Hi Mandy,

I used to earn six figures at a high-powered job, and after I had my second child, I decided to stay at home.  I couldn’t bear to watch my kids in daycare at such a young age.  My kids are three years old, and three months.  I am launching my new entrepreneurial venture, so that I can work from home and live anywhere.  But I simply don’t have the time (between breakfast, lunch, dinner, feeding the baby, taking the kids to the park, grocery shopping, bath time, putting the kids to bed), to get any work done and I feel like I’m always falling behind. Should I just ask my husband to support us fully and focus on the kids (for now)?  Am I betraying my talent and contribution to the world by doing so?

Thanks,

Miriam (“Sleep Deprived”) T.

Miriam,

You are my soul sister.  I started this response by typing one handed, as I was burping the baby with the other.  THE STRUGGLE IS REAL.  We try to do everything.  We multitask.  We run around, picking toys off the floor, while keeping a mental tab of everything that we want to create for our businesses.  We listen to podcasts for entrepreneurs while washing the dishes. We are ALWAYS one step ahead.

I do this, day in, day out.  Here’s the problem, and something that I’m struggling with as well.  The problem is that by racing around, doing everything all the time, we’re never HERE.  As in, our mind is already in the future.  We’re already solving some theoretical problem in our minds, spaced out and floating.  So we’re not living in the present.  We’re not mindful of all the beautiful, tender moments that are happening right in front of our eyes.  We get burdened and stressed by the weight of everything we have to do and how little time we have to do it.  We collapse at the end of the day.

What I’ve been trying to do lately is to stay PRESENT in the moment.  If I’m giving my kid a bath, I put my phone down.  If I’m feeding the baby, I focus on her little lips and make sure she isn’t spitting out the bottle.  If I’m taking my kids to the park, then that’s what I’m doing.  In that moment, I am doing my best.  Motherhood is not sainthood.  You are a person, too.  Don’t try to do 234234324 things at the same time.  Just focus on this one little thing, right now.

I make time for myself.  For example, right now my son is at his daycare which he goes to once a week, so I have time to write and work.  Last night, I stayed up late on my laptop after the kids have gone to bed.  If I’m ever on a train, or a bus, I’ll bring my laptop and create a little magic.  I have yet to wake up early before the kids (I’m only human, after all), but you could try that – I hear it works.

Let’s also talk about this idea of betraying yourself.  For 20+ years, you were taught to be all about YOU.  What were YOU going to achieve?  Do well in school, get good grades, get a good job, get a promotion, another promotion, succeed at a diet, run a 5K.  All of these things are about you, and you could keep accumulating these little trophies on your invisible feel-good wall.  This is an achievement based mindset.  Being a parent turns that on its head.  What can you “achieve” in parenthood?  Being present, and loving, and careful, and thoughtful…harder to quantify right?  So we feel like a loser!

NO.  YOU’RE NOT.  You’re amazing.  You’re flexing an entirely different set of muscles, and using your deep intuitive side to solve problems, develop patience, and for once in your life, prioritize someone else before yourself.  That shit is HARD, man.  I swear to god, raising two kids while running a business from home is probably FIFTEEN times harder than pitching in front of a crowd of 100 investors.  It’s just that the world doesn’t recognize it or value it.  But that’s cool.  You weren’t put on this earth to get recognition and validation from other people.

As my spiritual advisor once told me, there’s only one person who can be mommy.  And that’s you.

Now go wipe that booger!

Sending you patience and love,

Mandy