How To Navigate Motherhood

Today’s podcast episode I chat with Karen Sanghera about how to navigate motherhood small business success, and self-care essentials. Karen is the owner of Birth 2 Motherhood a small business built around empowering pregnant mothers around the world.

I am Karen Sanghera, and I’m from California. And I just opened a business online for the first time.

But let me go back to my previous life, where I was a staff accountant in a finance world, freshly out of college, thought I knew what I was going to do. I was in the city, great life. But as the years passed by, I was like, you know, this is not what I want to do.

This is not calling up for my soul, you know, but I kept doing it because the money’s good. You get in this rut, you get in this routine, you keep going and going. And then fast forward, I get married, I have two kids, COVID happens.

And I think that’s when a lot of people had enlightenment, right? A lot of people were like, oh my God, what are we doing? So I had those moments, a moment in COVID while having my kids. I don’t want to do this anymore, you know.

My husband and I talked, I’m blessed with that, that I have a very supportive husband. I think it’s really, really important to have a supporting partner or husband in life. And he’s like, you know, you stay home with the kids and I’ll work and we can afford it.

And that’s when I was like, you know what, if I’m going to stay home, which I want to, because I didn’t have these kids for somebody else to raise them. But I also want to work. I want to pursue my dream.

So that’s where I kicked off. I jumped into real estate as a loan officer because I always wanted to do that. That is where I started to work. you know, being a loan officer, if you don’t know, you work for yourself, essentially.

So entrepreneurship, you got to go and make your own business, you know, business look. So that’s where it kicked off. And I’m like, I could be my own boss. Okay, I can do this. This is hard work.

It’s scary, but I can do this. And it just went, you know, one thing after another. I love being a mom, I am passionate about being a mother, which I think all mothers are. That’s how it started. So here I am, I love it.

We’ve heard the stories of somebody who, you know, has the stable job, has the nine to five job, or sometimes, you know, it’s bigger than the nine to five job. They’re in that realm.

They have the stability. They have the certain paycheck. And then it’s this idea of, I want to, I want to go do something different. I want to chase my own dreams. But then that’s where they get stuck because then they go into the logistics of what it takes to run a business and you’re not having that stable paycheck and all of that.

So take me back. You know, we talked about you being in COVID, take me back to that moment when you were able to say, you have two kids at this time and you’re going to take instability and you’re going to jump into it. What take me through that process?

Just Start

Different things were happening. And I think it doesn’t happen overnight. Something just happens inside of you that pushes you to do that. Um, and I took the opportunity of the moment too, where, you know, my husband’s like, okay, we can do this.

We can afford this. And I said, you know what, if we can do this, if we can survive on one income. And I had savings. So let me just put it out there. What I started off is from my own savings. I didn’t dip into our common savings or his money.

It’s purely what I saved up after leaving my job. So I made a budget. I calculated everything. We sat down, we had a hard conversation, you know, so we did have those conversations. We did plan, you know, but I think that extra push that drive, it wasn’t there before.

There’s something that happened where I’m like, you know what, it’s now or never. I’m home. I want to do something productive, not just for myself, but for my kids. You know, it’s two folds. I want to, I want to complete my dream, but I also want to show them that they can do this at any age and they should, whatever their dreams may be, even if it’s working for corporate America, that’s fine.

But whatever you’re going to do, you’re going to be able to do it. You’re going to have to work hard and you’re going to have to be persistent. You’re going to have to keep going and you can’t be scared.

You know, my dad always tells me, you can’t start anything without risk. And if you’re too scared to take risk, you can’t get anywhere. You know, rather be relationships or career, anything in your life, you have to make that jump.

Otherwise you’re not going to get anywhere. So like I said, I had great support, but something in COVID, you know, being home with your family, but give me a new perspective. And it gave me the courage, like you say, to be like, this is say, I’m going to, I’m going to close my eyes and jump in it and give it my all.

And let’s see where it goes. Cause I’m never going to find out if I don’t do this. So it was scary. It is scary because I’m still fresh. It’s very scary. You know, there’s, there’s times that I don’t sleep at night.

