As a parent you struggle with wanting to give your children your whole world, but also making sure that your whole world doesn’t revolve entirely around them. You need time for yourself, time to dream, time with your spouse, time for real sex (not JUST “Business Time” Sex), and time to feel like a real person who gets to pursue their own desires every once in a while! As a parent we all still have dreams! When our kids come along it’s easy to feel like those ambitions get pushed out of the rhythm of simply maintaining a family.
I know this has been a struggle of ours.
How do we build a business that our family can happily live off of while raising our kids at home?
For the longest time I thought it was all about maintaining the balancing act of family and work. Similar to the scales of justice the minute you take your time and focus off of one, the other has to sacrifice, and in return be neglected. I thought it was about doing it all and making it all look really good, but that’s not real life at all! Running a home based business, heck even if you work a 9-5 job and have a family, there are weeks where you can barely catch up with the laundry, let alone have dinner ready on time! It’s a lot of hard work, but changing my perspective from balancing it all to allowing life and work to flow within a steady rhythm has given me a new found peace for the journey a head. Finding my rhythm in the busy and quiet places, being in tune to my individual needs, my family’s needs, and my professional needs have all given me permission to ebb and flow within the different seasons that life brings. It’s not up to me to balance work and life, it’s up to me to listen to the ever changing rhythm and give in to how the two become my life. It’s about enjoying the journey of pursuing our dreams while being ok with the process.
A few years back Cale went from being home full-time working for Green Couch to working full-time at a local architecture firm. Between that and having a kid our design business went from two full-time employees to about one half. I’ve often times felt like we sold out to get a pay check, but looking back our reason to put Cale back in the work force was so much more than that. His degree is in architecture, but in order to get his architectural license and design like we hope to in the future, he had to put in more hours at an actual architecture firm. Since then he has collected all the hours he needs and has started testing for his license (2 tests passed, only 5 more to go!). It’s been a SLOW process, but one that has helped us move forward in so many more ways than I could have ever expected.
What felt like 10 steps back was actually 10 steps forward.
When we started Green Couch Design we had no plan, we had no savings. It was a whirl wind and a lot fun, but it was also a lot of work and a lot of sacrifice. Taking the last two years to intentionally slow down the growth of our design firm has given us time to enjoy growing into a family. It’s given us financial stability to become fully debt free AND build up savings so that we are in a better place when Cale does come home full-time. It’s given Cale work experience and connections in the architecture and construction industry that would have taken him YEARS to gain by working from home. Lastly, it’s allowed me to enjoy just being a mom and taking on clients at my own pace, instead of designing out of a need for a pay check.
As “creative entrepreneurs” it feels like we are not truly legit unless we are the starving artist. But there has got to be a way to do what we love and make a lot of money doing it without selling our souls. For Cale and I we want to pay for our kids’ college so that they can start their life as debt free as possible. We want to go on vacations all over the world for weeks at a time. We want to grow and cook our own food. We want to design and build our own modern farm house–in the next five years! ALL of these goals take money, and planning, and dreaming BIG! I understand that life can throw curve balls. There are moments where you finally get your savings to a healthy place and BOTH cars randomly need major repairs (like this last week!). None of our dreams become real without true intention, focus, and drive. Life is gonna throw random events your way that, for a season, will take more of your time, money, and energy. It’s how you allow those obstacles to flow within the pursuit of your dreams that will determine their ultimate effect.
There are days, like today, where I have to remind myself that we are making progress.
We are learning how to make smarter and better choices.
Our dreams are becoming real and tangible things.
It’s a slow process.
At times it’s VERY tedious, but step by step we are getting there.
There are so many dreams in Cale and I’s hearts that are way bigger than our children. We are constantly asking God how do all these things fit together into one melting pot? Like it or not you can’t separate life and work. The stress at work is gonna carry over into your home life and vice versa. Giving myself permission to move within the rhythm of life and work has made it less about choosing one over the other, and more about enjoying this season, this moment, and the task at hand. If I can’t stay on top of the laundry and have dinner ready in this moment, then how will I set my own deadlines and stay on top of them with our clients? Who knows what this season of motherhood is preparing me for in the future? I just gotta treat each task like the world depends on it. And it does! My kids depend on me being there. Being present in the day to day and not constantly checking my phone, or the latest blog post. Finding my rhythm has given me permission to focus on my design skills AND my mommy skills while not feeling guilty when I’m focused on one more than the other.
It’s given me the freedom and grace to adjust, adapt, make mistakes, and be ok with starting all over again.
This journey of Green Couch Design and ultimately Bringing Design Home is gonna look different than I thought. Sometimes we start down a path and it changes, but if we flow within the rhythm, within the song that is our life, God still manages to turn it into something amazing. Our rhythm is gonna look different than anything the world has ever seen, because there is no other Cale and Meg (or Male & Ceg as our friends call us). I can’t tell you exactly how or draw it in a picture. It’s not up to the world to define that for us. It’s not up to the latest social media fad, or the top 5 steps on how to grow our business. It’s up to us, and us listening to the beats in our hearts each moment, each day. It’s up to us flowing in this rhythm of life and work, enjoying the dance, and not being afraid to share it with others. Instead of being afraid of neglecting my home life for my work life, I get to choose both and do them both well. There is freedom in this journey of children and the pursuit our dreams. When the combination of life and work is less about balance and more about rhythm it becomes a celebration of the dance.
Of our song.
Of our story.
I know all this might sound like bunch of creative mumble jumble, but we are about to change things up around here. We are about to go into new directions as well as straighten up some existing paths. We’re still praying through it all and re-establishing vision, but we are excited to jump back in. With no strings attached. With no preconceived ideas.
Only a song in our hearts of a business that bridges family and work with a reality and a freedom that says you can be successful at both without compromising your beliefs, your time, or your quality in any area… And that’s exactly what we plan to do.
Thanks for joining us!
From The Farm
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