Balancing motherhood and career isn’t a walk in the park. There are days you feel like you are being stretched in several directions as you try to achieve everything on your work “to-do” list and managing activities in your home. You want to have a great career as a woman, but sometimes there’s the mummy guilt. You want to be a great mother, and sometimes you may go hard on yourself for slacking on your goals. Most career moms have experienced this, and it is normal.
“I think moms put a lot of pressure on themselves trying to balance it all. It’s never going to be perfectly balanced—the sooner you know this, the sooner you can relieve some of the pressure you put on yourself.” — Denise Richards.
Motherhood is a fulfilling journey, but it can be overwhelming making the home and career happy, especially when you have a baby or babies that take up much of your time and attention. Sometimes we lose ourselves doing that, and we desperately look for answers. We look for solutions on how to balance both because our happiness matters too. The perfect work-life balance might seem unattainable, but you can still blossom in your career and your role as a mother. How is this possible? Let’s look at the thoughts of four career moms. Let’s go:
4 Moms’ Advice on Managing Motherhood & Career
It’s possible to have a flourishing career and family as you keep evolving in your life’s journey. No one says that our career should be the end of our family life or vice versa. It is possible to have the two and strike some balance in managing the pressures of the two. To achieve the two requires strategy and unflinching effort. In this article, four moms share how they successfully manage motherhood and career so you can get inspired.
#1. I Have 3 Simple Catalysts to Living an Unshakable Life—Mofoluwaso Ilevbare
Mofoluwaso Ilevbare is a Global HR Leader and Executive Coach. She’s also the Co-Founder of Trailblazer Femme that empowers ambitious women globally to live boldly in their unique voice, strength, and brilliance.
“My goal is to trigger a hunger for finding purpose, possibilities today rather than waiting till you grow older or retire.” — Mofoluwaso Ilevbare, The Guardian.
Here is her advice to career moms:
Mofoluwaso Ilevbare (MI): Firstly, I don’t separate motherhood from building a career. These are all dimensions of the same life. So here are three simple catalysts to living an unshakeable life:
#1.1. Build a life, then Career:
MI: I designed a life vision board that defines my personal and professional being. Define the kind of life you want to live, who you want to become, who you want to live life with, and then make career, relationship, and other life choices that move you in the direction of that vision you see for your life.
#1.2. Define Your Boundaries:
MI: Life management is more about energy management. Am I 100% present when at work and 100% present when at home? What are my values? What will I not compromise? Setting work and family boundaries have helped me to juggle the many dimensions of my life.
#1.3. Stop Trying to Be a Superwoman 24/7:
MI: One of the many mistakes career moms make is trying to do and be everything to everyone. We all have an area to occupy in the world and a mission to accomplish. Own your space and get help with rest. Save your energy trying to be a super mom and instead find ways to create more time for pampering yourself or spending quality time with your kids. Sharing the load with my husband, family members, friends, and many artisans makes life beautiful.
#2. Balancing Can Be Done—Tolulope Olorundero
Tolulope Olorundero is a global public relations consultant and board advisor. She is the Principal Consultant at Mosron Communications—a boutique public relations consulting firm working with B2B organizations across sub-Saharan Africa. She is also the Founder of Nigerian Women in Public Relations (PR), an independent social impact organization for practicing and aspiring PR women of Nigerian descent.
Here is her advice for career moms:
Tolulope Olorundero (TO): Six years ago, when I started my journey to motherhood, I could not have imagined the many sacrifices I would need to make—both for my career and my children. I recall, not so fondly, the anxiety and worry I had to deal with the days I had to be in the office and getting back late to pick up my son from the crèche.
“A solid support system is the only way to cope as a working mom.” — Tolulope Olorundero.
TO: After my second baby, though, I resigned. And I started my own company, a public relations consulting firm, from the dining table in my living room. Then I hired a live-out nanny. She would come in daily, clean the house, pick the boys from school—which was just a 5-minute walk from the house then. A solid support system is the only way to cope as a working mom.
TO: As the boys grow older, I continued building my business from home—managing staff and clients worldwide. They know when mummy is in her office—then she is busy. Once I close from work, though, I am all theirs. Work is not allowed to intrude during mummy-time. It is a balancing act, but you can do it.
