Episode 8 // Being Boss and Being Mom

February 24, 2015

In today’s episode of Being Boss Kathleen and Emily share how they manage being boss while also being working moms. This episode is for new parents and even creative entrepreneurs who are thinking about starting a family but don’t know how they’ll manage it all.

Learn More about the Topics Discussed in this Episode
"What has kept me a sane as a working mom is not giving up my own identity."
- Emily Thompson

Discussed in this Episode

  • Emily shares what it’s like to homeschool her 7 year old while also managing Indie Shopography
  • Kathleen shares what it’s like to have a new baby while managing Braid Creative
  • The challenges of being a working creative parent
  • Can you “have it all” and the mindset shifts you have to make as a mompreneur
  • The parallels between starting a business and starting a family
  • Daycare? Work from home? Nanny? Childcare solutions are limitless when you work for yourself
  • Getting habits and routines in place to make work and life so you can have creative freedom
  • Why self-care is so important for the creative #momboss
  • Setting clear expectations and boundaries with your family (and yourself) so you can be a boss at work


More from Kathleen

Braid Creative

More from Emily

Almanac Supply Co.


Kathleen Shannon 0:05
Get your business together, get yourself into what you do, and see it through.

Emily Thompson 0:10
Because being boss is hard when you work and life is messy. Making your dream job of your own isn't easy. But getting paid for it, becoming known for it. And finding purpose in it is so doable.

If you do the work, being boss, a podcast for creative entrepreneurs, from Emily Thompson

Kathleen Shannon 0:32
and Kathleen Shannon.

Emily Thompson 0:33
Welcome to episode eight. Being boss, and being mom.

Kathleen Shannon 0:40
Hello, everyone. Like Emily said, welcome to being boss. So we've been getting a lot of questions from our listeners about how Emily and I manage being boss and also being working moms. So today we are going to talk about that. We got a question from Caroline. Hey, ladies. I've really enjoyed listening to the first few episodes from my workspace, which is my living room with a sleeping six month old next to me, Kathleen, I followed your blog for a while now and I know that you have a baby yourself. My question is how did you stay creative and grow your business while you were getting little to no sleep? And also how do you fit work hours into a growth spurt breastfeeding schedule. I run an audio recording and production company with my husband. And also have an illustration in hand lettering Etsy company on the side. I'm looking for tips on work life balance when you work alongside your baby. Thanks.

Emily Thompson 1:42
And we also got another email. So we've had tons of emails, but we got another one from Anna Maria. And she says Hi, I have a question about time management when you have a kid and are a stay at home mom trying to work on a new blog, a knowledge in the field brainstorming ideas, etc. How do I prioritize the little spare time and still progress? I feel frustrated because I can't do everything I want to so piece of advice would do me good. Thank you for answering Anna Maria. Well, Anna Marie and Caroline, you have two mom printers here who will hopefully at least try and are like sleep deprived, tired state to answer. answer some of these questions and see if we can't give you guys some tips. Yeah, today's episode is for you guys. It's

Kathleen Shannon 2:33
for the bosses out there who are moms and dads. We have a couple of guy listeners who have a family or thinking about starting a family in the next few years but are freaking out about how you're going to manage it all. And Emily has a seven year old is she seven

Emily Thompson 2:52
she turns seven tomorrow.

Unknown Speaker 2:54

Kathleen Shannon 2:55
birthday. So Emily has a seven year old she calls her hashtag cute kid. And I have a one year old boy named Fox. And so Emily and I are both at very different stages. I think of raising our kiddos we both have different challenges whenever it comes to being working moms. And I think that we'll both be the first to admit that we do not have all the answers like we are not parenting experts by any means. So today we're just sharing a personal peek behind the curtain as to like what works for us and how we're able to manage being bosses while also being moms. So Emily, like tell us a little bit I'm curious to hear with your seven year old a day in the life of like what is your day like from start to finish?

Unknown Speaker 3:47

Emily Thompson 3:47
Oh, it's fun. It's a lot of fun. So cute kid who her name is Lily. Um, she she is seven years old. He or she turns seven tomorrow as of recording date of this podcast, and we homeschool. So ours is like ours is a super, super parenting life that we live. We don't you know, we don't send her to school we work at home or at the studio with our kid. So it starts out pretty early in the morning, I wake up pretty naturally at about 530 or six o'clock in the morning. And that's when I enjoy my quiet time I have found that quiet time for me is the most imperative part of my day and quiet time it can literally just be here scrolling through Twitter on my phone, which is one of the things that I do at 530 and six o'clock when I wake up. So I get up or I wake up and I usually lay in bed for an hour or two while the house sort of sleeps and I I read the news on my phone and I go through Twitter and Instagram. I'll pick up the laptop and I'll do a little work from bed and sort of pre answer emails or write a newsletter or something for the day. So my day always has to start out with a low Time has to start out with alone time.

Kathleen Shannon 5:04
And you're recording this podcast right now from bed. Yeah, yeah, he's spent a lot of time working from.

Emily Thompson 5:10
I do kind of work a lot from bed. I am recording the podcast from bed.

Kathleen Shannon 5:14
And so right now it's 90 am like what is Lily doing right now?

