The Ultimate Balancing Act

The only way I can accurately describe being a mom and running a business is it’s like running a race- with weights on your feet, during a thunderstorm and hungover. Oh and that race begins at 6:30am and doesn’t end until about 8:30pm. The best part? It’s everyday for 18 years…so yes, it’s a marathon, not a race.

Motherhood is not for the faint of heart. Starting a company isn’t either and to tackle both requires a certain level of insanity. You essentially have two babies: your actual baby and your business. To not let one affect the other is probably the hardest thing I have ever done. It is a constant battle for your attention.

The day my daughter came into the world I knew my life had changed. Definitely for the better. I would be lying if it wasn’t a learning curve. Having a tiny life in your hands that solely depends on you is both humbling and terrifying. As parents, we learned very quickly how to work together. Parenting obviously comes with it’s highs and lows. The highs being the typical first word (“No”….wonder where she learned that), crawling, first steps, and eating the crusty Cheerios on the floor that she previously spit out. She learned that from her dad. The lows being teething, sick days, and the lack of sleep.

And let me just say that whoever said “don’t cry over spilled milk” has quite obviously never breast fed.

The early months came with more lifestyle changes. Bedtime was suddenly at 8pm and I also found myself becoming a proverbial “morning person”. This was not by volunteer, however I am happy it happened. I was able to work from home since, like my daughter, my business was a newborn too. I would work during her naps, that were sprinkled throughout the day. Ramping up business, making calls, completing operational tasks; all while the little one was catching z’s. I had this “working mom” thing down pat.

Boy was I wrong.

Then it happened. The naps became fewer and far between. On top of that? The crawling happened. Life as I knew it was over. I grew eyes on the back of my head, which came after the time I turned around to find her peeling paint off of a door hinge…how? I have no idea. This time brought a new set of challenges mainly to do with prioritization and schedule. The only way I was able to get ANYTHING done was by building my work schedule to fit her schedule. It worked for awhile but as business began to gain traction I simply knew it was time: nanny time.

I decided I wanted her to socialize but not necessarily in a daycare setting. We found a nanny share, which is when a few families share one nanny. This provides concentrated care along with socialization. Luckily it was in our neighborhood so I could easily walk there. So, off we go, every Monday and Thursday. Rain or shine. The only word I can think to describe this time is hectic, which is where we are now. A lot of preparation goes into this whole child care thing. Packing a lunch is not easy for a one year old I have learned. Some days she likes broccoli, some days she spits it out. It’s exhausting. All I know is that mac n’ cheese is a win everyday. Same girl, same. What do I do after I drop her off you ask? That’s when the marathon starts. Let’s just say I have mastered the 15 minute glow up. Then it is off to work. Clocking in a solid 6 hours in the industrial sector of Philly before heading back to pick up the peanut. The rest of the night is a mixture of running around making dinner, feeding her dinner, baths, and bedtime. After that whirlwind comes to a halt, I try to get some work done. Note that I said try. It doesn’t always turn out that way. I have a hard stop at 9pm. I have to get ready for the marathon the next day.

I will admit, I did go through an identity crisis. I’m not sure if every new mom goes through this but I certainly did. When you are constantly caring for someone else, you lose a little bit of yourself. I know this to be true. I was with her everyday from the day she was born, all day long. She became apart of me like another limb. I will never forget the first time I dropped her off at the nanny’s. I came home and lost it. We’re talking ugly crying, face in hands sobbing- the whole nine. I couldn’t help it. The silence crushed me. I never knew that a quiet house could be so loud with loneliness.

This sounds ridiculous but I literally had to learn how to be by myself again.

There’s two things I love in this world: my daughter and reality tv. On the subject of motherhood, Cameron Eubanks from Southern Charm says it best: “being a mom is great and is the most rewarding job. But it’s a job that you don’t get a paycheck for.” It really is a double edge sword. Either you put your career on hold and commit to being a stay at home mom or you literally have to pay to go to work. Is that not the most ridiculous thing you have ever heard? Any working mom knows, child care ain’t cheap. Hell, I’ve even thought about how much I could rake in being a daycare owner. I then thought of how terrible I would be taking care of other people’s kids. I love my own of course but I wouldn’t find it endearing when little Jimmy throws his food on the floor as much as his mother would. Child care workers are made from the same cloud from heaven that teachers are from. I have no idea how they do it. The patience it requires is nothing short of astounding.

It’s hard, it really is. The good always outweighs the bad. It is the most rewarding job I have ever had. Still, I found myself laughing at those Instagram posts and articles about being a “boss mom”. That’s a load of sh*t. I might be a boss in my company but I am definitely NOT the boss at home. My boss is 2.6 feet tall, a year old and tells me “no” constantly. She’s my boss and she doesn’t let me forget it. Nor does she pay well.

Written By Kristin DeBias