6 pieces of life and career advice from exceptional mothers

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Woman holds her young son.

Many of us take on dual roles as mothers and businesswomen, and while we believe these roles go hand-in-hand, sometimes it feels like they compete against each other. And that’s when it’s nice to be reminded of just how well we’re actually doing (even when we can’t see it for ourselves). This article celebrates and honours the working woman, and features advice from exceptional mothers in the LH Agenda community. And it’s not just for mothers! This advice applies to anyone whose life is busy (and features some really great organisation hacks). Enjoy, and keep rockin’ it, mama!

1. Self-care is not selfish

By Elise Leon – CEO & Founder of Live Fully Company, mental health and wellness coach, and single mother of two boys

It is of the utmost importance that we take some time for ourselves – especially as we navigate through the everyday chaos of “mum-hood”. Easier said than done? Well, that’s certainly the understatement of the decade! But hear me out.

As a single mum of two amazing boys, ages 15 and 11, a healthcare worker, a mental health and wellness coach, and now a business owner, I’ve found that the concept of “me time” tethers somewhere between extremely limited and essentially non-existent. It is within the confines of that ever-so-limited period of time – you know, the one where we are operating as mum, or wife, or healthcare worker, or entrepreneur- that we can become a better version of ourselves.

This sliver of space allows for us to clear our minds which essentially allows us to become more efficient in every facet of our reality. The self-care that we practice during this ever so important personal time has been proven to be an effective method of combating “mum-burnout”. But, what does this self-care look like? Well my dear fellow mama, that’s the beauty of this. It can be whatever you want it to be.

What does self-care look like for mothers?

Practicing self-care looks like listening to an audiobook on your way to work. It can also be as simple as taking a moment to pause before rushing home and taking five deep, cleansing, breaths to clear your head. “But Elise, how about going to Starbucks for some coffee or having a good cry to release the frustrations of the week?”. Absolutely! Scheduling a hair appointment and a mani-pedi? Yes, girl!

Go take that yoga class. Have brunch with a good friend. Do whatever you need to do in order to remember that you are a person (cause, let’s face it, we all forget at times) and take care of yourself. We give so much of ourselves to our kids and work so hard to create their happy moment and memories that we forget what we used to like or what we did before we became mums, wives, or whatever else has managed to usurp our identity.

Self-care is not selfish, my dear mum. It’s self-love. Loving ourselves and recognizing the importance of self-love is one of the best lessons that we can teach our children. I mean, isn’t that the advice that we would give them? Taking care of oneself allows us to show up as the best version of ourselves and that is precisely what our tiny humans deserve from us. Being over-tired, malnourished, mentally, emotionally and spiritually exhausted is not good for us nor is it good for our kids.

Dear mother, be kind to yourself. You are doing the best you can and you are doing a great job, mum. Love yourself so you can live fully.

2. Lighten the load and get more done

By Kelly Nolan – Attorney-turned-Time Management Strategist, Kelly Nolan LLC, and mother of two girls

We all know our mental loads ramp up when we become mums. Offload as much of it as you can into a tool you’re already using – a digital calendar (e.g., Google or Outlook calendars). As you calendar out “Bath & bedtime with kids” for an hour each evening, “Call pediatrician re rash” on Monday at 8:30am, and “Make lunches” Sunday through Thursday evenings, you’ll start making a lot of that invisible to-do list visible.

This will not only help you lighten your mental load, but you’ll start to see how much you actually are doing and plan the rest of your life more realistically. All of that, in turn, helps you go to bed feeling accomplished about what you got done today (versus defeated by unrealistic game plans) and calm about tomorrow. And what mum doesn’t need more of that in her life?

3. Know your why & your vision

By Anna Runyan – Founder of Classy Career Girl, former corporate consultant, and mother of three girls

I would challenge you today to step back a little, take a break and re-examine WHY you are doing what you are doing.

Are you still passionate and excited about the product you sell and the market you teach? Or the work you do? Go back to just trying to help one person every day.

Nothing was or is easy when it comes to running a business while being a mum. But, having a vision and knowing my why has made the tougher times a little easier to manage. Knowing my why and my vision helps me set priorities, reduces my overwhelm, and gives me focus and clarity to decide what I am NOT going to do on my never-ending to-do list.

4. Don’t be afraid to take a break!

By Anna Runyan, Founder of Classy Career Girl

Last year, I didn’t post on my blog for 2 months or release any new podcasts. Did you notice? Probably not. I haven’t gone live in months. Did you notice? Probably not. There is nothing wrong with taking breaks! Stepping back from producing content allowed me to re-examine my mission, vision, social media plan, and message.

You can slow the pace down. You don’t have to have the best financial year ever. You can have a good enough year. You can have a year that is more focused on your family. That was my last year, I’ve been focusing on growing a baby rather than having my best financial year ever.

5. Reduce last-minute stress

By Anna Runyan, Founder of Classy Career Girl

The best thing I have done over this last year is taking the time to reduce any last-minute stress by creating systems and processes at work and in my personal life. My third baby forced me to sit down and examine all of the last-minute stress I was creating for myself and my team. Things would pop up that stressed me out. I was constantly putting out fires at home and at work.

So I changed things up in the final quarter of last year. I started batching blog and podcast content ahead by 2-3 months, and I even scheduled social media content out 2-3 months ahead.

I started delegating as much as I could from my to-do list and created systems for the team to follow. Organizing our team’s work into 2-week sprints allowed us to get so much done in 2 weeks!! I let go of things that were no longer important and only focused on 3 main priorities each day. Not much comes up with last-minute stress and if it does, I know there’s still more systems and processes to create to improve for next time.

6. Log off of everything

By Anna Runyan, Founder of Classy Career Girl

The best thing I did was remove Slack, social media, and email from my phone. It’s a simple and kind of hard change but it has drastically improved my life and helped me be more present. Now I have certain times in my day when I check Slack, email and social media and it has saved so much time!

Remember to create systems and processes for your everyday routine, whether it’s at your work or whether it’s at your home, and then log off of social media and email on your phone. You do not need to be checking email all the time. Even social media can waste a lot of time and be really overwhelming as well.

I hope that you found these tips helpful today. Most importantly, just remember your 5-10 year vision. Remember WHY you are working so hard and do not worry about taking a break occasionally. It’s really great to take breaks so you can come back more motivated and passionate to be the best mum and business owner you can be!


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