When women become mothers, they usually have two options: Go back to work or stay home with the little one. This is how it was when I had my first child, and I was angry that there weren't more flexible options for mothers who wanted to work, but on their own terms.
It can be tough to feel inspired when you're thrown back into (or continue to remain in) a 40-hour workweek that isn't flexible. Luckily, we can create better working options (and a happier life in general) for mamas, but we're going to have to do it ourselves, starting with our mindset.
Here are nine phrases we can tell ourselves to be productive and efficient mamas:
1. "My kids come first, but so do I."
It's okay to carve out time that's just for you, whether that means quiet time alone, meeting up with a friend or signing up for a class. At the end of the day, a happy, fulfilled mama leads to happier kids.
2. "My kids are young, but I can still achieve my goals."
3. "It's never too late to make a change."
4. "I'm not ready yet, but I will be."
5. "I can do it all...with help."
Mothers are superhero multi-taskers, but doing it all can have a negative impact on your life and relationships over time. Establishing boundaries is key to a happy, healthy life. At work, giving someone else an opportunity to shine shows that you're a team player, not just in it for yourself. This applies to your children, too. You know what your kids are capable of and can help them build confidence by giving them responsibility.
When we're honest and open about our struggles, it draws people in. Leaning on a community will lighten the load and deepen your relationships with the ones you let in. Use Facebook groups and social media to find your village. Find your village today.
6. "I'm okay just the way I am."
7. "I have to leave early to take my kid to __________."
If you're leaving work early because your daughter's ballet recital is important to you, own that, and don't apologize, because you're not alone.
8. "I will be present in every moment."
I know it's tempting to check your phone while you're watching your kids on the playground, but dividing your attention doesn't make you more productive. Moms are awesome multi-taskers, but give your full attention and be present wherever you are. Whether at work or with your kids, quality is more important than quantity.