Janice Windt is the perfect example of a modern woman, who does not have time to play around… unless it is playtime with her kids. She took a courageous leap of faith when she stepped out of her ambitious job in order to start the powerful Working Mothers movement. We asked Janice to offer some advice on how to juggle busy life AND still look and feel our best.
Q: Janice, you’re an inspiration to so many women in South Africa! What prompted you to found the Working Mothers Expo and what impact are you hoping to make?
I am totally inspired myself by the amazing women I meet on daily basis via the Working Mothers Expo. My goal is to make their lives easier by bringing together everything that working mothers need under one roof to help them realise that they are not alone and that they can get access to the help and inspiration they need, and to have a moment that is, quite simply, all about them.
The idea for the Working Mothers Expo evolved out of the challenges I had personally experienced as a working mom myself, and also from all that I learned having interviewed over one hundred women from seventeen countries around the world for my blog. I realised that many of us struggle with similar things so it’s a real privilege to be able to reach thousands of working mothers through the avenue of the Working Mothers Expo. I’m very grateful.
Q: At MYHRU, we truly believe that, as women, we are naturally hard-wired with super-woman powers to juggle many balls at once; but even so, we do need to ask for help sometimes. Do you agree?
Absolutely! I experienced this just this weekend when I hinted at my folks that I would love them to pop over on Sunday and bring us some take-away lunch. They didn’t get the hint at all so I had to really spell it out: “Please come over for lunch. Please bring food!” We are all so hung up on trying to be the perfect wife, mother, daughter, friend and business woman all the same time that we often forget to ask ourselves some of the deeper questions… what are we really trying to prove? And to whom?
The reality is that your kids don’t care if their lunch came from a plastic box – all they need is you and your time with them while they eat. For kids, LOVE is spelled TIME and to create time with your family you have to delegate and outsource certain things. Obviously, how we choose to delegate is different for everyone… but it’s a vital skill to have.
Q: As a working mother, a loving wife and an individual, which “super powers” do you use every day to keep all the proverbial balls in the air AND still find time for yourself?
Prayer. Because the truth is that God has it all together even when I don’t. I’m actually a closeted introvert who is used to shying away from the limelight so I’m quite comfortable in the knowledge that I’m a bit low on the superhero tricks… But my husband does say that my super power is the uncanny ability to get people to do stuff. That helps.
I’ve also recently started learning to let go of perfect to make space for special. If you’re constantly hung up on getting everything right, you can often miss those moments that make up the true beauty in our lives – especially with a crazy busy family of three wonderful men, a rescue dog and me!
Q: Surely, a super-woman can conquer even more with the support of her loving super-man?
Absolutely! On our wedding day, Heinz told me that he couldn’t wait to do life with me and that what he wanted more than anything was to see me fly. What a gift! I had no idea how lucky I was… Now, almost ten years later, I truly realise it. I’m SO grateful to have him in my life and, in turn, I do everything in my power to support him because seeing him fly makes me incredibly happy and proud, too. We’re a team in every way.
Q: So what advice can you give other working mothers to look and feel their best every morning – especially when surviving on very little sleep?
Wow. This is a hard one. I always tell my boys that they must look at a girl’s heart – not her face – to see her beauty.
They are three and five but they already get it. I guess I’ve finally given up on being beautiful in the traditional sense of the word. I think it’s beautiful to see my little men climb into our bed in the morning for cuddles. I would rather have ten more minutes of that than a perfect hairdo… I’m sure I’m not alone in thinking that. Maybe that’s why working mums learn to laugh at themselves so much!
Q: At MYHRU, we believe that skincare routine needn’t be complicated, which is why we’ve created the multi-tasking HIGH! Serum – to cater to multiple beauty needs with just one product. What is your skincare like?
I also like to keep it simple! I’ve always had problem skin so I’ve had quite an involved skin care regime since I was a teenager. I can never sleep with makeup on because my skin wouldn’t recover from that! I cleanse and (try to remember to) exfoliate twice a week. In the morning, it’s a quick wash, serum, day cream and sunblock (SPF is a must!) before I put on make-up; luckily I don’t wear a lot of make-up so the morning routine takes less than five minutes.
Q: What do you and your husband teach your children about wellness, beauty and happiness?
What a great question… We believe your children watch your every move and that they do what you do, not what you say. So my husband and I try to lead healthy lives and set the right example. Heinz does CrossFit when he’s not travelling and I try to go swimming as often as I can. We’ve recently started hiking a bit with the boys when we can get away on weekends and that has been just wonderful. We eat relatively healthily but try not to be too obsessive about anything.
I do hope that our children will grow up knowing that wellness and happiness is a choice that you make and that beauty comes from within. I really hope that sticks because I know I’ll absolutely love my daughters-in-law if it does!
Q: To conclude, what have you learned having interviewed hundreds of women across the globe?
Wow, I’ve learned that no one has it together. And that’s such a relief! So many of us compare our lives to our friends’ Facebook pages and we don’t internalize how misleading those pictures can be. We all post our very best moments and it’s starting to look like our reality. But it isn’t! It’s really important that we stop comparing and that we start loving ourselves.
I’ve heard so many beautiful stories: I spoke with the Joint Managing Partner of a prestigious law firm in Singapore; a Vietnamese refugee living in Australia; an American mom who had lost her husband when she had two children under two; and a friend who was on maternity leave with her first child. It was an absolute privilege to listen to them. And again: none of us felt like we really had it together. So I’ve learned we’re not alone. #thejuggleisreal
*The Working Mothers Expo, brought to you in partnership with MiWayLife, is taking place at the Sandton Convention Centre from 4 – 6 November 2016. For more information visit www.workingmothersexpo.com. Tickets available at Computicket.*
Ladies, let MYHRU make your life easier with our multi-tasking HIGH! Serum for that one stop glow-on-the-go! (www.myhru.co.za/our-product)