When I was ready to become a mother, a part of me feared what it would do to my business.
Would I be able to keep working this hard? Would I lose love for it? Would I be able to juggle them both? Would I still have a business afterward?
These fears certainly didn’t stop me from becoming a mother, but they did make me extremely curious about what this experience was going to be like. And I’m so grateful to have conquered through the first 6 months – as a single mom entrepreneur.
On the podcast this week, I shared my story of my experience over the past 6 months juggling both, handling postpartum, the things I loved and the things I struggled with. Tune into the Scaling to Freedom podcast to hear my experience.
Here’s a closer look at what I discuss in this episode:
- Fears about being a new mom as an entrepreneur
- The ups and downs of juggling a business and a new baby
- The realities of postpartum and being a SMBC
You are listening to the Scaling of Freedom Podcast, and if you are an online coach or course creator, you are in the right place. I’m your host Christina Bernhard. I’m an ads agency owner that gets an inside look every day on what’s working and what doesn’t. In the online coaching space. I’m here to share with you what we see works in our agency as well as what we see happening and changing in the industry. Stay tuned to up-level your coaching business to have the freedom you want. Let’s get started.
So welcome. Today, I’m gonna be talking about my first six months as a single mom entrepreneur. Um, so I’ve had a lot of people reach out during my pregnancy that they wanted to start having children, but are afraid of what it would do to their business. And I absolutely relate to this . I also had this fear. Um, I’ve seen many other entrepreneurs have children, of course, but I don’t know the details of their businesses to really know if my business was ready for that. You know, at what point do you, you know, find out if your business is ready to bring on something else that you have no idea how, what that’s gonna be like either. And, um, I will say that my journey to figuring out if I wanted to be a mother, it was a very easy one because it was an absolute yes.
Um, I’ve never like contemplated whether I wanted to be a mother. It was always a for sure thing for me. Um, so that part was easy. Um, it was figuring out when was the hard part. Um, and this is obviously a really complicated thing for so many people. And, um, you know, I, I would was single actually, whenever I became ready, I still am single. Um, and so I decided to have a baby on my own, um, despite that. But, so there’s that, that, you know, you’re trying to figure out is, is this the right timing, um, in your relationship maybe, or if you’re in between relationships, um, which was my case, um, or you know, what that looks like. But also when you are a business owner, you have this whole other thing that you have to worry about. Um, another thing too, um, and this might not be as relevant for some people, if you have a partner that has a really stable income or something like that.
But if you are the per the partner that makes the most money from your business or most of y’all’s income comes from your business, or if you are alone by yourself, um, or single, then that’s a huge thing too, is, you know, children are expensive. Um, no, they don’t necessarily need a lot of things, but childcare is extremely expensive, um, depending on where you live. And then there’s just always, um, you know, all these other things as well. Um, I have spent definitely a fortune since my daughter was born. Um, and I mean, some of it you don’t necessarily need it. They’re kind of things that, you know, make your life a little bit easier, but you could probably live without. But also like childcare is something I couldn’t really get around. Um, I would, I don’t know what I would do without childcare. We actually didn’t have any childcare the first four months of her life, and I thought I was gonna lose my mind .
So, um, it’s a necessary expense and it’s very, very expensive. So there’s always this fear. You know, there’s one thing when you have a business and you’re by yourself, um, you know, what would you do if you know your business revenue like really dropped or something happened to your business? But it’s a whole nother thing when you have this other little being that is also reliant on you too. Um, you cannot live in somebody’s basement , or maybe you can, uh, you know, I don’t know. But that’s not, there are situations that I would’ve been fine with before that I’m not fine, fine with now. And um, so it definitely changed things and it does, you know, increase that pressure for sure. So I wanted to just do this episode to share my experience. Um, I have talked about my journey on that on the podcast quite a bit, so you can go back to previous episodes.
Um, I talked about, uh, why I became a single mother by choice, and I also have two different episodes about my maternity leave. So I have one episode where I talked about what my plans affirm maternity leave were, and that I recorded that whenever I was pregnant. And then I also did another recap of my maternity leave after it was over and went over things that I would change, um, or do differently in the things that I was really happy that I did that way. So go ahead and check those out as well. Um, those really fall in line well with this episode. But with this one, I wanted to just go over the things that I find really hard, um, are more difficult now. Um, and then some of my favorite things. Um, and then how it has just changed my perspective and just kind of, you know, the place that I’ve ended up.
