Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Being a WAHM!

Being a WAHM

What is a WAHM? WAHM stands for Work-at-home mom and it happens to be the current title I've adopted. As a child, my own mother stayed home with us. That’s all I knew. Mom would be there for lunch, she’d make us dinner, if we needed help in the classroom or with Girl Scouts, mom would do it. Once we were older, she went back to school and eventually worked full time. My own path has been somewhat different.

After graduating high school, I attend the University of Arizona where I met my husband to be. Eventually, I transferred to Arizona State University where I received my Bachelor’s Degree in Business, specializing in Human Resources. I had high ambitions of working my way up the corporate ladder and making enough money to live very comfortably. Oh how life changes! I was married in August of 1997. I had my internships lined up and possible jobs all laid out. Then life threw us a curveball (albeit a very wanted and very loved curveball). I got pregnant in November of 1997 and all my ideals on life changed in one instant. While the pregnancy wasn’t planned, we were ecstatic. All my life I’ve wanted to be a mom. I was 22 at the time. I finished up college, scrapped the internships, and made the executive decision to become a stay-at-home mom.

Being a stay-at-home mom is absolutely one of the most rewarding jobs you could be blessed with. Yes, it does involve playing Barbies and Hot-Wheels and eating stale PB & J at times rather than schmoozing at corporate events and eating sushi, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world. However, my youngest will start kindergarten next year, and since we have all day kindergarten, I’ll have no children at home. I started thinking about getting a job. But, what would I do if one of my kids was sick? What if I want to chaperone a field trip? How could I still be my daughter’s Girl Scout Leader? What if, what if, what if? It boiled down to the fact that I didn’t want to work in an office. I wanted to work from home….which leads me to my current title…WAHM.

I’ve always had an obsession with candles. In 2004, I discovered the world of wax tarts (also called wax melts & wax potpourri, wax with no wick). I was hooked. I loved how my house would smell when I’d burn a tart, and no open flames was a nice bonus. In 2005, I had an epiphany. I could make these, how hard could it be? I could save some money! HA! Wow, boy was I in for a shocker. I made my first batch of tarts in August of 2005. I was so proud, I handed them out to everyone I knew that had a tart warmer (which is how you melt the tarts). I expected glowing reviews. I waited. And then my friend called, “Well, I can’t smell it”. I was floored. I immediately burned a few I’d made. I could smell them, but they definitely weren’t all that. And so began my adventure. I started playing with different waxes, formulas, and additives. The tarts got better! After about a year and much research (and LOTS of spent money), I’d found a formula that worked. I gave them to some testers and waited nervously. The result? RAVE reviews! The tarts were strong and they lasted for such a long time! And that’s how it began. I began making candles, dabbled in bath products and air fresheners, and slowly things began snowballing. Friends and family were placing orders left and right, but everyone had one question, “Do you have a website I can order from?”

In October 2007, I took the plunge and opened my own online store, The Blue Gecko Candle Company, I am so proud of it! It’s been a lot of hard work, but it’s definitely worth it! I have the best customers (seriously)! It’s hard work, but hearing the pride in your little 6 year old’s voice as she’s telling her friends, “My mom made this”, is very rewarding! But the best part? I’m here in the morning when the kids wake up, I can still get them to school and I’m here when they get home. The downside? My laundry still piles up, my toilets still need to be scrubbed, and dinner still needs to get cooked. Trying to balance working with my normal mom duties has been very challenging, although I’m somewhat getting my routine down. And another bonus? Even if my house is messy, it smells darn good in here ;)

I am blessed. I have the best of both worlds, and I am thankful. Thank you for allowing me to share my story.


The Hawkins Family said...

Deirdre- what a great story!! thanks for sharing that. I feel like I "know" you a little better now. I love that you went with your passion and didn't stop at anything. What an inspiration you are! And because of that, I'm enjoying the wonderful smell of your tarts flowing through my home.
Way to go!


Regge said...

How great! You and I have the same views when it came down to the point of becoming a WAHM!

Stacie said...

i have HEARD how wonderful your product smells...GOOD FOR YOU GIRL!!

Stacie said...

check my blog, you have an award miss wahm goddess!