Category Archives: mindset shift

Shift Your Thinking

In the next few weeks, we are going to walk through the acronym STRIDE. It covers the ideas I believe are most important when it comes to how we spend our time. Let’s take a look at Shift Your Thinking.

shift your thinking. a picture of a lightbulb

My youngest takes her socks off and leaves them wherever she happens to be. So there are socks everywhere. My kid’s idea of cleaning up is making a pile of their toys somewhere without actually putting them in their homes (we have this conversation on a regular basis, we’re working on it). 

We just moved into a new home. And are likely moving back out shortly because there are so many things wrong with the house that we can’t live here until things are fixed. (a story for another time). So we haven’t unpacked much more than we need. And most of that stuff is sitting on the floor, the kitchen counters, and the couch. Because we haven’t bothered organizing items that are going to back in boxes soon. 

It’s overwhelming. It’s draining. And it’s frustrating. 

Have you ever looked around your house and seen nothing but piles of things that need to be dealt with? 

Maybe it’s looking at all the projects you have for work. You feel like you’re never going to get them completed on time because there are too many and the deadlines are not possible. 

Or you’ve looked at your schedule and wondered how so many activities ended up there. How are you going to get your family to all these places during the week and ever eat dinner together again? 

Society has us believe that we need to do it all. Take it all on. Say yes to everything. Be busy all the time. Consume. Consume. Consume. 

But is that really how you want to be living? Being resentful that you’re working and taking care of the kids and cleaning the house and doing laundry and signing everyone up for activities and planning the next vacation? You are wondering why no one else is helping or participating?

You’re exhausted? And drained? And over it?

There is a better way. And that starts with shifting your thinking. 

First, it’s knowing that you don’t need to do it all. That your partner is capable of doing things around the house. And if it doesn’t seem that way, then maybe some counseling is in order. And your kids are capable of participating in household chores.

It’s understanding that you don’t need to be constantly scheduled with activities for you and your family. That even if each of you takes on one activity per season that’s still plenty of practices, games, and places to be. 

It’s shifting expectations, not lowering them. Do you need to sweep your kitchen floor every night? Or get to inbox zero every day? What happens if you don’t? 

I’ve decided that I’m not organizing a house that is going to be packed up again soon. I’m going to focus on spending time with my kids and on my work. And maybe relaxing when I can. Because although this house has some structural issues, it also has a beautiful backyard. And sitting outside enjoying the quiet of the neighborhood while watching my kids play on the swing set is a beautiful thing. It’s finding a bit of joy in the chaos. 

When you start focusing on the right things. What really and truly matters today. You start getting stuff done during the day. You make progress on your projects and your tasks. Because they belong there. They’re what matters to you and your family and your career. 

Where can you shift your thinking today?

Want to get started on how to shift your thinking? Sign up for the PDF below, or join my virtual community!

    Sourdough starter. Growth. Finding your passion.

    Many articles from the past year would make you believe that you are not doing enough. With so many people being home during the pandemic you suddenly had time to clean out your closets, finish all those personal projects that have been lingering on your to-do list, and learn a new language. And if you didn’t suddenly find yourself motivated to tackle all of these things, well, that’s on you. It’s not that you haven’t had time, you’re just lazy and lack discipline. 

    Huh. Really? 

    lack discipline text says: your worth is not equal to your productivity. How much you get done each day does not make you sho you are.

    Because you weren’t also taking care of kids while juggling full-time work or just trying to get through the day because it seems as though the world is coming down around us. 

    I have shared how I feel this pandemic has wiped the slate clean for many of us. How this is a great time to think about what we want our lives to look like as we move forward. And not to rush back to the craziness of life BC (before Covid). 

    It’s ok if that hasn’t happened. If you’re aware of it but not ready to process it or figure it out. 

    We are going to be processing the trauma of this pandemic for years to come. Disruption is everywhere. And the changes keep coming. 

    The pandemic is still here. And as long as people are still refusing to get vaccinated and wear masks, it’s not going anywhere. Until more of the global population has access to vaccines, it’s not going anywhere. 

    And we are going to struggle to move forward until that changes.

    There are many articles out there related to your productivity and the pandemic. Getting motivated to work during the stress of a pandemic. (here are my thoughts on that) That with no commute, you have so much more time on your hands! You should be working more! 

    Because our society will have you believe that the more you get done, the more you produce, and the more you cross off your to-do list, the better! Because our value is all about productivity. 

    No. It’s not. 

    You are not your productivity.

    If at the end of the day your kids are loved and fed, you are doing enough. 

    Surviving a pandemic is enough. 

