spent a few hours ironing fabric, my mom helped pull ribbon through the bags, both of my parents watched the boys for a few hours here and there, my sister helped a few times, a friend helped me for a few hours everyday because I had all kinds of orders coming in for items in my ETSY and Storenvy shops and then I even hired Skye to help take some of the stress off with my blog.
So far my risk has paid off. Between running my online shops and taking advantage of a few blog opportunities that have come my way I have been able to help my husband financially support our family. As of right now I am on track to bring in more than I did at my 'real job' last year or the year before and that puts the biggest smile on my face. Not only did I prove to myself that I can do this, but I also proved a handful of others wrong. I must say that it has taken A LOT of hard work and between being a stay at home mom and running Poofy Cheeks I have worked harder (mentally and physically) the past seven months than ever before. I try to fill orders in the morning before the boys wake up or while they are watching morning cartoons and I try to blog in the afternoons while they are resting or napping. I would be lying if I said I didn't get interrupted a million times or that I always finish everything on my to-do list. There are some days that I don't have time to shower or even change out of my pajamas but I know one day it will all pay off.
About once every 2-3 weeks I go to my parents house for the afternoon while my husband watches the kids and I try to catch up on things that I have been putting off or need to concentrate on. In the fall my oldest son will be going to kindergarten all day and my middle will be in pre-k in the mornings, so I will just have Delilah and I will get so much more work done! I feel like there are so many things I want to do right now but I just can't be everything all at once since being a mom will always come first! Since the holidays the shop slowed back down and I can usually handle it on my own, but every now and then I will run a deal on a site like Very Jane or Groop Dealz and enlist help.
What risks have you taken or do you want to take? Sometimes the dreams we have will never come true if we don't take some sort of risk. I know I would rather say I tried and failed than that I never tried at all. I am so thankful for every customer, every blog comment, all of the people that believed or supported me in any way. I am beyond grateful. For everyone who thinks I just sit around my house twirling my finger in my hair go kick rocks!!