Today I want to share how I’ve been raising babies and building businesses for the past 13 years. Did you know I have 5 kids? Yes, I know it’s crazy. This is why I wanted to talk to you about my story and my journey in business and also motherhood. It makes me emotional just thinking about it because they’re so interconnected with me and have completely changed who I am.
How I started building businesses:
Let’s take a little journey in time, back to almost 14 years ago. I had just graduated college, and my husband had gotten into podiatry school. I worked in summer as a P.R. person for the city I lived in, Provo City, UT. At the end of the summer I was 6 months pregnant, and we were moving to Arizona for my husband’s schooling. Obviously, I had to quit my job.
I didn’t know anyone in Arizona. I knew I wanted to stay home with my baby, so I didn’t seek another job in our new city. This left me with 3 months at home alone before I had my first child. This was not a good thing for me. I had never had that much time on my hands. And I remember thinking, what am I going to do here? While I had this empty time, I tried a lot of different things. For a while, I learned how to make cakes from my mother-in-law’s friend.
I started building businesses while my baby slept.
Eventually, I landed on making little hats for babies and kids. I sold them on Etsy, and I still remember that moment when I posted the hats for the first time. They sold out within 24 hours. And I was like, “You guys this works!” I can make something and I can make money. It was amazing. Soon after this, I had a baby boy and he was also amazing. I remember looking at this baby who was sleeping a lot and thinking a part of me was missing. The creative part of myself.
If you know me in real life, you know my brain is always thinking. I’m always strategizing and working out problems and I missed doing that and being challenged. So I decided to keep going with my little hat business while I took care of my baby. And that business grew and it grew and I got to do it as much as I wanted. It was the perfect thing for me. I grew from selling hats, to dresses, to patterns and kits for sewing. My first business evolved into something really wonderful and it taught me a lot along the way.
Before long, I had another baby. After my second baby, I picked up a camera. I fell in love with photography. So I learned how to take pictures. This caused me to start taking pictures, which then started my photography business.
After I started my photography business, I had my 3rd baby. In between my 3rd and 4th children being born, I started doing more photography and taking more pictures. Had 4th baby. After we had our 4th child, and many years of Podiatry school, my husband graduated and got a job in California. When we moved to California, I started my non profit, ‘Beauty Revived’.
By this time in my life, I knew I loved building businesses.
I knew I wanted to teach others how to do what I was doing. So, I started teaching business. And because I wasn’t busy enough, I had my 5th baby. Within a couple days of having my 5th baby, I went live online and taught a business workshop.
I remember that moment. People thought I was crazy. I had just come home from the hospital and I had this new baby, number 5. My mom was still there helping me. And people were like, “How are you doing this? Why are you doing this?” But you see, I’m not that person that sits still very long. I needed to feel like I still had control of my life. Business has been that piece for me. I have had a need and desire to create forever. Building businesses fulfills that need for me. And you know what? 13 1/2 yrs later, I’m still here, creating and building. Oh yeah, and raising my 5 babies– who aren’t quite babies anymore!
I’ve been taught so many things through this process. And I recognize that a lot of feelings and emotions can come up if you’re thinking of doing something other than motherhood. I know, because I’ve been there.
4 things I’ve learned from raising babies & building businesses:
1- Guilt never made me a better mom.
Guilt makes you second guess your decisions and feel bad. It’s not productive. Feeling guilty won’t inspire you to build your business.
Instead of listening to the guilt that tries to overtake you, here’s a better idea. Listen to your gut. Listen to the Spirit. Pray about things that are occurring in your life and business. Figure out what is best for you. If you feel guided to be where you are and start a business, you need to trust that. Don’t make room for guilt. Do make room for quiet nudges that say, “You could do this better.”
Don’t let guilt put you down. Don’t let the Adversary tell you that you can’t change or do better. God will always push us to be better. That means change and growth.
2- Your kids don’t need you every single minute.
I want to tell you something. It is totally ok to send your kids outside so you can work. It’s really good for them to learn how to have quiet time or play alone or outside. It’s good for you to have your own time. Michelle Says So. (Feel free to quote me on this.)
*Of course, if your kids are too little to be outside, then please don’t send them outside unsupervised.
3- Your kids are going to grow up. This is your life too. Don’t forget to live it.
There’s a backstory for this 3rd tip. A few years ago I got a call from a woman who was an empty nester. She had a business idea she wanted to talk to me about.
When we got on the phone together, she started telling me her dreams. As she was talking, she started to cry and sob. She said she had given everything to her kids. Of course, she didn’t regret her choice to do this. But now she realized she was at a point in her life where she hadn’t done anything for herself. And she was mourning the lost years when she could have developed her gifts and talents more. This hit me really hard. We both cried as we talked. This conversation is something I think about a lot.
Here’s the reality of my decisions regarding building my businesses while raising my babies: I believe that my kids watching me pursue my passions and develop my talents gives them permission to pursue their dreams and develop their talents. It sets up the expectation that you keep learning, growing, and dreaming as you become an adult. Motherhood should only add another dimension to our identities as women. We all still need to have our own lives and interests.
4- Prayerfully make your decisions. Stop wasting time second guessing.
I always include God in my business plans. Everything in my business is done prayerfully. If God is telling me to do something, and He is, then He will help me out and my kids won’t be ruined.
We need to put our effort here in this 4th step. I want you to prayerfully make your decision. Weigh it out. Think about all the things you want to do and feel called to do. Make your business decision and take it to The Lord. Ask Him, “Is this what I should be doing?” When you get the answer, go forward with faith. Don’t look back. And don’t second guess where you are told to go. Remember, God will push you to become better, not make you feel guilty.
One last thing I want you to remember from your biz sister, Michelle. You know what? I have done the guilt thing. And I have raised 5 babies, and I have done it while growing a business. I have really great kids. Having a business doesn’t ruin your kids. It actually might make them better. My hope is that it shows my kids that it’s a good thing to have dreams and passions of your own. I’m cheering you on momma. You can totally run a business and raise those babies.
As a busy mom, you need to be even more efficient with your time. Have you joined my 5 day content challenge yet? Plan a year of content in just 5 days! Sign up HERE.
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