Becoming a mom is serious business. So, how do you balance running a business and being a mother? In honor of Mother’s Day, we have a special post with Jam Fals, friend, creator of Scissor and Spool and new mom to baby Jaya. Jam sews the most adorable handmade items and has an eye for well curated vintage goods. Since becoming a mother last June, she has found and shared with us 5 ways to help balance mom life and running a growing business.
Photos by: Julia Rose Photo
1. Set yourself up for success
I keep a little note pad with me and jot down ideas or things I need to do throughout the day. Let’s get real…”mom brain” is a thing! If I don’t write it down that moment, I probably won’t remember later. At night, after I put my little guy down, I look over the list and if there is anything I can do at that moment that will make the next day run more smoothly for me, I do it! Even if it’s just one small thing like putting the diaper bag in the car for an outing, preparing myself a sandwich for the next day or sweeping my sewing room floor. I always want to set myself up for success and not have to waste time. My mom always said, “Don’t leave for tomorrow what you can do today.” Words to live by!
2. Know when to ask for help
This is a big one! My girlfriends who had kids before me always said, “Jam, it takes a village to raise a child!” But, I didn’t really understand that until I was trying to keep another human being and my business alive! I couldn’t do both without help. Some days it might be a little bit of help from a friend and other days it might be a whole lot of help from grandma. But everyday there is some kind of help from someone who I am eternally grateful for! Knowing when to ask for it is important. That was hard for me to do after giving birth (and some days still is). And with business picking up, I realize I have to ask for help or things just won’t get done. It also helps that dad does his fair share around the house and bathes the baby every evening so that I can have time to sew and create.
3. Make time for yourself and hush that “mom guilt” voice
As a parent, sometimes you just want a little time for yourself to maybe finish your cold coffee, or to pick up that book you swear you’re going to finish this year (for the second year in a row), or just meditate and give thanks. But thenas soon as you get it, a little voice pops up and says, “Oh! You’re going to take some ‘me time’ when your baby needs you?” That’s when you respond with, “YES I AM. I DESERVE IT! GO AWAY!” Mom guilt is real and it can be overwhelming. When it pops up, I try to remember what a good friend of mine tells me, “On an airplane, you have to put your oxygen mask on first if you want to help others!” If I don’t take care of myself, mentally and physically, I won’t be able to do a good job of caring for my child, partner or business. Even if it’s just 5-10 minutes, find the time! Schedule it like you would an appointment…this is where that “village” comes in and saves the day!
4. Learn to say no
Having a baby is a beautiful experience that comes with lots of invitations and people wanting to visit your little one! These things are great, but sometimes you just have to say “no” to engagements that cut into your work/creative time. There has to be a healthy balance between the work-life juggling act. It’s okay to turn-down some invites and limit visitations. I learned this from always saying “yes” to engagements and visitors, until experiencing major anxiety because I had orders to fulfill and wasn’t in my sewing room working on them. This caused me to not be fully present when I had guests or was at a birthday party, for example. I was physically there but, mentally, I was going over things that I still had to do. Saying “no” sometimes, helps me be present when I say “yes”!
5. Be present and TRUST the process
Everyone says, “It goes by so fast!” and it does. It feels like I blinked and just like that, he’s 8 months old…pulling himself up to stand, attempting to walk and eager to explore the world. It’s easy to get caught up in work, social media and creating—especially when you’re passionate about what you do. But, it’s imperative to be present when you’re in the presence of your child. All of these moments are fleeting, and we don’t get them back! I don’t want my son to remember that his mom was a great artist. I want him to remember that his mom was a great mom…always present, always happy to be with him, and always giving him the attention that he so much deserves. Every morning, we wake up and sing our “Thank you, Universe” song and on days that don’t go so smoothly, I try to remind myself to trust the process. Things might not get done that day, and that has to be okay with me and with everyone around me. It will get done when the universe grants me the time. Work will always be there, but milestones and special moments with my son come first.