Guest Blog by Kimberly Hermann, a recent graduate of the Hay There Social Media Training Program
My husband and I got married when I was 20 and we now have 14 years of wedded bliss under our belts, with three girls: 11, 9, and 6.
Before we had kids, I worked as a dental assistant and it was a career I loved because it allowed me to help others and gave me great fulfillment. When my oldest was born, it didn’t make sense for me to continue working as my husband works very long hours and we didn’t want her in daycare for fifteen hours a day.
I threw myself into motherhood, but as the girls got older and my youngest went to preschool, the fog of being just a mom lifted and I wanted to work again. But now, being older and wiser, I knew it would have to be flexible. For me, that meant finding something that would allow me to still be home for the girls while contributing to the family. I started looking for flexible opportunities, which is when the director of the girls’ preschool asked me to be a teacher’s aide.
This was a good fit, but it did not last, as my husband had an opportunity to move from his Pepsi Plant Director position in Howell, Michigan to Pepsi Corporate in White Plains, New York. He needed to relocate almost immediately, which left me the only caregiver in Michigan. I quit working at the preschool so I could focus on the girls and navigate them through this time.
As we moved from Michigan to Connecticut, I realized we were moving from a place of comfort with friends who had become family to a place where we knew absolutely no one. We chose Connecticut for the cost of living and a better quality of life, even though my husband’s job is in New York. As a native Upstate New Yorker, Connecticut wasn’t too far away from our extended family, which allowed us to be closer to family and friends, but far enough away to have our own life.
But I knew things wouldn’t be as easy as we had it in Michigan. You see, the subdivisions in the Midwest don’t often exist in the northeast. It’s not as if I could walk around the neighborhood and make friends, especially since we as northeasterners tend to be a bit closed off from meeting new people and making new friends.
In fact, when we first moved to Michigan, I was taken aback at everyone being so nice. I adapted though!
We all finally joined my husband in January 2020.
Things were going great! We got the girls in school, started fixing up the house, and getting into a groove. I started looking for those flexible opportunities again. I even considered getting back into Dental Assisting. I would need to get a new license but I had the time now.
March 13, 2020. COVID-19. Suddenly we were all trapped inside, kids learning virtually and my husband was now working from home. We were navigating a new normal, again, for the second time in two months. Talk about cramping my stay-at-home-mom style. I thought, “Now is not the right time to start working again, let’s just get through this.”
But there was this whisper that kept creeping into my thoughts “Make a change, be brave, go out and show the world how strong and powerful you can be. You are more than just a mom.”
It’s going to sound crazy, but I believe this whisper is from my grandfather. He passed away on my birthday in 2019. Now my grandpa was a stoic man, who watched more than he spoke and was so kind and gentle, especially with the girls and he loved watching a rainstorm roll in or a snowstorm that was coming. There were signs he was present, a cardinal on a branch chirping away, a rainfall that reminded me of him, small little things that said much more. I’m not sure why it was during COVID-19 that he was talking to me. Maybe because he knew that this was going to be a marathon and not a sprint, maybe because he knew I would need to keep my mind sharp. Or maybe it’s because when my life seems to be tumbling out of control, I choose to do something about it, instead of letting it happen to me.
As I began searching for something flexible again, I realized that being a mom and a wife is part of who I am. They are not separate individuals; it would be difficult to separate that from any career I would have. My ability as both a mom and a wife only enhance my being. It does not take away from it.
I think from a young age, women are portrayed as the mom, but not much else. The dad is always the hero because he works and supports the family. As a stay-at-home mom, I have felt this and been made to feel guilty for having the ability to stay home and not “work.” Being a stay-at-home mom isn’t easy as you are often left to do the bulk of the day-to-day child-raising. Moms are so much more than stay-at-home moms or working moms. We are all working extremely hard.
Just as I was pondering how to make this change, I got another sign. One of my mom friends on Facebook had a post about becoming a social media manager from your home and starting your own business. This was a trustworthy friend, so I knew what she posted was legit. I took a deep breath and clicked on the post.
I filled out the form, and dear, sweet Emily A. Hay, founder of Hay There Social Media, contacted me. I joined her training program that started the next week. I learned a lot from Emily and the other women on her team about how to start your own social media business from home. This was beginning to answer the whisper.
Social Media appealed to me as a career because it was flexible. I could do it from home and it allowed me to be creative in many different ways and use skills I already had to help others, and make their lives easier.
After completing the Hay There Social Media Training, I started my own Social Media Business and have three clients. I hope to get a few more clients by the end of this year. In five years, I want to be able to coach other women to start their own business and create a life they love while still having the flexibility to stay home and handle life’s curveballs. I also want a yacht, but maybe after the girls go to college.
As with starting anything new, you can feel insecure about venturing out of your comfort zone. In the last six months, I have blossomed from a tired stay-at-home mom to working my butt off as a business owner and have integrated my work with my life – and that works for me.
I am an introvert at heart, but to get out of my comfort zone, I am making videos and putting my face out there. I also am being bold and networking with Facebook groups, LinkedIn profiles and putting myself out there. I have taken intense social media challenges that pushed me past where I was comfortable and am creating a space to encourage others to do the same.
My heart is burning with a desire to continue going and a passion for seeing where this business leads. I love what I am doing; it never feels like work. And the best part is, I get to watch my girls grow while showing them what a strong and powerful woman can do if she just puts her mind to it.
Listen to the whisper: Sometimes it roars!
Kimberly is a stay-at-home mama to three girls. She wanted more for herself than being just a mom and after completing the Hay There Social Media Training Program in November 2020, she has started her own social media business. She currently is a visual storyteller, loves creating content, and expanding her client’s viewpoints to increase their brand awareness. You can contact her on Instagram or LinkedIn.