Emily Thompson 5:18
Right now her and her dad. David. They're downstairs playing Legos. Yeah, so so and that's what we do. We like to spend our mornings together. We have breakfast in the morning Lily. Billy comes upstairs. Every morning at eight o'clock, we have an alarm clock in her room, which for any mom with a kid who can tell time, get them a clock in their room and tell them what time it's okay for them to come out of their room. I think that for us was a huge game changer. Because my morning time is so important for like the rest of my day. Like if I don't have my alone time in the morning, it's going to get real real fast. So, so we gave Lily a clock to put in her room and whenever it turns eight o'clock, she knows that it's okay to come upstairs. And we usually hang out in bed for a little while. We get up we do breakfast we get ready. And then sort of the workday starts pretty pretty much around nine every day is when the day starts. So sometimes I go to the studio, sometimes I work from home, sometimes it's at the kitchen table, and sometimes it's in bed. And David and Lily at that point usually do homeschooling stuff like handwriting exercises or chores. And I make this sound so well planned out. But it's really not like our lives are pretty go with the flow. But we do sort of have that routine in place. So I work for a couple of hours sometimes when it comes to work with me and hangs out where she does more homeschooling stuff. The Rosetta Stone is something we're totally in do right now for Lillian's would have given her computer time, but in a way that's like super educational. And we usually wrap up our day around five, six o'clock, played game of darts the studio while Lily runs around nuts, and then we come home, do dinner,

Unknown Speaker 7:10
read, hang out and go to bed.

Kathleen Shannon 7:13
So you didn't always homeschool. And I'm kind of taking us off track. But I'm curious. Why did you decide to homeschool last year Lily was in school, right?

Emily Thompson 7:22
Yes, yes.

Kathleen Shannon 7:23
And it's a two part question. Not so like do you think that it would work? If David, so your man and Lily's Dad? And if he wasn't also working for you? Like do you think that it would work? if let's say David had a day job? Or if you were a single mom?

Emily Thompson 7:42
No, oh, we've talked about this so many times. We're so grateful for like where we are in our life and business so that I I'm we're allowed to have him work with me. Or you know, it's really a business we're building together. And if he had another job, we would not homeschool. And we began homeschooling, like whenever I was pregnant, even pregnant moms always have like the thing that they're going to do. And for a lot of moms, it's like I'm going to breastfeed until they're, you know, two or you know that you always five years old. Yeah, you have your stick, whatever that is. And for me, mine was homeschooling. Whenever I was pregnant, I was going to homeschool my kid, you know, I grew up in the public school system. Ever product of the public public school system. It's obviously not a horrible thing. But I was never super pleased with it as like a super like active kid, like, my brain is kind of nuts sometimes. So you know, I just found school a little boring. And I always thought I would homeschool my kid. And then whenever it came down to sending her to school, I was building my business. And I needed her out of the house. Like me, it really was, like I could not homeschool. David was what was David doing? I think David was finishing up graduate school at the time, so he wasn't as at home as much. And so we send her to school for the first day she went to daycare for a while, she'd go into kindergarten. And then whenever we found ourselves like in position in life where you know, the business was going really well and I wasn't having to hustled quite as much, but also that David could work with me and we could be sort of work at home parents. It was one of a just a place in our life where we found ourselves when it simply made more sense to homeschooler than to mess up our entire day by all the things that we had to do in regards to sending her to school. Um, so we homeschool and it works out really well for us but I do not believe that it is for everyone.

Kathleen Shannon 9:41
All right, um, yeah, I can't even imagine homeschooling right now. I can't even imagine like getting past this next hour right now. WORKING MOM morning I've had so I'll just share like a day in the life of my life. So I have Fox who is when he's one. He just turned And my husband, Jeremy Fox's dad, he has a day job as an electrical engineer. And so we're not working together, like my business is just mine and my sisters, my sister does live across the street. So it is kind of like a one big happy family situation. Anyway. So my day this morning actually started at 420, whenever Fox started crying in his crib, which he's just learned how to sleep in. For the first year of his life, we were co sleeping, and basically waking up every hour or two. And so I was very sleep deprived up until recently, but we've been working on getting him in his crib, which is a whole other story. But um, so at 420, this morning, Fox is crying. And so I went and grabbed him, my husband was like, No, don't go get him Do not bring that baby into this. But I did, I got him and I took the baby into the bed. And he nursed a little bit while I just kind of laid there. And we both fell back asleep. So it was awesome, really wasn't too bad compared to what we've been through for the last year. And we got up around, we usually get up around six, and get breakfast going. And so we have the same breakfast every morning and I heat up now I heat up a bottle for Fox. And I get him a little breakfast on his highchair. And so we'll sit around for about an hour. And foxes really chill in the mornings he's getting, he's getting a little bit more needy as he gets older as far as just wanting to be entertained. So I'll set him up in the living room with some of his toys or whatever, while we eat our breakfast and drink our tea and catch up with our blog reading and things like that. And having a morning routine has always been important for me even before I had the baby and it's still very much is. And then Jeremy gets ready for work while I get Fox ready for daycare, I get him dressed and I get his lunch together. And then I send them on their way. And so Jeremy and Fox leave around 8am. And so my workday really starts around then I'll write or blog or answer emails, going over the days to do lists, things like that. I usually have a meeting at nine or 10am. And so like today, it's recording this podcast. But tomorrow, it might be a client meeting. And then I go work out in the middle of the day, every day. And then whenever I get back, I usually have maybe another meeting at two. Well, if I don't have a meeting, I will just continue to work on client work or providing feedback to my team on the stuff that they're working on. I might do some planning and writing. And then my day usually ends around three or 330. And that's whenever I go pick up Fox from daycare, and we will usually go to a park and go for a long walk. And we'll come home and I make him dinner around five, we start to and then around that time Jeremy comes home from his work. And we'll all just kind of hang out together. around six o'clock, I'll start making dinner and Jeremy gives Fox's bath and get some ready for bed and he'll have his last bottle. And then Fox goes down by seven. And after that Jeremy and I are eating dinner, we're watching some Netflix, and then I'm usually in bed by nine and asleep no later than 10. And so that's like pretty much what my day looks like every day. Um, that sounds glorious. Yeah, it's really nice. And we've got our patterns and our routine and but there are some challenges of being a creative entrepreneur in a working mom. And for me, it's decision fatigue, right? So like, I've never been a mom before, and I don't know what I'm doing. So like every day, I'm having to make decisions, I'm having to decide, should I bring the baby into the bed? Or should I let him cry? Should I try and give him a bottle? Or should I maybe nurse him? should I? You know, and then the big things? Are vaccinations going to kill my baby? Or are the measles going to kill my baby legging. There are just so many ways that you can parent. And I think especially now with all the accessibility and seeing how everyone else is doing and not being able to just call your mom and say how did you do it because now we have so much information. It makes all the decisions that much harder to make. And so for me, it's like there's a lot of decision fatigue that comes with being a boss like I have to make so many decisions every day for my clients, for my business and now for my baby. And it is exhausting. And I had you know, I thought that like the sleep deprivation is came prepared for all that that I was not prepared for. For all the decisions that I would have to make.

