The Start of My Next Chapter
Today is the close of one chapter and the beginning of another.
Ever since I was old enough, I have worked full-time. Throughout college I worked while going to school, with a new job ready for me as soon as I graduated. The longest absence I’ve taken from the working world was for the 10-week maternity leaves I had with both of my sons.
Well, today I’m leaving behind the corporate world as I step into a new chapter of my life.
On Monday morning I get to wake up with a new purpose in life. One that involves me being there for my boys and also sees me trying to grow a business that I am immensely passionate about. I’ll be a full-time mom and entrepreneur. I’ll just get to be Mommy while also being my own boss. I’ll get to focus on one thing, rather than multiple. I’ll have my time and life back.
Three years ago I started what will now be my full-time job. I created Holl & Lane Magazine with the desire to give women an outlet to share the grittier parts of life - the parts that don’t make it onto Instagram, the parts that we sometimes hide from those we love most. Over the past three years this business has changed and shifted in ways I haven’t expected but throughout the mission and passion has remained the same.
I’ve grown this business (with the help of my small team of amazing ladies) to be something truly special in a media-filled “you are not enough” world. The community surrounding the magazine has changed my life in more ways than I can count. I’ve developed friendships I never would have otherwise, I’ve been told stories that I was then able to share with the world, and I’ve created a little something for myself and my family that will now hopefully grow into piece of mind for us.
I never intended to become a stay at home mom. Actually, I never intended to become a mom. My husband and I went into marriage saying we weren’t having kids. But then gradually something shifted and now, as cliche as it sounds, I cannot imagine life without them. Sure, life is harder with two tiny humans to care for. But that’s what makes it beautiful.
All throughout my pregnancy with Henry I couldn’t wait to return to work. I thought I’d be the woman who, one week post-partum, would be on her phone begging her doctor to let her go back to work. But then this tiny, perfect baby came screaming into my life and my heart and something new shifted in me and he was all I could see. I cried every day for a month when I had to drop Henry at daycare and go to work. I counted down the hours until I could go pick him up. It was always the highlight of my day. I would start to feel a pit of dread in my belly every night before bedtime, knowing that when I woke up I’d have to leave him again.
And that feeling has continued to eat at me for the past four years. There are days when I’m glad to have somewhere to go, adults to talk to. But that deep down feeling of wanting to be with Henry and be the one to watch him grow has never changed. And now it’s only increased two-fold with the birth of Harrison. I want to be there.
Holl & Lane is giving me that opportunity. It’s giving my family and I the chance to say “it’s more important to be home”. Will we have to change a few things in our life to accommodate this new adventure? Sure. But will it be worth it? Absolutely.
When Brandon and I first broached the subject of me quitting my job to stay home full-time, it was strictly a financial decision. The cost of two kids in full-time daycare is astronomical and we’d only be losing about $200 per month if we didn’t have my income. My kids are worth more than $200 to me.
As we talked, and talked, and talked about this becoming a real possibility, I began to remember that feeling. That pit deep down in my stomach of how it felt to drop my son off with strangers (who luckily have since become friends) resurfaced and I could feel the tears prick my eyes every time I thought of going back to work. Being at home with my two little loves for ten weeks made me never want to leave, yet again. No matter how hard it was to be with them on some days, it was harder to think of leaving them.
I'm nervous about this next step. I'm scared that I won't like it or that I'll always be frustrated and frazzled. I'm scared that Harrison won't grow up to be as well adjusted as Henry is because he'll be home with me more often (though he eventually will go to daycare as well, just not for the whole day like Henry has). I'm scared of failing. Holl & Lane actually has to be a business rather than a side hobby now and that's a lot of pressure. I'm scared that I will miss leaving my house each day and talking to adults.
But mostly I'm scared of NOT taking this chance. I want to see what could be. I want to have faith in myself, for the first time in... maybe ever.
So thanks to an incredibly supportive husband, we’re going to make the leap. We’re going to trust that Holl & Lane (plus some freelance photography and design work) will carry us through, we’re going to adjust our bills and finances to make it work, and we’re going to revel in the fact that my boys will have their Mommy home with them. That I will be there to send Henry off to school next year, that I can keep Harris at home with me when he’s feeling sick, that I can be Room Mom and bring snacks to Henry in school.
My life doesn’t look anything like I thought it would when I was in my early 20’s daydreaming of a corner office in a fast-paced city. It is so much better.
Here’s to the next chapter in life. I think it’s going to be a good one.