I had always dreamt about owning my own business, so when the opportunity arose to buy a little art studio three months ago, my husband and I jumped on it. I was filled with the romantic notion of running a paint business while also seamlessly managing life at home. After all, how hard could it be to run a little art studio? Fielding phone calls and inviting people in for a paint night, scheduling artists, and creating a beautiful calendar with amazing art seemed easy enough. I mean, I was in business to make people happy as they celebrated their important moments in life with us from birthdays to bridal and baby showers, date nights and best friend get-togethers. But as days turned into weeks of spending long hours at the studio learning everything about running the place, I was increasingly overcome with anxiety and guilt of not being at home with my family. It so happened that I took over ownership at the height of the event season and I was never home anymore. That is when I realized that I could no longer be the person I had been in my previous life: a full time mom to three teenagers, homemaker, and supportive wife. How was I going to manage my new identity of business owner and mom at home? Surely, my husband could not just drop everything because he still held his job working for corporate America. I had always prided myself in taking care of our beautiful home and being there for our kids. So, who was going to take care of them now when my husband had to travel on business and I worked late at the studio? How was I going to manage grocery shopping, laundry, cooking dinner, driving the kids to activities, helping with homework and not to forget clean the house? And then it happened! Everyone pitched in to make it work. My husband found time to cook, clean and do laundry in between everything else. The kids helped out with the dog and clean-up after meals, and on days my husband traveled, extended family came in to help. There were sounds of laughter in the house, my kids ate home-cooked meals at the kitchen table, laundry got washed and folded, and the pantry was filled with groceries. I learned that becoming a business lady was not a loss of my control over my family, but a gain in my children’s independence, expression of my husband’s love and support for me, and my confidence in my beautiful family.
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