work & motherhood ft. founder laura whitaker
May 5, 2021 | 4 min read, 4 Comments
Work / life balance is something we all struggle with, especially when you’re a working parent. And let’s be honest here, even more so when you’re a working mom. But what about when you’re also an entrepreneur who runs your own business? And just for kicks, let’s throw a pandemic into the mix.
If there’s anyone who can make it all work, it’s Wildcraft owner, Laura. In celebration of Mother’s Day, we are sharing some exciting news. We’re getting a Wildcraft baby! That’s right, our amazing founder is expecting and we couldn’t be happier for her. In honour of the occasion, we thought we’d check in with the new mom-to-be and see how she’s feeling about it all so far.
W: There’s a LOT to think about when expecting your first baby. It’s an exciting time, an emotional time and an exhausting time. How do you manage it when you’re also owning and operating a business?
L: I have to be honest, the first trimester was not fun. I felt awful, really awful, and consequently I just couldn’t show up. I couldn’t focus, I was nauseous, tired and emotional. I couldn’t perform at the level I was used to and it made me realize very quickly that this whole process is out of my hands. I’m not in control anymore. I had to really recognize that shift and let go.
I’m feeling better now, thank goodness! This experience has really made me empathize with women everywhere who don’t have the flexibility or the space to express how they’re feeling at work. It’s a lot to have to handle on your own and I’m so lucky to have such a supportive and nurturing network here. I’m so grateful that I could discuss everything frankly with the other women at Wildcraft. I don’t think it’s fair for people who are trying to conceive or who are going through pregnancy to have to keep it all to themselves, if they don’t want to. I think it’s important to normalize those types of conversations in the workplace.
W: Up until now, Wildcraft has been your baby. Chances are, you are always thinking about work-related things and making a million different decisions a day. Do you foresee any major changes in operations / day-to-day business at Wildcraft?
L: I have so much confidence in my awesome team. They’re all super keyed in to what’s going on and are extremely committed to their work. Plus, I’m super lucky to have my husband Jake who is also really involved with the company and will be a huge help when I can’t be there in the same way I usually am.
All this being said I would be lying if I didn’t admit that it’s been difficult to take a step back. Now that I’m in my second trimester, things are much better and I’m actually really coming around to this whole idea. I’ve always wanted a family but pregnancy was not something I necessarily looked forward to. It’s frustrating that my work has to take a backseat, and hard to get used to all of the changes happening to my body. It wasn’t super easy for us to conceive (I miscarried prior to this) and I don’t want to sound ungrateful as I am incredibly happy but I do think it’s important to be honest about these feelings. I think there is a lot of pressure to act like you’re happy 24/7 and that’s just not the experience that I’ve had.
Right now, I’m just trying to plan ahead as much as I can and be as organized as possible; I’m trying not to sweat it too much. I feel like the lesson of pregnancy, for me at least, has been to release control and just ride the wave. There is so much that you just can’t dictate when you make the decision to bring another person onto the planet.
W: In Canada, most new moms are fortunate to have the option to take a year-long maternity leave. As owner of a business, it’s a little harder to just walk away for that long. What’s your plan?
L: I certainly can’t walk away for a year, nor would I want to. But the beauty of my situation is the flexibility. I can absolutely make my own schedule and figure out what works best after the baby arrives. Of course I have this vision in a perfect world of being able to bring the baby to the office and work while they happily snooze away… but like I said, it’s out of my hands! I’m just grateful to have the option, to have the support, and to have the confidence that while things are going to be different and there will be a whole lot more juggling and managing ahead, it will be so worth it once we welcome this baby into the world.
We certainly can’t wait to meet the little one, and we know that Laura is going to be a wonderful mom. And while there are big changes coming, they are all so positive and we’re super excited to see what the next chapter holds.