Apparently, I’m meant to be pregnant. In the ripe old age of my … ahem, mid-30s … I got married. It was wonderful to finally commit to someone after years of “investigating the market,” as I call it. However, shortly after tying the knot, the most common question among friends, family and everyone I know was: “When are you going to start having children?”
First and foremost, I’m not against having children in the slightest, and I admire, respect and adore my gorgeous friends with their gorgeous little ones. But this line of questioning got me thinking about why I haven’t gotten the “baby bug” yet— that maternal drive, the desire to have children and watch them grow up. And then it hit me. I do have a child. It is 11-years-old. It screams, keeps me up at night, takes the money from my wallet, smiles at me when it wants something and makes me compromise my livelihood on a daily basis. It’s called “My Business.”
If business years are measured like dog years, then I have a teenager who’s about ready to leave home and create his own path in the world— a phase I’m excited to witness. I’ve instilled the value systems, and now I just hope it can determine the rights and wrongs to create a clear vision for the future. After spending so many years cultivating a culture, pride and vision, the ability to release the reins and let my “child” run rogue is both daunting and thrilling.
I don’t pretend to know the pains and joys of raising children, and I don’t make light of either, but I do know that I love MY child. I feed it, shower it with support and spend my life making sure it’s happy. In return, it provides me with a wealth of emotion, success and life lessons. Above all, it teaches me how to be a better “mother,” and reminds me how important it is to invest in something that’s bigger than you. Maybe I’ll have kids of my own one day, but until then, I’ll practice with my other child.
Andrea Culligan is the managing director and CEO of Unimail. E-mail Andrea at firstname.lastname@example.org.