Um, just so far. So my daughter is six, well, she turned six months tomorrow, so we’re right at the six month mark. So we are officially basically in six months of balancing the business with the baby. So, um, wanted to go over these things. So the first thing is, um, things that I find more difficult. Um, this is something that I really, really wanted to know from people. Like what, what makes it hard? Because everyone talks about how hard it is and stuff like that. And I always wanted to know like, what exactly is it that makes it hard? And I will say it’s completely different for everyone. It’s also different for every baby and every family. Like, there’s so many variables as to what makes it difficult and what makes it not difficult. Um, I have like people in my life who have babies and their babies were so simple.
Like while they still are, you know, reliant on them for everything, they’re just very easygoing. They don’t re really have a lot of issues. They might sleep through the night really early on, you know, they’re just, they’re just easygoing, you know. And then I have, um, friends with babies that are a lot more difficult, take a lot more attention. And so it, you’re gonna have everything in between and you won’t really know what kind of baby you have until you have them, of course. And, um, I also do want a second child, not now , , but in the future, um, a few years from now, I would like to have a second child and that baby could be so, so different and likely will be so different from my current baby. So, um, who knows? Um, all of this might change. Um, but as of right now, um, the things that I find hard, um, are more difficult is, um, the first one is timely things.
So sometimes it’s really difficult to address things right in this moment. Um, if, and I’m more so referring to when my daughter is with me. So when she’s at daycare, obviously some of these things don’t like, as far as timely things don’t really, um, uh, don’t really matter. Um, because if she’s in childcare, then I can address things right away. Um, but if she’s with me, just sometimes you just don’t know what’s going to be happen or what’s going, what’s going to happen. Um, and so it’s just really difficult to address things like right in the moment. Um, or sometimes even in, in the same day if it’s a large task. Because sometimes my daughter needs me and I don’t know if she’s like whatever we’re, um, doing whatever I’m doing for her. I don’t know if it’s gonna take five minutes or if it’s gonna take an hour.
So we could have like a meltdown. We could have just one thing after another that she needs. Um, and it, it can be really difficult. I will say it’s at the six month mark. It has gotten a lot easier so far. Um, so we’re in kind of a sweet spot right now for the moment, . But, um, in the very beginning it was definitely really difficult because it was just like she would, she was on no schedule, so she would be like crying cuz she needed a bottle. And then I would feed her and I would take her almost like 40 plus minutes to feed a bottle. She had really bad reflux, so she’d probably puke everywhere on stuff. And so I’m cleaning that and then she wouldn’t need a diaper change. And then like all these things and then before you know, it like two hours have passed .
So if you are working on an email like now, all this time has passed. So timely things is definitely, um, more difficult. I can pretty much get everything done. I just have to wrap things around other events that are happening in a different way and just like reschedule things. But, um, yeah, the things that like needing my attention right this second, um, is a lot, is a lot more difficult. The second thing is the sleep deprivation . So it is so hard to keep going when you are so tired. Um, it gets, it’s getting better, but my daughter still does not sleep very well. Um, and again, every situation is so different. Um, I will also say that I’m a single mom, so if I had a partner, I would absolutely ask them to watch her while I napped or slept in. Um, I think that would help so much.
Like if they could take over at like five in the morning. Even so I could, like, I, I’ll take the whole night, but if you could just take her a starting at 5:00 AM to 7:00 AM cause she’s gonna wake up at seven for the day, just those two hours, so I can get those two hours in. That would be so much help. That tends to be when I’m the most tired. Cause I’m really tired from the whole night of being up and I usually sleep like the deepest. So if I can get those two hours, occasionally she lets me have them and she goes into a deep, deep sleep, um, then I’m, I feel so much better the next day. So if I had a partner, um, I probably wouldn’t be near as sleep deprived as I am now. Um, hesitant to say that because again, everyone’s situation is different.
Um, but I would absolutely try to, um, have my partner help me with things like that. Um, and then also I do have friends with babies that are my daughter’s age that sleep through the night with no issues at all. So again, every situation is different. My daughter is still keeping me up quite a bit, um, all night. And, um, yeah, it’s just sort of been one thing after another. Um, so the sleep type deprivation is very, very difficult. Um, I am starting to build in time in my schedule to take naps and this is something I just recently started doing and it’s because I didn’t do this before because I felt like, you know, it’s gonna get better, it’s gonna get better, it’s gonna get better, but now it hasn’t. So now I’m kind of going more of the route of, instead of focusing only on trying to help her sleep better, I’m also just figuring out like a more longer term solution to get naps that I need.
