Here’s What I Know About You

Here’s what I know about you.

You’re exhausted.

You’re feeling pulled in too many directions.

There’s too much on your plate.

And you are tired of feeling this way.

You desire the time to spend with your kids without thinking of all the tasks not being done.

You desire to know that you’re completing your work tasks in a timely manner and that you’re home for bedtime each night.

You want something to change.

I have just the thing! Work with me!

If you give yourself this gift of time, you can expect to learn how to:

  • Shift your mindset from I must do it all today to I am going to focus on these specific tasks today.
  • Identify the right tasks and priorities to focus on each day. The tasks that are moving you, your business (or career), and your family forward.
  • Uncover where your time is going and why.
  • Create simple routines and systems to keep your life running smoothly from day to day. And get your family involved!
  • Learn to say no to any commitment or task that isn’t a ‘heck yes!’ from the beginning.
  • Be more proactive with your time. No more spending your days putting out fires.
  • Shift your routines as life changes. Because you know things change.

Schedule a call with me to talk about how you can make these changes in your life!

Your future self will thank you!

What Are You Escaping?

I know my life is reaching a point of overwhelm when there are too many post-it notes. When I feel like all I’m doing is creating to-do lists. But not actually doing any of the tasks on the post-its or lists.

When this happens, I take a few minutes to get all the tasks and ideas out of my head. Then figure out what really needs to happen right now, today, or this week.

When we have a sense of our commitments, it’s easier to say yes or no to something. If it’s a work project, we can talk about renegotiating deadlines. If it’s a volunteer commitment, we know if have the time to give. If it’s our kids asking to do one more activity, we can have a conversation as a family about whether it makes sense or will lead to more overwhelm.

How many things have you said yes to in your life because:

what are you escaping
  1. Didn’t know how to say no at the moment?
  2. Felt obligated to do it even though you really didn’t want to?

Remember that every time you say yes to something you are saying no to something else.

And sometimes we have to say no to something that seems like a great opportunity because we know that there’s a better one out there. (Or, we know we need to leave breathing room in our schedules). Make sure that yes is worth it.

I want you to design a life that you don’t need to escape from. One that doesn’t have you dreading every Monday. Where you aren’t resentful of the activities you and your family are committed to outside of work and school.

It’s a life full of activities and tasks that deserve to be there.

This takes time and reflection, both of which I know you feel you don’t have enough. But we can change that, together!

Go To Bed

That’s right. You need to go to bed.

Sleep is important. If you’ve been skimping on sleep because you feel overwhelmed by everything you need to do, then stop it. Sleep (and taking breaks) actually helps you get more done each day.

When you’re tired, you’re not efficient.

You make mistakes.

You’re slower both physically and mentally.

So go to bed.

Before you go to bed though, spend some time thinking about your evening routines. What can you do at night to make your mornings better? Pack lunches? Pack backpacks and work bags? Set out breakfast?

go to bed bedside

Ok. Now that you’re getting some sleep, start thinking about your morning routines. Are you getting up earlier than your kids? What needs to happen in the morning to make the rest of your day easier? Run the dishwasher? Put dinner in the crockpot?

Spending some time getting your morning and evening routines working helps make the rest of your days easier!

A Game of Mousetrap

Have you ever played the game of Mousetrap? I remember sitting in my grandparent’s house, putting the game together. I don’t think we ever played the game as designed. Just put the pieces together and sent the marble through the system.

a game of mousetrap

There’s cause and effect. If something goes wrong, the end result is different. But, when things go smoothly, you get what you want in the end (unless you’re the mouse being caught).

It builds on itself. You need the pieces to connect in a certain way for it to work.

The same can be said for systems (and routines) in our own life. Pieces need to connect in certain ways. And when something is off, things can go wrong.

What routines in your life need some work? What systems can you create?

I’ve blocked time on my calendar for my marketing tasks. I sit down every Monday morning and work my way through a checklist of tasks related to marketing. I tackle the ones I don’t want to do first because I know I won’t do them otherwise. If I don’t sit down on Monday morning with these tasks, they’re less likely to get done for the week.

If I don’t do laundry on Sunday afternoons, I have to create time for it somewhere else in my week. I prefer to get it done on Sunday and do my best to keep that routine. And, if the laundry isn’t in the dirty laundry hampers, it doesn’t get washed!

