For the longest time I had this limiting belief that I could not be a present, amazing mama AND a successful, professional woman. Of course I have thought about where this belief stems from but we shall save that story for another day. What I have learned in my 4.5 years of motherhood is that you certainly CAN be both.
I am the type of person who feels the need to contribute financially to our household. Anyone else? Maybe it’s because I’ve been working since I was 16. Server, tutor, teacher, nanny, and lots of little things in between. So when I had my second babe and we were getting ready to move back to the Toledo area to be closer to family, I wasn’t working. It was the first time I was not working in over 14 years. You can imagine, it did not take long for me to find something to invest my time in. Fast forward, it quickly turned into a full time job. While I was super grateful for the business, I kept thinking there is no way I can be a GREAT mom and run this growing, successful business. Frequent thoughts included: “There’s not enough time in the day; I need to spend every waking moment with my children; I cannot give my all to my kids, my business, our house, the laundry…” the list goes on and on. I thought I had to choose one or the other.
News Flash! You CAN have both!
But guess what, mama? You can have both. You can be a GREAT mom and a successful, professional woman. Now, will your laundry always be done and the shelves cleanly dusted? (I mean if I am being honest this wouldn’t happen even if I did stay at home full time with my kids!) In all seriousness, here are some things that have helped me.
First– grace. Give yourself some grace! We work out hiney’s off. Celebrate ALL the things you did that day-big and small. Changed a dirty diaper? Bravo, mom! Led an empowering call? You rock, lady! Brushed your teeth this morning? Way to remember to take care of yourself too, mama!
Second-self management! That’s right, not time management, self management. Everyone is given 24 hours in the day. We talk about managing time as if it’s a variable that can be manipulated. There is nothing we can do about the passing of time; however, we can learn to manage ourselves. If you are struggling to accomplish something, it’s not a time issue, it’s a priority issue. Plan your week and your days ahead of time. Think about what HAS to get done that day and what can wait.
Third-being present. For example, when I’m with my kids, I’m with my kids (most of the time). That means I try to have my phone away. I make eye contact; I snuggle, I smell, I listen. We play together, we read together, we laugh together. It’s more about the quality of time versus the quantity. And when I’m working, I work. Working from home can be tough but I’ve learned to set boundaries and work it into the nooks and crannies of my day.
Finally-attitude of gratitude. Don’t get me wrong. There are days I am grumpy as all get out. There are days that I want to quit. Quit it all. Pack the bags and head to Belize. But when I sit down at night to reflect on my day, I realize there is SO much to be grateful for. What we focus on expands. Focus on the good. Focus on what you DO have and be grateful.
Enjoy the ride, mama! You’re doing great!
Look, everyone’s walk through this is different. I simply wanted to share my experience and perspective in hopes that maybe it can reach a mama who may have had the same limiting beliefs I had about being a mom and being successful. Remember, this is a journey, not a destination. Embrace the journey you are on and know that you can be extraordinary at motherhood and extraordinary in other areas of life too.