My name is Viktoriya. I am the creator, author and publisher of this online breastfeeding community.
Noticed my name spelling? It stems from the way name Victoria is pronounced in Belarusian language. Belarus is a small country in Eastern Europe. It borders on Russia, the Ukraine, Poland, Latvia and Lithuania.
My country is a beautiful place to visit and is blessed with magnificent scenic areas and deep-rooted history. Its people are very kind-hearted, humble and conservative at times. Many villages managed to preserve their authenticity, but more and more people are moving to towns.
Belarusians cherish old-fashioned natural ways of doing things and revert to holistic remedies and recipes. It always helped me greatly in my day-to-day life.
Getting higher education in Belarus is a norm, and most of the high school graduates are sent to the Universities by their parents right after school. Education is free for those who pass the exam with high scores. I was lucky to be one of them.
Learning foreign languages was a very popular trend at that time. So my choice (or rather my parents’- I thank them for that!) was learning English and German and becoming a teacher. At that time I also worked as a tutor, interpreter, and a teacher.
Many things in the direction the country was heading started coming in conflict with my sense of equality and fairness, desire to travel abroad, and my entrepreneurial spirit.
I tried to travel as much as I could. First time I came to the US (after traveling all over Europe) on a student visa, met my future husband here…and we never parted since then.
My story may be getting a little long, but I wanted to give you a good idea of who stands behind this website, what motivates me and what molded me into the person I am today.
I moved to the US in 2004. We live in Colorado. And I absolutely love every single bit of it. I think I have found a place for myself that lets me realize and unleash who I really am – a freedom-loving business owner. Read on for the story of my entrepreneurial success.
I went to school here to get my postgraduate degree and started building a career. I was very career-focused, to say the least. However, years were passing and I wasn’t getting any younger. In 2010 my husband and I had our son – Rodion.
I was determined to breastfeed. Well, that didn’t go well at first. You can read about it here. However hard it was at times I never seriously thought of giving up. In Belarus breastfeeding was the only approved way of nourishing a baby.
Formula was considered the very last resort. This mentality has slightly changed in recent years, but women are still taking every possible measure to feed their babies breast milk.
New mothers are very fortunate: they are granted 3-year maternity leave, paid in full or at least
partially, to get breastfeeding going. How great is that?!
Anyways, I had my son in the US and with breastfeeding issues we had I was blessed to be here with all the professional help available. This is something that I would have never been able to get in Belarus.
My parents came to help with the baby and the plan was for me to return to work after the maternity leave. So I did.
I pumped freezer full of breast milk just in case, bought a top-rated breast pump to pump at work and off I was to continue building my career. Only to realize the first day at work, how much I missed my precious baby-boy.
I worked through tears the first day, calling my mom every half-hour to check. Or not even to check – I trusted my mom like myself. I think I called to make sure I was still part of their life, of my son’s life.
I realized that every moment that I wasn’t with him wasn’t going to ever be repeated or played back for me. It was gone, done, far in the past and I knew I was missing out big time.
My milk supply dropped too. Either because my son wasn’t near, or because I was exhausting myself with all these thoughts, pumping sessions and feeling guilty. It wasn’t good.
In the meantime, my son was approaching 6 months and was achieving many new milestones. My mom fed him his first rice cereal. She witnessed his first attempt to pick himself up and crawl.
Tears are still filling my eyes and this lump in my throat is still choking me now as I write this when I think about that time.
But the biggest part that I missed was nursing my baby, feeling close to him with his skin touching mine, and this sweet smell of milk in his mouth.
Not even sure how and why I made it that far. But one day it was all over…
was a typical weekday. I was at work. Talked to my mom, and then called my
husband. With this choking sensation in my throat I told him that Rodion
babbled something and my mom thought it was “ma” for “mama”. It was hard to accept the fact that I wasn't there...
That same evening
we sat down, did the math and decided that with some budget tightening, some lifestyle sacrifices, but a huge relief for both me and my husband, I could
quit my job and become a stay-at-home mom. Not a day comes by without me thanking my husband for giving me this opportunity.
I have no doubts it was THE happiest day in my life, since the birth of my son.
It is only thanks to this decision that I was able to breastfeed till my son weaned himself at 16 months.
It was also thanks to this decision that we overcame the allergies that started when my son was 5 months old and many-many other breastfeeding problems.
