Hello all. It’s me, Steph. I’m back with another lengthy blog post that will probably make all of us cry because I’m a Cancer and apparently that’s what I do.
LE reached out to me a couple of weeks ago about writing a blog post going in depth about how motherhood and my business intersect. Admittedly the idea of exploring this experience feels a bit daunting because of how intense it is, how indescribable it can be - especially to humans who do not have children yet.
With my initiation into the Motherhood club, I frequently find myself admitting that this is likely the only experience that one goes into thinking they know what it’s going to be like (because we all have parents in some capacity), but then we get to the other side of it and the reality is so wildly different from what we thought it would be. I’m equally guilty of going into this experience with a romanticized idea of what our day-to-day life would look like.
You read the books. You take the classes. You talk to other moms. You anticipate as much as you possibly can, given the basic facts of raising tiny humans.
And then they do what they are going to do, because they’re not robots. They don’t run on schedules (or if yours does, I love that for you because mine is utter chaos).
Halfway through my pregnancy, my husband and I sat down and discussed what the best arrangement looked like for us as parents. Obviously his career is set in stone, so it’s not like he can stay home and care for our child. On the flip side, I want to raise my baby and I want to do it without sacrificing my drive to achieve. I want to live a life where I can be a business woman, a mother, and not have to pay exorbitant childcare costs.
In short, I want it all.
It’s never that simple, though, is it? Just like with everything in life, when you say yes to one thing it means inevitably saying no to your other options. Saying yes to staying home with B means saying no to conventional employment. It means saying no to meetings and the traditional schedule by which the adult professional world operates.
It means saying yes to building businesses.
It means I’m doing a lot of hard things at once.
But also what else is new? I’ve always been the type of person who stacks hard things. Like I’m going to have a baby? Cool. Now let’s also buy a house, move, and start 2.5 businesses while we’re at it.
We’re getting uncomfy right now? Cool. Let’s get as uncomfy as I can possibly stand. Let’s push my nervous system to the limits because if we’re changing right now, then we’re going to change everything.
Some days I feel like I’m drowning and I question why I decided to do this all at once. Some days I feel like I’m on top of the world and can do anything.
There is no in between. This is a season of extremes.
Extreme discomfort. Extreme transformation.
This all probably sounds a little dramatic to my non-moms out there. None of this would have resonated with me pre-baby because it’s a change that you can’t even begin to articulate until you’ve chosen to undergo it. Not to mention I do tend to have a flair for the dramatics.
All I can say is something clicks inside of you when you know what you want, how badly you want it, and are constantly multi-tasking in order to get the most important parts taken care of. Even as I type this, I hold my baby in my left hand while I type with my right.
The infant stage is hard, both in business and in babies. It means a lot of late nights, a lot of tears, a lot of adrenaline, and a lot of dreams for the future.
It means giving far more than you’re receiving and trusting in the process.
It means getting back to basics and finally integrating lessons you resisted learning for many years:
1) Be consistent. You are expected and required to show up in all of the ways that matter in the long run on a daily basis.
2) Self care is crucial. If you do not fill up your cup, you will become bitter and resentful.
3) Prioritize and lower your expectations of how much you can accomplish in a day. Identify
what must be done and start there. Once that is complete, anything else is a bonus.
4) Rest when you are tired. When you feel replenished, then you may continue.
5) Understand that highs and lows are a natural part of the process. There will be moments of immeasurable joy. Savor them. There will be moments of intense discomfort. Breathe through them and know that it is temporary.
At the end of the day, as long as everybody made it out alive, everybody had their fill to eat, and there isn’t any blood anywhere, then you’re doing it.
I never quite know where a blog post will take me when I begin writing, so I’m going to end it with one last little nugget of peace that one of my dear sister friends imparted on me. This can be used universally, regardless of whether or not you’re a parent:
Moment by moment. Day by day.
Whenever you find yourself doing a Hard Thing, remember that: moment by moment and day by day. Focus on the next right thing to do, the single next step to take. Keep your brain present and think about putting one foot in front of the other when the whole journey feels daunting.
Most importantly, remember that the rainbow always comes after the storm.