Season 3, Episode 11: Mom Life and Law with Megan Whiteside
Find Ways to Respect All Parts of Your Identity as a Mom and Career Woman
This week on Confessions of a Working Mom, I was joined by Megan Whiteside, a trial lawyer in Washington D.C. and Maryland and host of the Mom Life and Law podcast. After starting this side hustle last year during the pandemic, Megan learned about all the struggles working moms across other industries had in common with her and her colleagues.
One of the main goals of Mom Life and Law is to help lawyer moms (and other working moms) thrive under the weight of “soul-crushing expectations.” Read on to learn about her tips for respecting all the parts of your working mom identity and setting boundaries on your time to find your bliss and stop feeling like a failure.
Can You Relate?
As a mother and a career woman, we all face expectations to work like we aren’t parents and parent like we don’t have jobs. As Megan talks about in our conversation, this often makes us feel like we are failing at everything. When the world shut down, all of those issues that plagued us pre-pandemic were amplified.
Many of us have had to put our careers and dreams on hold to stay home with our children when schools closed. Even now, almost two years later, the societal expectations for moms to be perfect parents, teachers, and professionals looms over our heads with every perfectly curated Pinterest board and Instagram story.
Comparison is The Thief of Joy
In our isolation, internet friends and Facebook groups became the new Happy Hour gatherings. But most of the time, newsfeeds and stories only show the highlight reels. When we didn’t have the energy to create exciting lesson plans or make our own sourdough starters from scratch, a lot of us felt like we were doing something wrong.
Working from home can be liberating in a lot of ways. Working from home with children around can feel impossible. The mom guilt builds up when you’re sitting at your desk in the living room and your kids are at your feet wanting attention. We feel like horrible parents when we see all the memes and judgement about putting our kids in front of screens when we need some time to ourselves.
Self-Compassion: The Great Liberator
Megan reminds us in this conversation that those pressures we put on ourselves do not serve ANYONE. The real work towards making our lives more balanced starts on the inside. We need to respect all parts of our identities and have compassion for ourselves every day. Give yourself grace. Let go of the guilt.
The first step is coming to terms with exactly who you are. Stop comparing ourselves to others and go back to your core values. What is most important to your happiness? Acknowledge that part of you and own it! It’s okay to delegate, outsource, and ask for help. Be okay with doing less.
Fortify Your Vision
For Megan, this happens every time she hears someone else say “I’m not alone” and she knows they’re going to pay it forward in their own community. Her “non-negotiable” practice every day is to find a quiet few minutes to have a hot cup of coffee and think about her intentions for the day.
What would it take for you to know your vision is realized? Work toward that goal but know your limitations. They’re not failures. They’re boundaries and they must be protected. Trade the activities that deplete you for ones that energize you and you’ll see big changes happen in your life as you reach and exceed your goals.
Sign-up for the Free Calm the Chaos Planner from The Working Mom Collective, where you can finally start to imagine your goals and take action steps toward achieving them daily – even if you currently do not have a daily practice set-up. This planner is 14 pages of actionable steps you can start taking toward achieving your goals – and walking in the direction of your most purposeful life.
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Confessions of a Working Mom Season 3, Episode 11