Being the Mom That You Want to Be

LauraGillian.WorkingMomsPost

Recently, I had the privilege of writing a post for Mama’s & Co and I’d like to share it with you too. You can view the original post here.

One of the biggest challenges that we face as mompreneurs is “How can I be a good mom and succeed in business?” We beat ourselves up thinking that we’re not giving enough, doing enough or trying hard enough overall. While we all know that this is par for the course, please take comfort in knowing that you are not alone. Take a deep breath and have a look at these three tips that not only silence those nasty voices but strengthen you as a parent and as a businesswoman. While they aren’t easy fixes, they are definitely worth the effort!

#1 – Practice giving your best self at home

Here’s a funny thing – when we give our best to those that we live with, it tends to overflow into work relationships.  Unfortunately, this doesn’t seem to work as well in reverse. Our kiddos have dependencies and vulnerabilities that our clients don’t, and they need us to prioritize our relationships with them.

When we practice best mom-behaviour at home (examples are practicing kindness and patience, prioritization of people, needs, and events) it gives peace of mind knowing that we’re meeting our kid’s needs, and simultaneously, deepens these skills in our workplace.

Learning how to make a client feel valued and prioritized, while graciously managing a timeline, leads to greater customer satisfaction, referrals and return business. And it all starts at home!

#2 – Learn how your child uniquely receives love, so your time together hits the spot!

Have you ever done something for someone who didn’t appreciate it the way that you expected? That’s because we read actions and expressions differently. Now think of your children, while some need uninterrupted chatter time, others are best nurtured by a gift or by reading or doing things together. Dr. Gary Chapman designed a super-helpful quiz that defines five key expressions of love: Quoted from the original Five Love Languages: (revision and kid-focus: mine)

  1. Words of affirmation – to build up your little person.
  2. Gifts – a gift says, “Mom was thinking of me!”
  3. Acts of Service – Doing things your little person likes, even if you don’t.
  4. Quality time – giving undivided attention.
  5. Physical touch – cuddles and kisses, reading together, and piggy-backs.

Out of these five, both you and your child will have a primary expression which resonates the most. Here’s the trick: you don’t get to choose theirs – its already built in and it probably won’t match yours! Taking the time to learn how to genuinely meet their needs will maximize the time that you have with them, satisfy their soul, and bring a new layer of peace to quash those inner doubts.

Under a professional veneer, your clients will have their own realm of best reception, even physical touch for those who work with the body such as doulas, or massage and physiotherapists. A small gift or act of going above and beyond, listening to them talk, or an expression of appreciation – any one of these can bring added value towards strengthening business relationships.

#3 – Make room for your own replenishment and development. What recharges you, and what lights you up?

This is like putting on your own oxygen mask before putting one on your kiddo.  Some of you will have more wiggle room for these things, and others will feel that there is no margin left for what feels like “extras.” But it might be more within reach than you realize.  Here’s how: 

Recovering your energy: Alone time at the end of the day is where I recharge, and I guard that time zealously! Are you energized by being with others?  If so, then schedule time, and protect it like you would a client meeting! If you can’t afford the time or cost of going out, plan regular phone calls with a good friend. Find ways to build your inner reserves; you can’t give what you don’t have.

Personal interests: We need time to be grown-ups, not just moms and businesswomen! Interests can be as small as reading or keeping up artistic skills, or as big as sailing lessons. Try to find something that is within your reach that makes you feel good about yourself as the dynamic woman that you are!

The satisfaction of knowing what gives you energy takes up good space in your head and can be an important step in removing or overriding bitterness, resentment, and self-doubt. Having this strength in your back pocket will lay a solid foundation for enjoying parenting and working.  

In summary:

Always give your best self at home; it will overflow into your business.

Learning how your child feels loved will also lend insight to your clients.

Recharging and doing stuff that satisfies, will help you to be present both with your family and your clients.

Find someone to do this with, for support and accountability when you’re putting yourself on the back burner yet again.

Lastly, let me know what you think, if you tried it, how it went, and if you have something to add!

You’ve got this!

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