Season 1, Episode 8
It's getting late. I've just put Kaliana down for the night. Finally some time to sit quietly and write. James is out for the night to host his monthly show and tomorrow we fly back to California after our three week excursion to NYC and jaunt to Toronto. It feels like so much is happening all at once, not just with me...but with the world. I'm not really sure what it is but now more than ever it feels like everyone I know is going through a transition. Which is synchronous that this is the last episode of season 1. So here we go, I'm your host Rachel Maskell and this is episode 8 of the #mumboss podcast...am I #mumboss? But first, a recap of the season. Tune in to highlights and my new insights to what being a #mumboss is all about.
What is this crazy project? It’s called #mumboss, and it’s a bit of an homage to Sophia Amoruso, founder of Nasty Gal and author of #girlboss. Her book has created an amazing following and has inspired so many women, yet when my team at Lettuce Design and I were speaking we realized that we’re not girls anymore…we’re moms (or mums which is a shout out to my English hubby) and that role comes with a new set of guidelines, expectations, and thankfully… abilities.
But here’s the thing, I also see that so many of us, obviously myself included, get lost in this new role. We can struggle to understand and to embrace a new sense of self and purpose. This shift into motherhood can feel crippling if we don’t allow ourselves to acknowledge the change and to not lose our sense of identity through the evolution.
...it’s a crazy thing. It’s a role you never understand until you are there and then the amount of appreciation or understanding of your mother comes streaming in at you which is scary, cathartic, and eye opening. The moment you give birth you are initiated into the tribe of mothers and like it or not, it’s for life.
This is the part that scared me the most…that my life is forever changed. That it no longer is just me, that I have this being now that needs me, that is forever connected to me, that limits me and expands me and there is no way to go back. Saying yes to having a baby is not just saying yes to this cute little being that you’ll get to cuddle for a few years, it’s saying yes to a whole new level of responsibilities and depth of self.
I don't know if I would call myself boss of my company any more, and that makes me happy, but it took us a bit to get there. Now, I focus on being the founder, connecting with incredible people and exciting projects and helping our clients through the initial parts of the web and branding process. You may have heard me mention the company before, but in case you haven't, it's Lettuce Design and we're an all female digital design studio.
Since her birth I haven't really taken any time off and I have learned how to juggle meetings while walking, playing in the park, while she is eating, napping, and currently the iPad. I often feel guilty that she is with me and concerned that my clients won't take me seriously. Gratefully this hasn't been the case and everyone has been incredibly supportive. But still if you heard the last episode you would have heard me lamenting about this.
This chaos is often a stressor for my husband and I. Sometimes it’s hard to justify my work. I know he appreciates what we’re doing but the interpretation is often that it comes as an expense to the serenity and quality of the home life. I don’t blame him since this is the rhetoric that we grow up thinking should be true but it isn’t. The reality is that my work keeps me sane. My work gives me purpose for waking up in the morning and helps me to enjoy every moment because I have to be present in the moment. Even though I don’t always have a smile on my face my work is my outlet away from Kaliana. If I had to spend every moment on the level of a toddler I think I would scream…no, I know I would and it wouldn’t be because I wasn’t trying to stay grounded and calm…it will be because that level of demand is an energetic drain for anyone but a puppy.
What my husband and I are learning together is that peace in the home is not going to happen by removing outlets, it’s going to occur by allowing more space for each of us to develop ourselves and our businesses and to be present with Kaliana when we are with her. But for this scenario to play out, we have to be settled somewhere, and that is a challenge that we’re ‘moving’ through (pun intended) now.
By the time you listen to this Kaliana's international trips will include...(in no particular order)
England a few times
We've traveled across the country and have been down south to Miami and back up again to NY. We've been to Colorado and traveled down the West coast too from Oregon. In other words, we get around.
