I’m going to go out on a shaky and dangerous limb here:
I don’t think the online work-at-home culture is about making money. Not at all.
I think it’s about a generation of women who want to be in their homes, with their families and be respected for it.
It’s about a generation of women who don’t want to go out into the world to do soul-sucking work in a world that won’t properly appreciate their gifts.
I think it’s about women who have talent, education, life-experiences, and wisdom that they want to do something with. It’s about women who have creative energy oozing out of their very existence with nowhere to put it.
It’s about women who want to make a difference and have a sense of purpose for themselves, not a purpose that relates to their family.
And I might REALLY get flamed for this, but I don’t think it’s even always about making extra money for your family. If your family really needed more reliable income, then you would likely be forced to work outside of the home. The reason I say that?
Because if you really needed more money for your family, you wouldn’t have money to spend on courses to teach you how to make money.
(I do realize that there of plenty of families out there that absolutely need extra income. I’m not talking to those people.)
But from my perspective, the entire earn money online culture exists to get you to spend money on something largely intangible and totally internal: belief in yourself. Meaning. Purpose. Respect for all you do. Respect from your kids, your partner, your community and most of all yourself.
I am totally embarrassed to admit what my work-at-home journey has looked like. It’s involved a lot of online wanderlust, failed plans, domain names, flopped business endeavors and money wasted on those damn courses to teach you how to make money. It isn’t pretty.
You see I’m what you would call
a huge effing flake “multi-passionate.”
I am pretty smart. I went to a prestigious college, I passed two bar exams, I owned that book-smarts stuff.
But I am also introverted, creative, anxious, introspective, woefully sensitive and blessed/cursed with an INFP, Enneagram 4 existence.
I’ve made some decent money as a freelance writer. Did I make six figures like the online gurus? Not even close. But I grossed somewhere in the range of $10,000 last year and I am proud of that. And when I started my freelance journey that would have thrilled me. But after listening to so many damn online gurus tell me that I should be able to be making 6 figures and balling out of control, my successful side hustle turned into a failed full hustle. And absolutely nothing changed but my perspective.
My book was published last year by a real publishing house, and I have made literally a few dollars on it. I didn’t get an advance, and I didn’t negotiate my deal at all. I was just happy to call myself published. But even though I scratched something huge off my bucket list, I still fixated on the fact that I didn’t make six figures online by blogging or using Pinterest or clicking on secret messages or whatever the hell we’ve all tried.
Now, I’m a blogger who wants to make this “make money from your blog” thing work. Mostly because I want to write entirely for myself, not for freelance clients who want to pay me pennies to churn out content that will make them real money.
I am like every other woman out there pinning blogging tips, Pinterest marketing tips, affiliate links and searching Upwork all day. Putting pressure on myself to achieve something, even though I have no idea what that something even is.
I’ve raised a 9-year-old who has given me some real challenges over the years, from food allergies to Birth-to-Three services to ADHD and extreme anxiety. I’ve kept our home running through four houses and three states. It isn’t usually neat and Pinterest-worthy, but it was real and there was love.
And I’ve done that while caring for my own struggles with depression and anxiety. I also got sober as a SAHM living in Wine Town, CT.
I haven’t made six figures online. And despite my book smarts, I have given a lot of people online a lot of money to give me something that I don’t think they can: a purpose.
Maybe I am way off in left field and everyone who reads this will think I’m a privileged nutjob. But I wanted to take the mask off and let you in. And if this resonates with even one other woman, I will be thankful. I suspect that there are way more of us than there are bloggers with perfect hair and label makers who make five figures on their blog in a month.
I’m not sure where this blog will take me, but I am committed to writing for myself, and for anyone else out there who might want to read about home office decor and figuring out this WAHM life with the musings of a madwoman occasionally mixed in.
What has your WAHM journey looked like? Have you spent money on online courses? Do you really need the income and want to tell me to pound sand? Let me know what you think in the comments. I would love to hear from you, really. I think this conversation matters.
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