For those of us who are wives, mothers, and professionals, it can seem as if we have to choose between having a wonderful relationship and family or following our dreams and building our careers and our businesses. I call this living in “an either-or world.” And I don’t believe it’s necessary.
When we think that we have to sacrifice one aspect of our lives in order to experience happiness in another, that is evidence of having a “scarcity” conversation. Some people use this term to refer to the area of finances – to describe the experience of people living under the false perception that there isn’t already enough of what they have or want. The truth, however, is that this applies to other areas of our lives. When we live under the perception that we must sacrifice or give up what we want in order to have something else we want, we sell out on our happiness and cheat ourselves out of the experience of having it ALL!
I have been a professional since before I was married and had children. Succeeding in everything I do has always been important to me, and it was no different when it came to my career. Once I was in a relationship, succeeding in my career was still important. And so was having a wonderful relationship and, later, marriage. When I had kids things got a little “blurry” for me.
There was a lot of guilt associated with working late hours and traveling for work. I missed some of my children’s milestones because I was on a business trip. And I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t experience some guilt around that. A lot of the guilt was self-imposed, but some also came from other moms – especially those who had chosen to stay home with their kids. I always felt like they were judging me for not having been there for my kids if they were hitting a milestone, sick, or just wanting Mommy to be there.
It wasn’t until I began doing my own personal development work that I was able to shake myself free from (1) caring about what other people thought and (2) making myself feel badly for having something else I that was important to me in my life – not “more important” to me, but important, nonetheless.
The truth is that people weren’t thinking about me quite as much as I thought they were! A lot of that judgment I felt they had about me was pretty much coming from within. I thought that I wasn’t being a “good mom” when I was doing something for work and like I wasn’t being a “good professional” when I was spending time with my kids, rather than working an extra hour or two. Thankfully, I was able to see that I get to choose what I focus on, what I make a priority today, and that my priorities can change the following day, if I need or want them to! That was very empowering for me!
I’ve also had to teach my kids that, if I am working, it’s not because I don’t want to be with them. It’s that I have a responsibility I need to fulfill on or a job that needs to be completed, and that it’s important to honor your words, keep your agreements, and do your very best in all you do. All of these are great lessons for my kids. And, rather than just telling or lecturing them, I am teaching them by example.
And then there are times when I will work late into the night or cut short a work day so that I can go on a field trip the next day, volunteer at school, or go on a camping trip. I’m still doing what I can to fulfill on my responsibilities, but it may be that this week, when these activities come up, my priorities shift a little. Both my work and my family is important – neither one more important than the other. It’s just how I choose to prioritize my time and attention that day or that week. And it can change from day to day and week to week.
My friend and mentor, Luly Balepolgi of LulyB.com, an amazing business woman who empowers mom entrepreneurs to have it all, often says that “Balance is bull—-!” It’s not about trying to balance everything. It’s about prioritizing and building your life around your priorities!
This is why Heart’s Desire International is honored to partner with Luly B. tonight, December 26th at 9:00 p.m. for a fun, powerful, and live Twitter Chat about how tom make our families are “the reason” why we do what we do, rather than “the excuse” for not following our dreams! Join us and other professional moms for a time of learning and growing together while having a great time! To get all the details and join in on the chat, click here!
Remember, we live in a world of abundance, and you can and deserve to have it ALL! Join Luly B. and me tonight and let’s make 2013 about making our families the reason for doing whatever we can to make our dreams come true!