Expectations can clasp around my throat like an invisible vise sometimes, and no matter how hard I try I just I can’t shake them. When a disappointment happens I feel a little lost and unsure. It's like the path I’ve been on suddenly disappears, and I’m not sure of where I’m supposed to be going anymore. This weekend reminded me of just how much I really do love “Mom Life”.
We traveled up north to set up at our second vendor show since starting our handmade business last October. This show was quite a bit larger than our first show, but was wonderfully organized and the day progressed along smoothly. Our booth was inviting to many customers, and we heard such sweet compliments about our booth and products. No big mishaps occurred, and our oldest son (age 14) came along to help us haul products and props in and out of the venue. We really enjoyed spending this time with him, and appreciated his efforts. We had previously cut, sanded, stained, nailed, sewn, hooped, etc. for many late nights leading up to the show. The process was enjoyable and we put our heart and energy into every piece we created, so it was frustrating to have made only 6 sales during the day. I may have cried a little afterwards, and I texted a few close friends to ask for some advice. What do I need to do differently? They were all so very sweet and kind and had great ideas and thoughts to help us along in our tiny business journey. When you create something and you put everything into it, everything about it becomes very personal. I think I let my feelings get hurt by the limited sales. I was sad for my sweet teen because he was excited to set up shop. I wanted him to see that if you work hard at something it really pays off. I felt like a failure. But you know what? That sweet kid looked at his despairing, deflated mama, and said the sweetest things. He thoughtfully came up with ideas and examples during our trip home, and encouragingly discussed different options we could pursue in the future.
While heading to bed last night, I realized that even though it’s hard to start a tiny business, every step in the process is teaching my three boys something special. It’s teaching me something special. Yesterday taught me that expectations and failures can hurt, but living the “mom life” is the best salve. Having children and a wonderfully supportive husband there to share in every part of the journey is what we will all remember. I’m so thankful for the people God has placed in my life. I’m thankful also for our second vendor fair that taught me that success is measured in more than one way.