Can Mindfulness & Modeling With Our Kids Overcome Impatience?

Regain Presence Despite Mental Load Overwhelm

After conducting an anonymous survey with 225 Moms, to gauge how the ‘mental load’ from carrying the always-on to-do list, affects everything from careers to health and family relationships, 79% shared they experience increased anger, worry and distraction with their kids.

“…Throughout dinner and bedtime, I feel like I’m pushing my kids off, like ‘I’ll look at your picture…after I finish unloading the dishwasher,’ or ‘As soon as I’m done making your sandwich, I’ll be right there.’  All they want is my attention but I just don’t have it to give unless I want to do two hours of chores after they go to bed, which I don’t!  I try to get it all done before they go to bed…(after) I can take a shower, then sit down and rest.”

Mom Is A Utility

We preach the value of attentiveness and focus to our children. Yet unmade beds and unread messages vie for our mindshare. Constantly. In most families, Mom-energy powers everything from hugs to planning playdates…leaving little space for the trial, error or antics of childhood.

“They view me as regularly stressed… There’s really no full down time between what I need to do and the kids’ schedules.”

“I have less patience when I’m overburdened, which leads to being short tempered…and less engaged with them. I feel like I can’t stop and play Legos® or help with a craft because I have TOO MUCH TO DO!!!” Continue reading “Can Mindfulness & Modeling With Our Kids Overcome Impatience?”

Embrace The Mind-Body Connection And Boost Resiliency

We’re forced to adapt. Our kids develop new routines, needs, rapport, schedules and activities. We’re dealing with new bodies, sleep schedules, org structures, hormones, rules with our spouses…new everything. Often. Ridiculously so.

If you’re blessed with healthy children, their developmental changes are expected and (mostly) joyful. Our own career, physical and environmental changes, maybe not so much. On difficult days, it’s hard to know where the anchor is.

The ‘anchor’ can quickly become ‘the work.’ For a while. It’s easier to pick up toys at the end of the night, or email, than self-reflection or a new pursuit. It can be soothingly productive to enter a messy kitchen and emerge from a spotless one. It’s hard to ask the big unsettling questions when we’re Continue reading “Embrace The Mind-Body Connection And Boost Resiliency”

Ask for More! The Roadmap to Equal Partnership At Home

#MomsSelf-Care #ShareTheInvisibleWorkLoad #StrongCouplesBuildStrongFamilies

In most families, household and childcare logistics fall to Mom. The complexity of scheduling everything, from doctors appointments to play dates, is more laborious than you think. Stress, from juggling impossible schedules and the always-on mental to-do list, becomes oppressive. By the time we realize it’s unsustainable, we’re exhausted and desperate for relief.

Eventually, the epiphany that one person needn’t ‘own’ all of the kid and household planning in a two-adult family, brings hope. Until then, trying to renegotiate with our spouse, kicks off an unexpectedly draining and emotional chess match. Love for our kids is unconditional, but the spousal bond is different. We trust and commit with strings. We expect mutual support of our dreams and well-being.

“Even mothers who work for pay are still doing twice the amount of housework and child care as fathers,” Continue reading “Ask for More! The Roadmap to Equal Partnership At Home”

Overwhelmed? How To Work, Love and Play When No One Has the Time!

Book Review and Conversation with Author Brigid Schulte

#MomsSelf-Care #WhysBehindMentalLoad #TriumphOverStress 

Choose Differently

We lined up for questions. ‘Why do I feel guilty about not baking the cupcakes’ and ‘How can I make time for myself when work expects email replies 24/7?’ There were over 200 women in that room, seeking ‘Life Hacks for Life Zen.’  Brigid Schulte, best-selling Author and Journalist, was a voice of reason onstage amidst growing panic that achieving ‘life Zen’ as a busy Mom was akin to catching a unicorn. By the tail. She eloquently shared her story of change, from stressed-out Mom, to enjoying greater balance.  She said we could “buy into what society wants for us or choose to live differently.” Noted. I was so impressed that I introduced myself to her.

Before we spoke again a few weeks ago, I devoured her book,  ‘Overwhelmed: How To Work, Love and Play When No One Has The Time’.  How can Moms ease the relentless pressure? With a steady rise in ‘girl power’ messaging everywhere from the arts to business, why are we (still) trapped by a punishing schedule of obligations?

Frenetic Families

“I was unaware of the pressures Continue reading “Overwhelmed? How To Work, Love and Play When No One Has the Time!”

Rewrite The Rules! Lighten Your Mental Load, Drop Mom Guilt & Live Your Values

#MomsSelf-Care #MomsLivingWithIntention #ResistMentalLoad

A Conversation With Tiffany Dufu, Author of Drop The Ball

“I am in tears and I am overwhelmed. I need help to get out of this place.”

Most moms experience despair at some point on the journey, however, few discuss it. It’s part of the unspoken pact we have with society. There’s so much to celebrate, that most conversation centers on the joy. We don’t talk about feeling fractured or how a lack of self-care leaves us eerily distanced from our identities.

