Shop the fall collection ➔

I’ve always considered myself a stay-at-home mom. I don’t have a full-time job outside our home, and my kids are almost always with me. But it recently occurred to me that I’ve never really been a stay-at-home mom. Sure, I stay at home with my three kids most of the time, but I also run my own business. Calling myself a “work-from-home mom” is new and different, and it has raised a question in my mind: how will I know if I need to quit? 

I'm a Work-from-Home Mom, But What if it's Time to Quit? www.herviewfromhome.com

I love what I do. I’m a photographer and graphic designer, and working with clients to create something unique and beautiful is immensely gratifying. I enjoy getting to know new people and working with old friends. I love seeing myself improve and develop as an artist. 

 

Being a mom is a job I love, too. It’s my full-time gig, you might say. I don’t want my business to disrupt my family. What I do as a mom will outlast anything I could create as a photographer. Even more important than my role as a mom is my role as a wife. I want to be the best companion and helpmate I can to my husband. I want our marriage to be strong, and that requires my time and energy. 

I'm a Work-from-Home Mom, But What if it's Time to Quit? www.herviewfromhome.com

My husband and kids come first for me but I also know that being a photographer and a designer energizes me and helps me thrive. My job gives me the opportunity to brainstorm, create, troubleshoot, and produce something beautiful. It’s refreshing to know that I was able to give my clients lasting memories of their wedding, or photograph their growing family, or produce a catalog to meet their company’s need. Working also gives my husband and I opportunities to be together. He often accompanies me on shoots, and it has been so fun to learn and grow creatively together. 

I'm a Work-from-Home Mom, But What if it's Time to Quit? www.herviewfromhome.com

How do I find and maintain the balance between work and family? It has become more challenging with each baby. We now have three kids, 4 and under. My business has slowed down a great deal since having children. Finding or making time to work is difficult but not impossible. It involves sacrificing my free time, saying “no” to other commitments, and relying on my husband and other family members to take care of our kids. Is it selfish for me to keep working? Or is it healthy to continue pursuing work that fulfills my creative side?

I'm a Work-from-Home Mom, But What if it's Time to Quit? www.herviewfromhome.com

I haven’t come up with definitive answers. For now, I want to keep working. I also want to mentally prepare to slow down more, or even stop completely. That time may never come, but I want to be open to wherever God is leading our family. In the meantime, I’ll keep doing what I love with the help of people I love.

Rachel Gnagy

Rachel Gnagy is a wife, mother, photographer, coffee lover, and book nerd. She and her husband, Samuel, have four precious children, two boys and two girls. Rachel is a work-from-home-mom, running a small photography and graphic design business. She has been writing for Her View From Home since 2012 and loves the opportunity to communicate with other women. http://www.inscribedphotography.com/ https://www.facebook.com/InscribedPhotography

My Daughter is Almost the Age I Was When My Grandfather First Molested Me

In: Living, Motherhood
Back of little girl's head with braid and ribbon

Trigger Warning: Child Abuse My daughter is swinging, head tilted up to the sky, pondering the shape of the cloud—is it a puppy or a tiger? Or maybe a dragon? She picks a flowering weed from the yard and brings it to me, so proud of her gift for Mama. She sits down and draws one of her imaginary kitty superheroes and the tale of how it saves the day—her lips pursed, then open, then pursed again—concentrating as though it’s the most important story she’ll write in her life. I pull her close, breathe in all of her joy and...

Keep Reading

No One Will Ever Call Me Mom

In: Baby, Motherhood
Negative result digital pregnancy test

This is going to be a tough one. Another seemingly innocuous situation that should be easy, but for me is anything but. It comes in different forms—a conversation, a moment in a TV show, a scene in a book—but it always has the same effect. Some reference to motherhood makes me flinch.  Today, it’s in an English lesson I’m teaching online to a 7-year-old boy in China. I’m supposed to be teaching him to say, “This is my mom.” Slide after slide in the lesson shows a happy mom cuddled next to her child. Mom and daughter hugging. A toddler...

