Wife. Mom. Boss.

It’s no secret trying to juggle those titles is a challenge. It’s chaos some days but it’s always fun. And I’m quite proud to wear all 3.

Today I’m sharing how I balance it all…

  1. I try to eat healthy. Do I every single day and never cheat? No, but for the most part I eat healthy and drink plenty of water. I love to enjoy a protein shake for dinner.
  2. I keep my calendar/schedule organized. Being organized is huge with handling all the events we have as a wife, mom and boss. Being organized = success. Those 2 go hand in hand. I have my own personal calendar, we have a family calendar so my hubby and kids know what we have going on and I have my work calendar. I schedule events/appointments in advance and they immediately go on the calendar so I can plan ahead and around events so I don’t overbook or miss an event at home or deadline at work.
  3. I keep a task list in a notebook at work and home. This list is always up-to-date with tasks I need to complete. Having these visual reminders is important and a huge reason I get so much done at home and work every day.
  4. I start my day with coffee. Yep, it’s a guilty pleasure and goes totally against my #1 but a mama has to find balance.  While I try to be good the rest of the day, I need to rise and shine with a coffee cup in my hand.  Find a small guilty pleasure and treat yourself.
  5. I take some time to myself. I try to every day but some days it doesn’t happen.  This one can be hard to do especially depending on the ages of your kiddos. I promise it gets easier if you have little ones.  As they get older they can entertain themselves to it’s easy to sneak in a book, bubble bath or they can work out with you, etc.
  6. My hubby and I are a team. We share the workload at home and the kids’ schedules which makes the mom hat wearing much easier. As our kids are getting older they are helping clean, do laundry and work outside so again mom hat getting easier. If you are overwhelmed, have your hubby fix dinner, schedule some doctor appointments, take the kids to practice, etc.
  7. I focus on the positives. I’m challenged in my job every day and I love it. Working full-time and doing photography on the side makes me quite busy and I have less time at home wearing my mom hat that I love wearing every day, too. Some days I feel guilty that I miss so much time with my kids and this is when I have to focus on the positives. I’m blessed to have a great job that I love. I have a strong work ethic and setting a great example for my kids. Our kids need to learn to work hard and how to take care of themselves, their home, their family. I’m also building a strong foundation to give my kids the best possible start when they get their wings and fly.  We are working hard to be able to pay their college for them so when they graduate and land their 1st full-time job they don’t have all this debt hanging over their head. We are doing a great job so we need to give ourselves credit.
  8. Indulge in some pleasures. One of my happy places is spending time at the lake. I am an outdoor kind of girl so I love summer. I enjoy spending time at the lake as a family. It’s great quality time together and it’s a nice getaway when I’m not at the office.
  9. Be thankful. I’m thankful for what I have, what I’ve accomplished, what I’m capable of and thankful for my family and friends. This is an area I am working on every day. I’m thankful but could I be even more grateful in all areas of my life, yes.  So I’m a work in progress.
  10. Last but not least, limit your time on social media. We all spend time on social media. It can soak up so much of your precious time with your family. Instead of focusing on what everyone else is doing on FB, IG, Snapchat, etc focus on your family sitting right in front of you. Catch up with family/friends, post your pics but then turn it off. My other suggestion is turn off your notifications. I do not have mine turned on that way my phone isn’t buzzing and I’m not side-tracked by seeing the notifications. I also try to catch up after my kids go to bed, at practice, doing homework, etc. (basically when they are busy) I’m not saying I’m never on my phone because I do check in with work from my phone as well. I just try to limit social media as I feel like that is optional. Finding balance between it all isn’t easy.

Last, this is how I’ve found balance with juggling all 3 hats and living my best life. You just have to find what works best for you and makes you happy.

Success doesn’t come from what you do occasionally. It comes from what we do consistently. — Marie Forleo

Side Hustle

Side Hustle – Do you have one? Do you have a passion or hobby that allows you to make some extra cash? My side hustle is my photography business. I’m an outdoor photographer so my side hustle is from spring to fall.

A side hustle is a way to make some extra cash that allows you flexibility to pursue what you’re most interested in. It can also be your true passion – it’s a chance to enjoy that passion without quitting your day job.

I grew up in a big family. I am one of 7 kids. With a big family comes hustle. There was always work to be done at home, the house needed to be cleaned often, dishes needed to be done (no dishwasher when I grew up), etc. I learned my hard work ethic at home. My parents never rested. There was no time for gaming, playing sports, etc.

