Mother Run: Erica Nicole Campbell from Aiming for August

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    When Erica Nicole Campbell started her blog, Aiming for August, in March 2016, she had no idea what it would turn into in such a short period of time.  What started as a hobby and an “outlet and a place for mothers to go if they were feeling lonely regarding all things motherhood,” has morphed into a wonderful community of mothers and an unintended business venture.  “I’m a total researcher/planner,” says Erica, but “it didn’t start as a business venture.  Once I realized I could make this brand into MY brand and business, things changed completely.  I started researching heavily how to create quality content.  In the beginning, the hardest part was definitely balancing the time devoted to growing my blog and being completely present with my family.  So much of blogging is social media or having your face buried in a screen.  I knew that I didn’t want that to be the image that my babies had of me so I pushed myself to make sure I wasn’t doing that.  I also became pregnant a couple months after starting the blog, so I wasn’t as motivated to do anything but sleep.”

    When Aiming for August first launched, Erica’s daughter E was 7 months old.  Their family recently welcomed a new baby boy, J, earlier this year.  Respecting her children’s privacy is very important to Erica.  “I don’t use their names because I’ve decided to wait until they’re old enough to want to be included on my blog.  As they’ve gotten older and I’ve grown more into myself as a woman/mother, I’ve stopped including them in as many blog posts and pictures,” she says.  In addition to motherhood leading to her venture into blogging, it also made her realize “how confident I was about helping other mothers and women.  This is when I also decided to pursue a career in Lactation Consulting.”

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    Lactation Consulting isn’t Erica’s first foray into helping mothers.  Prior to starting Aiming for August, she worked part time as a mother/baby/postpartum RN.   She explains that she is “currently balancing being a stay-at-home mom and managing my blog.  I recently took my board exam to become a lactation consultant and am just waiting for results.”  I hope all of you reading can join me in sending great thoughts her way as she awaits her test results!

    While starting something new is always a learning process, making a switch to blogging has “been fun,” says Erica.  “I love having a blog and my own corner of the internet!  I’m a millennial so I guess I’ve always been keen to adapting to technology.  I wouldn’t say that I’m tech savvy, but I definitely ‘get it.’  Since starting my blog, I actually know a lot more about coding and the ins and outs of social media algorithms.”  On her blog Erica covers so many topics--from pregnancy, the postpartum period, breastfeeding, and more.  Her favorite topic though is breastfeeding.  “I easily love to talk about breastfeeding!,” she says.  “I really like to share tips and tricks on how to be a more confident parent, whether that be through my struggles and triumphs or through sharing fun things that I’m doing with my family.”

    Recently, Erica has turned her platform to another topic--raising awareness on issues plaguing her community.  She recently teamed up with Huggies and the National Diaper Bank Network to bring awareness to the fact that 1 in 3 families have trouble providing the amount of diapers needed for their children.  “I’ve always strayed away from being blatantly outspoken about my views on certain issues,” says Erica, but “as time changes, I’ve realized that if I have a platform, I need to use it to help the common good and promote positivity.  I hope to address more gender related issues, political awareness, etc.  With so many allegations of harassment towards women in Hollywood, I hope to address that and how we can raise children to be better and more aware of how to change it.”

    Another parenting topic that is important to Erica is raising her children to be feminists.  “I can’t say that I’ve always had a female-strong mindset,” she says.  “I was raised in more a female submissive culture so that was always something that seemed like a norm to me until I became more confident in my role as a girlfriend.  I honestly can thank my husband for being such a strong feminist (ironic, right?).  I basically plan to raise my children to believe that women can truly do anything men can do and vice versa.  There are no assignments for gender.  It’s hard to remember because it’s not how my generation was raised but I try to be mindful of these things as my children grow older.  For instance there is no such thing as a boy color or girl color, there are no boy toys or girl toys.  Girls can be whatever they want to be and boys can too!”

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    When it comes to the work/life balance, Erica says “like every mother, I do what I have to do.  I don’t know if I’m balancing anything well, honestly.  At the end of the day, some of my to-do list gets done, my kids get fed and loved, and I don’t feel awful so I say that’s a win!”  Like so many of us, she says “the biggest struggle is thinking that I HAVE to do everything.  It has taken a few years of motherhood for me to realize what’s truly important, what’s not, and that I literally cannot do EVERYTHING (and that’s okay).”

    Her work towards this balance has changed a lot since the starting of Aiming for August and her start towards becoming a Lactation Consultant.  As mentioned, her family welcomed a new baby earlier this year and now she manages her work with two kids under two.  One of the main differences now, says Erica, is that “I don’t get as much sleep as I was prior to having my sweet boy.  I believe in holding babies as much as possible so during some naps, I just hold him.  It’s not productive whatsoever but it is sweet.  He and his sister take one long nap at the same time and this when I get those one-on-one guilt free cuddles so I take advantage of it.”  In order to fit in work, Erica says “I usually have to stay up later than I’d like or wake up extremely early.  Because my husband is off on the weekends, I’ve been getting some self-care/alone time to go to local coffee shops and work.”

    As someone who is also about to have two under two, I was very interested in Erica’s thoughts on the transition into mothering with the new baby.  “It’s hard in the beginning but gets so much better,” she says.  “I personally feel like this transition hasn’t been as hard as I expected it to be.  Because they’re so close to the same age, they do a lot of the same things.  Fortunately my daughter was potty trained before he was born so we don’t have to worry about double diapers.  I also feel like because you never get a break, your body is used to the hustle.  Once the hustle subsides, it subsides for good.  You no longer have to worry about the diapers, potty training, sleep training, etc.  You’re doing it all at once and the load is heavy but it’ll be over before you know it.”

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    When it comes to business, expect to see even greater things from Erica in the future.  “With my blog, I hope to attend more events-- like big events in big fabulous, cities,” she says.  “I would love to host my own events as well.  In the blogging community, there are some bloggers that are pretty big name and I’d love to meet them as well.”  In regards to her journey to become a Lactation Consultant, she says “I hope to be my own boss and own my own business.  I want to host classes in inner cities for a reasonable price to educate them about the benefits and ease of breastfeeding.”

    If you’re looking for some final, inspiring advice from Erica, look no further.  “I just want to say to all the mamas out there who feel like they’re drowning and unable to balance work and family, you’re a badass--don’t stress,” she says.  “Hug your kids tight and get on your grind when they sleep.  If you’re too tired, then you go to sleep too.  At the end of the day, make sure that you and your kids are happy and it’ll all fall into place.  We put too many expectations on ourselves and it’s overrated and unnecessary.  Focus on you.  Focus on your self care.  Focus on your family.  Your dreams will fall into place.”

 

Want some more inspiration? Check out Erica’s current inspirational resources:

Current read: “You Are a Badass” by Jen Sincero

Favorite podcasts:  Yes, Girl!, The Purposeful Home Podcast, Sooo Many White Guys, 2 Dope Queens, Nourishing Women Podcast, and This Pod is Your Pod

 

Connect with Erica:

At her website

On Instagram

On Facebook


 

Thank you so much for reading!

Yours in business and motherhood,

Brittany