We’re familiar with the trope of ?the working mom,? the one works 9-5 at the office, comes home, throws a meal together, helps the kids with homework and after school activities, goes to sleep and then does it all again the next day.?We’re?just as familiar with ?the stay-at-home mom,? who takes care of the food, the cleaning, the tune ups, homework, chauffeuring, and everything in between. These are very brief summaries of what both types of moms do–I know it’s not possible to sum up a mom’s duties in one sentence or paragraph :)?Both are incredibly full lives and come with equal yet different levels of challenges and?amounts of fulfillment.
But one woman is left out of this scene: the work-at-home?mom. The Mama CEO.
Of course, I myself fall into this category, and my search for other Mama CEOS and likeminded support is what led?me to Megan Flatt,?consultant extraordinaire to Mama CEOs, and creator of the Mama CEO Planner System in addition to many other programs and methods that support moms who run their own businesses from home.
One of my favorite aspects of Megan’s methodology is how she prioritizes self-care for Mama CEOs, and personal goals right alongside family and business goals–and she helps you understand exactly how to make it all happen in your daily life. I interviewed Megan this week to talk specifically about self-care and how to fit it into your schedule–and actually do it. This topic comes at oh-so-clandestine of a time, as I just launched my new website, all while carting my daughters to and from Nutcracker rehearsals and still adjusting homeschooling my?younger daughter. I’m not going to lie–I’ve definitely broken my own self-care rules and allowed busyness to get in the way.
Whether you’re a CEO or a mom or both, I imagine you might be able to relate. As women, we are blessed with compassion and multitasking talents and the ability to dream big. But we also bear the burden of feeling like we need to be there for everyone all the time. And often it’s our own self-care that keeps getting pushed to the back burner. Well, Megan has a solution for that–for the “I’ll rest after the holidays, the school volunteer event, the big launch, the new product development, the ballet performance, the big game…..”
Self-Care for Mama CEOs with Megan Flatt:
Watch the video of my interview with Megan below, and scroll down for 4 takeaway tips.
Click?HERE?to subscribe to my podcast and download the audio of this interview, FREE.
When Your Business is Like Your Child
?When you have your own business, it?s like another child? a breathing, growing thing. It?s never done, just like a child doesn’t stop needing you..??After that came out of my mouth in the interview, I realized I had never thought about my business that way.
If you?aren’t a mom, you may struggle to make time for close friends, family, or romantic partners. Maybe you don’t own a business, but you’re in school or you’re devoting yourself to a volunteer project. It’s likely that you still experience “mommy guilt” when you’re doing something outside of your business, especially something nice for yourself, just for the sake of your own care or pleasure.
So how do you do all of those things, and still have time to do the self care that you know is so important?
How to do it all, PLUS?practice self-care
1. Revisit what self-care looks like
Self-care for Mama CEOs is tough. Megan brings up such a good point in our interview. She says:
?We have this idea of what self-care looks like? I’m going to drink my lemon water and I’m going to meditate, and I’m going to journal.. We have these luscious ideas of what self-care looks like, but when we’re not able to do it the way this beautiful picture in our mind is, we keep putting it off??
Right? You set your alarm to wake up early and go to the gym, but when 6am comes and you don’t want to get out of bed, or you’re delayed by a sick child or find an emergency in your inbox, there goes your self-care for the day because you’re so carefully scheduled, there’s no more room. Wouldn’t it be nicer to allow for time to?wake up later and practice yoga at home, or go for a walk during lunch, or take a dance class…
What Megan’s really?saying is, that self-care might not look the way you think it looks. She talks about how she used to put pressure on herself to get up early and drink hot water with lemon before meditating, but it never happened.?The truth? She likes checking her email in the morning. So now her routine is waking up and drinking hot water with lemon while she checks her email. Then, she can meditate later in the day.
The takeaway here is, self-care is for you, so don’t fight yourself on it. Do it in a way that makes it easy to go along with something you already like to do, or that’s already working for you.
