by Janine Huldie
I forget how that fateful fight started, but do recall it was over money — or the lack thereof. Between my husband and I, we have three master’s degrees and, on paper, should be making well over six figure salaries combined. In reality, not so much.
When I completed my master’s degree, I was told emphatically by my graduate counselor, that I should be able to find a position teaching middle school math with very little difficulty.
Instead I became unemployed during my second trimester of pregnancy with my younger daughter.
So, here I was, 6+ years after I graduated with my masters in education and still no teaching position to be found. Substitute teaching would barely have made enough to put my kids in daycare. I remember clearly thinking, “Why should I do this? Why should I let someone else raise my kids for 8 hours a day and not even have pennies to put in savings after paying for said daycare?”
It was then that I came to the realization that I wanted to be home daily with my girls for each and every milestone — not giving up a moment of them as they were growing up. But I also needed to be challenged and longed to develop personally.
I had always loved to write. As a kid, I kept a diary with all my innermost thoughts and still can close my eyes and see that pretty, pink diary with matching key and lock. As a teen, I began to write in notebooks not only my thoughts, but poetry and even song long lyrics raging from all the teen angst that you could imagine.
In my junior year, my teacher challenged my writing daily by telling me that, as good of a writer as I was, there was always going to be someone that was much better than me. I would need to write as much as possible to practice my craft.
I never forgot my high school teacher’s words of wisdom and, while being a stay-at-home-mom to two babies under the age of two, I found my voice once again, this time through blogging.
I loved the thrill of writing and publishing a new article to have others read, comment and discuss it with me. This feeling was such a euphoric high. I was very blessed and lucky to find such a warm and welcoming community of writers.
But writing wasn’t paying the bills.
And as much as I loved writing, and specifically blogging, it took on a life of its own, almost becoming a full-time job…without any income. When the argument over money came crashing down on us, we kept coming back to that same decision of me staying home with our kids. However my lack of income not only frustrated my husband, but me, too.
After cooling off, we sat down and made a list of my skills. I could have tried freelance writing and did work with a few freelance sites early on, but I hated the lack of creativity writing text for content mills that would pay very little and wouldn’t credit you for your work.
I still longed for more of a creative outlet and challenge.
My husband reminded me that creating my blog had not only taught me writing, but web design. While I poured my heart out daily in my writing, I also created my own personal WordPress theme, including a header and buttons, as well as background, color scheme, widget layout, advertising, sponsored posts, social media networks and so much more.
Somewhere along this online writing journey, I learned design and coding from the ground up by maintaining my own site. My husband actually went to school for this and does it for a living. I did it on my own website and learned by trial and error. He told me point blank that I did have what it takes and he believed in me. Then he reminded me that I might not always know everything, but could still look stuff up and figure it out.
Never before had I thought to become an entrepreneur and start my own business.
The idea was overwhelming, but at the same time, I was bursting at the seams to give it a go. Some of my earliest clients were writing colleagues and friends, who needed help with their own sites and were happy to have someone like me to help them with the more technical aspects of blogging.
As the months and the years went by, these same clients referred me to others they knew and word of mouth grew. Now there are times when I just can’t do it all — I am very fortunate to have a great support system with my husband and also my parents, who help with my girls if I am knee-deep writing or designing.
So bottom line, our argument about money turned into an exciting new creative adventure — all while being a stay-at-home-mom to two little girls, too. I feel more than humbled and blessed that I can both write from the soul, as well as help others through my designs daily.
Janine Huldie is a WAHM to two beautiful and energetic daughters. She writes at Confessions of A Mommyaholic, as well as runs her own graphic design company at J9 Designs. Find Janine, also, on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.