Growing Pains

When a business grows quickly, it experiences what are called “growing pains.” This means problems, struggles, glitches, random issues — all as a result of the rapid growth the company wasn’t fully prepared for.

In some ways I feel I’m like a company, with departments that each handle a particular responsibility and then combine to create me as a whole. There’s the Mom department, the Wife department, the Housekeeping department, the Creative department, the Business department, and more. Within each department are smaller divisions that handle more specific tasks — each child, each project.

When Emily came along, the Mom department experienced some growing pains, as did the Housekeeping department. Each time I add a new craft I want to try or novel I want to write, the Creative department experiences some struggles. And right now the Business department is protesting with pain, demanding more help from a Home Office who is stretched thin already.

Over the past week or so I’ve struggled with balancing the different departments as I add more tasks and more urgency to the Business department. Adding a new job in the form of Usborne consultant certainly created the biggest issues, and yet I’m excited about it and want to make it work. At the same time my websites are sitting on the sidelines, waiting for progress to be made. And I have two craft shows coming up that are asking me to put other things on hold and take care of the items I have to finish making, signs I have to create, and general prep work that I have to take care of.

Of course these business tasks are competing for my attention with the Mom and Housekeeping departments. I have to make sure my children are loved and taken care of. I have my huge house cleaning project that takes up time. And this crazy week that involved a birthday party, a launch party, two days off from school for Avery (and the resulting child care issues), doctors’ appointments, and making up hours for my day job because of all the craziness, is making Home Office go completely bananas. Home Office wants to completely shut down and take a vacation. Home Office wants to take all the departments, throw them out the window, and curl up in a dark room and sleep.

Usually when Home Office gets overwhelmed like this, it needs to step back and evaluate the situation. Perhaps some restructuring needs to be done. Perhaps we need a business plan. More meetings or less meetings. A change in management is not an option, so we have to make do with what we’ve got. But perhaps some management training would be beneficial.

All in all, the company knows it will make it through. And, while growing pains may be difficult in the interim, the end result will be a happier, more successful, more productive company as a whole. And, really, what more can we ask for?

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