Lying there in my pajamas at 3 O’clock in the afternoon, the energy draining out of me as fast as she could suck, I wondered, “What would it take to build a successful business, raise a happy family and have fun with life, all at the same time? Is it even possible?”
Like most American millennials with ovaries, I grew up believing I should ascend the career ladder before having kids and that having kids should not affect my ability to continue to be a super achiever in the business realm. The ceilingless career, the wonderful husband, the happy baby— I was convinced I could (and should) have it all.
What it would take to keep “it all” wasn’t really on my radar.
Because it’s not popular to mention that if an ovary-carrying human wants to birth a healthy baby without technological intervention, her chances are pretty good until age 35, when they decline some; and still, not too bad until 37, when the decline is pretty significant.
Nor do people want to hear: if you decide to quit your job and start anew (maybe even start a company) in your thirties, it’ll take most of your days for a lot of years to get your business to a financially sound place (most businesses don’t see a profit until the third year), and will put you in your mid to late thirties before you (hopefully) see your way out of the red.
Let’s say you do succeed in creating a growing company and give birth to a healthy baby in your mid thirties. The dream!
And the reality: Now you get to raise them both. Simultaneously. Oh, and these are both full time gigs that will require a lot of overtime. Okay, go.
I started a company with no prior business experience the month I turned 32, was married by 33 and at thirty-four, have my first baby.
I knew it would be challenging to have a baby while my company was getting off the ground, but in a more real way, I HAD NO IDEA.
This blog will be an honest, vulnerable account of what it is like to grow a tiny human and a company at the same time. I’m not sure how it’s going to go; and being this vulnerable feels super scary. But it also feels genuine and liberating.
I wrote the first three paragraphs of this with one of my breasts in my sleeping baby’s mouth. Because that’s when I had time. Sure, I tried to take it out, but she’d stir—I couldn’t risk her waking up and getting nothing written.
And the rest? The rest of this post was written at slug-speed over the next three days. THREE DAYS! Pre-baby I would have allotted an hour or two. Ouch.
But in addition to being uncomfortably honest, I will be sharing what I’ve learned from researching and applying techniques to:
grow my company;
balance home and work;
manage my time;
and, of course, allow myself and new family to lead our best lives.
Maybe being the primary caretaker for an infant and continuing to grow a company that, pre-baby, had me working “overtime” most days is biting off more than I can chew.
I’m hoping I can learn to handle it all well, but I really don’t know what’s going to happen.
A fear of failing in front of everyone makes me hesitant to post this, even as I write. But.
Here we go.
What I Was Reading: