Open letter to working moms >>

My 10 Secrets to Being a Working Mom

Being a working mom brings it's own unique struggles and challenges. Check out my 10 secrets that have helped keep me sane and add your own to help other moms.

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Being a working mom is H.A.R.D!!!

I should know - I have been through all the models there are!! I have been a stay-at-home mom (working for the home); I have been a work-from-home mom (started this website once the kids started school); I have been a work-away-from-home mom (which is where I am currently).

In order to stay sane and to feel useful (I feel I have so much more to offer the world), I worked out some philosophies which are my secret weapons. And I am sharing these with you today!

10 secrets to being a working mom

But there is a fourth and unique breed of moms that is actually a hybrid of all of the above - and this is my favorite one of all - the Mompreneur.

Mompreneur is someone who wants it all and is unapologetic about it.

We want to have time for our family, to be able to take an hour off or a day just to be with our loved ones. We also want our careers and our business to soar to success. We network, meet with clients, take care of our business baby and be there for our home baby.

And we accomplish it too. Most days. But every so often we need a little push, a little I-Know-You-Got-This smoothie that refreshes and reinvigorates us to keep us going. 

Well, I've got you covered. Here are my 10 secrets that help keep me going so I can continue being a working mom.

1. Get to Know Yourself

In putting our family or our business ahead of ourselves, we lose sight of our own self. You just came home from a really trying client meeting and it's dinner time. Do you pop in a Tylenol and get to work cooking up a delicious home cooked meal?

Take a step back and get to know yourself. Do you enjoy cooking? If yes, (and I know friends who do) you probably find it relaxing. But, if you're like me, stop and think - maybe today you could all go out for a meal instead...or pick up dinner on the way home and bond with the family over a pizza. That's ok to do once in a while.

Make a list of things that bring you joy and make sure to make time for them in your life. Do you enjoy gardening? Do you love to dance? Maybe knitting or quilting makes you happy. Put it in your schedule. Make yourself a priority too.

SuperMom -Compliment or not?

2. Is Superhero truly a compliment?

When people refer to moms who are managing home and career as superheroes, is that truly a compliment?

Or is it adding to your stress and anxiety - because now you HAVE to prove yourself as amazing and unstoppable wonder woman. The fact is we're human and with that come imperfections and flaws. We all have them. Give yourself a break and allow yourself to fail now and again.

Don't allow the judgement of others to mold you into something you are not prepared to be. Trust me, your children will not stop loving you because you couldn't take them on one playdate (or two...ok three might be pushing it)

3. A Constant Balancing Act

While it is true that we are in a constant balancing act of finding the rhythm that won't rock the boat too heavily, it is absolutely ok to jump from side to side when needed too.

"Wait...what are you talking about?" I know, sometimes I go too deep into my examples and go off on a tangent. 

What I mean is say you have an important business meeting coming up and you need extra time to prepare for it, which means you are not sitting in the bleachers cheering your budding Tom Brady is NOT the end of the world.

In fact, this could be a teaching moment for your young one about dedication and following through. Because you must remember, that if your kid is counting on you to be there for his football game, your colleagues and clients are counting on you to be there for them too. And it is ok to choose one over the other when needed.

Build Your Village of Friends, Family and Associates

4. Build Your Village

I hate to break this to you (not really) - You cannot do it all.

Remember how I said earlier that we are not superheroes. That's the truth. But it doesn't help when you are juggling many hats. Sometimes two equally important things need to be taken care of at the same time. How do you do this? By building your village.

A business related issue suddenly comes up that you need to take care of urgently, but your kid has  a doctor appointment that was scheduled months in advance. What do you do? Ask help from your village - can your spouse/partner spare the time, do you have family close by that could help? Or is there a team mate/colleague who could send you key information that would help you put out the fire from the doctor's waiting room?

Have back up plans ready and a large network of family, friends, and associates who can help when in a pinch.

5. Mama Bear Your Me-Time

It is extremely important for your sanity and your health that you schedule regular 'me-time' for yourself. But I have found that often when something suddenly comes up, the first thing we sacrifice is that very special time we were saving for ourselves.

Moms have this very bad habit of keeping our own wishes and needs on the backburner. DON'T DO THIS.

Guard your 'me-time' like a Mama Bear guarding her cubs. 

