Mom guilt, we’ve all been there!
Where is “there” you ask. “There” is the in between sweet spot where you have a flourishing career on the one side, you are the boss, the main tool in the shed, and the go to woman for everything, and then the other side where you are supermom, mom in a million, mom there for every step, every meal, every bath, every laugh, every new obstacle faced and overcome. It’s the sweet spot. The one I am still searching for.
I still look back and have a good laugh, before my little girl was born my maternity leave was two weeks. Yes, two weeks. I had no idea why everyone looked at me like I was crazy. I was going to be the woman who had her baby, had two weeks at home but then would be back on my feet, working from home or the office, baby in routine, sleeping well and this new bundle of joy would be slotting into my well planned out mommy and work sweet spot. Well two weeks, became one month, and one month turned into three months and three months turned into five months. And then I was ready to roll out on my own. Dress for success, leave my baby at home with the nanny and go out and conquer the world. And then there was a feeling, a feeling I had never felt before, what could it be? Enter mom guilt.
Up to this point, I had focused on spending time with the nanny so that I felt comfortable to leave my little one at home, prepped every evening for the next day to ensure nothing was forgotten and every meal planned. My super-nanny was amazing, and my baby girl was so happy, she wouldn’t even notice if I left home for a while. But still I would sit at work, or during the day find myself feeling guilty for number one enjoying the time to myself, for being able to sit and get my work done and not just be a mom for the day. And secondly for not being at home, worrying that she was going to do something, and I wasn’t there to see it, for not being the one feeding and changing and putting her to sleep. I started to question if I was being a good mom. If I should look at rather being a stay at home mom and rather not have to deal with my own guilt.
While dealing with my mom guilt and on my way to resignation station, I started trying to find a balance, finding the sweet spot as I put it. When does work come first and when does my child and family come first? And the simple truth is that my family will always come first but I also come first, me, myself, mom. I enjoy my job and working with people and enjoy adult conversation. I also have to have a place. And that place is during the day while doing my job or running errands for my family and in the mornings and afternoons with my little girl.
Being a mom is not easy, it is probably the hardest task I have ever encountered and the toughest full-time job, I cannot resign from. When things get tough, I have to dig in my heals and carry on. If I have to give anyone advise on how to deal with mom guilt it would be:
Number 1: don’t feel bad about having mom guilt
It is going to happen, and it does not make you any worse of a person or mom. Its normal to feel sad that you are not with your little one.
Number 2: enjoy your time away
I have found that being away for a couple of hours, allows me to cherish the time that I am at home more, and I am happier for it. I allow myself to give 100% at work and then 100% at home.
Number 3: give yourself enough time at home
Two weeks is not enough time, believe me, you need a good solid five months at home to get to know your little one, be with your nanny and your little one together and build up a relationship between the three of you, and by the five months mark you will be ready to step back into the world as you, not as a mom, but as you.
Number 4: know that your little one will always be number 1
No matter where you spend the day, you are going home to your little one and your family at the end of it all. That is where your heart will always belong.
Number 5: someone else’s opinion doesn’t matter
I am of the opinion that others make us feel more guilty than we need to. Try not to listen to what others think and what they have done. You know yourself and you know your baby. If you are not comfortable with something, don’t do it. If it works for you and your baby, then it’s the right thing to do.
Number 6: take time
Time is all the medicine you will need. Take each day as it comes, and you will find your rhythm.
So I missed resignation station and went straight onto finding my sweet spot. Some days are better than others but each and every day I get up and try my best. I still evaluate my days and weeks and if something doesn’t work or doesn’t feel right, I don’t force it, I merely try it a different way until it fits.
You do you, Mommy, everything else will slot in as it needs to, and soon you will be finding your own “sweet spot.”
A carefully planned road trip can lead to success
My journey as a Virtual Assistant has not been an uneventful road-trip without any potholes or road blocks.
When I started my journey as a Virtual Assistant, it was a means to an end. A way of making money after having my job of 24 years pulled out from under me. It was a case of sitting in my vehicle and starting the engine and driving, occasionally stopping for fuel and then continuing my journey. I have to say I was a cautious driver, never wanting to turn left onto the dirt road.
