Marisa Lonic is the founder of Mama Work It, a place for working moms to get what they need, as well as an author and podcast host.

kozēkozē Founder and podcast host, Garrett Kusmierz, had the privilege of sitting down with Marisa to talk about her journey into motherhood and how that shift changed how she related to work—and about her business that helps moms manage it all.

Marisa offers useful advice and strategies to help manage the multiple empires every mom is ruling, support and accountability to achieve the big dreams that moms think need to stay on the back burner (they don’t have to!), and a community of like-minded mamas kicking ass daily in the thing we call life right now.


Q: Who were you before you became a mom?

A: I’ve always been very ambitious and a high-achiever ever since I was a kid, and that has never left me—even as I entered into motherhood. Although, it has had to certainly adjust in this season. I’ve always been really driven and motivated. Of course, I’ve grown in different areas of life, but I’ve always been hard-working and wanting to succeed and try and experience new things.

Q: What were you doing before you had kids, and did you think you’d always stay with it?

A: I was a corporate leader. Pre-kids, I was managing a training and development team. I loved my job and I really enjoyed what I did. I got that job about three years before I got pregnant and had my first kids (I had twins first). I saw myself being that quintessential working mom that was balancing all the things and doing all the things. Although, I always had this itch and this desire to not be the working mom that felt like she couldn’t be present. I always wanted the flexibility and ability to have more autonomy in that world. To a certain degree, I had it. But that shifted and changed when my twins were two years old and I was offered a promotion. Being ambitious and a high-achiever, I definitely put a lot of thought into whether or not I should take it, but we did—and it moved our entire family from the east coast to the west coast, and it changed a lot of my flexibility with my work schedule. But, I found ways to make it work. I think when you’re honoring your authenticity and the alignment of where you’re supposed to be, you do figure things out more easily and seamlessly. That’s really where my business was born.

Q: How did you decide to start a business and what was that leap like for you?

A: I didn’t leave my job for quite some time. I kept getting promoted and growing within the organization, and it was great in a lot of ways and a struggle in other ways. I had added to our family. I have four kids now, so I had two more pregnancies and two more maternity leaves.

I started the business after I went back to work after my third son was born. It was my second leave and second return to work—although, it was quite different from my first, because now I was commuting more and in a different role. It was a really tough transition. It was challenging and I thought, “I really love my job, and I love what I do—but I also really love my family, and I don’t want to be away from home 12 hours a day, four days a week and then just lean in on the one remote work day I was given at that time.”

I had no real intention at the time to just quit my job and start a business because, quite frankly, we couldn’t. I was earning good money. I had a whole identity with my role. It just wasn’t an option at that time—or it would have just drastically changed our lives, and I wasn’t willing to do that.

So, I started my business really just as an outlet for the working mom. I felt like there weren’t a lot of resources out there that spoke directly to someone who was in my shoes at that moment, and I wanted to be able to share vulnerable stories. I wanted to be able to put some humor to it because we all need to laugh sometimes—or we’ll just cry. I wanted to be able to share tips and tricks and ideas because there was a certain element of organization and time management and productivity that I had gotten pretty good at just through trial and error. So, I started blogging. I wrote my first book. I created my first course. I was doing all this side-hustling and raising three, then four, kids.

I managed the two worlds for three years, and then my intuition just let me know it was time to move on and to step fully into my business, so I had to make that happen. It did not make sense on paper.

Q: Do people who consume your content become inspired to leave corporate life for entrepreneurship, or are you working with more corporate types?

A: I work with both, and I think you can be a high-achiever in either place. I think it just depends on what your journey is. We’re always on this growth experience rollercoaster. So, even if right now, you feel like your path is meant to be in climbing the corporate ladder, growing in your career, working for someone else, there is still growth and work you can do there in managing your time, productivity, and internal compass. And then, should that change or not, or should you feel the opposite right now that you really need to make that transition or shift, that’s possible too.

I found peace and systems and a rhythm in that life juggling all those things—until I didn’t. And, when I didn’t, it’s not because I was doing something wrong or different or we had added to our family—it was because, internally, I needed to make a shift. I was on a journey and it led me this way.

Q: What’s the number one struggle that people come to you with?

