On Entrepreneurship, Pregnancy, and a Husband’s Chronic Illnesses
I am a pregnant entrepreneur. Throw in a husband with hemophilia and epilepsy into the mix, and there you have it: the crazy life I’ve been living for the past five months.
Let’s do away with the inspirational mumbo-jumbo that goes, “Everything will be OK, just have faith!” Instead, let’s get real. This is going to be a raw and honest exposition of what it’s like to play the roles of an entrepreneur, spouse, and soon-to-be-parent all at the same time — roles I share with my husband Jared, who also manages his chronic illnesses on top of all these.
This life sounds overwhelming? It is. And there are times when the feeling gets magnified significantly. I picture life as if I’m playing a video game, controlling several characters instead of just one. Each character has a role to play and various real-time tasks to perform in each role. The game doesn’t allow me to pause any of the characters. It’s easy to control all characters when circumstances are good, but in the presence of external forces beyond my control, things sometimes go haywire. I’m sometimes forced to focus too much on controlling one character to prevent mishaps on that character’s end, which ultimately weakens my grasp on the other characters I play. It’s not that I want to zoom in on just one character or role; rather, it’s something I’m forced to do to continue playing.
“Why don’t you just sacrifice some characters and focus on the ones that matter?”
“Why don’t you just switch out the game for an easier one?”
Believe it or not, I have been told such things in my life. Sadly, the people who tell me these things hardly know what I find meaningful, or that I find this life meaningful. The roles I play — entrepreneur, wife, mommy-to-be — are all part of the package.
For instance, I didn’t just stumble randomly upon the idea of opening an online jewelry store. The connection goes back to my university years. I spent six years there instead of the usual four because I couldn’t pinpoint my interests or passions. I was employed for some months after graduating, but I realized regular employment was not for me. I did, however, enjoy arts, crafts, and finding innovative ways to earn extra income.
Unlike me, Jared liked employment. However, given his physical condition, his inability to drive (due to epilepsy), and the challenges of commuting to work, all roads seemed to point to entrepreneurship as his best route to providing for us.
Jared was a business student, but he didn’t consider himself suited for an enterprising role. On the other hand, the nature of enterprise seemed a lot more natural to me. Our differences made us struggle at first. Eventually, we found ways to divide the work so we could utilize our individual strengths. I work on communications, specifically interacting with customers and manufacturers, while he does more of the administrative work. He;s also learned photography, whereas I update our social media profiles.
Right now, our business has reached an awkward stage. We have started to gain traction and a decent market following, but we must justify the growth by delivering on promises to clients. We’ve gotten to the point of sacrificing sleep to attend to customer returns and correct manufacturing errors.
Jared does not feel well about sacrificing sleep. His epilepsy probably makes him a light sleeper or maybe his medications make him drowsy. He gets cranky when his sleep is incomplete. As a pregnant woman, sleep deprivation is a legitimate health concern for me. I’m only in my second trimester, so it’s no wonder I am still so energetic. But when my third trimester strikes and pregnancy discomforts follow, how much sleep will I get?
I spoke with my entrepreneur cousin and she told me that sacrifices are often necessary to grow a business. Some of the things most commonly sacrificed are time, stability, and sleep.
I often ask myself why I sacrifice this much to grow our business. Why do my husband and I stay up late meeting deadlines to the point that our sleep schedule has become compromised?
The answer is simple: It’s for our family. It’s for us to have the means to buy cute baby stuff, and hopefully, one day afford vacations and bonding opportunities and the ability to take care of my husband’s medical needs.
Plus, I love this entrepreneurial life.
Note: Hemophilia News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Hemophilia News Today or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to hemophilia.