Wednesday, February 24, 2016

It's 10:30 pm and I should be sleeping, but this post came to mind so I decided to write in the peace and quiet of the night. I've been a bit absent lately. We've had a rough winter health wise. Elias had pneumonia in December, I had the stomach bug and then a bad respiratory virus in January and then February met us with Asher being scary sick for about 2 1/2 weeks, 3 trips to the Dr. during that time ending with being sent to the ER and being admitted for an overnight stay in the hospital with lots of IV fluids and 4 rounds of antibiotics. We were discharged Friday night and then Lucas started vomiting Sunday night continuing through today. So needless to say, we are ready for March!

But really, that isn't what this post is about, just an explanation as to why I've been absent. This post is about direct sales. If you are on Facebook, you likely see a number of your friends posting about products they are selling and talking about why they are so awesome. Maybe they add you to groups or events and if you are like me, you might be added to 3 different events all selling the same product at the same time (just so you know, you can leave those groups and events on your own) Let's face it, direct sales can be annoying. But I'm going to try and open your eyes to the flip side of direct sales, especially as a special needs parent.

I too am involved in direct sales. I NEVER thought I would get involved in direct sales again. I'm not a sales person, and in the past I've actually lost money on the products I've tried to sell. (Don't worry I'm not actually going to try and sell to you in this post). But then I found a product that called to me and that I knew I could enjoy selling and feel good about selling, mainly because it sells itself. I now sell Steeped Tea and I love it, but that's besides the point.

The point is, as I look at my newsfeed and all of the sales posts that pop up, I realized that a lot of us are special needs moms. I have more moms with kiddos with special needs on my newsfeed than most, because we tend to band together and seek out each other's friendships and support even if we've never met in real life. But the real question is, why are we so drawn to direct sales? The answer is this: when you have a little one with special needs, working full time outside of the home is harder. It's not impossible because there are parents who do it every day, but right now Asher has therapies 4 times a week. Thankfully, we live in an area where therapists come to us for now, but if I worked full time outside of the home, I would miss out on most if not all of these therapies. I want to be there when our speech language pathologist comes and asks me if Asher is making new sounds or saying new words, I want to be there to tell them what he does on a daily basis that he is refusing to show them during their half hour session, I want to be there to know what they are doing and how they are doing it so that I can work those same things throughout the week. I want to be in the loop.

On top of therapies there are extra Dr's appointments. We are fortunate, Asher doesn't have a lot of extras, but he does have to have his ear tested annually, blood drawn every 3-6 months, a trip to the ophthalmologist every 6 months and as you can see from above, an illness that Lucas can fight off on his own easily, can land Asher in the hospital with dehydration and signs of pneumonia. This makes it hard to hold a job, when you inevitably need to take more time off to accommodate these extras. I have friends who are taking their littles to Dr's 1-2x a week or more.

So direct sales that can be done from our phones or computers are a great option, whether that be in the waiting room at an appointment, or from the couch in our living rooms.  They allow us to feel like we are contributing to our family's income, while being home with our little ones and available for therapies and appointments. It also becomes something that we can do for us. An escape of sorts from our job on the home front of picking up toys, doing laundry and dishes, changing diapers and wiping noses. It gives us a sense of purpose beyond being a mom and wife, both incredibly important jobs, but not our entire identities.

For a special needs parent, direct sales might be the only work beyond our homes that we can be involved in for a few years. So the next time that we pop up on your newsfeed and your tempted to block our posts, remember, we are doing this for our families. We might love what we sell, but at the root, our families are our motivation.