And up again five hours later. Sound familiar? Sure it does. Although women breadwinners are on the upswing, the balance of parenting, nurturing, and household chores remains predominantly the use of the mother. No wonder anxiety is at an all time high. With all these responsibilities, it is vital that women breadwinners have new and more flexible options for producing and keeping peace in the home.
Traditionally, the choices have taken two forms: 1) delegate and 2) systematize. Delegation can feel as a never-ending “to-do” list. To put it differently, write all of the chores for the day, separate them out based on what is urgent, important, pressing AND significant, or not urgent AND not important and farm out the errands. Systematize is another frequent recommendation that individuals give to help keep the peace. The argument is that in the event you have everything scheduled in Outlook or in your Google calendar, then you will have an electronic personal assistant, you will know where you will need to be when, and everything will go according to plans.
Have you tried that?
Well, have a three year old wake up with a fever of 104 and see how your pleasant, scheduled day goes and then let us talk about systems. Is it important to make space and time for the priorities of your life? Yes. But is that enough to bring you peace? So if delegations and systems do not bring peace, what will?
- Create your own bed time. As adults, we drop bed time instead of assessing last minute emails, doing 10 minutes of work that turns out to be two hours, and watching reality TV that not only kills our brain cells but distorts our own perceptions of what is exciting and newsworthy. Give yourself one hour to do the things which calm you down, settle your spirit, and fill you with positive ideas in preparation for great sleep. Read books you love. Listen to affirmations. Meditate. Create the itinerary for the hour before bedtime and stick with IT for at least 14 days. The change you will notice will be amazing.
- Ten deep breaths until you walk in the door. Whether it’s on your car or a walk around your block before going to the front door, give yourself 3-5 minutes to clear your mind of work, release your anticipation of chaos in your home, and breathe deeply in and out for 10 deep breaths. It will open you up and permit you to walk in the house professionally and professionally.
- Open up your 2nd chakra. Your 2nd chakra (the orange chakra) is where cash, gender and power resides. For most women breadwinners, there are blockages to the next chakra. Opening up the 2nd chakra requires getting your body moving. Take a course (yoga, bellydancing, flamenco, whatever opens up the 2nd chakra) at a LIVE course format, preferably with other girls in your life situation. You don’t need to become a Lululemon mom or a soccer mom to enjoy fellowship with other, like minded girls. You’ll find fellowship, link, and a opportunity to join in a way that you won’t get at home. It’ll make you appreciate the ones that you come home to much more than you thought you could.
- Play at least once weekly. When you are used to living all work and no play, even play feels like a chore. Yes, there are the extracurricular activities for work and for your children but what do you do each week to get out and play that is actually enjoyable to you? Whatever gives you a feeling of fun and enjoyment has to be on your weekly calendar. Whether it’s Zumba, a comedy show, or a night full of chocolate, popcorn and reality TV, find what makes you laugh and make it a non-negotiable on your weekly schedule.
- Get a trainer. Although I recorded it last, it’s, definitely, one of the things which can help the most. When you’ve got a coach, you’ve got a believing partner, an accountability expert, a mentor and guide. You’ve got someone on your side who will encourage you, challenge you, and encourage you from the beginning to end of your WHOLE life objectives. A trainer is worth every penny spent. More importantly, you’re worth EVERY penny you spend. If you can afford a daily trip to Starbucks, you can more than afford a weekly 1 hour attention session with an experienced coach.