Stop Stopping! Skill Up & Live Your Vision.

#MomsGrowthHacks #MomsLearnNewSkills #MomsReinvention #MomsCareerGrowth

“Come on in…” I walked tentatively into the doorway, past the tarp and froze as I watched the half-dozen contractors, busily hammering and moving large pieces of equipment across the floor. I was motioned inside by a man wearing a toolbelt, “It’s okay, Jenn’s downstairs…just be very careful.” He smiled. Noted. As I made my way down the narrow staircase, I had a chance to (finally) meet Jenn Mason, Entrepreneur, cheese expert, supermom and today, hands-on construction project manager. Continue reading “Stop Stopping! Skill Up & Live Your Vision.”

Beyond Burnout. How The Mental Load Affects Moms & What You Can Do About It!

#MomsWeighIn #MomsSelf-Care #TameTheInvisibleWorkLoad

Postcards From The Isle of Overwhelm  

98% of the Moms surveyed* feel stress from carrying the mental load, the always-on invisible to-do list that results from the ‘everything household and kids’ oversight handled by Mom in most families.

When asked ‘how do you know you’ve reached a point of burnout?’ the effects are felt everywhere – from a perpetually bad mood, impatience with children and loved ones, to hives and headaches.

  • 22% can tell by their change in mood
  • 21% of Moms notice changes in behavior
  • 7% experience physical changes as a result of mental load stress
  • And half (50%) experience some combination of all three.

“I leave my phone in the fridge. I know I ate lunch- but I forgot what I ate. Wait…did I really eat lunch? I find myself more short-tempered…yelling and frustrated. I’m typically very objective and non-emotional. Essentially, I’m pulled away from the core of who I am.” Continue reading “Beyond Burnout. How The Mental Load Affects Moms & What You Can Do About It!”

Triumph Over Work/Family Conflict & Hack Your Way To Better Balance

#MomsBalanceHacks #MomsSelf-Care #MomsPersonalGrowth

“Wait… do you remember the rules? You have to stay inside the playground, okay?”  The child spun around sheepishly and nodded with a big grin, then skipped merrily back to the circle of kids sitting on the grass.

How did an ordinary pick-up for her two boys morph into having her own baker’s dozen of little people?

“There was and end of the year BBQ at school that began at 4:30 pm and the afterschool program brought the kids inside at 4:30 until their parents picked them up. All of them would miss the event..” Once Sasha realized this, she quickly began texting parents…offering to help. She signed out eleven kids that day (in addition to her own) and took the swirling circle of excited kids into the playground. “There were rules…they had to stay in the area where I could see them…all of them. It didn’t make sense for me not to take that extra step and pick up more than just my own children.” Continue reading “Triumph Over Work/Family Conflict & Hack Your Way To Better Balance”

How To Get Comfortable (& Thrive) With Personal Branding!

#MomsGrowth #GettingUnstuck #MomsDevelopment #MomsGrowthHacks #MomsCareer“I opened the door, amidst a blur of luggage and wiggly wide-eyed toddlers…I looked around, closed my eyes and breathed in the sights of home.”

Twenty-two days in country and forty-eight hours of travel later, she was beyond tired and a little nervous. It seemed surreal that the adventure, she planned so carefully for, was about to begin.  

“We committed to cocooning…” Which means no outside caregivers for six months (that’s right, as in none) to firmly establish trust with her newly adopted daughters.  

“When we began trying to start a family (years before that moment) I knew that one of us would need to be the primary caregiver.” Continue reading “How To Get Comfortable (& Thrive) With Personal Branding!”

4 Things You Need For Work/Life Integration from Mom’s Who Hustle

Notes From Attending ‘Moms Who Hustle’ A Practical Work/Life Discussion hosted by General Assembly Boston May 19th.

After rushing in to grab a front row seat, I took a few deep breaths to center myself just as the moderator began introductions.   A surprisingly diverse group looked expectantly at the panelists.

I later learned the eclectic mix of Moms, Pre-moms, Grandmothers and Dads braved the rainy commute and early start, eager to discuss the Mom work-life juggle, for different reasons.

Women feel more empowered (and compelled) than ever to hustle and Moms are no exception.

The artful choreography, to reduce clashes between the work and life schedules, becomes its own demanding project.  Last month, on the sidelines of my son’s soccer match, I watched a Mom spend the better part of an hour crouched over her computer color coding and reconciling activities  Continue reading “4 Things You Need For Work/Life Integration from Mom’s Who Hustle”

What Mom Really Wants For Mother’s Day!

