The Ingredients for Balancing Owning a Business and a Baby

The Ingredients for Balancing Owning a Business and a Baby

I’ll be the first to tell you that I lucked out with babies. She is flexible and she slept through the night her first week home from the hospital. I don’t know how this happened, but it’s doubly why I’m a one and done person. I can only get the baby from hell after this.

But anyway, this child is about to turn two and I feel like I’ve learned a thing or five since she graced us with her presence. At least when it comes to caring for one child. If you have more than that and are trying to care for them while you’re working, bless you. I have no ideas to help you, because that is just something I don’t plan on ever experiencing.

For those who only have one however, let me tell you what I have learned.

Have a consistent schedule

When we were in the newborn stage, our schedule changed every day. So I never know what was going on, which added to my anxiety both about caring for her and about getting work done. I couldn’t handle it. Work wasn’t getting done in an efficient way and I was an absolute mess.

So I set a schedule. My sister’s reaction was, “You can’t put a baby on a schedule,” and my response was, “Wanna bet?” My daughter thrived under the schedule, and I was starting to come back to myself, getting far more work done than any newborn mom had a right to. I was able to schedule meetings, knowing about what would be happening during that time period, and I was able to know when I could do head down work.

Now did we stick to the schedule strictly? No. If my daughter was sick or needed me for some other reason, we adjusted. But overall, it worked for us as it was.

She’s two and we still have our schedule, even though it has evolved as she has gotten older. We both feel off when our schedule is off, so we stick to it. And that consistency is what makes everything in our house work.

My takeaway from all of this was that my sister who has three kids and two grandchildren was absolutely wrong about schedules. You take whatever you want from this.

Be kinder to yourself

When I was pregnant, I had this idea that work wouldn’t change. I don’t think I realized how much I would change and work would need to change to accommodate what was happening with me. That probably seems like a no-brainer to anyone reading this, but as a pregnant type-A person, it definitely wasn’t a part of my plan. I thought I could produce at the same levels and that my brain would work the same way.

My daughter arrived and I had a big awakening about what that meant. And even with all the sleep in the world, I felt like a zombie sleepwalking through my days. Now that my brain has mostly gone back to pre-pregnancy levels, I honestly don’t know how I did it. The fact that I could get anything done during that period is pretty miraculous to me.

My point with all of this is simple: Don’t hold yourself to the same standards. Circumstances have changed and you have changed. You need new standards that account for that, especially if you have a non-sleeper on your hands.

So step back and measure yourself against who you are today, not against who you were before the baby. You will find it far easier to jump off and make progress.

Ask for help

This goes back to the idea of being kinder to yourself. I was a person who could do all the things all the time, and I couldn’t figure out why that wasn’t true anymore after my daughter arrived. That was until I started letting go of some of the tasks.

In my case, it was feeding my baby breakfast and lunch. My partner gets up with her every day and then he comes home for lunch every day. Both of those meals are relatively easy to make, especially since lunch regularly depends on our leftovers, but not having to think about what to feed her or take the time to make her those two meals gave me a lot back. When you’re constantly making decisions all day, getting two decisions off your plate makes a bigger difference than you could ever realize.

Your ask for help could be about your child or maybe there are business tasks you could offload to someone else. Your best bet is to sit down and analyze what will give you the most brain power and time back. Or maybe look at what is dragging you down. Get it off your plate and don’t think about how you could do it better than the person who is doing it now. It’s not your problem anymore. It’s theirs. Let it be their problem.

I could probably write endless blog posts about how I balance business with my baby (and maybe I will), but it comes down to one thing: Accept you’re not who you once were and adjust accordingly. As soon as you can accept that, you will have a place to jump off from, whether you want to make yourself better or just survive where you are now. And yes, there is no “right” choice when it comes to how you do this. There is just what works for you and your family in the here and now.

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