Do Moms have a Secret Career Ingredient?
You say Balance. We say Juggle.
Work & family are the biggest part of our lives and certainly shouldn’t be at odds with one another. But as we stretch ourselves thin, trying to have a great family, grow our careers, and achieve that elusive work life balance, sometimes we moms do yearn for a day between Saturday and Sunday.
Until that materializes, or a 25 hour work week becomes the new norm, what’s a mom gotta do?
Those in the trenches know that we create magic out of the imbalance. Moms work smart, we prioritize and somedays we actually do achieve superwoman status – that’s just how we are!
But is there a secret sauce?
Or maybe yummy ingredients from each of our lives can be combined to whip up something outstanding. After all, we know it’s a mom’s love that makes the dish perfect!
Career Moms Share Happiness Secrets
We asked 12 moms to share how they manage to deal with the efficiency, insanity, guilt and make peace with work & life outside? Enjoy their answers and let us know your secret.
Today, I will Live in the Moment
When I’m in the office I focus on getting my work done and working on the highest priority things for my company. But when I’m not in the office, my daughter and my family take priority. Sometimes that means I can’t take on absolutely everything under the sun but I’ve found that having these limits actually helps me work smarter and be more productive. I think my company will be more successful because I’m forced to identify the most important projects to work on.
Founder, Modern Parenting Website Winnie
You Win Some…
I do and am! I mean…my kid watches TV and sometimes wears pajamas all day…but I think I’m doing pretty good! haha!
Larken Ogle Lech
CEO & Founder, MA MA Media
Shed the Mom Guilt Trap
With my kids being so far apart in age, this is more of a challenge for me. I am not very organized with cooking for the week ahead of time so the days I commute, it’s a real challenge. I have finally decided to listen to my husband and agree that the guilt of not cooking a fantastic meal everyday is much lighter than the guilt of not spending time with my kids in the evenings. If we are relaxed and the kids are happy, it’s all worth it. I am still working on weekend planning where both kids can have their own fun/activities!
Renuka Hegde Sathe
Senior Product Manager, Penton
First, Love Yourself & the rest will fall in line
One way I try to keep things running relatively smoothly is by doing a lot of prep work on the weekends. I meal plan and pre-cook many meals, which allows us to enjoy our evenings together more during the week. I also believe in the importance of scheduling some time for myself throughout the week, mainly workouts. Workouts make such a difference in how I feel – mentally and physically. And when I feel well, I can be a better wife and mom.
Wellness Blogger at Andrea’s Wellness Notes
I mean we rock pjs like all day haha but we craft, pray, eat, play until her heart is content. I work my business in spare moments..free apps help with posting. I think being a real person is what makes anyone succeed in business. We have hard days but we have many great days too.
Independent Distributor for It Works! Global
Playdate is Mom Code for Work Hour
When my boys have a holiday from kindergarten or pre-school, I still sometimes need to work part of the day. On those days, I have been known to do working or networking playdates, where the kids play and the mom and I work or network. It’s a win for all. And when your kids are having fun, you’re not worried about getting an email done, finishing a project, or even getting to know a new business contact.
TedX Speaker & Founder, Mompowerment
Also read: Pants or Pajamas: What I’ve learnt as a Work at Home Mom
Love is …Movie time together (too)
My kids are under 12. So whenever a kids movie come out, I make sure to have money set aside – so that we can enjoy a night out at the movies (movie snacks included). Outside of that I just get it in, when I can.
Nancy L. Collins
Founder, Your Beauty with Nancy Collins
Keep Calm and Stay Efficient
When my kids were young, my husband travelled a lot on business. it was a struggle between full time job and take care of my boys and their activities. I started planning a weekly menu to , cook for the week over the weekends so that my week nights were free and I could spend time with my kids. I was organized in my own ways and was able to manage. Today, my kids are teenagers and are in competitive swim teams and I still do the same.
Geeta Damaraju, Speech Therapist
I prioritize chores and cooking in ways that are less time consuming. They are not perfect but efficient enough for me to get more free time with my family. I also make sure to leave the office on time most of the days. Some family or kids activities over the weekends or holidays are a must for me and helps with the guilt factor too.
Surabhi Singh, Digital Marketing Consultant
Also Read: Prep Yourself & Your Family
Having systems in place is crucial for not going insane in business and motherhood. Not just programs and apps to manage life. but automatic ways that you do life and business that are true to who you are. For example, having personal and professional boundaries for doing business that you commit to. This protects your emotions from getting in the way and helps you say ‘yes’ to the right things and ‘no’ to the wrong things.”
Owner & Executive Designer at The Higgins Creative
Summon the Family? Your Clan, Your Tribe, Your Network
It helps to have a supportive family. Mothers should also be sure to carve out me time each day so they don’t go insane. I make sure to set aside time in the day to read, because it’s something I really enjoy and it helps me leaving refreshed and ready to go! I also balance it all with lots of Diet Coke.
