Managing The Mother Guilt As A Successful Business Woman…
Every woman in business knows juggling is a constant struggle. Add children into the mix and life can become overwhelming. When you are a mum, a wife and an entrepreneur running a busy company there is no getting away from busyness.
Nine years ago, when I had my first baby the work/life juggle really didn’t exist, it was more work and baby somehow fitted in to that. I had no time for maternity leave. A week after birthing I was back in the office with my baby asleep under the desk. It’s not what I imagined being a new mum would look like.
There was not a day that I couldn’t be there, and I had to set up a nursery in the office because working from home was not something that existed then. It was very difficult to be the mother I wanted to be and of course the guilt began.
In 2020 I had my second baby, two weeks before COVID hit. Our retail stores shut, and I had to get straight back into work. My new born son also came to work with me and slept in a bassinet under the desk. I learnt a lot of lessons in those years and here’s a few which I hope might help other women battling the juggle.
Managing The Mother Guilt
There was definitely lots of that because I couldn’t be completely present. I wasn’t able to breastfeed because it was just not possible while also keeping up the work load. I missed out on mother’s groups and park play dates with other new mums; I missed out on all the new mother things that are part of experience of motherhood.
It’s very easy to become guilty and caught up in it, but as my daughter is now nine, I’m proud to show her what we can achieve as women. My husband is the at home husband and she aspires to be like me. Knowing this has helped erase some of that guilt I felt in the early years. Being a role model and leader is about being a mum and everything that entails. Going to school pick ups and events is not what necessarily makes a perfect mum.
Looking at my list of things to do at work and what will have the biggest goal for my business. Anything else either has to wait or doesn’t get done. It is about picking the thing that will have the biggest return on effort. I do put in a lot of extra time, but with intention and ensuring it will produce success in my eyes, rather than working for the sake of working.
At home I have a cleaner and I have a good husband who does the cleaning. Something has to give in the household and if you need external help get it. Do what has to be done. I use the drier probably more than I should because there isn’t time to hang out the washing. Buy pre-maid ready meals. I choose things that will make life easier. There is no family dinner, we sit on the couch and chat and if we can’t sit together one night, we’ll do it another night.
With my second baby and COVID everything went out the window and I realised having a beautifully set out dinner table doesn’t make you a better family. It will make you more stressed and being tense and stressed is the worst thing you can do. Pick what makes life easy. This allows me to have those special moments with my children, rather than what society expects of women.
From the time I get home to the time the kids go to bed I try to be with them and let everything else fall to the side. I prioritise that and ensure I spend time with them. After that it’s a mad dash to get the housework done and ensure I’m not working all night.
I outsource as much as I can, like homework, so I can spend the enjoyable time with the kids, rather than arguing about homework. I’d love to hear from other women on what’s worked for them in managing that elusive work/life equilibrium.
Do you suffer from constant guilt, or have you found a way to break through it?
About The Author
Lauren began running Motto Fashions 17 years ago at the age of 20 and has been the backbone of the company along with her mother Faye Browne. The fashion house began in 1985.
As the owner Lauren frequently travels overseas for production and design. She launched the ecommerce store which powers Motto Fashions growth and designed the digital strategy.
Together with Faye the mother/daughter duo now unite and inspire women on social media with their daily Facebook livestreams.
To find out more visit: https://www.motto.com.au/