This past week, I had the opportunity to attend a great Leadership retreat on the island of St. Martin/Sint Maarten. In addition to all the networking, learning, and enjoying the stunning destination, I was navigating a milestone on my motherhood journey. It was my first trip alone without my son and husband. This was a huge deal for me.
In this blog post, I will share the five lessons I learned personally and professionally over the week. I am dedicating this post to all the working parents who have wondered if prioritizing their careers at some point is the right move.
Lesson #1: Knowing that I can be a great Mother and thrive professionally
It is a fact that motherhood changes your outlook on life, and your priorities shift. When I became a mom, I knew I wanted to continue building my career. I am very grateful for the support community that has encouraged me on the journey over the last three years. Going on this trip to attend a Leadership retreat was a key milestone for me. It felt like a celebration of my career and especially everything I have accomplished professionally since becoming a mother.
Lesson #2: Trusting that my Husband can independently care for our son
Since our son was born, my Husband has been a loving and present father. He takes care of some of our son's needs on a daily basis. However, I wondered if he could take care of our son while working full-time for a week without me being around. I traveled for five days, and my Husband cared for our son. This lesson was very important for me to learn as I get more opportunities to travel.
Lesson #3: Networking with other Leaders is a crucial part of our careers
For four days, I spent time in a beautiful resort with about 40 leaders. When I was a consultant, I got to attend summits and conferences with Leaders. Changing jobs and the pandemic took away the opportunities to have the same experiences. Being with many great people was the best way to spend time away from my family. We had many great conversations, enjoyed meals together, and learned from each other. I walked away feeling very inspired and refreshed.
Lesson #4: Preparing yourself for major milestones helps overcome fears
When the opportunity came up, I said yes without having time to think about a plan. As a planner, this is something that only happens sometimes. Fortunately, I have about four weeks to prepare for the trip, especially mentally. I promised myself I would not back out because I feared the unknown. A few weeks before the trip, I started preparing myself for the fun aspects of the trip, like what I wanted to wear and how I planned to present myself. This process helped me get excited about the trip, and the fears melted away.
Lesson #5: Believing in myself is critical to my success
There have been some key moments in my life when I was reminded of how far I have come in my career. I often share about the imposter syndrome that I experience when I am in some rooms. The truth is that I am meant to be in those rooms and have access to those opportunities. It was important for me not to let my thoughts get in the way and make me minimize the impact I could have had.
I want to wrap up this post with gratitude for the following people:
Happy Father's Day to all the incredible fathers, caregivers, and father figures!!!! Thank you for all you do.
In my early years, I was raised by my mother and the women in our extended family. Everything I learned about Fatherhood was from observing some awesome men. The most profound lessons in Fatherhood have come from watching my husband raise our son for almost three years.
In this blog post, I will share the five ways my husband has been a great father.
Being a present Dad
Every day, I appreciate that my husband is a very present parent to our son. In the environment that I grew up in, many fathers were not present in their children's lives.
Developing our son's creative skills
Our son really enjoys music, instruments, and dancing. His father found out the type of music he liked, got him musical instruments, and encouraged him to enjoy music.
Prioritizing meeting our son's needs
Recently, I realized that my husband and I take care of different needs. Our son is very well-rounded because his father and I meet his needs.
Teaching our son new skills
Every time my husband teaches our son to say to do something new, he gets very excited. Our son is a sponge and soaks in all the knowledge at this age.
Building and maintaining our community
My husband ensures that we spend time with people around us. Social connections are crucial for our and our family's well-being.
Over the years that I have been fortunate to be a parent with my husband, I have learned that we both have a role to play. Both of our roles are equally important and enrich our son's life.
Happy Father's Day to my husband!!!
And just like that, the first half of 2023 is ending. To raise your chances of accomplishing your big goals, you need to know where you are today and plan for action over the next months
In this blog post, we will review and celebrate the progress we have made in the first half of 2023 with the help of some reflection questions. Check out some of my "Her Plan" posts to help you have a great year.
How are you doing?
A great place to start is to check in on ourselves. Think about how you are doing physically, mentally, and emotionally. To be healthy all around, you must be intentional and willing to take action when you notice that you are not doing well in any area.
This year has been intense on many levels. I am in a great place mentally and emotionally. However, I am physically exhausted and need to take care of my body more.
What have you accomplished in the past six months?
Measuring your progress towards your goals provides you with a line of sight into how far you have come. You get to celebrate what you have accomplished and identify the areas where you still have work to do.
Looking back on my goals, I have made a lot of significant progress toward some of my personal, financial, and professional goals
What lessons did you learn from the setback?
In our lives, there will always be things that don't happen as we planned. It is very easy to get discouraged by the setbacks or missed goals. The truth is that there is a lot that is not in our control, and we need to make the best out of those experiences.
One of the biggest lessons I learned this year was how to adjust to times when unexpected things happen. It took me a while to learn to accept
and learn from them.
What are you planning to do differently?
As you check in on where you are with regard to your goals for the year, it is a great time to think about what you want to change to accomplish your large goals in 2023. You have the opportunity to make changes now that will set you up for success for the rest of the year
The biggest change I want to make for the rest of the year is to build more time to have time.
What are you looking forward to?
It is an exciting time to dream about the next months. You can plan and envision what it would take to accomplish your goals for the year. Prepare for action towards your goals and equip yourself with resources to meet them.
Over the next six months, I am looking forward to slowing down a little more
If thinking about your goals make you feel stressed, you are not alone. Take it one step at a time.
Over the years, I have become more aware of how my journey as an immigrant is a privilege. We often hear about the difficult aspects of being an immigrant. With all the challenges, many great things have made my journey a lot of fun and changed the course of my life.
In this blog post, I will share the things that have made my journey as an immigrant the best. Check out my other Her Relocation blog posts about my experiences living in Nigeria, Germany, and the US.
#1: Getting to see multiple countries and cities
Through the last 22 years, I have lived in many different cities in Germany and the US. I have enjoyed the beauty of old cities like Cologne and Trier and appreciate the plentiful sunshine in the San Francisco Bay Area. In addition to enjoying the places I lived in, I have visited some amazing countries.
#2: Speaking multiple languages
It is a gift to be able to speak multiple languages. I am really grateful that I have had the opportunity to learn languages. There is something really special about communicating and building relationships with many people in languages they understand.
#3: Building my community
Moving to Germany at age fifteen without my family meant I had to find my support community quickly. I am grateful for all the friends I have met over the years who are now like family. My journey would have had a very different outcome without these incredible people.
#4: Enriching my cultural identity
My life and cultural identity have been influenced by the countries that I have lived in. There is so much beauty in the richness of culture from different countries. As we raise our son, we share parts of our Nigerian, German, and American culture with him.
#5: Meeting People from all corners of the earth
Over time, I have been fortunate to meet many people and other immigrants in the countries where I lived. I would not have met so people if I did not get to live in multiple countries myself. When I meet people from new countries, it is exciting to hear their stories and experiences.
#6: Thriving professionally
Moving to different countries has had a very positive effect on my career. I have leveraged my skills and applied my unique perspectives to my work. Studying and starting my career in Germany provided me with a great foundation.
#7: Learning to adapt to major life changes
When faced with significant transitions in my life, I remind myself that I have successfully navigated many changes in my life as an immigrant. Some of the changes included moving to different cities, starting a new job, building new relationships, and recreating my life. I learned to embrace change and thrive.
I often wonder how my life would have turned out if I had stayed in Nigeria and did not move to Germany in 2001 or the US years later. This post is a reminder of how awesome everything turned out and a confirmation that I am where I need to be in this phase of my life.