Should I send my baby to daycare or not? Should I sleep with my baby? Should I, you know, all these different things that you just have to decide big and little?

Emily Thompson 15:16
Yeah, there are tons of decisions.

Kathleen Shannon 15:21
Yeah, so that is like the most challenging thing. For me as a creative entrepreneur and working on What about you, Emily? Like, what's the most challenging thing for you as a working creative mom?

Unknown Speaker 15:33

Emily Thompson 15:34
as a working creative mom for me. Because Because I do work so closely with my kid like constantly being in proximity, like, you're in a good good age where like, we're Fox isn't quite super spongy yet. Like, he's, I mean, he's definitely soaking in everything that's happening. But he's not like throwing it back at you yet. Which, which enjoyed this place because it will end soon.

Kathleen Shannon 16:00
Soon, like, I hear that enjoy. It goes by so fast. I'm like, Oh, my God, it cannot go by fast enough. And I, I should say I love being a mom. But it is. It's not easy. Oh, I think all moms can agree anyway. So tell me what you're talking about Emily? Like, what do you mean?

Emily Thompson 16:17
Sure, sure. So um, so because I work in such such close proximity to Lily and because now you know, Dave and I are like, really solely responsible for the entirety of her education, as like, as like a smart person. But also it's just like a human being. Um, my biggest challenge is that is the fact that she's literally always watching me. And that's, that's really hard. Whenever, you know, whenever I'm at the studio, and you know, we're goofing off, or, you know, or I just got like an email from someone who hasn't been mad or anything like that, you know, how I react to every situation is constantly being watched by Lily. So I don't have you know, eight hours in a day where she's not watching me.

Kathleen Shannon 17:04
It's really like, instead of having like the fear of God, you have the fear of your child yet

Unknown Speaker 17:11
watching what

Emily Thompson 17:13
she does, but then she also will throw it back at me. So if I'm having a day where I'm just, I'm just being like, a bossy little shit, which definitely happens. By the end of the day, she's being a bossy, little shit. And so like, I really sort of have to keep myself in check constantly, which is a really great practice, sort of, you know, always keeping your emotions in check, and making sure you're not flipping out or doing the wrong people, whatever. She definitely keeps me like accountable. But it is one of the hardest things, at least for me, being a working mom and building a business, is the fact that I really am constantly on stage for either my clients, or the people who follow me, and especially my own child, is that recently has been the biggest challenge for me.

Kathleen Shannon 18:02
So I think that for our listeners, who are moms or dads or want to start a family soon, and well, I would say just for the people who are actually moms and dads now is that there are so many challenges when it comes to being a creative working parent. And every one will have different challenges. So like, identify the challenge for yourself. And so for me, it's decision fatigue for Emily, it's being on all the time. And we'll talk a little bit more about ways that we work around those. But let's talk a little bit about you know, just getting in the right mindset for being a working mom. And I hear this thing all the time about like having it all Can you have it all? And yes, you can have it all. And I felt like probably as of this year, like no, you can't have it all. Like if I'm just being completely honest, I don't think you can, unless you're able to just shift your thinking around what all is. And like, you know, maybe you can have it all, but only if you're really clear on what it is that you want. So there's the having it all situation. Um, and then I think just also realizing that you're more than just a mom, you're more than just a boss.

