Growing Pains

by Lis Garrett

We are excited to have Lis Garret of Woolgatherings join us for one last guest post. Lis, like many of our readers, often combines the struggles of a freelancing career with the joys of parenthood (and vice versa).

When your infant finally arrives, you spend a lot of time simply staring at her. In the beginning, it’s enough just to sit and admire her as she sleeps in the bassinet. You memorize the tiny details of her face, her heart-shaped mouth and upturned nose. You stare at her for hours in disbelief and complete reverence.

But after awhile, you start to get bored. You begin to wish your new baby would do something already instead of just sleep, eat, and cry. You willfully wish her into the next level of growth. I can’t wait until she rolls over. I can’t wait until she sits up. I can’t wait until she crawls. I can’t wait until she walks. With all that impatient wishing, however, your baby becomes a toddler almost overnight, and you’re left longing for those pre-mobile days of infancy.

Just as a baby grows from placid infant to precocious toddler, and so it goes with any new business, the growing pains associated with the transition from one developmental stage to the next.

My active pursuits into freelance writing began in July 2007. The responsibilities with the job I had providing web content were few and simple. I understood the guidelines and had a firm grasp of the style in which I was to write. It was smooth sailing, as far as I was concerned. Then I got bored and began looking for additional work to occupy my time and talents. That’s when my second blog was born, a place to remove the writer from the mother and begin exploring a different niche altogether. My ability to balance was once again tested, as I had my hands full juggling the tasks of contract work and posting daily on two blogs. In the course of one week, I signed two additional contracts, one for a paid blogging position with b5Media and the other for article and editorial assistance on a job that has the possibility of extension. All of this, in addition to my volunteer position as an editor for a local elementary school newsletter, the increasing demand for small-business endorsements, and the occasional stint as a guest blogger.

Did I mention I have three young children and a husband who frequently travels?

My career is still in its infancy stage, so much so that I hesitate to call it an official business. I equate it to the feeling of bringing your baby home for the first time, still a bit in denial that she is actually there in front of you, despite the fact that she is alive and thriving. This business of writing and providing a service is so new, yet so very intoxicating. However, I’m beginning to experience the pains of growing. In terms of business, these pains are good. As life is with a new baby, it’s learning how just to manage that is the real pain. It’s the type of growth you welcome, growth that you know encourages positive change. But it’s a pain, nevertheless.


  1. Tamara Berry says

    I think separating “the writer” and “the mother” is one of the most difficult things I face. It’s great when the two overlap (like when I write about parenting), but sometimes it’s even better when I get a few blissful hours of highly involved, challenging work time with nary a thought for my tot.

  2. says

    Growing a life and a business (or a career) at the same time is a challenge so many women face. It’s so nice to read a post on this topic on a blog that understands our struggles and successes.

    kristi’s last blog post..Zero to Three in 20 Seconds

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