Ode to the ambitious mum

I’m struggling today, ladies and gents.

There, I’ve said it. I’m struggling. This mum gig is squeezing every last drop of energy out of me right now. You would think I would give myself a right talking to, maybe a bit of “OK, Kate. Time to slow down and take care of yourself”. You’d think I would take any opportunity to chill out, enjoy some quiet time, socialise kid-free perhaps…

Here’s the problem. One word: ambition.

Or, perhaps your particular ailment is aspiration. Or determination? The drive to achieve?

Regardless, plain and simple, all of the above has me and so many other mums I know in a bind. There’s no ignoring that unmistakable buzz of excitable energy filling my chest. That overwhelming sense of determination to DO something significant, to BE someone who makes a difference and to CREATE a particular lifestyle for my family.

Relevant side note: Has anyone ever asked their toddler if they give a rat’s about “mum’s ambition”? Do you think your teeny babe could care less about mum’s creative business ideas?

Erm, my guess is no. And for good reason. Because the answers to those questions would be in line with, “Where is my pink sock?” and “Gah Gah”, which translates to “Boobie please”. Frankly, unhelpful.

Herein lies the current predicament mums are in. We desperately want to be awesome parents, but we also want to do some epic shit with our lives on top of parenting awesomely, which is a very, very difficult feat.

Please, do not think for a second I am not brimming with gratitude for my sensational family. I am, I truly am. I am 100% blessed to have two fabulous daughters and a devilishly handsome husband who provides for us like the heroic warrior dad that he is. Yep, I totally thank my lucky stars for all of the above, daily.

On the other hand, I also spent a butt-load of time at university (definition of butt-load: 8 years. Not that you would know it with my often over-usage of “butt-load” in various contexts. But hey, you get my emphasis) and I am wildly passionate about many a thing outside of Peppa Pig and baking tiny muffins for tiny hands.

Anyhoo, my point is, I LOVE being a mum to my feisty gals but I am also attempting to leave a mark in this world by creating a successful business doing meaningful, fulfilling projects outside of family life.

Anyone else out there in the same boat? Are you struggling with the mummy guilt like me? Are you finding it near impossible to manage your time? Is your brain fog so damn foggy that some days you can’t string a sentence together, let alone refine a business plan?

I’ve read plenty of times the sentiment directed at mums, “Yes, you can have it all. Just not all at once”. I get it, I really do. It’s bang on. But I still hear that sigh deep within, releasing the frustration that so many of us women can relate to.

A perpetual state of inner conflict. We have fought for decades for equality, for the right to live like men. To work like men. To feel free to pursue our dreams like men, without the shadow of oppression hanging over our heads. But the simple matter is that we are the ones who grow, birth and feed our babies with our bodies.

For those women like myself, who work hard to approach parenting consciously, the struggle is real. How do I maintain a truly connected relationship with my child while pursuing my own goals? How do I maintain a gentle, considered attitude to managing difficult behaviour when I am tired and busy with the family/business juggling act?

Herein lies the challenge. I am a mum, deep in the trenches, just trying to do my best with the information I have at hand. It is important to me to know and understand the power of my mothering through current available knowledge, but also to connect with the real experiences of other mums and how they navigate this crazy ol’ journey.

My work with women is underpinned by an equal smattering of geeking out and intuitive practice. It is where research, reality and self-development merge. It is where the psychology of motherhood meets the sacred spirituality of a woman rising in all her glory.

If you are like me and trying to live your best life as both a mother and a woman with an identity outside of domesticity… then please follow my journey.

Let’s not be mediocre at this parenting gig, let’s learn more and be more for the sake of those mini-humans we created (bless their cutie pie faces), BUT let’s also not forget ourselves in this quest.

You matter, lovely one. In fact, you and your self-worth matter so much that when you are blazing in all your wondrous radiance, your family, your intimate relationships and your friendships blossom. We forget that, don’t we? That actually putting ourselves first occasionally actually benefits those we love even more.

Ok. Here I go, ready to slow down and invest some time in nurturing me. Wish me luck.

Yours in ambition,

Kate xox

Kate Leiper in Glasses

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