Hey Mama. I see you. You're doing 2 (or 3 or 7) full-time jobs and you're not sure how you're going to survive. You want to have it all - the 6 (or 7) figure business and the Mother of the Year award. And girl, I am not here to tell you that you can't have it all. Because you totally can.
However, if you aren't willing to take a step back sometimes, to take care of yourself, you'll burn out long before you get it.
Managing family life and a business is hard; trust me, I know. But mama, if you don't take care of yourself, who will? So, here are some simple strategies, ideas, and inspiration to help you find that balance between raising your babies and building that business.
1. Make a List of what fills your cup
Make a list of the things you love to do. The things that fill your soul, that bring you happiness, that make you feel like you. Some of the things on my list include:
Write your list. Then, for the next week, commit to doing one thing from your list every single day. Schedule these self care activities (because what gets scheduled gets done) and reflect at the end of the week on how you feel.
2. Work during work hours
If you're anything like me (or, who I used to be), Work Hours are from the time you wake up until the time you go to sleep. I'm going to challenge you to cut that the F out.
Set working hours and during those hours - work. Whole-heartedly, without distraction, doing whatever you can to stay focused.
And then, when work is over? Put it down. Walk away. When it is time to be Mom, be her 100%.
3. STart your morning right
Do you have a morning routine? If it looks something like, "Oh shit! It's 7:47am and we've got to be at school in 13 minutes!!" I want to encourage you to readjust the way your morning operates. If you haven't, read The Miracle Morning (there's also a version for entrepreneurs and for families). Find a way to bring calm into your morning, whether that's reading some inspirational, sitting in prayer or meditation, or getting a workout in - mama, whatever works for you and your sanity is what you need to do.
4. Eat right and exercise
Ugh, this sounds so simple, right? And I'm not saying you need to work out for hours every day or only drink kale smoothies for breakfast; life is about balance, after all.
But I want to encourage you to find a workout routine that works for you. Maybe that's spin class on the weekend with a girlfriend. Maybe it's a nightly walk with your family. Maybe it's working out in your living room and maybe it's going to the gym 3 evenings a week.
Move your body in a way that makes you feel good. Fuel your body in a way that makes you feel good. The specifics don't matter. What matters is that every single day, you find a way to love yourself, to care for yourself, so that you are best equipped to rock your business and be the best mom you can be.
5. Breathe, girl. Breathe.
I mean, obviously you're breathing. But how often do you stop and sit with your breath and the silence? Whether it's meditation, quiet reflection, or hiding in the bathroom for a minute to regain your sanity during the after school hustle and bustle, you need to take time to just breathe.
You do so much for so many people. Take a second, press pause, and show yourself some self love. Reflect on the good things that happened today. Count to 10 and focus solely on the breath. It feels good, I promise.
What are your favourite self-care strategies? I'd love to hear what you do to fill your own cup. If you're looking for a community of like-minded women who love to talk self-care, jump into my free Facebook community here!
When I'm folding laundry, cooking dinner, driving to Kindermusik classes, or flying on a plane - there is a good chance that I am listening to podcasts on my phone. Podcasts have made it easier than ever to access information, education, inspiration, and entertainment.
Check out my 5 favourite boss babe podcasts below - for when you need motivation or to learn a new skill or when you're feeling blah in your business and need a boost.
1. Social MEdia to Sales Podcast
2. Rich B****
3. The chalene Show
4. Style Your Mind Podcast
5. Real Talk with Rachel Luna
So, these are my top 5 boss babe podcasts - I seriously listen to these women all day, every day! What are your favourite podcasts that you would add to this list?
And I've learned that leaving doesn't get easier. My heart aches and my guilt levels rise when tears are shed.
But I've also learned that leaving is good for all of us. It makes me a better mother when I take care of me. It makes me a better wife and role model of a healthy marriage when I spend solo time with my husband. It makes me a better person when I'm not solely existing to take care of other people and actually doing things I'm passionate about (like traveling!)
When we leave her, my daughter learns that she can live without us; she learns that we will always come back. So, while it may never be easy, I can be as prepared as possible - and I can make sure my daughter is, too. So, here are my top tips to ditch the mom guilt and travel kid-free.
1. BE PREPARED
Being prepared is crucial staying calm and reducing anxiety after you leave. Whenever we travel, I leave:
2. make it special for your kids
On our first long trip away (7 days!), my mother came to stay at our house with my daughter. Before leaving, I went to the dollar store and spent about $15 to get a small present for each day we were gone. They weren't extravagant presents - Play-Doh, bubbles, a puzzle, a toy dinosaur, a book, etc. Every day, my daughter was able to open a present from us; it helped me feel connected to her and made us being gone a little more fun for her.
3. Say goodbye
I know, this one seems obvious. But even if your flight is at 6am (meaning being at the airport at 4am), it is so important to tell your kids you are leaving and remind that that you will come back. Don't spend a ton of time saying goodbye - drawing things out might make it harder on you and them.
4. Take advantage of technology
Check in regularly - for us, that meant Facetiming with our daughter every day. We quickly learned that a couple of minutes was the perfect amount of time for us to say hi, tell her we loved her, and chat with her caregiver about any questions they had. If we talked any longer than that, she would get upset and cry; it's a live and learn thing, so adjust your timing as necessary!
Another bonus of our wireless world is that home is able to contact you immediately in case of emergencies, so make sure that they know the best way to reach you (text message, phone call, Facebook messenger, etc.)
5. Fill your cup, mama
Remind yourself: being away from your kids is ok. Taking care of yourself is ok. Investing in your marriage is ok. In fact, all of these things are incredibly important. You were a multi-faceted person before you became Mama; you need to take care of those parts of yourself as well. So, even if it's difficult, remember: you are doing a really good job. You deserve this trip. You've got this.
