Reflections and Re-Learning While Prepping for Maternity Leave
Here are some reflections I wanted to offer you before I say goodbye for a bit as I head out on Maternity Leave.
These are lessons I’ve been really grateful to learn the past couple of months and hope you gain some insight from what I’ve learned and even re-learned.
3 Things I’ve Been Re-Learning while preparing for Maternity Leave.
1. Leaning on and trusting others is vital.
Often, colleagues will say to me, “I don’t know how you do it all!” I always respond with a firm, “I DON’T.” I have a very large team that performs essential roles and tasks that I am not equipped or capable of doing.
Never before has that been more clear than as I prepare for my leave.
Bringing my ideas and dreams to fruition hinges on the work of so many and I am consistently humbled and grateful for my community. Community and interdependence is everything.
2. Balls get dropped and it’s almost always ok.
As an ever recovering perfectionist, this has been a steep learning curve for me and frankly it’s much better for my mental health to accept rather than resist this truth. I will continue to make mistakes.
Over the past 3 months, I have been astounded at the number of balls I have dropped, despite all of my efforts to stay on top of everything. It is often embarrassing, stressful, and even downright frustrating.
And it’s given me many opportunities to lean into honesty when I might be tempted to hide my mistakes in an attempt to protect a false front of perfection.
- “I have to be honest, I completely forgot and I am terribly sorry. I’m doing too much right now. Let’s troubleshoot our next steps.”
- “I had planned to get you that outline this afternoon but didn’t organize my time as well as I had thought. Would it be a problem if I get it to you mid-morning tomorrow?”
- “I just realized I inadvertently double booked myself. I appreciate this might be really inconvenient for you, as you are incredibly busy. I apologize. When else might you be available?”
3. Leaning into authenticity helps to decrease anxiety.
It takes a lot of effort, energy, and hustle to appear like you have it all together all the time. I’ve learned that striving to live that way depletes me and is out of alignment with my values.
Paradoxically, moving into greater authenticity has fostered deeper connections in my life and re-wires my nervous system to trust that I don’t always have to “get it right.” I know this will be a lifelong practice for me.
I hope that as you navigate the immense pressures and stressors of your life, you will have the opportunity to rely on trusted others and make room for dropped balls.
We are only human after all. I look forward to reconnecting with you in a few months.
Until then, know that I am sending you my very best.