I am often asked how I balance motherhood and running my own business and my response is always the same - "Balance is overrated".
The truth is there is no such thing as being fully "balanced”, especially during the season of early motherhood. Early motherhood is the time when your children run your world - from diapers to playdates, making memories to just plain keeping them alive - there is nothing that takes up more of your time or brain space than your children. Even the mamas who are blessed with help are consumed by the stress that comes along with the choice of bringing someone on-board to assist them in raising their children. Whether you stay at home or you’re a career chasing mama - there is no escaping the reality that motherhood, although beautiful, is not for the faint of heart.
When I began this Wild & Whimsy journey, my youngest daughter was less than a year old and my two older daughters were in Kindergarten and First Grade. Life consisted of different school drop-off times, different pick-up times, teething baby drama, and working through some really important family decisions with my husband. It was a juggling act and I needed to keep all of the balls in the air as I took off in pursuit of my dream of designing and owning my own clothing line. It was a crazy season of runs to Los Angeles for manufacturer meetings, fabric sourcing, and production managing with my baby on my hip. I’ll never forget the embarrassment I felt when I met with my fabric vendor and I smelled like a walking turd after Aleinah's poop diaper had exploded all over me earlier in the day. Nor will I forget the guilt I felt the several times I was late in picking up my Nylah from kindergarten and was met with the judgmental scowls of the school office ladies. Needless to say, starting a business during that time was not easy. It was a time when I cried a lot, I laughed, I dreamed, I yelled at my children, I hugged them tight, I was disappointed, I was encouraged, and felt very overwhelmed. I pretty much felt every emotion imaginable and I drove myself bat poop crazy trying to find the "balance" in the chaos.
After a year of struggling with unrealistic expectations and reading countless articles on how others had found the elusive balance that I was so desperately seeking, I came to the realization that balance is not a one-size-fits-all outfit. Sure, "how-to" lists are helpful and I’m a strong believer that I can learn from others. However, at the end of the day what works for one person will not always work for another. For me, the balance is found when I take a long hard look at my present situation and circumstances and ask myself what adjustments I need to make to keep my dream going and then do exactly that.
Today, although I don't have it all figured out, I have redefined balance for myself. To me, balance is deciding my dream is more valuable than the opinions of others - comments like, "I chose my children over my own selfish ambitions" [ya! someone had the nerve to say that!] don't bother me anymore because I am secure in the fact that my children know that the love and adoration I feel for them is not dictated by whether or not I can be the "room mom" at their school every year. Balance is recognizing that some seasons will be more fruitful than others - whether as a business woman, a designer, a mother, a wife, or friend – there are times when I will excel and times when I will really suck. Balance is cultivating low maintenance relationships with people who will support you wholeheartedly and won't question your loyalty and integrity because you don't have as much time to spend with them as you once did. Balance is knowing that who I AM and accepting what I am capable of is just as important as knowing who I am NOT and accepting my weaknesses.
Today, I have finally found my rhythm and I am more excited than ever to be living out this big, beautiful, chaotic Wild & Whimsy life and if I am honest, it really has nothing to do with balance [because things are still craycray!], but has everything to do with giving myself grace as I grow.