I didn’t want to go back to work. Like ever. But I still wanted to a career. So I started a business.
It’s 4:30 am, my 3-month-old is up for the third time tonight and I’m checking emails with a baby on my boob.
Because my company launches in under four weeks and I don’t even have a functioning website yet, that’s why.
I might also mention that my pants are inside out, my mom bun is turning into one giant dreadlock and I just noticed puke on the floor that has definitely been there for more than a few days.
It’s not pretty. I’m not pretty. But oh—my baby is pretty. That helps a lot.
Okay, back to business.
In Canada, we are lucky enough to have one year of paid maternity leave.
This is regardless of your profession: you can be a cook, a lawyer or an entrepreneur.
The government gives you a stipend every two weeks. It’s not your full wage (I believe it tops out at around $500 a week), but it’s an incredible advantage.
The problem was, I didn’t want to go back to work. Like ever.
That’s not to say that I didn’t want to work.
I just knew that it was the opportunity I’d always wanted to start my own company, to be my own boss, to have a creative outlet that also paid the bills.
So Beluga Baby and the Beluga Wrap were born around the same time my daughter Sawyer was, in a sense.
Now, starting a business with a new baby is rife with problems.
Not only do you have to work during nap times (which leads to a very tired mommy), but on top of that, your entire body is functioning abnormally.
Hormones are all over the place, and most of your brainpower is used up raising the adorable little hellion who now sleeps in your room.
But who gets an entire year before they have to turn the slightest profit in their business?
Who is forced NOT to take any sort of wage from their business for the first 12 months?
And I would be a fool not to do something with that gift.
So why baby wraps?
When my baby was born, I knew I wanted to keep her close to me, especially for the first three months, also called “the fourth trimester.”
It was instinctual.
I wouldn’t say I totally adhere to any one mantra of parenting. Rather, I prefer a blend of several different schools of thought. Basically, I’m a fan of: “If it feels right to you as a mother, it probably is right for your baby and your family.”
But baby-wearing? That was one philosophy I could definitely get on board with.
Problem was, I couldn’t find a wrap that I loved for the life of me. Some were too thick, some too stretchy, some not stretchy enough. I couldn’t seem to find that magical blend of stretch, support and breathability.
So I decided to see if I could create it myself.
After searching high and low for the perfect fabric (the textile world is a JUNGLE), I found it. Mostly bamboo, with a hint of cotton for support and a touch of spandex for stretch.
It was love at first touch. I designed my wrap and got it tested by several moms that I knew and trusted.
I got feedback, made some design changes and the Beluga Wraps were ready to go. I had a product I loved, could be proud of and that I knew would change moms’ (and dads’) lives for the better.
I’m proud to say that my product is made right here in the city I live in, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. That’s important to me. I could make it for cheaper overseas, but that just doesn’t sit well.
So despite the lack of glamour in this current life, the complete and total loss of modesty (hello, birth and breastfeeding) and the eight months without an uninterrupted night’s sleep, I’m good. I’m grateful. I’m okay.
And I’m so ready to see where this road leads.
Haley is the owner and developer of the Beluga Wrap, a bamboo baby carrier made in Vancouver, Canada. She gave birth to her baby girl in April 2015, and launched her company four months later. Despite the insanity of running a startup with a newborn, she wouldn’t do it any other way.