My dear Sloane,

Today you are six weeks old. As I type this, you’re curled up on my chest, belly full and sleepy faced. I’ve positioned you at the perfect angle, cradled between my arms as I reach around you to type. Every few sentences I dip my head down to inhale your sweet smell (and I thought I could multitask before!). I’ve been writing you letters since you were born—a tradition I’ve borrowed from my Dad—whenever I find time. Time is so different now. So many endlessly long moments, hours, days, but short weeks. So I jot down a sentence here or there when I can. I’ve been told to relish in these early moments when you can nap on my chest because this, like all things, shall pass. “They grow up so fast!” “Hold that baby tight!” the mothers of my world tell me. And so despite my errands and need for a long hot shower, I hold you.

I’m taking baby steps back into work, not just because your dad and I need the money (we do), but because working for pay makes me feel like me. This whole motherhood thing will take some growing into. Like what to do when you’re crying at 3am and I don’t know what’s wrong. Or when I put you in your car seat and then forget to buckle you in, then feel horrible and look around to make sure no one has called child services. But replying to emails, working on projects—those are things I know how to do. I’ve had a lot of jobs—often working more than one at a time—and they’ve ranged in responsibility, pay, and difficulty. But no matter what the task, I gave it my all. I’ve had to be very flexible with what I do, but it’s the doing that keeps me going. Working gives me confidence, pride, and a sense of purpose. While women still don’t earn equal pay to men (a fact I sure hope will change by the time you have your first job!), the women of my generation continue breaking ground in the workplace.

Like everything, working outside the home is a trade-off. For me it means I won’t spend every waking second with you. But in those minutes where I’m writing or crafting or idea generating, I feel smart and capable and independent. I will do everything in my power to raise you to know this feeling too—that your thoughts and words and ideas matter and make a difference. It will be my greatest joy to watch you grow into a woman who values your work, no matter what it is you choose to do.

From one hustler to another,

Your mama

Jourdan Fairchild

Founder, Spruce Creative Studio

Photo credit: Anna Goodson Photography