I had to pump the brakes

“You can absolutely have it all, just not at the same time.”

I’ll never forget when my former network President told me that. It was a piece of advice that rings more true for me today than when I was working for her. She was the President of the TV network I worked for and she was a mentor for me at one time. She’s also a wife and mother of two and had navigated the crazy world of TV while trying to balance her family life. Her kids are older than mine and when my family started growing she stressed spending time with my babies to me. That was right around the time I made the decision to stay home with them. Her advice was right on time and she didn’t even know it.

Now that I’m at home and spending time with my babies, I’ve stepped into another dream. Being with my kids is part of that dream. So is building a successful brand. That’s where her advice comes into play again. Building a brand can be all consuming. It’s easy to get lost in the work and lose track of time because this is something that I’m passionate about. The ideas start flowing and I find my groove. It can be hard to step away from the computer. As passionate as I am, I can get lost in it all. The thing is, when I made the choice to be here it wasn’t about my business, it was about them. I’m very passionate about what I do and I’m that much more passionate about my kids.

So, where’s the balance?

About a week ago, I had this conversation with my husband. I decided to pull back from pushing so hard at my business. It was taking a toll on me. The whole idea of burning the candle at both ends was becoming my reality. I put this pressure on myself to perform. I felt like I had to produce full time for my business while also being super active, present and involved with my kids and husband. Yeah, it’s a lot. Some people seem to be able to pull it all off seamlessly. I’m not one of those people. Even with my best efforts, things don’t always come together. I’m creating a course, rolling out an app, in the beginning stages of a second business and outlining a book. It’s called #teamdoingtoomuch. So, I’m slowing down.

Balance is not something you findTo be the type of mom I want to be, I can’t go full speed ahead with all my business goals. I have to pace myself because I left my corporate career for this time with my family. What’s the point of being at home if I’m working as hard as I was when I was away from home? The whole point was to have more balance. Being at home is a blessing. I wanted it for so long and it wasn’t possible. Now that it is, I choose to #respecttheblessing.

So I pace myself. I take the time to complete a project without giving myself such strict deadlines. I take the pressure off myself to do more than humanly possible. Because, yeah, I am human. I’m not only passionate but driven and slowing down isn’t easy. It has been a breath of fresh air though. It has been a relief to give myself permission to chase my dreams, my way. I always encourage others that baby steps are still steps but I wasn’t allowing myself that same freedom. Crazy, right? Lesson learned.

What’s your mamahood struggle? How are you creating balance?

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21 comments on “On motherhood, dreams + doing too much”

  1. I left the team months ago. I have these moments in my life where I am obsessed with one thing and will give it my all and then fall flat.

    I’m trying to learn balance by making a list daily and once I complete it I am done for the day. I’ve done the whole sleep is for the weak thing and I’m not built like that. I have found that going to bed early and waking early works and helps me get a head start on things but it takes discipline that I sometimes don’t have.

    I’ve also learned not to beat myself up. I’m staying in my lane and not looking at what every one else is doing and it has helped tremendously.
    Mimi recently posted…dropcloth curtain inspirationMy Profile

  2. The advice your mentor gave you is the same my boyfriend’s mom has told him! It is so true! I don’t have kids yet but I still find value in that advice in managing multiple jobs and trying to be a good girlfriend, friend and family member. I’m creating some balance by keeping my promises. I make a date with someone, even if its a simple hanging at the house, I keep that date and I give them my full attention. Work is work and there will always be more of it. It can wait.

  3. I can definitely relate. Having just been laid off, I am afforded more time to spend with my family. But I am also pushing myself with my business as well, in the process I am now almost entirely nocturnal. I need to create balance asap.

  4. I can tell that this was golden advice from your mentor! I don’t have children yet, but I know it will be important to have a work, family, life balance when I do.

  5. I am currently trying to get pregnant on my own (solo project as a single mom by choice). I worry about how I will do it all, be a mom, work a 9 to 5, and continue with the Chasing Joy brand. I like your quote about creating balance. I will have to allow myself to pull back from certain things as needed to create my own balance when the time comes. Until then I will go hard.

  6. I cringe at the word balance because it’s such a myth. lol. I’ve learned to give myself grace; permission to take time off, to rest when I need to. I’ve learned to say no when it’s going to overstock my plate (I had to ask someone to go in my place to the White House this week because going would’ve taken me away from some family obligations). It’s not always an easy decision to make, but like you, I ask myself if it’s in line with what I say I wanted when I started out. It’s a learning journey 🙂
    Christine @MomsNCharge recently posted…#FLYMomTees: A T-Shirt Line Inspired by Motherhood & PurposeMy Profile

  7. I heard that quote too and it was an eye opener for me. I just can’t give my all to everything at the same time. Some weeks, my house suffers, some weeks my blog, some weeks, I feel like I’m not being the Mother I want to be. There is no such thing as balance, only choosing what matters most to you at that moment. I’ve been choosing my son lately. 🙂

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