    One of the things we talk about in my virtual community is that knowing what’s important to you helps you prioritize your tasks. You focus on the things moving you, your family, and your business/job forward. That productivity is not about getting it all done every day.

    If you’re struggling with this, let’s talk. I want to help you clarify these things for you. Even if it’s to set you up for success as we move out of the fog of this pandemic.

    Check out the PDF below to get started on this topic.

      Manis/Pedis. Massages. Bubbles baths.

      Manis/Pedis. Massages. Bubbles baths. Chocolate (or your favorite junk food). 

      I don’t believe any of these things are really self-care. They’re what society has told us is self-care. 

      massages. bubble baths. self-care.

      And we’re told that we should be taking care of ourselves. Not feeling guilty for taking that bubble bath or getting a massage. 

      And yes, we should be taking care of ourselves. And no, we should not be feeling guilty for filling our cup. 

      But we need to take some time to figure out what really feeds our souls. And, we should be taking the time to find activities that we truly enjoy. Not what we think we should be doing. 

      We need to be building lives that we don’t need to escape from. 

      This means that we don’t need a weekly massage so that we can have an hour of quiet time because we have time to ourselves and for ourselves built into the week (and we actually make that time happen).  

      That we’re not hiding in the pantry eating cookies straight from the package while hiding from our kids because we actually enjoy spending time with them. We fill their cups too and we have scheduled breaks from them to fill our cups.  

      Yes, I do enjoy my hot chocolate. I believe chocolate feeds my soul. I am also aware that it’s a quick fix. It’s not going to fix whatever it is that got me to this place of feeling drained. 

      Now, if you love your weekly massages, then have them. But don’t use them as your only form of self-care. Same for manis/pedis. 

      What do you do for self-care? Beyond bubble baths and massages? What really feeds your soul?

      For me, going to bed early with a good book fills my cup. Sometimes it’s a long phone call with a friend. 

      Want to get started on creating a life you don’t need to escape from? Start with this PDF. Or, contact me and let’s chat!

        The Sunday Scaries and the Need to Escape

        It’s Sunday night. I’m wondering what the heck happened to my weekend. What exactly did we do? I think I crossed a bunch of tasks off my list. The laundry is washed and dried, not necessarily put away. I’m tired. And I’m starting to dread Monday.

        I’m looking at my calendar and tasks for the week. The week looks full. Maybe even overflowing. How am I going to get through this week? I’m tired just thinking about this week. I already wish it was Friday! 

        dread Monday. woman looking overwhelmed at the clothes and mess in her living room.

        Sound familiar? 

        Life doesn’t have to be this way! Because we don’t have to continue to be so busy that we’re exhausted simply thinking about our week. 

        We don’t need to dread Monday!

        What if you designed a life you don’t need to escape from? 

        If you knew your daily priorities and that you were able to complete them? 

        Maybe you even have time for activities you love? For that ever-elusive ‘me-time’? (I promise, it is possible!)

        I want you to do something for me. Spend some time thinking about what you want your life to look like in the (near) future. If you didn’t have the dreaded Sunday scaries.

        Maybe it’s planning something fun that you look forward to for Monday or Tuesday nights. It doesn’t have to be complicated. It could be a regular phone call with a friend. A virtual dance class or yoga class. 

        Try saying no to any new activities that come your way, while you figure out what activities you and your family want to take on next. Not signing up for soccer, dance, and piano lessons for each kid. Pick one activity for each family member (which can, honestly, still be a lot to manage each week). 

        I know that might feel like a lot right now. I’m just asking you to think about it. 

        I think this pandemic has changed so much for all of us. In big and little ways. We’re physically and emotionally exhausted and drained. Our routines are a mess. Our ability to make decisions is fried. We never know if the decisions we’re making are right. 

        Maybe you’ve spent the past year and a half barely surviving each day. It was all you could do to get your work done and take care of your kids. You looked at Facebook and felt like everyone else was taking on a new hobby or finding their passion (whatever that means!). 

        And you know what? That’s ok. 

        Simply getting through each day is sometimes enough. Sometimes that’s all we can do.

        I’m so tired of hearing people talk about getting back to normal. I don’t want to go back to normal. I’m not even sure what that is. I don’t want to go back to who I was in 2019 or even February 2020. I’m not the same person. 

        For me, this pandemic has wiped my slate clean. It’s clarified so much for me. What’s important to me. Who is important to me. What I want my life to look like in the future. 

        Honestly, rebuilding from scratch sounds less exhausting than going back to the way things were. Where you ran from one activity to another without really thinking about it. Attending every birthday party, sports activity, and event you were invited to. Using retail therapy as a way to feel better about how crazy things were. And talking about being busy like it was a badge of honor. 