What do you need to put in place? What needs to be tweaked?

Here are a few to think about.

  • Laundry
  • Meal planning
  • Family meetings
  • Processing emails (personal and work)
  • Recurring work tasks

Routines, once put in place, can take so much work out of our days. They clear up our brain for other things!

Add A Little Structure

It’s 5 pm. I’m staring at the fridge, wondering what we’re going to have for dinner. I don’t like to cook. If it’s not planned or prepped, we’re having frozen pizza.

Once we started weekly meal planning (and prepping) our weeknight dinners got easier. Veggies and potatoes were prepped and the meat was defrosted. All I needed to do was turn on the oven, toss everything in a pan, and roast it.

Sunday is laundry day. I refuse to wash clothes any other day of the week unless absolutely necessary. If you want your clothes washed, they better be in the hamper when I start. Otherwise, it waits until next week.

add a little structure

I’m working on implementing certain days of the week for certain work tasks. Something like marketing Monday. Where Monday is focused on all my marketing tasks. Maybe you have planning meetings on certain days of the week or focus on specific projects at specific times.

Do you find routines stifling or helpful?

Do you think that having routines in your life helps with your creativity? Or hurts it?

It is possible to have routines in your life and also flexibility. When your days are planned and structured down to the minute, any disruption throws things into disarray.

When you have routines and structure with space for the unexpected, everything flows smoothly.

What routines do you need in your days?

Below are a few areas to add routines to your life.

  • Laundry
  • Meal planning and prep
  • Recurring work tasks
  • Morning routines
  • Evening routines

Ask yourself the following questions related to building routines.

  • What are all the steps needed to complete this routine?
  • When does each step need to happen?
  • Who is responsible for each step?

I also recommend spending the last 30 minutes of your workday cleaning up your workspace. Check your calendar and tasks for tomorrow. Celebrate what you accomplished today. Process emails. File paperwork. Check your physical inbox, if you have one. Prepare yourself for tomorrow.

Routines can make your life easier! And when your brain knows that tasks are taken care of, it can solve other problems!

The clothes are the wrong side out

Have you ever dreaded a task because it felt like it would take too much time? Then once you finally tackled it, it wasn’t as bad as you thought?

I felt that way about laundry (don’t we all?!)

So I decided to time myself one day. And I learned something valuable.

I realized that it was taking me too long to fold laundry because my kid’s clothes are often inside out. I was spending too much time turning everything right side out.

ever dreaded a task?

So I stopped.

My daughter recently wore a pair of pants wrong side out because that’s how they came out of the drawer.

I’m not taking the time to fix that and apparently, my kids don’t care! And next time they’ll be correct because they turned right side out again when she took them off!

It seems to only bother the adults when kids wear something wrong-side out or backward. Let’s let it go!

And now I know that it takes me less than 10 minutes to fold a load of laundry. I can make that happen. Especially when I think about how much time we’ll spend digging through the laundry trying to find something if I don’t deal with it!

(Side note: I don’t put away my kid’s clothes. I don’t even fold them. Their clothes get put in individual laundry baskets and they deal with them).

I’m sharing this story because your task list is long. And it could likely be shorter. But you’ve said yes to too many things. And you’re doing too much.

Do you know where your time goes? Not just guessing, but truly knowing?

And have you ever timed your tasks so that you know how long a recurring task takes?

Even if you think you know where your time goes, it’s helpful to track your time. Over the course of a week, document each task, in 30-minute increments. This doesn’t mean that you sit down at the end of the day and write down what you think you did. You stop what you’re doing every 30 minutes and write it down. Use these resources to help with this.

Then go back and review your week. How much time was spent on social media? What time was wasted on activities that were unnecessary? How much time are you spending on work tasks? Were there any surprises or did it make sense to you?

Or, if tracking your time sounds like too much work, identify the tasks you do most often, for work or home. And time them. How long does it take you to write your weekly newsletter or monthly report? How long does it take to empty the dishwasher, take out the trash, or plan your dinners for the week?

Use this information to change your future scheduling. Identify what’s working and what’s not.

Your future self will thank you.

I Don’t Have Time For This!

