Working full-time, being a mother, and spouse is a lot of work. There are days when I feel like I’ve got everything under control and there are days when it all seems to be slipping through the cracks. At times I have questioned my ambition. Should I want to work so much? Do I really need another degree? I acquired both degrees online which means that after I got off work I was planted in front of a laptop. I will admit that this took time away from my family. It consumed a lot of my time. While I loved what I was accomplishing I couldn’t help but think “am I being a bad mom?” Why do we do this to ourselves? I still loved my son. He meant the world to me. At the time I working on my Bachelors he was my only child. Much of my time was devoted to him. But I would skip playtime with him for reading course text or taking quizzes. I’d sneak in his room after he’d fallen asleep and feel regret about not spending more time with him. I had to learn balance.
In 2017 for some crazy reason I began to work on my Masters, online again. During this time I was still working full-time, I actually ended up moving from Mississippi to North Carolina, started a new job, AND got pregnant. So here I was again, looking for balance. How the heck do you even start to balance that? I literally push myself to the end of rope. To the end of the end of it. My fiancé made me find balance. I can’t even count how many times he walked up to me and closed my laptop. He would grab my hands and tell me, “baby take a break!” He wasn’t asking me to either, he was making me. If he knew I needed balance I sure as hell did too. I made it a point to be more present with my family. If I wanted to have it all, I had to make it work for my family as well.
One of the things I’ve learned is that balancing motherhood and professional pursuit can be done. I started by making a small decision to alter my schedule. When I got home from work I wouldn’t run straight to my laptop; I would go right to my babies. I would spend time with them cuddled up or playing with HotWheels cars. I would make dinner with my fiancé and make sure he got a kiss when I came in. If I am going to be successful, I need my family to know that I’m dedicated to them just as much. I need them to know that I love them and that I cannot do it without them. To them my laptop seemed more important. I am able to admit that to myself. At first I was not doing well with the balance at all. That is okay though, motherhood is a journey and it’s a learning experience. I learned my lesson.
To my mama’s: my goal is always to encourage and to uplift. Whether you’re working full-time or SAHM you’re more than capable of reaching all your goals. There’s no rule that says if you’re a busy, successful woman then you’re not a good mom. YOU CAN BE BOTH. Prioritization is key. Make the time for things that matter the most. My spouse has played such a pivotal role in my ambitions. I’ve communicated what I need from him, we had discussions about what that looks like for both of us. If there are days I’m struggling with the balance I openly let him know. Literally telling him that today I cannot do this, today I’m a hot mess, and today I need you a little more. That’s key. Communication with my oldest son is also important. Explaining to him why I do what I do. He knows mama loves him. Kids are smart and they are more than understanding. There are days when I would sit to do homework with him while I also did mine. He loved getting to do that with me. It didn’t matter what it was, it was the time.
Following your dreams and raising your kids can happen simultaneously. My drive to be successful comes from wanting to make my sons proud of me. I want them to know that I’ve overcome obstacles and that they can as well. No matter what comes their way I need them to know that they can make their dreams goals and their goals reality. Your children watch everything you do and they most often imitate that behavior, let them watch you be great!!
Keep shinin’ mama.