Hi! My name is Jeannette and I want to introduce myself for a minute. I am a mom of two crazy kids ages 7 and 2, a loving partner, a black woman, an immigrant to Canada, a student and an entrepreneur. Whew…that was a mouthful. I have what they call, a lot on my plate. With so many roles that I play in my daily life it doesn’t always equate to self care. Many times people look at me and think, wow, she has it all together. How does she manage it all? Let me tell you my secret, I don’t. I am not perfect and sometimes I am not even that great. I have had my moments of wanting to crawl up under a blanket and just stay there for a while. I am not always successful at what I attempt to do. I am not superwoman and that is okay. I AM NOT SUPERWOMAN AND THAT IS OKAY. I had to say that louder for those who needed to hear it, and also to remind myself.
When we first started Driverseat Sault ste. Marie it was not easy, I could tell you some stories. We had just finished opening a new event company called Diamond Engagements and I was a new mom. My son was born via c-section and I had not taken it easy as I decorated an out of town wedding 10 days after his birth (I will leave that story for another time). Our son was 6 months old and we started another new business in a small town that had its challenges opening up to “outsiders”. So in those early stages we did it all. We bundled our son into his snowsuit in the dead of winter to take rides, while still having to wake up the next morning and go to our day jobs and be a breastfeeding mom. We took every call no matter the time. A lot of time was invested into starting and growing our businesses. That meant that our son would tag a long. MOM GUILT TIME!
Family and Work Life Balance.
I had a lot of guilt with this one. My kids came a long to many of our work adventures as we called it. Many times I heard that we were not investing the proper time with our kids because we were working with them. Others felt we were not spending what they perceived family time to be. This was like a knife to the heart of a mom. Then I realized that I was spending quality time with my kids. I was teaching them the value of hard work and dedication. When I look back at the times I spent building homes and apartments with my parents, I look at it fondly. Those were the best times. We had so many great conversations and personal one on ones even though we were working. Surprisingly I learnt a few skills and the drive that I have today to succeed. This is the exact drive and passion that I want to teach my kids. So why was I being mom shamed? Why was I allowing what others thought I should be doing as a woman and mother affect what I felt I needed to do? Yes, it is important to invest in those real quality times away from work. We do spend quality time outside of work as a family. We do talk to our kids and find out about their day, we go on mini vacations (before COVID) and for walks and biking. Time as a family is important and we realize that; so when we are with our kids we make sure to invest in their physical, spiritual and emotional well being. But we also want to build their character and work ethic as well.
Don’t knock My Hustle
There is nothing wrong with having a drive! Do not allow others to dim your light, and do not allow them to mom shame you. The mom that stays up late to decorate the house for family celebrations or makes the cupcakes for the school bake off is applauded as amazing. So the mom that spends that late night hustling for her family should be celebrated as well, and if she does both then throw her a parade. You are allowed to pursue your goals and do not let anyone tell you differently. I do recommend that in pursuit of your mission that you do put together a self care regimen to assist with caring for your mental and physical health. What does this look like? Here are 3 simple steps to implement in your daily life.
- Schedule alone time
Block out time in your calendar just for you to avoid burn out. This time is necessary to rest your mind and body. This could be a day, a week or whatever time you need after a huge project to recoup and rejuvenate.
2. Mental Check-ins
Take the opportunity to ask yourself if you are doing okay. Do you need help? Are you feeling overwhelmed. You must be honest with yourself because you cannot attain your goals if you are not taking care of your mind.
3. Surround yourself with Like minded friends
You are working hard to get to those times where you can spend the time you want with your family. No one can be successful without the hard work. Do not allow others to shame you into failure. Find those friends that see your vision and understand your drive. They will be honest with you, keep you balanced and encourage you on your journey.
If you are like me it is hard to slow down. You have a calling that just keeps pushing you forward and you just can’t stop. Remember that you are allowed to fulfill your mission. This drive that you have is not a bad thing so respect the hustle.