HOW TO INTEGRATE MUM AND WORK LIFE 

HOW TO INTEGRATE MUM AND WORK LIFE

I had to come to the point where I didn’t feel guilty focusing on me because, at the end of the day, everybody was pulling away from me. And so, I got into this martyr mode where it was like, “Oh no, I have to do that because the kids need me. No, I have to do that because my partner needs me, my mum needs me, my mentees need me, my godchildren need me, and my job needs me. And then I felt like I was falling apart inside. But I felt guilty. It felt selfish. It actually felt selfish. And people say that.

Jackie Taylor, all the way from across the Pacific in the United States. Now she’s got more than two decades under her belt and is leading global operations and implementing dynamic people and technology strategies. Jackie understands that achieving work-life balance as a working mum is a myth, and she believes it’s time to reframe such an unattainable goal. She offers real-world advice and inspiration. She helps people from diverse backgrounds realise their potential and engage more rewardingly in their lives and careers. They’re recognised for her high energy, vast intellect, down-to-earth humour, and uncanny ability to connect with people. Now, she’s also a successful author of three books, and her latest book, Give Me a Boost, is launching at the time of recording this podcast. It offers a down-to-earth, easy-to-understand look at what it takes to be a successful business owner and how to nurture and grow your business even more by using the powerful strategies that catapult your business ahead of your competition and enable you to achieve your dreams. Aside from all of her success, Jackie also loves to travel, is energised by being near the water, enjoys a good karaoke night, and loves a strong cup of coffee. But one of the things that I most loved about finding out more about her was that she sets a goal of laughing every single day. So, if you are ready for some real talk about the real juggle everyday mums face, then take a listen to this episode. Thank you so much, Jackie, for joining me.

 

TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOURSELF AND HOW YOU GOT STARTED DOING WHAT YOU ARE DOING NOW

“So, I am a diversity enthusiast. I am guided by my passions, and I’m energised by helping other people professionally. I spent over 20 years—that’s all I’ll admit to today—as a management consultant, working in a hybrid between technology and human resources all the way to what I do now, which is as a partner with a big four consulting firm. And I am also a mum of five wonderful children, balancing that with my personal endeavours.

 

SHARE WITH US YOUR JOURNEY AND HOW YOU DESCRIBE IT AS INTEGRATION OR JUGGLING AT ALL, SO WE CAN SHOW UP AS OUR BEST SLEVES AT HOME AND AT WORK?

“Yeah, I love the topic because it’s a myth. There is no, I think somebody had a slip of the tongue or something when they said work-life balance or didn’t really think that balance assumes that you will at some point get everything uneven. And so, I don’t believe in work-life balance. I believe in juggling. And so that’s why I started the podcast, “The Real Juggle”, because it is a juggle at some points. My weight is perfect, I’m going to the gym, and everything is wonderful, but my kids are screaming bloody murder. You know what I meant at that time. So, at work, sometimes work goes well and then something else falls short. And so, to me, it’s a juggle when you’re juggling with one ball in the air and the other one down. I think we just have to settle on that, and that’ll manage our expectations.”

I can totally empathise, and I think women—who are based in America, women in Australia, working mums—the struggle is real for all of us. I don’t think it matters geographically, wherever you are in the world, or whatever your ethnicity is; the struggle is real for all of us. And I would love for you to share some strategies with our audience. Most of my audience is actually working mums who are in the property management industry or starting their own businesses in the property management industry. And you write books, you have a podcast, and you are working in a corporate role.

 

WHAT ARE SOME SECRETS AND STRATEGIES THAT YOU USE TO KEEP YOURSELF ORGANISED, MANAGE YOUR TIME, AND AVOID THAT BIG TOPIC OF OVERWHELM AND BURNOUT?

“I agree with you. It is definitely the great unifier of what we all go through. One of the things that I do is prioritise my self-care. I know it sounds cliché, but I have this thing where every so often I go to so many locations, and so, you know, you have the vacation or activities to do with your partner, and then you’ll have the family vacation. I make sure that I do solo vacations, and it’s amazing because the first time I did it, I went to Mexico. I probably shouldn’t have chosen Cancun to do a solo vacation. I got better as time went on. But I realised after the first 24 hours, “Oh my gosh, I’ve gone an entire day without talking. So, from leaving the airport to what I was doing, I ate, I went for walks, I wasn’t talking, and how I felt and the relief and my shoulders dropping was amazing. And so, I am committed to doing that on a regular basis. That’s one of the things that I do. And then the other thing, and we can keep talking about it, is what we’re doing right now, which is that I don’t profess to have all the answers, and I talk to folks who are going through the same thing as your audience.”

