Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Who needs sleep? I DO!

I think lack of sleep is one of the biggest challenges moms in leadership face.

Regardless of whether a kid was up sick during the night, you had a presentation to get ready for which kept you up late, you laid awake pondering your next business idea, or your husband's snoring kept you up, the reality is that no matter how many hours of shut eye you get, the next day you still have to get up and function as a mother and a business leader or owner.

Despite my own children sleeping through the night, kicking the dog out of the room so I don't hear her active dreams, and my husband's snoring becoming non-existent due to him dropping 20 pounds (Thank God!), I have not been sleeping well lately. I am tired of trying to figure out why and trying to figure out what the magic "thing" is that I need to be doing (or not doing). I am just plain tired.

And yet, this morning I was up at the crack of dawn to get my little girl dressed as Cinderella for her school costume party and to prepare for an important obligation to facilitate a staff retreat for a client of mine. Simply, these things needed to be done. Tired or not.

So what is my point here? I am not even sure...I am just so tired.

But I guess I just wanted to take moment to acknowledge that there are times when we need to slow down, listen to our bodies, say no to certain things in order to take care of ourselves, and do what we can to get more sleep because it is so important to our health and happiness.

And I also want to acknowledge that when you are in the role of an executive mother, there are also those times when you just have to dig in, find the energy from some deeper Source, get as centered as you possibly can, do what needs to be done, and trust that it will be good enough.

For me, today was a day when I needed to do the latter. However, I have Thursday penciled into my calendar as day to catch my breath...and hopefully some ZZZZZZZZZZZZs.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

A Blend Like No Other

So the new buzz word these days seems to be work/life "blend" rather then work/life "balance". I actually like the word blend and can see how it's definitely a more accurate description of what I strive for within my own life.

It's not just a blend between work and the rest of life, it's a blend between caring enough about things and not too much. It's a blend between being present and being effective. It's a blend between my professional self and my personal self. It's a blend between functioning from the heart and functioning from the head.

Well, last week I had an interesting "blend" of business owner and mother as I attempted to have some professional photos taken that I will be using on my new web site and various promotional pieces. I had the photographer, Ashley Forrette (whom I highly recommend), lined up for weeks, the outfits picked out, and the expectation that this would be a quick and painless process since she was coming to my house and there would be no distractions.

It just so happens that on that day, my daughter needed to stay home sick. She was on the mend, but she deserved a day of rest and I thought, what the heck, I've only got a little photo shoot.

When Ashley arrived I my daughter was just finishing her breakfast, and although I was dressed and ready to go, I was surrounded by peanut butter fingers and a needy child. As Ashley got her stuff set-up in the backyard, I attempted to get my girl cleaned up and distracted so we could get going with the shoot.

I kid you not when I tell you that THE moment I sat down in the chair for Ashely to start taking pictures, my three-year-old came to the backdoor and announced that she needed to go poopy.

Embarrassing? Yes. Reality of a mom? Yes.

Now, my kid can go to the bathroom herself, but for that type of...um...activity, she still needs some assistance with the...um...clean-up. Usually, a trip to the bathroom for this type of activity takes my daughter less then two minutes.

Not today.

As I stood in the bathroom tapping my toe asking her, "are done yet? now? how about now?" I could not help but laugh at the timing and the reality of the blend between work and motherhood.

After what seemed like an eternity, we finished up in the bathroom, I stuck in the movie Aladdin and I didn't hear from the little one again until I walked in the room after the shoot.

I am a big believer and teacher of decreasing the multi-tasking so that you can be more present for the things that are important to you. But let's face it. Some days you have to do a little extra "balancing" and "blending" in order to make the executive mom thing work.

Interested in how the photos turned out? I'll post a few later and let you vote which one you think I should use on the web site!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

An Unfortunate Reminder

I just got word that the father of one of my step-daughter's best friends died earlier this week.

Wow. Talk about a blow. Talk about a WAKE UP CALL.

My mind can't help but wander to the heartache that his wife of ten years must be going through. Or how his 8 year-old and 5 year-old daughters are doing.

He was only a few weeks older then my own husband. Unbelievable.

It's times like these that zap me back to what's really important.

It is reminder to:
  • Tell your spouse and children how much they mean to you.
  • Take the time and effort to stay connected to your spouse and not let the relationship run on "auto-pilot".
  • Check in with yourself and ask, "Where am I settling? If I die tomorrow, what would I regret? What changes can I make today to start living a more passionate, authentic life?"
  • Make sure that you have talked through the unthinkable with your spouse and have taken the actions that will support either one of you if, God forbid, something like this happens in your family.
  • Focus on all that you are grateful for and all that is good in the world.
  • Choose to be present and engaged with those around you. STOP multi-tasking and consciously BE in the moment--those are the moments that you, your spouse and your children will remember.