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Motherhood and Business

In honor of Mother’s Day, I am taking a break from my typical wedding and event-related blogs to talk about something that is so important to me, Motherhood.

Becoming a mom in 2017 was the most life-altering event but also the absolute best. Becoming a mother is scary, while it’s full of happiness and joy the part that we don’t talk about a lot is the underlying fear that grips us all so tightly. I can’t begin to count the number of sleepless nights and thoughts of ‘what if’s’ that I experienced during both of my pregnancies. I know that even though we don’t talk about this a lot I’m not alone in these feelings. For me one of the biggest fears of becoming a mother was, how would this affect my business? and how am I going to be a mom and a good event planner?, how do I do it all? After all, my business was my first baby.

 

But guess what, two kids into this whole motherhood thing, I’ve got some good news. Not only is motherhood the single greatest change I’ve ever experienced, it’s made me a better business owner. And one thing I’ve learned is that as a mom you always have room in your heart for each baby.

 

So how has motherhood helped me in my business?

Kaitlin Ford, business owner and event planner, with her two year old daughter and new born son.

The truth about motherhood is that your hands are always full.

Your why is so clearly defined

If you would have asked me before I had kids why I do the job I do, I would have given you a response centered around celebrating the most important moment in a young Person’s life. And while that’s still true now, my why is way more defined, and way more personal and real.

I live for my children. They are the force that drives my life, I would do anything for them, go to any length, overcome any challenge and most importantly work any amount to ensure that I can provide a happy life for them.

I’m also proud that my kids will be witnessing me working hard and building a business as they grow. I was raised by entrepreneur parents and it really showed me that no one gives you anything in life. If you want something you have to work for it. I don’t foresee my kids wanting to take over my business as in I don’t think that the business I’m building will be a legacy for my kids but the process of building a business and keeping it going and balancing every aspect is a great legacy to give to kids.

 

Compassion

I’m not going to lie, I’m a rather impatient person. I don’t like waiting, I don’t enjoy explaining things multiple times, and I would arguably be the worst teacher on the planet.

Well, if you’ve ever dealt with a toddler then you know that it doesn’t matter what you like or what you want, it’s not really on your terms. Patiently and compassionately explaining things and options is something that is a must when dealing with a toddler. This has certainly helped me in my business. I deal with problems and people, especially on event days, with a lot more patience and compassion and completely have my strong willed daughter to thank for that.

Show me one mom who hasn’t had her life changed after spending nights awake with her sick baby or in a hospital room with a baby that can’t communicate it’s feelings. Moms are, in short, bad ass bitches – but also they are the most comforting allies around, empathy is something that seems to naturally increase 100x when you become a mom. And it’s not just empathy for your kids or other moms it’s for everyone, you suddenly realize that the world is bigger than you and your job and we all are fighting our own battles.

 

Love yourself too

As women our value is associated with the roles that we play in others’ lives, But what about our own happiness and our own self care?

Owning a successful business is a major source of pride in my life. It helps give me a fulfilling since of accomplishment. At the end of each successful event or wedding I’m beaming with pride, with accomplishment, and with self fulfillment, it makes my heart happy.

For me working and striving to reach goals and milestones in my business is my form of self care. Yes nothing takes place of a good facial or taking time to relax and do something for myself but for me I’ve realized that an ultimate reward for business is taking time off business to be with my family. That balance has become something I value and helps me establish my value for myself.

Kaitlin Ford lead wedding planner for pocketful of plans holds her two children

You find your people and ask for help

My absolute favorite thing about being a mother and an entrepreneur is that I’ve found so many like minded friends along the way. My main business is wedding planning and the beauty of the wedding industry is that it’s predominately made up of minority business owners. I’ve met so many incredible women, men and couples that run their businesses while also juggling the same crazy lives of family, dogs, and other nutty aspects that we all have in common. We all thrive off of like-minded community and it’s amazing to find support and encouragement not just in business but in motherhood too.

I don’t like asking for help, it’s hard to admit when you need help. But when you’re overwhelmed with a crying newborn and sleep deprived and you just need a hand you need to ask for help. This is a great lesson for a business owner, especially when learning to grow your business. Asking for help sometimes feels like failure but really it’s learning to grow, expand, and get to the next step. You learn to seek help not just from family but also from your community.

 

I’m more efficient and better at keeping my composure

Frankly because I don’t have time to waste! Being a business owning mom forces me to manage my time rigorously and instills in me a powerful sense of discipline with real consequences. I have to be conscious of where my time goes and how I’m using it whether that’s time spent with family or time spent working. I’ve learned the ability to basically cut through the crap and prioritize because if it’s not essential or urgent to getting a job done you learn to come back to things when there is time.

This may be  obvious but being a mom and an entrepreneur requires an extreme amount of multitasking. Juggling is just part of the deal and you get better at it when kids get in the picture, because you are forced to. You often answer emails while feeding your baby, send contracts while making dinner, talk on the phone while trying to entertain a child in the car, whatever it requires you do it, and all at once.

Suddenly You begin to realize every minute at work is a minute away from your family, so you are going to make it worth while.  You fight for your company. You fight for your family.

You also swiftly learn to keep your composure, even when things get shitty (wink, wink). I have a temper, but you can’t loose your temper at a tiny helpless baby, and suddenly you realize that you can handle more than you think you can. This transfers to your business too, because you learn to prioritize in new ways and focusing on the really important elements.

I’m Suddenly an optimist

This may be a strange one but something shifted in me when I became a mom. I was always in awe of my best friend that was always optimistic about everything. I found her optimism to be impossible but then I realized, her optimism brought her a lot of good and happiness in her life.

During pregnancy I was filled with fears. Constant thoughts of what if this, what if that, but then I realized I have to stop thinking that way. I have to stop giving into the fears that I have zero control over and can paralyze you. I have to stay focused on the positive And the happiness.

The same is true in Business, if you constantly focus on the negative you don’t open yourselves up to the good. There are times when business is bad or slow and hard and trying. (After all what could be worse for small business than a global pandemic) you have to remain positive and optimistic. You have to believe it will turn around or else you don’t have the energy to fight and continue. You have to focus on the opportunities ahead instead of what you may be missing. In business it’s all about looking forward and looking for opportunities.

 

My reason for sharing this is because I know so many people struggle with the process of becoming a mom and business owner or even just a working mom. But I know you can do it, because we always manage to figure it out. And at the end of the day, you have room in your heart for all of it. It’s not always pretty, and life is often a lot messier (my once always clean house is always a disaster now and I am okay with it, kinda), but it’s also so rewarding and full of benefits for both you and your kids. So if you are in the season of life where you are thinking about adding kids or a business to your life, trust me when I say, you can do it and at the end of the day you just may be better for juggling both.

 

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