I often get the question: What made you want to open a shop like this? Here's the long answer:
I'm from Raceland, LA. It's a really small place, if you're not familiar. Often times, people who are born there, stay there. I thought that would be me too.
I attended Nicholls State for my undergraduate degree then immediately got into the school of my choice, University of Southern Miss. I was dead set on becoming a marriage and family therapist, and I did that. Granted, it was nothing like I thought it would be. I thought I would commute a few times a week for classes and be home on the weekends. It was not like that at all but it was much much better than I could have imagined. I began the process of blossoming into the person I wanted to be and would become.
Upon graduating and officially starting my career as a therapist, I couldn't have imagined I'd be where I am today. That would be crazy, right?
So I worked as a therapist for several years. It was rewarding at times, it was very challenging at times. Finally, I was ready to expand our family and we got pregnant with our first little one. This was such a magical time for us. I had already procured a position part time at a hospital where I did my internship. I made sure that I would have insurance and would have a flexible position where I would make enough to provide insurance for myself and the baby. David's job was not steady in Mississippi at any point since he graduated, so that was a huge struggle.
Elliott was born at 34 weeks and 6 days gestation. We were both healthy and called family to tell them the news after he was born. These are some of the best memories. Unfortunately, we had to return to the hospital for his jaundice. That's another story for another day, but I sure learned a lot.
Everything finally settled and I returned to work at about 8 weeks post partum (not 6 like I thought I would, go figure). We lined up help from family on the days I had to work and Elliott did great, until he stopped taking bottles at around 3 months old. Good thing my job was very flexible!
When Elliott was around 9 months old and David's job was still not steady, we decided to start looking for work back home in Louisiana. Our families were so glad (as you can imagine) and after many months, we finally made it half way there and then all the way there. David had a great job and I actually found a place to work part time as well. It was amazing.
It wasn't long after that that we were expecting Ruby. Our house still hadn't sold and we were living in temporary housing. This may have been the most stressful time in my entire life. I was a stay at home mom to a wild toddler, still nursing him, high risk pregnancy due to delivering Elliott early, just an all around hot mess. There were so many tears and so much anxiety and guilt.
We finally moved into our new home just a few weeks before Ruby arrived. The experience of having a wild toddler with a new baby is ... another story for another day. I am still living it every day, now with an almost two year old and my (still wild) four year old. I decided not to return to work as a therapist, but, honestly, the job of being a stay at home mom to those precious babies was the hardest thing I may have ever done. I felt like my brain was mush from all the focus and responsibility it took to keep those two alive every day. Can we start a survivors group?!
Those years are some of the most memorable in my life, for many reasons. I am certain, when I look back on that time in my life many years from now, I will surely yearn to have all the craziness and chaos back.
Through my own parenting journey, I've learned many things, but definitely don't know it all. I love sitting with other parents, whether they're brand new, expecting, or veterans. We can learn so much from each other. We have so much to offer. Being a parent makes life so rich and so rewarding. And if nothing else, these experiences make us grow and strengthen.
The funny thing is, many of us thought we knew how this thing would go before we had kids. We were so cute.
So after much deliberation, I finally figured out a way to turn doing what I love into a business. I own a shop downtown with natural parenting items and more. I'll have you know, we use most of these products in our own home. They're well researched by yours truly and come from trusted brands. Not only do we offer retail therapy, but we also have support groups, meet-ups, and educational opportunities, even sourcing from professionals in our community.
I am so excited to bring something new to this area. I hope you are excited too.