As I write this, I am eight weeks away from my due date and I can’t help but worry about the long to-do list I’ve got. Planning content, research, another set tasks for the other business I run, not to mention all the stuff that is pregnancy / birthing / baby-related. Seriously, I don’t even have a car seat yet!
I read Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In, when it first came out. As a mother and female executive, she writes about the challenges women have with career advancement and the balancing act with parenthood. My own mom took a few years off working until I started kindergarten, my mother-in-law took a few weeks off before returning to her corporate job as a project manager, and my sister ran a business out of her home office within the first year of her daughter’s birth. Carol Knight shared words of wisdom when we met up for my baby shower, letting me know that traveling with a child is possible so long as you’re strategic and do your research in advance. I’ve had several people ask me if I’ll be taking time off soon. The honest answer is, sort of, as I’ve made no definitive decision about it. I think I will still be working in some way because I also know that I will never be completely “off” from working. Despite the varied paths of the mothers I know, all have told me that it’s all going to work out no matter what I decide. How can it?! How do they know?!
There are millions of things that need to get done before this little maven is born, but in the words of Don Williams, “you’ll never be ready.” Quite similar to PR and events, you’ll plan, envision way things need to go, check off items on the to-do lists, have contingency plans if Plan A doesn’t work out, but seriously, nothing can really prepare you for it.
The true consolation is the reminder that I’m not in this alone. Like Sheryl Sandberg wrote about how co-parenting is integral for moving forward as one “leans in,” I have Jason, my truly amazing husband, who is lovingly cooking dinner as I write this. We have our family and a network of close friends, and the family we’ve made with our Williams Group team. Don and Carol have been mentors for Jason and me professionally for several years now. We’ve talked through ideas about reach, growth, and potential for the several businesses we’ve worked with. PR, both parenting relations and public relations, involves working collaboratively, surrounding others in positive energy, providing excellent service, and staying level-headed. You do all the research, come up with a strategy and go forth from there. Clearly what I’m embarking upon is nothing new.
So my newest client will be this baby. I hope she likes what I bring to the table. Let’s hope she helps me stick to the birthing plan set for early July.