By: MaryAnn Rivers a Mom like you.
You have been talking and I’ve been listening. You want to create this awesome business to help others, but you are overwhelmed with all you have to do to start a business and fill your responsibilities as a Mom. It seems like when you are working on your business you are wondering if you should be with your kids. When you are with your kids the list in your head of “to do’s” is a mile long and follows you around like a cartoon bubble over your head.
You have this insatiable guilt about being a Mom and having a real business. You are tired and not sure that you are the best role model for a health coach. Time seems to be moving at a speed you can’t even comprehend. You have visions of your child leaving for college and not being able to remember any of the milestones along the way. The days are long (as you struggle to do it all) and the years are so short. You truly don’t know if you can do it all and if you are making the right decisions.
You are in a place that I have been. Some days I’m still stuck there too. So I truly know the struggles you face and how your heart aches to create the perfect balanced life. I’m not sure there is such a thing as the perfect, balanced life. Maybe our standards are just too high. There are perfect days however. I have had them and so have you. So what makes a balanced day and how can we capture them more often?
I don’t profess to have all the answers. Yet after 12 years of being a working Mom and juggling travel, board meetings, running a company, sleeping far too little and stressing too much I have learned a few things. Take this for what it is, advice I would give friends and associates. And invaluable lessons I have learned from women I admire.
There is a season for everything
One of the best quotes I ever heard that riveted me into realizing I was trying to do too much at once was “You can have it all, just not all at the same time.” Your time in the board room may need to be put on hold while you spend time in the nursery or classroom. You may be in the season right now to earn money for your family. You might be in the season of sacrificing your own aspirations to spend more time with your kids. Maybe that is the main reason you decided to pursue your own business. I know time is precious and we sometimes feel like if we don’t do it all now we won’t ever do it. Guess what – the odds are you will live a very long life. Women who keep themselves reasonably healthy with today’s medical technology will live on average to be in their 90’s. You have time. What season are you in right now? Stop trying to do it all at once and pace yourself accordingly.
Stay in the present
When you are with your kids be with your kids. When you are working – work. Being one place physically and somewhere else in your head serves no one. Not you, not your kids, not your clients. Find ways to stay focused. Set timers for critical work that needs to be done so you don’t get distracted. Don’t allow yourself to do anything else until the task is complete or the amount of time you allocated is over. When you are with your kids – listen. That’s really what they want. Be interested in their life without judgment and you will immediately be their hero. They will not remember the toy you bought them years from now, but they will remember the times you really listened and the look in your eye when you really cared.
Honor rituals with your kids
You can’t be the Mom who does everything perfect. But what are the things that you cherish and want to make sure you are there for with your kids? I personally love bedtime. Always have. Since my boys were babies no matter what else was going on at bedtime I would shut it down to be with them. I read to them, told stories, talked about the day. Now every night I climb into bed and we read a devotional. I always tuck them in and tell them I love them. I probably will until they are in college. That is my most cherished time. What is yours? Honor it and make it special.
Are you a perfectionist? Do you expect to succeed at everything you do? I had to take a good hard look at how much pride I had in my heart before I realized this caused much of my fear of mistakes. I still winch when I make mistakes and sometimes feel like I should have known better. But honestly I’m getting much better at “blowing it off” and realizing that I am such an unfinished product. Will it matter in 10 days or even 10 hours? If not, move on. Focus on the 10 year stuff and get that right.
All work and no play is a recipe for disaster
When is the last time you took even a few moments for yourself? I know you have heard it a thousand times but are you doing anything about it? What is stopping you from taking care of yourself so that you can be available and your best for others? As a health coach you know how critical it is to keep yourself healthy – physically, mentally and emotionally. If you have set goals that are unrealistic you may be driving yourself at a pace that is leaving no room in your schedule for you. What is the thing that you love to do the most? When is the last time you did it? Pick a day each week that you will carve out at least a few hours for yourself. Another famous quote to live by “Be the change you want to see in others.”
Less is more
How did I end up with so much stuff? That hit me as I was moving out of our last house into a much smaller space. Watching it all being packed up literally made me sick. It was life changing. That stuff was paid for by the hours I didn’t have with my kids, the sleepless nights wondering if I was doing a good enough job at work. Stuff had robbed me of my joy. So I vowed to simplify. The less you own the less you have to pay for. The less you have to pay for the more “time and peace” becomes your currency. That is true wealth. I get that there are things you desire and are working hard to earn. A new home or a vacation of a lifetime may be something you’ve dreamed of for years (and maybe the reason you are working so hard for financial freedom). My only message is choose wisely and don’t let stuff drain more than your bank account.
This Mother’s day remember that it is in the journey that matters most. Don’t focus too much on the destination. An idealistic picture of success you have created in your mind will make it impossible for you to experience the daily joy.
I know you want to change the world. I wish more people had your spirit. Just remember there are many ways to do it. Whether you are teaching your kids how to speak kindly to others, do algebra, throw a baseball or you are coaching someone to get healthy – you are changing the world. This Sunday honor all you ARE doing. Know that you are making a difference and making a living in your own special way. Believe that everything will work out if you take one day at a time and live it in balance to the best of your ability.
May God bless you on Mother’s Day and always. MAR