I had a totally different blog post planned for this week, but I decided to wait on it and instead, post today about what my second year of motherhood has taught me about life, love, creativity, and business. Today we celebrate my daughter’s second birthday and it’s hard to believe that so many days have passed since we first welcomed her to the world. Today gives me so much perspective and has me reflecting on all of the change that has shaped me into who I am today — as a wife, mother, and business owner. Here are my off-the-cuff thoughts on my second year of motherhood:
There’s no skirting around it, motherhood is taxing. But, the challenges of motherhood reap some of the greatest rewards I’ve ever experienced. Similar to entrepreneurship, motherhood is what you make it. There’s discipline, patience, growth, and unnoticed work. But, there’s also pride, passion, love, and fulfillment.
My second year of motherhood was more challenging than my first. Not only is toddlerhood completely different from newborn life, but I struggled with feeling like I was supposed to be “back to normal” in terms of my work schedule, yet most of me wanted to be fully immersed in being a mom. In motherhood, no one day looks like the next. As a stay-at-home mom, the responsibility for our daughter’s day-to-day needs is mostly mine simply because I’m with her one-on-one most often.
While I am so grateful and feel so blessed to spend all of my days with my daughter, it posed a challenge when it came to running my design studio. Hiring a nanny or finding a daycare is not an option neither my husband nor I am keen on, so navigating the year with both my laptop and toddler in tow posed an interesting challenge.
The solution is something I intentionally manage each day because it differs so much each day. This year — my second year of motherhood — has taught me to slow down in business, simplify the way I approach business, and lean harder on my innate creativity. Here are 5 lessons this year has taught me about motherhood and business:
- It’s okay to ignore the courses, tutorials, books, or to-dos of other business owners and focus on how I want to run my business instead. Business doesn’t have to be complicated. Sometimes, clearing out the clutter actually allows for the mental capacity and space you need for success to flow in. This year, I trimmed the fat on my services, deleted pages on my website, got rid of my “processes” and approached each client with fluidity and flexibility instead of templated rigidity… and it feels GOOD! It also allows me to spend less mental energy IN my business and gives me more time to dedicate to motherhood. While I think it’s important to seek advice, expertise, and guidance in certain seasons of business, it’s also okay to step back from those things. Knowing when to do both is a powerful thing!
- Time spent with my daughter is irreplaceable. Every day she’s different, and the days of her being little are limited. As much as I love my business, taking time away from it to be with her is my greatest accomplishment yet. I would much rather look back on these years knowing that I was the one she (and all of my future babies) spent all of her time with, versus splitting her time with me to spend more of my time at my desk. This isn’t always a popular viewpoint, but it’s one that is most important to me.
- It’s okay to lean on my God-given talents and innate creativity. I spent a lot of this year going back to being creative just for fun, rather than just for work. Again, it felt GOOD. Sometimes as creative business owners, it’s easy to fall into the trap of viewing creativity as work. Having my daughter reignited my love for creating just for fun, and reminded me that it’s important to just have fun sometimes. It’s what inspired one of my biggest projects to date, my children’s book!
- Stats will fluctuate, and that’s okay. Before becoming a mom, I was one to track IT ALL. I love a good stat spreadsheet and I absolutely loved forecasting and planning big goals for the year. And yes, knowing your numbers is good for business. Goal setting is good for business. But, for me, those numbers and goals fluctuate BIG TIME in motherhood. My work schedule is constantly changing and is unique from one day… week… month… to the next, which poses a challenge when tracking stats or forecasting stats. This ties back to #1 on the list; simplicity is okay. Paying attention to just the necessary stats like income and expenses will work for now. Setting just one or two big goals for the entire year will work for now. In the long run, I’m still moving forward, and that’s what matters most. The show goes on!
- Design is something I’m passionate about, and can’t see myself NOT doing. This was a bright and glaring fact that showed itself again and again during my second year of motherhood. My attempts to step back or design less were constantly met with internal resistance. A lot of my hardship, stress, and challenges stemmed from this simple truth — I simply can not stop designing. I love what I do, and I think that’s clear. I’m good at what I do. Design is part of who I am, and it always has been. Design can exist harmoniously in my life alongside motherhood, it just may look a bit different than it did pre-baby. But, that’s okay.
As I enter my third year of motherhood, I reflect on all the past year has taught me. I think all moms can agree that motherhood doesn’t leave you as it found you, and that’s true year after year. I’m excited to celebrate my daughter today, and all that she’s taught me. And I’m excited to live life — and design — alongside her as a big TWO-YEAR-OLD!! What a blessing of a journey it is.
If you enjoy posts like this one, check out my last reflection here.