Mommin’ Like a Boss… The juggle, the struggle and the beautiful (but tough) reality
by Jamie Davies, of 23rd [and Fourth]
I have to say it, but if you’ve ever met me, you probably already know. There’s nothing more important to me than my family. Straight up, they are, and always will be my first priority—they are the loves of my life, my cheerleaders, my everything. But my business is important too, because it’s essential to the future I’m creating for my family.
That “can do, will do everything” attitude my generation has plagued ourselves with, well, it’s tough. It’s hard to juggle it all. Like, really hard.
With my first kid, my goal from the start was to have him with me day-in and day-out for that first year, and then look into daycare part time. This ended up working out perfectly. Once he turned one, we started putting him in daycare two days a week so he (I really mean we) could get adjusted to the change, and honestly, it was a big success. My mom and I could get more done at the shop and schedule appointments for the days he wasn’t with us, and best of all, he actually LOVED it. Don’t get me wrong, our customers missed seeing my adorable son when they stopped in our store, but this arrangement was just so much better life-wise.
And then I got pregnant with my second, and I needed a new plan. My husband and I were insanely thrilled, but it meant more juggling. I knew there was no way I could have a toddler and a newborn with me at the store and still function the way I wanted to as a designer and business owner. But I still wanted that same first year of close bonding with my second, that I had with my first. So we worked out a new plan. My eldest went to daycare/preschool full time, and my new little one came to the store with me… but WOW, was this time around different.
I felt like a crazy person for a while, because the routine was so crazy/hectic. Pack up everything, leave house and get in car. Drop Kid #1 at daycare. Bring Kid #2 with me to work, and attempt to get stuff done, while also tending to him… did I mention that he needed a lot more attention than my first? Once it was time to head out for the day, I would go grab something for dinner with Kid #2 in tow, then pick up Kid #1 from daycare. Drive home trying to catch up on Kid #1’s day while Kid #2 screamed his adorable little head off. Attempt to make dinner, then juggle baths and bedtime stories until it was time for my absolute favorite… bedtime kisses. Loads of kisses for my two little boys. After which I would frequently fall asleep on the couch and wrangle just enough Z’s to do it all again the next day.
Then I realized all this juggling was working, but it wasn’t working for me. That reality led me to do something I hadn’t planned on. Kid #2 started three days of daycare a week at five months old.
First, know that I cried an insane amount of tears over this decision. I felt guilty. Why couldn’t I do the same for my second as I did for my first? Should I just quit my job and stay home with them full time?
I constantly felt like the worst mom ever, like I couldn’t handle these two little balls of love. But that just wasn’t true. I was handling, I just knew I could handle things better. I could devise a plan that kept us all happy, sane and cared for in the best possible way. And that was the thought behind this decision: happy, sane family. Happy, healthy family. Happy, healthy me.
My mother reminded me that as I get older, the flexibility that comes along with this business will actually work out really well—I’ll be able to drop things on an afternoon and attend school plays, or reserve evenings for soccer practice. Right now would be hard—growing this business would be hard—but it would be worth it.
I realized my kids won’t remember me holding a rattle, or teasing them with a stuffed animal at noon on a Tuesday. What they will remember is me cheering them on from the sidelines, or helping them pick out the perfect outfit for the first day of school, or their first middle school dance. And they’ll remember me dropping everything to ease them through their first heartbreak.
Mommin’ like a boss means knowing when to give something up—and being able to choose the right thing to give up. It’s also like 99% organizing like a pro, 200% accepting yourself, and 100% recognizing that you are doing way more than you think you are. And in the end, that’s the mom I want my kids to remember. The mom that balances work and play to lead a great life, alongside their dad. The mom that showed them early on that you can achieve great things when you put in the hard work and dedication to make your dream a reality. Because that’s exactly what I’ve done, and what I’m working toward every day.
#MomPower #BossLady #love #blessed