Fear Rejection? Read This!

I received my first rejection letter the other day. It was a pretty heartbreaking. And I’m not going to lie. I really wanted to “take it in stride,” and “keep my chin up,” and “move forward,” and “dream bigger,” and all of those other things we’re supposed to do when things don’t go as we had hoped. But I couldn’t do any of those things. I felt like I had been punched in the stomach. Like I’d been lead on, then let down. I was hurt, embarrassed, and disappointed.

So I spent the day just being generally morose and mopey.

And then when people started getting sick of that attitude, I had to explain why I felt that way. Which meant I had to figure out why I felt that way. Sure, I was bummed that something I had tried hadn’t worked out. I was frustrated that I had invested time and energy into something I was confident would pay off and then it didn’t. I was defensive about being misunderstood. But it was more than all that.

It was that this was the first time I’ve ever received a rejection letter, so I didn’t have any practice dealing with the emotions that come with that. And that alerted me to a much bigger problem.

Why on earth am I getting my first rejection letter at the age of 32? I can promise you it’s not because I’m SO amazing that everyone in the world wants to hire me, fund my education, and publish my stuff. I’m pretty awesome, but no one is THAT awesome.

It’s because I’m not putting myself out there enough. I’m not giving anyone anything to reject.

When I was little I really wanted to be an actress. I dressed in gowns and practiced my oscar acceptance speeches and worked on my diva demands. But when it came time to audition, I was shy and terrified. I couldn’t even speak. While I yukked it up in middle school drama class, I never auditioned for the school plays because there was a chance I wouldn’t be cast.

In high school I fell in love with stories and majored in writing in college. I was positive I’d be an author or write regularly for magazines. My professors were always impressed with my work and I even won the University’s award of excellence in nonfiction writing. But I have never submitted a single piece for publication. Unfinished book proposals sit on floppy discs (Yes! Floppy discs!) that I don’t even know how to access. While I admire Stephen King and his story of pinning his first rejection letter to his wall as if it was a certificate of achievement, I was just not that brave. (By the way, if you’re at all interested in writing, Stephen King’s On Writing is one of the best books I’ve read about life as a writer.) I just couldn’t believe that anything I wrote was really good enough to be published, so I never even tried.

And so I’ve managed to make a life out of playing it safe. Now I can hear you saying, “But Emily! You put yourself out there every day with your business! You put your designs out in the world for everyone to judge. You write this blog that at least a dozen people including your parents and closest friends read!” But it’s different. I can design an invitation and put it on my site and maybe no one will buy it. But maybe that’s because no one is seeing it! And sometimes 2 years later someone DOES buy it! So putting something out there and not seeing an immediate reward isn’t really a “no.” It’s more of a “not yet.” Just like doing your hair and wearing your tight jeans to a bar and not getting hit on isn’t the same as asking someone out and having a drink thrown in your face.

So where is this long walk down memory lane headed? Oh yeah. To my wake up call. Getting a rejection letter was in no way a signal to stop trying. It was a call to try more. To try harder. To try often and with reckless abandon. To reach way beyond my grasp. To put myself out there in new and scary ways. I actually kind of thought this was something I was already doing. Building a business takes guts. I tell people all the time to stop analyzing, stop asking “what if?” and just go for it. And I thought that was how I was living my life. But if I’ve been able to skate through gently for over 30 years without making many waves, pissing anyone off, or getting any gut-punching rejections, then I haven’t been living big enough.

It’s almost as if I’ve been rejecting myself before I even had a chance to get rejected by someone else. And that is a really sad thought.

But what made this time different? Why did I put myself out there and submit my work when there was a chance it might not be accepted? Because I thought it was pretty good! I thought it would get accepted! And then it hit me–it actually is good. And I really didn’t need it to be accepted because I had already accepted it. So someone else rejected it. Bummer. They’re losing out on the chance to work with me. Their opinion doesn’t all of a sudden make my work not good enough. It just wasn’t a good fit. And in the long run, it’s probably for the best. Because if I’m wasting my time on pursuits that aren’t quite the right fit, I’m missing out on all of the right opportunities. And if I hold back and don’t show anything at all? Well then the whole world is missing out on what I have to offer.