        How about creating your life with intention. Building a life that you don’t need to escape from. That doesn’t require weekly massages or bubble baths to relax or feel slightly better about things (next week’s topic). 

        What steps can you start on now? They can be the smallest steps necessary! Take that first step and see where it leads you!

        Keep reading here and here. And if you want some help on this, check out this PDF. It’ll walk you through steps on designing a life you love!

          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? 

          Man starting at brick wall with question marks on post-it notes. Where to start?

          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? 

          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. 

          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. 

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

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

          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. 

          Contact me and let’s get you started playing the seek and sort game!

          Or, share your email below for a PDF to help bust you out of procrastination!

            Let’s Play

            Have you lost your ability to play? 

            ability to play. empty swing on a beach.

            When we become mothers, we’re so focused on raising children, taking care of the house, working, etc. that we forget how to have fun.

            Our society makes us think that leisure time or doing anything for fun, without a purpose, is lazy. That there must always be a purpose to something. And yes, we talk a lot about productivity and priorities here. 

            It’s also important to play. Taking a break, resting and recharging helps our productivity. We might come up with a solution to a work problem while on a hike. Maybe the next great idea for your business comes while walking your dog or spending time with friends. 

            We often collapse on the couch to watch TV because we’re too exhausted to do anything else. But watching TV is not always restorative. We choose it because we’re not sure what else to do with our time. It’s an easy choice. Or we’re folding laundry, paying bills, or doing something else while we watch TV. 

            And we don’t need one more thing to do. It’s easier to keep plugging away at our to-do list. We’ll do something fun when our kids are older or the to-do list is done.

            What if we took the time to play? 

            The National Institute of Play says on their website that play is the gateway to vitality. 

            Studies have shown that kids who have more unstructured free time to play are more social and academically proficient in life. It’s important for kids to have unstructured free time. This is where they learn social skills, their own limits, etc. 

            But play shouldn’t be only for kids. Adults need it too. And it needs to be something we for the fun of it. 

            Escape Adulthood is one of my favorite places to remind me to add a little play to my life. They remind me to stop being so focused on my to-do list and be more present. To find ways to add fun and whimsy to my days. And that it doesn’t need to be a big event for it to be fun.

            Play could be learning a new instrument, taking voice lessons, learning how to sew, volunteering, taking a class on any topic that interests you, hiking. The point is to do it for the fun of it. Not because you need to do it for work or you want to lose ten pounds. 

            I want to add more play to my life. Find new hobbies, learn new skills. And learn to be more present. I’d like to buy a piano soon and start taking lessons again. I’d like to snowshoe and cross-country ski. I also want to check out some dance classes from Put On Your Dance Shoes (POYDS). Or, if you want some virtual yoga or meditation in your life, check out Cindy Glennon Wellness

            What about you? What do you for fun these days? 

            Email me and let me know what you do for fun! Or schedule some time to chat so we can help you find time to play!

            Big Rocks and Sand

            You’ve likely heard the story or watched a video about big rocks and how it relates to your time.

            what are your big rocks? jar of rocks.

            Big rocks are the important things in your life. Tasks that support your values. To-dos that move you forward in your business or your personal life. Activities that are important to you. And the sand and pebbles fill in the other parts.

            If you fill a glass with sand (emails, interruptions, time-wasters), there is no room for the big rocks (exercise, time with family and friends, work tasks that truly move your business or career forward). But, if you fill the glass with big rocks first, the sand fills in the cracks around them. 

            You can have the same amount of sand and rocks. Same size cup. Different order of dealing with them. 

            Spend some time this week thinking about your big rocks. What are they? Are you making time for them and scheduling them first? Figure out what they are and start scheduling them first. 

            Let the sand fill in around them. 

            And remember, sometimes we have to say no to things that seem good because they’re not great. And they don’t support our big rocks. Maybe they get put on the someday/maybe list (a topic for later this month). Or maybe you simply say no because they don’t support your big rocks. 

            When we focus on our big rocks, even through small steps each day, big things can happen. 

            Schedule a call with me or send me a message if you want help figuring out your big rocks! Or get a PDF to help get you started.

              It’s Never Enough

              Do you spend your days (maybe pre-pandemic) running from one activity to another with your kids? Playdates, tutors, sports, music lessons, one right after the other. Until you get home and realize you never planned dinner and the kids still have homework and you’re all exhausted? Then you remember that after dinner, you or your partner are running back out the door to attend one of your own commitments at church or school or somewhere? And it feels like it’s never enough.

              empty swing on the beach. It's never enough.

              Why do we do this to ourselves? Are you happy never really being present and with being exhausted all the time? 

              Do you do it because you feel you need to? 

              Because you’re so busy you’ve never taken the time to think about why you’re doing all of this? 

