Juggling my two babies
No one can prepare you for motherhood and no one can prepare you for juggling motherhood with the demands of starting a business.
I love the brand I'm developing and I adore this little girl I am raising. However, the two do NOT go hand in hand. Anyone in a similar position will appreciate the pressure caused when trying to juggle solo parenting with working full-time. I say full-time because there is no leaving the office at 5pm. Enquiries are best responded to during the elusive nap time and orders are best processed after the ever changing bedtime. When naps decide not to happen, or happen at a completely different time to usual, the work routine suffers and orders can get messed up. And that's when you can feel so overwhelmed by the smallest mistake that the feeling of inadequacy rears its ugly head. For the most part, customers are understanding and forgiving when an order occasionally takes a couple extra days to arrive, but they would be forgiven for expecting a perfectly professional service in this fast fashion world.
If we still lived in our village, surrounded by our tribe of female support, these feelings of overwhelm wouldn't exist. We wouldn't feel lonely in our daily struggle to care for and stimulate our young, we would have more time for our own creativity, thus eliviating any potential resentment towards our children or partners. We would have sounding boards in our network of women; motivating, reassuring and congratulating us daily. We would have time for self-care, without feeling guilty that we are neglecting our children. Our children would be responded to, if not by us then by older children in the village, aunts, sisters or grandparents. We would have more fun with our children, enjoying spontaneous dancing sessions around the house or allowing mess to happen in response to exploratory play.
Instead, as working mums, we feel constantly pulled in opposing directions, feeling inadequate in both spheres of our lives. We scrape by, accomplishing the bare minimum, never feeling like we've done our best, often feeling like we've failed. This motherhood game can be a lonely one in this society we have created. And trying to start and grow a business within the same context can be just as lonely.
I have no answers. The first few years of motherhood are particularly demanding so here's to hoping the pressure eases. My daughter is and will always be number one priority but the business is for me and fulfils a creative desire I have, we all have, deep within. So here is to less guilt, less internal judgement, more forgiveness and more giggles with our littles. We are all doing our best in a fucked up world.