So I’m issuing a call to action. Put yourself out there. Your raw, unfinished, imperfect self. Give yourself a chance. Write something, paint something, apply for something, submit something, enter a contest, try out for a team, audition for a show. Give the world a chance to love you. And if they don’t? Screw ’em. And write a blog about what you learned and get back out there.

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Mompreneur Monday – My Core Values

If you do any reading about business at all, you’ll run across tons of folks talking about how everything revolves around your core values and you have to define your values and everything about your life and business has to reflect your values.

No pressure or anything.

So this whole values thing has been on my mind since Stationery Academy. And it keeps coming up in webinars I attend and books I read. (P.S. Click on those links to attend an awesome webinar and read an incredible book!) So while I believe my core values have always been in my heart, I think it’s time I really connect with them. Out loud. In writing. And of course–on the internet.

First, the process. How do you figure out what your core values really are? The first step is to take a look at how you spend your time and money. Not how you think you should spend your time and money, but how you actually live in your real life right now. This is a scary process because in my dream world I spend my time and money on important things like family and world peace. In my real life, I spend more time on facebook and more money on coffee than I care to admit. But push past the embarrassment and shame and know that whatever values you are spending your time and money on are okay. They’re values. They can’t be bad or wrong. At first glance, I’m embarrassed that sometimes I lose an entire morning to just emailing friends. But then when I dig deep into why–it’s because I value my friends. I value connecting with them and spending time talking to them. There’s nothing wrong with that!

Another game you can play is “Which matters more?” There are a ton of lists of values out there–just lists of words you can look at and cross off the ones that don’t matter until you magically end up with the 5 that matter most. Except that when you’re doing it, you’ll eventually get to a spot where you still have 20 words and you feel weird crossing any off and saying you don’t value honesty or teamwork! So when you get to that spot, the trick is to pick two words on the list and ask yourself, “which matters more?” You’re not creating a list of all of your values here, you’re trying to narrow down your core values. Your top 5 hills to die on. Your “They can take away our lives, but they’ll never take our freedom!” values. (If you’re Braveheart. And if one of your core values is freedom.) So while yes, I value teamwork.,I love teamwork, and I believe in teamwork, if I have to imagine my life without a team versus my life without the ability to create, I value creativity more.

This is not a ten-minute game. This may not be something you whip out in an afternoon. Let this question sink in. But write about it, too. Your gut will probably lead you to a top 5ish. And as you ponder it and come back to it over the course of 6 months, my guess is your answers will be generally the same as what your gut told you in the beginning.

And now, my top 5!

Creativity – When I look back at the moments I’ve felt most alive, it’s when I’m creating something new. Drawing when I was little, writing, doing crafts, painting, designing invitations, even creating a business. When I was teaching, the lessons I designed myself were the most fun and the most effective. (And losing my freedom to be creative in my lesson planning ultimately lead to my career change!) Creating a little person has been my greatest accomplishment.

Connection – When I first made my list, Family was first and then Friends. But my list was too long. So I had to consolidate! (Tricky, aren’t I?) But the truth is, when I really ask myself what it is I value about my family and friends, it’s the ability to connect with them. And I value that in so many areas of my life. One of the best parts of my job is connecting with each customer in a really personal way during an exciting time in their life. I’m that weird girl who talks to strangers in line at the grocery store. I just like to feel connected to other humans throughout my day.

Entertainment – For a long time I felt guilty about this one. I had a friend who cancelled cable so her family could afford to buy only organic food. And that’s great. That’s what she values. My family spends time and money on tv. Not because we value tv necessarily, but because we love to be entertained. We love laughing at sitcoms and being thrilled by dramas. We also love going to concerts and plays and movies. It’s just something we enjoy together and because I value my family, I value the things we enjoy doing together!