Questioning Everything

There’s times I wake up and like, am I doing the right thing? What am I doing here? Why did I do, you know, you have all these questions. So. Being a being opening your own business or being entrepreneur definitely is a roller coaster of emotions.

It’s high and low There’s days you’re high. There’s days you’re low. You’re like what am I doing you question everything? But you know, I rather do that than work for somebody else, you know I want the freedom financial if I want the freedom my creativity my mind you know, it’s not just about the money.

It’s just being free, which I think we all try to go after Yeah, so that’s what the driving force was and having my two kids I looked at them I said, I need to do something for them I want I need to show them that you can do whatever you want.

Yeah, so here I am whether I feel or I succeed doesn’t matter It’s the point is that I started and that I’m pushing it through, you know Success doesn’t happen overnight. It doesn’t come to everybody But that’s okay, you got to start at least I can say I started and I did what I wanted to do, you know And that’s that makes me happy.

I’m doing what I love every day. I wake up and I’m excited. Yeah, you know who knows what is going to happen, but I’m happy in the moment.

Then and when moment

You said something so powerful…

It’s the when I hit this then I’ll be happy, right? So it’s that when I make all the money or when I’m able to do all of this stuff then that’s the success. But the really cool part and the real interesting part for you is I’m already successful because I started and no one ever talks about that stage, right?

They taught we always look at like the people who are you know What quote -unquote people deem as successful because they’ve been doing it for however many years they make as much money, their influencers, whatever, you know?

But you’re so, so right and it’s super profound of like you started. And I think that’s the true success in life. Yeah, you gotta celebrate the little wins and you gotta say to yourself, I just succeeded today.

I think everybody should have that mindset to truly be happy. Cause if we, and I think we’re conditioned as society that you need to hit these goals to be successful. You know, you’re in school, you gotta pass with flying colors, then you’re successful.

You get out of college and you gotta get a job and there needs to be a prestige job and you’ve gotta do well, you’re successful, you know? So retirement is the same thing. I’m gonna work, work, work, and then I’ll retire and then I’ll do all the things I love to be.

But what about if your body is not at the same page that your mind is? You can’t travel anymore. You just wasted your life. I want to feel that happiness, that joy that success today. So I celebrate my wins every single day even the little ones me taking a jump with the little money I had opened a business. That’s a win to me because I did it because I know it’s hard for people to do that.

It took me almost, you know 10 to 15 years to do this. So you should be proud of yourself anybody who’s thinking about being a business or being an entrepreneur and they do it.

I mean Yeah, to me. I mean that’s Success the definition for everyone is different. For me it’s just you know completing my goal today I want to live in today. What am I doing didn’t make me happy. Yes, so I’m successful My goodness, what a fresh perspective and I haven’t heard that in such a long time That’s so great.

I thank you for sharing that so let’s go into you kind of even mentioned it to a little bit So we’ve taken the start we’ve done that we talked about the ebbs and blows of entrepreneurship. The funny part is I think you know the longer we think that we’re in business the more it doesn’t ebb and flow It does I wish somebody would have told me that I wish somebody would have just sat there and been like I’m gonna be super honest with you Hannah It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been in this industry or whatever industry or entrepreneurship solo-preneurship.

Ebbs & Flows

Yeah, it ebbs and flows Every day and then the funny part is is you just get more comfortable with the unknown and that’s what I realized this year Is I’ve just gotten super comfortable with it so For somebody who is in their first year, but you’re doing super well because you you are you’re taking it day by day Let’s say you have a bad day, right?

Let’s say you those questions start to pop up again your head of, Oh my gosh, what am I doing? Why am I doing this? This is hard. How do you continue to push? I accept it. So I don’t push back those feelings.

So the days that I am feeling low, the days that I feel like, what did I do to myself? I grew, I go through those feelings. If I need to cry, I cry. If I need to just curl up in bed, not talk, I do that.

I do whatever I need to in the moment, and take care of myself and my feelings and acknowledge and say, yes, I am feeling low. This is because it’s a passing. It’s a passing, you know, you’re going to feel low one day and the next day you’re going to be up again.

