Support hose... you know what I’m talking about, right? They are flesh-colored and typically worn because of circulation issues.
Yeah, well, they are ugly as all, that but the support is reliable and foolproof! (You just pray that you never need them.)
Well, on a rare moment when I had nothing to do, I started Google-ing my favorite topic: working moms. It’s sort of like putting your ear on the railroad track; you can hear the rumbling from miles away. I was not surprised by the number of articles that echoed the same message: working moms need more support. One of the articles I read suggested that working moms need a wife! And I’ll have to admit that at times, this suggestion can seem like an appealing option.
The support that seems to be needed comes in three distinct categories:
That, by the way, is never a good idea. I realize just how antiquated this sounds, but when you consider that “women’s liberation” was only a mere 35 years ago (give or take), it is totally understandable that real examples of how to balance home and work are not easy to come by.
But don’t lose hope! Here are some easy steps you can take to get the support you need right now:
Adjust. Purge. Adjust again. You may, for a short period of time, want to adjust your view of what a clean and organized house looks like. Schedules are complicated, and you may not be able to give the amount of detail as you once did (before family, business trips, etc.) It’s not defeat; it’s reality.
This leads to the next step: the purge. Do you really need everything you have? Stuff creates clutter, and clutter is an energy vampire.
It sucks your time, your psyche, and your overall outlook. After you’ve done the purge, adjust again. Set a schedule for cleaning, and enlist the “all hands on deck” motto – never too early to get the kids enlisted – and then test it out for a week or two and see how it’s going. You can always rinse and repeat the process!
Uncomplicate! I know the routine all too well! After work, you get slammed with practices, games, dance lessons. Here, too, you need to adjust. In my neighborhood there is an unspoken expectation that the more activities you have your kids enrolled in, the better parent you are. This shocked me when I moved out to the 'burbs! I was just unwilling to have dinner – aka fast food – in the car between activities when I was aching to get home, have some down time and enjoy just “being” with my kids.
Adjust, choose. It’s up to you. I know at times the squeeze is unavoidable. If you can, double up with another parent, barter or pay someone to do the driving around. I know I felt bad that the stay-at-home mom would get stuck carting my kid around because I wasn’t home from work in time, but then I would treat her to her favorite latte, magazines or a night out when I’d watch her kids.
Don’t suffer in silence. Seek out the support you need!
Play the game. There are some great companies out there who have very flexible work schedules, back-up day care, job sharing, telecommuting, and a host of other options to help you be your best at work. If your company is not up to this speed yet, I understand the challenges you may face. When I’d have to leave early because my child was sick, if it happened more than two times in one month, I would say the appointment was for me. I didn’t want to be looked down upon because I had kids who needed me. I did not feel like I was being authentic, but I knew because of the environment I was in, that I was doing what was best for everyone. And you do too.
Don’t be too hard on yourself if you need to make certain decisions – within reason of course – to help you manage the rigors of your work life and family life.
The Yin & Yang Of Opposites Day!
When my son was in day care, there was always a robust calendar of events to make each day special and fun. There was Crazy Hats Day and Pajama Day and Inside Out Day and Dress Like Your Favorite Animal Day. But the day that was the most fun (and interesting) was Opposites Day! On Opposites Day, you would try to talk in opposites. For example, if you wanted to go outside, you would say, “I want to stay inside,” but then go outside anyway! It was hilarious because invariably we would start this first thing in the morning with breakfast (I was glad I didn’t have to talk in opposites at the office!), and then it would continue at the end of the day. When you get the hang of it, it is quite interesting to see what happens.
I was reminded of Opposites Day recently when I was standing in line at a store and overheard someone say, “Well, you can’t have it all, you know!” That hit me between the eyes. Wow. And it was one of those days when I already felt like I was surrounded by a lot of negative chatter. I found it to be very irritating and then realized that I was allowing myself to get pulled down in the muck. I had a choice. I could get out of the line and leave the store (nope, I really needed my groceries!), or I could try something different. Opposites Day!
I allowed myself to play with the idea of “what if I CAN have it all?” So, I went into my own imagination of what it would be like to “have it all” …. and love it! The line I was waiting on seemed to move more quickly, and I was no longer bothered by the pesky conversation. This was a deceptively silly game with powerful results! It shifted my attitude, whereas before I was allowing others to pollute my energy field.
So, what are some of “those” statements that seem to easily roll off the tongue that perhaps you’ve carried around for years and don’t really know where they came from?
We may have heard them in childhood from family members, in school, the news, etc. Here are some common statements that could use a little opposites attraction:
Money doesn’t grow on trees.
You have to work hard to get ahead.
Rich people have no morals.
Don’t let your true feelings show.
You should put others first.
I have to admit that writing them made my breath feel constricted, and my personal energy just felt yucky. Did you feel the same way when reading them? If so, where did you feel it in your body?
Action: Stop. Take two conscious breaths. Read each statement above, and this time really pay attention to where in your body you may be getting a signal. Maybe it is your breath. Or maybe it is a knot in your stomach. Or maybe you begin to sweat. Our bodies are like radio receivers giving us signals on how to read our emotions and make new choices after considering the information we are receiving.
Action: Stop. Take two conscious breaths. Now read each of these statements below and pay attention to where you feel a reaction in your body. Hint: Suspend the urge to have these statements “make sense,” and instead use your childlike imagination and belief. If this seems impossible, continue to tap on your collar bone point (just where the collar bone starts at the center of your throat), while reading.
Money really does grow on trees.
Doing what brings me joy for a living is easy, and I am successful.
Rich people have the resources and support worthy causes.
It is safe for me to express my truest self.
I pay attention to what makes me thrive so I can give wholeheartedly to others.
Have fun playing with The Yin & Yang Of Opposites Day! I’d love to hear from you about your experiences!
Ever work on a puzzle? I haven't in years! The degree of difficulty of my last puzzle was likely an oversized floor puzzle my son had when he was three years old! Piece of cake. In general, I tend to find puzzles frustrating because it just seems to take a long time to complete, and I get overwhelmed by all the pieces. After I look at the picture on the box, I definitely have a distinct approach in how I will tackle the puzzle:
I realized I can apply the same process to things I want to accomplish. So when I begin to get overwhelmed by my business, and all I need to do, or if I keep procrastinating on a project, I take my puzzle approach to ease the frustration and get unstuck. Here is what it looks like:
1. Vision: Start with your vision and tap till you feel you are in a good place. (This is like the picture on the puzzle box). Ask yourself:
Be flexible! If you are at step four, and your progress doesn't match your vision, you have a choice:
1. Make adjustments to your vision.
2. Review steps 2 and 3 for changes.
How do you know if you should change your vision or your steps? It's all in the "feelings". The way you got to your vision in the first place is because it felt good! When you look back at your vision, drop down from your head (the thinking part of you) to your heart (the feeling part of you).
I hope this was helpful whether you are playing with puzzles or building your business!
Paula G. Rosario
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Laura West, President & Chief Creative Officer, www.centerforjoyfulbusiness.com