I love when I wake up with an “aha!”
I had spent the previous evening doing a training with Michelle Withers, and one of the topics we had discussed was ‘What Motivates Us?’. She referenced a book called Get Motivated! by Tamara Lowe. We were discussing what drives us: ‘Money & Titles’ or ‘Changing the World’. I’m still not totally sure about myself (I’ll share more on this another day)…
I’m very driven to reach the top of the company I’m with. I have been that way with every job I have ever had.
But I have always felt bad about that.
I’ve constantly been told that my responsibility is to be a good wife and mother…that you can’t be successful in your career or business AND be a good wife or mother. I felt like there was a neon sign above my head flashing “Bad Mom/Successful Business Woman”.
That is completely wrong! My success has made me a much better mom!
In my case, with past jobs and my current business, success brings freedom or a flexibility in the hours I work, so I can be there for my kids. I clearly remember being in a lower position and unable to change my schedule to be at my kids’ soccer games week after week. Yet, all the upper management had gone home for the day.
Now I have my own business and pick my own hours.
Also with the success of moving up the ladder, comes more money and I like to make money. (Gasp!) I know this makes many uncomfortable. This made me feel guilty for a long time, but let’s discuss what money can do. How many times have you been stressed about paying your bills or an unexpected bill and snapped at your spouse or kids? I have—not proud of it—but I have. How about when your kid comes home with a list of school supplies needed or comes home excited about an extra curricular opportunity that is perfect for them, but you don’t have the money? Or what about when someone is sick? Where does your mind go? What does that stress do to you?
I have had some pretty dark moments of despair, and times of frustration and anger. I don’t want to stress anymore when those circumstances arise. I love being able to buy what my children need, pay for an awesome opportunity for them, and take them to the doctor—without worrying how we are going to continue to eat.
I often held myself back from making money, thinking that made me a better mom. It didn’t. I said ‘No’ to jobs and stayed home with my kids. I love being with them and think it is great when a woman can and wants to stay home with her kids and that alone can be a huge blessing, but please don’t feel guilty when you need to or even want to work to provide a better life for them.
I admit that it is possible to become so focused on being ‘successful’ that you forget your family and become a bad mom. But my point is that being successful doesn’t mean you are a bad mom. It isn’t easy and you need to keep priorities straight, but nothing says you can’t have financial success and be a good parent. In fact your success may aid you in being the parent you want to be.
Do you feel guilty about being successful at work? What are your thoughts on this? Please share below.
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