Um, really difficult. Um, but I, I think that’s a better way to do it and it’s way that I can just hang in there longer so that I’m not relying on her to sleep through the night or I don’t even care if she sleeps through the night. Honestly, I just, it, she just wakes up every hour and a half to two hours still. So if we could just cut that down, um, it would be a lot better. Um, so sleep deprivation is definitely a part of it. The third thing is the creativity. So this really fluctuates for me. And, but I still wanted to put this in here because in some aspects I feel even more creative at times because I am just so much more in my like feelings and emotion and I’m so much more inspired at times. And so this can also, you know, go the other direction and, but in other times I do struggle because the mental load of motherhood is a lot, especially I think as a new mom because everything that we’re doing I’ve never done before and never experienced before.
And especially in this specific time in her life where there’s so much going on and so many changes, like every single day she wakes up and does something new, I swear. Um, it is so crazy. She’s just changing so, so much. And even if we get into a groove of things or in some sort of schedule or whatever, or routine, um, she changes. So everything changes really, really fast. But also specifically in this time of like in the world, there’s just so much information and so many strong opinions and you just wanna do rides. And so many people have conflicting views on what right is. So I think that a lot of people want to like validate that their, their decision is the right one. So they kind of bash anyone who doesn’t have share the same decisions and um, you know, it’s just, it’s wild out there. ,
Like mothers are so mean to each other. I cannot believe how mean they are to each other. But regardless, um, the mental load of motherhood is just like so much, um, especially again like as a new mom. And so I think back to older generations and how they just didn’t have to think about half of this stuff because the research was, you know, so much like further behind than where is now. So it was just like most things were like, you know, probably fine. And now there’s like some study somewhere that shows that this is terrible and this is the right thing and there’s just so much information and of course the research is all very like conflicting and so there’s that you gotta deal with and like, um, it’s just a lot. And um, but also I guess, you know, back in older generations they didn’t have like technology and gadgets and things like that to make life a lot easier too.
Um, I really don’t know what I would’ve done without like grocery delivery in the past six months. And like, just things like that. There are definitely pros to being a mother in this time, but also there’s just a lot of, um, you know, information to keep up with and I think that really does affect like, creativity and just, you know, mental capacity. Um, but overall it’s all just a season and, um, everything that we’ve struggled with other than the sleeping has actually passed fairly quickly. Like it’s all been a pretty short season because she is just changing so much. It also means that, you know, like some of the pros, you know, the things that are going really well, that tends to change very quickly also. Um, but I always just remember that this is just a season and I think about how, you know, I was so afraid of having children at specific times because I just, in my head, I was just imagining that I kind of imagined your life sort of being over.
Um, which that sounds dramatic, but I honestly don’t know a better way to explain how I felt. Um, but now when I think about it, I’m like, it’s such a short see, like, cuz I always thought about, you know, her being a baby and like dealing with a newborn and a baby and stuff like that. And they’re a baby for such a short amount of time. And um, obviously they turn into toddlers. I’m very afraid of toddlers, toddlers and teenagers are like my biggest fears . But even then they’re also toddlers for only a, a few years. So it’s just kind of crazy that, you know, by age like four or five, like, it, it’s all like that season’s over. Um, and that’s actually in the grand scheme of your entire life, you’re talking about a few years. Um, it’s such a short season. And so it’s, you know, to miss out on like this whole experience, which by the way is not terrible.
I’m about to go into my favorite things about this, um, to miss out on all of that amazingness over like a few years of, you know, different seasons that might, may or may not be difficult. You know, like I said, every baby’s different or every child’s different. Um, it’s just kind of wild that I, you know, ever like, thought about that. I don’t know. Um, so those are the things that I find difficult. Um, the things that I find or that are my favorites are, the first one is definitely the unconditional love. Like to have this being, and I’m, if you’re a mother, you know exactly what I’m talking about. And if you’re not a mother, you can probably imagine what I’m talking about. Um, but this unconditional love, like is unbelievable. And it’s also amazing too that I never really thought about it before, uh, like whenever I wanted to have her, um, is how is is like the experience of being loved back.
And she’s only six months, so she can’t even really express her love for me, but like, I can see it on her face. Like I feel like no one can make her smile the way that I can make her smile. And it’s just the best feeling ever. Um, she actually one day was running a fever at daycare and, um, they put her down for a nap and she woke up with this fever and you could tell she didn’t feel good. And, um, they called me to go pick her up. And I like went, went in there and her cheeks were so red because she was just burning up and you could tell that she just did not feel good. And it’s like the worst feeling ever, like to see her like that. And she looked at me and her entire face just completely lit up and it was just like, oh my God.
