I am so honored to have my long-time friend, Laine Schmidt, sharing her encouragement with you today! This gal is amazing! She is a pastor’s wife, Middle School teacher, actress, incredible mom of 2 boys, and now licensed Life Coach. Her heart to help people make their goals and dreams come true is so inspiring. She recently led a course for Working Moms and I asked if she would share her best advice here with my precious readers…
My mom’s favorite joke is that my cursing began when I married a pastor. While Mom is right about most things, I think she missed the mark on this one. If I remember correctly, the days when obscenities started to involuntarily fall from my face began when I was a working mom with toddlers. Don’t hear me wrong; I love working, I also love momming. Sometimes though, being a working mom feels like you’re stuck in the middle of a tornado, surrounded by a cyclonic whirlwind of school lunches, work reports, traffic, homework, meetings, t-ball practices, bills and unfinished to-do lists.
70% of American moms have jobs outside of the household. That’s a pac-man size piece of the pie, folks. It’s no secret that women are pretty much taking over the world…which is awesome. As a development coach, I find lots of joy in coming alongside working moms as they seek to kick butt in all their many roles, while also finding peace and balance. There are common themes that come up with working moms, which goes to show that almost everyone deals with the same crazy stuff. We are going to take a look at 5 helpful ways to make the most of your time without losing your marbles:
Create a Family Mission Statement
Businesses, Schools and Churches all over the world have mission statements; shouldn’t our families? A mission statement is a brief description of purpose. The reason institutions are paying tens of thousands of dollars to formulate their mission statements, is because it is from that statement that all other things flow. Priorities out of whack? Visit the mission statement. Relationship tension? Visit the mission statement. Hard choice to make? Visit the mission statement. As a working mom, our heads are all over the place. We need a home base in order to refocus us in times of chaos. It’s a matter of keeping (or, finding) perspective. When we are reminded of why we do what we do, it boosts our energy and calms our souls. Your family’s mission statement will change over time, but work together to create a point of reference, so that when stuff gets goofy, you have something to help steer the course. If this seems like a daunting task at first, steal someone else’s work, such as:
“But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”
Create Systems that Work for Your Family
You will do life much differently than your BFF does life. And that’s good…it’s very good. As a result of everyone doing things differently, there are more discoveries, more progress, more spice of life. Coach Laine is giving you full permission to stop feeling weird about the fact that your sister in law is better at multi-tasking than you. She’s not. She’s just found systems that work well for her family. You can, too. Each family needs to establish roles and routines for their household, based on the strengths of the individuals living there. These systems make up the structure for your family model. We must stop comparing ourselves. As one of my clients often says “comparison is the thief of joy.” You’re good. Stop trying to fit into someone else’s model, and invest that time and energy creating a killer plan to help your family function in a way that’s best for them.
Take Time to Create Time
You’ve heard the phrase “it takes money to make money.” The same is true for time. Do you ever feel like there’s so much to do and no time to do it? I have good news for you! It’s called Parkinson’s Law and it states that: “work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.” What does that mean for you? When we make a habit of taking 10 minutes in the morning, or evening to plan out what needs to get done, you will find your productivity will soar. Chaos ensues when there is no plan. When effective plans are in place, all of the moving parts are able to work efficiently and without the conflict. The magic bullet here is how you plan. Keep your to-do lists small, realistic, and assign specific details and timelines to each.
Due to the fact that your time is split between work and home, knowing what to expect from your day will help organize your mind and that’s half the battle. Don’t get discouraged if this takes a while to get used to….new habits always take a while, but are worth it in the end.
Small Things aren’t Small
Often, what takes up most of our emotional energy are lots and lots of little tasks (cleaning the hall closet, going through old papers, making the annual dentist appointments…). These seem insignificant and cause us stress because we feel we should be doing something bigger. That is false – they are very significant. When we accomplish the small things it has 2 effects: 1. It makes mental space for new things…and there will always be new things – it gives you a sense of freedom to move on and 2. It has a snowball effect. When we feel the progress made by 2 or 3 “little” things, we are motivated to keep going. It’s very psychological. Power of Habit author Charles DuHigg puts it well, ‘Once a small win has been accomplished, forces are set in motion that favor another small win.’ Small wins fuel transformative changes by leveraging tiny advantages into patterns that convince people that bigger achievements are within reach.”
Don’t count out the small things…use them to motivate you to keep moving forward.
Community is Key
We have heard it takes a village to raise a child. I am of the belief that it takes a community to sustain an adult. Even God was like “hey…things would be so much cooler if I had someone to hang with,” (pardon the paraphrasing). The Trinity is the clearest example of the fact that life is done best when done with others. The connections we have with others feed us, heal us, sharpen us. Though your time is limited, the effort you put into friendships will offer a return on investment so great, you’ll wonder how you weathered the tornado of working mom-hood alone.
Whoa Laine, whoa. That’s a lot to process on top of my already crazy life. I know…so, pick one, stew on it and implement one little thing at a time. The ideas above are to help working moms find freedom and rest while proving their motherly might. Being intentional is a great strategy that supports your desire for balance and reminds you that you are awesome, you are able, and you are in fact a bad@$$. (Sorry, Mom).
Thank you, Laine, for sharing your wisdom and wit with us here! I am so excited that THIS WEEK Laine is giving away 2 (1-hour) Life Coaching Sessions with one lucky winner! Make sure to enter HERE so you can move forward with your dreams and goals!
Laine Schmidt is a Certified Business Coach who desires to help companies and individuals achieve their goals and foster change in their work and lives. After years of mentoring young girls, she was introduced to the coaching world and felt a calling to help others establish ways to further their mission and vision. Laine’s clients consist of businesses and individuals who seek healthy families and healthy work.