Television Reporter / Working Mother, OverAchiever Mom
Free Motivational Speaker in Chicago
TOPIC CATEGORY: Motivational
For years, my vision for my life was to HAVE IT ALL -- manage kids, spouse and work successfully and feel fulfilled, happy and healthy. But this was not just another assignment that I could complete by overcoming some challenges and obstacles. As a working, married mother who felt frustrated and overwhelmed every day, I had to change my way of thinking or risk continued erosion of my physical and mental health. MORE >From car crashes to murders to snowstorms, I’ve covered thousands of stories as a television journalist. But I began to realize the most important disaster I had yet to cover – the crisis that mothers everywhere are waging against themselves. The word that seems to sum it up is “OVERWHELMED.” I hear it everywhere, even from the moms who seem to have it all. They can’t keep up with it all. The pace of life in 2016 is beyond our reach.
This is especially noticeable and stressful for those of us who are trying to maintain the elusive trifecta – Perfect Parent, Partner, Professional. I am speaking to you — to all of the women out there who are doing everything in their power and beyond to give their kids their heart and soul, to share with their husbands their secrets and passions, and to devote to their careers their smarts and savvy.
Can we really have it all? How do those seemingly successful, married moms seem to stay sane raising perfect kids with the help of their nurturing spouses while rising up the corporate ranks? When you scratch the surface of the perfect female parent-partner-professional, you’ll find they have learned some key strategies and are living by some unique guidelines. I'd like to share those with your group.
I am a mother to a 15-year-old boy and a 13-year-old girl. I have been with my husband for more than 15 years. I have been a television journalist even longer than that. And during all those years, I have been searching for specific help that I can’t seem to find. My girlfriends are too busy to share their secrets, and half the time they don’t even know themselves how they are pulling it all together. My parents offer guidance but can’t relate to my hectic lifestyle. My husband is compassionate and understanding, but he’s a man. Sometimes he just doesn’t get it. And the answers I’m looking for are not on TV or in magazines or newspapers or even on the Internet. Nowhere do I see advice tailored just for the mom who also wants to keep her marriage and career as healthy and successful as her kids – all at the same time.
There are an abundance of articles about how to raise happy and healthy kids, and I read as many as I can. But the advice doesn’t always fit my life, because I can’t make those organic kale chips while I’m still at work pulling a late shift. And there are tons of spicy stories about how to keep my marriage fresh and exciting, but those tidbits don’t necessarily work for two parents working different shifts. And I have listened to literally thousands of hours of books on tape about developing a thriving business, but I often feel they are talking to a man isolated in a quiet, clean office – not to a woman working from home amid the chaos of her cluttered house, loud children and constantly unfinished housework staring her in the face.
Ultimately, it will be other women and their stories that help each of us confront the day to day struggles faced when balancing kids, marriage, career. It’s a juggling act, with the balls falling to the ground on a regular basis. And that’s a fail, as my kids would say. So are we failing? Many of us feel like we are. We need a voice out there to remind us that we are not -- a voice to tell us how to HAVE IT ALL AT THE SAME TIME AND STAY SANE.
DOES THAT MAKE US CRAZY TO WANT IT ALL? IS THAT WHY WE FEEL LIKE LIFE IS CRAZY MOST DAYS?
It’s not just making US crazy. It’s going to make the next generation crazy too, because they’re watching us. Can we have it all without being crazed, overwhelmed, harried, frustrated, and disappointed in ourselves?
I explore that by sharing stories of the women who seem to have it all – the perfect moms, the ones with the great career, the caring husband, the polite and talented children. Don’t you want to know how you can get that? That's why I am creating a community of working moms whose stories provide inspiration and validation.
