I’m going to get right to the point. I’ve spent the last five years going crazy trying to figure out how to be a successful working mom. Like, what does this mean and what does this look like for my family and business? I’ve stressed myself out with expectations and GUILT that is heavier than anything I’ve ever felt. I felt like I was failing in both simultaneously. It would keep me up and night, paralyze me and I would shut down in a MAJOR way. Does this feel familiar to you?
Being a great business owner and creator was/is everything to me. Growing up I watched my dad rise to the top of his career in the financial industry- he’s literally in the top 1% of financial advisors in the country. And boy did he work hard. He put in the time and provided the best of the best for our family. I want/ed to be just like that. My mom was a stay at home mom for most of my upbringing. She could easily rival Martha Stewart, clean and organize better than Marie Kondo, and she definitely could Beat Bobby Flay in a cooking contest. To top it off, her overall demeanor is worthy of sainthood. Despite the bar being so high, I want to be just like her. In my eyes I had two perfect role models- so naturally, I want to be perfect in both areas of my life.
And then I had my AH-HA moment. Are you getting a trophy when you die? Nope. And guess what? I’m not either. I’m not trying to sound dramatic – but everything felt like life or death because I felt like I was constantly forced to choose between work and being present with my family. Then it hit me like a ton of bricks. The only person setting the expectation is… ME!
So here’s what I’ve learned:
1.) Set boundaries and actually live them. Make a schedule, it’s almost impossible to navigate work/mom life without one.
2.) Celebrate small wins. For example, if you want to cook more at home –meal prep in the beginning of the week. If you want to do something extra for work, carve out a special time that doesn’t interfere with the boundaries you’ve already put in place.
3.) Stay present. When your mind starts to think of the endless to-do list (and it always will be end-less- I learned that, too) STOP. Breathe. One day at a time. You got this.
4.) Flexibility. This perhaps is the most important. Do not let the unexpected break you. You know like a sick kid, a broken toe – I’m sure there are a million weird things that I could list here. But seriously, unless Jesus is walking on this earth you can pick back up where you left off. Just be open and honest with your clients and family.
5.) Surprise! There’s actually NOT a finish line. As in, “I’ve made it! I found the balance!” It is a daily decision to live joyfully in the present moment. To understand fully that the only person worth comparing is who you were yesterday. Trust the journey. Perfection doesn’t exist. When you learn to let go of that, well… it’s a truly freeing feeling. You’re amazing and the fact that you care enough to read this shows that you’re doing way better then you give yourself credit for… You got this.
One last thing, I’m going to keep it as real as possible- because being a mom you are most definitely not dolled up 24-7. So I’m including some cell phone selfies of what my world looks like when I’m not working…. It’s pretty plain, but it’s beautiful to me.