Inspiracija Kolumna by Nives

Does anyone know the answer to the eternal question – how to be a successful business woman, mother and wife?

At first, “monthly pal” doesn’t show up. Nothing strange that is late, she used to show up even after two weeks. You wait for some time, still no for show…

Now you are a bit worried and suspicious, but still you don’t go for pregnancy test. Let it be, it will show up, there is time. Yet you go to the doctor.
– Congratulations, you’re two months pregnant. – says the balding gentleman and you spread your eyes and ask yourself is it possible, your menstrual cycles were irregular, God would know when is ovulation. On the other hand, last month you’ve had it, how about that? But still, there it is, a beautiful being that you will keep, of course, but that will soon disrupt all your business plans and turn your life upside down.
Is that your story? Or the story of your girlfriend, sister, cousin, or your sister–in–law? It does not matter. It gets even crazier when the future mother has diabetes or some other health problem. They told her that she will not even be able to conceive and now… a child! What a surprise and joy!
What a mix of feelings and what a solicitude!
What a responsibility and complexity. Because she has a job, but she planned a second, better one. Soon she won’t be able to accomplish her plans because the baby is on the way, the baby will slow her down. How to organize herself when she lives 300 km away from her parents or maybe just an hour’s drive away? How to preserve the work that she performed by the contract or for the boss? After maternity leave, how to rise above the competition and get back “in the game”?
Hundreds of questions torment the (future) mother.
Being a mother is the most beautiful job in the world, but some of us want even more satisfaction and fulfillment. We want to improve ourselves, to be a better version of ourselves, not only in the way that we are available to our loved ones when they need us and when we spend quality time with them. Some of us want to be employed, earn our money, show our talents, actualize ourselves (in every aspect). But those who successfully merge motherhood, marriage and career, in order that none of these three suffer, are very rare. To be successful (business) woman, a wonderful mother, sexy wife or partner in the relationship, therefore becomes a major challenge. Perhaps the biggest challenge of our lives.

Because just as Tory Burch said: “My biggest challenge is to be a great mom and business woman”.

This is the thought that daily goes through head of all responsible mothers and career eager women. “Have I made a mistake choosing a career in a large and well-known company, went to a meeting, the hundredth one in the row, rather than spend a pleasant afternoon alone with my child? Should I have completely entrusted my husband with earning for our family and I chose “only” the education of children, regardless of my degree? Have I made a mistake when I left the child with my mom and dad, for the hundredth time, or put him in the kindergarten, eager to make my own business, full of ideas on how to achieve it?” Fortunately, there is a possibility that requires three times more women’s energy and woman’s complete independence, but leaves enough room for personal development. That risky option, when complete care about work and earning we switch to ourselves. When the burden ourselves and work maximum across all our limits, in order to connect everything we want. But still we adjust everything else to our private life and leave enough space for our loved ones. For women who want to be great mothers, often available to their partner and children, but also earn their own money, the best choice may be stand-alone business. Because it is easy to work while you are single girl or in a relationship, things get complicated when you get married, give birth. Then you need to be successful at work but also accessible to all, when they need you and want to be with you.
And they, our loved ones? How will they react when work starts? Will they support you or drain you to the maximum, depends on them but, believe me, a lot depends on you, how you set things.

Some of them can only now, when their children are big, studying or getting married, devote to themselves and the work, they have always dreamed about. Others work from morning to evening,  have meetings in various parts of the world, chasing careers while their parents and family look after their children, while the others dress and feed them. Third ones are getting divorce as soon as they come across first marital problems, a child (children) are left to the care of (former) husband and his family and they are dedicated to their work, in order to achieve something, had their own money. Fourth ones secretly dream of a career, but sacrifice themselves for the sake of the family, children.
There is a lot of examples and what is right, only time will show.
“He’s holding me back, without letting me to express and actualize myself. He thinks that my ideas suck and are of no use. Should I deal only with raising the children and household responsibilities? Then why I studied? I would like to work, but how can I merge a job and children, motherhood, when nobody helps me? How can I work when the children are still small and so dependent? How to work for a boss who will keep me the overtime; who will look after the children? ”
Does this sound familiar? I often hear these and similar stories. And they can’t be an excuse not to move form a single point and just whine. For some women is equally hard with their partners, perhaps even harder and yet, they still remain with them, fighting, actualize themselves. How? They nod at his remarks and instructions and then they continue on their own. No matter that he rebels, roars, screams. They have arguments. “Did you helped me, gave me freedom to decide, to be MYSELF? The way you are YOU? You didn’t? So you don’t respect me. Then shut up and let me work, the way I know and can or I will get sick of torment and then you’ll have real problems.”

