So, Work and Motherhood. This is for working mothers. Those who are juggling between work and raising a kid or those who want to get back to work after having a kid.
Let’s rewind a little and go back to the time before you were a mother and simply focused on your work. Success for you meant achieving success at work. Career was your only priority. And now, you are a mother. You have a new priority, your baby. And now you juggle between motherhood and work. So, success now, is not just the success at work, its success at motherhood and success at work.
Sounds overwhelming right? How to go about it? How to manage it? How to balance it?
Let’s simplify it. Let’s deconstruct it. Let’s understand it.
- Firstly, you need to define what is success at work and what is success at motherhood. Define, what are the must to achieve for you to be successful at work. Is it meeting those targets? Is it keeping your clients happy? Is it meeting deadlines? Is it achieving the goals outlined? Define precisely and clearly what is success for you at work. Now define clearly what is success for you at motherhood? Is it making sure that your kid is well fed and rested? Is it about those classes and workshops your kid must attend? Is it about the screen time? Is it about the play time? Define very clearly what is a must that you and your kid must do for you to feel successful at motherhood. Don’t get influenced by expectations imposed on you by people around you. You must get clarity. You must define clearly what’s success for you at your work and what’s success for you at your journey of motherhood. Only when you have this clarity, when you have defined these clearly, you would have your goals in front of you and you can then work towards it. You would understand what exactly you want to achieve at work and at motherhood.
- Now, understand what is not relevant at work and what is not relevant at motherhood? Is it okay if you don’t reply to that email immediately? Is it okay if something on your to do list gets pushed to the next day? Is it okay to convert that meeting to a call if that’s required? Will that be okay with your work? If that’s not really the must for your success at work, understand that it’s not that relevant. Similarly, is it okay if you don’t track how many milliliters of water your kid had? Is it okay if the house isn’t deep cleaned today? Is it okay if your child can practice two skills instead of three at the same time if that’s what your schedule allows? Is it okay if your child does a bit of messy play which can be better for his growth and development too? Understand what is not relevant for motherhood. That doesn’t affect your success at motherhood.
- Now, you need to accept that success at work and success at motherhood are interrelated. When you feel successful as a mother, you perform better at work. When you feel successful at work, you are home happier, your kid gets a better mother. Hence, success at motherhood. These both are intertwined. It’s a cycle. If you fail at either, it can affect you to fail at the other. Its cause and effect. So, trying too hard to be successful at one, may lead to failing at other, eventually leading to failing at it altogether. So, you need to be successful at one to be successful at the other.
- Which brings us to the next step, declutter and say no. Anything that’s not relevant needs to go. Anything that’s a distraction needs to be said No to. Anything that deviates you from your core goals whether it’s at work or at motherhood, which consumes unnecessary time or efforts, or energy needs to be said no to. Because you have limited time, you are already juggling between these two very significant roles. You don’t have time for the irrelevant. So, declutter and clean up whatever is not required at work or at motherhood. If fruits work for dinner tonight, that is what it is. Don’t force yourself to cook a gourmet meal after an exhausting day at work. If your kid fell sick, and you have the option to work from home, don’t beat yourself by dragging yourself to office and feeling guilty for leaving your kid. If somebody is dumping something additional, be firm to say no. Do not fall prey to pleasing people. You have your work goals to meet, and you have your lovely kid to raise. It’s okay to say no to what you can’t do.
- And coming to the most important step – Give up the Should be! Often, it’s us forcing ourselves to do things because we believe that’s a must. That is how it should be. Why? Who made the rules? It’s okay if your child is not interested in the basketball coaching. Who said he should be good at it? It’s okay if your child doesn’t want to go for that dance class. Who said she must know every skill of art? Who made these should be? Let it go and do what your priorities are and as your schedule allows. Let your kid be who they truly are, and you be who you truly are. Let your kid learn the skill they want to learn, they enjoy, they are good at. Its okay if that means they miss out on second skill while they are excelling at the first skill. Don’t impose the SHOULD be on them. And you take up as many responsibilities as you can deliver. Don’t get stressed by the SHOULD be people impose on you. You are not a bad mother if you allowed 30 minutes of screen time to your kid over the weekend neither are you a bad mother if you couldn’t breastfeed your baby more than a few months. Do what you can, not what they tell you should. You are not bad at work if you lost 1 client while building 5 new. You are not bad at work if you couldn’t be the star of the month. Just give your best, and ignore how it absolutely should be.
If you are a great mom but struggling regarding work, you need to have goals clear about your work. You need to schedule fixed and focused 3 to 4 hours of work around your child’s schedule minimum. You need to know when to switch on and switch off.
If you are doing great at work but are struggling with motherhood, you wouldn’t be content either. You need to understand what YOUR priorities as a mother are. I insist, your priorities. Not the billion-advice dumped on you by people around you. What is it that YOU truly want for your child, for you to feel that you are a successful mother? Clutter out the unnecessary. And focus on the priorities and let the kid be. Eventually this would also bring a better connection between you and your kid, and your approach of parenting would be more child led.
You must have heard about child led weaning right? Guess what, it doesn’t stop at weaning. Parenting itself needs to be child led. Don’t force things on the kid. Don’t impose unnecessary rules and see how things simplify and flow. That would give a lot of peace of mind and eventually will take you to even better places at work.
Problem solving comes automatically when you get clarity of what is it that you want and establish these foundations very clearly.
I have an 18-month-old who is the love of my life and is a rainbow baby and is most treasured. And I have been working since he was 45 days old. I breastfed him all through the way while working on my existing business and I weaned him off while setting up my upcoming business. How did I do it? Just by being clear on what exactly I want to do. And then prioritizing exactly those. Anything that’s not fitting into my priority list is decluttered. Scheduling our time around our kid’s schedule happens smoothly when the goal is clear in the mind. The push, the motivation comes from within. If I can, you can.
I would not like to load you with dos or don’ts about how to raise your child or how to be better at your work. I would suggest you sit with yourself. Establish those goals. Seek that clarity. And stand up for yourself to declutter and reject anything that doesn’t solve the purpose of success at your work or at motherhood. You would see the path unveiling itself in front of your eyes. And you would find life to be so simple. And you would be able to deliver so much better at both your roles.
I hope this helps you. If you would like to discuss more or ask any questions, please message me through my Instagram handle and I would be happy to help you.