Another look at having it all!
Freud said, “Love and work, work and love, that’s all there is.”
Having It All – The Juggle Minus the Struggle
Who are we to question what Freud said and what we already know? So, without question, 3Plus hosted a live online Mini-Coaching event about having it all, love and work, work and love. We assume the juggle. Our aim is to reduce the struggle. Dorothy Dalton, career strategist and 3Plus co-founder, led the session. Liz O’Donnell, mom, PR executive, and author of the newly published Mogul, Mom, & Maid: The Balancing Act of the Modern Woman, was our featured guest. I offered counsel on managing relationships – romantic partnerships, spousal units, (hat tip to @RoyAtkinson’s self named spousal unit for that term) children, and family – while enabling career goals.
Participants from Greece, Paris, Brussels, Silicon Valley, Dubai, and elsewhere joined us. They, and we, are women who are doing and having it all. We’re juggling, and struggling some of the time, probably too much of the time, especially when our relationships include children. We are often exhausted. We usually feel guilty where-ever we are, because of where and with whom we are not. We have a mile long list of shoulds and an equally long list of sorries.
For 90 minutes, however, we shared insights, AHAs, and solutions for managing career and relationships. Participants shared their gems, and we decided to share them forward with you. Please do the same for your friends, colleagues, partners, spousal units and children. This is how we can reduce the struggle factor, together.
Getting Your Family On Board
As a new school year approached, Isabel’s husband suggested an all family meeting. The agenda? What do we want our lives to be like this year? The couple’s two children, between ages 8 – 14, were given a few questions to consider in advance. During the meeting the family discussed the assignment of household tasks, homework schedules, meal choices, leisure time activities, and vacations. The children were eager to choose their daily household tasks, homework schedules and limits on screen time. It gets better. Five months later, they’re proud to meet all commitments, every day. When Isabel steps in the door after work, she asks about and praises each child for what they’ve done. Imagine the wonderful tone this sets for the family’s evening together.
Getting to No through Yes
Do you have a hard time saying no? Liz advises making clear decisions about what you say “Yes” to. “No” becomes easier when you start with your Yes List. Determine the 3-4 life activities that matter most to you. Focus on the areas that feed your whole self, the ones that energize you to do and be more. Liz’s Yes List includes spending time with her two children, her creative work in PR and her writing. Saying “Yes” to these is a delight. It also drives saying “No” to being a school volunteer, because it takes away from her top three priorities. Naming, better yet, writing down your top 3-4 areas of priority, creates a structure, permission, and reminder of where your “No”s belong.
They’re Still Bananas
Swap perfection for time and enjoyment. Follow the example of Sophie Vandebroek, CTO Xerox and mentor for Boston’s 3Plus Mini-Mentoring event. Her husband’s unexpected death left Sophie a young widow and mother of 3 young children. Enter the Nanny and d-e-l-e-g-a-t-i-o-n. Food shopping, a task Sophie once drove to perfection, became the Nanny’s domain. Sophie’s AHA moment arrived when she noticed her children eating overly ripe near rotted bananas that Nanny purchased. AHA! Whether over or under-ripe, they’re still bananas with nutritional value in tact. So whatever your perfections, remember they may not be the bananas you would buy but they’re still bananas. Mission accomplished.