Today, I carried her

S has been rather sassy the past couple of weeks. Some fun stuff included $30 in library damage fees, newly nail polished furniture, and brought clothing changes for 3 weeks worth of laundry. Hubs and I talked about how she needs some one on one time and planned to give her some on Sunday.

So today, after work, I took S to Gymboree since it is closing. I wanted to snag some good deals on quality stuff and let her do some light shopping too. She was my little buddy today, and you could see the happiness pouring out of her as we browsed the racks together, choosing as many accessories as she could hold in her hands. It was 30 minutes full of magic. Just me and my girl.

I told her we could go pick out cookies for the family as a treat. She wanted to make sure B was getting one too which restored my faith that I’m doing something right. When I popped the van door open, she jumped onto my hip like she used to when she was a toddler.

And I carried her. Into Panera. From over a block away. Because I could. See, she has two successors who need to be carried like ALL of the time. We cuddle daily, but she’s almost 4 now, and I honestly couldn’t tell you the last time I carried her to travel anywhere or distance. I hold her at home whenever she will let me, buy this was different. So I carried her. I had a flashback to being at that Panera when I was hugely pregnant with B and carrying her in on top of my belly.

A tear trickled down my cheek as I realized that someday, I won’t be able to carry her on my hip. My baby. The girl who made me a mommy. My best friend. So I carried her. We snuggled in line at Panera, and I didn’t even try to put her down. She didn’t want to be out down, and for that 10 minutes, I was reunited with my firstborn in a way I didn’t know the both of us needed. She had my full attention and I had hers.

And so, leaving Panera, just me and her, I still carried her. And I didn’t even want to put her down. I just wanted to hold her forever- because as I’ve been told since the day I told people I was pregnant, they grow up so fast.

Here is what i know:

-Time is the only non renewable social resource. Embrace it.

-Carry then even when people judge you for it.

-Remember where it all started.

-Always love. Always.

Starbucks, Not For Work

Years ago, while in high school and college, I worked at two different Starbucks. This was the pre-automated espresso machine days when the training took place on a French press with a handwritten passport of coffees and each machine had its own personality. I loved it. It was the first job I had that I truly loved going to. And I wasn’t into coffee at the time. I would drink (gag!) skim milk with ice in it. Yep- I was a strangey. Starbucks then was work, and I loved it.

In my education career days, Starbucks trips were not a thing. I had a Kuerig in my office and teachers and administrators don’t have the luxury of leaving the building for the most part. I developed a love for black coffee straight and piping hot from the kuerig.

When I sold my business earlier this month, we were thriving and SUPER busy. And I was spending way more time sitting in my local Starbucks working than I had ever anticipated. Literally all of my meetings were held at one of the local Starbucks and all of my office work was either there or at home well after Starbucks was closed. Starbucks has always felt like a work environment to me since the foundation of my working years was laid there 20+ (!) years ago.

On Tuesday, before C’s PT, I went to Starbucks. As a legit customer who was there for a cup of coffee. I didn’t have a laptop, tablet or file folder with me. I didn’t have a report lingering within my mental load that needed to be created. I just had my sleeping baby, and time to actually slow down. Imagine that!

And it was glorious. I sat. I drank coffee. I mentally prepared myself for what could have been a tough PT session (but wasn’t!). I was a mom. Just a mom. Not a business owner who also happened to be a mom. And it made me thankful for the decision that I made this month to sell my f4m baby. I need these moments with my littles. I need to be a customer at a Starbucks more often.

And the best part? I get to have a rich professional life with my Community Coordinator position @athleta along with still teaching a couple classes at night. See, as the business grew, so did my work hours. And the first things to go are self care followed by the little things that get you through the day like 15 minutes of coffee time at a Starbucks. And any business owner will tell you that it’s impossible to turn off your business brain when operating hours are closed. That is when the most brilliant ideas come to surface, after all! A wise woman who I know well, recently told me that she is up with her mental load at 3am every day. She knows the real-ness of owning a business while raising a family. It’s tough!

A couple months ago, a tweet circulated around my IG circle that read “we expect women to work as though they have no children and raise children as if they don’t work”. This is SO true. My kids took a back burner more than I would like to admit. They still have to at times, which is not a bad lesson in patience and empathy. But, at the height of the business and coincidentally the height of the number of children I mother, they were taking a backseat far too often. Hence, The Sale. Prior to the business, my career in education was booming, but I only saw my daughter awake for 30 minutes a day sometimes which broke my new mom heart. Thus, I went on the hunt for something that was the package deal, and fit4mom LZMW was born. And grew. And grew. And suddenly became a full time gig.

The first couple of weeks since I sold fit4mom have felt similar (from what I gather) to having a missing limb. This extension of me needed to function without me. And it has and still will. So much of my day-to-day was centered around fit4mom. I still wake up wondering things that are no longer my concern. I think that will take time to dissipate.

So now, I get to look at my week as a whole and figure out the times that I need to devote to working on my event planning and community outreach at Athleta- it’s not choosing whether to play Calico Critters with my daughter in the moment or take a last minute call or throw in a paw patrol so I can set up a course in online booking. I get to be present at 2pm on a Wednesday and know that I will be snuggled up with my firstborn while her brothers sleep without the burden of impending reports, schedules, and other work clouding my ability to mother. (By the way, Athleta is an amazing company and work environment to be a part of… hugely because the staff at my location is absolutely amazing- our GM is a mountain mover, and nothing stands in her way… plus everyone there appreciates a good risk taker, which is in my DNA). #meanttobe

So I vow now to be present. To not miss any more imaginative play opportunities because I have something huge to worry about. Working parents have to sacrifice so much, and as a working mom, I am no different, but I’m no longer working 24/7, and that is a welcome change. And when I go to work now, it is ahhhhazing. I’m energized, productive, and I get shit done. I love where my career has turned, and I would not be here without my fit4mom career first.

The sale happened 2 weeks ago, and I feel like I should have an FAQ section plastered on me that answers the questions of how everything is going/if I’m happy and if I like my new role. The answers are Great!, yes, and hell yes. I am lucky that I take calculated risks and believe in the big picture.

Next week, I’m going to go Starbucks again and just sit. Because now, I can.

My. Little. Why’s.