Breathing new life into a passion project after a long time spent away can be challenging. Having just celebrated her fourth little munchkin's first birthday, #MINDRMAMA Jessica Smart is ready to dive back in. 

Sometimes life has a way of throwing things at you that you never saw coming. Little kinks or bumps in the road can be awesome, and at other times, extremely difficult. Mine were both.

I’m Jessica - wife, mom of four, dance teacher, Pure Barre instructor, blogger. For the most part, I am a positive, care-free, take-on-the-world with rose colored glasses kind of girl. I love new experiences and adventures. A few years ago, when my husband was in the very beginning stages of starting his own business, I was reading stories online of women who were doing the same. These women entrepreneurs were inspirational. I started blogging interviews with them to spread the word, not only about what they were doing, but to share who they were. It takes a very special person to risk big, juggle a million plates, and push through the disappointment and obstacles that comes with being a business owner.

When I became pregnant with my 4th baby very unexpectedly... I was devastated. That may be hard for some to understand, but it’s just the truth. I had been very happy and content with our little family. I felt full and at my max.

Fast forward just a couple years, and real life started to kick my butt! My husband dealt with a huge setback in his business, we moved, and I became pregnant with my 4th baby very unexpectedly. When I say unexpectedly, I mean like I was so done having kids after my 3rd who was 6 years old when I found out I was pregnant. I was devastated. That may be hard for some to understand, but it’s just the truth. I had been very happy and content with our little family. I felt full and at my max without being overwhelmed. I felt like things were as they should be. 

But in life, change is inevitable. Even my positive, carefree, adventurous self was feeling depressed and anxious. I was not myself for a while, but when I gave birth to my baby girl and held her little body with her eyes looking right into mine, I was happy. In that moment, I felt like I was entering into a new phase and slowly coming back to myself. During my pregnancy, I had completely put my blog on hold. Every now and then I’d post something on Instagram, but I was largely ignoring my emails and really just let the blog go, even though it had meant so much to me. Now, my little beauty has just turned a year old, and I've started feeling ready to bring my passion project back to life.

I’m so grateful for the ladies that have supported me. My goal has been to showcase the women who are behind the scenes killin’ it on the daily… and most of them are moms, just like me! I’ve strived to be a genuine voice in the world of blogging, not just another paid advertisement. I’d love to earn something with this one day, but I want to stay selective when it comes to which businesses and owners I decide to highlight. As such, I’ve decided only to promote things I’ve used and find to be practical and/or of great quality.

Let's be real - it's rare for anything worth having to be easy. It’s something I admire about the momprenuers that I’ve met - the ability to chase after a dream even if it isn’t the “sensible” thing to do.

Obviously all the things I want to do are easier said than done. It’s been interesting starting over. I hesitated for a bit, as so many questions floated around my head... “Will people really care about what I have to say anymore? Is what I have to say relevant to those that follow me? Will I be able to grow my following organically? With all the bloggers out there, will my voice be heard? Is there a place for me here anymore? Will anyone like me or relate to me?” I also wondered if I’d be able to keep up. Now that I have 2 side jobs in addition to a 4th baby, time is really fleeting and there’s always a wrench being thrown into my day. Kids are unpredictable. But let's be real - it's rare for anything worth having to be easy. It’s something I admire about the momprenuers that I’ve met - the ability to chase after a dream even if it isn’t the “sensible” thing to do.

I could sit here with my insecurities all day long. I could make excuses about why I shouldn’t or can’t, but then I might just end up disappointed that I never gave it a real shot. I’ve met other moms who have stepped away from their professional life to have a child or have had to take a break because of health or family issues, and they were still able to come back and continue following their passion. I’ve learned that you have to be vulnerable. The fear of failure is always there and it’s easy to believe the lie that others can do it better than you can. The secret that I've found is just to be yourself and to be comfortable in your own skin. That’s not an easy thing to do, but I've learned it's the only way connect with other women on a real level. When I do that, all the time and effort I put into this little side hustle is worth every second.

It’s hard being a mom, whether it’s all day at home or juggling jobs on top of that. We’re all trying to find our place. And for me, every time I had a child I had to "revise" my life and readjust to that. We don’t all have the luxury of going through these adjustments with others at the same time for support. That’s really and truly the beauty of social media. Sharing in the everyday battles with others that are totally with you in the same season of life!

I’m still learning a lot. A lot changes when you disappear for two years.  But as I’ve started to dip my feet in here and there, it has been fun and refreshing. I hope to continue to find my voice and my place in this big, big social world and would love to continue to meet new people and hear their stories! Come introduce yourself!

Jessica Smart is full time mom of four, part time dance teacher, Pure Barre instructor, & blogger. Check her out at The Littles Life.

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