A Working Mom’s 3 Top Tips for Success & Survival

I spend lots of time on the highway at talking and presenting at varied trade occasions and conferences.

It was my 75th talking engagement in 12 months. And my internal monologue bounced between Slow down and emphasize your core factors and Oh no, I’m feeling queasy.

I continued to deal with “hyperemesis gravidarum” (extreme morning illness), in my third trimester of being pregnant. And the flight between Seattle and Amsterdam hadn’t helped issues.

This time, I had traveled with out my 2-year-old son, who had been my frequent companion within the first half of the 12 months.

Was it a personally difficult 12 months?

Yep. But it was additionally extraordinarily rewarding. And I wouldn’t have modified it for the world.

I’ve now welcomed my second baby, a ravishing child lady.

In reality, I consider that the 15 years I’ve spent working as a lady within the tech world helped put together me for a few of the craziness of turning into a working mother.

  • Late nights with little to no sleep? Check.
  • Balancing tasks, budgets, and priorities? Check.
  • Negotiating with a tiny, irrational overlord laying on the ground screaming as a result of I put the cheese inside his quesadilla? Still figuring that one out.

I additionally consider the reverse is true – that parenting has helped me within the office.

Here are three issues I’ve realized as a working mother or father which have made me a extra priceless worker and have helped me discover my success each professionally and as a mother.

1. Find Your Tribe

I can’t think about motherhood with out my tribe of mothers.

They are my help, my lifeline, my go-to for the myriad of parenting mysteries.

They don’t choose and, like me, they’re studying as they go.

They coax me from the sting of panic and desperation and rescue me when my daycare supplier cancels the morning of my government enterprise evaluation.

These mothers taught me the significance of getting a help community in my profession as properly – reliable individuals with whom I could be brutally trustworthy.

Since then, I’ve labored to construct a community of friends and mentors who help and encourage me, individuals who problem me and maintain me accountable to do higher. Having this community has helped me to thrive in my profession.

I’ve constructed a tribe of friends and mentors I can belief, the place I could be my genuine, susceptible self.

It’s vital to search out individuals who not solely help me, however will problem me to search out new and alternative ways to get issues performed – and who will advocate on my behalf.

2. Create Margin for What You Hold Dear

Creating margin began with figuring out my private limits after which prioritizing sources, so I don’t discover myself teetering on the sting of these limits.

With the added calls for of parenting, I’d have been misplaced with out margin. Creating margin has helped me steadiness my time and power.

From the time I depart work till I tuck my son into mattress, I’m a mother and a spouse. My cellphone is off, and my laptop computer is put away.

If I can’t get all the things performed throughout the workday, I’ll test in after eight p.m. when my son is asleep. This margin retains me sane and pleased.

How does creating margin assist me change into a extra priceless worker?

I’ve realized to set boundaries and prioritize by focusing extra on what I have to get performed vs. what can be good to get performed, and punctiliously managing my obtainable time and power in-between.

I found that it’s much less in regards to the amount of labor I do, and extra about high quality and affect. I’ve realized to say no and keep away from working myself into exhaustion.

I’ve realized to qualify my yesses to specify when and the way a lot. And I’ve realized to ask for assist and delegate.

By creating margins, I’m capable of prioritize, remove stress, and be a greater mother and worker.

Take time to find out your margins, after which do what it takes to keep away from the sting.

3. Be Present Over Being Perfect

I used to be going to be that mother. You know, the one who cans natural fruit and veggies from her lush yard backyard.

The one who cooks each healthful, connoisseur meal in her spotless kitchen from scratch. The one who sews fashionable outfits for the entire household – possibly even the neighborhood.

And I used to be going to do all of it whereas being the consummate, full-time skilled.

Guess what? It hasn’t occurred, and I’m tremendous with that. Because I’ve realized that being current is extra vital than being good.

I’ve additionally realized that attempting new issues and having a #PinterestFail is healthier than doing nothing – and may make for an entertaining story.

This mantra carries into work as properly. I’ve seen too many events the place proficient people held again as a result of they have been terrified of not attaining perfection.

At Microsoft, we’re inspired to fail quick and be taught from our errors. This motivates us to attempt new issues and drives enterprise progress.

Presence over perfection doesn’t imply settling or accepting mediocrity. It does imply studying to pursue what’s vital and having the braveness to embrace the less-than-perfect.

Let go of perfection. Take time to take part in what issues and be keen to fail typically.


I consider the teachings I’ve realized from parenting have made me a more practical skilled.

I’ve realized to steadiness priorities, deal with what’s vital, and be current.

It’s vital to take time to acknowledge the overlap between work and life.

Rather than drawing strains within the sand, I select to embrace this crossover and apply these classes that add worth to my life and the lives of these round me.

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Featured Image: Paulo Bobita

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