Karen Stott » | Sharing my mess, my hope & my journey cultivating an Intentional Home

How do you do it all? 50 Tips for the Work at Home Mom!

Sometime within our oldest child Ava’s first year we began down the road of starting our own business.  That may seem like crazy timing but shortly after she was born I quickly realized that I needed something, outside of the home, with adult interaction, to keep me sane.  And photography fit perfectly.  I could work when I wanted, with who I wanted and still be home with our precious baby girl.  Well doesn’t that just seem perfectly ideal.  It didn’t take me very long to realize that being a Stay at Home mom was the hardest job on the planet.    Oh wait… let’s add a business to that mix.   Okay now…. being a WORK AT HOME MOM was the hardest job on the planet!!!! For real!

This new quest guaranteed me of Mommy guilt, emotional breakdowns and constant stress.  At least so I thought.  I battled this back and forth for years.  Trying to do it all and failing and almost everything.  I wanted to quit my business.  For good.  The cost was just. too. great.

I lost myself.  Almost lost my marriage and was not a good Mama in the midst of everything.

I couldn’t do it all.  And that was gut wrenching for me.  It took me many years and thousands of tears to realize that you know what… I couldn’t do it all, but that’s okay.  Because I can do what matters most.

Along the way, friends, family and blog readers have asked me time and time again how I do it all.  And while I am far from perfect, I have never ran a business without being a Mom, so I do have a bit of experience with it and the different stages you go through.  So I decided to put together this little guide for my Mommy friends.  We are in this together!  And I hope by the end you can feel a little better about yourself, breathe a little deeper and know that there is light at the end of the tunnel.

Here we go! Oh and if this post turns out to be helpful for you, feel free to Pin this image ^^^^

1. Take a deep breath.  YOU are doing an Incredible Job!  No.. stop doubting.  You are!  Stop being so hard on yourself.  YOUR KIDS ADORE YOU!

I’ve adopted these words from a super inspiring Work at Home Mommy Emily Ley.   I am over the moon ecstatic because Emily will be sharing some of her amazingness with us this fall when she speaks at the Pursuit 31 Conference for Christian Creatives!  But squealing aside, I first met Emily while she was pregnant with Brady over 2 years ago.  I’ve admired her as a Woman, Mommy and business woman ever since.  She is constantly saying….  Grace not Perfection.  Grace not perfection.  And she couldn’t be more right.  There is so much pressure these days from peers, and coworkers and even FB and Pinterest for us Mamas to have everything together.  And it’s just not right.  Parenting is hard enough without this added pressure.  Today I am challenging you today to LET IT GO.   There are NO perfect parents.  Except God of course.  So don’t let people fool you.  Behind their adorable outfits of the day, stylized birthday parties and organic cooking, they all have their own struggles, just like you and I.

So my very first challenge to all of you amazingly incredible hard working Mama’s is this… No one is holding you to a standard of perfection.  No one that is, except for YOU.  So take a minute.  Shake off those impossible standards, and breathe in the Grace of God for you, your situation, and your family.    And while you are at it… stop by Emily Ley’s ADORABLE print shop and snag one of these AMAZING canvases to keep this brewing in your heart every day.  It’s next up on my wish list for my new office makeover.

Snatch up this adorable canvas HERE

2. Be a Mom & Wife First…THAT is your first calling.  CHERISH it.  Before you know it they will be grown.  So take the time NOW to invest in the lives of those God has given you to steward.  It is the greatest work you will EVER do!

3. You can do ANYTHING… but not everything.   One of my favorite quotes of all time is from Steve Jobs… he says…”People think focus means saying yes to the thing you’ve got to focus on.  But that’s not what it means at all.  It means saying no to the hundred other good ideas that there are. You have to pick carefully.  I’m actually as proud of the things we haven’t done as the things I have done.  Innovation is saying ‘no’ to 1,000 things.”

4. Take time to cultivate your children’s gifts.   Each of our children have been created and woven together so uniquely.  They have a calling.  A purpose designed for them alone.  And they have already been given everything the need to fulfill that calling.  And we as parents need to take that very seriously.  And steward it wholeheartedly.  We need to be watching, observing, praying.  We need to be on the lookout for when our 3 year old wants to watch cooking shows instead of Dora, when our kindergartner somehow knows how to read at a 3rd grade level or makes everything they can put their hands to into a set of drums.  These are their gifts taking root.   CULTIVATE them!  Involve them in what you are doing.  Teach them.   Let them help you cook dinner.  Enroll them in a local acting class.  Whatever lights their little hearts on fire.  I know it’s not always the easiest route.  It is a choice, and it takes hard work and patience.  But WOW! Can you even imagine a generation of children who have been raised to be confident in their calling.  Who’s parents have encouraged them, given them tools, and opportunities to grow in them??? WoW! I seriously have chills.  Can you picture it?

5. Pray.  A lot.  You’ll need it.

6. Define your time.. like Dave Ramsey says about money.. if you do not assign each dollar a place, it will get wasted.  Same goes for time.  Assign your time!  We have set work hours and are VERY strict with them.   We have them posted on the signature of our emails so that all of our clients know when we are working too.  This helps me stay accountable because I know I need to only email back during work hours or I’m giving them the wrong impression.  If you need help thinking of some for you, just figure out what time it is easiest to have help with your children.  Our work hours have changed numerous times over the years as our children grow and go through stages.  Currently our work hours are Mon-Wed-Frid from 9 am -2 pm so I can refocus before I pick them up from school.

Speaking of Dave Ramsey… get your finances in order.  If you are struggling with this.. like we have for years, his Financial Peace University is AMAZING!!! Okay.. off soapbox… that one was for free.

7. Be PRESENT!  For the first year or so, working with a child at home really is doable since they sleep a lot and aren’t as mobile.   But wow.. once they start moving things change.  And they change FAST!  Figure out a childcare solution for the days you have work to do.  Whether it’s daycare, or trading playdates with friends, or having a nanny come to your house during the day, having to care for them while you try and work really isn’t the best solution.  In the end it will leave you feeling very frustrated and your child may feel like they are not the priority.  It’s just not good.  Trust me.. I’ve been there.  I’ve had my 2 year old climb under my desk and turn off the power strip because he wanted Mommy off of the computer.  It’s no fun for anyone.   It’s best to separate work and mommy time.  Then when you are at work, you work… when you are at home with them… you can really focus on them.

8. Systems, systems, systems! – Inbox management, email templates, written out workflow will change your lives.  And help with communication if you are working with a spouse.

  • Simply creating files for my inbox has been a LIFESAVER! I have files for EVERYTHING and I always try and keep my inbox under 10.  If I can respond in 2 minutes or less I do … then I wait for the bigger ones until I have time.  Once I have responded to something it gets filed.  So I only have unfinished business in my inbox.  I do not file things before they have been dealt with or I will completely forget about them!  Just a little tip in case you suffer with out of site out of mind like me.
  • We also have email templates that we have developed to save us time on responding to emails that are very similar in nature.
  • We just started using a workflow chart ( thank you Katelyn!) which is ABSOLUTELY amazing.  We enter all of our wedding photography clients into this workflow chart.  This makes sure that Isaac and I are constantly on the same page and know what has and hasn’t been done.

On the left you will see SOME of my folders to give you an idea.  I probably have 150 more.  On the right is our workflow chart that we use for our Wedding Photography clients.

9. Hire some help!  This was a hard one for me.  Like hard!  What Mom can’t clean her own house??? I seriously felt like a failure just thinking of this.  But honestly.  It was THE BEST thing I ever did for our business and my sanity when my kids were little.  Think about it.  How much could you accomplish in 3 hours of uninterrupted work?  A LOT right?!!?  If you had someone come in for a few hours every other week to just do floors and bathrooms would that free you up???  It did for me!  And it only cost me $60 a month!  So look around.. see if there is someone who could help take some things off of your plate.  It could be anything from folding laundry to cleaning your bathrooms, but it’s not bad to ask for help.  It’s actually incredibly freeing.

10. Life is just a series of everyday moments.  Hug your kids.  Now.  Go breathe them in.  They will only love legos, and dress up in tutus for so long.   So be their tea party partner.  Wear a cape.  Tickle them until neither of you can laugh anymore.

11. SIMPLIFY! Spring isn’t the only time to purge.  Have you ever started to feel like your stuff is overtaking your life??? OH I HAVE!  Put it on your big list to tackle one problem area of your house each week.   Like a certain closet or the kids clothes or under the bed.  Or that pesky “everything drawer” we all have.  THROW STUFF OUT.  Donate… Organize.  Let your friends shop through your things.  You will feel so good about it that I bet you will hardly be able to wait an entire week before conquering the next area!

12. Chore charts my friends, CHORE CHARTS!   This is a two birds one stone thing and IT IS AMAZING!  We got these adorable CHORE CHARTS at Costco and the kids LOVE them!  Mine are 6 & 8.  We (try to) change the chores on the left each Sunday.  The kids then do their daily chores and move the completed ones to the right.  On Saturday the get a dime for each chore completed.  Teaching them responsibility and also getting your dishes done!  Win win.

13. Stay Connected. Being at home with no co-workers is hard and can be incredibly lonely.  Staying connected with friends who actually get you is essential.  Get coffee with a girlfriend, start attending a Zumba class.  Get involved at church.   Don’t know where to start and need something right now??? Check out Pursuit 31.  A great Online community for us work at home creatives!

14. Fill your cup.  You are no good to anyone if you are down and out.  If you need to pause and fill your tank, DO IT.  EVERYONE around you will thank you for it.  Nobody wants a Mrs. Grumpy Gills.

Don’t know how to fill your cup? 2 words. Elevation Network.  This 24/7 online TV station has been a lifeline to me during those long winters and lonely days at home.   When I just need to feel encouraged, empowered and have my spirit lifted.  Pastor Steven and Elevation network have ministered to me in more ways than I can count.  Check it out.  I’m certain you will be inspired.

15.  Brain dump.  One of the reasons I always feel overwhelmed is because there is just so much swirling in my head.  I have to do this… and this and oh what about this idea!  Keep pads of paper everywhere!  Especially by your bed.  I also use the notes app on my phone.  Anytime something comes to my head big or small I write it down.  If it’s on my iPhone, I have notes for To do.. quotes I think of… books I want to read etc… I immediately feel less stressed and my mind is less cluttered.  This allows me to focus better on what is in front of me and then I can revisit those lists when I need to.

16.  PRIORITIZE!!!!!! If you have school age kids, this is a rule we try VERY hard to stand by.

TURN OFF YOUR PHONE AND STAY OFF YOUR COMPUTER FROM THE MINUTE YOU PICK THEM UP FROM SCHOOL UNTIL YOU SAY GOODNIGHT.

This almost immediately takes the pressure off and you won’t feel as guilty and unbalanced.  If you do one thing from this blog post.. PLEASE do this one!  You will feel balance & less torn, and they will feel like they are your priority.

Our family also has a very strict NO APPLES FOR DINNER policy.  This keeps us as parents less distracted and focused on cultivating conversation at the dinner table.   We want our kids to know that this time is important and worth fighting for.  I hope if we fight for it when they are little… they will fight for it and prioritize it during their busy high school years

17. Weekends = Family time.  Unless of course you shoot on the weekends.  But either way, set aside a day or two a week that are untouchable.  Those are family days.  NOT WORK.  Cherish them.  Avoid the pull to be annoyed at this.  If you’re anything like me it’s HARD to take time off of work and slow down.   But instead, choose to be grateful for them.  If the Bible says we should take a sabbath, than I think we should probably do it.

18. Avoid comparison.  You are enough.  End of story.  That girl over there… you don’t want her life.  Because you don’t have the grace for it.  You have the grace for yours.  You don’t have her kids, her job, her talents, her hubby, and her network FOR A REASON.  Because you are needed right where you are at.. by Your kids, Your job, Your hubby and YOUR network!  Do what you can, with what you have… right where you are at!  And be grateful..  Always be grateful.  What you are taking for granted, someone else is praying for.

19. Get moving.  I PROMISE you will feel better.  Starting hot yoga helped me in more ways than just physical. YES it is a super intense workout, but it also gave me some quiet, and time to think and clear my head.  It also got my butt out of this house.  Which lets face it, as a work at home Mom it is not rare for me to go to bed in the same clothes I woke up in and never leave the house. Can I get an amen?

20. Shop online….even groceries if you can.  It will save time.. A TON OF THAT.  Usually it also saves money, and it DEFINITELY saves the stress of wrangling 4 kids in a grocery store when they are all hungry.  Just google online grocery delivery in your area and if you’re close to a decent sized city it’s probably available.  Do it. You can thank me later.   Or just send some groceries to my house.

21. PLAN Date nights with your kids. I cannot stress this enough.  This is one thing our family does VERY intentionally.  And you HAVE to plan it.  These things do not just happen on their own.  Not only do we try and go on dates with our children on a regular basis, but we also try and go on adventures with them.  We wanted our kids to know that DOING life with them was a priority.  We didn’t want to just get through life.  We wanted to LIVE it.  We wanted to give them traditions that we could do together from preschool through adulthood, so we started our “princess dates” & “man time”.  Every fall before school my daughter and I go on an overnight princess date.  We stay in a fancy hotel, drink shirley temples, have breakfast in bed and go shopping.  And EVERY year, we hit up a photo booth.  I know this is something we will still do when she is 20, or heck.. even 40! And that’s what makes it so incredible.  My hubby does a similar thing with our son.. but their’s is manly, and smelly and involves camping and fish guts.

Here are photo strips from our last 3 adventures starting when she was 5.

An unintentional biproduct of these dates with the kiddos is the direct decrease in my Mommy guilt.  This wasn’t the reason we decided to do them, and we actually didn’t really even think of it.   However I realized that the more intentional I was at spending quality time with them, and being PRESENT when I was with them, the less guilty I felt needing to be away from them or taking time to get work done.  BONUS!

22. Create room for FOCUSED time with kids each day.  I get it.  It’s hard.  Some days you just want to scream.  Somedays you DO scream.  Some days it takes every last bit of energy and patience you can possibly muster to get your kids into bed before collapsing on the couch.  I HEAR YOU!  I get it.  I’ve been there.  A LOT!!!!  Don’t get caught up in making sure you are focused on them every single second, because that’s not super healthy either.  But somewhere between the pot-roast and the laundry pile, SEE them.  Really see them.  Take time to read them a story or listen to their crazy dreams and adventures.  Go hunt ladybugs… or color a picture.  Those are the moments they will remember.

23. Be up for an adventure. I may be repeating myself here but it is just THAT important.   Have you seen the movie Courageous?!?! Oh my gosh if you haven’t … YOU NEED TO!  Like make a plan to watch it THIS WEEKEND with your loved one.  There is a scene in the movie where the 9 year old daughter asks her daddy to dance with her in the middle of a park.  But he says no.  It was embarrassing. They were in a hurry.  He either didn’t want to or didn’t have the time.  Later in the movie we find out that we don’t always have those chances, we don’t know how much time we really have… We simply don’t know if we’ll always be able to make up for that dance… or maybe for your kid it’s that bike ride, or playing hoops in the driveway, or going to his favorite move that you despise.  We aren’t guaranteed another chance to say yes when they ask… so say yes!  Go on that adventure.  Or.  Just dance in the park.

24. Dance in the kitchen, and heck… make out for a bit too!  If you’ve been around Isaac and I for any amount of time, you know that we dance in the kitchen.  A lot.  And I’m not talking about crazy robot dancing… although I have been known to bust out like Wall-e, but the I never want to let you go, hold me forever kind of dancing.  It may be for 5 seconds or a few minutes but it’s my absolute favorite time of the day.

25. Kiss SLOOOOWWWWLY… oh wait… did I just talk about kissing?  Well maybe because it is THAT important.  At the end of the day when the littles are tucked in, it’s just you and him.  CULTIVATE THAT! Flirt, kiss, dance… slap him on the butt while you’re at it.  He is by your side for life.  You can’t put your marriage on the shelf while you are raising your kids because life is just “too busy” and expect it to still be there when they graduate.  The best gift you can give your children is a loving thriving marriage.  So make time for it. INVEST in it.

