Hi! I’m Lisa Canning!
You were on HGTV?!
Yes! in 2007, I was the designer on a show called Marriage Under Construction (you might recognize the homeowner Vanessa who was on Pretty Little Liars, Hair on Broadway, and currently on Blue Bloods). This incredible opportunity launched my design and television career, moving me into roles both in front of, and behind the camera. I have worked at the art director on HGTV shows like For Rent, The Expandables, and with the dynamic duo of Jonathan and Drew from The Property Brothers. I’ve appeared on shows like The Marilyn Denis Show, The Goods, and Breakfast Television.
And then you had… 9 children?!?
Yes, I am the proud mom of 9 children, ages 12 and under. I am also the proud owner of a Ford Transit Wagon and have enough hand me down clothes to open a department store.
How on earth do you “do it all”?
This is a question I get asked quite frequently, and I answer it pretty candidly here. But what is important for you to know, is that for MANY MANY MANY years I struggled. Struggled to the point of absolute burn out, and an epic minivan meltdown when I decided it would be a good idea to bring a baby just DAYS out of the hospital to a messy construction site because I put immense pressure on myself to keep on top of work.
For the first 5 years of my motherhood career, I projected success. But on the inside I was crumbling under immense pressure I was putting on myself to please everyone else other than myself. I had it in my head that the only way to be successful as an entrepreneur was to work around the clock, hustling hard ALL THE TIME. And it nearly cost me the relationships that matter most.
What made you stop and realize you had to change?
A few instances forced me to look hard at my life and realize that my pursuit of career success, was actually making me miserable. I was so exhausted working around the clock, so exhausted of the guilt that came from never seeing my young children, but I was so entrenched in a way of thinking and acting it was really difficult to think of other ways to operate. It was finally when my husband told me that he found my pace of life excruciating and he felt trapped in our life that I knew I had to change.
So what did you do to change your life so you could prioritize your family?
First, I had to face the fact that my workaholic tendencies meant my family was always taking a back seat to work. I was almost always disappointing them. Clients, television, interviews, always came first. It was hard for me to admit this, because in my heart family was so important tome. My actions just weren’t backing up that claim. So I decided to DRASTICALLY change the way I ran my life and my business by creating strict boundaries in my schedule, changing the kind of work I did, and essentially saying no more than I was saying yes.
And what has that done for your family, for your life?
This took a lot of trial and error, but now I experience freedom. I have created a schedule in which all the things get done in the time I have to give them, and everything else is delegated, automated or deleted. I am really strategic in ensuring that my time is centered around my greatest priorities, which for me include my faith, my family and my health.
What do you wish all moms knew?
I wish all moms knew that motherhood doesn’t have to be so hard. There are easier ways to do things. There are ways to streamline your home life, your work life, your personal life, so you aren’t so busy being busy! That while motherhood will always require sacrifice, it does not require the sacrifice of oneself ALL THE TIME. And finally, I wish all moms knew that it is 100% possible to follow your dreams AND be a great mom, it just might look different than you think.