But the, but the important thing is that you acknowledge and feel those feelings, but then you get right back up. You can be in those feelings for too long. So that’s what I do. So those nights when I’m like, what did I just do?

I put so much money in and I don’t know if this is going to go anywhere. I acknowledge it and I’ll cry over it and then I’d be like, okay, I did not get into this to sit here and cry; I get right back up and I start brainstorming all over again. It’s persistence you’ve got to keep going at it again and again. It’s okay if you feel down, it’s okay if you have those low days where you’re questioning everything. But I think to go through that you just acknowledge and go through the process and then get back up.

And then another part I’m probably just very optimistic and blind I guess I don’t know I put these in blindfolds on I’m like, okay.

I love that you don’t turn away from those feelings I think it’s a lot of the times we you know, we’re like, no, we’re not gonna feel this, but you approach it in such a different way.

It’s no I am I am gonna feel this and I am gonna be sad and I am gonna be scared and I’m also gonna take the next step. Because if you if you don’t acknowledge your feelings if you don’t face your feelings, they’re gonna be in there, you’re just pushing them down.

So you’re not resolving anything. You’re just pushing them down deep hiding them until one day you’re just gonna explode, you know. You’re gonna get up and you’re gonna feel depressing like I don’t know what’s going on. Well, it’s because all those days and weeks and months that you’ve been holding your feelings in and now you don’t know what’s happening to you Well, that’s what’s happening to you.

They need to come out acknowledge them acknowledge your failures. It’s okay, you know that’s all you can do I guess at the end of the day, right? Acknowledge your feelings and get it back up, but to me it’s important because I think is the thing is kind of it’s out of experience too.

You know this is not something I was born knowing from experience because I’ve done all these things I’ve done where I suppressed my feelings and it wasn’t a good thing, you know I wouldn’t want to face the failures.

I don’t want to take risks. So I went through all that face in my early 20s and that got me nowhere. So I think those experiences that were in my 20s is what’s made me today. Yeah. And I’m just like, okay, I’m not going to repeat what I did my 20s.

I’m not going to be that person. I have to be a different person. So it’s also conditioning your mind, changing your mindset. I think it’s a big part of it. Yeah, I think I always tell people to like, if you really want to know a lot about yourself, like if you want to know everything about yourself, start a business because you learn a lot about yourself.

Yes. Like every single insecurity I ever had just popped up on entrepreneurship. And I was like, oh, I didn’t even know that was there. But yeah, okay. That was fun. You find yourself. You find you’re like, whoa, holy crap.

And then you don’t know you’re that strong too. You’re like, wow, I just said that, you know, as a fear of public speaking. And maybe I’ll do it. I have to, right? So again, Little small successes, right?

Wins. You’ve got to, you’ve got to be proud of yourself for doing those kids. These are not easy things. This is not easy at all. No, to put yourself out there and put your name out there and then be like, gosh, I hope you guys like this.

And then no, you know, sometimes it’s crickets and you’re like, who, okay, that didn’t feel good. Yeah. But then it’s easy to go back. I feel like that was always the big thing. And I hear it a lot from people is I put myself out there and then they didn’t like the idea.

So then therefore they don’t like me. And it’s like, no, no, no, no, wait, hold on. Let’s not go there far. Yeah. Let’s, we can reel that back in. It’s another lesson, right? That’s hard. Yeah. Not to take it personally.

Absolutely. Cause no one’s going to love your business more than you. It’s, it’s like your baby. It’s you. You’re like, I’m doing the greatest thing. Everybody should love this. You know, what is this?

Expelling people on earth. You all should love my stuff, but you know, that’s, that’s not going to happen. Yeah. Yes. Not right away. Maybe. Right. It’s always one of those. Um, I do want to talk about because you, you are a mama, right?

So you, well, you’re, you’re so much more, right? You’re a mama, you’re a business owner, you’re a wife. So you, there’s multiple hats that you wear. You have such a really good foundation and a really good mindset with it. And so I think you’re a perfect person to kind of speak on this. How do you, how do you manage it all?

