SEASON 3, EPISODE 74
Friend, don’t believe the hype! We’re talking about balance and how to show up when you’ve got A LOT going on. With all the titles we wear as mamas, entrepreneurs, employees, sisters, friends, etc – is it possible to balance IT ALL?
What you see on social isn’t real so don’t buy in to it. Instead of perfect balance, let’s talk about something called perfect presence.
I’m glad you’re here! Pull up a seat, turn the volume up, and let’s chat.
Listen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Google, or iHeartRadio
Read the transcript for this episode!
Season 3, Episode 74
Hey friends. I am so beyond excited to be here with you today. Now if you have already watched the beginning of this chat over on Instagram, if you haven’t, head over to at Nicole Walters. That’s what I am all around the internet. But if you head over to Instagram you will see that I started doing this chat live over there. So this is a very special conversation. Now I know you’re used to me coming to you in your car or while you are making dinner for the kiddos, you name it, we spend a little bit of this time together.
But this particular chat, I let you guys pick the topic, and I also recorded it live for you. So you could see how it goes. Because we typically don’t always do it like this. So here we are having the potential for a face-to-face if you want to see this one head over there. But of course, I’m so excited to chat with you today.
Now, in today’s chat, as picked and decided by y’all we are going to talk about a hot button issue. Whether you are an entrepreneur or a mother. Whether you are balancing your corporate career, or if you’re just a stay at home who has… I should remove the word just. If you are a stay at home master mama, you are wondering about balance. It is easily the thing that people ask me the most. Now, if you are coming to this chat for the first time, or you are recommended or we are meeting for the first time, you may be wondering, why would people ask you, Nicole about balance? You know, what is that all about? Well, I want you to know that if you’ve followed me for the past couple of years, you know that I’ve got a lot going on. And when I say a lot going on, I don’t just mean my issues, right? I got issues, okay? I’ve got a lot going on in my life, right? God is still working on me.
But when people say you have a lot going on, they mean that I am juggling a lot of career-driven balls, right? So I’ve got TV show deals that I’m working on, a book deal. And a book that’s actually out right now. It’s called Nothing is Missing. It is on shelves everywhere, you’re gonna hear little ads tucked in here. And they’re all about it. But it’s on shelves, and it’s going to be available October 10. So you can grab a copy anywhere books are sold, but I have a book deal. I do private coaching and masterminds.
Just today alone, I did podcast interviews and promotion and press. I did a live keynote, I interviewed for another episode, this incredible woman that I cannot wait for you to meet. And when I tell you, I do have a lot going on. I also have three kiddos. I’ve got an 11 year old who I worry won’t make it to 12 because she is driving me crazy with the preteen-ness. I also have a 21 year old which is a category in and of itself. And a 24 year old who I mean, plot twist spoiler alert, they never leave. So you can understand that, more than anyone, I definitely have stuff going on just like you.
Now, what does that mean? It means that I have to be very aware of where I’m going to be with my time. And that’s the first thing that I wanted to share now. I think that when it comes to balance we hear and we see people on social media and they seem to have it all together. Am I right? We get so frustrated when we are watching moms that seem to know how to serve their kids pancakes, and also you know, decorate their whole house and they’re also making millions of dollars while they’re doing it. And then they have these incredible marriages and we’re just like my god like, woman how are you doing all this? And you have abs?! Y’all I have one ab and I’ve had one abe easily since 2007. I don’t even know where the other five are located, right? And then these women are out here doing it all and with greatness now applause to them but the truth is truth bomb. They’re not. These women have glam teams. These women have and I say this as someone you know I live in LA. Okay, there is a behind the scenes glam squad.
When I tell you there are women who go into birthing centers. And when they go into those birthing centers, they bring their glam squad. They deliver the baby, they hand the baby off, they get glammed up, they bring the baby back and they host the photoshoot. Truth, truth moment. So I’m just letting you know right now, don’t believe the hype.
The only reason you may feel out of balance is because the awareness around true balance is not real online. Sit in that for a second sister. You’re feeling like you’re the only person who’s living in chaos, when in reality, no one’s talking about their chaos except for me. Y’all know that I’m sitting in the backseat of the Target, eating a copious and an inappropriate amount of cheese while watching old episodes of friends. That’s who I am. That’s who I’ve been. Right?
So between the two of us we’re here thinking we’re going crazy but the truth is, so is everybody. Everyone is a hot mess in the morning, hashtag did not wake up like this. So what I want to tell you is awareness is a mess. But what I want to tell you about having balance in your own life is that it’s possible to have imperfect balance. So if the goal that you’re defining for yourself is, I will always spend an equal amount of time in each area, and all areas will be perfectly fruitful. That is not a reasonable goal. It just isn’t possible. And no one is doing that.
