Work-at-Home Loneliness is Real
As a work-at-home parent, community is everything to me. In the past, I’ve tried to do it all myself. I knew that if I tried just a little harder, I could be the perfect mamapreneur. I could launch new programs and land big clients while making organic meals and volunteering in the classroom. And I planned to do all of this while staying home full-time with my kids.
But here’s the thing. We’re not meant to stay home with our kids all day everyday. In the past, mothers leaned on one another. There were friends and mothers and neighbors and aunts to help. It’s impossible to stay happy and fulfilled if you’re only talking to Facebook and a four year-old all day. I know - I tried.
I found myself living my dream. I left my nursing job, because I was making a full-time salary as a freelance writer by working just a couple hours per day. My kids no longer went to daycare, because I was home with them. This was it. Literally everything i had worked so hard for, but I felt the same.
I still felt constantly busy and overwhelmed. I still wasn’t taking them to the zoo and the park. Not because I had to be at the hospital, but because I was sitting at a laptop.
I quickly realized that something had to change, and I wasn’t going to be able to do it all myself. I like to choose themes and words of inspiration each year. It keeps me grounded and helps me remember what’s really important. One of my words for 2017 is COMMUNITY, and I can’t believe I didn’t value this sooner.
Cultivating a loving, supportive community is not a nice thing to do or something that will just happen on its own. It’s an absolutely essential act of self-love.
As a nurse, I never could have made it through a 12-hour shift without asking for help or at least laughing with a friend at some point during the day. I also have a tendency to get in my head too much, always chastising myself for not doing enough, so getting out and social is crucial for my wellbeing.
Here are just a few ways to cultivate community when you work from home...
Find your online tribe
Yes, face to face contact is the best, but it’s just not possible every. Single. Day. We’re all busy with school, activities, and work. We can’t always get together, and on those days, it’s really nice to log into Facebook or Instagram and immediately connect with your biz besties.
Start looking for Facebook groups that speak to you. There are some spammy ones where everyone is just constantly promoting themselves, but there are also some lovely ones where the members are there to raise each other up.
I am incredibly proud of the Sisterhood of the Hustlin’ Mamas and would love to welcome you in!
Look for a meet-up (or create one!)
Once you’ve found your online tribe, find a local one too. Look into meet-ups for female entrepreneurs, new moms, freelance writers, whatever interests you the most.
Don’t see one that fits? Create your own!
Join a group coaching program or mastermind
This is one of those things that I put off for so long, and once I dove in, couldn’t believe I hadn’t tried it sooner. When you join a paid program or mastermind, you will instantly elevate your business. When you choose to surround yourself with fellow go-getters, you will naturally rise to the occasion.
If you follow a certain mentor online and would love to connect with her, sometimes you have to pay to play. She is crazy busy and has created this program in order to help people.
You will also connect with the other participants who are also ready to step up and go bigger. When you invest in yourself and surround yourself with like-minded mamas, amazing things happen.
Find a workout class
Your community doesn’t just have to be fellow work-at-home moms. You don’t need to only talk Facebook ads and Instagram algorithms all day!
Take a moment to think about your interests and hobbies, then pursue them. A group fitness class is a great place to start. You’ll have the chance to connect with some fellow human beings while taking care of your body.
Join a social business
I have certain online idols who I have loved following from afar. Fellow bloggers and mamapreneurs who are just making. Shit. happen. I find them so inspiring and love watching their journeys.
So when two of them (Rachel Camfield and Amber Lilyestrom) started sharing their adventures with their new biz, I was intrigued. Here they were, already successful coaches, building second businesses while connecting with like-minded entrepreneurs. They were also traveling and looking better than ever.
I decided to be brave and reach out. I decided to forget all of my biases about social marketing, and I dove in. By joining a business that is based on community, you will automatically join a tribe that wants you to succeed. You’ll also receive free coaching!
I am focusing on nurturing a small group of mamapreneurs who want more community and less stress this summer, so if you’d like to hear more, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.