Oh, to be a “working mom”. When my kids were younger, I was fortunate enough to be a full time stay at home mom. After starting my business back up 3 years ago, I reluctantly began to identify as a “working mom” and it was weird. It was something new that I didn’t know how to adjust to, but as my business gradually grew, so did that title and what it really meant.
With my kids then 8 & 10 and in school all day, I (foolishly) thought it’d be more manageable to juggle the whole “work thing”. What I neglected to factor in was the work; work behind the scenes and how consuming all of that can be! When they were little, I saw clients out of my home on a VERY part time basis. The client would come, would leave and that was it. Maybe I spent some time making a brochure or creating meetups (I ran a Spiritual Discussion Group), but it was hardly consuming. I had a fraction of the clients I do now. I didn’t advertise. I didn’t do networking. I didn’t have any social media accounts to manage and didn’t have much in the finance department to worry about and balance. Running a “real business” and all that entails is quite different than managing a hobby!
It’s hard being a working mom. My counters are often sticky, and my sink is regularly full. Dinner isn’t usually figured out until before 4:30pm (unlike in the old days when I’d often start preparing dinner around 2pm). I’m happy that I can volunteer at school sometimes. That’s the benefit of being your own boss and scheduling your own hours. I’ve got lots of clients who wait a long time to see me for an evening or weekend appointment – scheduling around my kids is a priority so those later afternoon/evening and Saturday hours are hard to come by! Sometimes it’s a bummer when my husband must work late, and I also have clients, or a workshop scheduled, but my kids are older now (11 & 13) so they make due just fine on their own at home. I prefer not to be away from home when they’re at home, though. It’s just one of the sacrifices I make for my clients/students. (My kids aren’t terribly heartbroken to stay home and watch YouTube or play video games, though.)
I get up early most days with enough time to meditate and then get to yoga or the gym. I discovered that when I start my day this way, I’m beginning with my tank FULL so when the demands of the day start, I’m not being tapped out before I even begin. I originally picked 5am wakeups because logistically, it was the best time for me to go with my husband’s work schedule when my kids were still little. I discovered that I LOVE being awake before sunrise. To arrive home with golden sunlight is so motivating and energizing. I never regret waking up early to get my fitness in. My kids always appreciate a chipper mom with sweaty hair waking them up versus a tired mom yelling from her pillow for them to wake up!
It’s a balance. When work is going great and getting all my focus, the house and family may suffer a bit. The reverse is true as well. It’s important to be okay with that pendulum swing. We do the best we can. I take help where I can and lower expectations of perfection! I don’t sweep every day anymore and I hired a monthly cleaning service. It’s not worth getting bent out of shape about certain things and I don’t have to prove to myself that I can do it all on my own; I don’t have to!
When I DO find myself getting worked up and easily frustrated, however, I KNOW that it’s important to schedule some “me time” ASAP. Shameless plug—my favorite way to do that is to receive a Reiki session. I do practice what I preach. I find that getting Reiki really does help to shake off the B.S. drama that we bring onto ourselves! Self-care is not selfish, it’s self-preservation! Reiki just sort of readjusts us, reboots our physical well-being and our mental state as well- and an added bonus- connects us deeper to our spirituality if we are ready for that! These benefits make receiving Reiki a priority in my own life. Whether a “working mom” or not, it’s important that we make that time for us because if we don’t, no one else will. It directly benefits everyone around us when we take that time out to make ourselves a priority!
Karen Foote is the Owner of Rebalance Reiki and Massage LLC in Westwood NJ, wife to Greg and mom to Gregory (13) and Andrew (11). She is a Reiki Master Teacher and Nationally Certified Massage Therapist who helps her clients through her Spiritual Intuitive Healing abilities. For more information about Karen visit rebalancewithreiki.com