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She tripled her reach and productivity with an unexpected daily practice

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I got twitchy wanting to start working again when I was 5 weeks postpartum. I immediately judged myself for trying to “escape” what was a really challenging time in my life. And then I promptly got mastitis, which I took as a sign that I was trying to do too much and that I needed to slow down… i.e., not work and be with my baby all the time.

When I finally hired a nanny for 10 hours a week after Penelope was 12 weeks old, I still judged myself for wanting to work. I had the luxury that I could be home full time with my baby, so therefore I thought I should.

I’m still really green as a mama, but I have figured one thing out:

There is no such thing as mothering the right way. twitter-logo

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The only way to do it is the way that works for you.

I’ve always known I wanted to be a mom, and my desire was so strong and so clear that I didn’t know if I’d want to work after having a baby.

I loved my time with P but felt like I needed to be creating.

I slowed down while breastfeeding, but once she was napping I couldn’t turn my mind off with new ideas and things I wanted to start implementing.

I even started hitting refresh on email to see if anyone needed anything from me once I got P down for a nap.

I was pretty surprised when the desire to start working again so soon after becoming a mom was so strong and so clear.

I’ve come to realize I’m a better mother when I’m also pursuing my career passions. And I’m a more effective entrepreneur now that I’m also a mother.

Where are the women doing it like I want to do it?

Once I began to embrace the fact that being a mother and an entrepreneur are both central to my identity as a woman, I started looking for examples of women who were mothering and running businesses in ways that I admired.

I wanted to learn from women who had gone before me.

I didn’t find that many examples I wanted to model, to be honest. A lot of it looked really pink and saccharine, the “mompreneur” posting about the bliss of running a business while being totally present for her kids.

And the ones who weren’t making it all seem like rainbows and unicorns just seemed beyond frazzled and stressed. There seemed to be a lot of rushing, a lot of pushing, and a lot of guilt about not doing enough in business and not doing enough as a mother. (And self-care didn’t even seem to be on the radar.)

Neither of these were my experience. My experience was that running a business while mothering was waaaaay harder than I thought it was going to be. And it was meaningful and rich and beautiful. It was both. Brutal and blissful. Terrifying and tremendously gratifying. All of this at the same time.

What does sustainable success look like as a mother and entrepreneur?

In my quest to find examples of mothers running businesses in a way that I could identify with and aspire to, I did find a small handful who were embodying what I’ve started to call sustainable success.

These women are doing work they find fulfilling while mothering in a way they’re proud of most days. And they’re doing it in a way that they can imagine themselves doing for years to come without burning out.

When we can see it, we can be it, so that’s why I wanted to share the stories of these 7 entrepreneurial, change-making mamas with you over the next several weeks.

Mother of 3 (including twins!) Triples Her Productivity and Reach with an Unexpected, Daily Practice

Today is the first installment of the series. I’m introducing you to my friend Patricia Moreno, mother of 3 girls (twins who are 4 and a 6-year-old), wife, author, personal trainer for people’s minds, bodies, and spirits, and founder of IntenSati and The Practice.

I sent a film crew to capture Patricia at her home outside of NYC so that you could be as inspired by her story and the way she lives her life as a mother and business owner as I’ve been.

One of the things Patricia said in the interview resonated with me so deeply:

“I thought I was on the spiritual path and thought I was doing great until I had kids.”

Right? Woah. I could so relate to that.

Watch the video below to learn:

 

 

You’re going to love how Patricia has tapped into a way to shift and manage her energy so that her business has expanded, her marriage has improved, and she’s prouder and prouder of her mothering every day.

I’m offering a free Sustainable Success Workshop in May for mothers (of humans and other living beings) who want to light up the world without burning themselves out. Click here to join in.

To learn more about Patricia, IntenSati, and The Practice visit her at www.patriciamoreno.com.

 

OVER TO YOU:

What does sustainable success look and feel like to you? How do you create it in your own life? Let me know in the comments!

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  • I wish I had listened to this when my kids were younger. I can only imagine how much more productive and joyful I would have been. I played the Mommy Martyr and let me tell you it doesn’t work. But it is never too late! I am on the journey for self love and self care. Great post!

  • Catherine says:

    I so deeply needed this today. I am pregnant with my first child, working two full-time jobs to support my family, and starting my own business so I can feel creatively energized. This morning, on the drive into the office, I burst into tears. The exhaustion from pregnancy has thrown me for a loop. Apparently, I thought I was superhuman. But I’m not. I’m human. I’m exhausted, teary, and wondering if I will ever be able to quit all these jobs and just do what I love. My fledgling business beckons me constantly, and not being able to give it my full attention is breaking my heart. I needed to know today that I’m not alone. Thank you so much for this reminder. Now I’m crying again, but it’s the tears of relief and fellowship. With love, Catherine

    • Kate Northrup says:

      Oh Catherine bless you! Thank you for sharing your heart. You absolutely will be able to quit your jobs and pursue your dreams. It just won’t happen like you thought and the lessons and blessings along the way will surprise you in the most beautiful ways! Thank you for chiming in!

  • Becca says:

    Kate, thank you so much for sharing Patricia’s story – and to you, Patricia – thank you for being so open and honest. As mothers who run businesses (well, all mothers, really), the BEST thing we can do for each other is to be truly honest about our experience, and share the good as well as the ridiculously hard, messy, exhausting work of mothering small children. As you said, Patricia, if you are feeling something, it’s likely someone else is feeling it, too. :)

    I totally agree that self-love (or as a start, self-respect and self-care) is the key to being a great mom. Doing work that I love – and honoring the need to fulfill that aspect of myself – makes me a happier, more balanced mom.

