Today marks the day my daughter turns ONE!!
Of course, my miracle baby had to also make a miracle entrance. After five hours of pushing (unheard of right!?) she finally decided to join us after the LAST CHANCE push before “extreme measures” were taken.
There’s one thing I know about the events of June 10th one year ago today. I will always know that if I can push a SIDEWAYS baby out after five hours of STRAIGHT PUSHING unmedicated, there’s nothing I can’t do, right?
That was the first thing I learned within the first five minutes of being a mom, but there are so many other lessons learned over this life-changing year. Here are a few of them as I reflect on the year:
What I Learned About Success My First Year As Mom
1. You CAN & SHOULD Create a Career & Life On Your Own Terms
Taking a break for maternity leave really helped me re-focus my priorities. Before Mila was born I worked like a crazy woman doing things that weren’t really that important. Now that I have a baby it helps me say no so much easier. What I used to spend time doing is no longer worth it. There is no price tag bigger than spending an hour with my child.
I had to say no to some clients. I quit my day job and my night job. I re-focused and re-launched my business on my own terms. I created group programs that allow me to impact more people with less of my time.
Taking a maternity break was good for the soul! It taught me I didn’t have to work so hard to make even more money.
But the very first step I took long before Mila was born or even growing in my belly was getting clear on what my desires were. I was super clear about what I wanted. That’s the first step of creating a career and life on your own terms. You have to know what you want!
Fortunately, I had been visualizing in my mind what I wanted my “working mom” life to look like for years. I had waited a long time for this baby (after 2 miscarriages and a failed IVF attempt) so I knew how I wanted to create my life on my own terms. I had committed way before she even came to launch the career of my dreams so that I could spend as much time as possible with her when I would have the privilege of being a mom someday.
2. Hello Flexibility. Good-Bye Schedule
For the first eight months after having Mila, I tried SO HARD to stick to a schedule. Every week I would get so bummed that I wasn’t able to stick to my schedule I had so carefully planned out. She would need to be fed at a different time than I had planned or someone else would need me for something that would take me away from my work.
First, let me tell you that I started motherhood with no childcare or backup plan. To this day, we still somehow have never had a babysitter or daycare thanks to my mom and my amazing husband. But, I was a bit unrealistic when I was pregnant. I thought I could do it all. I thought I could do laundry, nurse, cook dinner, clean up, watch my daughter and grow my business. What was I thinking! I failed miserably!
I realized I needed help and with the help of some amazing mastermind ladies, I realized I couldn’t do this alone. This prompted discussions with my husband where we decided childcare was needed which turned into why doesn’t he just quit and help me with the business and watch Mila. Win win! Huge learning point, there are other options out there. Explore them. Talk about them. Brainstorm. It doesn’t always have the be the “normal” route that your parents would approve of.
So what I learned is that I need to be flexible. I might have to get up at 5 am to get something done or stay up until 2 am, but the important thing is that I get to soak up my daughter because she is truly growing so dang quickly. I have learned to be kind to myself and not to require myself to get the 20 things done each week.
I have learned to prioritize the most important things and to just have one big thing on my plate per day. When I do that I actually succeed in conquering my to-do list and it really feels great.
The truth is that not everything needs to get done. You might have to say no, delegate or drop a project.
“You can complete a project by dropping it.” – Arianna Huffington
I learned to give myself a weekly review where I would plan my top 6 priorities for the week and to hardly schedule anything throughout the week (except client coaching calls). I learned to be flexible, to be happy to and let the perfectionist in me quiet down for a little while. I learned that I may achieve less and make a little less at this time in my life but that is OK.
I am setting a foundation of a business on my own terms that I truly love and enjoy. That is a success to me, and a model I want to show my daughter that work is fun and not something you dread every Sunday evening.
3. Embrace the Fears For True Happiness & Joy
My husband and I faced some big risks and fears this year. First of all bringing our 3-month old baby to Brazil! Even the woman behind the Brazilian consulate desk told me I was CRAZY to travel with my baby internationally as she held the fate of our trip with our visas in her hand. Luckily, she let us go which was a LIFE CHANGING trip speaking to 800 women in Curitiba, Brazil.
I faced a lot of fears before I went including the fear of am I good enough to speak internationally. But, all my fears were conquered when I got on that plane and showed up. I was greeted by the most generous and kind people I have ever met. I will never forget my time in Brazil and I will never stop facing my fears by getting on planes for new experiences.
Our next big fear a few months later was that John, my husband, quit his day job to take over as Chief Operating Officer of CCG. We thought it was going to work (and it did), but do you even know how scary that was? Or how everyone thought we were CRAZY when we both quit our jobs over the last year to work on our business? With a baby in tow?
Who were we kidding? It’s been hard. It’s been fun. It’s been the best time of our lives and we haven’t regretted it for ONE SECOND!
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