My son is 3 months old. Consider these thoughts a personal adaptation of the notorious recap of the first 100 days – as done by American presidents and corporate CEOs.
I returned to work 2 weeks post-partum. I am self-employed, I wanted to. Don't judge. My consulting services focus on #agility, #newleadership and #purpose. I teach a #NewWork class. In light of those concepts, I did and do strive to demonstrate that being a caring mom and a business consultant can be juggled simultaneously. It can, yet it is a stretch.
What do I take away so far?
1) Managing complexity has risen to a whole new level.
I align client meetings and calls with my son’s sleeping time – but he does not have a steady rhythm just yet. When he sleeps, I exploit this window to the max completing numerous errands simultaneously. I answer phone calls while I unload the dishwasher while I prepare a pitch while I make coffee while I check on my baby while I plan dinner while I …You get my point.
My son suffers from flatulencies. To ease his pain, he prefers to be carried, also he prefers me walking, not standing still. So, I consume meals mostly single-handedly (cutting food has become a challenge), walking or bouncing while hurriedly tidying up my office (a.k.a. the living room), writing emails or thinking through project deliverables. I don’t have time to do one thing at a time. I sleep about 3 hours straight with an expectation to look my very best the next day and to high perform on all fronts. Ask me about complexity, I am an expert now.
2) My child has become my new boss.
For him, good timing does not exist. Especially, when milk is involved. Once hungry, he showers his surroundings with ample screams. I breastfed him in front of MBA students whilst giving a speech (no other way to soothe him), during client calls (jotting down notes at the same time) or in incidentally well-timed workshop breaks (while my babysitting dad waited to continue his duty right afterwards). His timing is my timing. His priorities have become mine.
3) Most moms live by a similar routine.Unrecognized.
Most of our activities, duties and daily achievements go unnoticed because there is no one around to see and acknowledge them. Thankfully, we have Paula Kuka. Check out her instagram. She knows.
We don’t complain, because that’s not what we do… and also, we don’t have time for that. We hardly ever ask for help, because that does not flow well with our self-concept and self-expectation. – No worries, I can manage by myself.
This cohort of us females expects no less of themselves (and sometimes of others) but to effortlessly combine motherhood, household, a healthy relationship, friendships and professional ambitions. Plus, to practice a regular work-out, self-love and mindfulness. And -most certainly- excel at all things equally and at the same time. We are enduring, energetic, resilient. Sounds crazy? Welcome to our mind and world.
4) My mom shines in a whole new light of appreciation.
Today, I wonder how my mom managed to raise two kids, cook daily, teach and work weekly and look good always – without online food delivery, without day care from 0-3, without freeletics, without push notifications. I only begin to understand which sacrifices she has made to help us become the individuals that we are. And I begin to comprehend why it takes a village …
5) Superwomen do exist. They always have.
The story about Superman fills movie theatres around the globe. Can anyone name the lead characters starring in #Supergirl (1984; 2016) and #Superwoman (1997)? That’s what I thought. Lois Lane, we need you back but reloaded.
Lois may be a comic heroine. Yet, she exists in real life, too. You only realize she does, once you have become her.
Sounds familiar? Reminds you of your wife or a friend? If so, drop her a line to appreciate her #superpowers. And if it is you, this superwoman, stop whatever you are doing and get yourself a treat.