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:
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.
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!