Having kids at home all the time during this unprecedented time of self isolation due to the Coronavirus can be really stressful. How will you get your own work done? How will you keep them from fighting? How will you keep them entertained? How will you keep yourself from not losing your mind?!?!
Fear not… THERE IS ALWAYS HOPE.
YOU WILL PREVAIL. But it does require a few things:
1) A MINDSET SHIFT
…instead of this time being one of stress and worry…
…we could look back and say that I learned something about myself, and about my family and I came out the other end STRONGER.
For this to happen, we need to manage our minds, choose hope, and have faith. We need to get out of negativity and FIND THE HOPE.
2) A SKILL SHIFT
To do the above, we need to increase our skills. Our skills in parenting, our skills in communication…
…and our skills in scheduling.
As a former homeschooling mom (I guess we are all homeschooling moms now!) of 8 children ages ten and under, I have. a unique perspective on time management. I believe regardless of our situation and available resources, we can ensure our PRIORITIES are managed, and the things we need in life to THRIVE can be integrated into a daily schedule, no matter how many children you have got at home.
So I have created a resource for you to help you grow in your ability to schedule your time, so that you can walk out of this Coronavirus scare with grace and confidence that you, and your family not just survived… but thrived! Just enter your info below to have the resource delivered straight to your inbox.
December 24, 2019: We had all kinds of people over at our house for Christmas Eve. It was glorious, I was in my element, I was so happy (and even more happy I found something in my closet that fit and I felt good in, LOL). The entire night though, I was feeling all kinds of pain. I chalked it up to cooking up a storm, being on my feet etc. Baby wasn’t due for 3 more weeks, so no way this was labour.
December 25 – December 30, 2019: All kinds of pain EVERYWHERE. A few times I would have to pause a conversation because it was so uncomfortable. But again, baby isn’t due for 3 more weeks so no way this is labour, riiiiiiiight?
January 1, 2020: I recorded my first podcast episode (DID I TELL YOU I HAVE A PODCAST NOW?!?!?) on the floor of my guest room office. I legit did not think I could get off the floor because of the pain. But there’s no way this is labour. ZERO WAY.
January 2, 2020: I am 100% in labour. BUT I AM IN FULL DENIAL BECAUSE I AM NOT DUE FOR THREE MORE WEEKS. But essentially…
4pm: Oooh I think I peed my pants… wait, what is that? Proceeds to google mucous plug because 8 children later I still am not 100% sure what one looks like. But there’s no way I am in labour.
6pm: My niece from Canada is visiting and we have a lovely catch up. I go to the bathroom and there is definitely all kinds of stuff going on down there (and of course more Google- this time what is a bloody show again???), now combined with pain. But there’s no way I am in labour.
8pm: I causally say to my niece, maybe have your phone on just in case I do go into labour tonight and you can be here with the other kids- but there’s no way I am in labour.
9pm: My husband is pouring himself a drink but pauses, and says- maybe I shouldn’t drink anymore incase you think you are in labour? No way I am in labour I tell him, as I proceed to google how many hours between mucous plug or bloody show labour actually begins. I find one random site that says it could be days (ignoring all the ones that say it could be hours) and tell him to have a drink! Pretty sure he gave me side eye and decided better to be safe and maybe let’s go to bed early just incase.
10pm: I decide this is the perfect time to watch as much of the Die Hard movie franchise as I can. In between all the machine gun antics I finally realize I cannot get into a single comfortable position while lying down so finally…
11pm: Yippie kiyay (LOL) I realize LISA YOU HAVE BEEN IN LABOUR ALL DAY AND HAVE BEEN IN DENIAL. Baby is coming TONIGHT.
So we text all the people, I wake up Josh who is passed out, I pack a bag and all that and we are on the road by 12am…
12am: In the van, experiencing the most intense contractions I have ever experienced. I remember closing my eyes, managing the pain as best I could, feeling like the contractions were lasting FOREVER, thinking, it’s OK we are almost there, only opening my eyes to realize we had only been driving for 5 minutes and had not even left my town yet. The hospital is 40 minutes away so this should be interesting.
