For a long time, I felt I wasn’t passionate enough about my business, and I felt really bad about it.
Even though I would geek out over the chance to edit a client’s blog post draft, even though brainstorming positioning statements gave me a little rush, despite the fact that crafting words for a living made me smile, I didn’t feel what I thought I should: a deep, fiery passion.
What made this even worse, at least in my mind, was that what I felt passionate about seemed so archaic, anti-feminist, and limiting: I felt that deep fire of passion about being present with my children.
But that passion came hand-in-hand with the idea of pursuing a business of my own, going for a mix of stay-at-home-mom and working mom in a delicate, sometimes awkward dance that I’d never before imagined was possible.
Shouldn’t I feel more passionate about my business?
Shouldn’t I feel more passionate about staying home with my kids?
Was I a real entrepreneur if I didn’t want to work until 2 a.m.?
Could I claim any part in the “stay-at-home-mom” title if I also worked two days a week?
Where did I fit in? And if I wasn’t throwing myself fully into any one thing…what the heck was I doing?
The problem was that I was gauging my efforts not just based on the examples of other people, but based on my skewed view of those other people, and it wasn’t until I stopped doing that that I could embrace my true feelings about work and mom life.
I do not have the Gary Vaynerchuk entrepreneurial mindset, because I don’t have the passion that fuels that kind of drive. And that’s okay.
I do not have the quintessential stay-at-home mom energy, because sometimes I’m lazy and I don’t like to rush around and I want to be able to have a “snuggle and read” session with my preschooler instead of jetting off to a mommy-and-me class. Our schedules are more often wide-open rather than jam-packed. And that’s okay.
Gary Vee isn’t full of passion every minute of the day, and that SAHM who always seems to have it all together isn’t either, and all I need to be is thoroughly myself. The more I learned to fully embrace how I actually felt, rather than trying to feel something I didn’t, the closer I got to feeling the full warmth of my passions.
Because what lights me up the most is that delicate, awkward balance I’ve longed for since becoming a mom—the chance to be home with my kids AND work on a business of my own AND pursue my biggest, wildest dreams. It’s not just one of those things, it’s all of them.
I’ve found that it’s possible to feel that passionate fire about editing a client blog post, writing creative nonfiction, and painting with my kids—and that all of this can happen in the same day. It’s also true that some days I’m frustrated with client edits, uninspired to write creatively, and annoyed at my kids’ non-stop bickering.
Passion doesn’t have to be a roaring fire. In fact, for me, passion is not that at all. My passions are the quiet, steady kind— not a backyard bonfire that rages all night, but a living room fireplace kind of thing. Which is actually a perfect metaphor for the kind of life I’m passionate about.
MotherHustle panelist Stacy Firth is a writer and content strategist who helps moms who are small business owners and solopreneurs create online content that keeps it real. She also leads workshops that help mamas lead a lit-up life, and is mama to two. You can find her on her website or on Instagram at @stacyrfirth.
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