I just realized that I have a real job.

This may not seem like a revelation to you, but for me it’s life changing! Being home all day with out a “proper employer”  has wreaked havoc on my brain. It’s been almost two years since I left my part-time, one day a week job. And about 8 years since my last full-time workplace. I fell prey to the notion that money matters most, and you are only worth the amount you can make.

Let’s start at the beginning… I’ve been working at home since my oldest was born. Graphic design projects here and there, working with my husband’s company, blogging and being a mom. For some reason, this has never been enough to make me feel like my “job” mattered. I’ve had countless discussions with my husband about this topic. Usually ending in tears. It has been a really big struggle for me. I’m a do-er, figuring if I try hard enough I’ll “prove” it’s a real thing. Trouble is, I was trying to prove it to everyone around me when I didn’t believe it myself.

But that all changed this past weekend.

I recently spent 3 days at BlissDom, a social media conference. I was by myself, with my own hotel room – and it felt very weird and amazing all at the same time. In the process of meeting tons of amazing new people (scary for me as an introvert!) and enjoying amazing evening parties, I learned about social media, writing and how to take better care of this blog. I also learned that I was not alone. It was really, really life-changing meeting lots of other people with the same “real job” as me!

Bloggers “get” bloggers.

Just like electricians get electricians and quilters get quilters. (And all of their acronyms!) It was so nice to be able to talk about things that matter to what I do everyday. There are jokes that only we get. Information that only we know how to use. It made me feel connected, like my work really matters. We went on excursions that began with an explanation of which hashtags we should use when posting our photos. We hash-tagged things to win prizes and to keep track of the weekend. (#BlissDomCA) I learned that Twitter is better than email. And that the Blue Mountain Conference Centre chefs make amazing pasta!

It was also really helpful that lots (dare I say most) of the other people at the conference had kids. The struggle to take good care of your home and kids, plus running a business is so real! Being a mom (or dad) full-time has a bad rep – though I am happy to see many more people talking about it in a more positive light. I am hopeful that the next generation will have a more realistic, positive view of staying home to take care of your family.

Moving forward…

I don’t want to just to tell you about my Blissdom experience, but also to hope that it helps any of you that feel the way I did. I’m hopeful you don’t, of course! But if you do, please know that you have an amazing job doing whatever it is you do! You are amazing. Put your heart into your work, but don’t forget to take time for yourself. The kids/dishes/cleaning can wait… (though I’m still working on that one!) Everyone around you will be better off for it and you will come back with renewed energy. Find people around you that do what you do – talk to them, go out for coffee! Talk about things that only you both “get”.

What do you think… What is your real job? What do you do to take care of yourself?

P.S. I’m not fixed yet. I’m writing this as a reminder to myself as well. I know when I publish this that I will have no more excuses and that helps too. Let’s work on it together! You with me?! #workinprogress