Motherhood Cracked Me Open

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Degree/Institution: BA from USC in Communications and MA in Psychology from Pacifica Graduate Institute 

Workplace/Business: Honey for Moms/SIX Corporate Parent Experience Consulting

Favorite app/website/blog: Lately I’ve been nerding out to LinkedIn. I love connecting with people and learning more about what they do. My business brain is my happy place, so LinkedIn is like a whole new world I hadn’t connected with until recently. 

Go-to outfit: Black stretch pants - shiny, plain, casual, fancy - with a black tank and a mush sweater. With sandals in the summer and boots in the winter. It’s my uniform for sure. Makes life easy in the mornings! 

Go-to power anthem: My music taste is as diverse as my days. I could go from PINK to Indigo Girls and stay right at my power point without missing a beat. 

Go-to local restaurant: If I could eat every meal at Greenspace in Ferndale I would. 

Go-to coffee shop: During the week I’m a Starbucks drive through kind of girl, unless I make a latte at home. On the slower weekends though, I love a lavender latte from Red Hook in Ferndale.

Your website/blog/social media handle: honeyformoms.com, @honeyformoms, @six.consulting

Introductions: Name, Career, Business and # of kids

Brooke Miller, Speaker, Entrepreneur and Consultant. Honey Space for Moms//SIX Corporate Parent Experience Consulting, Gisele 6 yrs., Pearl 3.5yrs. 

Tell me about yourself and why you started Honey.

The journey to honey started because I was looking for it and couldn’t find it. Motherhood cracked me open and brought both a beauty and a mess into my world that I could never have imagined. I was definitely a “searching for the meaning of life” kind of 20-something, and when I had my first daughter in my 30’s, I felt like I had finally found it - the meaning of life and love and all of it. But that didn’t come without pain, confusion, fear and loneliness, as much of the best stuff in life is grown from. So, I was looking for honey. I knew there was a need. 

Honey offers so much to mothers. Can you explain in a nutshell what Honey is about? The space, community and programs?

Honey is a boutique integrative wellness center and inclusive clubhouse for moms. In a nutshell ;) The core of our program is our HoneyMama Moms Groups and Emotional Wellness services including psychotherapy for individuals and couples. Our mom groups range from moms in the first 4 months of motherhood through toddler years and focus on general mom groups as well as specific demographics such as LGBTQ mamas, couples, singles mamas, and the list goes on! The next layer is the co-working space and lounge, perfect for moms to work, rest, nap, connect, stare mindless into space without judgment, while taking advantage of onsite childcare. Then we have an incredible mind-body-lifestyle program with classes from drop in “yoga for anxiety”, mommy and me music classes, a prenatal prep course including birth class and boobs + brain aftercare class, and babywearing yoga. Additionally, we offer spa services like massage and acupuncture. Braid in a ton of special events and classes, and honey, that’s honey! 

You started Honey with a 7-month old, what was that like?

It was perfect. I know in my heart that honey was and is needed. I don’t however, feel that someone who wasn’t “in it” could have done her justice in the first chapter. I feel like starting this with a 7-month old, although challenging in the logistical ways one might suspect, was also exactly what honey needed in order to be fueled by the authenticity and raw intention that she was. And I think our community feels it. I wouldn’t have changed a thing. 

How did you combine a 7-month old, 2.5yr old, marriage and motherhood with the birth of a new business?

I have no idea. I have no magic answer to that, though I really wish I did! I have the most incredible and supportive husband – who has moments just like anyone would, that are full of fear and exhaustion. Thankfully we are pretty on point with the flow in our marriage that when he is full of fear and exhaustion, I can rise to the occasion, and when I’m a wreck, he is strong and lifts me up. So that ebb and flow is certainly one of the magic factors to making this all work. My kids, now 6 and 3, are incredible. They have grown up honey and have watched me shift and change and learn and grow and cry and jump up and down. They have a healthy sense of ownership around honey, and I’m proud of that. Though this is “my” business, I don’t see it that way. This is a true family business. It wouldn’t exist if my husband didn’t believe in it and collaborate with me or if my kids didn’t ride this wave with us with bells on. It just all works. Other than on the days when it totally doesn’t. 

What advice do you have for new or expecting moms who are currently birthing a business?

I would say, always remember to make decisions and act from a place of love, not fear. That goes for raising babies, and birthing businesses.  

One of the things we personally love about Honey is the busybee room – what inspired you to bring childcare into your business model?

It was really an integral part of the entire business plan. Having an onsite childcare space would be the only way that a mom working part time for herself, could come and use the co-working space. Maybe the only way someone could come to therapy, or the only way they could come to group with their new baby, and toddler in tow. The logistics of modern motherhood are chaotic, and I wanted honey to feel simple.

I love the question you often ask – “are you a human being or a human doing today?”. Can you tell us more about that?

I love that. I just feel like our society has shifted into a space where the belief is, if you’re not “doing” anything right now, then you somehow are less than. We keep telling each other we are “busy”, and maybe we are, or maybe it’s just what we say to make sure we feel valuable. I feel like our kids really just need and want us to be. Just be ourselves, be with them, and not do much of anything. I just say it to remind mamas that today, right now, maybe just be. Be with your baby, be with your people. Take a break from being a human-doing once in a while. It’s good for the soul. 

How has being a woman or mother affected your career, business and relationship with your children?

Being a mother is what solidified my career and brought my entire life to the next level. My kids broke me open and I see the world differently now. I loved being a therapist, but becoming a mother showed me what kind of therapist and leader and innovator I truly could be. I made humans. I can do anything. 

Do you find that balancing motherhood, family, work and your business to be a challenge? If so, what support system do you have in place to manage that?

It ebbs and flows, I feel like I’m in a good flow right now, but we are entering summer when my kids will be off school and with me, so call me in August to check in! ha! I have an incredibly participatory husband who is my true partner in all things work, life and raising children, so I feel very lucky. We also have amazing friends and neighbors who have stepped up in a pinch to help if needed. Balancing it all is a continuous learning curve!

What’s next for Honey?

Honey just brought home a sister! SIX Corporate Parent Experience Consulting, a sister company to Honey, co-owned by myself and my partner Karen Evans, is certainly one of the pieces of what’s next. As SIX grows (we’ve had a very exciting start!), I’m also working on expanding honey into more locations and I’m extremely proud and excited for that chapter to begin in a more public way very soon.

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All photography for Mother Honestly by Diana Liang Photography