How do you ‘be’ mom, and yet also be fully engaged in the other areas of life you want to invest in? I think this is probably a question that has been asked all through eternity, right?
I feel like I’ve come full circle in embracing motherhood in the last 2 months. When we came back from China I think I felt the need to be this successful business woman, to fulfill some sort of internal need that I couldn’t even articulate. Maybe it was to feel ‘justified’ that we left China, maybe it was to feel like I was actually ‘doing’ something while we just needed to rest and process leaving China and let Chris get healthy again, maybe it was to feel like I was doing something that actually had visual/monetary recognition for my efforts, maybe just because I needed an escape, and maybe just because I wanted to. (And of course, it was also to help pay the bills.) It’s most likely a mix of all those reasons.
So what’s the problem?
It’s when you want to embrace all that motherhood brings, yet you ALSO want to invest your talents in other ways. I admire my friends who are 100% content in being mom full-time, and don’t even want to think of doing anything else on the side, but that’s not me. We all have different gifts/dreams/talents/goals, so we can’t even compare that what works for one mom will work for us. So how do I move forward? Here are a few ideas, and maybe they will help you as well! (These apply to working moms, WAHM, and SAHM moms because we ALL have ton to get done every single week!
1. Get Organized & Work from a To-Do List! I admit, this is NOT natural to me. I like to go with the flow and our family follows that. But, where I can step it up is in scheduling my day. When you work at home, and have kids at home, you HAVE to have hours set aside just to get stuff done. If you have followed any of Chalene Johnson’s training you know she is adamant about keeping a to-do list on your phone. And has a whole system for following through with it, I need to check in with my list daily and not monthly!! From family chores, to groceries, to home school functions, to sports schedules, to business, there is a lot to manage in a day- so why would we think we can keep it all in our head?! But her key is that it’s all on ONE list, and on your phone! Check out her trainings, they are so helpful!
2. Ask for help! It’s easy for me to put the family and Chris’s goals above my own. Saying that I will just get my work done early in the morning or after the kids are in bed can work for a season but not for the long term. (For those of you who are Beachbody coaches reading, that can work for a while but at some point if you want to go from ‘hobby’ coach to bringing in a bigger income you will need time set aside just to focus!) I need that time for my own downtime. Chris is always willing to take the boys out so I can work, but it’s about me setting up something CONSISTENT that I can do weekly. If you don’t have a spouse, I also do kid swaps with friends. We all know that the difference between people who reach their goals is 90% of the time just due to fact that some people were consistent, through the ups and downs to just keep working towards their goal. That can be fitness, business, school, anything! And if I follow through with my first step of keeping a to-do list, I will also be able to use that time efficiently rather than taking the first 15 minutes just to figure out what I should be doing!
3. Journal! This may not be the way you process, but it is necessary for me! For you it may be seeing a counselor, lunch with a friend, mediating, or other ways, but journaling helps my inner world stay clear! It’s where I process through all these emotions, where I pray, where I am able to get to the root of an emotion I may be feeling, where I work through my own struggles and set goals for myself. You must take time to check in with your inner world, or things will begin to fester up. Whether it’s that you get snappy with your kids, resentful of your spouse, quit taking time to care for your own health needs, spend money to distract yourself from other issues, etc…
4. Timing! Knowing when to start a new project is key. And something I am always having to keep in check. Getting all excited about something that you know just won’t fit in your schedule right now, or can only happen at the expense of other things you care about can be a dangerous thing. For example, I’ve wanted to do the School of Integrative Nutrition for over a year now, but to add that to my schedule would mean I would HAVE to push other things out so I can maintain the amount of time with the kids/Chris/friends/work that I want need now. If you are married, this is also where communication is CRITICAL! If you don’t know what each of you are dreaming about and wanting to work on, how can you support one another? And many times when we team up with our spouse we can get things done faster and enjoy the time together working on whatever project it is you need done.
I would love to hear if you relate to this, or if you have tips that have worked for you. I know every woman has different goals, life circumstances, and seasons we are in (in 4 months I will have a newborn which will change SO much for me again!), but we can all glean wisdom from one another! And in saying, ‘Get More Done’, as I did in the title, I think the key is getting the RIGHT things done and letting other things go that aren’t in line with what we want our life to look like.