When Motivation Shifts, Pay Attention Mama - by Jen Hatzung for MotherHustle
“I tried to focus less on worrying about being a failed business owner and more on finding a rhythm and routine at home that made me happy and made me feel productive and useful.”

Those first few months after I became a mom, I think I was just going through a lot of the motions. 

I was hustling hard with the She Percolates podcast, and I was working on some of my own personal business goals. We even launched an ebook!

I had planned to go back to work part-time for the company that I worked for remotely. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized it wasn’t going to be the best choice for me and my family in the season we were in. My husband was working 12-15 hour days, and because of his job, he wasn’t home a few nights a week. That didn’t really give me the time I needed to give 100 percent to the job.

As I continued to work on the podcast and other dreams and ideas I had my daughter went from a sleeping newborn to more of an actual baby and human! I found myself with less and less “free” time and also wanting to do more things with her.

I thought I was losing motivation for the podcast and being a part-time working gal.

(Even though I didn’t go back to my part-time job, the podcast was WORK! We were taking on sponsors, and I was working on the show and various aspects of promotion anywhere from 10-20 hours a week.)

All of these goals and dreams I had seemed to feel less important and less of a reality.

I had no desire to open my laptop and work.

I had no desire to post on social media.

I had no desire to offer up advice and be the honest and vulnerable person I was on the internet.

I thought all my motivation was gone.

I was hard on myself.

I was disappointed in myself.

I thought that I had failed.

I thought that I wasn’t able to hack it as a new mama and business owner.

After we walked away from the podcast I knew I needed a break to re-evaluate what it was that I wanted.

I felt like such a failure.

I felt like I had no motivation to succeed at anything. I had zero desire to burn the midnight oil to be a business owner.

I tried to focus less on worrying about being a failed business owner and more on finding a rhythm and routine at home that made me happy and made me feel productive and useful.

The more I focused on being a mom and taking care of home and all the duties that come with that, I had a huge realization: I hadn’t lost my motivation.

I was very motivated to find systems that worked for our family.

I was very motivated to find a sleep schedule that worked for me and my daughter  since my husband was gone for weeks at a time. (Mama needed alone time come 7 pm!)

I was very motivated to lead our kitchen renovation while my husband was gone.

I was very motivated to cultivate relationships with mamas who were in the same season of life as me and in the same city.

I was very motivated to set up rhythms and routines at home that made our lives run more smoothly and made all of us happier.

I slowly realized I was too focused on what I thought I needed to do. I was worried what others would think of me. I was so focused on needing business motivation I didn’t realize I had shifted my energy to something else and my motivation was still there.

After a sleepless night of solo parenting, getting up with a 1-year-old to get our butts to the Y so mama can workout and get home in time for naptime is motivation.

Meal planning, doing laundry, making dinner, and grocery shopping is motivation.

Doctor’s appointments, ballet class, preschool registration, and family calendar organization is motivation.

As I began to forgive myself for the idea that I had thought I failed as a business owner, I began to find the motivation again to open up my laptop and begin working again.

I think what fueled this motivation was a two part-er: 1. I often felt like I could be contributing to our family’s future if I went back to work part-time, and 2. I wanted my daughter to see that it is okay to have an identity and passion for things outside of being a wife or mom.

That second realization hit me when I could see that my daughter was paying attention to everything.

As a toddler, she is paying attention to things like how to brush her hair, where the trash bags are, when it’s time to take our dog Khloe on a walk, etc. But I know sooner rather than later, she is going to be paying attention to the bigger things in life.

It was easy for me to think that because my business motivation was gone, it meant all my motivation was gone. The reality is motherhood requires you to be motivated every.single.day.

In the last 6 months, I have found my business motivation creeping back into my heart and soul. I have a renewed desire to show my daughter that we can accomplish the crazy big goals and dreams we have.

I can feel my heart having that desire again to be creative and work.

I can feel the desire again to have something that is just me. I’m ready for not only being Mom Jen and Wife Jen, but also Work Jen. I have a strong desire to bring in money that will help my family do more fun everyday things, and also to help save for bigger dreams and goals we have.

It can be very easy to see our motivation to work dwindle and think all of a sudden we’ve become a lazy, unmotivated person. But motherhood never allows you to be lazy or unmotivated.

When you catch yourself feeling this way, pay attention to what you are no longer motivated to do and ask yourself why. You might be shifting into a new season and your desires might be changing.


MotherHustle panelist Jen Hatzung is a business strategist + podcaster (podcast currently on hiatus) who lives in Norfolk, VA with her naval officer husband, toddler and dachshund. She can be found drinking copious amounts of coffee or wine (depending on the time of day) while making lists and strategizing when she can fit in her next run. She currently co-leads her local MOPS group, has her own direct sales business selling lipstick, and does the preschool/naptime hustle helping small business owners with their online engagement. If there is any time left in the day she has her nose in a book or watching HGTV. Find her on Instagram.

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