How they combine motherhood, family responsibilities, their jobs and hobbies?
They line up priorities and with all things done, they put the check mark. They carry around check lists, what remains to be done and they awards themselves, little thing is enough, every time they succeed something by themselves.
The truth is, when you’re a mom and working woman, it is difficult to successfully merge it all. In order to do that, you will have to give up a lot of (material) things, but also some of your habits and rituals. You will have to adapt to the maximum to a new family member, if you want him to grow in a healthy and society useful human being. If you want for him to one day actualize himself.
You will need to go to bed earlier, although you still don’t want to go, in order to conscientiously fulfill your obligations for the next day. You’ll have to give up your favorite shows, movies and even social networks. Sometimes. And sometimes you can all merge like a real multi-tasker. But it is important to catch the rhythm and not to keep yourself too long over your limits. Because it could cost you the most precious thing – your health. So be careful not to burn out.
In order to successfully accomplish all things planned during the day, you should find enough time for sleep. My biggest problem is lack of sleep. Even if I take a few hours more, I think that is not enough because in the earlier stages I forced my organism too much. Therefore, this problem I solve by dozing in a hammock, in the garden, on sunny days but I do not like to be idle, so I combine vacation with work. That includes caring for my plants but also writing various themed texts, outdoors, in the open air.
Also, that includes listening to my favorite music and working on handmade applications, which will later be part of the new piece of clothes. Every minute is so well used and that is the reason I don’t reproach myself time to rest.

When I have a deadline or I’m under pressure around my child’s school, I avoid all the family and friendly gatherings, socializing. Of course I have nothing against them, but I know, if I go there, I’ll keep myself there for too long and perhaps with the hosts drink few glasses of wine more and when I arrive home it will completely disable me to finish what I planned for the day. I might just fall from exhaustion on the bed, not take off my make up and then, in the morning, scold myself over indiscipline. Also, the next business day after such trips will be very hard for me. Barely durable, I’d say.
As an undergraduate, I liked to keep a diary of commitments and put a check mark next to job done. Even my mom laughed, when next to “create a program of construction”, “practice Organic Chemistry” etc. she saw “eat”, “rest”. That habit I have even now, everywhere I carry paper with a list and in order not to forget where I put that list, I make more of them, I write the same thing in several places. It’s easy to find it, in my purse, at my desk, in my wallet, on a monitor, somewhere I’ll probably see a list. That is how I memorize it and not forgetting to do things. But still it happens that I forget something.
I like to work at night, but not always it worth the time. While you are working, almost to the morning, everyone is sleeping, all is calm and quiet, you can easily concentrate, but…  as soon as you lie down, somehow the morning is here, they are full of energy and in good mood and you, deadbeat, drop things out of the hands. And you frown, in bad mood. Clearly, you are missing those few hours in which they enjoyed. Although sometimes you have to work at night because only then you have peace, the only people who will suffer for your night shift are those in the family. Therefore, as much as you can, try to work during the day, avoid to convey negative mood on others. If they can help you somehow, great, talk about it and if not, rather back up, that’s better. In times of stress, a spark is enough to burst in argue. Arguing will devastate you throughout the day and slow you down, don’t you think?
All women who want to merge their business obligations with family ones, they know how hard it is when you don’t have help from the outside, someone who will unload. Suddenly you are missing mothers and grandmothers who live one, two or three hour’s drive away. In order to pay someone who will relieve you, you need money and money for the extra cost you have to make yourself. How many partners are ready to pay for additional services and accumulate new costs, for your sake, in order that you feel better? Just a few, you will admit. Most of them say, “You can do it all by yourself.” Do you work only to pay others? And you are left with nothing or too little? Therefore, all women, who are struggling alone, they know how important it is to set priorities. All the important things do right away and keep an eye on it, less important leave to wait. You must learn to stand on the ball once and say no. Oh, even shout “no”, if they don’t listen. To anyone, for your own sake.

