The Working Mom Pep Talk
Two summers ago, after rejoicing something fierce upon learning the news that I was pregnant, my mind quickly drifted to the inevitable gut-wrenching question:
How am I supposed to do all of this?
My career looks wildly different from what I imagined so many years ago when I decided that some day I would start a business. I don't work 40 hour weeks. I don't remember the last time that I did (other than maybe a short week heading into vacation?) No, this isn't an "I work harder than you" post... this is a reality check. Even if I wasn't an entrepreneur and responsible for running a business, the field in which our team works doesn't follow 9-5 rules. So years ago when I dove head first into the special events industry, I already new I was signing up for a tough schedule. But adding the "business owner" title to the mix amped up the workload even more. And then I had my baby girl, meaning I added another full-time gig to my plate: parenting. The single most important full-time job anyone can ever have.
After a while, I quit reading the articles and how-to literature on being a working mom who "does it all". As well meaning as they all are, I think they're mostly a bunch of nonsense. "Doing it all" at 100% means never sleeping. It means never being good at anything. It means never taking care of yourself, such that your health deteriorates. It means letting everyone down, even while you're trying to do the opposite. Friends, this life is short and fragile. None of us have time to be mediocre at the things we care about most, whether that's parenting, achieving career goals, or both. The "do it all" approach to careers and parenting is a recipe for failure, but I've found that when I change my goal from "do it all" to "do what matters", the results are so good.
If you're sick of reading the self-help super mom articles, know this: it's possible to be a good mom and a good business woman, even if you're not "doing it all".
Every couple months I take a brutally honest assessment of where/how I spend my time. Are there times when I'm wasting energy? Tasks at which I'm inefficient or ill-suited to complete? Things that it makes more sense for someone else to do because they'd be better than me? Distractions that pull my attention away from the most important work? If any of those questions yield a "yes" answer, then I know I need to make changes.
I'm all about figuring out the productivity hacks that realistically work for me. Got any of your own? I want to hear them! Leave a comment or shoot me an email (becca_at_rroseevents.com).