People often ask “how do you mange a business and a non-profit with kids all under the age of 5?”. The answer is: 1.) paid childcare and 2.) a saint of a husband. My partner does more than me on the daily and my 3 and 4 year old are in full-time daycare. This leaves me with newborn duties with baby Makena…
I do what all working moms do. Multi-task. It’s a fine juggling act between managing a career, running a household, and everything in between using one hand most of the time. Prospective clients might think, “she’s doing my work while caring for her baby”, and the truth is, that is exactly how most of my contract work are getting done of late. I do my analysis and create pivot tables with my right hand while holding my daughter with my left. Sometimes, I am nursing her on top of all of it.
Perhaps this seem “unprofessional” to some…incorporating work with personal duties Monday through Friday. For me, it’s empowering and motivating. Being able to have a career and feed my family at the same time (and that’s both figuratively and literally since I’m nursing around the clock). Putting hours in the office is also the only gauge of success for me with 3 little kids. The thing is, nothing has changed in my quality of work outside of some interruptions (eg: changing diapers, putting her down for naps, and the occasional spit ups and blow outs). It’s business as usual. Projects are still meeting their deadlines, conference calls are being conducted, and most importantly, my clients are satisfied. In fact, 2018 has been my busiest and most profitable year to date with several new contracts and triple-digit growth month-over-month since January. I’m pretty proud of that. When you run your own business, you have to toot your own horn every once in awhile. So, TOOT!
Unlike the boys where I had a full 12-week long maternity leave, I returned to the office 2 weeks after my daughter was born. If you are a consultant then you know the money stops the second you slow down…so I couldn’t just tell my clients to “pause” for a maternity leave even though everyone was super supportive post my birth announcement. The thing is, regardless of how progressive you are, everyone assumes new moms are incapable, or they are tired, or hormonal, or all of the above. I did not want to fuel that stigma and continued juggling the best I can.
The recover was tough though…way tougher than taking care of a newborn. It was my third C-Section in under 5 years so I had a rough go. Not being able to do the simpliest things like getting out of bed is debilitating. Hours felt like days and days felt like weeks. However, continuing to work and knowing that she’s growing provided light at the end of the tunnel in the healing process.
My new mini co-worker and I are working day-by-day and side-by-side. She might get moved to a different department in the fall (aka daycare). But for now, we make a powerful team! To all the career-driven moms out there, keep doing what you are doing but don’t forget to enjoy the precious moments. It’s trite but they do grow up fast!