Military spouse & Founder, Airing My Laundry
Also Read: 7 ways to Maximize Your Career from home
Perfection is Overrated
Love your kids, love your work and don’t try to be perfect. Sometimes dinner = pancakes, sometimes they go to bed without a shower, sometimes we all sleep in the same bed just to cuddle and sometimes bedtime is well past bedtime but, they are healthy and happy and do well in school, and I’m not a mean cranky parent because I’m trying to make everything perfect. There’s no such thing as perfection and I’m cool with that. Oh… and I exercise….a lot….because that kills the stress and makes me happy and on some weekends I send them to grandma’s house so I can go out with the hubby, and drink, a lot lol – I don’t beat myself up anymore, we are all flawed, just do the best that you can and love yourself as much as you love the kids and everything works out.
Lucy Pabon, Beach Body Fitness Coach
So, maybe there’s no guidebook to managing it all, or a one-size-fits-all work life balance template. But one thing is for sure…
A Happy Mom = A Great Mom!
If your career makes you hum, it won’t be long before your family adjusts & sings along.
You can’t use up creativity. The more you create, the more you have.
A Designer and Entrepreneur, Aditi graduated from a top design school and subsequently started her own design and merchandising business. Co-founder at Maroon Oak, she has over 17 years of business experience with Two Dotts, her design consulting company and an Etsy store which serves as an outlet for her gifts and patented product designs.
A mother to a teen and a tween, she enjoys running, dancing and raising her newest baby, a Bichon named Miltie.
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I found ultimate fulfillment in my life the day shed the Mom guilt and pursued my own aspirations as well as taking self care seriously. It has had an insane impact in my role as a wife and mom. And I am now so motivated that I inspire other beautiful Women through my blog to do the same!
Excellent advice. Working moms don’t have perfect balance every day. Some days you have to work more and others you spend more time with family. It’s all about making the most of whatever mode you’re in.
While I’m not a mother, this post really is so inspiring! Women kick butt all the time! 🙂
The best advice I think is to live in the moment. I used to take my work home and that was my biggest mistake.
Awesome post! Love your great insight and so true!
Love this article! Just today, I was thinking about how I would be able to blog/maintain my business whenever I have children. Because my mind is all over the place, LIKE ALL THE TIME, I thought it would be impossible. But I see that it’s very possible!
I have to refer back to this when I get married and kids!
These women are so inspiring! I don’t have kids yet, but I can definitely pick up their ideas to organize, prioritize, and enjoy the moment for when I do 🙂
Love these tips. The one that sticks out is to love yourself first and everything else will fall in place. I’m not a mom but I’d take this as loving myself and appreciation myself more now so that it’s more of a natural practice when such a huge, life changing thing like an entirely new human comes along.
I also appreciate your final thought about your career making you hum and the family adjusting its tune to sing along <3
These are some really good tips. Staying in the moment is a hard one for sure.
I’m not a mother yet but this was really interesting to read, everybody had such sweet and helpful tips. I especially like the tip about not trying to be perfect. I know so many woman, my sister being one, who feel like its a constant balance but I admire you all greatly 🙂
These are really good tips & some even apply to us non- moms too. 🙂
Nice to read your post.
I gotta ask how does being a mom really feels? lol im not a mom but im very intrigued to know because my acts like wonder woman
Yes, you describe motherhood well- it does bring out the Wonder Woman !
Amongst the countless other chores, a mom’s day is also fraught with dealing with her children’s emotions that tend to change by the hour. Gauging them, admonishing or backing off, taking the high road or setting up new boundaries – a mom knows how to approach each mood swing with a different solution. Her instincts take up the biggest chunk in her problem solving guidebook.
Aptly elaborated Prachi! ??
Beautiful post Aditi & Pooja. We parents should pat ourselves on our back at least once a day coz we put in our best(.) no matter how much we do we always beat ourselves up when one thing goes wrong, yet don’t praise ourselves for all the other things we do right ?. Taking time out for ourselves is as important as taking care of the family. After all we are “humans”, not “robots”. Let’s live life to the fullest, as you never know what the future holds in store for us ?.
So true Sundari! Acknowledge the wins too!
Thanks for sharing all of these tips and tricks and help eliminate the stigma of mom guilt! We really CAN do it all!
Definitely needed to read this! My son is 7 months now, and trying to juggle everything and be the perfect “Pinterest” mom has totally worn me out. Great insight!
This post is right on. It sure is a juggling act rather than a balancing act. Working moms have it so hard today. I have Wonder Woman all over my desk and refrigerator. We multitask, work, keep the home in tact, have babies, take care of the kids…we truly are amazing!!!
Thanks Christine. I like your blog and a niche audience- teachers.
Great post. I may not be the perfect mom, but as long as I love my children and spend as much time with them as they need, that’s all they will remember. 🙂
We may not be perfect, but we are perfect for our family!
I’m not a mom, but these are still very helpful for being efficient. I love how you said perfection is overrated. Isn’t that the truth? And comparing ourselves to others steals our joy! Good post 🙂
Thanks Lacee. Love your Lifestyle and organization blog too.
Loved reading your post. Moms are great 🙂
Love it! Just what I needed to see today! I love the Diet Coke fix by Amber. That’s my saving grace too ( though the kids don’t know Mom craves junk sometimes) 😉
That’s funny but so true!