Articles, Podcasts & Books | Moms Hierarchy Of Needs

Isn’t it Time to Forgive Yourself for Whatever ‘it’ Is?

A Book Review for Toni Morrison’s, The Source of Self-Regard

“Don’t let anybody, anybody convince you this is the way the world is and therefore must be. It must be the way it ought to be.” ― Toni Morrison, The Source of Self-Regard: Selected Essays, Speeches, and Meditations.

Do you remember when you learned that life isn’t exactly fair? That everyone doesn’t receive the same chances. Or consequences. You were probably young. Because it’s been like this, uneven and unequal, for a long time. But after the past year of reckoning, there’s a heightened awareness and outcry for, social justice. Which means changing the underlying systems, we live and work in.

And it’s only when you understand, how the flawed systems affect your daily life, that you can begin to forgive yourself. Years of self-doubt will fade into a new understanding. One that includes, the proper context. This month, as we celebrate liberation, in the form of Pride and Juneteenth and look towards a brighter, vaccinated future, remember there’s a role for all of us in dismantling broken norms.

We Still Struggle With ‘Isms’

The incomparable Toni Morrison’s, The Source of Self-Regard is a timeless take on how the systems we live and work in, drive inequities. And what we can do to challenge them. In the book, she tackles every ‘ism’ that plagues our society. Including Continue reading “Isn’t it Time to Forgive Yourself for Whatever ‘it’ Is?”

Curb the Invisible Tax on Your Time and Energy

Our society still favors the quick fix. And sells us the idea that self-care is something you can buy. Of course, it’s not. But we’re bombarded with the promise of relaxation, health or energy, on everything from laundry detergent to smoothies. And what happens when that promise isn’t fulfilled?

There is a connection between what you buy and how overwhelmed you are. When Moms were surveyed about the mental load, the top culprit was housework. And in the pandemic study, 78% of surveyed parents are doing more of it. A lot more. And all of the stuff, that we buy or acquire, comes with an invisible tax. Do you want to clean and maintain those things forever? Probably not. So, there are strategies to shift this cycle. We can become more intentional about what comes into our homes. And it’s not just about saving time, money and mental energy. We can help save the planet.

The Problem, our Societal ‘Engine’ is Driven by Consumerism

Stephanie Seferian, Author, Podcaster and Minimalism Expert said, “People who have been in their houses for the past year are looking at their possessions through a more critical lens. ‘Why did I spend my hard-earned money on this? Is it improving my quality of life? Why do I have 12 mugs when I can only drink coffee out of one at a time?’” She often engages with people who are new to sustainable thinking. Stephanie said, “The pandemic’s been very hard for a lot of people. But in some ways, the great pause has given us the breathing room to ask these questions. And the process of not going anywhere or needing ‘the new thing’ has really opened their eyes to the facade that is essentially consumer culture. It usually starts there.” Yes!

And the Challenge is Bigger Than Plastic

On the journey from interested to expert, Stephanie has learned a lot about the state of the planet. And what we can do to help. She said, “What surprised me is that Continue reading “Curb the Invisible Tax on Your Time and Energy”

Managers, Here’s Why You Should Treat Working Parents Like Ferraris

“If the leaders among us, who get to choose what they do with their lives and are incredibly resourced are still trapped by the system, then something’s really broken. And we need to acknowledge that this matrix we’re all agreeing to, doesn’t work,” said Amy Henderson, Author and Entrepreneur. After hundreds of interviews, she learned working Mothers, believed that they were failing. Despite the positive shifts they felt.

Rebuilding routines, with each new child, is like unpacking after a move. Nothing fits in the same way. Babies learn how to walk and talk. And we learn new ways to manage life’s responsibilities, including work. The first year after a child is born, is often considered the hardest. But the adjustments come with significant upside, beyond the parental joy that sustains us.

Amy learned how this high-stress time, unlocks exponential growth for parents. And she became passionate about reframing working parenthood. Because the return to work is often where the love of parenting meets friction. But what if work was different? What if parents and their organizations could Continue reading “Managers, Here’s Why You Should Treat Working Parents Like Ferraris”

Free Yourself from the Soul Crushing Disputes About Who does What

How Gamification Can Save Your Marriage…And Your Sanity

“I love you and I don’t want to break up our life. I really want to stay married. But you have to start looking at my time as valuable,” said Eve Rodsky, Entrepreneur & New York Times Best Selling-Author, to her husband. That conversation changed her life. Eve, like many Moms, was overwhelmed managing a schedule with no room for error or downtime. She said, “It was the unfairness of watching him every night be able to just get into the bed and watch a documentary, finish a PowerPoint deck and workout, while I worked in service to our household until midnight.”

In the US, Moms partnered with Dads still choreograph and do most of the housework and childcare. In our pandemic study, although men are stepping up, only 30% of respondents cite their partners are helping out more. So, conflict between couples continues to rise. Without onsite school or childcare and the bulk of housework falling onto Moms, like caged tigers, we’re eviscerating anything that limits our sleep, sanity or solvency. But there aren’t many options. Adjusting expectations at work is difficult for most. So, sharing the household and childcare if partnered, is the most promising, albeit Continue reading “Free Yourself from the Soul Crushing Disputes About Who does What”

The States with the Most Childcare Sanity Will Surprise You

A book review and conversation with Motherland’s Author Leah Ruppanner

Covid has forced Mothers everywhere to reevaluate work/life tradeoffs. And without access to childcare or school, millions have left their jobs, despite the global recession. Because trying to work and care for kids full-time does not set anyone up to thrive. And like all living things, we need the right conditions to flourish. Leah Ruppanner, Author and Co-Director of the Policy Lab at the University of Melbourne, went in search of the ‘Motherlands’ for her new book. Those idyllic places with childcare sanity where Motherhood and work can coexist. What she found was surprising.

