A letter to the mama who is freaking out that she isn’t doing enough.

[pinit count=”horizontal”]
A letter to the mama who is freaking out that she isn’t doing enough

Have you heard the exciting news? My friend Crystal, the Money Saving Mom, just released a new book, Money Making Mom.

Money Making Mom

Crystal is a long-time (in internet years) friend. We met on Twitter, oh, 7ish years ago maybe? She wore 3-week-old Silas in a sling at our tiny town park on her first visit. He’s six now. We’ve shared meals and our children have crunched crackers on each others carpet. I started working for her a few hours a week almost 6 years ago, right as Money Saving Mom was blossoming beyond what she could handle on her own.

Crystal is an enthusiastic cheerleader, a dreamer, and one of the most determined and hard-working women I’ve ever had the privilege of knowing. She is obnoxiously generous, and this book is basically a blueprint of how to make a full-time income from home, based on her own experiences and successes. She’s handing us the formula to a full-time income from home, and you know what?

Money Making Mom makes me freak out a little as I frantically scribble notes and jot down fleeting ideas. “Everyone is doing more than I am! I’m not doing enough! Wiping bottoms, sweeping floors, cheering at my kids’ sporting events, and digging toddlers out of the toilet is NOT getting my family any farther ahead financially! I need to blog more! I need to teach more essential oils classes! I need to make the time, rearrange the schedule, pay for help, post more to Facebook, read more business books, and make more money! Right this very minute! If I don’t I’ll be completely left behind! All the good ideas will be taken. All the people will already know about essential oils and I won’t have anyone on my team. All the blog posts will be written by other people! It will be too late, because now everyone’s read the book!”

Yep. There you have it. My brain.

Oh, you, too? You have the skills and the ideas, but you are in a season ripe with important responsibilities? You’ve collected the know-how for success, but you also know that the bathtub isn’t going to clean itself and hiring out isn’t an option right now? You committed to raising your little children and being present, only you didn’t realize just how many children there would be to raise?  You push your giggling preschooler on the swing and your mind wanders, wondering if you are doing enough?

Don’t lose focus, Mama. Crystal’s heart for you is to do what you can with what you have. To bust down the walls of your comfort zone and dream big without losing sight of the joy and blessings right in front of you. Work hard, but know this:

Dear Mama,

You are doing enough.

YOU ARE enough.

Making money from home amid the already full everyday is an amazing opportunity. I know, because I’m doing it and I have been on various monetary levels with a few different streams of income since I left my teaching job 11 years and 4 children ago. It is a gift to be able to work from home, full or part-time, contributing to the family income.

The trick is to make sure that gift doesn’t turn into a burden. A longing for more. A taunting, insisting that you could do more and be more without the weight of what’s right in front of you. If only…

When you read Money Making Mom, thrill at the possibilities. Delight in the opportunity to work from home. Embrace the wonder that is the internet and the ability to earn an income from it. Learn, plan, and experiment between the responsibilities of the day. Rearrange tasks and barter babysitting to create work-time quiet.

Read the information while nursing the baby. Take notes while stirring the soup. Schedule Facebook posts in the 20 minutes after you get the children to sleep and before you pass out. Write your next blog post outline while stalled in the school pickup line. Share your excitement and fire up your productivity in the fringe hours.

But don’t be consumed. Don’t sacrifice your sanity while losing sight of the beautiful chaos right in front of you. You can’t do all the things. You just can’t. And that’s okay.

Don’t throw sand on the fire of your dreams, but don’t allow the fire of unreached dreams to burn up the joy of today. Those dreams will come in time.

You are a gift. You are important. Do what you are called to do, even if your tasks don’t have dollar signs attached to them.

You are enough.



  1. Beautiful. Words that my heart needed to hear. Money Making Mom is such an inspiring read which lead to dreaming of all of the wonderful things I could do to bring in extra income and build a business from home. But, I have been called to be a mama first. And quite honestly, just that role leaves me overwhelmed most days. Thank you for sharing a piece of your heart Amy, it touched mine and confirmed that I am doing exactly what I should be doing during this season of life.

  2. Thank you for this encouragement. What a blessing of refreshment it is to be reminded that we are doing enough. God has placed us right where he wants us. Thank you. Blessings to you and to Crystal as you minister to others via the Internet.

    • Isn’t it a beautiful thing that we can BOTH do that right where we are with the gifts we’ve been given? THAT is what I’m working hard to embrace!

  3. Hannah Beth Reid says:

    My mind is blown…I had no idea you know MSM! Great post! Thank you for your honesty and encouragement!

