November 16, 2021 | PARENTING
While leading organizations globally as a working mom, Sara Madera became a certified executive coach after realizing personal development was the favourite part of her job. A naturally good listener and a mother of two, Sara focuses on helping women redefine for themselves what it means to be a successful working mother – and making that vision a reality.
Whether you are thinking of making a big change at work or home, Sara will help you sharpen your goals, create a realistic plan to achieve them, and then tell the world all you’ve accomplished!
So many women (including me) find themselves unprepared for how drastically motherhood will impact their career and force them to redefine their sense of self.
When I was pregnant with my first child, I was sure having a child wouldn’t affect my ambition. Sure, I’d have a kid, but it wouldn’t change who I was! And even after I quit my job during maternity leave, I searched for moments (nap time or after my daughter went to bed) to be myself, not someone’s mom. I was exhausted, yes because I was up all night taking care of a small human, but also from trying to be “the same as I was before.”
Finally, after 4 years of pregnancy and breastfeeding and running a marketing & communications business on the side, I thought I was ready to get back into the full-time work force, out of house and be a working professional again.
I threw myself into work. I took on extra assignments and worked nights and weekends. I was exhausted and stressed at home, often still working when I was there. I quickly grew unhappy and the last straw when was when I got sick that left me unable to leave the couch for months, unable to play and connect much with my active children.
It made me realize that I needed to leave that job, which I did. And I took the next year to heal, both my health and my relationship with my kids. The pandemic actually helped as it forced our time to be focused on our little unit, outside of working hours.
When I talk to new moms struggling with their sense of self outside of motherhood, my heart goes out to them. There needs to be more resources to support this transition — and that’s where I come in.
I manage our family calendar like I do my work calendar. I look for fun activities that will create positive interactions. I like to theme events around the holidays or yearly goals, but also for a trip to a new playground or pool time. Knowing these outings are coming builds excitement and energizes all of us for fun family time, and also takes away any guilt about “me time”.
This one has been the hardest for me as I have big dreams and I want them to happen tomorrow! But I also want to be a good mom, and I also recently decided that I’d like to enjoy the journey to achievement. So even though I still have my extensive goal list for the year, I work on taking a step toward achieving one of those goals each day. Or small steps towards many of them. Whatever works for me that day within my energy and time commitments. It helps to keep me on track but not feel overwhelmed.
This quiet time helps me to look inward and recognize how I’m feeling and any adjustments I may need to make. Maybe my energy is a bit low, or my attitude is not the best or maybe it’s just a few minutes to connect with my inner mentor. It always sets me up for a good day of being a mom and an employee/boss.