Now when I was at peace with myself as a mom it was time to re-evaluate my life, my goals and future. I understood that Rodya (gentle for Rodion) would need communication and interaction with other kids. So at some point he would need to go to a day care.
I also knew for sure that I wanted to have nothing to do with the corporate world, wanted to be flexible in when and how much I work and wanted to always be there for my son.
I also wanted to be flexible to come visit my family in Belarus any time I needed. It is a 12-hour flight and a 9-hour time difference, so going there for even 2 weeks was extremely short.
So I started exploring my options. I needed to come up with something
I tried this and that, even co-wrote a business plan for a competition to win money for a business start-up. All these options were great, but each of them lacked something from the list.
Time came when I became desperate. My son was starting a day care and I needed to start bringing in money or else……go back to a 9-5 job. This thought was scaring me to death.
One day I was on Skype with my parents (who were now back to Belarus) talking about how much I wanted a business of my own. I think my parents got a little tired of my never-ending nowhere-leading ideas and my mom (she is not an online person) told me: Go on the Internet and type in “work from home moms”. How difficult was that and how brilliant of an idea it was? Thank you mom!
So I did, and my dear Google came back with a bunch of links. Without much hope I went through the ones that caught my eye. One of them was a link to one mom’s website. She was describing how she managed to become a stay-at-home mom and make a living. There was nothing extraordinary about this site and it didn’t scream “pick me”. But it was so real and doable that I kept on reading.
She spoke about how she turned her hobby into a business that she absolutely loved doing and that paid well. I was skeptical, but I kept on reading and researching. I am sure glad I did!
The opportunity is called SBI! and it stands for SiteBuildIt! It is an all-in-one solution for building an online business. It helps turn any hobby or passion into a profitable online business.
At first, none of my passions seemed to make a viable idea for a business. SBI! gave me all the tools to discover myself.
Same way it did for many other business owners.
This mom that inspired me wrote: "You just have to open your mind to changes and block every “I can’t” and “I don’t”. And if you follow the Action Guide that SBI! provides, you just can’t fail."
So with the help of SBI! I discovered that my passion for breastfeeding and helping other moms succeed in it was a perfect business idea. Why breastfeeding?
My breastfeeding experience was challenging. I read tons of books and research papers, consulted breastfeeding specialists and educated myself in every possible way to help my son breastfeed successfully.
I thank my breastfeeding community for all the research, knowledge and achievements out there today in the world of breastfeeding!
With all I know today stronger than ever before I believe that breastfeeding is the best way to go. Unless there are serious circumstances that keep mom and the baby from breastfeeding successfully, it needs to be given a chance.
With all the progress that the world achieved, every day we strive to go back to the basics, to the natural and organic ways of doing things.
The world is starting
to realize that we’ve abused the progress too much and swayed away from what is
natural and holistic. Little by little we are switching back to foods, clothes,
lifestyles in their most “raw” and unaltered forms and shapes. And a breastfeeding mother has the greatest natural treasure resting in her.
So yes, breastfeeding IS my passion and after I discovered SBI! I thought I had something to share with new moms and finally put piles of books I had read to work.
Breastfeeding Quest is my way of giving back to the breastfeeding community that once helped me.
SBI! helps me stay true to myself, do what I enjoy the most and make a living. Everyone can do it! You don’t need to be a computer genius, all you need is a burning desire to break free from the full-time job, to spend unlimited and unscheduled time with your family and to own a business that pays! You also need a wish to be happy. It may sound too poetic, but I mean it.
Let yourself think outside of this 9-5 job box, follow your passions and become a happy mother for your baby. If we don’t owe it to ourselves, we owe it to our sweet little angels. They grow so fast, too fast for us to let someone else enjoy their smell, touch, and their first “ma” for “mama”.
This is the mindset that took me from “building a website? – no way!” to starting Breastfeeding Quest, getting into the top of search results pages within months (this is why you found me, isn’t it?) and enjoying every bit of this journey.
I will stop here, because this is beyond the scope of this page, but I wanted you to know who I am and SBI! is part of my life now, so I couldn’t but mention it. I also created a dedicated page where, if you are interested, you can learn more about my SBI! experience.
And for now breastfeed and be a happy mom. Happy moms raise happy babies! Do not get discouraged from nursing your baby no matter what. Listen to your inner voice. And join me in turning your breastfeeding quest into an exciting journey!
There are many ways to show your love and devotion to your kids and to win their trust. Breastfeeding is the most natural one.