Like, it’s crazy to, you know, be loved like that. Um, and it’s, it’s like a forever love. Like, it’s not like, you know, having a partner where th things could actually you could actually hate each other in a few years or whatever, you know, like that’s a possibility and that happens. But, um, with me and my daughter, it’s just, you know, like, I’m always gonna be our mother and she’s always gonna meet my daughter. And so that’s just the greatest feeling ever. Um, the second thing is to watch her grow. Like I said, every single day it is something else. And she’s growing through clothes like crazy. She’s six months and she’s starting to wear nine to 12 months. She’s in the 98th percentile, so she is just, she’s grooving, like, she’s so big . Um, but it’s really amazing to watch her grow and like all of the different things that she is learning every day.
Um, like every day I put her on the floor and she does something new. It’s, it’s amazing. Um, another thing is how accomplished I feel every day. So like, I feel so much more accomplished than before, even though I, I definitely worked really hard before, but I just, my life feels a little bit more purposeful. Not to say, I’m not saying that if you don’t have kids, your life isn’t purposeful. It’s just, for me, my own experience is I feel like I have a, it just feels more purposeful now. So I feel like I’m doing like, I guess more work, but also more important work also alongside my work, which I also find important. Um, so I just feel accomplished every day. Um, I don’t really have days where I’m just like vegging out, which there are times where I kind of miss that , but I, I mean there’s just, there’s absolutely no day where that is happening and probably won’t happen for a very long time until she’s much, much older.
Um, so, you know, I get that’s probably, uh, contributes to it as well because I’m just like constantly like on the go and keeping up with everything and doing it. Um, single is definitely challenging. Um, but to, you know, at the end of every day, like realize like I really did keep up with everything. Like I really did do everything. It’s kind of amazing, uh, feeling. Um, another favorite thing of mine is how she will see a mother who works really, really hard. Um, I definitely don’t want to paint this picture that, you know, life doesn’t take hard work and, um, I actually have her Tuesdays and Thursdays, so I work and take care of her. And while I do, um, see the value in separating it, um, and keeping it separate most of the time I, as a business owner, I don’t know how realistic that is for me.
Um, because, you know, things are happening all the time and like the business needs my attention also. But, um, we do, because of my business though, I spend way more time with her than I ever could have in my last job. Like, I mean, probably just 10 times the time that I get to spend with her. Um, if there’s a slow day, I can pick her up early from daycare. Tuesdays and Thursdays, sometimes if I can knock everything out on Mondays and Wednesdays, I might only be working for an hour or so during her nap and that’s it. Um, so there are way more pros and cons, but there are times where I am on the floor playing with her and I have my laptop and I’m working and, um, I still am happy that she’s going to see what it looks like to like, work really hard for a dream that you care about.
Um, I’m not working like for a company or a person that I don’t like or in a situation that I don’t like. Like this is a dream of mine and I’m doing what I love to do and I, um, am excited to just model that for her. And I also want her to see what it takes to obtain what we have. I don’t want her to think that everything that we have is just magical, that it actually takes a lot of hard work to obtain all of this. Um, and another favorite thing of mine is just the challenges. I do love to grow and like put myself in situations where I’m going to it, it just requires a lot of growth. And, um, I actually really love that about this whole experience because there are so many challenges and you know, obviously during the challenges it’s very challenging.
And um, you know, there are days where I struggle and there are mornings where I’m just not very positive and, you know, and I do like, I, I struggle and I, um, it’s definitely a, a growth experience for sure. Um, but once I get through that one challenge, I just, the feeling is just unbelievable. Like, I’m like, I, I can do this. Like we’re, we got this , we’re gonna be fine. Um, and then the last favorite thing is just the joy that she brings. I mean, before her, there would be days that nothing spectacular happened, like it was just an ordinary day. But with her, something spectacular happens every single day. Like a day does not pass that I don’t have a like genuine laugh or smile with her. It’s just a beautiful thing. Like every single day is spectacular. And I, I love that.
That’s definitely hands down my absolute favorite thing. Um, that there’s just something amazing that happens every single day and there are just no, there are no mediocre days at least so far. Um, and so I’m, I’m really enjoying that and loving that. So the last thing that I’ll go over is just that, um, how it’s really changed my perspective. So one thing is that it’s really made me realize what’s important, which I know that’s a very cliche thing to say , and it’s a common thing that I hear, but it’s so true. And whenever, you know, I, you know, as I’ve been a business owner, there’ve just been so many challenges as a business owner and just so many moments that are just incredibly challenging, um, and scary. And, you know, now that I have my daughter, business is finally not the most important thing to me.