Surprise – So this is a bit of an odd one. But I love surprises! I love being surprised and surprising people. I love it SO much, it’s one of my core values. It’s truly thrilling to me to surprise someone I love and I feel like the element of surprise is something I crave in my daily life. When I look at my invitation designs that have been the most successful, they’re the clever, unique, surprising designs. I think because I love surprises so much, I put more of my heart into those designs and they’re just better!

Growth – I’m a bit of a self-help junky. Well not just self-help, but any type personal and professional development! Webinars, how-to books, classes, workshops, if I could just learn for a living, I would! I enjoy learning about a lot of things (which is why it was super hard for me to pick a major and why I insisted in a dual-specialty for my master’s and why I make drastic career changes) but what I enjoy learning about most is how I can improve in whatever I’m doing at the time.

And if I were to sneak a 6th value into my Top 5 it’s… Beauty – Not in a superficial way. Just in the sense of appreciating when I’m surrounded by beautiful things. I love pretty things and I love that I can create pretty things for people. Life should be nice to look at.

Keep in mind this is my list. Yours will be completely different! We may overlap a value or two, but your list is yours and there’s no “right” list that’s better than yours.

So, you’ve made your list–now what? And now the toughest part of all. Living according to your values. Yes, I said that one way to discover your core values is to look how you currently spend your time and money. So you’re probably living your values already to some degree. (If you find you’re never ever ever making time for something, the truth is you probably don’t value it that much. There’s nothing wrong with that! Just means you need to do more work to figure out what you do value.) But even though your values are a reflection of how you currently live, you probably also want to live better by connecting with those values more often and more deeply.

It doesn’t have to be a big, overwhelming thing, though. In fact, it can be fun! Like when I’m choosing a gift for someone, I can ask “What will surprise them?” or “What can I create for them?” I get more out of the experience by connecting to my values, and I think it results in a better gift for them too. When I’m emailing customers, I sit down with the intention of “I’m going to connect with each person in my inbox today,” and all of the sudden a business task becomes fulfilling. As I build my business, I continually ask myself, “How can I connect? How can I create? How can I grow? How can I entertain? And how can I surprise?” The result is I’m building a business I enjoy working in and a brand that reflects who I truly am.

Your turn! What are your core values? Comment below!

Mompreneur Monday – I want to hear from you!

Happy Monday! This is one of those weeks. One of those booked-calendar-no-breathing-room-gotta-get-it-done weeks. So today’s post is short. Super short.

I want to hear from YOU! I’m working on future mompreneur monday posts and I’m looking for two things: 1) your questions and 2) your stories!

Your Questions – As a mompreneur (or as a budding mompreneur, or as an entrepreneur who is not a mom, or as a mom who is not an entrepreneur, or as a human being, or as an alien, or as whatever you are today…) what do you want to know? What do you struggle with? What questions do you have? If you could sit down for coffee and just have a friendly chat with someone who knows what you’re going through, what would you ask? Don’t hold back. No question is too big or too small!

Your Stories – One of the posts I’m working on features real life mompreneurs and how they chose their line of work. And I need more stories! So if you are a mom and you are working for yourself, talk to me! I want to hear from you no matter how small or how big your business is! What is your business and how did you get into it? (Were you doing something similar before, but for a boss? Did you discover a new passion after a layoff? Did you calculate each move or wing it?) No matter your path, I want to hear about it!

Please get in touch! You can comment below or contact me through my website (which will come directly to my email!)

I can’t wait to hear from you!

Mompreneur Monday – What’s Happening in April?

Wow, so it’s after 5 on Monday and I’m just now sitting down to write my Mompreneur Monday post. Things have felt a little scattered lately, but not in the classic overwhelmed way–more in a new-things-are-brewing-and-I’m-just-too-excited-about-too-much way! So a bunch of different ideas for posts have been rattling around in my brain and I just couldn’t stop and focus on one tonight. Instead, here’s a mash up of the exciting mompreneur things I’m thinking about for this upcoming month!

The E Myth Revisited

What I’m ReadingThe E-Myth Revisited by Michael Gerber. I told you guys last week about how inspired I was by Jess Lively. Well then she went ahead and outdid herself. In one of her email newsletters, she asked readers to write back and ask any question they want. So I did. And she wrote back! And suggested I read The E-Myth Revisited to help get some extra systems in place in my business to feel a little less overwhelmed by it. At first glance, I wouldn’t have thought this would be a book for me. But wow. Wow. I’m only halfway through, but I can already tell this book is going to change my business and my life. I am not a person who likes to hear that I’m doing something wrong. But Gerber’s style, charisma, experience, and real-life examples are captivating. I never thought I’d be eager to listen to someone tell me I’m doing everything wrong, but I love it! I’m staying up way too late reading every night. So if you’re in a spot where you feel like you’re working too much, or you feel like you can’t separate your business from yourself, or you feel like you’re managing your business on a combination of luck and coffee–this book is for you!

What I’m Focusing On At Home – Cleaning and Organizing! This is something that’s always on my list. But this month it is my main focus. My only focus. Sure, I’ll continue doing great work and aim to be a present wife and mother, but getting my home and office organized will help ALL the areas of my life. Work will flow smoother, Olivia will have more room to play safely, and it will create a space of calm and beauty for the whole family. Plus my birthday’s coming up! So it would be awesome if the house was in order and we could actually have people over to celebrate.

I had a lovely conversation with a lovely mama last week about her new Etsy shop, and afterward she offered some tips for organizing. I told her the trap I fall into is that I’ll clear one surface (my desk or my work table usually) but then it really just shifts stuff to another surface. And then I lose steam and don’t move onto the other surfaces and stuff comes back on to the clean surface. She suggested thinking about steps in a different way. Instead of focusing on one surface, focus on one “layer” if you will. Like all the recycling. Or deal with all of the envelopes.

So today I started! My first goal is to get all of the garbage and recycling out of the house. Garbage isn’t a huge problem in the office, but the recycling! I’m in the paper biz! And since it doesn’t smell bad, it’s so easy to fill a box and let it sit and then just start another box. Today I emptied the boxes. And gathered random paper scraps off tables. And picked things up off the floor. And I got it out. First I just set a timer for 10 minutes and gave myself permission to do only that much. It went by quickly so I did another 10. Then took an instagram break. Then did 25 more minutes! And I’m still not finished (told you–a lot of recycling) so I’ll plug away more at it tomorrow! On this one, I didn’t take before pictures–too embarrassing! But some before and after pictures may be in store for other phases.

New Designs – I’m committing to at least 3 new wedding designs this month! Now that I’ve said it on here and know you’ll be expecting to see them, I have to do it, right? I’m focusing on keeping things fresh, modern, unique, and quirky, with a focus on fun typography and bold colors.

Business Stuff – I’m starting a newsletter! I’m a little nervous, but totally excited about it! I’d be honored if you feel like welcoming me into your inbox once a month! (And then I’ll come back and recap about what I learn about the whole process! You know me.) Sign up for free fresh tips and new product releases right here!

And I think that’s enough for one girl for one month, don’t you think? What about you? What’s on your agenda this April? Comment below!

Finding Purpose and My Aha! Moment

Lately I’ve been having a bit of an identity crisis. Nothing major, just one of those “What is my purpose in life?” kind of crises. You have those from time to time, right?

When I was teaching, purpose felt easy. I knew I was helping people by teaching. I was shaping the minds of America’s youth for goodness sakes! I could see the difference I was making, the lightbulbs turning on. I have always felt drawn to teach. Leaving the teaching field was a very difficult decision because I knew I was leaving something that I was good at and something that mattered.

