When Beyonce sang, “My great-great grand chil’ren already rich” I felt that in my soul. This resonated with me on so many levels because struggling financially was the norm when I was growing up. Most of my friends and peers came from single-parent and low-income homes. I always said that would not be me, that I would be the one to break the cycle and do things differently. Now that my marriage has dissolved, I’ve found myself less comfortable financially and that’s terrifying, but it has also made me intentional about never losing sight of my original goal. I’m putting in the work now to change the norms and break generational curses. With building wealth and blazing new paths come sacrifices that can cause anxiety and guilt for moms.
As a creative hustler, a visionary and an entrepreneur at heart, I’ve always struggled with the 9-5 life, whether that was attendance issues or becoming stagnant at jobs months after starting off strong. I knew this was because I had to get solid on what I was working for, why I had to grind to keep the cash flowing steadily in. Becoming a mother created an intense desire to have flexibility in the way I earn money; to do so in a way that allowed me to be present with them. My daughter’s birth, specifically, inspired me to start “Instablogging” consistently. I knew that I had to make this entrepreneur life a reality. And I knew that blogging was going to be the start of it.
My mom guilt was triggered by the amount of time I realized I had to put in during the early stages of building my personal brand, and really any type of business. When I was side hustling, this meant early mornings, breaks, lunches and evenings; this didn’t change much when I transitioned into doing this work full time. I suddenly had commitments during the days that hindered my work time and I was even less present with my munchkins.
So in my pursuit of being able to ride around my fortress with my seat reclined dropping my daughter off at school every morning (too many Beyonce references??), I came up with these pointers to alleviate the mom guilt I’m feeling while I’m on my grind! Planning is key so these first two points go hand-in-hand:
When your stuff is all over the place, chances are your mind is too. And I don’t just mean physical stuff, I’m talking about plans, finances, etc. I find that when I am surprised by bills, an event that I planned to attend comes up sooner than I realized or even that my clothes are all over my room, I end up overwhelmed and stressed and my kids suffer for it. I’m cranky and usually frantically trying to pull things together.
To address that I bought a planner that allows me to map out my months, weeks and days that way my time is organized (more on that in the next point). I also make it a point to keep our bedrooms as clean as possible, folding clothes the same day or next day that I do laundry and putting them away! I’m not gonna lie, this one is a struggle, but it’s coming along and I totally feel more in control of my time and space. Obviously, this means a less cranky mommy and more quality, less hectic time with the littles.
Create (and stick to) a Schedule
In order to make sure that nothing slips through the cracks, it’s important to have a schedule in place. While I haven’t found the perfect system yet, I understand that I have to plan out when I’ll be working on content, when I’m on mommy duty, when I have meetings, etc. Right now I basically just plan it out day by day, but my goal is to create a master monthly schedule that I can adjust as needed but will act as a main point of reference to ensure that I’m finding harmony in all the things in my life.
I think it’s important also to have less guilt when admitting that sometimes you have to schedule in mommy time with and without the kids. When building any sort of business, it’s easy to be consumed with the grind and put everything on the back burner. But I’m quickly learning that this is the easiest way to burn out and have no energy for your business or your family.
Set Realistic Goals
This one is pretty straight forward. Be realistic in your pursuit of greatness. Understand your time constraints, what type of support you have and especially be clear of what your bandwidth is. If you’re just going into business, while I’m not saying it’s impossible, it’s highly unlikely that you will make your first million in the first day. Pace yourself set SMART goals in business and family life. Then plan them out! You’ve got this mama!
Be Kind to Yourself
There are times when you may drop the ball in one area or when things just don’t go according to plan. It’s easy and almost instinctive to beat yourself up or turn to negative self-talk. Stop it! Remember that you are human and navigating things as best as you can through your perfect imperfections. The world beats us up enough (especially as Black women and WOC in general), so it’s vital that we pour nothing but love into ourselves even through accountability.
Our kids are the ones who love us unconditionally and while we never want to take that for granted, we have to remember that they likely don’t even notice the times when we drop the ball or get off track. And for the times that they do, we can create teachable moments about persevering through challenges rather than perpetuating destructive behavior and toxic self-talk.
Find Your Mompreneur Tribe!
The path to becoming a Boss Mom can be lonely and that’s why it’s so important to build your tribe! Just like our founder Shanicia said, it’s great to have people around you who have been in your shoes and who can offer perspective, guidance, and support to you in the most challenging of times. Check out Facebook groups or Meet-Up groups in your area and try to connect with other mamas building empires. It takes a village to raise a child and I’m realizing this principle can be applied to business too! Collaboration is also one of the most rewarding parts of creative work and in business, so when this happens between mamas who are all building empires, magic is bound to happen!
So find the tribe that amplifies your vibe and holds you up when you are falling down. We need you to thrive mama and your babies do too! So follow these steps to alleviate your mom guilt and we’ll be here cheering for you!
Keisha Marie is one of the lifestyle co-editors for Black Moms Blog. She is a millennial mama based in Denver with a passion for creating content that is engaging, that builds community, and that helps women (and men) glow through life’s transitions. Stay connected with Keisha on IG, Facebook and Twitter as @keishamarieco for her take motherhood, lifestyle, and self-care.