When you get pregnant, no one person’s advice can mimic your exact experience – just like discovering how to make motherhood and work coexist, it isn’t the same for each of us. However, during my nearly 17 years as a part of the working mothers group, there are several key mantras I consistently reference that keep me grounded, focused and positive. Here’s to hoping they provide some level of peace and understanding as to why we do what we do! It’s not always easy.
- Balance Is A State of Mind – I think it’s interesting when working moms talk about finding “the balance.” I often say that the balance I’ve achieved is recognizing that there is no balance. It’s taken me a while to get here, but I now know what I can control and what is beyond my ability. No day is ever the same. Schedules can change at a moment’s notice. I work hard at not being rattled – the need to be flexible translates to all aspects of life. I believe it is what makes me a better person and a better mother.
- Use Every Moment As A Teaching One – The Zeno stories I share with my kids have evolved as they’ve gotten older, but they always provide important life lessons. Whether it’s the development of a presentation, the details behind a POV, something funny that happened in a meeting or why an idea flopped, they show how we should react to successes and failures, the importance of teamwork and the necessary perseverance to reach our goals.
- Be One Person – The mom that goes to the office is the same mom that comes home at the end of the day. I don’t become someone else when I step off the Metra train into work or walk through the front door of my house. Don’t try to be different. It’s too hard and there’s not enough time in the day to shift back and forth.
- Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff – I know it sounds trite, but it’s true. Motherhood has put work in perspective for me and vice versa. There are so many opportunities to worry about “stuff” – whether it be timelines or soccer practice, step & repeats or science projects – that you’re forced to focus on what really matters: making connections, growing relationships and being positive.
- Working Makes Me a Better Mom – Many of my team members – and even clients – have heard me say, “If you’re doing PR at least 40 hours a week, close to 50 weeks a year, you better like what you do and who you do it with.” I adore my children, but they know I’m a better mom because I work. Being around smart, like-minded people who love to interact, find solutions to problems and thrive on the thrill of PR makes me a happier, more well-rounded person, able to dedicate myself to both motherhood and work.