Before we all leap too far into 2018, I have a “teachable moment” to share that comes from my clients in 2017. When I sat down to draft this blog, I was planning to create a list of lessons from 2017. Who doesn’t love lists? They provide order and a sense of accomplishment. But I soon realized I don’t need a list at all. I have ONE overwhelming lesson to share from my first year working with mums, and it is pretty awe inspiring: MUMS STILL PUT MOTHERHOOD FIRST.
Let me clarify why this is the most awesome lesson…
When I started The Winning Mum I made assumptions about my ‘typical’ client and the types of issues she’d want me to help her solve. I thought today’s mum would be the frazzled superwoman! She’d be giving 150% to everything in her life. She’d be tired and out-of-balance, giving too much to work and not enough to her family. And she’d be feeling really guilty about it. I even developed a ‘coaching approach’ based on these assumptions. Boy, was I wrong! Instead of hearing Mums say “I need help managing work because I don’t give enough to my kids”, it is overwhelmingly the opposite. My clients say “I need help making my work life more flexible, because I’m making my kids the priority.”
What’s the biggest distinction here?
We still know our role as mums is more important than anything else. And this is consistent across the vast majority of the clients I’ve seen. There is no ‘guilt’ and there is no ‘out-of-balance’. There is the clear and truly organic shift in priorities that happens when we give birth to our favourite little people… ambitious career woman, or not! We know, in the fibre of our being, where our priorities lie.
I am truly inspired, and so proud of these mums!
I believe this ‘knowing in our bones’ attitude is a sign of how far working women have come! It is confirmation that no matter what mums have responsibility for on a daily basis, at home and at work, their priority is children and family. So, in today’s world, work life is what needs to change to accommodate motherhood!
There is even more good news
In the past, mums had fewer workplace options than in 2017. Today, there are infinite flexible work arrangements that mums can choose. And you ALWAYS have choice! Many employers want to retain the expertise experienced employees bring to their organizations. In addition to the skills these women already possess, imagine their powerful contribution when you add the multi-tasking, shape-shifting, priority setting, ‘keep-all-the-balls-in-the-air’ abilities motherhood has ingrained and enhanced. They are an unstoppable force.
As a professional career coach, I can help you define what you want and need on the ‘work’ side of the mum equation. Having the right workplace ‘fit’ for your mum lifestyle will pay big dividends on the home front now, and for future generations. And when you lay your head on your pillow at night, you’ll rest easy knowing you have this motherhood thing figured out.
Until next time,
Sarah Gonzalez, ACC, CPCC