The years go fast but days go slow” it’s such a succinct way of describing this time of life with Kaliana. I have to find things to keep us busy throughout the day or figure out how to juggle work and her but she’s two now and that is hard to believe. I look at her and see how she is growing out of her clothes, her voice and words are getting clearer, and her independence is expanding. She often tells me, “go away mama.” It makes me excited and sad at the same time. The sadness is part of the phantom umbilical cord that must eventually be cut but it’s not always easy.
If you can't tell already I wasn't one of those people who set out in life to be a mum. I was never sure, always oscillating between seeing myself as a careerist to a DIY stay at homer. The thing is none of those fit me and likely don't fit most women but those are the options that are typically fed to us.
I chose to become a mom because I realized that I was at a place and a time in my life where I wanted to help initiate a being into this world. That I wanted the opportunity to teach and love and pass on my wisdom or perspective of life. Of course the reality is that she has helped me to deepen my sense of self and she challenges me in ways nothing else in the world can. And I love that and appreciate that. As the saying goes, “our students are our greatest teachers.”
Without Kaliana I would not be writing this, I would not be thinking about the complexities and brilliance of being a woman, and likely I would not feel the depth of passion and need to make this world a better place for our future generation.
That's not to say that some days I don't wish things were different. Life, regardless of our choices, can be challenging. It's part of what makes us grow and develop. But by far my biggest challenges lie in the roles and expectations, the agreements or sometimes lack of, in my relationship with James. He is definitely one of the most amazing men I have ever met and I am honored and proud that he is my husband.
On days that I am feeling overwhelmed or exhausted it's the little things that stand out and irritate me. It's the patterns that are always highlighted on TV, stupid men. The disorganization, not paying attention, not listening...I'm sure you can relate. And I know this is unfair to men too. (Brook's audio). In the same way I want the world to embrace the greatness of women we need to recognize these patterns of men as not intentional but as part of their own brilliance. And I recognize it also has to start with me. I can't nor should I expect James to think like me, or multi-task like me, or be as detailed oriented as me...he's different. And some of that is being male but some is just who he is and how he is designed.
Being married is not the easiest thing in the world but it’s also the most beautiful and amazing thing to have a partner to do it with. Especially parenting. He is one of those people that is so open and willing to talk about things, and to work on things, and to figure out how we can make our lives better together. I am so appreciative and grateful for that. And he’s been an incredible sport with this whole project.
Motherhood, entrepreneurialism, travel, marriage, these are the big topics covered in season 1. And through all this I have realized that more than anything being a #mumboss is about the ability and the grace in which we handle change.
Just think...Babies and children are constantly evolving...sleep patterns change, eating habits change, the way they engage, their needs, their wants, their awareness...the list can go on and we, as mums, or parents, have to continue to adjust and adapt. But it's not like this is the only thing we have to do. We're evolving too and it's this flexibility with being in the moment and being open to new ways of doing things that is essential to being a #mumboss. It's not about career path or traveling or the activities we choose to do, it's about the way we do it and the intention behind it all.
So am I a #mumboss? I'd say yeah, but I think there is still so much I have to learn. Every day I hear about some of the most amazing women out there figuring out their path and how to juggle mama and work life. I am constantly inspired by what people are creating and how they are doing it that for season 2 I am focusing on other #mumbosses. I want to learn from other women and to share their stories so you can learn too. No matter where you are at in life or what part of your journey you are on, we can always learn from each other.
I'll be taking a little bit of a hiatus as I wrap up this season and prepare for next, so make sure you stay in touch. If you liked the show, please share with your community. Subscribe on itunes, rate it, send feedback...all these touch points help me to improve and to give you more of what you want.
Thank you so much for being a part of this journey with me...Until next time my friends....
(R: where are we going to today?
K: to the airport
R: so we can go see whom?
K: tiggy and purple monkey)
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About this episode
This episode was put together using snippets from previous episodes. It was edited using Ferrite, a new app for podcast editing...it's still in beta but I'm loving it.