Mom and a business owner
Many of you know of my daughter, who recently turned 6, and how much she Loves to help me out when working. I love that she can get creative with me. From a young age she'd sit with me and try to help me curl flowers for unicorn ornament head dresses.
Back when my office was in our extra bedroom while we got the basement ready for me to move down there. Which was a priority since I needed a lot of space for storage.
Working and a newborn was not a me.
When I was pregnant I was still in school for Entrepreneurship and Business. I knew eventually I'd take this somewhere, but becoming a mom had changed that a bit. My pregnancy was rough, I had Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG) which made me very sick and it made my last semester in school very rough. My high GPA took a nose dive. I missed online seminars constantly being in and out of the hospital for dehydration. And labor ended up with an emergency c section. A far cry from my natural birthing plan.
This made getting back up into action longer. Which after a while I had found that I was not cut out to be an away from home working mom. So many things stacked up against me. My anxiety increased ten fold. I had a problem with my breastmilk that wouldn't allow it to be stored after 24 hrs which lead to plenty of lactation consultation appointments, and she wouldn't take a bottle. We struggled to line up work hours so either my husband or I would be home. And then when we did work it out, I was gone working the whole time she was awake, and home when she was asleep. 3 months of this routine was awful. I first became acquainted with panic attacks during this time. Endlessly feeling nervous and sick. Crying in the office bathroom wondering if she'll finally take a bottle, and how much I'm missing out.
One of the biggest milestones in my marriage was when my husband sat down with me after sneaking into her room to see her while she slept. As usual crying over how much I missed her. That's when he told me he wanted me to quit and stay home. He saw how it was killing me. At this point in his career he didn't make a lot, but we would be saving by not paying for childcare, and for formula if I was able to be there to feed all the time. I was hesitant. I've always worked. Never in our relationship had I not been the one working, or doing school. But it was the right move. I remember feeling the weight lift off my shoulders when I gave my notice. After all the nerves of getting through that meeting, trust me there was a panic attack before hand. Jessie was actually with me there and had been my moral support the whole drive.
So I focused on raising my daughter, and even helped another mother out with childcare while she worked. Those two young ones became my everyday joy.
It does get easier as they get older.
As she got older I had more time for me and my hobbies. Quilling had become a new hobby of mine and I had quilled things for decorations at her 1st and 2nd birthday parties. Which I don't actually have pictures of, so reminder to take pics more!
With my new interests in paper art I was able to help Jessie make things for her wedding. It once again stoked my passion for creating. Once people started telling us we could sell this stuff my entrepreneuring brain starting going. Looking into how artists and crafters run their businesses, and how to launch my own.
But even though they I had more time, I didn't have enough time. This was all done in times of naps, which as they get older they take less and less naps. At age 2 she completely stopped naps cold turkey. Not my choice, she just would no longer fall asleep. No matter what I'd do. And I also had new medical problems arise (woohoo for endometriosis that went undiagnosed until last year) So I had to get more crafty (pun unintended) on when to get research done. Which meant my evenings were my best bet. Those few precious hours for parents of young kids.
The two roles.
When Jessie and I finally filed for our business license in 2018 we had done the research, and started our first products. By day I was a mommy, in the evenings I would stay up late to work on products and furthering education on how these types of businesses are run. This was absolutely not what I thought I'd be doing with my education, but I embraced it. There were things I had to learn in this area, and still am learning. So my office hours were after bedtime. This is also why the online store and etsy have taken so long. I have to juggle my time between development and creating. When I have orders I obviously have do them. And sometimes, evenings with a child do not go smoothly meaning I lose these hours completely.
Also, finding time to reconnect family and friends is vital and hard. My husband works long hours and we only really see him 3 days a week.. Luckily my husbands office shares space with mine so while he's home at night finishing up reports (or gaming on his office days) he's only a nerf guns shot away. Nerf guns and gaming are a big part of my Luke family. It's somehow its own love language...unless your own dog Millie. She hates nerf guns. And we have a big family that likes to do things. So we constantly have to find time for get together. And friends are squeezed into marco polo video chats and when my ADD brain can remember that I haven't responded to that message sent 2 weeks ago. Summertime is the worst. Shows, vacations, and plans have to be scheduled months in advanced. And things get left undone, friends left unvisited, and goals left unreached. I know each family has these struggles as well. There's just not enough time in the day.
When she finally started school I figured I'd be able finally get most of my evenings back for myself, and I'd be able to have normal work hours while she's in class. And it would have worked just fine had it not been for all the chaos of virtual learning. The resulting curve ball covid threw at schools.
Virtual learning for my kindergarten aged kiddo was a big struggle. I had her desk in my office so I'd be able to assist when she'd need it, and I could work during this time. I figured this would be easy. It ended up with me having to sit next to my scholar the whole time during school to help her out.
Once her school reopened to in-person in early spring, we had a much better time. She thrives in in-person learning. And I was able to go back into working during those hours. But it was only for a few weeks before school was out for summer. Luckily I had a sitter and she was enrolled into fun day camps. So I had time during those hours, but summer is show season and that is mostly designated to creating more than the development side of business. Hence why the etsy still isn't up, nor the product shop on our website.
However, this year she has really taking to helping me create. Her school area in the office is now her own crafting station which is constantly a disaster, but I don't mind so much because it's allowed her to become more creative and confident.
Back to school means back to business.
This thursday she goes back to school. It'll be her first time actually starting in the classroom at school. She's excited, she's met her teacher, seen her desk and locker, shown what she knows and is above expectations again. For which I know her day camps have really helped. I'll miss her, but I get my office hours are back, so I'm also excited. No more constant 2am nights, though they will still happen. Monday office meeting hikes with Jessie will resume again. Where we can vent, sweat, exchange ideas, and even drop off products for local deliveries.
Yes we have our fall and holiday season coming but I am over the moon to be able to get back to my routine and fully be able to embrace the hours I have to better develop the business. This will also allow me to have a better work life balance which has been thrown into dissary for so long that I can't help but feel giddy over the possibilities in creativity I may find. So let 1st grade begin! And let's get back to business.