Today my daughter started daycare, and I am officially back to work. For all you parents out there, you know what this means: Emotional Armageddon. (You might consider avoiding me today…)
Maternity leave for entrepreneurs is a joke. It’s not a break. You don’t coo with your baby 24/7. Not because you don’t want to, but in most cases because you can’t. I’m sure some people think it’s an insane way to live and to parent, but for my family, it’s just how things are.
I tried hiring someone to take things over so I could just snuggle my baby all day, but that failed. Soon after Phoebe’s birth, it was back to me, running the show. This is the typical ending to the entrepreneurial fairytale.
And you know what? It’s okay.
Once I stopped resisting, things got easier. I realized this was an opportunity to embrace who I am and what I do as a way to show my children to accept themselves as they are too.
Because there are parts of me that will never change. I will always be an entrepreneur. I will always be on a quest to change the world. I will always be helping people speak their truth. And I’m a mom, so that means I’ve adapted by becoming a multitasking, breastfeeding ninja. (Seriously, you wouldn’t believe what kinds of intricate tasks I can complete with a wee one literally feeding off me…)
My lack of a “real” maternity leave is merely a premonition of what is to come, specifically, never having my life and work be separate. These people who strive for “life/work balance” baffle me. It’s impossible to balance things that are not separate in the first place.
Life is a series of decisions. If you choose to spend part of your life working, then your work must fit into the life you design.
Today I am grateful for CHOICES in this life when it comes to how I raise my kids and how I earn a living. Whether you’re a stay-at-home parent or a full-time executive, please remember:
Right now, many women on this planet do not have the luxury of decision.
So on this day as I send Phoebe to be cared for by some wonderful teacher souls (who I have personally trained to kick ass, just in case shit goes down at the school), I will nestle into my cozy office for some focused work time.
And I will remind myself that despite my sadness at having someone else care for my daughter, our children are watching.
They watch as we wake up excited to get to work. They watch which people we invite into our inner circles. They watch as we juggle calls and speaking engagements with making dinner and swimming lessons. They watch as we laugh (or cry) at the madness or drama that transpires some days. They watch as we financially fail or triumph. They watch how we treat and communicate with other people. They watch as we drop everything work related on a moment’s notice when they are sick or hurt. They watch as we grow and excel at what we do. They watch as we live and work with a passion that naturally occurs when you spend your time on something that matters.
At some point, their watching turns into doing.
Choose the life and work you want your children to replicate, because that’s exactly what may happen.