Wow what a crazy, amazing rollercoaster the last six months have been... From the chaos of a global pandemic and the Carra Lee business absolutely taking off, to mothering a high energy, excitable Scorpio baby like Billy J – it’s been all systems go, that’s for sure!
I’ve always been someone who likes to be busy; whether it’s throwing myself in to creating the collective space, developing my own activewear brand, working on my health and fitness, or spending time with the people that fill my cup – my friends and family - I’m always on the go. The result? I’m used to life being a bit of a balancing (or juggling!) act – but nothing and no-one prepared me for the level of ‘busy’ I’ve been since having Billy J. Or how tiring it would be.
At the start of the year my partner Pat and I started the arduous process of trying to get Billy in to a good (regular) sleep routine. We did everything we were encouraged to do; had set sleep times, lots of playing and outdoor stimulation during his waking hours, made sure he had quiet time in the lead up to his sleeps – but it didn’t make the process any simpler. Our wee man simply refused to cooperate (I’m sure you mothers out there can relate!). It took about five months for him to settle into our intended routine, and during this time friends, family and Carra Lee staff expressed their concerns over my health. Despite my absolute commitment to my health regime, due to the demands of running a growing business (which only launched when Billy was born) and ongoing sleep deprivation, I began to look malnourished - and was visibly exhausted.
Now, I’m incredibly grateful for all that I have in my life. I’ve worked hard to get to where I am as a businesswoman and mother – but I admit, those first five months of 2020 were among the most challenging of my life – and that’s before the added head and heartache of Covid19.
With the first half of the year taking it out of me, and being so exhausted, I honestly don’t think I could have coped with the news of our second pregnancy, had it happened even a moment earlier. I’ve shared this a few times recently, but the timing of my finding out about Baby Number Two has only reinforced my belief in the divine timing of the Universe. Had we learned, even a week earlier, that I was pregnant, the news likely would have had me in tears. My plate was just too full to have added such enormous news to it. But instead I learned Billy would be a big brother at exactly the right moment: the business was in a good place, we’d employed a nanny a few hours a week for Billy which gave us some breathing room – and him some new socialising time, and energetically I was in a much better space. This change in circumstance meant Pat and I met the news with excitement and joy: we had always wanted Billy to have a sibling – we just hadn’t expected it to happen so soon!
So, with the news of my second pregnancy, Pat and I adjusted our plans and perspectives to account for our new child – and have rolled with it ever since.
This adjusting of perspectives and expectations has been rife this year, not only for me and my little family - but for the world. While we’ve been making room for new life, the world has been dealing with large scale loss – and the ongoing challenges and uncertainties and pandemic has bought with it.
Though the negative impacts of the pandemic are undeniable, I must admit Covid19 has encouraged me to really focus on what I want for myself, my family, and my business both now and in the future. And it’s been amazing to experience how, by having the time and space for true authentic contemplation, answers, ideas, and information have flowed freely.
I’ve spent the second half of this year setting goals, and it’s been tremendously rewarding to watch the (seemingly magical) ripple effect this has caused: Carra Lee Active grew approximately 500% in a month – a feat I’m incredibly proud to share, and I believe the space and clarity I’ve been able to cultivate recently helped us achieve this goal.
We have broken into a new demographic and asserted our place among competitors by offering supremely comfortable, supportive, sassy alternatives to the usual workout attire. Carra Lee Active is designed to accommodate women of all ages, shapes and preferences – and as I’ve progressed through my pregnancy (and all the baking that came with Covid lockdowns!), I’ve put this to the test.
As a busy mum and businesswoman living in the heat of the Gold Coast (we’ve already had 27 degree days and it’s not even summer yet), I want to be comfortable and cool - without skimping on style. Being pregnant exacerbates this need for comfort, temperature control and support – and is why my absolute go-to has become a pair of the Nearly Nude Ultra High Waist Leggings – the waistband sits nice and high over my growing belly - and one of our basic, breezy tanks.
I don’t have to worry about what to wear in the mornings. There’s no weighing the pros and cons of looking good versus buttons, zippers and belts digging in – or garments clinging in all the places I’m hoping to hide 😉 I live in my CLA gear, knowing it supports my needs day in and day out. That’s one of my constant drivers when creating my activewear collections: to provide women with the confidence and support to embrace their bodies in every age, stage or shape they may be. Your clothes should enhance your daily experience, not hinder it.
In the same way I design my brand to add support to my Tribe’s lives, that’s also a motivator behind this blog: to provide insight, reassurance, and a sense of camaraderie to readers. I want to share my experiences – the good, the bad, the exciting and the stressful – because it’s important to acknowledge that being human is to experience ALL the emotions. It’s not just about striving for the good, it’s about learning from the challenges and seeking support and help when you need it.
I’m blessed to have an amazing support system around me, including the help of some incredible holistic professionals, who have supported me throughout this crazy, tumultuous, exciting year, and assisted through every aspect of my pregnancy journey. I know not everyone has access to such a network, or even knows where to start looking for these kind of specialists, so please feel free to reach out via DM on Instagram – or comment in the section below - if you’d like some Gold Coast based recommendations. I’m always here to help 😊
To all you magical mothers and wonder-women out there living crazy busy lives, juggling responsibilities, and commitments (especially amidst ever-changing lockdown rules) – please know that you’re not alone. Your Carra Lee Tribe is always here for you and we will do our utmost to ensure you feel comfortable, confident, and supported in both your life -and our activewear – every day.