mama disrupt

5 kickass tips to master the boss-mama struggle

In Boss Mama, Features, Stories by Nicole Fuge

By Jenny Vanderhoek, CEO of Mynder

We’ve all been there – caught in a mama moment when you just want to scream! Keeping your cool can, at times, be tough! We’ve all been there. Try as you might to take deeps breaths (like you’re about to give birth to a 10-pound baby), it’s impossible to always keep your cool. 

And when you add being a boss-mama to the mix, these moments are likely to increase. So that you can ATTEMPT to stay as cool as a cucumber (who are we kidding, but you catch the drift), here are my top tips to help you keep your cool: 

1 // Be in the moment 

I have a schedule of which days I work and which days I’m with my kids every week. I give my 100% focus and attention to one or the other instead of both at the same time. My kids love it because they know when I’m with them, I’m present, watching them and cheering them on. My team loves it because they know that I’m listening to them and making actions and decisions to keep the business running. Have you ever been in that situation where your three-year-old is whinging and you’re on a super-important phone call for work trying to shush them?? This tip will help you avoid that! 

2 // Take time out for yourself

I religiously go to the gym three times a week. It’s not because I love to lift weights and run on a treadmill towards nothing; it’s because it’s the only time in the week that I have 45 mins where I have no pressure to make decisions or negotiate with a three-year-old. I can just be me, in whatever mood I’m in, no expectations on my results and somebody else will tell me what to do. I just follow like a sheep around the gym lifting, pulling or running whatever they give me. So, go find the one thing that gives you that release from work and mama life. It will help to give you the energy and put you in the mind-frame to get through tough situations when you’re wearing your boss and mama hats. 

3 // Ask for help

I think as women and mamas, sometimes we have this martyr mentality where we have to be able to do it all by ourselves. Our partners are perfectly capable human beings that are very willing to help, but we sometimes shield them away from the struggle. Why are we the ones who must juggle? Let your partner get in on the juggle. I love nothing more than to giggle with my hubby at the end of the worst day ever. It makes me feel supported and as though I’ve got someone in my corner who knows how hard it can be!

And if finances permit, outsource whatever you can in areas where it doesn’t matter. For example, your kids aren’t going to write you a Mother’s Day card thanking you for vacuuming their rooms. 

4 // Manage expectations 

This is one of the first things I ever learnt, working in the corporate world. You must manage everyone’s expectations because if you don’t, that’s when misunderstandings and difficult situations arise. I use that motto every day in work but for some reason I struggle to manage my own expectations of myself. I set these high expectations of myself all the time around how I could be a better mum, a better partner or a better business woman. But at the end of the day, aren’t we all just trying to live our best life? That should just be doing something that inspires us and being with the ones we love. So, relook at your expectations of yourself and ask yourself what your best life really is? 

5 // Find a support network 

When you work in corporate, you are surrounded by people every day so you always feel like you have a network of people wanting to achieve together. When you become a mama, if you’re lucky enough, you find a group of women who go through the ups and downs of REAL life with you and understand the REAL struggle of work and parenthood. And then you go back to work and evaluate everything you’ve ever thought about your job. So, you quit your job to do something that you’re passionate about and it’s the loneliest you’ve ever felt. I only recently connected with some amazing mumpreneurs who have allowed me to feel that I have a support network again. They are inspiring because each of their stories is so different and I can’t wait to get to know more about them and learn from them. So, my last tip is to go and find your network for whatever stage of work/life you are in. 

 You might also like: The Beach People reveal their secrets to launching a successful #mama business5 inspiring mamas to help you kickstart the week, and We’re throwing in the 9-to-5 for life on the road with a 1-year-old.