B A L A N C E
B A L A N C E
Life happens for us, not to us.
Many of you ask how I do it? How do I juggle motherhood, travel blogging, digital content creating, real estate, charities, campaigns, interviews, appearances, photography, relationships, family, dating, personal time, self care, fitness, chores, errands, and the list goes on and on and on…
First of all thank you for perceiving what I share as having my shit together. Though that might be far from the truth, I do take serious effort into achieving my daily goals with keeping the future in mind and in focus as I pursue life balance. I eliminate the feeling of being a victim to “adulting” and focus on the hours I have to solely compete against in order to achieve my dreams.
Let me first start by saying this mama has to keep 3 calendars in order to not get off track or miss a beat and some days it is not enough. I like to physically write down events, meetings, appointment in a daily pocket calendar.I than cross check with my Iphone Calendar that they align and then place those events on a dry erase board near my coffee maker in the kitchen so that every morning I can have a third visual influence on what needs to be accomplished as I begin my day.
The night before I go to sleep I end the day with organizing the next day. That said I take my daily pocket calendar and write out everything so that I can physically cross it off as the day goes by. When I say everything I even write out the morning routine so that I can organize the day hour to hour with events like get out the door by 8am, gas, car wash, bank, groceries, fitness, meeting, postoffice, appointment, content creating, pick up sammy, park/play, dinner, bath, put sammy to sleep, blog, organize tomorrow, literally everything. What I find helpful about doing this before going to bed is that it helps tame those compulsive thoughts that tend to pop up as you're trying to drift off to sleep. It also sets the tone so that I know what to expect and what to plan for in the morning allowing me to fully utilize time to the best of my ability.
Morning - let me give you a little bit of personal advice on how to set the tone for the day. Avoid your phone at all costs for at least 30 mins to an hour. Do not pick it up. The great thing about writing down the to-do’s on a piece of paper is that you do not need to access your smart phone to start achieving your goals. The second that phone opens you are allowing outside influences and reactions to set in. Do not let someone’s email, text or social media post dictate your terms. If you allow this you volunteer your mind to react to situations or opinions that do not belong to you and furthermore do not help you get closer to achieving your daily goals. Not only is it a waste of your precious time and needed energy but it directly affects your mood often times stunting your belief in yourself leading to irrational thoughts like not being capable or not being where you should be in life. We can’t compare our journey to others. Successful people didn’t take that sort of time out of their day to stalk others, self negative talk, and walk away from their dreams (stalk, talk, walk). Instead they knew their time was limited to achieve what they needed to and proceeded with tunnel vision.
So how do I wake? If I am blessed to wake with my little man next to me I stop a stare at him. He empowers me so much to not give up and keep going. When I look at him I remind myself that I am leading by example and I want to not only positively encourage him by showing him many ways to chase your dreams and have confidence in yourself. Next… Coffee of course. I take the time to physically make my coffee using a french press. It becomes more mindful than mindless. It slows me down and allows me to have control and appreciation. Depending on my mood I either turn on music or a motivational podcast. Finally, I open up that daily planner and start crossing off the daily to-do’s. Often times what I am crossing off is a simple as make sammy’s lunch and start preparing his breakfast and school outfit. I encourage those with children to wake before them to allow your mood to set in first before thier’s gets to you! Just like suggesting to avoid opening up your emails or social media… allow your thoughts and motivations to arrive before anyone else’s!
It’s very important to not get discouraged if what was on your daily list does not get accomplished. Life happens, things come up and more than often we need to pivot to adjust our priorities. For parents out there, it’s inevitable you will be called in the middle of your day just as you get your momentum going to pick up your child sick from school. That’s where your calendars come into play - you can hold on to where you left of to go attend to what’s more important at that time. It can act as a bookmark to your life and keep you focused on where to begin again when the overwhelming feeling of “where do I start” begins to set in.
I just mentioned the word prioritize so I want to further expand on priorities. Whenever you are tackling a to-do whether it be a work meeting or time at the gym you need to be fully invested in it during the time you allow for it. You need to be completely present. Does something have to give in order to be completely present? Absolutely not. Do other areas suffer? Not necessarily. This is learning how to adjust and dedicate to the task at hand meaning another area may not be receiving attention and could be leveling out or plateauing. I think that right there is balance. Awareness and accepting that certain areas may suffer at any given time to focus on other priorities that need attention is important. I feel it’s almost ludacris to hold such a high expectation as one person to be able to have life simple on the up and up at all times. That's just far too much pressure and leads to a ton of negativity when things pop up.
