Today I took my oldest son for his ELEVEN year checkup! Forget the fact that I feel old, and yes, I did spend a few minutes searching for wrinkles this morning. Did you hear me say that I have an ELEVEN year old? Who by the way is Double Digits in age, Triple Digits in weight, and a 1/4 inch shy of 5 feet tall!
These stats are paralyzing enough by themselves, but then I realize that this rapidly evolving 11-year-old (who was once a snotty-nosed baby) was in a way my FIRST business. Now my son is ELEVEN, which in a way means I have been at this mom business for ELEVEN years.
NOT to be cliche’, but how did this happen?
When I arrived home from the hospital 11 years ago, raising that tiny little baby was my first ever work-at-home business.
Being an only child married to an only child, our experience with infants was pretty much null and void. I had to get a Master’s of Baby Administration in a fast and furious way. As I always lament, there were no mom blogs or Facebook for me to consult. I would be remiss not to thank 2 EXTREMELY wise and hands-on friends, Leigh Anne & Traci, who if it were not for them, my boobs would still be engorged AND I never would have stopped the exploding diapers.
By the time, my second son was born, I was a CEO of my own Baby Enterprise (the new challenge would be to learn how to manage multiple employees, I mean babies).
What becomes clear to me now is that my Master’s of Baby Administration has served me well in my business pursuits. After raising 2 babies, growing my real business comes from a place deep down inside me that I am not sure existed before babies. Sure, I would love a real MBA, but the fact remains that I am not sure that it would give me MORE than what my babies have provided me.
- I hysterically remember packing my diaper bag for my first outing with my oldest son. I am not sure if I was going to the pediatrician for a check up or a month’s long vacation, but either way I was prepared. My Kenneth Cole Diaper Backpack (a steal that I found at Marshalls thanks to a rec from Traci) was loaded down with everything from Tylenol to nothing less than 25 diapers to 10 various outfits. With baby number 1, I felt as though I must be prepared for any scenario that was thrown my way…This is sort of how I approached my first business conference with a suitcase ready for working out on the road to the slim chance that I may be whisked away on a private meeting. There is comfort in being prepared when experiencing something new. With time, this auto-corrects, and…by baby number 2, I learned to think on the fly with A diaper and 1 wipe shoved in my purse. The same can be said for the subsequent business trips that I have taken. Workout clothes can be recycled, and a quick change of shirt makes the same black pants look different.
- I have openly discussed my total FAILURE at sustaining my babies with my boobs. Yeh, they just don’t make enough. When my first son needed both Pedialyte to bring him back from dehydration and supplemental formula to sustain him, I felt as though I was walking around with the words FAILURE placed on my forehead. A scarlet F for breast-feeding. What I learned was that we all need a little supplementing from time to time, and if we do not take it, we need revived! My son was HUNGRY just like my business often has an appetite for something that I cannot provide. I know to ask for help from the accountant when I need it rather than making a mess that needs Pedialyte to revive it.
- It is true what they say on the airplane – Help yourself first, before helping little ones. Managing one and eventually 2 babies often led to me leaving the house without breakfast for myself, not taking an hour of mommy time, and ignoring many a bad, bad virus of mine. When I did this, my kids suffered, I suffered, and typically ended up back to square one which was off-routine, chunky, and feeling lousy. As a business owner, mom, and wife, I know that I need to eat well, sleep well, and break away occasionally. Otherwise, I cannot breathe life into my ventures. It is hard to DO this, but I just need to visualize the airline attendant AND I am back to it. Really, one of those Pan-Am gals provides the mojo for me.
I am still searching for the business equivalent of my ELEVEN year old asking to hold my hand during 2 shots, but all I can keep thinking about is HE still asked to hold MY hand. Feels pretty damn good. Hope my business does that sometime soon.