They’re not like regular moms. They’re cool moms. And celebrating their first Mother’s Day this weekend!

Kaela Williams, a local Baton Rouge photographer at Kaela Rodehorst Photography, gave birth her to her son Liam last October. Rebecca Gardner of the local nonprofit Hands Producing Hope gave birth to her daughter Charleston last November.

And today these two new mamas are sharing how they balance motherhood with running their own businesses — all while staying driven and creative and making time for family.

Keep reading to see how they do it all!

Kaela Williams of Kaela Rodehorst Photography in Baton Rouge, Louisiana celebrates her first Mother's Day with son Liam

Kaela Williams of Kaela Rodehorst Photography

How has running your own business changed since the birth of Liam?

Kaela: I’ve learned to BE present. If I’m working, I am fully focused on the task at hand and when it’s time to play, stroll, change diapers — I’m fully dedicated to Liam!

How does Liam and motherhood inspire your creativity when it comes to your photography business?

Kaela: Motherhood has given me what I call a “mom’s perspective.” This new point of view keeps me from getting wrapped up in the intricacies of the photography and gives my sessions a new meaning. Not that it wasn’t good or important before, but now I see things from multiple angles.

Kaela Williams of Kaela Rodehorst Photography in Baton Rouge, Louisiana celebrates her first Mother's Day with son Liam

What’s your favorite thing about being a mom so far?

Kaela: All of it. If I had to pick one thing, it’s the unexplainable, unconditional love they give you. It’s just awesome. And the snuggles!

How do you balance being a new mom and a business owner?

Kaela: I would say my mom-work balance is a work in progress! I drink lots of coffee, set specific days of the week to work and soak up the rest of the time with my husband and Liam. He will only be a baby once!

What has been the most challenging part of raising a newborn and running a business?

Kaela: Keeping my mind focused on staying organized to make sure my clients are taken care of but also being a great mom.

Rebecca Gardner of Hands Producing Hope in Baton Rouge, Louisiana celebrates her first Mother's Day with daughter Charleston

Rebecca Gardner of Hands Producing Hope

How has running your own business changed since the birth of Charleston?

Rebecca: A lot has changed! One big shift is that I am not able to put in quite as many hours every day, but I have grown in my self-discipline since I’ve learned how precious dedicated work time can be. I find myself being more productive in an hour than I used to be in three!

How does Charleston and motherhood inspire your creativity for Hands Producing Hope?

Rebecca: My heart for my business has grown tenfold since becoming a mom. The women we work with in Costa Rica and Rwanda are mothers, and while I have always cared deeply for them and their ability to provide for their families, I now can relate to them that much more. I am even more driven to see them and their families thrive. That all flows into what I do, whether it is designing new products, coming up with a new marketing avenue, or packaging and mailing products! Being a mother has also inspired me to begin dreaming of starting a children’s line on day for HPH. That may be further down the road, but I have fun dreaming up designs and new products that our artisans could make and that little ones in the US could enjoy!

What’s your favorite thing about being a mom so far?

Rebecca: Oh my goodness. Just one thing? I adore the bond that her and I share. The way she lights up when she sees me, how at home she is while I am nursing her, how much fun we have together, and so many other little things. It is all so beautiful and I am honored to get to share this bond with her.

Rebecca Gardner of Hands Producing Hope in Baton Rouge, Louisiana celebrates her first Mother's Day with daughter Charleston

How do you balance being a new mom and a business owner?

Rebecca: It has been almost 6 months and some days I still feel like we are figuring out our groove with work and how to balance it all. The best ways I have found to balance things is to set chunks of time (even small ones) to focus on work. Some of those times are before she wakes up in the morning, during naps, and sometimes while she is awake and content playing with some toys. Occasionally, she is in a baby wrap while I package orders, playing in my lap while I respond to an email, or in the back seat when I am driving to meet a potential retail partner. She goes where I go and is happy to do so 99% of the time! What I am trying to avoid is half working all day long, it isn’t good for my business or my family. My best days are the ones when I am effective with my work time and can give Charleston all of my attention the rest of the time, I am more productive and love my daughter the best!

What has been the most challenging part of raising a newborn and running a business?

Rebecca: The most challenging part has been thinking that I should be able to accomplish the same amount that I did before my daughter was born. When I feed into that lie I find myself feeling inadequate at work and not loving my time with my baby as much. When I can step back and realize that I am running a company and raising a baby and both are thriving — I am then able to give myself a bit more grace that my hours have been dramatically cut back. It is okay if things grow a little slower right now and it is okay if I am not quite as good at responding promptly to emails. This is a new season for my family and for my business, things are different but they are still so very good!


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