#3. Envision the Kind of Life You Want, & Get Help When Necessary—Dr. Bunmi Akinkugbe
Dr. Bunmi Akinkugbe is a physician in public health practice in Atlanta, GA. She’s passionate about what she does and serves as a Lifestyle and Career Consultant for Immigrant women in professional careers. She helps them flourish via the platform Thrive in the US. She’s also the Co-founder of Trailblazer Femme (An Executive Hub for Career Women).
Here is her advice to career moms:
Bunmi Akinkugbe (BA): The term ‘successfully combining motherhood and career’ will be different for each person as everyone has their definition of success, and we’re all different. We also go through different phases of life. As the saying goes, “Life is in phases….”
“Life is in phases….” — Dr. Bunmi Akinkugbe.
BA: Here are my six tips to successfully combine career and motherhood:
#3.1. Prioritization is Key:
BA: Prioritize by giving attention to the needful at every point in time. When you are at work, focus on work. When you’re home, focus on the home. Try to limit distractions. Give undivided attention to the task at hand, even if it’s just for little chunks of time.
BA: The second tip is to practice “Essentialism” (NB. Book by Greg McKeown). The term means making the wisest possible investment of your time and energy to operate at your highest point of contribution. In other words, say ‘no’ to energy-draining activities and time wasters, so you can focus and say yes to what is more important to you.
#3.3. Incorporate Simple Daily Habits:
BA: Incorporate simple daily habits that help to run your life smoother and make things easy for you. In the words of Mike Murdock, “The secret of your future is hidden in your daily routine.” Embrace simple daily habits. These help you to set your rhythm.
#3.4. Establish a Plan:
BA: Establish a plan or structure to streamline your work and family dynamics. Planning can involve having routines and schedules. So that—for the most part, and at every point in time—everyone knows what they need to be doing—at the same time staying flexible to accommodate unforeseen circumstances.
#3.5. Solicit for Help When You Need It:
BA: Solicit for help from every avenue available. Have your partner or family members assist you with some things. Delegate to assistants. Surround yourself with a supportive network of friends and family. Soliciting for help applies especially to young moms—get a trusted nanny or sitter, cleaner, or support group that can help you.
#3.6. Rest! Rest! Rest!
BA: Finally, Rest! Rest! Rest! Rest is essential to avoid burnout. You can have a “leave” schedule that works. Take your leave or vacation and use the time off to rest and rejuvenate. In the words of Gautam Singhania, “The breaks you take from work pay you back manifold when you return because you come back with a fresher mind and newer thinking. Some of your best ideas come when you’re on vacation.” A restful leave/vacation helps you focus and bring back your vision to life and your job. Do what gives you joy and emotional balance in life.
BA: As a career mom, envision the kind of life you want to live and then make sure everything aligns with that. When you are starting a job, it could be challenging, especially for immigrant women in a different environment. You sometimes take up any job. But when you identify your strengths and skillset, you should narrow it down to the kind of career you want to go into and the kind of life you want to live. Look at your work-life integration and apply some form of balance so that no part of your life suffers. Take it easy on yourself, one day at a time, and things will get better and improved.
#4. Getting Help is The Balance You Need—Caroline Wabara
Caroline Wabara is a marketing consultant at Wab Digital. She offers training and services to companies looking to sell online through Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Paid Ads, and Email automation strategies.
Here is her advice to career moms:
Caroline Wabara (CW): Balancing motherhood and career isn’t an easy feat. I have always sought help from wherever I can get it. My parents take care of my son while I’m away at work. So, my parents are my rock. You do not have to allow your dreams to fade because you are a mother. Getting all the help you need is the balance between being a mom and a career woman. Doing it all by yourself would exhaust your capacity to focus on taking one step at a time in your career.
“Successful mothers are not the ones that never struggled. They are the ones that never give up despite the struggles.” — Sharon Jaynes.
Being a successful career mom is possible. We, at Oaekpost, are appreciative of the advice given in this article by our four amazing career moms. Remember to apply the three simple catalysts to living an unshakable life. Remember that balancing or attaining equilibrium is possible as it concerns your career and motherhood. Envision the kind of life you want to live and get help when necessary. Getting help is the balance you need when you’re a career mom.