And I feel like I’m going to be really happy about that in my like, last days if I, um, you know, grow to be really, really old, like I feel like it makes me feel fulfilled to have something else that is just more important. Because to be honest, before her business was the most important thing in my life, and I’m just being completely transparent about that. Like, I have not been great at cultivating like really close friendships in my life. Like, I have plenty of friends that I can go out and do things with. Um, I live in Austin and I grew up not too far from here and I also went to college in a nearby city. So like, I know a lot of people here cuz I’ve just always kind of the, this is like, these are my home roots over here. But, um, it’s different whenever you are building friendships of people that you can go and have lunch with or, you know, go do things with and build friendships with people that where you have each other’s back and you have this really close bond and you can call them up when you’re in a tough spot.
Like that’s kind of a different friendship and that kind of friendship takes a different level of effort that, um, I have not really put in because I’ve just mostly worked and been really focused on my career for the last decade. So, um, that is something that I decided this year that I wanted to make a goal to create more of those kind of relationships in my life, those closer relationships. And I’ve made so many business goals, um, so many and, um, or, you know, career focused goals, financial goals, things like that. But this is by far the best goal I think I’ve ever made. And I feel like I finally have a goal that actually matters. And a lot of that was fueled by having my daughter and just feeling like at the end of every day feeling what truly fulfills me and work absolutely fulfills me.
Um, I love what I do. I have no, like, I mean obviously I’m a single mom, so I can’t not work . Um, but even if I did, I mean even if I like won the lottery or like, I don’t know, married some super, super rich doctor or something like that, um, I don’t know, or like some billionaire, uh, I still would want to work. I truly would. I, it’s what I love to do. Um, so it’s not that work became not important to me, it’s just that there was finally something else that could actually compete and win against that. And the perspective change has been really helpful too in certain scenarios. Whenever there are challenges in my business, um, especially, you know, during my pregnancy even, um, before I even had her, the most important thing to me was her. That she was healthy and that’s all I cared about.
And so I, I experienced this the moment I found out I was pregnant because every day that I found out that she was healthy and she had a strong heartbeat and she was growing well and all of those things like nothing else mattered to me, but that, and so whenever I’m in those struggles with the business, if revenue’s low, if I have to let go of a team member, if, you know, there, there’s like drama or whatever things are happening, you know, as a business owner there’s just always like fires that you’re putting out. Um, I handle them so much better. And when I say handle them better, I mean just emotionally like how I feel. Um, if I feel at peace, I didn’t necessarily like handle them poorly before, but I definitely wasn’t as peaceful about it. And I used to have a lot of anxiety every day, a ton of anxiety every day I would just wake up and my heart would just be pounding and I would have no idea why like nothing happened, but I just felt like someone just called me with really bad news or, you know, something like that.
And, um, now I, I don’t have that. Um, I definitely had that early postpartum because of a variety of things, but, um, I, I just don’t experience that kind of anxiety about things anymore because, you know, like I said, as long as my baby is healthy and happy, everything else just doesn’t matter as much. And that has been really, really helpful for me as a business owner. Um, and another thing that it’s done that I wasn’t actually even planning on talking about, but um, some people mention this too, that it does kind of make you superhuman and I just have a lot less like poor time management habits. Like I used to kind of be on my phone and stuff while I was working and, um, sort of like lolly gag, you know, in between things or, you know, do stuff in between calls or whatever.
And like now I don’t, when I’m working, I am like working and, um, I work Monday, Wednesday, Friday, those are my hardest work days. And I do work outside of that of course, but it’s, it’s fairly light and on those days it is like no playing around. Like, I get home after I drop her from daycare and I get to work and, um, I, like, I don’t waste time. I don’t lolly gag, I don’t like piddle or do anything like that. I’m just like head down, like focused. Um, and focusing was something that was really difficult for me before, but I guess when you have to focus, you just, you just do. Um, so yeah, that’s been a, a really positive thing too. Um, so that is what I have for you. Um, these were the things that I was curious about whenever I was considering having a baby.
So I wanted to just share my experience as a business owner and a mother. Um, and, uh, if you are a single mother, um, or want to be a single mother, um, I hope that this is helpful for you too because, um, everything that I’m explaining is all my experience without a partner, um, and without help as well. So, um, hopefully you found this helpful. And, um, if you are considering having a baby, I can’t speak for everyone, of course. I don’t know your situation and I cannot, certainly cannot make a decision for you. But I will say in my experience, it has been the best decision I’ve ever made. So I will see you guys next week. Thank you for listening to the Scaling to Freedom podcast. If you are a seven figure coach looking for ads management with an agency that partners with you to get your work out into the world and amplify your impact, see if we are a good fit by applying for a spot in our firstname.lastname@example.org/apply. Find the link in our show notes.