{on growing my nest}

We had just recently cut down the beautiful but extremely messy climbing rose bush over our trellis when these two full-bellied birds appeared. The fresh clean start felt good but I panicked when I saw the birds. They were not strangers to me. I had watched them, each year for the past five years, build a nest in that trellis. A safe place to bring new life to the earth, to feed, to nurture and to teach to fly. I'd watch them gather sticks, twigs and grass and wonder if they were starting from scratch or just freshening up the nest from the prior year.

But not this year. This year I watched and could tell they were in a state of panic as they landed on the trellis. I watched them frantically race back and forth over the trellis looking for their nests. My heart started beating faster for them. Were they questioning each other wondering if they were at the right place? Like they might be losing their minds, like we sometimes feel we do when we are ripe with child. Had they waited until the last minute assuming their safe haven was still in tact. Were they feeling lost, confused, and helpless. Oh I was hoping it wasn't too late. That they had time to freshen an old nest or build a new one from scratch before their time was due. I said a little prayer for them. Crazy...but true. And, I sadly realized that I probably would never see them again.

Two days later, I was freshening up Blake's bed neatly pulling up the top sheet that he shoves way down to his feet because he likes the feel of his blanket close to his skin. It was then that I smelled his bed. It stunk. How long had it been since I changed the kids' sheets. I instantly thought...'I need to hire someone to do this for me' and it was in that instance that the vision of the two birds searching frantically for their nest came rushing back in to my mind. I collapsed on that stinky bed and cried. Cried because I can't do it all and there is so much I really want to be doing and am not enjoying because I am stretched so thin. Cried because I want to be the one who freshens our nests. I want my children to smile when they crawl into bed and realize that sweet smell came from mommy serving happily in our home. {Mind you I do love having my home deep cleaned by sweet Marissa every other week though.}

I had just come back from Creative Estates when this morning bed making broke my heart. So much was fresh in my mind about growing my business. How I could use Twitter and Facebook to continue relationships I had formed. How I could better grow my business by having more of a presence on the internet. How I had so much product that needed pictures taken, descriptions written and uploaded to my little shop. I was quickly becoming overwhelmed with the thought of all I had to do to grow my business, but still fresh on my mind was the desire I had to keep my own nest fresh. To keep warm fuzzy feelings in my home. It was then that my spirit was touched so gently and I heard a little whisper that so sweetly reminded me about something so much more important. I was growing a family.

A smile broke across my face as I stood at the kitchen sink. I felt free. The guilt was gone. I spent less time on the internet last week. All our of sheets were washed, freshened and beds were made with love. Laundry was caught up. The dishwasher was loaded and unloaded. Dinner was made {a few nights}. Homework was done with my full attention. Sleepovers happened and waffles were cooked the next morning. I was mommy first and happy. And I realized something very important....I would never feel successful in my business until I first felt successful in growing my family.

Like those birds that I might never see again, soon enough my children will be older and growing their own nests and I will yearn for this time back. I don't want to be frantic running up and down my halls wondering if I did enough, put it off too long, or panicked because I was running out of time or hiring someone else to do the little things that make my children feel safe, warm and loved. I'm not giving up my business. While I might miss an opportunity for my business to grow leaps and bounds, I don't want to miss my children doing the same. I am just growing it a little more slower than I thought because my family is growing so fast. Thanks for being patient with me! 

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  1. great post april. i know how you feel. i too would love to see my business flourish but not at the expense of losing moments with my children. time is fleeting! we get this one life...this one moment in time to be mommies. and i want to be the very best mommmy i can be:))

    you are lovely...just lovely!!!

  2. You're right. We can never get these years with our children back. I made teh same sacrifice last summer when I chose to get off of Facebook. Everyone told me I was nuts because it was helping my business grow in leaps and bounds. But I knew I was addicted to it and was not giving my family the attention and time they needed.
    Im proud of you for putting first things first. Its not always the easiest decision to make when theres a business that may take a little bit of a hit for it but your product is "lovely" and your customers will still support you!

  3. April- I ADORE this post! Thank you for putting it in such a sweet way! I have much "nesting" to get done in my own life too! As moms, bloggers, business women- we need to stick together, support each other and cheer each other on- especially when it comes to putting motherhood first! Kudos to you!!

  4. Wow, this was really inspiring. As a new mom, fairly new to etsy, and a new blogger...I needed to hear this! Thank you so much! :)

    I'm actually participating in my first craft fair May 6th and 7th and I had been totally freaking out, worrying if I have enough inventory, if our set up is going to look even halfway decent, and if people would even consider buying my products. I was losing sleep over it. That's when I decided enough is enough! How is worrying going to help me? I decided, NO! This is going to be great! Even if it doesn't end up exactly the way I had hoped, this is a learning experience and I will grow tremendously from it.

    So, your post hits close to home, I can definitely relate. :)


  5. What a beautiful post April. We all need to be reminded of the most important people in our lives and how we can make those relationships better. I've been trying to slow down and spend more time loving and serving my family lately.

  6. Fantistic April...you put into words exactly what has been happening in my life the last month. Trying so hard to rejuvinate my business or move into a new career all while keeping our nest fresh. Planting the veggie garden to bring healthy foods for the kids, dring sheets in the warm sun and simply taking time to enjoy all the small moments that come our way. The kids are growing so fast and I don't want to miss a thing. Sounds like you are doing a great job!
    ~Kristin McCaffrey

  7. yes and amen. real life is always so much better than the blog world, intranet, business stuff.

  8. I, too, have felt super overwhelmed. I feel like my floors will never stay clean and the laundry will never be done. There's always one more load. But you're right....it's because I have CHILDREN. Beautiful, growing, loving children. A home. And so....it's ok. In fact, it's more than ok. It's a blessing. I need something that says that to hang up. In every room. Thanks.....Marissa

  9. April, this has to be one of the sweetest blog posts that I have ever read. It made me weep openly and it also made me feel like it is ok that my dream of a small business will have to wait a little bit until my wee ones grow up. You have such a good heart and your kiddos are sooo lucky!

  10. Awesome! I love this post. Thank you for the wonderful reminder to grow our family before we grow our business!

  11. Ah.....awesome April....my new beautiful blonde friend from the sunshine-ee place. Why do we both have really awesome Ah-Ha moments at the same time? I love that. And I love that I need yours just as much as I needed my own. And I have been thinking a lot about this aspect of life as well. What is this sick balancing game we're asked to play as Moms? I kind of think it's totally rude!

    BUT....I love your little birdie buddies, and I think they will always feel like your house is their home, no matter whether there's a rose bush there or not. And I hope that's how our kids are going to be as well. As long as they know that they are loved, and welcome.

    You are amazing. And we're gonna do this together. Supporting each other. And as much as I'm gonna try to balance out the "home" side...I sure am grateful for the online relationships I have that make me feel so validated. :)


  12. I love how you wrote this! You said it perfectly!

  13. I had a similar realization I posted about recently. I've been thinking a lot about setting boundaries in my life to protect those things that are most important. Thank you for sharing your sweet experience- I love the parallel to the birds!

  14. I love this post April and so needed to read it right now (as I should be cleaning during the quiet time instead of wasting my time on the computer). I love being able to stay home and raise my family, I never really looked at it from the perspective you wrote about. I am now going to embrace it and make being a mom, wife and keeping our home a priority.

  15. Ahh.. just the words I needed to hear in this moment April. I too struggle with how much time to put in the business and how to best grow it while at the same time being the sole care provider for my wonderful, yet challenging children. In the past two weeks I have felt like such a failure, unable to do any business work, and with a child in the hospital... heartbreaking for me, but your words greatly helped!

    Love you always!


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