My team has been asking me to write a blog on being an entrepreneur and being a new mum. Or share about the unrealistic expectations I put on myself for my “mat leave” and returning to work as a self employed person. (And one day, I will write it.) Who doesn’t want to read another blog about “How, you too, can have it all.”
I get it. There’s a checklist out there and I tick a lot of them. Loving partner? Check, Jack rocks! Successful business and amazing team? Of course, BLANKSLATE is the BEST! Adorable child? Check! (I’m not joking, Flynn could be the next Pampers baby.) Wonderful friends? The best a gal could ask for. A full and satisfying life? Yes! (Check out my instagram if you don’t believe me.)
From the outside it looks great. From the inside it looks great too, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t sit on the kitchen floor, crying, because I feel like I’m failing at every aspect of my life, ALL. THE. TIME.
I struggled daily with the concept of “having it all.” I started that blog so many times I can’t even count. International Women’s day. Missed that deadline. Equal Pay day, yep that one sailed past too. Women’s Equality day. Didn’t write it then either. That sentence was a trigger for all my rants. We went as far as giving me a deadline of Mothers Day to write the blog, (surely I could write something by May!)
Then came the 2020 COVID-19 Pandemic.
Everything else seemed to pale in comparison. I’m not the only person struggling to hold my s#$t together. Skit’s took off about work from home mom’s NAILING it, looking after their children, cooking dinners, cleaning toilets and helping husbands find socks. (Watch here if you haven’t already seen it.)
But it’s not just stay at home parents, it’s everyone. Every single person whose life changed overnight. AND most of us were only pretending to hold our S&%H together before this!
Strangely, with this, came peace. I can not control the world. I can not plan for every eventuality. I do not have a glass ball that tells me the future. Instead I stepped fully into being me and to being the leader/friend/parent/child/sibling/partner/neighbour/stranger I want to be.
On a check in call with a client 2 weeks ago, I asked her “What can I do for you right now? You’re looking out for your team, but who’s looking out for you?” And she replied simply:
I could pick up the phone and see how she was.
I could ask her how her day was and how she was feeling.
I could listen to her tears and not judge.
I could offer her solace and reassurance.
I could be kind.
I could be selfless and selfish too.
I could be vulnerable.
I could make jokes.
I could be serious.
And where possible I could offer some advice.
What’s more, I could do that for my team, for my friends, for my family, for my neighbours.
To me this is leadership, but it’s also what makes me feel whole. This is who I want to be and this… this is having it all.