How to Own a Business and Be a Mom….yes, that’s the title of this article.
And it’s true to say: I don’t know…yet. I know what I know, and I’ll list that below. But I also know what I’m still trying to figure out, and I’m open to advice and others’ wisdom. (Write to me — nicki [at] the name of this website)!
The Things That Are Working
1.) Daily minima.
For years, I’ve kept this trick from my husband: I have “daily minima” everyday, about 3-4 hours of work that I have designated to do each weekday, Monday through Friday. And it’s beautiful: On great days, I’m getting the daily minima done, no problem, and moving onto hours of other work. But on days that are challenging for one reason or another, I just get the daily minima done. The business moves forward. And life marches on.
Everyday, I also take 10 minutes and make 3 to-do lists: A list of ultimate self-discipline. A list of complete self-indulgence. And a “compassionate” list, which combines elements of the two. Usually, it ends up about 80% work and 20% play, but the point here is that it keeps me from burning out, getting sick, or running myself ragged. (Which I did constantly for years, since high school). And it also keeps me enjoying life a little bit too.
3.) Sharing in the child care.
I have a super helpful husband. I have a nanny, Monday-Wednesday, so I can work 8-6. My parents step in during the workday Thursdays and Fridays, and watch Friday night also.
I have no idea how moms without childcare do it, but I am so grateful for my support system.
The Things That Are Not Working
1.) Learning how to go with the flow.
I felt like I finally had my life together and was “adulting” fairly well, and then I threw a child into the mix. And now it’s like, OMG, what do I do when childcare cancels? How do I deal when I’m stuck in traffic, going to be late to a meeting, and my schedule is jam-packed thisclose? How do I get things done when my internet keeps going down or my computer is overheating? (BTW, all of these things happened this week).
I’m not humblebragging here. Yes, it has occurred to me that this isn’t always going to be easy, and that dealing with issues is part of the job(s). But I’m finding it harder to manage now. Open to ideas and advice.
2.) Slowing down, calming down.
I was meditating and getting to a really good place regularly before pregnancy. But during pregnancy, it took me longer to get work and other necessary tasks done, and so I stopped meditating altogether. And now I’m finding it hard to get back to that “peaceful” place. I feel like I’m rushing to keep up with my own life, and it’s not a great feeling to be frantic, frenetic, and reactive. Again, open to advice here too.
3.) Accepting what is.
I’m an overachiever by nature. And what’s worse, I tend to compare and compete. Like, when I see someone has a $20 million business, I want a $30 million business. When I hear someone very attractive my height is 115 pounds, I want to be 110. And so on.
In some ways, this can be good, but only if it is inspirational. When I use it to shame where I currently am, it makes me feel sad, inadequate, and hopeless. And in order to reach my goals, I realize that I need to feel content, inspired, and have the energy to work hard.
And I’m getting there.
Someone once told me that motherhood doesn’t make you someone different, but it exacerbates who you already were by putting pressure on your systems. In some ways, it makes sense — I think my best qualities are better, but my worst qualities are worse — and I guess I’m still figuring it all out.