5 Top Tips For Becoming a Happy & Successful Mum Boss
From the minute I discovered I was pregnant for the first time I felt guilty. Guilty that I may not be eating the right food, guilty that I had drunk that glass of wine , guilty for just being alive. Almost as if I didn’t deserve the opportunity to bring a new life in to the world.
If only I knew then that this guilt wouldn’t help anyone…
As a working mum this guilt is compounded and the self-flagellation gets worse – “you are not a proper mum, you should’ve sacrificed your career for your family, you’re not around enough to bring them up properly” – my inner critic was relentless! Having simultaneously brought up two wonderful daughters and successfully progressed my career, I can now look back and tell you guys that I wish someone had told me not to feel guilty at all.
These are my tips for being a happy and successful “Mum Boss”.
1/ Be Present
It may be a cliché, but it’s SO true. When you are at work think about work, throw yourself in – give your all and really ENJOY it. Don’t spend important meetings worried about what your baby is doing with the child minder – there’s absolutely no point. They are doing fine, learning new things every day whether or not you are sat watching them 24/7.
So listen to your colleagues, contribute in meetings and do it with gusto – this is the only way! Be sure you love what you do and make the most of every minute.
And at home… leave your work at the door, use your commute to process the day so you can give yourself to your family 100% when you step over the threshold. Listen enthusiastically to your kids, play with them, hug and kiss them, whatever you like, but just BE with them in mind, body AND spirit. Do NOT bury yourself in Facebook, TV or your work email.
(NB// If you do occasionally have to do work at home, make the family aware, focus on the task and when completed switch off again and get back to being a mum. Basically don’t do either part of your role half-heartedly – it’ll make you miserable).
2/ Drop the guilt
It’s not helping… It’s a great thing for your kids to remember seeing their mum forging a successful career for herself and it’s providing a positive role model. I know this now because my kids tell me how proud of me they are and wouldn’t have actually wanted me at home all the time. They say it actually made them appreciate me more. So stop beating yourself up for going to work – you are doing an amazing job!
3/ Look after yourself…
When you have kids they are your whole world and the temptation is to give everything to them and forget yourself. The problem with this is that you are in danger of burn out. Without a bit of R&R, me time, exercise, time with friends, skydiving… whatever floats your boat, you won’t be in tip top condition to look after your children!
4/ Chill with the kids….
Don’t feel you have to fill every waking hour of your kids weekend with educational trips to museums, art galleries, festivals whatever. Just like adults, kids love to chillax and sometimes just being around the house and making yourself emotionally available is all they need. As long as they know you are there for them and you listen and come when they call, you should not have to feel you have to be doing anything more. A bit of lazy parenting can be just as valuable, i.e. giving them space to discover and play on their own.
5/ Stop comparing yourself to others …give social media a rest
Remember people only post their highlight reel on social media and are not presenting an entirely honest version of their lives . If Facebook is to be believed, we all spend every waking hour eating out, dressed up to the nines, our kids beautifully dressed and engaging in some wholesome, active pursuit looking blissfully happy and healthy. These unrealistic pictures of perfection have become how we judge our own success – don’t fall into the trap! People don’t show the days when they don’t make it out of their PJs, the kids sickly with chicken pox, throwing tantrums in messy houses full of crap plastic tat.
FACT: whatever Instagram tells you, everyone with kids under 10 is fighting a losing battle against a sea of plastic lumps. So give yourself a break – don’t compare their best bits with your worst bits. If you find it hard to stop judging your life against others (like me), then give it up all together. I can only say that since giving up Facebook and only following feeds on Instagram that inspire my creativity I am a lot happier. I speak the truth when I say *NEWSFLASH* – there is a life outside of Facebook, it’s called the real world. Go out and find it!
I just want to finish by saying, please drop any ideas or preconceptions you have about being a “perfect” mum. Whatever that is. If you love your baby and are kind, consistent and available then you are just the mum you are meant to be – truly unique and “perfect” in your own way.
Let us know how you are feeling about becoming a “Mum Boss” either at home or work OR if you have any tips for new mums yourself. Leave your comments below…