10 working habits that help me be a good mom
I hear about the working mom v stay at home mom ‘wars’ but I’ve personally never really seen much of it. Maybe I’m just reading in the wrong spots. Anyway, yesterday I was thinking about my summer plans and realized I was waiting on some mystical ‘approval’ for the plan. Where is this from? I thought about it for a minute and I’m weirdly stuck waiting for approval from upper management when in reality I am the end of the line for decisions. Then I started thinking about other business habits that translate well into stay at home motherhood.
1. I’m ok waiting for things. For years I worked with budgets and constraints and planning so flipping it onto myself was easy cheese. At work I seldom got anything I asked for unless I went to the mat for it and jumped through the corporate hoops. (nothing against my most recent employer, it is a business standard as far as I can tell). This basically trained me into not wanting frivolous things. Now that I’m home, if I come up with a project I more or less have to convince myself that it is a good thing to spend time and money on and in some odd internal corporate clock I tend to come up with a project every 6 months and 1 big one a year. At my last birthday I realized I had not purchased a new article of clothing for myself in over 2 years and so I got 3 shirts and I think I’m good for a while. Work brought me a greater sense of the whole rather than my individual needs and that translates well into a family.
2. I’m cool with not spending a ton. Budget. I was not even in finance and the word ‘budget’ would still dominate 50% of all work conversations. I know how to work in the corporate system right down to listing every possible pie-in-the-sky requirements because I know someone will ask me to ‘cut 20%” so you need to have some fluff to trim. I could also hang with the best in the ‘not in the budget’ world and denying things because part of an art form, one that is still with me. I’m no martyr, but, I also like to see savings and/or investment rather than things. I unconsciously balance out spending, I level load my budget and I’m also lucky enough to have a household income that covers things nicely. It is 100% easier to budget here because I don’t have to defend the money or horde the money because nobody is trying to get it! We talk about things and usually I’m the one that needs to be convinced so we balance out well.
3. Deal hunting is in my blood. Wow, many of these are money related, but that is what I did. The every constant mandate to ‘do more with less’ and ‘trim 20%’ is part of my standard operating procedure. Not worrying about constantly cutting the budget has given me a sense of freedom but a good deal is still sweet! I don’t coupon like a champ, but, I have a cost index in my brain (and my phone) so I know what is a good deal and what is not. Cost benefit analysis works on cereal as well as any business item. Referring back to #1, it is nice that I don’t have to convince 12 levels of bureaucracy that this whatever is a good deal.
4. Cost and Quality balance could be it any of bullets above but I’m giving it one all by itself. I was very convinced that poor quality costs more. This is a life lesson! One of the reasons I will stick with Melaleuca is that it is a very good cost v quality balance! There are times that the less expensive thing is just as good and then there are times that it will bite you. 10 years of business has given me a good gut feel.
5. Waiting is not a problem. I was constantly waiting for someone to do something. There are tons of techniques to move things along, inspire, threaten, bribe, good example and they all work as well on toddlers as they do on coworkers. However, you still need the ability to just wait sometimes and good things happen like little girls learning how to put on her own shoes because I give her the time to figure it out.
6. Sometimes I don’t like the people I’m with but I’m still with them. You always have the choice to be miserable or not. I had coworkers that annoyed me until I would find the best way to ‘be’ with them and the same goes with kids and mom friends. If you are looking to surround yourself with perfection I’m not sure where you plan on going. I learned early on to find the fun in everyone and that has helped me out all the time.
7. Confidence and attitude count almost more than actual actions. Not saying fake it, but, things go easier if you don’t dwell on your fears or shortcomings. Learned in business, used here daily – kids smell weakness….
8. Poop is universal. I used to like working because I didn’t have to wipe literal bottoms. However, I did plenty to clean up figurative poo at work. You can’t build happiness because ‘things are worse elsewhere’ but you can realize that there are just things that stink in all situations and you deal and move on.
9. Timing is important. Being on time is imperative in business and it really is in all parts of life. Gaining the ability to plan the variables to get to whatever on time is a skill that I used all the time at work. The converse is true too, you need to know when it is worth it to blow a timeline for something important. Mom’s know about the magic nap window… acknowledging the variables is a big part of good time management and some days I win and some days I don’t.
10. Self motivated. This phrase is in nearly every job descriptions (as well as ‘other duties as required’) but at work you are technically motivated by a paycheck and the penalties for not doing something is slim. Moms are the real self motivated ones. The strength of will to clean something, prep something, organize, fit in one little thing during the moments of down time when you also want to sleep, candy crush, or stare into space is monstrous. I was always self motivated for real and it shows now that seriously, nobody is motivating me to do anything.
I have more in my head but I’ve hit my word limit for the day. Don’t want to use up all the words (and the baby woke up).
Any other work/life lessons?