Parenting is hard – but is it rewarding? A resounding, yes!
It was a privilege to have Ms. Nora Rosendahl – A mom, and also the COO of Hinsta Performance and a Ph.D. scholar and Ms. Emma Kimiläinen – A mom, and also a racing car driver and radio personality with us this week on topic of “Parenting & High Performance”.
These two powerhouses beautifully narrated their stories as they juggle between parenting and work. The challenges are real and hard, all the more aggravated during pandemic times, but when you are a parent – you just don’t have the luxury to give up.
Here’s some of the key issues that we discussed with our audience, together with Pekka Pohjakallio, a seasoned coach at Hintsa.
As a mom who is a racing car driver – you do fear for your life. Don’t you?
Working parents bring in a scattered brain to work.
Once a parent, you ought to slow down!
Many such labels are constantly thrown on working parents. Stereotype threat is palpable and does induce an inferiority complex. Nonetheless, if it’s other people’s opinion, should it matter? Should it bother?
It was amazing to hear these leaders – who have been helping Formula 1 champions reach their peak performance – as they spoke about how they have been ceaselessly crushing the stereotypes all their lives.
These experts also warned that while working against the stereotype, you often go overboard, and that can lead to burnout and stress.
That means if sometimes things at work is less than perfect – it’s alright.
If you need help at home, ask for it without guilt. That’s ok!
On this, one of EPTDA Board Members, and a new mommy, Mrs. Loretta Feasby of Fenner Drives expressed:
“I recognize and support the importance of the concept of ‘team work’ when it comes to high performance and parenting. A high performing individual is not any more or less capable after they start a family, it’s more that their priorities and how they allocate their time change.
I welcomed my first child this year – smack bang in the middle of a pandemic. I think of myself as a highly motivated individual who has always been career driven. Having a good support network at work and home, working for a supportive company and having a fantastic team all meant that I was not only able to take some well-deserved time out to enjoy my newborn but I was then also able to make a smooth and quick transition back into the business doing what I love to do without playing catch up.
As one of the leaders of EPTDA, we are committed to taking the necessary steps to shed light on a topic which is not often publicly spoken about but is ever more relevant for both men and women.”
Manage your identity
Parenting is demanding on your time and energy. Often, this plagues parents with fear of failure at work and identity crisis. Our Hintsa panel experts emphasized the need to understand, adapt and embrace identity and managing multiple roles. One needs to understand that their work does not define them; neither does their parenthood.
Instead of thinking of parenting as a hurdle, consider this as empowerment. It adds depth to your personality. You are more patient, more creative, a better team player, and by all means content.
Joanna Gansel, EPTDA Future Leader Ambassador and a young mother says:
“Being a full-time working parent is never an easy job. But a global pandemic adds a whole new dimension of complexity. Remote work is something I was used to, but not with an 8-year-old walking in and needing my full attention, home schooling and entertaining during my working hours. Without online advice, webinars and professional mentors, I would probably failed. With help of strict routine and online resources – and with the world opening up more to reach out and lend a helping hand, even though virtually – we managed to “survive” and perhaps even “thrive”.
Manage the chaos
Parenting is noisy, unpredictable, and confusing more often than not. It is like you got to outsmart a tiny version of yourself, all the time. Emma explained how defining structured days not just for herself but also for her daughter helped her organize and optimize her days better during the lockdown.
Nora emphasized on role transition. In her words, “Make detachment a ritual.” She insists that you best leave the work behind before you enter your home. And vice versa.
Roberto Cugnaschi, Board Member & Former President of EPTDA remarked:
“Even though during COVID I did not have to parent any children – but proudly welcomed our first grandchild into the family in Italy – the Hintsa conversation gave a unique overview on how to deal with different kind of stresses, which you normally do not face when you work in the office. Make detachment a ritual to emphasize transition in and out, from family life to work and vice versa. Focus on the person you want to be in there. This is the best piece of advice I could have received and will master in future.”
Manage the experience
Raising little humans is an enriching experience, which should not hinder the professional growth of parents, men, and women alike. Instead, with a little bit of time and resource management, this turns out to be one of the most fulfilling experiences, making you a happier person.
On this thought, let me repeat the words of Herman Cain, “Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success.”
Therefore, by all means, embrace your bundle of joy a little harder, a little closer, and keep smiling! The best is yet to come..