We’re back with another “mama + biz owner” post and this time we’re featuring Jaima of Ring Around the Rosie. I think it’s absolutely incredible how she + her family are able to pull happiness out of some incredibly challenging life events. Read on to see what I mean, and don’t be surprised if some of Jaima’s persistence settles into your day-to-day, too.
My name is Jaima and I blog at Ring Around the Rosies. I am a mommy to 2-year-old Elizabeth and a work-at-home mom who blogs to empower women to create healthy, balanced homes. And I also have a part time business as a social marketer for Shaklee (the #1 natural nutrition company). I started my blog and began with Shaklee just a year ago in August, 2011. To say that it has been an absolutely amazing year would be an understatement.
I started my business kind of out of desperation. It was a very, very low point in my families life. In October 2009, the we found out we were pregnant! My husband and I had been managing a small, high-end remodeling company in Connecticut for 4 years, but we were both suddenly let go the day we informed them I was expecting. We began living out of savings until Andrew could find a full-time job, and we decided that I would stay home as a stay-at-home mom, which was all I really ever wanted to be. Then, Christmas, my mom and brother were killed in a car accident 9 hours after we arrived in Tennessee for Christmas. I never went back to Connecticut and to make a long story short, between Andrew not working and moving expenses, we had depleted our savings and were living off credit cards. He thankfully found a great job here in Nashville the month Elizabeth was born. A year later though, things were still very bad. I was severely depressed, we were not even living paycheck to paycheck, I was rapidly gaining weight, and yet I knew that I was created for so much more. We agreed that I should look for a job, much to our desire for me to stay home. After a handful of resumes, I came across Shaklee and hesitantly decided to begin my business. I had wanted to blog for years, so I decided to use my blog to market Shaklee online, and also build a community. Thank God I did! This is definitely what I was created for! I am so passionate about helping other women! And in just a year, it has allowed us to pay off $38,000 in debt, and double our families income! The true reward, of course, comes from helping others and seeing them meet their goals (be it financial or health-wise).
Every day is much different. Earlier this year I was able to hire a mama’s helper to come Tuesday and Thursday for 4 hours at a time. That is when I get most of my work done. I try to get up 1-2 hours before Elizabeth does to workout, check emails, prepare breakfast, and have a little time for myself. To me, having just 15 minutes to myself is so much better than waking up groggy to a crying baby ready to be changed and fed. After breakfast, we have some sort of “learning time” where we do some sort of hands-on learning / sensory play. Now that she’s 2, we’re working on identifying and writing numbers and letters, but before it was colors, shapes, simply building blocks, sorting, etc. Afterwards, I try to clean up and do daily chores while she plays independently before lunch. She thankfully naps from 12:30-2:30, which allows me to blog, make calls, and do my social media. After she wakes up, we usually have a snack and then play outside if it’s nice before preparing dinner. Andrew usually gets home around 4:00, so we have quite a bit of time to play together, go for a walk, or do chores. After dinner, we have a pretty strict routine with Elizabeth that includes cleaning up, bath, prayers, and bedtime. After she is in bed, I sometimes get in a few more hours of work or training while Andrew does school work, but we try to spend that time together.
We keep a pretty tight routine. We don’t follow it minute to minute, but we try to do things in the same order every day. I also developed this calendar system for us, which is now out-dated, but it worked really well.
We currently live in a 900 sq ft home (crazy, right?) because we still have our house in Connecticut. In 900 sq ft, there is just no place for a designated office, so we converted an old camper into my separate office! I absolutely LOVE it! When the helper comes, I actually feel like I am leaving for work. While I thankfully don’t have to actually get in my car and leave, I have to go outside the house. It has been a blessing because I am able to truly focus. When I was just working from the kitchen table, I was constantly being distracted by the dishes and laundry, but now I can go to my office which is always clean and just work.
I no longer work on the weekends unless something is urgent. I sometimes travel out of state on the weekends for different conferences, but I try to keep the weekends as family time. I think that in any business, whether corporate or working from home, family should always be a higher priority. I try to spend as much time as I can with them. After all, they are the reason I’m doing this!
If I could offer any advice to other working moms, I would say cut yourself some slack. I had a really hard time deciding to hire a helper. Even for just 8 hours a week, but my business literally doubled when I was able to focus just on that and set certain work hours. Treat it like a business and it will produce like a business. Treat it like a hobby, it will produce like a hobby. Don’t be afraid to delegate things so that you are able to focus more on using YOUR talents on income-producing activities or spending that quality time with your babies!
SHARE WITH US: If you’re a working mom, too — what advice would you give to other working moms? What kind of encouraging advice have you received? Share with us below!