"This is the one way to do it." I have this rule in parenting, entrepreneurship and life. If someone is saying that there is only one way to do something, then I start nodding along and silently try to see if I still know all the lyrics to "Shoop" in my head. "One way" is the cruelest way to answer someone who has asked for your advice. And yet. We've all heard it. In some form, in some article, in some conversation that becomes a down feeling of worry. 'Am I doing this wrong?'
Before MySuperFoods, I was a stay-at-home mom to my twin daughters in NYC. I loved many of those moments with them. The spontaneous dance parties, the daily walks along the Hudson River, watching them roll and crawl and walk their way into personhood. But I also experienced moments when I climbed the walls, looking for a way out. I translated this unsettled feeling as not finding that one, secret way to achieve perfect stay-at-home-motherhood. A die-hard Type A, I had spent my life achieving my way to the top of every goal I could craft. I had decided I would be a stay-at-home mom years before I was faced with the decision. When I struggled with my new role, I went back to old thinking. "I must not be devoting enough of myself to my children", I'd say. I also spent years struggling with infertility. Warning: guilt over something out of your control doesn't sweeten the pot. Worst of all, I told myself that I wasn't enough. Not enough of a mom or a woman. Not capable enough, present enough, grateful enough. If I could just get my thinking straight, I could master this stay-at-home-mom thing.
I. Would. Do. It.
Forget living up to someone else's expectations of who I should be. I just had to find a way to actually be someone else.
In the meantime, I had about 12 babysitting hours a week. This was an absolute luxury, for which I really was always grateful. I spent that time in lectures at the 92 Street Y and writing a book and trying to secure an agent. Literally. Instead of spending that time resting, I was racing my way through the knowledge and experience of achieving another major goal.
While all of this was swirling in my head, something miraculous happened. Silvia shared her dream of starting a food company with me. Then she did the unthinkable and asked me to join her in the quest. We joke that I never actually said yes. But the next day we were in a coffee shop, drafting plans for the name and logo and snack line. "Start MySuperFoods" will never be my answer if someone asks me what they should do with an unsettled feeling in their life. Starting MySuperFoods happened to be the right answer for Silvia and for me. In the middle of a city of 8.5MM people. Hardly one-size-fits-all. In every way that a new business can be overwhelming and unknown and scary, it was my lifeline.
Ultimately, this twist of fate that created MySuperFoods reminds me that it's not how you should parent or how I am parenting that matters. There is no one way. Trust me, if there were, we would all do that and take a nap! I have plenty of days now that I question if I should be spending more time with my daughters than my work. It never ends, people!!
Be open to the thousands of ways it can go. I was racing and running and searching for something to make me feel whole. In the end, it was a friend and a question to follow a dream that found me.