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A Reply to “How Do You Do It?”

I wanted to share this info as a reply to the question “How Do You Do it?” and provide tips for navigating a busy life.

I am a mother of 3 busy children who participate in rep sports and a variety of other activities. I am a wife to a husband whose purpose in life is to share his love of baseball, his passion for leadership, hard work and persistence with multiple baseball teams outside of his full-time job. I am a business owner because I have a calling to serve the world through inspiring individuals to take action in their health and well-being. Now if I asked you to list all of the millions of things you do, I know it would be a lot as well. This society is fast paced. It calls us to be busy. I know I am not alone. I am not an anomaly at all.

I am often challenged when someone asks me how I do it all. I am challenged because it suggests that either I am nuts (which I prefer to call myself a bit crazy), or that I am somehow better, which I am absolutely not.

Now for those women out there who actually want to know some of my strategies for how I navigate the crazy busy life I have chosen and designed for myself, here are a few tips.
I happen to be a person who thrives on being busy. As long as everything is organized and clear, I can find peace in allowing it to unfold as I play chauffer from one place to the next.

This is my reply when someone says…
“How do you do it” or “I don’t know how you do it”.

Answer 1:
One moment and one day at a time.

We live by a very detailed schedule. I do crave the concept of flexibility and plan space for that in my own personal time so i can feel the freedom I desire, even if it is only in small chunks of time. I expect when I am older and when the chaos is gone to feel a sense of peace that I tried my best and more importantly that my kids had the experience they desired. I will miss this time, but I am likely to fill it with a new and unexpected busy, as that is just who I am.

Answer 2:
We all live busy lives. I don’t know how you do it either. I’m always in awe of women who work a full time job out of the house and juggle all of life’s millions of responsibilities.

We each are in our own bubbles of busy. Perhaps I say yes to a few more things then you do (good job if you have that skill mastered more than I do). The reality is that no two experiences are the same. Even for people living in the same house. We are all rock stars in our own way and instead of feeling like we aren’t keeping up with the Joneses or Mrs. Jones to be exact, let’s celebrate ourselves and what we are doing well.

My big lesson for this week…
No one does everything well.

Here are my tips for keeping one’s head on straight when navigating through busy times.

#1 I breathe and realize that I am not the only one with a busy life, and others around me have a far more challenging situation than I do.

#2 I show gratitude for the opportunity to have my kids participating in various activities so that they can experience joy, growth, and learning in their lives through those extra activities.

#3 I am grateful for a new day. I recognize that I have air in my lungs and the ability to watch my kids learning, growing and having fun. Some people don’t have that option.

#4 I let go of perfection (in the kitchen) and say who cares if the dishes are not done after every meal! I do dishes once per day. I love a tidy kitchen, but sometimes I just need to give myself a break and realize that there are more important things to take care of sometimes. This goes for the laundry also.

#5 I embrace our busy life and recognize the need for prioritization. I, like you have to make decisions around this all of the time.

#6 I know what my values are. When it comes to my own life and circumstances, my desire for my #1 value of family to be at the top of my list, means that sometimes my business goals have to be less of a priority.

#7 Outsourcing and delegating, sharing the responsibilities are all aspects which are a work in progress for me in life. I do ask for help, when I know I won’t get grumbles. I do delegate to team members who are looking to grow their leadership. I honestly suck at outsourcing because of my scarcity issues and wanting to save money by doing it myself. Which ends up likely costing me more time and money. This is still a learning opportunity for me.

#8 I like to create lists and check off what I have accomplished. This is something I have been doing since I was a busy teenager. I spent a period of time not writing things down and realized I was adding far too much stress on my brain and memory so I went back to making notes. Give your brain a break!

#9 We have a detailed calendar that my husband and I share through the Google Calendar app. This allows us to be in the know for the activities that impact both of us. This keeps us on track and in the right places at the right times. It is crucial for our communication as well. We also have a paper calendar on the wall in the kitchen so that the kids have a quick reference for what is happening in their lives as well.

#10 Find a system that works and stick to it. I love making lunches in the morning as it is calming for me. Our school doesn’t start until 9am and we don’t have to leave until 8:45am. This will work for a few more years until our oldest goes to middle school. I will make a new plan then. If you are someone who prefers to get it done in the evening, do that.

#11 Scheduling in some intentional self care time has become a big priority for me. Soon to come, I will share about my health story and the launch of peri menopause. Due to this change in my general well being, I must make time for me to fill up my cup. These don’t have to be elaborate, time consuming or expensive. My favourite ways to rejuvenate are walking by the river, meditating using the app called Insight Timer, walking in the forest or going for a run. Find something that helps you feel calm and light.

#12 Gather some babysitters. Trust me. I know it is hard to leave your precious bundle. I felt the exact same way. But having no close family in the city to call on, meant that I either had no help or I had to shift my fear. What helped me was remembering how other women trusted me with their children when I was only 12 years old. I always believe in listening to your gut. Especially with younger babysitters. But I believe this is the circle of life. Due to the fact that I babysat very frequently in my young teen and teenage years, it helped me to confirm that I wanted to be a mother. Trust is an important skill to build. This also goes for car pools. If your kids are in many activities share the task of driving with other families. It makes a big difference.

#13 I do things for me. Believe it or not, my business is something I started for me. It is a business of helping people in their health and freedom goals but I wanted to have something, where I could use my skills, talents, abilities and my brain. It helps me to remember that I am still me, outside of being a mother and wife. It has been a great reason for me to travel and continue with my personal growth and development as well.

#14 Although I do watch some television, for most of the year I don’t allow myself to get pulled into it. This is not always the case, and then I get less accomplished. But in the times when I am really focusing, this is not where I spend my time.

#15 I fuel my mind with positive messages. I love to listen to Dr. Wayne Dyer, a number of great authors on Audible and especially Esther and Abraham Hicks. Due to the lessons I continue to learn from these amazing individuals, I believe and am practicing the art of contentment. The art of being satisfied with the life I have and excited for more. Some people in my life get frustrated by the fact that I don’t listen to the news on a daily basis. I choose not to. My husband keeps me informed on what I need to know. I am so energetically impacted by negativity, so this is a strategy I choose.

As I close I want to share a real truth with you. As I say yes to helping out and being involved with so many things on top of an already busy life, it means I am not the master of any of the things I am involved with. The saying goes, jack of all, master of none.” This is a hard truth to share. It was a hard truth for me to swallow.

I have been evaluating my involvement based on whether I enjoy what I am doing. But the reality is that as a happy and enthusiastic person, I can get jazzed up about pretty much anything. So probably best not to judge which things should stay on my plate or be removed based on this.

As I continue to learn where I am truly meant to serve I must say no to the good things (even if I enjoy doing them) in order to say Yes to the Great things (the things I really want to be involved with or accomplish. Every day we are on this earth we have an opportunity to learn. We must embrace the time we have here as it really is far shorter then we realize it and spend, no invest this time in the areas that matter most to us.

If I ever feel like I have spread myself too thin I make adjustments to the plan. That is what I encourage others to do as well. Be organized, so that you can be present, and in the moment you can relax a little and enjoy the chaos and the joy your family is experiencing.

What about you? Are you someone who has a taken on too much? Or perhaps you are a woman looking for ways to find yourself and your passions again. Please let me know. I would love to hear from you!

A Nag or an EAP?

Does Your Morning Start with Nagging?

I had a moment this morning as I was walking to school with the kids. I overheard a mom friend of mine, reminding her children that it was time to get going to school. From the tone of her voice and the words she used, I sensed that she had said this same statement multiple times.

This helped me feel better about the number of times I also must remind my children to get moving. The number of times i remind them to brush teeth, to get dressed and the many other tasks that must be accomplished in the morning before school.

It made me realize that we all sound the same. We are all going through a similar challenge in the morning in our own houses, in our own voices, in our own ways. But the reality is that we all ‘nag’ our kids to get moving. Or do we?
The shift I am making for myself and want to encourage others to adopt is the discontinuation of the word ‘nag’. I prefer to reframe it in a more positive statement… I am encouraging my children to take action (ECTTA). I am an EAP: encouraging action parent.

I believe reframing how we see our parenting requirements is extremely powerful. Not only does it put us in a state of being a positive role model for our children, it also is changing the energetic vibration around that interaction and the energy in our own body.

The tone of voice we use and the choice of words we choose also play a role in how we get the action from our children that we desire.

Research has shown that often getting down to their level, making eye contact, giving specific and clear instructions about the action you want the child to take (instead of yelling it from another room, or speaking softly and gently and having to repeat yourself a multitude of times) is more affective.
Additionally how we show respect to our kids when they want our attention and for us to take action will impact how they reciprocate the behaviour to us. If every time they ask for our attention we are looking at our phone and telling them to ‘hold on a moment’, what more can we expect then to be treated the same way. I am trying to be more mindful of my own behaviour in this area. Due to the nature of coaching, I am often receiving messages which in actual fact are not always critically urgent. This is a work in progress. Evaluating the urgency of each situation, but realizing more often then not, my time with my children is worth more and should be given more priority. It is a juggling act for sure.

Repeating ourselves is never fun. It is frustrating. Ensuring that the child is listening first before the instructions are given or the requests are made is also encouraged. We are in a world of noise. We talk about it being noisey for adults – especially online, it is noisey for kids too. They may not be on social media yet (maybe they are) but there is still noise from video games, ipads, TV, radio, battery operated toys and books, other children, animals, the buzz of appliances everywhere, and the noise of a parent simply blends into it all.

I have even resorted to hanging a sign on the front door reminding the children to brush their teeth. This is for me and them. We can all use reminders. For small children the use of a picture chart of the order in which tasks must be completed can be helpful (ie. For putting on winter clothes). Who cares what others who see it will think. It is often a joke actually about how much I must value their dental health, when in reality it is far more simple, I just want them to take the action.
Being present, showing more respect for my children, taking the steps on my end to help them hear the request are all aspects of the EAP approach.
In reality this is a learning process for all of us. For the kids and us grown up kids. We all have trouble hearing and taking action sometimes and need to be reminded. And the next time you feel like you are nagging check your tone, check your words, and remember you are an EAP: encouraging action parent.

Here is another great article on this same topic with even more great suggestions to try. Click HERE

You are amazing. You are enough.
Now say those words to yourself and go embrace your day.

Amy 🙂