Do you keep appointments you make for yourself?

What about making time to do those things that aren’t high priorities but are things you’d like to do someday?

The things you know would make you happy or contribute to society in some way, but you’re too busy cleaning the house, completing work tasks, and entertaining the kids to get to?

I don't have time for this

What if you made appointments with yourself that you kept as strictly as you would a client meeting, doctor’s appointment, or coffee with a friend?

I’ve had several people ask me how to make time for things they’d like to do but aren’t high priorities. Taking digital classes (personal or professional), volunteering, and doing things outside of chore and work lists.

I suggest spending just 30 minutes taking a class. It’s not much, but over time you will make progress. Treat the time you schedule for yourself with as much respect as you would a client appointment or coffee with a friend.

Another suggestion includes letting go of the need to keep up with all the household tasks all the time. I’m not saying let your house grow mold. But what if you spend one afternoon a month volunteering? Your house isn’t going to fall apart during that time. Volunteering can be something social, where you meet new people. It can be something you do as a family.

And at the end of your life, you’re not going to remember having a spotless, well-maintained home. Or how many things you crossed off your task list. You’re going to remember the things you did with your family and friends. The experiences you created.

I’m not saying you should skip out on your priorities. But we also need to make time for ourselves and time for fun. And it’s ok to schedule it. You should schedule it, otherwise, it’s not going to happen.

And, when you take breaks from your task list, you just might find yourself more productive when you come back to it. You might find that doing something else helps you solve some big client problem or gives you an idea for something at work.

Your future self will thank you!

What Do You Value?

Really, what do you value?

One of the reasons I do this work is because I value time. Yours and mine.

You’ve heard me say this before, moms do too much.

We are told that in order to have it all, we have to do it all.

And I don’t buy it. And I’m on a mission to change this.

I want moms to feel like they have time to have fun with their kids. To spend time with their partner and their friends. And to not feel guilty about all the things that aren’t getting done while they’re out having fun!

Yes, parenting is hard. Yes, it’s often exhausting and overwhelming.

But we don’t have to spend our days simply flinging from one task to another without end.

So if you value your time and you’re ready for things to change, let’s talk. Schedule a Get On Track call today.

moms do too much

And if you’re still coming up with excuses, here are a few reasons why scheduling this call could be just the thing you need!

  1. Feel pulled in too many directions? No more days of too many tasks on that list. You know what your priorities are and how to approach each day, no matter what it throws at you.
  2. Think there’s not enough time to do it all? Create time to spend with your family and on yourself. Watch a movie? Yes please! Spend a weekend away with friends? Heck yes! Know things are getting done and create time for fun too.
  3. Grumbled at that work project your boss just gave you? You know how to break it down into small steps that are achievable. You’re ahead of the game now!
  4. Tired of all the activities? You were just asked to be on the PTA. Your kids just asked to join yet another sport. You know if it fits in with your life and whether it’s a heck yes from the beginning.
  5. Is life constantly throwing changes your way? You got this! You know how to evaluate what’s working and what’s not and shift routines and systems as needed.

I look forward to chatting with you!

You Are Not Your To-Do List

That’s right, you are not your to-do list!

Our society will have you believe that your worth is wrapped up in how much you get done each day.

I’m here to tell you that it’s not.

Your worth has nothing to do with how clean and organized your house is.

you are not your to-do list

It has nothing to do with how much you get done each day.

It’s not even connected to how many activities your kids do each week or how good they are at any of them.

And it’s most definitely not connected to whether or not your kid’s clothes match when they leave the house (or if they brushed their hair).

You are not your to-do list.

You are worthy simply because of who you are.

From One To The Next

As I write this, I’m sitting on the couch, still drinking coffee (and still in my PJs). The kids are at school (my husband has morning drop-off).

Looking at my to-do list for today it has more than simply work tasks on it. I need to change the sheets, get my kids signed up for swim lessons, and schedule a dentist appointment.

One of the reasons moms are so exhausted is they’re never just focusing on work or just focusing on their kids.

You are constantly switching between tasks. And that constant switching is exhausting. You’re never focused on one thing. There are many things rolling through your brain.

You likely thought of 6 things you need to do today just while reading this email!

