Here’s How This Mary Kay Independent Sales Director Balances Motherhood And Work

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Balancing work and parenthood is the discussion that never ends among most modern caregivers. In partnership with Mary Kay, writer Lauryn Paiva spoke with Independent Sales Director Danii Stowe about her perspective on motherhood and running her business from home.

I’m a 25-year-old woman with a one-year-old son, and as a Mary Kay Independent Sales Director, I’m also a business owner. That sounds exhausting, right? Balancing any business with parenting can be stressful — especially now that we’re all spending much, much more time at home. Luckily, I’ve learned a lot that helps my family's day-to-day life run a bit more smoothly.

One of the most important lessons is that my greatest contribution to this world may not be something I do but someone I raise. Keeping this in mind every day helps center me on this (sometimes stressful) journey. Through my business, I also have the privilege of coaching and empowering other Independent Beauty Consultants, helping them build the lives they desire for themselves, whatever that looks like.

In my case, that looks like me being at home and raising my son, Liam. I’m so lucky that what I do for a living gives me the opportunity to live out that dream. A typical day usually consists of a lot of snacks, dirty diapers, taking virtual calls between doing the dishes and laundry, delivering a variety of makeup and skin-care products to customers, and driving around the block so my son can take a nap. No day ever really looks the same, but I try to mitigate stress as much as possible.

How? Delegate! I believe mothers don’t have to do it all. It’s super important to have a support system, whether that means a listening ear when you’re stressed or people to surround yourself with who can take over for an hour so you can simply get a break. My support system includes my assistant, who works a few hours a month and tackles a lot of the administrative aspects of my business; my husband, who is so helpful and present on his day off; my sisters who believe in me; and two mentors who I can rely on for clear communication and accountability. Whatever your support system looks like, it should keep you feeling inspired, motivated, and accountable to your own desires. Life doesn’t always happen the way you plan (I say this as someone who has had to breastfeed while on virtual calls... don't worry, you couldn't tell on camera), so I’ve learned it really does take a village. It’s all about planning ahead as much as you can and learning to pivot when you need to.

Running my own Mary Kay business is so different from other opportunities out there. I was first drawn to the brand because the culture aligns with my own beliefs: namely, that it’s OK for my business to not take precedence over everything else in my life. Being able to live according to my priorities is an incredible thing.

Now that we’ve been spending a lot more time at home, however, we’ve had to find a new routine that lets me run a business and get my to-do list done — all around Liam’s eating-and-nap schedule. The real key for me has been keeping my day as simple as possible and prioritizing. That means writing down the six most important things I need to accomplish during the day in order. This helps me think critically about tasks, prevents me from feeling overwhelmed, and when I cross everything off my list, leaves me feeling more accomplished and encouraged.

If you’re running a business from home with young kids, my biggest piece of advice is to maintain structure. Take advantage of their nap time by crossing stuff off of that to-do list. When they’re awake, take an hour to just enjoy your children, whether that’s going to the park, dancing in the living room, or playing hide and seek — just limit play time to an hour to ensure everyone (yourself included) stays on track. Setting an alarm has been a lifesaver for my schedule.

That said, young kids aren’t going to always stick to your schedule. My favorite way to re-center is by doing something active, eating something sweet, or calling a friend. Sometimes even changing my scenery helps with inspiration. When all else fails, I do believe a good laugh is the cure to everything, so a funny podcast always hits the spot.

One of my favorite aspects (and de-stressors) of what I do is curating a list of go-to Mary Kay products. If there’s one thing I’ve learned through my business, it’s that a good skin-care routine lays the groundwork for a flawless makeup application. I swear by the Mary Kay Naturally Nourishing Oil, which keeps my skin feeling hydrated and smooth. I couldn’t survive without the ClearProof Deep-Cleansing Charcoal Mask, which helps me tackle those annoying blackheads. I use the TimeWise Replenishing Serum+C every day to give my skin some extra resilience. I also love Mary Kay’s new Unlimited Lip Gloss — it’s really moisturizing and is an easy way to look put together without having to put on a whole face of makeup for a virtual call.

My son has had dry skin since he was born, so every night before bed, I lather him up with Mary Kay’s Extra Emollient Night Cream. We also use the Naturally Purifying Cleanser to bathe him — its ingredients are naturally derived and super gentle on his dry skin.

Aside from investing in products that keep me and Liam feeling good in our skin, there’s one mantra I swear by to help me tackle the day: Let go of the mom guilt. If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change the way you think about it.

This post is sponsored by Mary Kay®.

All photos are courtesy of Danii Stowe.