by guest blogger Stacy DeBroff, founder and CEO of Mom Central Consulting
Somewhere between pouring cereal, packing lunches, running carpool, scheduling play dates, juggling meetings and conference calls, cleaning up after the dog, shopping for science fair supplies, driving the in-laws to the doctor, picking up groceries, throwing the lasagna in the oven, waiting for soccer practice to end, and listening to our partners' latest work woes, most moms realize that something has to give.
And, unfortunately, it typically turns out to be us. Somehow, our yoga class, our book club, our lunch date with a college friend, our annual check-up, our hair appointment, and our scrapbooking time always appear expendable, while we'll drive our 4-year-old through a blizzard during rush hour so she doesn't have to miss her first peewee pottery class.
When did moms begin to believe our needs didn’t matter? Or, looking back a generation or two where Moms did it all—without help from cell phones, e-mail, microwaves and coffee on every corner—have we ever thought our priorities mattered?
But we need to remember that we do matter. And now we'll have some help remembering. Mother's Day marks the beginning of this year's National Women’s Health Week—an effort of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Office on Women's Health to help encourage women to keep their health-related issues top of mind.
While, unfortunately, we can’t add a few extra hours into each day, we can at least embrace some of the ideas below to help us begin to take our rightful place in the front of the line.
- Schedule, Schedule, Schedule: There's no amount of time we can’t fill with our family's activities, and if we don't add our priorities into the mix, they simply won’t happen. So while we're painstakingly inserting everything from the lacrosse tournament to the Brownie Bridging Ceremony onto the family calendar, we need to remember to add our Pilates class and highlights appointment —in ink!
- Light a Candle: Moms can always come up with a reason not to focus on our priorities—the class fee went up for yoga, the kids' favorite babysitter now prefers dating to diapers, etc., etc. So instead of cursing the darkness, we should apply the same problem-solving skills our family relies on to our own needs. No babysitter? Work with neighbors to form a babysitting co-op. Exercise class too expensive now? See if friends or coworkers want to take a brisk walk at lunch.
- Eat Like a Kid: Well, not really, but since moms know how important it is for our kids to eat healthy, we should apply the same amount of energy to our own diet. Would you let your 10-year-old eat from the vending machine because there was no time to pack a lunch? This week while drafting the family shopping list, write down some of your favorite healthy foods—and buy them!
- Ease Up on the Multitasking: It can be tough for a multitasking mom to hear that every minute doesn’t need to be productive, but it can go down a bit easier if we think about using that time for ourselves. Instead of writing holiday thank you notes while sitting through basketball practice, think about taking the hour to grab coffee with a friend.
- The Kid Test: Finally, the best way for moms to take care of ourselves continues to be for us to treat ourselves the way we treat others. So before we cancel our looming dental appointment because "things are so hectic," we need to ask ourselves, would we ever take our kids' health care so lightly?
Stacy DeBroff is founder and CEO of Mom Central Consulting. Stacy's passion is in thinking about how to connect brands and moms, and she's built a vibrant community of enthusiastic clients, influencer moms, and a smart, committed company team. Learn more at momcentralconsulting.com.