As with many a carefully thought out road-trip, one cannot take your eyes off the road. If you do, there are bound to be challenges and I have had my fair share on my journey. There have been times when I have hit a major roadblock. When my journey has come to a complete standstill and I have had to get out of my vehicle pop the hood and look inside to see what needs to be addressed. In some instances, it has been a case of topping up on my knowledge and my vehicle roars into life again, and off I go.
There have been other times when I have not been so lucky and the road side assistance have questioned me, and made me take a long hard look at myself, this had led to lengthy delays while my vehicle has been up on blocks, until the engine is repaired and I am once again able to turn the key and start driving again.
You will know I am sure, that on any road-trip one stops on-route to have a break and recharge the batteries, whilst reflecting on your journey. I have found that these breaks lead to a refreshed view on things. It has been during these picnic breaks that I have taken decisions to drive along the dirt roads less travelled. The dirt roads came with challenges for the cautious driver. I had to negotiate twists and turns of acquiring new skills and working in unchartered working territories. I do have to say though, that at the beginning of the left hand turn onto the dirt road, it took a while to enjoy this new found route of travel. I have looked at the new scenery with a smile full of confidence and self-belief that anything is possible.
This journey has taught me to become a helpful traveller. A few years ago I would have kept to myself and not shared my experience and knowledge with any other Virtual Assistants. This has changed, thanks to my VA Connect mechanics. They have always been at the road side to assist, whether it was a flat tyre, major overhaul service or just a picnic break.
My petrol gauge is on full and my vehicle is ready. I wake up every-day looking forward to my journey, wondering what I will learn and how I will grow!
8 Reasons Why Women Make Great Leaders
A great leader can, of course, be male or female and gender shouldn’t be a factor in a person’s leadership abilities. However, women don’t tend to be encouraged to take on leadership roles as often as their male counterparts which have caused an imbalance of power. Despite this, women continue to take the lead across the world whether in politics or in corporate boardrooms. We take a look at some of the many reasons women make great leaders
They are empathetic
Women value relationships and are naturally empathetic which enables them to understand what motivates their colleagues and employees. They develop a good understanding of individuals and their personal requirements which makes them effective leaders.
They value work-life balance
Women are able to balance professional and personal leadership skills and are more approachable with personal or sensitive requests. They have a good understanding of work-life balance and how it affects team motivation and productivity.
They can effectively multitask
Being good multitaskers enables women to respond quickly to several tasks and problems at the same time. This makes women leaders extremely efficient.
They have good communication skills
Communication is a skill that women excel at and women in leadership know how to use it to get things done efficiently. Whether communicating with employers, partners or co-workers, having good communication skills means clarity in executing roles and responsibilities.
They make great listeners
As well as being able to communicate well, women also listen well and tend to take the time to listen before they react and make a decision.
They cope well with crisis situations
Many women have gained experience from their home life that means they know how to handle crisis situations calmly and with compassion and patience. This skill can be invaluable in the workplace when handling HR or PR issues in particular.
They are flexible
Women are good at adapting to situations and changing the course of action as required.
They value teamwork
A female working environment tends to be less authoritarian and more co-operative especially with a woman at the lead. Women can make bold, decisive decisions whilst relying on and trusting others in a team to play their part.
In summary, these are just a few of the reasons why women make great leaders. Women have proved again and again just how strong they can be when called up to lead.
“A woman is like a tea bag – you never know how strong she is until she gets in hot water.” -Eleanor Roosevelt
3 Tips to kick the mid-year slump’s butt!
It’s mid year and you’re looking back at what you’ve accomplished so far… Disappointed? Don’t fret you still have another few months to get it right! Yeah mid year slump is such a real thing for me. You hoped that you would be a little bit further along the line by now but hey, sometimes things don’t always go as planned so stop beating yourself up about it!
