by Sam Salenger, Sam Salenger Coaching
Not all of you will relate to this post. Some of you awesome moms are past the teenage years, some of you don’t have children, and some of you are younger than “middle age” and your kiddos are little and sweet.
But whether or not you have kids, if you haven’t yet gotten to middle age… that train is a-comin’ for you. If you have little ones, your kids will be teens one day, and hopefully you’ll still be an entrepreneur. And if you’re past all this, Goddess bless you and send the rest of us some love and strength.
I know this because being an entrepreneur, a single mom in middle age, and raising teenagers feels like being in the eye of a hurricane: you’ve made it through one side with all its destruction, you’ve got a moment of eerily quiet calm, and you’re waiting for the other side of the chaos.
I am an intuitive empowerment coach for women in midlife. I have lots of tools to help my clients navigate through self doubt, anxiety, lack of confidence and clarity — and to help them figure out steps to take to take control of their lives. I’m also, as it turns out, a business owner — a fact I only recently “got.” Like many of you, I thought I was getting into business to do the “thing,” which for me is coaching. That actually is about 10% of what I spend my time doing. The rest of the time can feel like a slog: relentless, never-ending, confusing, patience-wearing work.
Now, throw in the hormonal hurricane that is at the intersection of middle age (perimenopause for me) and teenagers (puberty for them). What with the lack of sleep, rage-fueled outbursts, crying fits, anxiety about friends and relationships, hormonal ups and downs, and the need for copious amounts of chocolate (I honestly don’t even know who I’m describing there — me or my teens!), there are times when not a lot of business is getting done.
I am my kids’ rock. I hold it all together for them. I need to be the steady pier so they can weather the storm; meanwhile, we all know that being in business for yourself is like being in a storm much of the time. So how do we, as moms and business owners, be the calm center our kids need us to be? Especially when we have our own hormones thrashing around?
Here are some tips that have helped me:
When it feels like you’d rather trade your teen for a rabid dog, remembering what you are grateful for in regard to that teen can help switch your perspective. It can also help you in your business. When you are feeling crushed by the weight of what it takes to build and maintain a successful business, jotting down some reasons you are grateful not to be in a cubicle farm doing someone else’s work can do wonders for your attitude.
This is closely related to #1: Whether you’re in a knock-down, drag-out fight with your teen, or you are in a knock-down, drag-out fight with yourself in your business, remembering why you wanted to be a mom and why you went into business can be very very helpful. You were probably called to do both. Tap into that old and distant feeling and come to each interaction from that place.
When you are in a space of not liking your teen and feeling like they are headed for either jail or the streets, ask yourself if that is true. When you feel like your business is failing and you are drowning ask the same question. Likely, your thoughts aren’t true at all. Likely, you need more patience, compassion, and trust in each situation.
Both in parenting and in business, it’s important to book time for yourself. You need time for self care, yes, but also to get stuff done. Crossing items off the “to do” list feels amazing, so schedule time to check off the list and feel accomplished. It’s also vital to schedule time for just you and your teen. They act like they don’t want us at all, but really they are dying for our attention. A little one-on-one can go a long way.
Like Dill says, you might be in business for yourself, but you don’t have to do it all by yourself. This is also true for parenting teenagers. There is so much help to be found that can be really valuable and remind us that we are part of the village!
Finally, a word from our mothers, who we tortured during our own teenage years: “This too shall pass.” This time with teens is intense, no doubt, and it goes so fast. It’s so easy to let them isolate and pull away from us, but in just a few short years, they’ll be gone and your business will have all of your attention. On the flip side, your business may feel overwhelming right now, but then you’ll have a great week or some awesome “ah-ha!” moment and you’ll feel on top of the world. Remembering that nothing ever stays the same can give you solace and strength. Practice patience and compassion, and trust-breathe into these feelings often and you, your teen, and your business will survive…and probably even thrive!
Sam Salenger, Sam Salenger Coaching
Sam is a Certified Professional Coach who specializes in working with women who are ready to remember their power and voice — and reclaim middle age! Her passion is working one-on-one with women to identify what it is they really want, why they want it, and how to make it happen. Sam also works with small and large groups around mindset and resilience, giving folks the tools to succeed in their lives with less effort and more joy.
Before becoming a coach, Sam was a classroom and art teacher. She still loves to teach, but her focus has shifted to women in order to help them see how incredible they really are! Sam’s greatest happiness is connecting: connecting women to their power, connecting women to each other, and connecting the dots for clients to break through to success.