Motherhood and Entrepreneurship
If you really knew me, you would know that I love structure. I thrive on it. I don’t like when plans get changed. I like knowing what to expect. I like waking up every morning knowing how the day will pan out. This worked really well for me before I had a baby and worked at home by myself. I didn’t have a boss to tell me what to do. I didn’t have co-workers who depended on me. I wasn’t required by law to take a lunch break. And I could work whenever and wherever I wanted. Work from the couch? Yep. Work at night and take the day off? You betcha.
It wasn’t until having a baby that I realized how much I actually loved this. I used to think I was an extrovert, but I suppose with age and maturity, I have realized that I am also part introvert. Yes, you can be both. I am living proof. I didn’t realize how much I loved my independence and how much I craved time alone and working by myself. A common complaint I hear from fellow entrepreneurs is loneliness. And I must admit, I’ve never really struggled with this. Sometimes I missed having a co-worker to gab with about weekend plans, but the flexibility and ability to listen to loud music and watch Netflix quickly overshadowed my need for a gab sesh.
So! All of this to say: transitioning to Motherhood is a lot different that I expected. For some reason I had the naive belief that I could “train” my child. “Of course we will go on walks every single morning” I said. “Of course we will go out every day!” I said. “Of course I’ll be able to launch a big project in September” I said. And all mothers collectively shake their head at me. You see, what I didn’t realize is that everything revolves around sleep and eating. And you can’t just force a schedule on a baby. And if your baby is sleeping soundly, a walk if far less important than his sleep. And sometimes a baby will decide he only wants to sleep on his mama. And replying to emails and writing blog posts suddenly become a lot less important than a baby getting his nap.
I knew that my life and business would change once Knox arrived. But, I didn’t know exactly how it would change. I tried to plan for it, but I also knew that it would involve learning as I go. And as I said before: I love structure. So, this transition is hard for me. It’s hard because I want to be able to control my days. I want to be able to control if my baby is having a good day or a hard day. I want to know exactly how much work I can get done every week. And that’s just not possible. I am in a new season. And I am actually feeling quite powerless in this season. I’ve always heard that parenting teaches you how selfish you are, and perhaps that’s true. But, I was talking to a friend the other week (who had three boys) and said it perfectly: “having kids teaches you how powerless you are” and I all I could say to that was “amen, preach it bro.”
That’s exactly how I feel.
So, what does all of this mean for my business?
Well, I am learning to work a lot less. And be okay with that. I am learning to lower my expectations of myself right now. I am learning that grace is a daily practice. And I am learning to be a lot more intentional with my time.
Right now, Knox still really (like REALLY) likes to sleep. So, every day I can pretty much count on a three hour nap. Now, as stated above, I can’t 100% count on this. It doesn’t always work out this way. Sometimes he naps for three hours, but only if he’s in my arms.
So, here’s what a look at a “typical” day looks like right now:
Knox will wake up between 7 & 8am. We will snuggle, do diaper changes, he will eat, and then we try and go for a walk. He will take a little snooze during the walk and then we will come home, he will eat again, and we will have some snuggle time. Shortly after, he will go down for his mega nap.
During his nap, I typically try to work or work out. I try to have a list of to-dos before the week starts so when I step into my office, I know exactly what to do. I cannot get sidetracked. Every minute is valuable time!
After he wakes up, I try to just be present and focus on him until my husband gets home. Sometimes I can set him in the swing and do some housework, or strap him on my chest and bake Paleo muffins or do dishes or finish up some loose ends in the office. The afternoons are pretty different every day.
My husband typically gets home from work around 5, so I can hand Knox to him and shower and then prepare dinner. Before we had a baby, my husband was already given the name “baby hog,” so I’m sure you can imagine what he’s like with Knox. After he’s home he wants him all to himself. It works pretty great for us at this point. Even though I am exhausted, it’s nice to be able to cook dinner, fold laundry, shower, etc. without worrying about holding Knox.
If needed, I am also able to do a little work in the evenings and on the weekends because I have Joel to help with Knox. It’s still an adjustment and I’d be lying if I said it was easy. It’s hard. And I can often find myself in a constant state of stress and anxiety, but I am working on being present, letting go of putting hard expectations on myself (as a business owner), and let myself rest and be. That’s hard for someone who always loves to be doing something.
So, there you have it. That’s how we are “balancing” motherhood and business ownership. Right now, it kinda feels like I am just staying afloat. But with time, I know we will find a better rhythm. And I must note, my Mama lives close by and will be helping out in the afternoons twice a week so I can have a more set work schedule and feel stressed about squeezing in work whenever I get a minute.
If you made it this far, you are truly the real MVP. Are you a working Mama? What are your best tips? Or, do you have any specific questions? Let me know in the comments!