I never wanted to own a business, but when I had my daughter, everything changed. I knew in my gut that I didn’t want to go back to the job I had—one where I was deeply unhappy. On top of that, the company I worked for had an inflexible attitude toward working moms. I knew that I couldn’t thrive—or even survive— in that environment. So I quit.
It was an easy decision, but a scary one. I am not a risk-taker by nature. It’s still hard for me to identify with the word “entrepreneur.” Back then, I made the decision to “freelance and see what happens.” Writing has always been my passion, and I was excited for the chance to use my skills to provide a financial boost for my family while also being present with my daughter. I had no idea that my work would become such a significant, meaningful and fulfilling part of my life.
My husband is my biggest supporter. He never, ever doubts me. We met back in high school, went a decade without seeing each other, then developed an amazing friendship that quickly grew. I knew I was going to marry him before we even kissed.
We have two kids together—Olivia is 3 and Ronan is 1. If you walked into our house right now, you’d find princess dresses and books everywhere. The pots and pans would probably be all over the kitchen floor. Jack Johnson, The Beatles or The Laurie Berkner Band would be playing. We might be dancing. It’s a crazy little adventure raising two independent, curious kids. And I love it.
There are the day-to-day challenges—technology breaks, or I have to learn something new, or I have to meet a deadline. But those are small compared to the personal challenges and the lessons I’ve learned from those challenges.
Starting a business at the same time I started motherhood was a complete transformation of my life. It was a rocky transition. Over time, I’ve had to deal with issues of confidence, balance, comparison and ego. And as I’ve grown into the role of solopreneur, I’ve had to constantly check myself against my original and still biggest priority—being present for my kids.
Alongside the struggles, though, there has been so much joy. I have connected with so many amazing women who have helped shape my life, women who lift each other up. Most of all, I’ve learned that when you follow your gut without asking too many questions, you will always end up in a place more amazing than you dreamed.
Motherhood is the reason I even have a business. It’s the reason I keep pushing forward—I love that I get to show my kids that it’s possible to do what you love, work for yourself, and not sit in a cubicle wishing you were anywhere but. And it’s been the catalyst for a complete transformation of the way I think and how I choose to live my life. I’ve realized that I need to model the values I’m passing along to my kids, and I need to treat myself how I would want my kids to treat themselves.
Would I be happy if my daughter never pursued her passions? No! So that shouldn’t be acceptable for me, either. Motherhood ignited a passion in me for working with other moms— I know how life-changing it is to work for yourself. I want to help other moms on that journey in the way that I can, which is through writing. There’s just something about the passion, drive and earnest commitment that moms have. It’s not just about them. It’s about their families, the sisterhood of motherhood, and the ability to make a real impact on the world.
Connect to other female entrepreneurs. The support, advice, encouragement and understanding they can provide will buoy you on your toughest days. It will drive you forward. It will open your eyes to the possibilities. Eventually, you’ll be able to do the same for another woman and that feeling will be so rewarding.
Also, listen to that little voice inside you, even if it doesn’t make sense. Especially if it doesn’t make sense. If you aren’t used to tuning into your intuition, give yourself time to learn. It will make a tremendous difference in business and in life.
I’m really passionate about this topic because I had a difficult transition into motherhood. I wish someone had told me this: Everything you are feeling is normal. If you feel happy, lost, exhausted, confused and worried all at once— you’re ok.
Motherhood is not all rainbows and unicorns and ice cream cones. In fact, it’s not that at all. Seek out the people who you don’t feel like you have to pretend around. Make sure your partner is tuned into your emotions and can decipher if you need to talk to a professional or if you just need a girl’s night out. Make mom friends, especially seasoned mamas, because they’ll give you the perspective you need. Don’t try to do it all. Lean on your people. Even when it seems impossible, get out into the world and do the things you used to love before becoming a mom. Allow yourself to rest. Know that it gets better.
Stacy Firth is a writer and content strategist who helps moms who are small business owners and solopreneurs tell their stories online. She’s also the mama of two. You can find her at stacyfirth.com, on Instagram and Twitter.
Get exclusive stories, resources + insider information delivered weekly