  4. I always love your perspective. As a person in a different point in life (one in college, one in high school, and that’s all I have :)), and someone who has always worked ‘outside’ the home (although I telecommute, so I’m physically here), I skip a lot of these kinds of posts just because they don’t really apply to me, and sometimes I find them pretty condescending. However, I knew from all you have written before, that I would want to read this, and I did. WHEN you have time to blog, I love it. But I am so glad you always keep your perspective on what is important in life, and keep your family first, rather than anonymous people out in internet-land. 🙂

    • Big hugs, Sheila! And I seriously honestly want you to TELL ME if I ever write anything remotely condescending to your particular situation. It’s great to consider ideas and info from others, but no need to compare and feel and feel bad about it! We’re all just trying to do our best. 🙂

      • Oh my goodness! I didn’t express myself well! I have never felt you were condescending to anyone ever! I’m so sorry if that wasn’t clear! I meant that sometimes I find posts from bloggers whose situations in life are not the same as mine condescending to people who are not where they are and so I frequently skip the ‘to the mom who…’ kinds of posts. Gah! Sorry! I was really trying to leave you a complement!

        • Haha! NO! I got what you were saying. I just don’t want to be THAT BLOGGER and am always afraid of unintentionally offending someone. It’s all good! 🙂

  5. Mary Johnson says:

    Amy thank you I so needed this today! I love Msm but I can’t take on anything else right now I have been called to keep my home and homeschool my girls that is already about all I can handle! I love my girls and don’t want regrets in 10 years. I have been down reading about msm new book thinking should I be trying to earn money? No God called me to this life He will provide! Thank you Amy!!

    • The book itself isn’t even what gives me the Freak Outs. 🙂 It’s when I lose sight of MY life and the blessings right in front of me, and I wander my eyes instead to what “everyone else” is doing and to all the possibilities. Then, cue the freak out. Thank you for focusing with me!

  6. Thank you for this! I desperately needed the reminder today. I am barely keeping up with everything now & the pressure to do more, be more for others besides my family is so stressful. My good friend keeps encouraging me to do more with my essential oil business, but I do not have the time or energy to put into it right now. Thanks for helping me keep the right perspective!!

    • You’re so welcome! It’s important to know we’re not alone! 🙂

    • Don’t let people push you to do more with the essential oils. Do what works for your family and the season of life you are in. I signed up to sell Norwex in September 2014. WITHOUT EFFORT by my one year anniversary I’d had $5,000.00 in sales from 2 live parties and 9 book parties. Honestly- no effort- I email each book party host with Norwex links about the products and a note to share with friends about their party and mail them catalogs. I just set up a party in my name so that if anyone wants to order outside a party they can input me as the host and it will help me earn stuff. My goal when I signed up was to sell the required $250.00 in retail sales every quarter so that I could stay active. No, I’m not doing near as well as what my mom keeps telling me my sister is in selling Norwex BUT I am doing what works for me and for my family. Remember- do what works for you!

  7. This line right here– “Don’t throw sand on the fire of your dreams, but don’t allow the fire of unreached dreams to burn up the joy of today. Those dreams will come in time” — is the most beautiful thing I’ve read all day. Thanks, friend. xoxo

    • That line wrote itself. 😉

    • Lynn Capps says:

      I agree. I re-read that three times and really let it sink in. It really spoke to me. Thank you so much. I love Crystal and I felt good when she herself said if this book isn’t for you right now, don’t buy it. I get that the post isn’t just about the book but about the feeling that we should be doing more. It’s the “should” that always gets me. I try to remember there are seasons for different things and just try to be sure I am doing all and only what God wants me to do in this season. I think we so needed this post, Amy. Thank you for sharing.

    • Heather Schlender says:

      My favorite line too! The challenge for me is have big dreams and work I love to do – but can’t invest in *right now*. I so often interpret this season of “not now” as “never.” It is tough to keep the embers of a dream alive for a future day without tossing sand on them in defeat when it feels like it will never happen. My two tinies take all my time and energy, and that is right and good and oh, so hard, when that means waiting to pursue other dreams!!

  8. Read the whole post in agreement and then right at the end of the letter almost burst into tears. Lol. Maybe I’m hormonal. And sleep-deprived. And husband traveling for work. And 2 year old. And Essential Oils class tonight that I’ve been busting my tail to invite people to while working a 40hr work week. I am doing the Make Over Your Morning course. Well I haven’t this week, but next week when I am off I’ll keep working on it. It is impossible to do everything. Finding balance is hard when you feel pulled multiple directions. *deep breath* Breathe deep, everybody! 🙂

  9. Saw this on MSM, and I had to pop over and say thank you!

  10. Love your beautiful letter. Comparing ourselves to others kills us slowly.

  11. I love you. That is all. You’re such an encouragement to me. Toilets and all.

    • Bahaha! After my scope on Thursday I went back to read comments (because I totally canNOT read comments while scoping…yet) and I saw that you had to leave the scope to pull your 3yo out of a tree. I laughed, “SHE IS MY PEOPLE!!!”

  12. Very nice letter, great ready. Exactly what I needed to hear at the end of a long day :).

  13. I feel as if you were writing this directly to me. I have been overwhelmed lately by the thought that I am not doing enough. My blog is still growing and right now it’s merely a labor of love instead of a source of income. I battle with doing more or spending time with my 10-month-old. I want the blog to work because if it did it could help fund the ministry we are in, but I feel guilty for missing time with my daughter to “work” on a dream. This post was encouraging, though. I want to shoot for a balance because time with her is so very precious.

  14. Beautifully said, Amy. I felt as though you were speaking right to my heart. How did you know!?

    Blessings… You have an amazing ministry going here…

  15. I’m so glad I clicked on Crystals link to this post! The comparison trap, trying to be “that other mom”, or “why can’t I be more like her? She’s doing a,b,c,d, & e, and I can barely make it through a & b?” Thank you for the reminder to be who we are, and to relish in the season we are in, without having to let go of the dreams we have!

  16. This is just. so. good. Unbelievably right on time. I have been wrestling through these exact thoughts and emotions this week! Thank you for your words

  17. Enjoyed your post and personally if I could share I’d take it a step further….

    One does not have to be in the season of life with children to be overwhelmed at times. On the flip-side of life, when we age there are other challenges that come our way.

    Having chronic health issues, going through a difficult time in the change of life as well, along with much more difficult life issues – a parent with a terminal illness….these challenges are just as surmountable, if not more. It doesn’t matter if we are 25 or 55, as women I don’t feel it’s absolutely necessary for every woman to be an entrepreneur. Money is a tool, we all need it, and it’s a necessary evil as well in life. However, as others have shared, sometimes life hands us other things, or there are more important things. At the end of the day, the things that really matter are family, love, time, and peace. Trying to be an entrepreneur doesn’t fit into my life (as nice as it would be sometimes to have more money). Time with my aging and sick loved ones, taking care of my challenging health, maintaining and downsizing my home, while trying to live a simple life – is about all I can handle these days. As I get older I value time over money, more peace and less stress, and less stuff over more things in general.

    So young women, just like the post is sharing, never feel badly about where you are at and what you are able to do. Don’t ever compare yourself to someone else, it’s fruitless and wastes time. Do what your heart leads you to do. Life and time are very precious, and short as well.

    • Meant to say “insurmountable”, however, thankfully many challenges ARE surmountable in life. Amen to that. 🙂

    • Yes!!! This is so true, Lyn. My mom is retired but caring full-time (24-hours a day for 3-4 days a week) for her parents and it is overwhelming and HARD. But she knows that that is what she is supposed to be doing right now, so other things just have to go on the back burner.

  18. Yes! Thank you for this. That read while nursing the baby is right where I’m at. I have been eating up books while nursing this babe (girl #3 who’s sleeping in my arms right now)! Can’t wait to read Crystal’s new book and dream big about my blog. I needed the reminder that I am enough, even though it doesn’t seem like it some days! Thank you!

  19. Well said.. 🙂 Thank You for the encouragement! And, I love the quote..”don’t allow the fire of unreached dreams to burn up the joy of today”. I will definitely heed your advice! ; )

  20. I popped over from Life Your Way and loved reading your post!! That paragraph from your mind speaking is what my mind is constantly saying as well! I am only trying to have a part-time business, but I still find my mind tossing so many ideas along with so many worries. Thanks for the encouragement!

  21. Thank you. After reading Money Making Mom as a launch participant, I did a craft fair yesterday. I’m pretty worn out after getting ready for it and sitting there all day, and this was just what I needed to hear. I don’t regret doing the fair (at least not yet) but one of the things I learned fits with why I haven’t done one for a few years: craft fairs are mainly for people who have lots of time on their hands and want to make a little bit of money from it, not those in the thick of raising a family who only have an hour or few a week to put into something. And getting ready for one pushes many things aside that I now have to face. I am excited about ideas and prospects, but it’s hard not to use that excitement and the idea of supplementing our income to avoid things less fun that really do have to be done.

  22. Amy- thank you so much for this candid post. I felt for years that my place was at home just holding down the fort and loving on my family. I’ve always wanted to make money, but never knew how I can do my mothering well on top of money making. My husband makes enough for us to live simply and comfortably. Just this year, I finally feel the urge to step out a little, but just a little. I’d LOVE to make money from home, but right now I comfortable growing my blog slowly. Time together and peace in my home is just as valuable wealth in my opinion as earning a big paycheck.

    • I did jump out 7 years ago. Too far and too big, and while my blog flourished, my family suffered. This post was definitely a reminder to self. 🙂


  1. […] good friend, Amy, wrote a letter to the mama who is freaking out that she isn’t doing enough. It is SO good — especially in light of what we’ve been talking about around here […]

  2. […] The Finer Things in Life: Encouraging, supportive words you need if you’re feeling […]

Leave a Comment