Coping and Excelling As a Working Mom

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I was up all night trying to comfort her… she laid there, a seven-month-old angel suffering from high fever. I was there not sure what was harder, my helplessness watching my sick child or my feeling of guilt because I knew that at first dawn I would have to attend to my responsibilities at work and leave my tiny baby girl behind…

20 years ago, I didn’t have the sufficient maturity to make the right choice. I left my child in the caring arms of her grannie and went off to have the least productive day of my career. That day I failed as both a professional and a mother.

At that early stage of juggling my family and professional life, I realized I needed to decide what mattered most to me and prioritize. My family undoubtedly ranks among my top priorities, but my work allows me to contribute to my family’s well-being and raises my self–esteem.

If you’ve been in my shoes, you should feel grateful to realize at an early stage that your role as a mom is as important as your professional career. From there you will be amazed by how many creative ways you can find to balance and efficiently navigate motherhood and business life.

With over 20 years of experience as a working mom, I feel confident to share with you some strategies that allowed me to effectively balance my different roles.


1. Revisit your thinking; it’s all in the mind

Replace negative energy with positive life-changing thoughts. For example, if you missed your child’s first step, replace the guilt with a feeling of gratitude for being the mom, by reminding yourself that “a child’s real ‘first’ happens when it happens in front of mommy”.

Change your habits to change your life, and replace old habits with new ones. You can create patterns that allow you to enjoy quality time with your kids (e.g. bedtime storytelling) and a fulfilling working day (e.g. Getting Things Done – GTD time management method).


2. Focus on productivity

Practice your own protocol to increase your productivity. In time, you will find creative ways to make your day productive. If you are a morning person as I am, use your morning energy to focus on the most important task. I would focus on one task at a time, or at least I opt for 30mn distraction free time: You can spend 30 min every morning focusing your thoughts and energy on the activity that counts the most, the task that drives growth and achievement. Same applies for the time spent with your family, don’t bring work to your family routine, if you’re enjoying a good meal with the family, don’t disrupt it by taking business calls.


3. Cultivate self-motivation; yes I can

Self-motivation is the ability to rise to any challenge under any circumstances. Always find what fuels your energy and keeps you motivated: passion, fear, curiosity, self-esteem… the list of potential motivators is long. Align them and use every possible motivator that can help you maintain a high momentum.

For example, passion acts like a magic pill that harnesses your entrepreneurial mindset; love for a child is the mom’s fuel that allows her to keep going for 24 straight hours. 


More recipes for a balanced lifestyle

Recently, I have been practicing minimalism. Maturity eventually reveals the benefits of having less: less distractions, less obligations, less duties.

Instead of taking on 50 tasks a day, I’d rather focus on and achieve five of the most important and relevant ones. Rather than adding hundreds of “Facebook friends” a year and interacting with their posted content only, I’d rather focus my energy on fostering a truly healthy relationship with a couple of true friends in real life across the year.

Whenever I lose direction at home, in business, and in life in general, I practice grit – passion seasoned with perseverance. I search for the flame and I pursue its light unrelentingly. 

Ultimately, balance comes from within. Remember, you owe yourself some “you” time, so make sure you allow yourself a break every now and then.


Happy Mother’s Day to all moms out there!

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