This is a personal post for me, which I don't do very often, but I really want to share with you how things are going here at Paper Fox La now that we have a new little crew member.
Life as a work-from-home mom is NO JOKE. I knew things would be crazy but I honestly didn't plan at all - because well, let's face it, you don't know until you know... right? How are you supposed to plan for working at home with a newborn if you've never done it before? My whole pregnancy, I kept telling myself that a solution would present itself organically, and that I would somehow just know how to balance motherhood and work... like it was a secret power you develop after you give birth. yeah right. I am currently living out my worst nightmare as a business owner while simultaneously experiencing pure joy as a new mom. It's complicated, to say the least.
As a business owner - and currently the only member here at Paper Fox, I am struggling with the day to day operations, that used to be a piece of cake. Take Customer Service, for example: I used to LOVE answering emails and engaging with customers and creating custom pieces. It was the best part of my job. And now, well, all my free time is dedicated to my little one. I am constantly readjusting my expectations and repeating the mantra "you can't do it all, you can't do it all" . But that's hard, ya know? I am used to a certain standard in my business and now, everything has changed. Rush orders? Custom party planning? Deliveries and installations? Events? Sponsorships? All these things used to be a resounding YES and now... well... who know?
The biggest question is wether or not my business is going to be a success now that I can't give it 100%. It's terrifying, really, because I have placed a lot of personal value in my business. If it doesn't succeed... does that mean I'm a failure? Before Paper Fox, I really struggled to find my place in the workforce. I was never really passionate about anything I was doing, and, in turn, I wasn't really that great at any of the jobs I had. It was the classic catch 22 situation. Working for myself has been a huge accomplishment- especially since I never ever thought in a million years I would be able to start a business from scratch. And now, here I am, on the precipice of success and failure (at least in my own eyes.) The flip side to all this uncertainty, is that I DO get to be home with my baby- which is a major stress factor for most working moms. At the end of the day, at least I know that I am experiencing all of Poppy's developmental milestones despite the complete chaos that is often my workday.
I see some work-at-home moms on Instagram and on Etsy and they seem to work like... a million hours a day. Answering emails as soon as they come in, constantly growing their social media following, collaborating with other businesses and STILL they seem to be able to manage 3 kids and a marriage... do they work all night? Do they never sleep?! I mean, this is all speculative but man, I feel guilty every second that I take for myself, especially when I know I have 20 unread emails sitting in my inbox. But I also know, that if I don't draw the line between work and my personal life, I'll probably go insane. And so, I take weekends off and deal with the angry customers who didn't receive an email that weekend on Monday... Or maybe Tuesday.
And so, with a crazy new work schedule, I have been scouring the internet for tips on how to be a super-mom. Currently, I am really thankful for Monica at GuguGuru.com for all her tips and advice on how to make this juggling act work. I have found that a few key baby essentials make all the difference in how much I can actually get done in a day. It's also been really useful to have an open registry that I can refer my family and friends to when they ask what Poppy still needs- while also getting the deets on cool new gear that might bring a little more sanity into my life. We've also had the opportunity to do a few giveaways and collaborations with them - which is a great new avenue for me, now that I have a little baby - I feel like I am connecting with all the other moms out there. (Hi there!)
So, I guess the point of this post is to A) show my customer base that I am a human being, and that I have real human struggles - I am not a corporation, ok? I am flawed and I'm trying really hard to make this work and B) to give a little insight into the reality of being a work-at-home mom. Maybe you are also a work-at-home mom and are also struggling... Let me tell you - you are not alone. It's really really really hard.
XO - Jessica