So, I actually love having solo holidays as well. And I think the thing for me is that when you have that alone time, it clears that space, that mental clutter that you’re constantly dealing with. I’m a bit of a mental list maker, so I’ve got to pick the kids up at six, I’ve got to take them here, I’ve got to get groceries and so on.

 

WHEN YOU HAVE THAT MENTAL SPACE, YOU WILL HAVE YOUR BEST IDEAS AND INSPIRATION. WOULD YOU AGREE?

“I completely agree. And I am a mental list maker. I make lists on my phone using the memo, and I absolutely keep paper next to my bed so that I can write things down so that I don’t have insomnia and I can go to sleep. And when you talk about having that space to innovate, to me, sleep is medicine; sleep is actually a goal that people underestimate because it puts your body in a very relaxed state. And if you allow yourself to dump off writing lists and things like that to get them out of your mind, then you can innovate. I had some of my best ideas after meditation or waking up from a good rest.”

As soon as I take that space, I have the best inspiration and the best ideas. And our kids, right? Our kids get to see us; our children get to see how we deal with stress and how we handle juggling multiple priorities. I think that makes us better mums. And although we’re not perfect all the time, I still have moments where, and I know that’s the moment when I’m snapping or I’m emotionally reactive, I know that’s when I need to have some space. I need to reprioritise. I need to take some more time out and do that self-care as well.

 

DO YOU DO ANY OTHER THINGS LIKE MEDITATION OR EXERCISE? WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR OTHER STRATEGIES?

“I’ve exercised and worked out, and I noticed that my college daughter, who before said, I don’t want to do that,” now she actually has a workout routine. She’s more of a Type A. So, I had to tell her that there are certain hormones that are released. It’s actually biological. It’s not just Mum wanting you to work out or judging you. And so, she’s getting benefits from that. But I’ll tell you one of the things that I do that I didn’t realise: how many people go for extended periods of time without laughing? So, I try to not take myself too seriously; even though I’m in management consulting or working with entrepreneurs from time to time, I make sure that I laugh on a regular basis. And when I tell you how much that lifts my spirits, just lightens the mood, and helps me deal with things in a better way, so my next recommendation is laughter. “ 

WHAT WAS YOUR GOAL THAT YOU SET TO LAUGH EVERY DAY?

“Let’s dive in a bit deeper and see how that actually does improve your life. Because there are definitely days in the industry that we are all in as property managers where it’s really hard to find the positive side. It’s very negative. Everyone’s always coming to you with a problem. You get dragged down and worn down by a lot of that negative energy, and mental health workers, therapists, pastors, property manager— sometimes you’re in jobs that just weigh you down. So, initially, I set the goal of laughing every day. Now it’s like working out in the beginning, you have to be more ready after a while. You don’t even feel right unless you do a workout. That’s the way I am with laughter. And now it’s just nature, and my team’s people that I work with enjoy working with me a bit more. And they’ve said that because it’s just that— real energy. You can’t see the energy, but you release a certain energy. It’s like a heaviness in the room, even on the virtual road. And my team members will say, “Oh my gosh, I’ve been on all these calls.” I’m so happy to be on this one with you because I know you’re going to say something funny. I’m like, pressure. But ultimately, it’ll start to manifest itself. If you’re purposeful about it, you’ll notice that you’ll do it. The people around you will do it. And you know what those whiny teenager aliens that you’re raising, will start to do too.”

Well, I love that. I think that is a very valuable lesson for all of us, especially in this industry. Now let’s talk a little bit about, well, you. Let’s talk about your podcast first, and then we’ll dive into the new book that you’ve launched. So, the podcast is all about this work-life juggle for women in particular. I know dads have experienced the juggle too.

