A month ago, my husband Sam and I found out that we’re going to be parents for the second time. We have a hilarious, crazy-energetic two and a half year-old named Finn and we were thrilled to hear we’d be adding to our family. Running The Little Posy Co. while juggling motherhood has been a messy, chaotic, life-affirming labour of love and I wouldn’t have it any other way. But if I said I wasn’t just a little freaked out for what awaits me come January, when our new itty-bitty family member arrives, I would be lying.
Finn was born on a beautiful 26-degree day in January 2017. He turned our world upside down and we found ourselves in a sea of vomit, bottles and dirty nappies trying to navigate this new life on little to no sleep but lots and lots of love. I had a caesarean section so couldn’t drive for the first four weeks post-birth and we decided to wait until Finn had had his six-week shots before fully introducing him to the world. I was extremely absorbed in getting to know this little human we’d created and learning how to do everything from breast-feeding to swaddling and sterilising bottles, but I also felt very vulnerable having to let go of The Little Posy Co. reigns and leave the day-to-day running of my other ‘baby’ to others, even just for a short time.
Finn was an accident, a very happy one, but we weren’t trying to start a family and it came as a bit of a shock. That said, Sam and I both got on board with the idea quickly and have since tackled parenting as a team, both as active as each other in caring for this little creature.
With the pregnancy a surprise, The Little Posy Co. wasn’t in a position for me to take any significant maternity leave because I was still very much working ‘in the business’ not ‘on the business.’ Once Finn was a couple of months old, I began taking him to work with me. To put this in context, I was extremely fortunate to live a few blocks from the studio (which at the time was located at Stackwood in Fremantle) and my sister Rosie’s business, Hubble & Duke, was in the space just next door. Rosie was a lifesaver in those early months and the adage it takes a village to raise a child started to make sense. She would regularly cradle Finn on her lap while tapping away at her computer so I could finish off some posies or sort the delivery runs.
Despite being foggy and overwhelmed starting this new chapter of my life as a working mum, I counted myself lucky to have the flexibility of running my own business. I could continue with the job I loved (at an exciting time when The Little Posy Co. was still in ramp-up mode) while being with my son. I took him to meetings, I breastfed him in the studio and Rosie and I took turns putting him to sleep or rocking his pram back and forth depending on who had spare hands.
So this was my new life: flowers or a laptop in one hand and a baby in the other. Free time out the window! Since then I have been attempting to find some kind of work-life balance and if I’m frank, it’s bloody elusive.
When you start a business and want to make it a success, it really can consume your entire being. Every waking moment (and sometimes your non-waking moments: read nightmares!) are spent thinking about the day-to-day tasks, cashflow, staff and generally putting out fires. So balancing life and work as a business owner is really tough!
But I’m learning it’s just a constant challenge that I will hopefully get better at but probably never ace. I’ve got enough incredible working mums in my life to know that it’s never going to be easy – it’ll always be a juggle and adding another babe to the mix is just like adding another ball to that juggle!
This time around, I do have the luxury of time to plan for the fuzziness that will set in in those newborn days. Secondly, I have the team from heaven. The Little Posy Co. crew are like family to me and I know if I want to take a little longer off with number two, they will support that decision and the business will be in incredible hands. We also have a fantastic day care, where Finn is thriving.
As I start to get ready for baby time, I’m trying to visualise what my new normal will look like when I return to work. Things never go quite to plan but here’s what I will be attempting:
DELEGATE LIKE A PRO
I’m going to make sure my team have all the tools they need to smash it day-to-day, leaving me to focus the limited time I have on my role as creative director and to achieve the lofty goals I’ve set for The Little Posy Co. like becoming a carbon neutral business.
GO EASY ON MYSELF
I’ve always been my harshest critic but I’m committing to having more empathy for myself and also for Sam. We’re both just doing our best and actually, we’re doing a pretty awesome job!
CUT OUT THE CLUTTER
Ain’t nobody got time for that. I’ve already started deleting certain apps on my phone that were distracting me from the important things in my life. I no longer have the luxury of whiling away the hours doing something pointless (Netflix doesn’t count!). I have one, soon to be two, little humans to factor in, a husband, our families and a business that provides a livelihood for 25 people so my time is now more priceless than ever.
SAY HI TO SELF-CARE
Famous last words! But seriously, all I’m talking is a bit of yoga each week. I am not a religious person, but yoga fills my spiritual cup in some hard-to-describe way and forces me to slow down, even if just for an hour. So, I’ll be doing more of that because I firmly believe these snippets of alone time make me a better mother, wife, sister, daughter and business owner.
This juggling act will be a constant work in progress as it has been the past two-and-a-half years, but my goal is to create a mini version here at The Little posy Co., of the wider world I’d like to see.
Surrounding myself with good people who share my vision and values, I want the business to work for every one of us and of course our beautiful customers. Meanwhile, I feel I have a sense of responsibility to use The Little Posy Co. to enact change and inspire others in areas I’m passionate about, such as the environment. Through this I’m finding even more purpose in what I do and becoming a healthier, happier and more productive person for everyone around me.