June 30, 2015
I became a Mom eleven weeks ago.
Until recently, my sole focus has been on nurturing Rover-Time and I enjoyed that chapter of my life – every day of it – but I also knew I was ready to experience a new challenge that would hopefully bring new rewards that you can’t find in business.
In 2013, I wrote an article for Rover-Time’s blog called, “Do Pets Prepare You For Parenthood?” I saw several parallels but my conclusion was no, it doesn’t. However, running a small business has had a great impact on the way I view life, family, and even parenthood.
These skills carry over from one to the other:
- I’ve learned the importance of teamwork by handing over something I love significantly, to other people. Deciding priorities, good delegation, and working collaboratively keeps Rover-Time going. A family has to work together to thrive and it has to know when to ask for help.
- I’ve become emotionally resilient and I have learned how to adapt quickly to really stressful situations by embracing the unpredictable. No matter how much you prepare, something unexpected will happen. In parenthood, there are moments of failure and that’s okay. We give in, move forward, and remember that the joy is in the journey.
- Managing Rover-Time’s resources has taught me to be inventive. Juggling commitments, priorities, budgets, and schedules is small business ownership. As it turns out, running a home takes a lot of the same creativity and resourcefulness.
- I stopped comparing. No business is perfect and it’s impossible to be the best at everything. Instead Rover-Time works on the areas we want to be better at or we want to improve. Moms are really hard on themselves and each other. I’m going to opt out of that negative behavior.
- Rover-Time taught me all about sleep deprivation. I’ve woken up between 3-5 a.m. to start my workday, seven days a week, since January 2012. To be able to manage those 1 a.m. and 3 a.m. feedings I actually have to sleep longer amounts of time and it feels glorious. It’s possible I’m the first new mom to an infant that sleeps more than she did pre-baby.
Owning a small business and becoming a parent is both a pleasure and a privilege. It’s taught me to be efficient with my own time, to hire the right people, make thoughtful and correct decisions, and to find patience. I’m thankful for all of this.
- What skills do you find in your work that crosses over to your personal life?
- What lessons have you learned from your job that you use as a parent?
Julia Rohan founded Rover-Time in January of 2012 and received her formal training at CanineLink, a program for aspiring dog trainers, based in Chicago. Julia lives in Irving Park with her husband Mark. Together they co-parent Archer, their newborn son, and Chauncey Billups Vanderhoff, an over-confident, territorial, and anxious 8lb. Chihuahua-Terrier mix. Both boys melt her heart hourly.
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