Entering a new phase

You’ve probably noticed that recently I’ve been more motherhood than business in this space. While I always strive to provide a good mix of the two, the reality is that I’m personally about to enter a new stage in life.  As someone who believes in striking an organic balance of work and mothering and in reevaluating based on your current life situation (even if I sometimes have difficulty following my own advice), I can’t ignore the drastic change about to take place.

    I only recently got to a stage with my son turning one a few months ago where I felt like I could take a forward step in business. I did more, I planned more, I hosted a workshop, I got into a good routine, and I felt like I was killing it. Now, I’m about to take that balance I’ve found and throw it out the window. As I enter this last stage of waiting on a new baby, I’m slowing way down. I’m preparing posts for DB+RB, I’m entering my last week of active pet sitting for awhile, and I’ve shut down all custom orders on my handmade page. I’m focusing on preparing for not only a newborn, but also the transition into mothering two children under 16 months!

    To be honest, the slow down transition is hitting me hard. I have an ever growing idea list that I want to act on, I know I’m losing tons of business in my handmade shop because I always do really well with Mother’s Day customs, and my pet sitting business just did it’s highest grossing month AND had three new client requests in the span of a week! Things are going great and slowing down and letting things pass you by can be tortuous. To not only see opportunity slip away but also to lose your income sucks. I am so happy to be able to contribute to my family and to making my sons life better than mine, while also staying home, and it kills me a little to know that I won’t be doing that for a bit. Of course, I know it’s for the best. To have the luxury of even taking time off and having an adjustment period is not something I take lightly. But that doesn’t make it less hard to do.

    We all know that newborns are notorious for being up all night and eating at all hours, so I think it’s safe to say that I will still stay active in DB+RB during those late night and early morning hours. I may not keep the same consistent schedule, I may not keep the same mix of motherhood and business, but I’ll be around and I’d love it if you stuck with me through this new phase!

    I love this community and am so happy with how it has grown and evolved in the eight months since it began. I look forward to seeing how this new life stage of mothering two under two changes this space. I hope it gives me new experiences to share with you, new ideas to bring to life, and even more advice and real world examples to help you balance whatever stage of motherhood and business you happen to be in.

Thank you so much for reading + being patient during this transition!

Yours in business and motherhood,

Brittany

The mother I thought I’d be.

     When I was pregnant with Wyatt, I was obsessed with Montessori. The simplicity, independence, and the way that learning was tied into play really spoke to me and I knew that it was how I wanted to raise my kids. I bought a few books, started one, and got to work setting up a Montessori bedroom.

     And that was the end of it. I made it to page 17 of that book. Far enough to know I needed a floor bed and a baby level mirror. Far enough to know that as an infant, Wyatt would need high contrast black and white stimulation. He turns one in two weeks and just a few days ago, I picked that book up again. As I started reading, I fell in love again with what Montessori is. As I looked around at our growing collection of plastic, noise-making, light-up toys, I became more and more angry with myself. How did I get so far off of the path I had intended to take? I had such big plans for my mothering style. We were going to do Montessori, we were going to raise him as a vegetarian (then I got pregnant and started eating meat again), we were going to expose him to Spanish, we were going to do baby sign language. Guess how many of those things we are doing? Zero.

     As I sat there, trying to figure out how I got so caught up in everything else, I realised that I haven’t been balancing motherhood and business as well as I thought I had. Running two small businesses and an online community is a LOT and it is time consuming. And in my quest to balance it all, I let my mothering intentions fall through the cracks. I know now that it’s not just a balance of time, it’s an emotional balance of making sure that everything is completed to the best that it can be. Right now, I am not completing my job as a mother to the best of my ability. I’m not being a bad mother, I’m not neglecting my child or doing anything to cause him harm in any way, but I’m not the mother I want to be.

IMG_4909.JPG

     So I’m making some changes. We are selling and donating a ton of toys that don’t fit in with our vision. We are setting up our living space as a more kid-centric, Montessori environment. I am taking a step back from work. I can’t quit because I still need something that’s mine, but I’m putting a damper on creating new things for Etsy and mostly only filling orders and I’m passing on the majority of my pet sitting appointments to the woman who works for me. This space won’t really change because it’s rooted in motherhood and balance and that’s too important for me to step back from.

     All along I have been basing my ability to “do it all” on maintaining the same level of work that I did pre-baby. I never stopped to reevaluate and come up with a new level that fit my new life. This space is all about telling mothers that they can raise babies AND run a business and YOU CAN, BUT you need to be constantly reevaluating your situation based on what season of life you are in. It was easy for me to do the same level of work when Wyatt was a newborn who slept all day. I kept going at the same speed as he grew and became more interactive but I should have regrouped then and slowed my work down to account for his new activity level. When the time comes for baby number two’s arrival, I will reevaluate again. When Wyatt enters preschool, I will reevaluate again. It is a constant thing that we must be doing. Do not let yourself get burned out by going at 110% on everything all the time. Some periods of life and children allow for it, while some require you to take it down a notch temporarily. It’s time for me to do what I should have been doing all along and find the new balance that will come with that.

IMG_4936.JPG

Yours in business and motherhood,

Brittany