I hear this question time and time again – can I do business and motherhood? Will I have to compromise or hold off until my business gets to X figures (or should I)? I remember that back when I was pregnant for the second time (the first pregnancy since starting my business), I felt the fear. There was no paid maternity leave from my corporate job this time – it was just on me. And this is a common fear: that everything is going to dry up when they get pregnant. This age-old dogma that is drilled into us rears its head that you can’t have it all. But you can. I spoke to Kate Northrup in Making Babies + Making Bank and she said something so inspiring when I asked her about this: ‘The fastest way to change a belief is to find an example of the opposite and focus on that.’ I also want to focus for a second on something amazing that happens when we give birth. During pregnancy and birth, your sacral chakra – the chakra of creativity – is activated. What this often results in is a wave of creativity. For me, it was taking steps to create, launch and fill my first-ever retreat AND have my largest income month at that stage of my business. The way is often clearer during this time for creative thought and there are a few different views on why this happens. 1. You get super efficient with your time. You are in this space where you are so needed by your little baby most of the time that you make such good use of the time you have. You get super efficient. 2. You feel 100% magnified the feeling that you are being called to step up. And you are. To be a mother to this tiny being who needs you, yes, but also to what you want to show them of life. You are motivated to show them who it is you know you can be. 3. You slow down. You are forced to. You cannot do everything all the time. Your body needs to rest in the immediate days, weeks and sometimes months after birth, and by slowing down you are able to create space in your mind and open up to possibility. You signal to the Universe that you are ready for the next level, whatever that looks like. This space you open up by slowing down also enables more space to really think and hone in on what it is that lights you up. The opposite side to this is then seeing clearly what it is that you need to release that does not, again freeing more space and signalling to the Universe that you are ready. So my tips for motherhood and running a business are:
- Build in some ritual. Yes, I know this sounds woo (and it can be if you want it to be) but it’s about pausing. It’s about being intentional, and we can do that however we want and in any way that feels good.
- Release the belief that things have to look a certain way. Trust that everything is working out. If things did turn out in a different way than you had hoped, allow yourself to grieve – let yourself feel all the emotions and then think about how you can move forward into this new space. Let go of ‘It’s supposed to look like X’. Remember that things won’t always look how you have written them down or envisaged them. There are infinite possibilities and the idea that our tiny brains can understand all of these possibilities is ridiculous. We are also living in the illusion that we are fully in control. We have to learn to release the steering wheel. As a mother or not, we are no more in control of many things. We control the things we can and let go of the things we can’t.
- Hold onto your ‘why’. Why are you in the business you’re in? Focus on being who you are, on sharing what lights you up and on the reasons behind that. This will attract your ideal clients to you. Being in the raw space of new motherhood, you are naturally honed in on this instinctively – perhaps this is why so many women (myself included) have huge successes, high-income months and make important changes to their lives and businesses in the months after becoming mothers.
- Gather your people. The women who inspire you. The women who support you. The women who live their lives like you would like to. Move in their circles (in person and on social media).