I spend a lot of time listening to other moms. Whether in between meetings at work, scurrying through the playgrounds, chatting while the water bottle fills at the gym…the conversation is remarkably similar.

We’re tired. No… wait, we’re exhausted!

The Survey Says…

“More than 64% of mothers were primary, sole, or co-breadwinners for their families” According to a study by the Center for American Progress in 2015. Continue reading “What Mom Really Wants For Mother’s Day!”

Take Back Mornings! 5 Tips To Make Getting Your Kids & Yourself Out Of The House Easier

#MomsLifeHacks #MomsSavingTime #MomsWeekdayHacks #MakingMorningsLessPainful

I am not a fan of weekday mornings. The pressure of getting everyone fed, dressed, toileted, cleaned and dropped off to school (or work in my case) while creating some semblance of ‘easing into the day’ generally feels overwhelming.

I had a delightful interview with Jennifer P., a reader of MHN, yesterday. Jennifer is not only the mother of three children ages 8 and under, she works full-time and her husband travels Monday through Friday most weeks!

My burning question… how does she handle mornings? Although I’ve managed (some) competency in a few areas, like food and fitness, I’ve yet to come up with a reliable process to make mornings reasonable.

Inevitably, I start off the day with the grand intention of having a nice, drama-free morning where everyone faces the all-important start of the day on a positive and peaceful note. Yet, by mid-breakfast I begin to get stressed about being off schedule and start appealing to the (nonexistent) sense of efficiency in my kids. I then get frustrated and quickly devolve into Dragon Mommy by tooth-brushing time. But I digress…

Jennifer has mostly great mornings and was kind to share the brilliant short cuts that work for her family. Continue reading “Take Back Mornings! 5 Tips To Make Getting Your Kids & Yourself Out Of The House Easier”

Top 10 Ways Moms Relax! When Moms Unwind…

#MomsSelfCare #MomsUnwind #MomsHealth

I am flexible (as a person) but my schedule is not and anytime something goes awry, I’m frustrated at best, defeated at worst.

I like having big goals, I want to accomplish a lot in my life and career. I enjoy staying deeply involved with my children while still pursuing personal growth: wisdom, creativity, becoming more present and deepening my professional expertise.

In the past two weeks, my (too tight) schedule has taken a hit from children’s illnesses and doctors appointments, my own doctors visits (routine) and then finally, a blizzard – shortening my nanny’s schedule, cancelling my son’s school — basically upending my schedule with hours of lost productivity.

I realize life happens… all of the time. How do other mom’s deal? What are the techniques that create more room for the unplanned? What brings stress levels down and creates space for peace and self-care? Most moms juggle a lot and share the strain that comes with it. A few, seem to have figured out a formula for being great, patient moms and incredibly effective in their work and communities.

I’ve been focused on understanding (and reducing) stress, as part of the quest for self-care, as I shared with part 1 results from the Mom’s Hierarchy of Needs survey.

Here’s what I’ve learned from the ‘stress question’ in the survey, when asked ‘when you do unwind, how do you do it?’ Mom’s responded with: Continue reading “Top 10 Ways Moms Relax! When Moms Unwind…”

How & Why Mom’s Prioritize Their Time

#MomsSelfCare #MomsQuestForTime #MomsHealth

About two years ago, shortly after maternity leave for my youngest, I ran (frazzled) through the parking garage to reach the nursing room at work before my first meeting after spending the past hour driving in heavy traffic. I then realized, that in my sleep-deprived state, I left my pumping bag at home.

Has this ever happened to you? I barely remembered driving to work in the first place and then the hard reality, that I needed to reschedule my morning to drive back home, set in.

I’d already been thinking (ok, obsessing) about my own prioritization and ability to balance a demanding yet engaging career with motherhood.  Despite following a path that seemed ‘natural’ — breastfeed, form deep bond with new baby, return to being a rock star at work, pay thoughtful attention to my older child, continue with navigating playgrounds and museums on the weekends as if nothing had changed — I felt tremendous stress and fatigue most days.

Cumulatively, that stress eroded my goodwill, patience, sense of humor, creativity… Everything that made me ‘me’ was gradually slipping away under what felt like constant pressure from an invisible, yet impossibly tight, schedule every waking moment.   I was depleted and longed for practical solutions.

Did all moms with young children feel this? Did all working moms feel this?  Continue reading “How & Why Mom’s Prioritize Their Time”

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