I really didn’t mean to not write a post for over a month! I’ve been trying to sort some thoughts out and we’ve just been enjoying the holiday season.
Last holiday season, with Armadillo Dreams, we worked way too hard. I mean WAY too hard. We were making items on order and we took orders too close to Christmas, not realizing just how many we had to fill. In December we were staying up until 3am, at least…there was one night that Dustin was in his shop so late, he saw the sun rise – and it was 10 degrees out there. Probably 30-40 degrees in his shop. We were working at least 80-100 hour weeks. We knew that we’d be living off the extra money we made during the holiday season the rest of the year, and the idea of turning down an order when it’s there is really difficult. It’s so hard, in the heat of the moment, to step back and realize that something really isn’t working for your family. This year, I realized that we missed last Christmas. Missed it completely. That is one Christmas we will never get back with our children. We worked so hard to get everyone else’s gifts made for their children that our own beautiful babies missed out, and I still have a really hard time with that.
Dustin got a full time (outside the home) job in September, and oddly enough it’s one of the best things we could have done for ourselves. You may have noticed that our shop inventory has shrunk – we don’t put an item in our shop until it’s ready to ship out now. We’re making them as we are able, without pressure, and when we make our toys, we are truly enjoying making them, and making them because we really want to. We get nights off now. I get to knit, and sew, and search thrift stores, and play with my babies, and focus on homeschooling – all things that suffered before when we didn’t have an income besides Armadillo Dreams.
The “simple life” can be unbelievably hard, when you’re living it. My friend and her husband work really hard on their large CSA garden during the growing season and she would probably be the first to agree with me. I don’t regret any choices we’ve made over the last few years, it was a huge learning experience for us. I am completely grateful for each sale and hope every child who plays with one of our toys enjoys them. I still truly love all of our little wooden animals and people and still love making them…just on my terms. I’m okay not being a small business “success story”, if I can feel like a personal success, a success as a mother and a wife.
I’m trying to figure out where to take this blog – it was supposed to be about documenting our lives as stay at home working parents, so now that we’re taking things in a different direction…I don’t know! If it’s okay, we’ll just be “us” doing what we’re doing, and I’ll write about that.
I hope this post doesn’t sound completely disjointed! I know what’s in my head, it’s just hard getting it out sometimes! I’d love to hear your thoughts. Has there ever been a time in your life something that was supposed to be a positive thing for your family just didn’t quite work out how you thought it would?