Nevertheless, I knew it was the best decision to make for the time. I knew I wanted and needed to be home for my daughter more than I needed to be in the classroom. And I am so grateful that I’ve found a way to work, be creative, and be home for her. I know that I am still helping people–I’m providing something they need and in a beautiful way. I hope (and I hear) that I’m doing it in a way that makes the invitation process easy and fun. When my customers write and tell me they cried when they opened their invitations, I know I’m doing something good for the world.

But is it enough?

I just feel like there’s so much talk about “finding your purpose,” and running a business with purpose, that maybe I’m not purposeful enough. I mean is my true “purpose in life” really in paper and envelopes? Is providing couples with clever designs and a great experience enough of a purpose? Is raising my daughter the way that I am enough of a purpose? Aren’t I supposed to be doing something more?!

So then a couple weeks ago I stumbled across Jess Lively’s website. At first glance, I was like, “Ok, this is kind of like everything else. Live with intention, be present in the moment, uh huh, I get it.” But something kept drawing me back. And I saw she was hosting a free webinar about how to write an “intention.” Guys–I love free webinars. I just love learning and I love free. Free webinars are made for me. I can’t always devote the time to actually watch them, but this one happened to be on a Tuesday morning and worked with my schedule, so I signed up.

And it was great, I’m intrigued by the idea of “intentions” vs. “goals” and I suggest you read her blog and sign up for her classes if that kind of thing interests you. But what really stuck out to me wasn’t even really part of the class. It was just this simple statement: “Your purpose is to serve others in the present moment.”

I’ll be honest, the first time she said it, I actually blew it off! I hear plenty of people talk or write about serving and there’s something that just feels a little fake about it. Like a little holier-than-thou or a little look-at-me-I’m-being-selfless. I actually said to myself, “Ok yeah, that’s her purpose but not mine.” But one of the participants in the webinar asked a question later and she came back to it. And very bluntly said, “Your purpose is to serve others in the present moment. That’s it. That’s purpose. Your purpose is not your career. If you’re an artist and your hand gets blown off, it doesn’t mean you don’t have a reason for living anymore.” She went on with other examples, and it all started to really sink in. And it didn’t feel fake anymore. It just felt… simple.

Your purpose is to serve others in the present moment.

That’s it. It’s that simple. It doesn’t have to be more complicated than that. It doesn’t have to include how you’re going to serve others. In fact, she went on to say you can wake up and say “How do I want to serve today?” and that really resonated with me too! Not, “How can I best utilize my talents to make the biggest impact possible in the world.” Just, “How do I want to serve today?”

So I’ve been trying it on for the last week. Because it’s totally like me to be struck by something seemingly amazing and then 2 days later I’m over it. I thought about giving it a few more weeks until I shared, but I can’t. Because I feel like this has changed my whole perspective on why I’m doing what I do, and I think it can help you too, so why hold back?

Randomly throughout the day, instead of asking myself, “What should I be doing?” or “What needs to get done?” or “What would give Olivia the best possible childhood?” or “How can I grow my business?” I’m just going, “Hmmm, how do I want to serve right now?” Do I want to serve my family by making them a delicious meal? Or serve a client by putting her at ease in the middle of her wedding stress? Or serve Olivia (and myself) by playing at the park for an hour?

There is something magically freeing about this. I dare you to try it for a week. I’m finding myself enjoying more moments and feeling more confident in how I’m choosing to spend my time. Just by saying okay, I’m here to serve–we’re ALL here to serve–in some way. And that the way we choose to serve doesn’t really matter. We can change our minds daily or build a career around one way to serve. We can serve our own children or children around the world. Even serving ourselves from time to time helps the greater good! That “purpose” doesn’t have to be some hidden gem we try to uncover with workbooks and workshops, it can just be to simply serve.

