When Being Present For Your Kids Means Hiding From Yourself - by Illiah Manger for MotherHustle
“I’ve neatly folded away all my feelings of stress, heartbreak and uncertainty during this moment in my life to be mindful and supportive of the pain my girls have felt throughout this process.”

After consciously stepping into the role of Mother Hustler almost three years ago, all the questions rushed in.

How do I achieve work-life balance? It’s a myth. Am I a capable business owner AND creative? Still working on it. How do I use fear to motivate and not let it become an obstacle? Talk to a talented business coach. Do I need a business plan? Most think so. What’s the ROI on daycare? I’ll let you know.

It’s the soundtrack of women in business, like we’re constantly jumping hurdles on the race track of entrepreneurship. There are many I still stumble over.

A new question in my soundtrack: Am I present for my children, my business, myself? What does it mean to be fully present?

The answer for my kids is crystal clear: a resounding YES! Hurdle cleared.

Shonda Rhimes’ Ted Talk, Year of Yes, opened my eyes – kids only want 15 minutes, if we’re lucky. Work will wait. And I will do most anything to give them time.  

My computer is closed between four in the afternoon until eight most nights. We dance and snuggle and craft and talk about things that are important to them. Work can wait, but these moments are fleeting.

This weekend we visited Amuse Toys, a local toy store, to make putty. It was an afternoon of sparkles (literally) and smiles. My girlies still sometimes ask for my attention, but I no longer feel the push and pull of work and life – and neither do they. We focus on small moments that make meaningful memories.

I’ve become painfully aware recently that I’ve neatly folded away all my feelings of stress, heartbreak and uncertainty during this difficult time in my life to be mindful and supportive of the pain my girls have felt throughout this process. 

In doing so, I haven’t been present for myself.

It’s easier. Less painful. More productive. For now.

Until I’m ready to unfold and face all the feelings of being a newly single mom, I’m keeping Buddha’s wisdom close to my heart to live in the now and embrace what’s in front of me:

“The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, nor to worry about the future, but to live the present moment wisely and earnestly.”  Buddha


Illiah Manger is the creative mind and chief designer behind C&V, where she collaborates with daring business owners with heart. She is known for creating clarity and focus while allowing her clients to co-pilot the design process. Illiah wholeheartedly believes in brands that are intimate and designed to tell a story. She is also the co-founder of Elevate & Cultivate, an online community for design professionals to strengthen their skills, get feedback on their work and make friendships stronger than Gotham Ultra. 

Outside of C&V and Elevate & Cultivate, Illiah is a paper lover, mom of two daughters, earl grey tea drinker, cookie hunter and typography lover. Find her on FacebookInstagram and Pinterest

BECOME A MOTHERHUSTLE MAMA!

Get our free Best.Week.Ever Workbook + exclusive stories delivered weekly

Instagram @motherhustle #motherhustle