2/18/09

Bear With Me Here
After a lot of thinking and praying and facing reality, I have come to the conclusion that I just can't do it all. Especially while David is in his doctorate program and still a high school administrator. Someone in this house (me) needs to be well-rested and on the ball most of the time. And that leads me to the tough, tough decision to close my jewelry business. I'm actually posting this to give me the courage to go through with it because I don't do this lightly. I worked so hard to build it up and make it successful. But at the end of the day, when I look at my children, they need a mom, not a small-business owner.

I think if David's job were not so time-consuming, if he wasn't also taking classes, if we weren't trying to pack our house and get it ready to sell, if I didn't have 3 kids, if we weren't cleaning out my mom's house, if I didn't volunteer in Carver's and Lily's classes... If, if, if. But none of those are going to change anytime soon, so the ONE thing I can control is my business.

What's hard about giving it up? The positive feedback I get from it. The feeling of personal achievement. The knowledge that I can create something that someone else will buy. Something that is strictly by me and for me. It's positively addicting. But trying to fit all of that in on top of my family that is stretched to the limit just won't work anymore.

So while I am so sad to put aside a part of my life that was creative and fulfilling and exciting, I know deep down that I have to. I do not want to look back on my life and regret not having done everything I could for my kids. I can just tell they need more of me these days. They are fighting more and impatient more and grumpy more often than not... and it doesn't help for me to say to them, "Not now, I have to fill an order" or "Not now, I need to ship this package to Canada" or "Not now, I need to check Etsy." I want to give them all of me that they deserve, even though it is so hard sometimes. Making breakfast and playing Transformers and helping with homework won't give me the same glorious satisfaction as selling bulk orders to Australia, but I recognize the priceless value of being available to the people who need me the most.

Please do not interpret this post to be anything about working moms versus stay-at-home moms. It is not. This is strictly about me and what is happening at my house and what I need to put aside in order to make our family work a little better. I have 2 custom orders to fill and ship off today, and then I'm done. I'll pack up my supplies and write "on hold" on the box. Maybe I'll open it again in 5 months. Maybe I'll open it again in 5 years. Or maybe never. I don't know.

And as I have been saying a lot these days, thanks for listening.

11 comments:

Mark and Sarah said...

cathy,
your post sounds so familiar. i also had to put my fulfilling, exciting, creative etsy outlet on hold too--you lasted WAY longer than me, though. I was also so sad to close that chapter in order to focus on keeping the rest of life together--more important things. I resonate so much with the satisfaction you received from having your own business--completely and utterly yours. I hope that someday you can reopen it and not feel so stretched when you do. I think Etsy will be around a long time :) And for the record, your jewelry was gorgeous and so unique!

Kacy D. said...

Cathy,

Thank you so much for all of the beautiful pendants you have created for all of us who love them. You are extremely talented and I know your kids will appreciate the time and talent you put into their childhood. The obvious love in your family is inspiring to Jordan and I. I have to say, I will miss shopping for gifts on your etsy site! :-)

Best of luck with the move and I wish for time to pass slowly with your children (most days) and quickly for the doctorale program (does that make sense?) :-)

All the best,

Kacy

Melodie Monberg said...

Lots of courage to put aside something you love. I know that feeling of wrestling with too many things. May this decision bring much BLESSING, PEACE and fulfillment for you beyond your wildest dreams. Keep trekking!

Anonymous said...

Woo-hoo! I am so proud of you! In this society - where money is a sign of success and family can often take the back burner to building your own business - it is not easy to put everything into perspective! What a great thing to read on such a dreary day out here in the flatlands! May you find that the extra time to care for your less and less grumpy children is worth the exchange!
Love to all of you,
your niece Kate

Heather & Adam said...

Oh, Cathy...I know how you feel. When I closed my studio, I felt like a part of my heart was broken. But it was the right thing to do for this time in my life. And you, too...You'll come to enjoy the extra time you have and I know you will find your way back to your art soon, one way or another. I love photographing more now that I used to. I do feel so lucky to have a Cathy pendant. I treasure it, and you. <3

Chatter said...

Noooo.... I was just thinking last night I wanted to order some of your jewelry for my sisters. Okay, selfishness aside, I am happy for you. And for your kids. There are many days I feel I can hardly keep up but when it comes down to it I wouldn't want to be anywhere else. Enjoy your new time with your family. I hope you can revisit your art in the future. Best to you and your family!

Anonymous said...

Dear Cathy:
I know this was a difficult choice to make and I am so proud of you. I know the blessings will far outweigh the cost. You are a great Mom (I know this from a very reliable source) and this crazy season of your life will soon pass.
Love, your Aunt Leian

hotflawedmama said...

ugh. I'm so sorry you're going through this. What a tough time. Just know I'll be praying for your sanity and that a surprise way of expressing your creativity opens up to you.

I'm voting for the "opening up in 5 months" thing. Then I'll get Christmas presents out of the way. :) But that's just me.

Mrs. Baker said...

Hi Lady,

Good for you for shifting your life in attempt to find the balance. It is sooooo hard to figure it all out. The minute you do you may change your mind again. You swing one way and then the other. You try to cram it all in and find out that you are the one suffering the most so you cut back and try to take better care of yourself. Motherhood is crazy hard S&^$*. If you volunteering at the kids schools, and taking them to the library to stock pile on books, and trying to get a weekend away for marriage enrichment...then you are already doing an amazing job of trying to make your life and the life of your kiddos the best it can be. Hopefully once the dust settles there will be a little corner for you creative energy. I totally get the crazy kiddos thing...I was JUST there! Hang in There!

XOXO!!!!!!

Vivi said...

Your etsy products are so cool and unique. The creativity behind it won't go away just because you're playing Transformers for a while. Good for you for making a selfless decision, based on what your family needed from you. It takes courage and sacrifice, and that just ain't easy. Promise to still blog though? :)

Nancy said...

Thank you for the wonderful charms you made for me. I will (and do) treasure them.

On one hand it is sad that women (who become mothers) have to be confronted with the need to balance motherhood with their personal ambitions. But on the other hand, how lucky we are to have the responsibility and satisfaction of nurturing and guiding these little souls placed in our care.

I have really worked hard to keep my creative needs fulfilled by working them into the activities I do with my kids. There are days when I feel like I've short changed myself because I have not invested myself in a career. But ultimately I think my heart is happiest at home being a mom.

Best to you momma.