THE BLOG
06/24/2014 10:15 am ET Updated Aug 24, 2014

A Mom's Work-At-Home Mamafesto

Shawn Fink

Let the crazy begin.

A little more than a year ago, I longed for a flexible career that would allow me to help change the world, contribute to my family -- and allow me to fully and completely raise my daughters without any childcare.

Last year, during summer vacation I hadn't been with my daughters for a summer in nearly five years. I longed to show them the true love of a slow summer vacation.

And we truly enjoyed every second.

Just a year later, we're ready to do it all over again.

The lack of schedule will be nourishing to us all. No more lunches to pack. No more bus to catch. No more homework frustrations.

And a lot more time together, which means a lot less time for me to think clearly and produce new work.

In anticipation of this great summer vacation event, I began to do what many solo-preneurs would do... I started planning and working ahead about two months ago.

But then two weeks ago, I hit the wall. Tired of planning. Tired of doing. Tired of thinking. Tired of spending every minute thinking about the next three months.

And not nearly enough was done, either.

Tormented by this eagerness to get ahead and my stubbornness to live in the moment, I pulled out my journal and began writing.

A single prompt set me over the edge with a change in heart on how I had been viewing summer this year.

"What do I want from this time with my children?"

And things suddenly became so clear.

Visions of slow summer days started taking over my mind, yes, but also confidence poured through me. I've done this before. I've juggled many things. I've worked a job and ran a blog at night. I survived a half dozen snow days this past winter and still managed to get everything done -- on time.

I can do this, I thought. And I will do it without losing my ever-loving mind. And I will do it without losing a precious second with my daughters.

This summer, all I need to do is what I already do, but I'll do it by the swimming pool, in the backyard, at the park, overlooking the ocean, watching a sunrise and while watching my daughters ride their bikes around and around.

Let's face it, I will have time. I will be able to do it all. I will work smarter. In other words, the work will get done -- on my time and in an Abundant Mama way -- peaceful, present and playful.

It's easy for work-at-home moms to feel frustrated when our children are sick or home for a holiday or a vacation because we're so focused on how the schedule changes affects us negatively. And yet the real motivation to be a mom who works from home is to be with our children, to be able to be here for them.

And so I offer this Work-at-Home Mamafesto, a gentle reminder for those days when things are turned upside down. This Mamafesto is for any mom who works or stays home, who has a project they are trying to tackle with children underfoot. Or even a dream they are trying to manifest.

A Mom's Work-at-Home Mamafesto:

  1. No matter what, I have chosen to be here, to do this meaningful work of raising children as an Abundant Mama. I will put my children's needs at the top of my to-do list every single day. I will be a magic-maker of their one and only childhood. And, above all, this is my time to rejuvenate and reinvigorate my own mothering soul. I will embrace today as it is.
  2. Work will not get done as I think it will happen. The house will not stay clean as I wish. Routines will be tossed out the window. I am grateful to be here to witness this messy, but beautiful childhood.
  3. My tasks will pile up, yes, but no matter what, my children will know what a slow, magical day feels like because I will deliberately embrace the yeses that are full of messes and experimentation that help them thrive as children.
  4. There may not be time to finish even one thing, but they will experience pure joy because I will show them what it feels like to live fully by doing what we love most while embracing each and every risk we take.
  5. Despite the life juggle and struggles that will sometimes happen, they will know I am listening to them when -- and only when -- my eyes and my ears are all facing them and I am able to respond to them with my undivided attention.
  6. My work is my soul care and they will witness what it means to follow your truth as they watch me rise early and stay up late to do the work of an Abundant Mama.
  7. Together, we will grow more patient and flexible as we learn to navigate each other's interests, passions and quirks in a 24/7 environment and I am ready to see what unfolds for us all.
  8. Even when my brain is rushing and overwhelmed, we will always take the slow path. The long and windy path. The one with all the sights and the sounds. We will not rush. We will not hurry. We will explore and wonder through every journey.
  9. Each day is a new opportunity to let ease flow into our life. We will nourish ourselves in new and promising ways. No self-care tool will go unused or unfulfilled.
  10. We will laugh together. Nap together. Cry together. Walk together. Hide together. Sing together. Draw together. Play together. Snuggle together. Swim together. Band together. And we will love every minute of that time because those are memories we will not forget.
  11. We will happily go off for our own quiet space and time, knowing that we need that time apart to think clearly and witness our own inner growth. This time will serve all of us well.
  12. Every day is a chance to get it right. Every hour is a chance to be loved and show love. Every moment is an opportunity to embrace right now as if it's the last chance we'll get to be together.
  13. I will make mistakes. I will mess up. I will regret words I've said. I will feel tired and overwhelmed. And so will they. But I will celebrate my successes -- and theirs. Perhaps even with some cupcakes eaten in the park under a nice tree.
  14. I will work more than I'll mean to at times. I will play more than I should other times. The goal, though, is tofind a balance of being present, peaceful and playful, while also feeling productive. I will keep my eye on that goal and no other.
  15. But, no matter what happens, I will love them fiercely, above all else. And I will cherish each moment with them completely and hold as many dance parties as possible -- as if it's our last dance.
Shawn Fink is the mom of twin girls, founder of The Abundant Mama Project and author of the books, "The Abundant Mama's Guide to Savoring Slow" and "The Playful Family." Download a free copy of her eBook The Abundant Mama's Guide to Peaceful Mornings.