I was running audience development for brands for over 10 years, managing a team I loved and raising two little girls with my husband in a new (old) home we bought in Glen Ridge, New Jersey. The commute started to get in the way after a while and I began to start second guessing the whole full-time, commuting parenting gig, but just could not giving up something I loved and my identity that went along with it.
When I realized I was pregnant with my third child, I was overwhelmed with the fear of adding another little human who needed me into the crazy mix of our lives. A few days after welcoming our little boy into the world, I woke up feeling strange and realized my face felt frozen. Praying it wasn’t a stroke, we ran to the hospital and I was quickly diagnosed with Bell’s Palsy, which affected me with complete paralysis of one side of my face.
My paralysis lasted eight months and it hit me hard. My eye was unable to close, the nerves in my ear were shot, making a newborn baby cry sound eight times the normal volume. Some days I felt like I had been punched repeatedly in my face. The pain was intense, but the anxieties that came from the way I looked really took hold and caused all sorts of fun new sensations I’ve never experienced before, like dizziness, chills and tears. Add on baby weight and sleepless nights, and you can imagine the crazy I looked like at the time.
Somehow I powered through this crazy moment in time, knowing that each day I had to wake up and get started for my kids. I went out on disability and eventually left the job. With that change in place, my Reset began.
Time passed, and my facial movements started to return. I began meeting with a former colleague, and together we brainstormed about a business that would allow us be present at the precious moments in life, while doing the job we loved.
I’m happy to say that we just celebrated our one-year anniversary of being co-founders of Loup Digital, an audience development agency that works alongside amazing brands to drive new audiences and revenue streams. We are growing faster than we imagined, and working with so many inspiring women running powerful brands.
I still strive to figure out the balance, but when it’s your own thing, the work feels right and still allows me to put my children’s priorities first. Looking back, I can say the bad times opened new doors and new possibilities.