This post has been a long time coming. And I don't really know how to write it.
So here goes...
I have come to a realization over the past few months. (You Mamas out there with little babies, listen up!)
What I have realized is this. We have all been duped.
We have been duped into believing that our babies need us the most when they are brand new. And while, yes, it is true that they do need us to clothe, feed, soothe, love and protect them while they are so tiny and vulnerable, once you get into a routine and you find your mama-baby rhythm, things can get relatively easy at this point. Yes, I know, I am making some big generalizations here, but stick with me on this.
Last year I went to visit a friend in Toronto who had just had her third daughter. Her two older girls were 4 and 6 at the time. When I asked her if she was going to go back to work again after her maternity leave, I was very surprised to hear her say no, that now she needed to stay home with the girls. I assumed she meant because of the baby, but she told me that it was more for the older two. At that point I really did not understand what she meant.
Now I do.
My kids are 22 months apart. And while this was a challenge when they were say teeny babies and then at 6 and 28 months old and then again at 1 and 3, it is NOTHING compared to right this very minute when they are 3 and 5 years old.
They NEED me!
The questions they have need answers. They need to DO more. With their growing bodies and with their expanding minds. They are both in play school now and are starting to navigate the world of friends who are not always of my choosing. And all this means we have activities to attend, playdates to go to, new skills to hone and way more emotions to deal with on a daily, if not hourly basis.
So I need to be here for them, while they are still little. I know, that to some degree they will always need me, I just can't let them down right now. These years are important ones, the degree to which they are learning and growing and becoming little individuals with their own opinions and feelings is astounding and I need to be giving them my full attention. It's my job to help them navigate through this time in their lives and it is the most precious and MOST IMPORTANT job that I have.
In the past year I have spent way too much time saying the following phrases over and over to my kids,
"Just one more email and then Mommy will come and play with you."
"I just need to pack up these orders and then we can go to the park."
" Please wait...."
"Just five more minutes..."
The list goes on.
And it is not only that. As a family, Natural Urban Dad and I made the decision that I would be the stay-at-home parent. We did not want to have both of us working, have our kids in daycare and have our money go to someone else to spend most of the day with our kids. We are very fortunate that we can make that choice and it is one that I never, ever want to take for granted or lose sight of why we made it in the first place.
In the past six months I have been increasing our babysitter's hours on a regular basis to the point that I might as well just call her our nanny and be done with it. Now, don't get me wrong. I LOVE my babysitter, like, REALLY love her. And so do my kids. But for the months before Christmas, every time I would have to go to a meeting or an event or just lock myself in the office to get some work done, I would come home to kids who missed me the whole time I was gone, who became super clingy for the rest of the day and night and who kept saying over and over how much they wish I didn't have to go away so much. The guilt that I was feeling and the mounting childcare bill where getting to the point that I was starting to feel ridiculously overwhelmed. And I started questioning whether 'having it all' or 'trying to do it all' was really worth it anymore.
Turns out it is not.
And the time has come for me to make a few changes in my life.
The first of which is that...
Natural Urban Mamas, THE STORE, will be closing its virtual doors.
This was a very long and hard decision to make, but one that I know is right for me and for my family at this time. I want to thank each and every one of you who has supported me on this journey. I have learned so much about life, about business, about myself and about the strength and determination that lives in so many of you through this adventure called entrepreneurship. I have made some life long friends and probably a few frenemies along the way too. I thank you all for lifting me up and making me want to be a better person, a better mother and a better business woman.
I want you to know that I am not going away. I have spent a lot of time and effort in educating myself about and being an advocate for babywearing and breastfeeding and all kinds of aspects of natural parenting. This part of Natural Urban Mamas will remain. I will still be doing workshops and speaking engagements and you will be able to find me here on the Natural Urban Mama blog or on Twitter or Facebook whenever you need to. Just know that I may not respond as quickly as I have in the past, because I will likely be watching someone learn to float on their back all by themselves or I'll be hanging out at the museum with a certain bug-crazy small individual.
“The work will wait while you show your child the rainbow, but the rainbow won't wait while you do the work.”
I want my kids to remember these years and our time spent together and I want to know that I did all that I could to make it memorable for all of us.
Thank you all!
And lucky YOU! Starting on January 30th and while supplies last,
Our "UNTIL IT IS ALL GONE" Blow-out Sale will be happening at Natural Urban Mamas.com!