I suppose everyone has ideas of what their lives will be like before becoming parents. I know I sure did. I saw the role of working mom as one that would be symbiotic. I would work all day, manage to semi make a descent meal, spend every night of quality time with my family and sleep at least six hours a night. I also just knew that I would ROCK motherhood.
Oh Lord, forgive my blind ignorance. You never know what you don’t know. And I knew nothing about being a mother.
After fifteen years, I know a lot of things about practicing law and running a business. The raw, gut checking truth is that almost every day of my existence, I nail every aspect in my life-except motherhood. From business meetings to court appearances, I can do those things. And I can do them well.
There’s also the other gratification of clients telling you "thank you" for a job well done, seeing sales numbers increase and having a judge agree with my legal reasoning all creates a buzz of “hey-I did that and I did well.” Those moments are fun. They remind me what I’m doing is the right thing.
The office has never been a struggle for me. I like to work. It’s where I am in control and the outcome of a lot of work days.
Home is where I most often lose faith that I have any abilities whatsoever.
It never matters how often I win a case, or successfully complete a sales call, there is another realm of which I am always struggling. You see, home is where most of my insecurities come out to play on a daily basis.
The moment my briefcase is set down, there is another arena in which I have to perform every day. There is a floor to sweep, dinner to make and no matter how much effort or time is applied, there is always a pile of laundry to tackle. And then there are the other humans living with me, of whom I never have any solid control. Both of my kids are entering or are solidly in their teenage years. They have practice, social schedules and opinions of their own.
I often have to remind myself that just because I control work, home often seems to control me.
About a year ago, I finally had to give myself permission to be ok if things under our roof are never mastered. The laundry can hang out in the basket longer than I would like. The kids are developing into people and that’s a process where I am needed but cannot micromanage. And there are going to be days that no one cares what I did at the office.
That has probably been one of the best gifts I’ve ever given myself—the freedom to love what I do and not expect any appreciation. Motherhood and business almost creates two personalities in me. And after nine years of doing motherhood and business together, I still have so much to learn.
So mamas, if you are feeling like a boss at the office (or behind the computer) and yet feel coming up short at home, take heart.
Your people may never fully appreciate all that you can accomplish except for when you have thrown together dinner of noodles and leftovers and sit around and ask about their days. Believe me that you are not alone and you are rocking both motherhood and biz life like only you can do!