Emily Thompson 19:28
Yeah, that one for me is one of the biggest ones. And I think one of the reasons that I've been able to keep it together as well as I have lately. Well, it really just in the past seven years, I mean, whenever whenever Lily was super young, you know, I was just building my business and I was just in the first couple of years of it and in David was in graduate school, so he was not around. We were living in, in the town in the mountains in North Carolina and I had no family around. We had some friends but not the kind of friends I could be like, Hey, come on slowly, for a little while I'm not those kinds of friends. So I literally built my business with Lilly with me. 24 seven. And what kept me I think the most sane was not giving up my own identity. Because that's something that I watch moms do all the time. If you have a kid, and you admit, immediately change your Twitter handle to like Aiden's mom, then we have a problem. Like, I really think that at that point, there's a problem. Because once you start losing your own identity, and you just become a mom, that's when you're like every other passion you have, starts to starts to wither, I think. And that's when your business starts, and you're not doing as well is when you stop thinking about how to take care of your kid beyond you. Which I think is is something that a lot of people sort of getting stuck thinking. So for me, one of my biggest mindset mindset shifts and reap in regards to you know, how it is that you build a strong personal brand or a strong business, is that you have to sort of, you have to understand that once you become a mom, you're still all the other things that you always were, you just added responsibility.

Kathleen Shannon 21:13
Yeah, I love that. And it's so important for me to hear that right now. Because I'm just in the first year of it. And after I had Fox, and my Instagram, became practically Fox's mom, because I was only posting photos of Fox and it, it is such a transition. And it is such an identity flip. And it's really hard to maintain your sense of self, especially when we're another little person I, especially in the first year is so dependent on you, and especially if you're breastfeeding, and you're co sleeping and you're like literally attached to this person all the time, it's easy to forget that you are your own person as well.

Emily Thompson 21:56
Sure, in your own person with responsibilities,

Unknown Speaker 21:59
like Yes,

Emily Thompson 22:01
yes, to continue doing things. And the first year is a tricky place. Because in a lot of ways, you should sort of lose your identity, because I should be super focused on being mom, but you have to crawl out of it, you have to maintain Enough of your identity that you can, you can sort of restart that once once baby's a little less dependent on you, because a kid will continually get less and less dependent on you. And if you're depending on your child for your identity, then, you know, as they get older, you're going to lose yourself. And that sucks. Don't put yourself in that position. Now.

Kathleen Shannon 22:41
It's whenever you say that it's so good to hear, or it's important to hear. And I think part of my problem is that I'm having a baby has forced me into the present moment like never before. I'm very much a forward thinker and a daydreamer, and I'm so present right now just trying to figure out how to be a mom, and you know, all those decisions I have to make. And that I forget that this is temporary. And I forget that things are going to change. But I have to just I and maybe it's even hormonally, but I feel like we're going to be here forever, like that fox is going to be one forever and that he's never going to sleep forever and that he's going to be breastfeeding forever. And so it feels forever. And so it's fun to hear you even now talking about having a seven year old Emily, and you're like, yeah, and the first couple years, like just throwing it around, like it's no big round, like, Oh my god, this is forever. I think the same can be actually said for business. You know, we get emails from people just graduating college who are freaking out about their path. And I'm like, you need to chill out like you have time. But forgetting like how urgent those first couple of years of business feel like I think it's the same thing with a baby like the first couple years are just going to feel like a total shit show. Yeah,

Emily Thompson 24:05
that's the grind. I mean, you have to that's exactly what it is like you. There's such a parallel between children and business, in the first couple of years of business and children is hard. And again, I'm not trying to say I'm an expert neither. But I do have really good child and a really good business.

Unknown Speaker 24:21
So we got this.

Emily Thompson 24:24
But whenever Yeah, the first couple years are a grind. I mean, it's, it's the work the most work for the least amount of reward, but it sets the foundation for having a good kid or for having a profitable business. Okay,

Kathleen Shannon 24:39
so that brings me to a big mindset shift that I had to make. And so whenever you talked about putting in the most work for the least amount of reward, I started looking at parenting and being a working mom and my business with braid creative as an investment and so Let me explain myself. So it's like, whenever you invest in the stock market or 401k, or whatever real estate, it's like, how do you diversify your investments? Like your time and energy? And what's the return on those investments? And is it worth it? And so for me, I had to look at like I, I could have easily shut down, read creative, or just handed it off to my sister and our team and say, You know what, I'm gonna be a stay at home mom from now on. But then like you said, like, where does that leave me whenever Fox gets a little bit older? Yeah. So I've decided to invest a certain amount of time and energy into continuing to grow braid, so that whenever fox is older, I still have this business for myself. And at the same time, I'm not working maybe as hard as my sister was, for example, whenever she first had her kids, she was a creative director at an ad agency. And so she didn't own her own business, but she had to invest a lot of time into her job and growing her expertise. So that one day she could become a creative entrepreneur. Anyway, it's, it's all about, like, where are you going to put your time and energy and so for me, like I'm not working as many hours as I could, because I also want to invest a lot of time into Fox and making sure that his you know, needs are met and my needs are met. As far as the things that I do place a priority on, like breastfeeding, and people call it attachment parenting, I didn't even know what that was, whenever. Whenever I started wearing Fox all the time, and breastfeeding and co sleeping, and all of that stuff, but he does go to daycare, so it's not like he's attached to me all the time. Anyway, I'm kind of rambling. Probably cuz I woke up at 420 this morning.

Emily Thompson 26:56
No, you can. And I think that's a totally valid point. I think that's just like another one of those parallels between like, children and business. And that is an investment, like you have to if you have to invest in your child's future, but like, it can be short and long term future do and that's one of the things with like, being a great business owner and a great parent is you have to sort of maintain this balance between short and long term planning. You know, what is going to be best for your kid right now, may not be the best thing that's or the thing that's best for them long term, in the same thing with your kid, and with your life choices, and all those things that you saw, you have to you have to gain that balance between making the right investments in every part of your life, including children, I mean, deciding to take really homeschool short term investments sucked. Like it really,

Unknown Speaker 27:47

Emily Thompson 27:48
did, for the first nine months that we homeschooled, but like or maybe maybe it's six months, I'd say are horrible. Like I will be the first to tell anyone that the first six months of homeschooling Lily were the hardest six months of my life, like I probably would have traded spaces with you and not slept for six months, they were really hard. They were really drying, we there were a couple of breakdowns. And Lily is not an erratic child. She does not throw temper tantrums, she's very well behaved. But there was at least twice where there was a breakdown over you know, if you can't do the homeschool thing, like if you're not going to listen to us and do your handwriting or whatever, then you're going to have to go back to school like I'm not going to fight you. There are teachers that I pay my taxes to pay them to do that for me. And I will do so and so. But it was an investment that I knew long term and both time and energy would pay off and it has like I guess we're maybe about eight nine months into into homeschooling now. And like our It's fantastic. I would not send her back to school right now for anything because the the investments are paying off. She's the she's super healthy. She used to get sick every other weekend whenever she was in public school. So she's super healthy. She's eating great because we're not packing her the same lunch every day and she's not eating like school food. We we actually we've been able to take her gluten free, which would have been so much harder if she were in school because of some health issues we've been able to easily go gluten free. So those are just like little I agree. I think you have to look at parenting and business in terms of investing and time and energy not just money and and seeing where things will weigh out for you.

Kathleen Shannon 29:44
It's important and even you know financial investments number Fox was little itty bitty and I took an eight week maternity leave. And whenever it was time, whenever my eight weeks were up, I had to decide okay, what am I going to do as for As childcare goes, and I had to decide, do I want to hire a nanny? Do I want to send him to daycare? What do I want this to look like? And I decided to send him to daycare. And it's not, you know, super expensive. I know that for some people, though, it is like a really good chunk of your salary sending your baby to daycare. And so you have this, you might say, Well, why would I send my baby to daycare, whenever it's like half of what I make? Why don't I just stay at home. And I think that whenever you're working for yourself, especially you are, you're spending that money to invest in yourself and to invest in your own growth, while your baby is being really well taken care of, hopefully, at daycare. And so and I'll talk a little bit more about daycare later. But um, and I have a couple of blog posts that I wrote a really extensive blog post, because I felt a big dilemma around daycare. But I just want to mention here financially, that it was worth it to me to pay a good chunk of my salary. For daycare for Fox, it was a good short term and long term investment. I would say long term investment. Yeah, because I'm able to grow my business and my business with the growth that's happening now is going to last us forever.

Emily Thompson 31:22
Yes. Well, and that's just a whole other mindset shift. I actually look at this on our live podcast to do list is, is there a difference between a cost and an investment, like if you look at daycare as a cost, or you're spending half of your money for daycare, then yes, that's a bad idea. But it's not a cost. It's an investment. And whenever you look at it like an investment, it makes it easier to spend the money to do actually, you know better your life or business or whatever that may be. Whenever whenever Lily was younger, she was like 234 years old. I had someone come into the house, and a negative babysitter. While I was there working. Again, we were living in the mountains at that time, there was no good daycare solution. So for me, it was investing in someone who would come in and hang out with Lily a couple hours a day, a couple days a week. So it wasn't even like a full time thing. And she came and hung out with Lily and played with her and sort of gave her some one on one time, and gave me some free time to work. And then in the event that Lily was in a nap, she would come down or behind was Emily too, which is just confusing. But Emily would come down and and help me like fall away papers and answer emails and stuff. Like there are different ways of investing in your business and life and your child's future that you just thought you had to think about it, you have to consider it an investment and brainstorm as to what will work best for you and your family and your situation.

Kathleen Shannon 32:56
So transitioning a little bit to this decision fatigue thing, like the hardest part for me. As of today. I'm used to being a working mom and for you Emily being on all the time. And one of the things that I love what one of the experts I love is Danielle Laporte and her her big thing is making goals based on how you want to feel. And so not just the end goal, like I want to have this rockin six figure business or I want to be a stay at home mom or work at home mom, it's like how do you want to feel? And then making sure that the decisions that you make support that feeling? And so are the things that you're doing in your day, whether it's with your kid or at work making you feel how you want to feel? Are they getting you closer to your goal? And so I think that that is something that might benefit our listeners. Yeah, garlis of your situation, do you feel the way that you want to feel

Emily Thompson 34:03
right? And that's such a basic thing, like whenever you do have decision fatigue, and you are dealing with not only your own needs and requests, but those of small humans. I think one of the easiest questions you can ask yourself is how do you want to feel? It's not going to be one of those things that you really have to sit and think about like if you want to feel rested, then you know call your mom take the kid take a nap. I mean it

Kathleen Shannon 34:30
off air OFF AIR it's in leasing. Hey Kathleen, if you want to feel rested, you need to get that baby out of your bed. Oh,

Emily Thompson 34:35
I know we talked about that lots of times. We talked about that a lot. So yeah, I mean it is like just see how you want to feel and doing the things that you have to do to get there for for us we wanted to feel freedom like in our life, and that hugely affected like how we work and live with our child. We took her out of school because school made us feel so like tightened down. Like we had to have her there by eight every morning, we had to pick her up at three every day. And if we wanted to go on vacation it was we had to write a note. And I'm not okay with that. So so that was, you know, one of the decisions, or one of the ways that we set a goal to like make homeschooling work is we knew how he wanted to feel. And we knew that how life was currently happening wasn't making us feel that way. So we made the changes necessary to feel exactly the way we want to and and it pays off. It really just is as basic, I think is just as a parent with an overloaded brain. Just how do you want to feel?

Kathleen Shannon 35:37
I have no idea how I want to feel.

Unknown Speaker 35:47

Kathleen Shannon 35:49
I'm not trying to make your job harder for you. But I have no idea how I want to feel right now.

Unknown Speaker 35:54
Anyway, I

Kathleen Shannon 35:55
was just thinking about that. I'll probably think

Emily Thompson 35:57
on that today. Kathleen, I

Unknown Speaker 35:58
think on that

Kathleen Shannon 36:00
goal setting today, you should you should do some desire mapping today. We'll include a link to Danielle's desire map.

Emily Thompson 36:08
Yes, stuff is it's great. It is good. I love it, everyone. Its she's fantastic.

Kathleen Shannon 36:14
So one of the things that I've been asked a lot is Kathleen, how have you been able to do it all, you know, while you're sleep deprived, and while you're breastfeeding, and all of this, and well, when I'm not doing it all, I'm not just like Anna Maria, I'm frustrated too, because I'm not able to do everything that I want to do. And the pace at which I was living before I had the baby was very, like a rock rolling down a hill. And you know, so I had a lot of momentum. And I feel like in a lot of ways I got stopped in my tracks. Even though if I do look over the last year, I've been able to grow my business and start this podcast, there have been a lot of amazing things I've been able to accomplish. But I was only able to accomplish those things. Because I already had really good routines and habits in place before I ever started my family. So things like really scheduling out my day on my Google Calendar, keeping really tight to do lists, having a really good team in place, and really good creative processes and procedures in place. And that's the only way I've been able to do at all is that I made it habit. And so throwing in one big kink into it all, which is the baby, I was still able to move through my day pretty similar to the way that I was before with I mean a few major shifts. So if you're thinking about starting a family, like right now is a really good time to get your habits and routines in place. So that you're not completely thrown for a loop. Once that baby comes into your life.

Emily Thompson 37:59
Yeah, and if you are already have kids, and you don't have routines, it's not too late. And and I think what a lot of people will find the idea of routine, so a lot of people's little little weird in this idea of having the same thing you do every day, and how can you be like creatively free if you have routines, which again, is a whole other podcast in itself. But it's not too late to start. And I bet if you look at your day, as it is you already have routines in place. It's just about defining them and making them work for you a little better. Our daily routine is everything to us. Everything does. And if, if especially my mornings, if my morning is messed up, the rest of my day is going to be off, which I guess is something I should like, get control of. But you know, having it's true, yeah, having having those routines in place is sort of what what allows your days to go off relatively without a hitch. And they're super important. I can't I can't speak enough about having habits and routines while juggling a family life where you know, you're a mom or a parent and a business where your job is one of running it and lots of other people retains make all that possible.

Kathleen Shannon 39:16
So for me my biggest challenge and we've been charged you all to identify your own biggest challenge, but my biggest challenge as a working mom is that decision fatigue, and so having routines and habits in place I can rely on to punctuate my day. Those are what keep me from becoming to decision fatigue. It's what they're the things that keep me sane. And so they're also things like routines and habits can also help you get closer to your core desired feelings. And so for you, Emily, your core desired feeling is creative freedom. And so in what ways do you routines and how Robots help you achieve your creative freedom. Oh,

Emily Thompson 40:03
okay, so I heard a story once that I'm totally going to, like, tell you a parable here, or something I love. But I heard a story. And they compared like boundaries and greater freedom to allowing, like a group of school kids go out and play outside. And so if you have like this huge like area where kids can go play, but it's bordered by a street, then you're gonna, like huddled them in and keep them away from the streets, because there are no boundaries in place except for the street to keep them away from the

Unknown Speaker 40:34
street. Um,

Emily Thompson 40:36
but if you go put a fence around the yard, that you can let the kids play freely, you never have to worry about them getting in the street. So for me, like having routines are like that, like I have different points in my day where I sort of check in because this is the same time that I do something every single day. But in between those times I can enjoy creative freedom without worrying about getting hit by a bus.

Unknown Speaker 41:02

Emily Thompson 41:02
because I'm simply going to be staying on track and like playing within my boundaries completely freely, as opposed to not having boundaries where things can just run amok.

Kathleen Shannon 41:13
So speaking about boundaries, and having that fence like so the fence that I've built in my life to have creative freedom within is probably daycare. And I'm a good mom and a good boss, but not at the same time. So sending my baby to daycare, and knowing that he has a safe place where he can play with his friends and play with a bunch of awesome plastic toys that make a lot of noise. And he can have, well, you know, that's a whole separate story. But the women that work at his daycare, I love him, they love him so much. And they're making sure that he's fed and has a clean diaper. I mean, they probably change his diaper more than I do. But knowing that he is taking care of allows me to have creative freedom in my day to do what I do best. Yeah, which is being a boss. So that's my, that's the boundary that I've set for myself, and then also another boundary that I have, and something that can punctuates my day, every day is my workout at in the middle of the day, it keeps me totally sane. And so like self care is so important. And I think especially new moms seem to have a hard time with taking care of themselves. But you know, everyone's heard it, you have to put your own mask on first. And a Happy mom makes for a happy baby. And so like even the other day, I was visiting one of my friends who's a creative mama and she just had a baby, he's maybe two or three weeks old, and she's trying to breastfeed him, but it's getting super frustrated and having a really hard time with it. And I was like, if you need permission to not breastfeed, like here it is like you don't have to do this. Because if it's stressing you out and making you unhappy, the benefits of breastfeeding, I mean, we've all heard breast is best, are totally outweighed by you feeling terrible. Yeah. And so, you know, a happy mom makes for a happy baby and a happy family. So do what you need to do to take care of yourself. And for me, whenever I started, whenever I had Fox, I thought that maybe, you know, maybe I should be a work at home mom, maybe Fox can just, you know, quietly hang out and do his thing while I'm writing a blog post or designing some client work. And I found that I just really couldn't do it at the same time. And so I also found that sending him to daycare and doing the work, like my work is what saved me. My work kept me sane and feeling like myself. And so that was that was a huge priority for me. Um, so

Emily Thompson 44:14
yeah, I've

Unknown Speaker 44:15

Emily Thompson 44:16
well, and I agree happy mom makes happy baby. And that that requires that require self care, like just period. And I feel like that's, you know, one of the things going back to this idea of like losing your own identity. You can't take care of yourself, if you have lost yourself and being a mom. And that's it. That can be a whole podcast in itself simply like self care as an entrepreneur. And as a mom, for me, a couple of my boundaries have been like setting or like telling people what their expectations are. And you can't really do this with Fox. Yeah, actually, you probably could and he would probably understand, but Lily's at the age now where I can sit her down and Bill look But I have a meeting for 30 minutes you will be quiet. And it's a lot of people look at me funny when I say things like that, because I'm talking to my kids like a grown up, like I'm setting a very reasonable expectation that I completely expect her to follow along with. But she's, you know, six, seven, she understands and she gets it and she has for many years. I think kids kids are a lot more. A lot more willing to listen, if you speak to them in a way that requires them to listen. And for Lily, at least, it's, you know, speaking to her like a, like a What is it called?

Unknown Speaker 45:42
grown up?

Emily Thompson 45:43
Yeah, like a grown up but like someone who's like, like, I'm, I'm expecting her to understand this on the same level that I do.

Unknown Speaker 45:49

Kathleen Shannon 45:50
with someone that has their prefrontal cortex fully formed.

Unknown Speaker 45:54

Emily Thompson 45:56
And, and not even that, you have to start that early like like one of the one of the things about David Nyan and bring him Lily. We never baby talk Lily. Not once Have we ever baby talked, like even when she was a baby. And sort of continually speaking to her not like a grown up because it does sound like we're probably like treating her as a as an adult. And we don't, she's downstairs playing Legos right now. But we are very clear, like when we set expectations, we expect her to follow them. But that's the same thing with everyone in our life, you know, if I send her off with her grandmother, like her grandmother will have clear expectations, and is being very reasonable with those and very clear with those and communicating that has really helped me a ton. And doing all the things that I do. And making sure everyone is sort of operating on the level that I need them to, it helps them work better, because everyone just stays so much more happy.

Kathleen Shannon 46:50
He'll say it's just like being a boss is, you know, setting clear expectations with your clients, setting clear expectations with your contractors and employees and your

Emily Thompson 47:01
kids and your family and your child and sort of making sure that everyone's job is being done, things start to crumble when communication goes out. So So for me, one of one of those boundaries that I've set for myself is there will simply always be very clear expectations. But that also is with yourself as well, that I think is sort of the tends to be the missing piece of that puzzle is, is being okay with yourself and speed of the breastfeeding thing because I know that is such a huge thing. I breastfed for six weeks. That was it. And that was like lots of reasons went into that, that it doesn't matter what they are. But Lily is happy and healthy and very, very smart. And sure, I had probably about a week where I felt pretty guilty about stopping. But I do not regret that decision in the least. So it really is about finding what will work for you and taking everyone else's expectations who are irrelevant to your life and throwing them out the window.

