Hi friends! Happy Tuesday.
Hope your week is off to a great start.
I was listening to the Kendra Scott episode of NPR: How I Built This. I’d highly recommend this podcast and find it deeply motivating.
Because here is the thing: a lot of the time we see the end product. It happens on social media all the time. We see the happiness, the announcements, the promotions, the achievement. Often times people leave out the sadness, the breakups, the infertility, the demotion, the stumbles. And I understand that because that stuff is messy and not everyone needs to know our messes.
BUT, we have to be very careful about creating our own stories for other people. Instead of thinking, “Wow, must be nice!” we should try thinking, “Man, I wonder what it took to get there!”. Less, “Her life looks SO perfect” and more “I’m sure her toddler goes just as crazy as mine!” I have to keep this mindset in mind on Instagram. Because the mama bloggers these days?! They are DANG good at making their house look beautiful, dressing their toddlers so well, always looking flawless. And I’m over here with the kiddo in a diaper with yogurt all over his face.
NPR: How I Built This is the perfect testimonial for my message today. In fact, it inspired it. Highly successful entrepreneurs come on the podcast to talk about how they’ve built their million and sometimes even billion dollar businesses. What I love? They share all the stumbles along the way. Everyone from Mark Cuban (serial entrepreneur) to Sarah Blakely (creator of Spanx) to Raegan Moya-Jones (creator of Aden + Anais). Most of them have one thing in common: the are persistent as HECK. Seriously persistent and they’ve done things that make you think, “Man, I need to step my game up.”
The inspiration from this blog post came from something Kendra Scott said. During her episode she said “It starts with asking for help. Know that that’s not a sign of weakness—that’s an incredible sign of strength.”
When she was in the throws of her early business years she was a single mama to two very small boys (1 and 3). She HAD to ask for help to be able to do what she did.
That one spoke right to many ya’ll. Because over here, we are in a busy season and I’d be silly to pretend I’m as balanced as I once was. 😉 All of my spare minutes seem to be spoken for, but I know it won’t be this way forever.
Help can come in a lot of different forms and I wanted to share some examples with you today. I couldn’t do what I do without the help of others, so if you have ever thought I don’t know how she does all of this…I can assure you it isn’t without the help of others. And Kendra’s statement made me truly feel like I could accept and ask for more.
Husband of the year: Drew is incredible and if you’ve been reading for a while you already know this. He has been BEHIND this blog and Expecting and Empowered when they were both ideas. Tangibly he completely understands when I say, “I really need to finish this blog post right now.” or “Is it okay if my sister comes into town all weekend…and could you watch the kids on Saturday so we can go take pictures for our business?” Yes, Drew with the 3 children. I couldn’t ask for a more supportive spouse and I’m deeply grateful I married someone that not only “lets” me pursue my passions but makes it possible to go full in.
Those newborn days: When Max first came, he was such a little spitfire. Drew remembers the first month being easy and then he started having his long crying spells. I remember the whole thing being hard, but I think it is because our breastfeeding struggle was so bad. Anyways, one time we had my mama come so we could just DO stuff. She came and held Maxwell while Drew took care of the lawn and I cleaned the house. We were SO relieved to feel like we had our house together. It might sound kind of silly to have someone come and watch your kiddo so that you can feel a little more sane in your home, but at the time it was what we needed and we asked for help.
Recently, my mother-in-law was in town to watch Maxwell while we were away on vacation. She told me that shortly after her second came, she came down with a terrible sinus infection. It was all she could do to take care of a newborn…let alone having a crazy little Drew toddler running around. She asked her mama and sister to take Drew for a few days. The point of her story was telling me that she understands the challenge of going from one to two and is completely willing to come down and help with Max if we need her. Telling me not to hesitate and that she is happy to help. For some reason writing this part is getting my eyes full of tears. It is just so sweet when you know people genuinely want to help you through. 🙂
Babysitting: Starting a business doesn’t come without a few during the day meetings. Krystle and I have managed to do most of the work during their nap or bedtimes, but there are times when we need to call on our family/friends/babysitters for a little help. People are SO incredibly sweet and happy to help when they can. Huge shoutout to our parents who get called upon most often to watch our growing number of kiddos and happily agree.
Supportive words and encouragement: The messages that my friends or readers send me about this blog and the business launch are incredible. This is HELPFUL beyond words because it really does keep you going! When I hear that I inspired a woman to start working out because of a few blog posts or Instagram posts?! Or having someone tell me they wore a bikini for the first time in 10 years because of those very posts?! Oh man, it is a feeling like no other. I cannot wait to hear how much Expecting and Empowered helps mamas through their pregnancies. I would encourage you to send an uplifting message today to someone you know. Our words can mean SO much and sometimes we hold them in instead of saying “You are doing awesome girl! I see you over there rocking it!”
Take the help. The LAST thing I want to leave you with is to be ACCEPTING of help. I have to tease my friend Ali because I think she might be the hardest person to help. She is one independent lady and MOST of my offers have been politely declined so far.
I told her, “You are the hardest person to help! I’m your friend please know that I WANT to do these things for you!”
When someone offers to help you, don’t be shy about accepting it. Of course there are times when I say, “Really?! You would do that?” to which they answer “Of course!” It can be as easy as accepting a meal or accepting an offer to let you go on a date night. Chances are there are people around you that want to lighten your load and it is a sign of strength if you let them.
Take it a step further and ASK for help when you need it. I don’t think any of us were meant to or can do this life alone, so reach out when your to-do list is touching the floor instead of skimping on your sleep!
It is like my high school basketball coach once told me in overtime,
“You don’t have to be superwomen.”
See you on Thursday,