When Tiffany Dufu realized the burden to control all things household was unsustainable without living with a heavy dose of resentment, she knew for the sake of her family and her marriage something needed to change. In her book, Drop the Ball, she artfully tells the story of moving from overwhelm to a more focused, fulfilled life by doing two major things. Continue reading “Rewrite The Rules! Lighten Your Mental Load, Drop Mom Guilt & Live Your Values”

Make Room For Your Goals! With Practical Tips and 3 Steps To Ruthless Time Blocking

#MomsSelf-Care #MomsLearningNewThings #MomsPutJoyOnTheAgenda

Discover the tools, techniques and thinking needed to energize your plan!

Learning, New Ideas and Changing Habits

“I want to tell you something.” She said it quietly, holding something tightly against her chest. “What’s that?” The girl’s teacher, Marie Levey-Pabst probed gently. The teen walked to the front of the classroom, held up ‘Speak’ an amazing young adult book, and beamed with pride.

I asked Marie, a seasoned teacher, to describe her experiences teaching new habits.  “This was a student who hadn’t done much in class until then. Her look, one I’d seen many times, said it all…‘this was the first book I finished, because I wanted to and now I want another one!’” How beautiful is that?

Marie’s student was not alone in struggling to build a reading habit. Humans struggle with change. US News reports only 20% of New Year’s resolutions are kept. More troubling, in an often referenced study by Dr. Edward Miller of John Hopkins only 1 in 10 critically ill patients made lifestyle changes to improve their chance at survival.
Continue reading “Make Room For Your Goals! With Practical Tips and 3 Steps To Ruthless Time Blocking”

Couples Win When Mom’s Mental Load Is More Fairly Balanced

#MomsSelf-Care #ShareTheInvisibleWorkLoad #MentalLoadSurveyResults“I want to SMOOSH his face!  He is a teacher and is home for the summer, but I’m the one scheduling everything – he takes the girls to the appointments, but I have to be the one to set everything up. I work 50 hours a week and come home to a messy house, no dinner, and kids who want to run to Target. The thing is: they simply don’t ask him about haircuts or shampoo or sweatpants or whatever, so I do it all.”

Disillusioned 

In most households, the planning and logistics for all things kids and household falls to Mom.  One friend aptly described the mental load, “…it’s like having one thousand tabs open in your mind. All.the.time.” This imbalance leaves many partnered Moms feeling disconnected, disrespected, frustrated or lonely in their relationships.

When asked how the mental load affects the partnership with their spouse or significant other, 80% admit Continue reading “Couples Win When Mom’s Mental Load Is More Fairly Balanced”

3 Step Plan to Reduce Stress, Boost Joy & Reclaim Holiday Magic

#MomsSelf-Care #StressLessForHolidays #MomsHavingFun #FamilyJoy

The appliances looked iridescent, they kind of shimmered under all the flour. It was almost beautiful.  I tried to ignore the ache in my back. Every muscle needed rest.  I had one more batch of dough in the fridge and two sheets in the oven.  The smell of butter, chocolate, pecans and pine needles permeated our home. Wonderful, holiday smells… but I wanted to cry. I estimated another hour of hard-core cookie making before I could sleep and it was nearly midnight…every container was filled with cookies & I hadn’t even stared packing the glossy red tins yet. The baby would be up (again) to nurse.  I felt stuck in my own over-do.

That was two years ago. I have a hard time saying no and disappointing myself feels even worse than disappointing others. Continue reading “3 Step Plan to Reduce Stress, Boost Joy & Reclaim Holiday Magic”

Why The Mental Load Matters To Your Career!

#MomsSelf-Care #MentalLoadStress #MomsGrowth #MomsDevelopment

“Instead of arriving to work fresh I’ve been up for 4 hours, changed 2 poop diapers, brought one kid to camp, the other to daycare and feel successful if I managed not to leave my gym bag with one of the kids and have taken the baby’s bottle bag with me to work. I arrive to court at 9:00 am and I feel as though I’ve already slayed a dozen dragons! With any luck, there isn’t unidentified goop on my suit.”

The mental load is damaging the relationship to career for 62% of over 200 surveyed Moms*.   Many feel distracted, disengaged and hollowed out juggling work demands and everything-household.  After fighting for years to establish our professional selves, the double-bind of it all crushes the spirit and pulls the same precious energy needed to problem solve and innovate.  Essential skills to thrive in most careers.

There are limits to human attention and working memory.   If you’re paid for strategic solutions or deliver creative output, the mental load’s insistent tug competes for that cognitive space and presence.

“I could have lost my job about 2 years ago.  The stress was so bad from taking care of home and work…I was paralyzed with fear of doing it wrong.  I was diagnosed with ADHD (got meds for that) increased (my) anxiety and depression meds and started seeing a counselor.  That helped, but shortly after that I got pregnant with my second set of twins.” Continue reading “Why The Mental Load Matters To Your Career!”

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