26. Make use of everyday moments –

  • Car Rides- This is one of my favorite parts of the day actually.  Maybe I’m spoiled and it’s because my commute is only 7 minutes through gorgeous uncrowded country roads, but I think it’s more than that.  Most mornings we use the car ride to pray for their day before school.. after we are done we have the kids start praying for each other.  This has been amazing… and did I mention ADORABLE!!!  When we pick them up we ask them highs and lows of their day.  This is a HUGE open door and they never fail to walk through it.  I used to just let them play on their ipod or watch a movie but we have put an end to that.  Having a short heart to heart on the way home gives me insight into their day that I would’ve never known otherwise.  It’s been heartbreaking, hilarious and completely inspiring.  But EVERY single time I’m grateful I took the time to ask.  It allows us the chance to walk with them through situations that normally they wouldn’t have brought up on their own.
  • Making Dinner – Involve them!  It’s messier… but they LOVE it, and actually, I do too.   They toss in ingrediants, stir, set the table… help daddy grill.  It’s incredible.  Do life WITH them…. don’t just let them watch.
  • After school down time- Can you even think of a better time for cuddles??? Seriously?  Oftentimes the kiddos are beat from school.  So we always give them a snack and they snuggle in to watch a cartoon before we start chores and homework.  Next time, get in there with them! Show them you missed them and watch the whole cartoon snuggled up.  Not just five minutes.

27. Take time for yourself!!!! Important for everyone but especially if you’re in introvert.  This took me a LONG time to learn, but around the time I was about to bite everyone’s head off, I realized I should just get away.  Go on a walk, take a shower, or heck.. even get a massage or go have lunch.  Because I was not good for anyone at that point.  I was on my last straw… and somehow, toddlers have a strong appetite for straws.  I felt guilty leaving at first.  Like REALLY guilty.  But after I took a few minutes and recharged I felt SO much better.  And when I returned home I was a happier, healthier Mama that was better for everyone.  So if you’re weary, worn out or feel like you just might burst at the seams.  Take a breather… everyone will thank you.

28. Let them sleep in the middle… let them be little.  Can you hear Lonestar singing in the background?  I can.  But really.  They are only little for such a short time.  Don’t wish it away.  I never took time to rock my babies to sleep when they were young because I was so focused on getting them on a schedule.  They just HAD to sleep through the night.  It was my only focus.  But you know what?  Looking back, I kinda wish I had more of those sleepless middle of the night rocking them moments.

29. Mentor someone. That’s right… go help someone else.  So often we can get so focused on what we need, and finding someone to help us, that we miss out on how we could be a blessing to someone else.  YOU HAVE SOMETHING TO OFFER!  Someone could be praying for a mentor exactly like YOU!   Helping others has become such a passion of ours.. we cannot wait to do more of this in 2013.  Be on the watch for our consulting spots opening soon.

30. GET TO BED AT A DECENT HOUR!!!! 7 am does not come any later if you stay up all night!

31. A thankful heart is a happy heart… Junior Asparagus really does know what he’s talking about.

31. Take time for non-work things you used to love.  This is actually really important and I ignored it for a long time.  I got so involved in work that I became burnt out.  Finally I started cultivating my old loves like refinishing furniture, decorating, and baking… and you know what??? I feel SO much more alive!

32. Go on field trips.  Simple.  Sign up for field trips in your kids class… these are the things childhood is made of.

33. Remember Dave Ramsey???.. set a budget… Get a bookkeeper… And an Accountant! NOW!

34. COMMUNICATE WITH YOUR SPOUSE!!!  As much as we think he can, he cannot read your mind.  YOU HAVE TO TELL HIM WHAT YOU ARE THINKING!  Let him in on your plans and dreams.  What you did today, and what you still need to do.  Tell him what’s weighing on you and what you’d like to accomplish this year.  Ask him about his day and his answers to those questions.  Isaac and I have fought about a ton of things in 12 years of marriage… but most of the time, it comes back to bad communication.  Commit to learning his personality and how he communicates.  Learn his love language! That will help too!

35. Set yourself up for success!  You know that GIGANTIC to-do list you’ve been adding onto for days.. weeks even?  (refer back to tip #15) All of those lists of every passing thought & idea on your iphone?  While it is so GREAT to have everything you need to do written down, starring at a list that seems so endless can get SUPER overwhelming.   If you go into the day with a huge list and only get 2 or 3 things crossed off, you will most likely end the day feeling like you’ve failed.  Even though you really did accomplish a lot!

Try setting yourself up for success by choosing 3-5 manageable tasks every day when  you sit down to work.   What I do is this… after I have taken the kids to school I come home, grab my coffee and walk to the office.  I take out my huge yellow tablet and see everything I have yet to finish.  I look it over and based on priority and how much time each task will take, I choose 3-5 as my goals for that day.  Then I write them down on post it note.   Usually a pink one.

This keeps my day extremely focused because I only have a few tasks at hand.  I start with the jobs that take the least amount of time so I can cross them off and then I tackle the longer one last.  The only exception to that is if I have something on my list that I am DREADING… like please… let me clean baseboards instead! LOL!  If that is the case I will always start with the dreaded duty first… then it feels like a reward when I get to the more fun simpler tasks.

36. Make forts.. Everywhere.  Out of anything you can.

37. Birthday party prep.  As the mom of 2 elementary age kids, birthday parties seem to be happening all the time.  Stay ahead of the game and keep an inexpensive toy for boys and girls your child’s age in the closet.  This will save so much time and panic when you have a last minute birthday party to attend.

38. Dream.  Make time for it.  It doesn’t just happen… you have to make room for it.  If you are constantly worried, stressed or overwhelmed you will quench your dreams.  Ready my dear friend Mary’s post on 25 things every Dreamer should know. (Mary will also be speaking at the P31 Conference this fall! Woot Woot!

39. Know your place of Inspiration.  Having writers block?  Feel like YOU. ARE. JUST. DONE???   Go to your happy place.  My hubby always knows when I’m at that point and he sends me to the shower.  I don’t know what it is, but I think clearer in there.  I can cry, sing, dream, have quiet, it’s like therapy in a white box.  Yours could be a cozy nook, a walk, going to the gym… whatever it is for you, find it!  Cultivate it.  Make time for it.

40. Keep a nightime routine.  Ours includes brushing teeth, jams, bath time, snuggles and Jesus Calling for Kids.  This has quickly become our favorite time of day as a family.  And if we forget.. our kids let us know.. they are SOOO excited for Bible Time each night.  Setting a routine helps everyone feel settled and secure… and sends them off to bed in peace and love… not filled with stress and sadness from frantic parents.  Thank you to our dear friend Tiffany Farley who caught this shot as she visited last month.

and to clarify.. Ava is reading the daily Bible verse via the Youversion app on my phone.. she’s not ignoring us

41. Have a date night on the couch at least once a week!  Let’s face it.. as busy Mama’s and working women date nights out just aren’t always feasible… or even enjoyable.  Sometimes getting dressed up is amazing, but most of the time, a romantically planned quiet night on the couch is just what I need.  Since moving about an hour away from both of our parents these date nights in have become a favorite of hours.  We make fun food and fancy drinks in our PJ’s and snuggle in for a great night.  Don’t forget to turn on the fire and light a candle to add romance to that new movie you’re watching.

42. Identify your biggest distractions.  This is a big one.  Get some scratch paper… I will wait.   Without giving it much thought write down the top 3 things that distract you from getting work done.  For me it was my phone.. Facebook and working while Isaac was home. I know that seems weird but it’s really hard for me to get things done while he is in the house.  He’s more of a talker than I am and he enjoys having conversations throughout the day.. and I want to cherish that, not get frustrated at that.

So for me, getting ride of distractions meant a few things.  I started to choose times to work when Isaac was either at work or had other projects to do.. I deleted FB off of my phone which was a HUGE one!  And I set limits for myself on when I would have my phone on me.

These 3 small changes have REVOLUTIONIZED my life.  No joke.  I used to be addicted to my phone.  Like addicted.  I would touch it just because it was there… and try checking it even though there was nothing to check.  It was awful.  And it was consuming my life.  Having hours that I just put the phone on the shelf and didn’t think about it was probably the number one life changer.. a close second was removing FB from my phone and not keeping FB up in the background when I was on my computer.  That thing will suck your life away.
Making these steps is painful at first.. like a bad breakup that you know you’re supposed to do.  It’s HAAARRDDD.. but once you make the choice and stick to it.  You will feel freer than you have in so long!