    But it took having my second baby to realize that the most important thing I could do each day was to stay flexible and aware, whenever possible. I try to check in with myself throughout the day : what choices can I feel *best* about today? Sometimes that means carving out alone time in the studio while my kids hang out with a great babysitter, and sometimes that means choosing to get less done that day so I can say “yes” to “Mom, can you read me this book?” (One of the wondering things about being self-employed!) Or maybe the best choice that day is to spend extra time supporting my partner who might be struggling a bit, or making sure we all get out of the house as a family for some new experience.

    Most of all, I walk and breathe, breathe, breathe. Savoring the easy moments helps me ride out the harder ones. <3

    • Kate Northrup says:

      Thank you for this beautiful comment Becca! I absolutely agree on the flexibility piece and learning to ebb and flow as the day requests! Well said.

  • Cory Thomsen says:

    Kate, both your post and Patricia’s message resonates with me so much! Especially that part at the end of her video: not knowing if it will last, but following what feels right today and trusting that we’re on the right path. Whoa – truth bomb. For me, sustainable success means making choices that are aligned with love instead of fear. Softening, and being more friendly to myself and to others. Participating and showing up in my mothering, my business and my friendships with the mindset of “How can I serve Love here?” Xoxo

  • Katie says:

    Kate – THANK YOU for this post – and for sharing Patricia’s message. You need to know that when I saw the email/Facebook post and just read the few opening paragraphs, I was saying “yes!” out loud. I’m so glad you are out front leading the charge on this as a voice to be recognized (thank you!). I was just chatting with a friend the other day (who’s writing a book about mothers) that there seems to be ample support in society for the two ends of the spectrum: a) Moms who take maternity leave off and go right back to work or b) Stay at home moms who don’t work. There is a lack of support, understanding, and frankly voices for the rest of us, who may do a bit of both. In the adoption community, we are told to “cocoon” with our newly adopted children for as long as possible to foster adoption. AND we are required to take 12 hours of parenting classes, so we are definitely “told” about the right way. We cocooned for 6 months (no family visits, no friend visits except to drop off food, no travel, etc.) and were the only caregivers. Can you say cabin fever? When we finally hired a one-day-a-week nanny 6 months in I was completely stir crazy. See, I had gone from a full-time very fun career to full time kids and it was jarring. Now that the twins are a bit older we feel better (but still mom guilt) about setting them up in full time preschool for next year in a place that nurtures them and they thrive. It may sound strange to you, but thanks for being that voice for the rest of us in the middle of the spectrum :)

    • Kate Northrup says:

      Oh I’m so happy you’ve articulated the part about us moms who work a little and stay home a little as being a grey area. I never realized that but it’s so true! And wow. Cocooning for 6 months sounds bananas. Deep bow to you mama. Wow. You might really enjoy the Mommy Brain chapter of Louann Brizendine’s book The Female Brain and the research about allomothers (nurturers who aren’t birth or adopted parents) and their impact not only on the wellbeing of the child, but also the wellbeing of the mother. Fascinating stuff and it helps dissolve the guilt!

  • Stefanie says:

    Dear Kate & Patricia.
    Im so grateful to have had the opportunity to watch you Patricia sharing your story. How to live a conscious, engaged and beautiful daily life has been a topic for me in general. Yet, since Im a mom and business owner it has taken to much higher dimensions. Your words Patricia resonate with me deeply. And Im so glad you’re out there and I “know” you. ”

    What stays with me especially is the “action”, you’ve mentioned. That’s where I still find resistance inside of me. Ive got great periods of getting momentum and then it seems I’ll loose it all at once. Isn’t it a roller coaster or should “maintaining success” smooth and flowing? How could I let go of resistance, which is surely based on fear…

    Dear Kate, thx so much for putting the series up. I love stories of every day mother and work life. Ive seen your interview with Marie Forleo at Marie TV and have worked straight away on my relationship with money. My biggest issue. Money. Im tracking every single thought and have my daily journal about abundance and value while checking my account and tracking my ins and outs too. Doesn’t look still the way I want it. But most importantly, I love that there’s a feeling of integrity and respect inside me arising.
    Im also now a B-schooler 2017, which I saw you recommend on your website.
    You book will be my next study! So willing to make money a positive and successful element in my life.

    I live with my son Zion (3.5 yrs) in Portugal and specialize in Personal Ashtanga Yoga Teaching while running Group classes too.

    Thank you!!
    Looking forward to the next vid of the series.

    Love from Portugal.

    • Kate Northrup says:

      Thanks for tuning in Stefanie! I think that things can feel like a roller coaster in our business if we’re not conscious of the normal ebb and flow and cycles. I’m teaching a workshop on how to create momentum as opposed to a roller coaster starting May 9th called the Sustainable Success Workshop and I hope you’ll join us – it’s free: http://www.sustainablesuccessworkshop.com.

  • Lynne says:

    I’ve just recently “found” you Kate and look forward to learning from you and from those whose stories you share, thank you! I’ve been a SAHM for 9 years now after having a very successful​ career in business for 20 years. For the past 3 years I tried and failed MISERABLY at being an entrepreneur, working from home, trying to build an MLM business-yikes, total disaster! I long to find my place, my way, the gift I have to offer other moms, that will allow me to feel fulfillment and happiness while financially supporting my amazing family. Looking forward to 5/9 xo

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