Mothers Are Opting Out in Record Numbers

Pre-Covid, life fit around the work calendar. And caregiving often fell into the hours before and after. Kind of. Work hours in most careers have increased in the past decade. Which makes finding space to care for our kids, parents or selves, a constant source of conflict.

Leah explained, “People believe, ‘I personally failed because I couldn’t make work and family work. And everyone else seems to be doing this great job’ but the truth of the matter is, that it’s a structural issue. If a woman working in Massachusetts or California, where childcare is $4,000 a month, was told Continue reading “The States with the Most Childcare Sanity Will Surprise You”

The Details of How to Make Personal Change Stick

A Book Review For Pathways to Possibility by Rosamund Stone Zander

I read and listen to books about everything from bravery and acceptance to productivity and leadership. I’ve been in the slow but intentional process of self-renewal for years. Recently, I discovered Pathways to Possibility by Rosamund Stone Zander. It’s the companion to one of my favorite books, The Art of Possibility that she co-authored with her husband, Benjamin Zander.

The best of cognitive science teaches that our thoughts affect our feelings. And ultimately, our happiness. Self-help can be heavy on the ‘why’ but light on the ‘how.’ It’s rare to find details about internalizing big ideas. Adopting new routines is not the same as resetting one’s internal Continue reading “The Details of How to Make Personal Change Stick”

It’s All in the Ask. How to Get the Professional Support You Need Right Now

“The truth is, if you can’t pitch, you will not get the support you need,” said Debi Kleiman, seasoned marketer, educator and entrepreneur, who now leads the Blank Center for Entrepreneurship at Babson College. Most people don’t know how to ask for what they want. Yet, connection to that job, mentor, advisor or investor, comes down to how you ask. And many of us hate asking for support! Even when there’s a mutual value exchange.

As millions reinvent in this pandemic, support for your work or business, will mean building relationships in new ways. Debi, my former colleague and friend, distills the fine art of professional persuasion in her new book, First Pitch! Winning Money, Mentors and More for your Start-Up. When she began teaching, she couldn’t find resources on this topic for her students. She said, “It made me sad that to think there were people who were not being heard in the world because Continue reading “It’s All in the Ask. How to Get the Professional Support You Need Right Now”

Is It Time to Become More You?

A Book Review for Brené Brown’s Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone

How much time do you spend trying to fit in? Have you become a little less ‘you’ as a result?

If you were in the midst of reinvention before the pandemic or have been forced to recalibrate, you may feel particularly vulnerable. Exposed. Dr. Brené Brown, the renowned vulnerability researcher, writes beautifully in Braving the Wilderness about how to evolve past this distress.

I saw Brené Brown speak at the Massachusetts Conference for Women opening night and during her talk she said, “I’m still in my worth and my values if my goal is to be myself, not to fit in.” This resonated for me and after reading Dare to Lead I decided to reread my copy of Braving the Wilderness for added inspiration.

Please enjoy 3 quick takeaways from the book:

“True belonging is the spiritual practice of believing in and belonging to yourself so deeply that you can share your most authentic self with the world and find sacredness in both being a part of something and standing alone in the wilderness. True belonging doesn’t require you to change who you are; it requires you to be who you are.”

Continue reading “Is It Time to Become More You?”

How To Find Bravery in a Culture of Perfectionism

A book review for Reshma Saujani’s Brave Not Perfect

What have you perfected? Whether it’s cartwheels, your backhand or public speaking, there’s a good chance you put in serious time to get great. Pre-kids, decent sleep, plus will and attention, can lead to mastery. But after kids, when our rest and thoughts are constantly interrupted, new pursuits can feel impossible. We’re not alone in feeling this way. Perfectionism is a slippery, unattainable bar, we’re taught to seek. Motherhood puts more at risk and we loose that desire to stumble. Possibly even fail. We double-down on trying to get everything ‘right’ at home and work.

Reshma Saujani, Author and CEO of Girls Who Code, gave an amazing talk at the Massachusetts Women’s Conference which lead me to devour her book, Brave Not Perfect. She eloquently states the problem, “We go from trying to be perfect students and daughters, to perfect professionals, perfect girlfriends, perfect wives and perfect mommies. …Hitting all the marks we’re supposed to and Continue reading “How To Find Bravery in a Culture of Perfectionism”

Is There A Better Way to Fight the Mental Load and Get Things Done?

A Book Review for David Allen’s Productivity Bible, ‘Getting Things Done’

We were 40 minutes into leaving the house, still a choreography of chaos, when my son said, “Mommy, they’re too tight.” I vaguely remembered a we-need-new-boots-discussion with both kids. That was 3 weeks ago. My tired brain, trying to lighten the load, threw that thought overboard.

The mental load is my constant companion. So, tasks spill onto the floor in unfortunate ways at inopportune times. Like when trying to get two kids in 6 layers of clothes out to sled before dark. Even before the boot incident, I knew I needed a systems upgrade. My new job, holiday madness and scheduling weeks of ceiling leak repairs, pushed things to a new low. I decided to consult David Allen’s tomb, Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity.

In Most Families Mom Carries the ‘Mental Load’

We’re stressed from the invisible-never-ending planning for our families. However, before you get too excited about this book review, let me be clear, there’s no simple Continue reading “Is There A Better Way to Fight the Mental Load and Get Things Done?”

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