The mental labor of keeping a household running is exhausting and overwhelming.

So, what can we do about it?

First, start with a brain dump. Get all the tasks and ideas out of your head. Your brain was not meant to hold more than 4-5 ideas at a time. You don’t need to remember that you need toothpaste, write it down and stop thinking about it!

one to the next

This step alone is helpful. And it can be overwhelming to see all those tasks listed in front of you. You don’t have to do all those tasks today! I promise.

Having them documented helps you categorize them. So you can run all your errands at once instead of going to the grocery store or Target 5 times over 2 weeks.

The other tip I have for you is time blocking. Have certain times of the week or day when you complete certain tasks. I have Monday morning blocked off for all my marketing tasks. I have a checklist of everything I need to do. My calendar is blocked so people can’t schedule appointments with me until after 10am. I sit down and work my way through my checklist.

Same for laundry. I have certain days of the week I do laundry. I’ll do the occasional load if necessary. But for the most part, if your laundry isn’t in the laundry basket when laundry is done, it isn’t getting clean!

What can you time block for yourself this week? It could be a work task or a household chore.

Dads Don’t Babysit

When you see a dad at the playground with his kids, what’s the first thing that goes through your head? Is it different than what you’d think about a mom at the playground?

When your partner takes care of the kids for an afternoon while you run errands or hang out with some girlfriends, what is going through your mind?

dads don't babysit

When I or my husband heads out for an evening with friends, the other one is fully in charge of the kids. That means if there’s a meltdown happening as I head out the door, I leave. Because my husband is also a parent and he can handle it. But I’ve had friends bail on dinner because one of their kids was having a tough time going to bed.

Now, I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with that. If you feel your kids need you, then give them that attention.

But if you’re staying because you don’t think your partner can handle it, let’s talk about that.

There is this double standard in our society. When dads do something like take their kids to the park, we see it as this hero move. Oh, look at him, spending time with his kids. He’s such a good dad.

Yet, I could guarantee you we don’t say that about moms. When we see a mom at the park, it’s not a big deal. We’ll judge her for being on her phone or not playing with her kids. Maybe the kid falls down – it’s the mom’s fault. Not just what kids do.

My husband doesn’t babysit. He’s not a hero for taking the kids to the park or sitting down to play legos with them. He’s a dad. This is what parents do.

I’ll stay off my soap box for how our society has created this mess and how we feed right into it as parents.

But remember this, dads don’t babysit!

Do You Use The Word Busy As A Defense Mechanism?

“Busy is just a euphemism for being so focused on what you don’t have that you never notice what you do. It’s a defense mechanism. Because if you stop hustling—if you pause—you start wondering why you ever thought you wanted all those things.” ― Jodi Picoult, Wish You Were Here

I was talking with several parents about all the after-school activities they were doing. And someone said she does all the activities because everyone else in her neighborhood did too. What if she skipped out on soccer and her kids missed out spending time with the other kids on the block?

And while I can understand that mentality, what if there are other parents doing the same thing? What if out of five families on the block, only 2 of them enjoy soccer. And the others are doing it because they feel like that’s the only way for their kids to have friends or spend time with others?

What if one of them stopped for a season? Chose a different activity? Or let the kids ride their bikes instead of attending a structured activity?

Jumping off the hamster wheel can be scary.

It’s easy to fall into this pattern of doing what we’ve always done. Of taking on the activities of those around us. Believing that by cultivating our kids skills they will grow up to be successful adults.

And we don’t spend much time thinking about it because we feel we don’t have the luxury of that time.

Our society has us constantly striving for the next best thing. We rarely take the time to evaluate what we’re doing and if it’s what we really want.

My challenge for you this week is to take even a few minutes. Take 20 minutes and evaluate all the activities in your life.

  • Think about how you want to be living your life. What do you want your days to look like? What memories do you want to have when you look back on your kids’ childhoods?
  • Write down all the activities you and your family are doing (outside of school and work).
  • Do these activities fit within what you want your life to look like?
    • If yes, great!
    • If not, how can you let them go?

By taking the time to evaluate the activities in your life, you will likely find something you can let go of. You’ll get some time back in your schedule to focus on something you truly want to be doing.

You’ll find that there isn’t clutter in every crevice of your day!