Kathleen Shannon 48:06
And I just want to point out to you, because breastfeeding is just a good example of this is that there's no one right or wrong way to do things. And so even like I'm the only person in my family, and including my husband's family, like I feel like I'm not one of the first ones to really breastfeed for a long term, and long term being one. So I'm kind of starting to try and wean him now just very gently and on our own schedule. But I know that whenever my sister had kids, it was all about timing everything. And it's like how many minutes was the baby on the left boob and how many swallows that he take of milk? And that's how you can calculate ounces. And then did you switch to the right boob? And how long was he on that? And like everything whenever my sister was having kids, even 10 years ago, was all about structure. And I remember she handed some books down to me and it was like, Okay, first you feed the baby, then you change his diaper, then you play with him. And then you put him down for a nap. And it's that routine throughout the day. And I was like, Oh my gosh, I'm so glad my sister gave me this book because how else would I know how to parent my baby without this book. And then I had the baby and all that was thrown out the window because we just kind of fell into our own rhythm and routine and breastfeeding really did work for us. But I wasn't counting how many seconds he was on each boob. I was just like whipping out my boob and putting them on. So I remember kind of maybe six months in my sister is like well, I probably would have breastfed longer to if it was like that easy whenever I was going about it. Anyway, so um, and the growth spurts and so obviously Fox I've talked about it, he's in daycare. So I was doing a lot of I'm being and my day revolved around having food. And because I was starving all the time, and pumping all the time. And so it is a lot of work. And I'm lucky in that fox took a bottle while he was at daycare, not as well as some kiddos like I would see tiny babies drinking eight ounces and Fox would maybe have two ounces all day. And it was so frustrating. And my one of my best girlfriends, her baby refuses to take a bottle, and she is a photographer who works for herself. And so her baby really is literally attached to her all day. And she's still breastfeeding him, he's over one. And she takes him to shoots with her. And she, you know, she feeds him, like, loads him up on food, and then she'll go shoot a wedding. And then you know, go home and feed her baby again. And so like her days revolve around feeding her baby. And that's okay. And it's our job as parents to make sure that our babies are fed, however you want to do that. And so the cool thing about being a creative entrepreneur and being your own boss, and being a mom is that you get to decide what it looks like for you. So whether you are a stay at home mom, or a work at home mom, or you're working part time or full time, whether you are attached to you know, attachment parenting, or homeschooling. Yeah, whatever it is like you get to set your own rules. And so really, the question is like, how do you imagine your ideal day looking? How does it look for you and the baby? How do you want to feel, and then also remembering this because it's funny, even talking today. Remember, whenever Fox was two months old, the daycare decision, and I'm going to be sure to link to the blog post I wrote about daycare in the show notes because I think it's really important. And it felt like the biggest decision of our lives. And now we're a year in and Emily, you're seven years in and it's just realizing that everything is temporary. And everything changes from your work to your family to your baby, nothing is going to stay the same and nothing is permanent.

Emily Thompson 52:21
Yeah, exactly. I mean, I remember having I remember having the daycare talk with you. Like whenever I was putting Lily into daycare. And I was the same way, like the biggest decision I was ever going to make. But it was over a year later. It's

Kathleen Shannon 52:39
like just not a big deal. No, I

Emily Thompson 52:41
mean, like, I wouldn't think about it twice again. And I think I think there it's, it's tackling the overwhelm. And, and simply knowing that no decision that you make will ever be final, your heads probably gonna need therapy at some point anyway. The goal really is just to do the best that you can, I mean, that's, that's all you can ever do. And the more you practice doing the best that you can, the better you'll get at it. I think it's really sort of that simple when it comes to parenting or businessing, or whatever it is, is do the best that you can, when really

Kathleen Shannon 53:17
what I was thinking about that phrase like doing the best that you can and I think that it's really bad for perfectionist and type a creative entrepreneurs like because like my best is, you know, like my best might look like in my mind being like a full time mom and a full time creative entrepreneur and like just running myself ragged. But I mean, I know what you mean by the sentiment, like do the best that you can. And I have to remind myself, like I'm doing the best I can, but my inner Gremlin always pops up and it's like, are you really doing the best that you can because I think you could do a little better Kathleen?

Emily Thompson 53:55
Well, that Gremlin needs to hush number you know maybe that's just me and into like doing the best that you can does not mean that you're going to get the best results right now. And and I feel like that's something that that is one of those things where you know, you're living so in the moment because all these overwhelming things are happening. It's if you do the best that you can now your best will be better tomorrow. And then at some point and hopefully the not too far future, you will have it all because you are sort of consistently doing the best and it will continue to get better and then you'll be exactly where you want to be. Because Fox will get older, he'll he'll sleep better. You know, I think it was Anna Maria, dealing with like starting your new blog and gaining your knowledge all of those things. Like if you just keep doing it a little bit at a time you will get there and you'll learn how to prioritize your things and your routines will sort of come out of what you're naturally doing anyway. We there are like what 7 billion people on the planet right now. We're all kids with parents at one point, like, you're not going to totally screw it up. You have to trust yourself. And if you do screw it up there are therapists, that'll be fine.

Kathleen Shannon 55:11
I think that what I do know is that there are more working moms and more creative entrepreneur entrepreneurs than ever. Yes. And what's really cool about this is that we get to decide what we want our life to look like. We get to make our own rules. whenever it comes to work and parenting, we can take everything that we've seen work for other people and blend it up and make it our own. And so whenever it comes to staying creative and growing your business, there's no and you know how to parent, there is no right or wrong answer like as long as you're not feeding your baby cocaine. For breakfast, you're doing pretty good. Probably, if you even have the desire, like this alone, gives me comfort at night is that I have the desire to be a really good mom. And I have the desire to be a creative, awesome badass Boss Lady. So I think that that desire alone is what will drive your actions and just being patient and trusting the process but having those processes like we talked about, like routines and habits, and all the other stuff that our podcasts, all of our other episodes, address. And if you have the desire to do those things, you will become those things. It's just about being patient, and giving it time and doing your best every day. Definitely every single day.

Unknown Speaker 56:42
Hi fi

Kathleen Shannon 56:47
Thank you for listening to being bossed from Emily Thompson and caffeine Shannon. Find Show Notes for this episode at love being boss calm. Listen to past episodes and subscribe to new episodes on our website at iTunes and on SoundCloud. And if you like our podcast, show us some love by reviewing being boss on iTunes and sharing it with a friend. Do the work. Be boss and we'll see you next week.

I didn't hit record. I'm so sorry. I mean, I'm recording now.

Unknown Speaker 57:29
This is gonna be a fun one today, Kathleen.

Emily Thompson 57:30
I'm excited.