I think this is a sentiment that feels more comfortable as you get older. It’s okay to admit that you’re overwhelmed. It’s okay to outsource work when you can (but letting go without micromanaging is another story). And it’s okay if you can’t do it all. Once in awhile we both feel bad that we aren’t able to do more events, network at more parties, sell at more markets, come up with more products, design more things, redesign current things, sell more cookies, and just do…more. We don’t want to turn down opportunities, but as a really small business we often have to. We sometimes look at our colleagues and wonder how they can be seemingly everywhere, but then we realize they don’t have kids. It makes a huge difference. On the flip side, we also feel guilty that we don’t spend more quality time as a family, have more fun, or take advantage of more events in the city. So where does that leave us? Every working parent struggles with this. We don’t want to use being parents as a crutch to doing things half-assed, but the reality is…yes, you have less time to focus when you’ve got small children to take care of. It’s a constant push and pull, compromise and sacrifice. Maybe you can’t do everything as well as you’d like and that is a harsh reality for a perfectionist like me, but in the end, you do the best you can. Still, it’s hard not to second guess yourself or feel guilty about something like canceling on the Flea this weekend. For reasons of keeping our sanity, however, it’s the right decision even if it doesn’t feel right.
Along those same lines, some of you know that I run a blog called babygadget.net that writes up on design and products for kids and babies. Some of you may have actually come from that site initially. I’ve been running the site for the past 5 years, first as its only writer and then later on as the editor-in-chief. When I started babygadget in 2004, it was only one of a few design blogs geared towards parents, but of course now there are tons, many of which do a better job than us simply because more time and effort is poured into it. My work on the site in the last year or so have been minimal since I have wonderful writers providing content. For the most part I’ve stopped going to trade shows and maintaining active relationships with designers, manufacturers and retailers. But it’s time to step away. To be honest, it will be a huge relief to have one less thing occupy my mental headspace – the burden of having to publish posts every single morning for 5 years (that’s half a decade!) is too much along with everything else.
I know that I’ve been doing a lot of venting here the last 2 days, but life has ups and it has its downs. It’s not all sweetness and cupcakes and funny kid stories. But this post is actually positive, see? We are taking baby steps in making things a little less crazy. The last thing I want to do is miss out on life by working all the time. You just have to look at these 2 faces to know that it’s no way to live.