It’s easy to get complacent and forget why it is you do the things you do. Things become habit and even though you love whatever it is you’re doing, sometimes you need something to shock you into remembering why you started.
When I started my pet sitting business I didn’t have any kids. I got pregnant not long after starting and by the time my son was born I had only been in business a bit over a year. At the time I honestly didn’t know if I could, or would even want to, continue my work. I decided to give it a go and was back working on a smaller scale when he was two weeks old. About a month after he was born I went back to the same level I was at before. I soon realised the challenge involved with running an appointment based business with a newborn. Keeping a schedule with diaper changes and breastfeeding breaks was hard, especially days where I would have multiple appointments in a row. But I kept going because my new baby kept my motivation front and center.
That motivation had changed since when I first began working. At first it was just because I wanted flexibility that matched my husbands job. I never planned on having a traditional career, being a stay at home mother was always the goal. We were fortunate enough that his income was enough to live on, I didn’t have to work if I didn’t want to, but I needed something that was mine. After Wyatt was born, I realized that extra bit of income could go a long ways in giving him more than either of us ever had—mainly a better education. We both graduated from a very small and rural school that wasn’t the greatest. Something we both agree on is that if we are able, we’d like to send our kids to private school and give them a much more expansive learning environment than we were able to have ourselves. When things got hard (like I was running late from stopping to breastfeed, Wyatt was crying through an entire appointment, we had an unfortunate diaper situation I was trying to handle in the back of my car, etc) I was able to remind myself why I was doing it and how I was working towards something better for my son.
But over time you get into a routine and things get easier. You can start to forget what motivated you in the first place and everything just becomes repetitive. What happened was that I got into a rut. Wyatt was no longer breastfeeding and could be content through multiple visits with a toy, a snack, and a drink. I was getting a bit bored and unmotivated and told myself that when I had my second baby, I was going to take a large chunk of time off. Then Reese was born. I look at her and my why is suddenly so clear again. I look at her and remember all the things I want to help do for my kids.
I am not naive. I know the adjustment of taking a 16 month old and a newborn to work with me will be hard and often frustrating. I have no illusions about still being able to do multiple appointments in a row and stay on schedule. I imagine that my new abilities will involve sticking to morning, evening, and weekend jobs when I can rely on my husband to be home with Wyatt. It will be knowing I can probably only ever swing one or two consecutive afternoon appointments because caring for two kids will make staying on schedule hard. And that’s okay.
That huge break I told myself I’d take postpartum has already gone out the window. I was asked to do a cat sitting appointment and in a combination of wanting to get out of the house and having had my motivation reignited—I decided to do it. It was an easy job and I only had to take Reese with me. It felt good to stand there doing my work and look over at her in her infant seat, the same way her brother had been a mere 16 months ago. I know again why I’m doing what I’m doing and i’ll do it to the best of my ability—for my babies.