Own Your Story, Love Your Strength & Heal With Hope

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of meeting Jeannette Walls, Author of the NY Times Best Seller, The Glass Castle. Her stirring memoir, detailing a childhood of poverty and trauma that would unravel most people, is among my all-time-favorite books. Once she was introduced, she said, “I was invited to speak because I had a weird childhood.”

We all laughed…until she shared some of her stories, including being severely burned at age 3 because to eat, she had to cook meals in a small trailer on a gas stove. After six weeks in the hospital, her father decided to “rescue her.” Hastily…prior to a medical discharge. She affectionately referred to his art of the quick-exit as the ‘skedaddle.’

Her presentation was about hope, strength and beauty. She beamed with enthusiasm sharing the many gifts she received from her experiences. Yes… Continue reading “Own Your Story, Love Your Strength & Heal With Hope”

Working Moms, How to Side Hustle Your Way to Career Bliss!

…Do you know why it looks that way? Is it supposed to get that big? Why does it hurt when I…?

“Anyone with a question about women’s health would usually contact me.” Said Dr. Kelly Culwell, founder of Dr. Lady Doctor. I nodded… at least ten women were waiting to meet her while we talked. She said, “This type of information should be available to everyone!” Agreed. Somewhere between Sex Ed in junior high and our pregnancy check-ups, we self-study with Dr. Google, Dr. Oz and Cosmo. It’s far from ideal. Kelly is intent on improving how women learn about reproductive and sexual health. That’s right, everything from fibroids and better birth control, to perimenopause!  

Although ‘pursue your passion’ is the prescribed path to professional bliss, few do. Or believe they can. Once work-life transforms to working-mom-life, it all changes. Finding time to build new competencies can feel insurmountable. Mom-friends barely have time to workout, eat right or brush their hair! Career growth, amidst overwhelm, seems like an impossible luxury.

There’s room for side hustles, passion projects and ambitious ventures. If Continue reading “Working Moms, How to Side Hustle Your Way to Career Bliss!”

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?”

Lessons Learned from Super Moms on The Entrepreneur’s Journey

Staying Positive Through Failure, Sharing Work With Your Kids & Prioritizing Self-Care

While the leadership gender gap remains wide, about 10% of Executives at US companies are women, enterprising Moms increasingly skip the wait and promote themselves straight to the top by leading their own businesses.

Friday, I was delighted to join the Pepperlane Connect Conference, to moderate a breakout session. Pepperlane, a services platform and community for Mom-owned businesses, is based on a powerful concept…that Moms can help each other succeed.

The event opened to an exuberant crowd of over 100 Mom entrepreneurs, at all stages of their business journey – from exploring a new idea, to running an established operation and looking to scale. The energy was palpable. Pepperlane’s founder, Sharon Kan and host for the day’s festivities ended her passionate plea for Moms to live in possibility with an open dance session. My kind of event… Continue reading “Lessons Learned from Super Moms on The Entrepreneur’s Journey”

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”

Work Travel. Your Permission Slip For Self-Care

Serious fun away on business? Why it’s so great for you!

#MomsSelf-Care #MomsRecharge #MomsFindingSpace

Business trips are disruptive to fragile systems at home. Childcare logistics are upended and FaceTime stands in for kisses. It’s the professional requirement most Moms dread.

Shift Your Mindset

Moms tend to double-down on obligation. Although we drown in the to-do list at home, we keep up the stay-busy-with-other-people’s-priorities obsession on the road. Often well beyond the scope of a productive workday.

There’s a better way. Consider solo travel a rare opportunity for self-care. Once the pre-trip anxiety mellows into acceptance, ideally before you leave, get serious about enjoying this found-time.

Found time? On a work trip?

Not always. Last month, I returned from a successful, but intense meetings-ran-breakfast-through-bedtime kind of trip. At 3 am. On a Sunday. That happens occasionally…and no, that’s not the kind of trip I’m talking about.

Pre-kids, I disliked most business travel. Long days Continue reading “Work Travel. Your Permission Slip For Self-Care”

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!”

Attention Working Moms, Live Happier & Healthier! Book Review for ‘Drop the Ball’ by Tiffany Dufu

 

#MomsSelf-Care #FixWorkingMomStress #MomsCareerHacks #MomsGrowthHacks

There’s a common refrain among the Moms I meet, the juggle of work and life is straining the fragile infrastructure we’ve cobbled together. After an extended time managing way-too-much, it’s clear the solution goes beyond clever prioritization. If you’ve felt pressure from wanting to pour all of your presence into those beautiful little people you’re raising while also managing a household and nurturing the career you’ve primed with years of effort, this book is for you. Continue reading “Attention Working Moms, Live Happier & Healthier! Book Review for ‘Drop the Ball’ by Tiffany Dufu”

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