3 Ways to Say No Without Saying “No.”

I think at some point in our lives as mompreneurs, we all find ourselves saying “yes” to things when we really should be saying “no.” This is something I struggled with long before becoming an entrepreneur or a mom. I’m a Yes person. I enjoy helping people, I feel honored to be asked to do things, I hate missing out, and I love feeling like I did something that makes someone happy. But too often I find myself saying “yes” to too much. I over-commit, over-promise, and over-extend myself, which really doesn’t do anybody any favors. As my plate has gotten fuller with a growing business and a growing toddler, the room left to say “yes” to things has gotten much smaller and I’m having to learn how to say no. I can’t say “yes” to everything and do a good job at it all. So I’m learning how to carefully choose what I can (and want to) commit to and let go of the rest.

A big part of the whole “no” issue for me is that I feel guilty. The moment someone asks if I can do something, I feel like I’m letting them down if I can’t. I want to be a problem solver, and saying “no” feels like I’m leaving them in the lurch. But this doesn’t have to be the case! These are my three go-to answers when I want to say “yes,” but have to say “no.”

1. “Not now, but later.” Sometimes the request is for something I really want to do, but the timing’s just off. I really really do want to go to happy hour and catch up on gossip–but my family needs me more this week. I really really do want to attend every play group–but I have to complete my invitation orders instead. I really really do want to help you with your new logo, but I can’t devote the time until after wedding season. So the “not now, but later” response helps ease that fear of missing out. I’m not saying, “I’m too busy for you,” I’m just saying, “This week is really busy, next week would be better.” The tricky (but important) part is finding the time that does work. Sometimes a whole month is just crazy and I have to say, “Gosh, I am booked all month, which is insane! But I really want to see you, so let’s plan on getting drinks the first week of April.” Whether you have to say no for the week, the month, or even the whole season, pick a time that does work and communicate that. If you can’t find a time that works–then it’s probably not something you really want to say yes to.

2. “Not me, but her.” One of the greatest blessings of attending Stationery Academy is that I met two dozen incredibly talented designers that I get to call friends. People have asked me, “But aren’t you all in competition with one another?” and I can honestly say, “Not at all!” We all have unique styles and our own areas of expertise and it’s fabulous. One of my struggles as a designer is that I’ve tried to be everything to everybody. When someone asks, “Have you ever done ___?” my answer was always, “I haven’t, but I can!” I guess I was afraid to ever turn down any orders. Well as my brilliant friend Natalie Chang put it, “Just because you know how to do something, doesn’t mean you should.” I can’t be everything to everybody and still be true to myself. And–news flash–I’m not the solution to every problem! So sure, I can design whatever it is you’re asking about, but that doesn’t mean I’m the best person for the job. I’ve found that when I say “yes” to jobs that aren’t my specialty, I spend way more time than I should on them and the client doesn’t get the absolute best design she possibly could. That sounds like a lose-lose to me. Now that I know so many great stationers, I can say, “You know, I’d absolutely love to work with you, and while I’d hate to turn you away, I know that I can’t do as great a job on that as you deserve. But I know just the girl for you! My friend specializes in exactly that style and she’ll take great care of you!” At first it felt weird to turn down orders, but it really is the best solution for everyone. My time is freed up to work on what I love working on, the client gets a better product working with someone who specializes in that style, and a friend gets a job that they enjoy!

3. “Not this, but that.” Sometimes I receive inquiries for products I used to offer, but have discontinued. It’s always hard to say, “You know, I don’t offer that anymore.” Again, it’s something I can do, something I used to do, and I hate to let people down. But I have to remind myself why I stopped carrying those items and stick with my decision. (Usually because they took more time than they were worth or because I couldn’t get the quality as perfect as I wanted.) So I’ve tried this strategy: instead of just saying no, I say, “Gosh, I’m no longer able to offer that. However, I do offer this!” and point them toward a similar, but better product. And they often say “Yes!” Usually more excited about the new product than the old one. Another win-win in my book. The customer gets what they need and want, and I feel good about working on it because it’s a product or design that I’m proud of.