And your future self will thank you!

P.S. Ready to take this further? Schedule a Get on Track call.

Are You Blorft?

“I was a little excited but mostly blorft. “Blorft” is an adjective I just made up that means ‘Completely overwhelmed but proceeding as if everything is fine and reacting to the stress with the torpor of a possum.’ I have been blorft every day for the past seven years.” ― Tina Fey, Bossypants

I was sitting on the playground recently, watching my kids play and listening to a group of parents talk about how hard it was to get together with their friends.

A dad was describing this long text thread of trying to get together with a friend to go rock-climbing. They live 30-minutes away from great climbing, but could not find a time when they were both free at the same time.

blorft

Same story for a mom trying to make plans with some girlfriends.

There were all the activities that the kids were doing. Soccer. Piano. Swim lessons. Dance. Gymnastics. Tuesdays and Thursdays were out. Saturdays too because that’s when the games are. And the multitude of birthday parties and other kid-centered activities that happen.

If there’s more than one kid, the activities likely fall on different days, so there goes most weekdays.

And I say there thinking to myself – it doesn’t have to be this hard, does it? It shouldn’t be this hard to make time to see our friends. Why do we design our lives to revolve around our children?

Society has led us to believe that we need to do everything for our children and keep them fully entertained all the time. That it’s selfish for us to do anything for ourselves.

Play dates. Sports. Music. They must be achieving and growing.

What happened to kids entertaining themselves while mom and dad sit and have a quiet cup of coffee together?

What would happen if you said no to a birthday party and instead spend some time with just your family? Or hired a babysitter (or a neighbor) to watch your kid(s) while you and a friend went and took a walk or went for a cup of coffee?

What if each family member took one activity off their plate for the next few months? What would that extra time do for all of you?

You can design a life you love. Not one that’s requiring you to respond to stress with the torpor of a possum.

What would you let go of today to make more time for your friends?

Your future self will thank you!

Valerie

Are You Often Striving For Perfection?

Do you have such high expectations of yourself that you feel like you are never living up to them?

That you are constantly striving for perfection and it’s never enough?

Maybe you spend time late at night cleaning the house so it’s organized and clean all the time.

Or you stay up late perfecting a report for work, a presentation you’re giving, or an email you need to send a client.

Maybe you worry that you’re not doing enough for your kids. That they’re not in the right activities that are going to get them in to the right college.

And you feel like it’s never enough and that you are failing every day.

It seems like if we don’t meet our expectations, we question ourselves, not the expectations.

When maybe it’s our expectations that are the problem.

I think it’s society that’s setting us up for failure.

One of the things I focus on in my client work is designing a life that you want. Not living like society or social media tells you.

But focusing on what’s important to you and your family.

Instead of striving for some version of perfect that society is telling you to strive for, clarify your own version of success.

striving for perfection

What are your goals? And what small step can you take today to move toward them?

What short-term tasks can you let go of to focus on a long-term goal? It might be letting the laundry sit for another day while you do some research on spending a summer in a foreign country. It could be hiring someone to deep clean your house once a month so you can spend time hiking with your family.

Ask yourself if the world will stop spinning if the task isn’t done perfectly. I’m guessing the answer is no. So maybe good enough or done is OK.

Don’t waste your days living someone else’s life!

Define your own success!

If you’re ready to figure this out in your own life, schedule a Get On Track call.

Did You Know That You Make 35,000 Decisions A Day?

Did you know that people make over 35,000 decisions a day?

This is why, when it’s time for dinner and you haven’t planned it, you have wine and m&m’s and feed your kids cereal (there’s nothing wrong with this, on occasion, by the way).

Moms already have enough on their plates. There’s no need to make life more complicated.

Having some basic routines and systems in your days and weeks help simplify things. Remove decisions where you can.

35,000 decisions a day

Have a menu that repeats every 2 weeks. You have chicken every Thursday. The spices and sides can change, but you know roughly what you’re eating. Every Monday is something vegetarian. Keep a list of meal ideas so you can easily plan those vegetarian meals without too much thought.

Have certain days of the week for laundry. Or, do one load a day. Figure out what laundry routine works best for you. I wash clothes on Sunday and sheets / towels on Fridays. I have a friend who does one full load (from washing to putting it away) every day. Figure out what works for you and your family and stick with it.

