As a stay at home mom and former news journalist, I read a lot of blogs, I love blogs. Every time I read one that I can relate to, I’m like, ”OMG that’s SO me! I’m such an introvert who overthinks my love/hate but mostly love relationship with being a stay at home mom of kids who might all have gluten allergies.” I think we all enjoy those articles because they make us feel relatable, like we fit into a certain sub-group of other adults. Since leaving my career seven years ago, I feel like I lost my sub-group. Sure I have friends. Childhood friends, college-ish friends (for another time), other mom friends but our goals and sometimes our interests don’t align and I kinda miss that.
My mom always tells me how lucky I am to be able to stay home with my kids. I know she’s right and I do appreciate the fact that my husband’s income can comfortably support a family of five but after almost seven years I find myself getting restless and wondering if it’s time to go back to work. I fantasize about going back to my old career, or starting a new one. I’m not gonna lie, I get pretty psyched thinking about the outfits, the drive-thru coffees, the brain stimulation but most of all the people! But those thoughts, as dreamy as they are, are always met with nauseating anxiety. I start imagining all the sick calls I’d get from the school nurse or the class party that “everybody else’s mom” went to. I think about the missed baseball, soccer and ballet practices and that’s about the time I start pumping the breaks on that plan.
So does that mean I’m not ready? I feel ready so I decided to join a network marketing or MLM team. Maybe you don’t recognize the acronym, (which BTW stands for multi level marketing) but you know plenty of women who are in this sub-group. They’re the ones who sell face cleaners, makeup, essential oils, leggings and jewelry. But hey. hey. CTFD! This is not me trying to sell anything to you. Truth be told, I dropped out of Girl Scouts because selling cookies gave me anxiety and those pretty much sell themselves! I know the bad and pushy reputation MLM reps have gotten over the years. It hasn’t been easy deciding to commit to something that I might quit or not be good at. I’ll probably never be a gold level 5, executive top earner, with 8-thousand PC points who gets to drive a pink Porsche in the carpool line but that’s not why I joined the sales-lady sorority.
If it sounds like I’m making fun, trust me I’m not. The thing is, I’ve flirted with this option before and by flirting I mean I’ve spent hundreds of dollars in product and didn’t earn one penny back. So here I am. Again. But why? The skeptic in me says “I’m just doing it for the discount,” but I realize now that I gave in because I miss belonging to a community of motivated individuals, who move in tandem toward something, anything. (And NO! Joining a half-marathon, training group is not an option. Been there, done that. Barely survived.) So even though sales is not my jam I’m gonna give it a shot. I have a good feeling about it. It’s not excitement but it’s something resembling excitement. As I plan ways to market myself, I’m hopeful about possible friendships. As I scroll through business card designs, I’m reminded of my constant craving for creativity. I’m inspired by the positive vibes pulsing through the company’s Facebook support groups.
Plus, the timing couldn’t feel more perfect as the country, the whole WORLD is still reeling from the monumental show of female fierceness and solidarity. Now could actually be the BEST time to support and allow yourself to be supported by like-minded, goal-oriented women and the companies that enable them.
Maybe one day I’ll be ready for a traditional job away from home but until then, I’m optimistic about the opportunity to report to work from my backyard rocker. If you know someone who’s also embarking on this journey, don’t knock her down, don’t unfriend her, don’t rush to say “no” or discourage her efforts. She could be motivated at the chance to meet friends, or to keep her distance from depression. She could need the money for school, little league, medical or funeral expenses, or maybe she’s just doing it for the discount. Whatever the case, give her a break, support her efforts even if you’re not ready to support her business. Listen to her sales pitch, and more importantly, listen to her why. Let her practice on you and please, above all be kind to the lady selling leggings.