'How do you do it?', is a question that I get asked, almost every week. By friends, relatives, clients, and fellow doulas alike. The answer - I have no idea most days!
Before I started Maternal Oak, I had not worked in almost 4 years. I had been very fortunate to be able to stay at home and be with my children, while my husband was the sole provider. And before that, I was a university student. When my business, was born, I didn't have the first clue about what it meant to run one, let alone do it with 3 kids running at my feet (all...the...time). In came bebo mia, and their Maternal Support Practitioner program. I left their training, feeling like I could conquer the world. The in depth programs bebo offers have left me feeling confident, well rounded in my knowledge, and I was ready to run my own business. A huge part of that is because of bebo mia's programs. The undying and constant support from my mentors and classmates alike have helped me achieve all that I have done.
Juggling being a mom to 3 very busy boys and an entrepreneur is tough; really tough. To me, there is no such thing as the perfect balance, and week by week - hell, day by day, it changes. I find working smarter, not harder, has really helped. I work very hard on prioritizing certain tasks, and uni tasking. Something bebo mia taught me. I used to have a million lists and try and do 87 different tasks in a day. I was always exhausted (and my husband would probably say cranky, too). Uni tasking, is doing one task at a time, be it per day or hour. I was running around trying to do laundry, website building, phone calls, and make lunch all the same time. It was chaos! Now, I set aside time and lump together tasks that make sense to get done at the same time. I won't make phone calls, when it is not nap time or my husband is not home, will work on my Instagram and Facebook at the same time, and food prep like crazy to save the dinner time scramble that always happens.
It's extremely important to be realistic, and know your own limits. Thankfully, my husband and boys have been patient and kind, with me, as I navigate these new waters. There has been more than one occasion, where I have caught myself staring at my laptop at 2am, wondering what I had actually got done. Knowing my boundaries, has helped, with the cranky mom my kids get when I have put so many works house into the day.
I have also learned that, it is okay. It is okay if my kids sit in their pj's all day. It is okay we order take out twice a week if that means I was able to work on my certifications or book another client. It's okay to hire a house cleaner, so I have one less task to think about at the end of the day. It is okay to put myself, first. My children's entire lives, have been about them and their wants and needs. It was a long time in the making and hard to realize that my life besides being a mother, desires and passions do matter. I matter. Me making a difference in the world and women's lives, matters. Being able to take the financial strain off my husbands shoulders, matters. Working a career that I am passionate about, matters.
I am extremely proud of how far I have come in the short 7 months I have been doing this. I have managed to partake in 4 bebo mia courses, start up a mother to mother group at my local Children's Association - a casual group to get together with like minded mothers and caregivers to discuss all things pregnancy, birth and postpartum, to breastfeeding, babywearing and all things that come with parenting a newborn through into toddler hood. The near future brings CPSAC (Child Passenger Association of Canada) and placenta courses, as well as expanding Maternal Oak by 2 doulas. My future is very bright and my hard work and the ever constant balancing act is beyond worth it.
Don't drive yourself crazy trying to find a balance between being an entrepreneur and a 'super mom'. No one has the perfect answer for managing a business along side raising children. Achieving success, as a mother and entrepreneur won't come easy, but both will have a spot in your heart that will fill you with pride, joy, and everlasting love. Parenting children and building a business both take time and patience, and as the days and years go by, you will witness them both grow into amazing parts of your life - and your children will be able to have a constant appreciation for hard work and dedication watching their mother achieve all her dreams and goals.
Kayla is a mom to three sons, wife, and doula. She works within the Shuswap/Okanagan Region providing mothers and their families with a whealth of knowledge and support in all things fertility, pregnancy, birth and beyond.