This one is for the mothers out there. The mothers with bleary eyes, thin patience and constant overwhelm. With bins full of nappies, laundries full of dirty washing and sinks full of dishes.
This is for the mothers who know in their hearts that building their own business is the best way they can look after their family but are overwhelmed at how it's going to happen.
This is for the mothers who know it's time to follow their true purpose but at the same time, know that it's also time for maternal health nurse appointments, groceries and prescriptions for mastitis.
This is for the mothers who feel 'behind' as they watch others in their business communities go from zero dollars to six figures and become an overnight success while they can't even find the time to shave their legs.
For you mothers, nodding your heads and silently screaming, 'YES! That's me!', I want you to know. You are not alone. Everything will be ok.
How do I know?
Because not long ago, I was you.
It only feels like yesterday that I found out I was pregnant. That tiny, precious baby that I had longed for my whole life was suddenly a reality and looking at those two pink lines on the pregnancy test gave me one surprisingly satisfying feeling.
Surprising because I didn't realise this was what I was craving. Satisfying because I knew that this would change everything. The birth of my baby was going to be the new birth of me and a whole new adventure.
I always had a very strong and immense trust in the universe showing me the way. My whole life, I just followed the clues until I found what felt like 'home'. For most of my life, these 'homes' had been temporary, but I knew that they would all eventually lead to that inner calling my soul had always told me was there.
Finally, it was time to step up and do the work I had been born to do. The funny thing is though, I didn't know what that was. But what I did know is that once my baby was born, so would a new chapter with all the answers I was ready for.
I spent the final weeks of my pregnancy nesting, nurturing and impatiently waiting for my baby. And when she finally arrived, boy was it a whirlwind!
It all feels like a blur now but in the early days of motherhood, in between the constant changing of nappies, endless physical challenges and crazy highs and lows first time parenting throws full force at you, a seed was planted and every single cell in my body tingled as the idea for my business formed.
Soon, all the dots connected and my business came to life. A business built around the things that I had brought to every job, friendship and relationship that I cared for and adored. A business built around my own unique skills, strengths and talents.
What an incredible opportunity I had been given! What an amazing thing to do for myself AND my family. But I'm not going to lie to you, it was hard.
What is it about motherhood that kicks every bit of self-doubt into overdrive? And guilt. Don't forget the guilt!
I found the early months with my baby were filled with many amazingly delicious and awe inspiring moments that were punctuated with very real emotional and physical struggles.
The cocktail of 'OMG what do we do, is this normal? Google it!', mixed in with the hormonal crazies and a side of broken sleep gave me a hangover worse than what any amount of vodka could do. But at the same time, all of this fuelled me and was my inspiration to keep going.
Babies and business. Never have two things seemed so polar opposite and yet so intertwined. You certainly don't stop being a mother when you work on your business and you certainly don't stop being a business owner when you are being a mother.
At times, it can feel like a boxing match trying to get these two responsibilities to align. But luckily for us, the world is full of strong, incredible women who show us what is possible and reinforce the fact that we are good mothers, doing good things.
We are not terrible people for having needs. We are not bad mothers for feeling conflicted, sad or stressed. We are simply human, and sometimes we forget that that's ok.
I remember being perplexed early on in motherhood, thinking about how I still wanted to do things, be things, achieve things and change things for the better and wondering why this was coming up with such force. And that's when I realised -
Sometimes, you don't lose yourself when you have a baby. Sometimes, you finally find yourself.
And so, if you can relate to my story then I want to leave you with this:
It is OK to want to build a beautiful business while your baby is young.
It is OK to want more so you can build an ideal life for you and your family.
You CAN do both well and still be kind to yourself.
You CAN navigate the challenges and bumps in the road in an empowered way.
You CAN inspire your children through your actions.
You CAN use your children as your inspiration.
You CAN have a soulful and deep connection with your children no matter how many hours you work.
We believe in you.
Some days I still feel so overwhelmed that only chocolate, a hug and some tears will fix it, but I know that there are other mothers out there who understand and have my back, as I have theirs. And do you know what, we've got your back too.
Keeping shining mama.
(As published on the Huffington Post)