[Note from Frolic: We’re so excited to welcome author Dee Lagasse to the site today. She’s talking all things motherhood. Take it away, Dee!]
I love being a mom.
I have three kids ranging from fourteen to seven. Two out of three of them play soccer year-round. My oldest just started playing piano. My daughter also cheers. My youngest is in first grade – which means getting invited to birthday parties every other week and lots of play dates.
You know what else I love? My career.
Not more, not less. Differently.
I’m relatively new to this author thing. I just released my debut novel in September of 2018. Being my own boss is amazing. It’s also a lot of work. Maybe, even a bit more than I anticipated. I’ll spare you the details, but writing the actual book is only a tiny bit of the job.
The hardest thing I’ve found is finding balance.
So, if you’re like me and feel the scales tipping heavy in one way, here’s what’s worked for me:
Schedule, schedule, schedule.
Every day I get my littlest dude off to school and am back home by eight. From eight to nine, I use my stationary bike. From nine to nine-thirty, I shower. From nine-thirty to ten, I do a quick clean up around the house. Then, I write until my two middle schoolers come home. Monday through Friday. The second my kids come through the door though, I put away my laptop.
Which brings me to…
Whether it’s your writing or plans with your kiddos – commitment is key. If you have a set time to write, sit your butt down and write. If you promise to go to the park or the movies with your kid(s), keep those promises. I think that both are important.
Let me repeat that for those in the back: Your career and your motherhood are BOTH IMPORTANT. You can do both. You should do both. Make them both a priority.
Compromise where you can.
It’s okay to not do it all. It doesn’t make you any less of a mother if you buy cookies from the store instead of making them from scratch. We get our groceries delivered to the house once a week because ain’t nobody got time for that.
It takes a village.
I know. You’ve probably heard that a thousand times, but I really truly believe in this.
If help is there – TAKE IT.
If your husband, your mom, your in-laws, your bestie, or the neighbor down the street extends you a hand – TAKE IT.
If people are willing to help you, please, please, please allow them to.
As mothers we feel like we need to carry it all. I’m telling you right now that you don’t need to.
Make time for yourself.
Whether it’s taking an hour out of your day to exercise like I do or getting together with the girls once a week (or in my case, once a month) for a sanity check, it’s really important, I feel, for a woman to remember she is also a priority. Being a mother is so much of what makes me who I am, but I’m also still the girl that loves going to rock concerts. I love reading books that are not quite on the same level as Captain Underpants.
I’ll be perfectly honest; it took me a long time to realize this. The only reason I started to do things on my own is because my husband pushed it. He saw me losing myself and that broke his heart.
The mom guilt was strong at first. It probably will be for you too. Don’t let that stop you.
Going back to the concept of follow through, I’m going to amend my previous statement: You are important. Motherhood is important. Your career is important. It’s all important.
DO NOT COMPARE YOURSELF TO OTHER MOMS.
I feel like this one is worthy of a repeat.
Whether you’re a writer or not. Whether you’re a stay-at-home mom, working fifty hours a week climbing the corporate ladder… no matter your parenting style or career – STOP COMPARING YOURSELF TO OTHER MOMS. What works for me, might not work for you and your family.
I know it’s really hard not to play the compare and contrast game. I fall prey to it sometimes myself. Social media is a great thing. It’s also a scary thing. In a day and age where everyone is presenting these picture-perfect lives, know that’s just a picture. You don’t see their “behind the scenes.”
And, I guarantee those moms have laundry piles too.
Focus on what’s important to you and your family.
At the end of the day, it’s not about anyone else.
Have faith in yourself.
It’s true – nothing worth having comes easy. Mamahood is hard. Building a career and then maintaining it is hard. Doing both together is REALLY FREAKING HARD. However, if you have a dream of writing or to do LITERALLY ANYTHING ELSE, you owe it to yourself to follow through. If you’re like me, you tell your kids they can do anything, they can be anything or anyone they want – TAKE YOUR OWN ADVICE.
I feel like this is another repeatable moment – YOU CAN DO OR BE ANYTHING YOU WANT.
I’m not saying it’s easy. It’s probably going to be exhausting. You’re going to need an extra cup of coffee every now and again, but you got this. I know you do.
We celebrate our children and their milestones – celebrate yours too! It doesn’t have to be anything crazy. I get sushi every time I write “The End.” It’s something so small, but man, I’ll tell you, victory sushi tastes better than any other sushi there is!
And when all else fails…
Wing it. I know, I know. I just preached about scheduling and follow through, but sometimes, life throws a curve ball. Or in my case, a soccer ball. In the form of extra practices, an injury, or the need to scrub shin guards. Sometimes, writer’s block hits. In the most inopportune timing, someone always seems to get a stomach bug.
Be flexible with your goals.
At the end of the day, you are ONE person. You can only control so much. Don’t be afraid to change your personal or professional plans. Life happens. There will be sick days and parent-teacher conferences.
Give yourself grace.
Just don’t give up.
Whatever you do, keep chasing those dreams.
Happy Mother’s Day!
About the Author:
Dee Lagasse is a mom of three and self-published author. When she isn’t writing, she is more than likely to be found on a soccer field or harassing her husband to reach things on the top shelf.
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