12:45am: I check in, and spent an agonizing few minutes in the public waiting area where an entire group of people are standing watching me stand in the most ridiculous positions and moaning all kinds of sounds reminiscent of young cattle. Legit, I sounded like a cow.
12:50am: They ushered me into a bathroom where I was told to charge- and oh my goodness I remember thinking I am legit going to die right here from this contraction in a SW Florida hospital bathroom- tell my mom where to find me- the pain from the contractions were so intense. And I could not for the life of me figure out how to get the hospital gown on it had all these foreign snaps and ties- and let’s just say it took my 6′ tall husband, and a sweet 5′ tall nurse, to peel my half dressed body off the floor of the bathroom- I remember the nurse saying, “you have got to get up, you can’t have a baby in the bathroom dear!”
12:55am: I am on an exam table by some sheer miracle, thinking, it’s ok- I can definitely still get an epidural. There’s all kinds of time.
And I will never forget what the nurse said to me next:
“Well, you are at 10cm. It’s time to have the baby NOW! No epidural needed!”
Now I need to pause this what I hope is entertaining linear story telling to tell you something: I have had seven births all with an epidural. 7 glorious times, I allowed an anesthesiologist to legit puncture my spine, so I could not feel labour pains during childbirth. 7 times, I was too afraid to experience pain I opted for medication.
And I was your classic commercial for epidurals during delivery! I was smiling, I had lipstick on, I was joking with the nurses and doctors that this is like pilates! Engage the core! Giving birth felt effortless.
So somewhere in my motherhood journey, I developed the story of there is no way you can do a natural birth. NO WAY.
1:20am: In one glorious, powerful, most incredible push, Colleen came out. And my life was changed forever.
Here’s the thing I really want to tell you- and this will probably need it’s own separate post / podcast / youtube / all the things. My life was changed forever not only because we became a family of 8- but because I did something that I never thought I could do. I did something- a natural birth- that made me ask the question: if you just did something that 7 times previously you elected not to do because of fear, what else are you too afraid to do right now that might actually be possible????
From left to right: Phoebe, John, Rose, Leo, Colleen, James (on my lap), Joseph, me and Evelyn.
We are so excited for baby Colleen, and you better believe me that there is much more of this story to be told as I continue to process the experience of giving birth naturally. I learned a lot about pain management, I learned a lot about what our thoughts do to our bodies and how much power our thoughts have on outcomes in our lives.
I am overwhelmed by the love we have received from all of you. It has been so much fun to share the joy. Grateful, so grateful, for this experience.
2019 was the year I finally released my book The Possibility Mom: How to be a Great Mom and Pursue Your Dreams at the Same Time. But fun fact: I signed the contract for the book in 2017 and it took me 2 years to write. And this is not because I am a slow writer- read on…
The book took so long to get into the universe because I took no action. And I took no action because I was afraid. I was afraid of what people were going to think. I was afraid people would judge me, and judge my life choices. So I did nothing, and the goal of being a published author sat as an unmet goal for 2 years.
Maybe you have write a book on your resolution list. Or maybe you have lose ten pounds, or finish decorating the living room, or exercise more, and are frustrated the same things remain on the list year after year.
What separates goals as just ideas to life changing accomplishments is one thing: ACTION. Simple, small, steps that will get you towards the goal, done consistently, and done with intention.
If this is the year you finally want to take action, I want to help. I am running a TOTALLY FREE challenge in my Facebook Group The Possibility Mom Success Circle. In this challenge, I will encourage you to make and actually keep your goals with my action driven formula and the support and accountability of other goal chasing mamas in my private group. Everyday in January, I will be cheering you on, helping you when you get stuck, and sharing the hacks that have helped me build a business and raise soon to be 8 kids at the same time.
