This past weekend, I got to celebrate my daughter’s third birthday. When I think back three years ago to what success as a mother meant to me then versus now, it’s actually evolved over time. Some people don’t believe that motherhood and success can go hand-in-hand. Some may argue that once you become a mom, you have to put all of your dreams and goals on hold, or worse, forget about them altogether. And because children learn by what they see, what is that teaching them?
According to Webster, success is defined as a “favorable or desired outcome, or the attainment of wealth, favor, or eminence”. In Dictionary’s words, its defined as “the attainment of wealth, position, honors or the like”: two different sources, but the same meaning. However, I’m sure that if I asked a few of my fellow moms, how they defined success for themselves, I’d get a multitude of answers according to that particular person. Some can easily define success as it relates to motherhood, and others can easily define success as it relates to their careers and/or business. But for many, it’s not easy to see how the two can work together.
I often say that balance is overrated because to find true balance, means that everything is aligned and getting the exact same focus, attention and energy (both in life and in business). I don’t know about you, but that’s never the case with me. For me, it resembles most closely to that of a juggling act. If you’re juggling five balls (which represent your priorities), each of them will take a turn at the very top of the rotation. If you keep them all in your hands or try to throw them all up at the same time, either nothing happens, or they will all come crashing down. But when you give specific focus and attention at different intervals to each of the balls, then it will allow for a much more seamless time in keeping everything in tact. And that’s how I veiw motherhood and success: a juggling act.
One thing I always say is that as mothers, we can do it all. We just can’t do it all alone. Nor do I ever pretend to do so. Anyone who asks me how I do it all will definitely get the same answer: “I don’t”. I’ve had to learn how to set boundaries. I’ve had to learn that “no” is a complete sentence (no explanation necessary). And I’ve had to learn to simply ask for the help that I need (instead of assuming that people should know).
My success today is being able to keep my sanity on a daily basis after the potty runs, broken lamps, temper tantrums, food fights, and busted lips (not by me of course). Managing clients and the workload that comes with entrepreneurship is a success. Being able to do laundry, wash dishes and cook dinner in the midst of all of this is definitely a huge success! But it takes some steady juggling. If I’m performing really high in one area, chances are, there are other areas that aren’t getting the same attention. And for my own sanity, I’ve learned to be okay with that.
I want my children to see a mother who is happy and fulfilled. I want them to see a mother who is walking in her purpose. I want to demonstrate to my children that motherhood and success go hand in hand. And I want other moms to know that they don’t have to choose one over the other.
So how do you juggle success and motherhood?