2. When creating your schedule, ask ?How do I want to feel??
This might not seem like the most productive?business strategy, but bear with me.?We’re used to building our schedules according to what we want to get done, but try turning it around and asking how you want to feel.
Do you want to feel motivated, productive and powerful? Create a plan that reflects that.
Do you want to feel organized, relaxed and calm? Focus on systemization and work on backend things.
Want to feel more visible? This week is a good time to work on podcast interviews and social media.
By taking this approach, we not only get things done, but we feel the way we want to feel. And some weeks it will be that you want to feel productive and powerful. That is, after all, why you’re a badass Mama CEO, or whatever the badass thing that you are is.
3. Go with what you’re already doing well
?Instead of doing it how I should do it, what if I just make the next right decision for me?? asks Megan. ?By taking the pressure off myself to do it a certain way, it actually started happening.?
This goes along with rule #1. Let’s say you’re trying to be more organized, but you always leave a pile of books by your comfy chair. You could keep silently hounding yourself to put your books back on the shelf, or you could buy a beautiful basket and put it next to your chair, turning the pile into an intentional-book-carrying-basket-system.?
Stop fighting yourself, and start working within your own habits.
4. Instead of making it a task that you have to do, create your schedule so there’s more space
But when we plan for self-care, we often fall short. That time often becomes ?wild card time,? where unfinished tasks overflow in order to get finished.
Or, you plan to go to yoga at 7 on Wednesday night but when it rolls around, you just don’t feel like it.
Of course, there is some level of planning involved in maintaining an exercise routine or scheduling a massage, but here?s another thing to do: plan in some empty space.
For some people this comes naturally. For others, not so much.?I work with a lot of busy moms and CEOs in my coaching practice and for all of them, downtime is the hardest thing to plan, because they worry they’ll waste time doing nothing. I’m telling you though, here?s your solution: give yourself some time throughout the week, maybe a few hours here and there, where nothing is on your schedule. Don’t make any plans. I promise you, that time won’t get wasted.
Warning: this will involve saying no, turning down plans for lunch or requests for favors. But don’t think of it as saying no, think of it as saying yes to whatever activity or task you are going to want or need to do in that moment.?
When we start flexing our ?no? muscle, it starts to feel good. It starts to feel powerful–but it also helps say ‘yes’ more mindfully.
Megan was struggling to find a planner that worked for her, with her life of wearing all these different hats. She had mom tasks and business tasks and all the necessary things in between, but no planner really accommodated these different facets. So she created one for herself–she literally typed it up in Word and bound it at Staples.
She was working with her clients at how to be more successful at their businesses while being more present with their kids, and one day at a meeting with a client, she pulled out her planner and got the reaction of, ?WHAT is that??
Megan realized this was something that her clients could use, that they really needed. Thus, the Mama CEO Planner was born.
Her planner isn’t just a place to write down what you need to do, but it?s this whole system of why are you doing it, how is it going to get done, what’s the actual strategy behind what you’re planning?
My favorite part–and I think the key part–is that it doesn’t compartmentalize your motherhood from your CEO tasks. Because you’re always both. This planner helps make self-care for Mama CEOs a reality.
It?s not about being a robot, but it?s about being realistic and structuring your schedule. Freedom comes from structure–think about yourself like bamboo, whose ability to grow tall and resist strong winds comes from it?s flexibility.
Megan’s planner and planning system has radically changed how I tackle being a mom and CEO, and I wanted to share it with you today in case it might do the same for you!
Get Megan’s Mama CEO Planner System HERE.
About Megan Flatt:
Megan?is?a business growth strategist, but what she?really?does is empower Mama CEOs to create fulfilling lives and set a stellar example for their children.?As a mom and a business owner, she herself?wants to feel successful in BOTH roles:?to be actively actively present for her?kids, and build a business she’s?passionate about. Her mission is to help Mama CEOs achieve the same. Learn more about Megan HERE.