Luckily I’m bringing you a couple of tips to pick yourself back up and keep pushing, maybe you’ll be able to accomplish that goal after all 😉
Re-align your goals
We are prone to make a ton of goals at the beginning of a year but sometimes you need to step back and ask yourself if those goals really still resonate with where you’re going in life/career/relationships etc. If you’ve written down your goals a couple of months ago, sit down and ask yourself if you really need to have accomplished them by the end of the year. What’s happened from then until now, what have you achieved? Re-structure so your goals align with the vision you have for yourself as we’re coming into the last part of this year.
Don’t be too hard on yourself
Let’s face it, life happens… I didn’t know I’ll be moving this year, it just crept up on me and bam! I still haven’t launched a course I was creating because I had to take some spare time to pack up and move my life. Sometimes unexpected things in life throws you off course, don’t worry you are awesome enough to pick yourself back up and climb back on the right path.
I’m a sucker for planning, although I never seem to plan a time to plan… Hmmm hope that makes sense? What went wrong in the first half of this year that prevented you from being where you wanted to be mid year? How can you improve/change your circumstances so the same thing doesn’t happen with your newly planned goals? You can only improve if you admit where you could’ve done better. Being healthier is always a big one for me. So instead of just winging it with the knowledge you thought you had, maybe plan a couple of meals ahead so you’re sure you’re making the right choices.
Most people do not reach their goals in the time span they planned to reach it. Have you ever wondered why? Because life happens. It’s sad but true. The best you can do is pick up and keep on keeping on. Being sad about your situation won’t help you one bit. But if you realize what went wrong and how to counter it, you’re well on your way.
If you have reached the goals you set for mid-year then CONGRATS! The gratification of reaching a milestone that you’ve set for yourself is unmatched. Keep doing what you’re doing and this year will turn out to be one of your most successful yet. If you haven’t, just remember when life gives you LEMONS make LEMONADE!
Get Your Goals Done With this Mid-Year Check-In
Goal setting is essential to living a life with purpose and meaning. Goals give our lives direction and focus, and help us stay motivated.
Nearly everything in life revolves around goals, they encompass all of our plans for the future, all of our hopes, dreams and visions for what we want in life. And yet we often fail to reach our goals. That’s because we’re all human and can be easily distracted.
Avoid the Mid-Year Slump
Maybe you’ve been powering through and are making great progress toward your goals. If so, that’s great! Take a look back and enjoy seeing what you’ve accomplished. At this point, the danger is letting complacency set in. You want to keep moving forward and avoid that mid-year slump that can derail your progress for the remaining half of the year.
Check In to Reach Your Goals
Checking in on your goals might show you progress you didn’t know you’d made, that’s always encouraging. Checking in can also give you some insight about how you need to change your goals.
How to Check In
Go back to your goal list (if you’re pursuing more than one) or your goal description.
Ask yourself, where did I start? Where am I now? The point is not to berate yourself, it’s to accurately assess your rate of progress, the obstacles encountered, and to determine how you can keep going and even improve for the rest of the year.
Set some markers for progress, one every two to four weeks, and check in when you reach each marker. A little at a time adds up to a lot, and you’ve got five more months in this year to get things done.
Evaluating your progress is like drawing up a roadmap for the year. You can’t get back on track if you don’t even know where the track is or if it leads to where you want to go.
Have you ever set a goal at the beginning of the year only to realize you don’t care about it just a few months later?
That’s why evaluating your progress isn’t just about making sure you’re working hard on your goals, it’s about making sure your goals still work for you.
Ask yourself why you want to accomplish each goal. If you don’t have a good enough answer, it’s time to say goodbye.
- What are my achievements?
- What are my struggles?
- What is the next step?
Using these three questions to work your way through your goals for the rest of the year, really gives you the opportunity for a reset. I urge you to physically write the answers to these questions down, and not just think of the answers, you will find if you can be honest with yourself and write out your struggles, you will be more likely to pinpoint the steps needed to achieve your goals.
It is important to not get defeated at this point. If there is a goal on your list that you haven’t even began to work towards, don’t put yourself down for it. Break the goal down into smaller, tangible goals. Try to give yourself the grace you would give to someone else.
It is never too late to start again. Trust where you are in your journey and be honest with yourself and you will find a way to reach your goals.