This year has been a roller coaster of events, emotions, and change! Within the blink of an eye, all of our lives have taken a turn in some capacity, some much greater than others. And it doesn’t look like we are anywhere near being back to normal. In fact, most of us have had to discover new norms for our families, careers, and ourselves. Many people are still working from home, most kids are doing some version of virtual learning and maskne (aka mask acne) is in full effect. What is even normal at this point?
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You’ve got to make sure your kids are actually participating in online school. You’ve got to help with homework, and (God help you if new math is involved)! You’ve got meal planning and making sure that they don’t snack you out of house and home. You’ve got to deal with all of the extra laundry. And on top of allll of that, you’ve got to work!
For many of you, working from home with the kids is no big deal and in fact, you’ve become a pro at it. But for others, between virtual learning, Zoom calls, and keeping your house in order, you might feel like you’re drowning and desperately need to come up for air.
As a wife, mom and entrepreneur, what I know for sure is that I cannot pour from an empty cup. No matter how much of a superwoman I think I am the truth is, I can only give what I’ve received. During times like this, it’s very easy to get caught up “getting it done” which can leave you feeling overwhelmed, anxious and exhausted. And it’s impossible to be at your best at home or at work when you are mentally and physically drained.
Since we are riding this out together, I’m share a few tips and inspiration for moms working at home to help you recharge and stay motivated!
Be there, not perfect
Let’s be honest, at some point we’ve all compared ourselves to other wives and moms. “She looks better, her kids are on the honor roll, her husband makes more money, the list goes on.” The reality is that comparison cripples your growth and success and your family isn’t looking for perfection, they’re looking for you. And you are more than enough!
You don’t need all-star lesson plans, diagrams, and presentations to keep your children happy, healthy, and entertained. Simply try dancing, singing (no matter how it sounds), playing, cooking, coloring and exploring nature outdoors. No matter how young or old your children are, you’d be surprised to see how quickly they will engage. What you’ll discover is that your children are less concerned with what they’re doing vs. who they are doing it with. Genuinely be there for and with your children engaging in activities that they enjoy is enough.
Identify your happy place at your home and commit to giving yourself at least 10 minutes a day to completely decompress and self-love. This could be a closet, the bathroom, guestroom, garden, or even front porch. Find that place and determine the best time to go there for peace and quiet. For some moms it’s early morning and for others it’s late at night, but no one knows your home like you. When you arrive, breathe, mentally travel to your favorite place on earth, recite your “momtra” or affirmations. Pray, read, and do whatever it is you need to do to center yourself! Carve out time for yourself and make every minute count. You will thank yourself in the moment and your family will thank you later.
Ask for help when you need it
Sometimes it’s hard to admit you need help, much less ask for it. But now is not the time to play the martyr. Ask a grandparent, aunt or close friend to virtually babysit by reading the kids a story or teaching them something fun when you need a break. Assign each family member a chore list (link) to get them to help with housework. Have your teen cook dinner once or twice a week. Figure out where you need the most help and who is available to help you get it done.
Turn the T.V. down and turn the podcasts up
While your children are tuning into their favorite show or movie to enjoy some leisure T.V. time, this is a wonderful opportunity for you to tune into a good podcast! Every day you can take 15-30 minutes to soak up insightful information from other moms guaranteed to help you, learn, grow, and take parenthood to the next level. Some of our top podcast picks are below:
- The Mom Hour: A weekly conversation between Meagan Francis and Sarah Powers with eight kids between them from little to grown. They combine their stories and experiences with practical tips and heartfelt encouragement for busy moms who want to enjoy the parenting journey and cut back on comparison, worry and stress.
- The Double Shift: A critically acclaimed, reported podcast about a new generation of working mothers. Created and Hosted by Katherine Goldstein who speaks with guests about organizing for childcare, race and social justice, and money and identity.
- Don’t Wanna Talk About it Podcast: Well naturally, I had to put my podcast on the list! Co-hosted with my daughter Journey, we are your dynamic mother-daughter duo coupling our unique personalities to create a fun, safe, and judgment-free space eliminating the uneasiness from those must-have, jaw-dropping, and deep subjects you just don’t wanna talk about.
Eat the frog
It’s really hard being productive with so much going on. But when I started “eating the frog” everything changed! It sounds gross, but it’s actually a productivity technique that suggests that you do the most difficult or most important task you have to do first thing in the morning.
Your frog = The thing you don’t want to do but really need to do
Every day choose the one major task that will move you closer to completing a project or achieving a goal and knock it out so you can scratch it off your to-do list before lunch. If you are a procrastinator, overwhelmed by your to-do list or you work all day but still don’t feel like you get anything accomplished, try eating the frog and you will be amazed at how much more productive you will be!
Remember, you cannot pour from an empty cup. With just a few small shifts, you can keep your cup full of what makes you great and serve your family from a place of overflow and abundance, not a deficit. And no matter what, no mom guilt allowed! While it doesn’t look the same for all of us, we are doing the best we can. And that’s more than enough!