A saying went viral last year – and it rings as true as ever. “Mothers are expected to work as if they don’t have children, and raise children like they don’t have jobs.”
If you are a working mother I’m sure you’ve had to deal with sleepless nights, soccer practise and PTA meetings. And if you are simultaneously running a business, your home- and work life will occasionally clash.
You don’t want to be the mother running late to school drop off and you also don’t want to be the boss who cannot be there for the company in its time of need. So what do you do? Choose one and let the other one go? Settle for being “just a mom” or let your children be raised by nannies and hope that they won’t lock you in an old peoples’ home in 30 years time?
Becoming a mother is one of life’s most exciting, amazing experiences. I wouldn’t trade it for anything. My children are my world. But that is not to say that I settle for anything less than success in my work life too. My job is my passion, the enterprise I have worked hard to build over a lifetime. I share my kids with my husband, but my work is mine.
Still it is easy to find yourself in the middle of family and work, feeling like the piece of string in a tug of war. Too absent from home, too absent from work, never enough for both.
I hear you. I see you. I have been there myself.
One of the keys to mastering motherhood while running a successful business is sacrifice. I’m talking about the little sacrifices you have to make every day. Cooking is something I enjoy doing, but when time is limited it will have to go. It’s OK to get takeaway three times per week during extra stressful times (and your partner and children will probably love you even more for it!) Or you can make cooking a fun activity with your older kids and then freeze the food for a week.
Focus on quality not quantity. Set aside at least 1 hour per day when you spend time with your kids and leave the phone in a different room. One hour of your full attention is worth so much more than two hours of being distracted and distant.
Reward yourself and your family after a particularly busy time. Let the whole family know if you are entering a chaotic period, and plan a treat for you all at the end of it. It might be a weekend away or dinner at a fancy restaurant you all like.
Whatever you do, make sure to remind your family that you are all in this together. With their support, your hard work will pay off and give your children opportunities they might not otherwise have had. Not only are you securing the future of your children, you are also providing them with the strong female role model all young people need in their lives!
My children are my universe. But more than anything, they are my motivation. Being a mother isn’t a disadvantage. It is a super power.