The Unpolished article series is a collection of words, thoughts, and musings from the Threads Worldwide founders.
My New Business Partner
I absolutely love being a mom. All the things I thought would annoy me like getting someone else dressed, waiting for little legs to walk step.. by.. step.. up.. and.. down.. the stairs by ‘self’, loving bananas one day and refusing them the next – they don’t bother me. I love it.
Except… for any time when I am trying to get something else done.
Our nanny (that term sounds so weird to me, like I should be living in a much fancier neighborhood) was sick this week so I stayed home with Kenna and consciously thought, “This will be a TV day. She can play by herself and if she starts to need (i.e., bug) me, I’ll put on Daniel Tiger.”
Turns out that she wasn’t on the same plan. She needed me to do everything for her: pick up berries she dropped literally at her feet, peel her orange ‘all way’, top off her agua, look her squarely in the eyes while talking to her, and, she didn’t mind physically imposing herself by grabbing my face or screaming and stomping if I didn’t react immediately.
So I realize: I love being a mom – when I get to be a mom. Not when I’m trying to be a CEO, who is also juggling being a mom, in the exact same moment in time. Don’t they say that multi-tasking is an illusion?
I am about to be a mom of two humans with the upcoming birth of our son. I’m getting ready for my life to shift again and wonder how I will juggle my three babies: Threads Worldwide, Kenna, and Sweet-Baby-Boy.
There is the obvious and easier-said-than-done option of being really present at work and then really present while at home. I’m mediocre at this, always justifying that as soon as “X gets done at work, I’ll be more present.” I actually secretly use my phone when I’m home with her, using tricks like holding it behind her to answer a text, or taking longer in the bathroom to answer emails.
But this month we’re taking a hard look at our Threads Family Value of Equal Partnership, and I’m realizing: what if I start to think of her as a partner like I do with our sales team of Fair Trade Partners, or our staff, or our Artisan Partners? Already, I see all the ways she has my back, like asking me when I spill nail polish (taking a page from the wise Daniel Tiger) ‘mommy, you so frustrated? Take a step back and I help’, and yelling at Baby Brother, ‘Don’t KICK mommy!’ when I first asked her if she wanted to feel baby brother kick.
What if I include her in what I’m doing instead of pretending that I’m not working? What if I include her on conference calls instead of shushing her and putting everyone on mute while she yells. What if I ask her to sit on my lap and draw while I’m on zoom with our exec team? What if I come AT her to include her instead of trying to distract her or hoping she’ll fall asleep?
Oh, I know exactly what will happen: in 9-10 years she’ll get sick of me, start rolling her eyes, and wonder how she’ll juggle being a tween and being with her mom. Until then, she’s my new business partner.