People often ask how Alexa and I balance our business with motherhood. I’m not sure how Alexa has managed so well all these years, but I can now tell you how I’ve enjoyed / survived the first year. I will admit up-front that compressing my full time job (Tin Can Knits) plus the running of a new business (Rainbow Heirloom) into a part-time schedule worked around a new and demanding little family member has not been easy!
Motherhood (and/or being an entrepreneur)… it’s heavy lifting
A few weeks after Max was born, I decided that the term for my new normal would be ‘heavy lifting’. Motherhood was clearly going to be heavy lifting, and keeping the wheels turning at Tin Can Knits and Rainbow Heirloom at the same time was going to require more of the same.
On the upside, I was able to work while Max was sleeping away, contented as a bean (I rocked the moses basket with one foot as I typed). Although working through my ‘maternity period’ was essentially required (Alexa had Bodhi at the same time, and there was no way we could both take a year off), I also enjoyed the pleasure of continuing my work, which I understand is something that some women miss.
It has also been a HUGE pleasure to have my own baby ‘in the book’. Photographing our designs on my precious little peanut brought a whole new sense of poignancy about the process for me. Becoming a mother made me understand the pleasure of these little knits in a real, emotional way that I hadn’t before.
just strap the baby on and go
Outside of some amateur dramatics, Max has been a trooper, a very accommodating ‘take-along’ baby. At 12 weeks, he came to Yarndale, where he slept under the table while I signed books, breastfed while I chatted business to industry contacts, and charmed the socks off hundreds of knitters!
At the Edinburgh Yarn Festival I built up the display booth with a (grumbling) little one strapped to my back. He’s travelled miles too, visiting Canada, Holland, and Spain – such a big carbon footprint for a little dude.
thanks for the support!
I have been very lucky as my husband John has taken the last 6 months in paternity leave to spend time with Max and do some software development from home. It has been a pleasure for John to share Max’s baby days, and allowed me half time working hours without the anxiety or cost of outside childcare.
It has also been crucial having Alexa (aka the best business partner in the world) in my corner, understanding, hard-working and uncomplaining as she wrangled her own new baby number 3!
let’s raise a glass to the moms and dads everywhere
Max’s party is a spanish tapas themed affair, so I’ll be enjoying sangria and home-made ice cream cake because there’s no such thing as Dairy Queen here in the UK (why?! I don’t know). I’ll be celebrating little Max, but I’ll also be celebrating me, because it’s been a big year, and I’m proud I made it!
July 13, 2015 @ 9:39 am
I am SO impressed with how you managed to keep a business running and take care of a baby for a year. It is such a huge accomplishment. My (first) baby is almost 8 months old, and I’m trying to build a toy knitting business at the same time, and it is one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done. I have had to lower my expectations many times, and accept that sometimes being a mom means my business ideas have to become reality much more slowly. I do get what you mean though by the knits taking on a whole new level of special when you’re designing and knitting them for your own baby.
Max is adorable, and congratulations on his birthday.
Andrea @ This Knitted Life
July 12, 2015 @ 6:15 pm
Aww. So tricky juggling motherhood, knitting/yarn career, and life. My on little guy is 2 1/2.
July 12, 2015 @ 5:38 pm
I loved this behind the scenes look at how you are making it work, it’s really fantastic to see- and hats off to having a true partner in your husband! I’m very pro-paternity leave, it’s important dads nurture their babies, too. Hooray for you tackling the heavy lifting, you are doing an amazing job!
July 12, 2015 @ 2:41 pm
Happy birthday Max and cheers to you!
July 12, 2015 @ 1:46 pm
What a beautiful email today Emily! Congrats on your first year-there ate a lot of changes and adjustments-and you seem to have taken it all in your stride. Yay for your beautiful son and (maybe) many more to come! !
Thankyou for gorgeous knits; ands I love reading yours and Alexas emails! !
From all the way in New Zealand-Hi! !
Date: Sun, 12 Jul 2015 13:01:15 +0000 To: firstname.lastname@example.org
July 12, 2015 @ 7:24 am
What a fantastic article of finding a way to do what you love and in such a spirit of co-operation. Fantastic!
July 12, 2015 @ 7:19 am
Well done Wessel family, you did great.