I started my week at a real low. My husband and I had been frustrated with each other for weeks. I wasn’t generally happy with his tone and demeanor, and he wasn’t pleased with my constant complaints of needing help. Sound familiar?

Working Mom Life Not Always Working Out

I was at total capacity, billing 20 hours a week (more like 30 once you add in everything it takes to juggle multiple clients) while also trying to keep this small passion project called MomShine afloat. I started my Monday morning crying at a beach, which tends to be my sanctuary when I struggle. We had just thrown our final blows at each other over text and email, and he won this round.

I ran through the lack of acknowledgment from my partner, knowing wholeheartedly that I was burning the wick at every end to try and create a profitable content consultancy and media business. A media business that was gaining some traction but was still in its infancy, and I was tired of caring for it.

I sat at that beach, immediately booked a sitter to take my husband to dinner, and told him I quit. I was going to stop the business after two months of multiple clients, pulling off three kids’ birthdays and helping shuttle to six different sports activities each week as a bonafide Uber driver after 3 p.m. I told him I was done with MomShine. I wasn’t shining anymore, and it wasn’t worth my sanity or marriage.

The Hard Truth of Being a Small Business Mom

We went to bed, and though he started to understand my real passion for it, I couldn’t do it all without it generating some revenue. His business provided for our family, so he couldn’t take on more at home either—a position many women find themselves in. I’d been picking, choosing, and trying to run a lean company, but I’m not sure I had the 5-10 years many of my peers took to lead it to profitability. 

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, approximately 20% of small businesses fail within their first year. The failure rate increases to 30% by the end of the second year, 50% by the fifth year, and 70% by the tenth year. I’m always one to want to play the odds. I’d like to at least get through 5 years of trying for a 50/50 shot at it, but hey—at least I knew I wasn’t alone. Running a business is hard work.

Momshine Wins 3 Communicator Awards

I went to bed, ready to take a break from it all. Then I woke up to learn I was honored with 17 Communicator Awards in Excellence and Distinction for our first 4 episodes ever produced. We received five honors in Excellence for Health and Fitness, my show hosting as a complete first-timer, and an additional 12 Honors in Distinction for writing, storytelling, sound design, & more. I was ecstatic!

The Communicator Awards is sanctioned and reviewed by the Academy of Interactive & Visual Arts (AIVA), an invitation-only group of top-tier professionals from acclaimed media, communications, advertising, creative and marketing firms. AIVA members include executives from organizations like Amazon, Big Spaceship, Chelsea Pictures, Conde Nast, Critical Mass, Disney, ESPN, GE Digital, IBM, The Nation of Artists, Nextdoor, Spotify, Time Inc., the Wall Street Journal/Dow Jones, and Wired. A group of very impressive peers recognized me with some of the highest honors they give and for hosting as a complete first-timer.

Pushing Through the Struggle as a Small Business Mom

As a creative thinker, I’m always looking to talk through issues and simplify them, capture my learnings, reflect on them, and then rinse and repeat the next time around. My podcasting outlet helped me work through a variety of conundrums I was having, from how to handle my perimenopause journey to picking the right sports mix for my kids to how to help them cope with social media when we enter that phase next. These award validations reminded me of the ebbs and flows in life. We struggle, collect necessary data, and then push through. You never know what could be on the other side if you don’t.

Transferring My Communicator Award to Better Communication at Home

I further explained to my husband that if I said no to my passions and goals, I might live in regret, and that’s not healthy for anyone. We can plan together better in the future, continue to talk it out, line up support, and put a timeline and budget for what we’re willing to both lean into to make a platform that I am proud of at the end of the day. 

In those moments of struggle, you determine if something matters enough to keep going. I was gaining intel to do a job I wanted to excel at (being a shiny mom) and realizing that being a leader in our home means leaning into those communities and making the space to do what I love without regret, without influence, and with solid communication at home to make that all happen. A muscle I had gotten used to ignoring over time—articulating my wants and needs in life, but I needed to improve.

I couldn’t be more grateful for these awards and recognition at an opportune time to reflect on this journey. In the meantime, your positive feedback also gives me something to lean on when the going gets rough. I’m humbled, grateful, and proud to be a mom and a communicator of all these struggles with all of you alongside me.

[Feedback from MomShine podcast listeners]