Three months ago, I gave birth to my firstborn. Everyone says that your life will change completely when you become a mother, but you don’t have a real idea of this new life until you’re experiencing it. Being the mom of Naëm is the most beautiful and overwhelming experience, and as an entrepreneur, I am still figuring out the balance between motherhood and entrepreneurship.
1. Time management
I was always a busy bee and I’m used to managing my time between MPOWR, Passionistas and giving lectures at the University of Curaçao. BUT now as a mompreneur, time is so much more valuable and scarce. Luckily, I get most of the work done at home, which gives me the flexibility to work whenever Naëm is asleep or lying down in peace. I try to squeeze out every second during those moments to make some creative juice (when life gives you lemons, right?).
I’m extremely grateful that I can take care of him during the day (with the support of grandma or the nanny) and see his growth and development. Naëm is a very happy and easy-going baby, but it’s still a challenge to work and take care of him. He’s only three months old now and has varying hours of sleep. A nap can last 30 – 45 minutes, 1 hour, 2 hours, and if I’m lucky, three hours during the day. Every day I’m working with an invisible hourglass, and with the sound of a cry, I know that my time is up.
It doesn’t matter if I was in the middle of writing text for a newsletter or managing the Facebook page of a client, everything has to be put on hold. Naëm influences my planning every single day. Adaptability got a new meaning in my life. Due to the limited time when my baby boy is lying down quietly, I also try to get the simpler tasks done while he’s awake.
Writing emails and following up with suppliers of clients, are some of the tasks that I can do while he’s sitting on my lap. Or carry him and wash his cute but oh so many dirty clothes, bed sheets, blankets etcetera during my work breaks.
I even had to multitask on the set of filming a video at Curaçao Marriott Beach Resort. Things weren’t going according to plan, so the film crew and I had to visit the hotel twice on the same day. Unfortunately, the babysitter couldn’t stay longer to take care of Naëm, so I had to adapt and think of an alternative. Instead of stressing out, I just carried him during the second shoot. As you can see on the picture, he enjoyed it!
3. Self care
It’s very easy as a brand-new mom to forget your needs. You have a child that is completely dependent on you, so his/her needs become your number one priority. The first 6 weeks were all about Naëm, and switching to my new routine of long days and short nights (zombie shifts). Take a shower, pump, eat or try to sleep? Those were my options whilst he was asleep during those weeks. After a while I started to realize that I need to prioritize myself as well. Pregnancy and labor have an immense effect on a woman’s body and I never knew that motherhood would be physically challenging. I have been experiencing aches in my body whilst looking at Naëm (checking to see if everything is ok or just enjoying his cute face), giving him a bath, feeding and carrying him.
Self care is so important in order to stay mentally and physically stable. It’s crucial in order to stay balanced, and to take care of yourself as well. My me-time consists of going to the beach, even if it’s just for one hour, and I sometimes take Naëm with me. Together we’ll enjoy the healing effect of the sea, and I get the chance to swim while he’s with his dad or grandma.
Another way to take a break is to do breathing exercises at any given time of day. It clears my mind and purifies any negative emotions that I’m feeling. I also regularly listen to different positive affirmations. At first I tried to find a moment in the day when I’m alone, but I’ve realized that I can also listen to these affirmations while I’m busy with Naëm. It doesn’t cause him harm, on the contrary he is being exposed to good vibrations! And last but not least, I try to remind myself as much as possible that finding balance between motherhood and entrepreneurship is a process. I’m aware that I need to trust the process. I am not a super woman (even though we like to think we are). I am enough and I’m doing the best that I can.
Read more about other tips on self care in this blog: The Top 6 Lessons on Entrepreneurship.