This is just one story in a magazine series on moms who run businesses (Poppy Barley's co-founder, Justine, is expecting her first baby in January 2016 and wants to speak to the experts!). See more posts in this series here, and find out Justine's takeaways here.
Griffin, 4 1/2 (boy)
Gemma, 3 months (girl)
Married to Neil Blumenthal, Co-Founder of Warby Parker, for 7 years (we've known each other for 17 years!)
Cricket's Circle simplifies the lives of moms by helping them navigate the world of baby through curated product recommendations and content personalized for their lifestyle. We launched Cricket's Circle about 1.5 years ago after being inspired by my own personal experience trying to navigate new mom life with my son. I wanted to create a brand and voice that spoke to this generation of moms and to continuously solve their problems. I am a single-founder woman-owned business (yay!) which is incredibly empowering, but can also feel lonely at times (sometimes you just want a business partner to be in the mud with you!)
How did you balance having a newborn and having a business for first 12 months?
I don't think there's such a thing as "balance" when you are an entrepreneur, as your every day is work/life integration. That being said, you certainly have much more flexibility. I didn't take a proper maternity leave with either baby, but I was able to ease back into working at a pace and schedule that was right for me. For Griffin, that meant being home for the first few weeks and then easing back into meetings slowly. No matter what, I would always nurse him first thing in the morning and before he went to bed at night. With Gemma, we were out at the beach (she was a summer baby) for the first two weeks and then I was back at work, though going in later and coming home earlier to ensure I could spend time with both kids and not make myself crazy.
Now that Gemma is 3 months old, I'm still trying to navigate balancing life with two kids and a very demanding job. I prefer to have dedicated time with each child but that's not always possible. I do my best to take my son on a date once a week and to sneak home in between a meeting to have quiet, uninterrupted time with the baby. I'm also determined to become a baby wearing mom this time around to at least be physically close with Gemma when I'm with the two of them so she feels as though she's getting my attention (and so I can selfishly snuggle her!).
What did you think it would look like pre-baby and what arrangements did you set up? What was the reality like? What worked, what didn't?
It's never easy and you never feel as though you are giving enough of yourself to anything that you do. That's the hardest part of being a mom whether you work or not. Having a really consistent, reliable and loving nanny has been essential for us. Our nanny has been with our family since Griffin was 2 weeks old and she consistently makes our lives easier. Flexibility in schedule was essential - we're both entrepreneurs, our schedules are quite irregular and we often have early morning meetings or late events at night so having someone that we trusted at home with our kids has eased the stress.
Any advice/inspiration/warnings for entrepreneur moms-to-be?
Have a general childcare, scheduling plan from the beginning so it's not chaos when you are pulled by the demands of work and you're either not ready mentally to leave your baby or you don't have the proper support set up. However, continuously assess if it's working for you and your child and be willing to have flexibility until you find a routine that's right. I find that even if I have a consistent routine I still go through phases where I need more time with my kids, or I can tell they need more of me (more-so with my son at this age) and it's important to give myself the green light to not be so rigid.
More from this series...