Family first has always been my mantra. I grew up in a tight nuclear family. We all still live within 30 miles of each other, so I get to see them fairly often. Whenever any of us has an emergency, we can expect the other three (now the other five, as my brother and I have both married) to be there in the blink of an eye. I have always been fortunate, and always count my blessings; even when it was me vs. the world, I knew my family had my back.
For me, the pandemic has been a life accelerant in many ways. Over the last two years, I found myself married, cohabitating, and pregnant…all things that, if you had asked me would happen just three years ago, I would have probably replied, “I have no effing clue.”
Right now, I find myself needing to change my paradigm. My definition of family, especially of the nuclear kind, is changing and expanding. First, it was my mom, dad, and brother (and my paternal grandma, who lived eight minutes away, and played a big role in raising me). Shortly after we lost my grandma, I gained a sister-in-law. Several years after that, I gained a husband. Now we are about to welcome our baby girl. As I type this, she is due in a month and 10 days.
But there’s also the matter of my other baby.
I’ve been a founder/CEO for the past seven years, and for the longest time, my company was my husband. My company was my baby. Yes, throughout the years, I have cut out a lot of the things we used to do as I accommodated my schedule for dating and married life, plus as a means to maintain a modicum of sanity during the pandemic. However, once I learned I was going to be a mother to a human being, I freaked out a little and went into super-grind mode to try to prepare for the company to go on autopilot.
I tried to set things up to maintain our two-books-a-month schedule, but of course, things don’t always work out that way. There are delays for a variety of reasons, and soon I found myself overworked, overwhelmed, and unprepared in all aspects. Even worse, I realized that family first went out the window.
This whole time, I have been thinking of baby girl as an extension of me. Many times, I’m apparently willing to put Sarah last in order to get the job done for others. I’ve realized that I’m a serial people pleaser, and that’s not healthy, especially when it comes to my business. To be honest, I tend to get resentful when I know I should be taking care of my own needs but am putting myself on the backburner. This is 100% on me and no one else; I let it happen. For the last few days, I have been feeling salty AF, even more than usual.
Today it hit me exactly why. Baby girl is my family. Whether she is here yet or not, she needs to come first. Regardless of whatever happens, I don’t care if the sky is falling around me, she comes first.
So now I am recommitting to doing so. In the last 40 days, I’m going to work on getting her stuff together, including getting myself together for her. Of course, I have other responsibilities that I need to attend to, but she will come first.
Family first, always.