Motherhood & My Noonday Side-Hustle
By embracing our vulnerability, we create compassionate spaces of belonging for ourselves and others.
The moment I hit send on the email saying I would write about the intersection of motherhood and being an Ambassador, I regretted it. For starters, I have zero tips on “how to manage your side-hustle and be an amazing mom.” Seriously, I have none. Also, writing honestly about motherhood requires vulnerability and I would much rather make you laugh. We’ll see–maybe I can do both?
I became a Noonday Ambassador in May of 2020 after two months of stay-at-home orders and approximately 42,000 snack requests from my children. They are three and five years old and are both the source of my loudest laughter and my most humbling life lessons. Some things I’ve learned include: I will choose coffee over hygiene any day of the week, I have zero tolerance for toys that find the soft part of my foot, and after a year of trying to work from home I still have not figured out a rhythm that works.
That last one is really uncomfortable to admit because I feel like I should have figured it out by now. I mean, everyone is fed and hugged but I have never been more exhausted in my life. Some days my children have come first and I’ve missed meetings and others I bribed them with junk food to get 20 minutes to myself. None of it is ideal, but I acknowledge the privilege of having a job with that kind of flexibility.
When we look across the globe, we don’t see strangers–we see ourselves.
When I think of the Artisans who’ve done incredible beadwork with children at home, I am in awe. I look at my beloved Rogue Earrings and think, “There is no way hundreds of tiny beads would become anything but a mess on the floor in our house” (or stuck in someone’s ear as happened last week).
I wonder if the woman who made this stunning piece of jewelry plans her work to coincide with her children’s nap, or if she cries when they don’t nap because it’s impossible to get anything done. I wonder how tired she is from the stress of living through “unprecedented times.” I wonder what unexpected joys she’s discovered in her new normal. I wonder if she knows the hope her artistry brings to women like me who’ve struggled to see the light at the end of this tunnel.
We are a sisterhood.
It’s this connection to other women that has kept me inspired (and sane) on the hardest days. Whether it’s conversations with Ambassadors turned lifelong friends or hearing from different Artisans at our virtual Shine Conference, that connection has given me so much insight into the kind of life I want when the pandemic chapter of our story is over. I have always been independent and preferred to work alone but living through a pandemic has changed that. I know what I am capable of on my own, but I want something better for myself, for you, and for all our children.
We are better together.
A couple weeks ago my children and I were playing at the park and they started to race around a sandpit. When my oldest won, my youngest cried and vice versa. They teased each other about being the winner while I reminded them to be kind and gracious if they finished first. I was about to suggest a new activity when they asked me to film their race for dad to see. As soon as I agreed, my three-year-old got a false start and tripped and fell. My daughter went from being annoyed that he started without her to rush to help him up.
Then he asked her to hold hands so they could run together. They raced around the sandpit a little slower than they had running alone, but when they crossed the imaginary finish line, they hugged and congratulated one another. On the video, you can hear me choke back tears as I say, “I like how you did that together.” I was weepy for the rest of the day because these tiny people figured out it was more fun to go together than to win alone. It took me 40 years, a pandemic, and being part of the Noonday community to figure that out.
This is more than just jewelry. It’s an invitation.
There are plenty of people who set themselves apart as a standard to aspire to and offer tips to achieve individualized success. We don’t need that. What we need are more people who understand that meaningful action that makes the world better is never the work of one person. Being part of a global community that partners together so all our children flourish is life-giving work.
Whether you are already an Ambassador or you’re a customer who stumbled upon this blog, we need you. I am not legally required to tell you that, I really believe it.
After this past year, the last message any woman needs to hear is that she isn’t doing enough. That she isn’t working hard enough. That she needs to do more or she’s wasting her life. I wholeheartedly reject that toxic mess. Instead, I invite you to consider how you can be part of this journey. Whether it’s buying a gift for someone (or yourself!), hosting a Trunk Show, or becoming an Ambassador, there’s room for you. The best part is, you’ll never have to do it alone.
Meet MJ Thach
MJ lives in Long Beach, CA with her husband and their two children. She is a self-described "gooey" Enneagram 8 who loves sharing a good charcuterie board and a bottle of wine with friends. Her favorite things include drinking coffee in the dark before anyone else is awake, giraffes, live music, and theater. You can follow her on Instagram (@MJThach).