21 Oct Your biggest fears are your best lessons – Mompreneur 101
There I was 27 years old at the hospital about to give birth. This could not be my life could it? I was numb and in denial my entire duration of pregnancy. I mean I was to be a Savannah Guthrie type (successful NYC women making a lot of money) – I envisioned having maybe 1 child in my 40s after being wildly successful. Hell, even Janet Jackson had a child at 50 – Yep – that was a going to be me. I did not have time for kids running at seven figure brand (from my apartment might I add with only 2 people) and as selfish as I was it was not something that any one believed I would want. I was one of the firsts in my friend groups to get pregnant and it shocked us all. I could not, for the life of me, understand why this was happening. My perfect life plan finally went off course. This unplanned event sent me in to shock, so much so that I gained 90 pounds in 9 months…well there went by 100 pounds weight loss I just spent the last 6 years fighting to keep off. While pregnant I also had no choice but to grow my business and take full responsibility for what was about to come. Looking back, I was shocked I didn’t sit around and just be pregnant and not grow my business. It turns out, facing my fear, pushed me in to greatness.
I remember being in my gynecologist’s office January 2016 when those three tests confirmed my biggest fear..and she goes “you know – 50% of pregnancies are unplanned – so you’re not alone.” Oh -but in that moment – and for the the next 2 years I felt very alone. (Thank god for Reddit Moms Forums). As an entrepreneur running a multi million dollar brand from home, someone who wasn’t a kid person, and someone who did not even want kids until late 30s I was hoping to process my life but had no time do so. I just did not understand why this was happening to me!
When I got pregnant something made me snap – I started growing my business like crazy. I started doing every thing I could to start growing the company faster and faster. In fact, my biggest growth years in my business came while getting pregnant and after having my daughter Ava. Growing up poor really made me motivated to ensure my newborn girl would have the world. I did not care that I was pregnant with a good income, I knew my littler girl deserved more. I kept pushing, working all the way up until the day I had to leave to the hospital. I even worked days after birth. It was sad however, that while I was pregnant (mind you financially stable, with a great man of 7 years, engaged) that I wouldn’t even tell anyone I worked with professionally that I was pregnant! It was my biggest professional secret, I was so scared to tell other people I worked with online (web developers, accountants, mentors) that I was pregnant because I was so fearful they would judge me (for working all the time), and not take me serious as a business woman. I didn’t want them to “Count me out” once I had the baby – thinking that I wouldn’t take my business as serious now that I had a child. And the fact that I was 27 in NYC & pregnant (it is RARE to find successful high paid women pregnant before the age of 35 here) just made so scared what people would think of me! I didn’t tell anyone until after I had her. Looking back, this was so sad, we are supposed to celebrate new life, and here I was ashamed and scared to be judged by those I PAID to help grow my business. After having my daughter and realizing the whole stigma around age and having a baby are BS I started to share the best thing that ever happened to me, Ava!
See today Ava turns 3, and as I sit here with pure happiness and appreciation that I have her, yet it’s coupled with sadness and regret that I spent the last 3 years working most of her days. See as a Momprenuer, there is no time for maternity leave (not when you are crating an 8 future brand without investors), I mean you are in the hospital bed working days later. Having a baby was my greatest fear, but this was my greatest lesson. Having a baby made me a better business owner, I was finally able to understand women in the workplace. It pushed me to grow the business to an 8 figure brand (in less than 3 years of having her we went from 2 million to over 10 million a year in sales) It made me more empathetic in general, I truly started to care for the human race more. It also made me appreciate the pure soul of an innocent child – coming home from a 12 hour day – nothing makes me more happy than to see my child. No amount of money could ever replace the feeling she gives me.
So why the hell am I writing this? This is for Ava – she inspired me to become a better woman and business owner – and TRUST ME – I am not a kid person (more on that later). But I also am writing this for the woman owns a business or is working a successful career, or even two jobs and has a child and wants to work (read: provide an amazing lifestyle for her child and not be dependent on a man) as badly as she wants to be a great mother. Trust me, some times it feels like I am either a good mom, or a good business person, I have found it hard to be both at the same time on most days. Both roles are so demanding, and it truly does take a village. If you have big dreams and find yourself pregnant with the hopes of starting a business, or scared as hell as professional working woman to know how you will be both as bad ass boss babe – and a great mom who is involved in your Childs life, please tell your inner negative Nancy to SHUT UP! To all my moms out there – just know -it does take sacrifice – but it was a worth it. Even with all the hours and days I spent away from my child – she til this day will choose her Mommy over anyone. There is nothing that can break a mother – child bond. Your sacrifices will be worth it. To me, I want to send my child to college without any financial issues, I want her to have the basic education and lifestyle I never had – and for me – I have no choice but to be a Momprenuer.