Hi everyone. Welcome back to my Reflections Thursdays post in which I am reflecting on happiness, balance, wellness, and being your best self. Thrilled today to have Katy Blevins up on the site. Read on for her advice regarding finding balance in our busy lives as moms.
As a busy single mom with a full time career, work/life balance often felt like this mythical unicorn that only existed in my dreams. There were never going to be enough hours in the day for me to get everything done. I was never going to kick back and relax, fully rested and satisfied with the pace of the day. That was just the nature of the beast, every working mom’s reality, right? “A mother’s job is never done.”Somewhere along my frenzied way, I realized that balance wasn’t actually an impossibility. It was a choice. I was living the life that I had created; a result of a series of choices I had made and continued to make every day. Balance was definitely an option – just one I hadn’t picked up to that point. Once I claimed responsibility for my role in the chaos, I set my mind to fixing my mistake and creating a new life for my family.
How do you do it? Chaos began with a series of steps in the wrong direction, so it would stand to reason that order begins with a series of steps in the right direction. The real first step was forgiving myself. Acknowledging that I had veered off course at some point and lost sight of my ideals. Accepting that the path back to a more balanced life would be a journey – I’d have good days and bad. The next step was defining what balance looked like for me and for my family. I had to pick a destination to know where I was headed. So I created a family mission statement.
Step 1: Visualize the Life You Want
It’s pretty easy to recognize when we’re living the life we don’t want; but what does the life we do want look like? The biggest piece to this part of the puzzle is embracing a new definition for success. When it comes to work/life balance, success doesn’t mean your bank account balance or income tax earnings. True success reflects your quality of life, which for us working moms should mean a balanced life that is professionally adventurous while also (and most importantly) fully present at home.
With that new ideal in mind, close your eyes and imagine the life that you want. What do you see? Who is with you? What are you doing? Start visualizing what is most important to you and claim it. For me, my vision is being the mom who gets her kids off the bus. A simple picture, but a powerful statement for the balanced life that I dream about.
Step 2: Reprioritize and Set Boundaries
Once you have your vision firmly in place, it’s time to make some tough decisions. Consider everything going on in your life – PTA president, soccer mom, CEO, carpool driver, Bunco hostess, top sales rep, church choir leader, animal shelter volunteer, anything – and write it down. Consider your available time. Now ask yourself, is there anything on your list that is not helping you move towards the life you visualized in step one? Is there anything on your list you only do because you feel pressured by someone else?
As we take another step towards a family mission statement, we have to be ok with letting some things go. It’s an honest and difficult lesson, especially at the start. Learning when and how to say no will become a crucial tool in our arsenal as we commit to maintaining balance and order for ourselves and our families. We have to confidently remove the obstacles keeping us from that life we envision and weigh future choices against a stringent checklist before we commit.
Step 3: Write Down Your Family Mission Statement
Now that you’ve paved the way for progress, it’s time to commit. Your family mission statement should be a reflection of everyone important in your life, not just you. Your family mission statement is not a set of rules and regulations. It’s the foundation that upholds the life you visualized and the fence that protects that life and your family.
My Family Mission Statement:
Our family will always be our top priority. We will always be our biggest supporters, loudest cheerleaders, and most loyal encouragers. We will love each other, laugh often and challenge each other to grow with strong hearts that value and love others as much as we value and love ourselves.
What does your family mission statement look like? Did you write it down? Now, let’s make sure it happens!
Step 4: Create Your Support System
It goes without saying that a mission statement you never act upon is a useless exercise. How do make sure you stay on course? Developing a strong support system that holds you accountable to your commitment is key to long-term balance and success (quality of life success!). Take active measures to put your new mission statement “out there.” Don’t keep it a big secret. How can you do that?
- Post it. You’ve written your family mission statement down. Don’t tuck it away in a book or drawer. Hang it up, loud and proud! Put it somewhere you and your family will see it every, single day. Preferably right at the start!
- Share it. Are your kids young? Share your new family mission statement with a friend, business partner, trusted mentor or family member. Let them know you’re taking steps towards a more balanced life and ask them to let you know if they see you going astray.
- Support it. Encourage others in your life to create their own family mission statements. Supporting them in their journey towards work/life balance will help you hold true to yours. Consider joining a group of like-minded women that can relate to your personal walk and travel with you. Create your tribe!
Us busy working moms will always be busy. But let’s collectively take a step towards the busy we choose, not the busy that happens. You’ll probably find that creating a family mission statement is incredibly liberating. Defining your limits and setting healthy boundaries can be a huge relief. Embrace change and take control of your future. Claim the life that you want for you and your family today and stick with it tomorrow. By reading this post, you’ve decided to make balance an option. You’ve taken your first step away from chaos and your first step back towards your family. Congratulations!
Katy Blevins is co-founder of The Modern Femme Movement, a community platform redefining success on a global scale by equipping female entrepreneurs with the tools to discover a meaningful life that is both professionally adventurous and fully present at home. Katy and her long-time business partner, Somer Chambley, work closely with small business owners from all walks of life, via their sister company, The Hampton Roads Creative, to help restore their energy, focus and strategy in the social media arena by clearly defining their purpose and unique go-to-market voice. Katy is a working mom to twin toddlers, so is no stranger to the crazy that is developing a successful business while also maintaining some semblance of order at home. You can follow her tips and tricks to a more manageable life on her personal blog, Chaos & Kiddos. Catch up with her on Twitter @chaosandkiddos.