A few weeks ago, I went to an event in TriBeCa, where several Mompreneurs spoke. As the five women, all business owners with multiple children spoke about the juggling they face on a day-to-day basis, balancing work/life/the nonexistent "me" time, I listened.
Each of the moms there mentioned a husband: one said Tuesdays were “her day” to sleep until 7am instead of 630 because her husband took the kids to the bus stop. Another mom mentioned her husband was also involved with her company. A third mom lamented about the challenges of a family of five when deciding where to go for dinner because even though they tried taking turns, someone was always complaining about the choice of someone else.
I’m aware that marriage is hard work. Mine was short lived, and if I knew then what I know now, through a lot of self-work I have done since, I would have not taken certain things as personally. I also didn’t know when I left- four years ago this month- how it would feel to raise Sophia “alone”; to start and run a business without another adult physically there day in and day out by my side.
So how does it feel?
March is single parents month. I wrote about this topic last March, where I felt guilty defining myself as a single mom. Sophia’s father and I have joint custody, he is an excellent father and I am grateful to have a strong support system. Unlike single parents who are widowed/widowered, or single parents without another parent, I do have help. I wrote that I was grateful for my support system; that as a single parent with the support I had “‘me” time, something that both single parents without help as well as married parents with multiple kids don’t have much of.
I also wrote that it single parenting is both empowering and lonely. At just a few weeks shy of 6, Sophia is writing and journaling about her day with equal excitement when she spells a word correctly and frustration when the letters don’t look exactly how she wants. She is a self-proclaimed "fashionista" who will ask me what the weather is like but insists on selecting her own outfit yet has become very conscious about what the other kids say. Last fall, we had to resleep train her, very different than sleep training an infant which was a bullet we were fortunate to dodge the first time around. Holding strong while she spent a solid two and a half hours straight running around the apartment, throwing her stuff out of the room, anything to get a reaction out of me not to mention the multiple wake-ups between 1-3am. These are some of the day-to-day things that happen, and there is no one else to share it with. Knowing I can do this “alone” is empowering; unlike my childhood where there were three of us for my first 6 years then four when my brother when it’s Sophia and me it’s Sophia and me. We have a special, unique relationship. Yet it can feel lonely too.
Owning my own business and brand is as natural to me as anything else; through the creation of The Fit Co, I genuinely feel as though I am in alignment with what I am supposed to do. That being said, there are times when I wonder if it would feel just a bit "easier" if I had a regular job, a steady paycheck. Just last weekend, Sophia told me that I work too much; while I do my very best to carve out time when I am present with her and not on the phone, running your own business in a highly competitive market makes it extraordinarily challenging to hit the off button.
I know I am not the only single Mompreneur out there; I have met several and would love to hear more about what they are feeling; what they are experiencing. For me, four years in, there are definitely days where the self-doubt creeps in; will I succeed? Am I doing the right thing? Then I remind myself; I didn't leave two solid careers to follow my passion and dreams to give up. I have never been one to shy away from a challenge. At least not yet. And if I continue, I can truly leave Sophia with a legacy that she may - or may not- decide to continue. Her choice.
This is my single Mompreneur story; what's yours?