By: Gisela Rojas
Flexibility and adaptability to change is key when you’re a mom. I will share a bit about my experience and some tips that have helped me navigate working a full-time job in public accounting and being a parent.
I’ve stopped trying to be a “super mom.” That is an unachievable standard that leads to burn out. After becoming a mom, I realized that I do not want to do or be all things to everyone. Instead, I’m focusing my efforts on the things that are important to me. I want to be a good mom, I want a stimulating work environment, I want financial independence, I want to maintain and build relationships and I want to be my own person. It is a juggling act that has been achievable through prioritizing, delegating, failing, reassessing and trying again.
Priorities change by the minute. When assessing my priorities, I ask myself if and when a certain task requires my attention. This allows me to delegate it or give it a number on my to-do list. For example, when my son needs to eat dinner, I ask myself, should his dad or I feed him? This is something that his dad could do at times when I need to work. Other days, I may need the boost of serotonin that comes from watching my son play with his food and make a complete mess. Prioritize and pivot!
Delegating is possible by finding a community. Through my community, I’ve been able to get trustworthy and caring childcare for my son, a teammate in my husband, the support of family and friends and a work environment that recognizes my humanity. At Weinstein Spira, we have a flexible work environment that doesn’t require me to be in an office or work the continuous, dreaded eight to five schedule. Coworkers are like teammates; always willing to tap in when I’m struggling. This has been a crucial component for me to be able to stay in the workforce after having a baby and ultimately helps me meet a couple of my current life and career goals.
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A very important thing to note, and that we sometimes forget, is that we must meet our own needs first. I know it sounds cliché and annoying, but to be able to give, you have to have something to give in the first place. The top things I do to take care of myself are: exercise or movement, eating intuitively, drinking water, and doing things that energize me. I exercise or move my body whenever I can fit in a 10-minute exercise routine, yoga or a walk. This is often when I feel I need a break during the workday. I save 10-minute exercise routines while scrolling on Instagram to have at the ready whenever I take a break. I also try to do a ten-to-fifteen-minute yoga routine before going to bed (doesn’t happen every day.) Doing this has helped me with the pains that come from sitting for most of the day and from carrying a baby. Eating intuitively for me means eating what makes me feel good when I’m hungry and will allow me to sustain my energy throughout the day. I do not restrict myself of anything and I DRINK ALL THE WATER. Lastly, I do things that energize me like talking and laughing with my husband, a friend or a relative, reading books, watching reno shows, making plans to remodel my house and never actually going through with it, and playing and laughing with my son. My son’s laughter has become my favorite thing.
It’s a lot of work. I feel overwhelmed often but, I start by doing one thing at a time and slowly add things one by one. I’m learning to balance it all, and when the mom guilt creeps in, I remind myself that I am a better mom to my son by meeting my goals and taking care of myself. That my son’s life is enriched by the relationships he’s creating with his school mates and teachers. And that he will not love me any less if he loves other people because love doesn’t divide, it multiplies.
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