On Being a Mom and a Small Business Owner

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Since we last talked: I had a baby, took a few months off for maternity leave, my daughter turned three, and my husband and I celebrated nine years of marriage. It's been a pretty stellar past few months in the Seidl household

And now, I'm three months into this family of four, two kids in daycare, working, pumping, and tired mom also business owner thing. My brain is pretty much a straight up mushy confused sleep deprived mess. 

However, maybe its the postpartum hormones (can I still use that excuse 3 months postpartum??), or just being a mom of two littles, but I'm feeling particularly sentimental today -- a word that, unfortunately, is rarely used to describe me. Don't worry, the sarcastic and dry humor Brett has not left the building ... she just went to get a margarita. 

I sat down to finally finish my blog post detailing and revealing my last completed project, but every time I tried to write something, all I could think about was how grateful I am and I got seriously teary-eyed (though I'll blame it on the high levels of tree pollen). So, you get this mushy sentimental post instead. 

  Annie meeting baby Jack for the first time.

Annie meeting baby Jack for the first time.

Some real talk: I was so nervous to take time off for maternity leave because I'm a small, growing business. Without employees (which I was planning to hire before I found out I was preggo), a few weeks off is a huge hit during a vital time in the growth of my business. Making the decision to even take a maternity leave, much less one that was longer than a month, was one of those times where my role as a mom vs business owner was challenged and my priorities were truly tested. In the end, mom role ALWAYS wins, even if that meant my blood, sweat, and tears of a business took a punch to the gut. And while mom role always wins, it doesn't mean the decision was easy -- I'm no mom of the year, I definitely grappled with what to do, I REALLY love my job. (Though, it does help that baby Jack is insanely adorable and the most cuddliest, squishy baby ever.)

Now that I'm back from maternity leave, I can easily say that I worried for nothing. My clients are quite frankly amazing. So many of you graciously allowed me to take all the time I needed while your projects were left to sit and wait. My transition back has been so smooth and effortless. Our sweet daycare is kindly allowing us to put baby Jack in part-time for a few weeks because I can't yet bear being away from him five days a week. And pretty much every single one of my clients has told me to feel free to bring my new baby to any or all of my meetings. 

It's definitely hard though. Physically, emotionally, and mentally hard. 

  Baby Jack sleeping on the job during a client install.

Baby Jack sleeping on the job during a client install.

I'm forced to create routine when I thrive on variety and change, my days are jam packed from the moment I wake up at 5:30am to the second my head hits the pillow at 11pm. I suffered from late onset postpartum depression with my first child so I was just absolutely dreading the first year postpartum with my second. This time around, I have a business to run and no one to pick up the slack at work. Clear-headed quick decisions have to be made, hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of invoices and product have to be handled, deadlines have to be met. I don't have time to sit on the floor in the corner of my closet crying or to sit on the edge of my bed staring completely aimlessly for what seems like hours. I didn't want to not find any joy in the work I do or activities I love.

This time around, I had to make the decision to invite people in. To be vulnerable and honest.

This time around, I had to make the decision to invite people in. To be vulnerable and honest. I made sure to pick my cheerleaders wisely and ask them to check in on me from time to time, to force me to take time for myself, to exercise regularly, to be truthful when it starts to get really hard and if I begin to see that dark tunnel. To not put on the "I'm fine, everything is fine" face.

This time around, so far, its been infinitely better.

So, cheers to being vulnerable and honest. Cheers to being a mom. Cheers to being a small business owner. 

I am so stinking grateful for my people. For my clients, my family, my kids' daycare, and my cheerleaders.  Couldn't do this without you.