              Time studies show that working moms spend as much time with their kids each week as stay-at-home moms in the 1960s. And SAHM’s spend more time with the kids now than in the 1960s. 

              (I will pause here and say, all moms work, whether they have a paying job in addition to child-rearing or not. For the sake of this discussion, working moms are those who have a paying job. And SAHM’s are full-time stay-at-home-moms.)

              And, no matter what we’re doing outside of parenting, society tells us it’s never enough. It starts with mommy and me classes (why dads aren’t included here is a topic I’ll get into soon). Then all the afterschool activities and the intensive help with homework and school projects. 

              And it intensifies as kids get closer to college age. We’re conditioned to believe that our kids must get into the best colleges or they won’t be successful in life. Heaven forbid they want to go to the local community college or try something different with their lives. That’s not ok. We’ll look like failures as a mother. 

              And, to be a good mother, we must be on the PTA, attending all activities that we possibly can, volunteering in the classroom, and bringing homemade goodies anytime food was required. 

              I volunteered once in my kids’ preschool and decided that it was not for me. I did volunteer a few times during my oldest’s kindergarten and first-grade years. And I left the PTA because I think schools shouldn’t have to fundraise and it just creates even more distance between wealthy and low-income schools (also a topic for another time). And I’m not going to feel guilty about any of it.

              If you want to volunteer for these things and it works with your schedule, then do it. If it doesn’t, then let it go and don’t feel bad about it. Society needs all types of people to function. We cannot be all things to all people. 

              On one hand, many articles (mostly in the 80s and 90s) came out telling mothers they were abandoning their kids by going to work. That this was going to be the downfall of society because moms were working outside of the home and not home raising kids and taking care of the house. 

              At the same time, time studies were showing that mothers were spending more time with their kids than previous generations. 

              So our society is built on this myth that moms must spend all their time enriching their kids’ lives.

              And as mothers starting working outside the home, they started sacrificing sleep, self-care, and their sanity to spend as much time as possible with their kids. 

              And feeling guilty about the whole thing because they feel like they’re failing no matter what they’re doing! 

              Let’s all admit that this is hard. Parenthood doesn’t come with a guide. We’re doing the best we can with the resources we can. Whether you work outside the home, stay at home, work part-time, have no choice for either one, or fully choose it, let’s all support each other in this. 

              If you don’t want to volunteer on the PTA or in the classroom, don’t. If that’s your jam, then do it. Let’s be aware of these myths society is selling us and know that we’re all just doing the best we can.

              These are all things we talk about in my virtual community, Chaos Contained. If you want to dive into this topic more, come join us!

              Or contact me and let’s chat about how this shows up in your life.

              You can also start by signing up below for a free PDF that helps you get started on this!

                The Ideal Mother

                Last week we talked about maternal gatekeeping. How, as women, we’re conditioned to believe we’re better at parenting and housekeeping than our partners. How we are the ones who need to control everything, to ensure it’s done right (or done at all). And how we need to stop letting society create these ridiculous standards. 

                This conditioning comes from what’s known as the Ideal Mother. This is the idea that a mother know’s best. We’re led to believe this from a young age. 

                Men are conditioned to believe they are the ideal worker and the breadwinner. Jobs are designed around the ideal worker. The person who is always available for their work. They don’t have a life outside of work. It’s expected that there’s someone else (usually a wife), at home making sure the kids are taken care of, the house is cleaned, and dinner is on the table. 

                So what happens when the wife works too? Life gets complicated. Women are expected to work like they don’t have a family to take care of and care for their family like they don’t have a job. 

                But this isn’t possible and it isn’t fair. And it’s time to break this expectation. 

                And it starts with a conversation. 

                Yes, this might feel like one more thing you have to do. And it is. But it’s also the only way we’re going to change things. We need to get our partners on board here. And not in a guilt and shame-filled way. But in a way that leads us to be true partners, sharing childcare and household tasks in a way that’s fair to everyone. (that is different from sharing things 50/50). 

                woman overwhelmed by too many tasks around the house. the ideal mother maternal gatekeeping

                One of the first things to discuss is an acceptable level of cleanliness and which Eve Rodksy, in her book Fair Play, labels Minimum Standard of Care. These are the agreed-upon expectations of everything in a house. Who cleans out the cat litter and when does it happen? What about the trash? What about family activities, like soccer, piano lessons, church choir, etc.? How many activities does each family member take on each season? How often do you have family dinners? 

                When my kids started elementary school, I decided we were only attending birthday parties with my kids’ friends. Not every birthday party. We were not going to sign up for every activity possible. Each person gets one, maybe two activities per semester. 

                Remember, you do not need to spend every day after school driving your kids around to activities. Pick one of their favorites. Carpool. Schedule things so it all happens on one crazy day, where you have take-out for dinner. Or where you can trade off with your partner on who does the driving. Meet a friend for a walk around the park while your kids are at soccer practice. Or spend one-on-one time with one kid while the other(s) are at practice. 

                Don’t feel obligated to say yes to everything.

                There is no need to wear yourself out. It is ok for kids to be kids. To learn how to entertain themselves. Let them figure it out. 

                If you want to talk more about how to incorporate this in your life, how to let go of all of the tasks, schedule some time with me!

                If you want a PDF to get you started down this path, sign up below.

                  Helping Is A Lifeskill

                  A few weeks ago, we were all picking up the house 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. 

                  helping is a lifeskill. boy cleaning up toys

                  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. 

                  My kids need to learn how to pick up after themselves. And participating in a team (family) is a life skill. Helping is a lifeskill. So it cleaning up after yourself. Our kids need to know how to do this stuff on their own. 

                  We need to all participate 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. 

                  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). 

                  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. 

                  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. 

                  What steps can you take this week to get back on track? If you want some help with this, schedule a call with me or look at how we can work together.

                  Overwhelmed By The Options

                  As we’re coming out of the pandemic fog and intentionally rebuilding our lives, let’s take a look at our task lists. There might be piles of things that need to be cleaned out or purged. Maybe you have lists of house projects you wanted to do during this past year but never got around to. You might have activities you want to get yourself and your family back into. Are you overwhelmed by the options?

                  man looking at stickie notes of question marks on the wall. Overwhelmed by the options.

                  Around here, we had delayed doctor’s appointments (dentist, eye doctor, physicals, etc.). We had closets full of things we’d purged but hadn’t donated. There are projects around the house we’ve been delaying. All of these are decisions weighing on our brains that we’re not taking care of. So they rattle around in our heads because our brains wonder why we’re not immediately taking care of them. 

                  We’ve been talking about what we want the next few months to look like. Our kids won’t be vaccinated for a while, so not much is going to change for us. We’d like to spend much of the summer camping. There are a few friends we’d like to see. Otherwise, we’re going to continue staying home, hanging out in our backyard. Making homemade ice cream and playing in the sprinkler.

                  Last week I asked you to start thinking about the things you want to keep or shift going forward. How’d that go?

                  Are you diving back into everything or taking it slow? 

                  One of the things I’ve most appreciated about this past year is how it forced families to slow down. To stop running from one activity to another. Families are no longer spending their weekends attending birthday parties and soccer games or other sports. And no longer reaching Sunday night exhausted and not ready to start the next week. 

                  I think society has us conditioned to believe that we must say yes to everything that comes our way. Our kids won’t get into a good college if they’re not playing multiple sports in elementary school. That our kids are going to cause trouble if every moment is not scheduled. 

                  But what does that do to our family time and our own sanity? When we simply become activity directors and drivers for our kids. Scheduling playdates, music lessons, sports, etc. for every minute of the day? When do our kids simply get to be kids and learn how to entertain themselves? It is possible for your kids to learn how to entertain themselves. It might take some time, but it can be done. 

                  As you discuss what you’re going to start doing over the next few months, think about creating family meta-decisions. This is an overarching guideline used to make decisions. It could be that each family member gets 1 activity per semester, including parents. Maybe it’s one sport and one other activity. One could be that each parent has one night each week where they are out of the house. Every Friday is a family movie and pizza night. Whatever works for your family. 

                  Create these guidelines and they’ll make your schedule easier to figure out. These guidelines create guardrails against the craziness of diving right back into everything we think we missed. They will help contain the chaos! 

                  Read more about meta-decisions here.

                  If you want to talk more about how to incorporate meta-decisions in your life, schedule some time with me.

                  And, if you want a PDF on how to start thinking about these ideas, sign up below.

                    Coming Out Of The Fog

                    We’ve all been in a fog this past year. There has been so much unknown, fear, and uncertainty. As we move forward to the next chapter, it’s like we’re coming out of the fog. Let’s make sure we come out of this fog with some intention and focus.

                    I’ve heard from many moms how much they’ve enjoyed having family dinners together on a regular basis. Not rushing around from so many activities. Not being so overbooked on the weekends. I’ve enjoyed not rushing around in the mornings getting everyone ready for the day. I like that we all sit down for lunch together.

                    stone steps through green grass. coming out of the fog

                    Yes, moms have been overwhelmed with so much this past year. The unknown. Remote learning. Decision fatigue. Working while your kid is sitting next to you at the dining room table. The piles of laundry and dishes that seem to accumulate when you’re not looking (which, let’s be honest, is not just a pandemic thing). The fact that everyone has to eat what feels like all the time. The worrying about the health of loved ones. The laying awake at 2 am worrying about everything. Again, the unknown.

                    So what’s next?

                    As life around us starts to open up, what are you doing next? Take some time to answer these questions. Ask your family these questions! Use them as a starting point for what’s next.

                    • What is it you want to keep about this past year? (For me, it’s Sunday night card games with my husband).
                    • What from your pre-pandemic life do you not miss? (For me, it’s saying yes to things because I feel I should. I’m going to be much more intentional about how I spend my time).
                    • What do you want your life to look like going forward?

                    Let’s not go back to the crazy, overwhelmed, rushing around we did pre-pandemic. Say yes to what is important to us. Let’s build back better than we were in 2019. Let’s get intentional about our lives.

                    Who’s with me?

                    Keep reading about this topic:

                    One Big Interruption

                    Feeling Uprooted? Start Planting New Seeds

                    If you want some guidance around getting started on these ideas, schedule time with me or sign up below.

                      More Thoughts On The Dishes

                      Do you ever redo a task that someone else has done because you didn’t think it was done well enough? Maybe it’s the dishwasher, maybe it’s folding laundry, maybe it’s something for work. 

                      And how often do you complain that others in your house don’t help? Do you spend your time with friends complaining about how you do it all around the house? How your partner just doesn’t see all that you do or even know that you do it?

                      You’re exhausted, overwhelmed, tired of it all? 

                      I wonder if we bring some of the chaos on ourselves

                      I wonder if by redoing a task that someone else completed, we take away their power and motivation. Thereby starting a cycle where they stop doing it and we get mad because now they’re not doing it. 

                      I had a college roommate who would reclean the bathroom after I cleaned it because he didn’t think I did a good enough job. So I stopped cleaning the bathroom. Maybe he got mad and now he thought I was lazy, but I’m not going to do something that someone else is going to redo. It’s not worth my time and effort. 

                      What if our partners (and maybe even our kids) feel this way? They’re tired of being nagged, of having their work redone. Of wondering why they even bother if it’s not good enough. 

                      Last week I talked about how men and women have the same level of messiness. But women are conditioned by society to care more, to get to it quicker. So we expect tasks to be completed on our timeline. Not allowing others to have their own agency. 

                      I wonder what would happen if we set the expectation of when something needs to be done and then let our partners do it on their time.

                      It can start with a conversation. With our partners. With our families. With a counselor.

                      Remember that half the population wasn’t raised to see all the work it takes to run a household and raise kids. It’s not that they’re ignoring it, they don’t know it exists. And, as women, when we take it all on, our partners still don’t see it because we’re doing it. 

                      These changes require patience and time. We’re not going to change these deep-seated tendencies overnight. But we can start. 

                      Let’s start by making it more visible. Stop doing all the housework after everyone else is in bed. Stop redoing something someone else has already done. Even if you can fit more dishes in the dishwasher or think something should be folded differently, stop yourself. Try celebrating that someone else did it and now you don’t have to. That’s one thing off your plate! 

                      Folding laundry Arm throwing laundry in to baskets redo a task

                      My kids don’t fold their clothes. The clothes get sorted by item and shoved in drawers. They know how to fold, but I’m not going to spend a bunch of time folding their clothes or nagging them to do it. We sort them, play a game of basketball as they toss their clothes into the drawers, and call it a day. 

                      Ask for help and give the other person ownership over the task. They’re not helping you, you’re working as partners. Buy the cards from Fair Play and use them as a discussion around household work. 

                      We aren’t going to solve this problem with a conversation, but we can start shifting it with a conversation. 

                      Want to keep talking about this? Join my FB Group or my Virtual Community.

                      If you want a PDF to help get you started on this task, simply provide your email below.

                        The Dishes. Again.

                        The dishes. Again. 

                        With four people home all the time, we run our dishwasher a lot. There is often a clean load in the dishwasher, with even more dishes sitting on the kitchen counter waiting to be dealt with. 

                        I realized recently that I had it in my head that my husband expected me to deal with the dishes. Yes, we’re both home all day. But my schedule is more flexible, I’m with the kids more during the day, working while they’re in their remote learning classes. So, of course, why wouldn’t I be the one to deal with all the household tasks too? 

                         dishes. again. let's change the narratives.

                        Then I realized how incorrect this thinking is. It wasn’t that he expected me to do it. He wasn’t thinking about it at all. He was focused on work. And he would deal with the dishes later, after work, while he was making dinner. 

                        I read an article in the Atlantic about how men and women are equally messy. But men don’t notice as much. Women feel a lot of pressure to keep their spaces clean and organized and pretty. Ourselves too. Now, I will leave space in here on how we feel more in control of our lives when we’ve cleaned and purged our house. I too clean and organized when I’m stressed out.

                        But, women are conditioned from a young age that keeping the house and family organized is our responsibility. We wrap our worth up in it. Women operate on a different time scale than men. So it appears that we take it all on because men won’t. When men just haven’t been conditioned to deal with it as quickly as women. 

                        And the pattern continues. Women take on the tasks because we think men aren’t going to do it, instead of letting them do it on their own time. Then the men just stop doing tasks around the house, because the women do it all anyway. And it continues. 

                        And our kids see this. They see mom doing all the household chores and the organizing of schedules and planning of everything. And they grow up thinking that’s how it’s done. 

                        It’s time to change that narrative. 

                        I realize that I’m asking women to take on one more thing here. I’m also asking women to get their partners in on this. To start having these conversations together. To start shifting the dynamics in your house to more equity. Involve everyone in the household. Down to the youngest child. 

                        When my kids complain about not wanting to do something around the house, I remind them that we all live here. We all contribute to the household and we all need to work together. And then we read a book titled The Great Zooberry Debacle: A Tale of Many Hands.

                        Here are some more thoughts on this topic. And if you want to talk more about this, schedule a 30-minute phone call with me.

                        If you want more information on how to start this work, sign up below! You’ll receive a free PDF with questions to help get you started.

                          Tuesday Tune-Up

                          We have reached the end of the first quarter of 2021. That means it’s time for a quarterly check-in. Whether you work for yourself or are employed by a company, this is a great time to take a step back and see how you are doing on everything you wanted out of 2021.

                          Action Changes Things Tune-Up Quarterly check-in

                          Whether you set lofty, detailed goals or are using a word of the year, take some time to check in with yourself. Personally and professionally, how are you doing?

                          Are the things you’ve said yes to, the projects, commitments, activities, in alignment with your values? If not, can you find a way to get out of it? Renegotiate parts of it? Delegate it? Or is it something you simply need to make happen?

                          Take some time this week to identify what is working and what is not working in your life. What routines need to be tweaked? What steps need to be taken towards a goal? What needs to be tuned up in your life?

                          Track your time if you haven’t recently. It helps you know where your time is truly going. Here are some resources to help with that.

                          If you want support around this process or you feel you need to make some changes around your productivity to help you with these goals, set up some time to talk!

                          How Do You Know You Are Busy?

                          I was recently talking to someone about being busy. She said she knows she’s busy when she’s been working 7 days straight for weeks on end. Not making time for anything fun. 

                          And yes, that is busy. I also wonder if being busy includes those fun activities that we said yes to long ago but no longer find fun. 

                          If you’re used to plowing through each day, hauling kids from one activity to another (or running to your own), crossing tasks off your list as fast as you can, falling into bed exhausted at the end of the day, then you might not even be aware of how you are spending your time.

                          We committed to something and continue to do it because we feel we should or we don’t know how to say no. 

                          We do what’s on our task list because it’s there, not really thinking about why we are doing it and if it’s worth the time. 

                          How do we break this cycle?

                          What if you tracked your time, every 30-60 minutes for one, maybe even two weeks? (Find resources on how to do that here.)

                          Then spent time evaluating where your time is really going. 

                          Yes, even in a pandemic. 

                          know you are busy

                          When we track our time, we know where it’s going. We might think we’re spending a lot of time working, but we’re really not (or vice versa). Or that we’re rarely on social media, but in reality, the amount of time we spend mindlessly playing on the Internet surprises us. Or that all we do is laundry and dishes. But in reality, it’s less than 20 minutes a day on both. 

                          Then, what if we took that information and started being more intentional with our time? Finding ways to stop doing the things that no longer serve us. Focusing on the tasks that are moving us forward in our lives, both professionally and personally. Wrapping up the projects that we’ve committed to but they linger because we’re not invested in them anymore. (and, wrapping up could include delegating or deleting, if that’s possible). 

                          What does your time look like? Are you busy? Or are you spending your time intentionally?

                          If you want to talk about tracking your time and what to do with that information once you have it, schedule a 30-minute call with me!

                          Busy Is A Four-Letter Word

                          Yes, I said it. I think busy is a four-letter word. And not a good one.

                          Are you constantly doing something? A task on your to-do list? A commitment or activity?

                          busy is a four-letter word

                          Is everything that you’re doing moving you forward personally or professionally? Or the required parts of living, like dishes and laundry? 

                          Or are there things on there that you do but aren’t really necessary? You’re going through the motions, without thinking about what you’re doing? (It’s ok, be honest with yourself here). 

                          I think our society treats being busy as a badge of honor. 

                          We’re a country that doesn’t guarantee time off. Most companies who do offer vacation time only offer about two weeks. And those of us who have vacation rarely take that time. And if we do, we’re checking emails and taking calls. 

                          We never really rest. 

                          Outside of work, we have ourselves and our kids signed up for every activity under the sun. Every minute is a scheduled play date, sports, or music activity. Weekends are full of birthday parties, more play dates, more sports. 

                          We can’t let ourselves or our kids ever utter the sentence I’m bored. (Side note here, I’ve read isn’t actually that they’re bored, but that they want connection with you. And giving them connection, and sitting with them in their boredom for a few minutes, moves them out of it). 

                          We never stop that constantly running list in our head. When we’re working, we’re thinking about the house tasks and if we’ve spent enough time with our kids. When we’re with our kids, we’re thinking of all the other tasks we’re not doing. 

                          So we’re never really present in our lives. This is part of our overwhelm. This constantly feeling like there’s something else we need to be doing.  

                          And we complain about it, but in a way that makes it seem like there’s really nothing we can do about it. (Or that we enjoy it, maybe, we’re not sure. We’re too tired to really figure it out). 

                          So what do we do?

                          What happens if we say no to a few of those birthday party invitations? To all the activities? Picking one or two for each family member each season? 

                          What if we make time for leisure? For rest? 

                          Those to-do lists are always going to be there. There will always be something that needs to be done.

                          If you have ways to manage your tasks (something I talk often about here and in my virtual community) you know that your big stuff is taken care of. It’s documented. It’s scheduled. There’s time. So you can focus on the work task or spending time with the kids.

                          What are you going to do with this leisure? 

                          Want to keep reading? Here’s more!

                          If you’re struggling with how to make time for leisure or letting go of the guilt of it, schedule some time with me!

                          Next week, we will look at how to know if you are too busy!

                          Stop It

                          Stop redoing the dishwasher after someone else has loaded it. Stop picking up the toys your kids needed to pick up. Stop taking on more tasks around the house or at work because you think no one else is going to do it as well. 

                          stop it.

                          You are wearing yourself out. 

                          Sure, you might be able to fit more dishes in the dishwasher if you loaded it. But, if someone else already loaded it, then the task is done. Cross it off the list and move on. 

                          In college, I had a roommate who would reclean the bathroom after I did it. Because he didn’t think I did a good enough job. So I stopped cleaning the bathroom. What was the point? I wasn’t wasting my energy doing something that wasn’t respected. 

                          And I wonder if this happens in our own houses. As women, we take on tasks or redo tasks because no one else is going to do it up to our standards. 

                          But how is that serving you or those in your household? What is that teaching your kids? 

                          Of course, your kids aren’t going to put their toys away exactly as you would. But if they’re put away (even if they’re in the wrong boxes), does it matter? Sure, your partner does things differently. He or she is not you. My husband folds towels differently than I do. That doesn’t mean it’s wrong. I occasionally fold them that way now too. 

                          The point of all of this is a mindset shift. Find a way to let go of the way others do things. Let them be a part of the household, helping each other get things done. 

                          If it’s important to you that something is done a certain way, explain it to the rest of your family. Help them learn it. Then let go. Or, if it’s really important, do it yourself. But you don’t get to complain when no one else helps. 

                          I’m not saying this is easy. I still struggle with it on occasion. But I’m working on saying to myself, Great, that’s one thing I can cross off my list.  

                          And I move on to the next task. 

                          Let me know what your mindset shifts need to be! What are you working on this week?

                          Here’s more on this topic.

                          One Big Interruption

                          This pandemic has been one big life interruption. Everything we took for granted, all our routines, everything has been interrupted.

                          interruptions

                          By now, we’ve likely created some new routines and maybe even feel like we’re doing a bit more than surviving. Or maybe you still feel like you’re simply surviving each day (or barely hanging on). There is no right way to be dealing with a pandemic.

                          As much as we’re frustrated by this pandemic, it’s also an amazing time for a reset. I’ve heard from several moms about how much they enjoy not running from one activity to another. How much they enjoy dinner together as a family every night.

                          As we move into 2021 and see a light at the end of the tunnel, start thinking about what’s next.

                          Now is the time to start building routines, identifying what’s important to you, what you want your life to look like going forward.

                          • What is it you truly want to continue doing as we move toward the next chapter of normal in our lives?
                          • What needs to shift?
                          • What’s really important to you and what does that look like in your life?

                          Take this time. I promise it will be well spent.

                          Want to read more? Head here.

                          Schedule a 30-minute call with me to talk about your relationship with time!