Transitioning into parenthood is difficult for almost everyone. It’s not that hard to anticipate the challenges themselves, but it is hard to understand how they’ll affect you, and how hard it will be to navigate all those new changes with your partner. This summer, soon after our daughter turned one, I placed a teary phone call to Brendan. I was feeling frustrated with how hard it was to be the parent with the “flexible schedule,” which basically meant that it was my job to do all the parenting that needed to happen between 8:30 and 6:30 while still running my own business. I love being a mom, but I also really love my job. A lot. And I did not anticipate how hard it would be to be the main caretaker. I also knew I should feel lucky to have a flexible schedule, to be the one spending so much time with our daughter, and to have a husband so dedicated to doing his best at work while being a bang-up parent when he was off work.
About 30 seconds after that teary phone call, Brendan called back and excitedly told me he’d come up with The Solution to all of our problems. He’d quit his job, and we’d start a company together. And then in the movie version of my life I cried tears of joy.
Brendan and I talked about his job transition a lot throughout August. We wrote down dreams of what our life could be like, down to a daily schedule, and brainstormed the logistics of working abroad with a toddler in tow (that side-dream is for 2015 or beyond). We made lists of all the things that could be great about it, and all the things that could be really bad. We did some budgeting that involves cash envelopes and prayers. In September Brendan gave notice and he had his last day in November. We invited some friends over for a brainstorming session and decided to name our new venture “Harbor.” My studio-mate and I moved around some furniture to make room for an extra desk, and as I type this, I can see Brendan just over my shoulder. It’s a dream come true. We are scared but we are happy.
Now, we take turns with the morning routine. One day a week I’ll head into the studio early to get working, and Brendan will stay home with our daughter until it’s time for daycare. The next day we switch. We both leave work in the late afternoon to pick her up and spend a few hours together before her bedtime. To make up for the afternoons, we often work from home at night, or one of us will head back out to the studio. On Monday mornings, we sit down over coffee to talk about our schedules and needs for the upcoming week, and to pick each others’ brains on our projects.
I am still busy with my stationery company Hello Tenfold, but I am helping with Harbor part time and Brendan is helping with Hello Tenfold part time, too. For Harbor, I do some project management, and occasionally design, and Brendan helps me with business decisions and some design input for Hello Tenfold.
Through Harbor, we are taking on projects including branding, logo design, web design, advertising campaigns, copywriting, and social media communiciations/management/advertising, and have a team of other freelancers we’re working with as needed. We have launched a temporary website, as well as a facebook page, twitter account, and instagram. Please give us a like and a follow! We’ll need your help making this dream stick!