Advice on finding balance as a new mama
I've been struggling a lot lately with how to find balance! I am a “wife,” “mommy,” "friend," "daughter," "sister", "lady boss entrepreneur", and the list just keeps getting longer!
So I wonder how woman seem to do it all! And yet are still very much undervalued and even called awful names for doing the same thing a man would do and just get a slap on the wrist for.
Now without getting too much into politics it would be remiss not to reflect on our current election. I want to know how a man gets elected as President who has done and said such awful things about women, hasn’t paid his taxes in who knows how long, was once on wrestle mania (can’t stop laughing about that), has zero political experience (but I guess his time on the Apprentice makes up for that) and has such wonderful values when it comes to family and relationships (three wives and who knows how many affairs)?
I want to be clear that I am not a feminist (although nothing against those who are) but it makes me believe that the glass ceiling really does exist. If a woman with more popular votes and way more qualifications, and let's be honest tons more diplomacy, is passed over is there really gender equality?
So why do I care? As a new mom, I am concerned about my son and all the other children who are growing up in this world where leaders want to put up walls, hold people down for being themselves, are being applauded for humiliating women and taking away their freedom of choice, and in general are enabling hatred and segregation.
Would our founding “fathers” be proud of where we are today? What about MLK? Mother Teresa? Gandhi? Susan B. Anthony? Or countless others, who have worked so hard to encourage and implement freedom, peace, equality and love?
Now I happen to be very blessed and am married to an amazing man who feels woman are equal to men. But as much as he pitches in and supports our new life as parents, the fact remains: there are just certain roles and struggles a woman cannot avoid, especially when she chooses to be a mother.
The moment a woman makes the decision to be a mom she enters a lifetime of complicated and unfair questions and decisions.
“Will I still be able to climb the ladder or follow my dreams?”
“Do I breastfeed and pump or choose formula and what will other mothers think of me?”
“Do I leave my child with a nanny all day or pursue my dreams and what are the consequences of each?”
“What will my colleagues think if I have to leave early today because my child is sick?”
“What do you mean only 2 months of paid maternity leave?”
And the list could go on and on.
So how have I dealt with these questions, tensions and imbalances? To be honest, some days are better than others. But mostly I am just winging it!
Which is why I turned to some amazing women in my life for some advise on how they have handled these tensions and here is some wonderful feedback I received:
"You can't do it all and you can't do it all perfectly. So my house is a mess half the time (thank God for the cleaning lady) and my social life is not very active. You'll just have to figure out what things to let go of. If you strive for perfection, you'll be endlessly feeling stressed. And remember that the only true priorities are you, your baby and your husband. All other demands on your time are secondary."
- Henny, a wonderful mother of two, Alexander and Alina
"Take care of you! Like on an airplane, put your mask on first! Take time for walks and just nourish your spirit. Watch a movie, take a bath, read a book. Working comes naturally to you but remember the down time is just as important."
- Vicki, a mother of a beautiful 16 year old daughter, Amelia
"ASK FOR HELP - you need this at times, and friends and family are more than happy to help! "
- Lori, a mother of an adorable boy, Lincoln
"It is really hard - especially when your husband is also your business partner. So no real advice here as I am struggling with all of these things myself. But if possible, find time for yourself!"
-Carey, owner of "Hooter Holster" and mother of Aiden's future girlfriend (lol), Ainsley
The reassurance I received through these tips from my friends have really made a difference to my whole outlook on balance and "doing it all!"
I will make mistakes. I have to make choices. I deserve time to myself. I am a great mommy. I can enjoy my work. And the laundry can wait.
As for the new President, I only hope that he proves me wrong. America and our innocent children depend on it!
Disclaimer: I am not suggesting that my husband or any other dad doesn't deal with difficult questions or decisions as a new parent. Also, I am not discounting the fact that there are single parents, same sex parents and many other scenarios that I may not be considering in these thoughts...but all I have experience in is what I live through everyday so if you don't feel it includes your view feel free to add your perspective in the comments below!