Starting this morning I'll be running Mule Mother full time (5 days a week 9-2 ish, basically full time) for the first time in 5 years. When my first child was born in 2014 I was very blissfully naive and cute about how I saw running my business going. My partner and I walked home from the hospital three hours after she was born. After some changed home birth plans and a fun ambulance ride in active labour at 4 am, I really just wanted to get home and settle into our little baby nest (also we had no baby car seat, the plan was to have her at home, it was beautiful out and but a short walk ... it was fine). Two weeks later the holiday craft show season began and I did my first show as a mother. I had prepared myself as best I could both mentally and physically and thankfully (aside from my partner) there were two new grandmothers very happy to help. All that being said, it was so much work, was probably too hard on my body and maybe not the smartest choice. Learning to breastfeed while selling at a craft show was awkward AF. Standing around talking to the public, fielding repeated questions such as "how old is your baby?" and "what are you doing here!?" and doing really any kind of prolonged physical activity 2 weeks postpartum is so uncomfortable and pretty terrible. At the time I didn't acknowledge these feelings in myself. I'm a slow processor so I just did what I told myself I was going to do. Two weeks later we did another show, and another small show the following week.
Needless to say, having a wee one full time and running a business full time is damn near impossible. The more active my daughter got, the more difficult getting things done became. I hit a wall hard when she was around 18 months or so. I was getting really busy with orders and could barely keep up. Around this time she started daycare, just once a week. That one day a week though was such a breath of air and a few weeks she started going 3 days which was mind blowing.
My partner (who also works from home) and I worked alongside each other in the (very small) second bedroom of our house and before long I started to dream about an office outside in the world where I might, I don't know, get dressed out of whatever the hell I went to bed in and maybe do my hair some days. I found a scrappy little spot really close to home and moved in April 2017. Settled into a new spot, business chugging along, kiddo in daycare, I figured the best thing to do next for sure was to get pregnant again.
After an exhausting pregnancy (in contrast to the first), a busy 9 months and a beautiful, swift and peaceful birth at home, I gave myself a minimum 30 days of doing f*ck all. The thought of doing a show or anything work related was ridiculous and incomprehensible. It was glorious and, side note, 4 weeks later my fam and I went to Mexico for 2 weeks which was amazing and exhausting but mostly just exactly what we needed.
I got back to work in the studio when we got home from Mexico early in 2018. I worked 2 days a week till we moved out of that space and back into a home studio when my fam and I moved to a bigger space with an extra bedroom. Once my partner went back to work after his parental leave this time last year, I worked late nights and weekends when I could and that's been my schedule since. So all this is to say that I've been running Mule Mother on barely any time for the past 5 years and I've been tired and frustrated and I've felt hopeless and like I'm perpetually failing myself and my family. But when I take a few steps back I can see that really, despite the lack of time and energy, I've been holding it down and making it work and I'm actually really proud of that. And that's all, I'm just really proud of how it's all worked out. I'm curious and excited to see where I can take it from here.
So with that I will take my now highly over caffeinated and emotionally scatterbrained self and try to figure out what the hell I'm doing here and how it's already 12:30...