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How is it that the year I worked the least, the year that I spent more time with my daughter in my lap than my laptop, became my biggest year yet?
As I look back on this full year as a mom and CEO, the fears I had about motherhood changing my business seem almost… Silly? I mean, my business did change. The way I work and prioritize my time changed, too. But not in the ways I expected.
You might have heard me reference “The Mom Club” a time or two this year and really, it’s just an insanely long text thread with two of my friends Ashlyn Carter and Sarah Adler. You might recognize their names because they have both been on the show before and we all reconnected in my mastermind last year navigating a year of pregnancies together.
We started a text thread as we neared our due dates and it’s been a lifeline this year as we have navigated this new season of life with babies born a week apart. We send voice notes every single week to check in, talk about the struggles and triumphs, chat business and really just connect — and we call them mini podcasts because all of us are long winded.
We were talking about business the other day and turns out — We all experienced our BEST business year yet. In the same year we were navigating sleep cycles and nursing and baby’s first cold, we also experienced our best year in business.
This episode is a peek into my group chat with these women. I wanted to have them on the show together to talk about motherhood and business, and kind of analyze ourselves and how we’ve adapted, shifted, and let go of things this year to welcome in a new season of our lives and businesses.
Our Pregnancy and Motherhood Fears
We all entered our pregnancy journeys and motherhood with super similar fears. Sarah shared that her fears started before she even got pregnant and that lead her to push off starting a family. She finally sat down by herself and kind of analyzed these fears. What were they? What did they stem from? How could she make these things feel better and less fearful? What was in her control?
Sarah explained that she gets so much of her juice and energy through taking care of herself. Exercise and eating well are important to her, and that’s the focal point of her business, too. One of her biggest fears was not having time for her own self-care while pregnant and after having a baby.
The other big fear Sarah had that all three of us in the Mom Club shared was losing grip on our freedom. One of the reasons we all started businesses was to gain more freedom to do whatever we wanted to do. “I was the last of my friends to have kids and I almost was carrying other people’s stories with me. It was like a burden.”
Sarah explained, “One of the things I’ve been the most surprised by this year is running the business has taught me so much and made the transition into motherhood so much easier. When you’re used to running a business you’re used to coming up with all of your own fears and limiting beliefs and your own blocks. It’s just about getting over all those things all the time. Those skills totally helped, and nobody really told me that.”
For Ashlyn, she knew she always wanted to be a mom but she didn’t know how and when it would happen. She pictured herself with grandkids one day, and she knew the thing that had to happen in between… She had to have kids! Press play to hear the challenges and the mindset she had as she considered motherhood amongst life’s other struggles.
Struggles and Triumphs as a Working Mom
Sarah shared something that Ashlyn and I also found to be a struggle in the earliest postpartum days. We work from home and run our businesses from our laptops, but then the baby starts crying and we switch immediately into mom mode. That transition time happens so many times during the day that it’s hard to be present in either area as much as we want to be.
When you become a mom, Ashlyn shared, “Your time splits, and it splits in a beautiful way. But it spits.” Press play to hear Ashlyn’s time-splitting struggle at the beginning of motherhood.
But learning how to navigate that time split and transition from momming to bossing was also a gift. We’ve all grown in our efficiency, we can make decisions faster, we’re more focused when we do have an hour dedicated solely to our businesses.
While we all had challenges, one of the most incredible things is that we were all able to bring a child into this world, step away from our businesses for maternity leave, and then return to our biggest revenue years yet.
“I’m no longer doing things that are halfway-fun or halfway-make some money. I’m just like, is it efficient? Is it effective? Do I love doing it? And if it’s not those three things, it’s out, no questions asked,” said Sarah. I love the way she put it here: “My No-Game has never been stronger.” Heck yes, I can relate to that.
What We Wish We Knew
This conversation was so rich with reflection on our first years as working mamas. Sarah offered some great advice for moms-to-be or new mothers who are just starting to experience what we all went through this year — not really feeling like yourself.
For all of us, it took almost this whole year to feel like ourselves, or a newer version of ourselves that we recognized. Give yourself grace in the first year to learn your baby and your new flow of life. If you are a business owner and a new mom, press play on the episode above to hear more advice on navigating the early days with your newborn.
We’ve all learned so much, but there are some things we wish someone had told us before entering a new season of motherhood. For Ashlyn, she wishes someone had prepared her to break her own rules. From things as simple as “primary color toys in the living room” to working at night, she’s found herself bending the rules she once held for herself because that’s just how life works now.
For Sarah, she wished someone told her that being an entrepreneur prepares you to be a mom in so many ways. The roles are so similar. Motherhood and business both require intuition, fast decision-making, and doing difficult things on the fly. “I would’ve found so much piece in that,” she said.
More from This Episode
I’ll leave you with this quote from Sarah: “You can do this and you can do it your own way. It doesn’t have to look like anybody else’s motherhood experience. And you don’t have to carry everyone else’s stories and fears with you. You can do you.” Press play to hear the full conversation with my beautiful Mom Club.