Sometimes what you need is a break—even from your own business

It’s OK to build a business that makes you proud. It’s also OK to walk away from it when you need. 

Sometimes what you need is a break—even from your own business
? Mia Eliza

As a solopreneur who took great pride in the business I was building, I thought slowing down would be a sign of weakness and failure. It turns out, it was the exact opposite.

I am the founder of the ethical lifestyle brand JoyBound Apparel, a company that was built on doing the “right thing” and treating our suppliers and artisans fairly. However, I began to notice that I became so worried about treating them fairly and helping them create the life they wanted that I somehow got lost in the mix.

My wants, dreams, goals and needs. I pushed them all to the side as I strived to be everything to everyone.


But with these good intentions came great difficulty. My health suffered, the attention I was able to give my children lessened and at the end of the day I was left with more feelings of guilt than accomplishment. Something had to change. After all, the main mission of JoyBound was to empower women to choose joy and, at that point, I wasn’t sure if I was choosing it myself.

Sure, I was happy. And, yes, I loved what I was doing. But something was missing: balance. That little thing that we often read about as being nonsense. I needed it. It wasn’t until I shed many tears and had many long conversations with my husband that I gained clarity about what I needed to do.

I needed to worry about myself. Remember why I started. My goals, my dreams and my needs.

It took months for me to decide how it would all play out. How does one step away from their company, leaving it to hang in space somewhere and then just pop back in when the time was right for them? Would our customers still be there? The following we gained along the way? Would we still be relevant? Would I even know how to get it going again? To be honest, I still don’t really know the answers to those questions but the answer to getting our hiatus started was to quiet those thoughts. To have the strength to put myself and my family first. To give my children the childhood they deserve without jeopardizing my health to do so.

It was a very liberating feeling. Waking up and only having to worry about the normal day-to-day things. My kids felt the shift and so did my husband. I had more time to sit on the floor and play make-believe. I was able to cook quality meals again. I even got a haircut—something that had become a once-a-year luxury.

Instead of rushing to answer emails the moment I wake up, I spend time on my sons’ floor while they pile on top of me as I tell them just how much I love them. Something I somehow fit into my day before—but not without the constant nagging in the back of my mind over the sheer quantity of items I needed to get done.

There were lessons I needed to learn. Among those would be that it’s OK to want to build something you’re proud of. No one should feel guilty about that. The next? That it’s OK to need to walk away.

It doesn’t make you weak. In fact, doing so took more strength than I would’ve ever expected. I fought to show my children that they are worth it. Both in starting and in stopping. But I also fought to show them that I know that I am worth it. I needed the time away for clarity. I was so engrossed in the tasks of the business that I didn’t even know how to find the time to reorganize the way I did things. How do you take the time to look for help when you barely have time to finish packing up the orders for the day? Or responding to necessary emails?

Over my hiatus I was able to figure out a system that would work for us. I started organizing my days differently and understanding the importance of focusing on one task at a time. It’s the best way to avoid brain overload. I no longer reach for my phone the moment I wake up. Instead, I give myself the time to be “just a mom” and enjoy breakfast and conversation with my boys. I pick a few tasks per day and make sure those are completed, giving me an amazing sense of accomplishment without the overwhelm.

I also focus on what my friend Calli of Storyweaver Mercantile refers to as daily themes. This is when you assign each day a theme, for example: Mondays for photographing product, Tuesdays for designing new product, Wednesdays for writing blog content and so on. It’s amazing how much it alleviates stress, which allows you to find more joy in your work. And I’m all about finding joy.

My business looks very different today. I learned to keep the things I was passionate about while letting go of the rest.

I was able to find help to fulfill my orders while I use that extra time to fulfill my dreams of being ever present in the lives of my children. I get to fulfill my other loves: writing and encouraging women to choose joy through my intentional living blog. I still design clothes, but allowing others to help reminds me why I fell in love with this line of work in the first place.

