I am very excited to welcome Jen McIntyre of Multi-Purpose Moms on North Shore Mama today. Jen is here to talk to all us mamas about finding that balance in life between being a parent and still being ourselves!.Thank you so much for sharing your insight with us, Jen!
You Deserve a Break, Mama!
Earlier this year, I woke up feeling really lost. It was almost like I didn’t know who I was anymore.
My sweet baby son was almost 7 months old, and I had been devoting all my attention, time and energy to this wondrous little being.
I loved being a new mom, and it was easy to lose myself in this role. But I didn’t know how to balance everything, and I was being pulled in so many directions. I hadn’t taken any time for myself, and I felt guilty for even wanting any!
Here’s the embarrassing part: I’m a professional life coach, and I’m really good at helping my clients to set priorities and design plans to improve their lives and expand their businesses. I just hadn’t been doing those things for myself.
The daily demands of being a mom and running a business had taken center stage, pushing my needs aside. It was time for a change.
If you can relate to what I’m talking about here, I want to let you in on a little secret: you’re not alone!
Before my son was born, I spent twenty years in the business world as a manager, mentor, and corporate coach, working primarily with other women. And I’ve discovered that far too many of us have something in common … something we rarely admit out loud.
Somewhere along the way, we became “people pleasers.” In order to look good and get ahead, we started taking on far too much, and we let other people’s needs overshadow our own. We stopped setting boundaries, we stopped saying no, and we stopped honouring ourselves.
Now, as moms, putting our kids’ needs first comes with the territory. But when was the last time you stopped long enough to take stock of your own needs?
Your kids, your partner, your family, and your clients are all counting on you. But stealing time from yourself to keep everyone else happy is only going to bite you in the butt later. Giving to others continuously without refueling yourself comes with a very high price tag. Depleting yourself to the point of exhaustion and burnout won’t make anyone else better off.
One of the lessons I’ve learned the hard way is that self-first is not selfish!
Taking care of yourself is a necessity, not a luxury. Honouring yourself and doing things that make you feel beautiful, relaxed, and happy will help you be more grounded and present with both your family and your clients.
In my case, it was time to slow down and get back to basics. I quickly realized that the strategies I had relied on in the past no longer fit the challenges I faced in the present. I needed to design some new tools to create the life I was committed to living.
Simplicity had to become my new priority in order to flourish in business while having a fun and fulfilling family life. It hasn’t been an easy journey, but I’ve begun to accept my short-comings and forgive myself when I make mistakes.
Taking care of yourself may seem at first like just one more thing to cross off your to-do list. But it doesn’t have to be complicated. Use the K.I.S.S. principle and Keep It Simple, Sweetie!
Start with something easy. Treat yourself to a pedicure, or a bubble bath and a good book. Write in your journal for five minutes every morning, or make that long overdue phone call to catch up with one of your besties.
A challenge for you …
Sometimes starting a new habit is the most difficult part, so here’s a little challenge to help get you going.
Grab a notebook and jot down all the things you loved doing for yourself before you became a mom. Next, write down all the things swirling around in your mind that you’d love to do but don’t feel like you have the time.
Now pick one of those items … just one … and commit to doing it sometime during the next seven days.
What support will you need to actually make this happen? Do you need to book childcare or ask your partner to take the kids to the park for an hour?
Asking for help takes courage. If you’re anything like me, you’ve been conditioned to believe that you should just suck it up and do everything on your own. But asking for help is actually a strength, not a weakness. Practice will build this muscle.
So, go on. Give yourself the much-needed break that you so deserve! You, your family and your clients will all reap the benefits from the time you invest in yourself.
I’m off to book myself a massage …
For more tips on how to flourish in your business while still having fun with your family, check out Jen’s free, 45-minute training video (available online for a limited time only): http://multipurposemoms.com
Jen McIntyre (aka Jenni Mac) is a mom, entrepreneur, and business coach. Originally from Victoria, BC, she lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. Connect with her on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thejennimac