Entrepreneurs, Masters degree / PhD seekers, ambitious women, business owners: How do you do all this AND parent? I need life balance tips and I need them now because I am juggling all the balls and doing so is unsustainable. I’m really struggling with wanting space from my kids so I can pursue my dreams, but I’m simultaneously afraid that I am missing out on being fully present in their lives. My baby is ten months old and we have a five year old. I knew running a business would never be the same once having children, but I have yet to find balance.
I’ve been extremely vulnerable with those I love. If you’ve ever met me, you knew this immediately. I value emotional depth and empathy in my intimate relationships. These aspects of the Enneagram Type 4 I really relate to. I acknowledge that those I don’t talk to every day or relate to through an online relationship may not experience the levels of vulnerability I maintain with a tiny collective of others. So this year, I am working on shining light on the depths of my soul so that others may find solidarity and grace, too, because I’ve discovered these precise gifts in the offerings of your own souls since I discovered I was going to have a baby.
Trying to find the balance between parent and ambitious woman has become so overwhelming. I’ve had major dives in the last 9 months into post-partum depression that have become so intense that I thought that not existing would be easier on everyone else because I just cannot keep up. Now, this was me at the bottom of the well. It’s dark, damp, and putrid down there. That is, until I was able to crawl my way back up through self-care, squashing negative self-talk, and support from beloved friends and family. Okay, basically picture me as the girl from The Ring. 😂
Truthfully though, I never experienced PPD immediately after giving birth — it came as a shock a handful of months later. Thankfully, I’ve also had the support of my primary care physician and an amazing psychologist who works with her. I believe that these waves of PPD and severe anxiety were intensified by further loss of autonomy related to my ability to create whenever I wanted — or whenever the Muse was abiding (creatives, you feel me) — and also see my creative projects to completion. After all, I’ve spent 36 years of my life being able to fine-tune my environment. It’s not as simple as this-causes-that, but I can attribute some of my PPD to this feeling of lack.
My husband has been incredibly supportive these last months, moreso than any other partner I’ve heard of, so this only makes me feel more shame for succumbing to what feels like ungratefulness. Our five year old is the most helpful and loving brother to Arlyss and when he is in our care, he’s such a blessing to me. But I’ve become resentful at my baby for having needs of his own because, ironically, he seems to have them exactly when I’m trying to take care of my own needs. Yet he is such an ‘easy baby.’ It goes without saying that I love both of these boys with all my heart and these struggles have aren’t meant to paint a picture of how I treat them, but more so, they paint a picture of my inner world trying to reconcile my role as a parent AND an extremely ambitious woman, dogged introvert, and intense creative.
I’m exposing this about myself to you because maybe you’ve been here or are struggling with similar experiences. I want you to know that you are not alone. I believe that my creative ambitions still deserve my energy. And I believe that I can foster a fulfilling and nurturing child-parent relationship at the same time. And I believe that this is possible for you, too.
*See also: I need babysitting recommendations again and someone who can come to my home and hang out with my cute ass baby so I can work my butt off k thanks.