Let me be the friend who leans in and tells you this, if your goal is to be in all areas of your life, absolutely perfectly, flawlessly, and performing equally. And all those areas are incredibly fruitful, isa lie, sister! Okay? Breathe easy exhale, and no, you haven’t even failed and you aren’t failing. Because it’s not a thing. It’s not a thing.
And I talk about this a lot in my book, that you know, all the things you’ve seen from the outside me accomplishing these goals. So many of you first met me when I quit my job live online in front of 10,000 people, and, you know, left corporate America and branched into my own business. And since then you’ve seen me add all the income streams and add all the babies and do all these things. And I have to tell you that, you know, the truth is, I got really out of balance. Oh, I can feel the tears starting to well up. You know, I didn’t do any of these things with balance and I’ve never been someone who said that I wasn’t balanced. You know, my blood pressure was 173 over 153 when I knew that I had to change my life drastically and alter the way I was doing business. If that’s not a sign that you’re out of balance, I don’t know what is.
I managed to grow really, really well in certain areas. You know, my business was thriving, my professional life was thriving. My kids were thriving, and, and I felt good about how I was showing up in the world. But I knew there was more I could do in a different way. My marriage wasn’t doing great. But that wasn’t necessarily solely due to my professional things. It just kind of always had that as an overtone. But when I tell you, none of that had to do with perfect balance.
So here’s the plot twist, I’m going to tell you kind of spoiler alert, what it really is about. It’s about perfect presence.
I just want to shift your perspective, this language that you hear all the time around, aiming for perfect balance is not real. It’s not helpful. It’s not graceful. And it’s not an authentic goal to strive for, if you are someone who is trying to succeed professionally. Heck if you’re someone who is trying to just take care of your babies, and also drink your water, moisturize your face, you know and have a snack here and there.
If you’re aiming for perfect balance, you will miss the mark every time. What I would love to see you shift to is perfect presence. Now knowing that you will be imperfect, that’s real life. But if the goal is perfect presence, which I’ll explain to you in detail, you have something far more attainable, that you can actually aim for. So this is what perfect presence looks like. I always love to use this example. We’re all going to juggle a lot of balls in our life, right? We have to become masterful jugglers, but I want you to get really great at identifying which of these balls are made out of rubber. And which of these balls are made out of glass.
So here’s an example of how I’ve identified that in my life. Rubber balls are things like carpool pickup. If I pick up my little one or if the Misterfella, my guy Alex, picks up the little one. Not really something that’s a make or break in my relationship with my tiny, right? She’s not going to remember every single pickup over the course of hundreds of pickups during her schooling career, right? It’s a rubber ball. So if I miss one, I can bounce back from that. Are you picking up what I’m laying down?
But there are glass balls. Glass walls are also being juggled with the rubber ones. And glass balls look like things like did I make it to her for a school play? The week that she started middle school did I decide to travel on that date? Or did I decide to be home to make sure I was supporting her? So I’m going to use a real transparent moment, you know as someone who is solely responsible for my babies and is, you know, I’m grateful the Mistefella is here all the time and is supporting us but you know it’s just me. I’m the primary parent. And what that means is when she was going into sixth grade for the mamas out there listening and for the women who remember Middle School, it’s crazy. You think you kind of know what you’re going into, you have first day of school excitement. But there’s so much happening. There are bigger people in the school, lots of emotions, lots of feels. And that is exactly what occurred.
I knew she was going into something new and that my job as a mother was to make myself available to her. I didn’t know what I was preparing for, but I knew I needed to be present, just in case anything came up. So what did that look like in a business standpoint? It meant that when I was scheduling my book tour, which is happening from October 9 through October 18, that when they said to me, Nicole, when can we do this book tour, I said, look, the publication date has got to not be around her first week of school. Ideally, not around her first month of school. I would like to have a good solid six week to two month cushion around this time, because not being there to support her during the beginning of middle school means that I may drop a glass ball that will shatter the rest of her schooling career.
Now I know that can sound dramatic but I know my daughter, that contextualization, right putting into context, experiences she’s having at the forefront, keeps her in the game. She’s a new human to this planet and everything that she’s being introduced to is still new. So I really want to make sure that as she walks into her experiences in middle school, as she’s introduced to older kids talking about things she may not have heard before, as she gets new homework and more responsibility and more flexibility and more independence, that she has a mom that’s there on the day she needs to talk about it and the mom that’s there on the days that she may not think she needs to talk about it. But someone there is looking at her and saying a conversation needs to be had. And I am the person who does that. I am her mama. And so you better believe that that was a glass ball that I was juggling, and it was not worth shattering.
