Being a full time mama is already a full time job, but what if that is not your only job? Like many of us women out there; we become a mother, but also still hold responsibilities in our professional world. This can be overwhelming just thinking about how to make work and motherhood work.
After having Jadon, I had to learn to balance being a mother and the Founder of Imani Collective. I had to figure out how to have patience with my child, myself and my workload. I had to fully grasp the new and not compare to the past pre baby life.
As I transitioned into this new phase of life, I had to refocus my mentality, know my priorities, compartmentalize my responsibilities and in the end, give myself a little bit of grace. What does all this mean?
Know your priorities
We all want to be “Super Mom” and be able to do it all, but we have to be realistic and know that something has to give. AND THAT IS OKAY. Know that if your floor is dirty for a couple of more days/weeks or if a grilled cheese is dinner versus a gourmet meal, your going to be alright. Your priorities come first and trust me the floors can wait. Also, your little boy is not going to think your any less of a “Super Mom” if you only slave over making a meal for 5 minutes rather than an hour. Love your little one. That is WAY more important.
Be present where you are. Work when you are at work and be with your family when at home. Make a promise to your little one that you will be mentally present when you walk through that door. To be honest, this is one of the hardest ones for me especially because I work with people all over the world, so the time difference makes things quite challenging. This can be easily used as an excuse, but I make it a point to set time for my boy and family. I turn my phone off in the evenings for playtime, dinner and bath time. Once my little boy is asleep then I have set phone times for work, but only when I know my husband has evening work as well. Compartmentalizing your mind for work and family is important. Make sure your family knows that have ALL of you and not just part of you. BE THERE because you never get back those moments.
Give yourself Grace
I have to daily remind myself about this one. I am my biggest critic and grace is always needed. You might not be able to do all that you want to do with your little because you have to work or you might have to reschedule a few playdates, but do not let these little things make you feel guilty. The worst you can do for yourself is to compare yourself with other mothers. DO NOT DO THIS. Every mama has a different story and all of us need to give each other a little bit more grace.
IMPORTANT NEWS: You are an amazing mother and your little one thinks that too. I know for a fact that Jadon thinks I am pretty awesome. This reminder keeps me strong and allows me to cut myself some slack.
GRACE, GRACE, GRACE. Do not forget it.
Along with knowing my priorities and compartmentalizing my mind, managing my time makes the biggest difference in my attitude and being able to juggle motherhood and my workload.
Proactivity + Time for YOU
My biggest advice to you is plan ahead. Some weeks get away from us and we do not even have the time to plan, but 30 minutes of planning will make your future self very happy. I know when I plan ahead and I am proactive with my work, my anxiety is reduced, my stress is limited and I feel more in control of the schedule at hand. There is always a factor of unexpected changes in the weekly schedule, but the more proactive I am, the better I handle these surprises.
AND DO NOT FORGET YOU.
You have to make sure you take care of yourself, so that you can be the best you for your work and your family. Do what you love and do it often. Schedule the time for you!
Here is some activities I love to do! You can totally borrow them or make your own list!
- Read a Book
- Cook for one
- Enjoy a Cappuccino
- Movie and a big bowl of popcorn
Becoming a mother adds another layer to your identity. It is not the end of you. It is just a change, a new layer, turning over a new leaf you could say. Embrace the new stage of life you are in and know you can be the best version of yourself both at work and home. It takes a little bit more planning and intentionality with creating good boundaries, but you can do it!
Make work + motherhood work for you. I know I have.