After a hard day in the city, you might want to just sit on the couch, pour a glass of wine, have some drink in order to relax, but before you do, make sure you have done everything for tomorrow. Drinks will just make you sleepy.
Do not leave even little things for tomorrow, even if it just underwear ironing, sorting laundry, sewing fallen button or dishes in the sink.
Ok, dishwasher and laundry machine wash by themselves, but someone needs to serve them, too, right?
Just one look at the sink full of dishes and a pile of scattered little things can perfectly splash your morning. Especially if you wake up heavily. View of a pile of laundry to be ironed, it can easily spoil the mood, or even pick a fight with your partner or family members. Because they expect the home to be neat and everything available at the time that suits them.

But if you iron for an hour, then do something for your work, then rest, then again you are doing something in the home or household, you actually don’t even notice that you are constantly doing something and quickly see the results.
Heroes can do a lot of things, can do almost everything alone and busy moms are the real superheroes of today, but sometimes even they can’t do everything by themselves. Hard work, hard physical and mental work and care for the family, reflect on the tiredness and their exhausted bodies. Superheroes have to learn to ask for help, when help is very important. That is the key of their survival and regardless of the popular belief that the pause is a sign of weakness, it is actually a sign that we are on top of the game, from where we can observe things done and consider new plans but also to understand that nothing can work out without a fair break.
It’s not the dark period of the Middle Ages, you don’t need to walk behind everyone, clean up and pick up the laundry, collect other people’s scraps of food and drinks, clean as a maid. As soon as children grow up a little, they should learn to take care of their own belongings and toys, clean up after themselves cutlery and play equipment, their room and put things into place. School books and supplies they have to learn to keep in one place, in order to always be available and study and do homeworks in time in order to avoid any additional stress, nor for them or you. Mothers of children with ADHD and similar difficulties knows that best. The organization, concentration and consistency are the most important part of the work. Family members who jump to help with work in the same home, will help you save time and nerves.
So, clearly define the boundaries, where your obligations start and end. Sometimes it’s difficult to determine the boundaries, especially with children, but you have to, if you want that everything in the house works. And in your business, as well.
Don’t try to be always up to the task and marvel all around, from the boss further.
Sometimes you can be average, but also let yourself to shine, those days when you will impress others and to work outside of your limits. The boss needs to understand that you need family time, and if you are your own boss, don’t refer hostile towards yourself and your own body, be without sympathy for yourself. Nothing can go at the expense of another. Family needs to understand that your job fulfills you, that creates income, and that without that work you simply can’t do, no matter how sometimes seems difficult. Even if something doesn’t go as planned, because there will be such times, don’t lose your heart, learn to appreciate yourself and fight for yourself. Others have (only) work and onto you is EVERYTHING.
Take time for yourself. This doesn’t mean you should rush in beauty salons, but occasionally, you can take a walk through the park, make your own wellness at home. There you rest, collect your energy for new victories. Take time for a good meal, that will give you enough energy. And let them call you, let them interrupt your “me” time, switch off sometimes, you also need a new dose of energy to be able to please everyone and be of service. Let them finally understand. They need you and you need them, but you need yourself, too. And if they don’t understand, complain, put too much burden you, step away, they will get the message, when they see that they lose you, the greatest treasure of all.

photo:, linkedin, iBlog

About the author: Nives Stepinac Grgurić ( pseudonym Nives-Stern) is the author of many articles on fashion & lifestyle web sites and She writes about love and life, relationships as a freelance writer for many other portals and blogs and is a columnist at For cooperation please contact at
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