Below: How to get out of your rut and discover your passion as a single mom. Learn from my journey and discover yours along the way.
Searching for Something More
The kids left the house to go to their dad’s. I was left standing in the house of absolute silence. Completely at a loss of what to do for the next 48 hours.
Every single mom has that moment. Usually, it’s the first weekend your kids go to their dad’s for the weekend. And the silence is too much to bear.
How often do we wish for moments alone and then suddenly you’re given 48 hours to yourself. It’s too much.
Then another 48 hours. And again.
I’d had that moment one too many weekends. I was going on years of feeling lost each weekend the kids left.
Whether you’re a single mom or not, the desire for more outside of your children is one that unites all of us.
The Weekend That Changed it All
Then one particular weekend, out of pure boredom I scrolled for the gazillionth time through Pinterest. I was not on a quest to discover my passion. That never occurred to me.
Somewhere on Pinterest-land, I spotted a cute holiday wreath that I figured I could make. The craft project fit my criteria: easy, cheap, and like it might kill a couple of hours out of my 48.
I brought home all the supplies I needed for the “Easiest Wreath in the World” project. At the time I owned zero craft supplies. Nothing in my house was about me. Everything was all about the kids and surviving as a single parent.
I had to buy a glue gun, glue sticks, a styrofoam wreath, and pom-pom balls. I came home and made this wreath.
Years later, the wreath still hangs on my front door the entire month of December each year.
Nothing special at first glance. But to me, this wreath showed me what I could do when I put my energy into something outside of my children and problems.
I ran back to the craft store for more materials. I made another one. This time for Valentine’s Day.
After that, I wanted to make more, but the cost of the styrofoam wreath was too much. I drove to the dollar store to see what they had. They had plain, undecorated grapevine wreaths. I bought a multiple of those types of wreaths. Then I looked around for different things I thought would go together for decorations on the wreath.
I went home and began experimenting making more wreaths. I didn’t know what I would do with the finished products. I found myself consumed with a new hobby.
Before I knew it, the kids were back home. My living room had turned into a messy craft room.
Discovering My Passion
Throughout the next couple of weeks, I didn’t have time to work on the wreaths. The kids were with me whenever I wasn’t at work.
But my mind wasn’t consumed with my problems anymore. I found myself thinking instead of ways to make other wreaths using what I had bought at the dollar store. Little did I know, I had discovered my passion.
When it was time for my children to go to their dad’s again a couple of weeks later, I didn’t stand there paralyzed wondering what to do with myself — quite the opposite. I couldn’t decide what to do first. Would I have time for all of it?
I made so many wreaths I gave them away to make space in my living room. Then friends started requesting specific types of wreaths and paying me for it.
On a roll, I opened an Etsy shop. That in itself was all consuming. I had to learn how to take good pictures, create an online shop, add items and draw people in.
My first sale was to someone in my family but not too long after that, and someone bought a wreath from Australia. Someone from across the world wanted what I made.
A year into my new passion, my front living room became a full-fledged craft room. I had a side business. I had a passion.
I had unknowingly discovered my passion because I merely wanted to pass the time. All I knew at the time was that I needed to put one foot in front of the other. What used to excite me no longer did.
The key was trying something different.
Your Turn: How to Discover Your Passion
Most likely, discovering your passion won’t happen in the wreath aisle at Hobby Lobby. But who knows what it could be. Until you try the next thing, you’ve never tried before you won’t know.
Since that day, I made and sold multiple wreaths. I never made more than enough to pay for my supplies. But money was never the point.
I still miss my kids when they leave for the weekend. But I also look forward to my time alone. I have so many things I want to do now.
If you’re drawing a blank for ideas to discover your passion, start by downloading this brainstorming checklist from the Single Mom Toolbox.
Set a timer for 5 minutes then begin jotting down ideas of anything that comes to your mind.
At this point, don’t edit yourself. No matter how silly your ideas seem to you.
What have you always wanted to do, to try, to experience? Maybe kids or past relationships have stopped you. Even if you don’t think your current circumstances will allow for it, write it down.
When your 5 minutes is up, look at your list and circle the items that you could start today.
If you can afford to do them today with your current money situation and in your current circumstances, circle them. Then pick one to begin.
Most importantly – enjoy the process and don’t give up!
Passion Project Series
This is part of a multi-part series: Passion Project Series for Single Moms. Click here to read all the posts in the series. Read through them all to find true self again.