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: