Image: Trinity Walker Keefer
Happy Friday Romancers. With the craziness this week, I can’t believe it’s even Friday. We have another Momprenuer guest post today. These are quickly becoming my favorite blog posts to write and share and I really hope you guys are liking them too (I’d appreciate all/any feedback here). Today we have Taryn from Taryn Blake Events sharing her business and momprenuer experiences. She runs a wedding planning company in York and also is a mom of 2. Running her own business and being a rockstar mom has taught her how to prioritize (and continue to learn this) and juggle. But her biggest lesson to share today? The absolute need to SLOW DOWN once you add “parent” to your job list. Take it away Taryn.
Momprenuer Series Vol 3: Learning to Slow Down | By Taryn Blake Events
Hi, I’m Taryn, owner of Taryn Blake Events, a wedding planning company based in York, PA – about 2 hours from DC. When I decided to start a wedding planning business, I was a newlywed living in the city of Baltimore. I would sit on our rooftop deck answering emails, sipping wine and not giving a second thought about filling my calendar a year in advance. This was my dream! Afternoon coffee dates with potential clients, staying up half the night working on design layouts – it was part of the job and I couldn’t get enough.
A few years later, life started changing. We relocated to PA and I built the business all over again – but then, we started thinking about a family. My type-A planning personality figured I could pinpoint exactly when this new little one would join us (not in wedding season, of course) and struggling with infertility definitely knocked me down a few pegs. Finally, I was pregnant – and due in December – so wedding season rolled on. Through a very rough and complicated pregnancy, I coordinated until 36 weeks and had our baby boy 2 weeks later.
I didn’t take maternity leave. None of my clients were taking 6 weeks off, so neither was I. It was crazy, looking back. I slowly learned how to blend my old life with this new one. I have an amazing team who works their ass off too. But I didn’t slow down. I felt like I HAD to rock the mom life just as much as the wedding life. I couldn’t let anyone see that I was tired or overwhelmed – that’s just not who I was. Who would trust a planner who didn’t look like she had it all together? The craziest part is that I was able to keep it up – our weddings were amazing and couples were happy. I booked styled shoots, did interviews, and never missed a deadline. I also gave it my all at home. My baby and husband were happy. We hosted friends. I threw parties. I always just figured that was how it had to be – that’s what moms do – especially mompreneurs. We just can’t quit. I was tired and stressed but that’s what it takes to “have it all.”
Fast forward 2 years. After another few rounds of treatments, we were pregnant again – this time, due in August, prime wedding season. My last wedding was at 38 weeks and I was back at another one TWO WEEKS after giving birth. I’m not even proud to write that – I was insane. I was focusing so much on being the perfect wife, perfect mom, perfect wedding planner that I was totally forgetting about being ME. It took me three years since having my first kid to realize that was the most important thing to focus on. I was lost in the haze of running a successful business as a mom.
This fall, I made a drastic change in how I’m “doing it all.” Being a mompreneur now has a totally different meaning for me. It means I need to slow the hell down. And it’s changed my priorities. I think twice about how full I want my calendar to be. I don’t do as many coffee dates or styled shoots. It’s made me learn to say no – which is hard! Our slogan at TBE is “Authentic Love. Awesome Weddings” – I had to make sure I was continuously living that.
Image: Jennifer Rotz
The biggest change is that I’ve narrowed my focus and figured out the ideal client for me. I still want to rock at weddings and rock at being a mom – but now I make a conscious effort to fill those wedding weekends with couples who inspire me and push me creatively. It also means I’ve started doing what no one ever tells you to do as a business owner – I turn clients away. I tell them we aren’t a good fit. It feels wrong as a business woman but it feels exactly right as a mom. It’s what I want to teach my kids – be honest to others, but first, be honest with yourself. Chase your dreams and work with people who make you better.
I’ve never half-assed a wedding. I don’t ever intend to. Choosing to work with only those who I really vibe with will keep me on this path. I want to give each couple 100% of me as a planner – it’s what they deserve.
I wish I could have learned that a few years ago. But I guess being a business owner is a lot like being a mom – sometimes you really don’t know what you’re doing and hindsight is 20/20. Just know that you can have it all. When I look at my husband and my two wonderful kids, I realize that I do. The weddings are the icing on the cake.
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Hi Capitol Romancers! I hope hearing from someone else that it’s OK to slow down and STILL be successful will inspire others!Thanks for having me, Bree!