A: I don’t have time. I feel stuck. It always comes down to the time element, especially for the parent because we wear a lot of hats. We’re serving a lot all day long. There’s guilt that creeps in. The time for our own ambition, our own goals, our own dreams, our own self-care, shrinks and shrinks and shrinks. The memes on social media make it seem normal, and I’m just here to kind of debunk it. Sure, it is hard. It’s a different kind of hard. It is still possible though. People are doing it every day. I really believe if you have the vision and the thought of what that could look like for you is proof that it’s possible.

Q: What does a day look like for you when you’re working with kids?

A: It has evolved over the years depending on my kids’ ages or where my business is but, as of now, my day looks like this:

I wake up at 5:30am. I made that commitment to do that for myself last year as one of my goals, and I am keeping with it because I really love to have my morning time for me. I have a solid morning routine that consists of a workout, a shower, and some meditation, journaling, or prayer—some type of spiritual lean-in.

But this morning, three of my four kids woke up earlier than normal—and, they watch me do these things sometimes and they know this is my sacred time—and they hopped into my bed and wanted to do the meditation with me. So, it’s just been really cool to watch that, even though I’m not directly parenting when I’m having this time for me, I am infusing this whole practice into them.

Then, I start doing stuff for my kids who are 10, 10, 6, and 4. They are all in some type of school most days of the week. On the days that my youngest isn’t in school, we have a nanny who comes a couple of days a week to help. I do breakfast and get backpacks ready to go and get everyone to school.

Between 9:00am/9:30am to 2:30pm, I work. That is my focus time. I started implementing theme days this year. So, some days I’ll be recording content. Other days, I’m more behind-the-scenes and admin stuff so I don’t have to be camera-ready. Other days, I’m doing more connecting and coaching calls.

Then basically, from the time I pick my kids up from school until their bedtime, I am all-in on mom life. So, I’m not trying to juggle work calls during that time. I block my time. I’m not trying to write emails. Obviously, if something is urgent, I’ll sneak it in, but I am here for motherhood during that time. I did not get the experience before to pick up and drop off my kids and really connect with them without thinking about the hundreds of other things that were waiting for me because other people in my office were working at that time. No, I totally cut the cord. I disconnect and reconnect with family. I’m helping with homework or driving to activities. We do dinner together as a family every night. Then, I put everyone to bed and my husband and I will spend the evening hours together. If there is something I need to do for work, I’ll take care of it then—but I’ve been trying to be really efficient and not have to work at night much.

That wasn’t always the case in building and growing my business because that was my sacred time to do it. But I learned from trial and error that I couldn't do that every night. I still had other things I needed to cultivate like my home, my relationship with my partner, and my sanity. That’s what leads to burn out. So, you really have to find the secret sauce, the right recipe, of what is pushing yourself to do the work and be disciplined, but also allowing it to be a sustainable lifestyle versus a crash diet.

Q: Talk to us about multitasking.

A: During the pandemic, a lot of moms were forced into multitasking these two very important parts of life—work life and mom life. We had zero support. Our childcare was gone. We all still had to work. I was still at my corporate job for part of it. On top of it, we were managing Zoom for school. I learned really quickly during that time that this is never something I want to try to multitask because it will drive you insane. You will constantly feel guilty. You will constantly have a foggy brain. You will constantly feel pushed and pulled in every direction. You will never feel at peace. You will never feel like you’re enough.

There’s nothing wrong with multitasking if you’re multitasking the right things. If you’re multitasking things that are really crucial and important to you that you know you need your full brain power to be all-in, you’re not going to feel good multitasking.

I like to remind people that you get to decide. I recommend multitasking the mindless things and things you can do on autopilot like making lunches, preparing dinner, doing dishes, folding laundry, all of the mundane things. Then, solo task the mindful things and the things you really want to be fully present for because, when you are multitasking the wrong things, that’s when you get the negative side effects. Frazzled. Stressed. Feeling like you’re just waiting for the shoe to drop.

Q: How do you talk to clients who have bosses who don’t have kids?

A: It’s such a tough transition. Some people can take 12, 16, 20 weeks of maternity leave, and some people are back before then. While I can’t speak for the various cultures out there—very welcoming environments or toxic environments—I would say the only thing you can control in a situation like that is yourself. You can’t stress, feel guilt, let it encompass you, let it devour you— because it can.—especially for someone who has just re-entered work. They’re worried about whether they are delivering the same as before the baby, or if their reputation is solid. Ultimately, we can’t control anyone but ourselves. If our boss has thoughts about our performance, is it a story you are telling yourself or actual facts? Either way, that’s not something in your control. Just do your best. If that role is where you want to be, you’ll show up as your best self. Steer the worry away. If it’s not where you’re supposed to be, you have to push yourself to find a creative solution to get out of there.

