I've formally coached moms for the last 10 years since I started my company to empower moms to practice better self-care. The truth is that I've coached moms informally since becoming a mother 16 years ago. I'm the mother of a lower, middle and high schooler and practically every scenario of motherhood happens in my life weekly.
When I became a mom 16 years ago, my mother told me that one of the hardest aspects of being a mom is not losing yourself and your identity in motherhood. She was right, and every week I meet new women who struggle not with balance, but with a loss of their self-identity. Without knowing who you truly are it becomes extremely difficult to experience joy even when it appears that you have it all.
The notion that "having it all" is a goal is ambitious in motherhood and in life. Think about it for moment. When is having it all ever good for you? Having all the cake, wine, chocolate, work, recognition, etc., sounds good in the beginning but what we always discover from having too much is that we experience diminishing returns as a result of excess. So, what do we really want?
We live in a world that says more is better and that being a superwoman makes you live a more fulfilled life, but does it? I've personally found that being connected to the "me" in mommy is what has allowed me to choose the best for both myself and my family. I've found that if I have the trappings of success, all-around great kids, a great spouse, a beautiful home, great career and vacations, and yet I still crave a moment to hear myself think "then on some level I'm really not all that happy."
The truth is that motherhood has become a competitive sport. Women keep score by comparing how well their children are doing because of their guidance, care and love. Women sport their hot bodies days after pregnancy to illustrate they they've got the answer and secret formula for getting rid of the muffin top.
The truth about motherhood is that you have to design and create a working formula for your own life. Someone else's DNA isn't your story or your obstacle. The truth is you are responsible for figuring out what your purpose is and the plan to make your happiness it a reality. The truth is that owning your power no matter whether you are happy or unhappy is what can change the direction of tomorrow for you.
Having coached women to achieve amazing things like becoming bestselling authors, host international tours, build profitable speaking platforms, get syndicated radio shows or
save their marriages because they worked on themselves and become better mothers,
I know that the most important component of success is not simply the achievement of the goal but the ability to elevate your life and to experience joy because of what you have accomplished.
Women aren't really looking for balance; they are looking for joy, and for too long we have seen imbalance as problematic when in reality it is your imbalance that guides you to find your passion or to end your unhappiness.
The truth is imbalance isn't sexy, but what has served my clients throughout the years and me as well is to understand and get clear about where the imbalance exists. If the imbalance is that I am lost in motherhood then my time, action and energy is to create activities to address my imbalance. If my hobbies are non-existent, then I know exactly the area in my life that I need to take action on to begin doing something that I love. Too many women work hard to create balance in their lives when their power lies in addressing the symptoms of imbalance. What if we told women that doing it all isn't going to fulfill you but instead looking at the weeds in your life and pulling them and replanting with flowers that you want to grow instead is what works because it is?
The reason that women haven't told one another the truth is because we have tried for too long to fit balance into a formula as a goal to live a fulfilled life as a mom. In actuality, the truth is that your life is never going to be balanced as a mom and it doesn't need to be in order for you to be happy. Honestly, most of your days will be imbalanced. Your wisdom and power lies in your ability to see what this means for you, and to answer the parts of your life that make you the least fulfilled with action, steps, and strategies that move you in the direction where you want to be. The truth is your imbalance is your gift to everything you need and want.