So right there, I just want you to take a moment and pause. How many of you, wow many times have you sat here and felt like everything you are juggling in life, that you’re trying to “balance” is a glass? All that Oh, my goodness, what if I drop it? What if it shatters? What will I do? These are all such serious things. And I’m the only one who can do it. I want to tell you’re still going to keep juggling, but you need to start realizing that certain things fall into different categories and you’re not going to be perfect every day. You will drop the ball. I just want you to keep your eye on what really matters. And that’s what perfect presence is.
So perfect presence is essentially look, I travel as a mom, I work really hard. Part of my brand is being on TV sets. When I’m filming a show I am working 15 hour days. You know, I meet with clients, I have speaking engagements. I’m really blessed and I’ve worked hard to have the career that I have. But my babies are always my priority. You can ask my littles, all three of them, right up to 24, on any given day, if I was on stage, with the fanciest of fancy people, if they called me I’d have to say, I’m really sorry, Beyonce, I gotta move. I gotta go, my baby’s calling. Best, sis. That would be the energy.
And I know that you’re the same way too and so perfect presents is that when I’ve identified where I need to be and what matters most in each season, because it often will change, right? It has changed just with three kids alone, where I need to be for my 24 year old in some seasons is different from where I need to be for my 21 year old. And same with my 11 year old. So where I need to be in each of these seasons is critically important to identify because when I am there, I am all in.
I aim for a perfection in my presence. I want my kids to feel like they are the full priority. Like they are critically important. Like I am all in and totally interested in everything that they have going on. Because one, that’s the truth. I love my babies and I want them to feel and know that because if I give them that, it can hold them through the weekend that I have to leave and go do a speaking gig. And so that’s what I aim for.
So here’s some simple ways that I maintain perfect presence. If I have to, you’ve never heard this one before, so you hear people say on the internet all the time, put down your phone, right? When you’re with your little, give them perfect presence, put down your phone, don’t look at your phone, leave it in another room, like you hear that all the time. Am I right? Well, I want to tell you that I have other kids, right? <laughs>
So when I’m with one of them, not having my phone could be an issue because my other kids may need me right? And I have people that I’m responsible for, you know, and for a long time, I had a father who was very ill with Parkinson’s. Keeping my phone near me is a real thing plus I work. And so I want you to know right now that perfection in that form for me looks like I’ve gotten really good at if I’m using my phone, and I’m with my kids, and I’m addressing something brief. I will say to them, just like this, Hey, cutie pie, what you’re saying to me is really important and I want you to have my full attention, can you hold that thought for a split second, while I just finished this, so that I can give you all of my attention because I don’t want to half hear what you’re saying. Because I want to be all in. And so what will happen is if and I try again, to not look at my phone, let’s understand that that’s the baseline, right? If perfection is I’m not looking at my phone at all, sure. But if something comes up, or if they catch me and walk into the room, in the middle of a text, I just articulate that they’re important to me, and that they are not more important than anything I’m doing on my phone.
And so I say all of this to you so that you can understand that. Look, there is imperfection built into any of these processes but perfect presence looks like attempting, having intentionality around letting your littles know that they matter to you and that they are something you’re focused on in that moment. So when I think of balance, knowing that the life that I live, the business that I run, and frankly, I just wanna be completely honest, you don’t have to be a business owner, to feel out of balance.
If you’re a mom, you know, I talked a moment ago about those seasons with your littles. You know, I’ve got one that will be 12 soon, you know, 21 and 24. They’re all going through their own version of stuff, particularly because they’re so far apart, that, you know, it’s work to keep up with them. It’s work to keep up with, it’s not easy. You know, so my 24 year old. Some of you may know this already, through some of these conversations, but if you don’t, and you read, Nothing is Missing, you’ll kind of hear the foundation of this, but she is in the middle of a recovery journey and right now, I believe she has about 170 days sober. And I am so so so so incredibly proud of her, because she puts her sobriety first. And she knows that we are all champions, you know, for her care, and self love and loving herself. And my 24 year old though, also knows that I’m never ever leaving. And if she calls Mama, I’m there.
And in various seasons during her sobriety journey, and in various seasons that you will read about, you know, in my book, I’ve had to be there for her in different ways. You know, some of parenting as a mother is knowing when to let go and let live, you know, watching them experience things, knowing that everything that you have put inside of them, they still have. So I was very much in balance and in flow with her growth, because that was how she needed me in that season.
