393-Work-Life Balance Is a Scam with Unyime Oguta

by | Jun 3, 2024

Work-Life Balance Is a Scam with Unyime Oguta

Work-Life Balance Is a Scam: Unyime Oguta’s Perspective on Self-ish Motherhood

Have you ever felt like you’re constantly juggling work and family, trying to achieve that elusive work-life balance? In this episode of the It’s Beyond The Food podcast, I sat down with Unyime, a life coach for working moms, who boldly claims: work-life balance is a scam.

Unyime’s Take on the Work-Life Balance Myth

During our conversation, Unyime posed a thought-provoking question: “Is it even normal for a woman to work full-time and have kids?” In her opinion, it’s not. She argues that when we have young children, we’re technically meant to be with them all the time. Now we’re layering 40 more hours in a week. It’s just not normal.

So, why do we chase this elusive work-life balance? Unyime explains it’s because we’re taught to believe that being a “good mom” means doing it all, having it all, and being totally balanced. But she asserts: it’s not possible.

The Power of Being Self-ish

When I asked Unyime about this concept, she clarified, “I’m not telling you to be selfish. I’m telling you to be ‘self-ish’ – putting yourself first.” She explains it’s about coming back to self, not in an idolatrous way, but recognizing that you’re human with a spirit in this body.

Unyime asserts, “Making peace with being self-ish is realizing that your peace depends on it.” She advises women to ask themselves, “How is this showing up in my peace?” or “How is this impacting my peace?”. When we do this, she says, we can never go wrong.

Breaking Intergenerational Trauma

Unyime’s perspective isn’t just about individual well-being. She sees embracing self-ish motherhood as a way to break cycles. Just as we’re working to break the intergenerational trauma of dieting, she believes we can do the same with the “good mother” syndrome.

As a mother of three daughters, Unyime sees this as her mission. By modeling self-ish behavior, she’s showing her girls they have permission to prioritize themselves. She muses, “Imagine if all women just woke up and decided they’re okay with how they’re raising their kids. A lot of the self-help books on parenting wouldn’t exist!”

Redefining Self-Care

When discussing being self-ish, we couldn’t avoid the topic of self-care. Unyime believes that in today’s environment, our approach to self-care is somewhat toxic. It’s often seen as an activity – a bubble bath, a pedicure – rather than a relationship with yourself.

She argues that self-care isn’t just about soothing yourself to get back on the wheel. It’s about solving issues at the root, asking: “Am I worthy of rest? How am I feeling about myself?” Once that’s grounded, she says, the pedicures become something you do because you want to, not as a coping mechanism.

High Maintenance Baseline

One concept that truly resonated was Unyime’s idea of having a high-maintenance baseline. She clarifies this isn’t about being snotty; it’s about setting high standards for what makes you feel well-cared for.

She gave personal examples: she has a high maintenance standard for eating, refusing to eat her kids’ leftovers. In communication, she’s respectful, honoring, and open to learning. These are her standards.

Unyime believes when you have a high maintenance baseline, it invites others to step up. It’s about raising each other up. “When you rise, and I rise,” she says, “we have the power to keep pulling everybody else up with us.”

Conclusion: Crafting Your Own Path

Unyime sees the whole adage of “having it all” as very patriarchal. It’s not about having what you want; it’s about having what people want you to have. That’s when you get into trouble. Instead, she encourages women to craft what makes them feel good.

She believes women have the wisdom to want to craft what makes them feel good, not to dominate others. That’s the biggest difference between matriarchy and patriarchy – matriarchy is about moving as a collective. It’s not just about us; it’s about transforming generations.

Unyime Oguta is a Life Strategist, Coach, and Speaker for women who is passionate about redefining what it means for women, especially working moms to ‘have it all’ in motherhood, career, and life. As a working mom of 3, and through her personal recovery experience from burnout to thriving, she now supports women in creating lives where success doesn’t have to cost them their peace, well-being, or presence with loved ones.

What you’ll learn listening to this episode:

  • Why work-life balance is an unrealistic expectation for working moms
  • How to make peace with being “self-ish” in motherhood
  • Why your baseline should be high maintenance

Mentioned in the show:

Free Resources and Training

Work With Me

Connect with our Guest:

Website – Unyime

Instagram – Unyime


Podcast Stephanie Dodier


I’m Stephanie Dodier – Non-Diet Nutritionist and Coach. I help women fight diet culture by reshaping their mind not their body. I have been hosting a million downloads podcast- It’s Beyond The Food for over 8 years and created the Going Beyond The Food Method™️, which was born from my own journey with a 25 years dieting career  and has since grown into a global movement.

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