Whether you鈥檙e a tired new mom who鈥檚 learning how to put yourself聽first while preparing to head back to聽work or someone who鈥檚 in love with your career and beginning to consider the idea of having kids, it鈥檚 perfectly normal to experience fears about how you鈥檒l manage work and family. From finding balance to making sure everyone and everything is taken care of, doing it all can seem totally impossible. We talked to Kira Wampler, the CEO at Art.com, who filled聽us in on how raising two聽kids has actually helped her succeed as a woman in tech. She also gave us five great tips any new mom is sure to appreciate.

Happy birthday to me!! 馃巿馃巶馃嵎馃槏馃帄馃槝

A post shared by Kira Wampler (@kirasw) on

鈥淲hen I first became a mom to my daughter 11 years ago, my biggest fear was, 鈥楬ow will I make it all work?鈥 My life already seemed full, rewarding, and very busy,鈥 Wampler tells us. 鈥淥ne of the things that surprised me the most when I returned to work (after my daughter was born) was the logistics of it all 鈥 being a nursing and working mom.鈥 Now a mother of聽two, Wampler鈥檚 impressive career spans more than 20 years in marketing and product experience at companies such as Lyft (where she was most recently the Chief Marketing Officer), Trulia, Lytro, and Intuit.

She tells us that slaying long, meeting-filled work weeks while pumping and nursing wasn鈥檛 easy. 鈥淚鈥檒l never forget my first day back to work; I had planned my day to handle both pumping and back-to-back meetings, and it all hinged on pumping as soon as I got to the office. But just as I walked up to the 鈥榤oms鈥 room, another new mom was reaching for the door,鈥 Wampler shares. 鈥淲e looked at each other, and she said, 鈥業 don鈥檛 mind if you don鈥檛 mind,鈥 so we pumped back-to-back! It鈥檚 amazing what we鈥檒l do to support our children and each other.鈥

3 Ways Motherhood Can Help Your Career

Wampler is quick to credit motherhood with helping her career,聽sharing three main areas where she鈥檚 noticed its impact over the years:

1. It teaches you about patience. 鈥淚鈥檝e never been a very patient person,鈥 Wampler admits, 鈥渂ut am 100 times more so now that I鈥檓 parent.鈥 She affirms聽that she鈥檚 learned that it鈥檚 okay to be impatient with *things* like unnecessary processes and poor customer experiences, but that it鈥檚 not effective to be impatient with *people.* 鈥淲hether it鈥檚 your kids or your team, patience is a critical skill to help people grow and deliver their best,鈥 she wisely says. 鈥淭his growth in my patience level is absolutely a reason why I鈥檓 a CEO today.鈥

2. It helps you learn how to prioritize. 鈥淩uthless prioritization is my superpower! Being a parent gave me that, because you simply don鈥檛 have time for the unimportant stuff. People ask me all the time how I can do it all. I don鈥檛 do it all 鈥 I only do what鈥檚 important.鈥

3. It reminds you to be a good example. Wampler tells us that serving as a good example for her kids is super important to her. 鈥The New York Times recently ran a story asking why more women aren鈥檛 CEOs, and my kids couldn鈥檛 believe there was a story like that to tell when I showed them. Because they鈥檝e seen what is possible, they鈥檙e engaged in the world in a really exciting way. This is the kind of example that I can set for them with my career, my marriage, and our family.鈥 Talk about a great reason to get up and crush it every day!

Heading out for a lovely dinner in Paris

A post shared by Kira Wampler (@kirasw) on

Wampler鈥檚 5 Tips for New Moms

1. Give yourself a visual reminder that it鈥檚 okay. 鈥淲hen I went back to work after my daughter Sophie was born, one of my colleagues and dearest friends gave me a magic wand. I have a typical Type-A personality, which meant I could be super hard on myself (and that can only get worse when you layer on a marriage and children). With the reminder of the wand, and the occasional wave of it when necessary, I have permission for things not to matter so much. My magic wand is still in my office, on my desk at Art.com.鈥 We love it!

2. Your baby hasn鈥檛 read the book.聽鈥淲hen my daughter was a baby, she had colic. I read everything I could about what to do to help her, but nothing worked. A nurse gave me some great advice: 鈥榊our baby hasn鈥檛 read the book.鈥欌 Wampler points out聽that everyone will offer you guidance, but it鈥檚 ultimately up to you to find what works聽best for your family. 鈥淓ventually I figured out that dancing to very loud hip-hop music helped when Sophie was colicky, which definitely wasn鈥檛 in any of the books!鈥

3. Give your kids a tech diet.聽鈥淚 believe that the role of tech is to make our lives more convenient, not to make our kids more convenient,鈥 Wampler asserts. 鈥淢y kids are limited to 20 minutes of screen time a day (with the exception of schoolwork). We鈥檝e been strict on screen time from the beginning, and I can see the difference it makes now that they are getting older. When we鈥檙e together as a family, we鈥檙e talking to each other, including long dinners in nice restaurants.鈥

4. Make technology work for you.聽鈥淭o the degree that tech can take logistics stress off your plate, use it,鈥 Wampler encourages. 鈥淚鈥檓 a big believer in the power of Google Calendar.鈥 To use it effectively, Wampler explains, she and her husband regularly sync up for the week ahead to eliminate the stress that comes from not knowing what each person will do and when things are scheduled for. Good communication is key too, of course.

5. Embrace the chaos.聽鈥淚t sounds clich茅, but time flies,鈥 Wampler reminds us. 鈥淭he days of being a new mom are so vivid in my mind. I can still tell you exactly what those days were like. When you鈥檙e exhausted and working really hard both at work and at home, you can lose the joy fast and forget that鈥檚 the whole point of having a family. Enjoying your family is so important, especially when they鈥檙e little. It goes by really quickly, so embrace and enjoy it.鈥

Which career women and mothers inspire you? Tell us about them @BritandCo聽on Twitter.

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