MOMPRENEUR: Nothing can slow me down, not even me!
I remember when I first had my little munchkin, I was so determined to prove that nothing could slow me down; Not even childbirth. Less than 48 hours after major surgery, I was answering emails from my recovery room and dishing out instructions to my team. I felt like I was killing it.
I mean look at me – Young Entrepreneur, just had a baby, barely out of the recovery room and I’m still making things happen… I thought they said I couldn’t have it all? Who needs to interview me to know it can be done?… I was convinced I had broken the code until my routine daily Blood Pressure check. My B.P. was off the charts and heading towards a heart attack. Common sense begged me to dial it back but No! Not this Mompreneur! I have to have it all and prove ’them’ wrong so, I forged ahead, B.P. medicine in hand and stomach.
My plan was solid – Work remotely and leave the fieldwork to the team. Plan set, Execution activated. I got contracted to write a TV film and gave my new client a deadline based on my usual capabilities because we already know that… A baby cannot slow me down. Deadline set, work mode activated. I was working hard but somehow my pace had… Dare I say it? ’Slowed down’. *shocked gasp*
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Let us assume my usual delivery time is about 2 weeks… Week 5 and numerous apology emails later, I finally delivered to the client hoping I had not lost their business forever. My embarrassment level was high, my confidence bruised and my shoulder pad deflated. In the words of my native language, loosely translated… ’They still ended up getting me!’. My interviews and Tedx Talk dreams faded in the light of my latest self proclaimed failure. I worked double hard and all I had to show for it was High blood pressure and a bruised reputation for late delivery.
In retrospect, my major pitfall was trying to treat every aspect separately instead of factoring in my new dynamic. I was pretending I did not just have a baby, like admitting that in itself was a fault. I let myself buy into a pressure thought of believing I had something to prove to ’them’.(Who are these ’them’ and why are ’they’ out to get me? Are they people in a dark room churning out thoughts for me to battle and distract me or, are ’they’ ideas I have escalated to World scale battles in my mind where I am the heroine of this story that must surmount self-constructed obstacles?)
The world conditions you to believe as a woman, you cannot have it all – career, fantastic marriage and well-rounded kids. Life tries its best to throw terms at you to support the world’s theories – work-life balance, developmental absence, and many others.
Our first mistake is buying into the delusion that every day would be a perfect balance shared evenly among all the parts of your life. The truth is on some days, the scales would tip in favour of ’Mom’ and that is okay. On other days, it is greatly tipped in favour of ’Career’ and that is just fine. Expecting to split yourself equally into 3 separate entities every day instead of being the one person you are, inclusive of these parts is a journey that only ends in frustration.
My takeaway from that experience has been:
If the world is allowed to evolve and adjust based on events happening around it, so am I.
When a new dynamic is introduced into your life, be it a new job, starting a new home or having a kid, instead of excluding this new factor from your life (like I was trying to do), you need to factor it IN and then engage from this new standpoint.
Needless to say, with this new understanding, I am better positioned and I have created a balance that works for me. Currently, my efficiency is at its peak, my delivery record has been redeemed (my Blood Pressure is normal) and best of all, I did not lose that client!