Whoa, it has been a hot minute since I’ve written a post. SO. MUCH. HAS HAPPENED. Whoops! Like many things on my to-do list, to write a blog entry is always there…but I never quite get to it because things like..ya know, a new baby have entered the mix! I’ve learned A LOT, and I know there are so many other Boss mama’s out there, so this one’s for you.
At the moment I found out I was pregnant, I was already 7 weeks along and had no idea. I was doing so many different things at once (and not that well I might add), that I didn’t even pick up on the signs until all of a sudden..I did. It was exactly what I didn’t know I needed in my life. Looking back on it, I was kind of on a hamster wheel of “being busy,” but not really getting a whole lot done. Finding out I was pregnant was the universe pinning me down and saying “slow down.” Literally and figuratively, it forced me to slow down because I have never been so sick in my life - I felt like I had the flu and a hangover every day…all day, for about 12 weeks. Why they call it “morning sickness” remains a mystery to me.
This new adventure in my life also meant that I would have to quickly prioritize what needed to be accomplished business wise before my time was consumed by a little, tiny human. It also meant that I couldn’t push it too hard because growing a human is no small feat, and they don’t call it labor for nothin’.
Since our sweet baby boy arrived this past May, I can’t imagine not having him here with me every day. He filled a part of me that I didn’t know was missing, and I honestly feel more energized and motivated in my life than I ever have before. I may be one of the lucky ones, but our first 2 months together was overall..a breeze (insert eye roll here, it's ok, I get it and I know some moms are reading this hating me for saying it). This is not to say I didn’t face some challenges that all parents face - like the first time he cried so hard his face turned purple or when he woke up every hour for two nights in a row. But I approached these challenges differently than I have other challenges in my life. I embraced these moments, because I honestly knew they were fleeting, and they ended up not being so bad. And if I'm being totally honest, I was a helluva lot more tired my first year of teaching while also full time in grad school AND coaching - THAT was stretching myself thin. Being a new parent, especially those first two weeks might be a little zombie-ish, but it's also full of snuggling, naps, everyone wanting to help and dote on you and living in your pajamas. I also learned for the first time in my life to have real patience, to be a way better time manager, and to stop feeding myself stories that weren’t true.
Let me explain.
Pre-mom Crystina would easily give up on things that didn’t work the right way the first time, because *impatience,* but Post-mom Crystina is more persistent, and follows the tried and true, “if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.” Ok - so this may have been my motto for putting a baby on a feeding and sleep schedule, but I feel its applicable to how I was running my business too. I had put systems in place before that the control freak in me didn’t think were good enough, and so I never used them. What *actually* happened, was that I feared it would be too hard to streamline my book keeping, and I dreaded looking at numbers and seeing that maybe I wasn’t making any income - so I just avoided it completely. Now, I realize with a child to feed and diaper, I need to know my budget FOR REAL each month. And I also need to be saving for him! So I got my shit together and used the damn spreadsheets I made a year ago, and they’ve been working really well ever since. It’s also nice to know for once that I am indeed making money, (phew!).
Pre-mom Crystina was terrible - TER-RI-BLE at time management. I could not meet deadlines for the life of me, and when I did have hours on end to work, I was like a fish out of water, just flopping around and not really getting anywhere. Excuses to myself were kind of my thing, “I’m *trying* to make an online course, I’ll paint a whole collection *eventually.* Now that baby is here, and who am I kidding, in charge of my schedule - I HAVE to work when I have the time. I’m incredibly fortunate that both myself and my partner George work from home, so we’ve divided up the day into 5 hour increments, helping each other out in the morning when Wylder first wakes up, and at the end of the day when its bath time and dinner needs to be made. This has worked WONDERS. It has also allowed me to truly prioritize my goals in life from the things I thought I wanted, to the things I actually want. For example, I realized that I was really missing social interaction and never made it a priority. I’ve ignored social gatherings for a year or two in what I thought was a sacrifice for my business, when in fact it was just me being scared to meet new people and branch out. In the past few months alone I have made countless networking and personal friendships from simply saying “yes” to as many events as I can go to. It started as a way for me to get out of the house and take a break from momming, but has already shifted the momentum of my business towards opportunties I have been dying for!
Finally, Pre-mom Crystina kept telling herself that she would never be able to make a lot of money with her business, because the goal isn’t money. And while that’s partially true - money isn’t my driving force, the fact that I can’t make a lot of it with what I’m doing is a lie that I’ve told myself since high school. While reading “You Are A Badass,” by Jen Sincero, she says, “Life is an illusion created by your perception, and it can be changed the moment you choose to change it. Our entire experience on this planet is determined by how we choose to perceive our reality.” She goes on to talk about how only we can be the authors of our own script, but in order to write a better one, we need to let go of the old one. This resonated so very much with me. I’ve been telling the story of the starving artist since high school because it’s what I truly believed, and also what everyone else always told me when they asked what I wanted to go to college for, or be when I grew up. “You’ll never make any money,” or “There are too many artists already,” or “It’s too competitive, you need to be better,” were common phrases I heard when I enthusiastically mentioned that I wanted to be an artist. Frequently I was told to take the safe path, the lucrative path, never the risky path or the creative one. I had kind of resigned myself to always being somewhat broke, and made peace with it even! I truly thought I just wasn’t going to be one of those people who could ever own a home or treat myself to traveling to amazing places without putting myself into (more) debt (Hi, student loans, I’m figuring you out right now too). My relationship with money was filled with fear: fear of making it, of owing it, of not knowing what to do with it, of not having enough of it, of managing it and of spending it. Ironically, and thankfully, I listened to no one, (not much has changed), and all of those things turned out to not be true. It sounds cheesy, but having a child that you live and die for, changes how you feel about money, at least it has for me. Because I want to give him the world, and I want to give myself the world too! I’ve now rewritten my script to include being a very lucrative artist who is pretty badass at running a business.
I’m totally still figuring out this being a mom and working from home thing, but I imagine I always will be - and I’m cool with that. Because if we aren’t always learning from challenges and evolving from them..and oftentimes laughing at them, what’s the point? I’ve also discovered, we are better in numbers - I am starting to find my village of boss moms and it makes ALL the difference!
Until next time…which I genuinely hope is sooner than another year from now..I leave you with your daily dose of cute from my boy Wylder James Compton-Craig.
*I would also like to note that I am fully aware my blog posts are full of run-on sentences (people think I don't know..hello, I was a teacher)...and you know what? I really don't care. Pretend you're in a conversation with me when you read it*
Click through to see how much he's already grown! He's almost 10 weeks :)