There is no such thing as "Work-Life Balance" it's a lie that keeps us fighting the waves instead of swimming with it.
I was excited to be a mommy again but nervous that I had to put my career on hold; Was it even possible to raise kids and have a career? I read books, blogs and asked friends for advice on how to manage it all. The one answer I received was, find your "work-life balance" What did that even mean?
Six weeks into my maternity leave, I started a new job while out on short-term disability. On most nights, I would be lucky to get 4 hours of sleep. My daily routine consisted of waking up at 5:30 AM, getting the kids ready, daycare drop off, and heading over to the office. I had to be there five days a week from 8:30 AM to 5:30 PM, strict hours.
In between meetings, I had to find the time to pump milk; sometimes, I had to deal with engorged breasts (super painful). When I did have the time to pump milk, I would search for an empty office that would hopefully lock and didn't have a side glass.
Every working mom that you have come across has gone through a similar experience as me.
Here is the good news! I learned that "work-life balance" was total BS. The dichotomy was created to have us feel like failures.
Instead, I accepted my chaos as my new "balance."
I focused on prioritizing myself and my mental health (Super important).
I dropped all non-essential tasks and activities from my life and learned to say "No" to what wasn't necessary.
Created daily and weekly plans that led to quarterly and yearly goals.
I took up a new mantra, "Do the best you can today, Mahjooba."
I decided to create my own experience of raising my kids and working on my dreams.
In the last ten years, I've had three kids, managed to earn an MBA, and a few certifications started a successful consulting company that won several bids worth millions for a client. Started a second company (Three T Institute) that is becoming one of Virginia's fastest-growing professional development and vocational schools.
It took looking at my life through my lens and stopped victimizing myself, realizing that balance is different for each of us. If I didn't achieve my goals, I might have unintentionally guilt my children for it, and I didn't want that burden on them.
The perfect balance doesn't exist. Focus on your mental health, seek support and push forward; you'll be surprised by what you can achieve.
With love and authenticity,
Career Coach | CEO
Three T Institute
Are you struggling with your career and need advice? Reach out.