If your life was a movie, would you go see the sequel?
I’ll admit it: I had a little bit of writer’s block for today’s #WakeUpWednesday post. I’m usually struggling with something at this point in the week. Whether it’s difficult client work, Emily’s crazy sleep habits, Mary Pat being sick, or feeling exhausted because I’m dealing with some of these things, I’m usually begging for Friday by now. It’s easy to identify a helpful #WakeUpWednesday topic when I’m struggling with something. It’s not so easy to whip something up when things are going well. What’s more, I thought that this week would be the easiest week to write something because I’m dealing with all of these things. Instead, I’m waking up feeling present, excited for each day, refreshed, and devoid of anything to write about.
I realized this morning that what I should be writing about is exactly how I’ve been feeling-excited for my life.
When I sit down and think about it, my life is rather monotonous. I wake up every morning get dressed, eat breakfast, commute, work all day, commute and then come home to eat dinner with my family and go to bed. How is it that I’m so excited every day? How have I managed to find such joy in what some would find to be horribly boring?
Although it’s always possible that this is just holiday cheer and I’ll get back to my usual, “struggling for balance” self in 2016, this feels more permanent, and I think it’s the product of some changes that I made in my life and schedule while Mommy, ESQ. was on hiatus. It’s a significant and life-altering shift, and one that I think all of us need to experience in order to joyfully experience what I’ve termed “working motherhood.”
If you aren’t excited or charged up about what you’re doing, you may experience financial success or raise amazing children, but you’re doing it at the expense of your emotional and physical health. If that’s the case, why do it at all? Why not live a life you’re excited about? Or, before rearranging your whole life, why not try instituting some small changes that allow you to have the time, energy, and perspective to feel that excitement?
This is your challenge for the next week: Savor every moment of your life. Feel more, love deeper, and laugh harder. Make the following changes and see if it doesn’t improve your current attitude towards your job, motherhood, and life:
- Have a “pre-mortem” meeting with yourself. You’ve all heard of a post-mortem meeting, right? It’s when you meet after having gone through something and analyze what went wrong, what went right, what could have gone better, etc. Instead, have a pre-mortem meeting with yourself. Think about the portions of your days that stress you out and plan ahead on how to eliminate them. For example, my mornings stress me out the most. Emily is a terrible sleeper and would wake up as soon as she heard me trying to get dressed, making my coffee, packing my lunch, and running out the door. I hate leaving her as it is; it’s that much harder when I have to leave her and she’s screaming for Mommy to come pick her up. In order to minimize the noise and time spent putzing around in the morning getting myself together, I started planning my outfits for the week on Sunday night and hanging them close to the bathroom, where I can get dressed. I started charging my phone and leaving my bag in a more convenient place by the front door with my shoes. I started packing my lunch and setting the timer on my coffee pot the night before. Not only does it keep Emily sound asleep, but also I can wake up later and have a great, stress-free start to my day. You can “pre-mortem” plan for any and all aspects of your life. And, eliminating these stressors will certainly give you the time, space, and energy to feel more excited for your life! I actually got the idea to start doing this from an amazing TED Talk that you can view by clicking this link.
- Take Care of Your Body and Health. I know that you can all agree that the first thing to go when you’re a working mom is your care for your own body and health. Who has time to take care of themselves when there’s a baby or toddler that needs you and hasn’t seen you all day? I can’t stress enough how important this is. Take your vitamins. Shower regularly. Wash your hair. Instead of staying up late after the kids go to bed so you can have a moment to yourself, get a decent night’s sleep. I’ve been doing this for a few weeks now, and I feel like a human again. I’ve even been adding in a little extra B-12, and it’s done amazing things for my psyche and my waistline. When you take care of yourself, you feel better about yourself. And, you have the physical and mental ability to feel deep excitement and satisfaction with every aspect of your life.
- Spend…Time…With Your Partner. Okay, so the days of making love on the kitchen floor in the middle of the day may be over. But that doesn’t mean that every encounter needs to feel like “we have 20 minutes before the baby starts crying and it’s been two weeks since the last opportunity for it, we might as well just get this over with.” Be adventurous. Read the Kama Sutra. Get a babysitter. Do it regularly. It’ll be the best forty bucks on a sitter you’ve ever spent, and I guarantee you’ll start feeling excited for every day and like your “pre-working mommy” self again.
I wish you all a wonderful, productive, and exciting! end of the week. Happy Wednesday, mamas!
Today’s post is brought to you by Lisa Marie Lanham, the founder of Mommy, ESQ. Lisa is also an associate in the Consumer Finance Regulatory practice of a large New York City law firm. She loves her job, her family, and helping working moms find a balance between the growing demands of a family and a successful, full-time career. She has trained with the International Maternity Institute and offers group and one-on-one maternity coaching to all working moms. If you’re interested in learning more, you can reach her by commenting below, e-mailing Mommy_ESQ@outlook.com, or posting on any of Mommy, ESQ.’s social media pages.