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Entering motherhood in a pandemic whilst running a small business

January 28, 2022 3 min read

This coming week will be full of change for so many people. Lots of kids starting school or kinder, for us it will be the first week of childcare.

Becoming a mother as a small business owner during a pandemic has been a journey and I thought I'd share a little of it with you.

mum holding toddler on bed 

For two years we have spent most of our days together under the one, small but cosy roof. I'd worked from home since starting FMBD so I was well acquainted with that.

The biggest challenge for me after becoming a mother was suddenly not being able to work solid hours on a consistent basis.

I knew this would be the case having spoken with dear friends who had been through it all before, but you don't know until you know!

I didn't take maternity leave because I work for myself and when I stop working, work stops completely! Also I didn't want to stop! I love my work. It gives me purpose, joy and a strong sense of satisfaction.

How an average work day looked

mother holding baby
Initially I slotted work around feeds and naps. We then discovered the bouncer and I gained my arms and a little studio companion.

There were days without naps which ultimately meant no work and other days with long naps - gosh it is amazing what you can achieve in two hours!

We were very lucky to have family help and can't thank our parents enough for all of their support especially during the lockdowns. My heart goes out to those that didn't have this option.

Our baby grew and so did my understanding of what it was to be a working parent, one who ran their own small business. We were also living through a pandemic in isolation. Priorities had to shift. Things were most definitely not BAU.

I experienced every emotion under the sun. It was hard. Hard to work in the early hours with zero sleep. Hard not to work when I desperately wanted to but couldn't. I felt and still feel guilty for working too much or not working enough. Not spending enough time with my child or not spending enough time on my business. 

There were times where I felt extremely grateful

Artist painting in studio on easel

There were also times where I felt extremely grateful to have a small business to work on, especially in those early days. Life as I knew it had changed and at times it was a lot to take in. The lack of sleep was relentless and the routine was at times monotonous. It was during those times of feeling a little lost and overwhelmed that I would walk into my studio, take a breath and feel completely grounded, safe in familiar surroundings. It was in my studio surrounded by my work that I was reminded of who I was, an artist, a small business owner and now a mother to a beautiful bub. Things felt familiar again and I was always grateful for the reminder. 

Two years on 

Mother holding son and laughing

Two years on and we are starting child care. It has come at the right time for us as a family and we are super grateful to have been offered a place! Gosh who knew these were so hard to come by. But of course with every milestone comes a rush of emotion and feelings.

I am feeling excited. Excited for our little one to grow, meet new people and have new experiences. I am feeling sad. Sad that we won't have our usual days together, our weekly play dates with local friends and that two years has passed by ever so quickly. I am feeling hopeful. Hopeful that this will be a positive transition for all of us. Hopeful that the space this will allow us will ensure that the time we spend together will be all the more appreciated.

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