Trying to have it all? Lynn Bardowski, award-winning entrepreneur and author of Success Secrets of a Million Dollar Party Girl says you can’t—and that’s a good thing.
After college, I climbed the corporate ladder and enjoyed the fruits of a two-income household that included a BMW in the driveway, a four-bedroom home in the suburbs and a daytime nanny to care for my two daughters. It all looked good on the outside, but I was miserable on the inside. There was still dinner to prepare, bedtime rituals and laundry to do. At day’s end, I’d climb into bed exhausted, only to wake up bright and early to rinse and repeat my hectic schedule. I realized my corporate income was affording me a mommy-fill-in, while I was missing out on all the important milestones in my daughters’ lives.
So, I took a leap of faith to start a PartyLite direct sales business in 1990. Learning a new business model and figuring out how to manage working from home with a 3- and 5-year-old in tow presented new challenges, but I discovered that at the end of the day, all you can do is all you can do. If the work doesn’t all get done, stop beating yourself up. You might have to take a detour and adjust your goals. So what? We can’t have it all, but we can have a guilt-free life knowing we did the best we could. Here, four tips for letting go of the mommy guilt once and for all.
1. Stop trying to have it all.
Striving to achieve a balanced life will only make you feel more guilty. Life’s not perfect. Your kids might eat cereal for dinner, you might have to miss one soccer game and your house might have a pile of dust bunnies hidden underneath your favorite chair. It’s OK. That means you’re a normal human being.
2. Stock up on big sunglasses.
In a perfect world, I’d shower everyday. But if you have children under age 3, this might not be possible. Lip-gloss and a quick swish with a makeup brush can go a long way in making you look and feel presentable to the world. Make like a rock star and add a pair of big sunglasses. You’ll suddenly go from mommy drab to mommy mogul, all while conserving water and natural resources. That’s how you roll.
3. Break the child labor laws.
Let’s face it—you can’t do everything. Nor should you. Your children are the cheapest part-time help you can get. Put them to work and you’ll give them priceless gifts including self-esteem, confidence, teamwork and leadership, as well as the ability to believe in whatever vision may drive them some day.
4. Create a family dream board.
Get your children involved in creating a vision board on your fridge that includes pictures of what you’re working toward. Whether your income is paying for a new car, a family trip or their future college education, children need to understand what Mom is working for. Have faith that your kids are smart enough to get it—you’re working your butt off to create a better life for them.
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