Any time I was going through a transition like that, what helped me tremendously was working with a coach to help me gain the clarity, confidence, and strategy I needed. All the answers are always within you but, sometimes, someone else asking you the right questions, pushing you, challenging you, and helping you get there are just what you need to take the first step or cross the finish line.

Q: What are your tips for alignment and intuition?

A: Coaching calls, therapy, or any work you’re doing on yourself is such a gift you’re giving yourself to escape the day-to-day noise, to just get quiet and hear what comes out. Journaling, any sort of practice like that.

I started my coaching practice solely focused on time management and productivity and, even though you would hear that and feel a little cringe like I was all about spreadsheets and organization, that was never my style. I’ve always incorporated a wellness element into tangible action items because I feel like when you feel good, you do good. You’re more motivated. You’re more productive. You’re more efficient. You’re happier. You’re aligned. So, it’s like the base of where you need to be in order to be able to achieve all those other things.

Your intuition is this really important tool that a lot of us don’t necessarily utilize to its full capacity. We get stuck a lot inside our brains and overthinking things, and we forget that we have a whole body and all this energy inside of us that gives us pointers and signs. We’re either out of practice or can’t hear or see them or we treat it like a coincidence.

How I encourage my clients to strengthen that is through a number of ways. I ask them powerful questions spurred by my own intuition that they haven’t considered and to think about things from a different or unique light. I give them tons of resources—different books, YouTube videos, meditations. Sometimes I just ask “What’s your intuition saying?” Sometimes we don’t just pause and think about it. Even just that simple question, they know the answer right away.

Slowing down the overthinking and reminding yourself what your gut is saying, it comes to you.

I also think when you continuously get an idea or a nudge, that’s a really good sign and example of your intuition speaking to you.

Q: How/when did you know you wanted to start coaching?

A: I always loved, in my corporate world, that I could lead a team and be someone who challenged people and helped them grow professionally and even personally. That was always my favorite part no matter what role I had. When I was doing the side hustle, main hustle life, it just really didn’t fit my availability to be able to do 1:1 coaching. I had such limited time, including the time of day I was available to do my business. I was creating more passive income streams at that time. So, I really stepped into it more when I left the corporate world and stepped fully into my business.

Q: When did you lean more into your spiritual self and your intuition?

A: I still do a lot of time management and productivity work. I speak a lot about these things and coach on them. But I think that wellness component has always been there, and it really grew within me when I made that transition, which took a good year to come to terms with and actually leave.

So, when I wrote my most recent book, I talked a lot about that element because it’s a necessary component when you’re making a big decision like that. I had started working at that time with a business coach who was very much into the subconscious, so that opened up a whole new world to me. I became certified in intuitive coaching after that, so it was only natural for me to start including some of the practices and modalities into what I do because I saw how powerful they were in my own life and for colleagues and biz besties and friends that I wanted to ensure I was utilizing these tools in my practice.

Sometimes we lean more heavily into the more practical and tangible strategizing. Other times, we lean more into intuition. The beautiful thing is that when you are leaning into your intuition and utilizing it to guide you in those ways, you know what’s right for the different people you’re working with.

Q: How did you know you should write a book?

A: I think when you are writing a book, you have to be in a certain flow. It is really challenging to sit down and write when nothing is coming. It’s very frustrating. But, writing a book requires a tremendous amount of discipline. There’s a certain hustle there. You have to push yourself even when you don’t want to write. You have to set milestone goals. Otherwise, the book will never get done. Plenty of people out there start writing their books and they never get done. I didn’t want to be one of those people.

I relied a lot on time management and productivity strategies. Commitment. Consistency. I set realistic expectations upon myself—like thirty minutes three nights a week. When I wasn’t feeling “flowy,” I would take a shower before I sat down at my computer. I knew it would cleanse me, put me in the zone, wake me up a little bit if I was tired. I gave myself flexibility to choose any three days that felt right to me because life’s gonna life at you, so you don’t want to be too strict or hard on yourself. I also had a coach at the time who helped me put together that plan of action. Otherwise, it may have taken me a year or two longer to get it done.


This blog post was written based on kozēkozē Podcast Episode 349: Momagement with Marisa Lonic.

If you’d like to listen to the conversation first-hand, tune in here.
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