This article was on my mind this evening, as I sat with my family to enjoy the wonderful meal that my husband created. Entrepreneur.com wrote about Pepsi's CEO, Indra Nooyi, who has been married for 34 years and is a mom to two young girls. In this article, Geoff Weiss shares Nooyi's thoughts about being a full time mom and a full time CEO.
“Motherhood is a full time job. Being a CEO of a company is three full-time jobs rolled into one,” she said. “How can you do justice to all?”
Based on her experience, Nooyi concludes, "Women simply can't have it all." However, later in the article she shares a few practical ways that she navigates through life as a working mom. Her secretarial team helps with scheduling and some even have permission to grant a child's request on her behalf. She has created a system and in her life, it works. And though this is true, once she walks in the door from work, she understands that her family recognizes her as wife and mom, and not as a CEO. She has to learn how to "leave the crown in the garage."
This doesn't come without a great challenge. I personally know this.
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It's the middle of the year, and if you knew everything that it takes to start a company from scratch, and stand as the head of operations of it all, you may think twice about doing so full time while you're a full time mom. Quite honestly, if you could see my desk, you would be amazed at the amount of work that I have to oversee. When I launched the publishing division of NyreePress last January, I assumed the load would always be "light." I wasn't prepared for a very busy first half of 2014. We have dozens of books in production to be released this year, and new submissions are collected every week. It's an exciting time for us.
However, with four little children, I know first-hand how challenging it is to run a company full time, while being a full time mom. My children aren't sent to daycare everyday, and I don't have a full time Nanny. I actively take care of and engage with them every day, because they are my top priority. But this doesn't happen without occasional defeat. There were times when work just won.
And when work did win, I felt stressed, convicted and overwhelmed to a degree that I can't fully articulate. After meeting after meeting and task after task, I started feeling like the two lives just can't be intertwined. People would ask me "How are you doing it? Being a mom to four and the owner of a thriving new book publishing company?" My answer: "Don't do it." Stress literally became my middle name.
Now, a little hard-work doesn't intimidate me.. In fact, I'm a naturally aggressive and assertive person. But at the expense of my children? To constantly have to shoo them away because I'm on a conference call? That's not fair to them. There were some changes that I had to make.
I stopped trying to be superwoman.
I stopped trying to prove myself to other's.
I stopped thinking I had to "do it all."
I started striving to be a good steward over all that God's called me to be: wife, mom and business owner. None are my god. None define me. All are what God has entrusted me with, for His glory. You see, we can have multiple things going for us, but when other things / people are sacrificed so we could have our way, we lose and people around us suffer.
The comments left underneath that article showed me how many in our generation / culture feel. So many people feel like they need to have it all, and they'll kill themselves and neglect other's in the process trying to get it. I believe God can show us how to navigate through life with grace and balance, in order to pursue what He wants for us... and especially during the season that it's time.
So, how can I be a good steward over what's been entrusted to me?
- Remember that it's not about me. It's about how I can serve other's well.
- Ask the Lord to reveal the depths of my heart to me, so I can ask him to fill it with His grace and wisdom. No diva over here.
- Realize that I will fail at being perfect, because I'm not.
- Understand that I'm not superwoman. There's no need to try to be.
- Be intentional about family time. My children need me more.
- Seek help. There's nothing wrong with asking.
- Organize, structure and plan.
My prayer, before I step foot out of bed, is for Christ to be gloried in my day-- whatever direction it goes. Whether I have a fun day planned with minimal workload or a busy schedule and a few play-dates on my agenda, I want to steward it well.
Everyday is a different day, in the world of a "mompreneur." But each day is a new day and what you do with it matters-- especially to your family.