Have a list of things to which you will say no. This is important. Shiny objects. Clothes you don’t need. Toys your kids don’t need. Activities and commitments are just one more thing to keep track of. Figure out what’s important and say no to the rest!

The point is to take as many decisions as possible out of your day. Because 35,000 decisions a day is just too many!

Your future self will thank you!

It Doesn’t Have To Be This Hard

Do you have days where you feel like you missed a class on how to be an adult?

Where the to-do list is overwhelming and never-ending? And you wonder if you’ll ever feel on top of your game?

I know I have!

This is why I created Stride Productivity and my virtual community, Stride Together.

Because being a mom is hard. Being a mom while also working a full-time job or running your own business is hard. If you’re a stay-at-home mom, it’s hard!

And I want moms to know they’re not alone.

I want moms to know what it feels like to not have clutter and tasks in every crevice of their day.

To make time for fun.

To spend quality time with their families.

And to have a sense of control.

It is possible.

If you want to learn more, schedule a Get On Track call with me today. Let’s talk about how to help you stop feeling so exhausted and drained.

She Wanted To Help Me

How did it get so messy? Does a pack of wild animals live here?

Big sigh

We were all picking up toys and clutter so that we could more thoroughly clean it. My 5-year-old daughter refused to participate. She’s 5. She’s stubborn and she’s not going to do anything she doesn’t want to do.

So I let it go and we all moved on.

A little while later, I hear her saying she’s cleaning up to help me. Because mom needs it.

Now, I understand that often our kids do stuff around the house to help mom. Mom’s the one who manages the chores and house cleaning (more on why this is a problem at a later date.

But I didn’t like the way she said this. I didn’t like that she was only doing it because mom was mad.

We are a team in our household. Keeping the house clean and organized is not just mom’s job. It’s everyone’s job. Because we all live here.

We don’t clean the house to make mom happy. We clean and declutter the house so we can find what we need and don’t get ants.

Everyone participates in keeping the house functioning.

Here are some ideas to get everyone involved:

  • Make it fun. Don’t tell your kid to go clean their room. Their brains will shut down and it won’t happen.
    • Help them play the seek and sort game.
    • Turn it into a game. We play basketball with my kids’ laundry. You can do the same with any toys that go into a bin. (side note, don’t use bins with lids.
    • Have kids race against you (never against each other. Siblings are already competitive enough). See if they can put something away faster than you.
  • Make it easy to put things away. (Lids add one more step).
  • Have special time with them first.
  • Do something fun together as a family once you’re done.
to help me

If your kids are older, these same guidelines apply. Get them to participate. Ask them how they want to participate (and skipping out is not an option).

Build routines around decluttering and cleaning.

Keep it small. We clean half the house each weekend so it’s not overwhelming. We pick up most of the mess each day so it doesn’t get overwhelming.

Everything has a home, so it’s easy to put things away.

How cluttered your house gets is up to you and those who live there. What is your level of acceptance of mess? I don’t have the energy for a spotless house every day. I do like a weekly reset.

Figure out what works for your family.

Spend some time this week talking with your family about how to start working together to keep the house functioning. Pick one of the above ideas and put it into action!

Where Do I Even Start?

In this beautiful book I read with my kids, Suzy is told by her mom to pick up her room. Her room is such a mess that she’s not even sure where to start. She feels overwhelmed by the mess. What should she do?

Have you been there?

Have you ever taken a look at your kitchen, the piles of kids’ toys, your to-do list for work, and just stood there?

Overwhelmed and unsure of where to even start?

where to start

I have.

The endless lists. The piles that keep appearing, like a game of whack-a-mole. The dishes, laundry, kids’ toys. The emails, slack messages, interruptions. The work projects.

Where do you even start?

Do what Suzy and her mom do. (and what I do with my kids when their toys are all over the house).

Play the seek and sort game. Pick one task, one list, one subject. And start.

Process your emails (not just read them, but respond, delete, file, figure out the next action).

Find that one task that’s been lingering on your list and do it.

Find all the tasks that will take less than two minutes and see how many you can do in 30 minutes.

Identify the next step on an important work project and take it.

