Tag Archives: Stay at Home Mothers

Women on Top

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Get serious. No holding back!   Photo credit: 1photos.com

Get serious. No holding back! Photo credit: 1photos.com

Women in the workforce. A boring, crusty old topic of conversation, am I right? Well, maybe so, but perhaps there is still more to learn. More to explore. A new cultural norm to ponder.

Many women still want ‘it all’. We want family and we want a career. So, this must mean that we should strive for a mediocre career goal at work, running on autopilot, biding our time before we get married. Once children enter the picture, you simply don’t have the energy (and sometimes the will) to return to work with gusto. So, setting a good pace before we have children is a good goal, yes?

But what if we set the bar a bit higher? What if we fully engaged ourselves with massive momentum and intent from the start?  What if we drove change, honoured creativity, stood firm with clear vision and belief? What if we became the kind of leaders that inspire with every conversation, be it in the elevator or behind the podium? Imagine the kind of impression would that leave, even if we knew that in a few years we would be off on maternity leave and preoccupied by family.

Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook speaks in her TED talk of the need to encourage women to ‘lean in’. Instead of sitting back both literally and figuratively in our careers, we must engage. Share your ideas, partake in big conversations, seek promotions, set big goals. Don’t shortchange yourself…  what you think about, you bring about. If you don’t believe in your potential, you lessen your ability to make an impact.

I have often felt like I may not be ‘ready’ for a particular  promotion. My husband informed me last night that this is a disparity that  exists between most men and women in the workplace.  He said “Men will take a job even if they don’t know what the hell they are doing.  They are confident that they will just figure it out as they go.” He believes that women often need to feel like they are fully prepared: armed and organized. As a result, we often let huge opportunities pass us by.

Perhaps this is a character trait and not gender-specific? Maybe it is more simple and directly related to self-confidence. Either way, are we showing everyone our true potential? Are we on cruise control or really giving every moment, every day, our very best with the goal of huge personal and professional achievement? “Less mediocrity, more mastery.” -as Robin Sharma puts it.

Women have amazing life experience to bring to the table before, and particularly after, having children. So even if your goal is to spend a few years on and off maternity leave raising a family, make them yearn to have you back at work. Make them remember how amazing it felt to have you there. When you return and you choose to set those big goals…never look back.

CB

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A Mother’s work is never done… Scheduling for greatness #2

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Today’s post will be a bit ironic as I am not currently home with my children working my ‘Mommy Biz’. I am on a break at my ‘real’ job in health care. So, my absence from my children very appropriately leads me into my first suggestion in scheduling for greatness #2.

1.Engage the help of others! – When I had my first child I though no one could teach him as well as me. He and I had THE best connection. I understood all his words, knew his signals, knew which foods he liked the most and which ones he would probably throw at the dog. So, OF COURSE he was always better off with me at all times, right? HA! When I started to stray from the nest and take a few hours to myself, I quickly saw that my little boy thrived on many occasions when we were apart. He spoke new words, tried different activities, played in new ways and became more bold in his social interactions. Retrospectively…duh! My children were challenged in new ways whenever they were placed in new situations. Not rocket science, right? Well, we Moms want to feel needed… so we may need a gentle reminder that asking for help from others and taking some time away can REALLY be beneficial for both Mom and child. Get a friend or family member to relieve you at least a couple of times per week. The benefits are huge.

2. Get yourself a smart phone. Jump in…it won’t hurt. These little gadgets have been around for long enough for you to know what they are capable of. You name it…there’s an ‘app’ for it. From wicked visual monthly calendars (PocketLife – my Arbonne appointments are pink!) to text apps that keep you in contact with your downline (WhatsApp!), they are cheap or even free and so easy to use. In small home businesses, you are your own assistant, so get organized! Social media is not an option anymore for a small business, so apps like Facebook Pages, Twitter, Pinterest and WordPress can keep you in touch with your client base everywhere you go. Just make sure that you set your limits and don’t try to check your blog views while you should be watching your 3 year old daughter’s ballet recital!! Set personal limits and schedule your business into your day!!

3. Get a journal, keep a list – Go to staples, buy a pen and journal and ignore the looks of disgust from the Millennials staring you down in the process! Every day, journal about your day, set some goals, write down new ideas or to-do lists and just think creatively. You can do this a.m. or p.m. or both! Just seeing the progress I have made in the 25 pages I have documented is inspiring!! Growth, belief, vision, all documented in my own hand. Nothing more beautiful.

A Mother’s work is never done… Scheduling for greatness #1

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new vintage mopping

I was washing the floor this morning and trying to wrap my head around our schedule for the day. I can really think when I wash the floor. Maybe it’s because of the repetitive ‘push-pull’ of the mop. Maybe it’s because my children have to be preoccupied so I can keep them off the floor. Either way, I can really think things through and follow my train of thought when I am in full house-frau mode!

Anyways, speaking of train of thought… I was pondering a remark a friend of mine had made about how she cannot understand how I fit everything into my schedule. Part-time shifts at the hospital, son back and forth to preschool, daughter down for naps, working my Arbonne business, dinners out with my husband, keeping a Facebook page and now a blog up to date and even popping out for a social night of West Coast Swing dancing once a month. This made me really think about how we can fit so many things into a day and not go crazy with stress. So, maybe I can share a few things that work for me.

1. Involve your children – These little people love to be a part of the family dynamic. They want to be considered an integral part of the family. Make them feel like you could not function without them! Make sure that you run some plans by them, even a day or two before it happens. My son in particular really needs to be given advanced notice of things and I always regret it if I throw something at him he does not expect! FREAKOUT session! Nothing like a screaming 4 year old to create stress. The conversation usually goes something like this…”This week, we have a few things that we need to do and I need your help…” Then I give him a list, reinforcing the days of the week as we go through (teachable moment!) and often end up writing him out a little schedule if some activities are related to him directly. He loves it! He even posts it up in his room and crosses the days off himself!

2. Involve your spouse – OK dear, time to pitch in! It was so unbelievable clear to me how difficult it would be if I was a stay-at-home Mom when I returned to work after both my maternity leaves. A full 12 hour shift where I did not have to be responsible for anyone but myself…HEAVEN! So, by staying home all day with my children, my husband understood how challenging the day was and now he is always ready to offer me time away whenever I request it. Errand time, gym time, shopping time, you name it. He appreciates my hard work and likely his own opportunity to be with the children and then escape to his job again the next day!

3. Take time for you!!! – This one is huge. I struggled with this and still do, but now realize the importance of this simple concept. After a full 12 hrs with my kids I felt too exhausted to even think about cleaning up and heading out. I also really wanted to spend a little time with my children and husband all together, as a family. But, I end up drained from doing the same thing ALL day with no time for me. Choose 2 or 3 days each week where you get a full hour or two away and to do whatever you need to do: exercise, shop, go for coffee with a friend. You choose! It will likely work very well if this is exercise! You WILL have energy if you just get your body moving! Get out in the fresh air with no little people to herd. You will have SO much more patience and energy for everyone else if you allow yourself to recharge.

More tips to come in the future….and don’t think I have all these things perfected.

I too, am a work in progress!! It takes persistence and perseverance to build habits for great success!