 

TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT SOME OF THE MESSAGES THAT YOU WANT TO SHARE WITH PEOPLE THROUGH YOUR PODCAST

“So when I lost the part podcast about a year and a half to maybe two years ago, and now it was about the juggle that we lived because I felt that my male counterparts were in the workplace and didn’t really realise the challenges, I would literally join Zoom calls or conference calls after having food on the counter, like mouthing or like doing sign language to the kids dealing with an I E P. And for us in the States, if your kid is in school and they need special help in classes, you’ve got an entire process to support that. And there were days that I sat back and said, “Some people don’t have to go through what we go through. They don’t have that same pressure. So, I created this, and then I also took care of my mum, who is a senior.”

“She lives with me. And so, doctor’s appointments and those things of life. So, I created the real juggle to just tell that story. The people you least expect also have a juggle going on in the background. I had the pleasure of being able to interview some celebrities, everyone’s flaunting after who were able to disclose. I suffered from depression. I take care of an elderly parent and a sibling with a major disability, and people would just say, “Wow, I would’ve never known. So, it just helps to go into the gender empathy that we should have for one another.”

I can totally empathise with that. I take care of her and an elderly mother as well, who has very high care needs. I don’t look after her full-time; she’s in a care facility now. But it’s that emotional juggle that struggles as well. And when people are talking about these conversations, I always think back to when I was a new mum, a career woman, and my work was everything. And I had kids later. I was probably in a bit of postnatal depression, and I felt so alone. But then I joined a mother’s group, and I started understanding that other women were experiencing exactly what I was experiencing. I wasn’t alone.

And the more we talk about it and normalise these conversations, people can realise that they’re not alone in the struggles they go through.

 

THE PODCAST HAS NOW LEFT YOU INTO: IS THIS YOUR FIRST BOOK OR HAVE YOU GOT A FEW BOOKS THERE? 

“So, this is my third book, but it’s been a while. My first two books were written when I was in the throes of parenting. So, it was a parenting book called “Superpower Parenting”. And that was prior to the teens. So, I definitely should do a follow-up. And then I did a children’s book again when you’re in the throes of parenting. So then fast forwards to today, where I wrote this book. Give me a boost for the historically under sourced entrepreneurs, and that’s not just minority entrepreneurs but also women entrepreneurs. And what that forced me to do was take another look at the podcast and say there’s an element to the juggle that’s specific to boosts. So, this upcoming season is the real Juggle Boost edition where we’re talking to entrepreneurs, intrapreneurs, or people who are entrepreneurial but still working within a corporate setting. And we talk about the things that we are going through right now with that juggle, what that looks like, and how to deal with it.”

 

WHAT HAS HELPED YOU TO BE ABLE TO KEEP YOUR SANITY AND GET TO WHERE YOU ARE NOW?

“I have a couple of specific items that have helped me, but I think in general, before I talk about those specifics, I had to come to the point where I didn’t feel guilty focusing on me because at the end of the day, everybody was pulling from me. And so, I got into this martyr mode where it was like, “Oh no, I have to do that because the kids need me. No, I have to do that because my partner needs me, my mum needs me, my mentees need me, my godchildren need me, and my job needs me. And then I felt like I fell apart inside, but I felt guilty. It felt selfish. It felt selfish. “ 

“So, then I finally got to the point, and I’m unapologetic about it, and my kids did have something to say about it when they saw the change. “What do you mean you’re going to do?” “Wait, what do you mean I can’t come in?” No, I’m meditating. I’m listening to my music and relaxing. And so, when I started doing those things, I got energy, and I would literally write down the things, like, “What are the things that bring me joy?” Yes, my kids, the Lord God, I get that, but what are the other things that I can activate that bring me joy? And I would write those things down. I enjoy water, so I’m going to go near more water, I’m going to find the time, and I’m going to prioritise it, and everybody else is going to have to wait. And so that gave me more energy to do other things—specific things that helped me get into that mindset. I love making agreements. Because for me, that helped me not have that emotional burden. What did they think? It’s not about me; it’s about them. And it puts things in context. And then I love the book “A Secret and the Self-Esteem Prophecy”. So those books around manifestation, being in the right place at the right time, and everything happening for a reason I would listen to the audiobooks; I’d read the book. Those things helped me get into the right headspace.

 

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