As a mother, entrepreneur, and bestselling author of “Money: A Love Story,” Kate Northrup knows a thing or two about multi-tasking. And she knows that it’s a guaranteed formula to feel stressed, exhausted and less present for our own children. Her goal? To “support ambitious, motivated, and successful women…to light up the world without burning themselves out in the process.” In short, to help people have more by doing less. Sign us up!
When Kate became a mom (she has another one on the way!), she expanded her focus to teaching the skills mothers need to feel like we’re not constantly falling short. With appearances on The Today Show, Yahoo! Finance, Women’s Health, Glamour, and The Huffington Post, she’s helped millions of women feel empowered to create successful businesses while navigating the hazy waters of motherhood.
Kate took the time to chat with us and share her insights on how we can have more (money, time, quality) without losing ourselves in the process.
THE PREMISE OF HAVING MORE BY DOING LESS
When I became a mother, I was amazed by how all-consuming caring for a child is and how much of me it required. Like, it required ALL of me. My M.O. before had been to work on my business a lot and then spend the rest of my time doing whatever I wanted. Well, [after baby] things were dramatically different. I didn’t have time to screw around anymore and scroll Facebook or say yes to things that weren’t a priority. I needed boundaries. And I needed them NOW. Oh yeah, plus I needed to take care of myself because the emotional ride of having a newborn was something I hadn’t been prepared for.
So for mothers, the philosophy of doing less to have more is even more critical because it helps us to be really present for what matters: taking care of ourselves (I include running my business in this category because it feeds my soul) and taking care of our families.
Origin™ [a membership program that provides cutting-edge business, mothering, and womanhood strategies delivered via video and audio] is my most favorite thing that we’ve ever created as a company. I wanted a place for entrepreneurial moms like me who were brainwashed by our culture to think that our worth is dependent upon our productivity and that the only way to create success is to work harder and push more to come together.
I wanted a sisterhood where we could connect around breastfeeding or teething or email funnels and web design. Plus, I wanted to teach women how to truly love their bodies through honoring their innate feminine cycles and to see the gifts in them as opposed to seeing them as a nuisance or something to medicate away, as our culture would have us believe.
BEING PRESENT OVER FINDING BALANCE
I’m not a huge believer in balance. In fact, I think pursuing balance will make you crazy because there’s really no such thing as the perfect amount of family time and the perfect amount of business or work time.
Instead, I aim to live in alignment and be really present, whether I’m with my family or working or with my husband or friends. It’s not about how much time I devote to each thing. It’s about how much of myself I’m giving to each thing when I’m doing it.
I thought perhaps I’d be a stay-at-home mother when my daughter was born, but I realized by five weeks postpartum that it wasn’t going to be my path. I missed working too much. I’m a better version of myself when I pursue my dreams, which automatically makes me a better version of myself for her.
Screw balance. I just want be happy, and I want my kid to be happy. Every day I figure out how to make both of those things happen at the same time.
I love how easy it is to live in Maine. My mom lives in the house I grew up in about 10 minutes from us. I know everyone at the coffee shop, and I can’t go to the grocery store without running into people I’ve known since childhood.
I love that there’s very little pretense here. People are down to earth, and there’s not a lot of flashy, showy, “look at me” energy like I’ve found other places I’ve lived. People wear L.L. Bean Boots to big galas and don’t wash their cars all winter. I feel free to be who I am here.
Growing up in Maine I always felt really close to nature. My sister and I would go out into the woods when we were little and not come back for hours. We hiked as a family on weekends and rode bikes and sailed and really enjoyed being outside. The love and connection to nature is something I’m really enjoying passing along to Penelope as I take her hiking and swimming in some of the same places I grew up exploring. I think feeling connected to nature makes us better humans because, ultimately, we are animals, after all.
ADVICE TO OTHER MOMS
I wish I could tell all moms that it’s going to be okay. That they’re not doing it wrong, that there’s no right way to do it anyway. Read their baby not the books. Ask for more help. And to be gentle with themselves.
The “do less” philosophy is about releasing our need to wear a badge of honor from stress and busyness and doing it all ourselves. It’s time to cut that shit out, because I don’t know about you, but I don’t want my girl to grow up thinking that her worth depends exclusively on her achievements and how many burdens she’s capable of holding.
I want new moms to know that they’re superheroes, and the fact that they’re responsible for repopulating the planet and for keeping tiny humans alive already means they’re doing enough.