Becoming a mother and becoming your own boss have similar airs of promise.
Before you take the plunge, all you can see are the handmade french cable knit onesies and days stylishly spent being creative and sipping coffee in the comfort of your own home. Sure, you know there will be tough moments, but even those tough moments, you think, will be purely iconic and sweet.
I’m sure it was the exhaustion-induced insanity that possessed my husband and I to take a right turn and open our own business while deep in the throws of teething and multiple night wakings, but I’m convinced it was the only way we would have ever taken the leap. While it might not have been the most responsible choice, we knew there was no reason to wait. We told ourselves that we would never be less tied down than we were at that moment. We also figured our son would be better off not remembering the struggles of the early days of business, in all of its thrifted wardrobe, make-do glory.
And as I settled into motherhood, a shift happened. My self-seen role as a child navigating the world quickly pivoted to that of a parent. It’s incredibly frightening and pushed me far beyond what I thought was my capacity at first, but I finally decided to allow myself to find the freedom in my new role. I no longer felt the need to consult others on my life choices. I realized it was up to me to create the life I wanted for myself and my family. It was time to write my own story instead of following the one that had been laid out for me by others.
The early days of business and motherhood were tough. Let’s face it, they still are. There’s a lot of scrambling, risk and uncertainty, but with that struggle comes a great deal of success and pride. As time moves on, I only gain more confidence and know-how, making each subsequent day a little bit easier to manage in both roles. I don’t know if I’ll ever perfect the work/life balance that we all try to reach, but I’m trying my best and learning to let that be enough.
As we celebrate our shop’s one year birthday and are nearing son’s second, I’m can’t imagine any other path. Flexible schedules and family time top the list of practical reasons why, but the true gift is knowing that we are living our life on our own terms. No matter the outcome or the circumstance, I know that we are following our hearts, working our tails off, and hopefully teaching our son to be brave enough to do the same.