Where the Rubber Ducky Meets the Road

Creative force Carrie Hurley balances peace and sleep deprivation to stay grounded as a first-time mama

By KD Reep

 

Carrie Hurley and her husband began building a house while they were expecting their first child. She is a firm believer that should be illegal now. Add to a new home and living out of boxes a newborn and entrepreneurship, and you have Carrie’s life since last year. Her daughter, Revel Rose, was born in early September 2014.

“I think I was the only pregnant lady on the planet who was begging her baby to stay put so we would have more time build the house,” Carrie says. “Revel was right on time, though. In any given day, I get about a hundredth of the things done I did before I had our daughter. It is so hard to stop, pause and realize you are raising a child. What was once so important now just has to wait.”

Among her duties outside of being a mom, wife and chief spoiler to four-pound Yorkie, Harlow, Carrie is the owner of a creative boutique that provides everything from graphic design to product development to marketing strategies for small businesses. She and her husband, Scott, also own The Rendezvous in Round Top, Texas, a quaint yellow farmhouse on eight acres that transforms into an antique venue twice a year.

Working from home allows her the flexibility to keep all her various projects in motion, but Carrie says it’s the ability to say no and place her family as priority that guides her life.
“Saying no has always been a challenge for me and I find that I have to say it more often for the sake of our sleep, sanity and state of my and my husband’s union,” she says. “Sleep deprivation is real. I work from home when I’m not traveling or meeting with clients so one of the hardest parts of motherhood has been transitioning to a working-from-home mama. I considered myself a pretty good manager of my time, but this is a whole new ball game.

“Motherhood is where the rubber ducky meets the road in terms of what is important. I have to completely realign my expectations for myself, and I’m learning that practicing peace is top priority,” she says. “To be honest, I’m still in a bit of a fog. It is surreal to me that this is our little life to grow and guide into adulthood. I miss being able to just jump in the car or on a plane or go for a run without a second thought. But at the same time, I’m doing my best to embrace
this season of being grounded with my family for a second. From everything I hear, it goes by alarmingly fast. A friend said it best: The days and nights are long, but the months just fly by.”

The best things about being a mom, however, were the surprises she never thought to expect. As Carrie notes, the whole thing is happiness and humility and “how-do-I-hang-on-to-my-sanity-with-this-little-sleep” all swaddled up with a giant safety pin? “I love the endless menagerie of expressions on my daughter’s face. She is completely unaware of what anyone thinks. She has no filter. She just is who she is,” Carrie says. “That smile of hers will bring one to my face every day of the week. You really are getting to witness a miracle. One of the fun parts of being a new parent has been to watch how it brings all of ‘my people’ together. It takes
a village (or, in our case, a booming metropolis), and I love being able to witness the way our friends and family love our baby girl.

“I also think one of the most surprising things for me was how I fell in love with my husband all over again,” she says. “I knew I married a great man, but this is a whole new level of awesome. There is no way to articulate the bond created in those first few moments of meeting a brand new life together as a couple. Scott has been my lighthouse when the waves of fatigue and frustration and fighting the new normal are tossing me about. We decided before Revel was
born that we were going to approach this whole parenting thing as a team. We also promised that we were going to do our best not to lose sight that having a baby is a chapter in our love story, not the end of it. However, this particular section of the book requires lots of late nights, early mornings and self-sacrifice. Often times we’ll look to one another for a pep talk and generally one of us can muster the strength to remind the other of all we have to be grateful for and it puts the whole thing into perspective.”