Keep Reading

To the Nurses Who Loved My Baby In the NICU

In: Baby, Motherhood
Woman smiling at newborn in hospital chair

I wish I could remember your face. Your name. Something. But I only had eyes for the tiny baby in front of me. My whole world was about to change and I think you understood that more than I did. He was so tiny. Impossibly small. I had never held a baby so little. He made up for his teeny size with an impressive mop of jet black hair that stood straight up on top of his head. He also had hair all over his body and you reassured me this was normal for a preemie. There was so much...

Keep Reading

I Wipe the Slides

In: Kids, Motherhood
boy on slide

I want you to have the most fun possible at your tiny playground stars program, so I wipe the slides. I don’t want you to have a meltdown if your clothes get wet while I’m gone, so I wipe the slides. I want to have three precious hours of only managing your little sister, so I wipe the slides. RELATED: I’d Rather Serve My Kids Than Have Them be “Self-Sufficient” I don’t want you to feel embarrassed by a big reaction to wet clothes when I’m not there to help you, so I wipe the slides. I want you to...

Keep Reading

My Last Baby Changed Me

In: Baby, Motherhood
Mother and baby touching foreheads

I was already a mom of two teenagers. I thought I’d move to a city and join corporate America in a few years. But my last baby changed me. There would be no law school or big city living. Now, I write about life in my little country home. And I don’t see that changing. I thought I’d be that old lady with 10 cats. I already had three I snuggled and loved on. I never cared about the litter box, the clawed couches, or the meowing. But now I find myself disliking pets. I hope that might change. But...

Keep Reading

God Gave Grandmas and Grandpas Time

In: Grown Children, Motherhood
Grandma with granddaughter pointing outside

My daughter, Becca, was laughing as I answered her call. “Mom, we were at the park and Brady just walked up to a man he thought sure was Dad and called him Grandpa.” My first question was if the man looked at all like my husband.  She said, “He had a blue shirt on that looked like one Dad wears, but when Brady looked up at him, he had a baseball cap on and Dad doesn’t wear those. And he had tall crew socks on, and Dad definitely doesn’t wear those.” Then I asked what the man said to Brady,...

Keep Reading

Sometimes I Feel Like a Monster, Not a Mother

In: Motherhood
Woman banging fist on door frame

Whenever someone asks if I plan on a third child, I always give a safe answer: I can’t imagine going through all that again! If it’s someone in the education field I go with a different version: If we stick with two, we can pay for college! If I’ve had a few drinks and the person has a sense of humor: Only if you’ll pay for a divorce lawyer! All of those answers are kernels of the truth, but none of them are the real reason  I diligently pop my birth control pill every night at 9 p.m., which is the...

Keep Reading

Faith is a Verb, So We Go to Church

In: Faith, Motherhood
Woman and teen daughter in church pew

Every Sunday morning we rush out the door bribing, coaxing, and threatening our kids to just “Get into the van!” Luckily, we live remotely rural so we don’t have neighbors to witness our often un-Christlike eye rolls and harsh sighs as we buckle each other up. We’ve always lived within a five-minute drive to a chapel, and yet we are usually there not two minutes before the service starts. Once sitting in our seats, we’re on high alert for noise control and sibling altercations for the next hour of what is supposed to be a peaceful, sacred, spirit-filled service. Which...

Keep Reading

3 Simple Ways to Be a More Confident Mother

In: Faith, Motherhood
Mother and young child smiling outside

Do you ever ask yourself why you can’t be more like that mom or why can’t your kids be like those kids? The comparison trap is an easy one to fall into if we aren’t careful. At the click of our fingers, we see Pinterest-worthy motherhood in every category. From the mom with the black-belt kids to the mom with Marie Kondo organizing skills—it’s easy to look at their lives and feel like we’ve fallen short. Even worse, is when we start to strive to become something we aren’t or prod our kids to become something they aren’t.  Comparison makes...

Keep Reading

I’ll Find Her Again One Day

In: Living, Motherhood
Mother holding baby at night

It happened again. Took 15 months this time. But I found myself in the same spot I said I’d never be in. Lost, drowning, on the brink of a mental breakdown—however you want to put it. I was gone in motherhood. With the diapers piling up around me, I was getting mad at my husband for nothing, screaming at my oldest son, crying along with the babies, and in a fog. RELATED: To the Woman Who’s Lost Herself in Motherhood I couldn’t do anything—literally—I couldn’t even pee without hearing a demand. When my children were quiet, my house billowed with...

Keep Reading