We start to feel bad when one area of our life start flourishing and another one starts to suffer because we are told we have to keep balance and that everything will flow at the same rate. That is absolute bullshit. How else are we supposed to use are time wisely other than placing full attention on an area that needs it at that time. For example, you can't be in spin class while responding to emails. Both of those areas will not get the benefits or attention they need in order to succeed. I can’t be creating content, blogging or editing while my I’m with my son. It’s simply not fair and will not work.
Key thing - pay attention. Whatever you do stay present. Stay present in the moment. When you walk into work, stay present in that one business - fully engage and do not give attention to what’s happening at home, when you are going to fit in gym time, or any other business. If you schedule out everything like I do, those thoughts won’t happen as you know that you already made time for them and they will get your full attention when that time comes. Zone in and zone out and keep that focus on the task at hand. Back to the spin clas vs answering emails example. Spin class is when I allow 50 mins to zone in on my body and zone out all the other distractions in my life. Listen to what is it saying and use the physical benefits to emotionally help. When I answer emails I scheduled out 1 hour in the morning to address all responses. In that hour, nothing else is being addressed. Not the dishes in the sink or the dm’s that are distracting me. To me not being present where you are is not being balanced… in fact i’d go on to say its being out of control.
Time management - schedule everything! Family time is most important. Many of you don't know about my schedule with Sammy simply because when I talk about sammy it involves other people who deserve the respect and privacy as it was not their choice, like it was mine, to be a public figure. I have shared custody of my son and that is all you need to know. That said, short and sweet that split time with Sammy dictates all as he is first on my schedule and everything else gets filled in around him. Many of you have noticed an increase in my travels as I began blogging for hotels and resorts per your inquiry.It excited me to be able to provide you with sound information you were requesting. Well my friends you also judged and thought you had the right to assume I was never with my son and living a wanderlust lifestyle. For those of you who thought that, you in fact made an ass of yourself. The days I don't have Sammy are far from the life I want as a mother. Imagine half your life with your child. They are some of the hardest to get through. They are the days I am in complete business mode because if I slow down enough the feeling of guilt and abandonment set in as my purpose in life is not by my side. I cram in as much work, content creating, interviews, meetings, campaign negotiating, photo shoots, travel, self care, friend time, blogging, and more as I possibly can so that the days and hours I am with my son, he gets my full attention and he knows he is love and valued. I’ll let you in on something - the entire Hilton campaign where you saw me reviewing 4 different east coast cities had to be done in 2 day intervals to avoid having to change my set schedule with Sammy. It is very rare I give up a day with him and I rarely say yes to a job on a day I have Sammy. I avoid all interference with our time together as much as possible and truth be told I have only hired a sitter for him maybe 3 times his entire life. It’s all about how you use your time & what you prioritize.
Speaking of attention. Put the phone down. Most of you complain I don't share Sammy enough. I bet you are the ones that also assumed I’m never with him :) . Well imagine your at coffee with a friend and your friend take out there phone throughout your time with them almost to say their time with you is not important. I cant imagine ever making my son feel not important. My phone is almost always put down during the time with Sammy so he has my full presence and knows the time I do have with him is the most important and he is valued. There are times I organically capture a moment and share it with you but I will never force him to be in front of the camera every second we are together for the sake of showcasing my motherhood. Like ew. No thank you - I do not need to prove to strangers I am a good mother. It’s far more important to actually be a good mother to the person it matters to the most, my son.
That said, another thing I do is schedule out an hour for a photographer to help capture the moments with sammy so that I do not have to be behind my phone or camera not living in the present. I rarely do it but it certainly helps. For example, picking out our Christmas tree I had a dear friend of mine and talented photographer Cody James Barry follow us along and help capture our time. Yearly I will get together with Jennifer Majia for updated family photos. That way I can set the expectations with Sammy and achieve what needs to be done within that scheduled time.
At the end of the day I am self employed. I am completely responsible for my brand and further more my success. My job is to provide for my son when he is with me and make his life the best it can be. I need to show up for myself because no one else will. Though I often work from home I still make it a point to have Sammy ready and out the door by 8:15 to stay on task and treat it as if I was showing up to a 9-5. I am the product of my work and it is a job that does not have weekends or vacations and often times unpredictable but you know what? I love it…and my son can be apart of the adventure, charities and growth with me. I’ve never felt more accepted than where I am now.
Anyways I feel like I can go on and on about this and I’ll most likely remember things later that I should have added in or mentioned. I would love to hear your feedback or the ways you have been able to find any sort of balance in your life. What are your tips & tricks? As always, I love your consistent support and I hope that my content continues to add value to your life!
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Until next time,