It takes a village.

It’s so true. And I’m so blessed to again, you know, have that village because you can do these things by yourself, you know, you either need a partner in your business. Um, you need a partner in your life.

You can’t, you can’t do things by yourself. You just can’t. I wish that we could, but we can’t. So I’m not scared and I’m not afraid to ask for help. I’m not afraid to be like, “Hey, can you watch my kids today to my mother and my friends a day off?”

Right. Just one day off. And I said, I got to do this. Can you please take care of the kids? And he says, sure, I mean, he has to. He’s being very big trouble if he didn’t. You know, and I’m just like, I’m working.

So, you know, I take care of the kids when you’re working, but it takes a village. It takes a village and it takes discipline on your, I have to. Like I get up early morning because I want that time to myself.

What makes me happy? If I don’t give myself time, I won’t be happy and I won’t be able to do things that I want to. So I need to have that discipline of waking up early, planning everything out in between.

And then once I’m done jumping back and taking care of my kids and they go back to sleep and then jumping back in and trying to do something. Yeah, there are days where I’m like, I don’t feel like doing anything. And that’s OK. But that means I have to work double the next time.

So that’s how I manage. I ask for help, and I I’m disciplined with my time and time management is so, so important. So important because there’s only so much time you have in a day between, you know, kids working, being alive, and then also taking care of yourself.

My whole business, Birth it’s my business name online, is for mothers and self-care because in the process we forget to take care of ourselves. We’re so about the baby and then what happens we start neglecting our mind, our soul, emotions, everything, our body, and then postpartum.

That’s why I feel like you’re more low because what I started feeling was I’m losing myself. I don’t know who I am anymore. I went from being myself to a wife and not to a mother and 24 seven, this is all I’m doing and and it’s great and it’s beautiful, but I don’t want to lose myself.

So to me self-care is so important, you know, that’s what I created out of my business. That’s what I believe and that’s what I do every day. I put myself first, but just why I wake up early and knock out what I need to do.

So you have to be disciplined, you know, you have to be hardworking, you have to be disciplined. Yeah, as you probably know, as anybody knows. Yes, no, definitely. Like entrepreneurship, that is definitely I will say, like if you’re going to do entrepreneurship, you do.

You have to, there has to be some sort of discipline or whether if you, and it’s okay to know yourself if you’re like I’m, I struggle with discipline, that’s okay, but you need to find yourself an accountability person to make sure that you are doing all the stuff that you are doing.

One thing I do want to talk about because I think there has to be, I’m not a mom, but I have a lot of, I’ve been surrounded by children my entire life, I’ve been surrounded by mothers my entire life.

I have a mother who’s been in entrepreneurship now for about 45 years, so I watched, I watched her do it. Yes, it was, she was a very, very positive person to look at and be like, okay, that’s what I want to do.

Yeah, see, you have to have some sort of, I feel, fluidity in terms of your day. So you even mentioned it there just. just a little bit with, right? I have to have discipline and then there are days when I don’t have time to get something done or necessarily I don’t wanna get something done.

And I’ve, you know, I haven’t experienced it myself but that mom guilt or that mom shame comes in and I’m sure a little bit of like maybe an entrepreneur shame kind of comes in. So talk about that a little bit for the moms who are entrepreneurs who are, there are days when they’re like, I’m struggling to do my work today because the kid is maybe not having a good day and like that’s okay.

How do you kind of get past that guilt? God is so difficult, you know, with this mom guilt it’s the same concept when you’re not there with your baby, same concept with your business, you know, you business, and with the business it can suffer, you know, you can financially suffer.

There’s consequences if you don’t give it attention. So it’s so hard. So like I said, if I can’t give it a time in that moment I have to over time and double work. you Either that night or in the morning, you know, and communication is a big part.

If I have a meeting, if I have something going on and I can’t do it because my child is sick, I need to communicate that, you know, I need to let them know. So just staying on top of everything. Right now, I’m not big enough where I have help.

I know other people have assistance and everything, but if you’re an entrepreneur starting out and you have no help, it’s just you, you know, you’re the marketing manager, you’re the salesperson. You’re the boss, you’re the employee.

You’re everything. It’s a lot. You know, you’re wearing different hats within your business. And then that’s an add on to already the hats that you’re wearing as a mother, as a wife, as a cook, as a driver, right?

We talk about how mothers wear all these hats and then on top of that, you have a business you’re wearing. It’s a lot. So that’s where it comes that if I have to work at night, I work at night. So I put my kids down and I work overtime or I work in the morning and I just have to double down on it and not stress about, you know, like, oh my God, I couldn’t do it.

It is what it is. Yeah. A lot of it, you know, you can’t beat yourself up. I don’t like wasting time on, you know, beating myself up because then I’m wasting time, you know, feeling sorry for myself.

I can’t do that. Maybe for a moment. Yeah, you’d be like, okay, but then you get up. Like I said, you’ve got to dust it off, you get up and you just, you just have to go to go. You have to find out what works for you.

Yeah. Everybody’s different. Everybody works differently. So it’s time management, discipline and communication. So you’ve got to figure out how you can do all those in between your 24 hours. It’s not even 24 hours, right?

No, in a day. It’s less than that. So you’ve got to figure it out. What works for you and double down on that and then juggle. I just juggle it all. Yeah. It’s hard. I was going to say, well, and it’s so crazy because.

Navigating Motherhood

I see you and you’re still like, right? We talk about all this stuff. So you just listed out, right? Mom’s got like, you know, 10 hats to wear. And then you add a business owner on top of that. And you got about 15 more hats that you got to put on top of, right?

You’re like, oh, I’m going to set those ones down, but I still got my bag and I got, I’m going to put some more later. Let me just layer on some more hats. Exactly. But don’t be afraid to ask for help. Like I said, I can’t do this by myself, you know?

So if there’s a day where I feel like neglecting my business, I call up my mother and say, hey, what are you doing? If you don’t mind, can you wash the kids? So I go drop them off. And, you know, you could get so much done in two hours.

If you just have peace and quiet and you’re not interrupted, you can get so much done. Yeah. So that’s what I do. Then when I’m in, I’m all focused and that’s it. I go all in. You have to be focused 100%.

When you’re doing something, you have to be all in it. Yeah. That’s the only way to do things. And I think I get a lot of this from my experience. We’re working in corporate world as well, being an accountant.

So that discipline and meeting the deadlines and being professional and communicating, all that comes from that. So I think that really helped me to get where I am today too. And I just applied those tools with my business and being a mother as well.

We were talking about that. There’s some days where we’re like, I got to do, I need, I’m going to set this down and I got to do the laundry and I got to get stuff done. Do I want to do that? No. But I got to do it.


You got to prioritize. You got to prioritize. What’s more important? You know, if laundry doesn’t get done for one more day, it’s okay. Yes. Business can’t suffer. I got to do that. I got to pay attention to that.

That’s okay. It’s my home. It’s my clothes. You know, it’s okay. No one else is going to see it. It’s fine. It’s fine. You know, I have a laundry room, I close the door and it’s all good. Nobody needs to see it.

So you got to prioritize. You got to see what’s important and it’s okay. You can’t beat yourself up and say, oh, you couldn’t get to that one thing. What did you get to the most important thing? You know, in your business, as being entrepreneurship, then you’re okay.

Then that’s fine. You know, if your child is wanting to hug, then you put everything down and you get that child a hug and spend five minutes with that child. You know, so it’s juggling. It’s just juggling.

And there’s no hard rulebook for this. You just got to do what helps in the moment. What works? I feel I love that. My last kind of question that I want to ask you, because I do think it’s a really big deal and we’ve touched on it and everybody has heard it, but I think sometimes you have enough discipline, it sounds like, and it’s also a value, obviously, because that’s what your whole realm of business is.

So we’ll talk about that in a second. But prioritizing yourself first. Yeah. Hard. Hard to do, especially when you’ve got a million hats to juggle, right? We already, we talked about that. But how do you do it?