Set a timer for 15 minutes and work on that task you have been avoiding.

The point here is to pick one spot, any spot, and tackle it.

And, if you’re really struggling, put all the tasks on separate sheets of paper in a bowl and draw one out. Do it. Repeat.

Seek. Sort. Start.

Your future self will thank you.

This is a true picture of my kid’s old playroom. It was amazing how quickly they made a mess to the point that they couldn’t play in it! And we had to pick one spot, one toy category, and start cleaning up! Life can feel this messy sometimes, huh?!

Watch As She Bends But Never Breaks

In the song, Surface Pressure, from Encanto, we find Luisa singing the following lyrics.

I take what I’m handed, I break what’s demanding But

Under the surface

I feel berserk as a tightrope walker in a three-ring circus

Under the surface…

I’m pretty sure I’m worthless if I can’t be of service…

Pressure like a drip, drip, drip that’ll never stop, whoa

Pressure that’ll tip, tip, tip ’til you just go pop, whoa-oh-oh

Give it to your sister, it doesn’t hurt

And see if she can handle every family burden

Watch as she buckles and bends but never breaks

Luisa is singing about how she feels so much pressure and is wondering if she can handle it.

She’s always been expected to be the strong one in the family. And the family and town keep throwing tasks at her and expecting her to take more and more on.

She feels herself crumbling under the pressure. She also starts to realize that she doesn’t always have to be the strong one. That she doesn’t always have to take everything on. That she’s more than the strong one. And she really needs a break.

Do these words resonate with you? Do you feel the pressure of taking everything on yourself?

You take everything that’s thrown at you. You bend but never break.

But underneath everything, you feel a bit berserk? Trying not to crumble under the pressure? Feeling like your worth is wrapped up in service to your family?

Maybe you too are developing a twitch in your eye from the pressure.

Know that you don’t need to carry the weight of the world by yourself. That you and your family are a team. You work together.

Know that you don’t have to do every task on your to-do list today.

One of the things I work on with my clients is making sure that what’s on your list belongs there. Today and long-term. You don’t have to say yes to everything.

The world will continue to tell you that your worth is wrapped up in your task list and how you serve your family.

I will continue to tell you that this isn’t true.

If you are curious about what it would be like to work with me, schedule a Get On Track session!

Are You Still Making Their Lunches?

In the movie Bad Moms, Amy (played by Mila Kunis), has taken on so many tasks in her family. She does her best to make her kids’ lives magical. She does their homework. Makes their breakfast. Makes their lunches. Drives them to all their activities.

She does it all.

And she’s exhausted.

At one point, after she’s realized how hard she works and how she’s done doing all the tasks, she tells her kids to make their own lunch. They look stunned. Mom has always done everything for them! And now they have to do something for themselves.

And you know what happens? They figure it out.

Yes, they grumble a bit. They leave a mess in the kitchen. But they make their own lunches.

Moms have been told, over and over, that in order to show our kids that we love them, we must do everything for them. From making fancy breakfasts every morning to packing their lunches, and maybe even doing their homework.

Go overboard for the holidays with decorations, gifts, food.

Throw elaborate birthday parties.

We sign our kids up for so many activities and schedule numerous playdates.

Because society has told us this is what we’re supposed to be doing. That this makes us good moms.

When in reality, it makes us tired and resentful. And makes our kids rely on us for everything.

Now, I hate making lunches. Always have. So I taught my kids from a young age how to make their own.

Do they make a mess? Yes. Do they help clean it up? Yes. Are they getting better at it? Yes.

We make it as simple as possible. Pack snack-size containers with raisins and goldfish on the weekends so that they’re ready to pack (the kids help with this too). Keep ingredients to make sandwiches on hand. Have a list of easy-to-make lunch ideas. And we work on making lunches together, after dinner each night.

Eventually, they’ll be able to pack their lunches without help.

What’s something that you can start teaching your kids to do on their own? Something you can eventually move off your plate, onto someone else’s?

Yes, it might get messy. Yes, it might take some time for your kids to learn. But in the long run? It’s better for all of you!

Reply to this email and let me know what you are going to start working on with your kids?

Your future self will thank you.

P.S. Want to learn more about what it’s like to work with me? Schedule a Get On Track call!