how to handle shifting priorities after becoming a mother

How to Handle Shifting Priorities After Becoming a Mother

So many times, as women, we put the pressure on ourselves and on each other to push through situations, piling more responsibilities on top of our already full and busy lives. Instead of slowing down, checking in with what we want, and what’s working for us, we fall in to trying to do it all. It’s especially refreshing and inspiring to find someone who is actively choosing how they want their life to feel, and making the courageous steps to live that way. Someone who has really inspired me, and has worked hard to discover how to handle shifting priorities after becoming a mother is jewelry designer and entrepreneur, Kris Nations.

Are you having a hard time juggling shifting priorities as a new mom? There are lots of great ideas on how to juggle career and family in this post and podcast with Kris Nations. Click to listen and save for later.

Kris Nations originally joined me in Season 1, on episode 50, and I have found myself thinking back to our conversation many times since then. She and her sister Kim run a jewelry company, and they both have small children. Kris shared about how she and her sister have supported each other as they take time proportionately spend their time between two priorities: their families and the business they love. There’s something beautiful, and openly accepting, in the way that they acknowledge that they are in a season where their time is limited, and their priorities have shifted, if even just for a short period of time.

A Refreshing Approach to Entering Motherhood

Here’s what feels so refreshing about their approach: Kim and Kris remain fiercely dedicated to both family and their business. They are honor and acknowledge that they need and want separate time for both things, and support one another in making the choice to focus on their family when their children were babies. Each Kris and Kim took time to step away from the business for awhile to spend with their children, while her sister managed the business. They lovingly gave each other the space to soak up being a new mother. I know that this is something so many women long for, but something so many of us struggle with, either in admitting that it’s something we want, or in finding a way to financially make it work.

What I loved about Kris is how she acknowledged this shift; and that she and her sister both lovingly accepted ways to make the season work. Yes, they want to say yes to their family and to their company. And yes, they see ways to make this work for them so that it doesn’t mean pushing everything to the max. It can be OK if you focus on one thing over another.

Tenderly honoring what each of us needs in these kinds of sweet and fleeting seasons in our lives is something that many of us don’t do very well. We think that we need to be all things, to all people, and we don’t tap the breaks on things when we find new things going on in our lives. I know I have done this, and I’m guessing that many of you have also made the push to power through when there are multiple priorities for your time.

My Own Experience with Shifting Priorities

I know for myself, I felt awkward admitting that I really craved spending more time with my son after he was born. I’d worked hard at climbing the corporate ladder. A lot of my own identity was linked to that as a good project manager. While my heart ached to slow down and spend time with him, there was also a piece of me that questioned what that meant, or could mean for my future. I’d worked hard to get to the level I was at. It seemed strange to want something else, after I’d chased the corporate dream for so long. And yet, I couldn’t deny that my heart now wanted something so very different.

And here’s what I learned – the other thing vying for your attention, that thing that you know is a lower priority for now (like your job), will be there when you’re ready to focus on it again. When you have a child, you realize that the moments go by so quickly, and then they are gone. I remember thinking that when my son was a baby that that each moment was precious, and that each second would never show up again. It’s hard to juggle the demands of working and parenting, especially when you really want to sink in to the joy of having a tiny human in your life.

Work and the deadlines and the projects will always be around, but I was keenly aware that the time with my son as a small child was limited. Prioritizing my time with him, or acting on my desire to have more time with him might mean moving at a different company. It might mean taking a break and coming back later. Sometimes there’s fear that if we step back or tap the breaks, that thing won’t still be there for us later.

I found out over the last year, when I took time to focus on spending more time with my son, and time to coach and podcast, that those fears didn’t have a place in reality. When I wanted to find a corporate job again, my project management skills were still there, and they were still very marketable. I’m grateful that I took the time to work on my own business, and to spend time with my son over that year and that we got to have our “summer of magic,” which was the summer before his kindergarten year. I’m grateful that I was able to acknowledge and honor what my own heart desired, and happy that I took the time to actively shift my priorities.

Ways to Approach Your Shifting Priorities

You’ve likely been through a time when you added on something new, and then felt the strain of being stretched too thin. Or, maybe like me, you recognized that your priorities changed once you had experienced something new in your life, and really want to find a way to honor what your heart is saying you need.
Take a few minutes to use these questions as writing prompts to get to the heart of what you need, and how to start making changes that reflect your new priorities:

Have you had a time when you added that new thing to the mix of your existing life without stopping to evaluate what that change means, or how it impacts you?
If you’re facing a big shift now, have you taken the time to ask your heart what it wants and needs in this new season?
What can you slow down and do, now, to make the season feel more nourishing to you and your family?
What are the easiest steps you can take to make that a reality for you?
What does your heart ache to say yes to, and how could you make that a reality?

Check out my interview with Kris on the podcast: