To All The Moms Surviving Out There:
These are certainly some weird times right now, fellow moms. It's been almost two months since the social-distancing regulations began and everything came to an abrupt halt—no more playdates, school, Homesense strolls—and more importantly, no more business as usual. As a mom of three under six and a self-employed entrepreneur, things have been a juggling act, to say the least.
However, the change hasn’t been all negative. For one, I never realized how much time I spent in my car, literally hours each day, driving to and from school, gymnastics, swimming, ballet, and errands. Having a break from the go-go has allowed me to have more time each day to achieve new opportunities and goals and enjoy some slow mornings with pajamas and cuddles.
Now, I'm not going to lie and tell you I have this all in the bag every day, but with some shifting and adjustments, I’ve found new ways to thrive in these uncertain times and I wanted to share my top tips for navigating these uncharted waters.
1) Look at your success as the average of the week, not the day.Some days you're just not going to be able to get much done—the Zoom link won't work, your kids will fight homework extra hard, you won’t get your email inbox—and that's ok. Think of your goals as week-long strides, some days are going to be productive and some days are not.
2) On that same note, try to have three small tasks to check off daily; not huge goals, just small bite-size achievements.For example, I try 20 minutes of language practice with my son, in whatever way we can make it work that day. Maybe it's as simple as having him read a book with me and practice the sounds, or maybe we do something structured from his speech path. It depends on how the day goes. Then I'll have two other little tasks (pick 10 weeds, plan social media for the next day, call a commercial session, respond to 5 emails, etc...) Having small goals each day that are easily attainable means by the end of the week, you'll have done something big. For example, instead of trying to weed my entire garden bed in one day, and not getting it done, then feeling like I "failed."
3) Lean on your team.Everyone’s “team” looks a little different. Whether it’s your partner, family, friends, co-workers or therapist, reaching out for help is encouraged, even if it’s jumping on FaceTime for five minutes to vent, share something positive or simply connect with someone else.
4) Have a bit of structure to your day.I’ve never been a big structure person and that’s part of the appeal of the “mompreneur” life. However, I do find that having a few things I want to achieve each day and giving the kids a few chores and homework before they get a reward (right now it's Super Wings) has given a necessary flow to the day. It allows me to free up some time to get some work done, during said Super Wings episode, with less mom guilt. I've seen some moms have very detailed schedules for every hour, and if that works for you, perfect!
5) And lastly and most importantly, you've probably seen this somewhere else, but give yourself grace.
If you're like me and are the type of person who’s using this time to start a side hustle, good for you! If you're using this time to master the sourdough loaf, amazing! If you're just taking it day by day, you're doing great! We all handle stress and change differently so don't try to mirror your situation to resemble anyone else's. If you're safe, your kids are loved, then there is nothing more right. We can all thrive at home in our own ways.
Thanks for being here,