A lot of mothers start their own businesses because they don’t want to leave their new baby with strangers and Kaitlin Rice from The Oily Momster was no different. “My son was just born and I had SEVERE anxiety about going back to work and leaving him with a daycare and/or sitter,” she explains. “It was crippling. I had missed so much when my daughter was little from working or being in school all the time and I couldn’t handle going through that again.” Her journey to her new work began out of personal experience of having already been using essential oils for awhile. “I had been using the oils to keep us all well during that winter and knew there could be a potential income opportunity so I took that scary plunge into entrepreneurship so I could be available for my kids, never miss another dance or school performance of my daughter’s, first laugh or first words of my son,” she says.
Before going into business for herself, she spent almost 8 years as a licensed Cosmetologist, using her income from that line of work to fund her Radiologic Technology School, a field she worked in for a year and a half before the birth of her son and her dive into entrepreneurship. During that time, Kaitlin had endured a grueling work and school load for years, so when she first started with Young Living, she dove right in. “I wanted to and needed to make it work for my family so I learned everything I could about the business model, compensation, and even how essential oils worked,” she says. Despite having a new job that allowed her to be more present with her kids (her son was one month old and her daughter was seven at the time), she still “struggled with feeling like I had let people down,” she says. “I worked damn hard to put myself through a really hard X-ray program. I’m talking 40 hours a week for 2 years straight on top of working 20 hours doing hair and nails. And then coming home to take care of my daughter. I felt like people were going to think that I was throwing it all away for some MLM business.”
Regardless of what kind of business you are in, working from home comes with both advantages and disadvantages. “I am still trying to find a good balance almost two years later,” Kaitlin says. “Although I’m present physically, sometimes I’m not present mentally. There’s no ‘leave your day at the door’ mentality to be had when you work from home. Sometimes I get addicted to checking my emails or messages from my team. There are days when I’ve allowed myself to say no to cleaning the house so I can say yes to my kids and my work. There are many days I’ve said no to my job so I can say yes to my kids and my fiance. I won’t always be perfect but I will always be around and that’s worth it.” Now, two years into her journey, her kids are a bit older and the balance has gotten a little easier since the beginning. “They are a little more independent in their play time so it’s easier to set aside certain times of day to focus on my work. It really helps me focus and get more things done when I have only a set amount of time planned,” she explains.
In addition to not being able to leave your work at the door when you work at home, it’s also easy to feel mom guilt for spending time working while your kids are around and for taking time to yourself. “The overwhelming mom guilt is a hard one to overcome but when I’m between wrangling my two year old and answering an important text, there has to be some ME time,” Kaitlin says. “But that inevitably leads to mom guilt so I try my best to be present for my kids so that I can focus on me later and not feel guilty.”
If you use the internet, you’ve probably seen a lot about different uses and benefits of essential oils. Initially, Kaitlin was drawn to using them “because I needed something to help keep my family well and sleeping with a new baby and a kid in school,” she explains. “I didn’t realize essential oils were more than just something that smells good until I had attended a class on Facebook that taught me they were so much more.” In addition to smelling good, they also can add health benefits to your life. “Our doctors barely see us unless it’s time for a check up,” she says. “We have just stayed really healthy and rid our house of all the indoor toxins that many people don’t even realize they’re exposing themselves to (i.e. makeup, detergent, fabric softeners, candles, cleaners, etc).”
If you’re like me and have seen and heard about oils but never actually used them or know specifics about what they do, Kaitlin says “Really simply put they’re plant extracts that can do some amazing things to support our bodies’ natural functions and help us stay well without toxins or side effects. We use them in our house for everything from cleaning, to supporting restful sleep, to cooking, to boosting our immune systems and so much more. There are hundreds of medical journals and studies on essential oils and are totally worth looking into!”
Being able to work while also having the freedom to spend time with her family isn’t the only great part of Kaitlin’s work. “I love the community I’ve joined,” she explains. “I’ve made some of the best friends and met some of the best people and didn’t even realize that that would be a huge part of it all. The support system has been beyond amazing. We are always about uplifting, educating, and supporting each other. Not many places of work can say that!”
A lot of times, people in your life may not view your home based business in the same way you do and they will inadvertently say things that make us feel badly about what we do. They may imply that what we do isn’t a “real” job because we don’t go to a place and collect a check the same way as they do. Luckily, Kaitlin says “I haven’t been told that directly, thankfully, but there are times I feel like I may not receive the support I wish I did from people who are close to me. Truthfully, it’s not worth dwelling on and definitely not worth stopping over.”
While not dwelling on people’s lack of support is great advice in itself, Kaitlin also has this to say to any mom wanting to start their own business or project: “Make sure you have your ‘why’ written down somewhere that you can see it every single day. Remind yourself why you are doing what you are. Take the fear of failure and turn it into your own personal steamroller and crush anything that gets in your way.”
Kaitlin’s favorite business resources you should check out: “I LOVE Lindsay Teague Moreno. She has a book called ‘Getting Noticed’ and the ‘Boss Up’ podcast that are just fantastic. I also love all the books written by Jon Acuff and highly recommend them to all entrepreneurs.
Connect with Kaitlin:
As always, thanks for reading!
Yours in business and motherhood,