Working mom, leading beer education, & running Girls Pint Out Columbus…
Let’s start off this blog with who I am and how I got here. My name is Meg Talmage and my husband and I own the brewery, Endeavor Brewing. We have a 2 year old son Fitz and a baby girl on the way. I also teach our women’s beer class and I am a co-leader of Columbus Girls Pint Out. All of these things give me the title, working mom. Although, my job title at the Brewery is ‘Meg can you ___’ or Mother of Dragons (we don’t really believe in labels) I am a mom first. I mostly work on marketing, social media and our charitable giving. Honestly though, I didn’t always work in the Brewery. We originally were investors in a Brewery, with zero intention of being Owners. We really do love craft beer and eventually became the owners. In fact, I was 37 weeks pregnant when we took over. I know what you want to ask, and yes I 100% thought it was crazy and the timing was horrible. We now had a brand new business, a renovation that we knew was needed, and a baby coming at any moment.
Let me be honest again, I never once intended to be a working mom. In fact, I truly wanted nothing more than to be a stay at home mom. Our plan was that I would help with the renovation and interior design, then I would stay at home with my new little nugget and smother him with love. But you don’t always get to choose your path and it was later clear that I was needed for more. Ready for the insanity of owning your own business? I was back at work, preparing for the redesign, 9 days after I had my son. I internally, wholeheartedly disagreed with was I was doing. Nothing will feel worse than letting your baby down. But it was our business now, his future, and we had to make it work. Also, If you know me, then you know I am determined and stubborn. Once that renovation was complete I would be a stay at home mom again. It was 3 months away and I knew I could bring Fitz with me anywhere so I really didn’t have to leave him at home yet.
So 3 months later, there I was, renovation complete and on my way to being the stay at home mom that I wanted to be. But, I soon realized that dream wasn’t for me. I felt alone, that my purpose was lost. Everyday when my husband came home I would ask how work was. I craved hearing every little detail, just so that I didn’t feel so completely gone. I found myself slipping in to postpartum depression, the only catch, I didn’t believe it. I am really lucky that my family pushed me to get therapy. After seeking council I figured out that maybe I needed to work part time. I jumped back in to the business, helping train our new bar manager, creating a Charity night, doing whatever it is I could to help in my 2 days at work. Working made me euphoric again, I hate to say it but it was like an addiction. Remember that I was lost and I had just found the thing that gave me a feeling of self-worth. Please, don’t get me wrong, I cherished every moment with my son. Every new thing he did was the most brilliant thing in the world and still to this day he perfect to me. But working again, having that purpose, made me a better mom. I was happy again. I could celebrate the fart noises he loved to make with his mouth instead of being annoyed. He deserved my happiness. He may see me less, but when he did it was full on, best day ever again. I still only work 4 days a week and I’ll be honest, if I want to stop at 3pm, I can. I don’t desire to work more than that. The balance was found. If I get too stressed, I have learned to allow other people to help.
So here I am, just getting back in to the swing of things. Lugging my pump back and fourth. Bringing my son to work or showing up with spit up in my hair (yes, that actually happened and I could have cared less). Fitz was 9 months old when I was approached by our social media guru Sarah about teaching a class for women on beer. I moved here from Denver and if you have ever been there, great beer is a part of life. I had a solid background on beer and I decided that even though I am petrified of public speaking I would help her out. I honestly figured no one would sign up anyways. We had 13 people come to our first class. I was so scared. I’m pretty sure I would have gone through labor all over again and been in less pain. I didn’t realize how much was going to really go in to this crazy idea. All in all, it was extremely successful. Right around that time we got an email asking if Columbus Girls Pint Out could hold a meeting at our Brewery. Soon after I realized I had found my sisters from another mother. Not only were they into good beer, they were the most welcoming women I had ever met.
These amazing and beautiful women were becoming the part of life that I needed! The group ranges from beginners who still have no idea what beer is made with to home brewer to brewery owner, but everyone is equal there. No one hesitates to ask a question or say whether or not they like a beer. I am now a co-leader of the group. When they asked me to co-lead, I got my first glimpse in to how the prom queen feels when her name is called. So now I was a working mom, who was teaching more beer classes and helping run a girls beer club.
There is an ever-growing trend of women working in the industry and I get to be a part of that. The industry is growing and being a part of that has been amazing. When I first moved back to Columbus, it was shocking how many people worried about the abv of their IPA and thought the hoppier, the better. Like I said, I get to be a part of that change and one day my children can be proud of that. Or maybe not, but I am and I think that is really important. I want my kids seeing me happy so they understand that is the goal in life. It isn’t how much you have, it’s that you are proud of what you do.
In closing, being a working mom is tough! I struggle daily: my groceries are delivered half of the time and half of the time I haven’t had time to actually shower. But being a stay at home mom is tough too! I’ve been lucky enough to do both and the only advice I can give you is that you have to be happy. My son is happier now that I am happy. I love very second I get with him. I’m able to love him more because I am happier. There should never be a battle between working moms vs. stay at moms. You do you, even if it is terrifying. Be a working mom, be a stay at home mom, just be happy in what you do. How else are our kids going to be happy if they have never even seen it in the ones they look up to the most?