Three Tips for Working Moms During These Uncertain Times with Rebecca Fleetwood Hession
Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: Hi, I'm Rebecca Fleetwood Hession, CEO and Founder of Wethrive. live. I'm an executive coach and a business consultant. And today I want to speak to our career moms. Last week with the announcement that many schools were going back to an all- virtual, my texts and my messages from my clients and my friends was stress, and it hit all at once and it hit hard. So I want to just acknowledge that working moms have been hit the hardest throughout 2020. I love you. I see you. I see the stress on your face. I see the concerns that you have, that you're up thinking about it. And my kids are now 19 and 22. So I'm on the other side of much of what you're going through, but as my kids are growing up, I was traveling extensively. They were in different types of schools with lots of communication and transportation issues, and I felt like I was living in chaos every day. So I want to share with you three things that I know wholeheartedly as a leadership consultant and as a mom will help you. Not only help you in this stress and really trauma that you're in right now, but these three things will help you in your career moving forward. Because I believe even though we've been hit the hardest as career women, that we will learn skills that will help us persevere and take a much stronger stance in the business world moving forward. So let's talk about these three things. The first one is uncertainty is a human phenomenon. We've all had uncertainty in our lives, this year more than ever. And the reason that the stress feels so much higher this time when you got the announcement for virtual, and some of you I know I've been doing virtual full- time. Everybody has a personal choice. I honor that. But some people, their kids went back to school and now they're back to virtual again. So when you were virtual the first time, you had your, okay, we'll figure it out. We can do this. And then you jumped in and you saw how hard it was. So now going back to it feels like, you know that fire I just walked through a few months ago, I've got to walk through that damn thing again. So it's this emotional response of knowing how hard it's going to be. So uncertainty in and of itself is just, I don't know how this is going to turn out. And we all have uncertainty. And even though you've not been in this situation before, you've been in situations that were uncertain before in some part of your career, in some part of your life. Having your first baby was wrought with uncertainty. Like, I don't know how to take care of this thing. So I want you to call upon the things that you have done in the past to get through difficult situations. I want you to call upon your history of experiences and tell yourself that even though this is difficult, you've done difficult things before, and you have the skills to get through this one, and then just keep taking one step at a time. And as you take those steps, you build the confidence of being able to get through another situation of uncertainty. Uncertainty is happening throughout your entire family, so it's important to take a stance of connection versus control. Let me just let that one speak for a minute. Connection versus control. Because every day our brains are looking for certain things to feel well, to thrive, and the two basic things that we need most as humans is both our physical safety, but also our psychological safety, our emotional wellbeing. And in times of uncertainty, when our brains are flashing red alert, red alert, we've never been here before, this is hard, what you and everyone in your family needs most is that psychological safety, that sense of wellbeing. So seek connection versus control because sometimes our bias is, I've just got to get control of everything to get through it. And that's going to create more stress and more anxiety for you because these are humans in uncertain times, and it's impossible to control all the things, and it's going to create more stress for the people in your house, which creates a lot of additional uncertainty in our emotions. So if we can seek connection, how can I be available for everyone in a way that's emotionally safe and not controlling all the things? So the way that we do that, because let's face it moms, we set the tone for how things go in the house. The way that we do that is spend some time each day, I don't care if it's five minutes, 10 minutes. I don't care if you have to go into the bathroom and sit on the toilet to get it. Five to 10 minutes a day where you breathe and center and remind yourself who you are and what you're capable of and that you're okay and you're going to be okay. Because if you don't take that time for yourself, the way that you bring energy into the house is going to be the culture of your house. So don't see this as an extra thing. Don't see this as a, when I get caught up or if I get caught up, I'll do it. That time you take for yourself each day is the work. That is part of the process. And that is the one thing you do have control over, is centering yourself. I'm talking back to basics. I want you to breathe. I want you to use really positive affirming self- talk. You're the first responder in your head. How you talk to yourself is literally the first response. So that sets the tone. And whatever that looks like for you. Is that taking a walk? Is that having some time to journal? Is that going in and taking a hot bath with a cup of tea? Whatever it is, it doesn't have to be a ton of time. You make that a top priority because that's going to set the tone for everybody in the house feeling more safe, because you're going to feel more grounded. So within uncertainty, you're going to take connection over control, and you're going to do that by honoring yourself first so you can show up for everyone else loving and kind as much as possible. And on those days that you just need a break, take it. This is no time to be a martyr. This is no time to think that you're in control of the universe. We're not. I know, it's disappointing news. All right. The second thing is to pare back. Pare back your expectations about everything. This