So these examples are pretty specific to my life and line of work, but I think they really apply to almost anything! If you need to say no, but feel guilty or don’t want to miss out, rry out one of these strategies: pick a later date, refer a friend, or offer a different option that you wouldn’t mind saying “yes” to!

I want to hear from you! Comment below and let me know what you’ve been afraid to say “no” to. What can you say instead of “yes” that will be a win-win?

I am not Supermom!

A few times within the last couple weeks someone has said to me, “Wow, so you’re like… Supermom!” And every single time, it stopped me in my tracks. While it’s flattering to think that I hold some sort of super power that allows me to juggle orders in one hand while snapping onesies with the other, mostly I just feel… like a total fraud! I am no Supermom. I am the farthest thing from it. I do not have my shit together. (Sorry if that offends you beyond belief and you have to stop reading because I said “shit!” My new theme is being real and the real Emily is a little rough around the edges.) If anything, I’m looking around at all the other moms, wondering how they manage to get multiple people dressed and out of the house before noon. Wondering how they can play and play and play for hours without turning on Dora or Daniel or Doc McStuffins. Wondering how they fit grocery shopping and laundry and dishes in along with work and birthday parties and toddler swim lessons. Everyone looks like they have it more together than I do. So who are you calling Supermom?

Don’t get me wrong. I am proud of the choice I’ve made to leave the security of the classroom and run my dream business. And I feel beyond fortunate that I get to do it all from home so I can be with my wild little red head. I wouldn’t trade this life in for anything! (Even if I could go to work in a beautiful office where real adult-sized humans get to interact and drink coffee and then pee in private.)

But when I say I am running a business out of my home and making a living and caring for a toddler, please don’t mistake that for me saying I’m doing it all. I am far from doing “it all.” Working while parenting doesn’t make me a Supermom. It makes me really really tired!

Last week was rough, you guys. A combination of some bad luck, some bad timing, and some bad planning left me feeling frazzled, overwhelmed, behind on everything, running in a thousand directions, and falling very very short of Supermom. And the scary thing is–I’m looking at another crazy week ahead. I can see it, but I don’t know how to stop it. Because the truth is–while I may have some handy planning tips to share, and while yes they DO help me from losing my mind most of the time–I still struggle with the things we all struggle with. Fighting overwhelm, prioritizing, saying “no,” being present. I struggle to make time for myself, my health, and my marriage. I give everything I have to a little person and a growing business and there’s not much left of me at the end of the day. And that’s something I want to change, but I don’t know how. I know that I need some help so that I can be happier and healthier. Whether that’s in the form of an assistant or a housekeeper or a babysitter (or all three?) I don’t know. I do know that as scary as it is to admit that I don’t have it all together–it’s really not fair to anyone to pretend that I do.

I don’t want to be a Supermom. Well yes, I do. I want to be everything and do everything and still have time to laugh and play. But really, I don’t want the pressure of being super. I don’t want that kind of title. I don’t want to be admired, because people on pedestals aren’t usually offered a hand. I’m not saying I’m helpless and want to be pitied either. I just want–I just want to be friends. I want to be on the same field as every mom–the moms who run businesses and the moms who run households. I want for us to see that we’re all struggling and I want for us to help each other out a little. I want to push past the jealousy and the feelings of inadequacy and the guilt and the “How do you do it?” and just see each other as women. Women who are all fighting a great fight. Who are all trying to be the best version of ourselves and who are all failing pretty miserably behind the scenes.

So please, stop calling me Supermom. Stop calling ANYONE Supermom like they’re somehow doing more than you or doing it better. Stop thinking that anyone else has it all together while your life is falling apart. I think we’re all falling apart in some way or another. And really–all moms are super! No matter how we came to be moms or how we choose to parent, we are raising human beings! That alone is pretty damn super.