One of my biggest lessons after having a baby was: I'm still me.
When I suspected I was pregnant, I drank a beer, in denial. That denial went on to last for months. (Though I did cut out the beer.)
Before my daughter was born, I had been working very-full-time at Storenvy, the e-commerce startup my husband created. On the side, I also wrote a blog about ethical fashion and ran a small apparel line. But — and of course there’s a but — I hadn’t yet accomplished “that thing.” That magical, nebulous “thing” that would make me feel like I’d done something with my independent adulthood, releasing me to have babies, a family and an SUV.
When Vivian Sunshine came into my life, everything did change — but in a beautiful, rich, meaningful, life-giving way. Not at all the shallow, depressing, “stuck at home in a sweatshirt” way I’d feared. I didn’t suddenly think diaper cakes were cool. I didn’t cut my hair short. I didn’t fill my house with bright plastic toys that sing.
One of my biggest lessons after having a baby was: “I’m still me.”
Fast forward to today, when Viv is a year and a half old. I’m still stylish. I still hang out with friends (with or without the baby). I’m still ambitious. Even better, I’m more self-aware than I was before; more confident in who I am and what I’m about. For example, I learned early on that being a full-time mom wasn’t my calling. It’s great to know that about myself and not feel guilty questioning it. It took me awhile to make sense of my new take on life — to appreciate the goodness of the balance I had found. It was like I was always checking my rearview mirror for my lesser self (the one who wears sweatshirts) to appear. She never did.
Having Viv has also created new business opportunities for me. I started selling a shortlist of my favorite artisan-made baby items, each of which I’d discovered organically and wanted to share with the world. After taking a break from blogging, I’ve come back with a new baby-inclusive angle on my content, now approaching it as a business. Having gone back to work at Storenvy part-time (and loving the schedule that afforded me), I decided to let a full-timer fill my role as communications director, which served the company’s high-growth needs.
So today, I’m making a career out of my passions. I’ve found a wonderful niche in creative baby retail. (Who knew? There’s so much more opportunity in baby fashion than women’s fashion.) I also have an engaging community at Fashion Loves People, my blog that covers all facets of my conscientious lifestyle. I work half the week, and I hang out with Viv the other half of the week. We couldn’t be happier.
For me, getting pregnant didn’t happen as planned, and yet it turned out better than I could have imagined. I’ve found a career fit that I wouldn’t have even explored otherwise.
And that big accomplishment I’d been looking for? Vivian is that, above and beyond. Especially when it’s just us, stuck at home, in our sweatshirts.