For the better half of the last 15 months, balancing babies and business has been at the forefront of my mind. When I started my digital marketing business, Sinuate Media, at 24 years old, I have to admit that babies were a little on my mind. At the time, I thought it would be easier to run my own business so that when the day came that I had children, I would be the master of my own schedule and be able to gracefully juggle the two.
So, fast forward 5 years (almost to the exact day incorporated my business), I had my first baby. And, I felt like my master plan was in serious jeopardy.
Taking care of a baby was hard, but nothing prepared me for how difficult it was to take care of a baby at the same time as a business. Added to the effort, it wasn’t just business as usual. I was on overdrive trying to heal the wounds the recession left on the business and sustain a cross-country move at the same time.
And while all signs were pointing to this being a fruitless effort, I had to carry on. I hate quitting. Sometimes to a fault.
I went to an all-girls high school where we were fiercely encouraged to succeed. We were even given many tools to do so–leadership, a spirit of giving back to the community, and enough leash to explore your interests. But never once did we ever have the conversation about how to continue to succeed in business after the babies arrive. It was a conversation that I sorely wished I had had with someone–anyone.
At many points, I questioned, how can a women who owns a small business, have a family and still grow that small business into a large, successful business. And then I read articles like this one on Forbes.com, and I can see a game plan unfold. It’s a fuzzy image, but those types of articles are encouraging.
Yesterday, while in Barnes & Noble, I was paging through a book about women achieving success in their careers, and just as I was about to put the book down, I came across a quote in the chapter about Motherhood that I found amusing:
“Show me a women who doesn’t feel guilt and I’ll show you a man.”
Upon which, I shared it with my husband who informed me that he does feel guilt about working too long and not being able to spend more time with our son. Point taken. So, the gist is that even if you find a good balance between work and time for your kids, there is still this underlying feeling that the amount of time spent with either is never enough.
Finding the right balance is going to be a messy experience that is going to take a lot of times to get right. Just like potty training.