If you want 2020 to be the best year of your life (and why shouldn’t it be?!?!) join me. You have nothing to lose, and incredible things to gain. Just enter your email below to join the #makeitandkeepit 2020 challenge with #thepossibilitymom .
Earlier this month I had the amazing opportunity to appear on Hallmark’s daytime show Home and Family. This is a channel we don’t get up here in Canada, but it is a wildly popular one in the US- and it was amazing to spend time with the hosts Cameron and Debbi and oh my word was it great fun.
For a little behind the scenes look at my experience, check out this video below!
A few weeks ago, I was so fortunate to speak at The BabyTime Show (now called The Baby and Toddler Show) here in Toronto. It was so much fun. I had an amazing weekend where I partnered with a few brands for my booth / live stage presentation, and I connected with several moms in one-on-one time management strategy consultations. So incase you missed it, I wanted to share with you some of the tips that I shared in my talk: Time Management Strategies for Busy Moms.
Here's the thing about time: we all have the exact same amount of it, and how we use it will determine the happiness level of our lives. And while we cannot control how much time we have, we can control how we spend it. Here are my essential tips for managing time well in the business of motherhood:
1. CAST VISION FOR THE FUTURE
My first time management strategy is to cast vision of where you want to go in life. If we don't know where we're going, it doesn't matter to me how many time management strategies you use. You might be using them in the wrong places. The question you want to ask yourself is if you could live life like the most ideal version of yourself, what would that look like? And there are a couple ways that you can do this. One way I love is the rocking chair test that Tony Robbins offers at a lot of his seminars. Picture yourself at the age of 80, sitting in a rocking chair, reviewing your past 80 years.
What are you proud of? What did you do that you feel so incredibly grateful that you did? What regrets do you have if you had any? What do you wish you could have told your younger self?
Another exercise I really like is one that I found in the book Living Forward by Daniel Harkavy and Michael Hyatt. It's the exercise of writing your own obituary, looking at the end of your life, and reflecting upon how you are going to be remembered.
These exercises can help us to have a more clear, and intentional way of living. I really believe in my heart of hearts that a mom will be most happy if she can have a stance of where she is going.
2. WHAT CAN YOU DELEGATE?
We cannot do it all. And we definitely cannot do it all at the same time, and do it well. So I believe that a really important skill for a mom to learn is how to delegate. There are so many things in a mom's life that can be delegated. Can you break up who does school drop off and pick up? Could you delegate cleaning of your house to a cleaning service? Can you delegate who plans and prepares meals?
One of the ways I do this for my little guys is with Love Child Organicsprepared pouches. These pouches are so convenient. Especially with the holidays approaching, it's so easy for me to be entertaining guests and conveniently give my children organic and nutritious snacks and meals without me preparing it myself.
The Simple Firsts (available in apple, pear and prune for babies just starting solids) and Super Blends (available in 15 flavours, my kids are currently obsessed with the Banana, Carrot, Mangoe + Coconut blend) are all in convenient, resealable pouches that are perfect for small appetites. They can be safely closed back up again, popped in the fridge, and used later for the next meal or snack.
While I would love to say I had time to make my own organic baby food, these prepared pouches help me feed my kids in a really convenient way.
3. WHAT CAN YOU AUTOMATE?
This is a little bit different than delegation, but also along the same lines. For example, if you do something the same, or similar every week, how can you automate that so that you're not working so hard every time? The way I do it for grocery shopping is through a click and collect service where via an online platform you're able to literally use the exact same shopping list and with one button simply schedule when you pick up your groceries. It takes so much effort out of that exercise. Additionally, there are a ton of ways I use automation in my business. I use an email automation platform that allows me to collect emails, bill clients, even schedule appointments, all without me having to give any attention to it.
And have I ever told you about my obsession with Uber Eats?! Sometimes, a mom needs an extra pair (or a hundred pair) of hands to get life done. When I want a night off from cooking, Uber Eats delivers food from all my favourite neighbourhood restaurants- and there's no searching for where my kids placed my wallet, or where I stashed my purse when the delivery person arrives at the door- payment is completely automated via PayPal, including the tip!
