Shannon Lohr | A West Coast Business Owner On Creating Her Own Flexibility
Shannon was introduced to us by fellow AMHW contributor Claire Molyneaux and from the moment Shannon shared her story of making room for motherhood, we knew her answers belonged here. Living an entrepreneur's life alongside her husband, Shannon has been incredibly flexible and mindful with her approach to both career and motherhood. Spending most of her year on the East Coast and winters in San Diego with her son and husband, she runs Factory 45 no matter what coast she’s waking up on. In another moment of connection via this site, former AMHW feature Laura Genova actually launched her company through Factory 45. Cool, right?
Shannon’s tactical advice on how to step back from your own business while still having it run smoothly during maternity leave is genius. Taking notes on that + her bicoastal lifestyle. Enjoy her words below!
HOW DID YOU CHANGE AFTER BECOMING A MOTHER?
I’m a lot more relaxed when it comes to the “non-baby” aspects of my life. The decisions or business situations that I would have spent hours agonizing over pre-baby are non-issues now. I make a decision, I handle the situation and I move on.
On the flip side, I have this other human that I’m now responsible for 24/7 and I wouldn’t exactly call myself “relaxed” when it comes to him. Motherhood is a constant balancing act between enjoying the moment and not over-analyzing every decision you make for the next 18+ years.
WHAT CHOICES DID YOU MAKE TO ACCOMMODATE MOTHERHOOD? WOULD YOU MAKE THEM AGAIN?
I felt very strongly that I wanted to take three months away from my computer, social media, email, etc. once my son arrived. The great thing about running your own company is that you make the rules. The not-so-great thing is that the business doesn't automatically continue on without you.
So I did a lot of advanced planning and put systems in place to make sure that there would still be a business once I was ready to return. A little over a year later, I still have those same systems running. I would absolutely make this decision again and probably should have done it even sooner.
DESCRIBE YOURSELF AS A MOTHER IN 3 WORDS.
Intuitive, affectionate, patient.
HOW DO YOU TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF OUTSIDE OF MOTHERHOOD?
Books - I read a lot. I’m always in the middle of a book and try to read at least 30 minutes before bed to wind down. This is a habit I inherited from my mom, so I’m also trying to instill it in my son with his bedtime routine.
Diet - I eat pretty clean and that makes a huge difference in how I feel -- especially since I’m still breastfeeding and *always* hungry.
Gratitude - This is my daily check-in. When I get overwhelmed, find myself in a bad mood or feeling stressed, I take a moment to think about all of the things I’m grateful for.
EVERY MOTHER NEEDS HELP TO FIND BALANCE. WHAT DOES YOUR VILLAGE LOOK LIKE?
I used to joke that my husband is a better mom than I am. But that just means he’s a really great dad. He is the ultimate co-parent, there is not a task he won’t take on and I would be lost in this crazy world of parenthood without him.
We are also very fortunate to have both sets of grandparents living within 20 minutes from us. They each do a day of “grandparents’ daycare” every week and are always supportive and available for whatever we need.
I have a few girlfriends who had their babies right around the same time as I did, and they have been invaluable with questions or concerns that come up. Whether we're sharing advice or simply commiserating about our lack of sleep, they keep me sane.
WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON IMPROVING ABOUT YOURSELF AS A WOMAN & A MOTHER?
I’m working on worrying less. I envy my husband who has this very laid back way of not stressing over development milestones or germs and plastic or if our son is too attached to us.
There’s a difference between being tuned in and always being worried. As we come out of the first year, my goal for the second year is to sit back a bit and simply enjoy this beautiful kid we’ve created.
QUICK CHIT CHAT
Favorite product, tool or app for parenting life: Kidizen (@hellokidizen) is a second-hand clothing app for kids clothing. We try not to buy anything new (there’s so much baby stuff on this planet!) so this app is our go-to.
Wellness ritual you swear by: Curled up by a fire with a good book and a cup of tea.
Ideal date night (location or activity): Craft cocktails followed by a live show.
Family travel destination you loved: We went to Croatia when my son was 7 months old and it was the best.
A mother you're inspired by: Liz Bohannon (@lizbohannon) of Sseko Designs.
Imagery by Joyelle West