So last week my favorite little person turned the big O...N...E. I have listened to umpteenth parents be astounded at, "how fast they grow" and quote "the nights are long but the years are short" and in my early sleep deprived haze I wanted to strangle several of those knowing parents. But I really do get it. Twelve months after meeting Isabella (and thirteen months after starting our business) we're still standing. That is right, Josh and I have kept a business and a baby alive for one whole year! I can confidently say I'm prouder of growing our tiny human however Josh may teeter on the fence on which accomplishment he's most proud of.
My dearest Grandma (Mamar) who at 88 still flies to New Zealand every year from England, sent Isabella four beautiful dresses for her birthday. Isabella donned one of them for a birthday picnic at Whale Bay where she enjoyed Josh's jandel as an entree.
We had her little party two weeks later. I say little party but there was in fact 40ish adults, 15ish babies and 10ish big kids. This may sound ridiculous but really demonstrates how many great people are in our lives. There was no B list, we just invited everyone and bundled into the local parents center. Unlike her mumma, my little pal isn't the biggest fan of large crowds so spent most of the day marginally terrified, snuggled into Josh's chest.
...and yes I am that mother who decided Isabella and I would wear matching dresses. Mine was an oldie but I saw the mini identical a few months before the party and thought heck do it now whilst she can't protest! Josh commented that it wasn't the lamest thing I've done...
So what have I learnt from a year of parenting? Well a lot of the same lessons from a year in business.
1. You don't need sleep when you're in love
My little pal has been a 'good baby' she did what the books said and fed every three to four hours and slept (mostly) at night. But I've still been shattered. Likewise in the business, most of our decisions have been long dismantled and discussed in the morning's tiny hours. If you love what you're doing and you love who you're raising, you can not only survive but thrive on very little sleep!
2. There's so many ways to do the right thing
In my pre-baby and pre-business life, I would follow recipes, protocols or Google to do the right thing but there are so many "right" ways to parent and grow a business. From introducing solids to social media marketing...there's 100 ways to get it right. Time is the ultimate determiner of progress and hindsight it's helpful cousin. Your parenting style and business style is completely unique and there is no one right way to progress. Figuring out the "right" way comes down to trial...trial...trial and lots of errors. Don't be afraid to give things a go, you'll never grow a baby or a business by doing nothing, through fear of doing it wrong.
3. Ask for help
After saying "give it a go" and "trial...trial...trial" asking others and learning from their mistakes can save you time and heartache. Given that there is no right way to parent or run a business, you can be fending off unwelcome advice from all angles which doesn't gel with your personal philosophy. Select a couple of mentors to bounce ideas off. Obviously pick people who's children or businesses you admire. Don't take on the quirky advice from everyone...be selective and deliberate of those you ask for help.
Childbirth, breastfeeding and "wholesale directing" have been three new experiences for me this year. If I had isolated myself or just relied on Josh I would have driven myself (and let's face it Josh too) marginally bonkers. Finding like minded mums' (and dads') in the community and networking with other local business owners has not only ensured my sanity, it's kept my spirit buoyant. Through the journey of owning a business, we've met other really talented entrepreneurs. To name drop a few,
Stephen and Charlee at Soil and Sand
Karyn at Kalm Designs
and Nick and Chelsea at Eat Conscious
5. Be Amazed
Being amazed has been my greatest joy in our parenting and business journey. Both have bought extreme highs and extreme lows. From the dizzying highs of my baby's first roll and securing our first wholesaler...to the desperate lows of her first injury and faulty batch of sunnies, I've learnt there are no coincidences. God works all things together for our good. When the middle of the night brings worry and fret...the morning brings new milestones and opportunities. Learning to "be amazed" and not only seek out but focus on the triumphs, compounds great opportunities and makes the whole journey worthwhile.
So our baby and business have turned one and we're all still standing! A little weary but very happy. Now onto the next year...