One Year as a Mompreneur (my babe is ONE!)
I feel like I was just sitting at my computer writing the announcement blog post about when Knox was born. I know, I know, we all say it: TIME FLIES. But, when you are watching your child grow up in front of your eyes every single day, it takes on a whole new level of nostalgia. I mean, every day he changes and gets bigger and more independent.
He was actually a somewhat challenging baby, but I don’t remember the hard nights (and days). All I see is the tiny baby. The sweet newness. The slow days. The magic of meeting your baby.
My husband was home for three weeks right after Knox was born and our days were slow and I watched a lot of TV and sat with my sweet babe. In the moment, it was hard for me to rest and not do much. But I am so glad I did. Because honestly, I miss those days. And next time around, it won’t be the same. When the next one comes around, we will have a wild toddler running around.
All of this to say, the transition from a family of two to a family of three was so sweet. I have so many fond memories of those days.
So, as the one year birthday of my baby approaches, I am kinda sorta emotional. As much as I love interacting with Knox and seeing him walk and play and hearing him say “Mama,” I miss the first days just as much.
I remember before having Knox, I was so naive of what it would be like to be a Mompreneur. For some reason, I thought that I would be able to go back to work three weeks after Knox was born. I actually wanted to go back to work. But I was so tired and I had no idea what it meant to be a Mompreneur.
To be honest, the last year has been hard.
I’ve cried more in the last year than I typically cry.
I’ve doubted myself more than I’ve ever doubted myself.
And I’ve considered giving up almost monthly.
There’s a lot of emotions that come with being a business owner. And there’s even more emotions that come with being a Mom. So, put the two together and you are in for a treat! :)
I’ve learned a lot of lessons in the last year.
If there’s ONE big lesson I’ve learned, it’s that you have to cover your life in grace. There are countless reasons to tell yourself you aren’t doing a good job or you aren’t working enough. There are a lot of fears too. Fears about your baby and fears about your business failing.
Choosing out of those fears and worries is hard.
It’s a daily battle and struggle. But, if you give into them, they will destroy you.
As I sit here, trying to recap the last year of my life, there’s really only a few things I can think to say:
Motherhood is the sweetest and hardest gig ever,
It will force you to address and assess your priorities,
And comparison will destroy you.
I could also talk for hours about my son and how much I love him and how he’s the sweetest little boy I have ever met. I could tell you that he had lots of gas problems well past 6 months and that sleep has always been a challenge. I could tell you that I never knew I could love someone the way I love him and that thinking about him growing up and leaving is quite possibly the most heartbreaking reality ever. I could also tell you that most days I don’t feel like enough and wonder if I’m doing it all wrong. I could tell you that I miss my son every single second I am away from him, which is a big factor in my choice to primarily only work when he naps.
I could tell you that for months after he was born I struggled with anxiety (still do, actually). I should probably also tell you that I’ve been pretty scrappy with the whole Mompreneur thing and don’t know what I am doing. I could tell you all about the baby products we love and the ones you can do without. I could share with you that I have lots of Mom guilt and hope that one day I’ll actually feel confident with the title “Mom.” I could go on and on about our parenting choices and what we do to prioritize family time.
I could talk about every single memory I can think of in the past year and share (with tears streaming down my face) about the sweet moments and the hard moments. The point is: I could go on and on about Motherhood and what I love and what I struggle with.
But we would be here for hours. So instead, let’s return back to the three major lessons I learned.
Motherhood is the sweetest and hardest gig ever: it’s tough y’all. The sleepless nights, the emotions, labor and delivery, the need for patience, the endless amounts of laundry, the sacrifices, the changes in your body, etc. There are challenges that come with each and every day. But in contrast, it’s also the sweetest time. I already miss the tiny newborn cuddles and coos. However, I don’t miss the stress of driving with a crying newborn or nursing every other hour. What I am getting at here, is that with every hardship and feeling of “is it going to be like this forever?”, there’s an equal experience with sweet, tender, life-changing moments too.
No one promises that Motherhood would be easy and no one can fully prepare you for the life-changing, all-encompassing, visceral love you will feel when you become a Mom.
Immediately after having Knox, I was surprised by what was hard for me. My experience was different than what I expected. Yes, waking up in the middle of the night was hard. But that wasn’t the hardest thing for me. All of a sudden, a living, breathing, part of myself was existing outside of my body. I had suddenly lost control. For the first time in my life, I actually felt like someone could hurt me. I can deal with someone hurting my feelings, but the thought of Knox being hurt or left out or whatever kids might do, well that makes me want to curl up and die. Okay, that’s a bit dramatic, but that’s how I feel in a way. Life as a Mom suddenly became scary. Which brought on a lot on anxiety.
So, let’s just put it this way: the hardships of Motherhood were 100% different than what I thought they would be. At the same time, the sweetness of it blew me away and sometimes I catch myself crying just thinking about being his Mama. What a gift.
It will force you to address and assess your priorities: the minute you meet your baby, everything changes. A lot of things about me (things that I was quasi known for), had to change after having a baby. I used to get up at 6am 5 days and week and run for an hour. Not my reality anymore. I don’t have the time anymore, but that isn’t a priority to me anymore. I would rather spend the morning with my son, than spend 60 minutes running. And I don’t want to work 40 hours a week. That’s my personal preference. I don’t want to be away from Knox for that long, and from the beginning, he has required a lot of physical attention from me. So, that was never really an option.
I say all of this to explain one thing: I am a completely different person since having Knox, and the things that used to be the most important to me, are no longer at the top of my list. Do they still matter? Most definitely. But, now that my time is more limited and I have more emotional demands, I can’t give them as much weight. To be honest, it’s made me a better person. But the “pruning” wasn’t easy. It’s not always easy to let go of things that you felt were a part of your identity. It’s hard work being a Mama. And taking the time to really look at where your priorities lay, will give you a 20/20 perspective into your heart. The good news? This baby helps you adjust and soon, you become a better version of yourself each and every day.
And comparison will destroy you: we already know this. But, when you battle comparison in the parenting world, well there’s nothing worse. Here’s the thing: we all want to do the best for our kids. We want to be the best parent we can be and make the best choices about sleep, vaccinations, when to introduce solids, how long to breastfeed, what toys to play with, what parenting style to choose, etc. And we look around to the world for affirmation that we are making the best choices. Unfortunately, every kid is different, which means that every parent is different, which also means every choice a parent makes will be different than the next. So, if you’re looking to everyone else to see if you’re doing it right, you won’t get the affirmation you want or need, and eventually you will begin to compare yourself and feel like you are doing it all WRONG.
Here’s what I would say: stay in your own lane. You were chosen to be your baby’s parent. Which means you know best. So, that parent down the street who has a completely different philosophy on sleep? That’s what is best for their family, not yours. You HAVE to find confidence in your choices and trust God to guide you. You know best for your child. Trust your gut, and stop comparing your choices to others. The best thing we can do is empower every parent to do what is best for their kid. And guess what? Every single family will be different.
I've learned a lot and grown a lot in the last year. Above all, my heart has expanded in ways I never knew possible and I am beyond grateful I was chosen to disciple, encourage, raise, and love our son. He is truly the greatest gift and I am overcome with gratitude when I think about his life.