Shayla King coach for working women

Work Life Balance Quotes – Lessons learned from a burntout, overwhelmed working mom

I grew up on quotes like:

“Lunch is for losers.” – Thomas Kistner

“Obsessed is a word the lazy use to describe the lazy use to describe the dedicated.” – Russel Warren

“Always be the first one in and the last one out.” – Unknown

“Hard work beats talent every time.” -Tim Notke

I grew up believing and modeling these quotes. No one would outwork me, I would never say no, never quit, never need rest. I was praised for my work ethic and can-do attitude. I got promoted and I got bonuses. Then something happened.

I was working really long hours, think the first email from my boss came in at 4:30 am and I would stay at work until 7:30-8:00pm helping with the latest fire. And there was always a fire. I had a one year old and a three year old at home and I was missing them and feeling so much guilt and judgment for being a bad mom.

I started to notice that the leaders highest up in the organization were long gone before I left the office. I started to question if I was now the go-to, get er done, workhorse that would be used as long as I would allow it, and at the same time would never be promoted in a strategic role because they see me as a do-er and needed the sheer volume of work done that I could produce.

I was in a meeting one day and my boss asked for a volunteer to stay late and finish something. This time I held back, I didn’t initially volunteer and I watched the room. A male colleague more senior than me never volunteered so I figured he would realize it was his turn. He didn’t. We were working war-room style together on a critical project. The next day at 4:30, he said ok I have to go. Leaving at 4:30 felt like leaving at noon. Like we still have a half day or work left, what are you doing? So I asked. Where are you heading.

He told me,

“My kids have a basketball game and I committed I would never miss one.”

My first thought was, never miss one? That seemed like an unrealistic commitment when you have a job. I couldn’t get it out of my head. I kept thinking about it all night. He was a director and I was a manager. How did he say no so often at work and still have a more senior role than me? Is making a commitment like that to your kids actually possible? What would happen if I tried that? Then it hit me.

Every time I said yes to work, I was saying no to my family.

Every time he said no to work, he was saying yes to his family.

I knew something had to change. I knew I had to start saying no. I was scared of the consequences, but I knew I had to choose my family.

And so I did. One project at a time. I pulled back, stopped volunteering, left work for tomorrow, and left without announcing it. It wasn’t a light switch it was dimmer, but each time I didn’t volunteer it felt so scary. I know there was a comment or two, an uncomfortable conversation, but looking back there was no backlash, it was not a career-limiting move. I continued to get promotions and pay increases while working less and less. I noticed that my discernment improved. I started to be able to prioritize my work based on my new realistic hours. I focused on the things that added the most value to my company and stopped spending time on the things that were nice to have.

Now I coach other corporate parents how to make more money, work less and love their personal and professional life.

The work life balance quotes I look to now are:

“What will I be giving up if I say yes to this?” -Shayla King

“It’s either a hell yes or a no.” – Greg McKeown

“You cannot overestimate the unimportance of practically everything.” – John Maxwell

“No is a complete sentence.” – Oprah

“Anything slowing down the execution of the goal should be questioned.” – Greg McKeown

“If you want to change the world, go home and love your family”. – Mother Teresa

“If it is a value, if it is a priority, let it show up in the time you spent.” – Shayla King

“It won’t be like this for long. A family who plays togehter, stays together.” -Unknown

If you want to stop the auto play and create an intentional plan for your life and how you use your time, contact me for a consult to learn more about 1:1 coaching or check out our upcoming retreat in Mexico where you can pause the chaos, recenter on your dreams, and design a life you love.

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Hey there, I’m Shayla King! 🌟I began by flipping pancakes at IHOP and then hustled my way up to the corporate C-Suite before 40. My journey’s had it all. At first, it was grueling. On top of the challenges of being a young woman trying to climb the ladder in male dominated industries, I was also a single mom battling autoimmune diseases.

The silver lining? I spearheaded leadership development at some of America’s largest companies. I used those skills to distill those trials and triumphs into a proven framework. Now, I’m here to help ambitious moms like you design a life of ease and joy. If this IHOP gal can rise, redesign, and thrive, so can you.

Let’s Evolve Together.

Your coach, cheerleader, and accountability partner, Shayla

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