The same thing applies with my 21 year old, as you read Nothing is Missing you’ll hear about some of the cancer journey, we went on with her she was diagnosed with stage four cancer. And thankfully, she’s completely fine. God is so so good. But we have the chemotherapy journey during that journey, oh my gosh, keeping imbalance with having two other children, you know, was very difficult and any parent that has a child that has, you know, super special, you know, needs or has different attention requirements, you know, understands that the guilt that you feel of not being able to sort of be with each child equivalently is tough, but, you know, sometimes certain kids need you more, differently and the balance is actually being there in that season. It wasn’t forever, but for that timeframe, saving Krissy’s life was me being in balance. There was nowhere else and nothing else I needed to do.
So I also want to extend that grace to you, you know, yes, sometimes we’re going to drop a ball. Let’s try to make sure that the rubber ones and knock glass, you know, yes, once in a while we’re going to be in situations where we’re called to work a little bit later than normal, or we have to answer the text message at the table. Let’s make sure our littles know that they’re still the priority when that happens. If we have to travel and be away, you know, set the expectations and the boundaries with their littles. I tell my littles all the time, especially my 12 year old, hey, Mom’s gonna be in a place where this is what the time zones are so I want you to know that even if you call me if I’m asleep, this is when I’m going to be able to get back to you and know that that’s what that means. It was a timezone thing, not a secondary priority thing and if it is urgent, I want you to know that these are the people you can contact and somebody will come to my room, knock on my hotel room, wake me up and I will get on that phone.
So I can tell you that in empowering my littles to understand that they are always the priority. It has allowed me to empower and bless myself with the grace to make mistakes. And I do, often. There have been seasons where I was so out of balance, that in that season, the priority was me. And that is something that we don’t hear very often. And we don’t encourage that moms ever take time to make themselves the priority. But when I tell you, as a mother, if you are in a season where you hopefully have a partner that understands, you know, hopefully are in a situation where you have that grace, if you need to take that week, even if it’s just a staycation at home girl, if you need to take time to heal, to get better, so that you can get back in there, that is the priority that is staying in balance. And that is some of the shift that I hope you can make in knowing that that is my truth.
I have no hesitation about the time that I’ve had to take to make sure I restored myself considering how hard I work, and how deeply and thoroughly I have showed up for the people in my life and how I’ve supported and how I’ve built and also knowing that anything that we do, especially as moms, I mean, look, whenever we know that we’re going to be leaving town, what do we do? We stocked the fridge, we clean the house, we make sure things are there. For those of you who have the financial flexibility. We hire nannies and staff and after school programs, I mean, look at us, you know what I mean? Our babies are our priorities in a million ways. And all those things matter, right? Filling the fridge, hiring the nannies, all of that. But more than that, the part I want to add to you, which again, helps us make sure that we’re maintaining that healthy balance, quote, unquote, balance, right? Is making sure that we’re communicating that they’re the priority and when we are there, we’re aiming for perfect presence.
So friend, I want to let you know, first and foremost, I need you to grant yourself some grace, these constant conversations about remaining in balance about doing it all and doing it perfectly and still getting perfect fruit. Frankly, they don’t serve anyone because it is also no one’s reality.
Wherever you are right now, if you’re saying to yourself, I should have been there or I could have done that. Or this was a place where I could have done more. I want you to focus instead on where you are now and doing the best you can and know that as long as you’re intentional and your heart is with your babies and you’re communicating, you and all that you do is enough. Friend, remember nothing is missing.
In this episode, we chat about:
- How to show up when you’re balancing a lot of balls,
- What I consider glass balls versus rubber balls,
- How we can focus on perfect presence versus perfect balance, and
- What recent choice I made to be present with my girls while launching my new book, Nothing is Missing!
Resources and links mentioned in this episode:
- Pre-order my memoir, Nothing is Missing, HERE to grab a spot in 1K1Day!
- Send me a DM on Instagram and Facebook!
- Watch this episode on Instagram HERE!
- Book a 20 min call to see if working together is the right next step for you!
- Don’t miss our bonus episode with Ashley Lemieux! Listen here!
- I love reading your reviews of the show! You can share your thoughts on Apple here!
More about The Nicole Walters Podcast:
If you’re looking for the strategies and encouragement to pursue a life of purpose, this is the podcast for you! Week after week Nicole Walters will have you laughing hysterically while frantically taking notes as she shares her own personal stories and answers your DMs about life, business, and everything in between.
As a self-made multimillionaire and founder of the digital education firm, Inherit Learning Company, Nicole Walters is the “tell-it-like-it-is” best friend that you can’t wait to hang out with next.
When Nicole shows up, she shows OUT, so tune in each week for a laugh, a best friend chat, plus the strategies and encouragement you need to confidently live a life of purpose.
Follow Nicole on IG @NicoleWalters and visit inheritlearningcompany.com today and click the button to join our betterment community. Your membership gives you access to a world of people and tools focused on helping you build the life you want.