1. Abandon the 9-5
It's time to ditch the idea of a typical workday and start thinking "nap-to-nap." You don't need to sit down for 8 hours to get your work done; I mean, isn't that the beauty of being your own boss?! Your business can be built before your kids wake up, during nap times, and after everyone is asleep. Of course, there are certain appointments or activities that must be accomplished during the day, but don't feel like you need to accomplish everything in the traditional 9-5 structure.
2. Schedule, Schedule, Schedule
I've said it before and I'll say it again: What gets scheduled, gets done. And I'm not just talking about your business, I'm talking about your entire life.
That means, when you're planning out your daily or weekly tasks and goals, include non-work related items like when you're going to workout, when you're going to take a bubble bath, and when you're going to have family time. For me, that means scheduling weekly games nights and mid-day time to play with my daughter. Even if we have no structured plans, having that scheduled time reminds me of my priorities and helps me step away from my business to play my most important role: being her mom.
3. Meal plan and Prep
Nope, meal plans and meal prep are not just for weight loss! They're also great to help save the busy mompreneur's sanity. Having a plan and being prepared will save you time, save money, and save yourself the 5pm madness of "Shoot, what's for dinner?!" Here are some tips to get started (you'll find TONS of great sample plans and even more recipes on Pinterest!)
4. Find (or Create) A village
It takes a village to raise a child. So don't try and do this parenting thing all on your own. Communicate with your partner about how they can help you -- after all, you are juggling two full-time jobs. Figure out how to parent and how to share the household duties so that you're on the same page. Also, make sure you tell him how grateful you are for all his help!! (Hey, remember that scheduling thing? Schedule a date night!!)
Let's say your spouse is less than supportive, works out of town, or maybe isn't in the picture. What's a girl to do?
Honey, it's time to create a village for yourself. Go on Facebook for groups of moms in your city and look for a mama to swap childcare or stressful stories with. Hire a cleaning lady to come once a month or every 2 weeks to help around the house. Find a church, a mom group, or a book club help you survive. This article lists, in more detail, 7 ways to find and create your own village as a mom.
5. Take care of YOU
Your kids need a happy mom, not a perfect one. And the only person who can truly give them the happy mom they need? It's you. Remember, there will never be enough time in the day to get everything done. It's pretty much impossible. Your inbox will be full forever, so just accept it. You house will be a little messy and that's ok.
You have to take care of yourself in order to take care of your family and your business. So, schedule your workout, take that bubble bath, and find time for a drink with your girlfriends. Trust me. You'll be a better mama and mompreneur for it.
Now, Ditch the guilt and get out there, mama!
Looking for your village, a community of women who embrace self-care, choose to grow, and just want to make life better every single day? Come join our free group on Facebook here!
Before I became a wife or a mom or a teacher or an entrepreneur... I'm talking way back, back in the day... I was just a girl, studying English Literature, because the thing she most enjoyed doing was reading.
Honestly, that hasn't changed much. I can still read a book in a single sitting (if I can kind the time) and I still sign out books like the library might burn down and it's my job to protect them. But the time I have to read? It's significantly less than it used to be; however, I still love to read, to immerse myself in anything from young adult literature to self-help books. So, what's a girl to do when she needs more knowledge in her life?
Here are my top tips for fitting more books into your busy schedule!
1. Listen to audio books
I never appreciated audio books until I became a mom and suddenly, every book I tried to sit down and read (in the 10 seconds of spare time I had) got ripped or covered in sticky fingers.
I discovered Audible about 2 years ago and it completely changed my life. I know, that sounds dramatic, but I'm serious. Audible is an Amazon company that costs $14.95 a month, after the first month. Each month, you get 1 credit to exchange for a audio book, no matter the price. You can listen anywhere, anytime - the gym, while you're doing laundry, in the car... Anywhere I drive, you better believe I'm listening to Grant Cardone, Robin Sharma, or Gabrielle Bernstein. Plus, listening to an author read their own book is amazing.
Get your first month free here.
2. Use the library, y'all!
Last Christmas, I won a $5,000 gift card to Chapters and I went on a book-buying frenzy. When the money was all gone, I went through New Book Withdrawal Syndrome (it's legit, even if I just made it up).
The library saved me.
I mean, it's free. You can put books on hold and they'll bring them to the library closest to your house. If you feel like you cannot afford to get a new book or you're struggling to commit to something, the library is the place to go.
3. Schedule reading into your life
"What gets scheduled is what gets done."
Want to read a book a month? Schedule time each week when you plan to sit down and read. Just like basketball practices and parent-teacher interviews and business meetings, write down on your calendar when you plan to read.
Hey, maybe you'll get up a little bit earlier twice a week to read with a hot cup of coffee. Maybe you'll read every night in the bathtub with a glass of wine (I mean, a girl can dream, right?). Maybe you'll bring a book with you to read in the car while you wait for your kids after school. Schedule it for yourself, whenever you can.
4. Join a book club
Whether it's online or in person, book clubs are a great way to encourage yourself to read more AND connect with other like-minded ladies. Whether it's a murder-mystery book club or a personal development book club... whether you start it yourself or you join one with a friend... You should seriously consider it.
Am I not convincing you? Check out Bustle's List of 11 Reasons Every Woman Should Join a Book Club. This list is perfection.
I hope this doesn't sound harsh; I promise, I have your best interests at heart.
But sometimes, you just have to prioritize. Pick your book over Netflix. Pick your book over video games. Pick your book over mopping the kitchen floor - I mean, if it's not really dirty, it can probably wait, right?
We all have the same 24 hours in a day. You want to read more? Make it a priority.