I started babysitting at a young age to make my own money. As soon as I turned 16 I started working in the kitchen at a local nursing home and continued to babysit. I always seemed to carry a couple jobs growing up and through college. I’m not sure I know how to “not be busy”.  My last 3 years of college I worked full-time and went to college full-time at night. Life was busy.  During that last year of school, I planned our wedding and we bought our 1st home. After I graduated and we were married, I guess I felt like I needed a part-time job so I started at a local golf course driving around the beverage cart. The tips were good and it was a fun job outside.  I did this along with my full-time job for a few summers.  After that job passed I became an Uppercase Living consultant and when that slowed down I turned my passion of photography into a side hustle.  My photography side job has stuck for several years. I love it. I love taking photos, I love meeting new people, I love continuing to photograph my friends and family, and I love being creative. It’s a fun passion but not something I would want to do full-time. The extra cash is nice to enjoy some extras for my family.

So if you have a passion or hobby that you would like to do on the side for fun and for extra cash, go for it!!!  The fun part of a side hustle is you get to pick when you work and what fits your schedule and family. It’s a chance to get paid for something you love to do.

Be the girl who decided to go for it!

Step out of your comfort zone…

Psychology says: Go with the choice that scares you the most, because that’s the one that’s going to help you grow.

Isn’t that the truth?  Six years ago, I was working at a great company. I started there young and had 15 years in towards my retirement. I had the flexibility to take off whenever I wanted with my family, great people, great benefits and extra perks. But I felt stuck. I loved design work but being the only web designer in the office, there wasn’t a lot of opportunity to move up from there. I was sitting in a place where I was about halfway through my career but wasn’t sure I would be happy doing the same thing for 15 more years. I wasn’t exactly looking for another job either.  My father-in-law actually spotted a job in the paper and said I think you should apply. I did and the job was offered to me.

I struggled for a couple weeks on what to do.  Was the grass really greener on the other side?  Or would I leave and wish I would have stayed?  It was scary to think about leaving the only company I had ever worked for. It was scary to think about leaving my retirement when if I stayed I would be eligible to retire at 48 years old. (WOW, right???)  It was scary to think about starting over with my leave balances on annual and sick when after 15 years I had quite the stash and small kids at home that might need me. I had sooo much FEAR. But inside my heart kept telling me to face my fears. Try something new. This new position gave me the opportunity to get back into IT (Information Technology) where my prior had been moved into their Communications section. I seeked the advice from many mentors I have in my life and not one of them said to stay.

One of my biggest fears was switching retirements. One day in this transition period of trying to decide what to do, I dropped my vehicle off for an oil change and took the shuttle to work. I was talking to the older gentlemen about my decision and his response was touching when I voiced my concern about retirement.

Why are you basing a decision today on something that far into the future?  What if you never make it to retirement?  Would you regret not taking this opportunity now?

He had a great point.  And realistically at age 48 I wouldn’t retire solely. I have kids that would still be in college then.

My decision — I went with the choice that scared me the most. I left my job after 15 years. I stepped out of my comfort zone and I have no regrets. I have grown so much in 6 years. I have learned so much. I’ve been extremely busy. I’ve been challenged on many levels. Getting back into IT has given me the capacity to learn so much more technology and also keep my design skills up. 

I was hired as a web developer and quickly grew into a Creative Design Manager/Web Developer position. I’ve always had a goal of managing. As projects needed to be completed and the administration saw my ability to lead, I stepped up and lead. I loved the challenges and learning new things.

Last year in February I became the Deputy Director of IT.  This past week I was promoted to Director of Information Technology.

I believe in working hard for what you want. Nothing should be given, Hardwork is noticed and will pay off.

be humble photo

The harder you work for something the greater you’ll feel about it. Step up. Work harder than your co-workers. Take on more work. It will pay off.

If you have struggled with a decision whether it’s a job change or another life changing decision to make, don’t be scared to be challenged. Don’t be scared to try something new. Don’t be scared to step out of your comfort zone. As I look back now, I can’t believe it took me so long to decide what to do. The unknown was scary. But the challenge and growth has far outweighed what I had to give up to push myself to the next level.

Ask yourself if what you are doing today is getting you closer to where you want to be tomorrow.

2019 is off to a great start. I’m loving the challenges I face each day and can’t wait to see what this year brings for me and my team. I have many goals on my list to achieve…

When have you stepped out of your comfort zone? What was the outcome? I look forward to hearing your story.