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.
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.
Yours in business and motherhood,