I am writing this note from a mother to a mother. I want to first congratulate you for all your accomplishments to date. You made it to motherhood and you have yet to show for more in this life. As young girls we have big dreams; a thriving career, independence, finding prince charming and becoming a mother. Huge congratulations for successfully going through all these transitions. But where do we go after motherhood? Little do we anticipate though how hard it is when transitioning from career woman, to wife and then to a mother. In this process we lose sight of who we really are because of roles and responsibilities. Now that we are mothers, we have this deep desire to be more and do more, yet we let guilt and self-doubt sabotage our potential for success.
Every woman is expected to marry and raise a family because this is what we are taught to seek by norms of society. When a woman achieves this goal, the process of changes that occur triggers what I view as an ‘identity crisis.’ Once married, we are expected to be a mother, nurturer, housekeeper, teacher, doctor, and chauffeur. Whilst all these roles are essential parts of our life (and we must embrace it) we get so caught up with responsibilities that we have no time to pursue our own goals and desires. We would feel guilty to even think about ourselves because we cannot eliminate the unwanted obligations to please others, especially our families.
As soon as we become responsible for our little bundles of joy, the landscape of our world changes. We are blessed with children who we connect and play with. However, most mothers lose their mojo and stop taking care of themselves as baby brain sets in and we have a low self-esteem. Maybe you can relate? I understand that bearing children is expected in today’s society, because nurturing and child care are viewed as feminine traits. While there is nothing wrong with this idea, it causes confusion between WHO WE ARE and WHAT WE DO. Our life becomes an extension of our children’s life. We hear too often ‘are you going back to work’ or ‘you should be at home because children need their mothers.’ You may have heard more.
You must take care of your children but don’t be discouraged from putting yourself first. Fill your cup with joy and fulfilment and then pour it into theirs. You are not always expected to put your family’s best interest in mind. Ask yourself are you really happy? Remember that you are Gods beautiful creation and that you are a HUMAN BEING with feelings. If you don’t put yourself as a priority you don’t thrive. I am not focusing on salt baths and spa days here – self-care is a non-negotiable task that should be in your schedule. Have you been resisting your ambition to build a life and business you love? I want you to know that if you have a desire to follow your passions and aspire to become an entrepreneur then don’t let guilt and self-doubt dictate your decision not to. I believe that as women we can successfully combine family, career and time for ourselves in a harmonious way. As a mother you serve as a role model for your children and other women to find your personal and professional purpose. The world needs more people who feel alive. You do not need to be validated by other people. Do what feels right and not what is popular and easy. Listen to your intuition. So many mothers don’t have the courage and confidence to pursue their passions because they fear others will disapprove, make them feel the guilt, judge or reject them. As a result they subtly bring themselves down to fit the norms of what a mother ‘should be.’ I understand I get judged for my beliefs and actions but this is part of my journey. I just get more determined to prove myself right. I let go of people’s opinions because the opinions of others is just a judgement of their own character.
Don’t lose touch with who YOU are. Don’t run away from those feelings and mask yourself to maintain your family because when you do the thing that sets your soul on fire you will illuminate a joyful space for your children to thrive. Don’t be imprisoned by the roles you have to play. I understand that this imprisonment wouldn’t be self-imposed if it weren’t for society’s pressure to fit into the traditional female mould. If you continue to mask your desires and feelings you will only become an empty and hollow image of a mother instead of living a breathing person with feelings and mind of her own. Your heart, skill and talent are needed in this world and your children’s life. Allow yourself to release fear of judgement!
Do you know so far in my journey into entrepreneurship I am a happier mother to my children. I am embracing the fact that every aspect of my life is changing. I learned to reflect on past experiences, grow, refocus and rebalance everything. I found new ways to feel fulfilment in my health, family life, personal and professional life. My priorities are my children and my wellbeing, so I am discovering new ways to balance, not shift, my priorities. My work schedule is set to work around them and I leverage the flexibility I have to be able to spend time with them. I have eliminated any guilt as I do not use them as an excuse but the reason why I do what I love to do. Becoming an entrepreneur means we can teach our children about passion, living their purpose and self-suffiency. Don’t ask them what they want to be when they grow up. Ask them what makes them feel happy and how they would like to help people. If you have a daughter, you can hold yourself accountable for the example you set for your daughter. You have the opportunity to inspire her to go after her goals. She needs your enthusiasm, belief and persistence to be successful in whatever she wants to achieve. Being a mother and an entrepreneur is a huge blessing – you are able to do the thing you are passionate about while also having a fruitful relationship with your child and family. Embrace to journey and focus on the process because life is not about awards and the finish line but it’s all about the journey.
Starting a business is difficult, especially as a mummy. You will have new challenges every day! I am going to be honest. Being a wife and a mother trying to manage everything, achieve balance and do a great job in every aspect of my life is nearly impossible! There is no such thing as perfectionism and work life balance (the latter is a myth). I can’t tell you how many times I forgot to take my daughter to a birthday party, sign up for her clubs, attend school workshops. Life as a mumpreneur does not have to be an imbalance of financial success, happiness, fitness or family life. It just takes a shift in mindset and skillset. Work a plan that works for you. It’s all about managing time in terms of energy. Stay focused on your why and the heart based reasons as to why you are on this journey. Your goals are their goals – the travels, the home, the journey overall is fun to work towards.
Design the life you love – one that is meaningful work and an abundance of quality time with your children. You are teaching them how to express their unique greatness and make a positive impact on the world. You can juggle it all but it’s important to ensure you give energy to your time and tasks that are of value. There is never a perfect time to start a family or business. You won’t know how to do it until you actually do it. But this is the beauty of the mumpreneur journey. You have to start to be great, not great to get started. You are winning because entrepreneurship will bring fulfilment in all areas of your life as you grow. You can achieve the best of both worlds; a great career, and a rewarding role of a mother.
Start valuing yourself and watch your health improve. You take more care of what you eat, who you listen to, who is influencing you, and most importantly how you talk to yourself. No one is perfect. Learn to let go of negative thoughts and learn to love yourself with flaws.
Hi, my name is Nadia Ahmed and I am so passionate about personal growth, personal empowerment and helping other women be a better version of themselves. I am married with two gorgeous children, boy and girl, who I connect with, laugh with and play with every day.
I completed a Master’s Degree in Pharmacy and had a thriving career in the community sector for over 10 years. As I became a mother my priorities changed (as for many new mummies). I felt overwhelmed when transitioning from being the ambitious career woman to taking care of my babies. As much I loved my little bundles of joy I was gradually losing myself to post-natal depression and other personal challenges. But this was the pivotal moment for me. I was driven to a path of self-discovery that raised my awareness to all that was possible for my life and my family. I resorted to self-help books, attended seminars, listened to podcasts, learned and implemented. The contents of these resources resonated with me deeply and something shifted inside me. It was only when I invested on a Coach I saw positive changes. I decided to live my life by design.
I am now dedicated coach helping other ambitious women by sharing the same practices and principles that have helped me evolve and finally create a life I did not need escaping from. I am still evolving, working on my personal growth as well as coaching others. I don’t teach theories but instead by sharing true life turnaround moments that marked my own transformation. There are no limits to what any woman can achieve. If you have been in a constant motion of emotion in any or all areas of your life, ask yourself what steps do you need to take to see the positive changes? Do you need to make a courageous decision? Invest on your personal growth? What would happen if you did nothing? Be fearless in the pursuit of your passions.
I wish you a life of joy and fulfilment
Empowerment Coach for Asian Women