Mindset Buster: Being a Working Mom is Selfish

Being a Working Mom is Selfish

We all have these mindsets that affect what we do, the decisions we make and the perspective that we have about our lives. Sometimes these mindsets can be positive ones that we should keep, and other times, we hold mindsets that can actually hold us back from reaching our full potential.

One very common mindset for mompreneurs is that being a working mom is selfish. Let’s take some time to break this down and see where this mindset comes from and what we should do about it.

I was talking with one client who is a great mom. She puts her kids first. She does things for her family all the time. She set priorities that she holds. She also has her own business. She realized, however, that she always felt guilty for being a working mom. That in the back of her mind she held this idea that being a working mom was selfish.

Before the days of motherhood, I lived a pretty self-focused life. I got to choose what time I’d get up in the morning. I picked what and when I wanted to eat. I selected what I wanted to do during the day and what time I wanted to go to bed. And I never really felt guilty about living like that.

Self-care after motherhood

Now we all know that once we get pregnant, something changes inside us. Something about motherhood gets hardwired into us. Suddenly, we give up so much of that self-focused life. Now everything revolves around our husband and children. We cook what the children like to eat. We nurse all night. We get up at 5 a.m. because that’s when the children are awake. We give up our needs and wants to take care of the long list of things for our family. There’s not often a whole lot left for ourselves at the end.

So when moms decide to go back to work, we often hear in our own minds that it is an act of selfishness. Stunning, isn’t it? Before motherhood, it was accepted that sometimes we do things for ourselves. Then when motherhood set in, we put everything ahead of us. Moms, in general, don’t excel at self-care. We rarely take a break, do something to take care of ourselves, or find something fun to do on the weekends.

If we decide to go back to work or to start our own business, it will make us unavailable at times. It will put something before our children at times. This will definitely happen, and it can look selfish. Even if we are earning money to pay for trips for our family or for college, we can still feed those lovely feelings of mother guilt.

“Stealing” time

When I think back to my early days of coaching, I remember feeling like I was stealing all the time. I had two little kids, and if I spent time with them, I felt like I was stealing time from my business. If I was working, then I felt like I was stealing time from my children. I stayed in that mindset of stealing; I was always stealing from some other part of my life. And I always felt guilty. My most important priorities were in conflict. When I was stuck in that stealing mindset, I was not being productive.

What happens in that mindset is that we start unwittingly sabotaging our business and our happiness. I had one client who was blaming the lack of success of her business on her husband. She felt that he had too high of expectations on what she could deliver in her business and what she could handle in housekeeping and childcare. However, as we talked about it more, she realized that she was actually the one with the unreachable expectations. It was her judging herself.

Breaking through mindset busters

She realized that her work was important. It meant a level of fulfillment for her. It gave her family a financial cushion they wanted. It was beneficial to another community. During the times she felt guilty, she would actually choose to do housework instead of higher priorities for her business for the sole purpose of earning the “good mother” badge. In the end, when she talked with her husband, he was actually very supportive. He was committed to helping support her in her business and pick up some of the household and childcare duties.

So how do you avoid this mindset? The first step is always awareness. If this article is resonating with you, then maybe you have this mindset. If you’re not aware, this unconscious mindset will motivate you to behave a certain way and make certain decisions. However, once you have awareness, you are capable of deciding if you want to continue holding the mindset or to change it. If you decide to change the mindset, you can replace it with a positive affirmation. It’s an opportunity to reconnect with your priorities and find ways to support yourself as a wife, mother, and person.

Is a negative mindset holding you back? It may be, even if you can’t identify it. If you’re stuck and need some help, let’s talk. I’d love to see if coaching is a good fit for you. Get in touch!

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How to take back your time

Well, it’s just a few hours before the #MomBiz Salon twitter  party that I so enjoy hosting.

And here I am, trying to manage my kids who are exhausted at the end of the day, spend a little quality time with my husband who is just home from work, and ready myself for my next scheduled “office hours” at the end of a long day of mothering. My two preschoolers and I spent the day grocery shopping, running errands, playing in the back yard and enjoying the 65-degree weather at the park today, so we’re all kinda pooped.

I bet your life sounds kinda similar, huh?

This blending of roles and responsibilities is not only normal for us mompreneurs–it’s healthy. Although it may sound a little chaotic, today represents the normal “flow” of my schedule. I planned it to look the way it looked. It follows the normal routine of our week. And it’s my job to make sure that I spend my time doing what is most important to me. That doesn’t mean it’s not hard sometimes, or that I’m never tired, or that I don’t still get overwhelmed and stressed out with all there is to do in my life. But as a general rule, I love my life and I honor my top priorities in how I choose to spend my time.

Do you feel you can say the same thing?

Tonight’s #MomBiz Salon will center on a conversation about time management. Most of us feel like we don’t have enough time, and while that’s totally normal, it can also cause us to feel rather powerless about how our life goes. We’ll be talking about several strategies mompreneurs can use to spend their time powerfully during the #MomBiz Salon tonight, so I hope you’ll be joining us.

In addition, I have created an online coaching program for mom entrepreneurs who need help with time management, but don’t have time to commit to live coaching programs to make the healthy changes they need to make. The program, called “Take Back Your Time,” is a four-week program that delivers two e-course modules to you each week for four weeks. Each of the modules offers a lesson and some questions for you to answer so you can immediately apply the lesson to your life. You can simply do the work yourself, or you have the option of submitting your responses/questions to me for feedback. It’s a great way to get real coaching support on your personal time management challenges, and you can do it on your own schedule (like when the baby wakes you up in the middle of the night and you can’t fall back asleep :).

Here are the details of the program:

What: Take Back Your Time online coaching program

Week 1: Learning to Let Your Values & Priorities Drive Your Choices
Week 2: Creating the Right Boundaries & Routines to Give You Enough Time
Week 3: Finding More Time by Automating
Week 4: How to (and What to) Delegate

When: Start anytime, and you’ll be enrolled for four weeks

Where: Wherever you can login on a computer

How: Register here for the Take Back Your Time Program.

You will be taken to a login page at www.jigsawbox.com/signup/mombizmakeover to create your account. That will allow you to make your payment arrangements and give you immediate access to your private online coaching program, which is delivered via a platform called JigsawBox.com. You’ll receive two modules each week, and can submit your questions to your coach (me!) for feedback during your 30 day program access.

Why: Because the sooner you acknowledge how you’re making choices about spending your time and the sooner you decide to OWN your choices, the happier you’ll feel with what you get done in a day!

Fee: $79 for all eight lessons (four per week) and personal email coaching with Lara during your program term

BONUS: Register for the “Take Back Your Time” program by midnight Thursday, April 29th, and get access to a one-hour, live group coaching call with Lara on Friday, April 30th at 10:30am PT / 1:30 pm ET for Take Back Your Time program participants! This call alone is worth $125, and it’s my gift to you if you make a quick decision to get started with your program this week!

I hope you’ll join us at the #MomBiz party tonight! Please leave your comments and questions about time management below and I’ll do my best to address them!

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