My business no longer runs me, I run it. Life has become less about surviving and more about thriving. Designing a life I truly love while leaving room in my mind and heart for the possibility of something different.

By its very nature, motherhood requires some lifestyle adjustments: Instead of staying up late with friends, you get up early for snuggles with your baby. Instead of spontaneous date nights with your honey, you take afternoon family strolls with your little love. Instead of running out of the house with just your keys and phone, you only leave with a fully loaded diaper bag.

For breastfeeding or pumping mamas, there is an additional layer of consideration around when, how and how much your baby will eat. Thankfully, when it comes to effective solutions for nursing or bottle-feeding your baby, Dr. Brown's puts the considerations of mamas and their babies first with products that help with every step of the process—from comfortably adjusting to nursing your newborn to introducing a bottle to efficiently pumping.

With countless hours spent breastfeeding, pumping and bottle-feeding, the editors at Motherly know the secret to success is having dependable supplies that can help you feed your baby in a way that matches lifestyle.

Here are 9 breastfeeding and pumping products to help you no matter what the day holds.

Customflow™ Double Electric Breast Pump

Dr. Brown's electric pump

For efficient, productive pumping sessions, a double electric breast pump will help you get the job done as quickly as possible. Quiet for nighttime pumping sessions and compact for bringing along to work, this double pump puts you in control with fully adjustable settings.


Hands-Free Pumping Bra

Dr. Brown''s hands free pumping bra

Especially in the early days, feeding your baby can feel like a pretty consuming task. A hands-free pumping bra will help you reclaim some of your precious time while pumping—and all mamas will know just how valuable more time can be!


Manual Breast Pump with SoftShape™ Silicone Shield

Dr. Brown's manual breast pump

If you live a life that sometimes takes you away from electrical outlets (that's most of us!), then you'll absolutely want a manual breast pump in your arsenal. With two pumping modes to promote efficient milk expression and a comfort-fitted shield, a manual pump is simply the most convenient pump to take along and use. Although it may not get as much glory as an electric pump, we really appreciate how quick and easy this manual pump is to use—and how liberating it is not to stress about finding a power supply.


Nipple Shields and Sterilization Case

Dr. Brown's nipple shields

There is a bit of a learning curve to breastfeeding—for both mamas and babies. Thankfully, even if there are some physical challenges (like inverted nipples or a baby's tongue tie) or nursing doesn't click right away, silicone nipple shields can be a huge help. With a convenient carry case that can be sterilized in the microwave, you don't have to worry about germs or bacteria either. 🙌


Silicone One-Piece Breast Pump

Dr. Brown's silicone pump

When you are feeding your baby on one breast, the other can still experience milk letdown—which means it's a golden opportunity to save some additional milk. With a silent, hands-free silicone pump, you can easily collect milk while nursing.


Breast to Bottle Pump & Store Feeding Set

After a lifetime of nursing from the breast, introducing a bottle can be a bit of a strange experience for babies. Dr. Brown's Options+™ and slow flow bottle nipples were designed with this in mind to make the introduction to bottles smooth and pleasant for parents and babies. As a set that seamlessly works together from pumping to storing milk to bottle feeding, you don't have to stress about having everything you need to keep your baby fed and happy either.


Washable Breast Pads

washable breast pads

Mamas' bodies are amazingly made to help breast milk flow when it's in demand—but occasionally also at other times. Especially as your supply is establishing or your breasts are fuller as the length between feeding sessions increase, it's helpful to use washable nursing pads to prevent breast milk from leaking through your bra.


Breast Milk Storage Bags

Dr. Brown's milk storage bags

The essential for mamas who do any pumping, breast milk storage bags allow you to easily and safely seal expressed milk in the refrigerator or freezer. Dr. Brown's™ Breast Milk Storage Bags take it even further with extra thick walls that block out scents from other food items and feature an ultra secure lock to prevent leaking.


Watch one mama's review of the new Dr. Brown's breastfeeding line here:

This article was sponsored by Dr. Brown's. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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