Some call it the hardest job you never get paid for. Motherhood – being responsible for little humans demanding your attention, your money and effort while you try to navigate life with some semblance of order and your sanity still intact. Just ask attorney-at-law Lecia-Gaye Taylor, who has learned to embrace the roller coaster of changes and emotions that come with being a working mother.
While balancing career and kids is seen as the ideal, for Taylor, what is more important than the balancing act is not ‘acting’ at all. The social media influencer is encouraging working moms to do what makes them and their families happy, leaving everything else to take care of itself. “I did an interview with Paula-Anne Porter-Jones some time ago before I became a mother, and she told me that balance was an elusive and stressful concept. That has stuck with me, and ever since then, I have dispensed with the idea of balance. Balance suggests that we are giving the things in our life equal attention, and quite frankly, that is impossible. It’s, therefore, more important to recognise that life is a lot like a pie chart. We allocate different amounts of time to different things.”
Taylor, who shared her views during a recent Malta-sponsored workout session, said life is about accepting some challenges, and instead of stressing about what you cannot do, focusing on what you have done well. This is particularly important for mothers who have a thriving career and a full life. “I think every woman’s struggle is time. There simply isn’t enough time in the day to accomplish all we want, and so we are forever playing catch-up. Therefore, it’s critical that we recognise and acknowledge that we will never be perfect at all things. We will not achieve everything, and that’s okay. An important work commitment may cause you to miss a special moment with your family, or you may have to sacrifice a work obligation, even a promotion, to be there for your family. There is little use in feeling guilty about it all. We need to accept our limitations and take care of ourselves,” she said.
Seized with the importance of taking care of herself, Taylor practises what she preaches with a daily workout at home. “I wait for my husband, who trains me [when he gets] back from the gym, then I head upstairs and work out for an hour. My husband leaves me a bit early to go get ready for work as he takes our daughter to school.” Taylor acknowledges the importance of her husband’s support in sharing the responsibilities of looking after their daughter. She admits that over the past few months, online learning presented a particular challenge for them and their rambunctious three-year-old. “My daughter is in preschool, and thankfully, they have resumed face-to-face classes because online was not happening. Trying to get a 3-year-old to sit still in front of a computer or tablet for an extended period of time is an exercise in futility, so I am perhaps the happiest mother alive with the resumption of face-to-face classes.”
Her day continues with duties as group operations manager and legal counsel with the Bob Marley Group. “I get ready for work, head to the Bob Marley Museum, where I spend most of my day. My first meal is usually at noon, and [after that] I pick up my daughter from school and take her home, then return to work. I leave work at about 7 p.m. most days and head home, where I try to catch up with my daughter and spend some time with Garfield before I fall asleep.”
Taylor emphasises that striving for the ideal of the perfect life will rob you of the joy of the little moments in each day that make a ‘perfectly imperfect’ life truly special. “It is okay to not have it entirely together; to slow down or stop to breathe or recalibrate. All of that is normal. The things that are priority to us should enjoy the greatest amount of time, and for me, that is my family and support system, work and my health.”