{by JJ creative director kari shipman}

IT’S THAT GOLDEN HOUR. Well, that golden hopefully-hour. This tiny human you’ve made finally closes their eyes and heads off to dream of puppies and grandma’s smile, and you are FREE*.
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man, they’re so cute when they’re not screaming…

*You no longer have a small person crawling on your head, continuing to contribute to the
mess that used to be your quaint home, screaming in your face, splattering food on the walls,
requiring you to wipe up actual poop, or putting something in their mouth causing you to panic
and spent 10 minutes coercing them to “spit it out and give it to mommy”.

My little one turns one year old next week and except for the Pinterest-induced panic attack that is The First Birthday Party, I’m feeling pretty accomplished, despite my seemingly dismal list of “accomplishments” in the past year. In general, but especially as someone who owns their own business, motherhood brings with it a giant identity crisis. Along with a myriad of crippling decisions about every aspect of your everyday life, you are now faced with MOMMY GUILT in how you choose to spend your time – time that used to be fully spent doing the things that defined you.
With 5+ years of running my company under my belt, my husband and I chose to have me take a break for the first 4-5 months, then work from home. For me, working from home means compartmentalizing everything (not the easiest task for this creative). Every mom has their choices on how to rock this work/family balance, and I chose to only work when she’s asleep. In theory this means I’m present with her the entire time she’s awake, and naptime and bedtime are for work. But separating those things, and not being frustrated on the no nap days, or just collapsing from exhaustion once she finally nods off way later than planned… it’s a whole different story.
In the chaos, the driving force is PASSION. Passion for the work that I do, knowing that it really does matter. Passion for my daughter having a full and loved little life with her momma by her side. And a passion for my marriage and the woman I am aside from everything aforementioned.
Is it perfect? HAHAHA! I mean, no. No it’s not. I pretty much fail at at least one of those aspects every day. This mommahood thing is a dance with grace. For myself first, and then with each of the aspects that whirl around me in a frantic grasp for my attention. At the end of the exhausted day, what I have to offer my daughter, my husband, my community and myself is my PASSION, my determination and my humanity, drenched in the grace it takes to get up in the morning and do it all over again. Whatever your choices on work or not with littles, know that none of them are easy choices, and each requires sacrifice from us.
So to all of you mommas out there dancing this dance,
whether it be a jig, a waltz or straight up freestyle,
you are powerful
this is just a season
you have something worthwhile to say
you’ve got this
we’re all in it together.

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