I’ve been catching up on my inbox since we got back from our trip, and two women I admire were recently interviewed about raising children while running businesses, and their answers don’t reflect how I feel. I see raising children while running businesses differently.
The first woman said when she was raising toddlers, she started her business to get away from her family. She felt she needed something to remind her who she was and what she could do before kids.
The second woman said she was so worried about missing precious time with her kids that she postponed her plans and set aside her ambitions because she had to choose if she couldn’t do both successfully simultaneously.
I don’t know if I’m the weird one, but I don’t fit profile A or B. Shouldn’t there be a third option that describes how I feel?
I’m conscientious about making the most of this fleeting time with my kids and try to soak up as many moments as possible, but I know I have inherent value as a person, too.
So, while I don’t need to escape my family or postpone my dreams, I’ve prioritized defining my own version of success that allows me to balance my most important priorities.
One thing that has allowed me to do that more effectively is to let go of the timing. In my corporate career, my goal was to get a promotion every other year. Productivity was key; I was all about crushing goals and reinforcing my value.
When I added motherhood to the mix, I became instinctively more self-accepting. I saw my children as my greatest accomplishment, which meant I could no longer validate achievement or accolades as a prerequisite for self-acceptance. There was nothing left to prove.
That unconditionality extended the timeline. It took the pressure off. It made me more conscious of what I was trading time for and put my work in perspective. I started letting go of future-oriented goals because the present was so incredibly rewarding!
I no longer saw my career as a means to an end or a status show but as an opportunity to continue diving into my purpose, investing in our…