will help you in your career moving forward. All of these things will, because when we pare back and we pick just a few things that we care most about, we have the opportunity to achieve those few things. When we have too many expectations, too many goals, it's a natural law. It's called the law of diminishing returns. And when we try to accomplish too much, we don't accomplish anything very well, and then we're left feeling like a failure. So decide what are the one or two things that matter most within your household and let go of a lot of the other stuff. Let go of maybe the clean house and have far less expectations for what that means. Let go of maybe having the perfect meal every night. Just let go of some things and pare back, but pick one or two things, no more than three. I'm not kidding. No more than three. Pick three things at most, preferably one or two, that you care about and share those with the family, build those with the family is even better, and say," Within all of this, here are the two things we care about." You decide what those are. And then the family can derive this sense of winning in the midst of the chaos around those two things. It might be that every night we're going to have dinner together. It may be cheese and crackers. It doesn't have to be elegant, but you're just going to make eye contact with each other and just love on each other. It may be that you are going to assign that everybody's going to have their share of household duties. We're going to get to that in a minute. But whatever it is, one or two things that you care about. And here's the thing. I'd prefer them to have nothing to do with grades because your kids are stressed out. And the way that school's being delivered is not optimum. You know this. So to have expectations of grades in a system that isn't really set up to teach them well is setting them up for failure. I promise you, this will not stunt the growth of your loving children in their future nearly as much as I think you're fearful that it will. And all kids are in this situation, so they're all leveled up to this situation that we're all in. So let your expectations be around psychological safety, physical safety. Just let it be around the human connection, not what you're producing in this time. Pare back. That's number two. Number three is: Ask for help, work as a team. Everybody in your house has the ability to help and participate, and the more that we can be a part of the solution, the more that we feel safe, the more that we feel that we're in this together. So you're building a team within your kids and your spouse and your house. So that's going to require you to relinquish some control and ask for help. One of the best things I did with my kids from a really early age is we had a weekly family meeting night. We did it on a Sunday night. We made it fun. We had food that everybody liked, or sometimes we just had dessert for dinner, but I made it a fun thing that you wanted to show up for, not a yuck, awful meeting, like the ones you go to at work that you don't want to go to. But had a whiteboard. And we would look at what does a week coming up look like and how did things go last week. And we looked at what were projects that were due for them in school. What were things that needed to be prepared for? How are they feeling? How are things going? And that was a chance to divvy up responsibilities. So if somebody had a project due, we'd have the conversation, what do you need for that project? We're going to need poster board. What is it? Let's prepare for it, so we're not caught off guard with all of the last minute things that stress us out. But it was just a chance for us to realize that we were all in this together. Ours was mostly around transportation. How am I going to get people where they we need to go? Which isn't as much as a factor today. But what is it for you that you as a family can center on? And maybe it's could everybody just wipe down their own bathroom sink once a week, so you don't feel like you're drowning in household responsibilities. Hey, could you vacuum this week? And you, take out the trash, whatever it is. But if everybody has a part in it, then it's going to create more of a team environment. So, those are the three things. One, connection over control, and that starts with you. Connect with yourself. Remind yourself you've been through difficult things before and you are equipped. You can do this. Number two, pare back. The law of diminishing returns is real, so just pick a couple of things that you care about and share those with your team. Number three, work together as a team. Ask for help. Meet once a week and check in. You got this. If you need anything, reach out. If you need connection with me or other working moms that are in this, and you just need somebody to talk to, I can hook you up. All right. Thanks. I love you. You got this.
Uncertainty is a human phenomenon. We have all had uncertainty in our lives, and this year we have had more than ever. Right now, many working moms are facing uncertainty with the announcement of all-virtual learning. They are concerned and stressed, and I am here to help. Even though we, as career women, have been hit the hardest, we will learn skills that will help us persevere and make us stronger in the business world moving forward.
In this week’s episode, we will listen to Rebecca Fleetwood Hession as she shares three things that will help working moms in their careers and in their homes right now. The first thing she discusses is the importance of connection versus control when facing uncertainty. She also talks about paring back expectations right now and focusing on physical safety, psychological safety, and human connection instead of what you are producing in this time. Lastly, she emphasizes why all moms should ask for help and work as a team right now with everyone in the house. Even though right now is difficult, Rebecca reminds working moms to call on past experiences of uncertainty and use the skills you have to get through this time one step at a time.
Listen in to learn more about what you can do during this time of uncertainty and how you can grow as a mom and a career woman with the three tips Rebecca shares.