My kids decided, at a very young age that they did not want afternoon naps. That was tough for me coz I really need a siesta. I literally could not keep my eyes open. So after our lunch, I would get in bed, the kids would come and we would play together for a half hour and then I would tell them "Okay, mommy needs to sleep now. Do not disturb me!" 

For the first few weeks, they would constantly wake me for something or the other. But I stuck to it and they soon stopped. I got my siesta and they got a happy mommy ready to take them to the playground in the evening!

6. You are Growing and Evolving

Have you noticed how these tiny little beings change us?

As we evolve and grow into motherhood, we add new skills to our repertoire. We learn to be patient. We learn to look at things from a different perspective. We learn to empathize. And perhaps most importantly, we learn to get creative in our problem solving.

These are all skills that could be vital to the success of our businesses. When you translate that to your business, we learn to be patient with our co-workers. We learn to look at things from our clients' perspective. We learn to empathize with their situations. And we learn to to think outside the box.

7. Working Moms Learn to Appreciate Family Time 

As workaholic youngsters, we were very focused on our career and our growth. Having no other responsibilities, we didn't think twice when burning the midnight oil ( I just realized how out of date that sounds). 

As busy female entrepreneurs with family responsibility high on our priority list, every little time we get to spend with our loved ones is precious. And our family appreciates it too.

From going on long vacations to a simple warm hug at the end of a busy day...there are many special moments that we , as business moms should remember to be grateful for.

Celebrate Your Achievements of being a working mom

8. Talk About Your Achievements- Your Kids Deserve to Know

Being a working mom is often associated with feelings of guilt, of missing out on key milestones in your kids' lives. It is time to turn the tide. Take pride in your achievements. Tell your children what it is that you do. When you sit down for a family dinner at the end of the day, talk about new challenges you faced or a problem you solved.

Involving your family and giving them a glimpse into your day will create a tighter bond. Trust me!

Honesty is key here. You don't want to talk only about your successes, but also your failures and your challenges. This helps your children understand you better and will inspire them to be open about their problems and their challenges. They should learn that it is ok to mess up; that it is normal for things to go wrong; and that the world does not end because of one failure.

9. Your Kids Are Your Priority

Here's a secret that very few understand and acknowledge. It's okay to put your kids first!

On the other side of what I said in Secret #8, is Secret #9. 

Yes, you are proud of your business success- as you should be. But many a times we end up apologizing for leaving a meeting early because we have to take the kids to soccer practice or ballet. Or we feel guilty about not having completed a report on time because our kid was unwell. STOP!

Yes you are a successful entrepreneur, but you are also a mom. These are your children and the entire reason that you chose to become an entrepreneur was so YOU could decide when you want to be with them. 

Just STOP FEELING GUILTY. Whichever decision you need to make - whether to be immersed in solving a business problem or cheering your kid at a tennis game - do it with conviction. 

10. Outsource, outsource, outsource

Mompreneurs wear many hats

A mompreneur wears way too many hats. 

At work, if you go solo - you are in charge of marketing, finance, client meeting and of course, providing the service or product. Even if you have a team, you need to be aware of everything going on in every aspect of your business.

At home, you are cook, cleaner, chauffeur, therapist and dispute handler.

Go back and take a look at Secret #1. What did you write down there? You made a list of things that you enjoy doing. That should also help you understand what are the things that you do not enjoy doing. Don't enjoy cleaning - hire a cleaning company. Don't enjoy cooking - get a take out meal once a week or if you're lucky like me, have your hubby or partner help with the cooking.

Similarly in business, are you getting lost in paperwork - hire a virtual assistant. Social Media too demanding - hire a specialist. Outsourcing, whether at home or in business, is a well-kept secret that can not only bring you peace of mind but also allow you to scale your business because now you have more time to invest in the actual work you do.

So there you have it. All my secrets, my best weapons against any guilt, burnout or apology for being a working mom. I am a proud contributing member of society; unapologetic about my choices and decisions.

Do I make mistakes? Of course. Do I persevere? Absolutely.

And now that you know them too, I hope you will also stand tall and proud in your space.

If you need help designing and decorating your children's spaces, I hope you will think of 'outsourcing' (see what I did here?) to me. Book your Discovery call today. I would love to meet you.

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Hi, I am Richa and am super excited to see you here. I enjoy interior designing so much I went back to study it. Now armed with knowledge, passion and a vision to make 'happy homes', I hope this site will give you all the tools you need to make your kid's room happy too.   Read More...