With online shopping, and the holidays approaching, I have to be honest, sometimes I am doing it with a baby on my hip, a computer on my lap, my phone in my hand, and my wallet no where within arm's reach. So one of the ways I automate my online purchases is using Paypal. With Paypal, you have your credit card number saved within its online platform and it makes your online purchases literally reduced to a simple swipe and click. It's a way that you can automate your online purchases, all from the palm of your hand, often without having the leave the house!
Paying with PayPal saves on time and lets me get back to enjoying my family. Many of my favourite apps (Starbucks!) offer PayPal as a payment option which I love because it makes it easy to pay, it’s secure and I can do it right from my mobile phone.
For the full run down on how PayPal can help automate your holiday errands easily and conveniently, click here.
4. WHAT CAN YOU BATCH?
My next tip for time management is what in your life can you batch? So batching is a description for essentially taking similar activities and doing them all at the same time. So for example, I used to record one YouTube video a week and I would set up the camera on Thursday, get it all worked out, figure out my lighting, figure out my technology, often fail at some aspect of the technology, record my video, and then do it all again the next week. And it was always taking so much time because I would have to set everything up every single time. Now, I batch shoot several videos in one day.
Another example of batch creating is cooking all your meals on Sunday evening for example. You can create so many meals, and stick them in your freezer, and when you think about it, you've already got all the utensils out, you are already chopping, you're already dirtying your pots and bowls, and the process is so much more streamlined.
5. WHAT CAN YOU DELETE?
Another really important time management saving tip is what in your life can you delete? This is a hard one for me. I really hate disappointing people. I really hate saying no, especially to things that I care about. But what I think is really important to remember, and this is very much in Greg Mckeown's book Essentialism, is saying no to something is actually saying yes to something else. Saying no to something is actually saying yes to something else. It can be really hard to draw hard boundaries, but I believe if a mom wants to live her most fulfilled life, she can't do it all. She definitely can't do it all at the same time. So we have to have the courage and the strategy to say no to certain things so we can say yes to other things like our families, our own personal goals and dreams.
The show was so much fun, and if you go onto my instagram, check out the highlight from the show. I've got lots more things on there including products that I bought at the show, sneak peaks of the other vendors, as well as a full tour of my booth. My booth was outfitted by Buy Buy Baby and I had this really cool electric fireplace with Dimplex's Opti-myst technology. And I am grateful to The Electric Fireplace Shop who came and set the unit up for me. And you can see all of that by watching the highlight in my instagram.
So tell me, which of these tips resonates most with you, and which of these tips do you think that you could implement today? Let me know in the comments below!
Special thanks to Love Child Organics and PayPal for partnering with me on this blog post. I work hard to ensure the brands I represent help to make a mom's life easier, and enjoyable, and I make it a policy to work with brands that I personally use and enjoy myself.
The juggle, that is motherhood, is real. Between laundry, dishes, diapers and nap times, how do you fit in a date night, exercise, or anything else without losing your mind?!? We as moms juggle so much!
But what I have learned in almost 11 years of business, and seven children later, is that it is 100% possible to be a great mom AND follow your dreams at the same time. It takes planning, strategy, and a hard look at your priorities, but in the end it is so possible to do well.
I’m excited to once again to be speaking about the topic of work-life balance and how to design your life so you can be a great mom and follow your dreams at Toronto’s BabyTime Show!
Come hear me share my Time Saving Strategies for Busy Moms on Friday November 16 at 2:30pm, and Saturday November 17 at 11:30am at Toronto’s BabyTime Show.
In addition to speaking, I am again going to be offering FREE STRATEGY SESSIONS FOR MOMS. Whether you are pregnant, or juggling life with little ones in tow, join me at the original baby show for everything prenatal to preschool. We can chat all things strategy, from time management, home management, ideas for a new business, or how to have a business or a blog with small kids in the mix, come join me at booth 268. Book your time with me here!