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This story is powered by Baby Dove. To us, our partnerships with brands are about so much more than business. We endeavor to carve out relationships with brands whose values reflect our own and those of our members, and work together to thoughtfully tell stories and create experiences that speak to moms’ real lives and real interests. Just as HeyMama is focused on surrounding moms with the support they need to thrive in all they do, Baby Dove’s thoughtfully developed products aim to do the same for little ones and their moms. We’re thrilled to work with them to bring stories like this to our community.

I equate having a baby to throwing yourself a surprise birthday party. You know what’s coming, in theory, but you’re bound to be caught off-guard a time or two (or always). I know I’m not the only mom who feels that way, either. Recently, HeyMama asked business owners to share the one totally unexpected thing that changed once they had a baby. It’s one thing to have a plan (we love plans! Schedules are the best! Fill out those to-do lists with reckless abandon! Schedule your maternity leave like it’s nobody’s business!), but it’s an entirely different beast to learn how to pivot at a moment’s notice as both a mom and an entrepreneur. 

As someone who was self-employed when she welcomed her first son into the world, I relied heavily on a detailed maternity leave plan to give me a sense of direction as I navigated the unknown, hormone-heavy, exhausting postpartum period. But sans anything even remotely resembling an HR department, a manager or mentor, and mom coworkers, I was, in many ways, on my own as both a new mom and someone who was solely responsible for maintaining a steady stream of income that would help me support my new family. I worked the very day I came home from the hospital — submitting drafts and answering emails as I bled into those oversized hospital panties and pads. So I can say that while I thought I had everything planned, I didn’t know sh*t. 

Thankfully, as with almost any parenting experience, it didn’t take long for me to realize that I wasn’t alone. Learning to deal with life as it comes, adjust accordingly, and leaning all the way into the chaos is often synonymous with motherhood. And while unexpected outcomes can throw us for a loop, the following moms are proof positive that even the most shocking revelation that comes from being a mom and a business owner is nothing us moms can’t handle. 

“Losing who I was when I had to leave my job.” — @absminihan 

“I realized how much stronger I was than I thought.” — @shannaahocking 

“My energy and emotions.” — @jhcre8tive

“I felt less inclined to ‘work for the man.’” — @stethoscopes.to.swaddles 

“Friends bailing on you who don’t have kids.” — @t.katiemorrissey 

“How people look at you like you’re carrying a bomb when you have a baby with you at work.” — @lanierbrandauday 

“My identity.” — @learningmotherhood 

“Re-learning how to prioritize.” — @movementmatters 

“Not being as inspired by the work I am doing.” — @sjuschen

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