Two books that helped me stop being a guilty and exhausted working mother

It is a never ending conversation among my fellow women/mother entrepreneurs, colleagues in the professional world on the topics of “Can we women (even more strongly, mothers) have it all?” and “Do we ask too much when we want a fulfilling job we love and at the same time the family life our female instincts are longing for?”

Are you like me, sometimes or the majority of time, you feel like a worn-out super girl buried under guilt and exhaustion and still refusing to take the damn super girl outfit off?

We are women, we are mothers, and we are also entrepreneurs, business leaders, colleagues and home makers. The roles we carry together can either be a recipe for a manic, stressful and chaotic life, or a powerful combination to inspire us to be more. Like Jim Rohn says:“The greatest value in life is not what you get; the greatest value is what you become.” This leads to the question of “what does have it all mean to us?” From my experiences of talking to countless inspiring mothers, it doesn’t simply mean keeping our jobs while having children in tow. It is more about mental satisfaction from being self-expressed through work and motherhood, and even more precisely, from “being more” through those journeys.

What does “being more” mean here? It could mean:

  • We each embrace our role as a contributor to our work place even as a leader of a growing business, without feeling frustrated, tired and unwilling to take on any more risk.
  • We each take responsibility for ensuring that everyone in our company is clear about our big vision, and is rowing the boat in the same direction.
  • We are working on the business to create documented systems so that we can confidently let go of the reins when our children need us without feelings of guilt or conflict.

The good fortune we have as women is that we can handle so much and we don’t give up. I am glad that I am one of them and I am raising three daughters to join them. With this in mind, not giving up the desire of  having it all has lead me to find the following two books which have helped me to redefine my daily routines and my work life; and most importantly, the first time it feel like I am having it all and we all can have it all.

The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success by Deepak Chopra — we women are so prone to the twin enemies fear and worry; we are constantly evaluating, classifying, labelling and analysing which is why we love gossip and chatting. But all this creates a lot of turbulence in our internal dialogue. We worry about our children, our husbands (can also be classified as our another child), our parents, our friends and then the last ourselves! American writer and founder of Success Magazine, Dr. Orison Swett Marden identified FEAR and WORRY as the two most powerful enemies of peace of mind, health and prosperity because they undermine everything.  This book gives us practical guidance to calm our mind down and help us to access the true potentiality already within us. It sounds cliché but it is true and a must read!

Traction by Gino Wickman — the past 8 weeks has been an incredible journey for me and our team at LCN as we embraced the tools from the Traction book to give us more clarity as individuals and as a company at large. The most beneficial thing for me in this is that I finally have a grip on our business and with the documented systems in place, it means I can physically and mentally can let go of the reins when my children need me without feeling guilty and exhausted. To all the mum entrepreneurs and managers, working more time doesn’t make you a productive achiever. Less is more if you have the right systems.

We’ve all had moments when the juggling didn’t work, when the wheels all fell off, and that’s OK! It’s about having the clarity of what “having it all” means to you specifically. It’s about what you want to become through this life journey of yours. It’s about learning to prioritise the balls we are juggling and knowing when to say no. Just remember that ‘have it all’ doesn’t mean we do everything ourselves. We can’t do everything and we shouldn’t feel guilty if we don’t. We also shouldn’t feel guilty if we ask for help (or have a cleaner or nanny, etc). Nor should we judge other women if they do!