So many of us feel we are coming up short. All of us who are trying to handle kids and spouses and careers at the same time seem to feel collectively overwhelmed, frustrated, and at our wit’s end. But we don’t have to. We can help each other. I have discovered the answers some of us have for making it work, and I have gotten those moms to reveal their secrets -- the times when it doesn’t always work as well as we pretend it does. I am creating a community of working moms who share and prop each other up, instead of competing. Mothers need a community of sharing NOT shaming. I am creating a unique media voice addressing those of us women juggling work, kids and spouse.
Women like us – we know what we want. We want to be successful in all three areas of life. And while doing it all, we want to look good and feel good -- not tired and run down and in need of a trip to the gym, the salon and the spa. We want our home and family to look good and feel good -- not cluttered and chaotic and sick and stressed. We know it’s possible. We see other women around us achieving it. But even if it seems like we are achieving it, we feel like failures.
One of my best friends who seems to “have it all” confides: “I am doing it all, but I am doing it all half-ass.” But is she really? Her clients know they can count on her. Her kids say “I love you!” to her every day. Her husband is with her through thick and thin. Another mom I know who is a doctor confided: “It’s too much. Things are falling through the cracks." To everyone else, she has it all. So how did she get that far, and still not be able to get beyond the feeling that what she’s doing is not good enough? How do any of us get there?
By traveling the journey to get there, we realize there are many paths to grabbing that elusive trio and keeping a hold of it. Some do it by maintaining their career through part-time work or job-share. Some do it by running their own business from home. Some do it by working the opposite schedule as their husband. Some do it with the help of a stay-at-home dad or a work-from-home dad. Some do it with the help of their own parents or great child care. Some do it by earning or acquiring so much wealth, they can hire people to pick up the slack in so many areas – maids, tutors, chefs, chauffeurs, assistants, accountants, nannies, designers, etc! (Isn’t that what the rich and famous do?) There are as many paths to the successful trio of Parent-Partner-Professional as there are women trying to achieve it. All you need is the one that will work for you.
I’ve spent more than a decade of my life studying how to do it all – taking in hundreds of articles and books about raising happy and healthy kids, about striving for career aspirations and running a successful business, about keeping a marriage fresh and lively yet deeply meaningful and long-lasting. At this point in life I have turned my study to the real-life female heroes living it. You will hear their stories – what they went through to hang on to all three threads that mean so much to them. When they doubted themselves, how did they get past it? You will see how they live the dream – or really, on some days, the nightmare. We have taken our cameras to their homes to learn how they succeed – and fail – every day -- and then they get up the next day and do it all again.
Parenthood in the 21st Century is not your mother’s experience. It is profoundly different, especially for women balancing a meaningful career and modern marriage amid the pressures of trying to keep their kids away from the dangers lurking online, in our food ingredients, around the corner in our neighborhood, and on and on. With more women in the workforce than ever – and more women in college than men – women balancing all three are the future of America. And we need to be sure the women of America are on track to succeed in all three areas.
We’re tired of articles that only address women who seem to be living in a vacuum – only discussing how to tackle a problem without considering the other two areas in our lives that constantly tug at our attention and keep us distracted and feeling out of balance. I want to help women focused on trying to be successfully performing the non-intersecting roles of powerful career woman, loving wife and stay-at-home mom all at the same time. Impossible? No. One of life's biggest challenges? I think so. If you think so, then reach out to me. I want to give those women going for that brass ring all the help they need.
You don’t have to be a mom with a husband and career to appreciate my talk. Whether you are a mother on the verge of a breakdown because you can’t believe you missed the deadline for the piano recital after the sheet got buried under your mountain of clutter, or you’re a single mom just starting in your career, or you’re a father who doesn’t understand why your wife is always irritable and tired, you can benefit from a chance to learn how other mothers have turned their self-image from frazzled to focused one tiny step at a time.
As a result of developing a one-hour TV pilot featuring profiles of successful working moms, I now have a greater understanding of the motivation that can enrich women’s lives every day! I am offering that insight to groups who would benefit by hearing specific details showcasing how local working mothers have molded their life to feel invigorated and successful on a daily basis.