Motherhood is a funny thing. We all have a mom, we all know a mom, but we don’t all understand motherhood.
Being a mom is something you will only ever understand after you live it. It’s why moms create and foster such strong connections with other moms. It’s why we cheer each other on from afar.
I always have had a strong maternal instinct. I knew from the time I was a little girl that I one day wanted to be a mother. It’s probably one of my very earliest memories — pushing around my doll in my play stroller, sometimes even pushing my little sisters and best friend around in my mom’s real stroller.
That’s why, in high school, I jumped on the opportunity to babysit. I loved it. It eventually propelled me into full-time nannying gigs all through college. I had a roster of families who hired me repeatedly every weekend or had me work a set schedule every week. People constantly praised me for how natural I was with babies and kids, and I soaked up every compliment.
When I found out I was pregnant, I was never worried that I’d be overwhelmed, lost, or confused. I felt incredibly confident in my ability to care for a newborn on the fact alone that I have cared for multiple newborns in the past.
But boy… was I wrong. Real Motherhood is not nannying… and I learned that quickly postpartum.
My ability to care for a newborn never faltered — that’s not where my trouble lay. But what I didn’t consider, was everything else — hormone changes, sacrifices made, sleepless nights, schedule adjustments, and more.
I quickly found myself reaching out to the small list of friends and colleagues, who have had babies, asking for advice. And the biggest lesson I learned was there is no such thing as balance in motherhood. The balance I envisioned between work and motherhood is unattainable; made up.
So now what?
A friend’s outlook, which she shared with me shortly after I gave birth, changed my perspective. Balance is out of reach? So what! It’s harmony I’m after.
Harmony between all aspects of my day-to-day life. That sweet song; the whistle-while-you-work type feeling.
To me, balance is defined by two or more things equal in weight; harmony is defined by two or more things (equal or not) working together to create something effortlessly beautiful.
Not every day is going to look the same. Postpartum hormones fluctuate, the baby’s routines quickly change, and work will not demand the same effort from you every day.
As moms who run a business, life can feel overwhelming sometimes. Poised Avenue needs fostering, but my baby also needs caring-for. I sometimes ache for more alone time to pour into my business and its success, but it’s just as important to me to be a present and full-time mom. It’s as if my arms are being pulled in two different directions all while I’m trying to stay upright and present for those who need me present: my baby, my husband, my clients, and most importantly, myself.
As moms who run businesses out of our homes, it can be challenging to have everything in one place, because when our offices and homes overlap, it’s hard to leave one or the other behind. Working? But the kitchen downstairs needs cleaning and I can see the pile of laundry that needs folding from where I’m sitting at my desk. Playing with baby? But I can see my computer light up with a client request.
As moms who run businesses out of our homes, we are also incredibly lucky. I truly would not have it any other way. I get to work on something I’m extremely passionate about, be home with my baby every single day, and inspire and collaborate with other moms who do the same.
It’s not about trying to juggle it all. This is no balancing act. It’s about finding a rhythm and a harmony that works for you. It may be different each day. It may change each week.
I encourage you to, instead of trying to pour equally into every cup each day, intentionally decide where you want to put your focus. When you wake up, remind yourself that it’s okay to focus on just two hours of work so that you can be present with your baby as her needs change or remind yourself that it’s okay to decide to drop your baby off with a sitter in order to finish a big project at work. You’re the one calling the shots — you decide which pieces of your life take center stage and when.
The thing about harmony is that when one piece needs room to expand, the other(s) willingly shrink. Unlike balance, its parts are flexible and malleable, but the whole remains. The end result is, well, always harmonious.
That’s the blessing we get as entrepreneurs.
p.s. Mamas! Want to find some of my favorite brands and products I’ve come across for our growing family? Head to my favorites page or subscribe to Life with Amanda, a casual “pen pal” style email that goes out occasionally, where I share life updates/favorites.