43. Design a dedicated workspace that inspires you.  I cannot even tell you how amazing this has been.  Whether it’s a desk in the kitchen or a gorgeous custom office, make it beautiful.  What inspires you?  What colors do you love?  What makes you feel alive? Creative?  Bring those things into your office space and create an environment that is just for you.  I promise, you.. and the outcome of your work will be better for it!  Need Inspiration?  Check out the I WORK HERE series on the P31 Blog.

44. Learn to Say NO!!!!  Remember… Your work is NOT your life.  It’s part of your life.  When you start to lose joy.. and feel your work world caving in, it’s time to take a step back.  Reevaluate.  Is everything that is currently on your plate supposed to be there?  Do you have things that you said yes to that you should’ve said no to?  What can you take off your plate so that you start to feel like YOU again.  So you can get your life back?

45. Streamline your social media.  In an attempt to spend less time on social media I downloaded Hootsuite.  It allows me to update all of my social media accounts with one post.  AMAZING.

46. Invest in learning.  Always trying to grow in your skills is highly important.  I love how they call it “practicing medicine” because they are committed to continued learning.  As working Moms we need to be as dedicated to our jobs as well.  And not just in our work, but as Mom’s, wives and women as well.

Here are a few of my favorites:

  • Take an online class- If you are a photographer, The Defined School has incredible classes as well as Creative Live.  If you are Married tune in on April 26th & 27th for the Amazing Life Together Webinar!  We just did the filming for our interview this week and we would love to see you tune in!
  • Read, Read, Read! – I can’t stress this enough.  Take the opportunity to learn from others experiences.  Some of my favorites are Baby Wise, The 5 Love Languages, The Cause Within You, Love Does, Unglued
  • Find a Mentor-  I know this may sound scary, but taking the time to learn from someone who has been down your path before is priceless.  If there is someone you admire or want to grow from in a certain area, REACH OUT to them!  You can’t be afraid to ask.  I mean seriously, what’s the worst that could happen?
  • Take on an attitude of learning.  No one is too young, too old, too immature, too boisterous or too anything to learn from.  Our kids have taught us more in life than almost anyone and they’re still in elementary school.   We really CAN learn something from everyone we encounter.  Even if it’s learning what not to do.  When you look at life through the lenses of learning everyone who comes across your path becomes a gift.  And they add a perspective, attitude or life lesson you never knew you needed to explore.

47. Surround yourself only with people who will lift you higher (refer to rule 13 )  It is a proven statement that we become the average of the 5 people we spend the most time around.  Who are your 5 people?  Do you want to be like them?  Are they pushing you towards your dreams and cause, or away from them?  Are they encouraging and uplifting or are they a negative voice?  This doesn’t just go for in person people, but can be online voices as well.  Are there online voices that are tearing you down, causing you to become jealous or feel incompetent?  Is it healthy to continue letting them have that place in your life???   I can’t tell you yes or no, but I can at least prompt the question.  Think on it.  Make sure you’re 5 people are ones you are really glad you have there.  And if you need to, don’t be afraid to do a little pruning.  And just remember, pruning isn’t a bad thing.. it’s a very vital part of the growth cycle.

48. Take every moment you possibly can to speak life into your kids and your spouse.  There is WAY too much negativity out there.  Kids are learning younger and younger to be self conscious and not feel as good as their friends.  Enough people are tearing them down.  BUILD THEM UP!

49. Remember, small is the new big.  In 100 years… when you are gone.  It won’t matter how many FB followers you have, or how many Blog hits you get.  What will remain is your legacy.  How you treat people.  The things and people that you make a priority.

50. Lastly, How you spend your days is how you spend your life.  Live INTENTIONALLY.  You were created on purpose with a purpose.  And only you can make the choice to pursue the destiny that you were created for.  Chase it.  Revel in it.  This is your legacy.

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Hope this helps lovelies!!! And please.. if you have any more questions I am here to help! Join the conversation in the comments and let me know if there is anything else you’d like to hear about!  Thanks for stopping by!

And if you’ve enjoyed this post, I would be ever so grateful if you shared it or pinned it 🙂

 

Keep shining!

Karen

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