All this talk of women being nurturing has been getting to me lately. Not in an annoying way, but rather in a contemplative way. I spend a lot of energy on women in professional transition understand the importance and relevance of their skills outside the workforce from a business perspective. It is actually quite interesting to see that some of the most desirable skills (or shall I say talents) in entrepreneurship. Managing a family, renovating a home, relocating, raising children, supporting a partner, volunteering, the list goes on,…
Take the analogy of building a business from scratch and motherhood. Begin with conception, the idea, or even more cliché, shall we say, “the twinkle in your eye.” Now to have a successful gestation period, you must suffer a little, be denied restful nights of sleep thinking about what the future holds and all the things you need to do to make this little twinkle a successful being. You might even have a few torturous setbacks that require you to start again with the same passion for the outcome, but a little more caution and and realism as you proceed. (This of course, will only make you appreciate the end result for more).
The first trimester can be rather stressful as this is creating the foundation and laying the groundwork, setting up the team that will help you in our journey. If you are lucky you have a good partner to help you through this journey, if not, you find other support to fill in the gaps. The second trimester, feeling great, on a bit of roll, feeling the excitement, eye on the goal. Third trimester, getting ready to launch this being into the world. You have to suffer a little, or a lot, more here. Sleep seems to be interrupted again with thoughts of the future, what needs to be done, what have you missed. You are pulling together all the bits and pieces so that this being will have a grand welcoming on its arrival.
I will skip the gorey details of the actual arrival, as this is where my analogy falls apart momentarily. With the exception of the fact that the seratonin in our amazing bodies has a way of tricking us into rememerbing this as a joyous experience, let us leave it at that.
Now it is here, it has a name. You introduce it to people with pride in our hearts at a job well done. And yet, you have this helpless infant that is not fully formed, and certainly not self sufficient. You not only are still tired from the last months building up to its arrival, but now you are denied even more sleep for taking care of its needs at all hours of the night. This is where post-partum depression kicks in.
You have this beautiful thing that is just the beginning and will need so much more loving and caring and stimulation and ….and you are the mother of it. It is yours and your identity is now tied to it. You are now the creator of it in other’s eyes, not whoever you were before. You are proud (and tired). You must learn to delegate those things that will enable you to do what you do best. You must take the time to take care of your health, for what good are you to it, if your health fails.
You surround yourself with women who understand what you are going through right in that moment. You seek out others who have been there who can provide wisdom and guidance. You bring it to experts to check when things go wrong and to ensure that it is healthy and shall remain that way. You study about what you can do to enhance its special talents that make it stand out as an individual. You teach it how to relate to others and yet, be its own entity. You feed it to let it grow and provide it direction and stimulation to help guide its path.
I could go on, but you get the point. Rise with the passion and conviction to turn a twinkle into a success. Don’t be afraid of setbacks and failures, as life is a continuum from which we learn and become wiser with each experience and opportunty. Remember to seek guidance from peers and from experts, but remember that what worked for them may not work for you or your entity. You have what it takes in you.