How do you sit down? How do you take the time? The 10 minutes in the morning to love on yourself and put yourself first so that way you can show up in the day. How do you? do that. So I get up in the morning, I love coffee.

I’m such a caffeine addict. Rather it be coffee or tea, I have them. I don’t know if anybody knows about Indian tea or the chai that you guys talk about. So I make that from scratch with water, like milk, you know, all the spices.

So whatever wakes me up, those are my two beverages. I need to have them. So there’s certain things I need to do in half, right? So I do that. And I put some soft music on. If I need to read a book or read a book, I’m gonna drink my coffee and look outside the window.

I’ll do that, whatever. You know, and I just need that peace and quiet for at least 30 minutes. And I tell my husband, don’t come to me. It’s to me. You know, that is my 30 minutes. Because all day long is chaos.

My mind is working. You know, it’s not quiet. Everybody’s moving around me. The first thing in the morning, I want that quiet. And that’s what gives me the energy to do what I need to throughout that whole day.

Can you imagine just 30 minutes of me by myself gives me the energy to do everything else throughout the day. So that’s how I take care of myself. And then when my husband comes home, then I’d be like, okay, I need 30 minutes again.

I need to go take a shower, because I have to take a shower. Some days are like that. Don’t rush me. I’ll tell you, it’s so hard. In the beginning, what I used to do, was I’m like, okay, I need 30 minutes.

I’m gonna go take a shower. You know what I would do? I’ll take five minutes, because I’m like, oh my God, I don’t think so, but he can take care of the babies. Oh my God, they’re probably crying. They need me.

What ended up happening was I burned myself out, I started getting cranky, I started blaming my husband. And it wasn’t working. And so I had to really sit down and kind of self-reflect, you know, and be like, what is wrong here?

What can I do to take care of myself? You know, and not lash out. And so I had to train myself to be like, no, you’re taking care of yourself. You’re not paying attention to anybody or anything right now.

You’re gonna do what you need to do to help yourself right now. And that’s what I do. I show everything off. And that really gets me going. And that gets me relaxed. So again, it was a journey, right?

I’m not like, oh yeah, I’m gonna do this myself. When your mom is heart, because you’re constantly trying to run to your babies. I really, really had to train myself not to do that. Cause the outcome wasn’t good for them or for myself, where, you know, I’m not getting enough sleep or I’m burned out.

I’m yelling at the kids, yelling at my husband. What’s the point then? You know. So. It’s just so crazy. We talk about 24 hours in a day and all you’re asking for is 30 minutes. So like you put it in like, right?

You take the emotion out of it. And I just logistically, I tell you, like 24 hours in a day and you’re asking for 30 minutes. Just 30 minutes. That’s all I can do. Right. Which is okay. But that 30 minutes, like really taking like 30 minutes in terms of like being completely still and taking your time and enjoying yourself.

It doesn’t sound like a long time, but 30 minutes is a long time in terms of that. Like when you look at the rest of the world and how crazy and how fast everything is in the constant stimulation, you take that 30 minutes.

Oh, 30 minutes is life changing. Even if you have to break it down to increments, 15 minutes in the morning, 15 minutes in the middle of the day, whatever works for you, right? And your schedule, if you could do 15, 15, 15, that adds up.

I mean, you’re giving yourself a break every one, two hours or whatever. It’s important. You know, this works for me for my schedule, 30 minutes in the morning, 30 minutes in the evening. You know, so whatever works for you, but the point is, it’s so important to give yourself time, or do you break it up or you take it in, you know, 30 minutes, an hour or whatever, but you have to.

Yeah, if you want to say if you don’t want to go insane… If you don’t want to snap at your husband or your spouse or your children or yourself, you know or the person who’s giving you coffee Have a coffee right?

You know, whether you’re a mother or you’re an entrepreneur, you got to take care of yourself. So this is where it’s sent from, from that idea to remind everybody, slow down, take care of yourself first.

And then you you could conquer the world.

I will see you all next time. Thank you for listen to the Embody Podcast : How To Navigate Motherhood

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