I thought I would do a different round of confessions this week since this particular subject has been on my heart a lot lately. So I hope this little sneak peek behind the scenes of a #bossbabe helps explain my world a little more to all of those who are confused, intrigued, irritated or curious about it. 😉
I rarely see my own kids. I’ve had several people tell me over the years they are jealous I get to be home with my kids. I’ve had several people call me a “stay at home mom” several have even had the guts to say, “Must be nice to sit at home with your kids and husband and make tons of money.” (yea don’t even get me started on that one) The absolute grim and honest reality is I don’t see my children much. Yes, we are home together every day but I am working 24/7. Play time is mixed with lego building and emails. My kids eat lunch most days alone cause I’m trying to get orders out before the post office gets here and it requires me to be downstairs. They have learned to play in their room after nap because I need extra time to get stuff completed so nap/quiet time extends from 1.5 – 3 hours some days. They always see me when my face is in a screen. They hear my phone go off 900 times a day and so they’re story telling times have a soundtrack to the sound of pings and dings every single time they open their mouth. Even driving has turned into me recording brainstorming ideas and notes into my phone that I can refer to at a later date because I’ll forget them if I don’t record them for myself.
To be honest, admitting this makes me feel terrible. It makes my stomach hurt and makes me feel like a failure. I can already sense the judgement that may come from sharing this with the world. I don’t love this aspect of my job. I don’t love the fact that I don’t get to solely focus on my kids all the time. I don’t love that we don’t go to movies, activities, get out of the house, have playdates or anything else many kids do these days. It wears on me, heavily.
I am never enough. I am one person and I need to be 12 at the same time. When I am excelling at one thing I am failing at 11 others. I am pulled in 100 different directions and everyone needs me. It’s impossible to prioritize who gets my time because everything is of equal importance….however 9/10 times the business trumps because without the business I don’t have a job or income to take care of all the other things that require my attention. Literal impossible choice every day.
I have mental breakdowns….a lot. My anxiety is through the roof…often. I am in a permanent state of exhaustion most days. I teeter between wanting to dance with joy to needing to cry my eyes out in a corner all within the span of 60 seconds. It’s completely out of my usual realm but it’s become a new normal.
I have to be strong ALL THE TIME. Being a business owner is NOT EASY!!! It’s hands down the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. Honestly, it makes my child labors look like childs play. It requires a faith and belief that best not waver. You’re not allowed to give up on yourself, you’re not allowed to have a bad day and you’re not allowed to throw in the towel. You have to keep pushing. You have to keep going. You don’t get to stop and lick your wounds. You best keep crawling through that mud and let the earth heal those wounds cause if you stop someone else will step all over you on their way to your victory. So there is no weakness in business.
My laptop has become a security blanket and it’s not good. I can’t go anywhere without my laptop or my phone. I need to be able to have access to work at ALL TIMES. I will admit I literally have severe anxiety if I can’t have access or am gone for an extended period of time and can’t get work done. I realize this sounds bad and I also recognize it as a problem and I am trying to work on it. I’m not proud of the fact but again it’s a balance of trying to please everyone and stay afloat for all the things I have to do.
I rarely sleep and I work 24/7. A typical day starts at 4:40 am and ends around 11- midnight. That day is spent in complete and utter work mode. If I’m not physically doing work I’m thinking about it. Even when I sleep I dream of spreadsheets and to do lists. I don’t take any days off. People tell me to all the time but I can’t. If I do I am sooo behind it takes me weeks to catch up. I don’t have spare time to fit other things in. I am a working machine without an off button.
Being a boss is extremely lonely. I am very isolated and don’t get much human interaction. Most of the time I can live with that since I tend to not LOVE social engagements. However, it is mostly lonely because people don’t understand me. They don’t GET me. I live a life most humans can’t and won’t ever understand. They don’t get the stress of no steady paycheck or income. They don’t understand the boss that is a customer. They don’t understand having to work 24/7 to make sure your kids are fed every night. They don’t understand how much higher bills are for those of us who are self employed. They don’t get a LOT of things. So they hurt me….without realizing it. They say things that hurt, do things that hurt all without meaning too. But it still cuts like a knife. It festers there like a wound that just won’t close. I try the best I can. I try to explain and rationalize but it’s not their fault…they just don’t get it. So I keep to myself. I close myself off. I become isolated and for someone like me…it can be very difficult.
Now that I’ve got all of that out of the way I can share my biggest confession and that is this. Despite all of that stuff above… I LOVE IT… and I can’t imagine a different life. I thrive on the work, the challenge, the competition. I thrive on the risk, the fearlessness it requires, the guts. I thrive on waking up every day and proving to MYSELF that I can do what I set out to do. That I can achieve and master hard things. I am at my best when someone tells me no, or when they tell me I can’t do it. When someone tells me my plans are too big, too out there, too different. I am at my best when someone is nipping at my heels threatening to win that race that I know I have already won. I enjoy the fight, the clawing my way out of rubble. I enjoy the pain because that means I am alive. I enjoy the roller coaster because it means I am putting myself out there and daring greatly. So while there are many confessions…..this is the best one. This is the one I always come back too when I’m tired and I want to stop and I want to cry in a corner. When the world feels so big and I feel so small. When I am drowning in finances and bills and unexpected expenses I can’t pay, I come back to this. I remember the reasons I got into this in the first place. The good reviews, the compliments, the people I helped feel beautiful, the words I spoke that changed someones day, the service I offered they appreciated, the safe place I gave them to vent and be open. I hold on to those things dearly and it is for those reasons I don’t give up. I don’t stop. I don’t surrender. Ever. Because I am a workaholic and some day I’ll get my reward and relax….for a couple of days.